Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider May 26th

As some of you may remember I reviewed one of Robyn’s other books The Beginning of Everything.  If you missed that blog post and would like to read it here is a link.  https://jennd1.wordpress.com/?s=robyn.   Extraordinary Means tells the story of Lane and Saddie who along with other teens have been sent a sanatorium for people with drug resistant TB.. It seems like more of a prep school in the way it is described by the characters, sort of a boarding school but not.  Lane and Saddie and their friends must learn to cope with the new turn in their lives and the fact that they may never return to the lives they left behind.  Their struggles are real and honest and they made me feel things right along with them and look at live a bit differently.  A great new read from Robyn for her fans both old and new.

J.J. Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook May 26th

netgalleyAs you know if you have read the blog for a bit diet and nutrition books are one of those things I like to pick up. There is logic in this book that I have seen other places, advice like raising the amount of protein in your diet to combat sugar cravings and lots of information about hidden sugar. I found J.J.’s view of gradually cutting back your sugar and changing the kind of sugar in your diet to be a good idea and one I am going to try, I tried to cut out all added sugar cold turkey recently and the results were short lived and as I had been warned I had a headache for days. This book explains the game plan of cutting back your sugar and then deciding what kinds of things are good for you and when long term in simple steps. There are tools to help you such as lists of food arranged by the sugar index wihich has three levels low medium and high, there are also recipies, meal plans including ones for special situations such as low carb, vegan, and diabetics. Along with all this great information there is also a handy list of resources for finding ingredients and further information. i found the book was arranged in a useful easy to follow format, there is plenty of information and the advice is sound, if you think or know that sugar is a big part of your weight management goals then this book might be worth a look. I plan to make some of the swaps she suggests to lower my SI.

Vote for Remi by Leanna Lehman May 19th

remi 2

I really liked this. Imagine a social studies teacher who goes above and beyond to help her students learn, honestly she reminded me of a few teachers I know. Remi the teacher in question gives an impassioned speech that goes viral and launches a political lesson and a campaign that they will never forget. I loved Remi she was so plain and normal and down to earth, and I loved the variety of skills her students brought to the task at hand and the dynamic between them. Well paced and light yet heartfelt this makes a great read for teaches, fans of political fictions, fans of underdogs and students.


Fire Season: My Journey from Ruin to Redemption by Hollye Dexter Out Now May 12

fire season 1I felt so honored to go along as a silent witness to Hollye’s journey as she and her family literally loose it all in a devastating fire and must rebuild literally from the ground up. Their home is gone and since she and her husband were both self employed and worked at home their businesses are gone as well. They must rebuild their careers, replace the essentials and somehow find a way to put their losses in perspective and move on, but some days it is harder than others and some days even getting out of bed is too much. Hollye and her family are understandable traumatized by everything they have gone through and they each deal with it in their own way sometimes though sadness, sometimes through breaking the rules and often with missteps, but each step takes them to a new place where they are eventually able to start over and enjoy their hard earned future. Poignant with moments that are harrowing, maddening, moved me to tears and made me laugh out loud.

The Sound of Glass by Karen White May 12th

netgalleyThe sound of glass does what so many of Karen’s White’s novels do so well.  It weaves together people and places and time into a tapestry that is rich and deep and breathtaking.  Our story starts with Edith and Callhoun.  Edith is a witness to a plane crash and what she learns will change her life and burden her with a secret.  We also meet Merritt who inherits Edith’s house as the wife of the deceased rightful heir, but returning to her husband’s Cal’s childhood home stirs up more questions than answers.  Merritt must face her past and decide her future while dealing with Cal’s brother Gibbes, her father’s widow Loralee and her half brother Owen.  Gradually Merritt will realize much more in common that she ever could have realized, and that there is more to a family than one might imagine.   A warm and touching read with memorable characters and settings.

The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft May 5th

Hang on to your seats for this one, it sucked me in and kept me glued to the page, I put off lunch, I ignored the phone and my email and the world until I was done.  The Far End of Happy tells the story of Ronnie and her husband Jeff who were once so in love other couples envied them, but some how they have grown apart and while Jeff still loves her dearly he can’t figure out how to reconnect them.  The fact that he has plunged them into massive debt that Ronnie new nothing about does not help matters any.  The fact that Ronnie works days and Jeff works nights does not help matters and Jeff’s increasing drinking push matters to their limits.  On the day Jeff is supposed to move out he comes home drunk and when Ronnie and her sons call 911 scared for his safety things move quickly in directions Ronnie never wanted to go.  Told hour by hour in the present day as well as though memories the narrative is tense and gripping, the characters feel like they could be your neighbors, and the moments tick by as the pages turn.


far end of happy cover

Bear Witness by Melissa Clark

What do you do when you survive a crime and some of the people with you don’t. How do you deal with putting your life back together, and can you ever truly put it behind you? All these questions face Paige after her best friend Robin is kidnapped. The story unfolds year by year and we watch Paige try to deal with what happened and find a way to move on. A touching a heartfelt story about friends and growing up.

Love Maps by Eliza Factor Out May 5th

Love Maps tells the story of Sarah and Phillip, an unlikely match, yet two people who obviously love each other. Told in both present time and flash back, their story evolves as the pages turn. Can they put the rough times of the past behind them and find a future together or are they destined to be apart forever?

Second Chance Friends by Jennifer Scott May 5th

Second Chance Friends is the story of deep friendships that grow out of being in a certain place at  a certain time.   Karen, Melinda and Joanna are all having breakfast at the Tea Rose Diner when they witness and try to help when Maddie and her husband Michael are in a car accident.  As the weeks after the accident pass day by day all three women can’t forget what happened and it slowly brings them together, then it leads them to try to help Maddie, yet though working together to help Maddie , they form lasting friendships that help them improve their lives as well as the lives of others.  A warm and touching story that pays tribute to the wild and wacky paths life can lead us on, the friends we make and the way we change as a result.  The characters are warm and real and their lives are very different, yet they don’t hesitate when a common goal bring them together.  A great read.

Don’t Leave Yet by Constance Hanstedt How My Mother’s Alzheimer’s Opened My Heart Out Now

I thought this memoir was touching and wonderful.  Connie like many of us had a rough relationship with her parents growing up.  Her mother seems to have been a force in her life, but as her mother slowly slips into her own world Connie will realize new things about herself, her mother, her siblings and family dynamics that will make her revisit her child hood and her relationship with her mother.  The symptoms are very subtle at first, not recognizing a group at the mall, forgetting where he keys are or forgetting to follow up with the doctor, but as the list slowly grows Connie eventually realizes that she missed the signs that something is wrong and she and her sister must begin deciding what is best for her mother and when the time comes they must dismantle her past and their child hood memories as part of the process.  I know that might sound like a bleak book to you, but is anything but.  It is filled with emotion as Connie and Judy and their family must worry, fret, weigh the choice and try to do what is best.  There are touching and emotional memories of the past as well as snapshots of her mother Virginia even after her diagnosis such as the trip they take for the weekend when he brother Bill gets married.  This story runs the emotional rainbow with moments of joy and despair and all the emotions in between, but at every turn it is heartfelt and reverent  and truthful.  A great story, but you might some tissues within reach.


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