Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten

Tsarina

This book was originally published many years ago. It is an interesting book about Catherine the first, the second wife of Peter the Great. Set in Russia in the 1700s.

This is not about Catherine the Great. This Tsarina came from the slums and lived with all of the horrible conditions in that time period. Violence, Immorality, and a lot of dirt! And dirty dealings. While this is a fictionalized account, much is true.

I love a historical fiction book that teaches me something. I learned a lot about Moscow, St. Petersburg and the not so likeable people in the court.

I would give this author another try!

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press, October 13th. 2020

 

 

SISTERS of the WAR by RANIA ABOUZEID

Sisters of the War: Two Remarkable True Stories of Survival and Hope in Syria (Scholastic Focus)

Living in the United States we think we know what is going on in the world. We have 24 hours of news coverage and constant updates on social media sites.

But a few years back when I began to try and figure out who was telling the truth about Syria, it was obvious we know nothing. The reports I was given told two entirely different stories depending on who was writing them.

This book lets the children and adults who are living on both sides of the conflict tell their own stories.

There are innocent people on both sides, and the children’s sense of hope was inspiring. The differences in their lives while living only a few hundred miles apart were stark. One set of parents determined to shield their family from the ugliness beyond their own door while the other encourages rebellion.

Rania Abouzeid is a journalist I admire and can trust. Her writing in this book is exceptional and honest.

I will be sending a copy to my granddaughter!

Scholastic September 2020

JAMES PATTERSON AND J.D.BARKER PRESENT THE COAST-TO-COAST MURDERS

The Coast-to-Coast Murders

Who is on the mark?

What does that mean? Remember it. Always know who is on the mark.

Michael Fitzgerald is a long-distance truck driver and he is about to have a really bad day. At least I’m pretty sure he wasn’t planning on finding a dead woman in his bathtub. But then there are things he doesn’t remember and unfortunately things he can’t forget.

Michael and his sister Megan were adopted by the Fitzgeralds Two shrinks in one house who should never have had any children. Ever. Megan is the only person Michael can trust. At this point he doesn’t even trust himself! He’s lost time before but he never understood why.

Meanwhile…Detective Hobbs and FBI Agent Gimble have joined up to work a murder that seems straightforward. They have a suspect in custody and that seemed easy. Until the next murder happens. When they figure out they have multiple murders that crisscross the map, the Fitzgeralds’ name comes up. But which one? The father is dead. Megan is trying to help Michael and while they suspect Michael, he is elusive and very organized.

When two of my favorite authors team up on a book, I am going to read it! This was a long book and every minute was pushing harder and harder to the end. The characters were so well done and the suspense was intense all the way to the end.

You won’t believe this ending! I’m still going WHAT???? This is Psychological Suspense at it’s best!

NetGalley/ September 21st, 2020 by Little, Brown & Company

 

 

 



A HIGHLANDER IS COMING TO TOWN by Laura Trentham

A Highlander is Coming to Town (Highland, Georgia #3)

A Highland,Georgia Novel #3

This romantic comedy series is set in Highland,Georgia. Claire Smythe has found herself here after leaving her touring band. She is looking to blend in and not stand out one bit. She has secrets and she does not want them spilling out.

Without money she takes a job as a live-in companion and care taker for an elderly woman. Neither one talks much, but a bond has been formed.

Holt Pierson has been left to care for the family farm while his parents hit the road for Florida for Christmas. He is one hard working and driven man! And Claire, or whatever her name is, has captured his mind and heart.

But will this Christmas be Merry and Bright? Let’s just say a lot of secrets come tumbling from Santa’s bag this year and love may just overcome a lot of them.

Always a treat to read this series. A lovely story of family expectations, our own dreams and desires, and finding a way to live with both.

NetGalley/ September 29th 2020 by St. Martin’s Press




Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker

Don't Look for Me

People walk away from their lives every day. Especially when the pain at home is unbearable. But is that what happened to Molly Clarke?

When her car is found abandoned on the side of a road, out of gas, during a storm, the police and her family search everywhere for her. False leads and suspicious people make the search difficult.

A note is found at the only hotel telling her family not to look for her. But her daughter is not buying it. She is determined to find her mother. Believing there is no way she would abandon them.

Everyone in this little town is sketchy. I didn’t believe any of them. The suspense in this thriller built layer by layer until I was reading at warp speed!

This was a heartbreaking story of loss, guilt, insanity and what women will do to survive.

The question is what did happen to Molly Clarke? And will her daughter live to find out?

One very well done book!

NetGalley/ September 15th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

THE CROHN’S DISEASE COOKBOOK by Amanda Foote,RD

Never have I been happier than the day this book arrived! Finally someone who understands Crohn’s Disease!

Whether you have just been diagnosed or like me, have been doing the best you can to avoid flares and figure out how to eat to keep yourself healthy and alive!

There are customized meal plans as well as food to eat during and after a flare up. And there is a lot of information on CD and other issues that may come with it. I have CD along with Celiac and Lactose Intolerance. All the women on my mother’s side have this. No one talked about it. We jokingly called it our secret diet since you eat and then you spend hours crying in the bathroom feeling as if you are giving birth to a large demon.

This cookbook has opened up a lot of options for me. I don’t do soy either and I was happy to see I could substitute with almond milk. The Bone Broth recipe was my favorite. That may seem odd but during and after a flare this is one of the only things I can eat. I can tolerate some meats but I don’t like meat so roasted chicken and salmon are the only ones I eat and then only after a flare.

And it’s hard to know what will kick off a flare. For example yesterday I was feeling too lazy to get out of the pool so I just grabbed two small pieces of OU Boy’s beef jerky. It was peppered. It took all of 5 minutes before I was running to the bathroom and I have been in pain since then. That is a flare.

Love the book and grateful to the author!

They Somebody People by Bob Proehl

The Somebody People

This is the sequel to The Nobody People. There is very little backstory so it’s probably best if you have read that one first.

It’s seven years after The Pulse, and by now you are either a Resonant or not.

And that is pretty much all I know as I couldn’t get into this one.

If you are a SciFi fan, this is your book. People who read them both love books. I just could not keep everyone straight.

NetGalley/September 1st, 2020 by Del Rey Books

Gourd to Death by Kirsten Weiss

Gourd to Death (Pie Town Mystery #5)

Pie Town Mystery Number Five

This Halloween, pie shop proprietor Val Harris must patch together clues to solve a murder by pumpkin . . .

You read that correctly. Murder by pumpkin.

Pie Town is back and Val and her quirky band of bakers are gearing up for the annual pumpkin festival. Val is a judge for the pie-making contest and it looks like her boyfriend is entering the contest. Could get sticky.

As Val and Charlene stroll through the booths and the pumpkin patch they find a dead body under a huge pumpkin with a forklift standing by it. The woman was a contestant in the pie contest and the pumpkin belongs to the father of Val’s assistant.

Mazes, curses, pumpkin shenanigans, and a feud with the next town all combine with the colorful and hilarious staff of Pie Town to give us another great installment in the series.

Always well done!

NetGalley Review/August 25th, 2020 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

 

VERITAS: A Harvard Professor, A Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’s Wife by Ariel Sabar

 

Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife

 

The gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that engulfed Harvard.

Dr. Karen King, a well-respected professor at Harvard Divinity, announced to the attendees of a scholars conference, steps from the Vatican.

Someone had given her a scrap of an ancient papyrus where Jesus calls Mary Magdalene his wife.  As you can imagine, this was huge. I know I followed this in the news because I had an interest in the Gnostic Gospels and what was and wasn’t true. I never saw Mary of Magdala as a prostitute and I never found any corroboration of that.

Imagine if all these years later we find out Jesus had a wife. What? What a shakeup that would be for the Catholic Church especially. If he was married, why celibacy in the priesthood? Why no women in positions of power? There was a powerful uproar and King’s reputation suffered. Was this piece a forgery and if so was King in on it?

Amid all of these questions, journalist Ariel Sabar started digging into the story. Where did the fragment come from? With impeccable research and detective skills, he brings us the story of King and the man who may or may not be a forger.

This was a brilliant look at the rivalries in academia. The hopes of King that there was an alternative to the bible out there that was more inclusive to women. I’ll leave you to enjoy the mystery.

I am still mulling over questions this book brought up. And I’m sure I will be for a long time.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 11th, 2020 by Doubleday Books

 

 

 

THE KEY LIME CRIME by LUCY BURDETTE

The Key Lime Crime (Key West Food Critic Mystery, #10)

Key West Food Critic Mystery Series #10

Back in one of my favorite places! Key West and Houseboat Row! With my favorite food critic, Haley Snow. Haley and new hubby, Nathan, are still living with Miss Gloria and the pet menagerie while the renovations plod slowly on the newlyweds very own houseboat, so it’s crowded, to say the least.

With the busy time between Christmas and New Year, the town is packed with unruly tourists, enjoying all of the local food and drink. The police are stretched to their limits and Haley is participating in the Best Key Lime Pie contest, covering the event and tasting all of the entries for the local magazine.

Add into the chaos a surprise last-minute visit from her new mother in law, her parents slammed with their own catering business and deadlines due now!

Haley is hoping to entertain Nathan’s Mom and still get everything done on time. But her nerves are stretched.

Local, self-appointed Key Lime Pie expert, David Sloan persuaded the city to host the event and it looks like the competition is deadly. Especially since the newest pastry chef in town is told in front of everyone that her pie is not a pie and can not be entered.

And you know there is going to be a body. And that isn’t even the most surprising thing. Her mother in law turns out to be nothing like Haley imagined. She has a new partner in crime-solving.

This is one of my favorite series. In this cozy, you’ll be biting your nails and drooling in the same paragraphs! The recipes are delish and her writing is so effortless. The characters are quirky and fun.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 11th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books