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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Book Review: Irena's Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo

This is not the first book I have read about this true story, but it is one of my favorites. Irena Sendler was a social worker who used the welfare system to help her reach children she would not have been able to help otherwise. Her story is not one that many have heard of or are familiar with.  She had many collaborators whose stories are also touched on throughout this book. Many of these collaborators, Irena included, were imprisoned, tortured, and some even killed, but none gave up Irena and her network. Irena was very skilled at coming up with new and inventive ways to help children escape from the ghetto. I am so glad that the author was able to bring more of Irena and her helpers stories to light so that this story was not lost to history. Thousands of children were saved because of this group of people and their bravery. If you want to read about heroes, get this book!!!

*Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I Would Name My Pets After

I love animals. I currently am the mom to 11 cats and 5 dogs. My parents also have 9 cats and 2 dogs, which I spend a lot of time with, and treat like they are my own. SO, this subject is not a hard one for me. Many of our animals have been named after characters. Since my whole family are huge movie fans, I am going to divide this into 5 book characters and 5 movie characters. I will stick with names I have used. The animal pictures are actual pictures of my animals named after these characters. I would appreciate it if these pictures were not shared.

Bookish Names:

5) Sawyer     This name was after Tom Sawyer from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.  This was a beautiful blue gray male cat that was very curious, and loved to explore. He was inquisitive and loving.


4) Savage    My son has a beagle named Savage after Savage Sam by Fred Gipson.  Savvy as we call him is far from savage. He is a very high energy beagle. My dad used to raise beagles and I do not remember having one with as much gumption as Savvy.


3) Bunny Blue   I actually have used this name for two of my pets. We have an all black German Shepherd female whose name is Isis Blue. We also have a long haired male Chihuahua named Cubby Bunny, who is known as Pup Pup.  This book was my favorite as a child. My Grandma would read it to me every time I asked her to. When my Grandma passed away I was given this book from her collection.

                                                                     Isis Blue

                                                                     Cubby Bunny

2) Caspian      We had a beautiful Snowshoe cat. At the time we were given him by a close friend I was reading The Hollow by Jessica Verday. So I elected to name him Casper, which was a nod to Caspian.


1)  Little Ann    Little Ann is my dad's chocolate lab. She is sweet and loving. She is named after Little Ann from Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

                                                                       Lil' Ann

Movie Names:

5) Chewy     Chewy is because he liked to chew on everything as a kitten, but he never would have been Chewy without Star Wars. Chewy is a boy and a Ragdoll.

  4) Flower   Flower is a boy. He is named after the skunk on Bambi. He is a cat with patchwork of white and striped brown and black.

 3) Buddy     Buddy is named after the Disney Air Bud movies. He was a big, beautiful dog that was half Golden Retriever, half Irish Setter. He was big, and klutzy, but a giant teddy bear who would protect the kids no matter what!

2) Sydney     Sydney was named after Annette Bening's character from the movie The American President. Sydney was a girl and a cat. She was given to me by my parents when I was in college. When I moved out my mom would not let me take her with me, so she stayed with my parents. She was patchy with white and black.

1) Sinbad        Sinbad was a boy cat. He was Siamese. He was named after the movie The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

*You can see all the other Top Ten Lists at The Broke and The Bookish.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

True Crime Book Review********Confession of a Serial Killer: The Untold Story of Dennis Rader, The BTK Killer

This true crime expose was written by Katherine Ramsland, one of the True Crime Queens of writing! She also writes about Vampires, Cemeteries, Ghosts, and other creepy things!! Needless to say I am a fangirl!
Climbing into the mind of a serial killer is not for the faint of heart! This one is hard to read. You might find yourself cringing a lot or needing to take a break.
Ramsland does a good job of pulling us into Rader's world. She does her best to help us come to grips with his twisted mind. This is an insightful read into a touchy subject!

*Thank you to NetGalley, Katherine Ramsland, and the Publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review: A Better Truth by Valerie Joan Connors

This story was just okay. I did like Grace, and would like to hear more from her. She was my favorite character by far. The jumping around in time made the story hard to follow and connect with.
I did enjoy the twists and turns. The ending took me by surprise. All in all, just okay!

*Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author, for a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review: Faultlines by Barbara Taylor Sissel

I only had one problem with the storyline. There was an overabundance of characters, which left me confused as to where they all fit in. That being said, I did enjoy the story!
The story moved at a fast pace and held my attention throughout. The mystery aspects were well done. I figured out a few, but many surprised me. I was sad and sympathized with the issues the characters were dealing with.

*Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher, for a copy in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review: The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

Faith's sister is stolen and miraculously returned years later. Faith is resentful and jealous. While reading you constantly get the feeling that something is off, but you can't quite put your finger on it.
The storyline moves quickly and is interesting. The author does a wonderful job of showing that an abduction effects everyone in the family, not just the victim.
The ending blew me away and fits perfectly with the characters. This is the best I have read in a while!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

Book Review: Karolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson

WHY has no one told me about Ronald H. Balson?  Karolina's Twins is the third book in a series about a husband and wife team of lawyers and investigators. Yes, this is the third book, but you do not have to read the previous titles for this one to make sense. Liam and Catherine are very interesting characters so I am adding the previous titles to my TBR list.
A Holocaust survivor named Lena obtains Catherine to help her search for her friend's twins who were lost during the war. Catherine becomes a champion for Lena, willing to do anything to protect her and her story. Lena's story is remarkable and very well told. Liam takes up the investigation part of the case searching everywhere for the twins.
The story moves between a historical setting, Lena's backstory, and the modern story of the investigation. I enjoyed both storylines and settings and enjoyed all the main characters. I am looking forward to more by this author!

*Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing me an uncorrected e-copy in exchange for an honest review*