Friday, December 30, 2016

Book Review: It Started With Paris

I admit, it wasn't until I began reviewing books that I realized how many authors I love and do not miss any of their books. Cathy Kelly is one of them.

This story begins at the top of the Eiffel Tower when a girl is proposed to by her young man. That one moment created a multitude of change.

Leila is one of those who goes through a change. Ever since her husband left her expectantly she has been in a fragile state. The wedding is going to be tough but she is going to be tough. Vonnie is another. She is a widow but is ready for love. Grace is a principal and the mother of the groom. Now she has to put up with her ex-husband being a part of her life as they help prepare for the wedding. This is starting to make her doubt some past decisions.

All three are to be a part of the wedding and all have to face their fears and doubts.

Cathy Kelly has a way of writing that takes me to the setting of her books. In this case Ireland and France. More importantly, for me, she makes me feel a part of each of the characters' lives, so that I cheer or cry when things happen. She is such a talent.

As with her other books, I know that this will become a permanent part of my library.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Book Review: Lawyer for the Dog

Sally Baynard, from Charleston, South Carolina, is a successful lawyer. She has represented many of the down and out, including many divorces. Her own divorce, however, has not left either with a good taste in their mouths. Her ex is a Family Court Judge and he has assigned her to represent Sherman, a miniature schnauzer. She now has to manage the dog, the owners, her ex-husband, and her mother, who has Alzheimer's. Whew. Along the way, she meets up with Sherman's vet named Tony. Life is fun.

I first chose this book because of the cover and the title. I am quite the dog lover. The author was able to create believable characters and settings and the dialog kept the book moving along. I enjoyed this book.

I was given this book by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Book Review: A Window Opens

Alice Pearse has wished to have everything.This married mother with three children is also a good daughter and a so-so dog owner. However, she is not very good at cooking, crafts, decorator, and so on. Her husband makes a job change which requires her to become more. She believes that having a good job and a happy life are right around the corner.

I love this brilliant, smile and chuckle book. Elisabeth Egan created a wonderful story for her first book. I recommend this book to anyone that wants a light story that gives in insight on wanting it all.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Book Review: All Dogs Go To Kevin

I love stories written by veterinarians about their quirkier moments. Dr. Jessica Vogelsang delivered to this love beautifully. Jessica has had the love of three dogs who saw her through momentous times in her life. First was a Lhasa Apso named Taffy, then a Golden Retriever named Emmett and a Labrador, Kekoa. They taught her many important lessons and helped her with patience and tolerance, plus, as many dog owners know, they also help bring smiles to the lips.

This is the story of her love for these dogs and the adventures they have been through together. It is written with love that flows from each page.

As another dog lover, I found this book tugging at my heartstrings as I think about each of the dogs in my life and the comfort, joy and love I have found in each one.

I most highly recommend this book. It is wonderful.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Review: The Drummond Girls

I love the title of this book, The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance.  Having said that, I requested this book and then put off reading it, for one reason or another. As often happens, when I did pick it up, I loved the story within.

There are eight girls who first met, as waitresses, customers or bartenders, in Michigan at Peegeo's Food and Spirits. It then took off at an engagement celebration at Drummond Island. This trip formed a friendship stronger than they anticipated. Each year since they go to the same location, no matter what has happened in their lives. Now, one of their friends is beginning to loose her memories, so they plan on helping her remember.

This book makes me remember the friendships I had throughout my life and how, at the time, we thought we would always see each other or, at least stay in touch. I say Bravo to the Drummond Girls for staying with this commitment and not allowing anything to come between them.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Brilliant

First of all, I know that this is a book written for middle school age readers, but I loved it. Part of the reason for this is the setting, and the next is it is told in such a fun manner.

Dublin has been hit by the depression. Everyone is unhappy and everyone is affected by it. Raymond and Gloria are siblings who decide to go out and stop The Black Dog of Depression, no matter what. They chase him everywhere throughout Dublin and other children join them. Soon there are thousand of children chasing the Black Dog and they have a plan.

I love how all the children of Dublin join in the chase to take care of this thing which has been bringing everyone down. Roddy Doyle is a brilliant writer and I can see many children, and their parents, picking this book up and enjoying it.

I was given this book by NetGalley and ABRAMS Kids in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Book Review: The Woman in the Photograph

 In 1929 Lee Miller, a model, decides to make a name for herself in Paris. She looks for Man Ray so she could become his assistant but become more than that. She becomes his muse, model and his lover.

Each time she models she gains confidence, so it is not unusual when she begins to work on her own items which leads to a role in a film. Ray becomes jealous and the story continues.

This story by Dana Gynther is captivating and beautifully written. At times, the reader can relate with each of the characters, even though they may not have anything in common. Gynther did such a good job with the characters and the setting. I will begin looking for more works by this talented author.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Gallery Books in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Book Review: Shylock is my Name

First of all, I love Shakespeare, so this title attracted my attention. It is based, loosely, on the Merchant of Venice. Jacobson uses this story to address antisemitism, as it is addressed a little in the original play. His wit and eye when addressing this is right up there with Shakespeare, even though the Bard's use of these traits was not touched upon quite as much.

In this story, the main character, Strulovitch is a well-to-do gentleman who is generous. He is also a Jew who tries to stay on the periphery of the goings on in the city. This does not mean that he has no feelings about the goings on around him. He feels the anger, but he deals with it with humor and wisdom.

I cannot say that I enjoyed it as much as I did the original but it was an interesting version of the Merchant of Venice. Readers should be aware of the subjects that are addressed in the book as they may begin to feel uncomfortable. However, this was a well-written book.

I was given this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.  

Book Review: The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales from Ivy Hill, #1)In The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill, Jane is thrown into the running of the coaching inn, The Bell, when her husband dies expectantly. She has not run a business before and is facing the ruin of the town's economy as well as a loan that is coming due.

Because of these circumstances, Jane turns to the previous mistress of the inn, Thora, her mother-in-law. The two have not always seen eye-to-eye. Thora is also facing loss and trying to find a path for her future. The two work together, as well as others, some more well-meaning than others, to try to keep the inn open and successful.

Julie Klassen, the author, has a knack for telling stories. This book is not the exception. The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the first of a series, Tales from Ivy Hill. I enjoyed the book almost from the beginning and am now looking forward to future books in this series.

Klassen created believable characters which add charm to the entire book. The setting is beautiful, at least in my mind's eye, also.

I think that this is a great book to begin the year with.

I was given this book by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Book Review: The White Knight, The Lost Kingdom and the Sea Princess

One look at this cover was enough to get me to begin reading this book. It looks like it should belong on a fairy tale. Then the!

This beautiful book, by Judy Carlson, tells the story of Prince Lael. When faced by an enemy, who took his family, he has to show his loyalty and his strength. He is soon joined by two children, Clara and Ian. They are from Minnesota but they still want to help to free the Sea Princess and beat temptations. Through the story they come upon the White Knight and they gain many things.

This story is filled with adventure, evil, creatures, love and so many other things which make it a terrific, and fun read. I had such fun reading this that it was a book which was hard to put down.

This is a book for children and adults alike. I believe that there is something in it for everyone.

I was given this book by and Nordskod Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Book Review: I don't want to talk about it.

Winter Gregory is a surprisingly good writer, more so than anyone thought she could be. Afterwards Gregory decided to write her next book taking up on the heels of the previous one. To do this she researches in a Yorkshire village. Soon her life becomes enmeshed with those of the community, especially Scarlet an 8-year-old who has recently lost her mother. It is through this little girl that Gregory meets Alex, Scarlet's uncle. As this relationship grows, each deal with problems they are facing.

This superb book's overall theme is grief and different ways of dealing with it. Don't let that discourage readers, however, as the author deals with it in a caring and, at times, humorous manner.

This book is one of my favorites. Even though I have not read any books by this author in the past, I believe from now on she will be on my radar.

I was given this book by NetGalley and ChocLit in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Episode 44 ~ oops

On The Needles
~Milkweed - Carol Sunday - Ella Rae Classic Heathers~hibernating until after Christmas
~hubby's sweater out of my NapiersKnits Dandy Green - size 7 needles ~ hibernating until son's sweater is done
~son's sweater out of NapiersKnits one time dye- over dye (for now) - size 7 needles
~super secret pattern - Cotton-ish seersucker - size 3 needles
~super secret pattern - Sausalito 8304 - size one needles

Finished Objects:
~son's socks- out of Crazy Zauberball Buntmetall - size 1 needles

Things That Have Made Me Happy ~
~seeing people's reactions to presents
~ideas for craft alongs or give aways
~Ashford Kiwi 2 Spinning Wheel

What I have been reading, watching and listening to
~Twitch - Geek and Sundry - Critical Role
~The Truth According to Us

Find Me Online
~on Ravelry as NapiersKnits and Naturally, Kim’s Knitting
~etsy: NapiersKnits
~on Instagram as knittin_kim
~on YouTube, Blogger, Facebook and Wordpress as Naturally, Kim's Knitting

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Book Review: If I Could Turn Back Time

It is often fun to think what would I do different if I were to go back to my past. The main character in this book gets to do just that. This science fiction book shows how changing things in our past could help or hurt. It reminded me of It's a Wonderful Life, Back to the Future and others stories which involve time travel. How would things change? Would it just be my life or others around us? So many questions brought about by one book.

It is such a nice easy read because the author, Beth Harbison, has such a wonderful writing style. I highly recommend this book to others who want to feel good and think about their lives.

I was given this book by NetGalley and St. Martins Press in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Book Review: Advent in Narnia

I must admit, last year I began going through this book, but I was not in the spirit for it. It was just me. When I picked it up again, I was thrilled with the reflections found in this book. I am a fan of Narnia and Aslan, so this book really spoke to me. There is so much in Narnia that reminds us of Christmas and this book picks up on those themes.

At least in my area, there is cold weather, sometimes snow, the delicious food which can be a temptation, plus hope. In fact, Father Christmas even makes an appearance in both. This book takes each of these and more and works it into 28 devotions which include Scripture, devotions and excerpts from the book itself. I find myself reflection on the devotion throughout my day and it helps me to stay focus on the reason for Christmas.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Westminster John Knox Press in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: The Truth According to Us

Annie Barrows has a beautiful literary style. Having read The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society, I was looking forward to reading this book. I loved this book as much as I did the other.

It is set in the time of the Depression in West Virginia and the story tellers are Willa, a 12 year-old and Layla, part of Roosevelt's Writer Project. Layla was sent to this town to write the history of it as part of its 150th birthday celebration.

Throughout the book we are taken on a trip through the town where we meet many of the people of Macedonia, including the little details which make them unique.

This book, although over 500 pages in length, is a quick read, or maybe it just seemed that way because I loved reading it so much. The author was able to make me feel as if I was a part of the story from beginning to end. This is the kind of story that I love to read again and again because it is like visiting with old friends.

I was given this book by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.  

Friday, December 9, 2016

Children's Book Review: Happy Birthday, Davy

Being a grandmother, I enjoy reading and reviewing children's book. I look at them as if I was sitting here with my grandchildren, gauging their responses.

Happy Birthday, Davy! would meet their expectations, Davy has a birthday coming up, but with the excitement of a youngster it seems a longer ways away than it actually is. His father takes this time to tell Davy about a rabbit who received three wishes and they all cam true. So Davy thinks about if he were this rabbit and what he would wish for. He decided on someone to tell him stories anytime he would want one, someone to teach him games and someone that would spend time just with him. when his birthday comes he finds a huge present which makes his wishes come true.

I love the lesson of love that radiates throughout this story and the illustrations would grab any youngsters attention. I could see my grandchildren making this book a favorite very quickly. So much so, I believe I will purchase a copy for them as soon as I can.

I was given this book by NetGalley and North South Books in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: The Angel of Forest Hill

This is such a feel-good book to read for Christmas. It is an Amish setting which adds to its charm.

This was a quick read, which I enjoyed reading so much that I finished it within two days. It is one that will stay with you, in a good way.

Rose Kurtz is the only girl in her large family. She did not have a pleasant childhood and is asked to go to another community to help out a family. This makes her with that the new place is filled with love. When she gets there, the man of the house, Joel Dienner, has just lost his wife and he now has two little children and a baby to take care of. Rose agrees to stay and marry Joel, not because she loves him but because there is a need.

The arrangement works out until Rose become jealous of a pretty widow in the next town. This trouble is worked out through the remainder of the book.

I felt connected to Rose, not because I have had that kind of life, but because the author's style is such that it makes this possible.

I feel like anyone that is like me and enjoy reading Christmas fiction, especially this time of year, will enjoy picking up and delving into this book. I hope each reader feels the same as I when finished.

I was given this book by Blogging for Book in exchange for my honest review. I am very glad that I received and read this book for them.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Book Review: Turbulence

Turbulence (A Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Novel Book 5) by [Terry, Alana]This book, Turbulence by Alana Terry, is such a good book. I have had books before where I said I could not put them down, yet I did. Not this one, if I was awake I was reading it.

This is a part of a series, Kennedy Stern, however I was able to connect to the characters immediately. I do want to go back and read the others but I definitely was not lost. As the title suggests, most of this story takes place on an airplane, however the turbulence they experience is not weather related. There is a parent who is unhappy with school district decisions and saw hijacking the plane as the only way left to get his message across. Then as they restrain him, a bomb explodes. There is a lot of action throughout the book but there is also lessons of faith and the importance of witnessing throughout.

I related with the main character with my reluctance to witness at times, yet I want to see my friends and family throughout eternity. This book helps to see how to do this without seeming like a sermon.

I have read other books by Alana Terry and if I had to say which was my favorite, I couldn't. I love them all, this one is very much included in that.

I was given this book by the author in exchange for my honest review and it was definitely my pleasure.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Book Review: Five Little Ducklings Go To School

Five Little Ducklings Go To School, by Carol Roth, is such a cute story. It is the first day of school and most of the ducks are excited and cheering, however, one little on is not happy at all. It doesn't want to be separated from its Mama. When she reassures it, they all head off and find out that "School is great!"

I loved the story, it showed children that they may not all be thrilled at the thought of separation from other, by trying new things they may discover that it is not so bad after all.

The illustrations, by Sean Julian, are colorful, bright and so much fun, I can see children wanting to read this book again and again.

I was given this book by NetGalley and North South Books in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Book Review: Choose and Choose Again

Choose and Choose Again: The Brave Act of Returning to God's LoveJ. Kevin Butcher, the author of Choose and Choose Again, has placed many powerful testimonies in this book. As someone who has known the depths one can let oneself slip into, then pull out of with God's love, he is able to reach some that others would look over. Often times he does it with simple words of love from God.

I often found myself in tears as I read a chapter, partly because the story itself was touching, but also because I wonder if I would have thought to look into these people's hearts and shared words of love with them.

This book is such a blessing. I am going to share it with my other family members and recommend it to all of those that I know. I am ever thankful for the author and Tyndale Publishers for sending this book my way.

I was given this book by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Crossing the Waters Following Jesus Through the Storms, The Fish, The Doubts and the Seas

Crossing the Waters, by Leslie Leyland Fields, is a book that speaks to me. Reading the Bible has always been an active pursuit for me. While I read, I envision what it is the author of the book is saying and feeling. This book explores Jesus and his disciples and all the miracles they saw and the parables and messages they shared.

The author, a fisherwoman herself, is able to take her experiences and place them, and us in the Sea of Galilee. She shows us how to find faith through hard times and how to keep our faith during even harder times.

I recommend this book to all, whether new to the faith or someone who has walked with God for many years.

I was given this book by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: A Little Sugar, A Lot of Love

What bad could possibly happen when cupcakes and hospitality are involved. In this book, nothing.

Linn B. Halton has created a fun to read book about a man, Adam, and a cake shop owner, Katie, and their path to each other. Along the way we meet many other people, such as Lily, Adam's daughter, Grace, his grandmother, and Hazel, friend and co-worker with Katie.

I don't like reading stories that are predictable and this did not cause a problem here. I knew who would fall in love, but the path was never clear. Just when I thought it would happen, something or someone came in the way.

This is such a wonderful, feel-good book that I would recommend it to everyone.

I was giving this book by NetGalley and ChocLit in exchange for my honest review.