Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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The Choice
Suzanne Woods Fisher

A selection from the "Lancaster County Secrets" Amish stories by Suzanne Woods Fisher.

Carrie Weaver is thinking about running away from her home in Lancaster and joining her boyfriend Solomon as he becomes a baseball pitcher for the Lancaster Barnstormers but with the sudden death of her father she makes make other choices.   Can her broken heart be mended?  How can she take care of her little brother?  What path should her life take?  How will she make these big decisions?

Gone Missing by Linda Castillo

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Gone Missing
Linda Castillo

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  277
Copyright:  2012

Linda Castillo continues her series of books about murder set in the Amish community where ex-Amish Chief Kate Burkholder is the sheriff.

The story begins with Amish girls who are turning up missing during their "rumspringa".  Kate and State Agent John Tomasetti join forces to discover what is happening to these girls and who is responsible for these horrible crimes.

A very good addition to the Kate Burkholder mysteries.

The Ice Master by Jennifer Niven

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The Ice Master:  The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk
by Jennifer Niven

Publisher:  Hachette Books
Pages:  432
Copyright: 2001

In 1913 an expedition party sailed out of British Columbia in search of an undiscovered Arctic continent.  The expeditionary traveler had no idea what lay ahead of them.  It would be a voyage that seemed doomed from the beginning. The ship becomes stuck in ice and crushed leaving the crew to abandon ship and make a plan for their rescue.

The story of the Karluk is story of perseverance and of the desire to live.  The crew must find an island to live on until they can be rescued and not knowing when are rescue will come they learn to survive on  a uninhabited island with little food, brutal winter weather, and very little resources.

I enjoyed this story.  The resilience of the crew and the will to survive without any kind of modern conveniences is remarkable.  None of the crew had ever experienced the brutal winter weather of the Arctic and yet they persevered to tell this story.

"Ride Steady" By: Kristen Ashley Review

Ride Steady
By: Kristen Ashley
The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
Climb on and hold tight . . . In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .

My Thoughts
     The third book in the fantastically amazing Chaos series, focuses on Joker and his lady love Carissa. Through a series of bad decisions and poor family situations, both Joker and Carissa are at a point in their lives when things seem to be at their worst. Joker is completely cut off from his childhood family, has terrible memories of a terrible father, and no mother in his life. He lives for his MC club. Carissa is fresh off a divorce, has an infant to care for, and a job where she works 40+ hours a week. Needless to say, things are complicated.
     As with everything Kristen Ashley writes, this is another winner. I am a huge fan of the Chaos series and just love the characters. Not knowing too awful much about Joker or his history, it broke my heart to read about his horrific father. Yet, as we have seen in the past, Ashley will bring you down only to bring you back up again.
    Unique in this book, Ashley shows more of the inner workings of Ride, the Motorcycle repair business the club owns. She highlights how each person within the club has their purpose and I adore any scene that features Tack, Shy, or Rush.
    Another winner, Kristen Ashley took these two seemingly opposite characters and have given them the perfect love story. Things are not always as they seem, as Joker and Carissa show. Each thinks the other has something, but indeed, they fulfill that need in one another. Plus, I think props need to go to Kristen Ashley for writing such wonderful characters that we can’t wait to get more of. Its a toss up, but Joker and Shy are in the running for hottest MC book in my collection. Bravo!

Book Details
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
# of Pages: 640
ISBN: 9781455533220
Date of Publication: June 30, 2015
Location: Denver, CO

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry

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A Sunless Sea
Anne Perry

Publisher: Ballantine
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 400

A Victorian mystery that finds Commander of the River Police William Monk in the middle of a heinous murder on the docks.  Could this be the work of her benefactor's wife?  Could there be a connection to her benefactor's suicide?  Monk employs that help of his friend Rathbone and wife Hester to find the murderer.  The benefactor's wife goes on trial for the murder so Monk, Hester, and Rathbone are in a race against time to prove her innocence before she is executed.

I enjoyed this English mystery.  Like other English stories, there are many twists and turns and the reader is kept guessing until the end as to who did it.

Education of a Traitor by Svetlana Grobman

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The Education of a Traitor :
 A Memior of Growing Up In Cold War Russia


Svetlana Grobman

Publisher: Musings Publishing
Copyright:  2015
Pages:  298

This memoir is the story of Svetlana's memories as a child growing up in the Soviet Union following World War II and under the rule of Khrushchev.   Her family is one of the few Jewish families remaining in Moscow and struggling to make a living under Soviet rule.  Life was not easy for any family in Russia.  Choices, knowledge, and the needs for daily living were very limited for the Russian citizens. 

One story Svetlana recounts is how they country denied proper educaiton to their children.  Svetlana wanted to transfer to a different school because she believed she would get a better chance at going to college at the other school.  She took the test to get in and passed.  When she asked the principal for the papers needed to change school she was told that she was a "traitor" and the principal would not give them to her. Like transferring to another school - life was always a challenge.  

Growing up, I remember learning some things about the USSR but always was curious about how it really was since information between the USSR and the US was not shared and Svetlana's story filled in some of that information.   

Svetlana Grobman eventually does come to America and Librarians in Missouri may know Svetlana as a librarian at Daniel Boone Regional Libraries.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to learning more about life in the Soviet Union from Svetlana Grobman.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish by Elise Blackwell

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The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish


Elsie Blackwell

Publisher :  Unbridled Books
Pages: 240
Copyright:  2010

As Hurricane Katrina is being predicted in New Orleans, Louis Proby tells his story of the flood of 1927 and the first flooding of New Orleans.

Louis is 17 in 1927 and he is working to earn money to go to school by driving around an important politician in the area.  He sits in on a meeting with local politicians and bankers that illustrates how things were decided in government.  They decided to flood Cypress Parish and Louis is sworn to secrecy.   Louis's home, his family's new home and where his friends live will be effect.  What should he do?  Can he do anything to change the outcome?  

I enjoyed the story - a story of family, betrayal, and a piece of Southern history.