Tuesday, September 1, 2015


a note from me:
hello, dear reading friend!

welcome to my new home! summer is always a good time for me to evaluate matters regarding my blog and book reviews. after having numerous and frequent issues with spacing and uniformity, i’ve decided it’s time to do the “out with the old and in with the new” routine. i will not be posting anything else on fivestarbooksandmore.blogspot.com, but you can still find my archived newsletters of reviews there.
i hope you like my new home as much as i do! i would love to know what you think!  
please refrain from using inappropriate or abusive language here. thank you! if you prefer to email me, then feel free to reach me at thereadingmom@gmail.com.
jeremiah 29:11 continues to be my favorite bible verse. if you haven’t discovered it yet, check it out! 

read it. embrace it. share it.

blessings & happy reading!!!

susan, your reading mom
jer. 29:11-14a

bones will speak, the by carrie stuart parks is a gwen marcey suspense novel which will have you on the edge of your seat! gwen marcey is a forensic artist (author carrie stuart parks is an internationally known forensic artist), a dog lover and a protective mother trying to build back her life after her marriage crumbles. when her dog winston brings home a human skull, gwen unintentionally finds herself in the middle of a serial killer investigation that is chillingly creepy. this story portrays forensics and faith and good vs. evil. i’m a fan of shows like csi, bones, body of proof, etc. so i like trying to guess the bad guys. but i was totally stumped and shocked when i got to the end (i was super freaked by that point!)! gwen marcey is amazing---i love that she figures out an important clue to her survival! great story that will have you glued to its pages until the very end. i’m a fan!!!
breath of dawn, the by kristen heitzmann is a suspenseful story that guarantees to keep you on the edge of your seat! quinn is focused on the future while building a prosperous business. but the secrets from her past will catch up with her and end her future if she doesn’t get some professional help. enter morgan spencer. action, evil forces and dangerous mind games are at play and morgan must do everything to save quinn before it’s too late!
hope harbor by irene hannon is a contemporary inspiring story woven with the themes of faith, forgiveness and second chances. set in hope harbor, a charming tourist town on the oregon coast, you will find that the town and its inhabitants will find a place in your heart. michael hunter is visiting from chicago. he’s struggling with guilt and the loss of his wife and so he visits this town that his wife loved in hopes of finding some peace. tracy campbell loves her three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up, but the economy is wreaking havoc on their profits and tracy fears her uncle and his wife may lose everything. anna williams is harboring a secret and a life-long load of regret. charley lopez mans a food truck selling out-of-this-world tacos and seems to have a pulse on everything going on without asking questions or passing judgment. can hope harbor live up to its name? you’re going to love this one!

in good company by jen murano is a laugh-out-loud kind of book set in the 1880’s! millie longfellow is a one-of-a-kind nanny. unfortunately, her unconventional methods have not been appreciated by her employers. after being let go from her recent job, millie finds herself in a desperate position and finds herself responsible for three young charges who have scared away every nanny that’s been hired. i love this story---it’s hilarious as millie misuses words she’s been learning from the dictionary and her unconventional methods will make you smile!

love’s rescue by christine johnson begins a new series, keys of promise which are all set in the florida keys. book one is set in the 1800s where a terrible accident leaves elizabeth benjamin living with guilt and regret. sent off by her father to secure a good match in charleston, elizabeth longs to be home. none of the suitors find a place in her heart because elizabeth knows her heart belongs to someone her father views as little more than a pirate. by the way, you’re going to love how loyal elizabeth is to her maid anabelle. their friendship is unique and as they mature, their bond means extreme sacrifices will need to be made. forbidden love, adventure at sea, family secrets and more are found in these pages for your reading pleasure!

midwife’s tale, the by delia parr is the first book in her series, at home in trinity set in pennsylvania in 1830. martha cade is a widow with two grown children---her son is far away but her daughter stays with her and helps in her uncle and aunt’s tavern. martha has mastered the art of being tactful, has conviction and a heart for others. she comes from a long line of midwives and she dreams of the day when her daughter will follow in her footsteps. when victoria (her daughter) runs away with a theater troupe while she’s assisting in a birth, martha’s hopes and dreams are shattered. you can feel her pain and agony as she searches for her daughter only to come home empty. what i love about martha is the journal she keeps for her daughter as she processes her pain. she comes to the realization that her dreams may not be her daughter’s dreams and she’s willing to do whatever it takes as long as her daughter returns home. i can’t wait to review book 2 to see what happens next!

mist of midnight by sandra byrd (daughters of hampshire series) is a captivating read! rebecca ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries in India, returns to her family estate in england after her family dies in the indian mutiny. upon her arrival, she is shocked to discover that someone has been posing as her for several months before her mysterious death. now, rebecca must prove that she is the real rebecca ravenshaw and the other one was an imposter. sandra skillfully weaves mystery, suspicious lights at night, betrayal and greed into her gothic mystery romance. this is definitely one of my favorite reads this month!

not by sight by kate breslin is a historical novel set in 1917 england where the relationship between the wealthy and the people who serve them are typically nonexistent. but grace mabry is different and her lady’s maid is a friend and keeper of her secrets. when a chain of events cause grace and her maid to leave the city to help with war efforts on a farm, she never realizes her actions are being monitored. there are spies, a man with a mask and other mysterious encounters in this intriguing story! i loved it!

now & forever by mary connealy is book two in the series, wild at heart (the follow-up to tried and true) where you’ll find faith, adventure, danger and romance with the wilde sisters! in this one, it’s all about shannon wilde, the middle sister---she loves her animals and is raising sheep for their wool on her own homestead. but someone wants her land and will stop at nothing to get to it. but I don’t want to spoil it for you, so let me give you a sneak peak at how the story begins… the opening scene begins with a series of events involving a grizzly bear, a man desperately trying to escape it and shannon diving off a cliff and plunging into slaughter river, a river no one has ever survived before. this story is set in dakota territory in 1866 and you’ll love connealy’s character’s and their witty dialogue and sense of humor!

potter’s lady, the: refined by love by judith miller is a fascinating look inside the craft of pottery making, design and manufacturing in america. rose mckay is determined to help her brother make his pottery business investment successful; however, mckay pottery is losing bids to their rival, the harkness company and rylan campbell, a mckay pottery employee suspects sabotage. you’ll find faith, love and some mystery in this historical fiction novel.

whenever you come around by robin lee hatcher is the second book in the kings meadow romance series. charity anderson returns to her childhood home in kings meadow while waiting for her own house to be finished with all its rennovations. as a successful author, charity has celebrity status in the town she’s grown up in but she seldom returns home to visit her parents there. charity is harboring a secret that will break your heart, reading friend. but thankfully, a former high school classmate who is currently residing next door to her parent’s home is determined to break through her walls… if charity will let him in. robin’s characters come off the pages and make themselves at home in your heart!

worthy pursuit, a by karen witemeyer has some of the funniest comedic moments and dialogue! charlotte atherton is hiding and guilty of kidnapping his employer’s granddaughter and retriever, stone hammond is determined to track her down. what he discovers instead changes his mission and neither are aware of the dangers before them as one unscrupulous man will do anything to get what he wants. you’ll find faith, adventure and a bit of romance!

youth fiction

mystery rider by miralee ferrell is the third book of the horses and friends series. while brainstorming about the upcoming parade, thirteen-year old kate and her friends see a hooded rider on a black horse that they don’t recognize. but when they go out to befriend the rider, the rider takes off on the horse. after this happens several times, kate and her friends are determined to uncover the mystery no matter what. meanwhile, kate struggles to be friends with snooty melissa tolbert who boards her horse at the ferris family stable. what i like about this story is that kate later realizes that melissa’s cutting remarks were probably an attempt to cover up her own fears and pain. this is a great story about friendship, adventure and faith in action!


sync or swim: a fable about workplace communication and coming together in a crisis by gary chapman, paul white and harold myra is innovative, creative and fun to read! allow me introduce these authors to you… you probably recognize the name, gary chapman, #1 new york times bestselling author of the 5 love languages. paul white, ph.d is a licensed psychologist who consults with successful businesses and high net worth families dealing with relational issues, business and financial wealth. harold myra was the ceo of christianity today international for 32 years. he’s an author holding honorary doctorates and recipient of various prestigious awards.

this fable is a powerful way to communicate the value of appreciation. i love the insight and practical techniques they offer to help your team feel valued which will “enhance their productivity and increase teamwork.” this compact book is a creative way to impart the wisdom of authentic appreciation through the animal characters in this fable (i’m a fan of the old puffin mentor, olympia!). don’t miss the end of the book sections on “a leaders’ insights,” “questions for reflection and discussion” and the fable’s core principals.”

family-friendly resources

thank you, God, for kittens and thank you, God, for puppies by mary manz simon are the perfect read for the animal lover (ages 2 to 5) in your family! mary understands what children love about their pets and she creatively incorporates their love on each page of this adorable board book through the age-appropriate rhyming text and sweet illustrations. each of these books will be a favorite among your little ones reminding them to thank God for the blessing of pets in their life! thanks, mary!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the great review of Hope Harbor! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.


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