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jbarr5

jbarrett5 book reviews, etc

I read a lot and post my reviews
Silver Dollar: a novella by Alan Trustman - Alan Trustman

Silver Dollar by Alan Trustman
Really enjoyed the first book I read the other day by this author and look forward to more.
Totally out of their minds when they just board the plane and make it a 42 day around the world. Wow what a trip.
Joel is now dying and he wants her to be there for him and they try to make it to day 42 as their trip was.
Story goes back in time to when she had roommates and things aren't going just right and she takes off to find her own place with help from her other friends who she goes back to over the years from time to time.
As she advances at work she's able to afford her own place and takes up with L who travels a lot but they get along great.
Loved all the connections made through meeting others and helping one another out.
Relationships, career choices and life are all so fascinating as the years go by.
Like links to mystery of a disappearance til he's discovered and there's so much involved: skiing, restaurants, cannons and immigration.
Lots of action, adventure, romance and political views.
Love how the book got it's name. Can't wait to read more from this author.
Received a review copy via publicist and this is my honest review.

Check Out - Debra Parmley

Check Out by Debra Parmley
Betsy is a naive librarian in a small town near Memphis, TN.
Nash is a Marine Vet who wanders into the library one day and she talks him into getting audio tapes rather than books.
They do date but her sister is full of drama and interferes causing their dates to end earlier than usual.
He's only got one eye and has PTSD that he talks to her about-found this interesting as I know others who also suffer.
Betsy has romantic daydreams about him, that's how much he's effected her.
The girls are out and a man attaches himself to her sister who's had too much to drink and Nash and his friends break them apart.
Malcolm is out to get Leann. She returns to college in KY.
High terror as she spots him stalking her but Nash has ideas and tells her how to be safe.
Love when Nash also went into the house and made sure it was safe for her to stay there. He's so protective. Nash has a lot of good techniques to keeping the women safe...
Misunderstandings and you wonder will it ever end.
Great short story. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

Knit Mitts: Your Hand-y Guide to Knitting Mittens & Gloves - Kate Atherley

Knit Mitts Your Hand-y Guide to Knitting Mittens & Gloves by Kate Atherley
What struck me first off was the wreath of mittens-so cool and I can do this!
I found this book to be very math oriented as you do need to do the numbers to get the right fit, everything from infants to adult sizes are included so charts are large.
Starts out with all the measurements you would ever need for any member of your family. It's going to fit like a second skin.
Adjustments can be made along the way. Special notes included.
I love seeing some of the patterns on the mittens and know they'd be good for even charity afghans. Other chapters include how to pick the right yarns for warmth.
Other strategies can be used to gain more warmth. Love color knitting patterns as they will go with any coat and outfit.
There's even a chart to estimate the yardage needed. I have done production work myself so understand about the ounces needed to make a project. So much math is used on the technical side to getting the perfect fit
Love the diagrams and pictures of the work as it's being done, really helps to explain what is going on.
Basic patterns are included along with variations for casting on, working cuff, thumb gusset and all other parts of the mitts.
Some of the photos are very dark in color making it difficult to see the stitches and patterns used.
So many charts to help you make the right size for the pattern you chose.
Especially like the section where they show a swatch of different rib patterns and how to make them-good part of a resource book for future projects also.
Patterns include not only charted instructions but everything is spelled out for you.
Like the abbreviation section because it tell you in various ways how to inc or dec and other knitting techniques.
Love twisted cables pattern the best and the other works by this author are highlighted at the end.
Everything you'd ever need to know about making hand coverings is covered in this book.
A KEEPER!
I received this review book from F+W Media via Net Galley and this is my honest review.

A Rebel Spy - Anne Greene

A rebel spy by Anne Greene
Was glad I won a copy of this because I like the way the author writes. I don't even know what the book is about and know it will be a good read.
Starts out with Sophia and she's been detained and she's now in front of the general and he's agreed to send her home but next time she's caught she will be hung.
He thinks she's a spy so she'll have to be more careful with all the military in town.
Major Brent escorts her home to her family house. He is so taken with her dimples as she smiles, holding her arm in his.
She is able to hide her gun in her crocheted purse and the maid keeps it hidden out of sight.
Love that this 1860 story is focused around the Shenandoah Valley, which we have visited.
Story also follows the major and how he survives the war and living in town, laundering and eating. She is helping at the hotel, serving meals to the troops.
On her travels you are also learning not only of the locations but the history of the events during the war.
Women were strong as they were the ones doing the house/farm chores as the men were fighting.
She is not sure who helped save her as they were cloaked in black-her angel but she doesn't know who it was.
So scared for her but she is so strong. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

A Christmas Belle (Christmas Mail Order Angels) (Volume 4) - Anne Greene

A Christmas Belle by Anne Greene
Have read other works by the author and have enjoyed the reads. This one is also another enjoyable one.
Love cover with snow covered pinecones. Book starts out with Amanda and she's answered an ad to travel west and marry a man there.
Angel Vale is looking for many women to come and marry the men available there. There are some stipulations and some require you be Christian.
As the story goes along it follows Amanda and we learn how it came to be that she's decided to go there.
Story also follows Frank and he's a sheriff, building his own house and he has staked a gold claim. His circumstances change a bit as a baby is left at his steps claiming the male child is his.
He pays a Chinese laundry man to tend to the child so he can work with the many jobs he has. He hopes the women he has sent for will agree to marry him and tend to the baby.
Like learning of the way others live in the west and how much a part religion has. Can't believe the outcome of this book because there was problems with Amanda's first betrothed and she keeps comparing Frank and his origins.
Received this review copy from the author via Bookfun.org and this is my honest review. Love holiday reads.

Aboard the Wishing Star - Debra Parmley, Joshua Macrae, Belo Dia Publishing

Aboard the Wishing Star by Debra Parmley
This book starts out with Kara and Viv and they have landed in Fl on their way to the cruise after the Christmas holiday and hope to have a great New Year celebration.
Kara has lost her luggage and Viv finds others who are going on the cruise as well.
I've never been on a cruise but this is so detailed I feel like I am there.
They meet Nat and his cousin Adam while in the hot tub after the drills on board. We learn a bit about them and also Kara's husband who had passed away.
Kara has dreams of her dead husband and finds it hard to sleep and now she's having arguments with her friend-so much turmoil. Like all the wishes she makes...
Twists and turns as others show up along the journey...
Like romantic/sexual gifts she receives but she thinks they are from Nat but they are not!
Love hearing of all the activities all hours of the day and night on board and so many excursions on shore.
So diversified and so much to learn and no attachments.
Like how he calms her fear of swimming in deep ocean...love the exquisite things they view under the water. Love all the memories she treasures once she's back in snowy, icy Ohio. She's fearful of her boss and things turn very scary.
Love the mystery, action and adventure as I thought this was just a romance novel, what a surprise!
Other works by the author are highlighted at the end along with an author bio.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest review.

Up Chit Creek (Kira Callahan Mystery) (Volume 1) - Catherine Astolfo

Up Chit Creek Series: Kira Callahan Mystery By Catherine Astolfo
Kira works at the retirement center where most everybody has a memory issue and are old.
She finds a dead man with a woman sitting nearby, knife sticking out of the man's back.
Her older sister owns and run the center. Sheriff and deputies come out but it's hard to question those who don't respond due to their illnesses.
Love hearing about the rooms available in the mansion for the residents to use. Liked learning about others past and the history of the town.
It's a bit confusing to keep track of them all.
Kira is involved in finding clues, by listening or asking questions of others...
She confides in George, her boyfriend and he has more suggestions as more pass away...
Adult sex scenes. Loved the Leonard Cohen lyrics, priceless! Author bio at the end along with other works.
Free from Smashwords

The Holiday Truce - Felicia Rogers

The Holiday Truce by Felicia Rogers
Lena and Frank are riding together from FL to CO. It's near Christmas so the boss didn't want her to pick a married man with kids.
She really tries to get along with him but...he really tries to get along with her.
When they become stranded and not dressed for the weather they find a cabin with cans of food. He takes charge and makes a fire to keep them warm.
Outhouse is another story. They nag at one another and decide to call a truce to get through the ordeal of being lost.
What I like about this is how different the two are but they are thrown together for very long road trip around the holidays.
Love the cabin and only cans of beans to survive on. Outhouse has much traffic.
Because they spend so much time together they talk to one another...
Short but tragic and funny all at the same time.

Design Your Own Crochet Projects: Magic Formulas for Creating Custom Scarves, Cowls, Hats, Socks, Mittens & Gloves - Sara Delaney

Design Your Own Crochet Projects by Sara Delaney
Very high quality photos that sometimes take quite some time to load in, be patient they are worth the wait.
Like the Introduction and the story of the author and how she came to be a designer and learn while working. Also a section on the tech side of yarns. Important things that you will take by reading this book that are important for measuring right especially for clothing. Love the yarn weight charts.
Each category has its own chapter with a brief summary at the start. Shows the technical side of how to measure but in simple terms that we can understand. The blank forms are very handy for keeping your own designs in order along with notes. Mine are in my head or on bits of paper all over the house.
Patterns themselves start with a brief summary along with color photos. Calculations for yardage using the particular pattern, formula used and row by row instructions. Chapters are for scarves, cowls, hats, fingerless mitts, mittens, gloves, and socks.
Love the names of the scarves. The items made are going to fit like a glove for the intended wearer. My problem is I never know who my items are going to as I crochet and knit for charity for those less fortunate and sold also at bazaars.
Love that the color photo of the items as they are laying down flat on a table and the next page is of a model wearing them, outside-excellent contrast so you can really see the item.
Stitch dictionary along with a swatch is also included and at the end where the row by row instructions are given also.
There are 31 in total-what a resource of knowledge! Makes it easy to pick out a pattern first then go to the area you want to make.
Stitch abbreviations and definitions are included: Shows step by step color photos of the steps involved along with the words.
Love that they use a white background so you can see the instructions as they move along. I am a published crochet designer myself but I don't go into all this detail to do the hats and mittens for others.
My favorite to try would be the fingerless mitts as most everybody can wear them and they don't have to be a perfect fit.
I received this book from Storey Publishing via Net Galley and this is my honest review..

Winter Warning: An Isaac Sidel Novel - Jerome Charyn

Winter Warning by Jerome Charyn
First book I've read in this series and it's the final one. Wish I had read from the very first book. A lot to me didn't make sense til towards the end.
Characters were introduced by the bundles as things were being brought into the plot.
Reminds me a lot of the Last Survivor a story on TV where a man was pushed to take over for the president who died in a white house bombing.
So much, as in that show were brought forth in this book and took it to the next level as we learn about other things in the past and present and future that will make a difference to the country.
Love the travel and all mercenary and wild things, super natural beings but they are explained. Nicknames for some were hilarious but they fit the picture in your mind.
Love hearing of the razzia and can't wait to teach my grandson about it as we play army guys.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest review.

Winter Warning: An Isaac Sidel Novel - Jerome Charyn

Winter Warming by Jerome Charyn
First book I've read in this series and it's the final one. Wish I had read from the very first book. A lot to me didn't make sense til towards the end.
Characters were introduced by the bundles as things were being brought into the plot.
Reminds me a lot of the Last Survivor a story on TV where a man was pushed to take over for the president who died in a white house bombing.
So much, as in that show were brought forth in this book and took it to the next level as we learn about other things in the past and present and future that will make a difference to the country.
Love the travel and all mercenary and wild things, super natural beings but they are explained. Nicknames for some were hilarious but they fit the picture in your mind.
Love hearing of the razzia and can't wait to teach my grandson about it as we play army guys.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest review.

Merry and Bright: A Novel - Debbie Macomber

Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber
This Christmas themed book starts out with Merry and we learn all she does for the family-her mom who has MS, her brother who has Down's Syndrome and her job that ends that night.
She tries to skimp and save so she can have a meal out and her mother is trying to get her to use a dating site.
Story also follows her boss, the VP, Mr. Bright and he's anything but. He makes her working life miserable.
Love the surprise Merry is given for her birthday, I'm laughing out loud as to what they did!
Chapters alternate between Merrys' life and Jason Bright's life.
Jayson and his cousin Cooper have grown up together and made a pact not to marry before 40 but Jayson is being asked to be his best man, in Australia...
Cute holiday story. Predictable.
Love hearing of the Christmas scenes that are decorated and described.
Excerpt from The Twelve Days of Christmas (12/2016) is included.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review.

The Pursuit of Happiness: a novel by - 3052 Alan Trustman

The Pursuit of Happiness by Alan Trustman
Was interested in reading this story because of the gang affiliation around Boston area. Have known many over the years and have heard a lot of stories of their life.
Find them interesting, I'm not sure why. This one starts out with a man just enjoying his drink and food when a Dominican gang hold up the joint but the man does not let them get away with it.
Not any of the 7. Then we find Dick Berton in KY various different routes and means of transportation. Love learning about his next assignment where he's explaining to the women who's father owns the yacht about the Boston gangs and familiar names to me.
This mission involves a shark, in a tank in the Pacific ocean. They teach him about sharks for several weeks as they all go out into the cages themselves. This also gives me time to understand and learn. Love hearing of the math involved in everything and easy explanations of what some of the terms mean.
I never knew what scuba meant either. Liked hearing of all the poisonous sea life.
Sort of reminds me of Frank, the transporter as he has to make up his own mind with what he has when things don't go according to plan...
Love all the action and adventure, travel and learning new things and adult romance and sex scenes. Love that the author doesn't take 500 pages to tell this story as others would've done. Can't wait to read more from this author.
Received a review copy via publicist and this is my honest review.

Fern (The Montgomery Sisters) (Volume 1) - Kat Flannery

Fern By Kat Flannery
This story starts out with Ms. Fuller and she's been brought to town, She died on the way.
The new sheriff investigates the woman who had brought him in. Most likes it was the ladies husband as everybody knew he beat her often.
She befriended Fern who gave her herbs to help with her infertility but they did not.
The old doctor had passed away and left 3 girls. The oldest learned everything she knew from her father. The middle girl is a crack shot with the gun.
The sheriff, Gabe needs answers from Ms. Montgomery-she knows about poison plants...
Fern knows the husband had trampled her garden. The girls are: Fern Ivy and Poppy-all poisonous plants.
The doctor wants Fern arrested. Gabe has taken a liking to Fern and he tries hard to work on the death investigation.
Love bartering she's able to do as none can afford her services, and when Gabe questions her about what the herbs do to those ailing...
So many secrets that people hold close to their chests for safekeeping til a bit of one is out...
They work together to solve who is poisoning others and why...Other crimes Gabe has to content with as well.
Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Free from Smashwords

Holly and Ivy - Fern Michaels

Holly and Ivy by Fern Michaels
Starts in Pine City, NC Dec 2008 Ivy and John have twins. Her father owns his plane company so they have no problems with air travel.
She's just learned her family has died in a crash..
2016 we find Holly who's involved in school projects. Daniel is her dad and he hates musicals. Her mother had died when she was very young and she's not to bring it up to her father.
Story alternates between the two and how they cope with their situations. Ivy blames the pilot. She was still on the payroll and had John's money so she drank her life away. She buys everything on line so she won't have to socialize with anybody.
Ivy's father George remained running the company and he knows he has to move into retirement-have her run the company or sell it, along with the house.
Love how the trails bring the woman and girl together.
They all suffer so much pain from one unexplained act of disaster, will they ever heal?
Received a review copy from Netgalley via Kensington Books and this is my honest opinion.

Transformed: POTUS: A Quirky Romantic Thriller - Suzanne Falter, Jack Harvey

Transformed POTUS by Suzanne Falter
Charley is getting married to Electra and he can't believe he is so lucky to have found her.
They are in Las Vegas and he works as a protector for the President.
She is a new agent and knows how to drive the car defensively. She works at the farm in VA so it's a bit difficult for them to get together.
President is just a kid and lives with his mother at the White House. The biscuit is crucial. It holds codes that deal with nuclear things.
Charley has to also find girls for the president after they are interrogated...
Story is also following Electra as she gambles and wins big...
Lots of secrets and they come at you from all angles as people know one another from their previous lifes. Everything and ten some of things you can just about imagine: mafia, drugs, prostitutes, trans gender relations, homosexual relations...It's all so believable also.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest review.