Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Accident by Glen Ebisch


Karen Walker is an ex-homicide detective slowly recovering from the trauma of an automobile accident in which she was injured and her husband was killed when a drunk driver struck the car she was operating. After a year of surgeries and attempts to come to terms with her feelings of guilt, she finds herself living the narrow life of a semi-recluse. Her seclusion comes to an end when an old friend from college, Clarissa Hammett, asks Karen to help in the search for her missing sister, Justine. Karen agrees, and she goes to live alone in the family’s summer home on the coast of southern Maine, which Justine was occupying at the time of her disappearance. Karen even goes one step further and takes on Justine’s job as hostess in a local restaurant, hoping to learn more about the missing woman’s life from her co-workers. Conversations with the sister’s estranged husband, her present boyfriend, and a mentally disturbed young girl on the beach, lead Karen to believe that Justine’s disappearance was not voluntary and that, if still alive, she may desperately need help.

My Thoughts

The Accident is a good, fast-paced book.  I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it but I think I actually liked it more than I thought I would.  There's not much better than a good book that keeps you interested and that is what The Accident did.

The characters were interesting.  There were definitely things I didn't love about some of them but that is usually the case with most books.  I don't expect to love everything about every book character.

I did find that some of the characters and situations didn't seem completely believable to me.  The fact that Karen Walker was able to just walk in and get the job that Justine had so quickly didn't feel real.  Also, Some of the relationships (I don't want to give too much away) felt a little to unbelievable.  It wasn't anything to make me want to stop reading the book but it wasn't great.

Overall, The Accident was a good read.  I enjoyed it enough to read it pretty quick!  Thanks for sending it my way!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Allergy Adventures with Cari the Cupcake by Donna and Reagan Webber


Although Cari the Cupcake looks like all the other cupcakes, she is made without nuts, eggs, or dairy. Cari is allergy-free! Now only time will tell if she she can reach her friends across the sea without irritating her allergies.

After she licks her way through Lollipop Lane, bounces on Gummy Bear Path, and travels on the Doughnut Plane over Nut Island, Cari the Cupcake finally lands on Cupcake Way where she learns that even a severly allergic cupcake can be safe and have fun with her friends.

In this delightful tale for children, an allergy-free cupcake embarks on an adventure through a sweet land to safely find her friends across the sea.

My Thoughts

This book is so cute!  I am a Kindergarten teacher and I love finding new books to read to my class.  This one is definitely going to be one that I read to them.

It's a great to have a book geared toward children with allergies and also to show children without severe allergies that children with them are just like everyone else.

The illustrations are simply adorable!  And, small children (Kindergarteners) are going to be attracted to pictures more than the actual story so I'm sure that this book will be a winner!  I can't wait to read The Allergy Adventures with Cari the Cupcake to my class.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Split Second by Kelli J. Miller


When does the American Dream turn into a trap? What does it mean to succeed? What really gives meaning to our lives? 

Kelli Miller never had to worry about it--she had it all: a family, a career, a sprawling home, even an executive title. She thought she'd escaped her Midwestern roots and was sailing towards a golden future. Then, in a pivotal moment, confronted with the shadow of death, she found herself suddenly awake to the grim reality: the dream had consumed her life, and left her lost and alone. 

In Split Second, Kelli tells the story of how she set herself free, and recommitted herself to the most important pieces of her life: family, community, and a new openness to experience. It is the story of one woman's journey to find out what really matters and where her happiness ultimately lay.

My Thoughts

I've been told never to plan too strictly because life tends to do what it wants.  Life can throw you a curveball in the blink of an eye.  Split Second is a book about how Kelli Miller learned to deal with the curveballs that life threw at her.

This was a powerful book that really makes you step back and take a look at your own life.  Definitely a good read.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For Life or Until by Anne Garboczi Evans


Subduing the barbaric hordes came easy, until he married one of them.

Everyone in the Celtic Catuvellauni village assumed Ness would marry the man she had loved since age fifteen. Their eventual matrimony seemed preordained. His inscrutable rejection of Ness sends shock through the entire community. Heartbroken but resilient, Ness accepts a marriage proposal from a most unlikely eligible bachelor.

Battle scarred and weary of solitude, Roman Tribune Aquilus trained to do just one thing all his life—stoically serve the empire. The beautiful tribeswoman perfectly answers a long ignored call from deep within his soul. Though he adores his new bride, when Ness harms a political connection, Aquilus lays down the law.

But Celtic women aren't inclined to submit to inconvenient rules, and the only obstacle standing between Ness and a Celtic divorce is Aquilus's garrison of legionaries.

Will Roman might, Celtic stubbornness, or something else entirely prevail?

My Thoughts

This is the first book that I read from Anne Garboczi Evans.  I have read reviews on her other books as well as this one and I see a lot of mixed feelings.  I did enjoy For Life or Until for the most part but I didn't exactly love it.

This book started pretty slow.  I struggled getting into it.  I'm not sure what it was that I needed, I just knew I needed something more.

Once the book got going I started to enjoy it more.  I liked the characters pretty well.  There were a few things that bothered me about some of their personalities but nothing I can completely pinpoint.

It was a pretty good book overall and I will probably recommend it to others.  Thanks for sending it my way!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

True Mercy by Idelle Kursman


“In the midst of happy memories of licking the chocolate chip cookie batter . . . Adam
spotted a woman on the ground.”

Adam, an eighteen year-old with autism, unwittingly gets caught up in the evil network of human trafficking the day he finds Marina on the ground. Nursing fresh wounds from losing his mother, Adam is ecstatic to accept a new mother figure into his life. He longs for someone to take walks with and who will watch nature videos with him. He can't fathom, however, the horrific existence Marina has led prior to appearing in his neighborhood.

Marina, abducted from her country of Moldova, has landed in America and somehow managed to escape. Starving, filthy, and exhausted, she has nowhere to turn and desperately needs Adam's assistance. But what will Adam's father think of him allowing this emaciated refugee into their home?

Adam's father Bruce has his own troubles as the sole caregiver of Adam while trying to hold down a regular job. How will he take on the added responsibility of protecting Marina from the traffickers who are intent on recapturing her? Can he successfully protect both her and his childlike son?

My Thoughts

When I received the review request for True Mercy I was immediately interested.  The plot sounds gripping and very deep.  And, to my pleasure, that is what this book was.

I did enjoy this book pretty well.  There were things I didn't exactly love, like some of the character development and dialogue, but it was a good read overall.  I would probably recommend this book and maybe even read it again myself sometime.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West


A powerful island. A dangerous mystery. An impossible choice.

For centuries, the island of Islayne has given certain residents the ability to revive other people’s memories. These gifted individuals are known as luminators, and sixteen-year-old Ronan Saunders desperately desires to join their illustrious ranks. As he struggles against the prejudice of the old, powerful families who have an iron grip on the trade, Ronan falls under the tutelage of a reclusive luminator, rumored to be insane.

Just when his long-desired future is within reach, Ronan and his three friends discover a deadly secret on the island. As they delve deeper into the mystery, what they find forces them to question their loyalties, doubt long-held beliefs, and wrestle with the dire consequences of revealing the truth. Ronan finds himself torn between everything he loves and the only future he’s ever wanted. The entire fate of the lumination trade hangs in the balance of his decision.

My Thoughts

Where should I begin?!  This book was so good!  My only frustration is that it took me so long to get to this book!

Kari Lynn West has a major talent for world building.  It doesn't even take a lot of imagination to picture this world that she has created.  The place, time, powers, all of it!  Very well done!

The characters are interesting and believable.  That can be tricky with fantasy/sci-fi type books.  But, these characters were very well written.

The plot is original and it keeps you intrigued.  There are a ton of slow moving areas that make you want to put the book down.  It moves at a nice pace throughout.

The ending was somewhat abrupt but it seems to work in this book.  I don't think that I could have pictured it any other way.  All in all, The Secrets of Islayne is a very enjoyable book and I definitely recommend it!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Beauty by Peter Liney


When cosmetic and transplant surgery get together and beauty becomes a commodity that can be bought and sold, the Rich become more beautiful, the Poor less. But if something can be traded, it can also be stolen – brutally, violently, by the feared face-stealers, and to a point where the rich finally cry ‘Enough! . . . Enough. Make us plain; make us ordinary.’ Now there is no beauty left, not as we once knew it, only photos, videos, exhibitions. And yet . . . you still hear the occasional rumor.

My Thoughts

When I read the summary of this book I was immediately intrigued.  Books like this always seem to hook me.  It is hard to stick to me tar list when a great sounding book comes in.

Beauty started a bit slow but if you stick with it you won't be disappointed.  The plot of this story is great!  You can honestly picture the events happening.  It's actually pretty scary!  Once the action starts, you don't want to put this book down.

There were very few things that I had issues with in this book.  Maybe some formatting issues and things like that but it's not hard to look past them.  Pick this book up and enjoy!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.