Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Luke is coming home from burying his wife, a woman he has loved since he was a teen, married 16 years, with 3 children they loved together. He is far too young to be a widower. It's a fate the family does not deserve. And yet... here they are. Without the foundation of their home and family.  They are now left alone to forge a life together, and still alone. 
But Luke begins to get letters from Natalie, AFTER the funeral. AFTER they say goodbye. She has been writing letters for him for a long time, it seems, as they continue to arrive. He follows the instructions she has left him, hiring a young student, 21 year old Jessie, to help care for the house and the kids. He believes he has made this decision under duress, but quickly finds out his wife knew exactly what he needs. 
As Luke struggles to live without the love of his life, he begins to see many aspects of his life from Natalie's perspective, and realizes there were things right in front of him that he was seemingly blind to before she dies. He tries to "fix" those problems, but makes them worse.  Natalie's best friend, Annie, begs him to stop obsessing over the letters that continue to come, but he cannot let go. His 14 year old son finds evidence in black and white that he may not be Luke's biological son. The entire house is in an uproar.... is this Natalie's fault? What HAS she been trying to tell Luke? Does she have a secret that could tear their family apart, more so than even her death has done? The story continues along the maze trails, leading us left than right, but to what end? The tale had me in tears, and again smiling as the pages turned. 
This book is a great read.  If you believe in love, it's the book for you. 
I received a digital ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. 
Take a chance. The book held me captive until the final words... yes. It's that good. 

HBO shines again...

I just watched the HBO special about James Foley. It was an in-depth look at this man, I found it a bit difficult to hear his family, obviously still deeply grieving, tell about how this man eventually sold all of his belongings because he was seemingly richer without them, this man, living in a single room, a cell, with several others, for months, not knowing what's next. Not knowing what time, what day, what month, it is/was. Worrying about the men he was with, never selfish. Even in  this scenario, where he didn't know what was next. Ever. There was a full YEAR of captivity before the family even got proof of life. I cannot imagine the agony. How does one even put one foot in front of another, move through the actions of  day-to-day living, while a year passes, waiting to know WHO has kidnapped your son/brother/friend.... although the movie left me sick to my stomach, and with great heartache, it was EXPERTLY done. I was captivated throughout. I felt renewed agony over the loss of my own brother, which is holding ME captive. I can't seem to accept the things that have happened, although logically I'm aware there's no way to change the details. They are here to stay. I am left alone, to live with the gory details, deal with the fact it was the son he created who turned on him, and took his life in the most cowardly way possible. I wrestle with my own angry thoughts about my nephew, now serving a life sentence with zero chance of parole. His life is essentially over. The difference is this: He can still see his mother, his brother, his grandparents, any friends he may have left, but I am unable to ever see or speak to my brother again. I never got to say goodbye properly. There will likely never be real closure. My nephew will never fully understand what he has done to the people left behind. He wasn't mature enough to 'get' how evil this act was. I imagine he still sits and thinks "oh, well..." No different than the terrorists that took the life of this man, James Foley, a man who never looked toward himself, but to others. Just like my brother, Richard. 
It's so true, but why? Why do the good guys get taken way too soon? 
Watch this documentary, it's heartbreaking, but you'll find that you need to know the details, gory as they might be. Prayers to those he left behind....

I never imagined I would have any more kids....but here I go again!

meet AXEL 
 meet XEN
the new kids, AXEL and XEN, sweet little 'brothers' ....

The House by the Lake by Ella Carey~ ANOTHER BOOK REVIEW!~ I've been so immersed in my Kindle...

The House By The Lake is a delightful historical fiction piece. It's about a young lady Anna, who indulges what she suspects is her grandfather's dying wish. He is such a beloved family member, she simply cannot deny him this wish, although she is filled with dread about the entire idea. He asks her to retrieve an item he hid under the floorboards in his old home. The request comes along with the startling reveal that Anna comes from an aristocratic family. A family that lost everything during WWII. Anna travels to Germany on a quest to grant her grandfather's wish and recover the lost item. She seeks answers about the family's lifeline along the way. The book covers both story lines, the 1930's, a desperate time for Max, as a young man in love, and devoted to his family and country. 
The quest for answers leads her to Wil, an attorney from Germany, who has consented to help her. 
Anna uncovers secrets about Max, and the love affair with Isabelle, who happens to be the granddaughter of an infamous courtesan from Paris, Mathe de Florian. A bittersweet love story is always captivating...
The storytelling was emotional, raw; the time lines seamlessly woven together, at the same time very easy to go back and forth in the book without confusing the two, slowly revealing the plot so deep you'll not be able to rest until the final page. It's not a simple fairy tale with the proverbial happy ending. You'll shed tears if you've a heart. And yet you'll smile...
This is a book that's definitely worth the read....
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

BOOK REVIEW~ Secrets of Men in a Lifeboat by Todd R. Baker~ THIS ONE'S A GREAT READ!!!

Luke is a divorced father of an 8 year old boy, who is clearly the center of his world. The man is down on his luck, financially drained, with a chip on his shoulder about all of the things he has tried to strike it rich, but seemingly failed. He is bitter as hell about where he is in life, but he continues to nurture his relationship with his son, who seems to be the only person who keeps Luke above water.  Not for long. While alone, feeling as low as one can imagine, Luke decides his life is not worth living. In a bizarre twist, he is suddenly the person he believes he deserves to be. He strikes it rich with his Internet start up technology, but he is so driven to to be rich, his life around him tumbles like a stack of blocks. His relationships are soured, he treats his son like an afterthought, he is a vicious but wealthy man. In the end, he has made many choices that have steered him down the wrong path, but can he get back and redeem himself? I found it was just like the classic, "It's a Wonderful Life" ... a beautifully woven tale, I picked it up, and found I was unable to put it down willingly. When I was forced to look away, my mind would lot let go. The story was continuously in the forefront of my mind, getting back to finish was a constant goal. I've been beyond the final chapter for weeks now, but the tale has not let go. I continue to think about what I've read, and replay the chapters in my mind again and again. It's so damned good, this is one I know I'll read again, just to renew the feeling I got from reading it the first time.
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
Read the book. Absorb it. Then read it again. You won't be sorry....

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

My Kindle Appetite Is Never Satisfied! ~ Another Book Review~ The Window Washer by Eric Rill

I'm a huge fan of thrillers, this certainly was one. I admit, in the beginning , I wasn't quite sure, as the story seemed a bit scattered.Jumping all over. As I read further, everything was falling into place, and making sense, a cohesive story. What I enjoyed the most was the fact that I could NEVER predict what was coming next. The story kept me guessing throughout. There was constant action, characters were not who they seemed, and the pace kept up until the resolution at the end. I will seek out another novel by this author; I think he's worth my time! I received an ARC from for my honest and unbiased opinion on the book. I think you'll enjoy it if you are a fan of thrillers. Take the time to read this one!

Quiet time, lost sleep hours, leading to another BOOK REVIEW!

BEHAVE by Andromeda Romano-Lax

This book was GREAT! My reading time has been highly condensed of late, but I missed MANY sleep hours, not able to put DOWN THE KINDLE! I found myself feeling pity for Rar initially, she was such a naive' girl. 
But as I got further immersed into her life, I found a new respect for her tough shell, her ability to adapt quickly to her husband's immature behavior, and to hold her head high as a daughter, sister, wife, and mother. Her life was wrought with difficulties, but she was able to find the  positive in every scenario. Whether she was in great denial, or simply able to plunder through all of life's trials without a falter is beyond me. This book tells the most interesting story. I'd read it AGAIN in a month or so, had I time. It was that good. I received the opportunity to read this ARC from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest an unbiased review. I am SO very thankful, as this story enriched my life. Thank you. 
Read the book. Really. It's a piece of history I knew NOTHING about prior to the onset of this book. It's been on my mind continuously since. Even though I've been done with the book for days, my mind continues to bring the characters into focus. I've also determined that I HAVE to research the story further online. My curiosity continues to peak! There are very few novels having that affect. I plan to act upon it as soon as time permits.