Friday, June 29, 2012

The Midwife's Legacy

Title: The Midwife's Legacy
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Pub Date:  June 1st , 2012
Rhonda Gibson, Pamela Griffin, Jane Kirkpatrick, Trish Perry

Received From: NetGalley

The Midwife's Legacy

One Journal Unites Four Generations An aged journal links the lives of four spirited women who battle outside elements, opposition, and all odds to aid new life in the world. Will the fight to find true love be just as hard? Midwife and widow Adele Marley is content with an adopted daughter, a Wisconsin farm, and her role in the community. Is there room in her life for smitten banker Jerome Jensen, a man used to getting what he wants?  On the wagon-train trail to Oregon, Polly Schultz finds confidence, comfort, and guidance in her own skills by reading her mother’s journal. But can she overcome her rising temper and fear of abandonment long enough to establish a future with minister Gordon Baker?  Thanks to the wise words found in her ancestors’ journal, Christiana is secure in her role of midwife. But how will she convince Noah Cafferty, a journalist who decries women working outside the home, that she is capable of being both a wife and a midwife?  Kendra Silverstone’s confidence is shaken when a client loses a newborn. Will carpenter Steven Nichols and the discovery of a long-lost journal be enough to convince her of God’s will for her life?  How will God work to make the dreams of these courageous women come true?

Another book with four stories written by four authors tied together so nicely I have to wonder how they make this work! I really loved the historical to current day aspect of this book and thought each author tied in well to the time they were writing about. Starting with Adel gave a strong foundation to the book as she was the pillar of strength. Her daughter Polly was one of my favorite stories as she worked as a midwife along the Oregon trail. The tales that happen there as the train moves really struck me and added to a determination to read more books from that great occasion of history. 
 The last two stories of Christina and Kendra brought about some male leads that I enjoyed, coming with the times of women's rights and the safety of midwifery. The really tied this set together well. I felt a connection to each woman grow from story to story and loved the way it all tied into Kendra in the end thanks to her handsome Steven!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gone Girl

Title: Gone Girl
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Pub Date:  June 5 Th, 2012
Author: Gillian Flynn
Received From: NetGalley

Gone Girl

On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick's wife, Amy, has disappeared. Nick is weak, Nick is a liar, and maybe he's not the very best of husbands--but is he a killer? Amy's diary reveals turmoil over their marriage, strange sicknesses, and her deep wish to be a mother--but is she telling the whole story? As the evidence slowly mounts, and the cops' investigation deepens, Nick is incriminated in horrible ways. Nick swears he didn't murder his beautiful wife and goes on the offensive to clear his name...only to learn that something may have happened more disturbing than death.

The terrifying masterpiece of a marriage gone wrong, Gillian Flynn's fast-paced, dark, and ingeniously plotted Gone Girl confirms her status as one of the hottest thriller novelists around.

Oh holy cow! I am so not a suspense novel person, I don't like to be scared and I cover my eyes in movies all the time. Something about this book intrigued me and I loved every minute of it. Nick as a character gave me all I ever need in a book, I loved and hated him, I sympathized with him and wanted to strangle him. the only flaw I found in his part of the book was his sister. her character felt flat as a pancake to me. I would have liked to see a male friend by his side through this story!

As we learned about the life of Amy I spent time imagining how I'd handle life in her shoes, would I make the same choices? what in her life lead her to be this way? One of the most profound pieces I took from this is a bit of fear of sharing my kids and their lives online. I mean Amy's parents were Authors who wrote a series of kids books about her life...It may have just cautioned me a bit!! 
If you pick up any kind of a suspenseful book this year, make sure it is Gone Girl!


Monday, June 25, 2012

The Shapeshifters Secret

Title: The Shapeshifters Secret
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Pub Date:  June 12th, 2012
Author: Heather Ostler
Received From: NetGalley
The Shapeshifter's Secret

She tried telling herself to stop, but it was useless. Something had fully claimed her mind and body. A sound began to erupt from inside her chest, a deep sort of growl that seized her entire being. She felt as if there was a grizzly bear inside her, trying to escape. And then a deafening roar echoed from her mouth, only inches away from Lancer’s face. It took everything inside of her not to attack him.
In Julia’s life, timing is everything. Like the time her paranoid father put bars on her window so she wouldn’t sneak out at night—even though she’s never given him a reason not to trust her. Or the time this weird new kid showed up at her school and pretty much every girl in sight instantly and inexplicably fell in love with him. What was up with that?
But as time moves on, things in Julia’s life go from strange to seriously impossible. Now it’s all she can do to keep herself and the life she’s always known from falling apart.
This fast-paced action-adventure story is packed with humor, romance, and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very last page. Get lost in a world of hidden royalty, shifting alliances, and dangerous vendettas, but don’t ever forget: nothing is what it seems.

The Shapeshifters Secret from first glance and beginning reading is one of a popular genre of books,  of coming to know your life in the height of finding out who you really are. Similar to both the Harry Potter and the Hex Hall series. Julia is a 16 year old girl who finds out that she has something different coming for her life than she expected. The gift of being a shapeshifter and the curse of being a target. While some reviews I've read mentioned this was a slow book to start I can't deny that, but those who gave up missed out! You know how they say the best things in life are worth the wait...

I couldn't stop, slow down or put this book down. I never felt I truly knew some answers to some of the secrets. Which intrigued me beyond words. I loved some the magical, mystical elements added into this book. The way that Julia and Terrance communicate for one. The way she gets to be with her best friend from her previous life really brought some element of normalcy to her life as well! I loved the way the teachers at Lockham covered classes and exams. I've never laughed so hard at a test question in my life! The relationships between her and Caleb is one that I can't wait to watch grow and I can only hope there is a sequel to come!

This is one book that if you stick it out I think you'll enjoy! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

Title: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
Publisher: Random House Publishing 
Pub Date:  July 10th, 2012
Author: Jenny Wingfield
Received From: Goodreads-First Reads

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: A Novel

Every first Sunday in June, members of the Moses clan gather for an annual reunion at a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. And every year, Samuel Lake, a vibrant and committed young preacher, brings his beloved wife, Willadee Moses, and their three children back for the festivities. In the midst of it all, Samuel and Willadee’s outspoken eleven-year-old daughter, Swan, is a bright light. Her high spirits and fearlessness have alternately seduced and bedeviled three generations of the family. But just as the reunion is getting under way, tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core and setting the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change. 

Amazing family is the first thought that comes to mind in this book. The Lake family is all coming together as the usually do for the family reunion but when the head of the family takes his own life in the very beginning everything changes. There are lost jobs, shooting accidents, abused children needing saving and people that need to re-evaluate and live life a bit different than before! 

The tragedies and sadness keep coming in this story, but not to the point of no return, cause with them comes some moments of clarity, excitement and my cheering on of the characters! While the title implies and the book fulfilled the homecoming of Samuel Lake, the father of young Swan, this story isn't all about him. It really well covers the life of his family immediate and extended and what they go through in one year! The one brightest star for me in this book was uncle Toy, I can't wait for you to dig in and enjoy this book!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Goodbye To All That

Title: Goodbye To All That
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Pub Date:  April 15th, 2012
Author: Judith Arnold
Received From: NetGalley

Goodbye to All That

Being the middle child is never easy, but thirty-six-year-old Jill Bendel is about to find out just how hard that job is when her mother throws away her sensible pumps, packs up her collection of classical music and runs away from home.

Longtime wife and mother Ruth Bendel loves her family but hates her life. Husband Richard doesn't even know how the steam iron works, let alone how a woman works. When Ruth's last nerve snaps, she finally does what she's wanted to do so many times before—she gets an apartment, a job, a new life and new friends.

How will her pampered family survive?

Who will take care of her son Doug's daughters when he flies off for a romantic week with his wife? How can youngest daughter Melissa contemplate getting pregnant now that she's the child of a broken home? How is Jill going to juggle the demands of her own marriage, her kids, her siblings and her career while simultaneously trying to get her parents to reconcile? Why is it that when things fall apart, everyone expects Jill to put them back together?

Man, it's tough to be in a family no matter your age, that's one thing I took from this book. Jill is the middle child of her family, and adult herself with a husband and kids when she finds out that her parents are splitting up and her mother has moved into a small apartment and taken a job.  Jill's siblings each have a bust life of their own as a eye surgeon and a lawyer. So Jill is often the catch all for family issues! 

While this was a cute story in places and my heart goes out to Jill, I often felt a bit disconnected from the real story of the parents split and in all honesty I hate the ending. It just felt like nothing was tied up or completed. I've had to take some time to really think through what the purpose of that may be, so I thought I'd share with you that I feel like it makes the point that life isn't always easily solved! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Title: Temptation
Publisher: Harlequin

Pub Date: June 26th, 2012
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Received From: NetGalley


Your heart misleads you.  That's what my friends and family say.  But I love Noah. And he loves me.  We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms. It should be  ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not

Oh young love is so sweet and hard isn't it. I learned that an move from reading Temptation.  Rose is new to town and as she packed up her former dancers life after saying goodbye to her mother. Rose , her father and two brothers are introduced to the new neighbors immediately. Sparks fly so fast between Rose and Noah. But life isn't as easy as you would think for them. Noah's family is Amish and interacting with girls outside of his faith isn't aloud. Rose is what Noah's family calls English and while not a promiscuous teen it just isn't allowed. 

These two though tend to find a moment to get away together and begin to have a side relationship, they hold hands and occasionally delve into a kiss. As the begin to realize being together offers only two options. Rose becomes Amish or Noah becomes English. What a hard trial to face at sixteen. 

This was a good story that drew me in from the beginning. The Amish life has always fascinated me! I moved from Iowa at age 8 and when I returned at 16 an Amish community had moved in right outside our small town. I really enjoyed this story but I sort of felt left flat at the ending. I am hoping that book two in this series redeems that for me and brings back strong characters and some real insight. 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Life Next Door

Title: Temptation
Publisher: Dial Books

Pub Date: June 14th 2012
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Received From: NetGalley

My Life Next Door

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A dreamy summer read, full of characters who stay with you long after the story is over.

Samantha is a girl with it all, a wealthy family consisting of her, a politician mother and an older sister. Jase is the boy next door with a life as different from Sam's as you can imagine, he has seven siblings, attends public not private school and while chaotic, his life is happy. Although living next door for years when these two really meet life changes. Young love is often thought of as sweet, innocent and easy. If only easy existed for these two. Sam's mother turns up her nose at the entire Garrett family and Sam hides her relationship with Jase as it grows. But Sam and Jace have something real and Sam has gained some feeling of belonging in the walls of his home. 

But when Samantha's mother hit's Jase's father with her car and flees the scene before Sam realized it, things take a rough turn. Being a strong female lead Sam chooses to tell the truth, until the evil Clay, her mothers campaign worker and boyfriend blackmails her into ditching Jase and keeping the secret or risking even more hurt to his families business. It is a tough road to be on, making choices between right and wrong, family and love. One that every teenager faces in some small way. Samantha makes choices I am proud of and this rounds out this story in a solid way. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fun in the Sun Giveaway Hop

It's time for a Giveaway Hop. 

I am excited to be participating and as the theme of my blog is a mother and daughter reading together I am going to giveaway TWO books. One is mom's choice the other is daughters! 
One winner will receive BOTH books!

Daughters Choice: The first book in a brand new girls series for readers ages 6-9. Finished Copy

Trouble at Trident Academy

In this start to a new series starring Shelly the mermaid, a classroom conflict is no fun—even when school is 20,000 leagues under the sea.It’s MerGirl Shelly Siren’s first day at a new school, and she is nervous from the tip of her head to the end of her sparkling mermaid tail. How will she ever fit in at the prestigious Trident Academy? Everyone there is so smart and so pretty and so rich. At least she and her best friend, Echo, are in the same class, but so is Pearl, a spoiled know-it-all who only wants to make trouble for Shelly; Rocky, a MerBoy who loves to tease everyone; and Kiki, a shy MerGirl who’s new to Trident City.     At first Shelly and Echo have lots of fun: eating lunch together, trying to make grumpy Mr. Fangtooth smile, and joining after-school clubs. But when Shelly and Echo have an argument about their very first school assignment, Pearl gets involved and makes matters worse. Will Shelly and Echo fix their friendship?

Mom's Choice: The book I am just finishing and enjoying. This is an Advanced copy as the paperback pub date is 7-10-12.
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake: A Novel

Every first Sunday in June, members of the Moses clan gather for an annual reunion at a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. And every year, Samuel Lake, a vibrant and committed young preacher, brings his beloved wife, Willadee Moses, and their three children back for the festivities. In the midst of it all, Samuel and Willadee’s outspoken eleven-year-old daughter, Swan, is a bright light. Her high spirits and fearlessness have alternately seduced and bedeviled three generations of the family. But just as the reunion is getting under way, tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core and setting the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change. 
With the clear-eyed wisdom that illuminates the most tragic—and triumphant—aspects of human nature, Jenny Wingfield has created an enduring work of fiction

So enter for our giveaway here and then rush on over to the other blogs participating and enter their giveaways. What a great way to find some new blogs and stock your shelves!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Giveaway is open in the US only

Friday, June 8, 2012

Home Front

Title: Home Front
Publisher: St.Martins Press
Pub Date:  January 31st, 2012
Author: Kristin Hannah
Received From: ExLibris_Kate
Format: Audio

Home Front

In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war. 
All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .
Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.
At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope.

A few weeks ago I received a package from Kate over at ExLibris_Kate, and in it was an advanced copy of this book on CD. Kate and I have known one another long before either of us began book blogging and I consider her to be my greatest inspiration to start this blog. She guided me, answered silly questions and supported me. But now she gets a new title, best package sender ever! I couldn't wait to pop this in the car and watch this story unfold and man was I not disappointed. 

Home Front is the story of family. In this tale Jolene is a member of many families. She her her main family unit, husband Michael, and daughters Besty and LuLu. Her military family in the national guard. Her friendship with fellow guardsman Tammy that is a deep family of sisterhood. Just when one family begins to have a thread unravel, another family is met with the news they are about to go to war. I know war exists but the stories told throughout this book really brought new light to the situation for me. As Jolene prepared her home for the deployment I knew some major changes were coming for Michael and the girls. Maybe it's that I am a mother of two girls but man this family and their story struck my heart so deeply. The tales of life on the home front, or the way Jolene and Tammy were fighting were detailed, expressive and deep! I loved them. 

When tragedy struck in the scariest of ways each one of Jolene's families had to undergo changes and Jolene herself had to as well. Each story, moment, consideration etc was one that drew me in. there were times I drove a bit further around the block to hear more, or had to turn it off so I wasn't the mom shushing her kids so she could listen to her book. The end of the book and epilogue did a fantastic job of tying it all together for me! I am now going to rush out an buy a paperback copy so I can share this one in two ways!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Yesterday's Stardust

Title: Yesterday's Stardust
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Pub Date:  June 1st, 2012
Author: Becky Melby
Received From: NetGalley

Yesterday's Stardust

Journalist Dani Gallagher finds a tattered diary written in the Roaring Twenties—and clues to a lost treasure. Chef Nicky Fiorini helps unravel the clues, and attraction ignites, but Dani is hiding her own secret. In hopes of a great story, she’s using questionable means to gather information on a local teen gang. Just as she and Nicky are on the verge of solving the mystery, internal fighting breaks out in the gang. Dani is caught the middle, and Nicky is furious. Then the diary leads to a hidden room and a shocking discovery, but have they missed the real treasure?

Yesterday's Stardust is a great story with themes of gangs, the roaring twenties, farm anf city life, old and new. I am typically not a fan of books that jump time between two stories but this one is so riveting I could not resist. Francie is the girl of the 20's while Dani is the girl of present day. Both leads some pretty exciting lives from farm girl to gangsters girl/designer for Francie and Journalist to non profit work for Dani. It really is a great tale of two lives and the changes they go through. 

Each girl has a love in her life, a side to it that involves gangs both past and present. It is so fun to go along and learn a bout that life. In the end though the love story is what melts my heart and the surprise characters that come toward the end of the book. actually all of the surprises.. won me over! If you looking for the story of love and passionate career, a little fear and drama, this is your next must read!


Monday, June 4, 2012

The Lifeguard

Title: The Lifeguard
Publisher: Open Road Media
Pub Date:  March 6th, 2012
Author: Rebecca Debra Blumenthal
Received From: NetGalley 

The Lifeguard

It's a turbulent summer for Sirena Shane. Back in Texas, her family's splitting apart, but at her aunt's beach cottage in Rhode Island, everything is different. Especially with him around. Pilot. He's the lifeguard with extraordinary looks and mystical powers, who's unlike any boy she's ever known. He's the one who both saves her and makes her feel lost at sea. So begins an unforgettable summer of obsession and discovery.

The Lifeguard saves lives, but maybe not in just the traditional sense of the word. Pilot is the local lifeguard in Rhode Island where Sirena lands for the summer, after running from turbulence back home. Sirena is a budding artist and at the beach she finds both a mentor and a man she loves to look at. The later being Pilot. 
Some of the things that traveled with Sirena in her mind she just can't shake and she finds herself in some situations that require rescuing. Sometimes your rescued by the sturdy lifeguard, sometimes you rescued by a not so typical character. There are also hundreds of ways someone can rescue another. 
I really loved this book and couldn't put it down for a moment. The relationships, interactions, secrets and blossuming young love all drew me in. Whith well established characters and some shocking moments this was a five star book all the way!