Books That Came My Way in February

I have had some great books come my way this past month and I know I have another great month of reading ahead.  Last month will be tough to beat with three 5 Star book reviews in just one month.  Here are the books that came my way for review or from my own purchases.  Maybe one of these books will pique your interest as well.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on a book I have read or shared with you as well!

If you would like to purchase any of these books, clicking on the photo of the book will take you directly to Amazon.  If you choose to purchase, I will receive a small compensation without you having to pay any more for your purchase.  I appreciate you supporting SincerelyStacie.com book reviews.

MARCH’S BOOK CLUB BOOK

THE SISTER SEASON
By: Jennifer Scott

This came my way for review in November and got pushed to the bottom of my to-read pile.  It was my turn to choose the book this month and since I have two sisters and there are two sisters in my book club, I thought this was the perfect choice.

It’s December 21, and the Yancey sisters have been called home. When the girls were young, holidays at their family farm meant a tinsel-garnished tree, the scent of simmering food, and laughter ringing through the house. But as the years unfolded, family bonds fractured, and the three sisters scattered and settled into separate lives. Until now. The Yancey sisters are coming to spend the holidays with their mother. They’re also coming to bury their father.

Claire, the youngest, a free spirit who journeyed to California, returns first. Then comes Julia, the eldest, a college professor with a teenage son of her own. And finally there’s Maya, the middle child, who works so hard to be the perfect mother and wife. 

During the sisters’ week together, old conflicts surface, new secrets emerge, and the limits and definitions of family are tested. And as the longest night of the year slips by and brightening days beckon, the sisters will have to answer one question: When you’re a sister, aren’t you a sister forever?

BOOKS I RECEIVED FOR REVIEW 

SILENT IMPACT 
Stories of Influence Through Purpose, Persistence, and Passion
By: Joe Schmit

This came to me from the author and I am really looking forward to reading it  It sounds both motivating and inspiring! The author, Joe Schmit used to work at KCRG-TV9 news in Cedar Rapids, which is near us and is currently in Minneapolis as a broadcaster.

We make our biggest impressions when we are not trying to be impressive. The words we say or don’t say, the things we do or don’t do, and the ways we react or don’t react can have a tremendous influence on those around us. In Silent Impact, award-winning broadcaster Joe Schmit tells stories of real people and the ways in which they had profound influence on others in daily life. He points to simple, powerful lessons in the stories, and will inspire you to recognize your daily opportunities to make an intentional impact on others.

RAISING JOHN
By Jennifer Lesher

This is a part of a book tour with Virtual Author Book Tours.  Check out my review on March 25, 2014.

How do you go on living when you have done the unforgivable? How do you love a mother you barely remember? John is an orphan who misses the mother he hardly knew. Robert is the drunk driver who killed her. As the story opens we meet 4-year-old John, who wonders why his mother had to die. Robert wakes up in lockup, expecting to sleep off a blackout and go home, until he learns of the accident he caused. John grows up under the care of his devoted maternal grandmother, who grapples with guilt over her daughter’s past. Just as John is on the cusp of manhood, he must confront his mother’s death anew and question everything he has come to believe about himself and the people he loves. Robert is sentenced to 4 years in state prison. His incarceration begins a journey that will have a profound effect on not only himself, but on the life of the boy he orphaned, and on the legacy of the young mother who died.

BURN THE FAT FEED THE MUSCLE
Transform Your Body Forever Using the Secrets of the Leanest People in the World
By: Tom Venuto


This came to me through a request from the publisher/marketing group. I’ve been reading a lot of books about getting healthy and I’m really looking forward to this one as well.

For twenty-five years, industry veteran and bestselling author Tom Venuto has built a reputation as one of the world’s most respected fat-loss experts. In Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle—known by fans as “the bible of fat loss”—Tom reveals the body transformation secrets of the leanest people in the world. This is not a diet and it’s not just a weight-loss program; this is a breakthrough system to change your life and get you leaner, stronger, fitter, and healthier with the latest discoveries in exercise and nutrition science. 

WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A…FIREFIGHTER
Will’s Amazing Day
By: Wigu Publishing


I have read two others in this series and loved them both.  I’m thrilled to share this one with you as well! This is a great series for children that you don’t want to miss!

Will was excited to go on his class field trip, until he learned they would be touring the local firehouse. Now, he is dreading the trip. For as long as he can remember, Will has been afraid of fire and, worse than that, firefighters! Though he knows firefighters are heroes who do dangerous work, to him they are giants in heavy coats and masks. As he journeys with his class through the fire station, Will and readers alike are introduced to the exciting world of firefighting. Can Will overcome his fears and maybe even learn something surprising about himself?

MAKE YOURSELF AMAZING
By: Sarah Coleman

This came to me through a request from the author.  This is only available as an eBook and is free with your Amazon Prime (One Year Membership).

Make Yourself Amazing will transform your thinking and relationships. 

Do you want to:
Be a better person?
Achieve your goals?
Reduce stress?
Develop more meaningful connections?
Tackle challenges with confidence?
…and more? 

Make Yourself Amazing examines integrity, habits, perseverance, the power of thoughts and words, looking for the best in others, and taking risks. Your heart and mind will not be the same. 

BOOKS I PURCHASED
THE SECRET DAUGHTER
By: Shilpi Somaya Gowda
This was a Kindle purchase based on it one-day low price.  If you want to be “in the know” on daily Kindle Deals, be sure to follow me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER where I share all the great deals I find! 
Secret Daughter, a first novel by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, explores powerfully and poignantly the emotional terrain of motherhood, loss, identity, and love through the experiences of two families – one Indian, one American – and the child that binds them together. 

A CONFIDENT HEART DEVOTIONAL
60 Days to Stop Doubting Yourself
By: Renee Swope

This was a Kindle purchase based on a one-day low price.  I already own  A CONFIDENT HEART and jumped at the chance to get the Devotional as well.  I’ve loved everything I have read from Renee Swope.

Built on the hope-infusing truths found in the 2012 Retailer’s Choice Winner, A Confident Heart, Renee Swope’s new 60-day devotional takes women on a journey toward lasting confidence. Swope has expanded her popular “When I say–God says” statements and Scriptures, and offers women a daily thought-map to help them exchange their most common and crippling self-doubts with God’s transforming truths.

Like having a conversation with a friend and mentor, Renee’s authentic style and soul-stirring devotions include personal stories, powerful biblical teaching, and real-life application wrapped around one of God’s promises each day to help readers: 

•live confidently in their God-given roles, relationships and responsibilities
•break free from people-pleasing and performance-based living
•believe God’s promises and apply his truth in their daily lives
•trust the certainty of God’s truth over their circumstances and emotions

SH*T MY DAD SAYS
By: Justin Halpern

I purchased this for my husband for Valentine’s Day and also look forward to reading it.  I learned about it after a recommendation from my friend who said it is HiLaRiOuS! It is still just $2.99 for Kindle.

After being dumped by his longtime girlfriend, twenty-eight-year-old Justin Halpern found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad. Sam Halpern, who is “like Socrates, but angrier, and with worse hair,” has never minced words, and when Justin moved back home, he began to record all the ridiculous things his dad said to him:

“That woman was sexy. . . . Out of your league? Son, let women figure out why they won’t screw you. Don’t do it for them.”

“Do people your age know how to comb their hair? It looks like two squirrels crawled on their heads and started fucking.”

“The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two.”

More than a million people now follow Mr. Halpern’s philosophical musings on Twitter, and in this book, his son weaves a brilliantly funny, touching coming-of-age memoir around the best of his quotes. An all-American story that unfolds on the Little League field, in Denny’s, during excruciating family road trips, and, most frequently, in the Halperns’ kitchen over bowls of Grape-Nuts, Sh*t My Dad Says is a chaotic, hilarious, true portrait of a father-son relationship from a major new comic voice.



THE HOUSE GIRL
By: Tara Conklin

I’ve been wanting to read this and it was a one-day low priced purchase so I couldn’t pass it up.

The House Girl, the historical fiction debut by Tara Conklin, is an unforgettable story of love, history, and a search for justice, set in modern-day New York and 1852 Virginia.
Weaving together the story of an escaped slave in the pre–Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, The House Girl follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, she learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine.
Featuring two remarkable, unforgettable heroines, Tara Conklin’s The House Girl is riveting and powerful, literary fiction at its very best.

REAL HAPPY FAMILY
By: Caeli Wolfson Widger

This came to me as part of the Kindle First program.  It is also free with a Amazon Prime (One Year Membership).

Part-time actress, full-time party girl Lorelei Branch isn’t famous yet, but she’s perfected a Hollywood lifestyle full of clubbing, fashion, and the latest juice cleanse. When Robin, her sister-in-law and agent, throws a plum job her way, Lorelei jumps at the chance and auditions to be the new girl on television’s hottest reality show, Flo’s Studio.

Enter Colleen, Lorelei’s pill-popping mother, who wants nothing more than to see her daughter win the fame and glory she never had a chance to pursue herself. But Lorelei’s dream of becoming the next reality star is dashed when she loses the spot on Flo’s Studio to a stunning African woman. In an attempt to defend her daughter against what she calls a rigged contest, Colleen goes ballistic and delivers a racist rant on live television, sparking a national media frenzy. Lorelei flees the limelight, humiliated and broke, with her slacker boyfriend Don and heads for Reno where she begins to self-destruct.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Branch family starts to come apart at the seams. Colleen and her husband, Carl, are quietly drifting apart. Darren, Lorelei’s older half-brother, is stuck in Florida working on a contentious film set while his wife, Robin, continues the tedious regimen of fertility drugs meant to help them conceive a child. Desperate to bring the family together again and make things right, Colleen hatches a plan to stage an intervention for Lorelei on the reality show Real Happy Family. Soon the entire Branch family is entangled in a mission to bring the prodigal daughter back into the fold.
Will Lorelei ever forgive Colleen? Will Real Happy Family air their most sensational intervention yet? All roads lead to a seedy Reno hotel room, where a reality TV crew is waiting.

HOW TO BAKE A PERFECT LIFE
By: Barbara O’Neal

This is still just $1.99 on Kindle and is a book I’ve been wanting to read for awhile.

In a novel as warm and embracing as a family kitchen, Barbara O’Neal explores the poignant, sometimes complex relationships between mothers and daughters—and the healing magic of homemade bread. 
 
Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona’s bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She’s one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother’s rambling Victorian and everything she’s worked so hard to build.

When Ramona’s soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she’s being dumped again—this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.

Ramona relies upon a special set of tools—patience, persistence, and the reliability of a good recipe—when rebellious Katie arrives. And as she relives her own history of difficult choices, Ramona shares her love of baking with the troubled girl. Slowly, Katie begins to find self-acceptance and a place to call home. And when a man from her past returns to offer a second chance at love, Ramona discovers that even the best recipe tastes better when you add time, care, and a few secret ingredients of your own.




THE 10 HABITS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL WOMEN
By:  Glynnis MacNicol and Rachel Sklar

This is a Kindle Serial for just $1.99.  A Serial means you will get updates each time there is a new episode without additional cost. I’ve heard a lot about this book and like to read books about people who succeed against the odds or their stories of hard work and dedication.

The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women is a collection of essays revealing the secret career habits and hard-won wisdom of a diverse group of accomplished women, selected by Rachel Sklar and Glynnis MacNicol, co-founders of TheLi.st, the well-known network dedicated to elevating professional women.

Perhaps no group has experienced more upheaval in the last few decades than working women. In this series, each woman explores the one key habit or lesson that has made the difference in forging her career and attaining professional success.
Whether it’s CNN personality Sally Kohn’s exploration of emotional correctness or What Not To Wear’s Stacy London on the wear and tear of our aspirational “Culture of Extraordinary”; why millennial Nisha Chittal won’t tell you her age and what Cindy Gallop learned about sex while dating men half hers; how lessons from waitressing led Jenna Wortham to The New York Times or how Paula Froelich perfected the art of the “controlled burn” to start over after the end of a dream career—these essays uncover the challenges and delights of chasing, and finding, success in work and life as a professional woman.

THE ONE GOOD THING 
By: Kevin Alan Milne

This is still just $2.99 on Kindle.  It came to me as a recommendation from my friend, Tammy.  If she tells me about a book that I should read, I don’t hesitate.  We have always enjoyed the same type of books and this one sounds like it will be another great read.

For as long as Halley Steen has known her husband Nathan, he has carried a handful of stones in his pocket. Each day he uses those stones to remind him to follow the Golden Rule, moving a stone from one pocket to the other with each act of kindness. So it’s not unusual that Nathan stops to help a stranger on the side of the highway while on his way to his son’s football game one Friday evening. But that one act will change all of their lives forever, when a car hydroplanes off the road, killing Nathan instantly.

As Halley and her children Ty and Alice struggle with their grief, Nathan’s spiritual legacy lives on. A Facebook page appears, where countless stories about Nathan’s selfless acts are shared. But among them is one that stands out, from a woman who says that Nathan saved her life. Neither Halley nor her children have ever heard of Madeline Zuckerman. But soon Halley discovers years of e-mails from this woman to her husband on his computer that refer to “our little girl.” How could her husband have kept the secret of this other child for their entire marriage? Why had he lied to her? Was he not the man she thought he was?
Only thirteen-year-old Alice maintains unwavering faith in her father. She knows there’s an explanation. When she sets out to find Madeline and learn the truth, she will start to unravel the complex story of The One Good Thing Nathan Steen did that had the greatest impact of all. 

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