Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett

November 12th, 2014

angelsProof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett is a moving story about the angels in our lives and second chances. Our main character Sean Magee is a firefighter who becomes trapped in a burning building. Just as he is sure he’ll be taking his last breath he is led to a window by what he is later sure is an angel and he just jumps. Despite severe burns and injuries he survives.

The whole experience causes Sean to take a closer look at himself and how he has been living his life. He’s just been existing in his life not really living and now that he’s been given another chance at life he wants to change that. To do that though he has to look to his past and deal with all the issues that caused him to withdraw from his life in the first place. Issues like the family he’s run from as well as make amends to the one woman he’s always loved and never forgotten.

Sean is one of those characters that is easy to connect with because he’s looking for the same thing a lot of us are … the meaning of our lives and what we ultimately want from it. Despite his issues he’s a pretty wise guy. One of my favorite quotes from the book came from Sean…

‘… sometimes miracles happen. Great stuff happens out of the garbage of everyday life. Like seeing a dog surf or being in the right place at the right time so that you can actually save a life. Or admitting, just admitting once that life is more than just work, it’s about the people in it.’ (from eBook copy)

Words well said. Too often we don’t see all the little things in our lives that are really good. Many times we don’t take the chances we should whether it be in forgiveness or love. This novel really brings that to light. Second chances are meant to be taken and life is meant to be lived fully. Above all keep yourself open to the angels that touch your life!

Recommended for fiction lovers! I really enjoyed this one!

 

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review. No compensation was received and all opinions are that of the blog owner.

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Memory Card Full by Liz Weber

November 3rd, 2014

memoryLosing a pet is never easy and when Liz Weber’s dog Rufus begins showing signs of old age and ill health she knows that sooner or later she will have to face the fact that she may lose him.  Memory Card Full is a memoir of Liz’s life before, during, and after losing her Rufus.  As any pet owner knows our pets are a constant in our lives and they love us no matter what and with Liz going through some issues in her own life Rufus was the one thing she could always depend on.  Needless to say the loss of a pet makes for an emotional story.

Liz had a pretty busy life with working in a bar, as a part time model, and at a lawyers office.  Her dream is to become a writer but in the meantime she has to do whatever she can to pay the bills although she has very supportive parents who help her out if she really needs it. Still Liz feels stuck in her life.  She can’t seem to move forward though and it’s driving her crazy.  So when Rufus starts to show signs of something being wrong Liz is concerned about being able to pay the bills but will do what it takes to get Rufus help.  As Rufus gets worse Liz has to make one of the hardest decisions of her life and put her boy down.  Afterwards even though she continues to work her emotional state seems to spiral downwards.  As time goes on though Liz decides to take a writing class, attend a conference, and even start dating.  Liz began to feel as though having Rufus had kept her from really living her own life and she knows that finally she needs to let go of her grief and move on.

I have mixed feelings on this memoir but I think really the reason is that all of us have different ways of dealing with loss and our feelings on things.  There were many decisions and thoughts that Liz had that I disagreed with but again each person does things or feels things their own way and can’t be judged on that.  I lost Buddy four years ago and the pain is still there for me and I’m not always positive I’ve moved on from it despite having the wonderful Sammy to love.  The raw emotion of having to put her dog down really hit me hard as the anniversary of losing Buddy passed just a few weeks ago so that made some parts of this memoir really difficult for me.  All in all I enjoyed reading Liz’s memoir.  It was a fun read in a lot of parts because to me she lives a fairly exciting life that I never will but other than the shared experience of losing our pets I couldn’t really connect as I would have liked to which I’m positive is due to the differences in our lifestyles and our thoughts on some things.  Despite that Liz seems like a really great and caring person and hopefully the writing of this memoir was one more way for her to heal in her own life.

Recommended for those who enjoy memoirs!

 

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Source: Digital review copy received from the author for an honest review. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

How to Bake a Man by Jessica Barksdale Inclan & Giveaway (International)

October 27th, 2014

bakeHow to Bake a Man by Jessica Barksdale Inclan is a deliciously fun read with great characters and yummy recipes!

Becca is in one of the oldest students in her grad school class and very uncomfortable with it when she realizes that going back to school really isn’t what she wants.  She wants to bake.  She’s loved to bake since she was a young girl learning from her mother.  So she makes a life changing decision to drop out of school and follow her dream of eventually owning her own bakery.

Becca gets all the paperwork in order and even manages to land herself a job delivering up her baked treats to an office building.  Her hope is that she will soon be delivering to even more businesses and word of her phenomenal baking will spread.  With the help of her mother and her neighbor Sal she begins her venture. What she doesn’t plan on is meeting Jennifer, her look-a-like at the office.  The two of them are polar opposites in personality though as Jennifer is evil to everyone  and Becca can’t believe how she treats people.  She also doesn’t plan on meeting Jeff, a man she feels an instant connection to.  The problem – he is Jennifer’s boyfriend but when he shows an interest in Becca she is over the moon and can’t resist seeing where it will go.  Yet is Jeff really everything she’s ever wanted or is she missing out on a true love that may be sitting right under her nose.

I really liked Becca.  She’s funny and vulnerable and just the kind of person you could picture being good friends with.  Then there are those wonderful mouth watering recipes she’s always whipping up.  Who wouldn’t want a friend like that?  One that would invite you for coffee and serve up some Sugar Cookies, Sand Tarts, Snickerdoodles, or Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese glaze.  Yummo!  The other characters were great as well and even though Jennifer was so evil to everyone I didn’t even hate her.  Actually I found her quite amusing at times.  If I had one complaint it would have been that I would have liked to find out more about the connection that Becca and Jennifer may or may not have had.  That’s a minor detail though as the story itself is just delightful and a wonderful way to spend a snowy afternoon.

For fans of sweet romances and even sweeter recipes How to Bake a Man is certainly one to add to your reading list!

 

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

1 paperback copy up for grabs!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date November 12/14

Good luck!

(comments are welcome but do not count as an entry)

 

Source: Digital review copy and giveaway copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.

Butternut Summer by Mary McNear (Audiobook)

October 17th, 2014

Butternut-SummerButternut Summer by Mary McNear was just what I was expecting. A lovely, heartwarming story of a charming little town with a whole host of characters that you won’t soon forget. Butternut Summer is the second in the Butternut Lake Trilogy with the first being Up at Butternut Lake which I read last year and loved. Part of a trilogy this book does stand on its own although the benefit of reading the first book before this one would be familiarizing yourself with the characters a little more and getting a bit of back story. Both books are so wonderful and just perfect for cozying up with now that the weather is cooling off.

Daisy is home from college for the summer and nothing could make her mother Caroline happier. Daisy will spend the summer working with her mom in their diner called Pearl’s and Caroline is really looking forward to spending time with her daughter. Caroline is in for a surprise though because unknown to her Daisy has been meeting with her father for more than a year. The same father that walked out on Daisy and her mother when Daisy was just a baby. Of course Caroline is still very bitter towards Jack but has always kept that from Daisy and can understand that Daisy wants to have a relationship with her father but that doesn’t mean that Caroline has to as well. However it seems that Jack is thinking exactly that and he doesn’t seem to want to give up too easily in his determination to win Caroline back.

Daisy, on her way to meet her parents, ends up having trouble with her truck and has to stop at the mechanics. She ends up meeting Will a boy she went to school with but he was considered a bad boy then so he wasn’t anyone Daisy associated with. Even now the two have nothing in common. Daisy is on her way back to college at the end of the summer and Will is going nowhere really working at the garage. Secretly though Will remembers the fierce crush he had on Daisy in school and it seems that attraction is still there and now he’s brave enough to act on it. Will it be a summer of love for the two?

I loved this story of love and second chances. I love that the author dealt with some real issues in this novel like alcoholism and the effects that it has on a family. I like that forgiveness and moving on plays a big role as well. Caroline was one of my favorite characters from the first book and it was great getting to know her so much better. I love that she got a second chance at life and love. I thought Daisy was a great character too. For a young woman and especially a young woman in the throes of her first love she still maintained a sensible outlook on things. The author also does a wonderful job of making the reader fall in love with Butternut and it sure made this reader wish she lived somewhere so beautiful.  I was lucky enough to snag the audiobook from my local library and it was wonderful.  It is narrated by Carrington Macduffie who I’ve not listened to before but would again.  She really did a great job of bringing these characters and this story to life for me.

I can’t wait to see whose story will be told in Moonlight on Butternut Lake which is the third and final book in the trilogy. Butternut Summer is perfect for fans of women’s fiction and romances. Highly recommended!

 

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Source:  Digital review copy was provided by the publisher however audiobook is from my local library.  No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
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