Thursday, December 29, 2016

When Mischief Came to Town

By Katrina Nannestad
Children's Book

After her mother passes, Inge Maria moves in with an elderly grandmother she does not know. She enrolls in a new school and meets a variety of people in the new town. Wherever she goes, mischief seems to follow. Inge Maria has a creative sense of humor and offers reasons for the occurring events. Inge Maria helps take care of an injured animal and meets another child who is also orphaned. She is touched when Grandmother shares what little they have with both. She finds acceptance and unconditional love with Grandmother and learns the importance of compassion, friends, and family relationships.

~ Miss Deb

Some Boys

By Patty Blount
YA Book

Grace is raped by the star athlete in school that everyone loves. She is ridiculed and mocked by many as the truth is revealed. Despite many options, Grace faces everyone at school and lives the mantra “what is right is not always popular, what is popular is not always right. She is a survivor.

This book certainly makes one think about how one would respond if your best is accused of rape and how to treat others who have been raped. Readers will find themselves torn between various versions of the event. It is very realistic in dialogue, delivery, and situation and wraps up nicely in the end.

~ Miss Deb

Monday, December 19, 2016

Empire of Storms (#5 Throne of Glass series)

By Sarah J. Maas

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mozza at Home: More than 150 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes

By Nancy Silverton

Now, in Mozza at Home, Nancy shares her renewed passion and provides nineteen menus packed with easy-to-follow recipes that can be prepared in advance (with no fancy restaurant equipment needed!) and are perfect for entertaining. Organized by meal, each menu provides a main dish along with a complementary selection of appetizers and side dishes. 

Under Nancy's guidance you can mix and match all the options depending on the size of your gathering. Make a few sides for a small dinner party with friends, or make them all for a delicious family feast! And don’t forget dessert there’s an entire chapter dedicated to end-of-meal treats such as Devil's Food Rings with Spiced White Mountain Frosting and Dario's Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary and Pine Nuts that can be prepared hours before serving so that the host gets to relax during the event too.


Wild Sex: The Science Behind Mating in the Animal Kingdom

By Dr. Carin Bondar

Birds do it, bees do it — every member of the animal kingdom does it, from fruit flies to blue whales. But if you think humans have a tough time dating, try having to do it while being hunted down by predators, against a backdrop of unpredictable and life-threatening conditions. The animal kingdom is a wild place – and it’s got mating habits to match. The sex lives of our animal cousins are fiendishly difficult, infinitely varied, often incredibly violent — and absolutely fascinating.

In Wild Sex, Dr. Carin Bondar takes readers on an enthralling tour of the animal kingdom as she explores the diverse world of sex in the wild. She investigates a wide range of topics, from whether animals experience pleasure from sex to what happens when females hold the reproductive power. Along the way, she encounters razor-sharp penises, murderous carnal cannibals, and spontaneous chemical warfare in an epic battle between the sexes.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Family Handyman

The Family Handyman Refresh Your Home and 100 Weekend Projects Anyone Can Do
Refresh Your Home has many tips and techniques to save you money, energy, and frustration. There is a lot of useful information for the seasoned DIYer to the beginner. The book includes pro’s favorite shortcuts, info on which products work best and some funny stories of other homeowner’s bloopers.

100 Weekend Projects has some great ideas with all color photos and easy step by step instructions. (I’ve already arranged to have one project built for me!) I liked the book so much I bought one for a Christmas gift.

Both books would be great to have in your home library.

~ Dixie

Today Will Be Different

By Maria Semple
Audiobook format

Did you, like me, enjoy 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette?' also by Maria Semple? There are some definite similarities between Bernadette and Eleanor Flood. Each, a middle-aged woman living with her husband and child in Seattle; stay-at-home Moms who previously had prestigious careers; quirky and neurotic people with a dry wit and a hilarious take on everyday life.

In 'Today Will Be Different', Eleanor is the wife to Joe, a hand surgeon who’s a team doctor for the Seattle Seahawks, and mother to young Timby.

Overcoming buried family secrets & painful memories, this is a funny and smart book that made me laugh out loud and the audiobook narrator is the best!

~ Paula

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What We Find

By Robyn Carr

I will try any book written by Robyn Carr but I almost didn’t try this book because I thought what was written on the book jacket sounded like something that would not interest me.  I’m glad I didn’t listen to myself; I have thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Fans of Robyn Carr and folks new to this author, give this book a try, you will enjoy how she represents powerful women and their interactions with other women and men in stressful situations as well as everyday life.  I appreciate how Robyn Carr always leaves you feeling good about the characters and the lives they “live”.

~ Beckie

The Lake House

By Kate Morton

Every family has secrets and the Edevane family is no different. It is 1933 and the Edevane family is hosting their Midsummer party. This all night party is a huge event for hundreds of people and looked forward to with great anticipation. Before the night is over, a great tragedy strikes and life is never the same for this family.

Theo Edevane, the much loved only son, has vanished from his crib. The happiness of this party night has vanished also. The long investigation that ensues turns up nothing and the Edevane family leaves their beloved summer estate for London, never to return.

Seventy years later, Sadie, a young detective stumbles upon the run down mansion and learns of the baby boy who disappeared so long ago. What Sadie uncovers is an astonishing tale of secrets, suspicions and regret. I loved this book, it kept me guessing until the end.

~ Dixie

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Great Shelby Holmes

by Elizabeth Eulberg

This is a fun middle grade mystery. Shelby Holmes is not your ordinary nine year old. She is in sixth grade, barely four feet tall and has bright red hair. What makes Shelby really stand out is her skill as a detective in her Harlem neighborhood. Shelby studies people: what they say, how they act, and what they wear. What Shelby doesn’t understand is friendship. She has never had a good friend and her blunt behavior probably has a lot to do with that.  When John Watson moves into the Harlem neighborhood with his Mom, he wants to find a friend. John is patient with Shelby’s unusual personality so he can figure out how she does the detective work. As Watson learns about sleuthing, Holmes learns about friendship and together they solve a missing dog mystery. Told from Watson’s perspective, the story also touches on Watson struggling with moving often and his parents’ divorce.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

by Elizabeth Gilbert
Image result for Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both were survivors of previous bad divorces. Enough said.) But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving into this topic completely, trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is.


Friday, October 28, 2016

VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good

by Mark Bittman

Image result for VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for GoodSix years ago, an overweight, pre-diabetic Mark Bittman faced a medical directive: adopt a vegan diet or go on medication. His solution was a deal with himself. He would become a “flexitarian.” He adopted a diet heavy in vegetables, fruits, and grains by following a healthy vegan diet (no meat, dairy, or processed foods) all day. After 6:00 p.m. he’d eat however he wanted, though mostly in moderation. Beyond that, his plan involved no gimmicks, scales, calorie counting, or point systems. And there were no so-called forbidden foods—he ate mostly home-cooked meals that were as varied and satisfying as they were delicious, but he dealt with the realities of the office and travel and life on the run as best he could.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Irish Country Love Story

By Patrick Taylor

Patrick Taylor is one of my favorite authors; I truly enjoy John Keating’s reading of his novels. This many faceted work contains many love stories: Young love of engaged Barry Laverty, Fingal’s partner; the love of an ailing pensioner for his old dog that becomes lost; the love of the community for their long time doctor and his threatened home and more.

If Patrick Taylor is new to you or one of your favorites, I’m certain you will enjoy reading or listening to his latest work An Irish Country Love Story.

~ Beckie

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

the life she wants

By Robyn Carr

I almost stopped reading this novel. The background of the story focuses on a Ponzi scheme which is something that is so objectionable to me that I soon had had enough. But I am such a fan of Robyn Carr I thought that I would persevere and read to the end and I’m glad I did.

Emma’s dream life is shattered by her husband’s many extremely bad choices. She is left with nothing and goes back to her home town to try to start living a “normal life”. One of her best friends welcomes her with open arms and a place to stay. Her other best friend, from whom she has been estranged for years does not. Life is very hard and but she is determined to be a survivor.

If you like a good story about powerful women that is thought-provoking with a good touch of humor, you will enjoy “the life she wants”.

~ Beckie

Great Reckoning

By Louis Penny

Great Reckoning is one of Penny's best. Armand Gamache has retired and moved to Three Pines with his wife following his near-death injuries. Gamache is offered the position of Commander of the Surete Academy. This position will allow him to finish rooting out corruption in the Surete at the entry level. Unfortunately, things are worse than he expected. Like many of her stories, there are multiple story lines that are woven together for a fascinating conclusion.

~ Rochelle

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Bicycle Spy

By Yona Zeldis McDonough
(Juvenile book)

Marcel loves to ride his bicycle and dreams of someday racing in the Tour de France. He is happy racing his friends or making bread deliveries for his parents’ bakery. His little town in France is feeling the effects of Germany’s occupation. For two years now, since 1940, the race has been cancelled. As Marcel makes his deliveries, he is often stopped by soldiers and questioned about where he is going and why. Then Marcel discovers that this war is much worse than he imagined. His friend’s entire family is in imminent danger as is his whole family. He can help by taking the most risky bicycle ride of his life. If this isn’t successful, life for these two families will change for the worse.

~ Dixie

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Indian Summer


Starring: Alan Arkin, Diane Lane and Bill Paxton. Eight friends reunite at their summer camp after 20 years. They might be 20 years older but they are still full of fun – practical jokes, races, kitchen raids and those romances that started 20 years ago just might start up again. This is a fun movie. Rated PG-13

~ Dixie

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Pushing Up Daisies

By: M.C. Beaton

Agatha Raisin is perpetually longing after a man and solving difficult mysteries. Pushing Up Daisies continues with this theme. When Lord Bellington wants to turn a community garden area into housing the gardeners are outraged. You may be able to guess what happens to Lord Bellington but the “who-done-it” is not revealed until the end of the story. There are multiple murders and an attempt that failed; Agatha and her crew find out the perpetrator(s) before the police. M.C. Beaton always gives the reader a great story with plenty of twists and turns, I hope you enjoy Pushing Up Daisies as much as I have.

~Beckie H.

Otherworld Series 11,12 ,13

Waking the Witch (Otherworld #11)
by Kelley Armstrong
At twenty-one, Savannah Levine-orphaned daughter of a notorious dark witch and an equally notorious cutthroat sorcerer-considers herself a full-fledged member of the otherworld. The once rebellious teen has grown into a six-foot-tall, motorcycle-riding jaw-dropper, with an impressive knowledge of and ability to perform spells. The only problem is, she's having a hard time convincing her adoptive parents, Paige and Lucas, to take her seriously as an adult.
Suddenly, Savannah gets the chance she's been waiting for: Recruited by another supernatural detective, she travels to Columbus, Washington, a small, dying town. Two troubled young women have been found in an abandoned warehouse, murdered. Now a third woman's dead, and on closer inspection small details point to darker forces at play. Savannah feels certain she can handle the case, but with signs of supernatural activity appearing at every turn, things quickly become more serious- and far more dangerous-than she realizes.

Spell Bound (Otherworld #12)
by Kelley Armstrong
Savannah Levine is all grown up. As a witch endowed with an array of spells, she is also a force to be reckoned with. As a paranormal investigator she is finally coming into her own. But her last case tore a family apart, and Savannah swore she'd give up her powers to fix the mess she helped create. Someone--or something--must have been listening. Powerless and on the run from witch-hunting assassins, Savannah stumbles upon a gathering storm that threatens the very existence of the Otherworld.

Thirteen (Otherworld #13)
by Kelley Armstrong
War is coming to the Otherworld. A sinister cult known as The Supernatural Liberation Movement is hell-bent on exposing the truth about supernaturals to the rest of the world. Their violent, ruthless plan has put everyone at risk: from werewolves to vampires, from witches to half-demons. On the eve of battle, all the major players must come together in a last, desperate fight for survival - Elena and Clay; Adam and Savannah; Paige and Lucas; Jeremy and Jaime; Hope and Karl, Eve and more...They are fighting for lives.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

At the Edge of the Orchard

By Tracy Chevalier
Audiobook format

The narration of the first section of this novel is split between James and Sadie Goodenough, the parents of a very dysfunctional family. They tell of their struggle to survive after being forced to leave their Connecticut home in 1829. They get stuck in the mud of the Black Swamp (north-west Ohio), a place Native Americans would not live, and decide that this free land will be their home. The next section takes an unexpected turn, a series of letters from one of the children who has left home at age nine.

I don’t like to give away too much of the plot when blogging a book so I am going to conclude by saying that if you enjoy historical fiction you will truly enjoy At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier. To quote Geraldine Brooks: “Chevalier is a master at foregrounding the small, dramatic stories of the overlooked people from the past.”
~ Beckie

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Crooked House

By Christobel Kent
ebook format available through Overdrive

Did you enjoy The Girl On The Train? Also set in modern-day U.K., The Crooked House is a psychological thriller that begins with fourteen-year-old Esme Grace hearing shotgun blasts targeting her family from her upstairs bedroom.

Flash forward thirteen years as Esme, now "Alison" from London, has returned to her childhood town with her boyfriend Paul for a wedding. The unsolved murders still haunt the town as Alison begins to uncover the secrets of her past.

~ Paula

To See You Again: A True Story of Love in a Time of War

By Betty Schimmel

As children in 1939, Betty and Richie met in Budapest. As teenagers, they fell in love during WWII. Their love was so strong they believed it could survive even a world war and the terror of Hitler. When the two are separated by the Nazis, Betty vows she will find Richie someday. Betty and her family endure a forced march, life in a concentration camp, deplorable conditions and finally liberation. (In my opinion, it is doubtful that anyone in her family would have survived without the strength and determination of her mother.) After the Liberation, Betty finds Richie’s name on a list as dead but cannot accept it. She feels pressured into a marriage to an Auschwitz survivor, but she never forgets her love for Richie. In fact, before she marries she tells her husband to be that she cannot fully return his love and asks for release from the marriage if she ever finds Richie. He agrees. They marry and have three children together. Then in 1975, Betty and her daughter travel to Budapest and miraculously she recognizes her first love.

~ Dixie

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rare Objects

By Kathleen Tessaro

Maeve Fanning is a twenty some-thing first generation Irish immigrant living in Boston during the Great Depression. Raised by her single mother, she is capable, clever and headstrong. She finds herself in a downward spiral after moving to New York City, hits rock bottom and decides to move back home to start over. In her attempt to better herself, she lands a job at an antiques shop catering to the city’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Consequently she gets caught up in the opulent lifestyle of the rich but is unable to find happiness there. Eventually she does seem to find contentment.

This book is beautifully written and full of historical detail. I hope you enjoy Rare Objects as much as I did.

~ Beckie H.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Brain on Fire – My Month of Madness

By Susannah Cahalan

Very Scary! Brain on Fire is the true story of Susannah Cahalan who, at 24 years old, began showing signs of obsessive behavior which turns into insomnia, hand numbness, tingling, inability to cope with her job, paranoia and seizures. All the tests done by her doctors came back normal as her symptoms got worse and worse. Her parents and new boyfriend, refuse to believe she is psychotic. Finally, they call in “the doctor to go to when nothing makes sense.” He and another doctor make a diagnosis and the treatment begins. It is a long road to recovery. Although Cahalan has severe memory loss of what happened to her, as a reporter, she pieces together the story and writes this book. My blog can’t do this book justice. A must read!

~ Dixie

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Million Years in a Day

A curious history of everyday life from the stone age to the phone age

by Greg Jenner

Ever wonder how the toothbrush came about, or how about toilet paper and toilets? Jenner describes the evolution of everyday items and habits. Items we use or consume without giving thought to how they came to be. Humorous and enlightening.



by Danielle Steel

As Tallie is in the midst of directing the most ambitious film she has yet undertaken, small disturbances begin to ripple through her well-ordered world. An outside audit reveals troubling discrepancies in the financial records maintained by Victor Carson, Tallie's longtime, trusted accountant. Mysterious receipts hint at activities of which she has no knowledge. Soon it becomes clear that someone close to Tallie has been steadily funneling away enormous amounts of her money. In the wake of an escalating series of shattering revelations, Tallie will find herself playing the most dangerous game of all--to trap a predator stalking her in plain sight.


Monday, August 22, 2016

The Complete Persepolis

by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland.


Etiquette and Espionage

By Gail Carriger

I may be late to the table on this author, but I just read Gail Carriger’s Etiquette and Espionage , the first book in her ‘Finishing School’ series for YA readers. This is a combination of Victorian steampunk, and paranormal espionage all together on a dirigible based finishing school that does indeed train its young ladies in the fine art of becoming a spy. I was captivated with the writing and am checking out the entire series. Adult readers should not hesitate to read this series, as well as her adult fiction series, which include ‘The Parasol Protectorate’, ‘Custard Protocol’, and ‘Delightfully Dead’.

~ Sally

Sunday, August 21, 2016

I Am Malala

By Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Hotel Vendome

by Danielle Steel

When Swiss-born Hugues Martin sees a small, run-down hotel in New York for the rough diamond it is, he transforms it into a beautiful boutique hotel of impeccable elegance, run with the precision and attention to detail he learned through his hotelier training in Europe. Renowned for its unparalleled service, the Hotel Vendôme soon becomes the ideal New York refuge for the rich and famous, as well as a perfect home for Hugues' and his young daughter, Heloise. She and her father live happily amid a colorful, exciting and sometimes mysterious milieu of celebrities, socialites, politicians, world travelers and hotel employees--and their inevitable intrigues. As unexpected challenges arise, the hotel is the centre of their world. And when Heloise grows up, she longs to follow in her father's footsteps and one day run the Hotel Vendôme. The lessons she learned at his side will carry her through it all, in a story no reader will forget.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Intern

(DVD) PG-13

Starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.  Jules Ostin (Hathaway) has a very successful on line business and a marriage that isn’t so successful. Ben Whittaker (De Niro) is a 70 year old widower who applies for a senior intern position at Ostin’s company. The generation gap is wide between the two but as they get to know each other, a friendship develops that is good for both of them. 


Half-Broke Horses

A True-Life Novel By Jeannette Walls

Jeannette tells the story of her amazing grandmother in this “can’t put down” novel. Lily Casey Smith was quite a character. She was born in 1901 in New Mexico on a large ranch. By age six she was helping her father break horses. At fifteen she was travelling by horse, alone, to her first teaching job - 500 miles away! If something needed to be done, she did it, and if it went wrong, she brushed the dirt off and kept going. Lily didn’t have the word “can’t” in her vocabulary. Throughout her life, she was a mustang breaker, schoolteacher, bootlegger, poker player, ranch wife, racehorse rider, bush pilot, and mother to two children. I enjoyed this book so much, when I finished it the first time I started reading from the beginning and enjoyed it again.

~ Dixie

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Glass Castle

A Memoir By Jeannette Walls

This is the memoir of Jeannette Walls (Lily Casey Smith’s Granddaughter). Jeannette’s family was peculiar, loyal and dysfunctional. Her mother was an artist and disliked anything that had to do with homemaking and domesticity. Her father was charming and brilliant - but when he drank he was deceitful and destructive. Both parents believed in a good education for their kids but not necessarily the traditional kind found in school. Most of the time their living conditions were deplorable and when things got bad they did the “skedaddle” and started out some place new only to repeat the same lifestyle. Out of necessity, Jeannette and her siblings learned to take care of each other, including food, clothing and protection.

~ Dixie

Monday, August 15, 2016

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2


The best thing about this movie is that all the original actors returned for the sequel . I enjoyed the funny family interactions more than the story line.

~ Dixie

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ink and Bone: The Great Library Book 1

By Rachel Caine
The first in a trilogy

In a world where the Great Library of Alexandria is more important than anything else (including human life), the Librarians are the keepers of the books and defenders against burners and smugglers. Only the best and brightest are accepted into library training, one of which is postulate Jesse Brightwell, the sixteen year-old protagonist from a family of smugglers. As print books are too special for the common man, only one physical copy of each book is kept in the world within the Great Library. People of the world carry blanks on which to read electronic copies of books. Because of their value, physical books are a highly stolen commodity. While there is no magic in the world of the Library, there is alchemy.

This book is for readers who enjoy:
Books about libraries & books; fans of The Book Thief & Harry Potter; alternate history fans (with a bit of steampunk).

The audiobook version was incredible and I am looking forward to reading (or listening to) the second book.

~ Paula

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Infernal Devices

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
10025305by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3)
by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army? Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding #2)

Princess Ever After (Royal Wedding, #2)by Rachel Hauck

Tanner Burkhardt, Minister of Culture for the Grand Duchy of Hessenberg, must convince the strong-willed Southerner, Miss Regina Beswick, that she is his country’s long-lost princess. Failure could destroy his reputation and change his nation forever. As Regina and Tanner face the challenges before them, neither are prepared for love to invade their hearts and change everything they believe about themselves. However, when a royal opponent nearly destroys Regina’s future, she must lean into God and trust He has sovereignly brought her to her true and final destiny.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

By Seth Grahame-Smith

It is known as 'the strange plague,’  All over England, the dead are rising again, and now even the daughters of Britain's best families must devote their lives to mastering the deadly arts. Elizabeth Bennet is a fearsome warrior whose ability with a sword is matched only by her quick wit and even sharper tongue. But she faces her most formidable foe yet in the haughty, conceited, and somehow strangely attractive Mr. Darcy. As the two lovers meet in the ballroom and on the battlefield, they'll soon learn that nothing - not even bands of ninjas, hordes of flesh-eating zombies, or disapproving aunts - can stop true love.


Monday, July 11, 2016

The Cast-Iron Skillet Cookbook

By Dominique DeVito

Growing up, cast-iron skillets were the only skillets we had. I have those same skillets that I haven’t used in ages. When I saw this book I decided it was time to get them out. I scrubbed them and re-seasoned them according to the directions in the front of the book. The recipes are wonderful and you even get a little bit of extra iron from the skillet. Mom always made a pineapple upside-down cake in her #10 and there was nothing better. Why don’t you check out this book and dust off the old pans and get cooking?

~ Dixie

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lost Stars

by Claudia Gray
Obviously a Star Wars novel, this story takes place simultaneously with Episodes IV, V, & VI. It follows the lives of two children who grow into adults serving the Empire, and the difficult and very different choices they both make. This was intended as a young adult novel, but I think it has been the most enjoyable story for me to read of all the newer ones that have come out since The Force Awakens hit theaters. It's an easy read, not at all the science fiction type writing but more of a story of relationships and coming of age.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS CHAOS - A For Better or For Worse 2nd Treasury

By Lynn Johnston

John and Elly Patterson and family could very well be North America’s favorite funny-page family. The Pattersons share their everyday joys and sorrows, frustrations and successes while they raise their young family. Elly struggles with writing a column for the local paper and keeping up with the kids. John is full of surprises and stories from his dental practice. A wonderful portrayal of family life in the early 80’s. The book includes photos, newspaper clippings and commentary on the real stories behind the strips.

~ Dixie

Monday, June 20, 2016

Little Heathens Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression

By Mildred Armstrong Kalish

Little Heathens is a memoir of growing up on an Iowa farm during the Depression. It is a marvelous encounter with an iconic way of life. Mildred Kalish shares practical accounts of how things were done on the farm: making head cheese (scrub the pig’s head with a brush until pink and clean), setting a good fire, how they did laundry, and much more. Included are recipes and home remedies. She describes the hard work and the fun in equal measure. A very good book.

~ Dixie

Thin Ice

By Irene Hannon

Thin Ice is the second in the Men of Valor series. Thin Ice introduces us to Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force officer, who carries deep guilt from his last mission. He is now working for the FBI. Enter Christy Reed, former Olympic ice skating star now a skating teacher. Christy is struggling with grief over the loss of her parents in an accident and her sister in a house fire.

Christy felt she was handling the tragedies fairly well until she receives a letter from beyond the grave: a letter from Ginny that seems to indicate she is still alive but in the hands of a kidnapper. Despite warnings to the contrary, Christy turns to the FBI for assistance. Special Agent McGregor lands the case as his first with the Bureau.

Lance begins to work the case and comes up with more questions than answers. Ginny seemed to have no enemies. Christy’s parent’s auto accident was strange. Who is the real target?

~ Dixie

Friday, June 17, 2016


by Claudia Gray

For Star Wars fans who want more, this will help fill a void. This is the story of Leia, decades after Return of the Jedi but just before she forms the Resistance we see in The Force Awakens. Even though it is focused mostly on politics in the Senate, the book is not boring or dry. We get insight into Leia's feelings and plans, and a significant amount of excitement. We even find out what Han Solo has been doing all these years. New characters are introduced that we can hope will someday be in the next movies since the writer of Episode VIII had some input on the novel. Easy read, and not too heavy on the sci-fi.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential

by John C. Maxwell

Through humor, in-depth insight, and examples, internationally recognized leadership expert John C. Maxwell describes each of these stages of leadership. He shows you how to master each level and rise up to the next to become a more influential, respected, and successful leader.


Monday, June 13, 2016

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Once Upon a Prince (Royal Wedding #1)

by Rachel Hauck

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn't going according to plan.
The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon's Island is the queen of his heart. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna's aid under the fabled Lover's Oak, he is blindsided by love.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Together At the Table

By Hilary Manton Lodge

Julliette D’Alesi is the third generation of a French-Italian restauranteur family in the Pacific Northwest. Following the discovery of an antique photo in her grandmother’s possessions that looks remarkably like her brother, but that is obviously not related to the grandfather she knew, Julliette continues her search for the truth behind her family secrets begun in previous books, A Table by the Window, and, Reservations for Two.

Ms. Lodge tantalized me with the tastes and imagery of the Pacific Northwest, as well as recipes and intrigue as her heroine searches for meaning in her own life, and finds the roots that link her to her past.

This is the most recent book in a trilogy set in the present day Pacific Northwest, and World War II France.

~ Sally

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Happy People Read and Drink Coffee

By Agnes Martin-Lugand

Set in Paris and Ireland, this is the story of a woman facing tragic loss, and her journey back to life. Diane is part owner of a Paris Literary Shop by the name of ‘Happy People Read and Drink Coffee’. I admit that I picked this book up because of the title and the cover! Diane’s life takes a tragic turn that leads her to leave her charming life in Paris and find peace and solace in a tiny, isolated Irish village.

This is a beautiful story of hope and fulfillment that I read in one sitting. It was originally self-published and became a best seller in France. It is being made into a movie here in the U.S.

~ Sally

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Murder of Mary Russell

By Laurie R. King

King returns us to the world of Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. This time the focus is on Mrs. Hudson. You will enjoy this book even if you have not read the previous books in this series.

Mrs. Hudson's son appears from the unknown and triggers a traumatic series of events. King reveals the motherly housekeeper's background and how it contributed to the current situation. These revelations show a totally different side of this much loved character. A wonderful twist that was so unexpected!

~ Rochelle