Two Days Gone

by Randall Silvis

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Two Days Gone was a very good suspenseful book. Yes I figured out a big chunk of the plot before it was revealed but that happens a lot when you’ve read as many mysteries as I have. This didn’t ruin the plot line for me I still enjoyed reading and watching it unfold. The characters were very well developed, this is a part of a series: Ryan DeMarco Mystery but I believe this might be book 1 of the series.  The writing style was easy to read and follow and while it did have some bad language it wasn’t enough or so vulgar I couldn’t read it. I mean I’ve heard worse, who hasn’t now in days. Overall I think the story was great and a real page turner. I will be looking for more Ryan DeMarco books and hope he publishes the next one soon. I really liked the main character and can’t wait to read more of his life and police work in solving cases. I love a good crime drama whether it is a police procedure or legal procedure. The crime and solving the case unravels slowly but not so slow you lose interest. There is a lot going on within the 392 pages so be patient your going to love this one so much. I already have family and friends who want to read Two Days Gone. The book comes out January 10th so it would make a great winter read or holiday gift, even though it would arrive at a later date. I think I’ll be gifting this one to a few mystery readers I know, and hope they like it as much as I did.

summary: The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.

DeMarco knows―or thinks he knows―that Huston couldn’t have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family’s killer?

Thank you so much Sourcebooks Landmark for sending me Two Days Gone, I’m so happy to have discovered a new author and series to read. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The Other Einstein

by Marie Benedict

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The Other Einstein is based on of real people but to me this was more a work of historical fiction and less of the non fiction entwined. I thought originally that it would be more non fiction with fiction to make it more readable and fun. I still enjoyed the book very much but was looking for more from this very mysterious and important women in the field of science. I love science and consider myself a bit of a science geek so to read a story about a strong girl who was paving the way for other women back in late 1800’s. I thought the author could have made her a bit more strong back boned girl I felt at times she was weaker than I imagine her to be. If you are looking for a historical read that is based on of more fact than fiction than you might want to skip this one. If you are looking for a good solid historical fiction book with a bit of fact than this one is for you. For me I’m usually more of the fiction reader than non so I guess that is where I was OK with how the book turned out. I ended up giving this one a solid 4 stars and would add this to a book gifting list for a few fellow bookworms I know.

I was able to ask the author a question that she answered, her response if below the book summary if you would like to read it.

summary: In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever. A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.

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Me: Some have said that Mileva helped Einstein with his early work in Physics. Others say she was just a supportive role. Do you believe that it is also the time that they lived in where women did not have high academic roles and jobs that played a part in this great debate?

Marie Benedict: When I first learned about Mileva Maric — the first wife of Albert Einstein and a physicist herself, about whom I wrote THE OTHER EINSTEIN — I assumed that her history was unknown, as I was unfamiliar with her story and the potential role she may have played in the great scientist’s work. Contrary to my assumption, while Mileva was not widely known, she was the focal point of some debate in the physics community once the letters between Albert and Mileva were discovered in the 1980s in which their shared scientific work was referenced. While some physicists maintained that, since definitive evidence did not exist demonstrating Mileva’s precise role, she must have played no role at all, others pointed to her physics training and the collaborative nature of their relationship to support the view that Mileva’s role may have been significant.

Factors other than the evidentiary nature of letters themselves may have played a role in forming the viewpoints of this debate in the physics community. Possibly, as the interviewer suggests, the fact that the times in which Albert and Mileva lived — with its conscriptions on women’s academic roles — led those in the physics community to argue for a very limited role for Mileva in the theories ascribed to Albert. This factor, however, does not explain their perspective fully, as Mileva had proven her ability to overcome societal and academic barriers when she surmounted the hurdles to admission into a university physics program.

Perhaps other beliefs impacted the view that Mileva played little to no role in Albert’s theorizing, such as unfortunate ideas about the validity of women in STEM fields. After all, Mileva’s physics training was the same as Albert’s, and the letters demonstrate not only her vibrant intellect but also the collaborative scientific nature of the relationship between Albert and Mileva. And during the 1905 publication of the four ground-breaking theories ascribed to Albert, he was also working a full-time position as a clerk in the Bern patent office. Why wouldn’t physicists assume that Mileva played at least some role in these theories, unless hampered by other contrary beliefs?

Even if Mileva’s role was only supportive in nature, is that not worthy of credit and commendation? If she assumed all the household responsibilities and the minutia of their shared lives — even taking in borders to bring more money into their household, which she did — then Albert was permitted greater freedom of time and space to undertake the 1905 theories. Why is Milena not given ample credit for that contribution, even by those detractors who minimize her? THE OTHER EINSTEIN invites readers into this debate, offering one — albeit fictional— view, and encouraging others into this still very current conversation.

Thank you Sourcebooks Landmark for allowing me to read and promote The Other Einstein. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Advent 2016

Advent season is almost here and I love Advent so much. There is something magical about the whole holiday season. This year I get to really immerse myself into Advent with 2 wonderful little booklets: Scared Reading For Advent and Christmas 2016-2017  and The Living Gospel Daily Devotions for Advent 2016. It’s been a few years since I’ve had copies, our church use to provide us with copies if we wanted them, but with budget cuts they have stopped these little perks. Ave Maria Press was so kind to send me a wonderful box full of all kinds of Catholic books and I can’t wait to share them all with you.

Sacred Reading For Advent and Christmas 2016 – 2017 by Apostleship of Prayer (the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network) Douglas Leonard

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This little booklet that fits in the back of your pocket and is very lightweight is divided into 5 sections: First Week of Advent – Second Week of Advent – Third Week of Advent – Fourth Week of Advent – and lastly – The Christmas Season through Epiphany

Each entry is dated so you know exactly which one to read on the right date. The Get to Know God is present with you and ready to converse is a bit of an introduction to what you are getting ready to read.  Next is Read the Gospel with the bible passage you are to read – you can read it from this little book or read it from your bible. They make it easy to just need this book but I know many like to read and journal from the bible highlighting passages that mean the most. Notice what you think and feel as you read the Gospel reminds me of when our priest gives his take on what we just heard at mass. It is a great way to put the bible passage into a context that we understand a bit better. Pray as you are led for yourself and others is just that a prayer to pray that day. It is a start and then says to continue in your own words. That helps make this more personal for each reader. Listen to Jesus helps you listen to Jesus and what Jesus is saying and wants us to feel in our hearts. It ends a question asking the reader what Jesus is saying to them. Lastly Ask God how to show you how to live today this is the last step in this private prayer time but is a great point to really let the reader see just how God is with us at all times.

The Living Gospel Daily Devotions for Advent 2016 by Ann M Garrido

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I really like both of the booklets Ave Maria Press sent me but I really think this one is my favorite. They are both small, lightweight and fit in the back of your pocket. I just really like the setup and it just seems to be a perfect fit for my bible time. This one does end on Christmas Day The Nativity of the Lord so it doesn’t continue on till the Epiphany.

Each entry is labeled like the other Advent book making it easy to know where to start and where you are for the day. For this one the first thing the author wants you to do for each daily entry is to : Be Silent. Be Still. Pray… this helps you become focused and ready to start your readings. Next up is Prayer she includes the bible passage if you would like to read more from where she got the daily prayer from. Listen where she gives you a daily bible reading where you will need your bible or bible app for this as it is not included in the booklet. She includes the first line or few words to get you started. The next part is What are we waiting for? is where she puts the reading into daily reflections and again this part just like the first booklet reminds me of when our Priest reflects on the readings. Act is a simple way to Act and put into your daily life the readings with a simple act that you can do. Pray  is the beginning and the end of each daily entry. This is a simple prayer you can use to end your bible time and one you could use throughout the day or at  the dinner table for the days blessings.

I think the set up of these prayer books are great and easy to do during your prayer/bible time each day. The set up makes it so you can take as long as you need for each day.

Sacred Reading For Advent and Christmas 2016 – 2017  as well as The Living Gospel Daily Devotions for Advent 2016 would be great gifts for a confirmation student, a RCIA candidate or Bible study group. The are affordable and would be a great way to make the season even that much more meaningful.

Thank you Ave Maria Press for sending me  Sacred Reading For Advent and Christmas 2016 – 2017  and The Living Gospel Daily Devotions for Advent 2016 . All thoughts are my own and not influence by the free books.

November Book Reviews

Gosh November just flew by, I read lots – did lots and finished ahead of schedule my online class. So now I’m ready to get back into blogging. In November I read quite a few books and here is a recap of them.

Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak

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Unexpected Love was a short fast book to read. It was sweet and predictable and a bit unrealistic but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed this book and how the story unfolded. I’m happy with the ending even if it was a stretch. The characters were well developed and while a certain one I couldn’t stand I liked most and wish I knew Parkson family (well minus the one son Jason). Jimmy was the best and my favorite character, he reminded me of a friend I had in high school. He was  a sweet guy with a heart of gold. Inez was a good character but not a strong girl. Sometimes I just wish she would have been a stronger lead. She was a bit wishy-washy but OK. Overall I would totally recommend this book to anyone looking for some light reading over a vacation or holiday.

summary: As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy…

Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini

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I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about reincarnation, or if I did the title is escaping me and I don’t remember. Hindsight  is an interesting book and I enjoyed it. This book had lots of humor mixed in with thought-provoking conversation starting ideas. While I’m not a real believer in reincarnation who am I to say it doesn’t happen. That didn’t make the book a miss for me. I enjoyed the writing style, connected with the characters and really enjoyed this book. I would recommend or loan this one to my friends and hope that they liked it as much as I did.

summary: Eugenia  Panisporchi lives with her Mother – Teaches Chaucer, and remembers all her past lives. She is desperate to change her future… 

 

 

Found by Emily Brett

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Found was a good book just not a favorite from my November reads. While I liked the characters OK the writing style just didn’t click with me.  I liked the idea of Found  but felt it could have had a bit more suspense. I really thought it would be very suspenseful based on the cover. One “accident” OK, two and I’m like well that’s weird but more than that I’m and like come on seriously. How did she have no clue that something wasn’t right? Would I recommend this one? Maybe I think it really depends on the reader on whether or not its a hit or miss. I’m glad I had the chance to read it and would try another book by the author if she writes more.

summary: Twenty-seven-year-old ICU nurse Natalie Ulster has a desire to see the world, in case she dies young like her mother, and a need to heal, which is compensation for her own damaged heart. Armed with an independence and self-reliance that stems from her father’s emotional abandonment—and wanting to separate herself from a deranged nurse whose husband just died under suspicious circumstances on Natalie’s watch…

In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight – Chavers

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In the Heart of Texas was hands down my absolute favorite from November book stack. This book was so good and I’ve already loaned it out so I could share this little gem with friends and family. In the Heart of Texas was pure chick lit enjoyment and entertainment and I was sad to see the end. I will read more by this debut author and hope she continues to write more great stories that really capture the reader. The writing was very easy to read and flowed well. The characters were fully developed and I liked them a lot. The family and situations that she got herself into were the best and I loved her crazy family. This is perfect for some light hearted fun holiday and vacation reading. Grab a copy of this one and sit back and enjoy…

summary: Pitched as a poor man s Halle Berry, forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director s beach house after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation. The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas roots and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight…

Size Matters by Cathy Novak

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Size Matters is a small little book and very quick book to read. It felt like it was more of a novella than a novel and I think that might have hurt it a bit. I just felt that it was wrapping up just as it was beginning so I never really had a chance to connect with the characters. I really think and wish this had been a bit longer and more in-depth. The chapters jumped from one to another character wise and that isn’t always my favorite type of reading since it can get confusing at times. Overall this was a no for me and while I might recommend it I just not sure who to.

summary: John Frederick is a man of considerable substance, in every sense of the word. Rich, intelligent, reclusive, and very large, John Frederick lives to eat. His everyday needs are tended to by Mrs. Floyd, his house manager, and by a never-ending parade of personal chefs. Enter Lexie Alexander, the latest applicant for that once-again vacant position. A young woman of magical sensibilities, fresh out of culinary school and still recovering from a recent personal tragedy…

So overall it was a hit and miss month but still a good reading month. Here’s to hoping December is all  hits!

Thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge for allowing me to read and review: In the Heart of Texas, Unexpected Love, Hindsight, Found and Size Matters. All thoughts and opinions were my own and not influenced by the free books.

All Is Bright

A Devotional Journey to color your way to Christmas

by Nancy Guthrie

illustrated by Lizzie Preston

 

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This Christmas season, celebrate the birth of our Savior through beautiful design and devotion. Grab your colored pencils, cozy up with your favorite blanket and a cup of tea, and settle in for a night of peace and wonder with All Is Bright. For lovers of the Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest coloring books, All Is Bright is the perfect way to transform the Advent and Christmas seasons for your whole family, re-centering the holidays on the miracle of Jesus’ birth. Combining 31 days of rich content by the beloved and inspirational Nancy Guthrie with intricate designs that will reconnect you with the heart of Christ, this coloring book devotional journey reminds us all of what the season really calls us to: worship.

 

Coloring books are all the rage right now and I do enjoy them when I sit down to do a page. All Is Bright will make a wonderful Advent – Christmas season even better. Each page has a beautiful illustration for you to color, while on the back is that days devotion. While I know I can’t color a page a day through the holiday season I do plan on coloring many through out and then I will put it up and do more the next year and so on till it is colored. I want to do the daily  and if I keep the book together after the season this can be used again and again till all the pages are colored. I love the extra activity pages at the end that are perfect for making family time that much more special during the hectic holiday season. The pages include a bible reading and verse, discussion starters and prayer as well as simple coloring pages that are perfect for entertaining the youngest artist while you are coloring as well.

 

Thank you Tyndale for allowing me to review All Is Bright. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

Added bonus: I got a fun surprise mail not to long ago. Tyndale sent along some That Faith Sticks stickers to go along with the coloring devotional.

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These colorable scripture stickers are great for bible journaling, devotion time or just for relaxing. I like that they are small scaled so you could color a sheet of stickers in a short amount of time. I think these would enhance bible journaling or would be fun for a bible study group. Each packet of stickers has a different amount of stickers since they count each sticker from the bigger sized to the super-duper tiny sized. Since these are smaller scaled you will need fine point markers or gel pens to help with the coloring. I will be on the look out for more! These would also make a great gift idea to go with All is Bright devotional.

Thank you so much Tyndale for sending me these That Faith Sticks colorable stickers. I have enjoyed coloring them and plan on using them in my bible journaling that I have recently started. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free stickers. 

 

 

15th Affair

Women’s Murder Club #15

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

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Detective Lindsay Boxer chases an elusive suspect … her husband.As she settles into motherhood and a happy marriage, Lindsay Boxer thinks she has found domestic bliss. But when a beautiful, alluring blonde woman with links to the CIA disappears from the scene of a brutal murder at a downtown luxury hotel, Lindsay’s life begins to unravel. Before she can track down the woman for questioning, a plane crash plunges San Francisco into chaos and Lindsay’s husband Joe vanishes. The deeper she digs, the more Lindsay suspects that Joe shares a secret past with the mystery blonde. Thrown into a tailspin and questioning everything she thought she knew, Lindsay turns to the Women’s Murder Club for help as she tries to uncover the truth. Filled with pulse-pounding international intrigue, 15th Affair proves that all is fair in love, war, and espionage.

 

I really like James Patterson books, they are fast paced, non stop action and real page turners. Somehow or another I’ve never read a Women’s Murder Club book until now. Not sure how, I thought for sure I had ready at least one before but nope. So my first book in this series was 15th Affair. I like that while I didn’t know the relationship and connections of some of the key characters, I wasn’t really that lost. I liked the main character Lindsey and thought she handled her self well and well I would have totally broke down and curled into a ball but that is why I’m not a fictional character that is a kick butt girl cop. It only took a few days to read this since I didn’t like having to put it down. I liked the story and will start the series from the beginning next time a grab a Women’s Murder Club.

Thank you Little Brown and Company for allowing me to read James Patterson 15th Affair. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

The Witch House of Persimmon Point

by Suzanne Palmieri

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When Byrd Whalen returns to her family’s ancestral home to uncover secrets threatening to destroy a legacy she holds dear, the dark haunted histories of the Amore women reveal themselves, leading Byrd to question everything she’s ever believed about herself in Palmieri’s fourth novel.

 

First Thoughts:

I have never read a book by Suzanne Palmieri. So I went into this with no back history or sure if it was related to any of the other Witch books she has written. I picked this one up first from my BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge box because I thought: Witches and Mystery a perfect spooktober read.

Characters:

The characters were very well developed and you get a whole history lesson on all the important back characters. This really helped me as a first time reader and I enjoyed getting to know the history of the Amore Women. They are a strong group of women and I really feel in love with their characters.  I will be checking out more of her books to see if I can read more about the fabulous Byrd Whalen.

Plot and Writing:

The author did a fabulous job and not making me feel lost and like I should stop reading. The writing flowed well and made reading though this book a breeze. The plot was a big heavy one with a lot of back story and family history. She did great at weaving that in throughout  the book.  There was so much going on but you can tell she knows and loves her characters.

Final Thoughts:

Well this wasn’t a spooktober book to read for the mystery and witches that I was think it would be about. However I got a sweet family story with so many new characters that I want to read more about. I will be checking out the rest of her books. Overall I really enjoyed this one and so happy I was introduced to a new to me author.

Thank you St Martins Press, BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge and Suzanne Palmieri for allowing me to read The Witch House of Persimmon Point. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.