Friday, October 16, 2015

Review of The Silken Web by Sandra Brown

Book  Review of The Silken Web by Sandra Brown

Leona's Review:

I have had this book on my book shelf and decided it was time to read it. I almost stopped reading it a couple of times and about one-third of the way into the book, it improved for me. I was not ready for just sex and no substance in a book.

Kathleen and Erik meet at a child camp; she is camp director and he is a videographer. Kathleen is an orphan and spend many years at this camp as a child and is close to the owners.

Kathleen has never been with a man but that is changed in a couple of days of their meeting. 
Erik is in an airplane crash and as Kathleen waits at the hospital, she hears a woman tell the nurse she is Mrs. Gudjonsen, assumes she is his wife and leaves town to escape from him.
Her new life in San Francisco is her escape and there she meets Seth Kirchoff, the owner of the store and so Kathleen continues a job that is in her line of work which is fashion.

The book continues with a new beginning for Kathleen and Seth. Erik does enter the picture after a time period.
This is a good romance and some emotional scenes. There are also some sexual scenes and some bad language.  Thankfully, no "f" words.
I will say that on page 72 (paperback) the American flag is mentioned and I did like that.
I am giving it a 4 star rating because it did get better and I liked most of the characters.
Sandra Brown many be contacted at and on
Leona Olson


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Review of 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol by Bob Welch

52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol
By Bob Welch
Published by Thomas Nelson

Medallion Award-winner Bob Welch crafts 52 nuggets of Bible-based wisdom from one of the most popular novels of all time, A Christmas Carol. "For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself." "No space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused." "God bless us, every one." The lessons and stories from the beloved novel A Christmas Carol point to bedrock values we all share. Award-winning author Bob Welch takes readers deeper into the nuances of this classic by Charles Dickens. From the miserliness of Scrooge to the innocence of Tiny Tim, 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol will inspire readers to live for what really matters, not only at Christmas, but all year long.
Leona's Review:
52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol gave me a different look into this classic book. I have not read it for years and will re-read now. I happen to find Treasury of Christmas Tales at Goodwill last  week which has stories that could be used for the very young children. Published by Publications International, LTD. For the older children get the original book which can be downloaded for free or buy the book which would be easier to read and discuss. 52 Little Lessons of A Christmas Carol is published by Nelson Publishers, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers and can be found in book stores.
The "lessons" are short but to the point. Charles Dickens has send messages to everyone and 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol  tells of many values, some of which we may know we have and some we did not know we had and how we can add some different values to our own life.
Bob Welch has taken these lesson and put them into a wonderful book than may be read more than one time. The book does not have to be read all at once but can be a lesson or two at a time.
Before each chapter/lesson, there are 52, is a quote from the story and a few from a movie.
Lesson 10-  YOU MAKE THE CHAINS THAT SHACKLE YOU and the quote is "I wear  the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on my own free will." from The Ghost of Jacob Marley, to Scrooge.
Lesson 25-BITTERNESS WILL POISON YOU  and the quote is "Who suffers by his own whims. Himself, always." By Fred, regarding his uncle during the Ghost of Christmas Present visit.
Lesson 52- BE THE CANGE YOU WILL WANT  TO SEE  and the quote from Lord Francis Jerry, in a letter to Dickens after A Christmas Carol was published in 1843 is " We are all charmed with your Carol, chiefly, I think, for the genuine goodness which breathes all through it, and is the true inspiring angel by which its genius has awakened."
There is a List of Characters at the front of the book and also Author's Notes. "To those who, like Scrooge, dare to start anew" is what I would call the dedication page.
I did not know much about Charles Dickens but will do some more reading about the man. This book gave me some answers but with more questions about him.
I believe most of us know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim and have seen the movie(s) or read the book.
This would be a wonderful book for a family discussion. The family could watch some movies, there are many, and then "study" a lesson.  I would suggest beginning the movie(s) in November and then the discussions so they end in December.
I received a complimentary copy of 52 Little Lessons from A Christmas Carol from to read and review. The opinions are my own. I give it a 5 star rating.
Leona Olson

Monday, October 12, 2015

Review of Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson

Book review of Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson
Love Everlasting (Brides of Seattle #3) by Tracie Peterson

Abrianna Cunningham has always viewed her longtime friend, Wade Ackerman, as
a protective brother. Lately, however, she's begun to see him differently and finds
herself attracted romantically to him. But she's confused and overwhelmed by these
unfamiliar feelings.

Wade, on the other hand, has loved Abrianna for some time and has been waiting for her to realize they are more than just friends. When he asks her to marry him, she asks for time to adjust to their changed relationship.

And then there's Priam Welby, who has been relentlessly pursuing Abrianna. Will his underhanded tactics succeed in luring Abrianna into marriage with him?

Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Bethany House (first published September 29th 2015)
ISBN0764210637 (ISBN13: 9780764210631)edition language English
Leona's review:
This is not my first read by Tracie Peterson but the first for the Brides of Seattle series. It is a stand alone read and I may go back and read the others.
It really took the second half of the book for me to have a real interest and I had written in my notes "this is a personal struggle book" when I was somewhat into the book. Things did change and became more interesting with murder, jail, false accusations and a man who wanted to marry Abrianna by any means.
I liked the characters of Abrianna and Wade and the aunts were a wonderful addition. As I write this, I think a cat would have also been an addition.  Abrianna is headstrong but Wade seems to flow with any problems added to what is happening. He keeps his head when their are problems and prays a lot. The aunts are also strong characters with their opinions and accomplishments. I could almost see them sitting together and talking. Jay, the father of Abrianna has come back into her life. Friends are also an important part of the book.
This is a Christian book without pushing. I like that God is in the hearts of the characters and spoken of often.
Abrianna helps the poor with food and housing; this seems to be her calling. Wade has taken the job of becoming the substitute minister at the church and fully understands her.

I loved the personal talk between Wade and Abrianna. This made them seen so real and in love.
I received a complimentary copy of Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson from Bethany House Publishers. The opinions are my own.
I give this book a 5 star rating.
Tracie Peterson may be reached at her website:
Leona Olson


Sunday, October 11, 2015

That Dorky Homemade Look by Lisa Boyer

Review of That Dorky Homemade Look by Lisa Boyer

That Dorky Homemade Look: Quilting Lessons from a Parallel Universe by Lisa Boyer
     "Quilt humorist" Lisa Boyer gives you permission to quilt even if you make mistakes. Her humorous essays are full of her own mistakes and mishaps as she perfects her quilting technique.

     Fed up with feeling like you can't meet the standards of the Quilt Police? Do you want to quilt for comfort and pleasure -- and not to win some high-falutin' quilting contest? Weary of worrying about what others will think of your color choices -- or your pieced points? Or your applique stitches? That Dorky Homemade Look: Quilting Lessons from a Parallel Universe is the quilting companion you've been wishing for.
     Lisa Boyer, a popular columnist for Quilting Today magazine, gives you permission to quilt because you love it. She clears your path of all those merciless judgments pronounced by the Quilting Queens. She invites you to make quilts that are full of life. This funny book offers these nine principles for the 20 million quilters in America:
     1. Pretty fabric is not acceptable. Go right back to the quilt shop and exchange it for something you feel sorry for.
     2. Realize that patterns and templates are only someone's opinion and should be loosely translated. Personally, I've never thought much of a person who could only make a triangle with three sides.
     3. When choosing a color plan for your quilt, keep in mind that the colors will fade after a hundred years or so. This being the case, you will need to start with really bright colors.
     4. You should plan on cutting off about half your triangle or star points. Any more than that is showing off.

     5. If you are doing applique, remember that bigger is dorkier. Flowers should be huge. Animals should possess really big eyes.
     6. Throw away your seam ripper and repeat after me: "Oops. Oh, no one will notice."
     7. Plan on running out of border fabric when you are three-quarters of the way finished. Complete the remaining border with something else you have a lot of, preferably in an unrelated color family.
     8. You should be able to quilt equally well in all directions. I had to really work on this one. It was difficult to make my forward stitching look as bad as my backward stitching, but closing my eyes helped.
     9. When you have put your last stitch in the binding, you are still only half finished. Your quilt must now undergo a thorough conditioning. Give it to someone you love dearly—to drag around the house, wrap up in, spill something on, and wash and dry until it is properly lumpy.
     "No reason not to have quiltmaking be a pleasure", says Lisa Boyer, who has as firm a grip on her sense of humor as she does on her quilting needles. "If we didn't make Dorky Homemade quilts, all the quilts in the world would end up in the Beautiful Quilt Museum, untouched and intact. Quilts would just be something to look at. We would forget that quilts are lovable, touchable, shreddable, squeezable, chewable, and huggable -- made to wrap up in when the world seems to be falling down around us."
Leona's Review:
The book information from pretty much said what I would have written.
I found this book and even though I do not quilt, it sounded like a fun read and it was.
I do needlework and crochet and people who do these tasks can also relate to what quilters do. I think we are our own worst critics. The items made should be used and enjoyed and treasured.
Just two examples of the 9 Principles of Dorky Quiltmaking all we needle crafters all have in common are "Throw away your seam ripper" and "Plan on running out of material". We have to make do with what we have or did.   Do something that looks like the mistake we made is not an mistake but well planned.
This is a short read and would be a fun birthday gift for a friend or relative that quilts, or does other needlework projects.

I have to give it  4 star rating.  web address

Leona Olson

Monday, October 5, 2015

Buffalo Trail by Jeff Guinn

Review of Buffalo Trail by Jeff Guinn


Buffalo Trail: A Novel of the American West
by Jeff Guinn

New York Times–bestselling author of The Last Gunfight Jeff Guinn once again brings the Old West to life in the grand follow-up to Glorious.

After barely escaping nemesis Killer Boots in the tiny Arizona Territory town of Glorious, Cash McLendon is in desperate need of a safe haven somewhere—anywhere—on the frontier.

Fleeing to Dodge City, he falls in with an intrepid band of buffalo hunters determined to head south to forbidden Indian Territory in the Texas Panhandle. In the company of such colorful Western legends as Bat Masterson and Billy Dixon, Cash helps establish a hunting camp known as Adobe Walls. When a massive migration of buffalo arrives, Cash, newly hopeful that he may yet patch things up with Gabrielle Tirrito back in Arizona, thinks his luck has finally changed.

But no good can come of entering the prohibited lands they’ve crossed into. Little do Cash and his fellows know that their camp is targeted by a new coalition of the finest warriors among the Comanche, Cheyenne, and Kiowa. Led by fierce Comanche war chief Quanah and eerie tribal mystic Isatai, an enormous force of two thousand is about to descend on the camp and will mark one of the fiercest, bloodiest battles in frontier history.

Cash McLendon is in another fight for his life—and this time running is not an option.


Editorial Reviews

“Guinn makes lively characters of historical buffalo hunters, and his imaginative take booms like a Sharps .50 as cultures collide across the Cimarron River…Guinn's research brings to life the daily lives of the Comanche…Few Westerns reach the level of Lonesome Dove, but Guinn's latest is a better, more rambunctious tale than the trilogy's opener.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Full of historical notable figures from the Old West, this second volume in Guinn’s trilogy not only provides a buoyant narrative but also several lessons in Western history. This title is so well constructed that it could stand alone (for readers new to the trilogy). Guinn skillfully ties his carefully constructed prolog outlining the Massacre at Sand Creek (1864) to a lone female warrior he imagines at the Second Battle at Adobe Walls.”—Library Journal

“A grand effort, and Quanah and his bogus medicine man, Isatai, are an entertaining pair.”—Booklist
About the Author
Jeff Guinn is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Manson, The Last Gunfight, and Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde. A former books editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and an award-winning investigative journalist, Guinn is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and the Texas Literary Hall of Fame. He lives in Ft. Worth.

Leona's Review:

This is my first read by Jeff Guinn and one I wanted to read because of the Texas Panhandle.
This book is historical and a good read for those who have an interest in the American West. It will encourage the reader to read and find more information  on the characters as well as the area.

I will describe the book as a harsh reality of the times. It is about buffalo hunters and also some wars between the White Man and the Indians. The book is very descriptive of the killings and what happened to the people when they were dying and after their death. It is full of history and except for the main character, Cash McLendon, most of the main characters are real people. As I was reading this book Gene Barry, who played Bat Masterson of the TV series, was on Fantasy Island. Adobe Walls has a history that precedes the arrival of the men and one woman who occupied the place. I have listed some links of the history of Adobe Walls.

I was surprised to find that the Tonkawa Indians were cannibals. I lived in the Tonkawa Springs development in Round Rock, Texas. Maybe this is more than one wants to know but as I said, this book is full of harsh reality.

Cash is trying to make money so he can go back to his love, Gabrielle, who is in Arizona. Quanah wants the white man gone.

Every other chapter is about Cash and what is happening with his group and the other is about Quanah, the Comanche war chief and what is happening with his group. The switching back and forth does not confuse the reader and gives an idea of what is in the minds and plans of each group.

I won a complimentary copy of Buffalo Trail from This is an uncorrected proof copy but I did not see and errors. The opinions are my own.
I debated on a 4 or 5 star because of the language and graphic details but this is historical and so I will give it a 5 star rating. I will admit I skipped over some of the more graphic details.
Check the links I have added for some additional information.
Jeff Guinn may be found at:
Leona Olson