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First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

From the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves...

It's October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly. As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree... and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.

Claire Waverley has started a successful new venture, Waverley’s Candies. Though her handcrafted confections—rose to recall lost love, lavender to promote happiness and lemon verbena to soothe throats and minds—are singularly effective, the business of selling them is costing her the everyday joys of her family, and her belief in her own precious gifts.

Sydney Waverley, too, is losing her balance. With each passing day she longs more for a baby— a namesake for her wonderful Henry. Yet the longer she tries, the more her desire becomes an unquenchable thirst, stealing the pleasure out of the life she already has.

Sydney’s daughter, Bay, has lost her heart to the boy she knows it belongs to…if only he could see it, too. But how can he, when he is so far outside her grasp that he appears to her as little more than a puff of smoke?

When a mysterious stranger shows up and challenges the very heart of their family, each of them must make choices they have never confronted before. And through it all, the Waverley sisters must search for a way to hold their family together through their troublesome season of change, waiting for that extraordinary event that is First Frost.

Lose yourself in Sarah Addison Allen's enchanting world and fall for her charmed characters in this captivating story that proves that a happily-ever-after is never the real ending to a story. It’s where the real story begins.

Goodreads Summary

Sarah Addison Allen's books lend a bit of magic, hope, and happiness to my life when I read them.  I loved reading this book and imagining I was Bay.  I love how each of the Waverly sisters has a magical quality to them and their past relatives, also mentioned in the book, also have special gifts.  Claire makes candies, but her business is taking up all of her time and becoming too commercialized.  Sydney desperately wants a baby with her husband and worries about it constantly.  Bay knows that she belongs to a certain man, but he isn't reciprocating her affections.  The reader will get to know and love all three of these characters as well as seeing the world through the lenses of their perspectives.

Family can make for great characters and the Waverleys are no exception.  I liked how the author incorporated familiar interactions and relationships that many books do not focus on or bother with.  I thought it was hilarious that the men the Waverlys married either ignore and/or respect their wives' gifts without question.  I thought the changing seasons theme was perfect for this book and loved the antics and problems the sisters encountered and were challenged by before the First Frost rolled around.  This book is highly recommended to young adult/adult readers.

5 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Someday Home by Lauraine Snelling

Monday, July 27, 2015

A heartwarming story that celebrates how life-changing friendships can be found in all seasons of life.

The sprawling lake home Lynn Lundberg built with her husband has been an epicenter of joyful family life, from summer holidays spent around the water, to cookies baked in the kitchen with grandchildren in the fall. But since her husband's sudden passing two years ago, Lynn has been lost in the grief and solitude she feels without him at home. She doesn't want to sell the big family place, but she can't exist there on her own much longer. 

After hearing of a new way of living--where single women share responsibilities as housemates--Lynn thinks she's found the answer to her prayers. Soon she meets two ladies with whom she could begin this journey. Angela Bishop, a successful real estate agent accustomed to the finer things in life, has just been jilted by her husband of twenty-five-years. Judith Rutherford, who has devoted her adulthood to caring for her ailing father, must leave the only home she's known now that he has passed. 

These three women seek a place to grieve, to laugh, and to be renewed. But coming from such differing circumstances, will the new challenges they face undo their plans? Or will they begin a friendship to see them through the years to come in this SOMEDAY HOME? 

Goodreads Summary

Completely changing the way that you live your life can be a difficult thing, especially when you are forced into it by something like a death in the family. Lynn is lost after the death of her husband and doesn't know what to do so she turns to trying to live life in a different way to cope. Hopefully Lynn can turn her life around and use her new situation to find some clarity in life.

You hear about house sharing sometimes these days with how many divorces there are in the world these days. Money can be tight and this is a solution for some that get into binds when they don't want to give up the nice home that they are so used to. The author spins a heartwarming story that brings three women of different lives together. All of them have very strong personalities, and are pretty set in their ways, so one could only imagine the trouble that could be in store for them coming together into one home. The characters are very well developed with very human flaws, which leads to this book feeling very real and extremely relate-able to people of all walks of life. All women can find something in this book that will warm their heart and keep them reading attentively from beginning to end.

3.5 Stars

Reviewed by Chris   
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This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss

Welcome to the crazy world of Gerald McGrew who dreams of transforming his local zoo into a madcap menagerie of weird andwonderful beasts.

By combining the funniest stories, craziest creatures and zaniestpictures with his unique blend of rhyme, rhythm and repetition, Dr Seuss helps children of all ages and abilities learn to read.

Goodreads Summary

Dr. Seuss is ever-imaginative and this book certainly delivers.  For me, this book was a childhood favorite as well as a pipedream that I might run a zoo one day only I want all the animals to roam free! I loved the lyrical rhymes and light-hearted drawings.  I honestly felt bad for the animals and there were a few questionable lines in the book.  The color scheme is bright and eye-catching and the book is an overall fast-read.  This book captures a child's imagination perfectly.

4 Stars

Theodor “Seuss” Geisel is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. His long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s PoolIf I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys and a Peabody. Geisel wrote and illustrated 45 books during his lifetime, and his books have sold more than 650 million copies worldwide. Though Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading. For more information about Dr. Seuss and his works, visit

In the Fall of 2013, an original manuscript with accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, was discovered in the La Jolla, California home of the late beloved children’s author. That complete manuscript was for the picture book, WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?, and will be published by Random House Children’s Books on July 28, 2015. It is the first original new Dr. Seuss book since the publication of the last book of Dr. Seuss’s career, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! in 1990. WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? captures the excitement of a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and features the brother and sister characters that Dr. Seuss drew inOne Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Sunday, July 26, 2015
Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, theNew York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Brit Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants;but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds a chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there and in uncovering this, she may become the killer's next target.

But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick's riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous.

Goodreads Summary

I have wondered what it might be like to backpack across a mountain area before, but I have yet to try!  Britt and her ex-boyfriend (seems weird, doesn't it?) decide to backpack across the Teton Range.  I think the reader should be able to tell that between backpacking and ex-boyfriend...things are going to go wrong.  She looks for a place to stay and instead finds a place to hide a body...literally.  Britt has to decide how to outsmart her possibly murderous captives while figuring out the motives of Mason, a captor who seems to be overly kind.  

I did like Britt's character though I thought she was a bit silly, at times.  She doesn't always make the best decisions, she is resourceful, and she is resilient.  It seems weird to me to explore feelings for a captor.  I don't get why she wants her ex-boyfriend around (though I have no exes so maybe I just don't understand).  The other characters were interesting and complex and added to the story.  The book does have a very fast-paced plot.  Overall, I would recommend this to young adult/teen readers.

4 Stars

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ