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Showing posts from January, 2016

Safe Harbor Medical Series #17 - The Would-Be Daddy

If you're new to Jacqueline Diamond's Safe Harbor Medical Series, each book stands alone. However, you may find yourself wanting to read up on the other townspeople and staff members at Safe Harbor, so don't be surprised if you feel that urge to start binge reading.

The Would-Be Daddy packs a special surprise. Debbie Macomber's short story My Funny Valentine is included.



Staff psychologist and foster mother Franca Brightman is sad, furious, and frustrated after she watches her foster daughter go off with the girl's biological mother, a drug dealer who got out of jail on a technicality. Franca was moments from adopting the young girl when Bridget abruptly changed her mind. Franca's given Jazz an amazing life for two years, and she is certain Jazz's mother will not do the same, especially when Bridget failed to show up for visitation repeatedly.

Dr. Marshall Davis is still reeling from the sudden announcement that his cousin is really his brother. Plus, Marsh…

Ghosts: Images of War by Carrie Zeidman

I need to kick off my latest review with a little background. My daughter is in a 4 and 1 program to get her master's degree in graphic design. She's Adobe Photoshop certified. I grew up going from art museum to art museum with my parents. Ansel Adams is a master I've always appreciated. I say this because when it comes to photography that's what I'm used to. My daughter's college expects perfection, so I'm used to flawless images shaped with Lightroom and Photoshop.

Carrie Zeidman is an award-winning artist (Cupertino's 2012 Distinguished Artist of the Year) whose Ghosts: Images of War blends past and present. A brief history of the time is shown with real photos of the time. Then there are images she's taken and tweaked to add the ghostly images of soldiers, men, and woman from the different eras. I loved the idea of it. Blending past and present seemed unique and definitely something reminiscent to me of music video duets with modern day artists…

A Heroine Who Won't Take Abuse: Read Home to Cedar Branch

Brenda Bevans Remmes creates a strong, determined heroine in Home to Cedar Branch. I've read books and seen movies where heroines stay in abusive relationships for the stupidest reasons. Therefore, I was delighted to meet Katy. When her husband does the unthinkable, she leaves. She heads to her brother's home in Cedar Branch to start a new life.



When her affair with her doctor ends in tragedy, Katy knows she must get out of the town. Though it means uprooting her children, Katy moves them to North Carolina. Her brother is willing to house them while Katy works at a local cafe and gets her life back in order. Her husband, however, may not be as willing to let Katy move on.

There is a lot to like in Home to Cedar Branch. The characters are fun, and none of them made the stupid decisions that made me want to stop reading. One character really stands out - the fry cook at The Quaker Cafe. She's a hoot! I wouldn't mind seeing more of her in the future.

Home to Cedar Branch

My Take on The Scoop on Good Grammar

When I'm not reading, keeping up with housework, or cooking the family meals, I work for a company helping with the relaunch of a travel website. I spend a huge portion of my day editing blogs, articles, and blurbs. The lack of grammar skills I've encountered, especially when I'm hiring writers, is always upsetting. I understand it though. My own daughter's teacher once told me they are not focusing as heavily on grammar because "spellcheck programs do it for today's kids." That statement still upsets me.



Margie Blumberg has come up with an intuitive guide to help people with grammar. It starts with the basics, such as what is an adverb, and progresses into the more complex stuff. Have you ever stumbled with when to use a colon? Does noun-verb agreement create a stumbling block you cannot overcome? The Scoop on Good Grammar is here to help. It's written in an easy to follow manner and has quizzes and pop culture references to help the material sink in…

Sorry I'd Overlooked This Gem: Introducing Detective Inspector Helen Grace

At times there were parts of Eeny Meeny, first in the Detective Inspector Helen Grace series, that were awfully gruesome, yet also very honest. Helen has her work cut out with her on this case. Someone is kidnapping pairs of people, putting them in an impossible-to-escape location, and telling them in order to get out, one of them must kill the other. Whether it's a couple, friends, or family members, no one wants to have to kill the other, but as days pass, desperation sets in. It's Helen's job to figure out who the kidnapper is and who the next victims are.

None of this is easy. Helen must keep the press from alerting the public and causing mass panic. She also must figure out a pattern to the victims, though it doesn't seem that there is one. When the pieces of the puzzle start coming together, Helen may not be prepared for what's really going on.



From the very first sentence, I was hooked. Each crime is set up with spectacular detail. You're drawn into the…

Check Out This Must-Have Book Box

From the desk of Doubleday Marketing comes exciting news. Each money, 10 lucky avid readers will be given a box packed with an upcoming release and a number of goodies. Roundtable Reviews has the details.



We would like you to be the first to hear about ChatterBox!
Think of it as BirchBox or BarkBox, but for books.  ChatterBox highlights one title a month with fun promotional items aimed at inspiring book discussion.  Every month is a different book with another chance to win.
ChatterBox is free and open for anyone to enter, but we’ll only be mailing out 10 to randomly selected winners on the first of each month.  Every month on the 15th we’ll offer a new ChatterBox and sign up form, so don’t forget to opt-in to our new ChatterBox email newsletter so you’ll be kept in the loop when a new sign up form goes up.
Our first ChatterBox giveaway is for Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon. Inside, winners will receive an advance copy of the book, a discussion guide, a travel notebook and…

Recipes for Love and Murder: A New Series by Sally Andrew

Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery By Sally Andrew Hardcover Eco/HarperCollins. 9780062397669 Reviewed by Bob Walch
Author Sally Andrew combines cooking with amateur sleuthing in this new series set in South Africa. Recovering from an abusive marriage, Tannie Maria van Harten has turned to her love of cooking to not only assuage the memories of a difficult relationship but to also make a little extra money.
In her fifties, Maria loves creating traditional Afrikaans specialties and has taken to sharing her recipes with advice on life in her new newspaper column. When a woman who responds to her advice column and was in a similar difficult marriage is killed, Maria decides to play amateur detective and, along with a local journalist, she launches her own investigation.
Although Detective Lieutenant Henk Kannemeyer is not thrilled with Maria’s decision to lend a hand to the authorities, he finds her an intriguing woman and one he’d like to get to know a little better.
With a n…

Bob's Burgers: Medium Rare (Comic Collection Featuring the Characters From the Awesome TV Show)

I love Bob's Burgers. If you haven't caught the television series, it's quirky and very honest. I totally get Linda!

Bob's Burgers: Medium Rare is a collection of comic strips involving the characters and written by the show's staff. It's no surprise to friends and family that Louise is my favorite character. She never fails to make me laugh. It's probably not surprising that my two favorite strips in this book involved her. Her discovery of a surprise in her family's basement and her experience with time while riding a carnival ride were great.

Gene is a typical boy. He's into toilet humor and that also shined through in Bob's Burgers: Medium Rare. His talent for poetry takes the stage in this collection. That leads to Tina - the boy-obsessed teen daughter of Bob and Linda Belcher. Tina's comics revolve around movies, always around boys.

This collection combines stories from the five main characters, with appearances from customers, friends…

Always With You - Andrea Hurst

Released in 2014, Always With You is a title I picked up for free through BookBub. It's probably a book I could have skipped and not missed much. Your enjoyment of this story will be based on your principles. Had this story been spun in a different manner, I would have loved it.



Set in California, Andrea Hurst's novel takes place mostly in the late 1970s. Cathy is a successful boarding house/cafe/natural products owner. Her store does well, and her cafe also brings in a number of people. It's the height of the busy season when a former friend Pam calls her and asks if she, her husband Jamie, and young daughter can stay at Cathy's house while Jamie, a talented new chef, has a few job interviews. Cathy hasn't seen Pam in years, but she agrees.

Their arrival marks the start of many issues. Cathy quickly realizes that Jamie is the hunk who helped her save a dog that had been hit by a car. Cathy's attraction to Jamie is instant, but he's married. Having him und…

Vermont Author Chris Bohjalian Nails It

Over the years Chris Bohjalian's become a favorite author and writer. I'll say writer because up until recently he wrote a weekly column for my local paper. While I was watching my two grow up from infant to toddlers to kids to teens and now to adults, I was treated to hearing of his adventures with his daughter, a girl born just two weeks after my son. There are many Sunday mornings that I sympathized with everything - good and annoying - that he was going through.



Enter Bohjalian's latest release, The Guest Room. I think this release shocked me a little more than usual. Perhaps because it seems so real, like it could have been ripped from the headlines. I don't know if I can say Vermonters are a little more sheltered, but a few weeks ago, there was breaking news of a massage parlor about 10 miles from me being raided for sex trafficking. I know it exists, but this hit a little closer to home because of the distance. The Guest Room definitely brought that story to mi…

Loving the Characters in Tawni O'Dell's Latest

Here's a great book to kick off 2016! Due to be released on January 5th by Gallery Books, Tawni O'Dell's Angels Burning is a stunning novel of one police chief's battle to solve a case while also battling her personal demons.



Chief Dove Carnahan hides a secret from her teen years, one that she hates thinking about, but it's brought fresh to the surface when her mother's killer is released from jail right after the body of a local girl is found burned and tossed into a sinkhole in an abandoned town. With limited resources and staff, Dove lets the state troopers lead the case, but she's going to work it side by side with her romantic interest and former boss.

Dove empathizes with the victim. For much of Dove's life, she was the child growing up in a poor family in a rural setting. She's determined to solve Camio's murder, even if it means going up against a family filled with criminals, all headed up by a bitter shrew of a matriarch.

It's bee…