Review of SELECT by Marit Weisenberg

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me an opportunity to read this book.  It is a great read for teens!  
Julia and Liv Jaynes live in a huge mansion with Novak and Victoria, their parents. But Novak is more than a father; he is leadder of a group of people called the Puras who have extraordinary powers, and he and his leadership team are trying to keep everyone safe from the rest of the world. Julia and LIv participate in typical teen activities, like flirting and falling in love. Julia allows her extra powers to be seen by others when Liv gets into a life-threatening situation at the pool, and as a result, Novak decides that Julia has to attend a regular high school. In her adventures there, Julia finds and falls in love with a regular human, John, but she has to keep her relationship secret since she is a member of the Selelct and John isn’t. Another major character is Angus, a kind of ne’er-do-well daredevil who lives on the edge of being left behind when the group moves again. Angus’ antics get the unwanted attention of Novak. The threat is always there; if you mess up enough, Novak will make the decision to leave you behind when the group relocates and you will be left on your own in a society that doesn’t accept or understand you. This book was a great teen read, with a mixture of suspense, romance and science-fiction that will appeal to all readers.

Review of INTO THE WATER by Paula Hawkins

First of all, let me say that I was a huge fan of GIRL ON THE TRAIN, so I pre-ordered this book expecting to be absolutely enthralled by it.  Wrong!  It took me almost three months to read it (and I am a very fast reader when I want to be) because it was so boring!  There were at least ten characters; each chapter started with the name of a character and the action was just not there for me.  I could barely keep up with who was who among all of the characters:  the detectives Sean and Erin, Sean’s father Patrick, Sean’s dead mother, Sean’s wife Helen, Nel Abbott and her sister Jules and her daughter Lena, the teacher Mark Henderson, Katie and her family.  I had to almost keep a list until I found one online and kept it handy.  Then, there was the water…seemingly a place so cold and deep that it had beckoned to many over the years who had committed suicide there.  The basic theme of the story is why these people committed suicide (if they did) and the effects of their deaths on those left behind.  Ho-hum!  This would have made a good short story, but as a novel, it was lacking in the mystery and atmosphere that would have encouraged me to read more of it daily.  This is one of those books that I am glad I finished it because I paid for it, but next time the author has a new book, I will wait for the library edition.  I give it a solid 1.5 stars, and that is only because it does have an ending.

Review of IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER by Michelle Adams

I was provided an advance copy of this book by Netgalley and the publisher, so many thanks to them for allowing me to read it!

IF YOU KNEW MY SISTER by Michelle Adams is a really twisted tale about sibling rivalry, like no other book that I have read before. Dr. Irini Harringford is returning home to Scotland because her mother has died, but she dreads seeing her sister Elle. What is their mysterious relationship all about? That is the main premise of the story, to involve the reader in the intrigue between Irini and Elle. Elle has lived with her parents all these years while Irini was sent away to live with her Aunt, an unwanted extra child at the table, and seemingly no explanation for why her parents no longer wanted her. She thought perhaps it was because of her hip deformity that caused her to be different and not perfect in appearance like Elle. But when Irini returns home for the funeral, she is determined to confront Elle and find out why she was sent away. Instead, Irini is confronted with more death and more mystery than she expected, and in finding out the reasons, she also discovers family secrets that were buried long ago and never meant to be unearthed. This book was an very good read that was hard to get into at first because I just didn’t know where the story was going. But after the first 50 pages, bam! Everything was happening so quickly that it was hard to keep up with the Harringford family and the victims they left behind.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”


Priorities Change

As I have gotten older, I have watched as if I am a spectator as my priorities have been changing.  As a young wife, my priority was to have a nice home and be there for my husband when he came home from sea.  As a young mother, my priority was always my children, keeping them safe and as happy as possible in a home that was very mobile because of constant military moves.  As a middle-aged wife, my priority shifted to my career because I could see that the children were growing up and would soon leave the nest that I had prepared for them.  Now, as one of the elderly grandparents, my priority is once again my husband, and oh, how I long for a home! I guess that has been the cry of my heart for all of these years, as we moved from state to state and from military quarters to military quarters.  We finally got a home in the 90’s in Pennsylvania, but I couldn’t get a teaching job there because I was over-qualified with a Master’s degree and their closed shop policy shut me out.  So, I sought employment elsewhere and left my first real home since we got married behind.  I’m still feeling unsettled and I want a real home, but God has shown me that my real home will be in Heaven, whether I have one here on earth or not.  It’s hard not to envy my friends who have a regular home that isn’t falling apart, but I think of the song “Where I Belong” by Building 429 and the lyrics remind me that I’m not really where I belong yet.  So, I guess my new priority is just to persevere until I get to the real home in Heaven that God has prepared for me.  Disappointed not to have one on earth?  Yes, of course!  But I am blessed with three healthy children and eight grandchildren, and with a husband who takes care of me even when I am cranky and envious.  I look at what happened in Puerto Rico, Florida and Texas and I am thankful that God was merciful to us here in Virginia.  And I know that I should work on getting my priorities more in line with God’s.

Review of THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris

The latest psychological thriller by B.A. Paris was not as enthralling as her first novel (BEHIND CLOSED DOORS) but this one was good enough to keep me reading late at night until I was able to finish it. Cass is on her way home from a meeting on a rainy night and takes a short cut on a dark, wooded road when she sees a car broken down on the side of the road. She stops briefly, waiting to see if the driver will respond and come seek her help, but when nothing happens she drives on. The next morning, she is horrified to find out that a new friend was in that car and was murdered. She is afraid now that the murderer is stalking her. Strange things begin to happen at home. She is forgetting things like dinner engagements and buying products online. Is she suffering from early onset dementia, just as her mother had? The pills she receives do nothing except make her sleep the day away so that she can’t even function. She doesn’t know who to turn to or trust, except for her best friend Rachel and her husband and he is increasingly distant. The plot is twisted and macabre and full of surprises, so I wasn’t disappointed in the end.

Review of I KNOW A SECRET by Tess Gerritsen

I borrowed this book from the local library and read it on my Kindle.  It is about some of my favorite former TV characters, so I was already interested in reading it before I began.  I will give only a brief review so that I won’t give anything away.  I loved the Rizzoli and Isles series on TV, so of course I have read all of Tess Gerritsen’s series that include these characters. The latest book does not disappoint with action and has all of the regular characters in it. The premise is that a serial killer is now going around Boston and killing people in macabre ways that are reminders of the torture of saints. Jane has to work hard to make the connection to an earlier case and even harder to find who is actually the perpetrator since there are a lot of false leads. The title gives a hint at who the killer really is, but I was not able to guess, and I don’t think that you will be able to either. Great read, highly recommend!

Review of THE LONGEST SILENCE by Debra Webb


Link for giveaway:

I am privileged to be a part of Debra Webb’s “Street Team” so as such, I received an ARC of THE LONGEST SILENCE, her fourth book in the Shades of Death series.  This book focuses on Tony LeDoux, the former FBI agent who is washed up because of his alcoholism.  However, he is called back into action when his niece is kidnapped from her college campus in Milledgeville, Georgia and his sister Angie calls him for his help.  This is a non-stop thriller about some really ruthless characters who have taken college girls for the last twenty years, raped and tortured them for two weeks and then set them free.  But for what purpose?  And who is responsible?  Enter Joanna Guthrie, a former victim who is determined to have revenge on those who held her captive and who did such horrible things to her and Ellen Carson and Carrie Cole twenty years ago.  Joanna is a reporter for an online paper and has been keeping up with the kidnappings and knows what is going on, so she teams up with Tony to find the perpetrators before it is too late.  This is a very dark mystery, with heartbreaking scenes of torture that the girls are enforced to endure and many twists and turns that Tony and Joanna have to follow to find the real criminals.  Tony finally ends up calling in reinforcements, in the form of Nick Shade and Bobbie Gentry.  Once they show up, the action goes really fast to an unbelievable conclusion.  Those who have read the other Shades of Death novels will not want to miss this one.  I will admit that Tony was not my favorite character previously, but the character development in this novel is so well done that he actually became a sympathetic character and by the end of the book, I liked  him.  This book is well-written and with so much going on constantly that you will not be able to put it down until you get to the end of it.  I even loved the “cameo” appearances of Nick and Bobbie since they were so central to the other books.  I hope to see all characters again in the future, because these characters and the action that they bring with them to the pages of a book will blow your mind as well as make you think about the evil in the world and how good triumphs over evil.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Review of MERRY AND BRIGHT by Debbie Macomber

Merry Knight is working very hard for a temp agency so she can earn enough money to go back to college when her mom and brother Patrick decide to sign her up for the dating site Mix and Mingle. She is having a little trouble with her curmudgeonly boss who wants to follow all of the rules exactly to the letter. For example, Jayson Bright catches her working and eating lunch at her desk one day and quotes the rule book that says she is not allowed to do that. Merry continues to work cheerfully for him because it is not in her nature to hold a grudge, but she really doesn’t like him much. She does look forward to going home each evening and going online to communicate with her new friend Jay who is kind and thoughtful and seems to be made for her. Of course, everyone can guess where this is going. Jay is none other than Jayson Bright, and he is not so enthused about the girl that he has met online is none other than the office temp. Will it work out in the end? If you have read Macomber’s books before, you can guess the ending, but you have to read it to find out exactly how it works out. This is an excellent, fun and quick read for the holidays and I highly recommend it! I appreciate  the publisher and Netgalley for providing me the opportunity to review the book before publication.

Independence is as Simple as Driving

It has been almost a year since I have driven alone, and today I bit the so-called bullet and hopped behind the driver’s seat of my Toyota and off I went.  I had to go by the high school to sign a recommendation paper for a former student, but then I decided to stay out for a few hours to celebrate my new freedom.  So, here I am at the library and feeling very free, and not at all stressed about driving.  You see, the truth is, before, each time I got behind the wheel, I tensed up and by the time I had driven a short distance I had a headache.  Not good for a  stroke survivor!  Yesterday I drove to church with Harry and then did our errands afterwards, and didn’t feel stressed.  Thus I decided it was time for this bird to jump out of the nest and fly away.  I feel so free…I just can’t tell you.  No, I am not ready for the interstate, or any road with a lot of traffic, for that matter.  But I drove myself around today and I am feeling very independent and like I am finally getting some part of my life back that I lost over two and a half years ago when I had my stroke.  The devastation stole the food I loved to eat, my ability to think clearly at times and my independence.  But after today, I can say that I can go where I need to go when I need to go there (as long as highway driving is not involved).  And I am happily going to celebrate by spending time at one of my favorite places, the library!


This book is for grades 5-9 and I am very grateful to the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me to read it in advance.  It will be available to the public on October 3rd.

Nikki Demere is a “throwaway kid” who has been in the foster system since her grandmother died and her father has been in prison. She fully expected her dad to rescue her from foster care, but he never showed up, and the times when she went to foster care, she has been returned. So at the age of thirteen, she is surprised when director Wainwright calls her into her office for a meeting and tells her that she has been chosen to live with a new family. Then, she meets two U.S. Marshalls and knows this is no ordinary family. Nikki becomes part of WITSEC, but not as a witness; she is part of a project to help protect a family in the program from the dangerous Italian mafia-type family that is determined to find and kill them. The Cercatores are looking for a family of three, not four, so Nikki will be there to help the family’s cover and also to help the Marshalls watch out for the family since she is street savvy and has some very unusual talents. So, she and the family study their roles and off they go to Durham, North Carolina to enroll in a new middle school and start a new life. Nikki’s new name is Charlotte (like the spider) and her brother is Jackson. Jackson is a pain in the neck who hates being in WITSEC and does everything he can to make the program self-destruct. Harriet, the mom, and Jonathan, the dad, are typical parents, except for the fact that Harriet’s brother is a mobster who wants her dead. The whole book is a hilarious romp through the eyes of a teen who is determined to save her new family. The stories of bullying and fitting in at middle school are true to life and seem to really represent things that could actually happen with mean girls and curious boys. Middle school readers from grades 5-9 will love this high-interest tale of an unlikely heroine who just wants a family to call her own.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”