Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things Remembered by Georgia Bockoven

Things Remembered by Georgia Bockoven

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062195166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062195166
To face the future, a woman must let go of the past. . . .
Returning to her childhood home in the golden hills of Northern California means regret and pain for Karla Esterbrook. Yet she can’t refuse when her ailing grandmother, Anna, asks her to help settle her affairs. After all, Anna raised Karla and her younger sisters after their parents’ death twenty years before. But from the beginning a powerful clash of wills separated Karla and her grandmother, leaving them both bitter and angry.
Little does Karla know that a very determined Anna will do everything in her power to bridge the chasm between them. But can the wounds of the past truly be healed? For Karla, opening her heart could lead to more hurt—or perhaps to reconciliation . . . and a love the likes of which she has never known.

My Thoughts

I enjoy a good story about families especially ones involving sisters. When I read about the reissue of Things Remembered, I knew I would love to read this book.

Anna has raised her three granddaughters after they lost their parents at a young age. Karla, the oldest is the only one who really remembers her parents. She owns a coffee shop and is recovering from a failed marriage. Heather is the mother of two young boys and is expecting a new daughter. Grace, the youngest is a struggling actress.

Anna has been diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure and wants to tie up some loose ends while she can. Karla puts her life on hold to go to Anna to help settle her affairs. While spending time together, the two women face the past. Karla hopes to reconnect with the memories she has of her mother but has no intention of being warm and fuzzy with Anna. Karla is cold and all business. Anna is hoping to make amends.

While Karla is helping settle Anna's affairs, she meets Mark Taylor, a veterinarian and single father. Karla is not ready to give her heart to Anna nor Mark. She has walls up and she is not going to let anyone in! You could say she has a bit of a hip on her shoulder. Will Mark and Anna be able to break through the wall Karla has built?

I enjoyed this story. It was a nice read for a rainy day. It is a nice family story that has a bit of romance involved. The women are strong willed which kept me on my toes while reading the book. The ending left me satisfied and content.

The back of the book includes some recipes from the story and from the authors friends and family. That was a nice touch especially since I found myself very hungry every time there was a scene in which food was mentioned. There is also discussion questions in the back which makes it a nice read for your book group.

About Georgia Bockoven

Georgia Bockoven is an award-winning author who began writing fiction after a successful career as a freelance journalist and photographer. Her books have sold more than four million copies worldwide. The mother of two, she resides in Northern California with her husband, John.

I read this book for TLC Book Tours for my honest review.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Crown; First Edition edition (June 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 030758836X
ISBN-13: 978-0307588364

Summary from Amazon

Marriage can be a real killer.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

My Thoughts

I have mixed feelings about this book. I found myself hating the main characters. They were horrible and self centered. I thought they deserved each other. It was hard for me to decide who was the victim. The main characters are as twisted as they come. Still, I found myself riveted to the dark storyline.

Then came the ending. Oh boy! I was so disappointed! I kept reading the last page over and over hoping I had misread it. Nope. The ending was abrupt and I hated the way it ended. I despised the characters even more, after I read the ending.

To sum it up, I hated the characters, hated the ending but still found myself reading the book. It was like watching a train wreck. I found myself covering my eyes, so to speak, to keep from seeing the wreck but kept peeking through my fingers to watch the wreck happen. I think it takes talent to write about despicable characters and keep the reader immersed in the story, which Gillian Flynn definitely does!

If you like dark, twisted thrillers, this might be a book you will enjoy. I just wish it had ended differently.

I bought this book and read it for the Just For Fun Reading Challenge

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mailbox Monday October 15

It's time for another Mailbox Monday post. This month's host is Marcia at Mailbox Monday.

Just a quick post this morning. It's back to work for me today. The weekend was nice and relaxing. I managed to get a book read. Stayed tuned for some reviews this week.

I got this book for review as a surprise awhile back but somehow I overlooked it when I posted my MM.

Yes, Chef; A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson (courtesy of Random House)

The next three books are purchases I made. One was on a trip to Barnes and Noble. It's been a very long time since I went to the bookstore and I was shocked to see how much it had changed. It was more of a toy store. I also noticed how few employees were there. It made me sad. Our bookstore used to be a bustling place. Not so much the night I was there. I was looking for a copy of Blackberry Winter but they didn't have one copy. I had to go home and order one. I really wanted to support my local bookstore but sadly, it didn't work out that way. I did buy the Ray Bradbury book and some sketchbooks for my daughter.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

Have you read any of these books? If so how did you like them?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dewey's Readathon Wrapup and Lasagna Recipe

My wrap-up post is going to be short and sweet. Somewhere about midnight last night, I realized I had been sleeping for awhile when my book smacked me in the face. I tried to start reading again when I felt my eyes getting heavy. I decided it was time for bed. I slept clear through until 10 this morning! I must have needed some sleep.

I didn't finish the book I was reading but I did make a huge dent in it. I did a couple of mini-challenges. I did manage to visit some new to me blogs and also made stops at some favorite blogs. I took a very relaxed approach to the readathon this time. As always, I had a great time!

I did make some Crockpot Lasagna yesterday which was delicious. If you want the recipe you can find it here. The recipe is posted on the Crockin' Girls website where they even have a video where they show you how to make it. I have their cookbook which is delightful. I have made several of the recipes in it and have been pleased with all of them.

I am looking forward to the April readathon and hope it falls on my weekend off again.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dewey's Readathon Midway Post

I am doing okay. I just had dinner and am getting ready to clean that up. Then I think I will move to the bedroom to read for awhile. I get my second wind in the evening so I should be good for awhile.

Mid-Event Survey

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? The eyes are okay and I am not tired yet. I work nights so this is when I get my second wind.
2) What have you finished reading? I haven't finished my book yet.
3) What is your favorite read so far? Things Remembered by Georgia Bockoven since it is the only thing I have read so far
4) What about your favorite snacks? Crockpot lasagna-it was delicious
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love! I found some new blogs and commented on them. I always meet new friends during the readathon!

Dewey's Readathon..It's Here!!!

Dewey's Readathon has started. I am about to begin my day of reading. I slept in this morning since I worked last night but I am ready to go. It is a rainy day which is perfect reading weather! I don't have a stack of books to read yet but I do have the book I am starting off with.

Things Remembered by Georgia Bockoven

I filled out my introductory questionnaire even though I am starting late.

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I am reading from rainy Wisconsin

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Not really a snack but I am trying out a new recipe today...Crockpot Lasagna

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am the mom to three young adults, a spoiled dog and three spoiled cats. I recently went back to work full time after being a stay at home mom for 25 years. I love to read many different genres of books.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I am starting much later than usual since I worked last night. I usually start pretty early but not this year. I don't have tons of snacks either as I am going to try not to overeat which I did last readathon.

Let the reading begin!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mailbox Monday October 1

It's Monday and time for another Mailbox Monday post. This month Mailbox Monday will be hosted by Mailbox Monday, where it all began!

Not sure what is going on with my blog layout today. It was fine when I went to bed last night. When I woke up this morning, everything was askew. My sidebars are at the bottom of my layout but when I go to change the layout, it shows them in the correct place. Blogger is driving me nuts today! I will see what it looks like when I get home from work tonight.

I am excited about the books in my mailbox this week. One is a win, one is a purchase, and three are for review. One is for a TLC Book Tour.

The Letters by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger (this was a purchase)

Things Remembered by Georgia Bockoven (this is for a TLC Book Tour on Wednesday, October 17th)

The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan(courtesy of Riverhead Books)

The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton(courtesy of Atria Book Galley Alley)

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
(won from Leah at Amused By Books. Thank You, Leah!)

That is what came to my home. What wonderful books made their way into your home?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend Cooking-The Crockin' Girls Slow Cookin' Companion

Hardcover: 376 pages
Publisher: Five Star Institute (April 20, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984961402
ISBN-13: 978-0984961405

I had this weekend off of work and decided I needed some Fall comfort food from my crockpot. I recently purchased The Crockin' Girls Slow Cookin' Companion. I got to work and found a great recipe that satisfied my need for comfort food! Cheddar Vegetable Sausage Casserole. It was easy to make and used items I had on hand. I really appreciate it when a cookbook has recipes that use items that I can find easily or usually have on hand at home.

First, let me tell you a bit about the cookbook. The cookbook is wonderful! It is very well done. The authors of the cookbook, Nicole Sparks and Jenna Marwitz have compiled a book full of favorite recipes from family, friends and their online crocking community. There are breakfast recipes, appetizers, soup recipes, side dishes, main entrees, and dessert recipes all made in the slow cooker. Each recipe includes a full page photo of the finished recipe. I really like having a picture of what the finished product looks like. Another huge plus for this book is that the book stays open and lays flat. I hate when I have a cookbook that won't stay open while I am cooking. I was very impressed with this cookbook! I know I will be using it quite a bit. It is now one of my favorite cookbooks.

The Cheddar Vegetable Sausage Casserole was a big hit here. You can click here for a link to the recipe on the Crockin' Girls website. If you like smoked sausage, you can't go wrong with this recipe. I did put a dollop of dijon mustard in my soup mixture when I made it. I like a little zing in my cheese recipes. This was a hearty and filling meal that was perfect for a cool Fall evening.

I purchased this cookbook for my own personal use.

Weekend Cooking is a weekly meme sponsored by Beth Fish Reads.
Weekend Cooking is a chance to share the food love. Be sure to check out all the yummy cooking posts on Beth's blog.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon

Dewey's Read-a-thon is coming up in October. I am so excited! It is one of my favorite reading events of the year! This year the read-a-thon is October 13. It is looking like I should be off work that weekend. I missed the spring read-a-thon since it fell on my weekend to work. Now I need to see what books to put in my read-a-thon pile. Want to join me and the many others who will be participating? Click here and sign up!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mailbox Monday August 27

Just a quick mailbox post before I have to go to work. I got some goodies that I am very excited about. This month's Mailbox Monday host is 5 Minutes For Books.

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (September 25, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439164681
ISBN-13: 978-1439164686

(Thank you Simon & Schuster!) I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this book. It will be released September 25th! On the cover of the ARC is a quote from USA Today that reads, "Picking up anything written by Genova is quickly becoming a no brainer." I totally agree!

Before Versailles by Karleen Koen

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (September 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402275900
ISBN-13: 978-1402275906

This book came as a surprise with my next mailbox Monday book. Thank you Sourcebooks!

The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402268033
ISBN-13: 978-1402268038

This book came with a matching deck of cards! I thought that was a nice touch and a great marketing tool! Thank you Sourcebooks!

On another note, my thoughts and prayers go out to anyone in the path of Tropical Storm Isaac! Let's hope that Isaac behaves himself! If you are in the path of him, stay safe!

Have a great reading week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mailbox Monday August 20

It's Monday again. Time for another Mailbox Monday post. This month's host for Mailbox Monday is 5 Minutes for Books. Be sure to check out their site. It is a wonderful site with something for everyone.

I have to apologize for my lack of visiting and commenting on your blogs. I miss visiting them. I have been working some overtime when I can plus this past week I decided it was time to say good-bye to an old friend. Betsy, the mini-van was no longer safe to drive. I have driven her since 1999 when we bought her brand new. It was time to say good-bye. My boys laughed at how I mourned her as I said good-bye. Sadly, she was headed for the scrap yard. She saw my kids grow up and served us well! I now have Heidi, the Honda Odyssey. She is used but in very good shape. She has bells and whistles which made the transition nice. It took up most of my week finding and buying her. I really hate buying cars but I found a salesman who made it as painless as possible. And his wife works for Barnes and Noble! I knew we had a connection as soon as he said that! Hopefully, now that that is behind me, I can get back to visiting blogs. I will try to hit a few everyday.

This week I received two books that I purchased.

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker

I am not sure this is an experiment for me but I am interested to see what the author discovered during her journey.

The World as We Know It by Joseph Monninger

I loved Joseph's book, Eternal on the Water. You can check out my review here. Both books are bargain priced for $6 each on Amazon right now.

So that is what came to my house last week. What wonderful reads made their way into your home?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mailbox Monday August 13

It's Monday again and time for another Mailbox Monday post. This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted by 5 Minutes For Books. I received a few books for review and purchased one book.

The Fine Color of Rust by P.A. O'Reilly
(courtesy of Atria Galley Alley)

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
(courtesy of Atria Galley Alley)

Winter Journal by Paul Auster-audiobook
(unsolicited from macmillan audio)

The Personal History of Rachel Dupree by Ann Weisgarber

That is what books made their way into my home. What goodies did you get

Thursday, July 26, 2012

After the Fog

After the Fog by Kathleen Shoop

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1469935708
ISBN-13: 978-1469935706


The sins of the mother… In the mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous 1948 “killing smog,” headstrong nurse Rose Pavlesic tends to her family and neighbors. Controlling and demanding, she’s created a life that reflects everything she missed growing up as an orphan. She’s even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her loving husband, dutiful children, and large extended family. When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose’s nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life, making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she’s not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family—and the whole town—splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family’s healing begin?

My Thoughts

When I was first approached to review this book, I had never heard of the "killing smog" of Donora. I love learning about historical events so I knew this was probably going to be a very interesting book for me. Before I even received the book in the mail, I was looking up Donora and the horrible smog that enveloped the town. It's both shocking and interesting. Once I received the book and started reading, I was hooked!

After the Fog tells the story of Rose and her family. Rose was raised in an orphanage and has struggled to get to where she is today. She has a husband and two teenage children and she is the community nurse. She juggles being a homemaker while serving the community as the townspeople. In the meantime, the killing smog of 1948 is covering the town making people sick without them even realizing what is happening to them. As Rose tends to the townspeople while trying to secure funding for the Community Nursing Program, her past comes back to haunt her. Rose is challenged in ways she never imagined.

I found Rose to be an amazingly strong woman even though I found her difficult to like at times. At times I found her cold. Other times I felt sorry for her. I did find myself hoping all would turn out well for Rose and her family. I found myself reading After the Fog into the wee hours hours of the morning, just to find out how Rose's story would end.

While reading this book, you can tell that Kathleen Shoop has done much research on Donora and it's killing smog. My hats off to her for writing a great story set in such a horrible, historical event. It made for a great setting for the story. I felt as though I had gone back in time and was walking the smoggy streets of Donora alongside Rose. I got an eerie feeling reading the book which is how I imagined the people of Donora felt at the time. The author nailed the setting perfectly!

I really enjoyed this book and think it would make for a great and interesting book club selection. I have not yet read Kathleen's debt novel, The Last Letter but it is going on my wish list. She is an author I will be keeping an eye on in the future.

About the Author
After the Fog is the second novel by bestselling Kindle author Kathleen Shoop. Her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011. A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

Thank you to Kim from Book Sparks PR for allowing me to read and review this wonderful book!

I received this book for my honest opinion which in no way influenced my review.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Mailbox Monday July 23

Happy Monday! I have time for a quick Mailbox Monday post before I leave for work. I had the weekend off and I set yesterday aside as a readathon day for me. I did a little cooking, a little laundry but for the most part I was reading and it felt soooo good! I am reading After The Fog by Kathleen Shoop. I was tempted to stay up all night reading it. If I didn't have to work today, I think I would have stayed up.

After The Fog by Kathleen Shoop

This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Mrs. Q: Book Addict. Be sure to check out her blog! It is one of my favorites! I received some gems in the past two weeks.

Tumbleweeds by Leila Meacham (courtesy of Hachette Book Group)- I am so excited about this book! I love a good old-fashioned family saga!

Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff (courtesy of Voice)

Next are a couple of bargains and a couple of books I couldn't resist after reading the reviews for them.

Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch by Haywood Smith

Winter Bloom by Tara Heavey

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook
-My summer is not complete unless I read one of Claire's books!

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

That is what treasures came into my home. What wonderful reads made their way into your home?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Happened To Hannah

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (February 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006208478X
ISBN-13: 978-0062084781


As a teenager, Hannah Benson ran away from home in order to save herself. Now, twenty years later, the past comes calling and delivers life-changing news: her mother and sister have passed away, leaving Hannah the guardian of her fifteen-year-old niece.

Returning home to bitter memories and devastating secrets, Hannah must overcome her painful past to pave a future with her niece, the last best chance at a family for both of them. She begins to create a new, happier life with her niece and rekindles a relationship with Grady Steadman, one of the few people she’s ever called a friend.

But she can’t forget what she cannot forgive, or lay to rest those ghosts that will not die. Will love and trust—and the truth—give her the strength to stand her ground and fight for what she deserves?

My Thoughts

This book is a good character driven novel. Those who enjoy stories of abused characters that have overcome their abuse will enjoy this book.

Hannah escapes her family and abuse as a teenager. She is a successful adult who seems very well rounded when she receives a phone call telling her her mother has passed away and she is now the guardian of a teenage niece named Anna, that Hannah had no idea existed. She returns home to take care of her family's affairs and meet and care for Anna.

As a reader, you know Hannah has been abused and she left her home but the mystery revolves around what happened to Hannah the fateful night she left. Hannah has not been back since. As Hannah cleans out her mother's home, she also cleans out the memories which seem to haunt her from that horrible night. The story goes back to when Hannah was a teenager which is intertwined with the present day story. Not to worry though. The storyline is easy to follow.

There is a romantic storyline also. Hannah is reacquainted with Grady, her high school sweetheart. Hannah is not ready to welcome back anyone from her past as she has moved on and in her eyes has put the past behind her. Grady is sure Hannah is hiding something from her past that needs to come out. There is a tension between them but is it because they still have feelings for each other or is it because Grady is just doing his job as the local sheriff?

I enjoyed reading about Hannah's life. She was a strong willed child and woman who did what she had to survive. She was an easy character to like. I felt bad that as a child, the community turned a blind eye to the abuse happening in her home. I'm sure this happens everyday but it sure was hard to stomach as I became involved with Hannah and her story.

The story kept me reading and wanting more until I got to the satisfying ending. I would recommend this book to book clubs as there is much there to discuss. It's an excellent read for those who like to read about dysfunctional families and those who have overcome abusive situations.

I received this book for my honest review from Amazon Vine

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mailbox Monday July 9

Hi everyone! I have a rare Monday off of work since my regular day off fell on the holiday. I am so happy to be able to participate in Mailbox Monday! I sure miss it and think of you all every Monday while I am working. This month Mailbox Monday is being hosted by the the wonderful Mrs.Q:Book Addict! Thank you Mrs.Q!

These first book I received for review.

I won Ninepins by Rosy Thornton from Dar at Peeking Between the Pages. I enjoyed Rosy Thornton's The Tapestry of Love so I am very hopeful that I will enjoy this book also.

The Time it Snowed in Puerto Rico by Sarah McCoy (I purchased this since it was bargain priced on Amazon! Who can pass up a good bargain?)

What wonderful reads made their way into your home?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy 4th of July! We are in the middle of a heat wave here and it is not fit for man or beast outside! I think our 4th will be spent indoors. We broke down and bought an air conditioner which has been running nonstop since we purchased it. We are in the midst of a drought too which means many towns are calling of their fireworks displays. We still have then here since they do them over the lake but I don't think I'll be going. I enjoy the Capitol 4th of July program on PBS so I think that is what I will watch to celebrate.

It's a great day to curl up in the house and read which is my plan for the day. I am reading What Happened to Hannah by Mary Kay McComas.
I hope all my readers who celebrate the 4th have a fun and safe holiday! If you have some extra rain, send it our way. We really need it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Replacement Wife

  The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge  

  • Paperback: 482 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road E-riginal (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453258140
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453258149


 Camille Hart, one of Manhattan’s most sought-after matchmakers, has survived more than her fair share of hardships. Her mother died when she was a young girl, leaving her and her sister with an absentee father. Now in her forties, she has already survived cancer once, though the battle revealed just how ill-equipped her husband Edward is to be a single parent. So when doctors tell Camille that her cancer is back—and this time it’s terminal—she decides to put her matchmaking expertise to the test for one final job. Seeking stability for her children and happiness for her husband, Camille sets out to find the perfect woman to replace her when she’s gone.

 But what happens when a dying wish becomes a case of “be careful what you wish for”? For Edward and Camille, the stunning conclusion arrives with one last twist of fate that no one saw coming.

 At once deeply felt and witty, The Replacement Wife is an unforgettable story of love and family, and a refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings.

 My Thoughts

  I am always attracted to a book that has a beautiful wedding dress on the cover so this book caught my eye instantly. As soon as I read the description, I knew this book was one for me! It did not disappoint. I found the story to be much different than what I was expecting. It was a pleasant surprise for me.

 There were times while reading this novel that I was highly disappointed in all of the characters involved. Camille is a matchmaker and is good at what she does. When she finds that she has cancer for the second time, she takes it upon herself to set her husband, Edward up with someone who will be there for him and their children when she passes on. Camille pushing a new woman on her husband and family was hard to read even though a part of me understood that she loved her family enough to want them taken care of in her absence. Edward disappointed me at times too. I wanted him to stand up for himself and stop Camille from picking out his next wife.

There are a few suitable women who are introduced in the story, some more likeable than others but each brought a uniqueness to the story. I enjoyed getting into the heads of all of the characters. It is such a different situation to read about. I can say the story really tugged at my heartstrings!

 The story takes an unexpected twist in the end. Even though it is not the ending I imagined, it is a satisfying ending. If you want to know more, you'll have to pick up a copy of the book and read it. This is a book you will want to read without reading any spoilers.

 I look forward to reading more of Eileen Goudge books as I enjoyed this one very much!

 I received a copy of this book from Open Road Media through Netgalley for my honest review

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mailbox Monday May 28 and Happy Memorial Day

Thank you all for your kind words about our beloved Cooper. It has been a hard weekend but we are getting through it. Yesterday I set up a nice little memorial for him in our backyard. I went to our local nursery and found a rock that has paw prints on it and says "Dogs leave paw prints on our hearts forever". Cooper will never be forgotten! He was the sweetest dog I have ever known.

Happy Memorial Day! A special thank you to all who have served or are serving now! I know how much you and your families sacrifice!

I hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend. It has been hot and humid here this weekend. I planted my garden yesterday and cooked out. Today is laundry day and reading day. It's too hot to do much else. The plan is to read a book and catch up on blogs.

I haven't posted a Mailbox Monday post in a long time so this one is quite full. I have some review books, some purchased books and some from the library sale shelf. Mailbox Monday is being hosted by Martha at Reviews By Martha's Bookshelf. Thank you Martha!

First up are two audiobooks for review, courtesy of Macmillan Audio.
A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron (the dog on the cover looks a lot like our little Cooper)

Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Next up are the books I have received for review. Some are from Amazon Vine and some are from the publishers.
A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama

Goodbye For Now by Laurie Frankel

The Innocents by Francesca Segal

Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

The next group of books are the ones I purchased either at the store or at the library sale shelf.
Vision in White by Nora Roberts
Nanking 1937 by Ye Zhaoyan 
The Next Always by Nora Roberts 
The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts 
If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster

And last was my birthday gift to myself. I saw this version of The Secret Garden on the Barnes and Noble website and thought it was beautiful!
The secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett

So that is all the treasures that have come into my home since my last mailbox post. What wonderful reads made their way into your home?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saying Goodbye is Never Easy!

Last night we said goodbye to our beloved Cooper. He had some serious health problems and I was trying to be brave and make the decision to put him down. I was having a hard time letting him go. Last night while I was at work, he decided his body had had enough and he left us suddenly. I am sad and heartbroken but I know he is in a better place where he is no longer in pain. Our other dog Jake is a bit lost today without his little buddy. We all feel a bit empty and sad today. The house seems a bit quieter than normal. We will be okay in time. RIP Cooper! You were the best dog a gal could have!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Snow Child

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey  

Summary from Goodreads

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.  

My Thoughts

  I finally have a few moments to be able to read and blog. This book is a wonderful read and has me excited to share my thoughts with all of you! First off let me say that I find it hard to believe that this is a debut book for the author. Her prose is beautiful and she can tell a story in a way that will keep the reader captivated throughout the whole book.

 This story is magical and it is a story I loved! Jack and Mabel tear at your heartstrings right off the bat. You can't help but feel for the couple who are grieving over the fact they are childless after losing their only baby. They go to Alaska to start over anew. When they build a snow girl in the yard, a young, wild girl miraculously arrives and finds her way into their hearts. The young girl, Faina, reminds Mabel of a fairy tale that was read to her when she was a child. She can't help but notice the similarities between the two young girls.

 Faina is a wonderful magical character and I really loved her. She is probably my favorite character in the book. Her carefree spirit really spoke to me.

 The Alaska setting is a character in itself in this story. You can tell the author is a native Alaska. Her descriptive writing makes you feel as though you are in Alaska yourself. I could almost feel the falling snowflakes!

 I highly recommend this book. Even though I don't have much time to read these days, this book kept haunting me until I found time to finish it. I couldn't wait to find time to pick it up and read it. I will definitely be watching to see what this author writes next!