Monday, August 28, 2017

"Wonder" by R.J. Palacio

August Pullman, aka "Auggie," was born with severe facial deformities, but otherwise he was a normal young man. He had loving parents and sister, and a wonderful dog named Daisy. Due to numerous surgeries, August had been homes schooled. But, that was all going to change as he enters 5th grade!

Auggie can't understand why his parents are "making" him go to Beecher Prep. Why did he have to be around people all the time? People who would stare, make faces, make ugly comments. But, Auggie was likeable and did make some friends, the best of whom were Summer and Jack Will. But then, there were those others! Come along and learn about 5th grade with Auggie. Meet his Director, Mr. Pullman; his teacher, Mr. Brown, who teaches them Precepts during English; his parents, his sister "Via," and the other students in the school. This is a story that will touch even the toughest heart!

"You can't blend in when you were born to stand out." This is one of my favorite lines in the book. I agree with so many others that this should be required reading in middle school, and even for older students/parents. Kindness, courage, friendship, just some of the themes of this book. This book made me laugh, cry, feel anger, and feel joy. I highly recommend it to everyone!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Law and Vengeance" by Mike Papantonio


Nicholas Deketomis is a lawyer who wins big, big cases. Living on the Florida coast provides a great life for him and his family. What would happen if something threatened this peaceful, luxurious life? In this new novel by Mike Papantonio, readers get to find out.

Nicholas wasn't always rich. He was born and raised in a poor neighborhood, and he vowed to get out. He succeeded and consistently wins lawsuits that get settlements in the billions. But, this new case, this case against a pharmaceutical company is making waves with the wrong people. He is set up for murder and his entire life is turned into a nightmare. Will Nicholas be able to prove his innocence and rebuild his life and practice? Will anyone stand with him? Will his fight lead to the conviction of the guilty? Pick up this exciting thriller and find out!

I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Mr. Papantonio takes the time to set his scenes, build his characters, and tell his story. It is easy to tell that he does his research and knows his stuff. I can't wait to read more of his books.


AUTHOR INFORMATION:
Mike Papantonio’s Latest Novel Law And Vengeance, Sequel To Critically-Acclaimed Law And Disorder Coming This September

On September 26th, Mike Papantonio, host of America’s Lawyer and the nationally-syndicated radio show Ring of Fire, will be releasing the follow up to his novel Law and Disorder. The new installment, titled Law and Vengeance, builds on characters introduced in the first novel, providing more depth and focus on other members of the Bergman Deketomis Law Firm.

The story follows trial lawyer Gina Romano who was first introduced in Law and Disorder. Gina is a partner at the Bergman, Deketomis firm, and the story follows her quest for both vengeance and justice after her law partner, Angus Moore, is murdered. Gina takes it upon herself to take over Angus’s whistleblower lawsuit against a weapons manufacturer who developed and sold a dangerously defective rifle scope. She soon finds herself taking on not just that company, but one of America’s largest police unions, lobbyists, and a corrupt and incompetent Department of Justice.

In a conversation with Mike Papantonio, he explained that the major driving forces behind the story were the past 17 years of complete inaction by the U.S. Department of Justice to hold corporations criminally accountable when they commit fraud or otherwise rip off consumers, and the fact that whistleblowers in the U.S. are often met with hostility. In fact, as Papantonio told me, we’re far more likely to throw a corporate whistleblower in prison than a corrupt corporate CEO. White collar criminals typically get away with a slap on the wrist or, at best, a fine that they are able to write off on their taxes.

Papantonio has built his story around real life events he has encountered as one of the top trial lawyers in America. The characters developed in Law and Vengeance pull in aspects from real trials and cover ups that Papantonio has encountered during his many years in the courtroom against some of the world’s largest and most corrupt corporations. At times you may begin to forget that the book is fiction as he reveals some of the most grotesque behavior of corporate America – stories that are popping up in the news media almost every day. 

Law and Vengeance will have a national release on September 26th, 2017. You can pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Target.

Author Bio:

Mike Papantonio is a senior partner of Levin Papantonio, one of the largest plaintiffs law firms in America, that has handled thousands of cases throughout the nation involving pharmaceutical drug litigation, Florida tobacco litigation, litigation for asbestos-related health damage, securities fraud actions, and other mass tort cases. "Pap" has received dozens of multimillion dollar verdicts on behalf of victims of corporate corruption.
Mr. Papantonio is one of the youngest attorneys to have been inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. In 2012 Mr. Papantonio became President of the National Trial Lawyers Association, one of the largest trial lawyer organizations in America. For his trial work on behalf of consumers Papantonio has received some of the most prestigious awards reserved by the Public Justice Foundation, The American Association for Justice, and the National Trial Lawyers Association.
Mr. Papantonio is an author of four motivational books for lawyers. He is also co-author of Air America: The Playbook a New York Times Political Best Seller.
Mr. Papantonio is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Ring of Fire along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Sam Seder. In addition to the radio program, Mr. Papantonio also hosts Ring of Fire when it airs on the Free Speech TV network. Mr. Papantonio has conducted hundreds of recorded interviews with guests, including Dan Rather, Helen Thomas, Howard Zinn, Arianna Huffington, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bernie Sanders, David Crosby, Merle Haggard, Morgan Spurlock, John Edwards, Bill Moyers, Rickie Lee Jones, Alanis Morissette, Pete Seeger, Jackson Browne, Chuck D from Public Enemy, Henry Rollins, Ted Sorensen, and Elizabeth Kucinich. His role on Ring of Fire is featured in the movie, Jesus Camp, which was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.
Mr. Papantonio is also a political commentator who frequently appears on MSNBC, Free Speech TV, RT America Network, and Fox News.

Monday, August 7, 2017

"Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter" by Lisa Patton

Leelee Satterfield was raised to be the perfect southern lady, which is why she followed her husband's dream of opening an Inn in Vermont intending to make the best of it. Packing up her daughters, Isabella and Sarah, along with her beloved Princess Grace Kelly, she was determined to stand with Baker. But, Tennessee and Vermont are two very different places, and the adjustment was going to be very difficult at times.

Pick up this book and you will be transported to Vermont for all of the best and worst of times. Nor'easters, black flies, "stick season," "mud season," etc. Watch how this southern belle learns to stand on her own amidst truly devastating times. Come meet the "families" - Virginia, Mary Jule, and Alice; along with Peter, Roberta, Jeb, and Pierre. 

I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I have the other two in the "Dixie Series" on hold at the library. The reading was easy and quick, the story filled with wonderful details about life in Vermont. I recommend this to readers of all types. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"Imagine - The Great Flood" by Matt Koceich

Corey is a ten year-old boy who doesn't like the decision his parents have made. Why do they have to move to Florida? All of his friends and his school are here in Texas. He tries to think of anything he can to keep them where they are, but the decision is out of his control. His dads' new job is in Florida. How can his mother keep telling him that things may change but God never does? Can he really trust God to make this a good move?

Corey sees the storm coming and goes chasing his dog into the woods. Little does he know that an adventure awaits him! When Corey fell and hit his head, he was knocked out. He "awakens" in the world of Noah, a very different world from his own. As he is met by lions, he is also met by Shem. In the adventure to get the animals on the ark, many things happen at once. He meets good and evil in this land and learns first hand about the war for the soul. He even gets to ride on a rhinoceros! Come, imagine with Corey what it would have been like to live at the time of the flood.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone with children, and to everyone who enjoys reading YA and children's literature. You will find Bible truths and imagination woven together to tell the story of God's grace and love. Children will see that God is always the same and He will never fail us. Now, I can't wait for the next "Imagine" book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Monday, July 31, 2017

"The Blessing" by Wanda E. Brunstetter

In this new book by Wanda Brunstetter, readers are transported back to the Troyer Farm, continuing the Amish Cooking Class series. This story is about Heidi and Lyle making the decision to try running an Amish cooking class from their home again. Who will come? Will it work? Come meet the people who come to learn these cooking recipes and techniques and go away with so much more.
The cooking class is meant to help Heidi deal with her sadness over not having children, but so much more happens. Some of the people who attend are: a food critic, a police officer's wife, a teenager, and a mailman. Not all chose to take the class but all are changed by it. Wisdom, friendship, romance, healing. All are important parts of this story. "Food and Friendship Bind Souls in the Amish Kitchen." (from the back of the book) Will Heidi find peace about children in her life? Will the members of the class be able to help each other? 

This is a wonderful book with a story that pulls you in, I especially love the recipes at the end of the book. They include: baked oatmeal and Amish friendship bread. I enjoyed meeting the characters and learning something as the story progressed. There is also a Discussion Guide at the end, so it makes a great book club book. If you enjoy a good story that deals with food and friendship, this book is for you. I recommend it to everyone.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."

Friday, July 28, 2017

"#truth" by Josh McDowell

#truth is a new teen devotional by Josh McDowell. It is a devotional about "Connecting LIFE and FAITH." Teens are especially vulnerable to things that would pull them away from God, but this devotional just might help them keep that relationship strong and vibrant.

#truth is set up much like most devotionals. Each daily reading is dated to go through the year, with a title that gives the reader a clue to what that day is about. There is a Bible reading, a devotion, a "Truth Is" section, and a prayer. Each devotional is easy to read and packed with a powerful message. The "Truth Is" portion is written directly to the reader and points out the importance of the message, bringing it to life.

I really like this teen devotional and can't wait to give it as a gift. Too many times teens are looking for their place and they don't know where to turn. This book of practical Bible teachings may help them along the way. I recommend it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Yarned and Dangerous" by Sadie Hartwell

Dorset Falls if the setting for this murder mystery by Sadie Hartwell. Josie Blair lives in New York, but comes back to Dorset Falls to care for her great uncle, Eb, and to close up the knitting shop once run by Eb's late wife. While she only plans on staying for two weeks, there is much to do packing up the shop, and when you throw in a murder, well, how can she leave until it is solved? Come, unravel this tale of yarn, greed, and a little love story.

I loved this book and couldn't put it down. It is an easy read, but I wanted to know what had happened and how everything connected. Personally, I was rooting for the love story too. This is a story where city life meets country life, with priorities and happiness factoring in too. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a light read that keeps your attention and encourages you to keep reading, especially if you solving a mystery.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

"The Other Einstein" by Marie Benedict

Mileva Maric, a brilliant physicist in a time when women needed special permission to study in universities. She pushed herself hard to achieve as much as possible because many thought she would never be married because of a physical problem. No one should have underestimated Mileva! She would not only get permission to attend Swiss Federal Polytechnic to study math and physics, but she would work with, and marry, Albert Einstein!

This novel takes a look into the life of Mileva Maric. She was a real person, but much isn't known about her life. Ms. Benedict writes a beautiful story inviting her readers to imagine what Mileva's life was like from both personal and professional sides. She does, however, base much on her research and her findings. The love letters she found showed much about the love between Mileva and Albert, as well as discussions they had about scientific theories. What happened to change their story? Pick up the book and you won't want to stop until you know!

I really enjoyed this book! I was totally drawn in by the title and was not disappointed. Knowing that some of what I read was based on fact heightened the enjoyment. Visiting the site at Princeton that holds the Einstein papers was interesting as well. If you enjoy novels that keep you engrossed, that pull you into the story, then this is for you!

"Uncommon: Pursuing a Life of Passion and Purpose" by Carie Scott

Uncommon, living God's way in a world that wants us to conform to whatever the latest fad is, to hide our faith. How can we stand strong? What are some tools to help us live your faith? How can we be more honest, kind, moral, courageous, obedient, prayerful? In this new book, Carey Scott presents answers with real life examples. Come along and meet some women living uncommon lives in today's world.

Christians are called to be followers of Christ, and that can be difficult in this world. Throughout this book, Carie Scott tells stories of ladies who made the choice to live an Uncommon life that is very much filled with passion and purpose in everything they do. Combine those stories with Scripture and you get a book that will inspire you to live your best life as well.

I really enjoyed this book and found the women to be strong role models. It is a book that should be read by all Christian women. It will make a change in your life and I highly recommend it. I thank the Barbour group for my review copy. A review was not required and this recommendation is my own.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Gwendy's Button Box" by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar

Castle Rock, a small town in Maine with a very special place called Castle View. Of the three ways up to the View, Gwendy chose one - the Suicide Stairs. Why? She wanted to lose weight, of course. But, one day a man spoke to her and their conversation changed her young life. Come visit Castle Rock and discover the secret of the Button Box!

What an interesting novella! It was a quick read, one I did not want to put down. I wanted to know about the box, what it could do, what Gwendy would do with it. Ultimately, two thoughts come to mind. "Be careful what you wish for" and we all have the capacity for good and evil. What path we choose is up to us. Open the book, and I promise, you won't put it down until you are done!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"The Girl's Still Got It" by Liz Curtis Higgs

Ruth, a beloved Bible character is the subject of this book by Liz Curtis Higgs. Ruth was a Moabitis who not only lost her father-in-law, but her husband as well.  Death caused a great chasm in the family, but when Naomi determines to return home, Ruth goes with her. What changes await!

In this story of faith, family, and determination; Mrs. Higgs encourages her readers to step into Ruth's shoes. We walk along side, seeing her emotion, feeling her pain. But we also see how much she not only feels love for Naomi, but how she grows to love the God of Israel. We see her work hard and fall in love. What's she still got? The book is well worth reading to find the answer!

I love this book and highly recommend it. Ruth is still a great example of the virtuous woman and I enjoy reading books that put me in the time and place she lived. I really love is part of the title, "Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World." Pick it up, you won't regret it!

"Hello Stars" by Alena Pitts with Wynter Pitts

Starring in a movie, or even getting a small part, would be awesome, right? That's what Lena thought when her friends told her about the upcoming audition. It was her dream! Did it stay that way or did it become a nightmare?

Lena Daniels wanted to be a star both as a model and in film. When her chance came, she jumped, only to find that her dream was becoming a reality. What a wonderful and scary thing it was to be chosen to star with Mallory Winston. But, she never bargained on it affecting her summer, nor did she think she would be afraid. Come, meet Lena and follow along as she experiences some difficult emotions and choices. Watch how her faith helps her along the way. See how her family helps keep her grounded all the while helping her reach for the stars.

What a great book for preteens! The focus is on determination, faith, family, discipline, and balance. I recommend it to anyone with preteens/young teens. I received my free copy from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"A Spectacle of Glory" by Joni Eareckson Tada

This new devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada, with Larry Libby, is meant to inspire the reader to daily walk in the light of God. (Spectacle - an impressive public sight; Glory - absolutely magnificent beauty) Each day has a reading, a Bible passage, and a prayer to get you going. The thoughts are meant to inspire, uplift, and challenge the reader. Joni's real life challenges shine through the pages as she offers encouragement to make it through those tough times.

I love the full title of this devotional: "A Spectacle of Glory - God's Light Shining Through Me Every Day." What an inspirational thought to see before reading the daily thoughts. I love devotionals that are quick reads, packed with the power of God's Word and practical words of encouragement. If you are looking for a new devotional, or love to have an assortment around, this is for you.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Nineteen year old Kelsea Raleigh's life is turned totally upside down and a new life of challenges is beginning. Taken from the only home she has really known, Kelsea is confronted with her new reality.  In this first book of Erika Johansen's Tearling trilogy, readers learn about things and places like: the "Crossing," the land of the Tearling, Mortmesne, the Red Queen, and the "shipments." Readers will also meet unforgettable characters who work for and against the new queen. Battles will rage, words will be exchanged, friendships will be made, and plots will be uncovered. Will the new queen be able to show her people, and her Queen's guard members, that she is strong enough for the task ahead? And, what is the importance of the sapphires? Open the book and read on for the fabulous beginning of the trilogy. Just be ready with books 2 and 3!

I loved this book and couldn't put it down! The characters were so real that they elicited emotional responses in me - anger and tears to name two. Now, on to book 2!!

NIV Holy Bible for Girls, Journal Edition

A place for reflection, a place of expression, a place to study - three things this new NIV Holy Bible for Girls Journal Edition provides. The cover is colorful and inviting to girls of all ages, and the thicker than normal pages have spaces that provide room to write or draw or color as you express what God is showing you. The ribbon marker ensures that you don't lose your place, and the elastic closure keeps the Bible closed for travel. This is a wonderful Bible for journaling, one other reason being that there are no "extras" except for a page on "How to Use this Bible."

I really like this Bible, even though I don't normally like hard cover Bibles. This is well-made with a cover that is inviting and colorful. It pulls you in which is where God's Word and space for reactions can be found. If you are looking for a Bible for a "girl" of any age, check this one out!