This is the second book I have read in this series, Sharpe and Donovan, the first being Declan's Cross. Even though this was only the second that I re...moreThis is the second book I have read in this series, Sharpe and Donovan, the first being Declan's Cross. Even though this was only the second that I read, It was easy to follow. Emma Sharpe is an FBI agent who is investigating a most prolific art thief when she gets a phone call from a woman wanting to meet her on a Boston island. When she gets there she finds the woman dead and may become a likely victim herself. Colin Donovan who is Emma's love interest, will do whatever it takes to protect her and help her find out who the killer is. Is Emma next or anyone else of family and friends? They need to work fast to outwit and capture this person. With scenarios in England, Ireland, Boston and Maine, this story will keep you on the edge of your seat. Great characterization and writing. I am never disappointed in Carla Neggers work! I am never disappointed in Ms.Neggers novels. If you love a good mystery and true to life characters, than you will love this series!
I love to bake, cookies, cakes and bread. I received a Kitchen Aid for Christmas from hubby and he says that after 32 years of marriage that this the...more I love to bake, cookies, cakes and bread. I received a Kitchen Aid for Christmas from hubby and he says that after 32 years of marriage that this the best gift he has ever gotten for me. I have to agree. Years ago I learned how to make bread from our 84 year old landlady, I was recently married and I so wanted to learn how to make pie crust and home made bread. I did learn and was pretty successful at both, but raising a family and working full time pretty much put a halt to my skills, and now that I am retired I love that I have the time to bake again. I have been baking homemade bread since I received the mixer and I am always looking for new recipes. We all love it when I make bread and they turn out, as you have to have the knack for it. I have to say that a fresh loaf of bread does not last long, I am always being asked "is it cool enough to cut?"
When I saw that The Amish Baking Cookbook was available I requested it right away. I love the simplicity of the recipes and the abundance of selections of the different bake goods. I have used quite a few of the recipes and this book is my go to cookbook now and with winter on it's way, what is better than a pot of home made soup or chili and a fresh warm loaf of bread to go with it. Plus any one of the deserts to follow up a great meal.
I highly recommend this cookbook for the person who loves home made baked items.
I am a tea lover as is everyone else in my family, actually we are tea and coffee snobs, meaning that we just don't drink the Lipton or Folger's. We h...moreI am a tea lover as is everyone else in my family, actually we are tea and coffee snobs, meaning that we just don't drink the Lipton or Folger's. We have to have teas that are strong, robust in flavor and good either iced or hot. My daughter and I have recently found black and green matcha teas. So delicious as an iced drink mixed with vanilla or plain soymilk over ice. I will soon be trying the matcha as a hot drink as our weather here in Northern Wisconsin is getting colder.
I digress though, when I saw this book I had to take a look. I think most everyone that drinks tea knows the benefits arrived from this delectable plant. The Healing Power of tea takes the reader through anything you ever wanted to know about tea, the kinds and the benefits of each tea such as black tea, green tea, white tea and much more. There is a section on what type of tea can help in certain ailments from A-Z. Wow, I never knew that these teas helped for so many types of ailments. In this book you can also learn the proper way to brew tea and also where to get these teas, there is also a chapter that deals with herbal and the types of herbs to use for in what teas.
I found this book to be an amazing source of information. The Healing Powers of Tea is not released until November and if I were you and you love tea or want to get that special someone an awesome book for Christmas...this is the one. I highly recommend it.
The Duel for Consuelo takes place in Mexico, referred to as New Spain, in the 1700's. The Spanish Inquisition had long reaching talons and that is wha...moreThe Duel for Consuelo takes place in Mexico, referred to as New Spain, in the 1700's. The Spanish Inquisition had long reaching talons and that is what this book is primarily about, the persecution of Judaism and the people who practiced it. Consuelo is the daughter of Isidro Argenta, Alcade or mayor of Tulancingo who's task it is to take care and protect her mother, Leila. Leila is in the stages of dementia but is also a Jewess who has to practice her faith in secret as Spain persecutes anyone not of the Catholic faith. Consuelo and her father are concerned for Leila's safety.
Consuelo attends the wedding of Joaquin Castillo, a very rich family, mainly so she can see the younger brother Juan Carlos. Of course her father would love to see an advantageous marriage in the Castillo family. Isidro has overextended himself with money lenders and a marriage into this family would help him tremendously. Consuelo is conflicted, duty to her parents or her love for Juan Carlos, which does she choose? She is sent to the Castle of the Carques of Condera to study apothecary with the nuns. While there she not only studies what she loves, but comes under the spell of Leandro de Almidon, in my opinion, a man who is way too arrogant and self serving for his own good. Juan Carlos comes to the castle and Consuelo is conflicted, who does she love? A duel insues, thus the title, A Duel for Consuelo.
I had not read much in the way of historical fiction that takes place in Mexico and was surprised that the Inquisition and the cruelty of Spain against the Jewish faith was an issue at the time and was not abolished until 1820's. This is a story that is well researched, with political machinations and religious beliefs being the main part of the story, along with duty, honor and love. This is a relatively short book and quite easy to read. I did enjoy it a lot and highly recommend it.
I am sure everyone at one point in their lives has wondered about the lives of their ancestors. I know I have and have often thought about what my anc...moreI am sure everyone at one point in their lives has wondered about the lives of their ancestors. I know I have and have often thought about what my ancestors did in their lives, of course I will never know because my family was not known for sharing events to me as a child. But can you imagine having a whole trunk full of mementos and journals?? How awesome would that be? Sonia is a college student who is dating the wrong man, has a crippled angry father, a submissive mother and is very confused as to what the future holds for her. Her mother shares a trunk with her and there she learns about her ancestors through the journals. The journals take us to the Vietnam era and what it was like to be a soldier in that war, Woodstock, the drug culture. The journals go back even further to the the Depression era, and even further back to the Suffragette movement and what it was like to be an immigrant in a country that was supposed to be the land of opportunity.
As I am of an age for a lot of the scenarios in the story, I could relate to a lot. I grew up during the Vietnam era, very familiar with Woodstock, Timothy Leary and I even lived the hippie life for awhile. I found this story to be a remarkable in how it was written, to some it may seem like a lot of going back and forth with the different ancestors of Sonia's, but it is written is such a way that the different journal entries flow together seamlessly to tell a very poignant tale of a very normal family with hopes and dreams. A bit of nostalgia for me, loved it! I highly recommend this book.
I was drawn to this book because I will be able to relate to the character Scott soon. In this book Scott and his wife are temporary guardians for a y...moreI was drawn to this book because I will be able to relate to the character Scott soon. In this book Scott and his wife are temporary guardians for a young boy because the older brother is off at college fulfilling his dreams of being a basketball player and the mother is in jail. My wife and I are currently being licensed as foster parents in Florida and we have already accepted two young brothers as our first placement. Although we don’t have the kids in our home as of writing this review, we have been through a complex and complicated process to become licensed foster parents and part of that process has been accepting children into our home and loving them like our own, and then returning them to their parents when a judge deems it appropriate.
I cannot necessarily relate to Mara’s character, as she is a victim of Huntington’s disease, but her story is pretty amazing. Both Scott and Mara have 5 days left; five days before Scott’s ward Curtis goes back to his mother and five days before Mara plans on ending her life before Huntington’s disease destroys her completely. The story is well written, it tugs at your heart strings, and brings life into perspective and reminds us all to be grateful for what we have because someone out there always has it worse then you.
The only negative critique I can give this book is exactly why these two major characters are in the same book. They are not related and they don’t live in the same city. They just happen to be in an online parenting forum for foster and adoptive parents (Mara and her husband Tom adopted a daughter and Scott and his wife were guardians of a young boy). That’s their only link. And in the book they only communicate a few times. But my question is why? Why are their stories related? Is it just because the author wanted two stories where these characters both had five days left? I was disappointed at the end, waiting for the moment Scott and Mara have a climactic conversation or experience, but it just doesn’t happen. Maybe Timmer chose to have these two characters in the same book to show that even though they don’t know each other, they can still understand each other because they have one common thread-having children they did not create themselves.
Both stories are interesting and touch on the human condition and showcase that there are families like this all over the world. Families that aren’t related by blood, but related by love. The fact that Scott’s and Mara’s stories don’t merge with each other doesn’t really impact the story that much to the point it’s not worth reading. Because it is. It reminds us all that not every story has a happy ending. Not everything works out the way it should, or the way we hope. All we can do is deal with the cards we are dealt.
After reading The Returned by Jason Mott, I was thrilled to get an advanced copy of The Wonder of All Things, his latest novel. Jason Mott is a fantas...moreAfter reading The Returned by Jason Mott, I was thrilled to get an advanced copy of The Wonder of All Things, his latest novel. Jason Mott is a fantastic storyteller and although I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending of The Returned (mainly because it just ended and it didn’t seem like there was an explanation), I understand that was most likely his point. Not everything in life has a perfect ending or explanation. Which leads me to discussing his latest book in which the storyline revolves around an incident and a phenomenon with no explanation.
A synopsis of The Wonder of All Things from Goodreads is as follows:
On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators, killing and injuring dozens. But when the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds miraculously disappear. Ava has a unique gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. But now the whole world knows, and suddenly Ava is thrust into the spotlight. People from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to glimpse the wonder of a miracle. But Ava's unusual ability comes at a great cost, her own health, and as she grows weaker with each healing, Ava begins searching for an escape. Wash agrees to help Ava, but little does she know he has his own secret he's been harboring, and soon Ava finds herself having to decide just how much she's willing to sacrifice in order to save the one she loves most.
Just like his first novel, I enjoyed reading this one as well. The book is well written and less confusing than his other one, although it does jump around from present to past experiences, but for a good reason which the reader discovers at the end. The best part of this novel was seeing the friendship between Ava and Wash, and Ava and her family’s struggle with her “gift”. We all have best friends and families and sometimes we don’t know what’s best for us and neither do the people in our lives. Any reader will be able to relate to this family.
The most frustrating part of this book is there are certain things for which we readers don’t get an explanation. It’s human nature to expect explanations for everything, even things we don’t understand; hence the frustration. But I respect the fact that Jason Mott does not end his stories with traditional endings. Sometimes certain things in life just end with no explanation and we are left wondering how to make sense of it all.
I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who is a Jason Mott fan, or simply for anyone who appreciates a unique, well told story that leaves you confused and searching for an explanation, but ultimately satisfied at the end. (less)