Jul 122019
 

Listening to My Feelings: Children's books, ages 3 5, kids, boys by [Gordon, Michael]

Listening to My Feelings by Michael Gordon

Illustrated by Max Larin

File Size: 9185 KB
Print Length: 21 pages
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07V6GHVPL

Don’t let angry balloon pop! Here’s a great story for helping kids manage their feelings.

* Learn how to cope with feelings in a more natural way.
* Make it clear that hitting, kicking, biting are not allowed
* Behaving badly doesn’t make you bad
* Show your kids how to deal with disappointment
* Teach your children anger management skills
* Teaching kids about empathy, kindness, and compassion

Thoughts
This is a great book that will let children know that everyone gets mad, but that you need to control your anger and not lash out. It has a few different ways that will help them learn how to react in a calm way.

The illustrations are really cute and it’s short so it will hold the childs attention until the book is finished.

Jul 112019
 

Have You Seen Luis Velez?

Have You Seen Luis Valez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Narrated by Michael Crouch

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: May 21, 2019

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

Thoughts
I know I say “I loved this book” a lot. I really do love books so it’s unusual for me to find a book that I don’t love. So for this book, I’ll say I triple loved it! It is a great story of a teenager with a heart of gold. He is everything a mother wishes for her child to be. He is like my children. They also are very caring people.

I loved listening to how the friendship between Raymond and Mildred came about and how it grew with time. They both added so much to each other’s lives and made them so much better! From the beginning I was hoping they would become close friends and “save” each other.

So much happened in this book and I couldn’t wait to get back to listening so I could find out what was going to happen next. I felt like I knew these people and was sad when the book ended. It touched me deeply and I know I’ll listen to it again. I’m hoping there is a “book 2” so I can find out what happened to everyone after the book ended.

I’ve loved every book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I’ve read, but this one is on the top of my favorites. The narrator did a great job too!

This audiobook is free with Kindle Unlimited so why not give it a try? If you do, I hope you love it as much as I did.

I’d rate this a 10★ and it will definitely be on my most favorite books ever & my favorites list for 2019.

 

Jul 102019
 

Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holmes

Narrated by Becca Battoe

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 3 hours and 47 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Listening Library
Audible.com Release Date: May 11, 2010

Life isn’t like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple.

She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to live with relatives she’s never met. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s hot and strange, full of ragtag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she’s spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Filled with adventure, humor and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls will love.

Thoughts
The age range for this book is 8-12, but I think that’s off. I’m way older (way way way older) than 12 and I LOVED this book, as I think most people above 8 would.

It’s a cute book about a girl named Turtle who is sent to stay with an aunt and cousins whom she doesn’t really know, and how the summer unfolds. At first Turtle isn’t welcomed by her cousins, but they slowly accept her and they all become best friends.

It’s a really cute story and I enjoyed every minute of it. There are some very funny parts, but also some that are scary and/or sad. It’s only about 4 hours long so it’s a good choice for when you have a few free hours. I listened to it on my way to and from work.

The book is narrated by Becca Battoe who did an awesome job!

And yes, I would recommend it!

Jul 012019
 

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer
by Fredrick Backman

Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Atria Books; Translation edition (November 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1501160486
ISBN-13: 978-1501160486

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

With all the same charm of his bestselling full-length novels, here Fredrik Backman once again reveals his unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances. This is a tiny gem with a message you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Thoughts
I love Backman’s books and this was no exception. It’s a very short book but the message is huge!

Noah, who he calls NoahNoah, is a bright light in his Grandpa’s life. They spend time together as often as they can and have a few routines that keep them on track, since Grandpa has dementia.

The book has a feeling of being make believe or a dream. Grandpa talks to NoahNoah, his son Noah, and to his wife who passed away years ago. It is sad and touching and makes you think about what the future has in store for you.

This book is very different from his other books. It is very much worth the time and money to read it. I enjoyed it very much.

Jun 282019
 

Postcards From A Stranger by Imogen Clark

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 10 hours and 11 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: August 7, 2018
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B07F94Q1YP

A secret lies buried at the heart of her family—but it can’t stay hidden forever.

When Cara stumbles across a stash of old postcards in the attic, their contents make her question everything she thought she knew.

The story she pieces together is confusing and unsettling, and appears to have been patched over with lies. But who can tell her the truth? With her father sinking into Alzheimer’s and her brother reluctant to help, it seems Cara will never find the answers to her questions. One thing is clear, though: someone knows more than they’re letting on.

Torn between loyalty to her family and dread of what she might find, Cara digs into the early years of her parents’ troubled marriage, hunting down long-lost relatives who might help unravel the mystery. But the picture that begins to emerge is not at all the one she’d expected—because as she soon discovers, lies have a habit of multiplying . . .

Thoughts
Cara is still living in her childhood home, taking care of her father who has Alzheimer’s. One day she goes into the attic, a room her father forbid her and her brother to ever go into. In a box she finds some postcards which shocks her to her core and she realizes that everything she thought she knew about her parents is a lie.

Later, she finds out that what she thought the postcards meant was not the truth at all and she is completely shocked all over again.

She goes on a mission (alone because her brother doesn’t want to help her) to find out the details of what happened and  is shocked a few more times.

I loved that the author added so many surprises! The book first made me feel so sorry for Cara, and then I felt very happy for her at the end.

Thie twists and turns in this book kept me listening as often as I could!

Jun 262019
 

I'm Fine and Neither Are You

I’m Fine And Neither Are You by Camille Pagan

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 8 hours and 2 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: April 1, 2019

Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she comes up with a radical proposal for Sanjay: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?

Thoughts
Even though the synopsis is a bit misleading, I liked this book from start to finish.

The relationships between the two woman and their husband shows that when it comes to your friends, what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears can be misleading.

The two couples have real problems and struggles and it surprised me when I found out what was going on with Jenny. I liked that Penelope decided to make changes to hopfully improve her marriage, and I thought the author did a great job with the whole story. I enjoyed this book and I really liked the ending. And the title? I LOVE it!

The book is narrated by Amy McFadden who did a great job.

Jun 172019
 

Being the Grownup: Love, Limits, and the Natural Authority of Parenthood
by Adelia Moore

Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Adelia Moore (June 10, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984856064
ISBN-13: 978-0984856060

Children need adults to survive. This, despite the profound change our digital era has wrought on family life, remains the essence of parenthood. Being the Grownup The Natural Authority of Parenthood begins not with what should be, but with what is: If you are a parent, it is your job to provide shelter and safety, to make decisions about education, childcare, health and nourishment, to create the habitat that is the context and crucible of family life. Being the Grownup helps parents translate their determination to care for and protect their children into the clarity they need to communicate authority with a firm confidence, whether for bedtime, screen-time or mealtime. Just as she would in a clinical conversation, the author shifts the focus away from disciplinary strategies and back to the core of parenthood, the relationship between parents and children as it evolves, moment-to-moment, from the dependence of infancy to the autonomy of young adulthood.

There are a host of reasons that contemporary parents might feel uneasy about embracing their natural authority. There have always been parents who doubted themselves, often blaming their children, who may seem determined to challenge every limit. If authority is natural, why is that so? Looking for the answer in the characteristics of developmental stages or parenting strategies often leaves parents frustrated, because being a parent is not something you do to a child but something you are with a child. Parental authority is not simply a matter of discipline with time-outs, or even skilled negotiation and conflict resolution. Parent and child are two human beings whose bodies and voices, experiences, perspectives and emotions shape their interactions with each other. Like everything else about relationships, it’s complicated.

Being the Grownup zeroes in on the core challenge for every parent, the hard work of building a relationship that combines trust and connection with confident authority children can feel and rely on. Relationships take time, and so does learning about relationships. Readers will not find bullet points or formulas. Instead, to more fully understand what happens moment to moment between parents and children, and what patterns between them may strengthen or undermine parents’ authority, my readers will find moments in the parent-child relationship examined from a variety of angles. Each chapter delves deep into a topic, including attachment, temperament, family systems theory and body language, making connections from theory and research to everyday family life.

No one book can tell you what to do in every situation with every child. There are simply too many variables. That’s why it’s important to know more about what to think about parenthood and the relationship you have with each of your children: Being the Grownup helps you do that.

Thoughts
This is a book that would be very helpful for many parents, teachers, or anyone who interacts with children.

The book will help you have a better relationship with your child and help calm the tempers and stress of you both. The author covers a large area of situations and will give you the confidence that you can handle whatever comes your way.

Although I don’t agree with everything the author says, I can tell she is very knowlegable in this area and has a lot of good advice. For example, she talks about how children spend too much time on their phones etc., how each child has their own personalities, likes & dislikes, and not spending enough quality family time together. She also touches on co-parenting.

I raised my kids in the late 80’s and it was a very different time, but if I was raising kids today, I would be thankful for this book.

#beingthegrownup
@tlcbooktours
@adelia_moore

 

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

 

About Adelia Moore

Adelia Moore, PhD, is a clinical psychologist in New York City specializing in therapy with couples, parents of children of all ages, and families. She also works with young adults still working out relationships with their parents. Moore received her BA in English from Harvard, a master’s degree in Child Development from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Cincinnati. Moore has worked in diverse settings including a community health center, a homeless shelter, a children’s hospital in Newington, CT, and private practice. She was an adjunct professor of psychology at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, St. Joseph’s University, West Hartford, CT, and New York University. Moore’s essays have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor and HuffPost. She has four grown sons and five grandchildren. She lives in Manhattan and Upstate New York with her husband.

Find out more at her website, and connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Jun 052019
 

Who Laid the Egg? by [Sauble, Audrey]

Who Laid the Egg? by Audrey Sauble

File Size: 5142 KB
Print Length: 40 pages
Publisher: Larch Books (February 24, 2017)
Publication Date: February 24, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B06VYGVVFT

A dinosaur, a chicken, and an ostrich.

These animals all lay eggs . . . but they are all so different!

Who laid this BIG egg?
Who laid this small clump of eggs?
And can you figure out the surprise at the end?!

Meet some of the wonderful egg-laying animals in our world with this fun, easy-to-read picture book.

Babies and toddlers will love the friendly animals and bright colors.

Preschoolers and young readers can learn new words through repetition and rhythm as they read along with the story.

Enjoy the warm, realistic pictures as you encounter an ostrich, a chicken, a frog, and a turtle, as well as other, unexpected creatures!

Thoughts
This is a cute book that educates children on three different animals and the different eggs they lay. The question “Who laid the egg?” is asked with pictures of different animals and the children are supposed to figure out which animal layed that particular egg. Then the answer is given so they know whether they were right or not.

The illustrations are great and I think all young children would enjoy this fun book.

May 252019
 

Back to the Kitchen: 75 Delicious, Real Recipes (& True Stories) from a Food-Obsessed Actor

Back To The Kitchen by Freddie Prinze Jr.

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Rodale Books (June 7, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623366925
ISBN-13: 978-1623366926

Most people know Freddie Prinze Jr. from movies (She’s All That, Scooby Doo, Star Wars Rebels) and as one half of beloved Hollywood power couple with Sarah Michelle Gellar. But to family, friends, and co-stars he’s always been a terrific father and skilled home cook who prepares delicious meals for his family every night.

Freddie grew up in New Mexico cooking with his mother and eating dishes with a ton of flavor and spice from his Puerto Rican heritage. His eggs come New Mexico style, served with from-scratch biscuits and green-chile gravy. His tacos are the real deal: soft tortillas, homemade salsa, filled with steak layered with quick-pickled cucumbers, or spicy fish dressed with watermelon and thai chiles. Now in this family-focused cookbook, Freddie teaches fans to cook his mainstays, the recipes that he makes on even the busiest weeknights, as well as more luxurious date night meals.

With personal family photos from Freddie and Sarah’s beautiful LA home and Freddie’s hilarious stories about the life of an actor, husband, and father in Hollywood, Back to the Kitchen shares more than just recipes. It’s an inside look at a beloved movie and TV personality who has acted, cooked, and eaten his way around the world.

Thoughts
I was a fan of Freddie Prinze and when I first saw his son Freddie Prinze Jr. on tv I became a fan of his too, so, when I saw this cookbook at my library I grabbed it.

The book has a lot of recipes that I think I’d like to make like Thai Chicken Curry Soup, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Marinated Skirt Steak with Cherry Tomatoes and Avocado Salsa, and more.

The book has great photos of some of the food and “Secret Tricks” for a lot of them. There are some interesting stories of his family and friends. Freddie is married to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar and has two children, a boy and a girl, and there are also photos of them in the book.

I just got the book yesterday and haven’t had time to make anything yet but I will, and I’ll post about the recipes when I do.

I love this cookbook and am thinking about buying a copy. The recipes don’t have a ton of ingredients and sound easy to make, which is a big hit with me.

May 232019
 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Philip Gabriel (Translator)
Ray Porter (Narrator)

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 4 hours and 23 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Audible.com Release Date: July 29, 2008
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B001DEWH9E

Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from Tokyo, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvelous lens of sport emerges a cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of having seen his race times improve and then fall back.

Thoughts
This was the first book by this author that I’ve read and I’m so glad I decided to try it. It let me into his life and where his mind goes when he’s running. This was a short book at almost 4 1/2 hours, but it seems like a much longer audio (in a good way) because of all the information and descriptions that make you feel as if you are there with him. He travels to a few different places/races and I loved going with him to all of them.

I’m not a runner or a writer, but I loved this book. It lets you into the mindset of Murakami when he’s on a run or writing. It shows how dedicated to both he is. It made me feel like I could do more than I ever thought I could, if I just make up my mind, 100%, to do it.

I’m very glad I listened to. this book. I haven’t quite decided which of his books I’ll choose next, but I will choose one. I may even re-listen to this one in the future. It has a very positive message, with some humor thrown in.

May 142019
 

About The Wonder of Lost Causes

• Hardcover: 464 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (April 30, 2019)

In this unforgettable novel, perfect for fans of An Unexpected Grace and A Dog’s Way Home, a single mom and her chronically ill child receive a valuable lesson from an unlikely source—a very special dog who unexpectedly enters their lives and shows them that one person’s lost cause can be another’s greatest gift . . .

Dr. Kate Blunt will do anything for her son, Jasper. Well, almost anything. Since Jasper has the incurable lung disease cystic fibrosis, Kate’s always told him he couldn’t get a dog. It’s a tough call, but she’s a single mom taking care of a kid who fights for every breath he takes. The daily medical routine that keeps Jasper alive is complicated enough. Worse still, Kate’s personal resolve runs contrary to her work as the veterinarian in charge of a Cape Cod animal shelter, where she is on a mission to find forever homes for dogs in desperate need.

The scarred, mistreated wreck of a dog that turns up doesn’t stand a chance. Named Whistler, he’s too old, too ugly. But the dog forms an instantaneous bond with Jasper. Whistler never makes a sound, yet he speaks to Jasper in a myriad of mysterious ways. The clock’s ticking, the dog’s future hangs in the balance, and Jasper would do anything to find him a home; but Whistler has chosen them—for a reason.

Thoughts
This is my first Trout book, and it  is so good that I don’t even know where to start.  I feel like anything I say will not do it justice. It made me feel so many emotions from the first paragraph to the last and my thoughts still keep going back to the book.

Kate has a lot to deal with at the animal shelter, caring for/worrying about Jasper, and then Whistler was added to the mix. Jasper and Whistler stole my heart from the beginning.

This book is about the special bond that can happen between a person and a dog.  A lot happens in the book, some good, some bad, some sad, and will make you very emotional. The story has many layers and I would love for it to become a  movie.

I would recommend this book to both animal lovers and those who aren’t. I have very seldom ever read a book a second time, but I will read this again. I also plan to read his other books. The Wonder Of Lost Causes is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

#thewonderoflostcauses

@tlcbooktours

@williammorrowbooks

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

About Nick Trout

Dr. Nick Trout works full-time as a staff surgeon at the prestigious Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He is the author of five previous books, including the New York Times bestseller Tell Me Where It Hurts, and his writing has been translated into sixteen different languages. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Kathy; their daughter, Emily; their adopted labradoodle, Thai; and Emily’s service dog, a black Labrador named Bella.

Find out more about him at his website.

 

May 072019
 

The Complete Keto Diet Cookbook For Beginners 2019 by Mandy Cook

The Complete Keto Diet Cookbook For Beginners With 21-Day Meal Plan by Mandy Cook

File Size: 1341 KB
Print Length: 167 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: January 19, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07MYMV2LX

Do you want the healthy lifestyle you have always dreamt of?
Do you want to go keto , but don’t know where to start?

In this cookbook you will learn: My personal journey and struggles with diets. What is the ketogenic diet – what foods you can and can’t eat. What are the main benefits and how you can maximise them Tips and ticks how to make living on the keto easier. 21-day meal plan to make the start of your journey easier. 75 healthy, quick and easy to make recipes
All of these recipes are made with common ingredients that deliver great flavor and stunning aromas. They are approved by my husband and my guests who often come over for dinner. They are designed to guide you every step of the way in order to prepare the best keto foods ever.

Thoughts
This book was full of recipes that look very easy to make but they had a lot of ingredients that I rarely if ever use and the directions were not very clear on some of the recipes. I like recipes that use more simple, everyday ingredients. I also wish there were photos for at least some of the recipes.

May 062019
 

Scavenger Scout: Rock Hound: Seek-and-Find Book for Kids Who Love Rocks

Scavenger Scout: Rock Hound: Seek-and-Find Book for Kids Who Love Rocks by Shelby Wilde
Illustrated byYana Popova

File Size: 5270 KB
Print Length: 22 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publication Date: September 3, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07GQTJN7F

Scavenger Scout is not an ordinary seven-year-old. She’s a rock hound! Hunting for rocks is her passion and she loves to show and tell. The stories she tells are more fantasy than reality, but the rocks she hunts are real. Follow along as she haggles with a host of characters to add rocks to her collection. Follow Scout as she hunts for azurite, alexandrite and fluorite and find the rock on every page!

STEM-inspired story that encourages creative problem solving
Scavenger Scout uses science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) concepts to overcome the challenges she faces. Kids will delight in the real-life rock hounding tools Scout uses such as a crack hammer, chisel or a rock hammer. Kids can use their powers of observation to search for the rock on each page and come up with hypotheses for how they would get each of the rocks home.

Seek-and-Find Element
The story of Scavenger Scout will appeal to kids who love to hunt and who love adventure, so why not give them the opportunity to help Scout find the rock on every page? In each vignette, Scout hunts for a different rock and kids get to hunt with her! The difficulty level varies with each page so even kids as young as 2 or 3 will be able to find the rocks.

“Scavenger Scout: Rock Hound” is the perfect holiday gift or birthday gift, but would also be a great gift for when your favorite Scout moves up from Daisies to Brownies or Bobcat to Tiger Cub or Scout to Tenderfoot.

This book is the first book in a series and is crafted for ages 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, preschool and kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade.

Thoughts
This is a very cute book about a 7 yr. old girl who loves looking for all kinds of rocks. Her rock hunting takes her to a variety of locations as she chisels, hammers, etc.  her way to getting the rocks she wants, and uses clever ways to get them back home.

This book reminded me of my mom. She too loved rocks and loved to travel so every state etc. she visited she brought back a rock. She and my dad traveled a lot so she had a large collection. I have a few of the rocks in my yard.

I enjoyed the story and loved the beautiful illustrations. This is a book I think all young children will like.

A rhyme at the end of the book that I loved:
“Do you search for minerals everywhere?”
“Do you have more rocks than underwear?”

Apr 182019
 

Melinda and the Wild West: The Award Winning Original Version

Melinda And The Wild West by Linda Weaver Clarke
A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho #1
Narrated by Carolyn Kashner

In 1896 Melinda Gamble a very elegant, very naïve young woman from Boston decides to give up her life of monotonous comfort for the turbulent uncertainty of the still untamed Wild West. Driven by her intense desire to make a difference in the world, Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, where she comes face-to-face with a frightening bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and an intense blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it is a ruggedly handsome and very mysterious stranger who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared love.

Thoughts
I usually don’t read books set in this time period but I’m a fan of this author so when she offered a copy for a reveiw, I decided to listen to it. It’s the first in this series, and I loved it.

The story is about Melinda, who moves to Idaho (to become a teacher) which is nothing like her home in Boston. She encounters all kinds of hardships and is a bit out of her element, but she conquers her fears and begins to feel like this is the life she is meant to live.

There is adventure, scary moments, excitement, and love. Melinda has a student named Jenny whose mother died years ago. She was well taken care of by her father but her previous teacher and her fellow students mistreated her.  Melinda changes that.

The narration was great. I really enjoyed this book and will start the 2nd book in the series soon.

Thanks to the author for this review book!

Apr 122019
 

Audiobook Image

Always by Sarah Jio
Narrated by Brittany Pressley

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 8 hours and 52 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Random House Audio
Audible.com Release Date: February 7, 2017
Language: English, English
ASIN: B01MT8Z7YV

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt “right.” But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

Thoughts
This book was wonderful! The story started with a twist and kept the excitement going until the end. I liked all the characters. One of them started out on my “dont like” list but by the end of the book he was taken off and joined the others. I had his character all wrong.

The story seemed so real and I loved seeing what was going to happen between the characters next. I loved the ending, it was what I was hoping for.

The narration was great, Brittany’s voice made it an easy listen.

A small amount of the reviews for this book were negative, but l am among those who loved it and it will probably be going on my top 10 books of 2019 list.

Apr 052019
 

Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens
Narrated by Rachel Fulginiti

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 11 hours and 56 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Audible.com Release Date: March 14, 2017

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Thoughts
I loved the authors first three books (5* ratings for me) and when I saw this one I thought it sounded really good so got the audio.

While I did enjoy the book, it just didn’t grab me like the other 3 Stevens books that I’ve read. The story was good, the characters good, the narration good, but something was lacking. It just wasn’t as  white knuckle as the others. It had some suspense, but it was much tamer in this story. Still, I did enjoy it so I’d give it a 4*.

Mar 282019
 

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll
Narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden

Listening Length: 8 hours and 24 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: October 1, 2017
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B074TTKX3C

What would it take to make you intervene?

When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.

Thoughts
This was a good book and it kept me listening to find out what happened to Anna. The author did a good job of making a few of the characters seem like they could be the quilty one so it was hard to figure out who actually did it. When I thought I had it all figured out, I found out I was wrong. It ended up being one of the characters I had never even suspected.

The book switches back and forth with a few different POV’s and I liked that aspect of it. The story takes place in England which I didn’t know until I started listening. The narrator did a great job.

The book is full of suspicions, regret, guilt, fear.  And finally, closure.

Mar 092019
 


Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie
Narrated by Kate Marcin

Audible AudiobookListening Length: 7 hours and 38 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com
Release Date: December 1, 2018

Forgive and forget? In this twisty thriller of psychological suspense, the past and present collide for two sisters who survived a tragedy – and must now survive the truth behind it.

It’s been twenty years since Cara’s boyfriend died in a horrible accident and her sister, Anna, went to prison. The tragedy has become a local legend, but Cara has moved past her grief to have a successful career and a happy family. Pity about Anna. Recently released from incarceration, she’s struggling with addiction, guilt, and shame – a shattered life. Cara’s forgiveness seems to be the only thing that helps her pick up the pieces.

But as Anna pulls herself together, her memories of that night on the bridge start to come into focus. And few of them match her sister’s.

As past secrets unfold and nothing is what it seems anymore, Anna desperately searches for the truth. But what if Cara doesn’t want her to find it?

Thoughts
I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while and when I saw Cheryl @ CMash Reads post a review of it and read how much she loved it, I decided to start it as soon as I finished the book that I was listening to at the time.

I loved this book. It was interesting from the first paragraph when Cara is an adult, 20 years after the accident. It then switches to the past, before the accident. I was glued to the story, and with every surprise I was more and more hooked.

The characters where very well written, they acted the way most teens would act in those situations. The journey to find out what really happened that night was one surprise after another and so much happened throughout the book that I was excited find out what was going to happen next.

This is a book that I won’t forget for a very long time. Lots of twists and surprises and an ending I did not see coming.

The narrator did a great job and I’d love to listen to more from her.

Feb 082019
 

Nell and Lady by Ashley Farley
Narrated by Shannon McManus

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 8 hours and 21 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: September 18, 2018

A heart-stirring novel of family and forgiveness from bestselling author Ashley Farley.

In her grand home in Charleston, Willa Bellemore raised two girls during the tumultuous 1970s. One was her daughter, Lady. The other was Lady’s best friend, Nell – adopted after the sudden, heartbreaking death of her mother, the Bellemores’ beloved maid. Willa showered Nell with love and support, all the while ignoring the disdainful whispers of her neighbors. After all, they were family. Nell and Lady were sisters at heart – sisters who vowed to never let anything come between them.

Then, on the night of Lady’s sixteenth birthday, something went terribly wrong, sparking painful secrets and bitter resentments that went unspoken for three decades.

Now Willa is dying, and Lady and Nell – each with a teenager of her own – are brought together after all these years. It’s Willa’s last wish. The time has come to confront what happened on that fateful night. But it may take a tragic twist of fate to reconcile the past and come to terms with the true meaning of family.

Thoughts
Wow, I’m on a roll this year with books that have characters that react very different than I would and/or keep secrets that tear relationships apart. But again, the story was good enough to make the book a hit with me.

Nell & Lady were very different, but they were best friends from an early age. Something happens one day that tears that friendship apart which is sad, and if they had just been honest with each other about what happened the friction could been avoided. Guess it wouldn’t have made such an interesting story though.

This book is full of good times and bad times, family love and a few surprises. I really liked the ending. If you like tense moments, suprises, and reading how a broken family finds it’s way to healing, check this book out.

The narrator did a great job!

Jan 312019
 

Trail of Broken Wings audiobook cover art

Trail of Broken Wings
By: Sejal Badani
Narrated by: Karen Peakes
Length: 12 hrs and 48 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 05-01-15
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay.

Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father – the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence – remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets.

Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.

Thoughts
I absolutely loved the book The Storyteller’s Secret  by this author so I decided to listen to this one too, which is her first book.

This is a semi hard review for me to write because I liked the story but the reactions of the charachers in almost every situation aggravated me. They avoided telling each other their true thoughts and acted like everything was fine when it most definitely wasn’t, they did things behind each other’s backs and kept secrets that would have probably made things better between them.

I don’t want to go into much detail of the story and give spoilers, but this family was messed up and a lot happens in the book.

Like I said, the story was good and kept me anxious to know how it would all turn out but I wanted to shake the sisters and their mother most of the way through the book.

Even though I struggled with the attitudes of the characters, I enjoyed the story and am glad I read it. I would read more from this author.