Thursday, March 26, 2020

LAKESHIRE PARK by Megan Walker

LAKESHIRE PARK by Megan Walker. I enjoyed this story. It showed a different side of the regency era and how if you didn't have an inheritance or a relative willing to support you, there was not much that could be done. I really felt Amelia's drive to make sure her sister was taken care of. I felt the urgency and frustration when Mr. Wood got in the way. I felt how Amelia could tell she had no choice but to play by his rules in order to take care of her sister. I also felt her heart softening. Once everything is taken, I can imagine how hard it would be to give up the only thing she had left to claim. It was satisfying, if that's a good way to describe it, to what things unfold. It showed a true journey of the heart, including the heartbreak along the way. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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Brighton, England 1820
Amelia Moore is worried about her and her sister's future. With their stepfather's looming death, she knows they'll soon be on their own—without an inheritance, home, or penny to their names. When an invitation arrives to join a house party at Lakeshire Park, Amelia is eager to encourage a match between her sister, Clara, and Sir Ronald. At least then, she'll know her sister will be taken care of.
Little does she know that another guest, Mr. Peter Wood, is after the same goal for his sister. Starting with a quarrel over a glove, Amelia and Peter begin a rivalry—one that Amelia has no choice but to win. But competing against Peter—and eventually playing by his rules—makes Amelia vulnerable to losing the only thing she has left to claim—her heart.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


DEBT FREE DEGREE by Anthony ONeal. This is a good read. For me, there was not a lot of new information in it, but I have been through college and followed those steps myself for the most part. The new information I did find was really good. ONeal has a running list of scholarships on his website. I would have loved to have that resource as I prepared for college. For parents who have not been to college or who are unsure how to help their child get through college or really any parent out there should read this book. Student loans are killing students as they graduate, and this is an extremely helpful resource to help students get through college without any debt. And, as ONeal said many times in his book, it's never too late to start. So take a look.

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Every parent wants the best for their child.
That's why they send them to college But most parents struggle to pay for school and end up turning to student loans. That's why the majority of graduates walk away with $35,000 in student loan debt and no clue what that debt will really cost them.

Student loan debt doesn't open doors for young adults--it closes them. They postpone getting married and starting a family. That debt even takes away their freedom to pursue their dreams. But there is a different way. Going to college without student loans is possible 

In Debt-Free Degree, Anthony ONeal teaches parents how to get their child through school without debt, even if they haven't saved for it. He also shows parents: 
  • How to prepare their child for college
  • Which classes to take in high school
  • How and when to take the ACT and SAT
  • The right way to do college visits
  • How to choose a major

A college education is supposed to prepare a graduate for their future, not rob them of their paycheck and freedom for decades. Debt-Free Degree shows parents how to pay cash for college and set their child up to succeed for life.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

WILLA AND THE WHALE by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

WILLA AND THE WHALE by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown. What a great way to show how different people deal with different emotions. Grief is an interesting animal and sometimes it does takes animals to help people through it. In Willa's case, it was Meg, a blue whale. I loved the relationship that Willa had with Meg. I love how Meg was able to help Willa through her grief and issues everyone seems to have at school. And I love how Meg really steps up and solves a whale sized problem with the help of loved ones around her. I would recommend this book to any and everyone, especially those who could use a different view point in how to deal with and how those around them may be dealing with different emotions.

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After losing her mom, Willa is grieving and having a hard time living with her dad and his new family on an island off the coast of Washington State. Her dad tries to cheer her up by taking her whale watching, something Willa's mom used to do.
While all the passengers are on one side of the boat, Willa encounters a humpback whale on the opposite side. Willa feels so lonely that she starts to talk to the whale—and the whale talks back!
The whale, named Meg, quickly becomes a trusted friend and confidante Willa can speak to whenever she's by the ocean.
Meg offers sound advice Willa needs about dealing with a nemesis at school and trying to figure out why her friend Marc is keeping secrets about his family life.
Before the story ends, it will take all of Willa's courage and connections to tackle a problem that's as big as a blue whale!

Thursday, February 27, 2020


WHAT THE OTHER THREE DON'T KNOW by Spencer Hyde. This story still leaves me with an unsettled feeling. Three teens are thrown together for a school trip that I didn't quite understand. It was for a class but I have never heard of a class that required that type of trip in high school. I realize it's fiction, but . . . The different groups that each of the kids came from sure made for an interesting group. Then the secrets each of them had added to the mix. It showed very well that we don't know what the person standing next to us is struggling with or what guilt they may be hiding or what they don't want others to know. I though it showed very well what can happen when we open up to those around us and the different support we can give one another. This is not a book for a younger audience. In fact, I'd say they need to be in high school to really understand the nuances and social dynamics presented. Then again, if it's read with an adult who can help kids grasp what is being talked about, then it would be appropiate, in my opinion.

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If Indie had it her way, she would never choose to river raft with three other high school seniors, mostly strangers to each other, from her journalism class.
A loner, a jock, an outsider, and Instagram influencer. At first they can't see anything that they have in common. As the trip unfolds, the unpredictable river forces them to rely on each other. Social masks start to fall as, one-by-one, each teen reveals a deep secret the other three don't know.
One is harboring immense grief and unwilling to forgive after the death of a loved one. One is dealing with a new disability and an uncertain future. One is fearful of the repercussions of coming out. One is hiding behind a carefully curated "perfect" image on Instagram.
Before they get to the end of Hells Canyon, they'll know the truth about each other and, more importantly , learn something new about themselves.
What the Other Three Don't Know is a poignant and gripping young adult novel about the unlikely friends who accept you for who you really are and the power of self-acceptance.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

THE MILKMAN'S SON by Randy Lindsay

THE MILKMAN'S SON: A Memoir of Family History by Randy Lindsay. I have a hard time reading memoirs. They tend to lean toward a slower paced story that I struggle to dive into. Then add family history into the mix and I was sure it would be a bomb. Hence why I was skeptical about this one, and the couple of chapters had me wondering what I had gotten myself into. However, I should have known better with Randy Lindsay as the other. The few times I've met him has been interesting. You never know where the conversation will go and I always left a conversation (which usually I just listened as part of a group) smiling. His book is no exception. After the first few chapters, I found I couldn't put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen. His DNA journey was fascinating. I began wondering what I would find in my DNA and where my story would go. I understand that can lead to some heartache for some people and excitement for others, but I found this memoir inspiring me to see what surprises are in my family tree. I highly recommend this book to everyone. It is all very appropriate for anyone, and be careful. You just might be bit by the Family History bug.

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Raised in a family he bore little resemblance to, Randy was jokingly referred to as "the milkman's son." This warm and candid memoir chronicles the unraveling of a family secret, which begins with Randy's dad having dreams about deceased relatives urging him to complete their family tree. Randy agrees to help with the genealogy, but after his searching leads to a dead end, he takes a commercially available DNA test. The results reveal a possible genetic match to a sister, which begins a familial quest that forever changes the author's life.
Featuring a cast of vivid characters richly drawn from two distinct families, The Milkman's Sonreveals one man's family tree, pulling back layers of new information as he gets closer to the truth—a biological father, siblings, and family members he never knew about.
This is a story of accepting, forgiving, and reuniting. Most importantly, it's about the bonds that connect us and the unconditional love that makes us feel like we belong.

Thursday, February 13, 2020


HER QUIET REVOLUTION by Marianne Monson. This was an incredible read. I was very surprised. Normally I have a difficult time getting through novels such as this, but HER QUIET REVOLUTAION had me captivated from the first few pages. I will admitt that I wasn't quite sure how the first chapter fit in until I realized it was the little girl that the story was about. At first, I expected the story to be about the mother in the first chapter. Once that connection was made, I was fascinated with what Martha accomplished and how she went against the norm of the day. She did so much for so many people. She helped so many people, and then after making the choice of whom she would marry, how that lead her down a different road. It was a fantastic read that I've already told many people about. I highly recommend it to everyone. 

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Based on the life of a pioneer woman who overcame tremendous odds, Her Quiet Revolution tells the true story of Martha Hughes Cannon: Wife. Mother. Physician. Senator. Suffragist. Polygamist.
When her baby sister and her father die on the pioneer trail to Salt Lake City, Mattie is determined to become a healer. But her chosen road isn’t an easy one as she faces roadblocks common to Victorian women. Fighting gender bias, geographic location, and mountains of self-doubt, Mattie pushes herself to become more than the world would have her be, only to have everything she’s accomplished called into question when she meets the love of her life: Angus Cannon, a prominent Mormon leader and a polygamist. 
From the American Frontier to European coasts, Martha’s path takes her on a life journey that is almost stranger than fiction as she learns to navigate a world run by men. But heartache isn’t far behind and she learns that knowing who you are and being willing to stand up for what you believe in is what truly defines you. 
Her Quiet Revolution is the story on one woman’s determination to change her world, and the path she left behind for others to follow.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

PROMISED by Leah Garriot

PROMISED by Leah Garriot. This was a good, clean read. I smiled as Lord Williams so obnoxiously pushes his way into Margaret's life, and tries so hard yet hard enough to roll your eyes. He reminds me of some people I know who are the best of men but may not go about it in a subtle way, just as Lord Williams turns out to be. I think will be a book where everyone will enjoy rolling their eyes and loving the process of Margaret unfolding her heart. I would recommend it to anyone.

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Margaret Brinton keeps her promises, and the one she is most determined to keep is the promise to protect her heart.
Deceived by love once before, Margaret vows never to be played the fool again. To keep her vow, she attends a notorious matchmaking party intent on securing the perfect marital match: a union of convenience to someone who could never affect her heart. She discovers a man who exceeds all her hopes in the handsome and obliging rake Mr. Northam.
There's only one problem. His meddling cousin, Lord Williams, won't leave Margaret alone. Condescending and high-handed, Lord Williams lectures and insults her. When she refuses to give heed to his counsel, he single-handedly ruins Margaret's chances for making a good match. With no reason to remain at the party, Margaret returns home to discover her father has promised her hand in marriage—to Lord Williams.
Under no condition will Margaret consent to marrying such an odious man. Yet as Lord Williams inserts himself into her everyday life, Margaret is forced to realize that Lord Williams is exactly the type of man she'd hoped to marry before she'd learned how much love hurt. Margaret is faced with her ultimate choice: keep the promises that protect her or break free of them for one more chance at love. Either way, she fears her heart will lose.