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.  

The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo

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The Dead Will Tell
Linda Castillo

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  352
Copyright:  2015

Linda Castillo has created another story for ex-Amish Police Chief Kate Burkholder.   Kate is called to the apparent suicide of a man hanging from the rafters of a barn.  The death does not look like a suicide to Kate and as she investigate this death - another dead man turns up in Painter's Mill.  Kate suspects that there is a connection to a long closed case of a death of an Amish man, his wife and four children.  To confuse the  situation, several other prominent members of the community have received cryptic messages similar to the dead men.

Kate and Tomasetti have continued their relationship and in fact have moved in together but Tomasetti is not around much to help Kate solve this mystery because he is once again reminded of the death of his wife and two children when the murderer is released from prision.

I enjoyed this book and will read more of the Kate Burkholder series.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Marriage Charm by Linda Lael Miller

 Melody has recently found success as a jewelry designer, and her work is the focus of her life. She's not exactly unhappy, but she wants more. She's always been attracted to Spence Hogan, the local chief of police, but she's convinced that Spence, a notorious charmer, isn't what you'd call husband material.
Spence is a good cop who isn't scared of anything—except love. And he's done everything he can to preserve his reputation as a womanizer—a reputation that keeps marriage-minded women, including Melody, at bay. And yet…there's something about Melody he can't forget. Something his heart can't ignore.

Good Romance!

350 pages

Forever after, by Deborah Raney

Product DetailsLucas Vermontez was a proud firefighter like his father. Now, not only has he lost his father and his best friend, Zach, in the fire at the Grove Street homeless shelter, but the devoted rookie can no longer do the work he loves after being crippled in the tragic event. When friendship with his buddy’s beautiful widow turns into more, he wonders, what could he possibly offer Jenna? Jenna Morgan is trying to grieve her husband’s death like a proper widow, but the truth is, she never really loved Zach. His death feels more like a relief to her. But that relief is short-lived when she loses her home and the financial support of her in-laws. Now the secrets of her past threaten to destroy her future.

Can the two forget the painful past and discover new reasons to live and love?
(Of course they can, it's a romance.)

414 pages

Friday, April 24, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See

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All the Light We Cannot See


Anthony Doerr

Publisher: Schribner
Pages: 531

A novel to live in, learn from, and feel bereft over when the last page is turned, Doerr’s magnificently drawn story seems at once spacious and tightly composed. It rests, historically, during the occupation of France during WWII, but brief chapters told in alternating voices give the overall—and long—­narrative a swift movement through time and events. We have two main characters, each one on opposite sides in the conflagration that is destroying Europe. Marie-Louise is a sightless girl who lived with her father in Paris before the occupation; he was a master locksmith for the Museum of Natural History. When German forces necessitate abandonment of the city, Marie-Louise’s father, taking with him the museum’s greatest treasure, removes himself and his daughter and eventually arrives at his uncle’s house in the coastal city of Saint-Malo. Young German soldier Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity there, and eventually, and inevitably, Marie-Louise’s and Werner’s paths cross. It is through their individual and intertwined tales that Doerr masterfully and knowledgeably re-creates the deprived civilian conditions of war-torn France and the strictly controlled lives of the military occupiers. --Brad Hooper - Booklist

My Thoughts - I loved this book.  The story is of Marie-Louise and Werner both children whose lives will be changed because of World War II.   The story of Marie-Louise is a beautiful story of the life of a girl who is courageous and amazing during World War II in France.  Marie-Louise is blind but that doesn't stop her from helping the French resistance and doing her part to help the allied invasion.  Werner, an orphan is chosen to attend a school for the elite boys of Germany and is indoctrinated in the German Nazi philosophy but does not fully accept the Nazi way - he has a mind of his own and proves this when he and Marie-Louise finally meet during the invasion of France by the allies. 

China Dolls by Lisa See

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China Dolls
Lisa See

Pages:  416
Publisher:  Random House

The lives of three young Chinese-American women—Grace, Helen, and Ruby—intersect in valuable and often violent ways in pre-WWII San Francisco as they shed their drab former lives to become glamorous entertainers at the city’s rising hot spot, the Forbidden City nightclub. Despite their divergent backgrounds, a mutual desire to shatter the cultural stereotypes that doom them to lives of familial subservience feeds their ambition to prosper in a world in which the definition of success changes minute by minute. Though they’ve taken a “one for all” vow of eternal loyalty, each harbors secrets that cause a pervasive atmosphere of distrust to simmer just below the surface. When Ruby is revealed to actually be of Japanese heritage and deported to an internment camp, their friendships and fortunes suffer a mortal blow, one that only deepens as the war rages on. In her impeccably researched and distinctive historical saga of desire and ambition, betrayal and revenge set amid the glitz and debauchery of burlesque entertainment on the “chop suey circuit,” (Booklist)

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story.   The story follows the lives of the three Oriental women as they try to make their way in the world and be successful.  This is a time when Oriental women are not expected to make anything of their selves and most are tied very closely to their Oriental traditions.  Each woman with their very different backgrounds and desires do become successful in spite of road blocks thrown in their way because of tradition, World War II, and abusive relationships.   Grace, Helen, and Ruby, an unlikely trio,  share the desire to be successful and respected as women and this is a wonderful story of their achievements.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Strength from Loyalty" By: Autumn Jones Lake Review

Strength from Loyalty
By: Autumn Jones Lake

Struggling attorney, Hope Kendall loves her outlaw, biker boyfriend, Rochlan “Rock” North with all her heart, but the questionable activities his motorcycle club are involved in are about to threaten the legal career she’s not even sure she still wants.
Rock finally has the support of all his officers to bring Hope deeper into the inner circle of the Lost Kings MC. When his offer to have the club help her out of her legal predicament is met with hostility, he’s once again forced to question whether they are able to make their drastic differences work for the long haul.
A near death makes any squabble seem insignificant, but puts a cloud over their future. And while Rock has been working hard to give Hope the honesty she craves, one secret she’s been keeping all along, may finally drive them apart for good.

My Thoughts
Hope and Rock have been together for a few months but things have not calmed for them one bit. Rival gangs, drugs, guns, and jealousies come together to create an explosive finale in Rock and Hope’s trilogy. With the whole group still there, we go a little deeper into the MC and the deepest ever into their relationship.
     Rock and Hope are trying to find their happiness but outside forces seem to be closing in. For one of hte fisrt times, Hope is completely immersed in the MC world. She meets other MC leaders, and sees aside of the club life that isn’t what she is used to. Violence, revenge, lies and evil make an appearance, but through it all Rock and Hope stand strong.
    More than a Motorcycle club book, Autumn Jones Lake does characters so well, its mesmerizing. Who else can write three books, about the SAME two people, and still keep it fresh? Each book we have great supporting characters and I think it says a lot about her writing, that people are still clamoring for more of Rock’s story even after three books.
     One of my favorite series out there now, Rock and Hope are still fresh, fun, and in love more than ever. What I loved best with how Autumn left it was the simple fact that we don’t know what will happen next. More Rock and Hope? Wrath and Trinity? Jesse? Its a wide open field and I’m up for anything. Earth shattering sex, fabulously fun scenes, and secondary characters so good they need their own book, Autumn Jones Lake has another five star hit from me!

Book Details
Date of Publication: March 17, 2015
#of Pages: 330
Location: New York
Lost Kings MC Series
  1. Strength from Loyalty (March 2015)
  2. Tattered on My Sleeve