“Cilka’s Journey” by Heather Morris, author of The “Tattooist of Auschwitz”

Cilka's Journey

The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is mentioned in the first book and now we have facts of her life blended with some fiction to fill in the question of Who was Cilka Klein?

She was only sixteen when she and her mother and sisters were taken. In 1942, she arrives at Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Already a beautiful young woman, her looks do not go unnoticed by the Commandant, Schwarzhuber, who separates her from the other women. Her job is to look after the sick and dying women who will be taken to the gas chamber. She knows these women hate her. She hates herself. In this place, in order to survive, you had to use whatever power you had. And hers was her beauty and ability to compartmentalize everything she had to do.

When the camp is liberated Cilka is sentenced to prison for sleeping with the enemy. Literally. This did not sit well with me. How unfair was that? At 16 you do what you need to do to stay alive. After all of the suffering and now she is being sent to Siberia for 15 years.

Once there, a young, female doctor takes her under her as an apprentice nurse. Cilka is good at this work and forms bonds with the doctor and the nurses. Using her privileged position to help the other women in her hut. She is especially taken with one man in the ward. But will she ever be free? Will she ever know the love she deserves?

This story is part true, part fictional. But the facts are there. It was difficult to read and the images in my head will always be there. The brutality of the enemy along with the equal brutality of fellow prisoners. It was heartbreaking and beautifully written and I will never forget Cilka’s Journey!

NetGalley/ October 1st, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

Craftedleaf Tea Review!

Recently I was introduced to Craftedleaf-Tea on IG. They sent me so many great samples and the packaging is wonderful. I have been searching for a good Puerh that doesn’t taste like dirt. The tea in our area is almost always in a bag looking like dust and tasting like dust.

Not this company! The type of tea is handwritten on each resealable pouch. The leaves are big and plentiful. My first try was the 2017 Ba Da Shan Wild Tree Raw Puerh. On the back is a label telling me this came from Yunnan. Picked in the Spring of 2017 at an altitude of 1800m. The bud to leaf ratio is 1 bud: 1/2 leaf. Caffeine is less than 20 percent of coffee.

There are directions for the Gong Fu Style and the Western Style. I followed the directions and let it steep 3 minutes. Took a sip and let it steep for another minute.

It was so mellow. The grassiness with the floral notes was perfect. It was the best I have ever tried. I was able to get 6 steepings out of it without any of the quality of flavor being lost. So yes, this is a winner!

And so is this book Ascenders by C.L.Gaber!  A high school for the undead? Yep!

Have a great Thursday and try something new today!

xx P

The BAKESHOP at PUMPKIN and SPICE by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, Allyson Charles

The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and Spice

Every autumn, Moonbright, Maine, is the picture of charm with its piles of crisp leaves, flickering jack-o’-lanterns … and a touch of the sweetest kind of enchantment.

This was such a magical read. All happening in one town, Moonbright, Maine, affectionately known as Halloweentown! They pull out all the stops for the parade and festivals. Everyone is involved and at the center is Bellaluna’s Bakeshop. A magical bakeshop passed down from mother to daughter for generations, now being run by Bree and her Grandmother.

Three stories set in the same town at the same time. One starring Bree herself, who is beginning to think the magic gene has skipped her, along with two other ladies who thought they knew what they wanted until a bit of magic snuck into their lives.

This was a charming collaboration from three very talented women and it works so well. It is one of those curl up with a Pumpkin Spice Latte’ and a sugar cookie and feel all the warm feels!

Well Done!

NetGalley/  August 27th, 2019 by Kensington

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel by Naomi Ragen

An Unorthodox Match: A Novel

An Unorthodox Match is a powerful and moving novel of faith, love, and acceptance, from author Naomi Ragen, the internationally bestselling author of The Devil in Jerusalem.

Lola/Leah had it all. Or so she thought. A tragic love story, a new love along with a great career, but while her eyes were elsewhere, her lover hops into bed with the boss and the boss has destroyed the business leaving Lola/Leah with no job, no boyfriend, and no place to go.

Although her mother is Jewish, she rebelled against her parents and the faith early on and led her own non-believing life. She has taught her daughter that religion is a cult and she should make her own rules. But Lola/Leah is broken. And curious about her faith.

When she enters a program for newly practicing Orthodox Jews, she finds it hard and rewarding. She knows this is how she wants to live her life. And when love finds her, the same people who showed her the path will try to push her out of it.

There was a lot of writing in this book. A bit too much. But the story. The words. A lot of them hit too close to home. Oh, how we love to convert someone to a believer or bring back a lamb that has strayed. But we still think we are better than you. I was humbled by this book.

A beautiful and powerful look at true faith and love. Well Done!

NetGalley/ September 24th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

I LIKE THE WAY YOU WORK IT…Sing Along!

Good Tuesday Morning! So many really good books releasing today! Most of you know I don’t do Sci-Fi or YA. But this book looked so interesting that when the author asked if I wanted a copy I immediately said yes! I mean they go to a high school for the dead! And the lovely postman not only brought me this book but also TEA!

These came all the way from Hong Kong! And they weren’t kidding about sending samples! I received 8. You can check them out HERE 

They come in resealable packets and are all loose leaves. Each one tells you when it was picked and where, what altitude, the bud to leaf ratio. It gives you brewing instructions for the Gong Fu Style and Western Style. I received:

2019 Sping Dong Ting Lake Bilouchun Green Tea

2019 Spring Organic Wild Balmudan White Tea

2019 Spring Premium Anxi Tieguanyin Oolong

2017 Ba Da Shan Wild Tree Raw Pu-erh

2019 Spring Song Dynasty Milan Dancong Oolong

2019 Spring Golden Tip Lapsang Souchong Black Tea

Whew! I was really interested in raw pu-erh. It’s the one tea I haven’t had in its pure form. Here in the USA, most of it is in teabags and it just tastes like dust. Today we’ll be trying said pu-erh and letting you know how it fares!

Other than that I read a really good cozy yesterday and did some shopping on the sofa!

  

I saw them on a friend’s site and had to have them for the kids and I. They were super fast too. I paid $27 for the two for the kids including shipping and half that for mine.

Then I dragged out the Fall stuff. Michael’s was having a super great sale yesterday on all Fall and Halloween items, so I found this lovely long tray and filled it with those tiny gourds and pumpkins as well as a jar candle, which were 5 for $10.

Today is book release day, so we will all be busy. I hope your Tuesday is good. Encourage just one person today!

xx P

 

New Books, New Looks, And Pie!

Another bright and sunny Monday morning here in Oklahoma City. These are the books I have coming out tomorrow! All of them really good. Reviews are already up on the site if you are looking for details!

It was a rain-free and hot weekend! Miss Charli stayed overnight on Friday. She tried on her dress, which is adorable! This lady is so talented and I love that she makes each one. In the USA.

She and I went shopping as she has had a major growth spurt and needed new pants and Fall clothes.

New Room:

They loved their new rooms and the craft table. Little Miss registered her own Firestick and proceeded to watch all the seasons of Stranger Things, again… And brush her hair. This is a new thing. Normally she hates brushing her hair but we found a great tangle-free brush and she sat in front of that mirror brushing her hair for hours.

We were just about to go into the mall when I remembered I had called Clothes Mentor in Edmond and had them hold a pair of Donald Pliner boots I wanted. So out of the mall and on to Edmond. I was not losing these boots!

donaldplinerboot

So we ended up at T.J.Maxx and Charli tripped trying on jeans and smacked her nose on the wall. Luckily she took a few seconds to shed a tear or two and PaPa quickly brought a cup of ice to her. She and I have the same issue with pants. If they fit in the length, they are too big in the waist. Thank goodness for skinny jeans with a bit of stretch to them! We found several pairs and some new tops and hoodies, underwear and socks. I was too upset to even look at anything after I injured the child! We came home and had dinner and she gave us a fashion show.

On Saturday we went to the lake. Trying to string that summer tan along. The water was choppy so we got in a great work out. Probably the last really good one for a few weeks. We are knee-deep in birthday prep for Corbin this Saturday. This Saturday is also the Oklahoma Book Festival and I’m going to that first. Scott Pelley will be headlining along with Anne Hillerman. So I’ll have a full day for that and then it’s off to the party at the park with dinner and Corbin wanted Papa to get them a hotel room at the Marriott and have a boys night. I’m pretty sure that means pizza and swimming. The next Saturday is the Bachelor party weekend at Firelake Casino and Golf Course. And the next Saturday is the wedding!

Luckily all of the pies are made and in the freezer except for the Key Lime and we’ll do those the day before.

Have yourself a good week and be kind.

xx P

RAINY DAYS AND BOOKS AND TEA EQUALS BLISS!

It was raining when I went to bed and it just now stopped. More is forecasted and we do really need some rain. And it’s Friday the 13th so it’s a mood setter.

This morning I’m sipping on this lovely new tea I found at Barnes and Noble when I was picking up my copy of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. This Harney & Sons tea is so delicate and full of ginger and lemon flavor. Great for the tummy and the book, well, we’ve waited a long time for this one!

  

So I’m all set for the weekend. What will you be doing? Or reading?

Miss Charli Ava is coming over today to try on a dress and see her new bedroom. I’m so excited. I’ve been working hard on this room and it all came together last night. Charli and I are going to buy scrapbook supplies to make her a book of her life. As most of you know, we didn’t get her until she was two, so no baby pictures at all. But never fear, I found someone to send me those and I can’t wait for her to see them. This is on her second birthday. The day we met her.

One of the loves of my life! It’s going to be a fun day! I hope yours is as well. Enjoy your weekend and be kind today. It’s free.

xx P