Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Books That Came My Way in August

My email inbox has been full of review requests.  I took off a big chunk of time off this summer and I needed it. I have become much pickier about the books I will read and review. I am having less and less time to devote to reading, so if I am choosing to read a book, then be sure that I truly think it is worthy of my time. Of course, some books just find their way to my mailbox without my previous knowledge. I am only going to spend time reading and reviewing books that I enjoy. If I'm not feeling it, I'm going to put it aside. I can't get to all these great books that come my way, but at least I can tell you about them here and I hope to review them just as soon as I can! 


You may notice a category missing from these monthly posts, my Book Club Read. Sadly, since my dear friend, Diana, moved to Colorado, we have suspended the book club for now. There was just three of us in our book club so I'm not sure if we are going to add a new member, keep it going via skype, or just put it aside for now. Although, we did both read LITTLE MERCIES and then talked about it over the phone, so is that still a book club?!

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 commission without you having to pay any more for your purchase.  I appreciate your support of SincerelyStacie.com reviews.

Books for Review


RISEN: Battle for Darracia (The Darracia Saga #3)
By: Michael Phillip Cash
Published: July 3, 2014
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing 

This series is perfect for YA fans of fantasy and science fiction series.  It is just $1.99 for your Kindle as of this post. 

Imprisoned on the dead moon of Bina, trapped at the bottom of the cold Hixom Sea, locked in a cell in the flooded Desa and blinded & defeated in the Eastern Provinces, the ruling class of Darracia is defeated without hope. 

In the stunning conclusion of the Darracia saga, V’sair, Tulani, Zayden and Reminda must dig deep and find both strength and faith to rise from the depths of the impossible and restore order to their home planet from Lothen, Staf Nuen and the evil armies of Geva.

 

SKETCHES OF A SMALL TOWN: Circa 1940, A Memoir
By: Clifton Meador
Published: June 20, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace

This came to me through the author. I actually have his other book on my shelf waiting to be read. I grew up in a rural/small town area. I live in a small town. I love memoirs and history.  This book will be right up my alley.

For a boy coming of age during the 1930s and ’40s, Greenville, Alabama, a small cotton-farming town in the Deep South, was a wonderfully rich environment. Greenville may have been small, but for author Clifton K. Meador, MD, life growing up there was anything but dull. 

In his memoir Sketches of a Small Town…circa 1940, Meador lovingly retells the stories that formed his values and shaped his life. 

For young Clifton and his friends, there’s plenty of trouble to stir up, ranging from a field fire, to buzzard hunting, to fights between the “country boys” and the “city boys,” and, of course, girls. There are also poignant moments, such as the loss of his best friend because of the impenetrable wall of segregation. And there are quirky characters—the town’s sole, somewhat frightening taxi driver; the intriguing, cross-dressing homosexual; and the eccentric agronomy professor turned failed farmer. 

Sketches of a Small Town…circa 1940 not only tells one man’s story, but also beautifully captures the remarkable people, places, and events that characterized a unique lifestyle in a bygone era.




SKYGODS Hydraulic #2
By: Sarah Latchaw
Published: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Omnific Publishing

I interviewed and reviewed Sarah's first book HYDRAULIC LEVEL FIVE, HERE. Sarah grew up in the same town that I live in and I am thrilled to help spread the word on her next book. You can see my review of SKYGODS, HERE as well as enter to win a ebook and a prize pack from Sarah. I'm even meeting Sarah for lunch in a few weeks and I'm so excited! 

Kaye Trilby and her ex-husband, world-famous author Samuel Cabral, vowed to fight for their rekindled love in rain or shine. They didn’t realize they’d be caught in a deluge so quickly.

A near-fatal skydiving accident shows Kaye how her reckless behavior affects the ones she loves. But while she knows Samuel is afraid to lose her again, she isn’t ready to give up the thrill of the wild backcountry.

Something darker is slipping into Samuel’s mind, though. The specters of his past are re-emerging. Just as all of Hollywood is bracing for his blockbuster book-to-movie adaptation, his polish seem to be deteriorating. When he appears on Kaye’s doorstep late one night in a rumpled tuxedo, erratic and agitated, it seems that romance with her ex might be her biggest leap yet. A string of failed relationships has pushed Samuel to the brink, the fall-out leaving him in a dark place—a place where Kaye is powerless to help him. She is reluctantly drawn back into Samuel’s glittering and backbiting world of celebrity, all the while clinging to the steadfast peaks of home.

Can Kaye risk her heart with Samuel a second time? Will they ever find their blue skies? 




MY MOTHER'S SECRET
By J.L. Witterick
Published: September 5, 2013
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley

I will be reviewing this book in just a couple weeks. I love novels about true stories.  Stories of the Holocaust are always so captivating to me and I have a feeling this one will be as well.

A novel based on a true story, a mother and daughter risk their lives to provide shelter to two families and a German soldier--all unbeknownst to each other--in a tiny two-room house in Sokal, Poland, during the Nazi invasion.

Based on a true story, MY MOTHER'S SECRET is a profound, captivating, and ultimately uplifting tale intertwining the lives of two Jewish families in hiding from the Nazis, a fleeing German soldier, and the clever and "righteous" mother and daughter who teamed up to save them.

Franciszka and her daughter, Helena, are unlikely heroines. They are simple people who mind their own business and don't stand out from the crowd. Until 1939, when crisis strikes. The Nazis have invaded Poland and they are starting to persecute the Jews. Providing shelter to a Jew has become a death sentence. And yet, Franciszka and Helena decide to do just that. In their tiny, two-bedroom home in Sokal, Poland, they cleverly hide one Jewish family of two brothers and their wives in their pigsty out back, another in a makeshift cellar under the kitchen floorboards, and a defecting German soldier in the attic--each group completely unbeknownst to the others. For everyone to survive, Franciszka will have to outsmart her neighbors and the German commanders standing guard right outside her yard.

Told simply and succinctly from four different perspectives, MY MOTHER'S SECRET is a reminder that you don’t have to be extraordinary to make a difference. You can become extraordinary by making a difference.

This book was inspired by the true story of Franciszka Halamajowa, who, with her daughter, saved the lives of fifteen Jews in Poland during the Second World War. She also hid a young German soldier in her attic at the same time. Before the war, there were six thousand Jews in Sokal, Poland. Only thirty survived the war and half of those did so because of Franciszka. 





THE LAST BREATH
By Kimberly Belle
Published: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA

I first heard about this book on Twitter and knew I had to read it.  A quick tweet and the book was on my way! 

From a remarkable new voice in suspenseful women's fiction comes an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family.

Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It's the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia's father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he's come home to die of cancer, and she's responsible for his care—and coming to terms with his guilt. 

Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town's most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope. 


As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth—and all the lies that came before—may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated….





WHAT YOUR HEART NEEDS FOR THE HARD DAYS
52 Encouraging Truths to Hold on to
By Holley Gerth
Published: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Revell Books

Holley Gerth is a talented Christian writer often putting to words just what I was trying to say. I love her cards in the Dayspring line and this book sounds like it will be a huge encouragement to many.

In this uplifting book, Holley Gerth invites readers to sit down with her to be filled with the strength, peace, and joy that come from God's promises to us. Each of the 52 devotions based on the Psalms will help weary women remember that God is good and we're all in this together. Whether it's a bad hair day or a broken heart, Holley offers hope and encouragement to get us through whatever life brings.

Women need that kind of encouragement because we all have hard days--days that make us want to give up, retreat inside ourselves, and drown our sorrows in a pint of ice cream. And while we may crave all sorts of things to ease the pain we feel in our hearts, what we really need is truth. We need to be confident in God's character and his promises. We need to remember--and celebrate--who he made us to be. And we need exactly the kind of encouragement Holley Gerth loves to offer.





LADY EMMA IN HER LAND OF WONDER
By Martha M Harrison
Published: August 8, 2014
Publisher: Incanto Press

I thought this sounded like a lovely children's book. Just glancing through it, the illustrations are beautiful and I can't wait to read it! I love fairy tales.

Lady Emma is a young girl whose adventures lead her to missteps and mistakes. She tumbles and jumbles and falls out of her boat. She falls under a bridge and under a witch's spell. She faces dragons and ogres. As her father guides her gently through life and she finds a prince, she ultimately learns that she must fix-up her own mix-ups before she can find her dreams. The character Lady Emma indirectly emerged from Lewis Carroll's Alice in ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND and THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS.

Books I Purchased





THE ICKY,STICKY TEA PARTY
By: Anne M Jenks
Published: May 23, 2014
Publisher: Laredo Publishing Co

Anne is a high school classmate of mine. This is her second book for children.  This one, as well as her first book, BITSY BEAR, tells stories while teaching safety tips to children. I highly recommend Anne's books.  You can see my review of THE ICKY STICKY TEA PARTY, HERE

Jenny and Cindy spend the afternoon with the babysitter. The babysitter is busy texting and the girls are on their own to entertain themselves. Jenny decides to have a tea party. Cindy is playing her video game and does not want to help Jenny with her party. Jenny therefore takes matters into her own hands and uses her icky cold medicine as tea. Their dog, Moose, is also at Jenny's tea party. Although Moose makes it out alive, the girls get in big trouble from Mom and Dad. They all learn a valuable lesson about medication safety. The Icky, Sticky, Tea Party is written with a bit of humor, while weaving an educational message into the story for children and parents alike. The last page of the book includes guidelines and basic tips for safety relating to medication.




FOUR: A Divergent Collection
By Veronica Roth
Published: July 8, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

I purchased this in July, but since it was our son's birthday present, I didn't want to spoil it. 

Fans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by Four: A Divergent Collection, a companion volume that includes four pre-Divergent stories plus three additional scenes from Divergent, all told from Tobias's point of view.
Readers first encountered Tobias as "Four" in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Readers will find more of this charismatic character's backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When read together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias's life. The first three pieces in this volume—"The Transfer," "The Initiate," and "The Son"—follow Tobias's transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, "The Traitor," runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty—and love—that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior.



THE BEST YES: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands
By Lysa TerKeurst
Published: August 12, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian Publishing

I purchased this as soon as it became available. I have read several of Lysa's other books and loved each one of them. I reviewed her book UNGLUED back in February 2013, HERE. When I heard about Lysa's newest book, I felt like it must be written just for me. I have already started reading and highlighting many of the pages. I will be sure to review it for you all soon! 

Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In "The Best Yes "she will help you

- Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.

- Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.

- Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.

- Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.



Books Given to Me



WORDS OF WISDOM FOR WOMEN
By Rachel Snyder
Published: January 1, 2003
Publisher: Barnes and Noble Books

This was passed on to me by one of my husband's clients. I love these kind of books. Devotional words of advice for each day of the year. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Through the power of words, Women are inspired to do simple things that will feed their soul and nourish their spirit. Contains a word for each day of the year, the book can be opened to any page for a daily dose of comfort and strength, or read straight through for insight and inspiration.

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