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jbarr5

jbarrett5 book reviews, etc

I read a lot and post my reviews
Miss Christmas - Gigi Garrett

Miss Christmas: A heartwarming romance and 2017 Hallmark film by Gigi Garrett
This story starts out on and ocean island where Holly and her friend Erin in July are vacationing at the beach.
Holly is now the new Rockefeller Center tree coordinator and it's her first time choosing the tree. She's grown up around trees her whole life having stepped into her dads shoes at the Christmas tree farm in Ohio.
On their way back to the mainland she gets a text and a picture of the perfect tree and she heads to Klaus, MA where she meets Sam who's land the tree sits on. She stays in town at a relatives house, love the blueberry festival and how the town welcomes her. B&B has everything anybody would ever want.
She is introduced to the father of the land and he and his daughter agree she can come back and spend the whole day with them and get to know them better before they decide.
After she spends the whole day learning about what is important to each one she knows Sam is set against the tree being cut down and she heads to her car in defeat.
Recall letting our tree go as well and that is what touched me about this story. Great timing and like the adventure they all go on from start to finish. Such a magical story.

The Identicals: A Novel - Elin Hilderbrand

The identicals by Elin Hilderbrand Have read many books from this author and have enjoyed them. This was start out with the identical twins and each lives on an island off the coast of MA. One living with their mother, the other with their father. Identical twins and they have pulled their pranks on teachers and boyfriends over the years. You get a lot of the back story as to how they ended up there and how one had a daughter who's a teen now in the story. Alternating chapters from them and also other family members. Due to the parents death they are drawn together and then a medical emergency where the two sisters kinda swap islands to accomplish what needs to be done. Romances and teen problems with drugs and drinking and breakups and finding their one soul mate but it's all a farce as they learn how they are related to the one couple that bring them all together. Lots of drama and I especially liked the island adventures and quiet spots and all about the fashion industry and what works. Also enjoyed the renovations and technical chat about that. Received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Winter's Bounty - Muriel Jensen

Winter's bounty by Jensen_ Muriel
At an extended familys gathering in Astoria, OR MaryJane
realizes her family is messed up. Her mother once an actress has remarried and moved form Hollywood to Oregon where her new spouse owns a lumber yard. She's having a family Christmas reunion and everybody will be there.
She marvels at how her step brother James who didn't even show for the wedding will be there. It intrigues her enough to attend...
She is able to have a talk with him when the dog jumps her but James is there to rescue her and he sets the record straight about the events...
Mary gets a gift ahead of time, so unexpected but she can handle it all...
James convinces her she needs to stay closer to her relatives and move and he has it all worked out.
He goads her to no end and she's able to handle his sons grief over his loss of parents. Lots of past secrets we learn about over the course of the book.
Road hazards and he tries to protect her as much as he can...
So much physical attraction and steamy sex scenes.
Love the locations and how the tree industry terminology is explained when spoken. Love learning about it.
Misunderstandings happen and you wonder if they can work through them...
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

The Strawberry Apple Tree - Grace Daniel Patterson

The strawberry apple tree by Patterson_ Grace Daniel
Story starting in early 1900's of a young girl and the land she was raised on and how they got there.
Loved hearing of all the different trees that grew fruits.
Reminds me so much of my mother in law as she'd talk about the farm house and all the buildings and farm area.
Very detailed descriptions of the house, potato house LOL
Farming methods were my favorite to hear about.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

A Lady?s Life in the Rocky Mountains - Isabella L. Bird

A Ladys Life in the Rocky Mountains
1873 Mining towns and other adventures on her way home to England.
Isobella Byrd traveled on horseback and met quite the variety of colorful characters.
Book contains a collection of letters from Isobella to her sister as she describes in very detail her travels and things she sees along the way.
So very detailed it sounds so beautiful. Boric acid use for getting rid of bugs-we use it today even!
So many sites are seen up close and personal.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Soft Rain: A Story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears - Cornelia Cornelissen

Soft Rain, a story of the Cherokee Trail of Tears by Cornelissen_ Cornelia
Tragic story of the life of a young child as she and her mother are taken from the tribe and are told to move with others.
They do not take her blind grandmother.
Loved hearing how they are reunited and that the white children helped clothe and feed them along the trail to their new home.
Resourced are noted at the end.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

Her Baby, His Love - Lynne Marshall

Her Baby, His Love by Lynne Marshall Taylor, a nurse looked at the picture of him in the paper and it was his marriage to another... Not the first time it happened to her but still devastating. She ends up in Charity Montana to reinvent herself-pregnant and she has a place to stay in. The house she rented is in bad shape but the elderly woman is welcoming-Dixie. Native American Joe her property manager and owner of the nursery and Joe helps ex cons find work under supervision. Love hearing of the nurser and the plants and their attributes. Joe is attracted to her upon sight. Alternating chapters of Joe and then Taylor and their interests as they keep running into one another. Like how she investigates her new surroundings, all stores have woman's first names Love hearing the meditation garden-I can just imagine it and what all the symbols stand for. She opens up to him and he to her as to their past. Her ex is not yet ready to be done with her although he's married. Misunderstandings and you don't know who she's going to end up with, including her own baby...Love Joe's solution although he's staying away from her. Love knitting, don't see that very often any more and religious interjections. Toe ring-just don't get these, like tattoos. Human chain gang, novel idea! Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. Their Christmas Miracle is excerpted and an author bio. Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

An Angel on Her Shoulder - Dan Alatorre, Dan Alatorre, David Bosco

An Angel on Her Shoulder by Dan Alatorre
Book starts out with praise from others and table of contents.
Story starts out with a few things alternating chapters that don't make sense. As time goes on you can understand it so stick with it.
Events follow a husband and wife and young daughter as they all have dreams and things are happening that make them feel weird, lucky but they were so close to dying.
Other story that has alternating chapters is about young teen age boys as they grow up near Indiana. Funny thing about these stories is they mimic much of the way we grew up in New England as we had tons of relatives and kids to play with as we lived next door to one another. Always something to do, to get intro trouble.
Husband seeks help from a priest then a seeker who has answers that help explain things, til they don't.
Lots of adventure and magical mysterious things happen along the trail, they will keep you on your toes.
Enjoyed the read although it's not one of my favorite genres. I'd read more from this author because of his style of writing. Liked the religious interventions and prayers along the way.
Section on the author is included at the end.
Other works by the author are highlighted and summarized at the end.
I received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

The Zombunny: an illustrated easy reader chapter book - Dan Alatorre

Wish You Were Mine by Tara Sivec
Book starts out with a letter from Aiden to Everett... he needs Everett to go to Cameron and help her out.
This is a story of a camp that was once a cotton plantation in the Civil War, 40 acres of land near Charleston, SC. The camp is now a safe haven for kids who are going through problems due to their parents who are/have served in the military and some ddn't return home or came back damaged.
The three kids: Cameron, Aiden and Everett all attended the camp during the summer months as her relatives ran the camp back then. It's now her project but after Aiden has left it's on her shoulders and this year the person in charge of doling out money has new requirements.
Everett has his own past that led him overseas to help others in need to return after the letter and drank himself til his brother stepped in and got him in rehab.
She needs help and hopes he will come to her aide. It's all for a good cause...
Story is told with alternating chapters between them and at times it goes back in time and other times it's the present. Took me a while to get the hang of that although I've read many books in this same format.
What I like about this book is the location, the planned activities for the kids, help the counselors can give the children and parents alike and how those involved all come together to make it happen, hopefully for more years down the road.
The stories are hard to hear about, struggles they endure, heartaches and death. Some truths you just don't even hear about til it comes out at the end.
Adult sexual scenes. Wow surprise ending, didn't see it coming.
Received this review copy from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Net Galley and this is my honest review.

[ [ [ A Tumbled Stone - Greenlight [ A TUMBLED STONE - GREENLIGHT BY Laycock, Marcia Lee ( Author ) Mar-22-2012[ A TUMBLED STONE - GREENLIGHT [ A TUMBLED STONE - GREENLIGHT BY LAYCOCK, MARCIA LEE ( AUTHOR ) MAR-22-2012 ] By Laycock, Marcia Lee ( Author )M - Marcia Lee Laycock

A Tumbled Stone by Marcia Lee Laycock Book starts out with Andrea in the Saskatchewan wilds where she lives with her foster parents. She's in charge of the farm animals and they are cruel and it's hard work. Desolate prairies and barren lands and she's pregnant from her boyfriend and she will be leaving for a year to stay with the sister of the foster mother. Story also follows Alex and he's on his way to find his sister-he assumes she was also put in foster care when they were younger. Alternating chapters and Andrea learns from her new location that God is not mad at her and she has friends who help her understand God. Alex and his wife are on the trail and know where she was prior to leaving the area... Andrea brings them all together over time and she has choices and many options from all directions. Like that the characters are not all thrown together in one big lump but gradually so you can get their story down before others are introduced. Like the fact that family matters and how it helps here. Love how they list the pro and cons of the situation and it helps clear her mind, also praying to God. Love what the stone does for her...Story has a bit of everything for your reading pleasure: romance, travel, family situations, mysteries, and forgiveness. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. Received this review copy from the author via The Book Club Network and this is my honest opinion.

Love and Other Hazards - Claudia Riess

Love and Other Hazards by Claudia Riess.
This book starts right in with adult situations although it's a little girl that is crawling all over a male unclothes statue.
Mother is there and uses it as a learning experience. There is also a man there with his little daughter and they realize both the kids go to the same school.
The adults are not compatible but they are thrown together at work.
Enjoyed learning about Russian foods at dinner and how the words are defined.
Didn't care for how some will have sex with others although seeing another. It's just the way I was brought up.
This is NY and you can feel the atmosphere of the locations of where each live. Misunderstandings occur and men are mishandled.
Discussing who the father is having sex with is just not my idea of a family talk. Sex itself doesn't really show they care much for the other as it's more an animal instinct to have sex.
There are a lot of characters and I got easily confused as to who was who.

The Thursday Night Club and Other Stories of Christmas Spirit - Steven Manchester

The Thursday Night club and other stories by Steven Manchester
Have read other works by this author and have enjoyed them all immensely.
This collection of holiday stories will reach age group. Talks of times when things were simpler and not as commercialized as the holidays are today.
Love memories of visiting the shrine with all the lights, right at dusk and everything goes quiet as the lights go on. Slow down and enjoy the reason for the season.
Also up the road to the railroad and ferris wheel where weather is always 10 degrees colder there than anywhere else. We have recently visited these places doing research of things to do when grandchildren visit.
I love that the author can bring you into the book with such detail you can picture it all in your head. Love additional, new to me holiday stories because they also bring up great memories of caroling around the relatives house each year where we'd bring our own musical instruments of a pot with a spoon to bang on while we all sang. We'd stop in for a cookie and milk then all would leave to go to the next house.
Have to bring the newer generations up to speed because it's all about the simple easy things.
Loved all the books equally as each will bring a smile to your face. This author knows how to write and can't wait to read the new stories.
Received a review copy from the author and this is my honest review.

Spoken from the Heart: His Plan, His Purpose (Volume 15) - Cheri Swalwell

SFTH: His Plan, His Purpose by Cheri Swalwell
Starts out with table of contents and other works by the author.
Love how everyday situations are discussed and how solutions are found by following what God has taught us and prayer.
Connections and how each help one another out was a joy to hear about, so blessed as it all comes together for the author and family in times of need and how they help others out in their time of need.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

Amazon Reviews Exposed: The Truth about Amazon Reviews - Timo Hofstee

Amazon Reviews Exposed: The Truth about Amazon Reviews by Timo Hofstee
Found this book informative because I've heard of others losing all their book reviews that they had posted.
Makes sense some of the rules, but not sure why on some others. Like especially the parts about how to contact others who will read and post reviews on your books.
And why swapping with another author is not the way to go and if you get caught paying others to write a review. Publishers give me ARC copies and I don't know the authors, I just really like to read.
Math is interesting in how the figure out the logistics of it all.

A Path Less Traveled - Cathy Bryant

A Path Less Traveled by Cathy Bryant
Have read the prior books in this series so I am familiar with the characters but it can be read as a stand alone as you are brought up to date.
Starts out with Trish and her son and she's helping with her brother Steve, the mayor's wedding to Dani. Dani's friend Adam has returned as they were friends from college and he helped set up the money to revitalize the town, using her inherited money.
Like how the previous one is similar to this where things just go so wrong, all the time. Nobody can catch a break.
Like the last book anything that can go wrong will and then more... events occur that keep her in town and Adam wants to relocate.
Problems at school with Beau has her burning the candle at both ends...
Lots of quotes from the Bible and scriptures that fit into the real life tragedies that keep occuring to help them get over the turmoil.
Predictable but with many twists and turns.
Discussion questions included.

Texas Roads - Cathy Bryant

Texas Roads by Cathy Bryant This book starts out with other offers from the author to get another free book by subscribing to her newsletter. Starts with Dani, a school teacher and it's the anniversary date of her husband's death. She's financially set just some things you can't buy that are missing. She's on her way to her aunt's and runs out of gas, starts to rain. She's headed to Miller's Creek. Steve Miller picks her up as they head to town. He tries to cheer her up as she keeps putting her life down. She got under his skin and misunderstands he's not so forlorn as his appearance comes across as. Circumstances bring them together: he's lived at Momma Beth's ranch his whole life. Dani had called her aunt Beth for a ride... He is also the mayor but likes to help out with physical labor...I can see the firecrackers blaring from here! Love how the community welcomes her.... He has his secrets and has sworn off all women. She has sworn off all men due to her past life. God makes his way into the conversation Dani and her aunt are having and she has the right answers to sooth her often quoting from the scriptures. Like learning about the history of the town and how Steve answers questions about the town and how to improve it as he hopes to get the backers for the money the town needs... Dani wants a change, she's tired of living in the city and tells Beth of her plans... Predictable with twists along the way. Medical emergency brings her back to town and the matchmakers get busy... Love colorful detailed descriptions, would make a great movie Excerpt from the next book is included. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end. Lots of drama and mysteries and secrets. Would enjoy reading more from this author.