The Duck Commander: Faith and Family Bible

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Thomas Nelson:  The Duck Commander Bible


on Amazon
$21.95 (At time of Review)

Duck Dynasty:  Faith And Family

Beautiful Gifting Page:  Duck Commander BibleSo, I'm sure most people are pretty familiar with the "Redneck" family from the hit TV show "Duck Dynasty", that catipulted a little redneck family to super stardom.  Most people, if they are even a teensy bit familiar with the media and pays attention also are well aware that this "redneck" family who has made their gold from "Duck Callers" are also a family of faith.

Their outspokeness about their faith is truly inspirational.  Most people who find fame and fortune lose their faith.  They forget their roots and who it is that truly they should be thanking for the good fortune that they find.  Not true with the Robertson clan.  These TV favs have truly used their fame for the "Good".  

As a Christian myself, I truly have mad respect for this family and how they have used their fame to speak about the Word and try to show the world that "Christians" are just normal folk but with a heart dedicated to God.  Christians aren't some weird mythological creature, nor are we born of perfection.  We are just sinner's who are trying to make it in this world with our eyes on the prize.

The Duck Commander Faith and Family NKJV Bible

Hardbound Cover:  The Duck Commander BibleIt's not too far a stretch of the imagination to think of the Robertson's now having their own Bible.  Afterall, when you put your focus on Christ then I think it's only a natural move to have a Bible after your namesake show that has brought such a success.

I was THRILLED when I received the opportunity to review this item.  While I am not a big TV junkie anymore, I do enjoy the "Duck Dynasty" show and love what this show and this family represent.  My husband and kids all are huge fans of the show and I knew I would score serious COOL points in their book with this score!

Duck Commander:  On The Hunt

SO, in addition to being a standard New King James Version Bible (you know, the version that is more relatable and readable...) this Bible also has some really nice features that make it more "Duck Dynasty" worthy.
  • 125 Articles by Phil and Al Robertson
  • Personal Welcome note from Phil and Al
  • A Topical Index
  • Reading Plans
  • Supplementary Scripture References
I've never reviewed a Bible before, so I'm not like an expert or anything.  I've read plenty enough Bibles though...  So, I guess that gives me some knowledge of the subject.

I love that there are little articles that relate to the scripture in question.  It personalizes it.  I wish they had a bit more devotional type material, but it truly is a really nice Bible.

I love how they broke it down....

Set Your Sights:  

These are then broken into five topics:  Faith, Family, Fellowship, Forgiveness or Freedom.

Set Your Sights:  The Duck Commander BibleI love that they have those categorized and so if you are having an issue with forgiveness you can go to the back and look in the "Set Your Sights" Index and find all the related scriptures or "Devotions" that have to do with Forgiveness.  That's super handy.  

I've always had a strong faith, but I'll be honest I cannot quote scripture for the life of me...  Hopefully that doesn't make me not the best Christian, but I've just not been good at memorizing a lot of scripture.  So, for someone like me, having it broken down like that does TRULY come in handy!

On the Hunt: The Duck Ccommander Bible On The Hunt:  

On the Hunt is part of the Set Your Sights and gives you other scriptures related to the topic at hand!

The ABC's of Salvation:

They even have an awesome guide in the back that breaks down Salvation.  It includes some of the great salvation scriptures...  From Romans 3:23 " For all have sinned and fallen short..." to 1 John 3:1  "God loves YOU so much...."


Overall:

I absolutely loved this Bible.  It will be a gift for my husband for Christmas.  He will think I'm the most awesome ever when he sees this Bible.  

Gift Idea:

This makes an awesome gift idea for the man or woman or teen in your life who LOVES watching Duck Dynasty.  I can't think of a better gift than the gift of eternal life and not that by giving a Bible means your gifting eternal life, but it definitely is a necessary tool for those who believe.




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The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee: Book Review

 
On Amazon:  $10.99

Linda Francis Lee

I first read Linda Francis Lee about four years ago I guess, when I had first discovered the wonder and awe that is Chick-Lit.  I honestly can't remember if it was The Ex-Debutante or The Devil in the Junior League that I read first.  But, it was one of those two books that was my first foray into Linda Francis Lee's wonderful mind.

What I fell in love with when reading Linda Francis Lee's books was how she was so eloquently able to bring the south alive in a tasteful and respectful way.  Although, in The Ex-Debutante and The Devil in the Junior League she takes us to a part of the south, I'm personally not familiar with, the HIGH SOCIETY of the south...  She still was able to bring her characters down to earth and make them approachable to any woman.  I just fell in love with her books.

However, I wasn't quite able to get into Emily & Einstein.  I don't know what it was, but I felt a disconnect with the book.  However, there are many times I've struggled to read a book only to pick it up later and then be able to fully immerse myself inside the pages...  So, perhaps one day I'll give it another go....

Being from the south, it's hard to find good books that portray southerner's in a flattering light. That's why I will forever be fans of Linda Francis Lee and Mary Kay Andrew's books.  These two women know how to bring the best out of us southern ladies!

The Glass Kitchen

I'm so thankful for my mother who purchased this book for me, after I had tried contacting whomever I could to try to get a review copy and found myself without much luck.  This was a book, I knew I needed to read though, and so THANK YOU mom for this gift!!!  Of course, I also have to give it to her so she can now read it....  It's nice when your mom is your biggest fan :)  Without my mom this review would not have been possible!

OK OK So onto the book.....

This is one of those reviews where it's going to be hard for me to use my filter.  I so desperately want to just sit here with my glass of iced tea and go on and on about everything inside the pages of The Glass Kitchen.

In  The Glass Kitchen we meet Portia Cutcart whom has just relocated to New York, following her recent divorce.  Portia and her sister's were each left an apartment by their aunt.  Portia's sister's have each sold their apartments, luckily Portia had been hesitant to do so...

Portia grew up helping her grandmother in The Glass Kitchen, a little cafe her grandmother ran.  Portia fell in love with cooking and baking and loved how she saw it heal people.  Portia wasn't very old when she and her grandmother soon discovered she had inherited the family "gift"...  I suppose you could call it in a sense a HEAVY dose of discernment....  Like her mother and her mother before her, Portia bakes things without knowing why...  She just gets these urges to bake and later on, someone will happen along the way who needed just what she had been baking or cooking.

In Portia's life, food was a way to heal folks...  Quite literally.  Her grandmother had given the reigns over to her long ago, but instead of teaching Portia how to use her gift, she just taught her to cook.  Yet, years ago something happened that caused Portia to turn her back on her gift and never want to cook again.

Now in New York, where her sistser's live, Portia finds that she's finding it impossible to turn her back on her gift.  Add to her sisters, a handsome single father whom has purchased the apartments her sister's had sold, and his two children Portia finds that she's once again healing folks with her food.

Secrets.  There are secrets everywhere, and as we all know secrets can destroy lives.  Gabriel's little family are all in so much pain and Portia needs to find a way to bring this broken family together.  Her sister's as well are each going through their own situations..  Can Portia with the gift she's turned her back on, make it all work...  It seems everything is on her shoulders...

My Thoughts:

There are so many more layers to this story and I'm not even doing this book justice right now.  This was a beautiful novel filled with so many delicious layers.  There were so many loveable characters in this book.  You have Portia and her sisters...  You have Gabriel, and his two daughter's who have lost their mom and are all struggling with the pain of that loss...  Gabriel's brother who comes in like and out of their lives like a breeze sweeping through...  There are so many secrets in the pages of this book...

I love when a book can surprise me and this book literally had me huddled in my bed awaiting each surprise that awaited on the next page.  One of the main character's in the book was Gabriel's daughter, Ariel, who feels like it's up to her to make things right for her family.  When she meets Portia, something tells her that this is a woman who can make all right for her and her sister and father...  Yet, along the way Ariel, who has such an inquisitive mind, will discover some things about her past, her mom that truly almost break her spirit.

Gosh, I just can't convey to you how beautiful this story is.  I literally was thirsty for more and couldn't put it down.  I love when a book is so able to grab me and draw me into the character's lives that I feel as if I'm inside the pages a fly on the wall watching it all transpire.

This was definitely a FIVE star book.  Linda Francis Lee really told a beautiful story and I loved everything about this book.  As a southerner, we really are all about the food.  And we think food is the answer to everything, yet I loved the way she was able to turn it into a "gift".

You don't have to be from the south to appreciate this book.  Yes, it has some southern notes to it, but it's a story that can break through mainstream for sure!  If you've never picked up a Linda Francis Lee novel, and you love chick lit or women's contemporary fiction, then you will love this book!

Connect to Linda Francis Lee:




Thanks for reading!  Have you read any of Linda Francis Lee's books??  I'd love to know if you read this book what you thought about it!!

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Mary Kay Andrews: Save the Date/ Book Review

$10.99 (At time of Review)



Save the Date:  Mary Kay Andrews

For starters, anyone whom has read my blog knows that while I prefer UK chick-lit, there are a few American authors whom I adore....  Mary Kay Andrews leads the pack for me in American chick lit authors!!  I have so enjoyed her past books, like The Fixer Upper, Hissy Fit, and of course Savannah Blues  & Savannah Breeze with the lovable characters of Wheezie and Bebe Loudermilk.

Ms. Andrews is a southern born and breed author who is so eloquently able to capture the true spirit of the south I was born and rasied in.  She is able to capture the true "sassy" southern girl spirit and fiestiness that many of us are born with and makes us not seem as "backwoods" as some of these movies and other books like to make Southerner's appear to be "D. U. M. B."   I really enjoy authors who have southern roots and put a nice spotlight on us and show our more endearing qualities...

OK so enough of my southern rant.... LOL  Sorry, I'm a little touchy when it comes to how we southerners are portrayed...

Moving ON....  

What's the Book About???

Ok, so one thing about Mary Kay Andrew's books that you can bet your bottom dollar she's gonna have, is a fun and sassy, STRONG willed lead female character.  In Save the Date, that sassy lead is Cara Kryzick.  The story is set in Savannah, Georgia and center's around Cara and her flower shop. 

Everything seems to be falling apart....  One morning, after having received yet another irrate call from her father, "The Colonel", who is demanding repayment of her $20,000 loan she took to fund her new business, she is horrified when her dog is dognapped by a handsome stranger.  The stranger, Jack Finnerty, claims it's his dog....  One sleepless night and Jack realizes that he's mistaken and soon brings Cara's dog back...  However, this is just the first of many meetings that Cara and Jack will have...  He seems to be popping up everywhere Cara goes...

Strange things start to happen in Cara's hectic filled life...  A highly valuable piece of heirloom silver has disappeared, the piece valued at over $100,000 happens to be belong to one of Savannah's most distinguished and well connected families and make certain to let everyone know how unreliable Cara is.....  There's also a new florist in town and he seems hell bent on making Cara's life as miserable as humanly possible...

While some think that Cara is being paranoid, Cara is convinced that this new guy is out to destroy her life in everyway possible after she receives a lucrative contract to do one of the elite wedding's in Savannah...  However, as things continue to happen, including a suspcious new owner of the building where Cara is leasing her storefront....  Cara becomes even more convinced that things are all at the hands of Cullen Kane, the new florist Extraordinnaire... 

My Thoughts...

Ok, so clearly I could go on and on with details on this delish book.  However, this is a book that you should read and fall in love with for yourselves!  While, it's not my absolute favorite by Mary Kay Andrews (There's quite a tie between the Savannah series, as well as Hissy Fit  and he Fixer Upper) it is definitely a 5 STAR book!  She knows exactly how to draw her reader into the story and keep you thirsting for more...  That's the mark of a good book, when it's so good that even though your eyelids are drooping, you just got to find out what's going to happen next!  

Mary Kay Andrews is QUEEN of southern Chick lit!  She truly is, she's so brilliant at story-telling. Even if you aren't from the south, I think that anyone would enjoy the brilliant stories that she conjures up in her mind...  There's always an element of mystery to her books...  An element of "whodunit"...  Yet, she's able to mix some mystery and some sassy characters that usually are on the verge of being "high-society" or knocking on the door to High Society.  Yet, she doesn't make her character's seem "TOO good", if you know what I mean, they are all very approachable.  You feel like you could walk in Cara's florist shop and have a cup of joe while discussing all the latest town gossip and admirng some gorgeous blooms...

If you love a good chick-lit story, then you will fall in love with Mary Kay Andrew's Save the Date !

Connect with Mary Kay Andrews: 

On Facebook


 



The Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman: Book Review

$4.99

Perfect Girl: A Review

A Perfect Girl, is about Carol who is overly perfect.  The story shows us all the ways she is absolutely everyone's go to person.  Whether it's her fussy sister or her parents or her boyfriend OR work.  Carol is always putting everyone's needs before her own.  

The Supporting Cast:

Of course we have Carol, our "Perfect girl".  We also meet Ben, the boyfriend...  Zoe the exchange student turned kinda sister...  and Marley, the sister... Jez, Marley's soon to be husband... There's Carol's parents...  

Storyline:

When we meet Carol, she's just learned that Marley, her sister is getting married and has asked her to be Chief bridesmaid...  Which, Carol is of course ecstatic about...  What she should have realized was Marley's expectations for Carol will be more like Sister/ bridesmaid/ wedding planner.  She has Carol doing all the legwork, which Carol does without a word of protest...

Things with Ben are somewhat rocky as well...  Things like him forgetting their anniversary, and just all around not showing up for things...

Then there's Harriet, Carol's unlucky in love best friend...  Harriet is so utterly attrocious at meeting men that Carol has decided to go on all of Harriet's first dates for her so that she can suss out the bad news guys since Harriet is dreadful at doing things like that herself....

Then there's work....  Carol designed a program that analyzes stocks and bonds and stuff and things aren't quite going right...  Then there's Ryan, Carol's co-worker..  There might be more there than meets the eye...

OK.... So, you get the picture....  Carol does EVERYTHING..  She just somehow can't manage to say no...  Until she does....

My Thoughts...

While it was a good story and it held my interest, I have to say that Carol was SO over the top annoyingly perfect...  I guess if I were watching it as a movie you would need the "over the top" to be funny...  However, sometimes it was just plain aggrevating and verged on going overboard.  

Yet, Michele Gorman manages to capture your attention from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the very end.  It was a well written book, I just wanted to shake Carol...  I love Michele Gorman's writing, she's fun and quirky and has a unique style that's all her own.  I just felt a bit of a disconnect with this particular book.

For me, I have to give this a 4 stars...  While it held my interest, I just felt that it was a little over the top at times..  I am so extremely ADD, that it's so hard for a book to hold my interest at all and so I appreciate a writer who can grab my attention and keep it!


Pictures of Lily: by Paige Toon / Book Review


Pictures of Lily:  Paige Toon

First, let me say that I absolutely adore Paige Toon.  This is probably my third or fourth book I've read from her.  


While, I am writing this and hope to not give any spoilers, 
I have to say that this was a good book, yet there was a huge disconnect for me.  I didn't like at all where the story landed.  To me, it was very well written, but I was extremely uncomfortable with the storyline.  It just seemed really inappropriate and I had hoped that she would take it in a different direction.  That didn't happen.

Pictures of Lily centers around a girl, named Lily, who at the tender age of 15 going on 16 is uprooted from her "comfort zone" of London and moved miles away to a different continent.  Lily's mum has being having an internet liason with an Australian, Michael and so she uproots Lily and takes her all the way to Australia to live with Michael and his son.

Lily, who is at that age when hormones are going crazy anyway, is decidedly unhappy.  Lily's mom is seems is a serial "dater", she's the loves them and leaves them type.  It appears that Lily's mom has left a trail of men in her past.  So, it's no wonder why Lily is a little more than agitated at having her whole life turned upside down for what she feels is just a fleeting romance in her mom's eyes.  She just waits until the moment her mom decides to leave again.

The whole first part of the book is about Lily's time as a 15/16 year old girl just having moved to Australia.  Michael is a caretaker of a "wild life conservatory" and Lily finds that she's fallen in love with the wild life and animals at Michael's job.  So, Lily spends her whole summer working at the conservatory with Michael.

Lily's time at the conservatory is precious to her, and she falls in love with not only the animals, but she also finds that she has some talent as an amateur photographer.  However, the summer that will be the best summer of her life, will also be the summer filled with painful memories.  You know how there's always "the one that got away", well during this summer Lily will meet and lose that "special someone"

Fast Forward:  10 years or so....

That 15 year old girl who moved to Australia is long gone.  Now we meet the grown-up Lily.  Lily, whno had once found a passion and love for the animal wildlife of Australia and a love of photography finds that she's now working as a receptionist for a Magazine company, but still is in Australia, never left to head back to England.

When we reconnect with Lily, she's living with Richard who soon proposes marriage.  Richard's proposal throws Lily back into the past that she tries all at once to forget, but can't seem to let go of.  She can't get past her first love, the "one who got away".  While, she accepts Richard's proposal, her heart can't seem to fully commit.  

Then a blast from her past comes back and everything is turned upside down and the lingering questions that Lily has been struggling with now engulf her even more.  Lily must decide what it is she truly wants out of life, the life she's created for herself or the life she left years ago...

I have to say, that while this was an excellently written book, it just was disturbing in some ways and I felt that had Ms. Toon taken it somewhere else, it would have made more sense to me....  That being said that's just my opinion.  I have to rate it a 4 Stars, because like I said it is a good story, it's just that I felt that it was carried in a totally wrong direction, but WHO AM I... LOL I mean, that's just me.  I don't have 1/10 of Paige Toon's talent, I'm merely a reader.  

Please do not let this deter you from picking this book up, becaue it truly is a good book, it's just have you ever read a book and the ending just made you MAD?  Like WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?  NO, it's not supposed to end like that!  That's what I felt when I read this!  

I hope that if Ms. Toon reads this she won't put me on some black list of reviewers, because I truly do have the utmost respect for her as an author, and I hope she can forgive me for wishing it would have gone a different way..... 

Have you ever read a book that just made you so mad and you just felt as if an injustice had been done to the characters?  I felt that Lily needed to learn a lesson, not indulge in whimsy....  But, that's me....  Ok....  I'm going to stop talking now and publish this...

Connect to the Author:




**  I was in no way compensated for this review.  I read this on Scrib'd, but it's also available for $1.99 currently (10/2/2014) on Amazon Kindle!  I'm sure that price won't last long!!


Scrib'd vs. Amazon Unlimited: A comparison ( Based on the iPad Version)

Scrib'd vs Amazon Unlimited:

Scrib'd versus Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Battle of The BOOKS
Who Wins the Battle of the Books...

I have long been waiting for good services to come out that offer serious readers the chance to do what Netflix did for movie watchers.  I was surprised when it wasn't Amazon who lead the pack.  I suppose in their own way they thought that offering "Prime" members ONE whole book a month from their "Prime" Selection was the Reader's answer to Netflix, umm... nope... Wrong Amazon.  

If you truly are a "serious" reader, one who reads at least a book a week, the Prime version where you could only choose ONE book from a meager amount of titles, truly wasn't going to satisfy your reading needs.  Yet, when Scrib'd first came on the scene, I did look into it, and tried to search for a few of my favorite authors and none of the ones that I automatically look for were in the selection.

Ok...  So, let's disect it.
Scrib'd Monthly Service, $8.99

PRICE:

Ok.  So this is quite easy.  

Scrib'd:  $8.99/ monthly

Kindle Unlimited:  $9.99/ monthly

So, just looking at the two side by side looking at PRICE, Scrib'd is the winner.  Ok, but there's more to the services than just "money".  What reader's want to know is is it worth it?  No one wants to subscribe to a service and then there not be any of the book they are interested in be available...

Content:


Ok.  So, if you aren't a chick lit lover, I may honestly not be able to help you here.  I've primarily researched what I like and what I've found.

When Kindle Unlimited began, I immediately signed up for the "free trial", because heck it's free, right??  I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that Carole Matthews had quite a few books available on Kindle Unlimited...  Jill Mansell had one or two...  Milly Johnson:  zilch...  

I can't really tell you exactly what books are party of Kindle Unlimited.  As of right now there truly is no way to find the books that meet MY criteria when I search through Amazon.  They need to create a database for their Unlimited users and perhaps even it's own app.  Because the only reason I found that Ruth Saberton and Carole Matthews were a part of Unlimited, was because I was searching for them anyway.

Now, when I first looked into Scrib'd I mentioned that I had not found any content that really blew my socks off.  Last night I signed up through my "Swagbucks bar" (It's a really neat way to earn points that turn into Amazon Gift Cards or Visa Gift Cards, etc.  I have since beginning - I haven't been too active, I've cashed in for two $5 gift cards!  Not too bad)...  Anyway...  I signed up for the free trial of Scrib'd because I would be able to receive 900 points (equal to $10 in Amazon Gift Cards), plus I really had been wanting to try the service.

Once I was on the site and answered a few questions about my book preferences, it lead me to suggestions.  Let me say, the suggestions were RIGHT on par!  They pointed me to Milly Johnson, Paige Toon, Sue Welfare (I've not yet read her, but now I will!) and Hester Brown.  Plus some other books that truly looked to be MY kind of book!

My Scrib'd Library:  Featuring Paige Toon, Sheila O'Flangan & Milly JohnsonUI / Plus the Algorithms

The UI of Scrib'd truly far surpasses the Kindle App.  When I first received my iPad 1, I had both Kobo and Amazon Kindle apps on it.  However, the Kobo app was so pretty and I loved the way you moved around it.  The Kindle app, just seem so basic and generic when compared to other Reading apps.

You also can "shop" on the Scrib'd app, where the Amazon app, I guess because iTunes wanted to make it harder for Amazon to compete with the iBooks store, made it really difficult and users have to shop in the browser then go back and my Amazon is still trying to send stuff to a device I never have.

The Scrib'd UI is so similar in style to that of Kobo, and the ease in which you move around is really nice.  I think that Amazon really focused their money on their "kindle Fire" UI and those of us "hardcord apple" users have been kinda left in the dust.  It doesn't feel as if Amazon is putting money into making a nice system for us apple folks to use.  Where the Scrib'd app really feels really well made.

I love the books that Scrib'd has selected based on my preferences.  Amazon, just isn't fairing well, because their recommendations aren't just Kindle Unlimited, and I have to dig around to find the good ones.

MY VERDICT:

Scrib'd right now wins HANDS down!  I will probably stick with Scrib'd at least until I've read all that it has to offer.  I may end up cancelling my Kindle Unlimtied.  For the most part, the books available on Unlimited are usually the lower priced books anyway, the ones I can easily afford.  Plus, there really aren't many of the books that I want to read that are at this time being offered.  Since, I likely can't see myself paying $20 for two reading apps I will have to make a cut somewhere.

I'm sorry Kindle Unlimited, unless you change your ways and maybe dress yourself up nicer and show me more of what I want and like, then I think it's time we take a break....  

ON another NOTE:

I'd love to know how these apps affect my favorite author's pockets...  Afterall, I don't want them to be unable to feed their families because I'm using a book service.  I want to be able to have a discount, but not at the expense of authors who work hard to give me these delicious stories to escape from my own mundane life....

WHAT ABOUT YOU???

Have you subscribed yet to either service?? If you have, which one and why do you love it or hate it?  If you are an author, PLEASE tell me you aren't going to starve if I continue this dirty little habit??  I think maybe this is a great vehicle to catch up on a backlog of older stories, but I promise I will continue to purchase your new titles :)  Please don't hate me because I'm poor and cheap :)

Review: First We Take Manhattan by: Colette Caddle


First We Take Manhattan:

Synoposis:

In First We Take Manhattan, we meet Sinead and her family who are still mourning the loss of her sister Sheila almost a year ago.  Sheila, whose body was never found, vanishes into thin air.  Leaving behind Philip, her adoring husband;  Sinead her identical twin, and Max their brother as well as their dad.  

Sinead, Sheila's twin of course is probably taking the news harder than anyone.  A hat designer, who had been in business with Sheila, is finding it hard to find inspiration and struggles with just living.  She's shocked into reality when her brother Max (who prepares their finances), informs her that she's going to have to shut down the shop so that she can focus on the "design" aspect of the business or she will lose it all.

On the otherside of the world Krystie, a talented would-be designer, has just lost her job.  With no prospects she knows that there's only one answer:  Go home to Ireland with her tail between her legs.  Little does Krystie know that this is the answer to her prayers.  While she's wasted away years in the "Big City Lights" of New York working as a seamstress, it isn't until she heads back to Ireland that she might just find her true calling.

My Thoughts:

I had never had the pleasure of reading any of Colette Caddle's work prior to receiving this book.  I am so glad that I won this on Facebook and was able to immerse myself inside the fascinating world that Colette Caddle created.

This book was a lovely story about a family who has been ripped apart by the sudden loss of Sheila.  With no body and no hard concrete evidence it makes it hard for this family to move oThe family is stuck between mourning the loss of Sheila to hanging onto the thread of hope that she's still out there.  The question is, if Sheila is alive, what could possibly make her want to leave her old life behind.

Colette Caddle so masterfully told this story.  You know, it's hard for me to know exactly what it is that makes me enjoy a particular book so much.  This time though, it occured to me what it was that had me so hooked.  Ms. Caddle was able to leave an air of mystery throughout the entire book, when you found one piece of the puzzle you discoverd another piece missing.  This kept you unable to put it down, wanting to discover the answers to the every unfolding mysteries that were uncovered.

That's when you know it's a good book, when an author can give you JUST enough information to where you're not feeling exasperated, but you are working out the answers in your own head and SOMETIMES you might be right, but are thrilled when you discover you just THOUGHT you knew.  That's how it was for me with this book.  There were some elements that it didn't take me long to figure out, or well that I had at some point figured out prior to the answer being displayed.

Yet, there were other times when I was just DEAD wrong.  It happens OCCASSIONALLY that I'm wrong :)  I LOVED this book.  I loved the characters that Ms. Caddle created and the way she integrated them into the plot.  It was a story that felt seamless.  It was a relief after some of the books I've read (none that have been reviewed here) where the characters' weren't fully developed and the plots just seemed rushed or there was no "climax".  

In "First We Take Manhattan", you have a lovely story of a family broken, long kept secrets that are uncovered, newfound loves, friendship and self-empowerment and discovering what it is that makes you happy is something we all need to find and hold onto if and when we find it.

This is a DEFINITE 5 star book!  I cannot reitterate how much I loved this lovely, lovely story!  It doesn't appear to yet be available on Kindle, however it doesn't take that long to order and receive it from the UK or Ireland!  I got this book within a week of winning it!  If you haven't ever read Irish or UK literature / chick lit, I'm telling you that there's something so thrilling about the way these women tell stories!  I have found myself searching for new Irish and UK authors when my favs have all been read!

To purchase this on Amazon:


To Connect to Colette Caddle:




Thanks

Thanks again for tuning into my little ol' site!  I hope that you've enjoyed this review!  If you have, I would love to hear your thoughts on this book or if you plan to purchase it!


***  This book was won in a giveaway on Facebook!

The Stolen Girl by Renita DSilva: Book Review


BEHIND:

To those who follow me, let me please apologize to you for falling behind on my Book Reviews.  There are so many new and exciting things taken place and I'm struggling trying to find balance to it all.  I truly appreciate those of you who take the time to read my posts.

I am trying desperately to find a balance to everything!  So, I appreciate your patience with me.  I promise to try to be more consistent with SassyGalReads.  It is my first love.

The Stolen Girl:  Renita D'Silva

I actually came across this book, almost by pure chance.  I had seen the cover and liked it and commented about how much I liked it and was given the opportunity to review it!  Sometimes, being a book reviewer can really be one of the coolest things!  

This book is a little different than most of my "happy go lucky" chick-lit.  In "The Stolen Girl", we meet Diya, a 13 year old girl who shortly after the book begins, discovers that her "mother" has been arrested for kidnapping her.  She is "The Stolen Girl".  Diya, who has always had an extremely close relationship and attachment to her mother, is devestated.  The life that she's known is no more.

Of course, questions flood through her mind.  She's stuck between protecting the mother she's known her whole life, and questioning the foundation of all she's ever known.

Aarti, the mom who has spent the past nearly 13 years searching for a lost child, is all at once filled with relief as well as hurt when Diya doesn't form the instant bond she always imagined they would have.  

Then there's Vani, the one who has raised Diya her whole life, the one now facing kidnapping charges and deportation from England (where she fled) back to India where the crime was committed.

But things aren't always as they seem.  "The Stolen Girl" bounces back from present day to the past some twenty or so years to present day.  

This is a story about friendship, love, forsaking yourself.  It's also a story about some bigger topics, topics that are so serious and make you realize and appreciate the freedom we all enjoy.  It's a story about our possessions, the people that we hold dear and how we treat them.  How sometimes those we love are the ones that we hurt the most, how we try to possess those and hold on too tight, and how sometimes that's the very thing that pushes them away.  The author handled these subjects so gorgeously.  Her work is beautiful and touching.

When I first opened the pages, the way that it was written took some getting used to.  Like a lot of books, I read it and then put it down because I didn't think I was going to be able to "get into it".  However, I'm glad I picked it back up, because this TRULY was an awe inspring book.  The story was captivating.  I found myself unable to pull away from the story.  It's part mystery, part love, and part betrayl.

The lives of these three women will never be the same.  It's a story about forgiveness, and learning how to love.  This is a book I would love to just gab about and share all the delicious bits, but I can't find a way to do so, without giving the essential parts away.  It's a story that has some twists and turns that you don't expect.

Renita D'Silva, this is the first time I've experienced her writing, but she truly has been blessed with the gift of story telling.  She knows how to draw the reader in and keep them interested.  For someone like me, who has a very hard time finding new authors and new books that can captivate my attention, I appreciate when I can find an author that is able to draw me into the story and make me forget where I am, and lose myself inside the pages of story.

I literally bawled my eyes out while reading this book.  While it's different than most stories, it was a nice change of pace and sometimes I find that I need to break the monotany of what I'm used to.  If you love a good and truly touching story that has some mysterious elements this would be a good book for you!  I truly hope that if your reading this, you will consider giving this book a chance.

It really is a book that needs to be read.  If you have read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!  What books are you usually drawn to, do you ever go beyond your normal "genre"?  I find that I have a hard time wanting to leave my happy chick lit genre, but I realize if I confine myself within one genre, I can truly miss out on some exceptional writing, story telling.

This is TRULY a 5 star book.  
o

NOTE:

I'll be extremely honest, I have struggled to post reviews on books that I don't find truly exceptional.  It's so hard for me to publish 3 stars and below, because I feel so bad and dont' want to hurt those author's feelings.  However, I realize that as a book reviewer it is my duty if I want to be taken seriously to commit myself to sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with my readers.

So, I am going to promise you from this day forward, even if I don't like a book all that much, I will begin to publish the reviews of ALL my findings.  

If you are a blogger, was it hard for you to publish reviews that were sometimes "less than stellar" performances by the author?  How do you handle those situations?



**  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  However, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my OWN, in no way does it effect my critique or rating.


Connect:

Follow Renita D'Silva:  


To Purchase: $2.99 ON KINDLE!


Birchbox Bloggers Book Club: Mindy Kaling (AUGUST)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  Mindy Kaling Birchbox August Book Club Review

BIRCHBOX:

Birchbox is a beauty subscription service that costs just $10/ monthly and subscribers receive 5 deluxe sized samples ranging from Haircare to Skincare to Cosmetics.  They also have a wonderful point system, in which subscribers can earn "birchbox points" to spend in their HUGE store, that has all kinds of fun stuff!

Birchbox Book Club:

Just recently, I believe in June, they started having a monthly book club.  This month's selection was Mindy Kaling's book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER:

So, for those of you who read my blog often, may have noticed that I have added a ton to my plate.  I've also been doing a ton of product reviews.  So, it's really taking some getting organized to learn to balance everything from my Book Blog to my Beauty Blog as well as my money maker "Selling jewelry".  It's really a hit or miss thing for me to try to figure out how to get everything accomplished.  I see other folks posting maybe 3 or 4 blog posts a day and am amazed at how wonderfully organized they must be!!

OK SO ON TO THE BOOK!

This book is a bit of a departure for my normal style of reading.  I tend to read mainly chick-lit fiction.  However, I truly did love this book.

It's a perfect book, for times when you don't have a lot of time to invest in a "story".  As it's mainly a book filled with lots of little stories.  The book was filled with lots of tid bits about Mindy Kaling's life!  Told through the mouth of Mindy, she can make even the most ordinary event sound hilarious.

The opening page, had me dying with laughter.  She definitely has a unqiue voice and a different perspective than a lot.  She doesn't seem to take herself too seriously and is able to "poke fun" at herself, which is always good for a laugh.

*** Excerpt taken from: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns
Thank you for buying this book.  Or, if my publisher's research analytics are correct, thank you, Aunts of America, for buying this for your niece you don't know that well but really want to connect with more.  There are many teenage vampire books you could have purchased instead.  I'm grateful you made this choice.

With an opening like that, how could it be anything BUT fun!  She also responds to the question:  "Is this one of those guide books celebrities write for girls?, with:  Oh, Hell no.  I'm only marginally qualified to be giving advice at all.  My BMI is certainly not idea, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars because I never have cash on me, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Antrhopologie Sale section.  I'm kind of a mess.

She definitely was able to push back the "celebrity Mindy" and make us feel as if she's just one of the girls.  I mean, sure she's been on several sit-com's and movies, but she's just like us...  Only not.

If you like light hearted books, that are fun with several little stories within, this is a book you would definitely enjoy.  I really enjoyed her writing style and her humor.  Anyone who can so eloquently laugh at themselves, is alright in my book.

There's a Best Friend's Right and Responsbilities Section for the important things Best Friend's should do for one anohter.  Things like, borrowing ALL your clothes (That's a given), be honest about how you look (GENTLY), trying to like ones' boyfriend, being there when your depressed.

She goes on to tell about her time on The Office, and how she got the role of Kelly Kapoor.  She basically gives us an inside look inside the mind of Mindy Kaling, along with some of the background on how she became the successful actress, but how she maintains to be just a "normal" girl who happens to be a Hollywood star.

I'm so not a nonfiction person, for the most part.  So, for a book that's nonfiction to hold my interest, it really takes an interesting and unique approach, and Mindy Kaling, certainly had that in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns.  It's a book, I would definitely recommend to other folks!  It's a great GIFT book, as she so jokingly put it, it really is.  It's a book you could keep in your ahem "bathroom" for those times that you might be there for a little longer than usual.

I totally give this a Sassy Gal FIVE star rating!  It was so much fun, yet infomrative, it didn't have me nodding off as some books have been known to do!  It's a book that I think I could read, and reRead and get something a bit different each time.

TO follow Mindy on Twitter:  Mindy on Twitter
To learn more about Birchbox or to subscribe:  Birchbox.com
Follow Birchbox:  Birchbox on Twitter

To purchase this book:
Just $4.99 on Kindle!

 Did you read the August Birchbox book club selection?  If so, what did you think of Mindy Kaling's book and how would you rate it against other Non-Fiction works?

Thanks for once again tuning into another post!  I hope that you weren't bored to tears and maybe even learned something!  I would love to hear from you!  I like to know I'm not talking to myself!!  So maybe just a comment that says:  Yup, I was here, would be nice :)

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