A Baxter Family Christmas

      It was really nice to grab your fuzzy pajama’s and socks, sit by the fire and open up this book from Karen Kingsbury. Snow falling from the window, Christmas getting closer and settling down with the Baxter family during their family get together. I am one of those people who started with the “Redemption” series and then “Firstborn” series, “Sunrise” series, “Above the Line” series, “Bailey Flanigan” series. When I finished the “Bailey Flanigan” series, I was horribly sad to find out that was it. Trust me, that was many weeks of reading about the same family. You actually start feeling like you are a part of the Baxter family. Then came along “Coming Home, The Baxter Family” and boy was I excited. Then just in time for Christmas came her newest book, “A Baxter Family Christmas”.

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     “A Baxter Family Christmas” written by the amazing Christian author Karen Kingsbury, is about the family coming together for the holidays except John Baxter (Father) wants to invite someone to the dinner that some of the siblings are not too happy about! This book will bring you once again together, to experience the joy and happiness, hold each other through the sadness, not all have forgiven over the death of John’s daughter Erin and learning how to forgive and move on without forgetting.

 

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Several Good Reads

Welcome to some of my favorite reads. I got really behind on my blogs and book reviews and am slowly catching up. I did put these books together based on each of them got 5 star ratings on Goodreads by me. Loved these books.

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“The Obsession” by Nora Roberts. Goodreads insert reads as follows,  Naomi finds out that the one person who she loved and felt safe, wasn’t who she thought he was. He was a wanted notorious serial killer. But now as an adult, she moves around so that others do not realize that she is connected to the killer. She decides to settle down in a small town, but a new killer is out there and she is his next target.

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“The Last Letter From Your Lover” by JoJo Moyes. This is a double love story that takes you into two different generations. In 1960, Jennifer wakes up in the hospital and doesn’t remember anything. So she begins searching for clues and finds a letter signed B. It was from a man whom she seemed to have been in love with. Fast forward into 2003, Ellie who is a journalist stumbles across this letter and decides to find the famous lovers. Read this book if you want to stumble with her to find out if true love still exists.

“Silver Bay” by JoJo Moyes. This love story follows a young woman named Liza and her little girl named Hannah. A secret makes it hard for Liza to fall in love. However, a man, Mike, shows up that seems to destroy what all she has tried so hard to build with the family business and her beloved whales. Mike, who isn’t looking for love at all, has decided he wants to build a resort which would rip up Liza’s business and her claim to the waters that homes to whales. Will they both fall in love and save Silver Bay? Well, you must read to find out in this wonderful love story.

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“Just a Kiss” by Denise Hunter. Riley is in love with his best friend, who also is dating his brother. Riley decides to go to boot camp and goes to Afghanistan as a Marine. When Riley finds out his brother isn’t dating Paige anymore, he decides that once he gets home, he is going to tell her once and for all that he is in love with her. But an accident causes him to come home early and feel like he cannot be the man he should be to Paige. Eventually they both fall for each other, but find it hard to tell the other their feelings. Will they finally find the strength to let each other know their true feelings? Well, I could spoil it for you but….you must read to find out. This book I think could make an excellent movie. I even picked out the actor and actress. lol….Do other readers have this problem?

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“Most Wanted” by Lisa Scottoline. The reviews for this book were not right on for me, I ended up loving this book. Christine isn’t able to have a baby with her husband Marcus. Unable to conceive, they research different options to have a child and finally decide to go with a donor and letting Christine carry the baby. During her pregnancy, she thinks the donor to her baby is the killer they have arrested in connection to the murdered nurses. She does some digging around, almost destroying her marriage to find out if her baby’s donor is truly the same man that killed these nurses. She so desperately doesn’t want the baby’s donor to be the murderer thinking that his mental health could be passed on to the baby. Question is, is the donor really the murderer?

 

Classic Love Story

As a little girl, we all think of a fairy tale, a love story that has a happy ending. But as we get older, we realize that fairy tales don’t happen, love stories can, but not always be happy. Well I am a sucker for a love story, who isn’t?

Who is JoJo Moyes? This author has several books out on the shelves right now and not all are 5 stars but I will say, she is a favorite author of mine. I love how her characters in the books have different personalities and they all have a fire within. If you have been to her website, you will see that she is from London. She spent several years writing and in 2002 she published her first book “Sheltering Rain.” But right now, my blog is about 2 of her other books! “Me Before You” and “After You”.

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“Me Before You” – This book is about a girl who still lives with her family, she has a boyfriend and has a simple job! When something happens to her job, she becomes employed with a man close to her age who once had a spectacular life. He had it all….money, fame, girls and the ability to move when needing to do something. However, a tragic accident leaves him stuck to a chair as a quadriplegic. She realizes she was hired not to take care of him but someone who keeps an eye on him by his family to ensure he won’t kill himself. I do not want to spoil the book, so I am going to leave it right here. I loved this book and gave it 5 stars. I was excited to learn that there was a seqel which is my next book review.

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“After You” – This sequal, I gave 5 stars. It is the 2nd book to “Me Before You”. Louisa begins her life without Will at her side and connects with someone who leads her back to Will’s family. Lou finds herself in an accident and requires the help from her parents. She ends up falling for a EMT who rescues her the night of her accident. I am just going to say that this book is just as fantastic as her 1st! I am afraid to go into this book way too much, I am afraid that I will spoil the 1st one.

I want to express that both these books will have you laughing and sniffling. So grab a nice warm blanket, cup of tea and a box of Kleenex’s. These two books will leave you discussing for weeks to come.

 

Books Not For Me

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Sadly, there is nothing like opening up a book and beginning to read, but you find that the more you read, the more disgusted you become. Finally after reaching the end of the book, you realize that you just wasted several hours and pages later! Every book lover knows there is more books out there that look awesome. I am not saying I dislike the author….I am just saying that the book isn’t for me. You might like it because everyone is different.

“The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman – Tom returns to Australia and takes a job as a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock. After getting married and several miscarriages and one stillbirth, they find a baby crying inside a boat with a man’s body. They decided to pretend the baby belongs to them. I gave this book 1 star out of 5. I know that some readers gave it high scores, but some gave them less.

“After She’s Gone” by Lisa Jackson – This one surprised me because I love this author. I gave it 1 star out of 5 because I simply couldn’t get into this book. A deep bond between sisters and their shared dream that becomes a harrowing nightmare of madness, hatred and jealousy…..Cassie and her sister Allie learn that they have survived the horror of a crazy fan who nearly killed their mother.

“You” by Caroline Kepnes – I gave this one a 1 star out of 5 also. A writer goes into a bookstore, where Joe works. He googled her name on the credit card that she used to purchase a book. He finds out that she has a facebook and tweets on twitter. He finds out a lot of information on her. So we know where this story is headed too, possibly murder!

“Hidden Bodies” by Caroline Kepnes – 1 star out of 5 was what was given this book. Joe is no stranger to hiding bodies. In 10 years, 4 bodies have been buried searching for love. Determined to put the past behind him, he goes to Los Angeles. He finds a new girlfriend, he wants to be with her forever, but…bodies have a way for showing up.

“Morrigan’s Cross” by Nora Roberts the Circle Trilogy #1 – 1 star out of 5. A Sorcerer named Hoyt rails against the evil that has torn his twin brother from their families embrace. Her name is Lilith. She has lured countless men to an immortal doom with her soul stealing kisses.

“Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances” by John Green – 3 authors….John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance and breathtaking kisses. I gave this one 2 out of 5 stars.

“Taming the Star Run” by S.E. Hinton – 1 out of 5 stars, now this one surprised me greatly. I have always loved this author’s books. Travis is cool but goes unnoticed. But he becomes interested in Casey. She is the apple of his eye. Can she tame not just her horse but Travis?

“Her” by Harriet Lane – 1 out of 5 stars. Emma and Nina have little in common. An innocent friendship slowly develops into a dangerous game of cat and mouse as Nina eases her way into Emma’s life. Nina just might want to destroy Emma. You will need to read to find out.

“Sweet Waters” by Julie Carobini – 2 out of 5 stars. Tara who lives in Missouri finds out that her fiancé calls off their wedding, her sister’s moving to Manhattan and now her mother is marrying a much younger man with plans for a honeymoon in Europe. Tara moves back to Otter Bay, California to help her realize fun and fearlessness was missing in her life. She finds out shocking secrets as to why her family moves away from her home town.

“Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by John Green – 2 out of 5 stars. This one was horrible for me. Two strangers are about to cross paths and their world will collide. Will and Will might live in different cities, fate brings them together.

These were the books I could not get interested in. The inserts to what the book was about was inserted all from Goodreads. Some I had read several months back and couldn’t remember what they were all about till I started reading all the inserts. So not all is my wording but given credit to the insert in Goodreads for each of these books. I didn’t like these, but you may. Some books are not meant for everyone. Happy reading….

Two By Two

 

“I was acutely aware of how close she was; up ahead, London and Bodhi were walking beside each other as well, and I flashed on the book I read nightly to London. The four of us walking two by two, because no one should have to walk alone.”

Have you ever read a book that left you with so many emotions that one minute you were laughing, ticked off, grabbing tissues to wipe the tears that rolled down your cheeks? Well this book was it. Many times, I wanted to jump in the book and give my two cents. I gave this book 5/5 stars. Wow!!

Many people can relate with this book. One minute you wake up and think life is going exactly as planned only to find out….it’s not God’s way! No matter how frustrating it may seem, the hurdles you go through, you sometimes feel like letting go.

A man, wakes up and finds out that his marriage is failing and it totally leaves him unbalanced, trying to figure out what went wrong. While in the midst of a job change, he decides to embark on building his own business. He finds himself being left behind by his wife to take care of their young daughter. Not used to being a dad, he finds his place in his daughters heart.

It’s a story that shows what lengths a parent will go for their child, a love story that blossoms, the story of friendships and times with family. A story about siblings and the bond they share. This book will make you laugh, help you smile, make you furious, and have you grabbing the tissues.

Grab this 5 star book today, you won’t regret it!

Learning 2 Luv Myself

Learning 2 Luv Myself

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I haven’t been on in a while, I thought it was best that I took myself off the grid for a while. It’s very hard for me to explain who I was before, but I am not scared anymore, and I’m not afraid to tell you who I am today. Is it for pity? No….Is it for sympathy? No….but maybe somewhere, there is someone else who is waking up feeling like they can’t go on anymore. I have been there. I battled an illness that left me with low self­- esteem, depression, and it can be debilitating. Who was I before? I will not say my life was perfect, but I was able to be independent, spontaneous, and flirtatious. I had lived high on life, materials were more important than anything, partying was the way I lived my life. I made many mistakes along the way, but my life was absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.

 

But the day the doctor confirmed me with BAM and IBS – D, I realized my life would never be the same ever again. I was once the person who had no empathy for the ones who complained of digestive aliments or aches and pains and I remember saying “It’s all in their head”.  They just want something to complain about. They are just hooked on medicines because there isn’t anything wrong with them. But then I became the person I laughed about. All that was given to me was a diagnosis that didn’t come from a test and no solution as to why I became sick. Did I have a nervous breakdown? Did I catch a bug that destroyed my gut? Did I over work my body when I excessively was working out? Did the diet I was eating decided to mess up my gut? How can one become sick but yet have no reason of how that came to be? What some people don’t realize is that when you receive a diagnosis, usually people like myself try to find solutions, they over think things. Our brain is thinking, if I can figure this out, then I can go back to normal and get back to my life. The one we had before, because the life I have been living, has been hell. But until you wake up one day, racing to the restroom, not being able to leave the house, not being able to work without the fear of being sick, until that day….you will never ever understand. In the meantime, you find yourself depressed and it feels like nothing will ever be the same. You feel alone, that you don’t have anyone. People say they are there for you, but they are not because you can’t see anything in front of you. You fear of being deserted, you’re scared that when you do see, everyone will be gone. Tired of you always being sick and will move on without you. You begin to not see yourself as being selfish but of being miserable. Every day when you are alone, you cry. You hide all this pain on the inside so when everyone sees you, your smiling. They do not see how broken you are inside. How much you hate yourself and how much you hate others for living a life you only dream of. Then one day you collapse to your knees thinking this is it. I don’t want to live like this anymore. While lying there, it seemed like it took forever and then it felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. Just when I wanted it over, a song came to my memory. “By the Grace of God” Katy Perry. I remember standing in my room and in the back yard was a red cardinal. That was the day I said to myself, I have to fight this.

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There are many things I am realizing. Things are not always going to go the way I would like. People are not always going to like me and that is okay. I cannot depend on others to make me happy. People are going to hurt my feelings, but that’s okay because I don’t have to allow them too. People have their opinions and that is okay too. What I used to dream of is gone. It died the day I laid there wishing for all the things I couldn’t have. After I seen the cardinal, I remembered my best friend who told me all the time how beautiful I was. Finally after days of overthinking again, I realized I wanted to change some things in my life. I wanted to love myself. In order to love myself, I was going to have to make some changes. I know that praying, has kept me going. But aside from praying and asking God to help heal me, I was going to ask him for something different. To heal my heart and to help me find peace. I needed his guidance to help me stay positive and not lose focus. But most of all, I wanted to show others that they too are important. Then I figured out something I had wished I realized sooner.

 

I will not sit here and consider myself a minimalist but yet I love there thinking. They live simple, enjoy having less, and enjoy life! This is who I want to be. I want nothing but peace! Throw all my hurt away and forgive, to move past all the hurt that everyone has caused me so that I can move on. Slowly, my plan is to cut the things I own in half. Eliminate as much as I can because if I ever need to pick up and go, I can. I want to declutter everything in my life. But making myself happy and loving myself I will do first. No one will be able to do this, I can only do this myself. I will rise to the top! No one will hold me down. I will not be here because I feel that other people need me, I will be here because I have a purpose and only God knows what that is.

 

Goals, what’s that? It’s something that one person decides he must do to accomplish the things he either wants or needs to do.

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1.)  I will love myself again

2.)  I will declutter my life and possessions

3.)  I will live simple

4.)  I will not let others harm my well being

5.)  I will only allow peace and kindness, toxic people will not be tolerated

6.)  I will wake each morning and be thankful

7.)  I will do my best to help someone smile if they are in need

8.)  I will enjoy the little things and breathe

9.)  I will not hang onto things or people who no longer want or need me

I will let the old me go…….it no longer lives here anymore. I am not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I will write the story to my life.

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The Life We Bury

The Life We Bury

By Allen Eskens

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     This book actually had me on the wow factor. This book had me on my toes, on the edge of the seat, yelling and talking to the characters as if they were real. This mystery starts out based on a College student who needs to write an article on a complete stranger and write a biography on him. He decides to write about Carl Iverson who was convicted of rape and murder.

    Carl was released from Prison, since he was close to heaven’s door. Living in a nursing home he begins to talk to Joe. Joe struggling with his own share of problems, becomes friends with the next door neighbor who helps Joe with his autistic brother. Since Joe’s mom is irresponsible Joe doesn’t think he will be able to finish college because his brother can’t stay alone and his mother doesn’t want to take care of or become a guardian of Joe’s brother. She’s more worried about her boyfriend who doesn’t know how to keep his hands off Joe’s brother.

     Somehow Joe and the neighbor girl try to put the pieces together of what really happened the night this girl was raped and murdered. The ending will leave you shocked as it spirals around like a roller coaster, escalating to the top, spiraling downward with twists and turns at every corner.

     I recommend this book for anyone who likes an adventure and loves mysteries. I gave this book 5 stars and it almost has a 4 star rating with Goodreads. Excellent read and will be reading more from this author.