Book Reviews

We will always have the Closet

imageWe will Always have the Closet by Natalina Reis is a wonderful summer read! The main characters, Petra and Sam, are interesting and every time I thought I knew where the story was going I was wonderfully surprised with a new twist!

Petra is the ex wife of Jonas Linden and despite the fact that he was unfaithful to her she believes him innocent of art fraud. Sam Corra is investigating the art fraud case and he is hot on the trail of Jonas. When Petra ducks in a closet to avoid someone coming into the room she finds Sam is in the closet. There is instant heat and attraction made difficult when they find out they have polar opposite opinions of Jonas being guilty.

Just when you think you have it figured out, you don’t, or at least I did not!

It is well written, characters are well developed, the diaglogue is entertaining and interesting. I highly recommend We will Always have the Closet by Natalina Reis. I loved it as I soaked up the beach. Although I admit, I would like it no matter the season!

 

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Heart of Design by Ellen Butler

Smoking but not tawdry that is what comes to mind when I think of Heart of Design by Ellen Butler. The description “Love California Style” gives a hint to the romance ~ everday girl meets Hollywood star. There are several twists and turns that I shall not divulge as I hate a “spoiler”. This is a great summer read ~ after all, girls we love a summer love story and this is a great one!  I love the characters, the plot twists, the descriptions and the romance. The cover tells you she is an interior decorator, he is a Hollywood star. To know more you have to read this wonderful romance over! This book is well written, steamy romance but not vulgar. I loved this  book. It is the first book by Ellen Butler I have read but it will not be the last! I highly recommend this book. It was a great vacation read for me I Paris ~ the city of love!

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My first iBook!

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Reading my first iBook! I am reading “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.” Love the book and really do like some if the iBook features – like making a note, hi-lighting, no book to store. I miss the feel of a book in my hand – but then I can knit and read. I was a skeptic as may friends can tell you as I am an avid “reader” of books. I say “reader” because I listen to books on tape and CD – yes my nurse-mobile has both – lucky me! Then I read traditional books as well. While I do not think I will give up any of my other methods I believe I have found a new addition to my “reading” methods. I know it will be great for travel – I tend to read two to four books on a vacation, add the ever present Bible and my Journal and that is a lot of weight for flights. So I have a Bible on the ipad, can journal (by not paint so will keep my other journal on hand) – end result will give up some of my books for my upcoming trip to KY.

 

 

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“15 Miles” by Rob Scott

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On a recent trip to Maine I decided to take along the book “15 Miles” by Rob Scott. It was an interesting summer vacation read to say the least. Generally, on vacation I stick with some light historical romance. This book is as far from my norm as I could have imagined. It is a plot twisting tale of a double murder 15 miles from Richmond, Virginia. The Virginia State Police Detective, Samuel (Sailor) Doyle, is quite a character. He is rough and rugged and this is his first homicide investigation as lead detective. This homicide is anything but “cut and dry.” Every time I thought I had it figured out there was a plot twist. Another gruesome detail, a drug induced hallucination or a new detail about the victims. Carl Bruckner, was a decorated Marine, lost his leg in Vietnam. Carl and his wife Claire Bruckner have been found murdered at their family farm.
Did I mention the lead detective, Sailor, has a drug and alcohol problem? As if that is not bad enough he has a wife and a mistress to juggle with the murder investigation. Rob Scott is able to weave a story that keeps the pages turning with a mystery that will keep you guessing. Scott grew up hearing tales of gruesome murder from his dad, a New Jersey homicide detective. Scott must have listened well to these stories as he wove this gruesome, murderous tale expertly. One thing is for sure you will never know what is next in this crime thriller.

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“How Did They Do That?” by Deborah Tompkins Johnson

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In her book, “How Did They Do That,”  Deborah Tompkins Johnson has interviewed a wide range of very successful people. She pulls inspiration out of each person’s life and shares their stories. We hear from such notables as Actor, Blair Underwood and former Governor of Virginia, Douglas Wilder to name just a few. In their stories of success we can find some common “can do” themes. I found some to be expected, such as having someone early in life that encouraged them to believe they could do anything. Conversely, some were self motivated by being told they could not do something.

Deborah has a wide range of very successful careers in her book which are all named on the cover. I believe this book would make an excellent gift if you know a student that aspires to greatness.  It would be an especially meaningful gift book if they aspire to be in one of the mentioned fields: Songwriter, Actor, Diplomat, Entrepreneur, Politician, Soldier, Teacher, Coach, Corporate Executive, Minister, Dancer, or Fashion Stylist.  For those of us that have been in our careers awhile it is an excellent reminder on finding inspiration in others. Deborah gets some great stories and inspirational moments out of those she interviewed. I totally enjoyed the story telling format of this book and was inspired by those who shared their life successes and inspiration with us. There are many more shared common experiences to success and I would encourage you to read this book to explore these commonalities.

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“Did I Say That Out Loud?” by Kelly McDermott Hartman

 

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In her book, “Did I say that Out Loud?” Kelly McDermott Harmann shares hilarious “conversations about life.” Kelly has a wonderful story telling style that will make you laugh out loud, side splitting, belly laughing out loud! You will feel like you are sitting in your favorite local coffee shop overhearing a hysterical conversation. This book is a great vacation pick me up for your mind. Kelly shares stories about her husband, work and everyday life. You will find yourself laughing about some of these stores long after you read them.

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“Phillip’s Quest” by Belinda Miller

Phillips Quest

Some books are for the young and the young at heart. “Phillip’s Quest” written by Belinda Miller and illustrated by Dean Kuhta, is one of those books. This is a whimsical tale of Phillip, a gnome, who lives a simple life as a farmer. Simplicity, that is until the quest. With his squirrel friend, Edward, Phillip seems to find adventures. Along the way he encounters all the creatures that a good adventure in the world of fantasy must have. There are dragons, dinosaurs, castles, an enchanted forest and creatures with ominous sounding names. This tale is a fast paced adventure with many twists and turns. It is well written and had an element of the unexpected for sure!

What this delightful tale has that sets it apart is the numerous beautiful color illustrations that enable the reader to glimpse into the mind of the writer. The artwork is beautiful and serves to enhance the tale. There are a few ink drawings in the book as well, but the majority are beautiful full color illustrations. It is truly a multisensory experience to read this extraordinary tale. I will tell you this book is Book I in an epic series. The end does leave you wanting to read the next book in the series. While this book is a children’s book I found it engaging and a delight to read. As I am young at heart, I look forward to the rest of the series.

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“Myth, Magic and Metaphor” by Patricia Daly-Lipe

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In her book, “Myth, Magic and Metaphor,” Patricia Daly-Lipe certainly provides a muse! This book is a must read for aspiring writers. I found her book to provide insights and ideas for books that I hope to write. I kept a list as I read her book and hope to write a few of them. Her subtitle is “A journey into the heart of creativity” could be, a journey toward your inner muse. Lipe is an expert muse teaching you to find yours. She guides you to ponder the meaning of words, shows how they are crafted together in various eras by wide variety of writer. Lipe pulls together examples of creative writing from all genre to inspire and enlighten the reader. This is a book that I will absolutely read more than once.  Lipe talks about the mystery of writing, using music and art to write and in doing so opens your imagination to new realms of creativity. This is one of those books that I believe could also help provide some inspiration when suffering “writers block.”

Lipe is an expert in her subject and to paraphrase her; open your eyes, see the art, read a book, look at a painting, watch nature; the more you see the more you will have to write. I love the way she challenges you as a writer to see writing in all things at all times. She reminds us to tuck these words we experience into our writings. I found this book to be my muse, thought provoking and challenging me to write with every turn of the page.

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“From These Ashes” by Tamela Ritter

From these Ashes

“From These Ashes,” by Tamela Ritter, is one of those unique stories that you will remember for a long time.  Ritter is a master storyteller as she weaves this tale of searching, and wandering through family issues. This story of siblings, Naomi and Tim takes you to the mid west and gives you some glimpses of Native American life. I found this story riveting despite at times the characters enduring brutal and  painful experiences. Ritter is able to paint word pictures that lead you through many issues for Naomi and Tim in various life stages.  I continue to ponder some of the issues raised in this powerful story of sibling connection and family. It is a book unlike any other!

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“Who Gets to Name Grandma?” by Carol Covin

Who Gets to Name Grandma

Carol Covin’s book, “Who Gets to Name Grandma” is a must read for Grandmothers and Mothers every where. This book takes a look at a serious topic in a humorous manner. There are many possible conflicts between mother’s and daughter’s, not to mention between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law when a new grand child is born. Covin gives the reader some recommendations of topics to be discussed and boundaries to be determined all with helpful humor. I am not a grandmother, but I am an Aunt and I found that many of Covin’s suggestions would apply to any relative when a new baby is born.

This book includes resources to help in this life changing time. It would make a great gift to the new mother and the new grandmother. This is a great gift book.

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