Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kate Moore writes a compelling and heart wrenching story about a group of women from New Jersey and Illinois whose job it was to use radium paint to paint watch dials so they would illuminate at night. Little did they know, that every time they would put their brush in their mouth to get the point just right to paint the dial precisely, they were killing themselves. They were told that the paint was perfectly safe and there was no way that the paint could be causing all of their medical problems. But the companies knew that the radium was dangerous. Scientists and others in the radium plant used gloves and had lead aprons on, but the dial painters were not given that luxury.

Slowly the effects of the paint began to show on their bodies. Women who were in the prime of their life were losing their teeth, their jaw bones were falling out, it was difficult for them to walk, and no one could explain it. They went to several doctors and no one could find the reason they were getting sick. The radium companies refused to admit that they were at fault. For years and years, they fought for justice. Justice for women who were dying in their 20s. This book made your heart ache for these women.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was quite a slow read for me. I wanted to know if justice was going to be served, but it took a while to get to that point. This is quite an interesting story and this was the first that I had ever heard of it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Boyfriend Blog Hop!!! GIVEAWAY!!!

Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Hop on over to each author's page linked below and collect the boyfriend 2017 name at each stop.  Once you have all of your names, submit them to traciebanister@gmail.com so that you can be entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway!!

The Grand Prize includes a Kindle Paperwhite plus 30 e-books, one from each of the authors below.  

Entries are accepted until midnight on Sunday, May 21st and the winner will be chosen on May, 22nd.  


Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley

Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eric Bakker has just received a cryptic message from his brother, Michael, about the disappearance of their parents. Now Michael is also missing, but who can Eric trust to help him with all of this. Michael says to trust no one. Eric is away at boarding school and hasn't made too many friends. What is he going to do to find his family?

Thank you to NetGalley and Blue Moon Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Hit the Ground Running had me hooked from the start. I read almost 1/2 the book on the first day. This is a faced paced novel that leaves you wanting more. Imagine your parents dumping you in a boarding school in Canada for no good reason and uprooting you from the home you've always known. Eric isn't sure why his family made the move to Canada or why he has to go to this school. He tries to stick to himself as much as possible. But when he needs help to find his family, who can he trust to help him. While contemplating his situation, he runs into Tess another student from the school, and she thinks she may have a way to help him. Can he trust her? Will he be able to find his brother and his parents before it's too late?  Traveling between Canada, California, and Montana, Eric does everything he can to locate his family.  With the help of a colleague of his parents and a couple of kids from school, they travel by plane, boat, motorcycle and RV in order to accomplish the task at hand.

This is the first book in a trilogy. The end leaves you hanging so you will want to read the next book. I can't wait for it to be released.

About the Author:
Mark is originally from Truro, Nova Scotia. His parents were teachers, which means he could have grown up around books, and he did, but mostly he marked biology tests for his dad and dissected whatever they had for dinner (true story). He attended Dalhousie University in Halifax to complete his science degrees and continued to cultivate the writer seed that was planted when he was a kid. Mark has always been involved in high-level sport, as an athlete through university and as a coach afterward, and maintains that sport has given him the chance to succeed in art, something he’s sure he couldn’t have done otherwise. As a result, though, he eats the same breakfast every morning and he always puts his left shoe on first—bad things will happen if he doesn’t. Mark and his wife live outside Halifax with their two children. Books are big in their house; Mark’s favourite thing is Bedtime with Ry (come on, Mom, who can sleep during the Quidditch World Cup?). As a reader, he's always been slow, preferring to savour, which drives his wife nuts —she’s a devourer. He is often drawn to books that are beyond his ability to comprehend, which is only frustrating when the words aren’t beautiful. He also has an unnatural attraction to chai lattes. It’s a problem. He’s okay with it.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak

Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cora has just moved to the town of Silver Springs California, hoping to start a new life with a new job teaching art. She's teaching a a school for troubled boys called, New Horizons and Cora is really drawn to its founder Aiyana. Besides the teaching job, Cora has other reasons to be in Silver Springs. Will she be able to find the answers she is looking for, or will the decisions she makes along the way hinder her ability to discover the truth about herself?

While I have many Brenda Novak books on my Kindle, this is the first of her titles that I have actually read. I was drawn to this book initially because of its setting of Silver Springs, the town I live in is called Silver Spring. I was even more drawn to the book by the characters because I have members of my immediate family with similar names to the characters in the book.

Cora Kelly was adopted 28 years ago. Since that time she has been on a quest to find her mother and find out why. She loves her adoptive parents wholeheartedly, but still has a desire to know where she comes from. Her birth mother was at a reasonable age to keep a child, 21, so what were the circumstances that made her decide that adoption was the best idea, especially since in her investigation she finds out that her birth mother has adopted several children over the years.

This was a very compelling story. It drew me in immediately and I couldn't put it down. I read it in just a few hours over a couple of days. I can't imagine what it would be like to not know your birth parents. And then searching your whole life to find them, with a closed adoption. In Cora's quest to find all this information, she falls in love and faces conflict with her adoptive parents. It's a great story for everyone who likes a little romance in their lives.

If you enjoy Ms. Novak's books, consider joining her book club on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/brend...

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Charley Bordelon has just inherited 800 acres of a sugar cane farm from her father. So she uproots herself and her daughter from their life in California to Saint Josephine, Louisiana. She moves in with her grandmother, Miss Honey and tries her best to raise a successful cane farm. With other family members stepping in her way, this can prove to be difficult at times. Charley is doing the best she can, but will it be enough to keep the farm or will she be forced to sell it and head back to California.

I watched the series for this book on OWN and I loved it. If I would have known about the book, I definitely would have read that first. They always say, the book is better than the movie, but in this case, I will say that the book was not as good as the series. The characterization is a little different and the TV series definitely added a lot more drama to the situation. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and look forward to other books by Natalie Baszile.

Charley Bordelon has a lot on her plate. She has an adolescent daughter who hates the idea of leaving her home in California to live in a remote area of Louisiana. She has a sugar cane farm she has just inherited and she knows nothing about sugar cane. Her older brother Ralph Angel feels as though he is entitled to something, but he feels that way about everything in his life. Dealing with hurricanes, quitting farm hands, no money, and flooding back lots, there is a lot to learn and most people in the area, don't think she can do it.

The book takes you on a journey through Charley's first season of Cane Farming and all the trials and tribulations she endures during this time. I enjoyed the book and I look forward to the new season of the show coming this summer!

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amy Bensen is on a plane to Denver to start a new life when she meets Liam Stone. From the moment she first lays eyes on him, there is something about him that she is instantly drawn to. Knowing she is on the run, will she be able to trust Liam in order to share a life with him, or will she always be on the run from a past she is uncertain about.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Amy Bensen has only been Amy Bensen for a few hours. She received a notice from her handler that it was time to move on, since he had found her. Now she is on the way to a new city to start a new life and she has no idea how that is going to work. Having to look over her shoulder all of the time and always be on alert for someone lurking around a corner is no way to live. But this is the only way she has to survive now. Meeting Liam on the plane to Denver has her thinking about this man in a way she has never thought about anyone. Can he be someone she will be able to trust or is he a part of the people who are after her.

Amy is hiding a lot about her past. Some things she remembers and other details are foggy in her brain. Sexy billionaire Liam Stone, makes somethings disappear from Amy's mind, but only briefly. Their instant connection scares her.

This book reminded me a little of Fifty Shades of Grey. With the intensity of Liam Stone and his controlling personality, and of course the sex. Overall the book was interesting and I'm curious to see how it will all end for Liam and Amy. If she will find out what happened in her past and if she can start to live normal life again. Will she be able to do that with Liam, or will he be the person who keeps her from finding the truth?

The other books from the series are Infinite Possibilities, Forsaken, and Unbroken.

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Review: Far From True by Linwood Barclay

Far From True by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Promise Falls is still under attack. Detective Barry Duckworth has his hands full with the number of incidents that are taking place in this small town. From the bombing of the drive-in movie screen to a burning bus rolling down the middle of town, there are too many things going on and no suspects to charge.

As they say, the sequel is never as good as the original, but it's close. A lot of the same characters return for Book Two of the Promise Falls Trilogy. In this edition, the main focus is the death of four Promise Falls residents after the drive in movie screen falls on them. Mainly the couple in the vintage Jaguar are a mysterious couple especially when the wife of the owner of that car, shows up alive. Who was in the car, then? There is also the constant recurrence of the number twenty-three. What does it have to do with anything and who is behind all of the incidents with that number included? There are a few twists that caught me by surprise and one moment when I shouted out loud, "I knew it!" This story started off a little slower than Broken Promise even with a exploding movie screen at the forefront. Will Detective Duckworth be able to tie these cases together and find out who is behind the mysterious and crazy 23 incidents?

The final book in the trilogy is call The Twenty-Three. I can't wait to read and finally find out how all of this is going to end for the residents of Promise Falls.

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