April 29, 2017

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. 

Book Details:
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 9, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0718026608

About the book:
She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . .

if she makes it in time.

The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

Meet the author - Melanie Dickerson: 
Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author whose two favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency England, which stems from her love of Jane Austen. She is a 2-time Christy Award finalist, a 2-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader's Choice Award for 2010's Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and being with her husband, two daughters, and two guinea pigs near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.

My thoughts:
I was very excited to get the chance to read this book. It is the third book in the Medieval Fairy Tale Series but you are able to read them as a stand alone book as well. This actual story was based on the fairy tale of the prince and the pauper as well as I have heard that this is also a telling of the story "The Goose Girl", I have not heard of this story so I will have to check it out. I was so mad at Magdalen's servant - who does she think she is making Magdalen pretend she is the servant and taking Magdalen's title. It was nice that Magdalen and the rightful Duke worked together to both get their titles back. There was romance, danger and a few twists in this story which made it that much better to read. I loved the setting of this book and the author's description of it made me able to feel as if I was there. The author's writing style makes this book move right along at a steady pace. I am looking forward to see what fairy tale this author rewrites next. 

Beyond Justice by Cara Putnam - Review

I received this book free from the publisher.

Book details:
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 4, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0718083472

About the book:
Hayden is on track to become the youngest partner in her prestigious DC law firm . . .

If the case she’s just been handed doesn’t destroy her first.

Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain that follows when justice is not served. It’s why she became an attorney and why she’s so driven in her career. When she’s assigned a wrongful death case against the government, she isn’t sure if it’s the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there.

Further complicating matters is Andrew Wesley, her roommate’s distractingly attractive cousin. But Andrew’s father is a congressman, and Hayden’s currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse?

The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to kill the case—or her. Logic and self-preservation indicate she should close the case. But how can she, when justice is still just beyond her reach?

Meet the author - Cara Putnam:
Since the time I could read Nancy Drew, I have wanted to write mysteries. In 2005 I attended a book signing at my local Christian bookstore. The rest, as they say, is history. There I met Colleen Coble. With prompting from my husband, I shared my dream with Colleen. Since those infamous words, I've been writing award-winning books with the count currently at 25.

In addition to writing, I am a homeschooling mom of four, attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women's ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, my husband, and my kids. I graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University's MBA program. You can learn more about my books at http://www.caraputman.com. And if you'd like a copy of my legal suspense novella, Dying for Love, simply connect with me here (http://www.caraputman.com/contact/) , and I'll send you the link.

My thoughts:
I do not know why I have not read any books by this author before but I am glad I did now. This book was full of suspense and get me reading long into the night. It was fast paced which made for better reading. I also liked that this was a legal suspense book. Having worked in the legal field for many years I liked to read books with this theme sometimes. It was not good that the further Hayden got into the case the more people turned up dead. It made you wonder what exactly was going on. Don't worry it all comes together in the end. I thought Hayden was a good strong main character and look forward to reading more books about her and the cases she takes on. I also liked how we got a taste of Hayden and Andrew's relationship. Oh and the author did a good job of describing scenes and how certain things worked like the juvenile detention center. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 

City of Grit and Gold by Maud Macrory Powell - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Allium Press of Chicago (April 25, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0996755856

About the book:
The streets of Chicago in 1886 are full of turmoil. Striking workers clash with police…illness and injury lurk around every corner…and twelve-year-old Addie must find her way through it all. Torn between her gruff Papa—who owns a hat shop and thinks the workers should be content with their American lives—and her beloved Uncle Chaim—who is active in the protests for the eight-hour day—Addie struggles to understand her topsy-turvy world, while keeping her family intact. Set in a Jewish neighborhood of Chicago during the days surrounding the Haymarket Affair, this novel vividly portrays one immigrant family’s experience, while also eloquently depicting the timeless conflict between the haves and the have-nots.

Meet the author - Maud Macrory Powell:
Maud Macrory Powell comes from a family of writers. She was born and raised in Washington, DC. She studied comparative religion in college and environmental studies in graduate school. She now lives in rural Oregon with her family, where they run an organic farm and she teaches at Oregon State University. Her essay “The Fruits of My Labor” was published in the anthology Greenhorns: The Next Generation of American Farmers. This is her debut novel.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed reading about Addie. For me this was a quick but very informative book. The author did a good job of capturing the time and place of this story. Even though this book was meant for young adults it was a good book for adults as well. I enjoyed reading about how the family understood each other's feelings but at the same time had different feelings about the issues at hand. A good for by a new author. 


April 27, 2017

Historically Dead by Greta McKenna - Cover Reveal


HISTORICALLY DEAD
by Greta McKennan
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Pub Date: 12/19/2017

Seamstress Daria Dembrowski must find a historically-minded killer before the fabric of her peaceful town rips wide open . . .

When the reality show My House in History comes to Laurel Springs, Pennsylvania, savvy seamstress Daria Dembrowski sees a business opportunity. The show follows two elderly sisters’ quest to restore their colonial mansion, and that means a heap of work for a seamstress who specializes in historical textiles. Although one of the old women is a bit of a grump, Daria loves the job—until she discovers one of the researchers dead, and the whole project threatens to unwind.

As a series of historical crimes pile up, from a stolen Paul Revere platter to a chilling incident of arson, Daria must find the killer quickly, for her life is hanging by a thread.



Greta McKennan is a wife, mother, and first-time author, living her dream in the boreal rainforest of Juneau, Alaska. She enjoys a long walk in the woods on that rare sunny day, reading cozy mysteries when it rains, and sewing the Christmas jammies on her antique Singer sewing machine. She is hard at work on the next novel in her Stitch in Time Mystery series featuring seamstress Daria Dembrowski. Visit her on the web at gretamckennan.com.







April 26, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday


Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Being a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder I found a new book coming out about her. I am always looking for new books about her, based on her or from people who love discussing her. One day I dream of writing my own book about her. The book I am speaking of is Pioneer Girl Perspectives by Nancy Tystad Koupal. 


Book details:
Hardcover: 277 pages
Publisher: South Dakota Historical Society Press; annotated edition edition (May 1, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1941813089

About the book:
Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867 1957) finished her autobiography, Pioneer Girl, in 1930 when she was sixty-three years old. Throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s, she drew upon her original manuscript to write a successful series of books for young readers. Wilder's vision of life on the American frontier in the last half of the nineteenth century continues to draw new generations of readers to her Little House books. Editor Nancy Tystad Koupal has collected essays from noted scholars of Wilder s life and work that explore the themes and genesis of Wilder s writings. Pioneer Girl Perspectives sheds new light on the story behind Wilder's original manuscript and examines the ways in which the author and her daughter and editor, Rose Wilder Lane, worked to develop a marketable narrative. The essay contributors delve into the myths and realities of Wilder's work to discover the real lives of frontier children, the influence of time and place on both Wilder and Lane, and the role of folklore in the Little House novels. Together, the essays give readers a deeper understanding of how Wilder built and managed her story. Published over eighty years after its inception, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography edited by Pamela Smith Hill gave readers new insight into the truth behind Wilder's fiction. Pioneer Girl Perspectives further demonstrates the importance of Wilder as an influential American author whose stories of growing up on the frontier remain relevant today.

Getting Down to Business by Allison B. Hanson - Cover Reveal


GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS
by Alison B. Hanson
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pub Date: 12/12/2017

Some jobs come with unexpected benefits . . .

Alyssa runs her personal life just like her professional one: smoothly and efficiently. She learned in the worst way possible that investing her heart in a relationship only leads to disaster, and she won’t take that risk again. Pleasure is still on the table though—as long as there are no feelings involved. Until a one-night stand leaves a lasting impression.

When after-work drinks lead to an after-hours hookup, Grayson finds himself playing by Alyssa’s rules—but she leaves him wanting more. Even when they discover they work for the same company, Alyssa is all business—on the outside, at least. As far as she’s concerned, keeping Grayson at a safe distance is now part of her job description, even if it’s her most challenging task. But when her living situation falls apart, Grayson makes her an offer she can’t refuse . . .

The terms of their new merger are strict: roommates only; hands off. But every contract can be broken—and every heart can be melted—if the deal is sweet enough . . .




Allison B. Hanson lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania. Her novels include women’s fiction, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery suspense. She enjoys candy immensely, as well as long motorcycle rides and reading. Visit her at allisonbhanson.com.







Assassination at Bayou Sauvage by D.J. Donaldson - Spotlight


Assassination at Bayou Sauvage
by D.J. Donaldson
Genre: Crime Mystery

Andy Broussard, the plump and proud medical examiner for the City of New Orleans, is sitting almost in the kill zone of a too-close-for comfort and ‘in living color’ murder of his Uncle Joe Broussard at a family picnic in Bayou Sauvage - the largest urban wetlands park in the USA. Surprisingly, the murderer then immediately commits suicide. After easily determining the killer’s identity from the driver’s license in his pocket, the only remaining task for Broussard and the police is to uncover the motive for such a heinous act. But suddenly, everything about the case takes a bizarre turn.
Caught short handed because of an NOPD work slow-down, and needing someone to find out what happened to a young woman who has just been reported missing, Homicide Detective Phil Gatlin deputizes Broussard’s beautiful death investigator, Dr. Kit Franklyn, and assigns her to that case. Shockingly, Kit’s efforts soon lead back to the murder of Uncle Joe. Sensing a plot of horrendous magnitude, Broussard directs his colleagues and friends in a race to uncover the truth behind the most audacious Andy and Kit mystery of the entire series.
D. J. Donaldson’s fans can rejoice once again, knowing that Kit, Andy, Phil, Bubba, Grandma O, and Teddy are back in a terrific new story that pushes their abilities to the limit.




Don Donaldson, who also writes as D. J. Donaldson, holds a Ph.D. in human anatomy. In his professional career, he has taught microscopic anatomy to over 5,000 medical and dental students and published dozens of research papers on wound healing. He is also the author of eight published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers.