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Still Life with Bread Crumbs
reviewed on + 5 more book reviews


This was a beautifully written book. Interesting relationships


Winter at the Beach
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I've submitted edits on this title as well as the cover as PBS has some of this wrong. I do hope it's updated soon.

I finished reading Winter at the Beach by Sheila Roberts just this weekend. As usual, Ms. Roberts has the ability to take a sometimes-sad story and see the humor in the situation. This one is no different. This is the second in a new series for Ms. Roberts which is set on the Pacific northwest coast in the fictional town of Moonlight Harbor.

In this book, we again meet the characters from the last book, Jenna Jones, her teenaged daughter, Sabrina, and Jenna's Aunt Edie, whom they now live with. There are two semi-permanent residents of The Driftwood Inn. Pete, Aunt Edie's sometimes handyman but mostly moocher. And Seth, who owns his own business, but is willing the chip in and help around the inn when needed. Then there's a collection of colorful townspeople. To top it all off, we have several visitors at the inn, but then I'm getting ahead of myself!

This story opens with Jenna going to a chamber of commerce meeting and suggesting that the town hold a winter festival the weekend before Christmas in order to attract visitors in a typically slow time during the off-season. This idea is met with skepticism from Susan who can see no reason to support this idea, making her a huge âNervous Nelly.â But most of the members support the idea and put Jenna in charge. Jenna gets down to business of planning the most perfect festival for the town and of course The Driftwood Inn. Of course, anything that can go wrong most likely will but with Ms. Robert's somewhat warped sense of humor.

Before the festival begins, we meet the would-be guests at their homes as they make their plans to go to the beach for the festival. The inn fills up for the festival and Jenna is delighted. Jenna still has two men vying for her attention, local realtor, Brody Green and sometimes handyman, Seth. Or not, especially in the case of the latter.

As always with all of Ms. Robert's books, she had me laughing throughout at the characters antics. I think you will too!

You can read more about this book at http://www.sheilasplace.com/winter-at-the-beach.html

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm part of Ms. Roberts's street team. I got this book for free from the author in exchange for my honest review.


So Much Life Left Over: A Novel
reviewed on + 995 more book reviews


It takes a while to figure out what So Much Life Left Over by Louis de Bernieres is about and what it is not. The description speaks about lives upended by World War I, but this book is more about relationships than the war. The cover image depicts Ceylon and India, but the book returns fairly early on Britain. Ultimately, this story is Daniel's, and it is this story that keeps me reading until its ending, which seems poised to ask again the question that the story initially poses.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/11/so-much-life-left-over.html

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.


An Unhallowed Grave (Wesley Peterson, Bk 3)
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An Unhallowed Grave was a joy to read. The author weaves the historical facts with the present day crimes seamlessly. The crimes committed are not needlessly bizarre nor gratuitously bloody. The archaeological details ad interest without being overdone. Kate Ellis and her Wesley Peterson Mysteries are on my list of favorites.


City of Darkness and Light (Molly Murphy, Bk 13)
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"Rhys Bowen's most spectacular Molly Murphy novel yet."

Not quite. Although I picked the wrong person as the murderer, I gave the book only three stars.


The Bird's Nest (Penguin Classics)
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THE BIRD'S NEST is Jackson's third novel written in 1954. It is the story of a young woman, Elizabeth, who has multiple personality disorder. The psychiatrist in the novel, Dr. Wright, gives the four distinct personalities separate names: Elizabeth, Beth, Betsy, and Bess. As the novel opens, Elizabeth is working as a clerk in the local museum. She begins having headaches and backaches and then her Aunt Morgan, who she lives with, discovers that she had gone out late at night with no remembrance of doing so. Her primary doctor refers her to Dr. Wright who begins interviewing her and discovering the different personalities. The narrative goes from Dr. Wright's observation to what happens when "Betsy" decides to go to New York in search of her dead mother. Elizabeth winds up in a hospital where the fourth personality "Bess" emerges who seems to take most of the control.

This novel was very reminiscent of the 1957 movie Three Faces of Eve which I remember seeing back in the 60s on TV. I found out there is also a movie based on THE BIRD'S NEST called Lizzie. This movie was also made in 1957 so it may have been made as a result of the popularity of Three Faces of Eve. I'll be keeping an eye out for Lizzie, maybe it will turn up on TCM at some point. Anyway, this novel was usual Jackson fare with an unsettling tone throughout. According to Wikipedia, while writing The Bird's Nest, Jackson suffered from insomnia, backaches, and paranoia, symptoms similar to those the main character of the novel is afflicted with. Also Jackson was interested in the subject matter because she thought many personalities were contained within herself.


A Noise Downstairs: A Novel
reviewed on + 9 more book reviews


I got about 130 pages into this and thought I had it figured out. I was way wrong! Definitely didn't see those plot twists coming!


A Seat by the Hearth (An Amish Homestead Novel)
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A Seat by the Hearth by Amy Clipston returns us to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Priscilla Allgyer is returning to her parent's home after eight years with her six year old son, Ethan. Her mother, Edna welcomes her, but her father, Yonnie is just as cold, critical and disapproving as ever. Priscilla is thankful that he is kind to her son and that is what is most important to her. Yonnie will allow her to stay if she follows certain rules. He insists that Priscilla and Ethan wear Amish dress, visit the Bishop right away confess her sins and to get right with the church since she is currently shunned, and then he wants her to find an acceptable husband. Mark Riehl is now working for Yonnie helping him train horses and he is known for charming the local females. Priscilla is the first woman to not fall for his charm and is leery of trusting any man after her experience with Ethan's father. As time passes, they are slowly becoming friends. One day Priscilla is upset, and she is talking to Mark in the barn. Yonnie and the Bishop walk in and misconstrue the situation. Priscilla must make a choice that not only affects her, but Mark, Ethan and their families. Can Priscilla learn to trust Mark and build a future with him?

A Seat by the Hearth is a lovely story. I thought it was well-written with steady pacing. There are good characters and a beautiful setting. Priscilla is reluctant to return home to her father's dictatorial rule, but she has no other options. Yonnie has been indifferent, stern and judgmental of Priscilla her whole life. She wishes her family was more like the warm and welcoming Riehl's. Mark is a charmer and he knows it. He has yet to feel the need to settle down. Mark is baffled by Priscilla's indifference. He sees how Yonnie treats Priscilla and he wants to be her friend. I like how the relationship between Mark and Priscilla progresses slowly. They are attracted to each other in the beginning, but they take the time to get to know one other. In Priscilla's case, she has issues to overcome before she can begin again with someone new. I appreciated that we get to see how actions speak louder than words. Amy Clipston created delightful characters for this story and the main characters complement each other. We also learn how upbringing can affect a person (we learn from our parents). The series issue of abuse is handled carefully and responsibly. Some of the Christian elements present in A Seat by the Heart are prayer, forgiveness, forgiveness and trusting in God. While A Seat by the Hearth is the third book in An Amish Homestead series, it can be read alone. Personally, I have enjoyed the journey with the Riehl family in each new book, and I am glad that I read them in order. I started A Seat by the Hearth and finished it within three hours. Amy Clipston has an appealing writing style. It is like Amy is sitting in a chair by the fire and telling us a story. A Seat by the Hearth is an engaging and emotional novel with heartwarming characters.


Best Kept Secret
Best Kept Secret
Author: Amy Hatvany
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
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Cadence is a mother and wife and freelance journalist. After her divorce she starts drinking and becomes an alcoholic. With so much drug and alcohol addiction prevalent today I found it too depressing.


Inner Harbor (Chesapeake Bay, Bk 3)
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Very good read!


Walkers of the Wind (First Americans, Bk 4)
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A very interesting read taking place in the Ice Age. The author writes so he brings you back with him on the peoples journey and life


reviewed on + 51 more book reviews


A very suspense filled romance and mystery read.


Lydia's Charm: An Amish Widow Starts Over in Charm, Ohio
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Lydia moves back home with her 4 yr old son after her husband dies and she is with out an income to support her family. She knows it will be hard to do since her mother and she never were compatible.A good story develops and romance springs.


A Gift from Tiffany's
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This is a Christmas story interwoven with romance. THE MAIN CHARACTER IS about to be engaged when he takes his young daughter to New York along with the woman he believes will be his wife. A surprise develops when an accident happens.His planned life is turned upside down.


Conversations with the Other Side (Large Print)
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I have watched Sylvia Browne on TV and was amazed at watch she reveals. This book gives one a deeper insight into her.


Coast Guard Sweetheart (Love Inspired, No 995) (Larger Print)
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This book gives one the picture of the operation of the coast guard along with a good romance.


Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power
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A very good picture develops of this man's personality and the influence of his mother and his heritage on the man he is today.


The Angels Weep (Ballantyne, Bk 3)
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1875 part continues saga; later section 1977 with great-grand children of original characters. Native uprisings, gold, building of empire. Smith is a great adventure writer.


The Art Forger
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Great subject matter - Shapiro really does her research on how to forge a work of art! Fascinating. She also does a great job with the mystery end of the narrative as well.


Consequences
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As always, a nice read. Penelope Lively consistently keeps me engaged.


In the Hurricane's eye :Exclusive barnes and Noble Edition
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In the Hurricane's eye Exclusive barnes and Noble Edition
Author: Nathaniel Philbrick
How Washington and Nathaniel Greene won the water battles across the southern rivers and Chesapeake Bay. I believe that it was God ordained. The FRench and English were not trained to fight unconventional land and water battles


Beast In View
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Interesting example of 1950s psychological thriller. If you enjoy Hitchcock movies such as Vertigo, Marnie, or Spellbound, you might enjoy this.

Sadly, I've never warmed to Vertigo, and I had the same problem with this: its psychology seemed wild-eyed and over-heated, but at the same time, somehow, very innocent; its thrills were rendered obvious by 60+ years of similar "big twists."

As an unsettling glance back at life in mid-1950s America, it is the literary equivalent of a rather nasty fly caught in amber -- be prepared for causal racism, sexism, homophobia ... But it's clear that Millar was a talented writer, and captured the world just as it was.


Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy
Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy
Author: J.R. Ward
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 1455 more book reviews


As part of the Glymera, Peyton knows his family expects him to find a female from his class to mate. But when the woman he loves finds someone else, Peyton is left to his own devices. A stupid decision during a fight with a group of Lessers, injures Novo, a female from the trainee program. Peyton feels responsible for Novo's grave injuries, staying with her at the Brotherhood compound. Novo isn't looking for a relationship with Peyton. Her past has forced her to forget about falling in love, especially with a guy whose family would find her unsuitable.

This is the third book in the Black Dagger Legacy series. This book had two romances. Along with Peyton and Novo's story, we had Saxton who is ready to move away from New York so he doesn't have to see Blay, the guy who broke his heart. He doesn't expect to fall for Ruhn, a new member of the household. I liked both romances, but didn't love them. They felt very predictable to me. Maybe it was because the whole book was the two romances. I've come to expect other happenings while reading books by this author. Maybe it needed more battles...or maybe some storyline involving the brotherhood. So, while this book lacked something I can't put my finger on, I still enjoyed it. My rating: 4 Stars.


Her Scoundrel (Bad Luck Brides, Bk 2) (Bad Luck Wedding, Bk 7)
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Life has dealt Katrina McBride some serious blows. She has vowed that she will never trust a man again. When she sees a man from her past that she believes stole her prized necklace, Kat stops at nothing to get it back. Jake Kimball quickly sees through her disguise and believes Kat is the woman he needs in his life. She is the perfect mother for his orphaned nieces and nephew. But trying to convince her of that fact will take some work.

This is another satisfying story in the Bad Luck Brides series. I loved Jake and Kat. They were hilarious together and had fantastic chemistry. The four nieces and nephew were fun. They very much reminded me of Kat and her sisters from the first few books in the series. So, if I liked them so much, why didn't I give this book a better rating? I'm so sick of the necklaces and the McBride curse. That storyline dragged the last third of the book to a screeching halt. I think we could have easily edited out 70 pages without the curse. My rating: 3.5 Stars.


The Lady of Tarpon Springs
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I love it when I love learning something new about history. Not just facts and dates but unusual subjects I would not have dreamed of. This novel truly did that! I never thought of the sponge business and the divers or how they risked their lives.
I felt as if Ms. Miller took be back in time and dropped me into the early 1900's in the town of Tarpon Springs. Zanna Krykos and her friend Lucy Penrose are challenging the norms of the day. Zanna is a lawyer and Lucy is the town's doctor. They are very close friends. When Lucy's father suddenly dies she finds herself inheriting a sponge diving business he had arranged and she knew nothing of! She wants zero to do with it and asks Zanna to help. There is no way out and on top of that, 50 sponge divers are coming from Greece to be housed and fed! Lucy hands it ALL over to Zanna to manage. Heading the crew is Nicos Sevdalis. He and his men are unaccustomed to women filling any management capacity or giving them directions. Nicos and Zanna are forced to work together. He knows no English and depends on Zanna (Greek also) for translating. Their beginning is pretty rocky, but they become a team.
I am absolutely fascinated by the details about diving during that era. Having seen the big heavy diving suits I never thought of how difficult and dangerous it was. Not to mention the medical problems should something go wrong. My knowledge of sponges was zero. It impressed me how incredibly hard the work was for something I am sure people during that time took for granted.
The Greek customs, food and family dynamics was wonderful. There were times I felt I was hiding behind chair listening. I would love to try some of the food mentioned. When I pick up books by Judith Miller I know without a doubt I will enjoy them! She checks all my boxes for a good read: Christian, historical, suspense, and a dash of romance!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.


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