Throwback Thursday: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board. Please link back to her by using the link above.

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Today’s Throwback:

The Best of Me

by

 

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Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks”

In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A. McLellan | Book Review | Author Interview | Signed Giveaway Including a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card! #HistFic #BookReview #Giveaway #Fiction

HiIn the Shadow of the Hanging Tree

by Michael A. McLellan

From Goodreads:

In 1865 a shadow hovers over the nation: the shadow lingers still…

Born into slavery, Henry’s young life is spent working in tobacco drying sheds on Missouri plantations. Freed at the onset of the Civil War, he’s alone, starving, and on the run from Confederate militiamen.

Five years later, Clara Hanfield, the daughter of a powerful New York shipping magnate, escapes her tyrannical father and travels west in pursuit of John Elliot, the man she loves. John, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was sent to the Dakota Territory where he discovers a government conspiracy to incite an all-out war with the Indians; a war meant to finally eliminate them as an obstacle to the westward expansion.

Henry finds himself caught in the middle.

Aided by Clara, John, and his native ally, Standing Elk, Henry must battle hatred, greed, and the ghosts of his past during this turbulent and troubling time in American history.

Continue reading “In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A. McLellan | Book Review | Author Interview | Signed Giveaway Including a $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card! #HistFic #BookReview #Giveaway #Fiction”

The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) by Lemony Snicket ~ Book Review

The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3)

by

Lemony Snicket

Illustrations by Brett Helquist

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From Goodreads:

Dear Reader,

If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted; but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these three children are unhappy and wretched, and this one may be the worst of them all. If you haven’t got the stomach for a story that includes a hurricane, a signalling device, hungry leeches, cold cucumber soup, a horrible villain, and a doll named Pretty Penny, then this book will probably fill you with despair. I will continue to record these tragic tales, for that is what I do. You, however, should decide for yourself whether you can possibly endure this miserable story.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket Continue reading “The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3) by Lemony Snicket ~ Book Review”

The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society #1) by Adam Gidwitz Hatem Aly (Illustrator) #Book Review #UnicornRescueSociety #TheCreatureOfThePines #AdamGidwitz

The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society #1)

by

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From Goodreads:

Elliot Eisner isn’t exactly excited about starting at a brand-new school in a brand-new town; he’d much rather stay at home and read a book. But things take an unexpected turn when he finds out his weird new teacher, Professor Fauna, has planned a field trip for Elliot’s very first day. Along with a new friend–brave, outspoken Uchenna Devereaux–Elliot gets caught up in a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world’s mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers. Continue reading “The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society #1) by Adam Gidwitz Hatem Aly (Illustrator) #Book Review #UnicornRescueSociety #TheCreatureOfThePines #AdamGidwitz”

Throwback Thursday: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board. Please link back to her by using the link above.

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Today’s Throwback:

The Light Between Oceans

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I read The Light Between Oceans in 2016 right around the time the movie was about to be released in theaters. The blurb pulled me in and after I picked it up the story quickly felt real to me. I’m really happy to have discovered this author and I’m looking forward to reading more by her.  Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman”

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2) by Lemony Snicket ~ Book Review ~ #UltimateReadingChallenge June

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2)

by
Lemony Snicket &
Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
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From Goodreads:

Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I’m afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don’t be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.

In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they’d hoped never to see again.

I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

Continue reading “The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2) by Lemony Snicket ~ Book Review ~ #UltimateReadingChallenge June”

A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt – #Book Review #NGEW2018 #NetGalley #Amother’sChoice

A Mother’s Goodbye

by
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From Goodreads:

‘My arms ache with the need to reach and hold my precious child, and then to never let go. But I can’t. I know I can’t.’

Heather is devastated. There’s no way she can keep her baby. She can barely pay the bills as it is. But when she meets Grace, a wealthy, single career woman, who wants a baby more than anything, Heather believes she has found the perfect adoptive mother.

As Grace and Heather’s lives become entwined, they are tested to breaking point, though neither can deny the other’s love for the child. But just when they think they are learning how to live with each other, they receive devastating news that turns their fragile world upside down.

Will either mother know what is the right thing to do for the child they both love?

An absolutely gripping, emotional drama with a tear-jerking twist. If you love Jodi Picoult, Kelly Rimmer or Diane Chamberlain, this will warm your heart, make you cry, and stay with you forever.

Continue reading “A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt – #Book Review #NGEW2018 #NetGalley #Amother’sChoice”

Throwback Thursday: Sarah by Teri Polen

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board. Please link back to her by using the link above.

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Today’s throwback is:

Sarah

by

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Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Sarah by Teri Polen”

This Week’s Children’s Books: Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton – Hat by Renée Paule & G.R. Hewitt – Big Tree Down! by Laurie Lawlor – I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët – and Good Day, Good Night by Margaret Wise Brown

I haven’t shared a children’s book post in quite some time and thought I’d share some of the books we’ve read this week. Here are five children’s reads for you to check out!

ch.png Continue reading “This Week’s Children’s Books: Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton – Hat by Renée Paule & G.R. Hewitt – Big Tree Down! by Laurie Lawlor – I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët – and Good Day, Good Night by Margaret Wise Brown”

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket ~ Book Review

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

by
Lemony Snicket &
Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
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From Goodreads:

Dear Reader,

I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

Continue reading “The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket ~ Book Review”

Tag: 3 Days, 3 Quotes: Day 3

3 Days, 3 Quotes Tag: Day 3

It’s taken me a few months, but I’m excited to share 3 different quotes over the next 3 days with everyone. So, here we go with the final day!

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RULES

• Thank the person who nominated you.
• Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day, can be a super short post).
• Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Day 3 – Quote

Rather than choose a book quote today, I thought I would end the final day of quotes with an excerpt from one of my favorite movies. I just finished reading The Hobbit and loved it so much, but I was surprised to learn that Tauriel wasn’t in it. I’m one of those who watched the movies first and then read the book along with my 9-year-old. Regardless, I love her addition to the movie and honestly was totally bummed that she wasn’t in the book. Watching the banter between her and Kili, and then the growth of the whole connection were some of the best moments in the movie for me. 


“If this is love, I do not want it. Take it away, please. Why does it hurt so much?” – Tauriel

“Because it was real.” – Thranduil


Here’s the excerpt from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

 


I TAG:

Holly

Sassy

Deanna

Shalini

Lorna

Daisy Gal

Jessica


This tag turned out to be a favorite! I hope to get re-tagged for this in the future, haha. 😀 I hope everyone who chooses to do it enjoys it as much as I did. Feel free to share comments below if you’d like. 🙂 – Mischenko

TAG: 3 Days, 3 Quotes

3 Days, 3 Quotes Tag

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RULES

• Thank the person who nominated you.
• Post a quote for 3 consecutive days (1 quote for each day, can be a super short post).
• Nominate three new bloggers each day.

Continue reading “TAG: 3 Days, 3 Quotes”

Throwback Thursday: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – May 17th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board. Please link back to her by using the link above.

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Today’s throwback is:

Dark Matter

by

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Blurb from Goodreads:

“Are you happy with your life?”  Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch – May 17th”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book: Spaghetti Squash – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A. McLellan

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all doing well this week. It’s hard to believe we are in the middle of May already. Time is flying this year! I’m sorry I haven’t been doing many Breakfast and a Book posts lately, but life has been a little crazy. I hope to pick back up with more of these during the summer when I have a little more time in the mornings.

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I’ve had this recipe in mind for some time now. I cook it often, but the difference now is that I don’t have it with eggs like I used to. For breakfast, this can be served with fried eggs or scrambled eggs mixed in. Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book: Spaghetti Squash – In the Shadow of the Hanging Tree by Michael A. McLellan”

All the Little Lights by Jamie Mcguire – Book Review – #NGEW2018 #AllTheLittleLights #NetGalley

 All the Little Lights

by
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Blurb from Goodreads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes a riveting tale of first love that starts young but runs deep.

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

Continue reading “All the Little Lights by Jamie Mcguire – Book Review – #NGEW2018 #AllTheLittleLights #NetGalley”

Throwback Thursday: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – March 29th

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her by using the link above.

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This Week’s Pick:

The Life We Bury (Detective Max Rupert #1)

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Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – March 29th”

The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham – Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge March

The Secrets She Keeps

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Summary:

In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

With its brilliant rendering of the secrets some women hold close and a shocking act that cannot be undone, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.

Continue reading “The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham – Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge March”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Pumpkin Pie Smoothie – Happily by Chauncey Rogers – The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham

Hello, friends! How’s your week going? Today I have a new smoothie for you that I believe will knock your socks off! I also have two new books to share. Let’s get going!

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When I think of fairy tales, I think of pumpkins and that’s why this recipe was slightly inspired by Happily, a book by Chauncey Rogers that I’m starting this week. You can learn about this book below.  Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Pumpkin Pie Smoothie – Happily by Chauncey Rogers – The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham”

Throwback Thursday: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens – March 1st

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

BeFunky Design


This Week’s Pick:

Never Let You Go

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Summary: Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

My Thoughts:

Mild Spoilers:

At first, I thought for sure this was going to be another domestic abuse story like the movie Enough with Jennifer Lopez. It reminded me so much of it, but there’s much more going on as the story progresses and it was impossible for me to predict where it was going.

We start out with a newlywed couple that in the beginning of the relationship was your typical love story. Soon the wife, Lindsey, begins to see that something is not quite right with her husband, Andrew. He starts drinking and the relationship quickly turns abusive. What complicates it even more is that there’s a child involved, little Sophie.

What can she do? She needs to leave and she can’t figure out how she’s going to do it. So, she drugs him, runs, and the result, something completely bizarre- an accident that will send her husband to prison.

The story from here on out is a guessing game that will leave you bewildered. I just couldn’t figure it out. Just who is the perpetrator here? We have over a handful of characters and everyone is suspicious! I was so positive that this was going to turn into another Gone Girl with the way the story was so unpredictable. By the time I got to the end, I felt the same shock. I had no idea!

I loved this book!

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (March 14, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250034566
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250034564

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens – March 1st”

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl – Book Review

The Magic Finger

by Roald DahlQuentin Blake (Illustrator)
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Summary from Goodreads:

What happens when the hunter becomes the hunted?

To the Gregg family, hunting is just plain fun. To the girl who lives next door, it’s just plain horrible. She tries to be polite. She tries to talk them out of it, but the Greggs only laugh at her. Then one day the Greggs go too far, and the little girl turns her Magic Finger on them. When she’s very, very angry, the little girl’s Magic Finger takes over. She really can’t control it, and now it’s turned the Greggs into birds! Before they know it, the Greggs are living in a nest, and that’s just the beginning of their problems…

My Thoughts:

The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl is a story about a girl with a magic finger. She lives next door to the Gregg family who like to hunt for fun and this makes her very angry. She doesn’t think it’s right for people to hunt animals for fun and when she gets angry, her finger takes control. Her magic finger has a special lesson in store, but the big problem is not knowing exactly what will happen when she uses it.

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The story teaches a huge lesson to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I read this with two of my younger children and we all enjoyed it. It’s certainly thought-provoking and inspired an entire conversation with my family about eating meat and how we should be responsible and care for the animals we have. It will also get you thinking about why it’s important to control your disposition because actions always have consequences.

5*****

Find this on Goodreads and Amazon
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  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Puffin (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141346515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141346519

Continue reading “The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl – Book Review”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Coconut Almond Yogurt – Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats – The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Greetings, friends! Happy Wednesday to everyone. 🙂  I hope you’re all enjoying the week so far. Today I have an awesome healthy breakfast recipe for you and also a new ARC that I’m reading for this week.

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This recipe came to me last night after talking with my friend Nel. We talk about food pretty much on a daily basis and she mentioned making this recipe for breakfast this morning. I was intrigued as soon as I opened the link! It includes five different ways to make overnight oats and I spotted one titled “Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats” which screamed my name. I mean, any recipe containing chocolate for breakfast is pretty much going down in my book. Check out Nel’s blog this morning to see the one she chose to make–Berries and Cream!

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Coconut Almond Yogurt – Chocolate Coconut Overnight Oats – The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain”

The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell – Book Review & Author Interview

A few weeks ago I read The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell. I was lucky to also  get an interview with the author to share with everyone. You can see my review of the book and the author interview below. I do hope you enjoy!

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The Last Panther

by Todd Mitchell

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The Last Panther

Blurb: For fans of “The One and Only Ivan” and “Hoot, ” this is the uplifting story of a girl who discovers a family of panthers that were thought to be extinct, and her journey to save the species.

Eleven-year-old Kiri has a secret: wild things call to her. More than anyone else, she’s always had a special connection to animals.

But when Kiri has an encounter with the last known Florida panther, her life is quickly turned on end. Caught between her conservationist father, who wants to send the panther to a zoo, and the village poachers, who want to sell it to feed their families, Kiri must embark on a journey that will take her deep into the wilderness.

There has to be some way to save the panther, and for her da and the villagers to understand each other. If Kiri can’t figure out what it is, she’ll lose far more than the panthers she’ll lose the only home she s ever known, and the only family she has left.

My Review:

Kiri lives with her father, who is a conservationist, in the ghost forest near a dangerous swamp. He’s considered a waller (city dweller) and not far from their home are the fugees, the original habitants of the forest. Wallers are considered the wealthy ones and have what they need to survive while tending to preserve the environment and the species that are still living, while fugees consistently need to search for food so they won’t die of starvation or sickness. Fugees will do whatever it takes to feed their community and that includes killing whatever they can catch, including animals that are endangered, if need be. They don’t have much of a choice as the damaged ecosystem they live in has left them with little resources.

Kiri’s mother, who has previously passed away, was once a fugee and Kiri is now caught between two worlds having a waller for a father. The fugees detest the wallers and they simply don’t agree on anything. For this reason, Kiri doesn’t want to be considered a waller and would rather keep the peace between both groups. She doesn’t necessarily agree that the fugees should be hunting these ‘once-were’ creatures, but she understands them concurrently. When Kiri surprisingly discovers a panther she’s never seen before–a beautiful creature she connects with and knows she must protect–not only does she need to protect the panther, but she has to find a way to keep her cubs safe too. From this point, Kiri goes into survivor mode and does all that she can to stop the hunters and trappers from killing the panther, even it means she must go against her father’s wishes. What will Kiri do? She’s a courageous and spirited young girl, always standing up for what she believes in, but will she alone be enough to protect the last panther and its cubs?

After seeing the beautiful cover and reading the blurb, I took a chance and bought a copy for our home library. I’m always in search of stories that I can read with my children, especially those I can enjoy myself. I particularly relished the sweet parts in the story from Kiri’s companionship with Snowflake, her pet rat, to her friendship with Paulo. I found it compelling and full of action and adventure. The mystical world and rich plot that Todd Mitchell has created draws you in and makes you feel like you’re part of Kiri’s journey. It’s un-predictable and written well. I also appreciated that the story provokes questions about climate change and brings attention to the importance of caring for our environment now, as animals are experiencing high levels of endangerment as our world is ever-changing.

This is one I’m pleased to have for my family and I’m overjoyed that it turned out to be such an awesome read. This is a perfect middle-grade read for classrooms and libraries, but essentially, it’s great for all ages. I honestly can’t wait to see what other books Todd Mitchell writes in the future.

My rating: 5*****

Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads:

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (August 22, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399555587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399555589

Continue reading “The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell – Book Review & Author Interview”

Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson – Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge – February

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Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas

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Summary:

Beautifully captures the joys of a new family as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.

James Patterson has written a love story!–a powerfully moving and suspenseful novel about families, loss, new love, and hope.

Katie Wilkinson has found her perfect man at last. He’s a writer, a house painter, an original thinker–everything she’s imagined she wanted in a partner. But one day, without explanation, he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read.

This diary is a love letter written by a new mother named Suzanne for her baby son, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about how she and the boy’s father met, about her hopes for marriage and family, and about the unparalleled joy that having a baby has brought into her life. As Katie reads this touching document, it becomes clear that the lover who has just left her is the husband and father in this young family. She reads on, filled with terror and hope, as she struggles to understand what has happened–and whether her new love has a prayer of surviving.

Written with James Patterson’s perfect pitch for emotion and suspense, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas captures beautifully the joys of a new family as it builds to an overwhelmingly moving climax. This is an unforgettable love story, at once heartbreaking and full of hope.

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My Thoughts:

Katie and Matt had the perfect relationship. They had much in common and a completeness, but when Matt suddenly leaves the relationship, Katie is left with many questions and wonders what went wrong. Matt is someone Katie could’ve shared the rest of her life with. How could she have been so wrong about their relationship?Not long after Matt’s departure, she receives a package in the mail. She recognizes Matt’s handwriting on the package instantly, and when she opens it, she finds a book titled Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. As Katie reads the diary, she’s shocked. All at once she learns about a woman named Suzanne and her son Nicholas. In the diary, Suzanne writes about her life before Nicholas, her journey through relationships, and the joyous times she had with Nicholas from his birth up through the first year of his life. She writes directly to Nicholas and shares memories with him about his father. She wants him to understand how much she loves him and his father, and just how special their life was together.

I first read this book in 2006 when I was pregnant with my second child. In hindsight, there’s no doubt that hormones played a part in my reaction because I bawled and bawled over the book which is why I decided to read this one for my February #UltimateReadingChallenge–tear jerker. I can still remember gushing over it to everyone and influenced all my friends to read it. I honestly couldn’t say enough about it. I think the majority of my emotions stem from the fact that it’s a mother writing to her  baby son about old memories and how her life was complete once he came into the world. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do (write to my children about our time together so they can read about it later in life). Another reason I was moved was because I personally went through similar health experiences, just like Suzanne, and her story felt real to me. I know some might say the writing isn’t spectacular, but I thought the narrative was, particularly Suzanne’s writings. Just when you think you know what’s happening, a surprising twist is thrown in–even at the end.

I was thoroughly involved in this story for the second time and flew through it, however, I don’t think I was as emotional when reading it this time around. Don’t get me wrong, I teared up for a bit, but I didn’t feel as affected by it this time. There were parts that I forgot and the story felt quite fresh to me, but I prepared myself ahead of time for the end because I remembered how emotional I was after the first reading. There was one part in the book that felt a little confusing and maybe a little unrealistic to me, but it was easily overlooked. Regardless, it still gets five stars from me.

5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
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Continue reading “Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson – Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge – February”

Shabby Sunday: Cinderella (Matthew Hope #6) by Ed McBain – 1986

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Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s Shabby Share is:

Cinderella (Matthew Hope #6)

 

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Summary: 

Private detective Otto Samalson sees the tail—a black Toronado he can’t shake. One dark window rolls down, exposing the barrel of a gun, and the detective is dead.

Otto had already known his days were numbered and said as much to his friend, attorney Matthew Hope. Having hired Otto to watch a cheating husband for a client, Matthew is now left with only Otto’s tape recorder, filled with proof of an affair. But could the evidence lead to something larger, something that would drive a man to kill?

Meanwhile, a mysterious woman is on the run, her face and name unknown to all except two stepsisters who couldn’t care less if a violent pair of Cubans got their hands on her. If Matthew can decipher the clues in Otto’s evidence, there’s a chance he could reach the girl first and save her life.

A chilling addition to the Matthew Hope series from Ed McBain, Cinderella is the tale of a woman known by many names and the men who will do anything to find her. – Goodreads

My Thoughts:

I went to this amazing book sale last year and picked up a beautiful large stack of vintage hardcover books for right around .50 cents a piece–all of them mysteries that I’d never read. This one is the 6th novel in the Matthew Hope series.

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I went on Goodreads to add them all to my reading list and a few of my friends left some positive comments on the series. I haven’t read any of them yet, and the list is long, but I’m hoping to get into some of these this year. I’m not sure if these need to be read in order or not, but I don’t have all of them anyway. I’m missing three in the series. I figure I can find them at my library if I need to fit a few in.

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Cinderella (Matthew Hope #6) by Ed McBain – 1986”

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – Book Review #NGEW2018

Baby Teeth

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Blurb: Sweetness can be deceptive. 

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

My Thoughts:

May contain mild spoilers…

Suzette, mother to Hanna, deals with illness on a daily basis. She has an autoimmune disease that makes her sick and causes pain. On top of this, she’s trying to be a good wife to Alex, Hanna’s dad, and all she wants is to have a normal family–a normal daughter. The problem is that Hanna is a complete psycho, doesn’t talk, and behaves so badly, she’s continuously kicked out of school and Suzette has no choice but to home school her. At home, there are even more problems. Hanna want’s to kill her mother, but has a deep love for her father and because of that, nobody believes Suzette when she tries to tell them that something is wrong with Hanna.

“Daddy was the most handsome man in the world. He dressed nicely, in crisp shirts and colorful ties, and his favorites were the ones she picked our for him. When she grew up she’d marry him, and then Mommy wouldn’t be competition anymore.”

The main points of view alternate between Suzette and Hanna throughout the book. As I mentioned, Alex, Hanna’s dad, never sees the disturbing behaviors. The person who deals with Hanna on a daily basis is Suzette and this is what made me so uncomfortable throughout the book. Alex refers to Hanna as his ‘squirrely girl’ or ‘lilla gumman’ and it seems like no matter how much he loves Suzette, he just doesn’t believe that his daughter is a psychopath and consistently makes excuses for her. Hanna exhibits aggressive and violent behaviors that almost go too far for me. It made me very uncomfortable and the constant instigating between Hanna and Suzette made me want to scream. This family is extremely dysfunctional and I kept wondering throughout the book what the real reasons for Hanna’s behaviors were. Surely something had to have happened in the past with Suzette or Alex, right?

“Sshh, lilla gumman…Daddy’s squirrely girl…”He cooed so softly Suzette couldn’t hear everything he said. But Hanna quieted. She looked so tiny in his arms, a rag doll.

I thought the book was written really well and it’s certainly a quick and smooth read. People who like thrillers will more than likely be pleased. Personally, I was on edge and completely thrilled all the way to the ‘not so’ surprising end. I was expecting some major twists toward the end which never really came and made me feel like something was missing, however, the book for the most part kept my interest and I found it dark and very disturbing, so for that, I’ll give this book 4****. I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (July 17, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250170753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250170750

Continue reading “Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – Book Review #NGEW2018”

Shabby Sunday: The Call of the Wild Illustrated Classics by Jack London (Mitsu Yamamoto) 1989

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Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

The Call of the Wild (Great Illustrated Classics)

by Mitsu Yamamoto (Adapter)Jack LondonPablo Marcos Studio(Illustrator)
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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: The Call of the Wild Illustrated Classics by Jack London (Mitsu Yamamoto) 1989”

Throwback Thursday: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire – February 1st

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)

 

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Blurb: Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Thoughts:

My very first Throwback Thursday featured the first book in the ‘Beautiful’ series titled Beautiful Disaster. I thought I’d share the second book in the series which is told from Travis’s point of view.

This book reveals Travis’s story and begins back when he was just three years old with the passing of his mother. As Travis grows older he endures many stuggles including an alcoholic father. As a college student he dates plenty of women, but never falls in love, until the moment he meets Abby. His world turns upside down as he tries to figure her out and win her heart at the same time.

“Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was just me and her. Maybe together we were this volatile entity that would either implode or meld together. Either way, it seemed the moment I met her, my life had been turned upside down. And I didn’t want it any other way.”

I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this one because of the fact that it’s basically the same story told in the first book, but it turned out to be much more than that. There were new scenes included and readers will obtain a deep understanding into what’s made Travis the the way that he is and just how much he truly loves Abby.

This is a page turner that’s written well and easy to read. The characters are so full of depth and emotion, you become part of them. Jamie McGuire remains one of my favorites and I want to read everything she writes.

My rating on this one is 5*****


 

Find this on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Series: Beautiful Disaster Series
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original ed. edition (April 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476712980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476712987

About the Author:

Jamie McGuire

4464118.jpgJamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists in all four categories. Beautiful Oblivion, book one of the Maddox Brothers series, also topped the New York Times bestseller list, debuting at #1. In 2015, books two and three of the Maddox Brothers series, Beautiful Redemption and Beautiful Sacrifice, respectively, also topped the New York Times, as well as a Beautiful series novella, Something Beautiful. In 2016, Beautiful Burn made an appearance on the New York Times and USA Today, and was also named iBooks’ Romance Book of the Year. The same year, A Beautiful Funeral also topped the New York Times bestseller list. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire – February 1st”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Apple Porridge with Cinnamon and Raisins- Star Anise and Cinnamon Tea – Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Happy Wednesday, friends! How’s everyone doing this week? Are you all reading anything interesting? I totally went off my reading schedule to fit a new ARC in. I’ll be sharing that today and also a new recipe from the Thyroid Healing book by Anthony Williams that I talked about a few weeks ago. I hope you enjoy!

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I was a little late this morning and needed a quick breakfast. I’ve been thinking about this recipe since I first saw it and thought I’d give it a try. There’s no cooking involved and this was super fast!  Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Apple Porridge with Cinnamon and Raisins- Star Anise and Cinnamon Tea – Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage”