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jbarrett5 book reviews, etc

I read a lot and post my reviews

The Heebie-Jeebie Girl by Susan Petrone

The Heebie-Jeebie Girl by Susan Petrone
Starts out with a rundown of the town of Youngstown, Ohio and the happenings and we have traveled through.
Joe 1972 is a mechanic and he lives with his sisters. Love the name of the car, we often named ours.
His niece, Hope tells him lottery numbers and she wins.
Story also follows Joe and life living with his sister and husband and his niece.
Story also follows Bobby and his life and his windfall with his friend Salvatore.
Story also follows Hope, Joe's niece and why she blames herself for her ailing grandmother, the lottery wins, etc.
Two confrontations as you hear both sides of the story of the events. Never saw this happening.
Received this review copy from The Story Plant and this is my honest opinion.


The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman

The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman
Love his book from the start. It starts out with a glimpse of the past then you go forward to present day. Sutton has not only lost her mother but is informed she's unemployed til the company gets back on its feet from the covid pan-demic.
She sublets her condo in the city and heads near to where her mother’s house was. She recently lost. The mitten state, Michigan and I learn so much more about it. the button factory in Douglas and the artist colony near the town.
Sutton loves buttons and they play a big part in her design work. She gets the full treatment from another local store owner and he takes her around the area to show her what they are all about.
There is not much dialogue, more of her thoughts and the things she sees. Very super descriptive I feel as if I am there.
She does meet colorful characters and they are precious.
Love how each new chapter starts with a sewing/design term and it's explanation.
She wants to find her father and other relatives and asks many in the town if they have any information.
Love drape myself when designing and using different yarns for sweaters.
Sutton just wants a new life after the pandemic but her landlord wants her to do design work for her social calen-dar...
Love travel, history of things, places, vintage ball game, adventures, events Sutton is shown, priceless to me, I could lose myself in this town as it has all my favorite pas-sions.
unexpected connection with a woman who has pictures and her birth certificate change her whole life as she's fig-ured out who her grandparents are.
Heartbreaking that they had not wanted her. She does hear the other side....
She knows what is important in her life. Love ending, nev-er saw that coming.


Cole Shoot




Book cover for Cole Shoot: Cole Sage Mystery #5 (A Cole Sage Mystery) by Micheal Maxwell


Cole Shoot by Michael Maxwell
This story follows Cole and his friend Kelly attend the dragon parade. Love that they have a picnic there as the floats go by.
Problem is there is gunfire among the gang members...
Story also follows Marco and Mei, both downs syndrome kids and something goes wrong at the school they attend one day and they run away.
Love how they navigate and survive and how Marco had first seen Cole, the small things that matter.
Story also follows Anthony who's an intern, who Cole knows from previous years, and he's on the story of the parade shooting, he gets kidnapped....
Like how Cole knows he can't do the job himself and calls in reinforcements, with bats.
Love how all these events play into one meeting at the end. Action, fast paced, scary situations and so many more emotions.
love the secretary problem and how a PI had confronted him about missing kids....
His time with family and friends and longtime lyrics of songs I know. Love how the whole thing comes together, never saw it happening. Things to do in the city and the areas, I’m learning more about, have known of them but author really brings them to life in front of your eyes.
Mix of real life people on the street Next book is the series is excerpted at the end.


Cherished Hearts Bundle



Cherished Hearts (Romance Stories To Cherish…




Cherished Hearts (Romance Stories To Cherish Book 3) by Josie Riviera
This bundle contains 6 stories from the same author.
A Love Song to Cherish by Josie Riviera
Starts out with Dorothy and she had not wanted to come back home ever again. Nothing worked out-her boyfriend found another and she was once alone again.
She is in withdrawal from opiods and the symptoms could last a few years...
She's heavily into music, especially at churches. Health issues kept her from playing her musical instruemnt.
She's only back in her hometown for her brother...his wedding to Alice and they wanted her to play. Ryan (a nerd) will be the singer...she'd not seen him for years when she left to find fame and fortune.
Ryan is accomplished worldwide. He's not found a reason to go back to church but recalls the feeling it left him with.
What I like about his book are the unpredictable scenes, caring and such inspirational support. Love how their secrets came out with no judgment.
Note from the author, recipe and other works from the author and about the author are highlighted at the end and acknowledgements.
Excerpt from A Christmas to Cherish is also included.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.
A Christmas to Cherish by Josie Riviera
Always enjoy reading a Christmas story, and it's just July here. Book starts out with a few words from the author and list of her other works.
Started with Emmanuelle, a professional harpist and she's on her way to Dorothy's store. She's starting her new life after years of troubles.
Loved hearing about all the Christmas decorations.
She prays to God to help her get through the transition and to let things lay in the past.
Her ex took everything from her...
Story also follows Nicholas who's a deputy and is free from his ex girlfriend after she left him at the altar on their wedding day.
Dorothy hopes to get Emmanuelle to stay and work at her music studio. She knows her and Nicholas have spent many an hour over the year and they have many common interests.
This book is filled with holiday events, mystery and danger and twists and turns and love and believing in God.
Like the location and hope to read more from this locale. A note from the author about the book is included at the end, bonus recipe! acknowledgements, about the author, and other works by the author.
Excerpt from The Love Song to Cherish is included.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

A Valentine to Cherish by Josie Riviera
This story starts with Scarlett=love this name for this book because of all the red tones.
She's changing after her bethothed leaves to head back to his families home to take over for his ailing father. She is going to change, be more quiet, loss weight and lot of other things.
Love that she's a mentor for a young girl and they are able to spend time together because of Scarlett's job at the animal store. Love how the author finds all these cool jobs for the characters in this town.
They listen to a song played by a man in the park and go to the bookstore where they plan to purchase Valentine party tickets. After talking to the author and writer of the songs he will buy them the tickets and they talk a bit, getting to know one another.
She doesn't want to get her hopes up to only be let down because he moves on with his singing tour. Joseph is the man who wants her heart and the way she is-he doesn't want her to change a thing.
They get to spend quality time together and they discuss their past lives. Love how religion plays a big part in this book and she uses religion to help her get over her fears of not being good enough and uses it when she also wants food she knows she shouldn't be eating.
You wonder if they will ever really get together as he plans on traveling and she just wants to stay in Cherish....
Heart shaped meatloaf recipe included. Note from the author and about the author are inlcuded at the end.
Excerpt from a Christmas to Cherish is also included. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. Can't wait to read more from this author-so very descriptive and detailed-you can picture the scenes as if you are there.
I received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

A Christmas Puppy to Cherish by Josie Riviera
Story starts out with Max and he's returned after 30 years to stay in Cherish for a month til his job starts after the holidays.
He has a lot of past to deal with having grown up in foster homes, some good but most bad ones.
He heads to music store and is able to buy a replacement harmonica and after speaking to the shop owner he is looking for a guide hiking to show him the sights.
She knows Sarah will be the perfect one as she also loves to hike and be outside-he runs the flower shop there.
They get along just fine, having so many of the same things in common. Love the bear and how she wards off an attack while they are hiking.
Love hearing about all the animals, birds, dogs, etc throughout the book as well as proverbs quoted and scriptures.
Sarah is holding a medical secret to herself and I love the Christmas gift she gives herself and others in turn.
Lack of communication will not allow them to stay together.... Amazing what one puppy can do.
Love hiking ornament, so precious!
I received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

A Homecoming To Cherish by Josie Riviera
This story starts out with Nora and she's just arrived at the Inn where her daughter Samantha and her will be living for months to run the Inn while the owner recuperates.
We learn a lot about Nora and Samantha and their thoughts on a lot of different subjects. The one I am interested in are the ones about God. Nora has lost all hope to reaching out to God.
She meets Julian at the Inn while waitressing and doing other jobs. They form a friendship and we learn about how his past has brought him to rely on God.
Like hearing the scriptures verses throughout. Nora feels she's getting too close and God hasn't answered her yet and she wants to leave to head back to VA and her job.
Sam has started to make friends and is cheerful again about life and learning about God from others.
It's a wonder they don't split and leave the Inn with those running it.....
Enjoyed the read because it's about a woman over 30 and she has raised her daughter by herself.

A Summer to Cherish by Josie Riviera
Book starts out with praise from others. Each chapter starts out with a quote from a famous person.
Story starts with Ashley and she lives in South Carolina. Love that she's a gardener and working with her hands.
She also teaches handicapped children. The man in the story is David. He's an artist and he's going blind but he tries to make things work, just a bit different.
He donated a lot of his paintings to others and so many have never been shown in a gallery. Love hearing about his eye condition.
He has to end it with her after spending days together doing fun things outside. She tries to get him to bring God into his life again.
She's not been honest with him and hides much and you wonder if they will ever get back together again.
Love hearing of the sign language and how others are able to deal with their disabilities.
Bonus recipe included at the end. Notes from the author are included at the end also.
Other works are listed at the end along with an excerpt.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

Helix of Cole


Helix of Cole: A Mystery and Suspense Novel…


Helix of Cole by Michael Maxwell
In this story we find Cole traveling to DC to receive an award from the president and when he lands he is taken to a secure phone where he finds out he'll be traveling to Chicago to his old newspaper company.
There is a threat that only he can help with. FBI are escorting him and then back to CA once that's done.
Story is also following Jason or goes by many names and I like the travel through Red Rock, NV as we have traveled there. He was involved in the 60's when there were groups of others who followed one leader for the movement to better the earth, rid it of all its evils.
It's just now past 911 here and this story is so close to what's still happening in our world.
More threats follow Cole back home and it gets real creepy when Jason/James knows where Cole lives. Love how Cole protects his family...enjoy the chats on the phone with Kelly, she’s so understanding and knows he does need to vent.
City is another story, the government does not want to shut the city down and Cole has other ideas...he does met with the man and jots down notes of what to print…
Lots of mysteries surround this story, love the song lyrics and songwriters and travels. Love how he stays in contact with others from his past.
Lots of new words to me to find out about and new travel locations.
REALLY enjoying this series.


Conversations Across America: A Father and Son, Alzheimer's, and 300 Conversations Along the TransAmerica Bike Trail that Capture the Soul of America by Kari Loya Love hearing what happens along the full journey, people they met and especially the memories of other bike trips they had made together. Merv the father and his son Kari join to make the Trans America trail on bikes from east coast to west coast. Can't believe how nice others are to them, the links and apps they are told about that make the trip easier on them, and even where to sleep as they go through towns along the way, advice and great stories of their lives. They have daily goals, the miles they will bike and some days are longer than others and some days they are able to go further than they thought. Problem was map didn't show elevation and that plays a huge part in a bike ride. Important subjects are also brought up about their lives. So much you can learn from this story. Love the passion and compassion they each share with one another and others on the ride. Appendixes at the end show the stage to stage ride, stops, etc and also thanks to all that helped in getting this book together and to the people they met. Every page has many photos and their stories. Such a HUGE endeavor, never mind the ride. Also list of what they carried and had for equipment. Hard to keep it together at times as the ride ends, sale of the house and Merv goes to assisted living and Kari heads to east coast and to teach on Virgin Islands. Emotional and at times they keep things together. I felt I was there with them. Scenery must’ve been awesome I can only imagine. Love this story, an excellent read for all!

Sisters In Christ by Cheri Swalwell Book starts out with a dedication page then a note from the author about SIC Society Table of contents is enclosed. Introduction talks about how the author became a Sister In Christ. Chapters start out with a title and the theme for that chapter, and the author's story. Segments also include: Waht does the Bible say, Real Life, Takeaway for Today, Pryaer to Abba and Your turn where the Q&A and discussions questions are listed. Like this format throughout the book because I like order and being uniform. What I learned from this book is a lot-Love how the author takes a thought and relates how it directly effects her and her family and how SIC's can help one another even from different backgrounds and at a different place in their lives. Like the sections about the Bible-they make the passage come to life, in real life terms. Even Covid19 is mentioned several times as it relates to some discussions. Love the part about the Brothers in Christ-that was a surprise to read about, Love Indians and their traditions and customs. Book is so down to earth and easy to put into your own life situations. Listened intently to this book as I baked by hand so noise of mixer wouldn't take over what I was hearing and I felt a peace, calm and no upheaval. Like the conlcusion and how to reach out to others. Ends with contact the author and bio of the author. Love how the author opens up in many cases and I recall going through several in my lifetime as well. Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

Cellar Full of Cole by Michael Maxwell
This story was a bit scary for me, not my typical genre but really like all the things going on, the things that are important to Cole.
His boss is leaving due to cancer returning but he still goes into the office. Cole visits his daughter and family in CA and he is offered a job there if he wants it, at The Sentinel.
Things go smoothly til they don't. His friend has family troubles and he talks to the family and even the brother who wants them to turn over their half of the land their mother had left them both.
Story also follows Philip who's a child molester- this was the hardest part for me to read about. Cole wants to shed light on the subject and even does research by attending a meeting of survivors.
He's on the lead of the culprit when a woman who's HR mentions about the man's lovely hands and that is a clue he is able to comprehend as the little girl had said the same thing...
Just when you think the story is over as he's apprehended Cole addresses his friends brother again... things don't quite go well...
Love how he keeps his mind about things by recalling alphabetically songs and the lyrics, so many of which I also know from my favorite singers. Rat scene was not as bad as the molester.
He gets amped up when he hears the hot water and investigates it and the pipes and a plan forms...
Others are worried about him and his rental car and they do all they can to find him....
Scary moments for me as he recalls a memory from the war and others are killed...
It’s a toss up as to who will win this battle and come out of it.
Excerpt of the next book is included at the end.
Love mysteries, travel, caring of family and very close friends, learning new words and things: survivor meeting, tech he knows of hot water heater and gas combining and how close he gets to freedom..
This book really took me away from my own problems, another treasure of people he mentions in song or lyrics or name only.
About the author and his other works are listed at the very end.


The Shores of Our Souls by Kathryn Brown Ramsperger




The Shores of Our Souls



The Shores of Our Souls by Kathryn Brown Ramsperger
Next book due in winter months
Story follows Diane who now lives in NYC with a cataloging job at Met Museum as she pays off her student loans.
She lives with other girls and they stay in contact with one another, especially when on a date wit others that nobody knows anything about.
Story also follows Qasim who grew up in Lebanon and is Muslim. They get a lot of stares as they go out to dinner in the city...
Story also goes back in time to events they experienced while growing up, bombings, fond memories of beach and family gatherings.
He relocated to the US, a UN diplomat and he travels a lot overseas.
Divorced with a child that lives with his mother which really eats at Diane as her imagination goes wild.
Adult situations but it really was a great read. NOT one I would've picked up on my own as I prefer romance novels. This is a bit off the beaten path for me. Learned so many new words (yes I look them up when I come across them) and learned so much about overseas and how things are done there and why.
Following Diane around she seems so carefree and does what she wants and she has a good time.
Love the choices that are in each of their lives and how they choose what is important to each. Didn’t see it ending as it did but it leaves the story open for you to finish...
Can't wait for the next from this author as she describes perfectly the scene and the effect on the character. I felt as if I was right there with them.


Eternal Graffiti by Peter Martin



Eternal Graffiti: A Novel by Peter Marlton





Eternal Graffiti by Peter Marlton
When a book starts out with a quote from Leonard Cohen you know it's a good book because of what this songwriter is all about.
Starts with Owen and his friend as they grow up and get into trouble. As the years go by one got away to Venice beach area and another in a boys juvenile ranch til the fire.
Follows the people he meets and lives with and the fear of getting drafted as it's only in early 70's. I recall my brother waiting by the news report to see when his birthdate would come up.
Very influential people and they rub off on him. He is able to live and go to their dream vacation. I never expect to go there but have watch others climb to the top and how exhilarating it is.
Tragedy occurs with medical issues and they go visit the family in Ireland as they get on with their lives, together. The boys do meet up again and Owen is not convinced about the drugs...
More sadness and he is able to remember her as he continues to go on with his life...70s are so carefree, do what you want.
Love the retracing his steps of his past life. Emotional, in depth thoughts and actions, travel, small precious gifts, music of 70s, 101, etc really enjoyed this one!
Received this review copy from The Story Plant via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
#EternalGraffiti #NetGalley





Cole Dust: A Mystery and Suspense Novel (A…



Cole Dust by Michael Maxwell
Story starts right in with Cole, finishing up his work, has plans but things change...
He's inherited a house and some land but it's in OK and he has to stay on it for 30 days, or pay high taxes on the property.
He heads out and even has a story to write for work about farm life. Love learning about the property, I feel as if I was there with all the details and descriptions.
Love hearing about his neighbor Ernie who helps him out, especially with the tumbleweeds. Never lived near that land nor have seen it so interesting to learn how they handle the problem areas.
So explicit in buying the things he needs to clean up the place and he goes to work, diligently.
Love how he helps out his neighbor and others in town. The second part of this story is the story of his grandfather and his life as he grew up in early 1900's as he wrote diaries. What a bonus, two stories for the price of one! Love how they intertwine one another.
Love how this all plays out, memories of those in the past and how his lady friend comes to help spruce up the house. Amazing work they both do.
Heartache reading about tough times during the crash of the market, depression and how Negros were treated and wars where we learn of more heartache for them all.
With the quote of Cohen I raised my fist in the air and pumped it a few times. OH YES, a gem! Never saw this coming together as it did, would make an awesome movie!
Not many books bring me to tears, had to stop for hours at times to take in all I had read.
Can’t wait to read more…




Crochet Magical Creatures 20 easy amigurumi patterns by Drew Hill





Crochet Magical Creatures 20 easy amigurumi patterns by Drew Hill
These tiny creatures have always fascinated me and I hope to make a few of them in this book.
Table of contents starts out where you see a circular picture of the animal along with a name and page it's located on.
They look adorable. Introduction discusses about the magic of crocheting these creatures.
Book has two parts, part 1 is instructions how to crochet and stitches that will be used, techniques, etc.
Part two are the patterns. Love that in part one the author gives you the basic instructions and how you can then make them into any animal you want by changing parts of the bodies.
Differences between hooks, yarns are discussed. Other equipment is detailed and why you may need them.
There are pictures showing a lot of the choices. Charts are also available of different sizes of hooks, US/UK differences of stitches.
There are so many variations of supplies that allow you to tailor the animal yourself.
Each stitch is written and also shown with sketches that are clear to understand.
General terms and lingo in patterns are discussed and some pattern instructions.
Tips and tricks are also included.
Each pattern starts with a full page color photo and title of animal and summary of the pattern. Flying pigs is my favorite because we have seen pigs fly.
Gives size of animal and yarn and hook sizes, and other notiotns.
Stitches are listed.
Each section instructions are given with row or round by round.
All tips are also included so you can put eyes in before the head is sewn because then you can't get to that section again.
Looks like a lot of instructions but you are only dealing with just a few stitches per row or round.
Color animal is shown at the very end. along with other features and the time they are sewn into the animal.
You can use your own color choices and really customize the animal to your likes.
References and glossary of words are listed at the end along with an index , acknowledgments and about the author.
WHAT A TREASURE this book is!
I received this review copy from The Callisto Publisher's Club and this is my honest opinion.

Murder at Beacon Rock by Alyssa Maxwell



Murder at Beacon Rock (Gilded Newport Mysteries #10)



Murder at Beacon Rock by Alyssa Maxwell
Note from the author about how publishing company was sympathetic to her family and length of time to took to bring this book to light.
Fascinating tale of 1900's in historic Newport, RI, I live down the other end of the island and the author has a way to make history interesting.
This story is about Emma the newspaper reporter and she's engaged to Derrick and they spend time at friend’s house while men separate to discuss the America's Cup races and sailing.
They are gathering facts about others who might've known the woman that was found dead on the rock. They even travel to Long Island, NY and visit relatives at the same time while discovering more clues.
She is lured to the boathouse when Lucy summons her. She is caught and not sure how to get out of trouble and turn the killer over to the police.
Love the streets That I have driven on, Reading Room mention where my brother in law has worked in the past summers, ferry rides, America's cup and sailing and scenes described to perfection.
Scary at times, romantic at others, fashion, house adornments, photography techniques, sailing techniques, mysterious events and she knows ti won't be much longer...
Love this series and can't wait to read more. I never guess right who the culprit is...
Love the notes at the end of the book describing things you may have questions about and other mysteries to this day still unresolved.
I received this review book from The Kensington Books via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
#MurderatBeaconRock #NetGalley


American Red by David Marlett














American Red by David Marlett
Fascinating story of not only the west but the miners and the unions. Trains were the mode of transportation back in early 1900's and some control what schedules and locations of the different trains.
After the death of many miners and the court trial where nobody is to blame and no benefits for widows and children, others become concerned and track down, with clues, those who are the culprits.
The Pinkertons are also involved in the clues along the way. Fast paced, many mysteries and you wonder at some point how everything is connected...
Lots of characters and there are some very colorful ones that bring a smile to your face.
Like the aftermath and where everybody is and what happened to them, history of the people involved and the fake ones that really help make this a worthwhile story to read.
Acknowledgement and about the author are included at the end.
























The Hat Lady and her Animals by Gita V. Reddy



The Hat Lady and her Animals (Picture Books for Kids) by Gita V. Reddy
Colorful children's book.
This book could be about me because I do knit for others heads and usually have leftovers. Just finished reading a book about crocheting and knitting small tiny animals.
Starts out with colorful pictures showing what the words are saying below.
The shelf is lined with her creations, so imaginative. They each have their own names also and they are made in pairs, usually a big one and a smaller one.
When she adds a single dog they ask others to play a game but most ignore them.
The animals talk among themselves and explain how things are there on the shelf.
Tragic events when he falls into the bag of hats she's delivering to those in need. He can't get back out!
Love what happens to them.....good deeds.


































Yoga for Flexibility: Poses and Practices for Improving Full-Body Mobility Over Time by Adriana Lee




Yoga for Flexibility: Poses and Practices for Improving Full-Body Mobility Over Time by Adriana Lee
Have wanted to know more about which muscles, bones the different yoga exercises would help me as I am now aging and a bit less active.
This book explains all that and so much more. Introduction discusses Benefits of flexibility, physical strength, increased mobility, improved posture, and other aspects of flexibility and yoga along with Flexibility 101. So detailed!
Each pose is not only shown but tells you how to do it, which part of your body it helps.
Love that you can make your own routines out of the ones offered in this book, especially for the problem areas you have.
Resources are listed, website links, Index, acknowledgements, and about the author.
A KEEPER for me to keep on track of areas I need to work on as I age. LOVE this book!
I Received this review copy from The Callisto Publisher's Club and this is my honest opinion.