November 10, 2021

Night Night Angel by Amy Parker and Slothy Claus by Jodie Shephard - Reviews

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

About the book
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thomas Nelson (September 28, 2021)
Board book ‏ : ‎ 20 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1400212839
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1400212835
Reading age ‏ : ‎ Baby - 4 years

Synopsis
Little fox loves all the excitement that Christmas brings to the forest: making creative presents, placing the star on the tree, and making sure she is spotlight-ready for the big Christmas play. But soon she realizes that the perfect gift has already been given through the baby who arrived on the first Christmas night!

As the fourth seasonal title in the hugely successful Night Night bedtime storybook brand, this Christmas board book
gives families a fun way to say goodnight during the Advent season
celebrates the special moments of family holiday activities
gently reminds children that Baby Jesus is the reason for the season

The Christmas theme and sparkling cover make Night Night, Angel perfect for an Advent gift, stocking stuffer, or Christmas morning surprise from parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers, and friends. Your little angel will be ready to snuggle in for the night as together you celebrate the many blessings of Christmas!


My thoughts
I have not read the other books in the Night Night series, but this book can be read as a standalone. I read this book to my six month old grandson.  He loved holding the book and seeing the bright colors.  The story was cute to read to your little one and they learn a lesson while enjoying storytime.  This is one of his first Christmas books and may be to become a tradition to read it each year, 

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

About this book
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thomas Nelson (November 2, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 40 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 140022358X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1400223589
Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 - 8 years
Grade level ‏ : ‎ 1 - 2

Synopsis

What will children do when a sluggish Slothy Claus doesn't make it to their home in time for Christmas morning? This charming story helps kids learn that Christmas is about more than just presents under the tree.

Slothy Claus has lots of presents for good boys and girls this year, but how is this notoriously lethargic animal supposed to travel all around the world in just one night? You guessed it! Slothy takes his sweet time, and when kids wake up to empty stockings and bare trees, it feels like Christmas is ruined! How will they ever find happiness without their chocolates and toys?

Slothy Claus is equal parts humorous and heartwarming. Children ages 4 to 8 will

  • learn that the joy of Christmas doesn't come from material things but from the love between family and friends
  • enjoy the delightfully funny one-of-a-kind artwork
  • love the classic rhyme that will fill your own family's Christmas with love, laughter, and a spirit of giving

Slothy Claus concludes with a summer scene complete with flip flops and a barbecue when Slothy Claus finally flies down in his sleigh to deliver gift after gift--for a special celebration of Christmas in July. With a bright, glittery cover, this fun picture book is the perfect gift for advent or Christmas.


My thoughts
What a cute book to read to your little one. I loved Slothy Clause. The pictures were nice and bright so my little grandson enjoyed looking at the pictures.  This one will be one that we read for many Christmases to come. 

November 6, 2021

My October Reads

 My October Reads


Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell

From behind the counter, Shaun Bythell catalogs the customers who roam his shop in Wigtown, Scotland. There's the Expert (divided into subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman).

Then there's the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), and the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter). Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer--all add up to one of the funniest book about books you'll ever find.

My rating: It was ok. I listened to the audio version.  



Vamderbilt by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe

New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty—his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires—one in shipping and another in railroads—that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake had built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family’s empire, basked in the Commodore’s wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider’s viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.

My rating: I really enjoyed listening to this book.



The Vineyard by Barbara Delinsky

In The Vineyard, New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky (Lake News, Coast Road, Three Wishes) has written her most complex and emotionally rewarding novel: a story of two women, a generation apart, each of whose dream becomes bound with the other's.

To her family, Natalie Seebring is a woman who prizes appearances. She is exquisitely mannered, socially adept, a supportive wife, and head of a successful wine-producing enterprise. So when she announces plans to marry a vineyard employee mere months after the death of her husband of fifty-eight years, her son and daughter are stunned. Faced with their disapproval, Natalie decides to write a memoir. There is much that her children don't know about her life -- about her love of the vineyard, her role in fighting to build it up, and the sacrifices she made for her family.

Olivia Jones is a dreamer, living vicariously through the old photographs she restores. She and her daughter, Tess, have no one but themselves, so they cling to the fantasy that a big, happy family is out there somewhere, just waiting to welcome them home. When Olivia is hired by Natalie to help with her memoir, a summer at Natalie's beautiful vineyard by the sea seems the perfect opportunity to live out that fantasy -- an elegant home by the shore, a salary that allows her to hire a tutor for her dyslexic daughter, a job that is creative, hours spent with a woman who has led a charmed life.

But all is not as it seems, Olivia and Tess discover when they arrive at Asquonset, the vineyard in Rhode Island. While welcoming, Natalie is not quite the mothering type, as is quickly evident in the hostility her daughter and son have toward her -- it's a hostility that Olivia must buffer. Another dose of stark reality comes in the form of Simon Burke, who runs the vineyard's day-to-day operation and sees in Olivia and Tess an unwelcome reminder of the wife and daughter he tragically lost. And then there is the cruel reality of Olivia's own life -- the mother who never wanted her, and a career that has floundered.

Natalie's story, intended for her own children, enlightens Olivia as well. The lives of these two women of different generations, parallel in so many ways, become, in The Vineyard, a powerful and moving story as the fantasy of an idealized life, complete with perfect romance, crashes headlong into reality.

My rating: This was my favorite read this month. I read the paperback book that is a re-release. 


The Wedding Crasher and the Cowboy by Robin Bielman - Review

 

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

About the book
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Entangled: Amara (October 26, 2021)
Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1649370946
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1649370945

Synopsis
Kennedy Martin is shocked when her ex calls days before his wedding, expressing serious second thoughts. Doesn’t he see his fiancĂ©e’s actually the glaze to his doughnut? Now she’s got no choice but to crash his wedding and convince the man he’s with the right woman.

Instead, she crashes into the absolute last man she ever wanted to see: Maverick Owens, her old college nemesis. Maverick is still as awful, infuriating, and just The Worst as ever?even if he looks way too sexy in his cowboy hat. And of course he’s convinced she’s actually at the seaside ranch to ruin the wedding.

Now the only way to get some face time with the groom and save this marriage is to participate in all sorts of pre-wedding events…with Maverick. Stuck on a canoe, making small-talk at cocktail hour, and even a hoedown with her worst enemy? This just might be the longest week of her life…

Meet the author - Robin Bielman
USA Today bestselling author Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her awesome family and her very cute dog, Harry. She writes both sweet and sexy contemporary romances with one goal in mind: to leave you with a smile on your face. When not attached to her laptop, she loves to read, go to the beach, and frequent coffee shops with friends. She also dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers. Keep in touch on social! xoxo

My thoughts
This was a new to me author and I enjoyed this book. It was nice light read for me after finishing a large biography. The characters were likeable. Maverck is one of those people that you love to hate and then in the end he grows on you and you love him. I like how the author's writing makes you feel a range of emotions while reading this. The ending was perfect for me. I will be checking out more of this author's book.



 


July 28, 2021

A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber - Review

 

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

Book details
Fairy Garden Mystery #2
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington (June 29, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1496726367
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1496726360

About the book
When Courtney's friend Wanda gets into a ponytail-pulling wrestling match in public with a nasty local art critic, Courtney stops the fight with the help of a garden hose. But Lana Lamar has a talent for escalating things and creating tension, which she succeeds in doing by threatening a lawsuit, getting into yet another scuffle--in the midst of an elegant fundraiser, no less--and lobbing insults around like pickleballs.

Next thing Courtney knows, Lana is on the floor, stabbed with a decorative letter opener from one of Courtney's fairy gardens, and Wanda is standing by asking "What have I done?" But the answer may not be as obvious as it seems, since Wanda is prone to sleepwalking and appears to be in a daze. Could she have risen from her nap and committed murder while unconscious? Or is the guilty party someone else Lana's ticked off, like her long-suffering husband? To find out, Courtney will have to dig up some dirt.

Meet the author - Daryl Wood Gerber
Daryl Wood Gerber is the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling author of the Fairy Garden Mysteries, the French Bistro Mysteries, and the Cookbook Nook Mysteries, as well as the Cheese Shop Mysteries written under the name Avery Aames. She also writes standalone suspense novels and the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense. Prior to her career as a novelist, she was an actress with roles in television shows including "Murder, She Wrote," and she wrote for the popular TV sitcom "Out of this World." Originally from the Bay Area, she now lives in Southern California where she likes to cook, garden and spend time with her frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky. Visit her online at DarylWoodGerber.com.

My thoughts
I enjoyed this book.  I like how Fiona helps with solving the crime and as she does her wings grow.  Detective Summers is nice enough to let Courtney help with solving the crimes. I know he does not like to but he knows he can't stop her and she does come up with things that he and his team do not. It is fun to visit Carmel and see all of your friends and catch up with them. The fairy theme is so cute and makes me want to creat my own fairy garden. I look forward to the next one. 

July 4, 2021

Along a Storied Trail by Ann H. Gabhart - Review

 

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

Book details

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Revell (June 1, 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0800737210
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0800737214

Book description
Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn't mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it--or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she's nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it's easier to see what's best for others than to see what's best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

Meet the author
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels--The Refuge, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted--as well as other historical novels, including Angel Sister, These Healing Hills, River to Redemption, and An Appalachian Summer. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm's fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.

My thoughts
I enjoyed this book. Following Tansy on her book route and getting to know each of the characters was nice. They each had their own personality. I think if I lived in that time in that place I could have had the same job as Tansy - delivering books. I thought the author did a good job  of portraying how life was then for perople.  Then you have the added part of a love story. Who should Tansy choose, her old friend or the new author who came to town?  Should she listen to her gut or good ole Aunt Perdie? In the end I think she chose the right man for her. 


June 7, 2021

Sunset on Moonlight Beach by Sheila Roberts - Review

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

Book details
Publisher : MIRA; Original edition (April 27, 2021)
Language : English
Mass Market Paperback : 416 pages
ISBN-10 : 077833175X
ISBN-13 : 978-0778331759

Synopsis
Jenna Jones has been standing on the shore of the Sea of Love for too long. Even with two good men interested in her, she's been afraid to wade in. According to her best friend, Courtney, she should. The water’s fine. Life is great! Practically perfect, if you don’t count Courtney’s problems with her cranky ex-boss. Maybe Courtney’s right. It’s time to dive in.

When tragedy strikes, everything changes and Jenna's more confused than ever. But this fresh heartache might help her figure out at last who she can turn to when times get tough.

Full of warmth and humor, Sunset on Moonlight Beach proves that every ending can be the beginning of a beautiful new story

Meet the author

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 (http://www.sheilasplace.com).

My thoughts
This is one of my favorite authors to read. This installment was a little heart wrenching for me at one point, When I read this book I felt as if I was sitting down with my old friends and catching up. I love that both Celeste and Mel are back with Jenna and the family is all in one place. I also liked Courtney's story line and how she is progressing. I look forward to the next book in this series.

May 25, 2021

Wining and Dying by Daryl Wood Gerber - Review

 

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

Wining and Dying by Daryl Wood Gerber
A Cookbook Mystery #10
Published: April 27th, 2021
Beyond the Page Publishing

Synopsis:
Crystal Cove is buzzing with the launch of its fifth annual Art and Wine Festival, when local wineries are paired with local artists to show off their latest creations. Jenna’s thrilled to be showing one of her own amateur paintings at the fair, but her excitement quickly fades when an up-and-coming artist is murdered. What’s more, all the evidence points to a good friend of Jenna’s as the culprit, and she’ll have to use all her wits to prove his innocence before he paints himself into a corner.

Certain that her friend is being framed, Jenna tries to blend in as she starts digging into an array of colorful suspects, including a tech guru with a penchant for stalking women, the mayor’s wayward son, and an older art instructor who might have been closer to the victim than anyone would have guessed. Jenna will have to wine and dine her way through all the clues before she can see the full picture and put the real killer behind bars—all the while avoiding her own brush with death . . .

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this book. Daryl is one of my go to authors as I enjoy her writing style. I also love the cast of characters in this series.  With each edition you feel like you are coming home to catch up with friends and family, of course I would not have to find a dead body on each visit. I liked the setting of the Art and Wine Festival, that would be fun to attend. There were a couple of people that I suspected as the killer with that being said I was kept guessing until the end. 

Meet the author - Daryl Wood Gerber
SIGN UP FOR HER NEWSLETTER, which comes out once a month and with a new release
https://darylwoodgerber.com/contact-media/

ALSO FOLLOW HER ON BOOKBUB: http://bookbub.com/authors/daryl-wood-gerber so you'll get an alert whenever she has a new release, preorder, or discount!

Tasty, zesty, dangerous!

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the bestselling COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERIES, the popular FAIRY GARDEN MYSTERIES, and the FRENCH BISTRO MYSTERIES. As Avery Aames, she pens the bestselling CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES. In addition, Daryl writes suspense, including the ASPEN ADAMS NOVELS OF SUSPENSE and stand-alone suspense thrillers, including GIRL ON THE RUN and DAY OF SECRETS. Fun tidbits: Daryl jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, and she hitchhiked around Ireland by herself. Also, as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to read, cook, and golf. She has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!