Fixing the classic pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving

Guest post written by Rick Sparks

I didn't get to eat pumpkin pie a whole lot when I was younger. I guess it was really just a holiday only deal. So I think that's a reason that I love the dessert so much and always look forward to meals when I'm going to have it. So now every year I'm always the one that handles fixing a pumpkin pie for our family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I love making it and it's also an easy way to ensure that we're going to eat some.

I always like to look up some recipes to see if there's another variation of pumpkin pie that I could fix. I started looking with our wireless internet Chesterfield a few weeks ago and I found all kinds of stuff. Pumpkin goes well with so many other flavors, so there are all kinds of possibilities!

I'm not sure which kind of pumpkin pie I'm going to fix yet, but I'm sure that there won't be any leftovers of it, regardless. There never has and probably never will be.


Want to Review The Initiate by Megg Jensen?

A short story bridging the Cloud Prophet Trilogy and The Swarm Trilogy


Before Anathema...

Before Sleepers...

There was The Initiate

Over a thousand years ago, the gods left Eloh's people and took their magic with them. To win back their favor, her people sacrifice ten female initiates every ten years. No has ever survived. There has never been a Chosen One.

Forced into becoming an initiate, Eloh will try to find a way to beat the odds, stay with her boyfriend, and survive the fires that threaten to consume her. But will her lack of faith in the gods and her disbelief in their magic doom her to a painful death?

If you are a blogger and want to review The Initiate by Megg Jensen please leave me your email address in the comments below!


Television gives mom a break

Post contributed by Josue Durham

I always planned on my child being smart. I wanted him to always read books and play with the educational toys. I wanted to avoid television because it was not challenging. At least that was the plan in the beginning. When reality set in, I have never been more thankful for my direct tv than I am now. I did not realize how difficult it can be to raise a child. There are some days I wish I was still working. I always thought being at home would be relaxing and easy, but that is far from the truth. Sometimes I think my child is plotting against me. I know it might sound crazy, but I really think that. The television has become my “coffee break”. When everything is non-stop, it is nice to be able to have a moment to myself. Currently I am able to get that when Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is on. I guess that means I am also very thankful to Walt Disney. I think I love Mickey more now than I did as a kid.


Happy Holidays!

It's already Christmas time. I can't believe how fast this year flew by. I hope everybody has a happy and safe Christmas! I will see you all next year!



Posted by Arden Wallace

I visited DirectStarTV.com and upgraded our television package. I have been watching the morning television news shows now every morning. I saw a really interesting segment on the “Today Show” today. A professor was arrested recently because some kid brought alcohol into his teenage son’s party. The professor was arrested and charged with forty-five counts of child endangerment ( the number of kids that were at the party). Honestly, I felt sorry for the dad that was facing up to a year in jail. I couldn’t believe that they were holding him accountable. I remember being in high school and going to parties at houses and kids were always sneaking alcohol into the parties. The parents couldn’t monitor everyone. I can’t imagine having a party at my house and that happening and me being carted off to jail. It almost makes me want to completely avoid having people over to my house. You just never know what teenagers are up to, if you are held responsible for them sneaking something in the house, I think that I would be too scared to throw a party!



Sorry I have been MIA lately. I haven't really had a whole lot of free time to read. But I've got a lot of new books to read for the new year! I didn't quite reach my goal of 75 books this year, I think I'm only at 69. Close though. If you want to see all the books I get, you can always go to The Blogging Book. Thanks!


Watching too much TV

Contributed by Maria Ruiz

We got cannonsatellite for the house and all I’ve been watching nonstop is AMC. I never would have thought the shows on there would be for me but when it comes to Mad Men, there’s not a better show on television. I love John Hamm and all the cast and I can’t wait for it to come back on! You know what else I’m excited about? That show The Walking Dead where the zombies take over the world – now THAT’S a good one. I’m not even usually into horror stuff like that but it’s just artfully done and there’s a lot of plot behind all the gory stuff. I’m sad Breaking Badis off for the season but it had one heck of a season finale and I’ve heard last year is the last season so it will be pretty cool when it’s all said and done and all the cards are on the table. I just can’t wait to see how the whole show pans out!


Thank you , God, for Blessing Me

Title: Thank You, God, for Blessing Me
Author: Max Lucado
Illustrations:Frank Endersby
Genre: Children's Board Book
Source: Book Sneeze


Meet Little Hermie—the cutest baby caterpillar in the garden! Little Hermie’s thankful heart shows toddlers how to be thankful for God’s blessings.
Little Hermie is thankful for everything God has given him. He goes through his day thanking God for his many blessings in this adorable board book with flocking on the cover!


I thought this was a very cute book. My 4 year old loved it! It's a story about Hermie, the Caterpillar, and he praying to thank god for all the things he has blessed him with. For a place to sleep, food to eat, friends and family. I think this is a good book for children.



Night Night Blessings

Title: Night Night Blessings
Author: Amy Parker
Illustrations: Marijan Ramlijak
Genre: Children's
Format: Hardcover
Source: Book Sneeze


Cuddle up with your little ones and count all the blessings God put in their day.
This book is a precious way to put your little ones to bed at night and fill their thoughts with the many good things that have filled their day. It's a great way to teach them gratitude and help them sleep soundly at night.
Whether it's Mommy's goodnight kisses, Grandpa's comfy lap, or pancakes stacked THIS high, there are so many blessings to count before bed! Written in rhyme and coupled with adorable illustrations, this follow up book to best-selling Night Night Prayer will be an instant bedtime hit.


This is a very cute story. My 4 year old loved it! The book is about a little girl, and you follow her through her day and what she is thankful for. I think this is a good story fot children, it shoes them even though they are little they can still thank god for what they have in life.



Getting all the dorm room essentials pulled together

I'm so glad that they make more things for dorm rooms than back when I was in college. I don't' even recall having a fridge. I think that I just had a hot plate! I know that my daughter would just die without a microwave and fridge in her dorm room. We're still working on pulling together all of her things for her dorm room before she moves in about a week or so.
I've been looking a lot to see if I'm forgetting anything that she'll need. While I was double checking some dorm room musts online, I ran across the website CLEAR-INTERNET.com. Once I looked through it a little bit, I decided to change over our home internet access to it.
There were a few things that I had overlooked, like a shower caddy and shower shoes. So we're picking up some of those tomorrow. Those are absolute essentials and I can't believe I almost forgot them! We've heard that her dorm is one of the newer ones and it's supposed to be nicer, but I guess that you never really know.

Guest post written by Estelle Graham


Long Time, No See

Sorry I haven't posted on here in a long time. I have been backed up with Author Requested Reviews, going out of town, and spending time with both sides of my family. I fell like there isn't enough time in the day..

Well I just stumbled across this pretty cool site today and wanted to let you know about it.

It's pretty much a search engine where they pull up where to get the cheapest books. Which I am always looking for a good deal. They have titles like Pretty Little Liars, Harry Potter.

They have Romance books, Childrens books, Comic Books, Cook Books, Sports books, Science fiction/ Fantasy books.

Its a pretty awesome site. You should check it out some time!

That's it for me.. In the mean time head on over to The Blogging Book and check out some of my reviews.


The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

Title :The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck
Series: Women of the West Series #3
Author: Kathleen Y'Barbo
Genre: Adult Histoical Romance
Format: Paperback, 352pp
Source: Waterbrook Multnomah
Author Website


Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away

Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.
Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.
But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?


I really do need to start researching a book before I get it. Yet again this is the middle of a series. Although I didn't feel very lost while reading. This book is well written, good details. The book is set in London in 1887, where your family picks your husband. Charlotte and Alex drive each other crazy, but Charlotte's father makes them an offer they can't refuse. If they agree to marry, Charlotte is free to pursue a degree for four years and he will pay off the debts the Hambly family owes. The two agree, secretly planning to annul the marriage as soon as they can. But their feelings change, and in the end realize that the marriage may not have been so inconvenient after all. Over all it was a cute story.



Check This Out!

I am hosting a Giveaway on The Blogging Book. I have 4 copies of The Billionaires Unexpected Heir by Kathy DeNosky up for grabs. If you or someone you know would be interested please check out my other blog. The giveaway ends 06.29.11

Becoming the new owner of Hickory Hills Thoroughbred farm was not in billionaire Jake Garnier's plans. Becoming a father was even more unimaginable. For his new business came with one Heather McGwire, ranch manager...and mother to Jake's secret child.
After barely surviving his own father's desertion, Jake knew he couldn't walk away from his responsibilities. Marriage seemed the only solution. Yet Heather wouldn't settle for simple sweet talk and seduction. If Jake wanted a real family, he'd have to saddle up for the long ride.

You can read my review here.


I am an Emotional Creature

Title: I am an Emotional Creature
Author: Eve Ensler
Genre:Women's Studies, Drama
Format: Paperback, 192 pp
Source: Random House Publishing


In this daring book, internationally acclaimed author and playwright Eve Ensler offers fictional monologues and stories inspired by girls around the globe. Fierce, tender, and smart, I Am an Emotional Creature is a celebration of the authentic voice inside every girl and an inspiring call to action for girls everywhere to speak up, follow their dreams, and become the women they were always meant to be.


This book is so true. Eve asks questions everyone wants to know, but is to scared to ask. Even me. This book is full of little stories bunched together. They're all about what girls go through, all around the world. It's about eating disorders, sex, pleasing everyone but your self, drugs, cutting, being pregnant. So different, yet so much the same. It's been a few years since I was in High School, but I remember it like it was yesterday. Every thing she says, I had been there, heard or saw it happen. It is so crazy to think back on those days. Every girl goes through it and there's no way to stop it. I wish my 13 year old sister could read this. maybe it would help her through some tough times to come.
 Don't have sex with the jock so you can hang with the popular girls. It's not worth it. After high school you will most likely not even talk to one person you went to school with.It is comforting to know that I am not the only person that went through those things.
If there was one message I got from this book it would be, stand up for your self. Looking back now I wish I could have read this book. I suggest every girl, teen, and woman read this. It helps you remember, relate, cope.



Author Interview - Leonard D. Hilley II

I am very excited to have Leonard D. Hilley II at The Blogging Book today! Leonard is the author of The Darkness Series. I have read all three, they are amazing! They keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

You can catch Leonard around the web here: Blog | Facebook

Welcome Leonard!

Born in Middletown, OH, in 1966.
1998 graduate from Morehead State University (B.S. biology)
Currently live in the mountains of Kentucky

In one sentence only, why should we read your books? 
If you’d like to be taken away on a suspense-thrill ride that keeps you guessing until the very end, you’d probably enjoy my Darkness series.

What inspired you with the idea for this Series? 
The opening sentence: “Dropping a cat from the top of a ten story office building was not the best way to remain hidden, but it was necessary.”  That sentence came to me one night, and I just had to write it down.  The rest evolved from that.  I didn’t have any plot, characters, theme, just that one sentence.  

About how long does it take you to write a book? 
Generally, about one year from start to finish.

How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?   
I believe the genre chose me.  My muse tends to be the one that keeps me here.

What was/is the easiest/hardest part about writing these books? 
I actually finished my biology degree to learn more about the scientific knowledge needed to write this series.  I’ve always loved biology so that was enjoyable in itself.  The hardest part is when I cannot see what is happening.  If I cannot see it, I cannot write it.

Is there anything you wish was different about the books? 

Of the books that you have written, which is your favorite? 
I cannot honestly pick one above the other.  That’s almost like asking which of my children do I love the most.  Why?  I can’t make that type of choice.

What's a typical working day like for you? 
Coffee and revisions first.  Then, I began working from there. 

When/where do you write?  I work in my home office. 
Do you set a daily writing goal? 
Not really.  I hope to get 3-5 pages written per day.  Sometimes I hit three good pages, and I’ve had the fortune of ten-plus pages some days.

What’s the best thing about being an author?  
Seeing my worlds come to life and the characters working through their situations.

Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books? 
I love Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and Roger Zelazny.  The Amber series by Zelazny is one of my favorites.

 If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. Which would it be? 
Probably one of the Amber books.  I love the world Zelazny set up.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?  
Keep writing.  Great writing comes from lots of revision.  Write, write, write!

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? 
I’m working on the fourth book in my series and the first book of a dark fantasy series.  I hope to have both finished later this year.

You said you are currently working on a screenplay for Predators of Darkness, what would be your dream cast? 
Hugh Jackman, Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Jennifer Anniston to name a few.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I can't wait for #4 of the Darkness Series!

You can check out my reviews here:
Predators of Darkness | Beyond the Darkness | The Game of Pawns


THe Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World

Title: The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World
Author: Susan Veness
Genre: Travel
Format: Paperback, 242pp
Author Website


Sure, it?s the Happiest Place on Earth, but how much do the 45 million-plus people who visit the Disney World theme parks annually really know about it? From where to find all the hidden Mickeys to the truth behind Madame Leota?s ring at the Haunted Mansion, readers learn all about the hidden magic that permeates these fabulous resorts in this tell-all handbook. Readers also get the insider?s take on:
  • The smell of home-baked cookies on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom
  • The Fountain of World Friendship in Epcot that contains water from rivers and oceans around the globe
  • Walt Disney?s opening day speech tapped out in Morse Code in Frontierland
  • The eco-friendly benches (recycled milk jugs) in the Animal Kingdom
  • Two versions of The Great Movie Ride at Disney?s Hollywood Studios

Complete with secret tips from Disney?s Imagineers, this book is the perfect in-park companion for Disney World fans.


This is a very informative book.. It seems like Susan took the time to write out every detail. Every sight, smell, sound. Things you would never even think of while riding rides or walking down the street. I have never been to Walt Disney World, but I don't even pay that much attention to my local theme park. This would be a good souvenir for a first timer or even a WDW veteran. With this book you could get a whole new perspective from Disney World. We plan on taking a trip next year, so I'm brushing up on all my Disney facts.
I received this book for free from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.



The Game of Pawns

Title: The Game of Pawns
Series: The Darkness Series #3
Author: Leonard D. Hilley II
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller
Author Website
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Twelve execution-style murders have occurred in Newark, New Jersey, in less than a week. Each murder has a calling card - a red pawn on each corpse. Kat Gaddis and Lucian investigate the homicides and discover the last four victims were employed by GenTech, a company that recently merged with Mech Cybernetics. After FBI director Mike Carpenter shares evidence with Kat, they soon discover political ties and corruptions that place Kat's life in direct danger. New players emerge and what seems like serial murders suddenly becomes a struggle for biotech knowledge and power. Kat is thrust into their game - The Game of Pawns.

Warning! This Post Contains Spoilers! If you have not read Beyond the Darkness turn back now!


This series just get better and better! Back again for round three, even more players are coming forward in this game of who can become number one. How much can these people take? Every time they think they have solved the mystery and they start to relax, they find themselves thrown right back into the mix with even more players and even more twists and turns.

I am so happy Lucian and Kat are together! They deserve happiness, and I'm so glad the realized the love they have for each other! I love the fact that Morton has new friends to talk to! It kind of broke my heart about Lydia and Lucas.. I hope they can work things out. You would think by now Dr. Helmsby would have  learned his lesson.. Think before you sign.. It could prove to be useful..

I hope this isn't the end. There are so many questions left unanswered. If I havent said it enough, YOU HAVE TO READ THIS SERIES. Leonard is a very talented writer. He pulls you right into the series and doesnt let you go. You can read the first chapter here. Trust me, you will want to read the whole thing!
I received this book for free from Leonard D. Hilley II in exchange for my honest review.


Be on the look out for an Author Interview with Leonard D. Hilley II. Coming soon..


In My Mailbox (1)

Hosted by Kristy at The Story Siren,  inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.
Where we post about books we have received 
during the week via mailbox, local library, or store bought, etc. 

For Review

The Game of Pawns - Leonard D. Hilley II (eBook)


The Blue Girl - Charles deLint


Flight of Shadows

Title: Flight of Shadows
Series: A Caitlyn Brown Novel #2
Author: Sigmund Brouwer
Genre: Sci-Fi Christain Fiction
Author Website


Her genetic secret could change humanity forever.
Her DNA grants her the ultimate power.
But all she wants is to disappear.

Looming buildings rise into the sky of a near-future America, shadowing the desperate poverty of the soovie parks, death doctors, and fear bombs. In this world of walled cities, where status matters most, Caitlyn Brown is desperate to remain invisible, wrongly believing what she needs to hide is the deformity on her back. The powerful want her for so much more.

She’s forced to take flight again, relying on the help of Razor, a street-smart illusionist she can’t trust. Her only hope is to reach friends already tracked by government.

With a twisted bounty hunter in full pursuit, she and Razor begin to learn the unthinkable about her past and the unique gifts of her DNA. It leads Caitlyn to a choice between the two men who love her, and whether to keep her freedom or sacrifice herself to change human destiny.

In this lightning-fast chase through an all-too-plausible future, best-selling author Sigmund Brouwer is at his best. Flight of Shadows is a terrifying ride into the heart of compelling moral questions about science and society.


Flight of Shadows is the sequel to Brouwer's 2008 release, Broken Angel. I didn’t realize this was book 2 of a series until after I had already gotten the book. I went ahead and read it any ways. That may be the reason why I felt somewhat lost/confused in the first few chapters. The world is well crafted, but it took me a few chapters to fully understand what was going on.
Flight of Shadows is a fictional story that takes place in the future after a series of wars. This story is about Caitlyn who was genetically engineered. Because of this engineering, she has many people hunting her. She is trying to blend in with the working class of her day--the Invisibles. She just wants to hide in the shadows and keep her gift a secret. She’s not even sure if she can trust the only person wanting to help her.
Even though this is a Christain Fiction, Brouwer refrains from preaching. Instead he relys on the story to tell the horrs of DNA manipulation. He offers this as a warning, the dangers lie in the abuse of cheap illegal immigrant workers, the decline of civil liberties, and the exploitation of science for the pleasures of the privileged few.This is a very interesting story. I would recommend it to Sci-Fi or Fiction Lovers.
 I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.



Beyond the Darkness

Title: Beyond the Darkness
Series: The Darkness Series #2
Author: Leonard D. Hilley II
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller
Author Website
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The Darkness Continues . . .

Three years after Daniel and the other survivors escaped the terrorizing, blood-thirsty shifters in Pittsburgh, his friends have moved forward with their lives, but Daniel cannot. He believes the conspiracies within TransGenCorp have not ended and more shifters exist.

Then Daniel receives a phone call from Lucas that bolsters his paranoia.

Lucas is being charged with murders he insists his clone committed.

Daniel soon discovers darker atrocities are emerging, which not only place his life in immense danger, but all his friends as well. 

!This Post Contains Spoilers! If you have not read Predators of Darkness turn back now!


Another great read from Leonard D. Hilley II. This author has a way with words, they come to life on the page. This story continues three years after they escape Pittsburgh. Everyone has moved on, started living life again. Everyone except Daniel. He knows this isn't over. The next morning he gets a call from Lucas saying he's in jail for murder. Everyone knows Lucas is a dare devil but he would never murder anyone. Daniels fears are coming true.. 

There is no down time with his stories, he jumps right into the good stuff, and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time!

In Predators of Darkness you meet Lucas' clone, Lucian. He doesn't seem like a bad guy to me. He's like a child. He just wants someone to love him. He's tired of the way Idris treats him. I kind of felt sorry for him in this book. When he tries to get close to someone they always turn on him. I think he wants to be good he just needs someone on his side.
Morton.. I absolutely love that cat! I love his smart alack remarks. And It broke my heart when he gets shot at the apartment, and he knows he dying. He just wants to see Felicia one more time. That part definitely made me cry. He still kicked some major butt, If I was in trouble I would want someone like Morton on my side!
I feel like I know these people. When they set off in the story and you're following them you have to urge to yell at the book to let them know that something bad is about to happen. Ugh, I was so nervous I bit all my finger nails off.

And just when you thought this series couldn't get any better, Leonard D. Hilley throws this book in you face!
To top it all off there's a book number three! It makes you wonder if he knows something and he's trying to warn us?? A little Dr. Helmsby going on here? If you like the review, go read the first chapter here! This is an amazing series, we need to spread the word. As long as Leonard keeps writing, I will keep reading what he puts out there!
I received this book for free from Leonard D. Hilley II in exchange for my honest review.



Predators of Darkness: Aftermath

Title: Predators of Darkness: Aftermath
Series: The Darkness Series #1
Author: Leonard D. Hilley II
Genre: Sci-fi Thriller
Format: eBook, 233pp
Author Website
"like" him on


Fear What Lurks In The Shadows

The desolate streets of downtown Pittsburgh in 2073 are a reminder of the missile attack that forever changed the lives of the surviving scientists and students hidden in the fallout shelter of Helmsby's Genetic Research Center. Believing themselves to be the only survivors, they station themselves inside the center until food supplies near depletion. Thinking the fallout has lessened, they emerge three years later to discover strange creatures patrolling the streets in search of human flesh and blood. The creatures possess the ability to shift their genomes and alter their appearances by realigning their genetic sequences. Daniel Hutchinson, their leader, teams with Lucas Ridale and together they set out to scavenge the area for food and supplies with the hope to find other survivors. But Daniel's most recent journey uncovers mysteries more frightening than the shifters. He discovers the tip of Pittsburgh has been fenced off from the rest of the area. Low-flying helicopters observe the streets, making him ponder the question: Were the shifters released as simply part of a military experiment with humans being their prey?


Wow! That's all I have to say. Wow! This book completely took me by surprise. A very pleasant surprise at that. I was captivated from the very first sentence, all the way to the very end. And of course it's left open for another book! I am so happy for that! It was really hard for me to put this book down. The book is very well thought out, so many twists and turns you don't have time to get bored. The way he goes into detail just blows my mind. Predators of Darkness played like a movie running through my head.  I have so much to say about this book but it seems like everything is connected in one way or another, and I don't want to giveaway any details. This is a must read. I don't understand why more people don't know about this series! Go check it out, you can read the first chapter for free! This book is definitely one of my top 5 favorites!

I received this book for free from Leonard D. Hilley II in exchange for my honest review.



Eat Your Peas,Mom

Click the Pic to buy from Amazon

Title: Eat Your Peas, Mom
Author: Cheryl Karpen
Genre: Inspirational, Gifts
Format: Hard Cover, 80pp
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Author Website


A delightful book to give Mom to prove you DID listen to her advice, wit, and wisdom.
If you want a special way to celebrate your mother, look no more! Eat Your Peas® Mom is a 3-minute read with a forever message. Upon opening this little package, her heart will smile through the pages filled with affirmation, appreciation, and gratitude expressed for all the ways she loves and cares for you. Each page is artfully hand-illustrated for a charming and homespun feel. It's a perfect keepsake and reminder for Mom to hold onto forever.


This is a very cute book! I know it will be a great Mothers Day gift! When you are young your parents often make you mad over the smallest things. I know mine always told me I would understand when I had kids of my own. As much as you hate when your parents are right, they were. This cute little story is the perfect reminder of that, and lets mom know that you did listen to her advice and you truly love her. The illustrations give it the perfect home-made, hand crafted look that will melt Mom's heart. I would highly recommend this book for all the mothers out there!
I received this book for free from Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.




The Shape of Mercy

Title: The Shape of Mercy
Author: Susan Meissner
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback, 320pp
Author Website


“We understand what we want to understand.”
Leaving a life of privilege to strike out on her own, Lauren Durough breaks with convention and her family’s expectations by choosing a state college over Stanford and earning her own income over accepting her ample monthly allowance. She takes a part-time job from 83-year-old librarian Abigail Boyles, who asks Lauren to transcribe the journal entries of her ancestor Mercy Hayworth, a victim of the Salem witch trials.
Almost immediately, Lauren finds herself drawn to this girl who lived and died four centuries ago. As the fervor around the witch accusations increases, Mercy becomes trapped in the worldview of the day, unable to fight the overwhelming influence of snap judgments and superstition, and Lauren realizes that the secrets of Mercy’s story extend beyond the pages of her diary, living on in the mysterious, embittered Abigail.
The strength of her affinity with Mercy forces Lauren to take a startling new look at her own life, including her relationships with Abigail, her college roommate, and a young man named Raul. But on the way to the truth, will Lauren find herself playing the helpless defendant or the misguided judge? Can she break free from her own perceptions and see who she really is?


Wow! I could not put this book down. Susan Meissner captivates you from page one. Susan's fictional story of three generations of woman is beautiful woven.

Lauren is from a wealthy family. She chooses to break away from the life she has been given. she loves her father but wants to break out of the Durough mold.  She’s a college student trying to make a life of her own. She gets a job transcribing a 300+ year old diary that belongs to a family member that had no children to pass it along to. Lauren immediately gets lost in the world of Mercy, a young woman living during the Salem Witch Trials. She finds herself being drawn into a tale that she knows will end tragically but she finds she cannot stop herself from reading. As she continues with her work, Lauren begins to see how a girl who lived centuries ago shares the same feelings that she herself feels today. This is a book tells a story of love lost and found, self-discovery, sacrifice, and the dangers of making assumptions.

This book was absolutely amazing! Heart-wrenching, bittersweet, mysterious, and all together brilliant. Susan Meissner is an incredibly gifted storyteller.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.



The Promises She Keeps

Title: The Promises She Keeps
Author: Erin Healy
Genre: Christian Fiction/Suspense
Format: Paperback, 352pp
Author Website


It's her destiny to die young. The man who loves her can't live with that.
Promise, a talented young singer with a terminal illness, is counting on fame to keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging sorceress and art collector in search of immortality.
When Promise inexplicably survives a series of freak accidents, Porta believes that she may hold the key to eternal life.
Enter Chase, an autistic artist who falls in love with Promise and fascinates her with his mysterious visions and drawings.
Soon, all are plunged into a flesh-and-blood confrontation over the mystery and the cost of something even greater than eternal life…eternal love.


Promise has horrible luck. All in 25 days she fell off a cliff, got ran over by a car, got electrocuted, and trapped in a basement that was on fire. On top of that she has Cystic Fibrosis. She doesn't expect to live long, but she doesn't have a death wish either. This was an odd book, I still don't understand the meaning behind it. I know it was supposed to have an inspiring message in it but I didn't catch it. It left me with more questions than I began with. I get angry with books when the characters don't do something I think they should do, like ask questions or listen to what people are saying. There were too many secrets, the reader kind of knew what was going on, but the characters were to stubborn to listen. Over all it was a pretty good book.



The Insider

Title: The Insider
Author: Reece Hirsch
Genre: Legal Thriller
Format: Paperback, 330pp
Author Website


First corporate attorney Will Connelly's colleague hurtles to his death outside his office window. Within days, Will is a prime suspect in a murder, the target of an S.E.C. insider trading investigation, and a pawn in a complex criminal scheme involving the Russian mafia and a ruthless terrorist plot. Now, to top things off, he must ensure a deadly enemy doesn't gain access to the nation's most sensitive and confidential information-that has the power to do incalculable, irrevocable harm.


The Insider is not one of my usual genres but Hirsch totally knocked my socks off. This was a fast pace read, the characters very likable. This book had so many twists and turns I couldn’t put it down. I would turn the pages faster and faster, I couldn’t get enough. Then it was over, and I regretted it. The story kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I hope Reece brings more books to the table; he could easily become one of my favorite authors!



Early Review: Kat, Incorrigible

Title: Kat, Incorrigible
Series: Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson Series , #1
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction (10 up)
Format: ARC, 304pp
Release Date: 04/05/11


Take one part magic, two parts adventure, and a dash of cross-dressing, add two unwed sisters, a bumbling father, and a stepmother with her petticoats in a twist, and you're in for an unlikely adventure through nineteenth-century England like Jane Austen never dreamed it. 

Katherine Ann Stephenson has just discovered that she's inherited her mother's magical talents, and despite Stepmama's stern objections, she's determined to learn how to use them. But with her eldest sister Elissa's intended fiance, the sinister Sir Neville, showing a dangerous interest in Kat's magical potential; her other sister, Angeline, wreaking romantic havoc with her own witchcraft; and a highwayman lurking in the forest, even Kat's reckless heroism will be tested to the utmost. If she can learn to control her new powers, will Kat be able to rescue her family and win her sisters their true love?


Let me start out by saying that this is a very cute story. It’s about 3 sisters who have just discovered they have magical powers. It’s the typical fairy tale where the mother died when the kids were young so the father marries the wicked stepmother. They have an older brother who is in over his head with gambling debts, and Stepmama has convinced Elissa that she has to marry the wealthy Sir Neville so the family doesn’t go to debtor’s prison. Stepmama arranges for them to meet at a month long house party at the Grantham Abbey. But it seems Sir Neville is more interested in magic, than finding a wife. Kat has to learn to control her new found powers so she can rescue her family and win her sisters true loves. I found the first part of the book pretty slow. It didn’t really pick up for me until about chapter 15. I feel Kat is always defending her self. She doesn’t care if people talk about but she is scared of people thinking she’s weak or scared. Every other sentence she was second guessing herself, or asking what would mama do? What would Angeline do? She’s only 12 but I don’t every remember doing that. And it always seemed like she was running away from everything, when she first found the Golden Hall, after her fight with Lady Fotherington, she tried to get home as fast as she could, the second time in the Golden Hall when Mr. Gregson asked to be her tutor she ran away. It is a very cute story but it is definitely for a younger reader.


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