Saturday, March 30, 2019

Book Spotlight Giveaway! Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly #AngelBurn


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.

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Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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Angel Burn

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly 
Series: Angel #1
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Candlewick Press

Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does.

Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.

In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip - and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.

They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind. 

 


About the author

L.A. Weatherly

Lee Weatherly was born in 1967 and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. She lives with her husband in Hampshire, England, where she writes, goes on walks, tries out new recipes and has a cat named Bernard.

L.A. Weatherly is the pseudonym for Lee Weatherly. You can follow her on Twitter at @LA_Weatherly. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Lee




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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Release Day! Random Acts of Kindness by Dete Meserve and Rachel Greco ~ Giveaway! #RandomActsOfKindness

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Congrats Dete and Rachel
on the release today of
Random Acts of Kindness!

Random Acts of Kindness by Dete Meserve and Rachel Greco
Print and e-book, 210 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Melrose Hill Publishing

A disabled veteran in Oregon opens his front door to find that an anonymous Good Samaritan has left him a brand-new riding mower.

In Oklahoma City, a woman who has just lost her job is amazed when a stranger swoops in and pays for her groceries.

In snowy Boston, warm blankets mysteriously appear on park benches throughout the city with a note: “These blankets are not lost! If you are cold, without shelter, and looking for comfort, then they are for you. Enjoy, and know that you are loved.”

The true, inspiring tales in Random Acts of Kindness spotlight ordinary people from age nine to one hundred who have found unique ways to show compassion and make a difference. Some of these stories will warm your heart and make you laugh; others will make you smile; and a few might make you cry—in a good way—with the joy of knowing there is so much goodness and generosity in the world.

From the author of the bestselling novel Good Sam (soon to be a motion picture on Netflix worldwide) and award-winning journalist Rachel Greco, these uplifting stories will fill you with hope and gratitude, restore your spirit, and give you faith in the power of kindness to transform you and the world around you.


I absolutely loved this book and I love Dete and Rachel for sharing wonderful stories of generous people spreading love and kindness. You can read my thoughts about this amazing book below.

And, since this is a book about giving and kindness, I thought I'd give away a Kindle copy of Random Acts of Kindness to one lucky person here at The Book Bag! Check out the rafflecopter below and be sure to stop by the Facebook release party today as well.

My thoughts about Random Acts of Kindness ~~
(originally posted March 22, 2019)

Random Acts of Kindness should be required reading for everyone. I'm serious! It's packed with uplifting, beautiful, and heartwarming stories showing the goodness of people. It's always a heart-warning thing to read about positivity in our world where there can sometimes be so much negativity.

Over and over, the random acts written about in this book started out as just a small thing, something someone saw to help one other person, or a small group of people. And then that idea blossomed into a movement to help so many others. Sometimes, it only take a small act of kindness to deeply touch one person. And by doing that, you have made the world a better place.

I savored this book and read a few stories each day. I found myself reflecting on the good that was being done by these common, ordinary people—people like you and me. Most of these stories will melt your heart and some will bring on some tears, but they all will lift up your mood and make you want to share some kindness.

I love visiting Dete's Facebook page and reading about the wonderful people who are doing amazing things to help others. It brings a positive, upbeat tone to my day and makes me want to go out and do good.

Join Dete's Facebook page Random Acts of Kindness Book for more positive, uplifting stories. And be sure to join the Random Acts of Kindness Book Facebook Launch Party on March 26th.

About the author


Dete Meserve is the award-winning, bestselling author of Good Sam, Perfectly Good Crime, and The Space Between. Her first novel, Good Sam, is in post-production as a feature film for Netflix and will be released in Spring 2019.

As inspiration for her third novel, The Space Between, Meserve has been fascinated by the stars ever since she first saw the Milky Way arching overhead while on a camping trip when she was ten. Her grandmother worked at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs and the photos she sent from those missions made Meserve curious about the moon and all the wonders in the night sky.

Her love for the stars has followed her into her adult life where she is an executive producer of Ready Jet Go!, an award-winning astronomy and earth science series watched by millions of kids on PBSKids and around the globe. While working on the series, she began to see that there is a profound connection between all we are discovering in the realm of the stars, and the universe of emotions within ourselves.

In The Space Between, the stars offer an ideal backdrop for a story about rediscovering a love that's been right in front of us all along. In the universe, as in love, so many of our most important discoveries are made when we look past what seems to be true, when we find ways around our blind spots, and when we discover new ways to see through the darkness into the light.

When she's not writing, she is a film and television producer in Los Angeles and a partner and CEO of Wind Dancer Films. Meserve lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children--and a very good cat that rules them all. ~ Amazon

Connect with Dete

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon


One lucky person will be gifted a Kindle copy of
Random Acts of Kindness.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Monday, March 25, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? March 25, 2019


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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We're seeing the sun, snow is melting, and the birds are singing! I think we've survived winter. Hopefully we won't have the flooding issues that they are predicting. 'They' are saying we could come close to breaking flood records set in 1969. Yikes! 

This will probably be a week of little reading for me as we have a week full of grand-kiddos―one for several overnights as his parents are out in Colorado having fun. And one for the day as they need temporary day care for her. Busy, busy, but fun! 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

41451741
I'm Fine and Neither Are You
by Camille Pagรกn
Pub date 4/1

23995210
Some Luck
(Last Hundred Years: A Family Saga #1)
by Jane Smiley
This is our book club read this month.

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A Curve in the Road
by Julianne MacLean
Narrated by Coleen Marlo
(audio-book)

22301044
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
Narrated by Sissy Spacek
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

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Only One Life: A Novel
by Ashley Farley 
Pub date 4/23

The Beantown Girls audiobook cover art
The Beantown Girls
by Jane Healey
Narrated by Sarah Mollo-Christensen  
(audio-book)

42303291
Last Summer: A Novel
by Kerry Lonsdale
Pub date 7/9

What I am going to read next

36117813
The Girl He Used to Know
by Tracey Garvis Graves
Pub date 4/2

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Deanna Lynn Sletten ~ 99¢ Deal on Three Novels!



As you probably know, if you've been following me for any length of time, I am a huge fan of Deanna Lynn Sletten and have read and loved all of her books. Well, right now she has 3 of my all time favorites on sale for only 99¢ each. Amazing!!

I highly recommend each one of these, with Finding Libbie being one of my all time favorite books, overall. Seriously! This is one of the few books that I have reread several times. When I read Maggie's Turn, I connected with Maggie in so many way and she still remains a special character to me. One Wrong Turn is an unforgettable story love and forgiveness.

Read more of my thoughts by clicking on the links below.


$0.99 Deal
On Amazon Kindle
U.S. Site Only

Buy now! Sale ends on March 31st.


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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.

I love Dean Koontz's books and this is book #4 of his amazing Jane Hawk series. I ended up with an extra ARC copy and am passing it along. I've only read book #2, The Whispering Room—so far. Read my thoughts here. I'm excited to read the rest of the series! 

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Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


The Forbidden Door

The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz
Series: Jane Hawk #4
ARC, 480 pages
Published October 9th 2018 by Bantam

When this relentless rogue FBI agent comes knocking, her adversaries will have to answer—with their lives—in the latest thrilling Jane Hawk novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Corner.

“We’re rewriting the play, and the play is this country, the world, the future. We break Jane’s heart, we’ll also break her will.”

She was one of the FBI’s top agents until she became the nation’s most-wanted fugitive. Now Jane Hawk may be all that stands between a free nation and its enslavement by a powerful secret society’s terrifying mind-control technology. She couldn’t save her husband, or the others whose lives have been destroyed, but equipped with superior tactical and survival skills—and the fury born of a broken heart and a hunger for justice—Jane has struck major blows against the insidious cabal.

But Jane’s enemies are about to hit back hard. If their best operatives can’t outrun her, they mean to bring her running to them, using her five-year-old son as bait. Jane knows there’s no underestimating their capabilities, but she must battle her way back across the country to the remote shelter where her boy is safely hidden . . . for now.

As she moves resolutely forward, new threats begin to emerge: a growing number of brain-altered victims driven hopelessly, violently insane. With the madness spreading like a virus, the war between Jane and her enemies will become a fight for all their lives—against the lethal terror unleashed from behind the forbidden door.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers: THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW (Coming Soon!)


Check out the whole series here.

About the author



Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the names Leigh NicholsBrian CoffeyDavid AxtonOwen WestDeanna Dwyer and Aaron Wolfe.

Dean, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Dean



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Friday, March 22, 2019

Random Acts of Kindness by Dete Meserve and Rachel Greco ~ My Thoughts #RandomActsOfKindness

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Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness by Dete Meserve and Rachel Greco
Print and e-book, 210 pages
Expected publication: March 26th 2019 by Melrose Hill Publishing

A disabled veteran in Oregon opens his front door to find that an anonymous Good Samaritan has left him a brand-new riding mower.

In Oklahoma City, a woman who has just lost her job is amazed when a stranger swoops in and pays for her groceries.

In snowy Boston, warm blankets mysteriously appear on park benches throughout the city with a note: “These blankets are not lost! If you are cold, without shelter, and looking for comfort, then they are for you. Enjoy, and know that you are loved.”

The true, inspiring tales in Random Acts of Kindness spotlight ordinary people from age nine to one hundred who have found unique ways to show compassion and make a difference. Some of these stories will warm your heart and make you laugh; others will make you smile; and a few might make you cry—in a good way—with the joy of knowing there is so much goodness and generosity in the world.

From the author of the bestselling novel Good Sam (soon to be a motion picture on Netflix worldwide) and award-winning journalist Rachel Greco, these uplifting stories will fill you with hope and gratitude, restore your spirit, and give you faith in the power of kindness to transform you and the world around you.


My thoughts about Random Acts of Kindness ~~

Random Acts of Kindness should be required reading for everyone. I'm serious! It's packed with uplifting, beautiful, and heartwarming stories showing the goodness of people. It's always a heart-warning thing to read about positivity in our world where there can sometimes be so much negativity.

Over and over, the random acts written about in this book started out as just a small thing, something someone saw to help one other person, or a small group of people. And then that idea blossomed into a movement to help so many others. Sometimes, it only take a small act of kindness to deeply touch one person. And by doing that, you have made the world a better place.

I savored this book and read a few stories each day. I found myself reflecting on the good that was being done by these common, ordinary people—people like you and me. Most of these stories will melt your heart and some will bring on some tears, but they all will lift up your mood and make you want to share some kindness.

I love visiting Dete's Facebook page and reading about the wonderful people who are doing amazing things to help others. It brings a positive, upbeat tone to my day and makes me want to go out and do good.

Join Dete's Facebook page Random Acts of Kindness Book for more positive, uplifting stories. And be sure to join the Random Acts of Kindness Book Facebook Launch Party on March 26th.

About the author


Dete Meserve is the award-winning, bestselling author of Good Sam, Perfectly Good Crime, and The Space Between. Her first novel, Good Sam, is in post-production as a feature film for Netflix and will be released in Spring 2019.

As inspiration for her third novel, The Space Between, Meserve has been fascinated by the stars ever since she first saw the Milky Way arching overhead while on a camping trip when she was ten. Her grandmother worked at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (now Johnson Space Center) during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs and the photos she sent from those missions made Meserve curious about the moon and all the wonders in the night sky.

Her love for the stars has followed her into her adult life where she is an executive producer of Ready Jet Go!, an award-winning astronomy and earth science series watched by millions of kids on PBSKids and around the globe. While working on the series, she began to see that there is a profound connection between all we are discovering in the realm of the stars, and the universe of emotions within ourselves.

In The Space Between, the stars offer an ideal backdrop for a story about rediscovering a love that's been right in front of us all along. In the universe, as in love, so many of our most important discoveries are made when we look past what seems to be true, when we find ways around our blind spots, and when we discover new ways to see through the darkness into the light.

When she's not writing, she is a film and television producer in Los Angeles and a partner and CEO of Wind Dancer Films. Meserve lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children--and a very good cat that rules them all. ~ Amazon

Connect with Dete

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Amazon

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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Release Day! Life at the Coffin Joint by Ann Charles and Sam Lucky #LifeAtTheCoffinJoint

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Gone Haunting in Deadwood

Life at the Coffin Joint by Ann Charles and Sam Lucky, 
Series: Deadwood Undertaker Series Book 1
e-book, 260 pages (print coming soon!)
Published March 21st 2019 by Ann Charles & Sam Lucky

Deadwood (late 1876) ... A rowdy and reckless undertaker’s delight. What better place for a killer to blend in?

Enter undertaker Clementine Johanssen, tall and deadly with a hot temper and short fuse, hired to clean up Deadwood’s dead … and the “other” problem. She’s hell-bent on poking, sticking, or stabbing anyone that steps out of line.

But when a couple Santa Fe sidewinders ride into town searching for their missing uncle, they land neck deep in lethal gunplay, nasty cutthroats, and endless stinkin’ snow. Their search leads them to throw in with Clementine to hunt for a common enemy.

What they find chills them all to the bone and sends them on an adventure they’ll never forget.

From the bestselling, multiple award-winning, humorous Deadwood Mystery series comes a new herd of tales set in the same Deadwood stomping grounds, only back in the days when the Old West town was young.



I'm absolutely crazy about Ann's Deadwood mystery series and I'm so excited for this new series, the Deadwood Undertaker Series, which is sort of a spin-off of the first one. It downloaded to my Kindle app this morning and I can't wait to start it! Let the fun times begin!!  

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About the author

Ann Charles

Ann lives in the beautiful Northern Arizona mountains with her clever husband, charming kids, and an incredibly sassy cat. After many years and several colleges, she managed to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington.

Her books are mixed-genre mysteries full of mayhem and fun, romance and comedy, and whatever else feels right. Sisters in Crime was kind enough to let her join their membership years ago. In addition, she’s been a member of Romance Writers of America for so many moons that she’s lost count.

Ann has written a bunch of contemporary, award-winning novels in multiple series full of quirky characters with whom she loves to spend time as much as reality allows. Right now, while you’re reading this, she’s probably frolicking around in another story.

While her reading preferences range from adventure to horror to mystery, ever since she tried on her first training bra, she has loved a good mix of romance, too.

When she’s not dabbling in fiction, she’s penning writing-themed articles or standing on her workshop soapbox, sharing what she has learned over the years about the writing craft and self-promotion.

Connect with Ann


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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Release Day! The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer ~ My Thoughts #TheThingsWeCannotSay

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Congrats Kelly
on the release today of 
The Things We Cannot Say!

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer
Print and e-book, 432 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Graydon House

In 1942, Europe remains in the relentless grip of war. Just beyond the tents of the Russian refugee camp she calls home, a young woman speaks her wedding vows. It's a decision that will alter her destiny...and it's a lie that will remain buried until the next century.

Since she was nine years old, Alina Dziak knew she would marry her best friend, Tomasz. Now fifteen and engaged, Alina is unconcerned by reports of Nazi soldiers at the Polish border, believing her neighbors that they pose no real threat, and dreams instead of the day Tomasz returns from college in Warsaw so they can be married. But little by little, injustice by brutal injustice, the Nazi occupation takes hold, and Alina's tiny rural village, its families, are divided by fear and hate.

Then, as the fabric of their lives is slowly picked apart, Tomasz disappears. Where Alina used to measure time between visits from her beloved, now she measures the spaces between hope and despair, waiting for word from Tomasz and avoiding the attentions of the soldiers who patrol her parents' farm. But for now, even deafening silence is preferable to grief.

Slipping between Nazi-occupied Poland and the frenetic pace of modern life, Kelly Rimmer creates an emotional and finely wrought narrative that weaves together two women's stories into a tapestry of perseverance, loyalty, love and honor. The Things We Cannot Say is an unshakable reminder of the devastation when truth is silenced...and how it can take a lifetime to find our voice before we learn to trust it.


My thoughts about The Things We Cannot Say ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"The priest presiding over my wedding was half-starved, half-frozen and wearing rags but he was resourceful; he'd blessed a chuck of moldy bread from breakfast to serve as a communion wafer."

I seem to be reading a lot of historical fiction lately, in particular stories set in the World War 2 era. And I have been loving them all. This time period is so interesting to me.

The Things We Cannot Say takes the reader on an emotional and heartbreaking, but beautiful, story that demonstrates the strength and stamina of the people who lived and loved in those times. I found myself wrapped up in the lives of Alina and Tomasz, feeling their love, their pain at separation, and their dedication to one another, over a whole lifetime.

I loved this story so much and it is one I will not soon forget―a beautiful love story on so many levels, that slowly unfolds as the characters come to realize who and what is important to them. The author truly weaves an amazing story of love and sacrifice.

I received an ARC of The Things We Cannot Say in exchange for my honest review. 

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I've read another one of Kelly's books, Before I Let You Go and I loved it as well.

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You can read my thoughts here.

About the Author



Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. Her most recent release is Before I Let You Go. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, 2 children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than 20 languages.  ~ Goodreads

Connect with Kelly


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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Release Day! The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner #TheLastYearOfTheWar #TallPoppyWriter

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Congrats Susan
on the release today of 
The Last Year of the War!

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner
Print and e-book, 400 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Berkley

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and As Bright as Heaven comes a novel about a German American teenager whose life changes forever when her immigrant family is sent to an internment camp during World War II.

Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943--aware of the war but distanced from its reach. Then her father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.

The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences.

But when the Sontag family is exchanged for American prisoners behind enemy lines in Germany, Elise will face head-on the person the war desires to make of her. In that devastating crucible she must discover if she has the will to rise above prejudice and hatred and re-claim her own destiny, or disappear into the image others have cast upon her.

The Last Year of the War tells a little-known story of World War II with great resonance for our own times and challenges the very notion of who we are when who we’ve always been is called into question.


I loved The Last Year of the War
You can read my thoughts here.

About the Author

Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.

Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Susan


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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Monday, March 18, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? March 18, 2019


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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I was born an raised in Nebraska and if you've seen the news, you know they are going through some major flooding right now. Fremont, where we lived after we were married and where we still have family, is completely landlocked with no way in or out. The videos and pictures are devastating. I can't even imagine and the clean up and recovery from this is astronomical to think about. #NebraskaStrong

On a more positive note, we finally were able to have the grandkiddos this weekend for a sleepover. Their parents were sooooo appreciative and asked when we could take them again. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ 

The sun is out and our massive snow piles are starting to melt. I am so ready for the weather to get nice so I can get out on my patio. That's my favorite place to read, when I can. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

42303291
Last Summer: A Novel
by Kerry Lonsdale
Pub date 7/9
I am loving this one! I can't wait for you to read it.

23995210
Some Luck
(Last Hundred Years: A Family Saga #1)
by Jane Smiley
This is our book club read this month.

The Beantown Girls audiobook cover art
The Beantown Girls
by Jane Healey
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

44242951
The Promise of Christmas : a small town story 
(Home for the Holidays #1)
by Steena Marie
A wonderful start to a new series. It's so good!

40878710
Waiting for Fitz
by Spencer Hyde
Read my thoughts here.

What I am going to read next

42491882
Only One Life: A Novel
by Ashley Farley 
I love this author!

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner ~ My Thoughts #TheLastYearOfTheWar #TallPoppyWriter #NetGalley

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The Last Year of the War

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner
Print and e-book, 400 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Berkley

From the acclaimed author of Secrets of a Charmed Life and As Bright as Heaven comes a novel about a German American teenager whose life changes forever when her immigrant family is sent to an internment camp during World War II.

Elise Sontag is a typical Iowa fourteen-year-old in 1943--aware of the war but distanced from its reach. Then her father, a legal U.S. resident for nearly two decades, is suddenly arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi sympathizer. The family is sent to an internment camp in Texas, where, behind the armed guards and barbed wire, Elise feels stripped of everything beloved and familiar, including her own identity.

The only thing that makes the camp bearable is meeting fellow internee Mariko Inoue, a Japanese-American teen from Los Angeles, whose friendship empowers Elise to believe the life she knew before the war will again be hers. Together in the desert wilderness, Elise and Mariko hold tight the dream of being young American women with a future beyond the fences.

But when the Sontag family is exchanged for American prisoners behind enemy lines in Germany, Elise will face head-on the person the war desires to make of her. In that devastating crucible she must discover if she has the will to rise above prejudice and hatred and re-claim her own destiny, or disappear into the image others have cast upon her.

The Last Year of the War tells a little-known story of World War II with great resonance for our own times and challenges the very notion of who we are when who we’ve always been is called into question.


My thoughts about The Last Year of the War ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"I've a thief to thank for finding the one person I need to see before I die."

The Last Year of the War is an amazing story which taught me a bit about US history that I knew little or nothing about. I knew of the Japanese people being moved to internment camps during the war but was unaware that Germans were as well. Susan takes that bit of history and weaves a beautiful tale of two girls from different backgrounds, who become life-long friends while living in the camp.

Circumstances pulled them in different directions but the friendship bond remained even though they didn't see or hear from each other for years. Life was hard for Elise and Mariko as they grew into womanhood, surviving the war the best way that they could.

This is a wonderful story—a story that was kind of hard to read sometimes as their lives got hard. This tale drew me in from the very start as I fell in love with these two girls and as I watched their friendship and lives unfold.

About the Author

Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, the second of three. She spent her childhood in just two houses.

Her first writings are a laughable collection of oddly worded poems and predictable stories she wrote when she was eight.

She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the small groups ministries at The Church at Rancho Bernardo. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with my family, music, reading great books, and traveling. ~ Goodreads

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