“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

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

Met Her Match by Jude Deveraux

Met Her Match

In small towns, no one lets the facts get in the way of juicy gossip…

In the small town of Summer Hill, Virginia, Terri Rayburn has a reputation that hangs over her like a black cloud. 

Summer Hill is a town divided. The lake people and the town people. The lake property is mainly Terri’s fathers and she lives on the lake in her family home. She works hard at everything from repairing a boat motor to dragging tourists out of the water. She knows her place and it is the lake.

When she returns home to find a man in her house, she smells a rat. Are her father and uncle trying to fix her up with a man? A man who is engaged to the Mayor’s daughter?

Nate is a good man. He gets along with everyone and is very good at what he does. But now he’s out of that business and looking to settle down. But with who? As Terri and Nate settle into a friendship that sizzles, Nate is hearing some nasty rumors about Terri and her mother, who disappeared long ago. Nasty rumors have always circulated about what happened.

With the help of a lot of good people, Nate discovers the truth about Terri’s mother and it will change everything. But will he find out who he is and who he wants?

A great summer read with a strong female lead. The characters were great and I hope we hear more from them all!

NetGalley/ September 17th, 2019 by MIRA

 

 

Hanging On To Summer with Stone Barrington!

It may say September on the calendar, but it’s still in the ’90s here. I am trying hard to ignore Pumpkin Spice anything. So instead I made a cup of Harney & Sons, Heirloom Bartlett Pear Tea, which smells like Summer in a cup and I have the new Stuart Woods featuring my book boyfriend, Stone Barrington. Rich, handsome and suave…

I took a little break this weekend. I checked into the Marriott and swam and laid out in the sun for hours. Then we went to H & H gun range and checked out something I want. Since Cracker Barrel was right across the street I had to go check out all the pretty things they’ve added for Fall. In one store there was Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Yep, all there just hanging together. The smells alone were confusing! Was it pumpkin spice, apple cider, or Christmas tree smell? Actually, it was all of them but I bought the one that smelled like a Christmas tree to sprinkle in OU Boy’s closet. His laundry basket gets a bit smelly at times. I also found a cute fedora hat! Cracker Barrel, where you can shop and eat! Love it.

I found these cutie little stands for the wedding, along with some nice baskets. The wedding room is filling up quickly! I’ve had to move it all into my bedroom because we ordered new beds for the kids and I needed the room back.

It was a great football weekend as well. Except for that LSU win. Ugly. The only time I’ll cheer for Texas is if they play LSU. Sorry, Lisa!

I’ve been gradually reducing my workload so I can retire in the Spring. I’ve gotten my home and personal life streamlined now so as soon as this wedding kicks off I should be stress-free!

OH, I also brought out the Fall and Winter Teas. Okay, I moved them to the front of the cabinet. And just like that, I wanted Gingerbread! lol

Happy Monday Y’all!

xx P

The Sisters of Summit Avenue by Lynn Cullen @GalleryBooks

sisters

Secrets, Betrayals, lies, and half-truths. This beautiful story is told through the eyes of Dorothy, mother to June and Ruth, as well as the two daughters. From the past and in the present.

Dorothy has led a hard and sometimes unfair life. Her parents lived and worked for a wealthy family and Dorothy grew up with their son Edward. But when she gets in the family way she is quickly kicked to the curb. Even as she marries a good man, she is still waiting for Edward to come for her.

Dorothy is a woman who doesn’t understand how to show love and affection to her children. She loves them terribly but has never learned how to show them.

Everyone has a point of view in this one. June thinks Ruth stole her soul mate. Ruth thinks June gets everything she wants and is the favorite. Now Ruth is living the farm life with John who has sleeping sickness. She hates her life and wants Junes. June wants her soul mate back but has instead settled with a rich doctor and is one of the “Bettys” of the Crocker plant.

When Dorothy calls June home, she comes and brings her husband who may have a cure for the sleeping sickness. But if John wakes up, how much of what has been happening will he know?

With 3 sisters of my own, I recognize this story! We all wanted what the other one had. Until we lost it and found out all we really wanted was to be loved and content with what we had. But as Dorothy would say, “We aren’t dead yet.”

Full of heartbreak, love, forgiveness and the love of family, this was a beautifully written book!

NetGalley/ September 10th, 2019 by Gallery Books