0

A Sudden Change Of Heart by Barbara Taylor Bradford

A Sudden Change Of Heart by Barbara Taylor BradfordBlurb

Laura Valiant is a successful art historian, running her own company. She and her husband, Doug, a Wall Street lawyer, share an idyllic marriage. But Laura’s trust in her husband is shaken when she discovers he has a secret life apart from her – a life which will rock their love.

Clare Benson is Laura’s childhood friend. They’ve been together through thick and thin, good and bad. When Clare asks Laura the biggest favour and greatest honour of all – to be guardian to her teenage daughter, Natasha – Laura discovers her personal and professional lives become dramatically intertwined. But in true Valiant style, Laura rises to the challenges ahead and, eventually, succeeds in achieving the happiness and fulfilment she craves.

My Perspective

This is the ninth book i chose to read from my post Third Lot – And It’s A Lot

Unfortunately i am unable to give my perspective on this book. About five chapters in, there was a descriptive sex scene, which as i have said before, is not to my taste. Therefore i have not continued reading this book in the chance that there will be more.

0

The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs

The Apple Orchard by Susan WiggsBlurb

Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother’s beloved necklace — despite Tess’s advice. To Annelise, the jewel’s value is in its memories.

But Tess’s own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met and a mother who spent more time travelling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town of Archangel.

The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half-sister she’s never heard of.

Against the rich landscape of Bella Vista, Tess begins to discover a world filled with the simple pleasures of food and family, of the warm earth beneath her bare feet. A world where family comes first and the roots of history run deep.

My Perspective

This is the ninth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs from Ionia at Readful Things Blog. You can read her thoughts on the book here.

The Apple Orchard is about Tess, a treasure hunter who’s life solely revolves around work and the occasional catch up with friends. However her world is ripped apart when one day a man turns up at her office telling her she’s inheriting half an estate from the grandfather she didn’t even know – the other half being inherited by the half sister she never knew about either.

I had mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed it however it was a bit too unbelievable.

At first I found Tess hard to relate to however the more she opened up about herself, the more I liked her. Dominic was extremely likeable however thinking back he was pretty much perfect, which is way too unrealistic. Everyone else had equal measures of strengths and weaknesses except for him.

The story was written well with a steady pace. It was a mix of family saga, romance, and mystery. The story wasn’t entirely predictable however the essence of it was, which is what I found so unrealistic about it.

One thing about this book is the cooking and baking, which makes you drool. I also really enjoyed the added recipes throughout.

Overall this was a pleasant and interesting read however it was a bit too escapist for me. I would definitely recommend it if you like a light family saga and romance that really takes you out of the believability realm.

0

Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx by Geoffrey McSkimming

Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx by Geoffrey McSkimmingBlurb

A Tale Of Incalculable Inversion

When that well-known archaeologist and little-known poet, Cairo Jim, and his friends Doris the macaw, and Brenda the Wonder Camel, and Jocelyn Osgood make the ‘find of the century’, a new enemy on the scene sets out to discredit Jim and destroy his hard-won reputation…

My Perspective

Cairo Jim And The Secret Sepulchre Of The Sphinx, follows Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda once again on the dig for an historical wonder. However they know not what they are looking for. And just when they thought their lives were forever at peace due to the demise of the evil Neptune Bone, Mr Impluvium, an evil and conniving man, turns up on the scene.

The story was again a silly yet well written children’s story. I do find that after awhile some of the silliness gets to me however I have to remember that it’s not written with my age group in mind. I loved these books as a kid and didn’t find the silliness over the top at all back then.

I really liked the storyline and the mystery throughout. Although some of it was obvious, not all of it was and there were some parts that really kept me guessing.

Again, the main characters are extremely likeable – Cairo Jim, Doris and Brenda – and Mr Impluvium the slimy villain everyone loves to hate. What he did in the book was pretty mean and nasty and you really feel for Cairo Jim and his friends.

Overall it was an enjoyable and light read that I would recommend for children and adults who like a silly adventure/mystery with a bit of history thrown in.

0

Into The West by J.A. Campbell

Into The West by J.A. CampbellBlurb

Tina Harker is a typical teenager. She loves hanging with her friends at the mall, buying shoes, and getting manicures. Most of all, she loves horses. Her life is everything she wants until her father drags their family to Arizona. Now she’s living in a virtual ghost town in the middle of the desert, millions of miles from the nearest shopping center.

The one small highlight in the dreadful situation is the local ranch. They have a horse Tina can ride anytime she wants. Trying to make the best of her situation, Tina goes on her first cattle drive and gets a lot more adventure than she expected.

Bandits, cattle thieves, and a really cute cowboy are only the beginning as she finds out the ranch she is coming to love is in grave danger. Can Tina find the strength to travel back in time and save the ranch when her very life is on the line? It’s no simple trip to the mall, but with a little help from her cowboy, she might just save the day.

My Perspective

Into The West follows Tina as she is uprooted by her parents from her city life in New Jersey and moved to live out in the desert in Arizona. At first she’s extremely unhappy however the prospect of being able to ride at the local ranch whenever she wants in return for work makes the move a little easier. However soon she is involved in an exciting adventure, nothing of which she could have ever had back home, with a cute cowboy to boot.

This book is aimed at ages thirteen and up and is a light adventure/fantasy romance. Even though I still enjoyed it, there were moments I was rolling my eyes. However thinking back to when I was a teenager, I would have lapped this kind of story right up.

It was written well, the pace was steady and it kept your interest throughout. There was a lot of excitement and adventure and the romance was G rated, which was refreshing and I would be comfortable letting my teenager read.

Tina was relatable and easy to like. She really grew and matured throughout the book and the person she became was definitely a positive role model for teenage girls. Rowe was a sweetheart and it was very easy to like him.

Overall it was an enjoyable, light read that held my interest. There were some parts that were slightly unbelievable however what fantasy isn’t? I would definitely recommend this for teenage girls or even older females who like young, innocent romances.

This review is based on a digital ARC provided by the publisher.

2

The Chef, The Waitress…And The Kitchen Hand…

mrsgillies:

If you don’t follow my other blog, The Chef And The Waitress, then here’s some special news from last week.

Originally posted on The Chef and the Waitress:

Well, that makes it official! We will soon be joined by our very own kitchen hand. Due August 7.

If you still have no idea what I’m talking about…WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!!

Yep, that’s right. We’re thirty weeks today and although it’s now common knowledge in the “real” world, we have not made it official in the “virtual” world. Not even on Facebook. Although someone joked that it’s not official until you’ve announced it on Facebook. What’s the world coming to?

Anyway I’m not sure what else to say? We’re obviously very happy, excited, nervous etc. And we haven’t found out the sex as we’re happy to keep it a surprise. And the pregnancy is going well however there have been some minor concerns so your prayers would be appreciated!

I’ll leave you with this picture, which I think about sums it up.

Pregnant(And that’s just my navel ring, my…

View original 3 more words

1

Available Now! Into The West by J.A. Campbell

ITW-RB

A Young Adult Time Travel Novel

Into The West

by

J.A. Campbell

Published by Untold Press

 

intothewest

Tina Harker is a typical teenager. She loves hanging with her friends at the mall, buying shoes, and getting manicures. Most of all, she loves horses. Her life is everything she wants until her father drags their family to Arizona. Now she’s living in a virtual ghost town in the middle of the desert, millions of miles from the nearest shopping center.

The one small highlight in the dreadful situation is the local ranch. They have a horse Tina can ride anytime she wants. Trying to make the best of her situation, Tina goes on her first cattle drive and gets a lot more adventure than she expected.

Bandits, cattle thieves, and a really cute cowboy are only the beginning as she finds out the ranch she is coming to love is in grave danger. Can Tina find the strength to travel back in time and save the ranch when her very life is on the line? It’s no simple trip to the mall, but with a little help from her cowboy, she might just save the day.

45b61-add-to-goodreads-button31

321c9-buy_now_amazon-png

“Never a good plan to go killing creatures that hang out around magic portals.”Into The West, J.A. Campbell

 

“Nothing is going to happen,” she said when they parted.
 Rowe winked at her. “I know. Good excuse to kiss you.”
 “You don’t need an excuse.” —Into The West, J.A. Campbell

Click here to enter Giveaway

 

c9692-abouttheauthor

Campbell_authorpic1

J.A. Campbell
Julie has been many things over the last few years, from college student, to bookstore clerk and an over the road trucker. She’s worked as a 911 dispatcher and in computer tech support, but through it all she’s been a writer and when she’s not out riding horses, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer. She lives in Colorado with her three cats, her vampire-hunting dog Kira, her new horse and Traveler-in training, Triska, and her Irish Sailor.She is the author of many Vampire and Ghost-Hunting Dog stories and the young adult fantasy series Tales of the Travelers. She’s a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Dog Writers of America Association and the editor for Steampunk Trails fiction magazine.

Links to follow J.A. Campbell

Website ~ Blog ~ Blog ~ Facebook ~ LinkedIn ~Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page

IntothewestT

Other Books to Enjoy by J.A. Campbell

Sabaska’s Tale

(Tales of the Travelers Book 1)

Sabaska's Tale eBook

Sabaska’s Quest

(Tales of the Travelers Book 2)

JC-SQ-Ebook-3

Senior Year Bites

(The Clanless Book 1)

SYB-187x300

Happily Ever Afterlife

(Anthology)

Happy Afterlife

Dragonthology

(Anthology)

dragonthologysm

79648-excerptbanner

So, how is it?
Tina stared at her phone, amazed she had cell service, then back out the window of her parents’ car.
OMG. Just…OMG. I can’t believe they’re doing this to me, she texted back.
When Jessica didn’t reply, Tina sighed. It’s like being on Mars. All red and brown and flat. No trees. Some mountains, I guess. Alien. Horrible. She sent that text and waited.

Her phone beeped, searching for signal, then found reception again.
Hugs. I’ll come visit soon. I miss you. Gotta go. TTYL.
Tina put her phone away and stared out the window. She saw nothing out there. No stores, no restaurants, no school, no people. Just empty desert–horrible.

“Honey, we’re almost there,” her mom said, sounding excited.
“Almost where?” she muttered, crossing her arms and glaring at her feet.
Her dad glanced over his shoulder with a big grin on his face. “Almost home, sweetheart.”
“Almost to hell,” she said, even more quietly so her parents wouldn’t hear. Even the radio broadcast more static than music as reception faded in and out.

Tina went back to staring out the window since it was marginally more interesting than her feet. She supposed she would have to get used to the view. Like it or not, she couldn’t escape this hellhole until she went to college. The next two years would drag before she could return to lush green trees that dotted the concrete sea of New Jersey.

Her dad slowed and turned off the highway onto a dirt road. The car bumped, waking her little sister, Betsy.
“Are we there yet?” Her sister stretched and glanced out the window. She paused mid-stretch and Tina could see the surprise on her face. “Wow!”

Tina shook her head. Of course Betsy would be excited.
“This is so cool!” She bounced in her seat. Or maybe that was the potholes in the road. Did they ever fix things out here?
Tina ground her teeth. All she could see in the distance were more of the weird, red mountain things and a dirt road stretching to nowhere. “Where is this place we’re supposed to be going?”
“Home, sweetie,” her mom said in a sugary sweet tone.
“Sure, if we were Martians.”
“Tina Harker,” her dad said. “Do not talk that way to your mother.”
Tina sank down in her seat and crossed her arms again. This totally sucks, she thought to herself. She tried not to hit her head on the top of the sedan as they jolted down what was supposed to be a road.
“Hey, look, a house!” Betsy bounced again in her seat. This time Tina knew it wasn’t just the bad road. “And, Tina, a horse. Maybe they’ll let you ride it.”

Tina sighed and tried to ignore her little sister. Her parents had obviously sold the ten-year-old on the adventure, but Tina had left more behind than Betsy. Not wanting to see any horses right now, she didn’t even try to look. She missed Frankie, the thoroughbred she had leased for over a year. It wasn’t fair that she had to leave him behind. Tina had planned on buying him, but with the move, there was no way. Her parents had told her there were plenty of horses in Arizona and she’d find one there. They didn’t understand. She didn’t want just any horse. She wanted her horse.

Tears welled in her eyes, and she took a couple of deep breaths, trying not to cry.

A few minutes later, they passed another house on Tina’s side of the car and she couldn’t help but stare. A fence surrounded a large, dusty yard. The front porch seemed welcoming, except that one side sagged dangerously and the chipped tan paint peeled badly.

She wondered if anyone actually lived there. She didn’t see anyone, but saw a swing set in the yard and a rusty pickup parked in the backyard. It reminded her of a bad T.V. show.

Ages later, they passed a couple more houses in better repair than the last. Finally her dad pulled off the bumpy non-road onto another bumpy non-road. They continued for another small eternity before Tina saw a cluster of buildings that looked like stores. Her dad turned down something like a main street and stopped in front of one of the small stores.
“Welcome to Golton, kids.”

Tina looked around her, horrified. “I thought you said we were moving to a town.”
Her dad smiled at her and opened the car door. “It’s a ghost town.”

Tina stared while he got out and stretched. The hot blast of dry air made sweat bead on her forehead, and then quickly dry. She felt like her skin would crack. Her dad shut the door, but with the car off, it would heat up fast. She didn’t want to get out, but she couldn’t stay in. Betsy had already jumped out and, as usual, bounced around her dad.

The heat made her wish she were wearing a halter-top, but the intense sun made her glad that her shirt covered her shoulders. The tan she had from riding her horse wasn’t enough to protect her.

She wondered if her dad joked about this being Golton. Forget about ghosts. There was nothing here to haunt.
“Come on, honey, let’s go see the store.”
Tina sighed. Maybe it would be air-conditioned.

Her dad talked quietly with the man behind the counter. The store had a little of everything, but not much of any one thing, and no variety. If you wanted toothpaste, you got Crest. If you wanted apples, you got red. Tina folded her arms across her chest and tried to pretend she was in a bad horror movie and she’d eventually be rescued and taken back to civilization, but not before the movie-monster got her sister.

Speaking of horror movies…Tina picked up a book called Missing in Arizona. The intro page said something about Golton being an area with a large number of disappearances.
“Tina, come here for a minute,” her dad called.

She hastily put down the book, hoping it was a joke, and joined her dad. Betsy shook the clerk’s hand.
“Tina, this is Mike. He owns this store,” her dad said.

The man behind the counter had the brownest skin she’d ever seen with short, jet black hair and an easy grin. He looked about her dad’s age, forty or so.

“Hi,” Tina said, smiling, and trying not to stare. She offered her hand and managed not to ask Mike if he was a real Indian.
Betsy had the benefit of being ten. “Tina, guess what? He’s a real Indian. A Nav…” She hesitated and looked up at Mike.
He smiled down at the little girl. “Navajo.”

“Betsy, they are Native Americans,” Tina’s mom said, sounding horrified.
Mike smiled at Betsy and winked. “Navajo,” he repeated.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Tina said, glad to meet another human in this desolate waste.
“It’s nice to meet you, too, Tina. Welcome to Golton. If there is anything you need and we don’t have it here, I can probably order it for you.” He smiled again. He had an accent, but Tina didn’t know if it was because he was a Native American or an Arizonian.

“Thanks,” Tina said. “Hey, that book back there said a lot of people go missing here. What’s up with that?”
He shrugged. “Conspiracy theories mostly. Seems like people go hiking in the desert and get lost and die. Stay close to civilization until you know your way around and you’ll be fine.”
“Thanks!” Tina was glad to know that the book wasn’t serious.

“It’s good to see you again, Mike. I just wanted to introduce the girls and my wife,” Tina’s dad said.
“Oh, those government boys were by the house with your things yesterday. I stopped in, didn’t seem like they were making too much of a mess, so I left them to it. My wife locked up after them. I’ll call her and have her meet you there with the other set of keys,” Mike said.

“Thanks.” Her dad placed the money for Betsy’s candy bar on the counter, and reached across to shake Mike’s hand.
They spoke for a few more minutes, but Tina tuned her parents and Mike out and glanced at some of the knickknacks in the store.

Finally, her parents and Betsy headed for the door. Tina followed them outside.
“See, it’s not so bad here,” her dad said, opening the car door. “Lots of nice people.”
Tina wondered where the other people were, but she didn’t feel like getting into another argument. At least not right then.
The car had baked in the sun and it hadn’t completely cooled down by the time her dad stopped again in front of a house. It was a two-story house with wooden siding and a large front porch. It looked like it may have been painted sometime in the past decade. As an added bonus, the porch only sagged slightly in the middle.

“There’s a fence,” Betsy said, bouncing again. “Can we get a dog, since we have a yard and a fence?”
Tina rolled her eyes. Their townhouse back in Jersey wasn’t big enough for a dog, or at least that’s what her parents kept saying.

“We’ll talk about it once we get settled,” her dad said.
“Cool.” Betsy nodded, as if they had already decided they would get a dog.
Tina wondered if she could talk her parents into a horse if Betsy got a dog. She doubted it. Especially since the horse she wanted lived in New Jersey. Frankie probably wouldn’t like it here anyway. Tina didn’t.

The hot, dry air blasted her as she stepped out of the car. The paint was probably white at one point, but it looked kind of yellowish now, though it hadn’t started to peel yet. It reminded Tina of a farmhouse out of an old movie.
Her mom had a funny expression on her face, kind of like the first time she’d tasted Betsy’s cooking and had to pretend she liked it. She stared at the house.

Tina’s dad put his arm around her and gave her a hug. “Just needs a little fixing up.”
“Well, let’s go explore,” her mom said after another few moments of silence. She sounded as cheery as before, but Tina wasn’t quite convinced. Betsy, on the other hand, seemed excited.
“Look, we’re in a real house, with space and stuff. Can we get a swing set?” She bounced up the front porch and tried the doorknob. “It’s locked.”

“I have the key,” her dad said, following Betsy.
Tina placed her foot gingerly on the steps up to the front door. They also sagged in the middle, but at least held her weight.
“Tina, I bet it’s haunted,” Betsy said once they were inside. “Look at this old picture. Think she’s still here?”
Betsy pointed to a portrait of a woman on the wall. She wore a bonnet like in an old movie and a dress with flowers on it. Tina wasn’t sure, but she thought the woman might have been a Native American.

Her dad laughed. “Mike assured me the house wasn’t haunted. This house has been in his family for a long time.”
“I thought Indians lived in teepees,” Betsy said.

“Some of them used to, honey. Most of them live in houses these days,” Tina’s mom said.
Tina turned away from the picture. A lighter spot on the yellowed wallpaper next to it had probably held another picture. She noticed stairs to the second floor that started right by the front door. The bare wood floor looked polished, probably by years of footsteps. The kitchen was straight back from the front door, and there was another room opened off to her left. Their new house didn’t seem terribly large, but it was bigger than their townhome in Jersey.
Huffing, Tina glanced around. “Is there electricity?”

Both her mom and dad gave her the don’t-be-ridiculous look.
“Hey, a fireplace,” Betsy shouted from the living room. “Can we have a fire, Mom?”
“When it is cooler, dear.”

Tina sighed and followed the sound of her sister’s voice into the living room. Their stylish leather couch and loveseat were completely out of place across from the stone fireplace. Boxes were stacked everywhere and spilled into the kitchen. She wandered toward the kitchen.
Betsy screamed.

ITWreview

0

Ranger’s Apprentice 12: The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan

Ranger's Apprentice 12: The Royal Ranger by John FlanaganBlurb

Will took an oath when he joined the Ranger Corps. Does it mean nothing to him now?

After a senseless tragedy destroys his life, Will is obsessed with punishing those responsible – even if it means leaving the Ranger Corps. His worried friends must find a way to stop him taking such a dark path.

It is Halt who suggests the solution: Will must take an apprentice. The candidate Halt has in mind surprises everyone – and it’s a request Will cannot refuse.

Training a rebellious, unwilling apprentice is hard enough. But when a routine mission uncovers a shocking web of crime, Will must decide where his priorities lie – finishing his quest for revenge, or saving innocent lives?

The final book of the Ranger’s Apprentice series raises the stakes higher than ever. Is Will on his last mission for the Ranger Corps?

My Perspective

The Royal Ranger is the very last book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series.

Grief stricken from a terrible tragedy, Will is bent on revenge, even if it means breaking his oath to the Ranger Corps. His concerned friends decide that something must be done and Halt comes up with the idea that he is to take on an apprentice…but not just any apprentice.

I think the last book in a series is a hard one to review because it’s essentially ending the fantasy and that can be a disappointment in itself. Especially after twelve books.

Over fifteen years have passed and a lot has happened in that time. Will has practically turned into Halt, which I found amusing however a little disappointing because there wasn’t much “Will” in him. I know he wasn’t himself due to his grief but even then he just read like Halt. The other characters were practically the same however Princess Cassandra or Evanlyn seemed a bit more bossy and bratty than usual. At first I really liked Maddy and I thought she was severely misunderstood however how wrong was I!!! What a brat!!! It was good to see how she grew and matured though.

The story is steady paced with a fair bit happening throughout. There is a lot of attention to detail, except for the ending. I found the story ended quite abruptly and it didn’t match the rest of the book. I think that was my only disappointment with it.

Overall it was a really enjoyable read and I’m sad to see the series end. I would definitely recommend this book, and this series, for children, young adults and even adults if you like fantasy and adventure. However you need to start at the beginning with the first book, The Ruins of Gorlan.