The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

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Pages: 380 (eBook)

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Published: April 3, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A year ago a explosion topples a Chicago high rise and the lives of Cecily, Kate and Franny change in more ways than the obvious. Cecily lost her husband and best friend. Kate takes the opportunity to run away. Franny loses her chance to get to know her birth mother better. As the year anniversary takes over all forms of media, the secrets each woman has kept starts unraveling. Can they successfully keep their own secrets or will the secrets prove too much for each?

My initial reaction to this book when I finished was WHOA! what just happened? I could not put this book down. The dates show two days to finish but I read this book in under 24 hours. I was reading it every second I had free and even the ones I really did not have free. The twists and turns the book took at every chapter had me thinking I knew what was going on and then BAM! another twist would occur. If you are a fan of suspense and thrillers you have to run and get this book from your favorite bookseller or library. Just beware that once you open and read the first page you are not going to want to put it down.

Catherine McKenzie has blown my socks off once again. I would love to see this made into a movie as it has the greatest potential to be a hit.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer

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Pages: 305 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: April 3, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In September Alison and David are going to start the rest of their life together by getting married on Nantucket but first they must get their respective grown kids and their families together. Alison plans on doing this by inviting all the families to David’s Nantucket house every weekend over the summer.

Alison has two daughters. Her oldest is Jane who has always been her rule following, corporate world daughter who is married with no children. Her other daughter Felicity has always marched to her own drummer and is married with two kids of her own. By visiting the island of Nantucket the girls have found a friendship in each other that they didn’t know was there but is everything as it seems in their married lives?

David has a son and daughter. His oldest is his daughter, Poppy. She is married with two kids and one on the way. Her goal is to take over the family business as soon as she can and it doesn’t matter who or what is in her way she will succeed. His youngest is Ethan. Ethan is happy living on his farm in Vermont growing flowers for this business and living life how he wants even though he has a daughter who lives with him except for summer break. Are they ready to share their dad, the business and their lives with new family?

I needed a pick-me-up book and this fit the bill. You have romance, family, and beautiful scenery. I would not classify this as a romance book but as a fiction book that anyone, male or female, would be interested to read. Thayer focus’ more on how families meld as older generations marry. You have plenty of generations covered from babies to what I call mid-life 50s and 60s. Thayer takes the time to develop each of life her characters are in and lets is follow them as they develop into the next of stage of life.

The scenery of Nantucket is breathtaking and inspiring. You can understand why Alison chose the Nantucket beach house as the place to bring the families together.

It is that time of year to start sitting outside in your favorite rocker with a glass of sweet tea and losing yourself in the world of books and this is the perfect start to spring/summer reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Starting from Scratch by Kate Lloyd

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Pages: 354 (eBook)

Publisher: Harvest House Publishers

Published: April 3, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Eva has become an old maid at the age of 29 or so she thinks. During her rumspringa she has made some choices that has caused unsavory rumors to be spread. When her brother’s family moves into the family home she finds herself needing to find a job and a place to live. She finds both at the local plant nursery managing their café. There she meets Stephen, a Mennonite and starts asking herself if life would be better living in the English world. Shortly after starting her new job she learns the love of her life, Jake, is back to help his dad run the farm after a terrible accident. Will true love overcome past obstacles?

Eva, Eva, Eva. I liked her character but at the same time I wanted to shake her. She was so timid and meek it made me furious at her. I wanted to reach in the novel and tell her to grow a back bone. She let too many people, relatives and friends included, walk all over her. Starting with the day her sister-in-law, Marta, moved in. At 29 Eva should be able to stand up for herself but she rarely did until almost the very end of the novel. She had very little self respect for herself. I know the Amish are not to be proud and are non confrontational but I don’t think you are to let everyone run over you.

I don’t want to give the ending away but I don’t think Eva made the best choice in men. I was very disappointed in the ending due to that one fact alone.

Even though I was disappointed in the ending this was a great book and I enjoyed reading it. You don’t always get the ending you want in life or in the books you read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harvest House Publishers through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Killer Jam (Dewberry Farm #1) by Karen MacInerney

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Pages: 274 (eBook)

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Published: July 28, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Lucy has decided to buy her grandmother’s farm and live life on her own terms but first she must fight the previous owner on the rights to the oil in the middle of her broccoli patch. Before she can get very far the previous owner is found dead next to a broken jar of Lucy’s Dewberry Jam at the Founders’ Day Festival. Can Lucy overcome this obstacle before losing the farm in more ways than one?

I am absolutely in love with this series and so happy I started reading from the beginning. Every character is believable and the situations they get in are as well. Not once did I sit there and go “Really?”. Lucy is a trip. You will have many laugh out loud moments that you find others staring at you as you read because you can’t help but laugh out loud.

There is a smidgen of romance but in no way does it take up the entire story line. I like the fact that the romance may come later in the series but right now we are learning who Lucy is and what makes her the perfect amateur sleuth.

Blossom the cow is the best character yet. She is trouble with a capital T and don’t think she doesn’t know it. I cannot wait to see what she gets herself into in the future books. Lucy best just have an account open at the flower center for replacement geraniums as Blossom seems to have a taste for them.

Recipes are included in the back of the book even one for Dewberry Jam which I did not know was a real fruit. It seems they are similar to blackberries.

 

The Sound of Freedom by Kathy Kacer

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Pages: 256

Publisher: Annick Press Ltd.

Published: March 27, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

It is 1936 in Krakow, Poland and Hitler is making his move on the Jewish families. Anna has always led an idyllic and mostly happy childhood going to school and listening to her father play his clarinet in the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra. As Hitler starts enforcing his reign outside of Germany her family understands it is time to move. Bronislaw Huberman is taking auditions for his new orchestra in Palestine, a city that is safer for Jewish families. Will Anna’s father get a spot and the family get their travel visas before it is too late?

I am a big reader of World War 2 fiction at it doesn’t matter if it is an adult book or a children book I want to read it. The Sound of Freedom was extremely interesting as it was a story from a different country than Germany. I was also interested as it based loosely on a true story as Bronsilaw Huberman really did start an orchestra in Palestine and go to Poland auditioning people for spots and provided thousands of travel visas for families. I would like to read more about him.

The view point from Anna is very relatable for children in grades 4-7 as she talks about the things that are important to her at that age and those things are important to every child no matter the year or surroundings. She thinks about leaving her friends and how she will feel. She thinks about what to leave and what to take. She thinks about making new friends in a country that she does not know the language. Anna also shows how to gather courage and lets the reader know that each one of us is stronger than we think.

I hope to see this book in school libraries very soon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Annick Press Ltd. through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Plain Confession (An Amish Mystery #5) by Emma Miller

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Pages: 304 (eBook)

Publisher: Kensington

Published: March 27, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

As Rachel is finalizing her wedding plans to State Trooper Evan she learns that a local man’s death may not have been an accident. Daniel was an Amish man that the town had nothing bad to say until his death then stories started circulating that he was not whom he seemed. Will Rachel focus on her wedding plans so this time the wedding will go off without a hiccup or will she find herself in the middle of the investigation and losing sight of her future?

I have been wanting to read this series for several years as my mom has read a few of them and raves how good the stories are in her opinion. I have to agree, after reading the 5th book in the series it is now on my summer TBR list. I instantly liked Rachel. She is ex-Amish but still tries to follow her life as she was raised. She runs a local inn with the help of her cousin who is in her rumpsringa (a time when Amish youth get to live in both worlds). Since moving back to her hometown she has found herself in the middle of several murder investigations. This time it is two weeks before her wedding. Her wedding has been postponed once already.

On the surface Daniel appeared to be everything an Amish man should be but as Rachel starts questioning his death at the request of his mother-in-law she learns he was quite the opposite. Moses, Daniel’s brother-in-law, has confessed to killing Daniel but no one except for the English law system believes he really did it. Rachel is almost certain he is autistic and had he been diagnosed properly years ago he would be better understood. The more she investigates the more dead ends she runs into.

Two of the side characters are really amazing characters that I hope I see more of as I catch up on this series. There is Chuck, a doomsday prepper, who has seen more death and tragedy serving in the war than one should ever experience and Salome, the elderly midwife and herbalist, who knows everyone’s stories and secrets. Both turned out to be true friends to Rachel.

If you are interested the series in order is:
1. Plain Murder
2. Plain Killing
3. Plain Dead
4. Plain Missing
5. Plain Confession

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

My Papaw, Ray Ramsey

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I normally only post book reviews to my blog but I wanted to explain why it has been sometime since I’ve posted.

See, there was a great man in my life that I loved tremendously. I had only not seen him smile when his wife, my mamaw, was in the hospital. He always smiled and as my mamaw likes to say if there was a twinkle in his eye with that smile then you knew trouble was around the corner. He had a deep laugh and a singing voice that you could pick out of many. His singing voice was my favorite reason to go to church with them when I was little. He was a man of many talents. He drove a school bus for 50 years and loved his kids each year on that bus. He drove a dump truck for many years until a terrible accident almost took him from us in the ’80s. He worked for the ASCS office for 46 years measuring fields while running his own farm. He was a deacon in his church for 64 years. He was married to my mamaw for 69 years (April 24 would have been their 70th anniversary). He had 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. He loved each one of us tremendously.

At 9pm Central Standard Time on March 22 he took his final breath with family by his side and entered the gates of heaven to meet his Heavenly Father. While I am sad, I know he is where he wants to be. He never missed a day reading his Bible and learning about Jesus. He wasn’t afraid of death as he knew where he was going was better than anyplace here on earth. He told my Mamaw he would be waiting for her by the river. How can I be sad about that?

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” … ” Revelations 22:1-27