Review: Woman Enters Left 





Synopsis:

A woman sets out on a cross-country road trip, unknowingly tracing in reverse the path her mother traveled thirty years before.
In the 1950s, movie star Louise Wilde is caught between an unfulfilling acting career and a shaky marriage when she receives an out-of-the-blue phone call: She has inherited the estate of Florence “Florrie” Daniels, a Hollywood screenwriter she barely recalls meeting. Among Florrie’s possessions are several unproduced screenplays, personal journals, and—inexplicably—old photographs of Louise’s mother, Ethel. On an impulse, Louise leaves a film shoot in Las Vegas and sets off for her father’s house on the East Coast, hoping for answers about the curious inheritance and, perhaps, about her own troubled marriage.

Nearly thirty years earlier, Florrie takes off on an adventure of her own, driving her Model T westward from New Jersey in pursuit of broader horizons. She has the promise of a Hollywood job and, in the passenger seat, Ethel, her best friend since childhood. Florrie will do anything for Ethel, who is desperate to reach Nevada in time to reconcile with her husband and reunite with her daughter. Ethel fears the loss of her marriage; Florrie, with long-held secrets confided only in her journal, fears its survival.

In parallel tales, the three women—Louise, Florrie, Ethel—discover that not all journeys follow a map. As they rediscover their carefree selves on the road, they learn that sometimes the paths we follow are shaped more by our traveling companions than by our destinations. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole is an interesting adventure. A young woman suddenly learns that she inherits quite a lot from a woman she barely knows. This only intrigues her curiosity. As the plot unfolds, she finds more clues. Turning to her father she learns about her past. Then, there’s the situation with her husband. Not exactly on best terms, but then she learns things about her husband. Understanding sets in and maybe forgiveness too. It was a heartfelt story that holds a lot of details in the beginning…making the plot feel a bit like it’s dragging but then, it picks up speed. I enjoyed following the main protagonist, Louise. Her marriage and history is fascinating to follow. Overall, I recommend this tale to readers everywhere. 

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Review: Between Lost and Found





Synopsis:

Janelle Marshall’s life is finally going according to plan. Her perfect, upscale career–and her perfect, successful boyfriend–will make her future as secure and predictable as her childhood never was. And with luck, Little Bill, the grandfather who raised her will someday understand why she’d rather play it safe than be impulsive. But just when she should be happiest, she gets a distressing call: Little Bill has gone missing. Now Janelle must go to the one place she’s long avoided–the tiny mountain town of Mammoth Falls, South Dakota.

Tracking down her eccentric grandfather is easier said than done, and Janelle has no choice but to stay as long as it takes. Yet little by little, she’s drawn in by the unique town, the helpful locals, and their distinctly straightforward ways. Before long, she realizes that those who also care about Little Bill are struggling with their own vulnerabilities–and secrets as deep as the mistakes they try to set right. As Janelle learns to draw on their support and hard-won experience, she’ll challenge her past, comes to terms with her present–and chart her own surprising course forward.

Vibrant, heartfelt, and uplifting, Between Lost and Found is about gaining the courage to take chances, learning to let go, and rediscovering the family–and the self–you thought you knew… 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Between Lost and Found by Shelly Stratton is a great read for women everywhere. It’s about family, life, and taking chances. I enjoyed following the characters as they went about their lives. Choices were made and some consequences happened. It was an enjoyable journey. This was my first book that I’ve read by Shelly Stratton. In the beginning it dragged some but then sped up a little. A woman’s grandfather goes missing…so, she leaves behind her perfect life to head back home to him. There she finds some peace. Facing her fears, Janelle learns a lot. But it takes her grandfather to help her a bit. The title fits in perfectly with the protagonist. Overall, it was a great read. 

Review: Bold Love (A Letter To My Young Sisters)

Synopsis:

Bold Love: A Letter to My Young Sisters is a love letter full of personal experiences, science and deliberate encouragement to help one move through the challenges related to self-esteem, absent relationships and racial challenges. This body of work is written through the eyes of the writer as if she were her younger self. Bold Love speaks to young ladies and women that may not understand the pathology of their behaviors. Bold Love uses poetry and anonymous testimony to normalize any reader that may feel like their problem is one that only they have faced. Bold Love creates a platform to encourage self-reflection and makes a plea for one to accept their reality and not live in fantasy by holding on to what one believes should have been. The love letter is to encourage a young generation to learn who they are and where they come from and to not allow unfavorable circumstances stunt the promise that was put on their lives.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Bold Love: A Letter To My Young Sisters by Terri M. Bolds (MS, LPC) is a book of empowerment and self-esteem for young African American women everywhere. The writer gives readers a personal ride through the book. In this journey, challenges are presented. From relationships to racial conflicts, Terri M. Bolds gives a deeper meaning to these group that she targets in her pages. Exploring the behaviors of young women and opening their eyes. Moving forward is the main theme of this encouraging book. Reflections, deep thoughts, and questions to help these young African American women claim their future. I found it awe-inspiring. Overall, this was a great book to explore. 

Review: Madame President 



Synopsis:

The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf’s personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf’s life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia’s military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia’s future.
Sirleaf’s personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia’s greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this “Oracle” of African women.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Madame President by Helene Cooper is an inspiring read. Women everywhere will be awed at the work done by one woman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She has gone beyond any other woman of her time in a country that mistreated women as objects. Here, I got to follow the brave and clever woman as she rose from just a mother to a president of a nation. Going to prison, suffering like every other woman has done…,yet she managed to rise dispite the hardships that fell upon her. I was amazed. She kept on going even when it might have meant the end for her. Writer, Helene Cooper, has brought Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s life alive on these pages for All to see. Just when I thought I have seen, heard, and know it all…this book brought out more than just a woman struggling to rise among men of her country. It’s a story of survival, courage, determination as well as breaking barriers. Overall, I recommend this nonfiction piece on one of the most compelling stories of a woman to readers everywhere.

Review: The Skills of A Scoundrel 

Synopsis:

A Man on the Run from Love… 

Lord Mark Dawnton is a genius. Everyone says so.

Not only can he think circles around most of his peers, but he has also a skill for maneuvering through his father, the Duke of Wardington’s, marriage schemes.

Mark’s plan: Dodge women of good breeding. Dodge marriage.

The plan had done the Duke of Wardington’s youngest son well for years… that is until the day Mark was presented with a new challenge.

He must instruct a lady in the ways of science and present her to His Majesty by the end of the season as a great mind.

It’s a challenge that he can’t refuse… but when he meets his lovely student, Mark finds he’s up for another challenge entirely.

A Woman on the Run from Herself…

Lady June Haywood is ready to take on any challenge that will get her in Society’s good graces once again.

Scandals from her past have made life hard for her, so she’s willing to do whatever it takes redeem her reputation.

Anything but marriage.

With June’s secret past, the last thing she needs in her life is another man, but Mark is like no man she’s ever encountered and very quickly, lessons in chemistry and psychology turn toward anatomy.

Namely, hers.

He doesn’t wish to marry and neither does she, but what will happen when their actions give flame to new scandal?

Page Count: around 330 pages

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Eleanor Meyers has created a stunning historical romance. Her novel explores the theme of women and them getting an education. Most men think it’s a joke. But there are some men like, Lord Mark Dawnton, who find educating those who seek it as something praise worthy. At first, he thinks the woman sent to him was due to his father’s marriage schemes…but it turned out to be a real request to learn. Plus, he can’t stop thinking about the woman. She doesn’t hit on him or is impressed with his scandalous ways. But he has impressed her with his speeches on various scientific stuff. She remembers everything he said. Now, that has caught his attention. He dismisses her…but soon finds himself wanting her in more ways than one. 

The Skills of A Scoundrel by Eleanor Meyers is perfect. It sizzles with heat, action, and intrigue. Every page was as captivating as the first. Two unlikely characters set together yet both defy the other…but as fate has it, both will be attracted before they realize it. Love, danger, and learning. A strong female heroine and a matching male figure are bound to lure readers deep into this story. Their personalities are like fire. They set ablaze reader’s appetite to know more. Once again, I found myself pulled into Eleanor Meyers fascinating world of fiction. I love her writing. I can never get bored of reading her novels. As each character has his and her own struggles. Dilemmas that readers can easily understand and relate to…overall, I highly recommend The Skills of A Scoundrel to all. 

Review: Deborah Rising

Deborah Rising: A Novel Inspired by the Bible by [Azrieli, Avraham]

 

Synopsis:

Set in ancient Israel, Deborah Rising (HarperCollins, 2016) portrays the dramatic (and unlikely) rise of the first woman to lead a nation in recorded human history. In the tradition of The Red Tent, The Fifth Mountain, and The Mists of Avalon, this absorbing novel delivers an inspiring story of suspense and adventure in pursuit of freedom and self-determination, starring a courageous 14-year-old girl who would become the most powerful woman in biblical lore.
Before he was murdered, Deborah’s father had dreamt that his daughter would one day become the leader of the Israelites. But the social and religious mores of her time dictated that a girl must marry–even against her will–and obey her husband in all matters. When Deborah is forced to marry the violent son of the local judge, she rebels, determined to forge a path of her own.

Captivated by the notion of escaping the arranged marriage and fulfilling her late father’s dream, Deborah embarks upon an epic journey to find a mysterious elixirist, one rumored to be blessed with the ability to turn women into men. It is a journey that proves increasingly perilous–filled with wild beasts, lustful men, unscrupulous priests, and warring tribesmen. Yet Deborah manages to attract unlikely allies, including lepers, slaves, Moabite traders, and even a dead tiger, while she persists in the face of seemingly insurmountable setbacks and continues to pursue her daring quest.
Part historical novel, part adventure story, part visionary fiction, Deborah Rising is a captivating tale about a girl on the cusp of womanhood, whose unrelenting struggle to overcome discrimination, sexism, and paternalism spoke to the lives of girls and women today.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Deborah Rising by Avraham Azrieli is a stunning historical fantasy. One that has an epic journey that no reader could guess. It’s nothing like anything I have read. This novel brings about some historical people and their customs as well as what kind of lives they lived back then. I was constantly intrigued by the story. Each page sent me on another journey. the main journey was one that a father passed down to his youngest. After losing her parents and her older sister, the young girl sets off to fulfill her destiny. However, trouble comes her way each time. The men from her land are worshiping idols and killing innocents due to lies and greed. The lives of women are similar to those of the Indian customs. Many women are controlled by men. A paternal ruling that still survives, today. I was frightened by what the women went through constantly. Even if they followed rules by their society there was always a man or men who abused them. Sadly, many are stuck in this threatening lifestyle. Like Deborah’s older sister. One false accusation and she like many other women were stoned to death over a lie. Women were not permitted to speak on their defense. I almost wished Deborah’s sister retaliated. Imagine letting your own people stone for no reason at all. Why should the innocent be slaughtered so easily? Realistically told and captured the time period perfectly. Avraham Azrieli is indeed a talented new author. His work can be read by teens and adults. The issues presented in this novel were strong yet the material was done in a clean manner. After reading this book, I felt like I traveled back in history. The young woman’s journey was quite fascinating to follow. An adventure that is both intriguing and entertaining. Deborah Rising is a YA religious tale, that I highly recommend to readers worldwide. I believe that the issues shown in this title are ones that need to be read by all.

Review: When All The Girls Have Gone

When All The Girls Have Gone by [Krentz, Jayne Ann]

 

Synopsis:

When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her stepsister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one of her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.

Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.

After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz is a cozy romantic mystery with a lot of humor. I have read a few of Jayne Ann Krentz’s novels, but this latest one hooked me. The characters were fascinating to watch in action. Their easy-going nature and troubles were interesting. They fit in together like a jigsaw puzzle. Both main characters had lived lives that changed them. Apparently, it seemed to change them both in a positive way. One escaped a fire and was adopted the other was dumped before her wedding and left with bills to pay off…both have issues. Real life issues.It was easy to connect with them on many levels. The way life pulls the rug from under their feet kind of theme also rings true in real life. I love how realistic everything played out inside this book. The PI investigator’s timing and knack for gut instincts in finding out stuff were incredible. Yet he seems to put doubt, in his gut, when it comes to a more personal reason. This causes him to wonder and it eats him alive. Anyone placed in this man’s shoes would have questions as well as doubts. Then, there’s the leading female character who believed in him. This sort of gave him a piece over his internal conflicts. Plus, the instant chemistry between the two satisfying. Two sisters are involved in a dangerous situation. One left thinking she was protecting her sister and friends. Turned out that she was wrong. Instead, she and her sister will be reunited under dire circumstances and it will be up to the PI investigator to get them both before it’s too late…When All the Girls Have Gone is an intriguing, suspenseful, yet wonderful journey. One that readers won’t resist. I loved reading it. Every page had some kind of action that intrigued me. Kept me turning those pages. When I reached the ending, I was very glad I read this book. Overall, Jayne Ann Krentz’s novel is a must read for all. I highly recommend it.

 

Forever Fit and Flexible by Cheryl L. Ilov

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Synopsis:

Do you believe that getting older means losing health and vitality?

Here is your path to feeling youthful and vibrant.

“…IIov has an engaging style and much to offer….Forever Fit and Flexible is a well written, thorough guide to healthy living that will be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of readers looking for the same.” —Blue Ink Review

Forever Fit and Flexible: Feeling Fabulous at Fifty and Beyond offers you the possibility of living with a new sense of energy and vitality as you move into your fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond. Once you get moving, you’ll want to keep moving!

Imagine starting each day with a spring in your step. Envision liking what you see in the full-length mirror before you get dressed. Now visualize that you can engage in any activity with strength, grace, and confidence.

In Forever Fit and Flexible, Cheryl Ilov provides a program that will help you create this and more. Her movement lessons provide the building blocks to better posture, core strength, flexibility, balance, and functional strength. As you develop a solid physical foundation, you will also:

eliminate chronic pain
improve injury-related mobility issues
experience increased energy
develop mindful self-awareness and a positive mindset
… and much more!

 

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Cheryl Ilov’s Bio
Cheryl Ilov has always been drawn to health and wellness, the biological sciences, and movement arts, including classical ballet. She began her professional life as a respiratory therapist, and after seventeen years of practice, she returned to school and earned her master’s degree in physical therapy in 1996.

Cheryl discovered The Pilates Method in 1983, and once she began working as a physical therapist, she made the connection that Pilates presented a wonderful tool to help people of all ages recover from injuries and illnesses. She immediately began applying the principles of Pilates to her patients to improve their quality of life and level of function. In 1999, she founded Ilov Integrated Arts, specializing in Pilates-based rehabilitation. Cheryl had her first experience with The Feldenkrais Method® in 2000.
She began the required four-year training program to become a Feldenkrais practitioner in February 2006 and graduated in November 2009. During Cheryl’s remarkable journey of learning, healing, and self-discovery, she also discovered a martial art called Ninpo Tai Jutsu. She fell in love with the art and the training as well as the powerful connection between Feldenkrais and martial arts and their incredible healing power.
Cheryl has dedicated her life to helping others achieve the best quality of life possible. Having personally experienced the anxiety of dealing with chronic pain, stress, and fatigue, she also understands the frustration of feeling out of control, gaining weight, and struggling to find a healthy, effective way to recover after devastating injuries. Cheryl has integrated her education, experience, and expertise to develop a program for people, regardless of their age or current level of function. It is her firm belief that anyone can be fit, flexible, healthy, vibrant, and energetic in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond.

Why did you write “Forever Fit and Flexible?”

Necessity is the mother of invention, and so is adversity. It was through my own personal experience of struggling with my weight, fitness, injuries, and chronic pain syndromes that I found the path to health and vitality. I integrated my education as a physical therapist with my extensive training in Pilates, Feldenkrais, martial arts, and ballet to create a program for people age fifty and over to help them find their way to living with a new sense of energy and vitality as they move into their fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond.

How is this book different from other fitness books?

That’s an excellent question. Traditional fitness books focus on building muscle strength based on the mantra of “just do it” or “no pain no gain.” Forever Fit and Flexible focuses on approaching movement with mindful awareness instead of pounding your body with mindless exercise. It is much healthier for your joints, muscles, and your well-being.
Also, this program gives you the tools to find your own path to health and fitness based on your individual needs and goals, rather than a one size fits all mentality. The focus is how you move and how you feel rather than how you look. However, when you move better and feel better, you look better as well. And, you want to keep moving.

Could men benefit from your program as well as women?

Certainly! I work with a lot of men in my practice, and they are just as interested in achieving their highest level of fitness and flexibility as women are. As a matter of fact, many of my movement lessons in the program were designed from identifying the issues that were plaguing women and men alike. We just have different ways of expressing our concerns.

If you are already healthy and in good shape, what is the benefit of doing your program?

That’s another great question. The fundamental principles of “Forever Fit and Flexible” can be applied to any and every exercise or fitness routine to enhance the benefits of what you are already doing. The program’s foundation provides the building blocks to better posture, core strength, flexibility, balance, and functional strength. As you develop this solid physical foundation, you’ll see more dramatic results from your current exercise program, no matter how fit you are.

If someone is terribly out of shape or has medical issues, is this a good program for them? How?

Yes, it is. However, I always, always recommend that people with medical issues check with their medical advisor before starting any kind of exercise program. I also suggest that they seek appropriate medical supervision while they begin the program if they are terribly out of shape or have any medical concerns.

The exercises in my book aren’t traditional exercises, they are movement lessons where you gently explore new patterns of moving to improve your posture, core strength, etc. The lessons are intended to be slow and gentle to allow for the changes to take place in your body and your brain as new patterns of healthy movement emerge.

In your book you talk about Feldenkrais. What is Feldenkrais?

Feldenkrais is a highly sophisticated form of neuromuscular re-education based on the scientific principle of neuroplasticity. This simply means that we are capable of learning new patterns of moving, thinking, sensing, and feeling during the course of our entire lifetime.

Feldenkrais uses this principle to help people improve the quality of their life as they recover from chronic pain, improve their physical fitness, and increase their level of function at any age. Feldenkrais is also applicable for every population from and every activity from helping people recover from a stroke to high level athletes looking to gain the competitive edge.

How is Feldenkrais different from traditional exercises?

Feldenkrais isn’t exercise. It is a form or movement therapy which brings your awareness and your attention to how you move. The result is that you move more easily without aches, pains, stress or strain.

Why should I do Feldenkrais instead of yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, etc?

Feldenkrais is not an either/or proposition. It is a method which helps improve your quality of movement that can be applied to your yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi practice as well as sports, dance, and all recreational activities.

What led you to learn it and teach it?

I took my first Feldenkrais class in 2000. After that first class I felt lighter, looser, happier, and was filled with an incredible sense of well-being. Even better, nothing hurt….all of my aches and pains magically disappeared. I knew I had to become a practitioner to share this method with my clients, even though it meant going through an extensive four year program to become a certified practitioner. I love being a practitioner!

Review: The Life She Wants

 

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of her financier husband’s suicide, Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients’ life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband’s crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she’s known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn’t easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she’d rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can’t escape her husband’s reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she’d ever ask for help—her former best friend. It’s an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they’ve made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr is another amazing read by this talented writer. A novel that shows how one’s easy life can easily be taken from them. One can work hard and be decent and still have trouble…like Emma Shay Compton. Marriage and her lifestyle were  taken away in one great swoop. Fate lands her back home. A place with bad memories. But looking at her options she has nowhere else to go. Maybe she can start new and gain her life back. Easier said than done. Robyn Carr brilliantly creates novels that hook and captivate readers from the beginning to end. Her words are inspiring and heartwarming. Friendship, as well as new relationships, are great themes within this riveting new title. Back home Emma will have to be patient in getting the life she wants.

The Life She Wants is packed with emotions and a raw intensity that pulls me in deeply. I love Robyn Carr’s writing. She never disappoints. The rollercoaster ride that readers will be going on within this new tale is one that shows us no matter what life brings we can overcome anything. Friends with a falling out so long ago are now brought back into each other’s lives. Only time will tell if they can repair their friendship and make it solid once again. The drama of Emma’s husband’s investigation still comes chasing after her…making her life miserable. She can’t wait until it’s over if it ever ends. The police have been tapping into her phone and still bother her with endless questions. Her frustration and despair felt so real. I felt like I was inside Emma’s shoes rather than sitting in a chair reading about what she felt. Not only does Emma have nothing, battling an ongoing investigation due to her dead husband but also has feelings for a man that she tries not to get to attached to...The Life She Wants has everything plus more then what every reader wants or expected to find. I loved following the characters especially Riley and Emma. Their friendship tugged at my heart. Overall, I highly recommend this story to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Murder in Morningside Heights

 

Synopsis:

After spending his first few weeks as a private detective by investigating infidelities of the wealthy, Frank has a more serious case at hand.

Abigail Northrup of Tarrytown, New York, was her parents’ pride and joy. After graduating from a prestigious women’s college in Morningside Heights, she took a job there as an instructor. She also joined the ranks of the New Women, ladies planning for a life without a husband in which they make their own decisions and make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, her murder ended all that.

When the police declare the incident a random attack and refuse to investigate further, Abigail’s parents request Frank’s help. Of course, he’ll need Sarah’s assistance as she’s more familiar with the world of academia, and it will be far easier for her to interview the lady professors. Yet difficulties arise as they learn that although Miss Northrup may have been an exemplary student and teacher, she lived in a world of secrets and lies…

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

Murder in Morningside Heights by Victoria Thompson is the first novel I have read by this talented writer. This mystery thriller suspense tale took me deep into the heart of New York City. There I got to meet an amazing couple. Known as Frank Malloy and his wife Sarah. Together these two make an irresistible pair that works well for this story. Frank Malloy was with the police but now is a detective with his own agency. His wife Sarah helped him pick the name of the agency. It’s this agency that suddenly gets a case that will intrigue the couple and readers like myself.  Victoria Thompson took me on a case that involved a woman of high academia and one that supposedly announced that women don’t need a husband to be successful. But as with all cases the person being investigated is usually far from what they actually are.

Victoria Thompson’s latest novel brought a high scandalous read that intrigued me from the beginning. I was instantly hooked.  Murder in Morningside Heights lured me back in time when women thought they need not a husband and can make their own decisions. One such woman who believed in this was found murdered. Suspense from this plot created so many what ifs and lead me on a chase to find the killer. Both Frank and his wife are an interesting couple. Their personalities make them suited for one another and for working together on such cases as this one. Imagine being in New York city surround by a society that is high maintenance, secrets, and lies. I loved reading this…I felt sucked into a whole new society where adventure and danger come hand in hand. Powerful themes and intricate scenes that dragged me into the great mystery. Overall, I would highly recommend this title to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Death at Breakfast

 

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed New York Times, bestselling author of Still Missing, More Than You Know, and Gossip comes the first entry in a stylish and witty mystery series featuring a pair of unlikely investigators—a shrewd novel of manners with a dark heart of murder at its center, set in small-town New England.

Indulging their pleasure in travel and new experiences, recently retired private school head Maggie Detweiler and her old friend, socialite Hope Babbin, are heading to Maine. The trip—to attend a weeklong master cooking class at the picturesque Victorian-era Oquossoc Mountain Inn—is an experiment to test their compatibility for future expeditions.

Hope and Maggie have barely finished their first aperitifs when the inn’s tranquility is shattered by the arrival of Alexander and Lisa Antippas and Lisa’s actress sister, Glory. Imperious and rude, these Hollywood one-percenters quickly turn the inn upside-down with their demanding behavior, igniting a flurry of speculation and gossip among staff and guests alike.

But the disruption soon turns deadly. After a suspicious late-night fire is brought under control, Alex’s charred body is found in the ashes. Enter the town’s deputy sheriff, Buster Babbin, Hope’s long-estranged son and Maggie’s former student. A man who’s finally found his footing in life, Buster needs a win. But he’s quickly pushed aside by the “big boys,” senior law enforcement and high-powered state’s attorneys who swoop in to make a quick arrest.

Maggie knows that Buster has his deficits and his strengths. She also knows that justice does not always prevail—and that the difference between conviction and exoneration too often depends on lazy police work and the ambitions of prosecutors. She knows too, after a lifetime of observing human nature, that you have a great advantage in doing the right thing if you don’t care who gets the credit or whom you annoy.

Feeling that justice could use a helping hand–as could the deputy sheriff—Maggie and Hope decide that two women of experience equipped with a healthy curiosity, plenty of common sense, and a cheerfully cynical sense of humor have a useful role to play in uncovering the truth.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Death at Breakfast by Beth Gutcheon is a highly entertaining murder mystery that delighted me from the beginning. When two women arrive at an inn to take a cooking class together their stay turns into an unexpected adventure. What was meant to test how well the two companions travel together turned into an experiment of solving a murder…first there are the celebrities who like always act like they are bigger than life and charge through places like it’s their right. The make the lives of others serving them totally chaotic…and unsettles the rest of the people at the inn. Soon, there is a room that catches fire and it’s not long until a dead body is found. The two companions both Maggie and Hope decide that it’s up to them to solve the case before the wrong person is charged. They know with high profile people involved that the pressure on the police, as well as the deputy sheriff, will prove to be a struggle. All want the case closed and solved asap. Can the two women solve it before it’s too late?

Beth Gutheon’s latest novel, Death at Breakfast, provides us readers with a pair of sleuth women and a cozy atmosphere that turns into a deadly mysterious setting. The women pair with the deputy sheriff and it’s a race against time to solve the death. The masterfully woven tale brings a lot of humor, wit, and suspense to every page. The plot moved by fast creating an urge to read faster…then there’s the intrigue of who done it and why that lured me deeper into the heart of this novel. I loved the variety of characters…their personalities, as well as careers, varied and that, too made this one highly entertaining read. Both Maggie and Hope reminded me of Miss Fletcher and Miss Marple. I can definitely see this novel becoming a big TV hit with fans everywhere. Overall, I highly recommend this thriller and crime title to readers worldwide.

 

Review: The Year We Turned Forty

 

Synopsis:

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also, get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two-year-old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two-carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Year We Turned Forty by both Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is an intriguing and highly entertaining read. Readers will instantly connect with each of the three women inside this novel. Their journeys are realistic, quirky, and heart melting. Family, friendships, and love are the important themes inside this delightful new title. Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have beautifully created a women’s novel that will have readers looking at their lives a little bit differently than before. We may never be able to change our pasts, but we should count our blessings for what we have and where we have come…

This is the first novel that I have read by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Their writing creates an imagery that sets readers straight into the plot. It feels like we, the readers, have become each of the leading female characters. Everything they have done said,  felt or even thought becomes our own. Amazing in how the emotional journey of fictional women pops off the pages and completely surrounds us. Lives have been lived and created…going back can have drastic changes on our future and they may not come out exactly they way we thought they would…even the best-laid plans fail. The tight knit of the friends and how they support one another brilliant way of luring readers deeper into the story of three strong independent women. I loved reading this masterpiece and I look forward to reading more by these two talented writers. A novel that will move readers…is definitely worth picking up to read. Overall, I highly recommend The Year We Turned Forty to readers everywhere.

 

 

Review: Behave

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Synopsis:

“The mother begins to destroy the child the moment it’s born,” wrote the founder of behaviorist psychology, John B. Watson, whose 1928 parenting guide was revered as the child-rearing bible. For their dangerous and “mawkish” impulses to kiss and hug their child, “most mothers should be indicted for psychological murder.”

Behave is the story of Rosalie Rayner, Watson’s ambitious young wife and the mother of two of his children.

In 1920, when she graduated from Vassar College, Rayner was ready to make her mark on the world. Intelligent, beautiful, and unflappable, she won a coveted research position at Johns Hopkins assisting the charismatic celebrity psychologist John B. Watson. Together, Watson and Rayner conducted controversial experiments on hundreds of babies to prove behaviorist principles. They also embarked on a scandalous affair that cost them both their jobs—and recast the sparkling young Rosalie Rayner, scientist, and thinker, as Mrs. John Watson, wife and conflicted, maligned mother, just another “woman behind a great man.”

With Behave, Andromeda Romano-Lax offers a provocative fictional biography of Rosalie Rayner Watson, a woman whose work influenced generations of Americans, and whose legacy has been lost in the shadow of her husband’s. In turns moving and horrifying, Behave is a richly nuanced and disturbing novel about science, progress, love, marriage, motherhood, and what all those things cost a passionate, promising young woman.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax is definitely a must read for all women. This fictional biography piece is a fascinating historical tale that will drag readers down one promising young woman’s life as one life  moment spins her whole life downward…

Andromeda Romano-Lax’s stunning novel portrays a woman’s ambition, work, and motherhood. Behave explores the psychological, emotional, and ethical ways of a smart, attractive, and independent woman. A well-known scientist soon falls into motherhood by accident…and now she’s living, behind a man as nothing more than a shadow. As a student studying sociology, communications, and education this novel….was beyond amazing. It informs, educates, and shows readers…what life was like for women like Rosalie Rayner. Readers will be spellbound by this magnificent story. A most compelling and well-written novel. Overall, I highly recommend Behave to readers everywhere.

Review: Roses of Rome

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Synopsis:

The storytellers told tales. The singers sang epic songs. The dancers danced the dance that dancers dance, on the floor and tabletops. The jugglers juggled fire. The fortune tellers only told the good part. And the Gods seemed pleased with all of Rome.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Roses of Rome by Robert M. Richburg is indeed a fascinating tale. It’s imagery and scenes are bright. Each page brings to life the journey and love that one Roman soldier brings to his home. He comes back from winning a battle and is soon to be married to a child…a beautiful child belonging to a senator. Her beauty and love of Anulus is easy to connect with…then there’s the slave women whom Anulus falls in love with and has children with…but he also, buys these women their freedom and gives them a better life.

Roses of Rome shows readers what it was like back then and how lives can be changed if someone deemed to do so. The rich and wealthy can easily change someone’s status making them free people of Rome just like the hero, Anulus has done repeatedly. Anulus suffers loss of those he loves and sees new life as well. He is just as human as any of us and goes through life the best he knows. Robert M. Richburg has maserfully woven a romance that takes on a literary and historical meaning that readers will enjoy. I felt like I was in high school, learning a new important piece of literature. I love the way this story was written and its characters were so believable and realistic. Readers will want to read this magnificent story…I highly recommend it.

Review: Craved

 

Synopsis:

Having been to hell and back, the eager sisters from Ukraine – Natalia, Lena and Julia – decide to retire from selling sex and walk the straight and narrow path back home. But when an old friend calls them with an opportunity to make buckets of ‘easy’ money in South Africa, they find it impossible to refuse.

Return to the night life of the entertainment business brings along all the old familiar temptations – alcohol, drugs, prostitution…

Can the girls resist their vices and stay together? Or will this industry destroy their sanity and their family?

Inspired by real life events, Craved is a fascinating story of addiction, survival and the art of making a living in the sex trade.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review:

Craved by Lola Smirnova is a dark and intriguing first hand glimspe into the lives of three women. These three women have gone through one bad rollercoaster ride and just when they think they can right their worlds once more, all breaks down. Readers will like how addicitve the journeys are for these characters and how hard temptation is to resist. It’s not that the women don’t try to be good. Try being good, and having life treating you like garbage. This then leads the women questioning why they ever left the lives they lived before. Making easy money seems to be the best only route for these three. Whether they come out on top or go back to plunging deep in the darkness once again, is for readers to find out. I definitely enjoyed this story of survival and addiction. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers weverywhere.

Book Review: Marvelous Are Thy Works by Meiah Shaun

Marvelous Are Thy Works is an inspirational story told by a strong woman. The story encourages all black women to embrace their true hair.  The character of this story is easy for readers to connect with. Especially when as her life is going in the right direction, her friends are less and less. We all know that feeling. What was interesting was that I found the character to be just as strong and inspirational as Meiah Shaun, who wrote the beautiful and stunning novel.  The main character also goes through other issues throughout the story. Her boyfriend is busy building his career higher up in ranks and her two business partners have an issue going on between them.  I enjoyed reading this novel. It is not just a book that is inspirational to black women but to white women as well. White women should embrace their natural hair color too. A very emotional and delightful read is Marvelous Are Thy Works. I would highly recommend this novel to all women out there. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.