December 21, 2014

The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman
A Hope River Novel
ISBN: 9780062358240
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: The USA Today bestselling author of The Midwife of Hope River returns with a heartfelt sequel, a novel teeming with life and full of humor and warmth, one that celebrates the human spirit.
The Great Depression has hit West Virginia hard. Men are out of work; women struggle to feed hungry children. Luckily, Nurse Becky Myers has returned to care for them. While she can handle most situations, Becky is still uneasy helping women deliver their babies. For these mothers-to-be, she relies on an experienced midwife, her dear friend Patience Murphy.
Though she is happy to be back in Hope River, time and experience have tempered Becky’s cheerfulness-as tragedy has destroyed the vibrant spirit of her former employer Dr Isaac Blum, who has accompanied her. Patience too has changed. Married and expecting a baby herself, she is relying on Becky to keep the mothers of Hope River safe.
But becoming a midwife and ushering precious new life into the world is not Becky’s only challenge. Her skills and courage will be tested when a calamitous forest fire blazes through a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. And she must find a way to bring Isaac back to life and rediscover the hope they both need to go on.
Full of humor and compassion, The Reluctant Midwife is a moving tribute to the power of optimism and love to overcome the most trying circumstances and times, and is sure to please fans of the poignant Call the Midwife series.

My review: This is the first book that I have read by this author and I have to say I enjoyed and will now be going back to get the first one. Patricia does a great job with her descriptions - for me this is a plus because it helps the imagination so you can "see" exactly what she is talking about. I felt sorry for Nurse Becky at times - trying to do her job and take case of the doctor who is not right since his wife died. The author did a great job with her research as well. This made the book very nice to read for me as I enjoyed the accuracy. I look forward to reading more books by this author. 

December 18, 2014

The Perfect Bride by Mary McHugh


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

The Perfect Bride by Mary McHugh
ISBN: 9781453853658
Paperback

Synopsis: This is the story of a young, diverced mom's hilarious adventures as a magazine editor who finds herself torn between her exciting ex-husband and Mr. Nice Guy. 

Jennifer meets a really nice guy - a writer - but she's still in love with her ex-husband who has become a rich and successful TV producer after leaving her and their daughter. She struggles with ehr feelings which are intensified when her ex comes to New York and hires her to write a sitcom for him and then whisks her off to Paris to rekindle their first romance. She finally makes up her mind after adventures in New York and Paris and ends up with a fabulous New York wedding.  

My review; This was another fun book to read by this author. I have been lucky enough to receive some of her books to read and have not been disappointed. This book was short and I was able to read it in two days. Can you imagine having to choose between your rich ex-husband and Mr. Right, I must admit it seems that the choice would be Mr. Right but you will have to read the book to figure out who she chooses. Mary takes us on an exciting journey following Jennifer. I would like to read more adventures of Jennifer as she seems like a fun person to be around. 

Eat This! 365 Reasons to Stop Dieting by Mary McHugh


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Eat This! 365 Reasons to Stop Dieting by Mary McHugh
Parperback

Synopsis: Eat This! is the anti-diet guide, the perfect pick-me-up for anyone with the diet blues. It's packed with 365 humorous musings on why diets are no fun, don't work, and will never compare with the pleasures of a chocolate eclair. Author Mary McHugh brings a much-needed dose of common sense to the world of dieting, extolling both the pleasures of homemade macaroni and cheese, as well as the satisfaction of burning 353 calories learning to salsa dance. Eat This! celebrates the woman who's sassy, sexy, and who'd be a lot happier if she stopped worrying about her weight. Shaped like a miniature refrigerator, Eat This! is the perfect gift for a friend or sister who's fed up with diets.

My review: This is another tongue in cheek book by Mary that I could not put down. These are great little books for a quick read or to give as a gift. Let me share a few of Mary's reasons to stop dieting: dieting makes your breath stink, you need those marshmallows when you have PMS, and one of my favorites - your can't doesn't care if you are fat or thin.  I can't say enough good things about these little books by Mary because I love them and would recommend you read them for a good laugh. 

Clean This! 320 Reasons to Stop Cleaning by Mary McHugh


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Clean This! by Mary McHugh
ISBN: 9780740757204
Paperback

Synopsis: While surely most of us have survived some sort of cleaning in our lifetime, why take chances any longer? Pick up Clean This! 320 Reasons to Stop Cleaning by author Mary McHugh and revel in hundreds of tips on how to avoid cleaning. Things you could be doing instead of cleaning, and if you must clean, ways to get it down with the least amount of effort. 

So put down the broom and let the dust bunnies multiply. Remember, no one has ever changed the world by cleaning a bathroom!

My review: What a funny little book this was to read. I loved the tips on reasons not to clean. One of my favorites was Persuade some TV producer to do a reality show in your house. Then they'll have to clean it. Who is not looking for ways to get out of cleaning pick up this amusing book and Mary will give you 320 reasons why you should stop. Here are a few more reasons to wet your whistle - brooms are for witches and the only reason to clean is to put off doing something else. This is a fun little book you could read in one sitting. I can't wait to read all of Mary's books. 

A Soft Breath of Wind by Roseanna White


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

A Soft Breath of Wind by Roseanna White
Sequel to A Stray Drop of Blood
ISBN: 9781939023452
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: A gift that has branded her for life
Zipporah is thirteen when the Spirit descends upon her, opening her eyes to a world beyond the physical goings-on of the villa outside Rome she has always called home. Within hours, she learns what serving the Lord can cost. Forever scarred after a vicious attack, she knows her call is to use this discernment to protect the Way. She knows she must serve the rest of her life at Tutelos, where the growing Roman church has congregated. She knows her lot is set.
Yet is it so wrong to wish that her master, the kind and handsome young Benjamin Visibullis, will eventually see her as something more than a sister in Christ?
Samuel Asinius, adoptive son of a wealthy Roman, has always called Benjamin brother. When their travels take them to Jerusalem for Passover, the last thing he expects is to cross paths with the woman who sold him into slavery as a child the mother he long ago purged from his heart. His sister, Dara, quickly catches Benjamin s eye, but Samuel suspects there is something dark at work.
When Dara, a fortune-teller seeking the will of a shadowy master determined to undermine the Way, comes into the path of Zipporah, a whirlwind descends upon them all.
Only the soft wind of the Spirit can heal their scars...with a love neither divination nor discernment could foresee.

My review: What an awesome book this was to read. I fell in love with Zipporah from page one. To me she was a very strong woman, I don't know if I could have been that strong. Roseanna did a great job in the character development to make these characters very believable. She also did her research so you would feel as if you were right there in the story. The author wrote Biblical fiction without it being heavy or boring, instead she kept you wanting more. I did not read the book before this but I was able to follow along just fine but now I want to go back and read the first book. I look forward to even more books from Roseanna. 

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings


I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings
ISBN: 9780764211409
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun's Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.
Most Inconvenient Indeed.

With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone--a practical solution for both of them.
 
After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain--until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?

My review:  What a fun book this was to read. I loved the cover of this book it just looks like Abigail is out to have fun. I have to say this book read really fast for me and I was able to finish it in one weekend. I loved that it is set in Missouri which is my old stomping grounds so I look for books set there. I can't believe Abigail's family turned her out, I do not know what I would have done in her situation. Can you imagine you married someone thought he died but found out he was an imposter - you will have to read the book to find out what happens to Abigail in this situation. I look forward to more books by Regina. 

Agnes Cannon's War by Deborah Lincoln

02_Agnes Canon's War

Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Formats: eBook, Trade Paperback 
Pages: 300 
Genre: Historical Fiction
 
Synopsis: “I saw a woman hanged on my way to the Pittsburgh docks..” Agnes Canon is tired of being a spectator in life, an invisible daughter among seven sisters, meat for the marriage market. The rivers of her Pennsylvania countryside flow west, and she yearns to flow with them, explore new lands, know the independence that is the usual sphere of men. This is a story of a woman’s search for freedom, both social and intellectual, and her quest to understand what freedom means. She learns that freedom can be the scent and sound of unsettled prairies, the glimpse of a cougar, the call of a hawk. The struggle for freedom can test the chains of power, poverty, gender, or the legalized horror of slavery. And to her surprise, she discovers it can be found within a marriage, a relationship between a man and a woman who are equals in everything that matters. It’s also the story of Jabez Robinson, a man who has traveled across the continent and seen the beauty of the country and the ghastliness of war, as he watches his nation barrel toward disaster. Faced with deep-seated social institutions and hard-headed intransigence, he finds himself helpless to intervene. Jabez’s story is an indictment of war in any century or country, and an admission that common sense and reasoned negotiation continue to fail us. As Agnes and Jabez struggle to keep their community and their lives from crumbling about them, they must face the stark reality that whether it’s the freedom of an African from servitude, of the South from the North, or of a woman from the demands of social convention, the cost is measured in chaos and blood. This eloquent work of historical fiction chronicles the building of a marriage against the background of a civilization growing – and dying – in the prelude to civil war.

My review: I really enjoyed reading this book. I am a fan of historical books so this one grabbed my attention. One other thing that drew me to this book besides the Civil War aspect was that it was set in Missouri, which is my neck of the woods. The author did a great job of character development and set the scenes very well. She kept me engrossed from the very first page until the very last. Agnes was such a strong woman who knew what she wanted and how to get it. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Praise for Agnes Canon's War

"Impressively researched, it captures the brutality of the war in the West and the complicated, divided loyalties of the people who are caught up in it. Agnes Canon’s War will have readers anticipating the romance and dreading the battles in equal amounts." -Steve Wiegenstein, author of Slant of Light and This Old World "The characters are likeable, intelligent, humorous, spunky and passionate people whose zest for adventure is met and then some! Superb historical fiction this reviewer highly recommends." - Historical Novel Society "Agnes Canon’s War is brilliantly researched and written. Deborah Lincoln has successfully described the occurrences of the Civil War era in the border state of Missouri and the resultant emotions upon the inhabitants of the area. Many neighbors were bitterly opposed to one another, and severe heartache touched everyone. Lincoln’s writing places the reader in the midst of that turmoil. Her research is accurate and lends to a skillfully-designed background for Agnes Canon’s story. An example is her reference to Westport Landing. It is a little-known fact (even to most Missourians) that this original port on the Missouri River, located in the vicinity of today’s Grand and Main Streets, resulted in present-day Kansas City. This heartfelt book will likely impress even the most seasoned historians." -William R. Reynolds, Jr. author of Andrew Pickens: South Carolina Patriot in the Revolutionary War and The Cherokee Struggle to Maintain Identity in the 17th and 18th Centuries "Years ago in fiction workshop, this manuscript leaped out at me with the most memorable opening line I’d seen in forever: “I saw a woman hanged on my way to the Pittsburgh docks.” On revisiting this story several years after my first beta-read of the whole novel, I was struck by how many details and scenes I remember. Historical fiction is not for the lazy writer. The tremendous amount of research that skilled writers weave into the narrative are simply amazing. I’m afraid I’ll be guilty of plot spoilers if I mention some of my favorite scenes or the tragic events that really happened. I will say Jabez has a first wife, and Agnes befriends her to her dying day. That first wife has a fascination for what today would sound like New Age mysticism. Any reader who hates reading about war should keep going, because all sorts of intriguing historical issues and beliefs come to light in Agnes Canon’s world. The prose is polished, the story spellbinding, the authenticity both inspiring and heartbreaking. Five stars!" -Carol Kean Blog, Book Reviews, Cosmic Rants

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About the Author03_Deborah Lincoln Author

Deborah Lincoln grew up in the small town of Celina, among the cornfields of western Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan. She and her husband have three grown sons and live on the Oregon coast. Of her passion for historical fiction, she says: “I’m fascinated by the way events—wars and cataclysms and upheavals, of course, but the everyday changes that wash over everyday lives—bring a poignancy to a person’s efforts to survive and prosper. I hate the idea that brave and intelligent people have been forgotten, that the hardships they underwent have dropped below the surface like a stone in a lake, with not a ripple left behind to mark the spot.” Agnes Canon’s War is the story of her great great-grandparents, two remarkable people whose lives illustrate the joys and trials that marked America’s tumultuous nineteenth century. For more information on Deborah Lincoln please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Agnes Canon's War Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 8
Review at Forever Ashley
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, December 9
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Wednesday, December 10
Review at Too Fond

Friday, December 12
Review at Just One More Chapter
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf

Monday, December 15
Review at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, December 17
Review at Book Babe
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, December 18
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

 Friday, December 19
Review at Boom Baby Reviews
Interview at Layered Pages

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