Friday, April 29, 2016

The Epidemic by Suzanne Young

  • Series: Program
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 19, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1481444700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481444705


Quinlan McKee has spent her life acting as other people. She was a closer—a person hired to play the role of the recently deceased in order to give their families closure. Through this process, Quinn learned to read people and situations, even losing a bit of herself to do so. But she couldn’t have guessed how her last case would bring down her entire world.

The only person Quinn trusts is Deacon, her best friend and the love of her life. Except Deacon’s been keeping secrets of his own, so Quinn must set out alone to find Arthur Pritchard, the doctor who’s been trying to control her life. The journey brings Quinn to Arthur’s daughter, Virginia, who tells Quinn the truth about Pritchard’s motives. The former closer will start to see that she is the first step in fighting an epidemic.

But Quinlan doesn’t want to be a cure. And with all the lies surrounding her, she realizes she has no one left to rely on but herself—even if she doesn’t know who that is anymore.

The Epidemic by Suzanne Young is a riveting story that I could not put down.  While it is part of the Program series, it definitely can be read as a stand alone novel but I must admit that after reading this book, I went straight on to working my way through the wholes series!

The Epidemic's plot and it's characters are fascinating. The story line is compelling and it just grabbed me at my deepest emotions and wouldn't let go.  This story has stayed with me with me a long time after reading this book and for me, that is a sure sign of having read a great book!  


4.5 Stars

Thank you to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Redemption Falls by Kate Hewitt

  • ASIN: B00W79RKM8

On Sale for Kindle~ $ 3.99 


Welcome to Littleton, Vermont... a college town with a whole lot of memories for two people who have finally found the courage to return... 

It's been twelve years since Linnea Schmidt left Littleton, Vermont--and her daughter Ambler behind. Now she's back to make amends, and the last thing she needs is preppy, new college president Rob Sanders on her case, asking her up to the college on the hill. 

Rob Sanders is trying to escape his own mistakes when he returns to Littleton, Vermont, and he isn't prepared for the unexpected attraction he feels for tough girl Linnea. But as an unlikely friendship develops between the college president and the woman hiding behind her don't-mess-with-me persona, will Rob and Linnea be able to help--and heal--each other? 

One of my favorite author in Women's Fiction is Kate Hewitt  (who also writes under the name Katherine Swartz) and I must say that Redemption Falls by Ms. Hewitt did not disappoint in any way!

I spent a wonderful afternoon spent reading this book that moved me through the gambit of emotions  ~ sadness, joy, happiness  and the warm comforting feeling I always get from reading  a wonderful romance story.   

Ms. Hewitt's book was a charming tale with a great plot and realistic characters. I so enjoyed Redemption Falls and it was a wonderful way to spend a relaxing afternoon! 

4 Stars

Thank you to Kate Hewitt LTD and Netgalley for the free gift of  this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer Reading ~ Waiting on Wednesday

A weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released books hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This week I decided to spot light a few books I am waiting for and plan to read this summer ...

For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on another planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. 

The world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, and Tara’s life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it. 

As a new era of scientific history dawns and Tara's life at Brierly continues its orbit, only one thing is clear: Nothing on Earth--or for Tara--will ever be the same again.

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.

Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, along with her graceful athleticism, as her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the fire star. 
Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the water star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit. But Sawyer knows that if he allows her into his heart, no compass could ever guide him back to solid ground...
And in the darkness, their enemy broods. She lost one star to the guardians, but there is still time for blood to be spilled—the mermaid’s in the water and the traveler’s on the land. For she has forged a dangerous new weapon. Something deadly and unpredictable. Something human.

What books are you waiting for? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The First Hostage by Joel C. Rosenberg

  • Book 2 in the J. B. Collins Series

  • ISBN-10: 149640615X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496406156
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 29, 2015)


What if the Islamic State captured the most valuable hostage in history?

“The president of the United States . . . is missing.” With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, report-ing from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .

Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and res-cue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

The First Hostage , the second book in the J. B. Collins series is a fast-paced political thriller that will have you spellbound from the moment you start reading it till the very last page. 

Mr. Rosenberg's writing is believable, his characters engaging and the plot is action packed, on the edge of your seat reading! He has an incredible ability to write both fiction and non-fiction superbly well and his books just keep getting better and better. I highly recommend this series! 

5 Stars!

Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers and Netgalley for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Myron Mixon's BBQ Rules: The Old-School Guide to Smoking Meat

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (April 19, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617691844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617691843


In barbecue, “old-school” means cooking on a homemade coal-fired masonry pit, where the first step is burning wood to make your own coals, followed by shoveling those coals beneath the meat and smoking that meat until it acquires the distinct flavor only true pit-smoking can infuse. With easy-to-follow, straightforward instruction, America’s pitmaster shows you how and also demonstrates methods for cooking on traditional gas and charcoal grills common in most backyards. 

The book is divided into four parts—Meat Helpers, The Hog, Birds, The Cow—and features recipes and methods, including:
  • Pit Smoked Pulled Pork
  • North Carolina Yella Mustard-Based Barbecue Sauce
  • Prize-winning Brisket
  • Smoked Baby Back Ribs
  • Thick and Smoky T-Bone Steaks
Presenting step-by-step illustrations on building a pit, managing a fire, selecting meats for the pit and the best wood to burn in it, and more, Mixon offers all of the fundamental lessons to becoming a champion backyard pitmaster.

Myron Mixon's BBQ Rules really and truly rocks! It has so many great BBQ tips and the recipes are mouth-watering tasty and made for bbq pit smoking, traditional gas or charcoal grilling. I have to admit I started to get ravenous just reading the recipes. :)

This book is down home BBQ at it's best! I was pretty intrigued with the history of BBQ pit smoking and my husband would be over the moon to create his own BBQ pit.  Till then, he plans on incorporating some of Mr. Myron's techniques and advise for our back yard gas grilling.  We both are definitely looking forward to trying some of the recipes out! 

5 Stars!

Thank you to Abrams ~ Stewart, Tabori and Chang publishing  and Netgalley for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Heir and The Spare by Emily Albright

  • ISBN-10: 1440590109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440590108
  • Publisher: Merit Press (January 1, 2016)


Going all the way to England for college--to Oxford, no less--for college would be exciting enough. But no sooner does Evie set foot on English soil than she falls for a boy who turns out to be a real prince--in fact, second in line to the throne of England. Edmund is wonderful, even though loving him can be a royal pain, from the demands of his family to the stuck-up aristocrat who thinks she should be the one to win Edmund's heart. All that is swept aside, however, when the riddle of Evie's past surfaces, and the new couple becomes obsessed with figuring out who the real Evie is, with the growing suspicion that the truth will be a shocker.

The Heir and The Spare by Emily Albright is a refreshingly delightful romance story. I found it to be the perfect book to read and enjoy while relaxing for a "getting away from it all" afternoon!

The plot was pretty basic but Ms. Albright's writing style was excellent and the story flowed well with a few unsuspected twists. The characters were enjoyable and well developed.  

I think that what I enjoyed most (second to the romance of course) was the letters that Evie's Mom left for her and the path they guided Evie on as she discovered things about herself that she never dreamed possible!

4 Stars!

Thank you to Merit Press and Edelweiss for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Change Places With Me by Lois Metzger ~ Waiting on Wednesday

A weekly meme spotlighting soon to be released books hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This week's pick ...

  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062385534
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062385536

Release Date ~ June 14, 2016


Rose has changed. She still lives in the same neighborhood and goes to the same high school with the same group of kids, but when she woke up today, something was a little different. Her clothes and her hair don’t suit her anymore. The dogs who live upstairs are no longer a terror. She wants to throw a party—this from a girl who hardly ever spoke to her classmates. There’s no more sadness in her life; she’s bursting with happiness.

But something still feels wrong to Rose. Because until very recently, she was an entirely different person—a person who’s still there inside her, just beneath the thinnest layer of skin.

Why this book? 

After reading the synopsis I was hooked! What happened to change Rose? 

What will happen if the "different person" breaks out? What is causing her happiness and sadness? 

I just have to find out!

 (And yes, I love the cover)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Help for the Homemaker ~ Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and Sastisfied Soul by Sarah Mae

  • ISBN-10: 1414372620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414372624
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (March 15, 2016)


Get your home and your heart in order in just 31 days!

Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It’s not about having a clean house. She’d never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself―yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts.

Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart―and your home―at the same time?

Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live.

"Home ... a place of peace, comfort and community."

quote from Having a Martha Home the Mary Way

I believe that we all long for a place to call home - a special place that supports us, nurtures and comforts us. Yet with today's busy lives, the demands of working full time, juggling a home, a family and everything else ... at times (for me) it's overwhelming and it feels like it's almost impossible to create the home I dream of and long for. 

So, it should be no big surprise that I was pretty excited when I found out I was picked to read and review Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae! 

The chapters are short and to the point, the household tips excellent and the chats are enlightening and inspirational.  I so appreciated the tips on ways to tweak the program to my individual needs.  I also enjoyed the quotes and chats on creating a home unique to each one of us as well as support and direction through Bible scripture that encourages and helps us strengthen our personal relationship with God.  

This book is practical, wonderful and I give it ...

5 Stars!

Thank you to Tyndale Momentum and Edelweiss for a gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

  • ISBN-10: 006238094X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062380944
  • Series: Shattered Realms (Book 1)
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 5, 2016)


Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now he’s closer than ever to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. With time running out, Ash faces an excruciating choice: Can he use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught. 

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the ruthless king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Okay, I just have to start out this review with ... isn't the cover of the book just gorgeous?! 

Before you think me too shallow and easily swayed by a gorgeous cover (which at times I am) ...  I also have to add that Flamecaster (the story) far surpassed the beauty of it's cover!  

While set in the world of Ms. Chima's first series, Seven Realms, Flamecaster can be read as a stand alone first book in her new series. It is very well written with compelling characters and a plot that is and action packed from start to finish. 

I can't wait to read next book in the Shattered Realms series and while I am waiting for it to be released, I plan on catching up by reading the  Seven Realms!

4.5 Stars!

Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review.