Everyday Tidbits...

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mailbox Monday 9/1

It's time for another Mailbox Monday which was created by Marcia at To Be Continued.

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week... Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish list

I was out of town last weekend for a family funeral and missed posting Mailbox Monday.  Here's what has arrived over the past two weeks.

Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen, via Netgalley
Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz (for review from Revell)

Yesterday's Tomorrow by Catherine West (for review)
The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell, via Netgalley (for review from Simon & Schuster)

The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford (for review from Litfuse Publicity)
Who R U Really? by Margo Kelly (for review from Merit Press)

Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons by Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smth, via Netgalley
Royal Secrets by Kathleen Irene Paterka, via Netgalley (for review from Victory Editing)

The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag, via Netgalley
Another Summer by Rebecca Stevenson (for review from the author)

And Something Blue by Paige Timothy (for review from Trifecta Books)
Hearts in Harmony by Raine Gillespie (for review from Trifecta Books)

A Child is Born: A Nightingales Christmas Story by Donna Douglas, Kindle purchase
Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son by Penny Junor, via Netgalley

I won't list the two library books because, damn! I have too many in my TBR stack as it is and why am I adding library books to it?

What new books did you receive?  Check out more Mailbox Monday posts here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Nightingale Nurses...Review

About the book:
It's the final year of training for three young nurses at The Nightingale Hospital.

Helen is at a crossroads in her life as she battles with her domineering mother over both her love life and her future career.

Dora can't stop loving Nick, who is married to her best friend, Ruby. But Ruby is hiding a dark secret with the potential to destroy Ruby's marriage.

Millie is anxious about her fiance, sent to Spain to cover the Civil War, and things only get worse when she encounters a fortune teller who gives her a sinister warning.

With war looming in Europe, and the East End of London squaring up to the threat of Oswald Mosley's blackshirts, the women of the Nightingale have to face their own challenges, at work and in love.

In true British soap opera tradition, The Nightingale Nurses picks up where The Nightingale Sisters leaves off.  With drama filled lives, the girls are in their final year of nursing school and are ready to sit for their exams.  I loved seeing their progress and development not only as nurses but in their personal lives as well.

Historically, the story is rich with the drama of Edward VII and Wallis Simpson, impending war and the Blackshirt persecution of Jews, something Dora discovers her brother is involved with.

The details are fantastic and the lessons learned are strong.  Dora discovers Ruby's secret, Helen finds her backbone and Millie discovers strength she didn't previously have.

Third in the Nightingale series, the books really need to be read in order.  They're entertaining and addicting and the perfect escape reading.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Donna Douglas here.  You can purchase your own copy here\.

Read 8/14

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Booking Through Thursday...Enmity

Any books or authors you hate? Why? Is it the writing? The stories? The author’s personality? And—would you read their work anyway?

I don't know that I "hate" any authors.  I do know that there are authors and books that I don't read and don't like.

I didn't love and adore the Twilight series and I don't care for Stephenie Meyer's writing.  She needs a really good editor.

I don't like books by Nicholas Sparks or Jodi Picoult.  They're predictable and overrated and I don't even give them a glance now.

Go here for more BTT posts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Bishop's Wife...Review

About the book:
In the predominantly Mormon city of Draper, Utah, some seemingly perfect families have deadly secrets.

Inspired by an actual crime and written by a practicing Mormon, The Bishop’s Wife is both a fascinating look at the lives of modern Mormons as well as a grim and cunningly twisted mystery.

Linda Wallheim is the mother of five grown boys and the wife of a Mormon bishop. As bishop, Kurt Wallheim is the ward’s designated spiritual father, and that makes Linda the ward’s unofficial mother, and her days are filled with comfort visits, community service, and informal counseling.

But Linda is increasingly troubled by the church’s patriarchal structure and secrecy, especially as a disturbing situation takes shape in the ward. One cold winter morning, a neighbor, Jared Helm, appears on the Wallheims’ doorstep with his 5-year-old daughter, claiming that his wife, Carrie, disappeared in the middle of the night, leaving behind everything she owns. The circumstances surrounding Carrie’s disappearance become more suspicious the more Linda learns about them, and she becomes convinced that Jared has murdered his wife and painted himself as an abandoned husband.

Kurt asks Linda not to get involved in the unfolding family saga, but she has become obsessed with Carrie’s fate, and with the well-being of her vulnerable young daughter. She cannot let the matter rest until she finds out the truth. Is she wrong to go against her husband, the bishop, when her inner convictions are so strong?

In a Mormon ward or congregation, the Bishop is similar to a pastor or a minister.  His role is to oversee the spiritual and temporal needs of the people within the ward.  His position is voluntary and unpaid and usually lasts for a period of about 5 years. As the Bishop's wife, Linda is in a position to know who might need some extra attention or a listening ear. She's not afraid to ask questions.  And as more and more information comes to light about Jared and Carrie, Linda finds herself more involved that she ever imagined.

This is light suspense and light Christian.  The main character is a nice, normal woman who cares about her neighbors and those in her LDS ward.  She reaches out and she tries to serve others.  Like the rest of us, she's not perfect.  She sometimes has doubts and asks questions, she is concerned about her children, she has her own grief and she worries about the little girl who lives across the street and whose mother is missing.

I liked Linda. I loved her relationship with her husband.  I appreciated that she had a strong testimony of her faith, but she didn't have every answer to every question.  Her efforts to find out what happened to Carrie were curious. I hated the men in Carrie's life, but as answers came out, it was easy to see why things happened the way they did. The mystery aspect wasn't as completely predictable as I had anticipated, although it wasn't as tight as I think it could have been.

I guess the best way to describe this book is that it's not a Mormon book, it's a suspense novel set among Mormons.  The book is directed at a mainstream audience and so in the first person narrative, Linda gives some explanations about different aspects of the LDS faith, which is good.  I did think that her explanations were a bit inconsistent; some things were explained, some things weren't.  But, having said that, I think it gives the reader a good glimpse inside a normal, Mormon life although I'm sure that isn't the intent of the novel.

Thanks to Netgalley and Soho Press for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Mette Ivie Harrison here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 8/14

* * *
3/5 Stars

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Bouquet of Love...Review

About the book:
Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her huge Greek family–especially her father–has other ideas. They’ve all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant location on the Strand– directly across the street from the Rossis’ popular pizza place–and they want Cassia’s full participation.

To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston’s premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family’s faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into Bella’s good graces!

Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . . Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers one more romp with Bella, Galveston, and the bustling wedding biz in the final installment of her popular series. Anyone who loves quirky families, loads of laughter, and tender romance will find themselves hooked.

When her father forced the family to relocate from Santa Cruz and the blue waters of the Pacific to Galveston Island, Texas and the brown waters of the Gulf, Cassia is not happy.  Forced to work in her family's gyro sandwich shop, she wants nothing more than to arrange flowers.  When she finds a job in a florist's shop, she takes it, even knowing that it will anger her father.  Cassia's father, Babbas, has opened his sandwich shop across the street from Parma John's, the pizza place owned by the Italian Rossi family. Seized immediately by the desire to put the Rossi's out of business, and make the Greek gyro number one, Babbas forbids the family from having any contact with the Rossi family.  Unfortunately, Cassia's new employer is a Rossi and she has just befriended Bella Neeley.

When I see a book by Janice Thompson, I jump.  I have never been disappointed.  I adored A Bouquet of Love.  It has all the makings of a fantastic Janice Thompson book, fantastic, spunky heroines, loud and interfering extended family, witty repartee and lots of love and laughter.  Here, the Rossi's are back in force and the Pappas family is a match for their intensity.

The final installment of the Weddings by Design series, the story can stand alone, but is all the better if you've read the others in the series.  What is so fantastic is that Janice ties in the Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series as well.  This is the perfect ending to all of them.

Thanks to Lanette at Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about Janice Thompson here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 7/14

* * * *
4/5 Stars

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mailbox Monday 8/18

It's time for another Mailbox Monday which was created by Marcia at To Be Continued.

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week... Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish list

This is what showed up this week in the mailbox and on the Kindle...

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron (for review, BookLookBloggers)
The Chocolate Garden by Ava Miles via Netgalley
Doctor Who: Engines of War by George Mann via Netgalley

A Penny for the Hangman by Tom Savage via Netgalley (for review, TLC Book Tours)
Life is Sweet by Elizabeth Bass via Netgalley

A May Bride by Meg Moseley via Netgalley
A June Bride by Marybeth Whalen via Netgalley
Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher (for review, Litfuse Publicity)

All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant (for review, Litfuse Publicity)
Ryder by Nick Pengelly via Netgalley (for review, TLC Book Tours)

The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith via Netgalley
A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah E Ladd via Netgalley
Nowhere to Turn by Lynette Eason (for review, Baker Publishing)


What new books did you receive?  Check out more Mailbox Monday posts here.