Book Review: Under the Stars


Under the Stars
by Carolyn Twede Frank
Covenant Communications
Christian , Historical Fiction
Pub Date 01 Jan 2020

I am reviewing a copy of Under the Stars through Covenant Communications and Netgalley:

After the New Marshall in town lets it be known he needs volunteers, one of the first people to sign up is Miss Rosie Decker. This sharpshooting horse taming tomboy is out for revenge. Marshal Hank Walker is forming a posse to find the man who killed her sweetheart, and Rosie is determined to help track him down. When the marshal refuses her service on account of her being a woman, Rosie is undeterred. If it’s a man Marshal Walker wants, it’s a man he’ll get.

Once the Pose is assembled, Hank Walker is confident he will be able to track down the criminal. His confidence grows even more as he recognizes the incomparable skill of one young man in his posse—Ross. That is until the day Ross ‘s mustache falls of revealing “his” true identity. Rosie Decker duped him Banished back to town, it’s time for Rosie to prove her mettle. Though working alongside the unwilling marshal is complicated, it is the unexpected tenderness she feels for him that proves most problematic. How can she demonstrate her skill while also setting out to win the heart of the man who seems bent on keeping her out of his way?

If you are looking for a great work of historical fiction, with a spunky female lead then Under the Stars Is just the ticket.

I give Under the Stars five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Understanding Stacey


Understanding Stacey

by Kimberly Adams

Zimbell House Publishing

Independent Book Publishers Association

(IBPA), Members’ Titles

Christian , Teens & YA

Pub Date 07 Jan 2020

I am reviewing a copy of Understanding Stacey through Zimbell House Publishers and Netgalley:

It’s Summer vacation and Emily is ready to enjoy long, relaxing days relaxing by the pool, until she finds out that her weird cousins are going to stay with them, including there cousin Stacey who is critical, snobby and obsessed with art and music and even more obsessed with God. Emily can’t understand how she can put her trust in a God that allowed her to be in a wheelchair.

Emily does not want to spend time with Stacey, let alone share a room with her, but news that Aunt Jaycee has something called Munchausen syndrome by proxy and she intentionally made her daughters sick, makes Emily see Stacey in a new light.

Emily Learns not to underestimate what Stacey is capable of when ultimately Stacey saves her from drowning when she trips over deck chairs, and falls into
the pool unconscious.

I give Understanding Stacey five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: I Wish


I Wish
by Toon Tellegen

Archipelago Books

Elsewhere Editions

Children’s Fiction

Pub Date 31 Mar 2020

I am reviewing a copy of I Wish through Archipelago books/Elsewhere Editions and Netgalley:

In this book the imaginative Dutch Author Toon Tellegen matched 31 Imaginative prose poems with the Statement I Wish, and uses famous, luminous, old fashioned face paintings by Ingrid Gordon.

In I Wish, each poem is paired with faces faces from a time that has long since gone by, the portraits are inspired by photographs from long ago. Among the paintings are young children, men and women, and babies, speaking through Toon Tellegen’s longing language. Among the pages are dozens of confessions and the writing presents a kaleidoscope of wishes, from imagined feats of heroism to reciprocated human love.

I give I Wish Five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: End Game


End Game
by Rachel Dylan
Bethany House

Bethany House Publishers

Pub Date 07 Jan 2020

I am reviewing a copy of End Game through Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley:

Those who are fans of the television series N.C.I.S, will love the End Game!

After the murder of some elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington D.C, F.B.I Special Agent Bailey Ryan and N.C.I.S Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together in order to bring the killer, or killers to justice. The only problem is all evidence points to the guilt of a Navy Seal Sniper that Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, including the link to a powerful defense attorney and contractor, which leaves them to wonder if they are dealing with a deeper cover up. After Bailey I’d targeted it becomes obvious that there is something deeper at play, that someone is willing to do anything including killing Bailey to keep their dark secrets.

As the stakes get higher and higher by the moment in a twisted conspiracy, there’s a rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust. Allies turn to enemies, with the biggest secret yet to be uncovered, it could be the end of all of them.

I give End Game five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Full Circle


Full Circle
From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again

by Andrea Barber

Kensington Books


Biographies & Memoirs , Nonfiction (Adult)

Pub Date 12 Nov 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again through Kensington Books and Netgalley:

You may recognize Andrea Barber from her role as Kimmy Gibler from Full House and most recently Fuller House, but Full Circle is by no means a typical celebrity biography, nor is it a behind the scenes expose of her co-stars, it is a book written with love and respect and deals with very real issues.

This book deals with the very real issues Andrea Barber faced with anxiety, and crippling depression reminding us that these things do not discriminate against celebrity or non celebrity, rich or poor.

Andrea speaks of the importance of seeking out help when that is necessary, and of not letting stigma’s that come along with mental illness stop you from doing that.

Andrea openly talks about the struggles she faced and how for the longest time she thought they were just normal, but in time she would learn that she in fact had a mental illness, one that though it could not be cured, it could in fact be treated, she talks about the good days, not only that, the tough days when her anxiety is so crippling she could barely move.

Often times celebrity biographies can ring about mud slinging and that is what is so impressive about this book, she refused to do that, she talks about her time on Full and Fuller House with love and respect for her co-stars, and though she does talk about her divorce and how it affected her, she does not turn that into a mud slinging campaign either.

I feel that in Full Circle Andrea Barber has given us the opportunity to address mental illness in a way that does not leave room for the stigmas often attached to such conversations, in fact she encourages others to share there stories and reminds us that when you see someone in such a dark place they cannot reach out to you, then reach out to them.

Sadly even in this day and age Mental illness and its many forms are not talked about in the same way as other illnesses and in this book we are reminded that needs to change.

Full Circle isn’t solely about Mental Illness, it is about life, love, loss, motherhood and so much more.

I give Full Circle a well deserved five out of five stars, and would highly recommend this book.

Happy Reading…

Book Review: Until Niagara Falls


Until Niagara Falls
by Jennifer Maruno
Dundurn Press


Children’s Fiction , Middle Grade
Pub Date 25 Feb 2020

I am reviewing a copy of Until Niagara Falls through Dundurn Press and Netgalley:

Brenda is afraid of things that some may find strange like heights, being in the dark and dog poop. When she meets the rule breaking Maureen she realizes that friendship is kind of like walking on a tight rope, exciting but dangerous. Maureen encourages Brenda to step out of her comfort zone, by using fire escapes, sleeping outside in tents and walking through strange back yards.

When Maureen makes fun of Harvey, Brenda’s neighbor who has special needs, the friendship strains. And it strains farther when Maureen borrows Brenda’s Grandmother’s bracelet and lies about returning it, the friendship strains even farther, making Brenda realize she needs to be as brave as The Great Blondin, the man who walked across the falls to get it back.

Until Niagara Falls is a story of Friendship, of acceptance of learning to step outside of comfort zones and of being brave.

I give Until Niagara Falls five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Grumble-Free Year


The Grumble-Free Year
Twelve Months, Eleven Family Members, and One Impossible Goal

by Tricia Goyer
Nelson Books
Thomas Nelson


Pub Date 05 Nov 2019

I am reviewing a copy of The Grumble-Free Year through Nelson Books and Netgalley:

Can a family of eleven including eight kids, and a Grandmother with dementia really take on a grumble free year? A family that is never without noise or mess, and is often dealing with complaining.

But can your family take on this challenge, can you see your family having real communication more often, and grumbling far less? In this book you will see that it is possible. The Goyer family decided to move out of survival mode and into growth mode, taking on The Grumble Free Challenge proved to be challenging for this large boisterous, loving, family.

Loud grade schoolers, teenagers and having a Grandmother who believed that Children should be seen and not heard, made the challenge, a difficult one, but it was a challenge the family was determined to meet this challenge, and they did by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The Grumble Free Year is your invitation to fill your heart with gratitude instead of grumbling, it encourages you to let go of the complaining and replace it with gratitude.

I give The Grumble Free Year five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: All the Flowers in Paris


All the Flowers in Paris
A Novel

by Sarah Jio

Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine

Ballantine Books

Historical Fiction , Women’s Fiction

Pub Date 13 Aug 2019

I am reviewing a copy of All the Flowers in Paris through Ballantine Books and Netgalley:

This powerful novel shifts from modern day paris where Caroline wakes up in a hospital unable to remember the life she had before, or even who she was, slowly at first little things start triggering her memory, she is confused to learn she lived a sad and reclusive life in a sprawling old apartment on the rue Cler. She begins to have vague memories of a man and a child. She is determined to put the pieces of her life back together, but as the past becomes clearer she learns of a tragedy that led her to that sad reclusive life. A budding friendship with a chef, ultimately leads to the painful truth of her past.

Celine is a young widowed woman in Nazi occupied France. She is trying to build a new life for herself and her daughter by working in her Father’s flower shop, and is hopeful that she will find love again. But a ruthless German officer discovers her Jewish ancestry, and she finds herself having to play a dangerous game in order to keep her family safe, her Father is taken to the camp but her eight year old daughter escapes the transport truck, and finds her Mother imprisoned in the expansive apartment. Under the bed, they find a loose board and under that a dark room where she hides her daughter Chrissy.
Repeated brutal rapes lead to a pregnancy, and ultimately she goes into labor, dying only days after she is captured all the while calling out her daughters name, to weak to tell them of the secret room under the bed where Crissy is hidden.

Just as she can no longer fight, Crissy is rescued and ultimately raised by her Mother’s fiancé.

After Caroline discovers the letters hidden in what was once Celine’s closet, Caroline comes to realize that not only does the apartment harbor dark secrets, but she has more in common with this woman who was held captive in the prison long before Caroline was born.

All the Flowers in Paris is a Story of crushing heartbreak, of abject depravity but it is also a story of healing and hoped, as Celine comes to learn of Celine and Crissy’s story and comes to realize fate had brought her into Crissy’s path, before she knew who she was.

All the Flowers in Paris is one of the best Holocaust Novels I have ever read, and I find it worthy of five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: A Bookshop in Berlin


A Bookshop in Berlin
The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman’s Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

by Françoise Frenkel

Atria Books

Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 03 Dec 2019

I am reviewing a copy of A Bookshop In Berlin through Atria Books and Netgalley:

In 1921 Francoise Frenkel a Jewish woman from Poland opens the La Maison Livre, the first French bookshop in Berlin. In doing so she fulfills a childhood dream. A passionate lover of books Francoise’s bookshop attracts artists, diplomats, poets and celebrities and everything in between. The La Maison Livre becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as the world outside is become more and more poisoned by the Nazi ideology begins to poison the city that has been rich in culture in 1935.

In November of 1938 Francoise dream shatters on the night of Kristallnacht. The La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared but Francoise knows she is no longer safe and Francoise finds herself on a lonely and desperate flight to Paris. After Paris is bombed Francoise seeks refuge in Southern France where she witnesses countless horrors, Children being ripped from their parents, Mothers throwing themselves under buses. Francoise is able to survive due to strangers who were willing to risk their lives.

A Bookshop in Berlin was originally and quietly published in 1945 and was rediscovered almost sixty years later hidden in an antic. Had this book not been discovered today’s generation of readers may not have heard the remarkable story of Francoise Frenkel a story of both human resilience and human cruelty during a dark time in history.

I give A Bookshop in Berlin five out of five stars and recommend it to anyone who wishes to read a story of survival against all odds.

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Louder than Words


Louder Than Words

by Kathy Kacer

Annick Press Ltd.

Annick Press

Children’s Fiction , Historical Fiction

Pub Date 14 Apr 2020

I am reviewing a copy of Louder Than Words through Annick Press and Netgalley:

Life is not easy for Jewish People in the days of World War 2 throughout Europe, and the Ukraine is no different. Twelve year old Dina and her sisters find things getting even harder after their Father dies and there Mother has to work and their Non Jewish housekeeper finds herself caring for the children, trying to keep them safe from the Nazi’s. Dinah and her sisters have to depend on there housekeeper in ways that they could not have imagined when there Mother never comes home from the Marketplace and Dinah learns that her Mother was taken to the Ghetto.

Nina finds herself having to keep these children safe, even obtaining false identity papers for them.

Nina’s (Ludviga Pukas) story is a remarkable true story of how one young woman risked her own life to save the lives of three Children that were not her own, she died in 1984 at at the age of eighty two. In September.1994 ten years after her death she was named Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem in Israel, the highest honor that can be bestowed on a non-Jewish person who saved Jews during the Holocaust.

Nina saved the lives of the Sternick girls even at the risk of her own life, showing us that often the greatest heroes are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

I would recommend this book for Middle Grade students who like to learn about historical events, and true life heroes.

Louder than Words is worthy of five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!