Sunday, April 23, 2017

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3096 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bond Street Books (Aug. 25 2015)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00R04IQDW

Book Description

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory.

All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.

"Charmingly original. . . . [A] sweet, quirky book." —The Washington Post

"A lovely novel. . . . Heartwarming and full of summer charm, it will keep you dreaming about the magic of reading." —The Huffington Post

"A hotbed of romance and progressive ideas. . . . Between the book references and the idyllic setting, readers won't want to leave Broken Wheel." —Kirkus Reviews

"More than anything, this is a story about community, about being needed and about belonging. . . . A warm, cosy, compassionate read." ―The Independent (UK) 

About the Author

 Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She's currently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unnecessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparently, her sister is also stubbornly refusing to even discuss using the bath room to store books.

Katarina Bivald sometimes claims that she still hasn't decided whether she prefer books or people but, as we all know, people are a non-starter. Even if you do like them, they're better in books. Only possible problem: reading a great book and having noone to recommend it to.

Läsarna i Broken Wheel rekommenderar/The Readers in Broken Wheel Recommend is her first novel.

My Review

 The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald is a lovely, charming book. It is a story about reading and about the joys that books can bring to readers. It is the story of a small town. And a story about friendships and about love.

As someone who loves to read, I wholeheartedly endorse this wonderful tale. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend was hard to put down. I needed to know what was going to happen next. 

Sara has come from Sweden to visit Amy her penpal who she had never met before. When she arrives she discovers that Amy has just passed away. Sara is quickly caught up in the people and events of Broken Wheel, Iowa. As I was reading I just wanted Sara to stay there forever.

Find out if she this amazing book. Highly recommend.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review: The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation By Dorothy Patterson, Rhonda Kelley Published by Thomas Nelson

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 32646 KB
  • Print Length: 2112 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Rev Ind edition (March 28 2017)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01H62LGS4

Bible Description

The Woman’s Study Bible poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God’s truth for balance, hope, and transformation. Special features designed to speak to a woman’s heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman’s identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, The Woman’s Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman’s Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.

Features Include:

  • Beautiful full-color design throughout

  • Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women

  • Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes

  • Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues

  • Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy

  • Book introductions and outlines

  • Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees

  • Quotes from godly women throughout history

  • Set of full-page maps of the biblical world

  • Topical index

  • Concordance

My Review

 This review is for the ebook version of the The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation.  I checked several of the hyperlinks and they all worked perfectly.

The The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation is a gorgeous new bible for specifically for women. It is filled with color and articles, maps and tables that help so much with bible study.

 The more I look through it the more I love it. It is filled with wonderful features that deal with life issues. For example, there is an article on Plotting A Course that I found very interesting. On page 1103 there is an article of Defending the Innocent. These articles enhance the The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation and make it so much more helpful than a regular bible. In one article there is a table outlining the Temples of the Bible. Fascinating. And in another, there is a table of Herbs of the Bible. I could go on and on about all the interesting features.

Each book of the Bible begins with a summary including the author, the date it was written, the background, themes and an outline. This is a very helpful feature for bible study. 
Highly recommend the The Woman's Study Bible, NKJV Receiving God's Truth for Balance, Hope, and Transformation.

Review: Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage by Gary L. Thomas

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 900 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (Jan. 10 2017)
  • Sold by: Zondervan CA (CA SOR)
  • Language: English

Book Description

 “Most marriages survive by gritting teeth and holding on. But marriages can and will not only survive but thrive when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another.”

Those are the powerful words of bestselling author Gary Thomas in his newest book—Cherish. And in a world desperate for marriage redemption, it is needed now more than ever.

Thomas shows that although there are a countless number of marriages consisting of two people just going through the motions, there are real ways this pattern can be reversed: when husbands and wives learn to cherish one another in proven, loving, and everyday actions and words.

Through personal stories and real world examples, Thomas proves what husbands and wives can begin doing today to turn their marriage around—even a marriage marred by neglect and disrespect.

So how do you cherish your spouse? Thomas will show you how going out of your way to notice them, appreciate them, honor them, encourage them, and hold them close to your heart will bring hope, light, and life into your marriage.


Cherish is full of wisdom, practical advice, and candor on a subject so personal and sacred---how to live the marriage you want every day. Gary Thomas brings truth and reminds us of Jesus in the midst of our earthly relationships. (Jennie Allen, author of Nothing to Prove and founder of IF:GATHERING)

Many of us vowed “to love and to cherish” when we married. We hear a lot of good advice about loving our spouses, and that’s certainly important---but there’s more. Gary Thomas shows us how to put love into action through cherishing the one we love. (Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family)

Gary Thomas has given a deep understanding and application of a key biblical concept that is sure to take any married couple who applies it to the next level. A must-read for every couple who wishes to grow their relationship. (Dr. Tony Evans, president of The Urban Alternative)

Sacred Marriage has become a classic, must-read book. Now Gary Thomas has written another wonderful book, Cherish, that focuses not just on loving your spouse, but on cherishing---treasuring, honoring, holding dear with tenderness, protecting, nurturing, and wanting to showcase---your spouse. This must-read book will be a tremendous help and blessing to couples and their marriages. (Siang-Yang Tan, PhD, professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary, and author of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Christian Perspective)

Two words come to mind every time I pick up a book by Gary Thomas: profound and practical. I often cover relationships on my radio show, and nobody articulates God’s deepest desire for our relationships quite like Gary Thomas does. He’s both convicting and encouraging, challenging and empowering. If your marriage feels dull and lackluster, read thoughtfully and prayerfully through Gary’s new book, Cherish. You’re only pages away from a new day and a new way of relating to your spouse. (Susie Larson, talk radio host, national speaker, and author of Your Powerful Prayers)

Every married person desires to love and cherish their spouse. Most of us have a sense of what it means to love well. Few of us have a vision of what it means to cherish our spouse. Gary Thomas paints a vivid picture of what it means to truly cherish another human being. This book reveals new pathways to grow a healthy, dynamic, and life-giving marriage. (Dr. Kevin G. Harney, pastor, author, and founder of Organic Outreach International.)

There is nothing more beautiful than to be in a relationship with someone who is supposed to love you . . . and they actually love you. Cherish helps bring home that sweet, happy spot in marriage. (Dr. Tim Clinton, president of American Association of Christian Counselors)

Get ready to be inspired! This book is sure to lift your marriage to a higher level---that’s what it did for us. But Gary does more than inspire. He equips. He shows us how to lovingly care for and treasure our spouse like never before. Don’t miss out on this incredibly practical message. Your marriage will never be the same. (Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, #1 New York Times bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts)

Gary Thomas has done it again! He has a way of shifting my marriage paradigm to shed brilliant light on what it means practically to honor God in my marriage. By bringing to life one little word, Cherish will do the same for you. (Dr. Juli Slattery, president of Authentic Intimacy)

Every couple gets married with great intentions for their marriage. Their marriage is going to be different; it’s going to be special. But many couples lose their purpose, and life gets busy, hardships come, and the marriage they have isn’t the marriage they wanted. Every couple wants to improve their marriage, but many don’t know where to start. That’s what I love about Cherish. Gary Thomas gets to the heart of marriage. Soak in his wisdom, apply these principles, and watch God transform your marriage relationship into something you cherish. (Justin Davis, pastor of Hope City Church, founder of RefineUs Ministries, and author of Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Good Enough)

I’ve always been a huge fan of Gary Thomas’s books, but Cherish is special. It shows couples how to turn disappointing marriages into delightful ones. I especially appreciated the chapter on honoring each other. As I work with couples in not just disappointing marriages but destructive ones, dishonoring is a significant issue. I’m grateful for Gary’s validation of the fact that regularly withholding cherish in one’s marriage can rise to the level of emotional abuse. (Leslie Vernick, licensed counselor, relationship coach, and author of the bestselling The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

About the Author

 Gary Thomas’ writing and speaking focuses on bringing people closer to Christ and closer to others. He is the author of 18 books that have been translated into a dozen languages. These books include A Lifelong Love, Sacred Marriage: What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?, The Sacred Search: What If It’s Not About Who You Marry, but Why?, Sacred Pathways, and the Gold Medallion award winner Authentic Faith. Gary holds an MA degree in systematic theology from Regent College, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Western Seminary. He serves on the teaching team (and as Writer in Residence) at Second Baptist Church, Houston, and is an adjunct faculty member at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. His books and ministry focus on spiritual formation: how we can integrate Scripture, church history, and the time-tested wisdom of the Christian classics into our modern experience of faith. Gary’s speaking ministry has led him to speak in 49 states and ten different countries, and on numerous national television and radio programs, including multiple appearances on Focus on the Family and Family Life Today. Gary enjoys running in his spare time and has completed 12 marathons, including the Boston Marathon three times. He and his wife Lisa have been married for 31 years and they have three adult children.

My Review

Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage is the first book that I have read by Gary L. Thomas. Cherish is a fascinating book that explores the marriage relationship and how that relationship can be improved by cherishing your partner.

To cherish your partner is such an obvious thing but how many of us put this into practice? Gary Thomas provides practical wisdom to help you attain the goal of improving your marriage relationship by cherishing your partner. Not just loving them but cherishing them for everything they do and everything that they are to you.

I found Cherish: The One Word That Changes Everything For Your Marriage to be an extremely powerful and insightful book. I highly recommend this book for all married couples. Gary Thomas provides a unique insight into marriage that I know can help everyone.

Highly recommend herish: The One Word That Changes Everything for Your Marriage by Gary L. Thomas.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1579 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sceptre (July 3 2014)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English

 Book Description

 A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.


My absolute summer-reading must is A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman: perfect beach reading for a grumpy old man. It has all the minimalist delicacy of STONER, but with a delicious wry wit. The book works on a very small scale, yet it sweeps through intense life dramas, all the while remaining funny, moving, uplifting...and a cracking good tale.―Rodney Bolt, author of As Good as God, as Clever as the Devil: The Impossible Life of Mary Benson

It's warm, funny, with the laughs based on a solid grasp of character; and ultimately almost unbearably moving.Daily Mail

Delightful... there's a bit of Ove in all of us - which makes it the perfect holiday read.―Evening Standard

A warm and tender story about love, loss and second chances, peppered with memorable characters, wonderful set pieces and some beautifully black humour. Ove is a joy from start to finish.―Gavin Extence, author of The Universe versus Alex Woods

A truly remarkable story! I HIGHLY suggest reading this! It gets you in the heart. Forget The Rosie Project! THIS is the book to be reading!―

A MAN CALLED OVE is a wonderful novel that will stay with you . . . Ove's story has an underlying sadness which the author tackles with great warmth and humour . . . It's a bittersweet, heartwarming tale which will leave listeners with a restored faith in the power of friendship and perhaps even a love for cats.―Psychologies Magazine

A Man Called Ove is exquisite. The lyrical language is the confetti thrown liberally throughout this celebration-of-life story, adding sparkle and color to an already spectacular party. Backman's characters feel so authentic that readers will likely find analogues living in their own neighborhoods.―Shelf Awareness, starred review

A funny crowd-pleaser that serves up laughs to accompany a thoughtful reflection on loss and love... The author writes with winning charm.―Publishers Weekly, starred review

A charming debut...You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life. You'll also want to move to Scandinavia, where everything's cuter.―People

This charming debut novel by Backman should find a ready audience with English-language readers . . . hysterically funny . . . wry descriptions, excellent pacing . . . In the contest of Most Winning Combination, it would be hard to beat grumpy Ove and his hidden, generous heart.―Kirkus

Readers seeking feel-good tales with a message will rave about the rantings of this solitary old man with a singular outlook. If there was an award for 'Most Charming Book of the Year,' this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down.Booklist, starred review

About the Author

Fredrik Backman is a Swedish blogger, columnist and author. His debut novel A MAN CALLED OVE was a number 1 bestseller across Scandinavia, has sold over one million copies worldwide, was a Richard & Judy summer read in the UK and an instant New York Times paperback bestseller, and has been made into an acclaimed film. Fredrik's subsequent novels, MY GRANDMOTHER SENDS HER REGARDS AND APOLOGISES and BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE, also went straight to number 1 in Sweden on publication.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

A Man Called Ove



Ove is fifty-nine.

He drives a Saab. He’s the kind of man who points at people he doesn’t like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman’s flashlight. He stands at the counter of a shop where owners of Japanese cars come to purchase white cables. Ove eyes the sales assistant for a long time before shaking a medium-sized white box at him.

“So this is one of those O-Pads, is it?” he demands.

The assistant, a young man with a single-digit body mass index, looks ill at ease. He visibly struggles to control his urge to snatch the box out of Ove’s hands.

“Yes, exactly. An iPad. Do you think you could stop shaking it like that . . . ?”

Ove gives the box a skeptical glance, as if it’s a highly dubious sort of box, a box that rides a scooter and wears tracksuit pants and just called Ove “my friend” before offering to sell him a watch.

“I see. So it’s a computer, yes?”

The sales assistant nods. Then hesitates and quickly shakes his head.

“Yes . . . or, what I mean is, it’s an iPad. Some people call it a ‘tablet’ and others call it a ‘surfing device.’ There are different ways of looking at it. . . .”

Ove looks at the sales assistant as if he has just spoken backwards, before shaking the box again.

“But is it good, this thing?”

The assistant nods confusedly. “Yes. Or . . . How do you mean?”

Ove sighs and starts talking slowly, articulating his words as if the only problem here is his adversary’s impaired hearing.

“Is. It. Goooood? Is it a good computer?”

The assistant scratches his chin.

“I mean . . . yeah . . . it’s really good . . . but it depends what sort of computer you want.”

Ove glares at him.

“I want a computer! A normal bloody computer!”

Silence descends over the two men for a short while. The assistant clears his throat.

“Well . . . it isn’t really a normal computer. Maybe you’d rather have a . . .”

The assistant stops and seems to be looking for a word that falls within the bounds of comprehension of the man facing him. Then he clears his throat again and says:

“. . . a laptop?”

Ove shakes his head wildly and leans menacingly over the counter.

“No, I don’t want a ‘laptop.’ I want a computer.”

The assistant nods pedagogically.

“A laptop is a computer.”

Ove, insulted, glares at him and stabs his forefinger at the counter.

“You think I don’t know that!”

Another silence, as if two gunmen have suddenly realized they have forgotten to bring their pistols. Ove looks at the box for a long time, as though he’s waiting for it to make a confession.

“Where does the keyboard pull out?” he mutters eventually.

The sales assistant rubs his palms against the edge of the counter and shifts his weight nervously from foot to foot, as young men employed in retail outlets often do when they begin to understand that something is going to take considerably more time than they had initially hoped.

“Well, this one doesn’t actually have a keyboard.”

Ove does something with his eyebrows. “Ah, of course,” he splutters. “Because you have to buy it as an ‘extra,’ don’t you?”

“No, what I mean is that the computer doesn’t have a separate keyboard. You control everything from the screen.”

Ove shakes his head in disbelief, as if he’s just witnessed the sales assistant walking around the counter and licking the glass-fronted display cabinet.

“But I have to have a keyboard. You do understand that?”

The young man sighs deeply, as if patiently counting to ten.

“Okay. I understand. In that case I don’t think you should go for this computer. I think you should buy something like a MacBook instead.”

“A McBook?” Ove says, far from convinced. “Is that one of those blessed ‘eReaders’ everyone’s talking about?”

“No. A MacBook is a . . . it’s a . . . laptop, with a keyboard.”

“Okay!” Ove hisses. He looks around the shop for a moment. “So are they any good, then?”

The sales assistant looks down at the counter in a way that seems to reveal a fiercely yet barely controlled desire to begin clawing his own face. Then he suddenly brightens, flashing an energetic smile.

“You know what? Let me see if my colleague has finished with his customer, so he can come and give you a demonstration.”

Ove checks his watch and grudgingly agrees, reminding the assistant that some people have better things to do than stand around all day waiting. The assistant gives him a quick nod, then disappears and comes back after a few moments with a colleague. The colleague looks very happy, as people do when they have not been working for a sufficient stretch of time as sales assistants.

“Hi, how can I help you?”

Ove drills his police-flashlight finger into the counter.

“I want a computer!”

The colleague no longer looks quite as happy. He gives the first sales assistant an insinuating glance as if to say he’ll pay him back for this.

In the meantime the first sales assistant mutters, “I can’t take anymore, I’m going for lunch.”

“Lunch,” snorts Ove. “That’s the only thing people care about nowadays.”

“I’m sorry?” says the colleague and turns around.

“Lunch!” He sneers, then tosses the box onto the counter and swiftly walks out.

My Review

 A Man Called Ove is Fredrik Backman's first book. It is a brilliant book. It is a book about aging, a book about love and a book about relationships. It is a book about a wonderful curmudgeon named Ove who lives in Sweden. He is a revelation. And Backman is now one of my favorite authors.

A Man Called Ove reminds all of us to respect and learn from our elders. They have a lot they can teach us. It is story about aging and the effect aging has on relationships. It is a story about a cat who breaks through a crabby older man's reserve. It is a story that is a complete delight. Tears were shed.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie at some point. I found this tale so heartwarming and loving. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Review: Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd (Flavia de Luce #8) by Alan Bradley

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1638 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Sept. 20 2016)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English

Book Description

 Hailed as “a combination of Eloise and Sherlock Holmes” by The Boston Globe, Flavia de Luce returns in a much anticipated new Christmas mystery from award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Alan Bradley.

In spite of being ejected from Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy in Canada, twelve-year-old Flavia de Luce is excited to be sailing home to England. But instead of a joyous homecoming, she is greeted on the docks with unfortunate news: Her father has fallen ill, and a hospital visit will have to wait while he rests. But with Flavia’s blasted sisters and insufferable cousin underfoot, Buckshaw now seems both too empty—and not empty enough. Only too eager to run an errand for the vicar’s wife, Flavia hops on her trusty bicycle, Gladys, to deliver a message to a reclusive wood-carver. Finding the front door ajar, Flavia enters and stumbles upon the poor man’s body hanging upside down on the back of his bedroom door. The only living creature in the house is a feline that shows little interest in the disturbing scene. Curiosity may not kill this cat, but Flavia is energized at the prospect of a new investigation. It’s amazing what the discovery of a corpse can do for one’s spirits. But what awaits Flavia will shake her to the very core.

Acclaim for Alan Bradley’s beloved Flavia de Luce novels, winners of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award, Barry Award, Agatha Award, Macavity Award, Dilys Award, and Arthur Ellis Award

About the Author

With an education in electronic engineering, Alan worked at numerous radio and television stations in Ontario, and at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) in Toronto, before becoming Director of Television Engineering in the media centre at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he remained for 25 years before taking early retirement to write in 1994.

He became the first President of the Saskatoon Writers, and a founding member of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. His children's stories were published in The Canadian Children's Annual, and his short story, Meet Miss Mullen, was the first recipient of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild Award for Children's Literature.

For a number of years, he regularly taught Script Writing and Television Production courses at the University of Saskatchewan (Extension Division) at both beginner and advanced levels.

His fiction has been published in literary journals and he has given many public readings in schools and galleries. His short stories have been broadcast by CBC Radio.

He was a founding member of The Casebook of Saskatoon, a society devoted to the study of Sherlock Holmes and Sherlockian writings. Here, he met the late Dr. William A.S. Sarjeant, with whom he collaborated on their classic book, Ms Holmes of Baker Street. This work put forth the startling theory that the Great Detective was a woman, and was greeted upon publication with what has been described as "a firestorm of controversy".

The release of Ms. Holmes resulted in national media coverage, with the authors embarking upon an extensive series of interviews, radio and television appearances, and a public debate at Toronto's Harbourfront. His lifestyle and humorous pieces have appeared in The Globe and Mail and The National Post.

His book The Shoebox Bible (McClelland and Stewart, 2006) has been compared with Tuesdays With Morrie and Mr. God, This is Anna.

In July of 2007 he won the Debut Dagger Award of the (British) Crimewriter's Association for his novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first of a series featuring eleven year old Flavia de Luce, which has since won the 2009 Agatha Award for Best First Novel,the 2010 Dilys Award,the Spotted Owl Award, and the 2010 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie has also been nominated for the Macavity, the Barry, and the Arthur Awards.

Alan Bradley lives in Malta with his wife Shirley and two calculating cats.

My Review

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd is the eighth Flavia de Luce novel by author Alan Bradley. This is one of my favorite series ever. Flavia de Luce is an absolute delight.

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd is beautifully written. I wouldn't recommend just picking up this volume; the entire series should be read in order to completely enjoy this series. It is an excellent series that deserves to be savored.

I highly recommend this entire series by Alan Bradley.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review: Dry Bones in the Valley (Henry Farrell #1) by Tom Bouman

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1093 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (July 7 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

Book Description

Winner of the 2015 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and Winner of the 2015 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

A stark, stirring debut mystery set in the hills of rural Pennsylvania.
When an elderly recluse discovers a corpse on his land,
Officer Henry Farrell is drawn into his first murder
investigation, a case he has little hope of closing. In Wild
Thyme Township, secrets and feuds go back generations.
Meth labs and heroin dealers are sprouting like mushrooms in
the woods, and the steady encroachment of gas drilling has
brought new wealth and discord. When danger strikes close
to home, Henry’s hunt for the killer will open old wounds,
dredge up ancient crimes, and lead to a final, deadly reckoning.
As Daniel Woodrell did for the Ozarks and Dennis Lehane
does for gritty South Boston, Tom Bouman immerses readers
in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region now undergoing
profound changes. Mystery readers will love fiddle-playing,
deer-hunting Henry Farrell, a bashful local cop with a wry
voice and hidden depths.


 A tough, edgy thriller that asks hard questions about the destruction of our environment, our local communities, and our families. Readers of smart literary thrillers are going to love this novel. I wish like hell that my name were on the cover. — Wiley Cash, New York Times best-selling author of A Land More Kind Than Home

Raymond Chandler said that Hammett took murder away from the manor houses and gave it back to the people who actually commit it. Tom Bouman continues that tradition. Bouman's story is deceptively simple, layered with history, bearing the promise of lightness, of redemption. — James Sallis, author of Drive

Tom Bouman is a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction. Dry Bones in the Valley is a tightly crafted piece of rural noir that seems pulled from the earth itself, a profound look at the dark corners of rural America. Readers of Daniel Woodrell and Donald Ray Pollock will find much to love. — Steve Weddle, author of Country Hardball

It's a mystery, yes, but it's also a love story between a man and the land and people he knows like the back of his hand. Dry Bones in the Valley is a gorgeous, lived-in novel, and Bouman's turns of phrase are chest-clutching in their beauty. — Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way

So smooth it's as if it was written on spring water. Shadowy, swift, impossible to put down. I was enraptured. Any justice and this writer will soon be a major star. — Joe R. Lansdale, author of Deadman’s Road

Officer Henry Farrell is a shy man, but in his own ways just as ornery and tough as the cast of rugged characters who inhabit his Pennsylvania woods, where the mysteries are as old as love and grief. A rural cop with a keen intelligence and a wounded heart, Henry’s the right man to unearth the secrets of Dry Bones in the Valley. Tom Bouman’s debut novel is one you won’t want to miss. — Ed Falco, author of The Family Corleone

[An] outstanding debut… Henry’s growth from a grief-stricken widower to a lawman with an inner resolve fuels the brisk plot, as does an evocative look at a changing landscape. — Publishers Weekly, Starred review

Bouman’s debut shows rural noir at its finest: a poetically written mystery about a man struggling with his inner demons and an area of great natural beauty few had heard of before the natural gas boom. — Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Grit-lit meets wry suspense, along with a keen rendering of place and politics. — New York Magazine (Six Books to Read this Summer)

Some stories are so sad, you want them to have the comfort of a gentle storytelling voice. Tom Bouman extends this kindness in… his beautifully written first novel. — Marilyn Stasio (New York Times Book Review)

[Incorporates] literary elements—thick atmosphere, regional rootedness, social scope—into an actual fast-paced mystery series. — Boris Kachka (New York Magazine)

An exciting and disturbing debut… Bouman brings his world to life with texture that gives every room and vehicle and person a history and character, keeping us immersed in this mesmerizing and often terrifying story. — Michael Sims (Washington Post)

Debut author Tom Bouman is a gem… Recommended for your end of summer pleasure. — Joe Hartlaub (Book Reporter)

About the Author

 A former book editor and musician, Tom Bouman lives with his wife and daughter in Pennsylvania.

My Review

 Dry Bones in the Valley is the first book in the Henry Farrell mystery series by Tom Bouman. It is also Bouman"s first book. I had heard great things about this book and am glad that I finally got around to reading it. I am looking forward to the next book in the series Fateful Mornings that will be released this year in 2017.

Dry Bones in the Valley is set in northeastern Pennsylvania, an area of which I know nothing so I found the setting very interesting. I also found it to be a dark place that doesn't have a lot of hope.

Dry Bones in the Valley introduces us to some very interesting characters. The main character Henry Farrell is a police officer in a very small community. The community is inhabited by families that have been there for generations. There are a lot of secrets Henry soon discovers. The backroads and the hills hide meth is a lot like other rural areas in the US that are suffering from a lack of an industrial base.

The background of the main character Henry Farrell is revealed as the novel moves along. Henry lost his wife to cancer...cancer he suspects was due to fracking. Henry is vehemently opposed to the fracking that is now finding a home in his area of northeastern Pennsylvania.

Great tale...great mystery...highly recommend. I am looking forward to Fateful Mornings and more from Tom Bouman.

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3221 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (May 9 2017)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01M22OP1Q
Book Description

A stunning debut about a girl who has learned how to survive – but not how to live.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is fine. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except sometimes, everything.

No-one’s ever told Eleanor life should be better than fine. But with a simple act of kindness she’s about to realise exactly how much better than fine life can be.


 “Eleanor Oliphant is a truly original literary creation: funny, touching, and unpredictable. Her journey out of dark shadows is expertly woven and absolutely gripping.” —Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

“Eleanor Oliphant endears herself to the reader with her cantankerous charm and her disarmingly inscrutable voice. A compulsive, irresistible narrative that arcs toward compassion and light.” —Mona Awad, author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl

“So powerful—I completely loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.” —Fiona Barton, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow

“Moving, hilarious, and intriguing, just like its unique, anti-social, anti-heroine. You will fall in love with Eleanor Oliphant.” —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest

"Witty, charming, and heartwarming, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is a remarkable debut about a singular woman." —Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)

“Like a contemporary Jane Eyre, Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is a woman scarred by profound loneliness, and the shadow of a harrowing childhood she can’t even bear to remember. Bit by bit, and with extraordinary courage, however, Eleanor begins peeling the layers of protective numbness, letting others near for the first time, and reaching for the life she hasn’t believed she deserves. Deft, compassionate and deeply moving—Honeyman’s debut will have you rooting for Eleanor with every turning page. I loved this story.” —Paula McClain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife

“Honeyman’s debut is a stunner, as buoyant and charming as it is heartwrenching and emotionally sophisticated. Poor Eleanor Oliphant—often clueless, at times maddening, but always fascinating—walks right off the page and into the reader’s heart. Not only is Eleanor Oliphant completely fine, she’s a revelation.” —Jonathan Evison, author of This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance
“The book occupies that sweet spot between literary and commercial fiction: a highly readable but beautifully written story that’s as perceptive and wise as it is funny and endearing.” The Guardian

“ absolute joy, laugh-out-loud funny but deeply moving.”Express UK

About the Author

 Gail Honeyman wrote her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, while working a full time job, and it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress. She has also been awarded the Scottish Book Trust's Next Chapter Award 2014, and was longlisted for BBC Radio 4's Opening Lines, and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Gail lives in Glasgow.

My Review

 Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a debut novel written by Gail Honeyman. It is set in Glasgow but the setting could be anywhere. This is a character driven novel. The layers of the characters, particularly Eleanor, are peeled away as the novel progresses. At first I was not completely enamored with Eleanor but as the novel progressed I found that I liked her and understood her more and more.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a lovely tale about a woman who has had a really tough life and has managed to have zero social skills. When a coworker Raymond befriends her she begins to evolve into a more social person. I laughed and I cried with Eleanor throughout this book.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is hard to put down once you get into it. You want to know more and more about Eleanor. I think this book is going to do really well when it is published in May 2017.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a must read book of 2017. Highly recommend.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Daddy's Girl: A Smoky Mountain Novel by Lin Stepp

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Mountain Hill Press (April 1, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0998506303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998506302

Book Description

 Olivia Benton, happy with her downtown floral shop in Bryson City, her rural home shared with her father, and the lavish gardens sprawling behind their mountain property, is stunned when Warner Zachary drives back into town. No one ever thought Weird Warner, or his big dreams, would ever amount to anything, and even Olivia, who loved him, was afraid to risk everything to follow Warner's dreams. Now he's returned to Bryson City, famous and widowed, and as soon as Olivia sees him, she realizes she still loves him - a dilemma she is not prepared to deal with.

Warner Zachary, now better known as W.T. Zachary for his famous Geeky Gilmore books for kids, has avoided even visiting Bryson City since high school graduation ten years ago. Unhappy memories linger of being bullied in school and spurned by his childhood neighbor and sweetheart, Olivia Benton. After his wife's murder, Warner heads home to spend time with family, old friends, and to take a well-needed vacation. He knows he'll see Olivia again but expects time to have healed his broken heart - and his anger.

About the Author

 Dr. Lin Stepp is a native Tennessean, a businesswoman, and an educator. She is on adjunct faculty at Tusculum College where she teaches research and has taught a wide variety of psychology and counseling courses for over 16 years. Her business background includes over 25 years in marketing, sales, production art, and regional publishing. She has editorial and writing experience in regional magazines and in the academic field. Stepp has nine published novels each set in different locations around the Smoky Mountains. Her novels published by Kensington Publishing include Down by the River (June 2014), Makin’ Miracles (January 2015), Saving Laurel Springs (October 2015) and Welcome Back (March 2016) as well as a short novella A Smoky Mountain Gift included in the 2014 Christmas anthology, featuring Fern Michaels, and titled When the Snow Falls. Previous titles include: Second Hand Rose, Delia’s Place, For Six Good Reasons, Tell Me About Orchard Hollow, and The Foster Girls. Stepp and her husband have published a Smokies hiking guide titled The Afternoon Hiker (2014). 

My Review

 Daddy's Girl is the latest book in the A Smoky Mountain Novel series by Christian romance author Lin Stepp. I have read most of the books in this series and I have developed a deep affection for them. Lin Stepp writes beautiful tales of romance set in Smoky Mountains.

Daddy's Girl is set in Bryson City, a small town in western North Carolina. It is a delightful place that is a gateway to the beautiful Smoky Mountains. I have been lucky enough to visit there. I found that author Stepp represented the town perfectly.

Warner Zachery who is now a famous children's author left town ten years ago and had no desire to return until his wife is murdered and he returns home to heal. Olivia Benton once loved Warner and now realizes when he returns that she is still in love with him. Will Warner ever be able to forgive her for breaking his heart all those years ago?

Daddy's Girl is a good title for the book as Olivia is definitely a Daddy's girl. It is interesting to watch their story progress. This is a book about relationships - both family and friend relationships. 

I loved that Olivia is now a florist who owns a flower shop in Bryson City. I have my professional credentials as a floral designer though I never took up that profession; it is just a hobby for me. I loved reading about the flower shop. I felt that author Stepp did a great job accurately describing the floral shop and the activities there.

Daddy's Girl is a well written lovely Christian romance. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy and be sure to read the entire series. There are discussion questions at the end should you pick Daddy's Girl for a book club.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Review: Bitter Roots (Bitter Root Mysteries #1) by C.J. Carmichael

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2135 KB
  • Print Length: 174 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tule Publishing (April 25 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N7WS2JG

Book Description

 Bitter Roots (Book 1 of Bitter Root Mysteries)

Dispatcher Zak Waller prefers working behind the scenes in the Sheriff’s Office of Lost Trail, Montana, but when a newcomer to the sparely populated town is brutally murdered—and the Sheriff is quick to pin the death on an unknown outsider—Zak starts his own private sleuthing.

On the surface Lost Trail is a picture-perfect western town, offering a simple way of life revolving around the local ranches and ski hill, but Zak knows the truth behind the façade. When his old school friend Tiff Masterson, whose family owns a local Christmas tree farm, moves back to town, the two of them join forces to get to the truth about the murder.

Bitter Roots is the first of four Bitter Root Mysteries.

About the Author

 USA Today Bestselling author C. J. Carmichael has written over 45 novels in her favorite genres of romance and mystery. She has been nominated twice for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, as well as RT Bookclub’s Career Achievement in Romantic Suspense award, and the Bookseller’s Best honor. Visit her on her Website, on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

She gave up the thrills of income tax forms and double entry book-keeping in 1998 when she sold her first book to Harlequin Superromance. Since then she has published over 35 novels with Harlequin and is currently working on a series of western romances with Tule Publishing. In addition C. J. Carmichael has published several cozy mystery series as an Indie author.

When not writing C. J. enjoys family time with her grown daughters and her husband. Family dinners are great. Even better are the times they spend hiking in the Rocky Mountains around their home in Calgary, and relaxing at their cottage on Flathead Lake, Montana.

Visit C.J.'s website at

For information on C. J.’s new releases and giveaways please sign up for her newsletter.

My Review

Bitter Roots (is the first book in the Bitter Root Mysteries series by C.J. Carmichael. I have read romance books of Carmichael's in the past and always enjoyed them. Bitter Roots is fast read and a good mystery. It is well written and enjoyable to read.

The story centers around Tiff Masterson who has returned to the small Montana town of Lost Trail. An accountant, she had been living in Seattle until her work and home life ended in chaos. She headed to Lost Trail and is quickly caught up in a mystery involving the death of a young woman working on her family's Christmas tree farm. Together with Tiff's high school friend and now police dispatcher Zak, they begin to look into the mystery.

I enjoyed the characters. It will be interesting to see in future books if Zak decides to become a police officer instead of a dispatcher.

Good fast read. Mystery fans will enjoy Bitter Roots. I am looking forward to the next books in the series.

Review: Undertow: A B.C. Blues Crime Novel by R.M. Greenaway

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1043 KB
  • Print Length: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (March 25 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01F8UDJD6

Book Description

 A heartbreaking set of murders bring detectives Leith and Dion together in the Lower Mainland, where violence flows like a riptide.

Last summer the inlet waters washed an unnamed woman’s body onto the rocks of North Vancouver’s Neptune shipyards. When RCMP Constable Cal Dion returns home after a year’s absence, he finds the case still open and grown cold.

While Dion works to fit back in and put closure to the Jane Doe drowning case, newly relocated Constable Dave Leith is learning to cope with his first big-city posting. But they have bigger concerns: Why would anyone beat up a young electrician, then track down his wife and baby girl to finish them off? It is a motiveless and haunting killing that leaves behind one small witness and a handful of cryptic clues. And who battered and asphyxiated a wealthy nightclub owner in his own garage? A case of home invasion, by the looks of it. But Leith has a less abstract set of suspects to deal with: the victim’s business partner and his strange little clan.

The North Vancouver General Investigations Section is put to the test, with two files to solve, one tragic cold case, and Dion seemingly lost at sea.

About the Author

 RM GREENAWAY has worked in nightclubs, darkrooms, and courthouses. She writes the B.C. BLUES crime series, featuring RCMP detectives Leith and Dion. Her first novel COLD GIRL, winner of the 2014 Arthur Ellis Unhanged award, will be released 26 March 2016.

My Review

 Undertow: A B.C. Blues Crime Novel is the second book in the series by R.M. Greenaway. Undertow is the first book of Greenaway's that I have read.

The setting is what first got my attention. It is set near to my BC home and I am very familiar with all the locations utilized by the author. A great job was done representing the BC settings.

Greenaway has created some great characters in this series. The RCMP officers, Bosko, Leith and Dion, are all very interesting. I also found the characters that are unique to this novel to be interesting and believable.

I really enjoyed reading Undertow. I found that I had a hard time putting it down. I do recommend Undertow and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The NKJV Woman's Study Bible Grow in the Word Giveaway

You're invited to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation in the fully revised and redesigned The NKJV Woman's Study Bible. The new edition features a beautiful, full-color redesign and poignantly reveals the Word of God with Scripture insights and the contributions of more than eighty women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.

This spring, cultivate your heart's spiritual roots and enter to win the Grow in the Word Giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on April 27. The winner will be announced April 28 on the Litfuse blog.

About the book: 

The Woman's Study Bible 
poignantly reveals the Word of God to women, inviting them to receive God's truth for balance, hope, and transformation.
Special features designed to speak to a woman's heart appear throughout the Bible text, revealing Scripture-based insights about how godly womanhood grows from a woman's identity as a Christ-follower and a child of the Kingdom.
Now with a beautiful full-color redesign, 
The Woman's Study Bible reflects the contributions of over 80 women from a wide variety of ethnic, denominational, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Since the publication of the first edition of The Woman's Study Bible under the editorial guidance of Dorothy Kelley Patterson and Rhonda Harrington Kelley, this landmark study Bible has sold over 1.5 million copies.
Features Include:
-Beautiful full-color design throughout
-Detailed biographical portraits of over 100 biblical women
-Thousands of extensive verse-by-verse study notes
-Over 300 in-text topical articles on relevant issues
-Insightful essays by women who are recognized experts in the fields of theology, biblical studies, archaeology, and philosophy
-Book introductions and outlines
-Hundreds of full-color in-text maps, charts, timelines, and family trees
-Quotes from godly women throughout history
-Set of full-page maps of the biblical world
-Topical index

About the publisher:
In business since 1798, Thomas Nelson is one of the oldest Bible publishers in the world and the largest publisher of the King James Version. Their mission is to inspire the world by using our talents, assets, opportunities, and influence to engage and equip people with Scripture and draw people to a deeper study and understanding of God's Word.

Find out more about Thomas at

My Review

The NKJV Woman's Study Bible Grow in the Word is a gorgeous new bible for specifically for women. It is filled with color and articles, maps and tables that help so much with bible study.

 The more I look through it the more I love it. It is filled with wonderful features that deal with life issues. For example on page 1087 there is an article on Plotting A Course that I found very interesting. On page 1103 there is an article of Defending the Innocent. These articles enhance the NKJV Woman's Study Bible Grow in the Word and make it so much more helpful than a regular bible. On page 1261 there is a table outlining the Temples of the Bible. Fascinating. On pages 1402 and 1403 there is a table of Herbs of the Bible. I could go on and on about all the interesting features.

Each book of the Bible begins with a summary including the author, the date it was written, the background, themes and an outline. This is a very helpful feature for bible study. 
Highly recommend the NKJV Woman's Study Bible Grow in the Word.