Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book review of Grant, Savior of the Union by Mitchell Yockelson

Grant Savior of the Union (The Generals Series)

By Mitchell Yockelson
Published by Thomas Nelson

Book Description

When Ulysses S. Grant accepted the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865, he became the Savior of the Union. But he was more than just a general during the most controversial and costly time in American history.
One hundred and fifty years since the Civil War commenced, Ulysses S. Grant is still considered one of the greatest officers to wear the uniform of the United States Army. But he began his military career reluctantly.
After his father submitted an application to West Point for his son, Grant reluctantly attended. A few years after graduation he served in the Mexican War and distinguished himself in combat, but while he enjoyed the excitement of war, shortly after he married he became despondent at the amount of time his army life kept him away from his family and resigned. But when the country split apart in 1861 and war between the northern and southern states erupted, Grant was eager to wear a uniform again and serve his country.
Joining the Union Army meant more to Grant than becoming a soldier again. He fought because he believed it was his duty to do so. He firmly believed the war was fought over the issue of slavery, and so even after he was unable to secure a commission with the regular army he signed up with the Illinois volunteer army. Grant was a natural leader and rose quickly to Commander of the Union Army. He was a soldier’s soldier and the men who served under him respected his abilities to lead them in battle.
After the war, Grant went on to become the eighteenth president of the United States, serving two terms and presiding over the second half of Reconstruction, fighting for African American and Native American civil rights, and signing bills promoting black voting rights and Klan prosecution.
After years of resisting offers to write about his Civil War experience he suddenly found himself rushed to complete his memoirs when he was diagnosed with throat cancer. His two-volume memoirs were completed days before he died and were published posthumously in 1885. They are considered to be the greatest work of the genre and through them his military contributions remain with us always.
Leona's Review of Grant, Savior of the Union:
I personally this was a well written book of history on our 18th president of the United States. The time he spent at war, time at West Point and his family are so important in knowing this man. Recently, I re-watched North and South and noticed when Grant's name was mentioned.
We have a hotel/restaurant near our home with the name of the Grant house (Rush City, Minnesota) and an article in the paper last month said Grant had been to this hotel many times.
The book is based on his time in the army and of his personal life. Lots of battle scenes were included in the book. If a reader is a scholar on the Civil War and of Grant, maybe this is not the book for them. For someone who knew little (or forgot from school) this was a good read and informational.
I did tire of the war scenes but when it came to Vicksburg, I had a lot of interest because I have visited there.
I would have liked to have seen some maps.
I would suggest this for a young student. I give it a 4 star because I did learn something.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book to read and review from and Thomas Nelson Publishers. The opinions are my own.

You may find Mitchell Yockelson on goodreads.

Leona Olson

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Review of The Bridge of Deaths by M. C. V. (Catalina) Egan

Review of The Bridge of Deaths by M. C. V. (Catalina) Egan
A quote from Carl Sagan at the beginning is:
something incredible
is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan
American astronomer, writer, and
scientist. (page ix)
This book took me about three or four chapters to really get into it. I did not care for it at the beginning but as I got into it, I was very impressed. The book is in the third person. Catalina Egan has taken historical facts and turned them into a novel. I liked the characters, even with some faults they had.
There is Maggie and Bill, who live in London and the lady from Florida, Catalina, who connect on the Internet and use Skype and emails to communicate.
Bill has been transferred to London where he has recurring dreams about a past life. He meets Maggie at a bookstore and they click right away. They begin to search what is happening to Bill and why.
Catalina is searching for clues to the death of her grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo, a Mexican, who worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey and died in an British Airline airplane crash off the coast of Denmark on August 15, 1939.
There were four other passengers that died in the crash; a member of British Parliament, Anthony Crommelin Crossley, a conservative; another employee of Standard Oil of New Jersey, Samuel James Simonton, an American; a German Corporate Lawyer, Erich Bruno Wilhelm Beuss and a crew member for the airline, Alfred Stanley Mardsin Leigh. The pilot, Clifford Frederick Cecil Wright survived.
Catalina has been researching for almost twenty years and the facts she has acquired are very detailed.
There were so many facts, I had to stop reading and give my mind a rest. It is like when I do the genealogy for my family, I need to clear the mind of facts and names. I found myself checking the Internet for more information.
Bill felt he had a past life; Maggie and Bill began to search for answers. They consulted with a hypnotist as well as other means such as the Internet. "Hypnotist's job was to help Bill separate who he was today from who he had been in a past life." (page 302).
The book leads you into the past of many well known names in history. Winston Churchill, Nevile Chamberlain, Ronald Regan as well as many books and movies.
Anyone into genealogy, an interest in World War ll, history and mystery will like this book. Most of the characters are real.
I wish to thank the author, M.C.V. (Catalina) Egan for the complimentary e-book to read and review.
I give this a five star for all the research and facts that are in The Bridge of Deaths. The opinions are my own.
Acknowledgements on page 327
Bibliography on page 335
Films on page 346
Newspaper and Magazine Sources on page 347
Flight Magazine on page 349
Internet Sources on page 350
Archives on page 354
Author Biography on page 355
Epilogue on page 313
There are pictures of planes, people and scanned documents.
Find Catalina Egan at: and
Go to: to read an interview with the author.
Leona Olson ( )

Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel by Debbie Macomber

Starting Now: A Blossom Street Novel by Debbie Macomber
This is the first book I have read of the Blossom Street series and the first book I have read by Debbie Macomber in a long time. I was not disappointed.
The book begins with the attorney, Libby Morgan, losing her job. Months later, she calls an old friend, Robin, to have lunch with her for a talk. After lunch her friend needed to go to A Good Yarn Shop to buy some yarn for her mother and Libby goes with her. While there, Libby sees two teenagers knitting, or one is learning to knit. Casey is teaching Ava. Libby mentioned she used to knit. They are knitting hats for the preemies at the hospital and encouraged Libby to try to knit again. After a visit to the hospital to help deliver the hats, Libby becomes a volunteer in the nursery rocking and singing to the babies.
This brings the story to Libby making friends at the yarn shop and the introduction to Dr. Philip Stone at the hospital. Phillip is a doctor for the young and infants with heart problems. He is known as the Dr. Heart of Stone because he will not date anyone at the hospital.
The book is based on friendship, romance, love, trials, caring, family and disappointments.
We follow Libby through months of no job, her love for Phillip and her new friendships. At times, as the reader, I wanted to wring her neck and tell her what she should do.
Debbie Macomber has done a good job of pulling the characters and story together. No sex or bad language.
This was a fast read for me and a page turner.
I won a copy of Starting Now in a contest. The opinions are my own.
I give this book a 5 star.
Some characters are:
Libby (Elizabeth) Morgan-One of the main characters, an unemployed attorney
Dr. Phillip Stone- Heart Doctor at the Seattle Hospital

Robin Hamlin- Best friend of Libby
Lydia Goetz- Owner of A Good Yarn Shop on Blossom Street
Brad Goetz- Husband of Lydia

Casey- Adopted daughter of Lydia and friend of Ava also 13 years old

Ava- A pregnant 13 year old who closely connects with Libby

Darlene Carmichael- Grandmother of Ava
Margaret- Sister of Lydia and works at the yarn shop
Roy Bollinger- A Judge that Robin who Robin really likes and more than as a friend
Mrs. Martha Reed- A client when Libby worked at the law office
Hershel Burkhart- Libby's old boss. When he let her go he told her this was a beginning and not an end.
Sarah- Paralegal who worked with Libby at the law office
Mollie Morgan- Mother of Libby who passed away when Libby was a teenager.
Joe Wilson- Ex-husband of Libby
Robert Morgan- Father of Libby
Charlene- Step-mother of Libby
Sharon Jennings- A nurse at the hospital

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bar B Q Weber Contest


Use the rafflecopter to enter. Good luck.

Posted: 20 Mar 2013 09:01 PM PDT

The giveaway is brought to you by Holiday Contest and Sweeps and Let Me Talk About Anything/Everything.
This is an awesome prize package that includes the following;
Weber Smokey Joe Table Top Grill - Portable grill for cookouts, tailgate parties and camping. It features a glass reinforced nylon handle that allows you to easily move the lid as needed. The cooking grate measures 14.5″ in diameter and is triple nickel plated. The porcelain enameled coating prevents rush and fading. It also comes with a 10 year warranty.
$12 Coupon for ANY Kingsford Charcoal
Grill Pro Food Umbrella (17″ x 17″) – The Grill Pro Food Umbrella carefully sits over your food/dishes to keep away bugs, birds and other creepy crawlies. The umbrella also easily collapses to make it easy to store. This is a must have for any barbecue, picnic or even enjoying a meal in your backyard.
Two Country Bob BBQ Sauce Gift Packages (I’ve tried some of this sauce – it’s so good!) – Each gift set includes 2 bottles of each of the following flavors – Original All Purpose Sauce, Apple Chipotle Sauce, Honey Habanero Sauce, Barbecue Sauce and 2 containers of Seasoning Salt. Keep one and give one as a hostess gift.
This giveaway ends on April 15, 2013 at 12:00 AM. The winner will have 48 hours to reply to the winning e-mail or a new winner will be announced.
A special thank you to the following sponsors for providing the items for this prize package giveaway.
  • Lowe’s
  • Country Bob’s Barbecue Sauce
  • Kingsford Charcoal
  • Grill Pro

Monday, March 18, 2013



Now for the giveaway folks! There will be one winner, who will receive a swag pack - which contains lots of fun goodies. The winner will be contacted via e-mail and your postal address will be passed on to Marissa who will be handling the prize. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be drawn.This is open internationally. Good luck guys!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Free Books for Kindle

Yesterday, I downloaded 4 free books onto my Kindle from Amazon.
Wuthering Heights, Things Mother Used to Make Recipe Book, Anna Karenina and Grimms Fairy Tales.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review of My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann

My Familiar Stranger:romanc...
My Familiar Stranger by Victoria Danann
My Familiar Stranger is the first book in The Order of the Black Swan series by Victoria Danann. The book begins with Elora Laiken witnessing the death of her family and she is saved from death by Catalonius Monq, the tutor to the royal children. She is given a locket and Mong told she will find someone "very like me" and to give him the locket to retrieve the data within. He sent her through a portal into a "strangish" land with the words "Be Happy".
Members of the B Team of The Order of the Black Swan are in a room known as the Chamber when there is a force of wind and a flash of light and something falls to the stone floor. Sol says don't touch it but Storm was concerned that someone or something was injured. Elora was taken to the infirmary.
While Elora is recovering she becomes close to Storm and Ram.
The book continues with relationships, vampires, friendship, elves and more. There is a lot happening and I thought relationships were the main theme of this book.
I liked H.E.B. grocery store in the book. I shopped there when I lived in Texas.
Sex scenes and the f work used a number of times.

Some Characters are:

Elora Laiwynn Laiken- from a royal family; from the Clan of Laiwynn
Sovereign Sol Nemaiah- the supervisor of the B Team of The Order of the Black Swan
Rammell Hawking. Irish and an Elf. One of the B Team
Engel Storm- One of the B Team
Kay- from Texas. Name is really Chaos Caelian- One of the B Team
Catalonius Monq- tutor to the royal children
Catalonius C. Monq- current Monq at the Black Order. part chemist, part inventor, part magician

I am giving it a 4 star. I liked the book and look forward to reading the other books in the series.

Victoria Danann can be found on her website at

I downloaded this e-book. The opinions are my own.
Leona Olson

Book Review of Death on Dartmoor by Dara England

Death on Dartmoor by Dara England
Millicent Wright and her mother have arrived from America to visit Sir Oliver Longbourne whom they met in Chicago. Sir Oliver invited them to visit and the main reason they come is Mrs. Wright is looking for a husband for her daughter.

Sir Oliver is murdered in one of the first chapters and thus begins the search for the person who killed him.

This is a quick read and it leads the reader into following clues to the murders(s).

This is the first book I have read by Dara England and I will give it a 4 star.

I loved the descriptions of Buckfast hall as well as the other places in the book.
No sex and no bad language which was appreciated.


Millicent Wright- from America (Chicago), her father died 6 years ago and was a wealthy financier.
Mrs. Wright- mother of Millicent
Sir Oliver Longbourne
Phillip-son of Sir Oliver (about 10 years old)
Joanna Longbourne- Wife of Sir Oliver
Miss Caroline Longbourne- sister of Oliver
Lady Longbourne- grandmother of Sir Oliver
Colonel Quinlan- brother-in-law of Sir Oliver
Detective Abel Lockwood
Lady Edith- guest of Oliver
Amelia Shepherd- a possible romantic interest of Sir Oliver
Clara - a maid
Billy- a servant accused of theft of cuff links of Sir Oliver
Buckfast Hall- home of Sir Oliver
Village of Buckfastleigh on Dartmoor, Devonshire, England
Mrs Wardly's party in Chicago where Millicent and Sir Oliver met

It is part of a series of An American Heiress Mystery.

This is an ebook I downloaded from Amazon.
You can find Dara England at

The opinions are my own
Leona Olson

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Project Gutenberg

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville written in 1356.
I read about this book on a message board so requested it from my library. It is very detailed and yesterday I thought what if it is on Project Gutenberg and so I checked. I downloaded the book and can read it at my leisure.
Here is the link