Book Review: Like Vanessa

Like Vanessa

by Tami Charles


Children’s Fiction , Middle Grade

Pub Date 13 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Like Vanessa through Charlesbridge and Netgalley:

This semi autobiographical novel Like Vanessa is set in public housing in Newark New Jersey. Vanessa Martin’s life is a far cry from Vanessa Williams the first African American women to stand on the stage and be crowned Miss America.

Vanessa struggles with a Mother she doesn’t really know, a Grandfather whose an alcoholic as well as a battle with self confidence. A new teacher ends up setting up a pageant which helps Vanessa gain self confidence and perhaps find out more about herself and her family.

I would definitely recommend Like Vanessa to the Middle grade girl in your life.

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: After Anna

After Anna

by Lisa Scottoline

St. Martin’s Press

General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 10 Apr 2018

I am reviewing a copy of After Anna through St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley:

Dr Noah Alderman is a widower and a single Father who has remarried a wonderful woman named Maggie Ippolitti and for the first time in a long time he and his young son are happy and despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since infancy, Maggie top is overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets the chance to be the Mother to the child she thought she had lost forever , Anna!

Maggie and Noah both know having Anna around will change their lives but never could they have imagined everything that would go wrong and go wrong so quickly. Anna is a gorgeous seventeen year old girl who feels the rules do not apply to her. Maggie ignores the red flags as she is so ecstatic to have her daughter back. She is blinded to the trouble brewing in their once perfect marriage and home.

When Anna is murdered and Noah is accused of the murder things take a heartbreaking turn. He suffers through a trial where everyone believes he is guilty, but things are not what they seem. Will they discover the truth and free an innocent man before its to late.

I give After Anna five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Girl Who Smiled Beads

The Girl Who Smiled Beads

A Story of War and What Comes After

by Clemantine Wamariya; Elizabeth Weil

Crown Publishing


Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 24 Apr 2018

I am reviewing a copy of The Girl Who Smiled Beads through Crown Publishing and Netgalley:

At six Clemantine Wamariya began to hear her parents started speaking in whispers, neighbors began to disappear and she heard the loud ugly sounds her brother tried to convince her was thunder. In 1994 she and her fifteen year old sister Claire fled the Rwanda Massacre and spent six years migrating through seven South African countries they were hungry, imprisoned and abused enduring and escaping Refugee Camps, they saw both the good and evil in people. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was twelve she and her sister were given refuge status in the United States. In Chicago there lives diverged though they always remained close. Claire was a single Mother now, struggling to make ends meet. And Clemantine was taken in by a family who treated her as their own. She seemingly lived the American Dream becoming a cheerleader, attending private school even graduating from Yale. The years of hunger, abuse and terror could not be erased. She felt like a six year old and a hundred years at the same time.

Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of victim and transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershock.

I give The Girl Who Smiled Beads five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Judy Moody Was In A Mood

Judy Moody Was In A Mood

by Megan McDonald

Candlewick Press


Children’s Fiction

Pub Date 10 Apr 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Judy Moody Was In A Mood through Candlewick Press and Netgalley:

Judy Moody Was In a bad mood. She is getting ready to start third grade and she doesn’t have high-hopes. Her new desk won’t have an armadillo sticker with her name on it, and the new classroom will not have a porcupine Named Roger. She’ll probably end up stuck sitting in the first row, where Mr Todd will notice when she tries to pass a note to her best friend Rocky. Judy does have a little brother who comes in handy when she wants to practice being a doctor. She also has a cool new pet and an awesome band-aid collection.

Judy is also full of individuality and attitude and when Mr Todd assigns the class a project she finds that she is really able to express her individuality and attitude and let others get to know her.

I give Judy Moody Was In a Mood five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Begin Again

Begin Again

The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt and Receiving Rest

by Leeana Tankersley



Pub Date 03 Apr 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Begin Again through Revell and Netgalley:

When life begins to trip and fail us and failure starts to creep in many of us keep on doing whatever we are doing somehow hoping for different results. Or we look for an escape, a way out of the mess we created for ourselves.

In Begin Again we are reminded that there are ways we can get through these times have a talk with God every morning about what he wants us to do for the day and write what he puts on our heart down.

We are reminded that we need to allow ourselves to Begin Again, everyday in all aspects of our lives. Leanna Tankersley shows women how to forgive themselves and develop patterns of living with lyrical prose.

We are reminded too that there is a difference from believing and bullying.

I give Begin Again five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith

50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith

A Guide to Understanding and Teaching Theology

by Gregg R. Allison

Baker Books


Pub Date 06 Feb 2018

I am reviewing a copy of 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith through Baker Books and Netgalley:

Gregg Allison’s 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith collects clear teachings of the most important doctrines of Christianity. This book covers the foundational doctrines of nature and works of God, The Bible, God crested beings, Jesus, Salvation the church and even the end times. Each chapter features clear guidance for how to apply and teach the doctrine today.

This book is great for Pastors, Sunday School teachers as well as students of theology will find this study useful in helping to better understand Christian theology.

I give 50 Core Truths of the Christian Faith four out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Murder in Belgravia

Murder in Belgravia

A Mayfair 100 Murder Mystery

by Lynn Brittney

Mirror Books

General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 15 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Murder in Belgravia through Mirror Books and Netgalley:

This book is set against the backdrop of World War 1. Mayfair 100 is the number for a specialized crime busting team who is based in the house of Mayfair, in London 1915. Only ten months into the First World War and already the city has become flooded with women taking over the work of the men who had gone into the armed forces many of whom went into war.

Chief Inspector Peter Breech was a young man who had been invalided out of the war, in one of the first battles. He finds himself having to investigate the murder of an aristocrat. The mans wife is both a key witness and suspect and she will not speak to anyone but another woman about the unpleasant details of the case. Chief Inspector Peter Breech sets up a clandestine team to deal with such situations after convincing the Chief Commissioner. Beech is able to put a small crew of well educated women and professional policemen.

As the group Beech, Victoria, Caroline, Rigsby and Tollman investigate the murder they find themselves having to delve into the seedier side of London during the First World War, they visit everything from Criminal Gangs to brothels and underground drug rings supplying heroin to the wealthy in search of a killer?

Will the Mayfair 100 be able to solve the murder? If they do will they be allowed to continue working as a team?

I give Murder in Belgravia five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surface

by Lynn H. Blackburn



Pub Date 06 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Beneath the Surface through Revell and Netgalley:

Oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change after a terrifying experience with an obsessed patient. When she moves home to Carrington, North Carolina and took a job in the Emergency department of the local hospital she thinks she’s safe until someone messes with her brakes and she begins to fear her past is catching up with her. She soon finds the need to reach out to her high-school friend turned homicide investigator Ryan Parker for help.

Ryan finds his career satisfying but his true passion is being able to use his skills as an underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation shows of a possible serial killer. A serial killer with a horrific connection to Leigh Weston and perhaps deadly consequences for them all.

Beneath the Surface is the kind of book you won’t want to put down.

Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: A Calf Named Brian Higgins

A Calf Named Brian Higgins

An Adventure in Rural Kenya

by Kristen Ball

One Elm Books, an imprint of Red Chair Press

Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members’ Titles

Middle Grade

Pub Date 01 Aug 2018

I am reviewing a copy of A Calf Named Brian Higgins through One Elm Books and Netgalley:

Hannah Higgins is a young teen who believes her Summer is ruined when she and her Mother go to Africa to work in a remote village outside of Kenya with her Mon and Uncle. Hannah has never been to a developing country she thinks the food is gross and the community is dirty. She has to learn to live without electricity or running water, and to top it off she learns she will have to attend school here.

Before long Hannah learns that people here are dying of starvation and preventable diseases. Hannah becomes frustrated and wanted to help but when poverty threatens the lives of people she loves, all she wants to do is go home.

A Calf Named Brian Higgins is a story of adventure and discovery.

I give A Calf Named Brian Higgins five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Love Double Dutch

Love Double Dutch!

by Doreen Spicer-Dannelly

Random House Children’s

Random House Books for Young Readers

Children’s Fiction

Pub Date 03 Apr 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Love Double Dutch through Random House Children’s and Netgalley:

Makayla is a Brooklyn Middle Schooler who has her mind on only one thing taking her team to the National Jump off at Madison square garden. But when her Mother tells her she will be going to her aunt’s house in North Carolina while her parents try to work out their problems or decide on getting divorced.

Kayla does not feel at home in the South, and she doesn’t get along with her stuck up cousin Sally. Kayla looks like her dreams of the Jump off over.

Kayla soon comes to realize her double Dutch dreams may not be shattered, when she learns it’s huge in the south. She and Sally only need to find two more kids for a team, and they need to learn a new routine. They also need the confidence to stand up to the Double Dutch Divas who used to be Sally’s BFF’s. It’s time for Kayla to show the southern Belle’s some Brooklyn attitude.

I give Love Double Dutch five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!