September 24, 2020

One Charmed Christmas by Sheila Roberts - Review

I received this book free from the author. All opinions are my own.

Book details
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 077836092X
ISBN-13 : 978-0778360926
Publisher : MIRA; Original Edition (September 29, 2020)

Book description
An enchanting new Christmas novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts, brimming with hope, love and humor.

Catherine Pine is hoping her Christmas is a bit more jolly than last year’s. That one was her first without her husband, and with her kids and their families absent this year, she’s worried. But things change when her good friend invites her on a Christmas cruise to lift her spirits. Suddenly every day is an adventure and she’s making a bunch of new friends, including the lovable Sophie Miles.

It’s like a gift from Santa when Sophie and Catherine meet the charming Dr. Rudy Nichols, a perfect match for hypochondriac Sophie. But he comes with a two-legged lump of coal, his guard-dog daughter. And then there’s chocolatier Trevor March, who’s also interested in the scrumptious Sophie. Can he convince her that chocolate is the perfect cure for what ails her? Who knows what Santa has in store for these holiday travelers? Anything could happen this charmed Christmas!

Meet the author - Sheila Roberts
Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her novels have been published in several languages. Her book, Angel Lane, was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. Her holiday perennial, On Strike for Christmas, was made into a movie for the Lifetime Movie Network and her novel, The Nine Lives of Christmas, was made into a movie for Hallmark . You can visit Sheila on Twitter and Facebook or at her website (

My thoughts

September 2, 2020

Matchmaking Can Be Murder by Amanda Flower - Review

Book details
ISBN-10 : 1496724011
ISBN-13 : 978-1496724014
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
Publisher : Kensington (December 31, 2019)

Book description
When widowed Millie Fisher moves back to her childhood home of Harvest, Ohio, she notices one thing right away—the young Amish are bungling their courtships and marrying the wrong people! A quiltmaker by trade, Millie has nevertheless stitched together a few lives in her time, with truly romantic results. Her first mission? Her own niece, widowed gardener Edith Hochstetler, recently engaged to rude, greedy Zeke Miller. Anyone can see he’s not right for such a gentle young woman—except Edith herself.

Pleased when she convinces the bride-to-be to leave her betrothed before the wedding, Millie is later panicked to find Zeke in Edith’s greenhouse—as dead as a tulip in the middle of winter. To keep her niece out of prison—and to protect her own reputation—Millie will have to piece together a patchwork of clues to find a killer, before she becomes the next name on his list . . .

Meet the author - Amanda Flower
USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning mystery author Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. Amanda is a former librarian and lives in Northeast Ohio. Readers can visit her online at

My thoughts
This is the first book in Amanda's new series which is a spin off from the Amish Candy Shoppe series.  I like Millie and how she kind of does things her way.  If she feels she needs to look into something she is going to.  Her goats are a hoot as well. I love how they like to greet people and are kind of security for Millie.  I felt bad for Edith and all she want through and hope her future starts to get better.  Then you have Lois, I am not sure what to think of her yet. In real like I am not sure I would like her as she is just too outgoing for me, but she fits in this series and is a good friend to Millie.  I love how both Millie and Lois can stand up to the bishop's wife as she can be a tough one.  I also love Edith's kids especially Michah (I think that was his name), I loved how he questioned things. Towards the end I thought I had the killer figured out then I was not sure when an arrest was made, but I guess I was right.  I think this series has the potential to be just as good as the candy shoppe series. I am looking forward to the next one in December. 

Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower - Review

Book details
Mass Market Paperback : 336 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496722035
ISBN-13 : 978-1496722034
Publisher : Kensington (May 26, 2020)

Book description
With Juliet Brody and Reverend Brook tying the knot in Ohio’s Amish Country’s most anticipated nuptials of the year, Bailey King is determined to do everything in her power to make the event a sweet success. Except midsummer heat waves and outdoor ceremonies don’t mix, and an exasperated Bailey soon finds herself struggling to fulfill bridesmaid duties and keep her stunning marshmallow-frosted wedding cake from becoming a gooey disaster. Then much to everyone’s shock, the entire ceremony crumbles when a guest drops dead, and the cause isn’t sunstroke . . .

Turns out, the uninvited victim came equipped with lots of dirt on the devout reverend’s hidden past. As Reverend Brook tops the murder suspect list on what should have been the happiest day of his life, Bailey and her sheriff’s deputy boyfriend vow to clear his name. Can the duo boil down a series of baffling clues before Juliet considers her marriage a bad mistake—or the killer whips up another deadly surprise?

Meet the author - Amanda Flower
USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning mystery author Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. Amanda is a former librarian and lives in Northeast Ohio. Readers can visit her online at

My thoughts
I am now caught up with this series and am sad I have to wait for the next one.  This has quickly become one of my favorite series to read.  I love the small town feel and how you feel a part of the community as you are reading it.  I thought it was cute that Juliet and Reverend Brook are now married. They had quite the hiccup at the start but I think things will be good.  I am anxious to see what happens with Charolette in the upcoming books and what she decides to do.  Trying to solve the mystery before Bailey is always fun especially with the twists Amanda puts in there. A fun series. 

Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower - Review

Book details
Mass Market Paperback : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496722027
ISBN-13 : 978-1496722027
Publisher : Kensington (June 25, 2019)

Book description
Bailey King’s in New York wrapping up a six-week shoot on her first cable TV show, Bailey’s Amish Sweets, when she gets a call from her Ohio town’s resident busybody. With Easter around the corner, Bailey’s been recruited to create a giant toffee bunny for the weeklong springtime festival that will also feature live white rabbits. But back home in Harvest, death becomes the main attraction when Stephen Raber keels over from an apparent heart attack—with Bailey and Raber’s pet bunny as witnesses.
Except it wasn’t Raber’s heart that suddenly gave out—a lethal dose of lily of the valley was mixed into a tasty piece of toffee. Who’d want to poison a jovial rabbit farmer who reminded Bailey of an Amish Santa Claus? To solve the murder, she and her sheriff deputy boyfriend Aiden must uncover a twenty-year-old secret. She’ll need to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep a healthy distance from toxic people, including one venomous killer.

Meet the author 
USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award–winning mystery author Amanda Flower started her writing career in elementary school when she read a story she wrote to her sixth grade class and had the class in stitches with her description of being stuck on the top of a Ferris wheel. She knew at that moment she’d found her calling of making people laugh with her words. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. Amanda lives Northeast Ohio. Readers can visit her online at

My thoughts
I love this series and the longer it goes on the more I like it.  I enjoy how Bailey fits right in with the Amish community and they think of her as one of their own, or at least most of them do.  The way the bunny, pig and cat get along in this book made me smile.  The only I don't like is I really don't like that Bailey is doing an Amish cooking show and wish she did not feel like she needed that.  I love the hometown feel this series gives you as you read it. I was proud of myself for once I was able to figure out who the killer was, but don't get me wrong Amanda still gives you plenty of twists.  

Bound for the Promised Land by Kate Clifford Larson - Review

Book details
Paperback : 432 pages
ISBN-10 : 0345456289
ISBN-13 : 978-0345456281
Publisher : One World; 52830th Edition (December 28, 2004)

Book description
Harriet Tubman is one of the giants of American history—a fearless visionary who led scores of her fellow slaves to freedom and battled courageously behind enemy lines during the Civil War. Now, in this magnificent biography, historian Kate Clifford Larson gives us a powerful, intimate, meticulously detailed portrait of Tubman and her times. Drawing from a trove of new documents and sources as well as extensive genealogical data, Larson presents Harriet Tubman as a complete human being—brilliant, shrewd, deeply religious, and passionate in her pursuit of freedom. A true American hero, Tubman was also a woman who loved, suffered, and sacrificed.

Meet the author - Kate Clifford Larson
A New York Times Best Selling Author and Consultant for the *HARRIET* movie, Kate Clifford Larson specializes in 19th and 20th century U.S. Women's and African American History. With two degrees from Simmons University, an MBA from Northeastern University, and a Doctorate in American History from the University of New Hampshire, Larson has nurtured a passion for researching and writing about American women's lives. She enjoys the challenges of teasing out life stories from voices that have long been silenced. "I feel strongly that we must reconnect with the women who helped build and shape this country," Larson recently wrote, "and by putting women at the center of the story, the world looks very different - more complex, interesting, and colorful."

CBS Sunday Morning Show recently featured Larson talking about Harriet Tubman! See it here: Watch Kate Clifford Larson's interview about Rosemary Kennedy with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Eileen McNamara at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Forum on C-Span Book TV: And check out her website at for more information about her books and upcoming events, and her special website dedicated to Harriet Tubman's biography at

My thoughts
I can't say enough good things about this book.  What I did not realize about this author until just now when I was looking for her biography was that she was a consultant for the movie Harriet, which I loved so much I bought it and that is what lead me to looking for a book about Harriet so I could learn more about her.  This book did not disappoint in that matter.  I liked how the author not only told more about Harriet but she also told about her family and other families that lived around where she did that she helped.  This woman went through so much in her life but she always continued to help others before thinking of herself.  This book is a must read in my opinion. Well done. 

The Wisdom of the Native Americans Edited By Kent Nerburn - Review

Book details
Hardcover : 216 pages
ISBN-10 : 1577310799
ISBN-13 : 978-1577310792
Publisher : New World Library; 1st Edition (March 3, 1999)

Book description
These thought-provoking teachings from respected Native American leaders and thinkers provide a connection with the land, the environment, and the simple beauties of life. This collection of writings from revered Native Americans offers timeless, meaningful lessons on living and learning.

Meet the Edited by Kent Nerburn
My work has been a constant search, from various perspectives, for an authentic American spirituality, integrating our western Judeo-Christian tradition with the other traditions of the world, and especially the indigenous spirituality of the people who first inhabited this continent. Someone once called me a “guerilla theologian,” and I think that is fairly accurate.

I am deeply concerned with the human condition and our responsibility to the earth, the people on it, and the generations to come. I believe that we are, at heart, spiritual beings seeking spiritual meaning, and I try to honor this search in my work and my daily life.

If there is a quote I live by, it is the entreaty of the Lakota Chief, Sitting Bull, who said to the U.S. government that was trying to eradicate his people, "Come, let us put our minds together to see what kind of life we can create for our children."

Much more about me and my work can be found at my website,

My thoughts
I have always been intrigued by the Native Americans. I think that comes from growing up in Nebraska and learning their history. I enjoyed this book as it not only has wisdom that has been handed down generation to generation but at the end it has some speeches by some elders which I found interesting to read.  I will keep this book in my collection and read it again. 

Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin - Review


Book details
Paperback : 224 pages
ISBN-10 : 1400075327
ISBN-13 : 978-1400075324
Publisher : Vintage; Reprint Edition (February 14, 2006)

Book description
The American Revolution was a home-front war that brought scarcity, bloodshed, and danger into the life of every American, and Carol Berkin shows us that women played a vital role throughout the struggle.

Berkin takes us into the ordinary moments of extraordinary lives. We see women boycotting British goods in the years before independence, writing propaganda that radicalized their neighbors, raising funds for the army, and helping finance the fledgling government. We see how they managed farms, plantations, and businesses while their men went into battle, and how they served as nurses and cooks in the army camps, risked their lives seeking personal freedom from slavery, and served as spies, saboteurs, and warriors.

She introduces us to 16-year-old Sybil Ludington, who sped through the night to rouse the militiamen needed to defend Danbury, Connecticut; to Phillis Wheatley, literary prodigy and Boston slave who voiced the hopes of African Americans in poems; to Margaret Corbin, crippled for life when she took her husband's place beside a cannon at Fort Monmouth; to the women who gathered firewood, cooked, cleaned for the troops, nursed the wounded, and risked their lives carrying intelligence and participating in reconnaissance missions. Here, too, are Abigail Adams, Deborah Franklin, Lucy Knox, and Martha Washington, who lived with the daily knowledge that their husbands would be hanged as traitors if the revolution did not succeed.

Meet the author - Carol Berkin
Carol Berkin received her A.B. from Barnard College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She taught at Baruch College from 1972 to 2008 and has taught at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York since 1983. She is currently Baruch Presidential Professor of History. Berkin is the author ofRevolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence, A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution, Jonathan Sewall: Odyssey of an American Loyalist, First Generations: Women in Colonial America, and numerous articles and reviews. She lives in New York City and Guilford, Connecticut.

My thoughts
I thought this was a good book and I liked how this story was told from the women's side of things.  What people did not realize is that women were more involved in this war than they thought. I thought this was a very interesting book. 

American Duchess by Karen Harper - Review

Book details
Paperback : 368 pages
ISBN-10 : 0062748335
ISBN-13 : 978-0062748331
Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Illustrated Edition (February 26, 2019)

Book description
Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”

On a cold November day in 1895, a carriage approaches St Thomas Episcopal Church on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Massive crowds surge forward, awaiting their glimpse of heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. Just 18, the beautiful bride has not only arrived late, but in tears, yet her marriage to the aloof Duke of Marlborough proceeds. Bullied into the wedding by her indomitable mother, Alva, Consuelo loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things.

At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates. Consuelo finds an inner strength, charming everyone from debutantes to diplomats including Winston Churchill, as she fights for women’s suffrage. And when she takes a scandalous leap, can she hope to attain love at last…?

From the dawning of the opulent Gilded Age, to the battles of the Second World War, American Duchess is a riveting tale of one woman’s quest to attain independence—at any price.

Meet the author - Karen Harper
Karen Harper is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of romantic suspense and historical novels. A native Ohioan, Karen is a former high school English teacher and English-and-writing instructor at the Ohio State University. (Go Bucks!) The Harpers are avid Ohio State football fans, but they have a serious side too. They were on the 10-year committee which revamped the main library on campus. The Ohio State Library houses her author collection in Rare Books and Manuscripts.

The Harpers love to travel, and Karen often uses her favorite places as settings for her novels. She's recently written books set in Edwardian England and South Florida, the latter where she lived for 30 winters. Her latest trilogy is THE SOUTH SHORES NOVELS, with forensic psychologist Claire Britten and criminal lawyer Nick Markwood. Her most recent historical is THE IT GIRLS.
These bring her published books to over 70 in a 35-year writing career.

Karen belongs to several writer's organizations, including International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and The Historical Novel Society.

My thoughts
I loved this book.  It gave me a chance to meet someone in history that I really did not know about.  I also liked how I was able to learn a little about Winston Churchill's personal side.  I felt bad for Consuelo for having to marry someone who she did not want to marry or love. I know things were done that way a lot in the past to keep your social standing but I dod not agree.  In the end though she stands up for herself and finds true love and happiness. 

The Diary of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain - Review

Book details
Paperback : 112 pages
ISBN-10 : 1843910055
ISBN-13 : 978-1843910053
Publisher : Hesperus Press; Revised ed. Edition (July 1, 2002)

Book description
Written in diary form, The Diary of Adam and Eve is an ingenious, witty, and ultimately delightful retelling of the dawn of human creation with many a grain of truth for today's gender disputes. Master storyteller Mark Twain hilariously recreates the very first days, portraying Adam as something of a recluse, and a man who is ill prepared for the arrival of Eve, a talkative, emotional, and highly charged female. Yet in time, and after many moments of conflict, they begin to learn to live together and come to realize that men and women can, in fact, exist in harmony.

Meet the author - Mark Twain
Mark Twain (1835-1910) was an American humorist, satirist, social critic, lecturer and novelist. He is mostly remembered for his classic novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

My thoughts
I thought this book was ok. I think back in the day it was written it might have been considered humorist, but I did not find it funny.  I did think that Adam's diary read like how a typical man would think and Eve's was like a typical woman.  It was different from his Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer books that he is famous for but not a horrible book, just ok for me. 

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston - Reivew

Book details
ISBN-13 : 978-1250229502
Paperback : 416 pages
Publisher : Griffin; Reprint Edition (October 1, 2019)

Book description
An antique shop haunted by a ghost.
A silver treasure with an injustice in its story.
An adventure to the past she’ll never forget.

Xanthe and her mother Flora leave London behind for a fresh start, taking over an antique shop in the historic town of Marlborough. Xanthe has always had an affinity with some of the antiques she finds. When she touches them, she can sense something of the past they come from and the stories they hold. When she has an intense connection to a beautiful silver chatelaine, she has to know more.

It is while she’s examining the chatelaine that she’s transported back to the seventeenth century, where she discovers an injustice in its history. The spirit that inhabits her new home confronts her and charges her with saving her daughter’s life, threatening to take Flora’s if she fails.

While Xanthe fights to save the girl in 1605, she meets architect Samuel Appleby. He may be the person who can help her succeed. He may also be the reason she can’t bring herself to leave.

With its rich historical detail, strong mother-daughter relationship, and picturesque English village, The Little Shop of Found Things delivers a heartfelt page-turner.

Meet the author - Paula Brackston
Paula Brackston lives in the historic city of Hereford on the Welsh border. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and has been a Visiting Lecturer for the University of Wales, Newport. Before becoming a writer, Paula tried her hand at various career paths, with mixed success. These included working as a groom on a racing yard, a travel agent, a secretary, an English teacher, a script reader, and a goat herd. Everyone involved (particularly the goats) is very relieved that she has now found a job she is actually able to do properly.

In 2007 Paula was shortlisted in the Creme de la Crime search for new writers. In 2010 her book 'Nutters' (writing as PJ Davy) was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award. The following year she was selected by the BBC under their New Welsh Writers scheme. 'The Witch's Daughter' became a New York Times bestseller. Her books are translated into five languages and sold around the world.

My thoughts
I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down.  The time travel part was one part I really enjoyed and how Xanthe was able to go back and forth. I also like how she cares so much for her mother and their bond.  I am anxious to see what she is up to in the next book and if she gets to somehow see Samuel again. 

The British are Coming by Rick Atkinson - Review

 The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777 (The Revolution Trilogy, Book 1)

Book details
Hardcover : 800 pages
ISBN-10 : 1627790438
ISBN-13 : 978-1627790437
Publisher : Henry Holt and Co.; Illustrated Edition (May 14, 2019)

Book description
Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other superb books about World War II, has long been admired for his deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative histories. Now he turns his attention to a new war, and in the initial volume of the Revolution Trilogy he recounts the first twenty-one months of America’s violent war for independence.

From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves to be the wiliest of diplomats; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. The story is also told from the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling.

Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.

Meet the author - Rick Atkinson
Rick Atkinson is the bestselling author of the Liberation Trilogy―An Army at Dawn (winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History), The Day of Battle, and The Guns at Last Light―as well as The Long Gray Line and other books. His many additional awards include a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, a George Polk Award, and the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award. A former staff writer and senior editor at The Washington Post, he lives in Washington, D.C.

My thoughts
I enjoyed listening to this book and liked the details that he provided.  I liked that he included some day to day things that sometimes get left out of history books. I look forward to the second book.