Review of “A Second Home”by Christina Clancy

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Publish date-June 2, 2020

Publisher-St. Martin’s Press

Thank you to #netgalley and #StMartinsPress for the advanced copy of this book.
I was pulled in to the Gordon family’s life from the first few pages. The book is a well developed look at how families grow together, grow apart and all the details that produce a legacy, good and bad, through the generations.
The Gordons from Milwaukee have a summer home on the Cape. It’s been in their family for generations.
This story unfolds with interaction between sisters Ann and Poppy , and Michael, who was adopted (as a teenager) by their parents.
When Ann finds out she’s pregnant, the family is never the same. Free spirit Poppy takes off on her own journey of self discovery , and Michael disappears. When the parents die, all Ann wants to do is sell everything and move on.
There is much to savor in this well written book. I definitely recommend

Review of “Just One Damned Thing After Another” by Jodi Taylor

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What a wild and crazy ride, I mean read! The cast of characters at St. Mary’s are delightful, zany and full of disastrous successes. Max leads the way as the main person in the story. She is recruited to join as a historian in the secret society of St. Mary’s. Under the auspices of Thrisk University, the undertake exploring other times and centuries, observing and recording. But never interfering in history.
The book will make you laugh and cry. I look forward to the next one! I highly recommend this book if you want a zany look at history.

Book review of “The Lost Diary of Venice” by Margaux Deroux

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Publish date June 20, 2020
Thank you #netgalley and #ballantinebooks for the opportunity to read and review this delightful book. This story unfolds in the present time and in 1571 Venice. Rose is a book restorer who has been engaged by William (an artist) to restore a tome found in his grandmother’s belongings. As she begins to restore the fragile vellum, she finds it’s a palimpsest. At the same time she finds herself drawn to William each time he visits. The story also unfolds in Venice where Gio, an artist (and William’s ancestor), is engaged to create a painting for a wealthy patron’s courtesan, Chiara, whose beauty immediately captures his heart and imagination. The author does a fine job weaving each story together as the book progresses. I felt as if I were in Venice and in Rose’s restoration room. I loved the authors use of language to create the atmosphere of each chapter. I highly recommend this book.

Review of “The Postmistress “by Sarah Blake

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I like when a book doesn’t follow the normal build up to an expected outcome. This book is set in 1941, before America enters the war.Blake writes the story of the tragedy of war. Frankie, a reporter for a NYC paper broadcasts from Murrow’s microphone in England. She then experiences first hand what happens when people are forced from their homes and are fleeing for their lives ahead of atrocities. Meanwhile Iris, the postmaster in a small town on the coast of New England, makes sure the mail is cared for every day. Her job is part of the lifeblood of a town (before technology changes everything), she watches as the cost of war takes a toll on the people of her town, even before America has entered it. Dr Will flees to London to atone for his perceived mistake, and leave a pregnant Emma behind. Their daily letters are all that connect them across the seas. The course of each character in this story inevitably collide. War affects more than the soldiers in the battles. I highly recommend this book.

Review of “The First Actress” by C. W. Gortner

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Ballantine Books
Historical Fiction
Pub Date 26 May 2020

Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC of this magnificent novel.
I’m not sure the life of Sarah Bernhardt can be completely captured in one simple book, but the author does a fantastic job of creating an indelible portrait of this amazing woman. Bernhardt was a woman ahead of her time, a woman who knee what she wanted and let nothing and no one stop her from achieving her goals.
Her early life as the daughter of a courtesan in Paris may have relegated her to a similar life, but her stubbornness and gifts took her to the pinnacle of fame during the late 1800’s. She was touted a the “Divine Sarah ” in England, America and her beloved France.
The author brilliantly brings Sarah to life in the pages of this book. Though fiction, much of what is written here is based in historical fact.
I highly recommend this book. I have loved every book I have read by CW Gortner.

Review of “The Binder of Lost Books”

Written by Christina Caboni, translated by Patricia Hampton

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thanks to Net Galley for the chance to read and review this book. As a lover of books, touching them, smelling them, enjoying the artwork and design of covers, this book intrigued me. The story is set in Rome in the present time, but also flashes back to early 1800s Munich. Sofia has to find herself again, and when visiting a favorite bookstore she’s given an old book that needs restoration. In the end page she discovers a note from Clarice, written in the 1800s. So begins a journey of discovery, as she feels connected in a deep way to Clarice and is determined to uncover her secret. I love stories about books, and this didn’t disappoint. The process of bookbinding sounds fascinating, And I must say Italy is my favorite setting for books! Sofia also finds a friend in Tomaso, who is a graphologist and together they work to find the secret left behind by Clarice I definitely recommend this book

Review of “The High Priestess Card”

Thank you Net Galley for giving me access to this book to read. This is book 3 of the Tarot series. Xana’s driver friend tells her his daughter Netta has been taken to a farm and she called to say she’s being held against her will. Before Thorne and Xana leave, she lays a 7 card spread. The High Priestess is the only major arcana card in it. She realizes she’s up against a strong female force. Thorne and Xana drive to the country and rescue Netta. When they realize murder may have been committed, they come up with a plan. An interesting twist appears when Xana talks to her mother. Another entertaining book that I recommend!

Review of The Magician Card

Thanks to Net Galley for the chance to read this. Book two of the Tarot series. This is a fun read. I love that Xana does a reading near the beginning of the book. This gives the reader an idea of how the story is going to unfold. A stranger (Asa) sees her sitting in a restuarant with her cards, and asks for a reading. Incredibly , the Celtic cross spread Xana lays for him includes 6 Major Arcana which rarely occurs. Xana knows then that she and Thorne are in for a wild ride. They are recruited to help Asa find the answers he’s seeking. Along the way, Xana takes a tumble and notices something weird is happening at her neighbors. A highly entertaining book!

Review of “The Fool”

Thanks to Net Galley for approving my request to read this book. First off, the cover of this book is what caught my eye. I love series, so I was excited to see this was the first. The author captured me from the first few paragraphs. Xana is a colorful protagonist, an independent woman with a self assurance I love. When Thorne crashes the car into her house and stumbles in bleeding from a gunshot wound the intrigue begins. Xana helps him as best she can and when he passes out, she lays down a five card tarot spread. When The Fool is the centerpiece she knows she’s in for a ride. Xana’s intuition is an important part of her success. The beginning of a great friendship is established in the book. The way Xana and Thorne work together is fun to read. I definitely recommend this book.

A snowy Saturday

I am sitting on my heating pad on a snowy Saturday evening. I tried to open a frozen card door yesterday and when I pulled the handle my back went into a spasm-therefore the heating pad! I have enjoyed watching college basketball and surfing the internet today, since I wasn’t able to really do anything else! 

I have been thinking a lot about my brother too. He was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. He will find out next week,after they remove a lymph node , what type of lymphoma he has. If you happen to read this post a little prayer on my brother Rick’s behalf would be really appreciated. I sincerely believe in the power of prayer and I know that a community of believers engaged in prayer for a person has great power. 

Here is what it looks like outside our house today-Image

this picture was taken during a previous storm, but it looks the same today! Except it is still snowing and if it were still daylight I would have a current one to post. But since I wasn’t able to move very well today this picture will suffice.

I am also enjoying the newest book in the series of books written by Patrick Taylor- An Irish Country Wedding. If you like stories written with the flavor of the language and culture of Ireland, you will definitely like these books. They have made me laugh and cry and I totally enjoy hearing the brogue echo in my mind as I read the words!. 

Thankfully my hubby is on the mend. He developed the nasty flu bug last Saturday and had a fever until Wednesday morning. Today was the first day he acted like he had any energy at all. It really knocks one down; my hubby never sits once he is out of bed and going. He is constant motion. And all he has done until today was either lay in bed or recline on his chair. So it is definitely a kicker!!! I have not gotten it and knock on wood I am not going to get it!!!

We have to help my daughter move the rest of her things from her apartment in one town to her new apartment in the big city! Tomorrow is the day and it should be interesting seeing as it is to continue to snow until tomorrow night! Thank goodness we have a 4 wheel drive truck that will get us where we need to go. But it is a trek of about an hour from our farm to the first apartment; and then another hour from there to her new apartment! I will be glad when the day is done and the task is accomplished! And hopefully we will be home before the Super Bowl starts. I would like to see some of the pregame festivities even though my team (The Steelers!!!) is not in it!

I have some cards to finish and then I plan to post them on the blog. 

Have a cozy warm and toasty evening!