Friday, September 23, 2016

Tell Me Something Real by Calla Devlin - Fantastic Read!

Publisher: Atheneum Books (Young Adults)
Released: August 30, 2016
ISBN-10: 148146115X
ISBN-13: 978-1481461153

 I listened to this book through Audible:
Listening Length: 7 hours and 8 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Release Date: August 30, 2016


Three sisters struggle with the bonds that hold their family together as they face a darkness settling over their lives in this masterfully written debut novel.

There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments.

Vanessa is the middle child, a talented pianist who is trying to hold her family together despite the painful loss that they all know is inevitable. As she and her sisters navigate first loves and college dreams, they are completely unaware that an illness far more insidious than cancer poisons their home. Their world is about to shatter under the weight of an incomprehensible betrayal…


When I first came across Tell Me Something Real I thought ...  " What could be more insidious than cancer?" Well, after reading this book, I have to admit I was wrong ~ there definitely is something more insidious!

This book is phenomenal!

It's a powerhouse of  emotions and is full of surprising twists and turns in the  plot that left me emotionally reeling. It has just jumped to being my #1 read book so far in 2016.  Yep, it's really that good! 

What amazed me the most about this book is how Ms. Devlin captured and clearly portrayed this story's deeper themes so well. The characters were realistic and the raw emotions of this book carried me away as I read this story. 

After I finished Tell Me Something Real, I was  overwhelmed emotionally. I just sat there stunned mulling over all that I had read. I had to wait to write this review because I needed time to process it all. While it was hard facing the issues that this book highlighted, I am SO glad I read it!

5 Stars!        

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

ISBN-10: 0062467255
ISBN-13: 978-0062467256
 Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 20, 2016)

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. 

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.  

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

 The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan is definitely the author's gift to all of us who have bookish hearts and enjoy reading romance with a bit of drama and a heap of goodness thrown into the mix! 

I found this book to be delightful and I so connected with Nina's love for books.  The story is sweet, refreshing and I truly enjoyed reading it! 

My only disappointment was a very small one ... I felt the ending was a bit too abrupt; I would like to have followed more of the character's lives. Still, that could very well be chalked up to the fact that I just didn't  want the story to end. I am definitely look forward to reading more of Ms. Colgan's books.

4 Stars! 

If you love books, romance, a bit of drama and anything Scotland ~
 The Bookshop on the Corner is most definitely for you! 

Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks, Harper Collins and Edelweiss for the free gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer ~ Waiting on Wednesday
A weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released
books hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This week's book ...

Release Date ~ April 4, 2017

ISBN-10: 1681190087
ISBN-13: 978-1681190082
 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA


Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past. 

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. 

But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Love letters at the grave of Juliet's mother? 

Definitely a bit creepy but captivating. Enough to have me read the full book blurb and know I really want to read this book.

I can't wait to find out Juliet's reaction when Declan starts writing her back!

What books are you waiting for?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Harvest Cookbook

Spiral-bound: 224 pages
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press (August 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1630588679
ISBN-13: 978-1630588670

(from Amazon)
 This well-organized book is sure to become a treasured resource!
Overloaded with garden produce, CSA shares, or farmers’ market finds?Now you’ll know what the Amish do with these seasonal fruits and vegetables and how they preserve some of them for future use. 

Bring the wisdom of Amish gardeners and cooks into your own home with dozens of recipes and tips from the heart of Amish country in Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Amish Friends Harvest Cookbook.  


I fell in love with this cookbook as soon as I started going through it! It starts out with  some stories, advise  on planting, weeding, managing bugs in the garden and goes on to so much more.

The recipes are wonderful and the photography in this book is gorgeous! There are chapters for salads, soups, main dishes, sides, deserts, snacks/extras, canning/preserving and even recipes for the freezer.

I have a list of recipes I want to try and so I'll list a few of them here

Pumpkin cookies, Harvest Loaf, Bundt Zucchini Cake,
Canning ~ Apple Pie Filling, Canning ~ Old Fashioned Apple Butter ... don't they all sound delicious?

 Ms. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Harvest Cookbook is a treasure trove of recipes! 

 5 Stars

Thank you to Shilo Press, Barbour Publishing and Netgalley for the free gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.    

The Bible and Me ~ Stories With A Message To Live By ~ Retold by Lois rock; Illustrated by Alida Massari

Age Range: 5 - 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Lion Hudson (August 1, 2016)
ISBN-10: 0745964958
ISBN-13: 978-0745964959

(from Amazon)
Thoughtfully retold, The Bible and Me begins with the faith stories of the Old Testament that tell of God’s unfailing love. The New Testament describes the coming of God’s son Jesus Christ, who by his life and teaching showed how all people could be reconciled to God.The stories of Jesus’ friends and followers are that of their faith, hope, and love. Each story ends with a prayer, psalm, or passage for reflection. 

The Bible and Me is a wonderful retelling of Biblical stories for children. The stories are well written and  engaging. The illustrations are beautifully drawn and quite captivating with their gorgeous array of colors.

This book would be a wonderful addition for read aloud bedtime stories, devotions, family time and/or self-reading time for older children!

5 Stars

Thank you to Kregel Publishing for the free gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.