Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Review of heart like mine by Amy Hatvany

Heart Like Mine

When a young mother dies under mysterious circumstances, those she leaves behind begin looking for answers in the past—and find a long-buried secret they could have never imagined.Thirty-six-year-old Grace McAllister never longed for children. But when she meets Victor Hansen, a handsome, charismatic divorced restaurateur who is father to Max and Ava, Grace decides that, for the right man, she could learn to be an excellent part-time stepmom. After all, the kids live with their mother, Kelli. How hard could it be?

At thirteen, Ava Hansen is mature beyond her years. Since her parents’ divorce, she has been the one taking care of her emotionally unstable mother and her little brother—she pays the bills, does the laundry, and never complains because she loves her mama more than anyone. And while her father’s new girlfriend is nice enough, Ava still holds out hope that her parents will get back together and that they’ll be a family again.

But only days after Victor and Grace get engaged, Kelli dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances—and soon, Grace and Ava discover there was much more to Kelli’s life than either ever knew.

Narrated by Grace and Ava in the present with flashbacks into Kelli’s troubled past, Heart Like Mine is a poignant and hopeful portrait about womanhood, love, and the challenges of family life.

Paperback, 370 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Washington Square Press

1451640560 (ISBN13: 9781451640564)
edition language

My review:
I won this book from Romancing the Book. This is one of the hardest, emotional books I have read and one of the hardest to put down. It keeps you wanting to know the outcome.
Grace and Victor are recently engaged and plan to tell Victor's children of the engagement this coming weekend. Tragedy strikes when Kelli, the mother of the children, dies. Ava is thirteen and Max is seven years old. Ava and Max miss their mother and cannot understand what happened to her. Her death brings out her past.

Grace works for a center that helps abused women and Victor owns a restaurant.

The book chapters have the female characters telling the story. Kelli's is a flashback of what happened to her before her death. Ava and Grace also tell their story.

Emotional feelings as the reader gets to know each character and their what has happened in their lives. Heartbreaks for each character as each has their family problems and emotional ups and downs.
Because each "tells'" their story, you get the feelings of adult women as well as teenagers. The characters become well know to the reader and their emotions are with you.

Some sexual moments and some  bad language.

I am giving this a 4 star rating. A quick read but keep the tissues handy.
Leona Olson

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Book Review of An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi

An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi

"On a lovely spring day in Paris–post-9/11 and several months after the London Underground bombings–Clare Moorhouse, the Irish-American wife of a high-ranking British diplomat, is arranging an official dinner crucial to her husband’s career. As she shops for fresh stalks of asparagus and works out the menu and seating arrangements, her day is complicated by the abrupt arrival of her son from boarding school in England and a disquieting encounter with a man on the street. More unnerving still is a recurring face in the crowd, one that belonged to another, darker era of her life, long buried.
Like Virginia Woolf did in Mrs. Dalloway, Anne Korkeakivi brilliantly weaves the complexities of an age into an act as deceptively simple as hosting a dinner party."

My review:
I had this book on the shelf and decided to read it; I have had it for awhile and never got around to reading An Unexpected Guest.
I am going to tell readers to stay with the book and read all of it. I really found it interesting about 2/3 of the way. The book held my interest to a degree because there is some historical history but it really caught me nearer the end.
Clare goes back into time when her mind is wanders and then comes back to what she has to do for the day which is prepare for a dinner party. She has a list of projects to be done; hairdresser, buy flowers, buy asparagus and so forth. I also have a list of things I need to do and I could relate to it.
The flashback of her past and what she did wrong stays with her because she thinks she keeps seeing someone from her past who is supposed to be dead. Her past is catching up with her; a past she has kept from her husband.
The book takes place in a day and follows Clare in her day and evening activities. Some quiet suspense in this book. As a reader, I kept thinking something will happen.
I did find I was uncertain about their son, Jamie. He needs to grow up and be more responsible even thought he is a teenager.
I will say I have been in Paris and have seen the traffic jams and wondered how Clare do as much as she did by going place to place.
There is some bad language and mild descriptions of any sex scenes.
I was back and forth on the rating to give An Unexpected Guest and decided to give it a 4 star.
You may find Anne Korkeakivi at
Leona Olson

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Book review of Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes


Wings of Glass
Book review of Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes.
"From the best-selling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn't the last, yet the bruises that can't be seen are the most painful of all.
When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.
Gina Holmes ’ stunning literary talent glistens like crystal in Wings of Glass. With subtle brilliance, she takes us into the very heart of what makes us hungry to love and be loved. Simply stellar!” Susan Meissner, Author of A Sound Among the Trees
Paperback, 1st, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Tyndale House"
My review:
I do not usually read a book like this because I like to read to escape or read about history. To be honest, I almost did not read it but I did turn to the back of the book to see the outcome.
This is a book of fiction for Penny but not a life of fiction for some many abused men and women; most of the ones getting abused are women though.
I remember my mother telling me if a man hits you, leave and I am over the age of 75. It held true then and it does now. I had lunch with two of my sons the day I read Wings of Glass and thanked them for treating women right.
It is a hard read and your heart goes out for the main character, Penny. Gina Holmes did a good job of writing a book about what happens in real life.
The back of the book has Discussion Questions that could be used for a woman's group or a church group.
It is a fast read and even though I knew the outcome, I did read the whole book. 
There is love, fear, friendship, caring, children, growing and God in this powerful book.
Gina Holmes has Acknowledgements on page xi. The first is: God, for giving me wings that will never shatter and the last one is: Last, but certainly not least-my parents and family.
This book is dedicated: For Mom and Chrissy.
I give this a 5 star.
I checked out this book from my library.
Leona Olson

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I won on


You won the Fresh Fiction contest for Jesse Hayworth -- ONE
DAY ONLY BLOG CONTEST! Jesse Hayworth - Win a Summer at
Mustang Ranch Prize Pack (5506)

Leona Olson
State: MN

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review of The Mist on Bronte Moor by Aviva Orr


From the site of Aviva Orr:

When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth.

Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with her great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, she becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë Parsonage.

Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world completely foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Brontë family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.

Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?

My review:

The Mist on Bronte Moor by Aviva Orr
I enjoyed this book about a 15 year old student who has alopecia, loss of hair. Heather Jane Bell does not want to go back to school so her parents send her to live with her Great-Aunt Elspeth in West Yorkshire. Heather takes a train from London to live in her new home.
Heather is taken back in time when she enters a mist. She is "found" by Emily and taken to the Bronte home. It takes Heather awhile to find she has gone back to the 19th century to 1833. The clothing is different as well as the home which is where there is no electricity and no indoor plumbing. The Brontes take her in and give her dress and food. Mr. Bronte said he would find her family or send her to an orphanage. He has to go out of town and Heather stays in the house.
The family consists of Mr. Bronte, Branwell, Emily, Charlotte, Anne and Mr. Bronte's sister, Elizabeth. The housekeeper is Tabby, or Tabitha, as Elizabeth Bronte calls her. Emily tells Heather her sisters are buried in the churchyard and "my mother lies in the church under the stone floor". They live in the town of Haworth.
I really liked this book as it has a lot of history about the time period and the Brontes. I did not realize there was a brother called, Branwell who had a problem with lanthanum.
Read to enjoy and go back in to another time era. A good read for young people as the facts hold true such as children dying at a young age. I especially liked it when Tabby had Heather wash her own muddy clothes.
At the beginning of each chapter there is part of a poem written by E. J. Bronte.
Chapter 7:
" And first and hour of mournful musing,
And then a gush of bitter tears,
And then a dreary calm diffusing
Its deadly mist o'er joys and cares:"
Chapter 10:
"Will the day be bright or cloudy?
Sweetly has its dawn begun;
But the heaven may shake with thunder
Ere the setting of the sun"
On a personal note about loss of hair. As an adult who has lost most of her of hair on top of her head because of a thyroid condition and unhappy, I can imagine a 15 year old and how devastated she would be.
I downloaded this book from Amazon. I give it a 5 star because it held my interest. Not a very complicated book but a good read. No bad language.
You may find Aviva Orr at
Leona Olson ( )

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

bookbub e-Books

Alerts you to limited-time free and discounted e-Books matching your interests. No charge to join.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pennington Smart Feed Sprayer System

This product is easy to use. Just attach to your water hose with a tablet in the container and spray your plants.
As an  agent for BzzAgent, I was sent this product to use and review. Purchase at Home Depot and Walmart and other garden stores.
Leona Olslon

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Enter to Win a 32″ VIZIO LED HDTV!

We’re excited to join this giveaway’s cohosts - Oh My Gosh Beck!, This Mama Loves, and Beauty Brite.
This giveaway ends in 3 weeks, on June 24th, 11:59PM EST so you have plenty of time to enter, as well as earn daily entries to help improve the odds in your favor. This VIZIO TV giveaway is open to eligible entrants worldwide. Winner can choose between the TV or an Amazon GC!

Enter to Win a 32″ VIZIO LED HDTV!

The Prize:
One lucky winner will receive a VIZIO 32 Inch LED HDTV ($248 ARV).