Saturday 29 October 2016

Book Review: Lady Unrivaled

From the Back:

Amid the Unforgettable Cotswolds, the Final Grasp for the Fire Eyes Diamonds Could Threaten Them All
Lady Ella Myerston can always find a reason to smile--even if it's just in hope that tomorrow will be better than today. All her life everyone has tried to protect her from the realities of the world, but Ella knows very well how the dangerous Fire Eyes diamonds have haunted her brother and their friends, and she won't wait for peril to strike again. She intends to take action . . . and if that happens to involve an adventurous trip to the Cotswolds, then so much the better.

Lord James Cayton has already broken two hearts, including that of his first wife, who died before he could convince himself to love her. Now he's determined to live a better life . . . but that proves complicated when old acquaintances pull Cayton into their desperate attempt to seize the jewels. He does his best to remove the intriguing Lady Ella from danger, but the stubborn girl won't budge. How else can he redeem himself, though, but by saving her--and his daughter--from those intent on destroying them all?

My Reflections:

This is the third and last book in Roseanna M Whites series "Ladies Of The Manor."  It has been such an unexpected pleasure to journey back in time and experience a novel so filled with charm and intrigue. 

This novel has a magnitude of events and characters to navigate, but this author does a splendid job of creating a cohesive blend of personalities and events, the flow is smooth and seamless, making for an enjoyably diverse read. 

I utilized the Character list and sub-lists extensively! I have to say, I usually get lost in a mire of characters and end up confused and discouraged, but this was not the case with this novel, it is extremely well layered.

How I would love to glide along the lavish hallways of such a marvelous manner, and reading Roseanna M white's novel was the next best thing to actually experiencing this luxury.
This was such a welcomed break from my reality. I won't go into great detail about all the characters but I will highlight my favorite attributes, of a select few. 

Ella Myerston exudes a charming self-assurance that makes you feel every event she faces with strength and an audacious boldness.  It has been awhile since I have really loved a character as much as I did Ella. 

Cayton is another favorite from this novel. Charmingly handsome, admirably dedicated and willing to do what it takes for his daughter, and let's not forget slightly broody. Such a fine mix of a hero! I so enjoyed this painter slash father who had been through oh such heartache, yet strived to do what he thought was best.
I must say this series ranks highly, and will stay perfectly ordered in my library collections. 
You can't go wrong with this book, it's fusion of romance, mystery and fine cast of characters will certainly entertain you!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Roseanna M. White

    Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is...
    Continue reading about Roseanna M. White

Thursday 27 October 2016

Book Review: Traces Of Guilt

From the Back:

She's turning up the heat on Carin County's cold cases . . .
Evie Blackwell loves her life as an Illinois State Police detective . . . mostly. She's very skilled at investigations and has steadily moved up through the ranks. She would like to find Mr. Right, but she has a hard time imagining how marriage could work, considering the demands of her job.

Gabriel Thane grew up in Carin County and is now its sheriff, a job he loves. Gabe is committed to upholding the law and cares deeply for the residents he's sworn to protect. He too would like to find a lifetime companion, a marriage like his parents have. . . .

When Evie arrives in Carin, Illinois, it's to help launch a new task force focused on unsolved crimes across the state. She will work with the sheriff's department on a couple of its most troubling missing-persons cases. As she studies old evidence to pull out a few tenuous new leads, she unearths surprising connections. One way or another, she knows Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to the answers she seeks.
My Reflections:

Dee Henderson's novels have been hit or miss for me for the last couple of years. Her previous books were so jam packed with spine-tingling suspense that I have found her newer books a little lackluster, as the same qualities just were not in her newer books. This book, however, has captured the thrill of Henderson's past. I look forward to reading the next installment in this series "An Evie Blackwell Cold Case"

Most people shirk at the thought of working a cold case, not Evie Blackwell, she delights in the challenge of unsolved mysteries. 

I do not recommend this book for audiences under 19 due to some of the disturbing content that revolves around sexual abuse and pedophiles. No specifics are gone into in detail but the subject matter is disturbing especially for survivors of abuse.

Though Evie seems like the main character she actually does not steal the limelight. The story revolves around many side characters, all of whom have experienced trauma in their pasts. Henderson has done a fine job of laying her scaffolding for the next installments of this series!

I am looking forward to reading more from this author in the months to come.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Dee Henderson

    Dee Henderson is the author of numerous novels, includingTakenUndetectedUnspoken, Full Disclosure, and the acclaimed O'Malley and Uncommon Heroes series. Her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards,...
    Continue reading about Dee Henderson

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Book Review: The Wish


"You really think this is a gut idea, goin' clear out there, spendin' time with folk who've left the People?"

Leona wondered if she was getting the carriage before the horse. Even so, she was willing to do whatever she could to bring Gloria back home--where she belonged.

Leona Speicher got the "sister" she always dreamed of the day Gloria Gingerich and her family moved to Lancaster County. The Arkansas newcomers seem to be the answer to Leona's prayers--until Gloria's father is expelled from their Old Order Amish church for reasons no one will discuss. Much to Leona's dismay, the Gingeriches suddenly pack up and disappear. Then, after a silence of several years, Gloria unexpectedly contacts Leona, who makes up her mind to go after her friend. Yet Leona's fiancé--the deacon's son--is alarmed. Will Leona's dearest wish lead to her own undoing?
My Reflections:
I thought I was over my Amish fiction addiction, then I read this book. 
Beverly Lewis consistently draws me in straight off the first page, her sweet stories carry me to a world of simple bliss. This novel is sure to lift your spirits and brighten the dreary fall doldrums.
Though a uniquely Amish tale the thread of this story can be found in any life story. 
If we are honest from time to time we all yearn for the things we don't have. two characters two hearts desire to live the others life.

Leona personifies all things Amish, she is self-sacrificing, disciplined, dutiful and loyal, but what secrets lay await in her tender heart? As a wee girl Leona and her dear friend Gloria were as close as best friends of that age typically are, then one day she is gone. Three years pass without so much as a letter to explain, then Gloria gets in touch with Leona. Is it too late? Is Gloria too English to relate too?

Will Gloria rejoin the Amish life? Will the Amish community welcome her back? I'm not going to spoil the plot for this fabulous tale! 

With a captivating storyline, endearing characters, and strong 
faith themes this makes for an uplifting and nourishing read.
If you are a Beverly Lewis fan or need to feed your Amish fiction addiction this one is a sure bet. 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. Photo courtesy of Aimee Christenson

    Beverly Lewis

    Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in twelve languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the New York Times and...
    Continue reading about Beverly Lewis

Monday 24 October 2016

Book Review: The Domino Effect

From the Back:

". . . [G]enuinely compelling, and comes with a real warning about real markets. The dominoes may well fall in quick procession."--Ted R. Malloch, Senior Fellow, Said Business School, University of Oxford

Esther Larsen, a top risk analyst at one of the country's largest banking institutions, is becoming more and more convinced that she has uncovered a ticking bomb with the potential to make the 2008 market crash look minor by comparison. And as her own employer pursues "investment" strategies with ever-increasing levels of risk, she becomes convinced she must do something. But Esther is only one person; can she stand up to an international conspiracy of greed? And if she does, will anyone take her seriously?

Every moment of indecision edges the markets closer to a tipping point--the teetering first domino in a standing row that circles the globe. And when Esther finds her voice, those she seeks to expose will not sit idly by. With global markets on the brink, and her own life in danger, Esther is locked in a race against the clock to avert a financial tsunami that threatens worldwide devastation.
My Reflections:

Esther Larson has a job to do, but saving the world from economic ruin was not what she had in mind. 

A loner by nature Esther is quite happy to keep to herself, that is until this mathematical genius enters into the whirlwind of a global economic crisis. Independent, courageous and intelligent Esther must use all her talents to come up against the establishment.

I am a self-professed math hater, sorry but I am. This book deals with A-Lot-of Numbers! Thus I had an exorbitantly hard time getting into this book. 

The whole thriller somehow was lost on me, perhaps it was due to my math-hating numb mind not absorbing the plot or the fact that the characters just didn't feel authentic, and I never bonded or understood Esther's passion and drive.

But in the end, I just didn't much care for this novel. Bunn went into lengthy explanations which were pretty much lost on me. Don't get me wrong I care about our economic situation and will continue to trust that the good Lord will guide the individuals who run our country and economy, but reading about it for fun is just is not my cuppa tea.

If you love a good number driven novel with a little suspense, this may be your book, but unfortunately, I cannot recommend this one purely on personal preference.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc


  1. © Paul Wheeler

    Davis Bunn

    Davis Bunn is the award-winning author of numerous national bestsellers with sales totaling more than seven million copies. His work has been published in 20 languages, and his critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction. Davis also...
    Continue reading about Davis Bunn

Sunday 23 October 2016

Book Review: Brave Girls 365 Devotional

Book Description

Are you ready to be a brave girl?
Join Hope, Glory, Faith, Honor, and Gracie as they discover that the closer they are to God, the more He makes ordinary girls like them strong and courageous! Learn with them how to be brave at school, at home, in sports, with friends—pretty much everywhere! Even when struggles are big . . . He is bigger.
This devotional includes a year’s worth of readings with amazing stories from Scripture, lots of fun quizzes and illustrations, and powerful truths such as:
I always have the power to love others because God loved me first. I can talk to God about anything, whenever I need to! God loves me for who I am, even when I’m different from everyone else. God can use someone small like me to do big things with Him.
Come along with these encouraging friends for the adventure of a lifetime—growing closer to God!

My Reflections: 

The Brave Girls Devotional is exactly what this homeschooling mama has been looking for!
Loaded with relevant scripture verses and packaged in a beautiful, durable hardcover you won't be disappointed with this devotional.

You and your child will enjoy the full years worth of scripture verses along with thoughtfully written stories by Hope, Glory, Faith, Honor and Gracie. 
Join them as they journey toward knowing God deeper and understanding how He can use you just the way you are, right where you are! 

My daughter is loving starting our day together with this fun devotional. She especially loves that included in the daily readings are quizzes and beautifully depicted illustrations. I am enjoying her enthusiasm as she strives to memorize the verses and apply them to her daily life, what more could a mom want?

If you are looking for an age-appropriate devotional for your daughter, Sunday school class, friend or granddaughter this one, in my opinion, is just right. Enough fluff to keep them engaged but relevant scriptures and stories to help them grow closer day by day to their Saviour.

Monday 10 October 2016

Book Review: That Place of Knowledge

From the Back:

Sabre, an autism assistance dog, stars as the perfect narrator in an imaginary journey to an enchanting city with Philip, his 15-year old partner. 

It all begins when Sabre is assigned to an autistic, non-verbal, boy who seems to have an adventurous streak. One sunny summer afternoon, the usual swim in the pool leads to an under water trap door opening a passage to a secret city. There, time seems to have stood still since Ancient Greece. 

The Classic surroundings are perfectly suited for wondrous, uplifting conversations. And that is just what Philip does. 

Sabre is right at his side as Philip encounters the philosopher Aristotle. Their conversations centre on a shared desire to seek knowledge, learning and happiness. 
Philip’s questions incite deep revelations, not only about himself but also about life in general. He gains insight and knowledge from Aristotle and it is clear that the philosopher also quite enjoys the company of his new friends. The young writer, who shows a wisdom beyond his years, gives you a glimpse of an alternate reality of deep and intriguing thought where you will want to return again and again.

My Reflections:

Philip Alan Shalka is one of a kind, and that is not because he was diagnosed with autism. This young 15-year old has more insight than most adults three times his age. His thoughtfully written story told in part by his dog guide Sabre is imaginative, captivating and enlightening. 

When asked to tell about himself Shalka acknowledges that most people don't expect much of a non-verbal autistic 15-year-old. I think we all need to take a good look at our perceptions and perceived expectations because this young man has a lot to say and it is quite profound and complex. 

Our misconceptions and overstated stereotypes are reducing the label of autism to one-dimensional diagnosis, whereas it is truly a multifaceted and complex set of characteristics that is not duplicated in each individual. 
If you have met one autistic have met one autistic person. 

Shalka is yet again a stark reminder that like Temple Grandin, autistic individuals have a lot to teach. Shalka is able to express his written thoughts in a unique and complex manner. I believe we must change the antiquated mindsets of the past and start to look upon these unique individuals with hope and admiration, as they have a very bright future.

"That Place of Knowledge" would be appropriate for all age groups. young people would enjoy the mystery and adventure surrounding the plot, along with the narrator of Saber the Dog guide. 
Adults will appreciate Shalka's views and philosophy in a deep and meaningful way. I don't think readers will come away from this very special book with the same perceptions the had going in. 

I am looking forward to reading more from this up and coming philosopher and author! 
I hope that he decides to write a memoir or perhaps books about how he views current therapies. I think I am not alone with my excitement over discovering ways in which we can improve on the cutting edge therapies currently available.

I aspire to discover ways in which the genius inside can be nurtured, because this young man is certainly someone you will want to keep your eyes open for, he will most certainly be changing the landscape of the autistic world!

About the Author:

*when asked to describe himself the author penned this response.

There is so much that I can say about who I am. My background is where my story begins.

I am the youngest son in my Ukrainian family. I have an older sister Roberta. We are the awesome kids of our awesome parents, Bob and Elena. How can I describe my family? They are interesting and supportive.

My parents traveled to many places and my sister is talented in drama. Most importantly, they all love me and think I am great. We have lived in this house for as long as I can remember. I was rather energetic growing up but mostly because I have always enjoyed seeing or hearing new things.
Typically much isn't expected from an autistic child. This might be the case for others but I am not typical. I understand things going on around me. Even if I look like I'm not paying attention, I actually am. I am just as capable of learning as anyone else. The difference is how I learn. I have
had many therapists since I was young that have worked with me to help me improve my skills. My time with my therapists really made a difference for me. I have found that working has made me feel smart. However that is not all.

At home my basement is my favourite place to be. (Phililps therapy room)
This is where I feel comfortable. I feel relaxed because it has been my space for so long. I feel like I always do my best work here. There is so much that I want to achieve in my life. I enjoy being different and people I look up to are those who have been known for being different. People like Albert Einstein. He was known for his intelligent ideas that were very different from anyone else's ideas. His ideas changed the entire world and I think that is exactly what I want to do. I think that it is important to inspire others. I would like to create something that is interesting and different that will inspire people in the future. Given all that I have said, I hope this is a good explanation of who I am as a person.

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