My mailbox  has slowed down a bit this month because it is summer and I am taking on less reviews.  I am not accepting any during July and August. I am planning to use that time to catch up on books reviews I am way behind on and with books that I want to read for my own enjoyment.  I won’t be posting as much during those months, so I can spend time with my family and enjoy the last few weeks of summer.  Over the last few months, I have become very picky with the books I agree to review become my time is limited.  So, you can be assured that if a book has arrived in my mailbox, I felt it was going to be worth my time and yours. 

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.
Books I Won

I won the following two books as part of an Instagram contest during BEA (Book Expo America).  For those of us that can’t go to BEA in New York City, we celebrate through a hashtag called #ArmchairBEA from home.  I won by posting some photos on their Oh Snap Instagram contest.

Published: April 7, 2014
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
FROM A USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR comes a heartwarming mystery that is rich with imagination and magic. In Previously Loved Treasures, Book Two of The Serendipity Series, recently widowed Ida Sweetwater finds the granddaughter she never knew she had and turns a group of haphazard strangers into family. 

Struggling to make ends meet, Ida turns her cozy home into a boarding house and goes in search of used furniture. This quest leads to the Previously Loved Treasures shop and Peter Pennington, a delightfully strange proprietor who anticipates people’s needs. In addition to bargains, Peter hands out sage advice. When a pocket watch belonging to one of the residents goes missing for a second time he warns of danger—but will Ida’s granddaughter listen and will she heed his advice? 

This is a story that resonates with Crosby’s heartwarming albeit quirky characters and the joy of a pay-it-forward philosophy. 

WHAT MATTERS MOST by Bette Lee Crosby
Published: November 16, 2013
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing

Award-Winning Story of Friendship 

From Amazon #1 bestselling author of Spare Change and The Twelfth Child comes…What Matters Most. A heartwarming story of acceptance and coming to grips with the reality of change. A Royal Palm Literary Award Winner. 

Louise Palmer is a settled-down person. A woman who wants nothing more than to remain in the same house until the day she dies. So, when her husband, Clay, announces an intention to quit his job and move to Florida, her life is thrown into a turmoil of mixed emotions and strained loyalties. Torn between Clay’s desire for “the good life” and the lifelong friendships of her quilting club, Louise struggles with what to do…until her best friend suggests a scheme to thwart the move. 

Before she discovers the truth of what matters most, a marriage will be tested, family relationships will fall apart and the friendships Louise tried to hold on to will change dramatically.

This next book I won from fellow Book Blogger Anita at AnitaLovesBooks. We have very similar tastes in books, so I know I’m going to love it.

THE MIDWIFE by Jolina Petersheim
Published: May 16, 2014
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Since the day Rhoda Mummau was baptized into the Old Order Mennonite Church and became the head midwife of Hopen Haus, she’s been torn between the needs of the unwed mothers under her care and her desire to conceal the secrets of her past. Contact with the outside world could provide medical advantages, but remaining secluded in the community gives her the anonymity she craves.Graduate student Beth Winslow is on a path she never would have chosen. Heartbroken after surrendering a baby to adoption, she devotes herself to her studies until she becomes pregnant again, this time as a surrogate. But when early tests indicate possible abnormalities, Beth is unprepared for the parents’ decision to end the pregnancy–and for the fierce love she feels for this unborn child. Desperate, she flees the city and seeks refuge at Hopen House.Past and present collide when a young woman named Amelia arrives to the sweeping countryside bearing secrets of her own. As Amelia’s due date draws near, Rhoda must face her past and those she thought she had left behind in order for the healing power of love and forgiveness to set them all free.

Books for Review

MY MOM’S A GOOD COOKER A Working Mom’s Guide to Family Dinners By Gabbie Krivonak
Published: April 10, 2014
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
This came my way from the author who asked if I would give her cookbook a review.  I am a sucker for cookbooks. I have WAY too many and I love every single one I have for various reasons.  I am looking forward to trying out a recipe or two or three and sharing them with you here.
I believe working moms can have a career AND cook tasty and nutritious dinners for their families. It used to be routine for families to gather for the evening meal, and eat and talk about the day’s affairs. Not so now. I have written this cookbook/guide to try to help change this trend. It contains strategies, tips, techniques and recipes I have used during my time as a working mom trying to put a good hot meal on the table at the end of the day. The benefits of home-cooked dinners are numerous .You, the mom, control the portion size, the fat content, and the salt in these meals. Childhood obesity is, in part, I believe, a result of the demise of the family dinner. This guide starts with the toddler years and progresses to the empty nest. 
I hope as you read this cookbook and guide, you find a way to incorporate the family dinner into your life. The recipes are easy to prepare and the benefits great. I hope your children say to you after one of these dinners, “Mom, you are a good cooker.” 

These books came from Book Riot:

A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME: The First Rule of Scoundrels By Sarah MacLean
Published: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Avon – HarperCollins

This is not my typical genre, so I will be passing this directly on to our local library for someone who loves these kinds of books to enjoy.

A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury.

A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.

Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them… even her heart.

Published: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Books – Random House

This is a YA novel targeted to high school ages. I think it sounds like something I’d like and look forward to reading and passing on to our high school library.

Vera’s spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she’s kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?

THE KILLING MOON (Dreamblood #1) By N.K. Jemisin
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Orbit – Hachette Book Group

This is really not my genre either, but the boys might like it.

in the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers – the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe – and kill those judged corrupt.

Books I Purchased

First I have to share this cool bookish item I bought at the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmer’s Market this last weekend.  I was meeting up with my BFF who was home visiting from Nashville, TN. When I saw them displayed, I knew I had to get one.  It’s a letter “G” cut out of a book! How cool is that???  I wanted to get one for all my bookish friends.  I may have to go back and get more! It was just $10. Side note:  My mug was a gift from my BFF and is from Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN.  It’s one of my favorites.  Parnassus Books is owned by author Ann Patchett.  I hope to visit it one of these days!

Now for books I purchased this last month:

ROSIE AND THE WEDDING DAY RESCUE (Flower Girl World) By Lynelle Woolley
Published: April 30, 2012
Publisher: Markelle Media, LLC
This was a one-day-only Kindle freebie and I snagged it for our daughter to read this summer.  It is currently $.99 and there are two others in the Flower Girl World series.
The Flower Girl World series delivers the thrill of being a flower girl to young readers through engaging story lines with positive themes. The multi-talented Flower Girl World characters discover new friendships, cultures, and customs as they experience exciting adventures at different types of weddings. Rosie loves to play detective, yet she never thought she’d get to use her sleuthing skills as a flower girl. But that’s what happens when the wedding she’s in begins to fall apart. Luckily for the bride, Rosie and her new flower girl friends are on the case. Now it’s up to them to turn a wedding gone wrong into one that’s done right! Weaving multicultural characters into a world of fun and adventure, Rosie’s story is an enriching tale for girls who are early readers.

Published: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Montlake Romance
This was free on Kindle as part of the Kindle First program if you are an Amazon Prime member. Get yourself an Amazon Prime Membershipand you came get awesome books for free!  Currently it is $4.99 which is still a great price. This book was just published on July 1, 2014.  I love books about letters and historical fiction and this book covers both of those and more.  I can’t wait to read it!
Can a stack of long-hidden love letters from a WWII war hero inspire a heartbroken woman to love again?

Reeling from a bitter divorce, Adrienne Carter abandons Chicago and retreats to the sun, sand, and beauty of Southern Florida, throwing herself into the restoration of a dilapidated old Victorian beach house. Early into the renovations, she discovers a tin box hidden away in the attic that reveals the emotional letters from a WWII paratrooper to a young woman who lived in the house more than a half-century earlier.

The old letters—incredibly poetic and romantic—transcend time, and they arouse in Adrienne a curiosity that leads her to track down the writer of the letters. William “Pops” Bryant is now an old man living in a nearby town with his handsome but overprotective grandson, Will. As Adrienne begins to unravel the secrets of the letters (and the Bryants), she finds herself not yet willing to give up entirely on love.

MAYNARD 8 MILES: A Story of Family, Basketball, and Triumph in the Heartland.
The Legacy of Carolyn Nicholson and Glenn Borland
By: Brian James Borland
Published: February 10, 2014
Publisher: Borland Enterprises, LLC

This book is written about an area of Iowa near where I grew up.  The school in Maynard, West Central, is known for girls basketball and three of my nieces played basketball there.  I recently heard about this book from my Great Aunt who played with the girls that this book is written about.  I decided to order it and see what it was all about.

Maynard 8 Miles is the uplifting story of the triumph of family, hard work and talent in basketball and in life. Hardships are overcome, love is found and incredible basketball feats are achieved. Join first time author Brian Borland as he shares the legacy of his family and relates the heartwarming tale that he was born to tell. 

Published: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Amulet Books

These Julie Sternberg books are a continuation of her first book LIKE PICKLE JUICE ON A COOKIE that my daughter enjoyed.  So, I decided to get the other two books for her. They will be great for vacation reading!

I hate camp. I just hate it. I wish I didn’t. But I do. Being here is worse than bug juice on a burger. Or homework on Thanksgiving. Or water seeping into my shoes. In this sequel to the critically acclaimed Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Eleanor is off to summer camp. At first she’s excited to carry on the family tradition at Camp Wallumwahpuck, but when she gets there she finds icky bugs, terrible food, and worst of all: swim class, where she just can’t seem to keep up with everyone else. But as the days go on, Eleanor realizes that even the most miserable situations can be full of special surprises and that growing up is full of belly flops.

Published: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books

I did a mean thing.
A very mean thing.
I HATE that I did it.
But I did.
This is worse than
carrot juice on a cupcake
or a wasp on my pillow
or a dress that’s too tight at the neck.In the third installment from the team who created Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and Like Bug Juice on a Burger, Eleanor’s relationship with her best friend, Pearl, experiences its first growing pains. When a glamorous new student transfers to school, at first Eleanor’s excited about the possibility of a new friend. But when Pearl is assigned to be the new girl’s buddy, Eleanor fears she can’t compete. To make matters worse, Eleanor’s been chosen for the lead role in the springtime musical, which means she has to sing a solo in front of the entire school!
From overcoming stage fright to having a secret crush, young readers will relate to Eleanor as she navigates the bittersweet waters of growing up

PIPER REED, RODEO STAR By Kimberly Willis Holt
Published: March 29, 2011
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co – Macmillan

My daughter is also a big fan of the PIPER REED series of books.

Piper’s parents are going on vacation to France and not taking the whole family. What rotten luck! Still, Piper always looks on the bright side. The Reed sisters will be visiting their two sets of grandparents in Piney Woods, and Piper is determined to have four adventures. By working in a grocery store, listening to Tori’s scary stories, and lassoing a calf, Piper almost reaches her quota. But sometimes the best adventures are the most unexpected ones.

Published: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co – Macmillan

Piper is excited to move to a new state and catch up with old friends. But the move doesn’t go as smoothly as she expected: Piper has trouble feeling accepted in her new surroundings. But then she meets Arizona Smiley. Arizona is an avid stamp collector and bowls in a league. Piper is intrigued by Arizona’s originality and before long, she wins Arizona’s affections, and the two become great friends. This move turns out to be the best one yet, and Piper is eager to spread her trademark “Get Off the Bus” catchphrase once again.

DORK DIARIES 7: Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star By Rachel Renee Russell
Published: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Aladdin – Simon and Schuster

I know our daughter doesn’t know that there is a new DORK DIARIES book out so this will be a big surprise to find in her vacation bag!

Everyone’s been rooting for Nikki Maxwell and her crush, Brandon—and fans will finally learn if they had their first kiss in this seventh book of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki’s juggling a lot this month. A reality TV crew is following Nikki and her friends as they record their hit song together, plus there are voice lessons, dance practice, and little sister Brianna’s latest wacky hijinks. Nikki’s sure she can handle everything, but will all the excitement cause new problems for Nikki and Brandon, now that cameras are everywhere Nikki goes?

Posted in

Leave a Comment