Monday, September 30, 2013

Fatal Tide by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson

Fatal Tide (East Salem Trilogy #3)

by Lis Wiehl (Goodreads Author), Pete Nelson (With)
Fatal Tide

Dani and Tommy discover that the vicious killings in East Salem were merely the birth pangs of a greater evil about to be born.
Occultist leaders at Saint Adrian’s school are in league with an East Salem pharmaceutical company. Together they've developed a drug that acts as a time-bomb in children, attacking and killing the prefrontal cortex—the moral center of the brain—once adolescence begins.
East Salem residents Dani Harris, forensic psychiatrist, and Tommy Gunderson, former pro-football player, have discovered the plan to deliver this drug into the water system and will stop at nothing to halt it. Their secret weapon? Reese Stratton, a student who barely escaped from St. Adrian’s—without his twin brother.
Now demonic creatures are terrorizing East Salem under the cover of darkness. Having killed two residents, the beasts have surrounded Tommy’s hillside home. But their deadly attacks seem to have been just a prelude to greater disaster: during a physical battle between angels and demons, a dam breaks, flooding the town of East Salem, but also washing it clean.

Leona's Review:
This is the third book in the East Salem Trilogy by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson. I have not read the other two books but Fatal Tide is a stand alone read.

The book is about a fight of good and evil, angels and demons.

Tommy Gunderson has taken in Reese Stratton-Mallins who has escaped from St. Adrian's school. Reese has a twin, Edmund, who has changed; the twins at one time communicated with each other verbally and mentally. Their parents were killed in a car accident. The twins are 17 years old.

Dani Harris and Tommy Gunderson are some of the main characters in the book and closer that just friends. They work together with friends and others to rid the evil from the school.

There are many medical terms used in the book; I found I have "hypnagogic dreams" which are dreams that incorporate external stimuli into dream experiences. A dreamer hearing someone mowing the lawn, might dream he was riding a motorcycle. (page 232)

Some touches of humor in the book. Reese, a Brit, says "This is quite good. I've never had a jelly and peanut butter sandwich before". "Peanut butter and jelly, Ruth corrected him. I don't know why, but jelly never comes first." (page 182).

This is a fast moving book that focus on Christian teaching of evil. The time this all happens is December 20-25.

No bad language or sex in the book but some violence.

The back of the book has twelve reading group guide questions. Two questions are: 1.Can you cite and incidents where angels have directly intervened in your life and 2. The East Salem Trilogy uses, for literary purposes, the idea of prophecies. What prophecies do you believe in? What's the difference between a false prophecy and a true prophecy?

I give it a 5 star because I really liked it.

I received a complimentary copy of Fatal Tide to read and review from The opinions are my own.


About this authoredit data
Lis Wiehl is the author "Face of Betrayal," a New York Times Best Seller.

She has also written "Winning Every Time: How to Use the Skills of a Lawyer in the Trials of Your Life" and "The 51% Minority: How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It."

In addition to her written work, Wiehl is currently a legal analyst for Fox News. She has been with the network since 2001.

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Wiehl is an adjunct professor at New York Law School.

Pete Nelson

Pete Nelson lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York. He got his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1979 and has written both fiction and non-fiction for magazines, including Harpers, Playboy, Esquire, MS, Outside, The Iowa Review, National Wildlife, Glamour, Redbook. He was a columnist for Mademoiselle and a staff writer for LIVE Magazine, covering various live events including horse pulls, music festivals, dog shows, accordion camps and arm wrestling championships. Recently he was a contributing editor and feature writer for Wondertime, a Disney parenting magazine.

He's published twelve young adult novels, including a six-book series about a girl named Sylvia Smith-Smith which earned him an Edgar Award nomina...more Pete Nelson lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York. He got his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1979 and has written both fiction and non-fiction for magazines, including Harpers, Playboy, Esquire, MS, Outside, The Iowa Review, National Wildlife, Glamour, Redbook. He was a columnist for Mademoiselle and a staff writer for LIVE Magazine, covering various live events including horse pulls, music festivals, dog shows, accordion camps and arm wrestling championships. Recently he was a contributing editor and feature writer for Wondertime, a Disney parenting magazine.

He's published twelve young adult novels, including a six-book series about a girl named Sylvia Smith-Smith which earned him an Edgar Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America. His young adult non-fiction WWII history, Left For Dead (Randomhouse, 2002) about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis won the 2003 Christopher award as was named to the American Library Association's 2003 top ten list.

His other non-fiction titles include Real Man Tells All (Viking, 1988), Marry Like a Man (NAL, l992), That Others May Live (Crown, 2000) and Kidshape (Rutledge Hill, 2004). His novel The Christmas List was published by Rutledge Hill Press in 2004. He wrote, with former army counterintelligence agent Dave DeBatto, a four book series of military thrillers, including CI: Team Red (2005), CI: Dark Target (2006), CI: Mission Liberty (2006) and CI: Homeland Threat (2007) published by Time-Warner. A More Unbending Battle; The Harlem Hellfighters' Struggle for Democracy in WWI and Equality at Home, was published in 2009 by Basic Civitas books. His novel, I Thought You Were Dead, will be published by Algonquin in 2010. He also has two CDs out on the Signature Sounds label, the first entitled The Restless Boys Club (1996), the second called Days Like Horses (2000).


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Big Sky Summer by Linda Lael Miller

Big Sky Summer by Linda Lael Miller From "Big Sky Summer (Parable, Montana #4) by Linda Lael Miller Big Sky Summer (Parable, Montana, #4) The "First Lady of the West," #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller, welcomes you home to Parable, Montana-where love awaits. With his father's rodeo legacy to continue and a prosperous spread to run, Walker Parrish has no time to dwell on wrecked relationships. But country-western sweetheart Casey Elder is out of the spotlight and back in Parable, Montana. Keeping her children's paternity under wraps has always been part of Casey's plan to give them normal, uncomplicated lives. Now the best way to hold her family together seems to be to let Walker be a part of it-as her husband of convenience. Or will some secrets-like Casey's desire to be the rancher's wife in every way-unravel, with unforeseen results?" Leona's Review: Casey Elder is a country-western singer with two teenage children, Clare and Shane. Walker Parrish is a past lover and secretly the father of the children. Casey has moved back to Parable, Montana for the sake of the children. He is a rancher and emotionally attached to the children and they are also to him. This book is more of a contemporary western romance. My first read by Linda Lael Miller and I felt like I had missed some of the details of other characters. Once I got into the book, I could see the characters from the past. This is a stand alone book but reading the other books would be a big help. I liked this book but did think it needed more substance in it. I think Casey needed to face the facts about her life and the life of her children. I did like the Western feeling in the book; the homestead of Walker's great-great grandparents, the screen door and I especially liked that Walker and Shane shook hands like men instead of a "hi-five". Animals play a part in the book; horses and dogs and they have names. No bad language but there are some love scenes. I received a copy of Big Sky Summer in the mail without any message. I enter contests and receive books to read and review but not sure who sent it. The opinions are my own. I will give it a 3.75 star. Leona Olson

Monday, September 16, 2013


"Tracie Peterson Delivers Romance and Adventure

When Chantel Panetta's younger sister claims to be in love with Orlando Calarco, Chantel knows there is no hope. The Panettas and Calarcos have been sworn enemies for decades, and young love cannot heal the deep wounds between the two iron-mining families. Yet, unable to resist Isabella's pleas, Chantel agrees to help her sister spend time with Orlando...only to have a run-in with Dante, Orlando's brother. The older, more handsome one.

Chantel can't deny the attraction that flares when she's with Dante. But when a tragedy occurs at the mine, is there any hope that the hatred that has simmered between these two families might be resolved? Or will Chantel's hope for love be buried amidst decades of misunderstanding?"

Leona's Review

Another good book from Tracie Peterson. This is the third book of the series, Land of Shining Waters. We are taken to Ely, Minnesota to October 1890.

Chantel Panetta has returned for a year long visit to her Nonna and Nonno (grandparents) in Italy. The parents send their unmarried children to Italy when they turned twenty-one.

Things have changed when she finds her younger sister has fallen in love with Orlando Calarco. The tension between the two families began in the old country decades ago and the story is that is it over the death of a mule. The women of both families accept the love but the fathers are still at odds until an accident in the mine changes that. God is also very involved with the families. " You believe God spoke to you." Father Buh replied. "I believe God speaks to all of His children"

The author brings the reader into the tension and love in her books with the characters. There are some laughs and some tears.

The descriptions of the area and the mines brought memories of my grandfather and uncles who worked in the coal mines of Colorado. Chantel's family moved to Michigan and then to Minnesota; mine moved from Michigan to Colorado. Tracie Peterson talks about the dinner pail and I have my grandfather's pail he used in the mines. My grandparent's used Nona and Nono instead of Nonna and Nonno. One of the men's name was Vittorio, my first uncle's name. When I was doing research for when he came to America, I kept looking for the name Victor on the immigration records before I realized that was his Americanized name. This book really connected personally for me.

In the book there are references to the foods, the needlework (tatting), chores (chopping wood) and a Minnesota winter. Many words are in Italian: "Si, che fa bene. That's good".

The miner's lady is dedicated to Chantel Karch, You are an awesome woman. Always look to Jesus!.

The books of the Land of Shining Waters are The Icecutter's Daughter, The Quarryman's Bride and The Miner's Lady.

Tracie Peterson's web site is

I received a complimentary copy to read and review from Bethany House. The opinions are my own. I give it a 5 star rating.

Leona Olson

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review of Melinda and the Wild West by Linda Weaver Clarke

Melinda and the Wild West, A family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho by Linda Weaver Clarke
"In 1896 Melinda Gamble a very elegant, very naive young woman from Boston decides to give up her life of monotonous comfort for the turbulent uncertainty of the still untamed Wild West. Driven by her intense desire to make a difference in the world, Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, where she comes face-to-face with a frightening bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and an intense blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it is a ruggedly handsome and very mysterious stranger who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared love."
Leona's Review:
Melinda Gamble is moving out West from Boston to become a schoolteacher in Paris, Idaho. The year is 1896 and as she told her mother " Mama, it's 1896. Women can make choices about their own lives more than ever". (page 3) Melinda will live with her Aunt Martha and Uncle William, her father's sister.
Adventures begin right away as she encounters a band robbery by Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch. She meets the father of one of her school children when he finds her wading in the cool stream. Gilbert Roberts is a widower and the father of 8 year old Jenny. He is only interested in his daughter and his cattle ranch.
Being a schoolteacher is a learning experience for Melinda as well as living in the Wild West when she encounters a grizzly bear, a blizzard and a man who frustrates her. " "Are you still here, Miss Gamble?" Gilbert asked, as if wearied by her presence. "Yes. and I'm not leaving until we talk about this further:" Melinda was slightly out of breath as she tried to keep up with Gilbert's fast pace. "Miss Gamble, I'm done talking." "But I'm not. Melinda said with a firm and stubborn tone in her voice." (page 54)
I loved the descriptions of the area and the lake. Melinda taught the school children about why pencils are yellow, who declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, about the history of the area and about the Mormons and the Indians. The reader learns or is reconnected with the readings of Jules Verne and the book, Black Beauty.
I loved the stories of the skunk oil in school, the descriptions of the clothing and food, the hardships our first settlers endured and the children school outings when they drink water from the cliff with their tin cups.
This is a sweet and tender romance between two people from different walks of life, East meets West.
No violence of bad language.
Melinda and the Wild West is dedicated to: The Memory of Gilbert and Sarah Weaver (1835-1909) My great-grandparents: the first pioneers who settled Paris, Idaho.
God is present in many areas of Melinda and the Wild West. Melinda and Gilbert sing Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains'. This was composed by a Mormon pioneer from St. George, Utah. (page 113)
"Far, far away on Judea's plains.
Shepherds of old heard the joyous strains:
Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest;
Peace on Earth, good-will to men;
Peace on Earth, goodwill to men!  (page 114)
I received a signed complimentary copy of Melinda and the Wild West from the author. I give it a 5 star for the history, love story and the families that make the story.
You may find Linda Weaver Clarke at
Leona Olson

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review of Daughter of the King by Carlene Havel and Sharon Faucheux


Daughter of the King 

Daughter of the King by Carlene Havel and Sharon Facheux
When I received this book, I was unsure of how much I did not remember from the Bible.
A good and really fast read that kept me interested in the story of the first wife of King David, Michal.
When they first met, David was a young man and Michal was a princess, the daughter of King Saul. Michal remembered the first time she saw him at the age of six. page 16. David was the son of Jesse of Bethlehem.
King Saul, betrothed her sister Merab to David and Michal was devastated. "But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife. 1 Samuel 18:19." page 33.
Michal was always in love with David. "And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal Saul's daughter loved him 1 Samuel 18:28" page 141
"Samuel 18:20 says that Michal loved David, the only place in the Bible where a woman's love for a man is recorded, according to footnotes in The Jewish Study Bible from"
The story concentrates on the life of Michal and her family. Her father is not a kind king and has a bad temper. The mother of Michal, Ahinoam, knows this and has learned what to do or not do.
Saul marries Michal to Phalti[el] saying that David is dead. "But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Philti[el] the son of Laish, which was of Gallim. 1 Samuel 25:44" page 1
The book begins with the death of King Saul and then goes back to the time David and Michal meet.
There is a verse at the beginning of each chapter that usually describes the chapter.
"and they anointed David king over Israel. David was 30 years old when he began to reign.... II Samuel 5:3,4" page 175
Many interesting facts about this time era with the foods, clothing, wars, modes of transportion, God, and the lives of women.
I learned a lot about David and his life. He had eight wives with Michal being the first. He had many children and the book says how he loved them. "Now, these were the sons of David, which were born unto him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second, Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess; The third: Absalom the son of Macchah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith: The fifth, Stephatiah of Abital: the sixth, Ithream by Eglah his wife. Chronicles 3:1-4:. page 102.
It was not easy to share a husband and there were conflicts. All the women had a chore given to them. Michal loved her dyes and yarn and that was her chore. I was surprised to find knitting during those Biblical days; I always thought of medieval times. I knew of weaving and this is also mentioned. I first became interested in dyes when I read The Purple Quest by Frank G. Slaughter about the Phoenicians and the purple dye. I have used this interest to do natural dyes.
The authors, Carlene Havel and Sharon Facheux did a good job of writing a Biblical and a lot of facts for a book of fiction about Michal. "This is what we think might have happened" on page iii.

A lot of research was done to write this book and this is one reason I used some of the verses to help describe the Daughter of the King. It should get the reader interested to do more research on David and Michal. I love the cover of the book and the reader will read when Michal wears green.

I give Daughter of the King a 5 star for all the knowledge in the book and also that it held my attention. I received a complimentary copy from Carlene Havel to read and review. The opinions are my own.

Leona Olson

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann

Astor Place Vintage: A Novel

Book Description from

June 11, 2013
Amanda Rosenbloom, proprietor of Astor Place Vintage, thinks
she’s on just another call to appraise and possibly purchase
clothing from a wealthy, elderly woman. But after discovering a journal sewn
into a fur muff, Amanda gets much more than she anticipated. The pages of the
journal reveal the life of Olive Westcott, a young woman who had moved to
Manhattan in 1907. Olive was set on pursuing a career as a department store
buyer in an era when Victorian ideas, limiting a woman’s
sphere to marriage and motherhood, were only beginning to give way to modern
ways of thinking. As Amanda reads the journal, her life begins to unravel until
she can no longer ignore this voice from the past. Despite being separated by
one hundred years, Amanda finds she’s connected to Olive in ways neither
could ever have imagined.

Leona's Review:
Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann
This book takes us from June 12, 2007 back to 1907. The chapters change between Amanda and Olive with the characters telling the story.
Amanda Rosenbloom owns Astor Place Vintage in New York City. She has gone to the home of an elderly woman, Mrs. Kelly, to purchase some old clothes. Inside a muff she finds a journal written by Olive Westcott. Amanda keeps the journal to read with plans to return it.
The book really goes into the personal lives of both women. Taking us back in to time we learn how a young woman tries to make it on her own.
Keeping us in the time of 2007, we find a woman who is struggling in her business and possible loss of her lease.
I think I liked the strength of Olive more than Amanda. It is after so much time, he is not going to marry you so get out of the relationship. Amanda should have known better and Olive was learning.
Both of the women had close friends. As a reader, I began to think of the characters as real people and not a book of fiction.
There is some very personal descriptions of a woman's time of the month but I though well done. Another description of sex but not erotic. I have never read this in any book so I was surprised. Think medical on some scenes. One book Olive reads is The Four Epochs of Women by Dr. Anna M Galbraith (the book is available at
Pictures of the 1900 time period adds so much to the book and put the reader into the theme of the time. Stephanie Lehmann did her research on the 1900s and I was impressed. Some tragedies such as garment fire. Research on the food, customs of the era, cost of living and even streetcars. Siegel-Cooper Store ( on page 231, Coney Island and the Hippodrome ( page 273 are only some places mentioned.
This book held my attention and I am sure because there was the history in the book. At the back of the book there are Acknowledgements, Photo Credits, TOUCHSTONE READING GROUP GUIDE for discussion, A CONVERSATION WITH STEPAHANIE LEHMANN and ENHANCE YOUR BOOK CLUB which can be used for discussions.
I received a complimentary signed copy from the author. The opinions are my own. I am giving it a 5 star because of the research and the book kept me turning the pages. I am not usually into contemporary romance novels and if it had not been for Olive, I would have not cared for the book as much.
Stephanie Lehmann may be reached at and
Leona Olson