Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Katherine McKenzie
ISBN: 978-0062115355
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 448
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Highly Recommended
Pin It

About the Book: 
Kate’s To-Do List:
1. Go to rehab
2. Befriend/spy on “It Girl”
3. Write killer expose
4. Land dream job

Piece of cake!

When Kate Sandford lands an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line, it’s the chance of a lifetime. So Kate goes out to celebrate—and shows up still drunk to the interview the next morning. It’s no surprise that she doesn’t get the job, but her performance has convinced the editors that she’d be perfect for an undercover assignment for their gossip rag. All Kate has to do is follow “It Girl” Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop—and complete the thirty-day program—they’ll reconsider her for the position at The Line. Kate takes the assignment, but when real friendships start to develop, she has to decide if what she has to gain is worth the price she’ll have to pay.

About the Author:
Catherine McKenzie was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, where she now practices law. An avid runner and skier, she also sits on various boards and professional organizations, and has taught part-time at the McGill Faculty of Law.

My Thoughts:
Catherine McKenzie's books have been out for some time in her home country of Canada.  Spin is making its debut appearance in the US and I couldn't be more excited.  After hearing wonderful reviews from those who have read her books and research I had completed on, I was excited to finally be able to read this book!  It didn't let me down.  The book is equipped with ironic and humorous events, as Kate bombs her first interview to her dream job by showing up drunk and is then given a second chance when a celebrity enters rehab, sending Kate to rehab as well!  What she doesn't expect is friendship and a dose of self reality! 

Catherine McKenzie is an incredibly talented writer. If you love chick-lit you'll love this book!  If you're not a fan of chick-lit don't write it off due to the genre, this one has plenty of content for a variety of readers. The book is a quick read in the sense that you won't want to put it down!  It has plenty of pages and story to keep you entertained but good luck trying to leave it alone.  The story beckoned me back to its pages when I left it alone.  

The characters, though not always likable, are well developed and equipped with layers.  As the reader, your introduced to their various sides while learning about their lives.  It's easy to find yourself invested in their future and supporting them in their attempts to make their life better.  I wanted everything to work out for each of them.  I cannot wait to read Arranged!

You'll like this book if:
You are a fan of fiction
You enjoy relatable characters
You are looking for a light, enjoyable read
You find yourself reading People magazine, US Weekly or any other entertainment magazine
You want to step outside of your reading comfort zone

You might not enjoy this book if:
You are sensitive to the subject of addiction/rehab
You are looking for a serious literary read
You do not enjoy fiction of any sort

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bridge of Scarlet Leaves

Pin It
Kristina McMorris
ISBN: 978-0-7582-4685-1
Kensington Books
Rating: Must Read, Don’t miss it!

About the Book:
“Violinist Maddie Kern’s life was predictable and orderly until she fell in love with Lane Moritomo, the ambitious son of Japanese immigrants.  Maddie expects their families’ disapproval, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, her new husband is no longer viewed as just and outsider, but as an enemy…”
My Thoughts:

Kristina McMorris, author of Letters from Home, amazed me with this title.  I loved it.  I’m still in awe of how well written this book is.  I was awakened to so many different aspects and trials of that time period that I wasn’t aware of prior to reading the novel.  The author has a unique ability to portray the emotions of an era we didn’t belong to, through words.  She proved this with Letters from Home and sealed it with Bridge of Scarlet Leaves.  The book is extremely accurate for a historical fiction.  The author leaves a note at the end of the book that discusses the importance of accuracy for her in this book and explains how she went about achieving it.  Her preparation for this novel is evident in her thoughtful and expressive writing. 

Though it is fiction, these characters lived, maybe not as Maddie and Lane but as those who lived with the same hopes, dreams, realities and trials.  The characters are well developed and intricately weaved together.  To me they were friends, not characters.  I was joyful in their happiness, heartbroken in their sorrow and connected with them throughout the entire story.  Even though I finished this book long ago, the characters have stayed with me.  I was changed by reading this book.  I now have a whole new outlook and respect for those involved in WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is a must read for 2012.  You won’t be sorry!

Must Read, Don't miss it!

Monday, February 27, 2012

My First Hands-On Bible

Cover: My First Hands-On Bible
Author: Collaborative Editors
ISBN: 978-1-4143-4830-8 
Publisher: Tyndale House
Source: Tyndale House Blog Network
Rating: Must Read
 Pin It

About the Book:
My First Hands-On Bible is the preschooler version of the popular Hands-On Bible, which has sold over a half million copies. Jesus taught with hands-on lessons and illustrations;My First Hands-On Bible uses the same experience-based learning to communicate God’s Word in an active, understandable way. My First Hands-On Bible is a fun and simple yet meaningful way to engage preschool, pre-K, and K children (ages 3-6) with the Bible while helping them build a solid faith foundation. Each lesson focuses on a specific Bible point through a variety of activities in order to reinforce and help young children remember the stories and lessons. Using common household items, you can help your children have a “hands-on” learning experience while engaging them in 85 key stories from the Bible. My First Hands-On Bible doesn’t just retell the Bible stories; it also includes actual Scripture from the easy-to-understand and easy-to-read Holy Bible, New Living Translation. In addition to the stories and activities, there are fun illustrations, prayers, and a special Jesus Connection feature.

My Thoughts:
I have had My First Hands-On Bible for a while now.  I waited a long time before posting my review because I wanted to gauge my young daughters repeat interest in this new book.  They LOVED it!  We really couldn't get enough of the bible stories and the practical applications.  As a mother, I look for help regarding my daughters learning since I have a hard time explaining concepts on a level they can understand.  This hands on bible was perfect for me.  It is the most unique Bible I've seen to date, and is now my favorite children's bible.  Kids learn the best when they can observe the world around them and use it in their education.  This is exactly what the Hands-On Bible strives to accomplish.  I whole heartily recommend it to those interested!  

Each story (39 old testament and 46 new testament) uses real Bible text taken from the New Living Translation.  Each story holds "Hands On" activities throughout the story so that your toddler or preschooler is actively learning while reading the story.  Hand print actions (pictured below) can be done during the story or after.

  Pin It

Pin It   

Each story has a "time to pray" and "let's talk" section that discusses the lesson learned in each biblical story.  It also makes connections to our lives today.  Pocket and Cuddles-two adorable animals- that give activities for parents and children to do together help practice or understand the story.  Each story has two activites.  Most fit within a normal daily routine to make the scripture easy to incorporate in daily life.  The "Jesus Connection" connects every passage to Jesus, even if he's not mentioned in the story.

                                  Pin It                                     
For those who:
  • Have children
  • Teach children
  • Have grandchildren
  • Have faith
  • Go to church
  • Want something different and wholesome while being interactive
  • Are open minded
  • Have nieces, nephews or any other children in their lives

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fabulous Fiction: February 2012

Fabulous Fiction is written by me for Night Owl Reviews Digital magazine.  Enjoy the February 2012 edition here:

In case you missed the February issue of NOR Digital magazine, which you can find here, this is Fabulous Fiction, the February edition!  Check out the rest of the magazine for more amazing articles!  Sign up to receive this free book lovers magazine directly in your inbox!


I’m about to admit something shocking, I’ve never cared for Valentine’s Day. It’s one of the reasons I’m a fabulous wife. I don’t dislike the day, I just simply don’t care. To me, Valentine’s Day is just another day. However, if I had to create the perfect Valentine’s Day it would be spent, in part, with books! See, for the book lover, Valentine’s isn’t a mushy holiday that
requires flowers, chocolate and a sweet card to make it perfect. No, for the book lover the perfect Valentine’s Day involves indulgence of fabulous reads. My perfect Valentine’s Day would be spent at a spa! While being pampered, I would relax with my favorite beverage and a pile of romance novels! After all, it is Valentine’s Day and I do love romance. In celebration of this fabulous genre and in effort to spread the love, I decided to share some of the latest and greatest romances I have read. You won’t want to miss these! There is something for everyone and they are so decadent!

Jennifer’s Garden by Dianne Venetta
Jennifer's Garden

Jennifer’s Garden is a contemporary romance that offers far more than a relationship. In fact, Jennifer’s Garden has some deep topics that connect the reader with the characters. This book was sweet and sad while being realistic. The main character, Jennifer, is a cardiologist whose wedding is being planned quickly. Jennifer’s mom has a terminal illness and Jennifer wants to marry before her mom isn’t around to see the wedding. There’s only one problem, Jennifer isn’t sure she wants her groom. While doubt floods her mind, Jennifer is given a second choice. Meet Jackson, one fine male lead that will keep you dreaming day and night. Jackson is the landscaper hired to make Jennifer’s lawn ready for her upcoming wedding. Gardener by day, by night….well, you’ll have to read it! This book is more than a romance and offers plenty of entertainment. You won’t want to put it down.

Revenge at Bella Terra by Christina Dodd
Revenge at Bella Terra (Scarlet Deception, #2)Attention all suspense lovers! Christina Dodd’s newest series, Scarlet Deception, is set at Bella Terra, a vineyard resort owned by the Di Luca family. The Di Luca brothers are oh so sexy, but trouble seems to follow them everywhere. Revenge at Bella Terra is the second book in this series. It picks up where Secrets of Bella Terra leaves off. This time around, Eli Di Luca, who’s sworn to never marry, is given a one word reason to change his mind, blackmail.

Meanwhile, Chloe, a mystery author struggling to write her newest book, takes refuge in the isolation of a Bella Terra cottage. When she starts to fall for Eli,
a man she barley knows, the truth starts to find its way out, bringing heartbreak and danger along with it. With the danger of Eli’s hidden secrets threatening their lives,
Chloe’s only choice is to trust the one person who’s betrayed her in order to survive. Unfortunately for Chloe stubbornness is not a trait that bodes well.

This series is amazing, hands down! I didn’t read suspense prior to Christina Dodd. I loved Secrets of Bella Terra so much, that I pre-ordered Revenge at Bella Terra as soon as it was available! I was very happy to discover the second romance of this series is every bit as great as the first! I can’t wait for more!

A Scandalous Countess by Jo Beverly
A Scandalous Countess (Malloren, #12)
If you love historical romance, this one is for you! It’s original, entertaining, sexy, and mysterious with a little bit of suspense. When Countess Georgia Maybury’s husband is killed in a duel, scandalous rumors erupt about her involvement with his death.

Forced to retire to the country in order to serve out her year of mourning, Georgia is heartbroken and dreadfully bored. As a young countess, Georgia longs to return to the life Town has to offer. Unfortunately, when her year ends, the world of glamour and riches is not quite ready to forgive and forget, even if Georgia’s innocence is true.

Lord Dracy is a scarred man. A former naval officer who inherited his families ruin, Lord Dracy sets out with only one goal; restore his family’s estate and finances to its former glory. However, when his plans to trick the Earl of Hernescroft takes a sudden detour, Dracy finds himself spending lots of time with Georgia, a woman he’s quickly falling for. Unfortunately, Dracy has nothing to offer Lady May, who’s used to a vast and abundant lifestyle and aims to get it back. Little do they know the sinister events taking place that threaten to put them both in grave danger.

A Creed in Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller
A Creed In Stone Creek (Creed Cowboys, #1)

Anyone for a hot cowboy? This book will have you saying "Yes, please!" Miller introduces the Creed cousins by starting with Steven Creed, a big city lawyer who gives up his firm in order to fulfill the last wishes of his best friend. For Steven life in Stone Creek is much different, especially when he sets up a small law office and discovers he has eyes for his opposing counselor.

Melissa O’Ballivan is a beautiful county prosecutor who lives by the book. That is until Steven Creed, an adorable little boy and the happiest dog move into town. Soon Melissa finds herself breaking her own rules and enjoying it. This simple contemporary romance is fun, spirited, sexy and quite entertaining to read. Mixed within the pages is a story of deep inner hurt, the struggle to forgive and love and the longing to be in the arms of the one you love. It was a pleasure to read, as is the rest of this wonderful series. Readers will soon find themselves wishing for a Creed of their own.

When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer

When Harry Met Molly (Impossible Bachelors, #1)
If you haven’t read anything by Kieran Kramer, what are you waiting for? Kramer’s delightful laugh out loud humor starts with her titles! This book is the first of the impossible bachelor’s series, which is a wonderfully humorous series to read! In this book, Lord Harry Traemore is content to live out his days in pursuit of pleasure. Unfortunately for Harry, he soon finds himself designated as one of the "Impossible Bachelors" of society. In pursuit of pleasure, the new title launches Harry into a wager with his fellow bachelors. The prize is to remain unmarried, but to do so Traemore must have the mistress who wins the title of "Most Delectable Companion." This game is sure to keep you rolling and ready for more of Kramer. It’s beautifully written with well-developed characters and enough laughter to shed a few pounds. What could make Valentine’s Day better?


Tiffany is an avid reader, reviewer and marketing specialist. You can connect with her via the following outlets. Website-
com - Twitter - @cozyreadersnook – Facebook!/pages/A-Cozy-Readers-Corner/152514161454295

Thursday, February 23, 2012

What Happened to Hannah

Author: Mary Kay McComas
ISBN: 978-0062084781
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Recommended
Pin It

About the Book:
As a teenager, Hannah Benson ran away from home in order to save herself. Now, twenty years later, the past comes calling and delivers life-changing news: her mother and sister have passed away, leaving Hannah the guardian of her fifteen-year-old niece.
Returning home to bitter memories and devastating secrets, Hannah must overcome her painful past to pave a future with her niece, the last best chance at a family for both of them. She begins to create a new, happier life with her niece and rekindles a relationship with Grady Steadman, one of the few people she’s ever called a friend.
But she can’t forget what she cannot forgive, or lay to rest those ghosts that will not die. Will love and trust—and the truth—give her the strength to stand her ground and fight for what she deserves?

My Thoughts:
If I could only describe this novel in one word it would be emotional.  What Happened to Hannah took me on an emotional journey, keeping me hooked until the end.  It was a completely satisfying read, yet it wore me out as well.  I loved that about it.  Hannah is a guarded character who keeps herself distant, behind barriers she doesn't intent to let anyone break down.  She is deeply hurt and scared.  This makes her reluctant to love or trust anyone, especially if they are close to her immediate family.  I understood this part of Hannah and her methods of emotional self protection.

Hannah reveals her past to the reader in a personal and passionate way.  Little by little the reader gets to know Hannah and see past her rough exterior.  The story has some difficult themes to read as it discusses child abuse and the terror children experience in those situations.  However, it also shows how some overcome that terror and learn love, acceptance and worthiness.  I love reading these type of stories of hope in the midst of turbulence.  Love, forgiveness, growth, acceptance and second chances.

I enjoyed the pace of this book, the story line and the fluid writing of Ms. McComas.

Recommended to those who:
Enjoy Fiction
Enjoy family stories, especially dysfunctional ones
Enjoy emotional elements
Enjoy deep or disturbing topics

Not recommended to those who:
Have suffered from abuse and cannot read stories related to it.
Readers under the age of 16 -- mature audiences for this one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Beautiful Life

This Beautiful Life
Pin It
Author: Helen Schulman
ISBN: 978-0062024381
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Recommended

When fifteen-year-old Jake Bergamot receives—and then forwards to a friend—a sexually explicit video that an eighth-grade admirer sent to him, the video goes viral within hours. The scandal that ensues threatens to shatter his family’s sense of security and identity—and, ultimately, their happiness. This Beautiful Life is a devastating, clear-eyed portrait of modern life that will have readers debating their assumptions about family, morality, and the choices we make in the name of love.

My Thoughts:

This is not the first book I have read on the topic of sexually explicit viral mistakes.  The first was a fiction written by an author who personally went through the nightmare with her son.  I don’t feel any book on the subject could be better written than that one, but this one was awfully close! 
Helen Schulman penned a novel full of intrigue, emotion and deep pain.  It’s a novel that hits close to home because of the legitimate possibility that one might face the horror the Bergamot family goes through.  In this day and age most five year olds can use a computer better than many adults.  Children have been born into a world of technology and therefore excel and thrive in it without caution.  The maturity and level of cause and effect awareness doesn’t come nearly as quick as the abilities they hold.  Therefore, without thinking thousands of teens and don’t think before clicking forward, share, re-tweet or any of those other simple buttons that can make a funny photo or video go viral within seconds.  In the case of Jake Bergamot, who quite honestly shouldn’t have been where he was, doing what he was, all it took was one forward to a friend and his life was forever changed.

The impact of this book is shown within Jake’s family.  In what is already a tense situation, the heat is turned up and the family is pulled further apart.  What seems to be well built soon comes tumbling down quickly as the family deals with the aftermath of Jake’s actions.  Of all the people in this book, I felt most for Coco, Jake’s six year old sister, who doesn’t understand the immensity of what has taken place but is directly affected by it in many ways.  The book is heartbreaking and gut wrenching.  My reactions scaled from sympathy to anger.  While I didn’t directly connect with these characters in many ways, I was able to connect with Liz, as a mom.  Though I didn’t always agree with her actions, I felt her pain. 

The book is a roller coaster ride that will have you hooked to the end but not ready to ride again anytime soon.  It’s one of those novels that sticks with you and provides conversational avenues with others who have read it as well.  Set in an elite area full of quick social judgements, where image means everything, this book shines a light on the "rich."  I think it's safe to say your not safe from the world of hurt regardless how deep your pockets. I would recommend this book to others.

You’ll want to read it if….

·         You like fiction

·         You’re a fan of controversial subjects

·         You don’t mind sex and language

·         You have a child and have not prepared them well for these dangers

You won’t want to read this if….
·         You have a sensitivity to sexually explicit content

·         You have a sensitivity to adult language

·         You’re not a fan of emotionally taxing books

·         You’ve been through the situation or connected closely to this type of situation before

Recommend Read

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gabby God's Little Angel

Gabby, God's Little Angel: Sent to Show God's Love
Pin It
Gabby God’s Little Angel
Sheila Walsh
Illustrated by Marina Fedotova
ISBN: 978-1-4003-1715-8
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: FSB Associates
Rating: Highly Recommended

The lord is your protection… He has put his angels in charge of you.  They will watch over you wherever you go.  Psalm 91:9, 11

In Gabby God’s Little Angel, Sheila Walsh delivers a story of God’s love and protection for his children.  Gabby is a clumsy angel sent to protect a very accident prone little girl.   Sophie needs a lot of protection and Gabby vows to help protect and keep her safe.  She does everything possible and in the end helps shows Sophie that God’s protection is real. 

This book is an adorable story, written for children ages 5-9 years of age.  The illustrations are adorable!  The book is completely relatable to children.  I enjoyed reading it with my daughters.  I would recommend this book to those with a special little girl in their life.  It’s uplifting and comforting as well as bright and colorful with a fun story.

Highly Recommended

Friday, February 17, 2012

Straight To The Heart of Romans

Author: Phil Moore
ISBN: 978-0-85721-057-9
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Kregal Blog Tours
Rating: Must Read
Pin It

"God inspired the Bible for a reason.  he wants you to read it and let it change your life.  If you are willing to take this challenge seriously, then you will love Phil Moore's devotional commentaries.  Their bite-sized chapters are punch and relevant, yet crammed with fascinating scholarship.  Welcome to a new way of reading the Bible.  Welcome to the Straight to the Heart Series." 

Welcome to Romans...

I LOVE the book of Romans.  It's one of my favorite books in the Bible.  When I was given the opportunity to review one of the "Straight to the Heart" series, I instantly knew I wanted Romans.  I was not disappointed.  Straight to the Heart of Romans has 60 "bite-sized" devotionals that break down the verses of the book of Romans and giving insight and wisdom to the reader through applicable stories and thoughts.  Moore makes Romans personal.  Reading through this awakened my soul to so many truths I had previously missed.  It is encouraging and challenging.  I learned so much about the people of those days and the lifestyle they lived.   The book is simplistic to read, yet digs deep and encourages the reader to learn and indulge in the biblical truths contained within.  I really enjoyed how straight to the point and easy to understand this book was.  Let's face it, many parts of the Bible can be confusing--it's wonderful to be able to read a book that clearly explains the Bible without holding back on conviction.  I would suggest the Straight to the Heart series.  No matter what book you read, your sure to enjoy it, learn more and grow in your faith.

Must Read

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Beyond Molasses Creek

Author: Nicole Seitz
ISBN: 9781595545053
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Source: Litfuse Publicity Tour
Rating: Highly Recommended
Pin It

About the Book:

Three lives are bound by a single book . . . and the cleansing waters of Molasses Creek.

 Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Low country to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship—he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she’s stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn’t through with her yet.
As Ally’s wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there’s more to her story than she’s ever been told, and she’s determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.

 A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.

About the Author:
Nicole Seitz is the author of several critically acclaimed novels - The Inheritance of Beauty, Saving Cicadas, A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble the Water, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, and also has a degree in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design.

Her paintings are featured on the covers of her books. Visit her at @NicoleSeitz, Facebook and for more information.
My Thoughts:

It’s not often we realize certain regrets until it’s too late.  In Beyond Molasses Creek, Ally and Sunilla deal with sorrow as their past collide with their future, giving the reader a deep understanding of the characters inward struggles as they deal with love, loss, regret and forgiveness.  Though this book will tug at your heart strings, there is a silver lining.  Located within the pages is a story that celebrates life and encourages the reader through the hope and faith God brings.

The novel has some pretty significant and deep issues contained within the story.  It definitely surprised me at points with elements I did not expect to read.  I enjoyed the authors writing style and the ease of flow in this novel.  The characters are well developed which enabled me to better understand them and their past.  It’s a wonderful tale of Low country.  Intriguing and fast paced, this novel has a little something for everyone. I would recommend the read!

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Giveaway

Dianne Venetta, Author of Love on the Rocks and Jennifer's Garden is having a giveaway!  Enter to win a basket full of goodies!  Here is the rafflecopter widget you will need to enter!  Don't forget to head to her site and and spread the love!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Light in the Heart

Author: Kathleen O'Brien
ISBN: 978-0-9828205-3-7
Publisher: Plicata Press
Source: Book Pleasures
Pin It

For model, Christine McMurray, her beauty is her livelihood, the only thing she’s known.  When her life is altered in an irreversible way, Christine is left with emotional and physical scars that change her world.  Lucky to be alive and deciding she needs a breath of fresh air; Christine opts for change and leaves for Anders Larsson Ranch in Montana.  Larson, a photographer, gives Christine the opportunity to see the raw beauty of Montana.  Her experience re-kindles her desire to paint.  Christine purchases land with the dream of building her own home and art studio.  During the construction she heads back to Boston to pack up her old life.  While she is there she meets and mentors a young burn victim while being reminded of her past and jeopardizing her future.
Kathleen O’Brien’s debut novel is stunning.  As a native of New Hampshire, I grew up 30 minutes from Boston and spent my entire childhood in the New England states.  After attending college, I spend a few weeks in my best friend’s home state of Montana.  Kathleen’s descriptions of both sections of the country are vivid and accurate.  She really made me feel as if I was there, in both settings, all over again.  Her descriptive nature was enough to take me to each setting while letting me use my imagination as well.    The novel starts off in the most original way.  It hooked me from the start; I didn’t want to put it down.  I was delighted to find that the novel remained this way throughout the book.  It had a steady flow and interesting storyline.
Within the pages of this book lies a story of a woman who escaped death but lost everything she once had.  Christine learns more about herself though her horrific experience.  Though she took for granted the life she had, she gained so much more by discovering what she wanted out of life and realizing exactly what had been missing.  I really enjoyed the message this book sends to the reader.  Christine’s life was all about her outward beauty, leaving a void deep within Christine, who wanted to know she was loved and accepted for who she was and not what she looked like.  When her accident strips away her layers of outward beauty, she is given the chance to be seen for her inward beauty.  This is a positive and wonderful message.
 I couldn’t help but root for Christine, who just wants to feel accepted for who she is.  I was able to connect with Christine and feel her emotions.  I understood her as a woman and as a person looking for love and acceptance.  Christine learns a lot about herself during the course of this novel.  When given the chance to be strong and succeed or give up and fail, Christine pushes onward.  The story shows the strength of women, the unexpected nature of life and the central need we all have for acceptance and love. Light in the Heart is a novel full of well-developed characters, charming settings and positive messages.  I recommend it to those looking for an uplifting and wonderful story.
Highly Recommended
Win a copy!!  I have one copy to giveaway!  Enter using the rafflecopter form! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mrs. Kimble

Author: Jennifer Haigh
ISBN: 978-0-06-206261-1
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Highly Recommended
Pin It

"The defaced photos she stacked in a neat pile: Christmases, family picnics, Fourths of July, each with a jagged oval where his father's face had been."

Synopsis: A chameleon, an enigma, all things to all women—a lifeline to which powerful needs and nameless longings may be attached—Ken Kimble is revealed through the eyes of the women he seduces: Birdie, his first wife, struggling to hold herself together after his desertion; his second wife, Joan, a lonely, tragic heiress who sees her unknowable husband as her last chance for happiness; and Dinah, a beautiful but damaged woman half his age.

Author: Jennifer Haigh is the author of the New York Times bestseller Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author; Mrs. Kimble, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and was a finalist for the Book Sense Book of the Year; and The Condition.
Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She lives in the Boston area.

My Thoughts: I loved Mrs. Kimble! It is my favorite of Jennifer's books so far. The story is instantly intriguing with cleverly intertwined characters. Each character is linked by a central character, Ken Kimble. The story revolves around his three wives and the children he had as a result of those marriages. The women couldn't be more different, each has their own unique story, their own pain and a way of coping. While my heart hurt for these women, I also wanted to smack them for even thinking of getting involved with Ken Kimble. Unfortunately the story has a very true ring to it. Many women today still fall under the same traps as these women did. Out of all the characters, I have to say the children tugged on my heart strings the most. They were brought into the world innocent and were hurt in the process. For that reason alone, though there is many more, Ken Kimble is a very unlikeable character.

The reader is introduced to Birdie, the first wife, who drown her sorrows in liquor after she and her two children are abandoned by Ken Kimble. I have to say, I wanted to smack her. While I can understand the evident pain and shock, she really needed to get over it and pay attention to her hurting children. Her self-pity only increased their pain and suffering. The second wife, Joan, is a lonely woman. She had given up on the idea of love and companionship until Ken Kimble arrived. When he changes all that she is given a renewed sense of spirit. She is the only wife that was left completely alone since they did not have children. Dinah, the third wife, is the youngest. Her marriage to Ken made me sick since she is half his age and was the former baby sitter of his two older children by his first wife. However, she was the only wife who saw Ken Kimble for who he was.

The novel is wonderfully written. I connected with each character and felt their emotions vividly. The story isn't as much about Mr. Kimble and rightfully so. Though he is the reason for the story, it's about his wives, the people they are his children and the pain and hurt his actions left on them all. To me the story is a warning to women who fall into these relationships. All three women were smart and intelligent yet they let their own insecurities be their downfall. Ken Kimble is the type of man who deceives easily, using others weaknesses against them. I found myself frustrated with the wives as they all fell for his deceit. There is so much in this novel. I feel I could re-read it and gain even more insight. Again, Jennifer's writing reminds me of Jodi Picoult, thought the styles are slightly different. It was a wonderful read.
Highly Recommended