Friday, July 31, 2015

Making the Case by Kimberly Guilfoyle

   
 
 
Review of Making the Case by Kimberly Guilfoyle

From goodreads.com:
Making the Case: How to Negotiate Like a Prosecutor in Work and Life by Kimberly Guilfoyle

The co-host of Fox News’s popular opinion programs, The Five and Outnumbered, shares the skills she’s honed and the insights she’s garnered as a highly successful prosecutor and television personality to help readers learn how they too can “make the case” for themselves in all aspects of life

When Kimberly Guilfoyle was just ten years old she lost her mother to a battle with leukemia. Her father knew that he couldn't possibly anticipate all the needs of his children alone so he set out to teach Kimberly how to advocate for herself and for her younger brother. He instructed her on how to ask for what she needed and how to build a strong case to get it. Those valuable childhood lessons helped Kimberly become the quick-thinking spitfire she is today. In Making the Case she weaves stories and anecdotes from her life and career with specific strategies that can help anyone set clear goals, communicate more effectively, and come out on top in any situation.

Having been a prosecuting attorney, former First Lady of San Francisco and one of TV’s most sought-after legal analysts and opinion-shapers, Kimberly Guilfoyle is the quintessential expert at making the case. Now advocating for her readers, she shares tips on how to make the case for yourself in all realms of your life—personal and professional. Among the topics she advises on are:

• Getting hired
• Nailing a promotion
• Navigating a mid-life career change
• Managing personal finances
• Advocating for your health
• Minimizing family drama

Told in her appealing and persuasive voice, combining personal experience and time-tested counsel, Making the Case is an invaluable guide to helping you get the most from your life at home and at work.
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Harper
ISBN0062343971  (ISBN13: 9780062343970)

Leona's Review:
I checked out this book from my library because I watch Kimberly on FOX and she was talking about her new book.

This is a good book for young people and would be great for a discussion group in high school. Prepare the future young leaders of our country. No politics are involved.

There are many personal parts and it gets emotional at times. Kimberly talks about the death of her mother, how she helped raise her younger brother, their father and what he taught them, her in-laws and exes and especially of her young son, Ronan.

I love the story of Ronan, when he was 7 years old. He found a motor- cycle online he wanted to order and tried "making the case " of why he should have it. The motor- cycle was for the ages of 12 years and older so he did not get it but learned at a young age how to advocate for himself.

Making the Case is about Kimberly and how and why she has had so many responsible jobs such as working at the DA's office in San Francisco.
She became her own best advocate for what she wanted.

Do your research, make acquaintances with people, read, get involved, communicate, use a firm handshake, ask for that promotion and set goals are some suggestions she has in her book.

I am doing a different rating for Making the Case. I give it a 5 star for young people and a 4 star for my age, late 70s. Buy the book for a graduation, birthday or holiday gift for someone; it will be a useful tool in their lives.
Kimberly Guilfoyle lists many names of people she knows from work and other areas of her life. The Index is much appreciated.
 
Kimberly Guilfoyle mad be reached at :
 

Contents:

Introduction

PART l: ADVOCATING AT WORK

Chapter 1  How to Land the Best Job in the World
Chapter 2  Dressing for the Part
Chapter 3  Asking for a Promotion
Chapter 4  Standing Up fro Your Ideas
Chapter 5  Working as a Team
Chapter 6  Changing Careers
Chapter 7  Playing  by the Rules

PART ll: ADVOCATING AT HOME

Chapter 8  The Power of Friendships
Chapter 9  Dating and Marriage
Chapter 10 Money and Relationships
Chapter 11 Supporting Your Spouse
Chapter 12 Teaching Kids to Advocate fro Themselves
Chapter 13 Making Divorce Work for Everyone Involved
Chapter 14 Avoiding Family Drama
Chapter 15 Caring for Aging Parents
Chapter 16 Help! How to Ask for It, Receive It, and Give It

Acknowledgements
Index
 
Leona Olson

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Bite's Tale by Veronica Blade


Review of  a Bite's Tale by Veronica Blake

From goodreads.com
A Cinderella who spends her nights as a wolf. A prince with a taste for blood.
Seventeen year old Cydney struggles against her werewolf nature, trying to keep everyone around her safe. No way will she risk exposing the beast at the prince's ball, no matter how her two cousins try to persuade her. As she attempts to carve out some semblance of a life, Cydney can't forget the boy she loved three summers ago - or what she did to him after losing control.
Turned into a vampire to save his life, the prince refuses to live up to his royal duties. He just wants to find the girl he loved and lost...the werewolf girl who bit him. But his father, the king, commands him to attend a ball where he must choose a wife. Can he find his Cinderella before he's forced to marry another? He doesn't even have her real name, much less a glass slipper.
Leona's review:

I re-read A Biter's Tale after it had been on my bookshelf for awhile.
It is the story of two teenagers who met in the summer and  did not know each others  real names.  She does not know he is the prince of the kingdom and his real name is Remy.  He does not know who she is and calls her Cinderella, which is a name her little brother, Gavin, calls her. Her name is Cydney Ella. Their mother is dead and they live with their Aunt Mina and their cousins.
It is a light book to read and about teenagers, school, friends and family. Do not let the subject bother the reader.
The chapters are written in first person with some chapters by Cydney and others by Remy. 
The story is some what based on Cinderella and her prince and it is a light and sweet romance
I will give it a 4 star rating.
I won A Bite's Tale from the author. The opinions are my own.
Veronica Blade may be found at www.VeronicaBlade.com and also on goodreads.com and on Facebook.com https://www.facebook.com/VeronicaBlade?fref=ts
Leona Olson
http://www.mnleona.blogspot.com

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Heart's Promise by Colleen Coble


   
 

Book review of A Heart's Promise by Colleen Coble

from goodreads.com

A rival threatens Emmie's budding romance with Isaac.

At Fort Laramie, soldier Isaac Liddle determines he will court and win Emmie Croftner's hand. Though courting seems improbable for a woman in her condition, Emmie begins to care deeply for Isaac and chafes as Jessica Dubois sets her bonnet for him.

When Jessica learns of Emmie's secret pregnancy, she blackmails her. With the Sioux Wars raging outside the safety of Fort Laramie, Emmie knows she cannot lose Isaac. But will he reject her--and her child--if he learns the truth?

Leona's Review:

This is another quick and easy read by Colleen Coble in the Journey of the Heart series.
It is a Christian love story and about friendship and caring. This book will touch your heart.

This story is of Emmie and Isaac and their love.  Isaac wants to marry Emmie but Emmie is afraid he will learn her secret; she is pregnant and a widow. We also see how hard a life was in these days and a hope for the future. This book begins October 1866, Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming Territory.

The readers are back at Fort Laramie with uncertainty about the Sioux. There is friendship among the women, three are pregnant.

We are introduced to Maggie, the  lady who does the laundry to make money. Morning Song, a pupil of Sarah is reintroduced.

Colleen Coble does a great job of bringing the past characters of her books into each book.  Each book is a stand alone read.
I can see so many books from the characters.

The books of A  Journey of the heart are:

A Heart's  Disguise
A Heart's Obsession
A Heart's Danger
A Heart's Betrayal
A Heart's Promise
A Heart's Home
The book is dedicated to: In memory of my brother Randy Rhoads, who taught me to love the mountains of Wyoming and my grandparents Everett and Eileen Everroad, who loved me unconditionally. May you walk those heavenly mountains with joy.
Colleen Coble may be reached at:
Twitter: @colleencoble
Facebook: colleencoblebooks
I received a complimentary copy of A Heart's Promise to read and review from booklookbloggers.com. The opinions are my own. I give it a 5 star rating.
This is a Thomas Nelson Book
Leona Olson
http:www/mnleona.blogspot.com

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Review of After Tex by Sherryl Woods

Book Review of After Tex by Sherryl Woods
 
From goodreads.com:
 
Returning to Whispering Wind, Wyoming, to attend her grandfather's funeral, Megan O'Rourke, an ambitious entertainment executive from New York City, is stunned to discover that she has inherited her grandfather's beloved ranch, along with his eight-year-old daughter, a child she had never known existed, and her former lover, Jake Sanders.
 
 
Leona's Review:
 
This was a book that had quite a few characters and some twists and turns in peoples lives.
 
Megan O'Rourke has returned to the ranch, Whispering Wind, her grandfather had when he passed away. Megan and Tex were not on very good terms when she left for New York to begin her own business and to be on her own; Tex wanted her to be with him at the ranch.
 
Megan flies back to Wyoming after learning of the death of her grandfather who had raised her.  She finds he is the father of an eight year old who had been abandoned by her mother and Megan is stipulated in the will she will take care of Tess if something happens to him.
 
Lots of emotions in this book with Megan also being abandoned by her mother, a friend whose husband runs around on her, and an abusive husband to another. Tess is an angry child and Jake Sanders has grudge against Tex who had claimed that Jake had stolen some cattle when Jake was young.
 
There are some good moments and friendship.  Love is certainly back for Megan and Jake.
 
I listened to the audio version of the book and it was well done.  I borrowed from my local library.
 
I will give this a 4 star rating. It is a love story as well as friendship and about family.
 
Sherryl Woods may be found at www.sherrylwoods.com
 
 
Leona Olson
 
 
 

 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Review of Crave the Moon by Lori Handeland


 
Review of Crave the Moon by Lori Handeland

From goodreads.com:

Gina O'Neill will do anything to hold on to her beloved ranch that has been in her family for generations. Enter Mateo Mecate, an archeologist whose greatest wish is to dig there. Prepared to despise Matt--and to thwart his agenda--Gina cannot deny the shocking desire she feels for him.

Matt believes that the Nahua Springs Ranch holds an important key to Aztec history--one that will restore his standing in the archeological community. But he never expects to go head-to-head with the maddeningly sensuous owner, Gina. The ranch seems to have cast a spell on them both…

When Gina and Matt delve into the secrets of this ancient place, they awaken something unspeakably evil--a shapeshifter who is centuries old. A werewolf with vengeance on its mind. A sorcerer of incredible power. Can Gina and Matt defeat this enemy--even as their conflicts deepen…and their attraction grows more dangerous?
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 28th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
original title Crave the Moon ISBN0312389361 (ISBN13: 9780312389369)


Leona's Review:
I have read a couple of Lori Handeland's books and do like them. This one has werewolves as do some of her books.

Crave the Moon is about archaeology and the Aztec, which is an interest for me and based in the Southwest.

Dr. Mateo Mecate wants to dig on a site at the ranch but has been turned down by Gina. His interests to find the site come from his mother, Nora, who was an archaeologist.  His education was at archaeology sites.

The Nahua Springs Ranch is now a dude ranch that Gina O'Neill runs with the help of Jase McCord, a childhood friend and partner.

Matt joins the new group as a tourist under the name Teo Jones. Each member of the group has their own personality.

This is a quick moving book and will keep the reader interested. There is some bad language such as using  the "f" word and also sexual content.

I will give it a 4 star rating. This was a book I had on my book shelf and is a re-read for me.

Lori Handeland may be found at www.lorihandeland.com
and
Leona Olson

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer

Review of A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer
From BethanyHouse.com:

About:
A teacher on the run. A bounty hunter in pursuit. Can two enemies learn to trust each other before they both lose what they hold most dear?

Stone Hammond is the best tracker in Texas. He never comes home empty-handed. So when a wealthy railroad investor hires him to find his abducted granddaughter, Stone eagerly accepts.

Charlotte Atherton, former headmistress of Sullivan's Academy for Exceptional Youths, will do anything to keep her charges safe, especially the orphaned girl entrusted to her care. Charlotte promised Lily's mother she'd keep the girl away from her unscrupulous grandfather, and nothing will stop Charlotte from fulfilling that pledge. Not even the handsome bounty hunter with surprisingly honest eyes who comes looking for them.

When Miss Atherton produces documentation that shows her to be Lily's legal guardian, Stone must reevaluate everything he's been led to believe. Is she villain or victim?

Then a new danger forces Charlotte to trust the man sent to destroy her. Stone vows to protect what he once sought to tear apart. Besides, he's ready to start a new pursuit: winning Charlotte's heart.

Karen Witemeyer Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award, and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance because she believes in giving the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.
Learn more about Karen and her books at  www.karenwitemeyer.com.

Leona's Review:

This is my first read by Karen Witemeyer.

Because at the beginning of the book, Stone found Charlotte, I was wondering about a pursuit to find Charlotte until the end of the book but she has created a wonderful novel that also has children and animals, always a plus for me.

This is a historical Christian romance that has humor, love, friendship, a spinster, a bounty hunter, three gifted children and a friend, Mr. Dobson, who helps Charlotte and the children leave the school secretly.

Charlotte has legal custody of Lily, Stephen has parents but they are in Europe and John is also an orphan.
 
Stone has been sent by the grandfather of Lily to bring her back to him.

One example of humor is when Mr. Dobson finds Stone spying and Charlotte says "Perhaps he is simply a cowhand with a perchance for bird watching". Love for the children and also for Miss Lottie. Love between the two main characters. Friendship of Charlotte to her friend, the mother of Lily. The children call Charlotte, Miss Lottie.
 
Lily loves to read the dime novels of the bounty hunter Dead-Eye Dan and his adventures. John plays the piano and Stephen was placed in the school because his parents traveled.

Some words used are: "Worth their salt", "Schoolmarm", "Tasty grub" and "The Marshall fingered the brim of his Stetson". My favorite is " None of them can best a sunset in Texas". As a West Texan, I have to totally agree with that statement.
 
This is a clean novel and God, The Lord and prayers are certainly present but not overbearing but shows the faith of the times. The book begins February 1891 in Austin, Texas.
 
A Worthy Pursuit is dedicated: "To Laura Baker, librarian extraordinaire and the first person I ever trusted to read my stories. It is your encouragement and knowledgeable feedback that gave me the fortitude to pursue my dream. You taught me to see the world through lenses differently than my own and deepened my understanding of the human condition. You have left your mark on me, my friend and I thank God for the gift."
 
I received a complimentary copy of the book to read and review from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions are my own.
I give A Worthy Pursuit a 5 star rating and look forward to reading more of her books.
 
Leona Olson
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Review of the 5th Edition of The Mystery Shopper's Manual by Cathy Stucker

  
Book Review of the 5th Edition of The Mystery Shopper's Manual by Cathy Stucker
 
 
From www.amazon.com
 
The Mystery Shopper’s Manual is your complete guide to launching and growing your shopping career, whether you are male or female, whatever your age and wherever you live.

The 7th Edition of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual is now available!

If you are looking for a flexible, fun way to make extra money, mystery shopping may be for you! You can get paid to shop, eat in restaurants, get your hair cut, go to the movies and more . . . and Cathy Stucker will show you how.

This updated and expanded edition of the industry-favorite guide is jammed with tips and insider knowledge. Both beginning and experienced mystery shoppers will become better, more successful shoppers with the information in this manual, including:

A step-by-step plan to get started.
How to avoid the scams.
Getting started without paying to shop.
How to maximize your pay and reimbursements.
What you should say in your reports and how to say it.
How to make your mystery shopping more profitable.

The information in the manual comes directly from the experts–mystery shoppers and the owners of mystery shopping companies. You’ll learn insider secrets about how mystery shopping really works, and you’ll have all the information you need to get started!

This is the first and only book for mystery shoppers to receive the endorsement of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, the international professional association dedicated to mystery shopping. You’ve seen the come-ons about mystery shopping. Now get the truth. This is the book that tells what mystery shopping is really like, and how you can make money as a professional shopper.

I have personally trained more than 10,000 mystery shoppers, and I can help you become successful!

Whether you are just getting started, or ready to take on more shopping assignments, you’ll get the help you need in The Mystery Shopper’s Manual. Get your copy today! The new 7th Edition has even more advanced information for experienced shoppers.

The Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) recognizes that mystery shoppers and prospective mystery shoppers need a resource that will give them the ‘real story’ about mystery shopping…the opportunities, the realities, and how to perform at their peak. Cathy Stucker’s book, The Mystery Shopper’s Manual, provides solid information that offers the mystery shopper reliable information on how to obtain assignments, how to perform them well, and how to ensure that mystery shops are conducted in accord with the wishes of the mystery shopping company and its clients. The Mystery Shopper’s Manual provides a realistic approach to mystery shopping that addresses step-by-step processes for becoming a successful shopper.
– Mystery Shopping Providers Association

Here is what’s new in the 7th Edition:

Every page was reviewed, and changes were made to almost every one.
The content has been expanded by more than 40%.
A few chapters were thrown out completely, and new ones were added. For example, I added an entire chapter on avoiding mystery shopper scams.
Many shoppers will appreciate that the chapter on writing reports was expanded to include more tips and examples.
There is more about shopping with smart phones and using other technology.
The Quick-Start Plan was updated to include additional resources.
The Manual is still great for beginners looking to get started as mystery shoppers, but it also includes more advanced information on subjects such as improving your skills and making more money from mystery shopping.
What got cut? The biggest change is that I removed the list of mystery shopping companies and instead direct you to an online list I can update regularly as new companies emerge.

Even if you have read a previous edition of The Mystery Shopper’s Manual, you will find much that is new here.
 
 
Leona's Review:
 
I have  done some mystery shopping in the past and now I have a granddaughter interested so I found this book at my local library. It is a great book for those who are new to mystery shopping and a good refresher for those who have not done the shopping for awhile.
 
Cathy gives lots of good pointers of what and how. This book was written in 2002 before so many of us had access to the Internet. Now, I could not see doing mystery shopping without the use of the computer.
 
There are many sites on the Internet that offer the opportunity for mystery shopping but be aware of some companies. Never pay any company to join.  Cathy goes over this in her book(s).
 
She has a list of companies to contact. Since this is a 2002 book, check on the Internet to see if they are still active. She also has many suggestion on what is expected of the shopper.
 
One will not get rich doing this but you can have a good time and get some nice meals.

 
Cathy Stucker may be reached at: cathy@idealady.com by email and http://www.IdeaLady.com on the web.
 
I will give this a 4 star rating. It is a short book (192 pages) and you will have to do lots of the legwork on research but it is a great way to begin. My introduction was on a talk on a cruise ship.
 
Leona Olson
 
 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

And the Good News Is...by Dana Perino

 
 
And the Good News Is... Lessons and Advise from the Bright Side by Dana Perino
 
From amazon.com:
From her years as the presidential press secretary to her debates with colleagues on Fox News' The Five, Dana Perino reveals the lessons she's learned that have guided her through life, kept her level-headed, and led to her success, even in the face of adversity.

Thoughtful, inspiring, and often surprising, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . traces Dana Perino's unlikely journey through politics and television. It's a remarkable American story-made up of equal parts determination and clear-eyed optimism.

From facing professional challenges and confronting personal fears to stepping up to a podium for a President, Dana has come to expect the unexpected and has an uncanny ability to find the good news in any tough situation. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . takes us from her Western childhood in Wyoming and Colorado to a chance meeting on an airplane that changes her life entirely. Then, with refreshing honesty and humor, she recounts her frustration with a string of unsatisfying jobs and living circumstances until a key career tip leads her back to Washington, D.C. to work for the Bush Administration.

Dana also shares here her best work and life lessons-tips that will help you to get your point across convincingly while allowing your own grace and personality to shine through. As someone who still believes in working together to solve the problems our nation faces, Dana offers clear, practical advice on how to restore civility to our personal and public conversations. The result is a fascinating read that can help anyone become more successful, productive, and joyously content.

Leona's review:

I really liked this book. I have been following Dana and the group on The Five on FOX from the beginning of the show.
For those who think it is all about politics, they need to read this book. She gives praise to many, no matter the side of the aisle they are on for politics.  I find Dana one of the most caring people on TV.

The pictures in the book are good and personal. I think they helped make the book.

Dana writes about President George W. Bush a lot. She mentions how he would give a wink and a smile, something my husband did.
I do know she also cares for President George H. W. Bush as she has talked about him in past.

Dana writes about her love of animals and of Henry, the dog  that died, and now Jasper, America's dog, in her book. I love it when she shows the pictures of Jasper.

She has spent time in Africa, with her husband, helping and caring for others.

Contents of the book are:
Introduction
Chapter 1. Wide-Open Spaces
Chapter 2. Love at First Flight
Chapter 3. Stepping UP to the Podium
Chapter 4. The Five
Chapter 5. Take It from me- Please
Chapter 6. Civility, Lost and Found
Chapter 7. Unafraid to be Right
One More Thing
Acknowledgements
About the Author

Introduction: "This book explains the unlikely story of how I  became the White House press secretary, the things I witnessed and learned in that job, and how those experiences eventually led me back to what I wanted to originally- television commentary on politics, policy and culture." (page 11)

Chapter 1: Gives us information about where Dana was born and her family and how close they were; " My grandpa didn't make us walk up the hill to have another go; (sliding down a hill on the snow) instead he watched us slide down and then he'd drive to the bottom to pick us up and take us back to the top."

Chapter 2: Tells of her meeting Peter, her husband on an airplane. " I made it to board before the flight closed. I handed my ticket to the agent and noticed one person behind me." (page 71)

Chapter 3: " The day I learned about becoming the next White House press secretary was the day I planned to resign from the White house." (page 96) We learn of many times Dana is with the President and some of the times the tears came.

Chapter 4: Dana loves her new job at FOX. " One day Brian Kilmeade  filled in for Greg and in a commercial break said to me,  'You know, all those years at the White House I never knew you were funny'. " They talk of politics, what is new in the news, Jasper, food and celebrate birthdays. The liberals also get to speck their mind on The Five so it is not all conservative.

Chapter 5: Lots of advise for many of us. "When I had the idea to write this book, I realized that passing some of these lessons on remained a major motivations." Dana gives three favorite pieces of advice: Quick Fixes, Good  Habits, and Big Picture. On Quick Fixes is ' no Uggs at the office; Good Habits she says to 'share the credit' ; and Big Picture one rule is 'you are who you meet'.

Chapter 6: "Americans understand that Congress is meant for debate and argumentation. But what bothers them it that is seems that elected leaders can't get along at all. Hateful comments have become normal in Washington and that's made for some of our greatest disappointments." (page 206) I think Dana speaks for most of us. Hateful speech does not help anyone.

Chapter 7: "My politics didn't define me then, but because of my interests and what I do for a living, it somehow does now." (page 232) I like this message. I think most of us grow and change.

One more Thing: "Of all the advice I've been given, Margaret Spellings telling me to "Put my big girl panties on and deal with is' is my favorite." (page 235) This is a great message especially to the young adults.

This book is dedicated: To my Bush Administration colleagues.

Dana Perino may be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/danaperino and also www.danaperino.com
 
I checked out this book from my local library.

I give this book a 5 star rating.

Leona Olson
http://www.mnleona.blogspot.com

 

Friday, June 12, 2015

The House on Moody Avenue

   
 
The House on Moody Avenue

By Cellestine Hannemann

Published by WestBow Press

From booklookbloggers.com
Book Description:
Homes are the embodiment of memories. Each house has its own unique story to tell, but no house story is quite like the house on Moody Avenues. Surviving for 90 years, the house kept many individuals and families safe. Whether it was Lisette with her unshakable faith sustaining her or Julia, a social-climbing snob who sees her world crumble when her children marry inappropriately, each memory was saved. Join Cellestine Hannemann as she brings out all the memories that were housed in the house on Moody Avenue.


Leona's Review.

Read the title of the book, The House on Moody Avenue, as this in more about a house and some about the occupants. It was not clear to me at the beginning of the book.

I liked the first story about the first occupants the best but the last chapter was a bad conclusion for a grand home that bothered me. The house goes from a mansion to a boarding house to an abandoned house.

The author uses some language that was used in the time eras and interesting history.
Read about Victoria Woodhull at http://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-should-know-about-victoria-woodhull.

The first chapter, The Victorian Era, begins partly with the orphaned children of the street and how one girl got out. Then we have The Roaring Twenties and this author added such places as the Cotton Club and the book ends with the Sixties. I found hope in the first chapter and doom in the last.

The calico cat was present from beginning to end and I gathered it was watching history made.

The reader goes through time eras with carriages, strikes by workers, gas jet flames, people from the Old World, drugs, cars and women using cigarettes.

The story was moving too fast for me but then I realized it was supposed to be more about the house and not the people. I would have liked to have had more on the house but there must be an ending to a book.

I am giving The House On Moody Avenue a three and a half star rating. The author used words of description and had history in the book which I always like. It is not quite a four star because sometimes the book left me somewhat confused.

From Wikipedia:
Cellestine "Sally" Hannemann (born March 28, 1924) is an American author and pioneering figure in the methodology of Oshibana art. Hannemann, nee Hofmann, born in Chicago, Illinois, and currently living in California, is best known for developing new processes in the pressing of botanical materials to reduce discoloration and shrinkage. She manufactured a unique press incorporating polyester materials to cushion the plants that became known as "Cellestine's Press," and authored a book that is a popular reference guide for plant pressers and Oshibana artists. Hannemann also wrote two novels.

I received a complimentary copy from www.booklookbloggers.com to read and review. The opinions are my own.
 
Leona Olson

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Heart's Betrayal by Colleen Coble


   

Review of A Heart's Betrayal by Colleen Coble

From the back cover of the book:
Book Description:
Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.
When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband's home, she discovered a terrible truth. A woman she's never met reveals that she and Emmie shared the same husband and that the bigamist had never divorced his first wife. The home and farm are not Emmie's property after all.
Suddenly displaced and powerless, Emmie realizes she can't stay in Wabash, Indiana, any longer. She makes for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning await her. But when she arrives, she discovers she's carrying a child, conceived before her husband's death. Was the new start she'd hoped for only a mirage?
At Fort Laramie, a soldier named Isaac Liddle begins to court Emmie, prompting her to wonder whether she could ever really be his-and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man's baby.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including Tidewater Inn, Rosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com Twitter: @colleencoble Facebook: colleencoblebooks


Leona's Review:

This is the second book I have read by Colleen Coble and her series of the books of Journey of the Heart. The books are: A Heart's Disguise, A Heart Obsession, A Heart's Danger, A Heart's Betrayal, A Heart's Promise and A Heart's Home.  This is a series but the books can be read on their own.

In A heart's Betrayal, Emmie finds her dead husband was a bigamist with a child. Emmie has two brothers but her parents are dead. Her father was a town drunk and now without a legal marriage, she is worried what people will really think of her and so goes to Wyoming to be with her close friend, Sarah. Rand and Sarah are married and expecting their first child.
Emmie is disillusioned with men but she does find an attraction to a soldier at Fort Laramie, Isaac.  Rand and Isaac are friends and also fellow soldiers.
This is a short read, 96 pages, but the author manages to put the reader into the book with the language ("place is over yonder"), food (jerky), landscape (dry buffalo grass, sage and weeds), wildlife (eagles, elk, buffalo, "rattlers") and history (Montana gold mines and Red Cloud). The book begins in Indiana in 1866.
The book is dedicated to: For my brother Rick Rhodes, who never let me lose faith in myself.
I will give A Heart's Betrayal a 4 star rating because it held my attention. It is a clean romance without bad language. God is present in this book many times.
This is a Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction. I was given a complimantary copy to read and review. The opinions are my own.
Colleen Coble may be reached at www.colleencoble.com;
Twitter: @colleencoble and
Facebook: colleencoblebooks
Leona Olson

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Review of The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

  
 
 
Book review of The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert
From goodreads.com:
 
The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert
(Goodreads Author)
4.73 of 5 stars 4.73  ·   rating details  ·  91 ratings  ·  52 reviews

Just like in my dream, I was drowning and nobody even noticed.

 
Every morning, Carmen Hart pastes on her made-for-TV smile and broadcasts the weather. She’s the Florida panhandle’s favorite meteorologist, married to everyone’s favorite high school football coach. They're the perfect-looking couple, live in a nice house, and attend church on Sundays. From the outside, she’s a woman who has it all together. But on the inside, Carmen Hart struggles with doubt. She wonders if she made a mistake when she married her husband. She wonders if God is as powerful as she once believed. Sometimes she wonders if He exists at all. After years of secret losses and empty arms, she’s not so sure anymore.

Until Carmen’s sister—seventeen year old runaway, Gracie Fisher—steps in and changes everything. Gracie is caught squatting at a boarded-up motel that belongs to Carmen’s aunt, and their mother is off on another one of her benders, which means Carmen has no other option but to take Gracie in. Is it possible for God to use a broken teenager and an abandoned motel to bring a woman’s faith and marriage back to life? Can two half-sisters make each other whole?

Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by WaterBrook Press
 
Leona's review:
 
This is the first read for me by this author and not one kind of book I usually read. I won it from freshfiction.com and I always try to read and review the books I win.
 
I found myself involved with the characters and their problems. Carmen, who is a meteorologist for a TV station, has had six miscarriages and thinks an adoption of a baby will be the answer; her husband, Ben, does not believe it is. Ben is the coach at the high school where Gracie now attends. Gracie has run away from home and her alcoholic mother. Carmen and Gracie are sisters and have the same mother but different fathers. We meet Eli/ Elias who has a white mother and a black father. He is on the football team and seems to have so much patience and cares for others. He is close to his pastor, Pastor Zeke, who is also a caring person. We also meet Aunt Ingrid who has dementia and still grieves for Gerald, her husband who passed away four years ago.
 
I think the connection for the family is the Treasure Chest, a mom and pop motel, that Aunt Ingrid and Uncle Gerald owned. It is in shambles and Carmen and Gracie fix it up again and I believe it brings them close together. It connects the family as well.
 
The chapters switch between Carmen and Gracie in the first person. It does not confuse the reader. This is fairly quick and easy read. I would suggest high school age and up for reading and understanding the problems.
 
At one point Carmen says to God that she does not believe in Him and realizes she is talking to God.
 
There are some passages from the Bible.
 
There is a reader's guide at the back of the book. Two questions are: "What story did you enjoy more- Carmen's or Gracie's? Why?  and Who is your favorite secondary character? Why?
 
The book is dedicated to: For Salima, my brave, brave, brave little girl. Being your mother is one of the greatest honors I will ever be blessed with on this side of eternity. Come what may, God's writing a grand story for your life.
 
I liked this book and will give it a 5 star rating. The opinions are my own.
 
It is not a depressing book, but one I see that has a lot of faith and hope. It is an inspirational and moving book. A good book club read.
 
Katie Ganshert may be reached at:  katie@katieganshert.com; www.katieganshert.com; Twitter @KatieGanshert;
 
Leona Olson
 
 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Review of Joan of Arc by Helen Castor

  
 
 
Joan of Arc by Helen Castor

From goodreads.com:

Joan of Arc, A History by Helen Castor

We all know the story of Joan of Arc. A peasant girl who hears voices from God. A warrior leading an army to victory, in an age that believes women cannot fight. The Maid of Orleans, and the saviour of France. Burned at the stake as a heretic at the age of just nineteen. Five hundred years later, a saint. Her case was heard in court twice over. One trial, in 1431, condemned her; the other, twenty-five years after her death, cleared her name. In the transcripts, we hear first-hand testimony from Joan, her family and her friends: a rare survival from the medieval world. What could be more revealing?
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by Harper (first published September 30th 2014)
ISBN0062384392 (ISBN13: 9780062384393) characters Joan of Arc


Leona's Review:

Because I had always had an interest in Joan of Arc ( maybe because the name Joan runs in my family, including mine), I was interested in reading and reviewing Joan of Arc, A History by Helen Castor.

The book is full of history and not all about Joan the Maid. The first section, Before, and the last, After, mainly describe the time before and after Joan.
The book has family trees: English and French Claims to the Throne of France, The Valois Kings of France and The Dukes of Burgundy.
I have an advanced reading copy that is an uncorrected proof copy and it did not have the illustrations but they will be in the published book. As far as I am concerned, maps are very important in these historical books, even in the fiction novels that are historical.

Contents:
List of illustrations
Cast of Characters
Family Trees
Introduction: 'Joan of Arc'
Prologue: The field of blood
PART ONE: Before
 1 This war accursed by god
 2 Like another Messiah
 3 Desolate and divided
PART TWO: Joan
 4 The Maid
 5  Like an angel from God
 6  A heart greater than any man's
 7  A creature in the form of a woman
 8  I will be with you soon
 9  A simple maid
 10 Fear of the Fire
PART THREE: After
 11 Those who call themselves Frenchmen   
 12 She was all innocent
EPILOGUE: 'Saint Joan'
Notes
Select Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index


Most of my book marks for my notes are in the section of Joan and the Notes. The Notes are also part of the book, so readers should read this thoroughly.
I found this book more historical than a biography. Lots of dates, events, places and people make up this book. The names of the characters are a great assistance in reading.


I kept reading about Joan in men's clothes and did find in the Notes section the reason; "For the Old Testament prohibition on cross-dressing, see Deuteronomy 22:5- ' A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination to the Lord thy God.' "  (page 268)  In the section, Joan, many mentions are made of her clothing.

I did email to the author, Helen Castor, and asked if Joan could write because I kept reading the Joan had "written". She replied the next day and said a clerk would have written for her. On re-reading my notes, I found I had marked "As she directed, the clerk added the inscription 'Jhesus Maria" before her name. 'Jeanne la Pucelle': Joan the Maid". (page 108)

I was not aware that Joan's ashes had been thrown into the river near Notre Dame. I have been in that Cathedral and would have felt differently when I had looked into the river Seine if I had known. (page 221)  My information: go to http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7038d

It has been years since I have read about Joan and forgot the times she was in prison and so many hardships.

The book is dedicated to : For Luca.

The acknowledgement pages list many names that helped with this book.

I give this a 5 star rating. It is a book I would read again and will look for more readings about Joan of Arc, Joan the Maid.
My daughter would call me and ask what I was doing and I would say "Reading my history book" and she knew what I meant.

I was given a complimentary copy to read and review. The opinions are my own. I thank the author, Helen Castor, and the publishers, HarperCollins.
HarperCollins email is harpermarketing@harpercollins.com


Helen Castor may be reached at: http://www.helencastor.com . From goodreads.com: Helen Castor is a historian of medieval England and a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She directed studies in History at Sidney for eight years before deciding to concentrate on writing history for a wider readership.

Leona Olson
http://www.mnleona.blogspot.com
 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Book review of Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs

 
Mine is the night by Liz Curtis Higgs

From goodreads.com:
Mine Is the Night (Here Burns My Candle #2) by Liz Curtis Higgs (Goodreads Author)
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·   rating details  ·  1,598 ratings  ·  250 reviews
SHE LOST EVERYTHING SHE LOVED.
HE HAD EVERYTHING SHE NEEDED.
BUT COULD SHE FIND THE COURAGE TO TRUST HIM?

Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?
   Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet joy still comes knocking, and hope is often found in unexpected places.
  Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?
   The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland.
 
Leona's Review:

I listened to the audio book.
This is my first listen/read by Liz Curtis Higgs and one of the best I have heard/read. This is the second book of the series, Here Burns My Candle.

The readers are take back to the 1740s in Scotland with the words, food, clothing, transportation, church and customs of the time.  The author reads the book with the pronunciation of the words really adding to the times and location of the novel. We read of cobbled stone streets; a cameo pin; the words, nigh upon them; mourning clothes of black; turnip soup; bannocks; banns of marriage and more.

Elisabeth and Marjory Kerr are leaving their home and going to Selkirk after King George took their home. The sons of Marjory, Daniel and Andrew, were fighting for Bonnie Prince Charlie and the women were considered traitors. Both brothers and the father, Sir John, are dead, leaving the two women widows.
They move in the very small home of their cousin Ann, who is a lacemaker.
Now, a different way of life for them


There is a history lesson in the book about the Jacobites; which I know little. The book has stirred my interest.

http://www.contemplator.com/history/jacobite.html

http://www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/charlieb.html


I personally did not find a lot of romance in the sense we read in other "romance" books, but close and special feelings of the characters to the ones  they love. To me, this spoke of the times.

I also did not find it too religious but loved that God was included; He was called The Almighty many times. The work Kirk is used for Church.
I found this on the Internet:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirk - Similarto Kirk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[edit]. As a proper noun, The Kirk is an informal name for the Church of Scotland, the country's national church.


I do not want to leave out the cat, Cherborne, ( not sure of the spelling) in the book that belonged to the master of the house, Admiral Jack Buchanan (not sure on spelling of the last name). There is always something extra where an animal is included in the book.

This audio book gets a 5 star from me and I look forward to the other books from this author. I checked out this audio book from my local library.

Liz Curtis Higgs many be found at:
www.goodreads.com/lizcurtishiggs and also www.lizcurtishiggs.com

Leona Olson
http:www.mnleona.blogspot.com

 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Book Review of A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble

Book Review of A Heart's Danger by Colleen Coble
  
A Heart's Danger (A Journey of the Heart #3)
by Colleen Coble
 
On the brink of war with the Sioux, a young woman risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.
 
Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, Ben Croftner and Jessica DuBois prepare a trap for Rand Campbell.
 
Bitter from rejection and backfired plans, Croftner has enlisted the help of Rand's new fiancee to keep Rand from ever returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.
 
Sarah is simply trying to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell--the man whose love she craves--and Croftner--the man whose lies have cost her everything. Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories? (less)
Paperback, 100 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Thomas Nelson
 
Leona's Review:
 
This is the first book I have read by Colleen Coble and even though it was a very fast read, it had a good story.
 
Sarah Montgomery is the main female character and Rand Campbell is the main male character; they have known each other for years. Rand is engaged to someone and thinks Sarah is in love with another.
 
Sarah has been kidnapped and Rand is searching for her in part of the story.
 
The author has written this book like she has been in the area. Flapjacks, jackrabbit, purple mountains, boot prints, a fort, sagebrush and other adjectives that place the reader in the area.
We have a villain, friendship, brothers, Sioux, love, survival, mystery and more in this short story.
 
God and faith are present in A Heart's Danger.
 
The book is dedicated to: In memory of my brother Randy Rhoads, who taught me to love the mountains of Wyoming, and my grandparents Everett and Eileen Everroad, who loved me unconditionally.  May you walk those heavenly mountains with joy.
 
I am giving it a 4 star because it did hold my attention. I will read the other books of the series, Journey of the Heart. The books are: A Heart's Disguise, A Heart Obsession, A Heart's Danger, A Heart's Betrayal, A Heart's Promise and A Heart's Home.  This is a series but the books can be read on their own.
 
Colleen Coble may be found: www.colleencoble.com, @colleencoble, and colleencoblebooks on Facebook. She is also on goodreads.com.
 
This is a Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction. I was given a complimantary copy to read and review. The opinions are my own.
 
Leona Olson

Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review of Passion for the Game by Sylvia Day

   
 
Book Review of Passion for the Game by Sylvia Day
 
From goodreads.com:
 

Passion for the Game (Georgian #2)

by 
For the notorious Lady Winter, seduction and duplicity are required to survive. Cunning and precision are the tools of pirate Christopher St. John. Pitted against one another, they are a surprise waiting to happen...

Set A Criminal To Catch A Criminal...

Christopher St. John and Maria, Lady Winter, are infamous in Society for their misdeeds and their charming allures. Wherever they go, scandalized whispers and covetous glances follow. A ruthless pirate and a widow, whose two husbands have met untimely deaths, the wickedly renowned figures are even more intriguing to the authorities. Now they've been set on the most provocative of tasks—St. John is released from prison to learn the "Wintry Widow's" intimate secrets, while Lady Winter is charged with performing a similar deception in reverse. One will succeed. One will hang.

From Ballroom To Bedroom, They're Perfectly Matched...

With the fate of loved ones in the balance, the unlikely couple embarks upon a battle of wills and wits that takes them from glittering ballrooms to the depths of the underworld to the candlelit pleasures of the bedroom. As they fall helpless to a desire and startling affinity neither expected, the deadly web of their subterfuge closes in, forcing them to make a choice. Individual freedom? Or an audacious scheme to keep an impossible yet irresistible love...
 
 
Leona's Review:
This is my first read by Sylvia Day.
First a warning to readers that this book has sexual language and scenes.
I find two very strong personalities at the beginning of the book but they seem to melt within reach of each other.
There is substance in this book and I found it well written. Maria Winter is searching for her half sister who is in the control of Maria's step-father. Christopher St. John is a pirate who is spying on Maria because she is believed to kill her two husbands.
 
There is a lot of mystery, other characters, some historical facts and plenty of bedroom scenes. I would have liked it more without the sex scenes and language but this is my opinion.
 
I won this book from Sylvia Day and so did want to read and review. I did find it an interesting read.
 
I see from other reviews, this book has already had the characters in previous book but it is a stand alone read.
 
I will give it a 4 start rating. I will probably read another book by this author.
 
Find Sylvia Day on www.goodreads.com and www.sylviaday.com
Leona Olson
 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Book Review of The Chocolate Book Bandit by JoAnna Carl

   
Review of The Chocolate Book Bandit by JoAnna Carl.
 
From amazon.com:
 
When it turns out a member of Warner Pier’s library board has been living on borrowed time, Lee is determined to discover who wrote the victim’s final chapter… 
Lee McKinney Woodyard, manager of TenHuis Chocolade, has been offered a position on the local library board. Before she accepts, she decides to check out their monthly meeting at the town’s historic library.
 
Rumors are flying about the rugged new board director, Henry “Butch” Cassidy, and the changes he allegedly plans to make. Butch is indeed attractive—but Lee doesn’t get a chance to find out about his proposals. The meeting is interrupted by the terrified screams of the library clerk.
 
The clerk has discovered the lifeless body of prim and proper Abigail Montgomery, a retiring member of the board. Suddenly everyone in attendance—including Lee—is a suspect. And, as Lee finds out, they’ve all got something to hide....
 
Includes Tasty Chocolate Trivia!
 
Leona's Review:
 
I picked up this book from the library because I have found these cozy mysteries easy and quick to read.
 
This is the first of the series I have read by JoAnna Carl but this was a stand alone read.
 
Lee McKinney Woodyard has moved to Michigan to work at her aunt's chocolate business.  She has an invitation to serve on the library board as well as the tourism bureau so goes to the library board meeting to help make her decision.
When at the meeting someone finds the body of a member of the board in the basement.
 
I found that some distractions such as a "crush" on the new library director and her husband's kiss with an old flame a little different touch on this type of book but it did add to the mystery of what else was happening in the book other than the murder (s).
 
I liked the chocolate trivia but would have liked at least some chocolate recipes. 
 
I think the title of the book was a little misleading.  I will have to read the other books in the series.
 
Even though there were some very mild sexual comments it is still a clean book. No bad language.
 
I will give a jump from a 3  1/2 star to a 4 star because the author knew it was a "chicken fried steak" and how to fix it.  Up North they call it " country fried steak".
 
JoAnna Carl may be found at http://www.joannacarl.com/; also on freshfiction.com and goodreads.com.
 
Leona Olson
http:/www.mnleona.blogspot.com
 
 
 
 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Book Review of Wilderness Rising by A. L.Shields

Wilderness Rising by A. L. Shields
 
 
 
From goodreads.com
 A. L. Shields pseudonym for New York Times best-selling author Stephen L. Carter comes the thrilling sequel to The Church Builder.

An age-old struggle between the enemies of God and the champions of faith.

A rumored relic that could prove Christ performed miracles or declare him a fraud.

A woman on the run from international authorities.

Bethany Barclay is fighting to outwit the Wilderness, an ancient and powerful cabal bent on destroying Christianity. Its members murdered her best friend, framed her for acts of terrorism, and captured the brilliant teen hacker she vowed to protect. To ransom the girl, Bethany must find the Pilate Stone a mysterious first-century artifact that might not even exist.

But she is not the only one looking for the stone. In an international landscape of double agents, Bethany finds it impossible to tell friend from foe. The Garden, a secret group of powerful intellectuals sworn to save the Church and help Bethany, is collapsing under the rising power of the Wilderness. And an ocean separates her from her only proven ally the lone wolf Ray Fuentes, who has battles of his own to fight.

A sparse trail of breadcrumbs takes Bethany across Europe into a labyrinth of academics, art historians, and followers of a reclusive monastic order. As her quest transforms into an ever more complex and dangerous game, unlikely actors in the drama emerge. Some are ruthlessly devoted to preserving a world where faith is possible. Others aim to brutally, and finally, undermine belief.

Including her own.
Leona's Review:
 
I have read The Church Builder by A. L. Shields  so when I saw this was a book available for review, I chose it. I do think it is best to read The Church Builder first but not necessary.
 
Bethany Barclay is a lawyer and now is charged with murder with the Federal Bureau of Investigation after her. She has used a fake passport to go to London and knows she is being watched.
 
Bethany Barclay is searching for a relic, the Pilate Stone that would prove Pontius Pilate wrote that Jesus was real. The Pilate Stone may not even be exist but many are searching.
 
There are two main groups who are on opposite sides; the Garden and the Wilderness.
 
The book takes you through many twists and turns and for awhile, I was not really sure who was the bad guy or the good guy at times. It takes the reader to International places with mystery, espionage and intrigue. Lives are lost and some are in danger.

A. L. Shields has proven a great book can be written without bad language.

The book is dedicated to: Once more, to my children 
 
I received a complimentary copy of Wilderness Rising from booklookbloggers to read and review. The opinion are my own. I give this a five star rating.
The book is published by Zondervan. It si available on e-book as well as audio.
 
A. L. Shields can be found on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/ALShieldsAuthor.
 
From goodreads.com:
About this author

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale where he has taught since 1982. He has published seven critically acclaimed nonfiction books on topics ranging from affirmative action to religion and politics. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), was an immediate national best seller. His latest novel is New England White (Knopf, 2007). A recipient of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature-Fiction, he lives near New Haven, Connecticut."

Also writes under the pen name 
A.L Shields.

Leona Olson