Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Leg to Stand On
by Colleen Haggerty

Publisher: She Writes Press
Pages: 244
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Colleen Haggerty lost her leg in an accident during her senior year of high school, she could have retreated from life and let her disability become her defining quality and no one would have blamed her for it. Instead, she went the opposite way. In the years following her accident, Haggerty explored her physical world with vigor, testing the limits of her body by joining a ski team, playing with a co-ed soccer team, and taking up kayaking and backpacking. She also tested the limits of her heart, pursuing love and passion with restless men. In A Leg to Stand On, Haggerty recounts her life as a disabled woman, from redefining herself as a young woman after tragedy fierce and able, but haunted by hard choices and suppressed grief to choosing marriage and motherhood. That choice comes at great cost to the physical freedom Haggerty has fought for, but ultimately she redemption, fulfillment, and self-acceptance in the bargain. No one will read this book without being inspired to accept their past and create the future they always wanted." 


Kritters Thoughts:  A moving memoir that takes you into one woman's life before and after a tragedy that completely changes her life.  Colleen Haggerty found herself in an accident where she loses one of her legs and each day after the accident she learns something about herself and how the accident didn't just change her physical life but also her emotional life.

I absolutely appreciated that Colleen included a few moments before the accident and the accident itself - although the fact that she was awake for most of it was completely scary to read.  It helped the reading experience to know her life before the accident during and then knowing that most of it would be after the accident.  

Although I have been aware of the physical challenges that a disabled person would have; I don't think I really knew it until I read this story.  I had never thought of the gaining weight whether in pregnancy or just in life and the need for different legs if that were to happen.  The biggest thing that I don't think anyone "sees" is the emotional toll it can take and that it is a constant thing that a disabled person doesn't really ever heal from.  

I love it when I read a book that I know in my heart is true, but it reads like fiction with such ease.  I also adore when I really feel connected and honestly believe that I am learning something that will make me a more informed human and make me a little more sensitive to someone that I may not know personally.  Such a great book!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.





Monday, December 15, 2014

The Thursday Night Club
by Steven Manchester

Publisher: The Story Plant
Pages: 152
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Five college friends, three men and two women, have been getting together every Thursday night to share humble meals and an abundance of laughter. But when tragedy takes one of them, leaving the others to question the fairness of life, the Thursday Night Club decides to embark on a contest in the memory of the generous spirit of their fallen brother. The objective of the contest is simple: whoever performs the kindest deed by Christmas night wins the pot – four quarters. And there are only two conditions: the benevolent deed must be anonymous, and it cannot cost a single penny to pull off.

As the four friends undertake the contest, the healing begins and they become inspired beyond their expectations. There might be a winner in this competition, but it is very clear there will be no losers.



Kritters Thoughts:  A short novella that takes the reader on a great ride in just a few pages.  Five college friends are in their senior year and the boys decide that they will try to out prank each other.  In the middle of the game, a tragedy occurs and the friends must take the game in a new direction.

Most books concentrate on one gender or another and if both genders are involved someone is in love - not so with this book, it was great to see a group of friends who were just friends and just enjoyed each other's company.  This book took me immediately back to my senior year of high school and that year where you are starting to change from a student to a full fledge adult and reminded me about the people that were there at that time.  

Steven Manchester was already an author that I completely adored and this novella is perfect to curl up with in the middle of the holiday hub bub.  If you haven't read a Steven Manchester book, try this one and then keep reading through his catalog - you won't be disappointed!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2014 Challenge: 67 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Two weeks was so pitiful that i didn't even post.  This week was better, but next week is quite the busy holiday jam packed week, so who knows!  Are you a reader during the holidays or does your reading take a back burner?
A
 meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
The Undertaking of Tess by Lesley Kagen
The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen
Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner
Passionate Nutrition by Jennifer Adler


Currently Reading:
What is Found, What is Lost by Anne Leigh Parrish

Next on the TBR pile:
Always on My Mind by Susan May Warren

Friday, December 12, 2014

Silver Bay
by Jojo Moyes

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 338
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads:  Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.


The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.


For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal—an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters.


Kritters Thoughts:
 A small tucked away bay in Australia has been living as is with dolphins and migrating whales basically untouched except the current inhabitants and a few tourists here and there.  Mike an employee at a development firm heads to this small Australian bay to get research for his next huge project and while there learns the local culture and must decide if the development is right for the area.


Quite the roller coaster of a book, but not too dramatic.  I loved that there was a main plot of the development of the land, but there was a sub plot as to why Liza McCullen had escaped to her aunt's home for refuge with her young daughter.  Thankfully unlike some books the author didn't pound the fact of a secret too hard since it could be a sub plot instead of the main scene.  AND there was a twist at the end that I may have found out a bit ahead of time, but it didn't disappoint!

One of my favorite parts was the small appearance of one of The Ship of Brides characters, especially since I didn't see it coming at all!  Still a Jojo Moyes fan and have just one more book of hers that I currently own to read and review - The Last Letter From Your Lover.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.




Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Ship of Brides
by Jojo Moyes

Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 464
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime.

In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever.


Kritters Thoughts:  A boat full of navy men headed home after a long and dramatic war combined with 650 women who are war brides promised to men who will be at the end of this long journey.  The test will be trying to keep these men and women separate and safe during this six week journey.  

I loved that this story followed a few women and one of the men closely and it started before they got on the boat, so the reader knew what circumstances brought these characters onto the boat to England.  I had never heard of brides crossing the ocean to meet the men that they had only known for weeks or so, so I absolutely loved learning a bit of history wrapped into fiction.  

Not all of the characters were loveable, but all were honest and felt truthful.  The book was quite hefty and towards the middle it felt like it dragged a little, but I kind of feel like it gave the book a little something because I started imaging six weeks on a ship and how that would drag on as well.  

I was definitely confused by the prologue and I felt like it took awhile to connect to the full novel, but it finally met up with the full story.  I don't know that I would have omitted the prologue, but would have loved to have the connection come earlier in the book.

I have been a Jojo Moyes fan for awhile now and one thing I love about this author is that she doesn't write the same genre or story over and over again - each book is unique.  I did love the appearance of one of the brides in the book I will review tomorrow which is contemporary - Silver Bay.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Inviting Fire
by Emily Kimelman

Pages: 218
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Recovering from a near fatal attack that has left her with residual trauma, including haunting dreams and flashbacks, Sydney Rye is regaining her strength at the jungle training camp of Joyful Justice, the vigilante network inspired by her now legendary acts of vengeance. However, when a routine reconnaissance mission goes horribly wrong Sydney Rye looses the trust of the leadership of Joyful Justice. 

Her good friend and trainer, Merl, warns that if she wants to be in the action she’ll have to follow orders like everyone else. Never good with authority, Sydney struggles to suppress her independent streak for the greater good. 

When she runs up against an old adversary he blows apart everything she has gained. With her and Blue’s lives at stake, as well as the future of Joyful Justice, Sydney must push aside her fears and take a leadership role before it's to late.



Kritters Thoughts:  Another part of the Sydney Rye series and having read this right after the previous one, I loved being able to read two back to back.  Sydney is hiding out in Costa Rica to heal from the events in the previous book.  

Although this one was just as action packed as the previous, I was missing out on the other characters in this book.  With Sydney in Costa Rica, I felt like she was isolated and away from the group of characters and I missed their roles in this book.  As said before there was still plenty of action, so it wasn't lacking on that front, just quite a smaller cast of characters.

I asked Emily Kimelman how many books we will see from Sydney Rye and it doesn't sound like they will end any time soon.  I like these small installments into Sydney Rye's life almost seems like each book would be a good tv episode or two!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2014 Challenge: 71 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Viking/Penguin Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Devil's Breath
by Emily Kimelman

Pages: 222
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  One of Sydney Rye’s dear friends, Hugh Defry, has been accused of a brutal murder, but even though he has no memory of the night, Sydney believes he is incapable of such violence. 

Called to investigate by Robert Maxim, a man she has until now, considered her greatest enemy, Sydney flies to Miami searching for the real killer. Rye’s suspicions are raised when she learns that Maxim not only wants to work together but also wants to build a friendship. She doesn’t begin to understand his motives until her former lover follows her to Florida to tell her a devastating secret. 

As more people from her past turn up, and not knowing whom to trust, Sydney sees that her personal fight for justice has become something more than she had ever imagined and she is pushed towards making a decision that will change not just her life but possibly the future of the crime fighting. 


Kritters Thoughts:  The fifth in a series, so if you aren't up to date, you may want to pause here and go read the first books in the series.  Most of these books are just over the novella length, so don't feel like it will take you awhile to get caught up.  Take a weekend and you can maybe get to this point.

Sydney is back in the States and back to help right a wrong.  One of her friend's Hugh is being accused of murdering someone and he has no recollection of the murder or really the evening - so Sydney to the rescue with her team behind her to help find the real murderer.

The one thing that I loved about this was of all the books, this one felt like it reviewed major plot points of the past.  I liked the review and enjoyed seeing characters from the past come together and make appearances in this book.  

All of the Sydney Rye series is action packed - like an episode of Alias, she puts herself in the most crazies of situations, but her, the dog and her friends get her out of the predicament each time.  

Tomorrow I am reviewing the 6th book in the series, so come back tomorrow to check out my thoughts on the next in the series.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2014 Challenge: 70 out of 100
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