Thursday, June 2, 2016

Books that Came My Way in May 2016

I wasn't expecting May to be as busy as it turned out to be. Out of twenty days that we had school, I subbed fourteen of those days, when at the end of April I was only scheduled for five. The end of the school year is also busy with concerts, track meets, banquets, and grad parties on the weekends so May just flew by. I hardly spent any time in my office and just did the bare minimum that I needed to get done.

I have several reviews to write as I did finish a few books while participating in BOUT OF BOOKS 2016. Sometimes it is just as hard to find time to write the review as it is to find time to read...maybe even harder. I try to take notes while I read so that when I do find time, I can recall what I wanted to say.

As summer is officially here for our family, I am looking ahead to lots of time on my back porch or patio with a book (or eReader) in my hand. The blog will be quiet next week since we will be chaperoning the Band trip to Canada. But, I will have reviews ready for when we get back.

I have some great reads to share with you.  As you can see, a majority of them are children's books again, but they are so incredible, I can't wait to read them myself. I read seven books in May with two of them being a children's book, so as busy as I was, that is pretty good.

I'm only going to read books that I am interested in. If it isn't working for me I'll move on. I can't get to every book that comes my way, but at least I can share them with you here. I hope to review them just as soon as I can.

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 reviews. 

I'll be linking up with The Deliberate Reader 
to share our stacks of books for May
To see her Stack of Books as well as other bloggers' Book Stacks, click HERE.


By: Karen White
Published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Format: Paperback

I've read and loved Karen White's writing in two books where she collaborated with other authors, THE FORGOTTEN ROOM and GRAND CENTRAL: ORIGINAL STORIES OF POST WAR LOVE AND REUNION.

Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit...

It’s been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled. 

Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep.

A True Story
By: Gabriella Gillespie
Published: July 25, 2014
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Format: Paperback

I have a feeling this won't be a happy read, but I'm drawn to it.

Muna and her three sisters were happy children, growing up in Newport South Wales with their English mother and Arabic father. But in 1972 her mother disappeared, setting in motion a chain of events which would forever shatter her seemingly loving family.

By: H. W. "Buzz" Bernard
To Be Published: July 11, 2016
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Format: Paperback

I read Buzz's first book and he was my first author interview. He is charming and his books deal with weather since he used to be a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. See my review of  EYEWALL HERE, and interview, HERE.

Dr. Rob Elwood, a respected geologist, has studied the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a dangerous fault off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, for years. Now he’s having repeated nightmares of a massive earthquake and tsunami striking the region. Knowing he’s placing his reputation and career at risk, he goes public with his premonitions.

The quake fails to occur and Rob fears he’s lost everything. But the disaster does strike, just not when expected, and Rob finds himself not only vindicated, but hurled abruptly into a life-and-death rescue mission with his private aircraft.

Rob’s story intersects with several others, including that of a retired fighter pilot attempting to make amends to a woman he jilted twenty-five years earlier, and another of an elderly black man searching for legendary buried treasure along the rugged Oregon coast.

By: David Bell
To Be Published: June 21, 2016
Publisher: NAL
Format: Paperback

I've been drawn to mysteries lately and this one sounds so intriguing.

Three months earlier, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late, she found that Celia had disappeared—and hasn’t been seen again. Jenna has blamed herself for her friend’s disappearance every single day since then.

The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet, leading the national media to dub Celia “The Diamond Mom.” And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.

But when her son’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived in town without a past—disappears, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how completely lives can be shattered by a few simple lies.

By: Judith Fertig
Published: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback

I was supposed to receive this book last year, but it never arrived. So, when I was asked to review Fertig's newest book, THE MEMORY OF LEMON, they sent me both! Don't the covers alone make you want to read them?

Claire “Neely” O’Neil is a pastry chef of extraordinary talent. Every great chef can taste shimmering, elusive flavors that most of us miss, but Neely can “taste” feelings—cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. When flavor and feeling give Neely a glimpse of someone’s inner self, she can customize her creations to help that person celebrate love, overcome fear, even mourn a devastating loss.

Maybe that’s why she feels the need to go home to Millcreek Valley at a time when her life seems about to fall apart. The bakery she opens in her hometown is perfect, intimate, just what she’s always dreamed of—and yet, as she meets her new customers, Neely has a sense of secrets, some dark, some perhaps with tempting possibilities. A recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals to her perfect palate a long-ago story that must be told.

Neely has always been able to help everyone else. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.

By: Judith Fertig
To Be Published: June 14, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback

The author of The Cake Therapist returns with another sweet and emotional tale featuring Neely, the baker with a knack for finding exactly the right flavor for any occasion...
A crisp tang of citrus that is at once poignant and familiar, sharpening the senses and opening the mind to possibilities once known and long forgotten...
Claire “Neely” Davis is no ordinary pastry chef. Her flavor combinations aren’t just a product of a well-honed palate: she can “taste” people’s emotions, sensing the ingredients that will touch her customers’ souls. Her gift has never failed her—until she meets a free-spirited bride-to-be and her overbearing society mother. The two are unable to agree on a single wedding detail, and their bickering leaves Neely’s intuition frustratingly silent—right when she needs it most.
Between trying to navigate a divorce, explore a new relationship, and handle the reappearance of her long-absent father, Neely is struggling to make sense of her own conflicting emotions, much less those of her hard-to-please bride. But as she embarks on a flavorful quest to craft the perfect wedding celebration, she’ll uncover a family history that sheds light on both the missing ingredients and her own problems—and illustrates how the sweet and sour in life often combine to make the most delicious memories.

By: Rick Hay
Published: January 18, 2016
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Format: Paperback

I love learning about foods that offer amazing benefits.

An inspired but easy-to-follow twelve-week healthy eating plan that unlocks the remarkable power of superfoods, and high-intensity exercises, for all fitness levels.

By: Roxana Robinson
To Be Published: June 21, 2016
Publisher: Open Road Media
Format: eBook

I've really been loving short stories. They offer a big impact in just a few pages. Sometimes I only have time to read a few pages, so I get the satisfaction of completing something too.

Short stories set in the old-guard WASP enclaves of Manhattan, Connecticut, Long Island and Maine and in the UK, peopled with women and men whose loves are in various stages of repair or disarray, and with their children and teenagers struggling to find rules and identities in their lives.

Wedding Tree
By: Robin Wells
To Be Published: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
Format: eBook

WWII and Paris? I'm in.

At her retirement home in Wedding Tree, Louisiana, ninety-one-year-old Amelie O’Connor is in the habit of leaving her door open for friends. One day she receives an unexpected visitor—Kat Morgan, the ex-fiancĂ©e of her late husband, Jack.
Kat and Jack were high school sweethearts who planned to marry when Jack returned from France after World War II. But in a cruel twist of fate, their plans were irrevocably derailed when a desperate French girl overheard an American GI’s confession in a Parisian church. . .
Now, Kat wants to know the truth behind a story that’s haunted her whole life. Finding out how Amelie stole Jack’s heart will—she thinks—finally bring her peace. As Amelie recalls the dark days of the Nazi occupation of Paris, THE FRENCH WAR BRIDE reveals how history shapes the courses of our lives. . . for better or for worse.

The Coin Chronicles - Volume 1
By: Veola Vazquez
Published: March 12, 2015
Publisher: Double Letter Press
Format: Paperback

I'm always looking for good middle-grade novels to recommend at school and this series sounded interesting.

Jake is tired of feeling like a loser. Failure at baseball, feeling like a wannabe at school and facing bullies like a weakling, that’s his life. He’s starting to wonder if things will ever change or if even God can fix his problems. It’s not until he comes across a rare nickel with an intriguing story that life really starts to look different. But will things get better? Or will Jake end up feeling like an even bigger loser than before? 

The Coin Chronicles - Volume 2
By: Veola Vazquez
Published: May 7, 2016
Publisher: Double Letter Press
Format: Paperback

What would a 12-year-old boy do to help save his family from financial ruin? In Jake King’s case, he’d do just about anything. But uncertainty sets in as his plans go awry, his friendships start to fail and his faith takes a few hits. Finding a rare coin worth a fortune might be the answer. But what if it’s not real? Will Jake lose his best friend and his family’s future at the same time? Only God knows and, hopefully, he’ll let Jake in on it.

An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time - Volume 4
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Sarah Wright
Published: April 28, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format; Paperback

Seriously? What can't Carole Roman do? She is so talented and I have loved every one of her books. This new series that takes us back in time is sure to be a hit!

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in the first four books of her new series. Learn what kind of food you might eat in Ancient Greece, the clothes you wore in 15th century Renaissance Italy, what your name could be in Elizabethan England, and what Colonial American children did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in...does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you. 

An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time - Volume 2
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Silvia Brunetti
Published: May 6, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time - Volume 3
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Paula Tabor
Published: March 21, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

An Introduction to Civilizations throughout Time - Volume 1
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Mateya Arkova
Published: March 17, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback

Animal Bites Series
By: Animal Planet - Laaren Brown
To Be Published: June 21, 2016
Publisher: Animal Planet
Format: Paperback

I loved these kinds of books as a kid and still do now. I can't wait to share these with you!

With more than 200 gorgeous animal photos of lions, giraffes, ibexes, flamingos, hippopotamuses, and many others, ANIMAL PLANET WILD ANIMALS is a fun, habitat-by-habitat guide that provides kids in the first years of schooling with the perfect bite-sized view of their favorite wild animals. Arranged thematically with a focus on animal behavior and family relationships, young readers will explore sections about animal bodies, baby animals, food, play time, conservation and more. Special book features designed for this age group include Quick Bites sidebars with cool animal facts, simple infographics, and illustrated maps of life in the African savannah and Amazon rain forest.

Animal Bites Series
By: Animal Planet - Laaren Brown
To Be Published: June 21, 2016
Publisher: Animal Planet
Format: Paperback

With more than 200 gorgeous animal photos of cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, llamas, and many others, ANIMAL PLANET FARM ANIMALS is a fun, habitat-by-habitat guide that provides kids in the first years of schooling with the perfect bite-sized view of their favorite farm animals. Arranged thematically with a focus on animal behavior and family relationships, young readers will explore sections about animal bodies, baby animals, food, play time, conservation and more. Special book features designed for this age group include Quick Bites sidebars with cool animal facts, simple infographics, and illustrated maps of life in on the farm and at the petting zoo.

By: Animal Planet
Published: May 24, 2016
Publisher: Animal Planet
Format: Hardcover

Animal Planet's definitive atlas of animal life takes readers on a continent-by-continent and habitat-by-habitat passport to adventure!

What is a habitat? How is the North Pole's animal life different from the South Pole's? How and why do animals adapt to their environment? Is a food web different from a food chain? ANIMAL PLANET ANIMAL ATLAS answers all of these questions and much more. Through detailed maps, fun infographics, simple charts, and Find It! Fact boxes readers can track their favorite animals across the globe, learning about how animal habitats are affected by climate, food and water availability, migration, and human environmental impact.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the History, People, and Culture
By: Katy Steinmetz
Published: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Time for Kids
Format: Hardcover

Just flipping through the pages of this book, I can tell you it's fabulous. What a great way to share our great country with your kids!

Discover what makes America unique in this comprehensive timeline and photographic overview of American history--pre-Columbus through the present--highlighting the milestone events and important people that have made America awesome. 

Perfect for both dip-in reference and longer-form reading, Awesome America is organized into thematic sections, each comprised of bite-sized articles, engaging factoid sidebars, colorful charts, graphics and interactive quizzes to help make learning about American history interesting, interactive, and fun. From America's early history all the way to present day, kids will learn about what it was like to grow up in the 1700's, 1800's, 1900's and today and discover the inventions, innovations, and important social movements great American's have created over the years.


A Wildlife Primer
By: Kevin and Haily Meyers
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Format: Board Book

I love the Baby Lit books and have given them as gifts including SECRET GARDEN and THE WIZARD OF OZ. When I saw they were doing one on the National Parks, I knew I had to get them as gifts.

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train.

This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

Sweet Pea and Friends
By: John and Jennifer Churchman
Published: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Format: Hardcover

I can't resist books about sheep. My favorite book as a child was THE LITTLE LAMB which I read over and over again. My parents raised sheep and I was always in charge of feeding and caring for the lambs so I have a soft spot for sheep stories. When I saw this pop up on amazon, I knew I had to get it. I haven't decided yet if I am keeping it or will give it as a gift this Christmas.

One cold winter night, Sweet Pea the orphan lamb becomes very sick. Everyone in the farmyard is worried about her! Under the watchful care of Farmer John, Laddie the sheepdog, and Dr. Alison the mobile veterinarian, she slowly recovers. Dr. Alison tells Sweet Pea she can have a sleepover to celebrate as soon as she is well again. When the day finally comes, her closest friends Sunny, Prem, and Violet join her in the greenhouse for a fun and imaginative "SheepOver" celebration. 

This charming story of caring and friendship by farm owners John and Jennifer Churchman, brought to life with John's entrancing photo-illustrations, will enchant readers young and old. In the words of one of her many fans, "Sweet Pea brings a calming, authentic joy to my life that makes me laugh, cry and gives me hope that all is well in the world. . . . Everyone needs a little Sweet Pea in their lives!"

By: Linda Urban
Published: April 6, 2009
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: eBook

I purchased this as a Kindle Daily Deal for our daughter. It sounded like something she would like.

Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her flying fingers; she can hear the audience's applause. All she needs is a baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she'll be well on her way to Carnegie Hall.

But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life in Michigan that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day.

Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises--and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center.

A Novel
By: Noah Hawley
Published: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Hardcover

When I heard about this book and that the author was the creator of the TV show, "Fargo", I knew I had to get it as a gift for someone. She has a summer birthday and I just hope she doesn't buy it before I can give it to her!

On a foggy summer night, eleven people-ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter-depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs-the painter and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. 

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot-the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage. 

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

By: Thomas Nelson
Published: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Hardcover

Even though I love my home and living in Iowa, the beach is certainly my happy place. There are times, especially in the winter, where I ache to be there.

Dig your feet in the sand and let the water cool your toes as you escape into the beauty of God s seaside creations, and hear His voice more clearly than perhaps anywhere else.

There s nothing quite like the warmth and relaxation of the beach away from the stresses of the world and into a place of peace and refreshment. "Devotions for the Beach" is the gentle breeze that takes you there, to see the majesty of God and to open your heart and soul to the One who created it all. These ninety devotions explore the parallels of life with the elements of the shore to help you see God, to find hope, to draw strength, and to rest in the comfort of His arms throughout your day. Included are striking photographs with a fresh, contemporary design for timeless appeal.

Every woman will want a copy of this book as a gentle reminder of days at the beach and the call of God s love.

Phew! That is a lot of books for this month. I am absolutely looking forward to lazy days reading on the porch! Be sure to let me know if you pick up one of these books!

A post from today, 6 years ago - Validated
A post from today, 4 years ago - Join Me in this Challenge - 31 Days to Pray for Your Spouse
A post from today, 4 years ago - Day #8 of Summer Vacation
A post from today, 2 years ago - Monday Motivation
A post from today, 1 year ago - Book Review: Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman

No comments: