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Author Archives: Dee

About Dee

I'm one of those people that no matter how many books I have, I can't turn down a sale or a trip to the bookstore. There are no limits to what I'll read and I hope you enjoy my reviews.

First Line Fridays – 17 November 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

Lynn Masters stood with sore feet and the beginnings of a knot in her back, looking over the patient board and saw with more than a bit of satisfaction that it was just about clear.

From:
Chasing a Chance – Drea Stein

I’ve had Chasing a Chance borrowed from Kindle Unlimited for several months now – I dived into Drea Stein’s series a few months ago and then (in true Dee fashion) got distracted with one of my many other books to read and forgot to come back to Chasing a Chance. So when I was flicking through potential books just hanging out all lonely on my kindle, I found this poor neglected book and tee’d it up to read over the weekend. There is something just fresh about Ms Stein’s writing that keeps me engaged – especially when I was going through a reading slump a few months ago. Here’s to another solid read from her!

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2017 in First Line Fridays

 

Thursday Quotables – Just Mercy

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Thursday Quotables is a weekly feature hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. It is a weekly feature where readers highlight a quote or quotes from their current weeks reading. Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written.


Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m really stingy with my 5-star reads (or listens)h – so it seems only right that my first Thursday Quotables in several years (yikes!) is from just one of those books. The recommendation for Just Mercy came from someone in the Goodreads Audiobooks group that I am part of and I don’t regret it for a second. I’ll admit to not always being a fan of books narrated by the author – but honestly, I don’t know if anyone but Bryan could have given Bryan’s Just Mercy the passion and emotion it deserved. This is a the second book about a lawyer who has devoted his life to helping those people the most in need – people who have been sentenced to death row (the other one being the Angel of Death Row). For over twenty years, Bryan Stevenson has run Equal Justice Initative in Alabama. Just Mercy focused on one case that Bryan and his legal team fought for several years – of a black man falsely convicted and sentenced to death row. But interspersed with his story were other critical cases that guided Bryan’s career – cases that made him chose to pick the career that he did, cases that he argued before the Supreme Court, cases that he won and cases that he lost. All of the quotes for this week were though-provoking about the death penalty.

Mercy is just when it is rooted in hopefulness and freely given. Mercy is most empowering, liberating, and transformative when it is directed at the undeserving. The people who haven’t earned it, who haven’t even sought it, are the most meaningful recipients of our compassion.”

My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.

[W]e would never think it was humane to pay someone to rape people convicted of rape, or assault and abuse someone guilty of assault or abuse. Yet we were comfortable killing people who kill in part because we think we can do it in a manner that doesn’t implicate our own humanity the way that raping or abusing someone would. I couldn’t stop thinking that we don’t spend much time contemplating the details of what killing someone actually involves.

Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion.

Finally, I’ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned. We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated.

Fear and anger are a threat to justice. They can infect a community, a state, or a nation, and make us blind, irrational, and dangerous.

There were many other quotes that I could have featured from this book – but these were ones that I had specifically tagged on Goodreads as I was listening to Just Mercy. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to listen to next – because Just Mercy gave me a serious book hangover…

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Thursday Quotables

 

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Review – Christmas at the Candied Apple Cafe – Katherine Garbera

Christmas at the Candied Apple Café
Author: Katherine Garbera
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Author via NetGalley

Description:
There’s nothing so magical as Christmas in New York…
Santa is coming to New York!
Snow is falling, excitement is high and the delicious scent of chocolate drifts along Fifth Avenue – the Candied Apple Café is ready for Christmas! And no one is busier than publicist Iona Summerlin. With so much to do, she doesn’t have time to think about men, dating, or the fact her last boyfriend ditched her for her brother… Relationships are off the menu!
Hotel boss Mads Eriksson is not looking forward to the first Christmas since losing his wife. His six-year-old daughter Sofia has lost her belief in Christmas magic along with her mother, and he has no idea what to do. But an unusually festive business meeting at the Candied Apple – and meeting the beautiful Iona – starts to defrost Mads’ frozen heart, and suddenly life seems full of light and sparkle again.
If only they dare to believe, maybe all their Christmas dreams will come true!

Review:
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…well, kinda sorta…at least the weather has started to cool down a bit (I even woke up to frost on the car earlier this week) – normally, I would wait until December to start digging into Christmas romances – but when I was offered the chance to review Christmas at the Candied Apple Café, I was intrigued by the description (as well as the whimsy of the cover) – that I said yes. It has also been a while since I’ve read anything written by Ms Garbara (like probably close to 8years), so seeing how her writing style has evolved over time was an added bonus.

Like the cover, there was something whimsical about Christmas at the Candied Apple Café – it was a story about learning to love again and moving on, to making new memories (and add in a nice bonus of a story that revolves around chocolate…which if anyone knows me knows I heartily subscribe to that lifestyle choice). While Iona wasn’t the chocolatier, she was the publicist responsible for a rather popular chocolate store who is being courted by the hero, Mads Eriksson, to be a unique store in his hotel chain. But it was Mads daughter who won me over in the writing of the story. I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for books that feature kids (especially if they are key to the story) and Sofia was an adorable, yet precocious little girl. I just wanted to have her jump off the page, so that I could give her a hug and read her a story, but alas….

The romance between Iona and Mads wasn’t anything that blew me away – it just had a nice steady development with a bit of a flash and bang at a few different spots. I was honestly more interested in both Mads relationship with his daughter and how he was going to get past a recently suffered tragedy to love again. Christmas at the Candied Apple Café was just a comfortable read – the kind of book that I would read on a snowy day, snuggled up unti a blanket on the couch with the dog warming my feet. I’d give Christmas at the Candied Apple Café 3.5 stars and a recommendation for anyone looking for a cute Christmas romance.

About Katherine Garbera:
Katherine Garbera is the USA Today best-selling author of more than 90 books. A Florida native who grew up to travel the globe, Katherine makes her home in the Midlands of the UK with her husband, two children and a very spoiled miniature Dachshund.

Katherine on Social Media:
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Posted by on November 16, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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First Line Fridays – 10 November 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

John Doe would never understand human ways.

From:
Firefighter Sea Dragon – Zoe Chant

I will say for the most part, many of the authors I have discovered through Kindle Unlimited have been one and done kind of books (i.e. I read one book by the author and no desire to read anymore) – however, occasionally, I find an author that I want to read more of and Zoe Chant is one of those authors. I picked up the first book in this series after I saw it recommended on the now defunct Amazon Romance forums (sad face because I always got really good book recommendations from there). Since then I’ve been reading the books in the series on and off – I just finished up book 3 earlier today and immediately downloaded book 4 because I’m curious about who John Doe actually is. Plus the whole sea dragon shifter is just intriguing, since its something totally different. Here’s to more enjoyable reads by this author and I definately recommend if you like books featuring non-traditional shifters (for the most part) and a fairly relaxed writing style.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2017 in First Line Fridays, Uncategorized

 

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Review – Dear Fahrenheit 451 – Annie Spence

Dear Fahrenheit 451: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break-Up Notes to the Books in Her Life
Author: Annie Spence
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
Librarians spend their lives weeding–not weeds but books! Books that have reached the end of their shelf life, both literally and figuratively. They remove the books that patrons no longer check out. And they put back the books they treasure. Annie Spence, who has a decade of experience as a Midwestern librarian, does this not only at her Michigan library but also at home, for her neighbors, at cocktail parties—everywhere. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, she addresses those books directly. We read her love letters to The Goldfinch and Matilda, as well as her snarky break-ups with Fifty Shades of Grey and Dear John. Her notes to The Virgin Suicides and The Time Traveler’s Wife feel like classics, sure to strike a powerful chord with readers. Through the lens of the books in her life, Annie comments on everything from women’s psychology to gay culture to health to poverty to childhood aspirations. Hilarious, compassionate, and wise, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover’s birthday present, stocking stuffer, holiday gift, and all-purpose humor book.

Review:
If I could pick any job when I grow up (or rather when I finally admit I have to grow up), it would be to either a) own my own bookstore (focusing solely on romances) or b) become a librarian. I’ve been exceptionally lucky to have awesome librarians in my life over the years who cemented my love of reading and after reading Dear Fahrenheit 451, I would add Annie Spence to a list of virtual/written librarians who have influenced me.

The premise of Dear Fahrenheit 451 is simple – its love (or break up) letters to various books that she has encountered over the years. The books she has written letters to run from children’s classics like The Giving Tree to Matilda; from Twilight to Fifty Shades of Grey (and the fabulous line – you made me say “erotica” to an old lady” and To Kill A Mockingbird to the title book, Fahrenheit 451. Some of the letters are short and others longer – it made for a quick and easy read while I was catching the short commuter bus that took me from the parking lot to my work building for several days (yeah, I can be kind of lazy at times and its getting cold). Several of her letters really made me stop and think about books that had influenced my life and how I would write letters to them if given the opportunity.

While many of the books were fairly commonplace ones that many readers would recognize, there were also some complete left-field books – that kind of made me scratch my head and think, someone actually wrote a book about this – such as “Pictorial Anatomy of a Cat” or “Cult of the Born-Again Virgin” – not diminishing the books themselves (ok well actually maybe I am), but…umm, yeah – I got nothing…kind of makes me wonder what is lost in the shelves at my local library – those books that may not have seen daylight in years and where do they go when the library decides they are no longer worth keeping (i’m guessing to our Friends of the Library sale to go to another home).

While I’m not sure I’ll ever start writing love letters to books – although after reading this, I feel like I should pay more attention to how books make me feel; what kind of feelings or memories do they invoke. I do know that if I were to do something similar to this, that the first book(s) that I would probably mention would be The Babysitter’s Club books – as a 7 year old, I got a box set of the first 6 and devoured them; and then secondly, the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – my first foray into Fantasy (although it wasn’t until I reread as an adult that I picked up on all the Christian allegory). It was because of all these reasons, that I give Dear Fahrenheit 451 4 stars

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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First Line Fridays – 3 November 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

We had just started over the bridge, toward my party, when the famously cheerful “Don’t Jump” Ad clicked on.

From:
All Rights Reserved – Gregory Scott Katsoulis

I’ll admit that I’m a cover whore when it comes to picking books – and a bookcover that had a whole bunch of different words on it, all with various copyright and trademark nomenclature cause my eye. Reading the description (a society where you are charged for every word that you utter after your “Last Day”) made me even more intrigued by the premise. Although, honestly, somedays I think it would be interesting to live in a world when people were limited in what they could say. I know that I’ll be interested to see how the author develops the world and background but I can’t wait to read it.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2017 in First Line Fridays

 

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Review – Caroline – Sarah Miller

Caroline
Author: Sarah Miller
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

Review:
I find that I’m struggling to write this review, because I went into Caroline: Little House Revisted fully expecting to love it and honestly, I’m left feeling empty. Its not that Ms Miller isn’t a good writer or that I wasn’t engaged…its just that I felt like there wasn’t really anything new or groundbreaking that was added in the alternate POV telling of Little House. Now admittedly, I probably re-read Little House on the Prairie every couple of years (in fact, probably the whole series), so I’m well versed with the story and maybe that is why I am kind of disappointed. So much of the story was retelling of the same events that occurred in Little House on the Prairie from Caroline’s point of view, but I never really felt like I got to know her, more than who she was beyond Ma (athough I’m sure other readers will disagree with me).

Caroline starts off as Ma, Pa, Mary and Laura are getting ready to leave Wisconsin (Little House in the Big Woods) for Indian territory (aka Kansas). There are a few deviations from the story that many of us have read previously that bring it in line with what really happened to the family, vs. what Laura wrote about it her books – however, for the most part Caroline followed the events in LHotP from beginning to end. I don’t know if it was a lack of historical information available on the family – but I felt like more primary sources needed to be incorporated into the story (in her authors note, Ms Miller addresses some of the historical deviations, but also states that she kept significantly to LHotP as her authoritative source).

Anyways, overall, I found Caroline to be a good read, but I think my pre-read expectations were just a tad too high and I didn’t get what I wanted. 3 stars overall.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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