The Separatist’s by Lis Wiehl

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

From New York Times bestselling author Lis Wiehl comes the final book in her Newsmakers series. Journalist and newscaster Erica Sparks is only planning to report on an explosive story—until she gets caught in the middle of it.

After getting the green light from her network to launch an investigative news show, Erica flies to Bismarck, North Dakota, to investigate Take Back Our Homeland, the largest secessionist group. What she finds is profoundly disturbing – a growing threat to the future of our union.

Back home, her husband Greg is drinking more and talking less—and taking an unusual interest in the glamorous author Leslie Burke Wilson. Erica’s teenage daughter has also begun acting out in troubling ways.

Then she discovers a potential informant murdered in her Bismarck hotel. Take Back Our Homeland might be even more dangerous than she had thought—and she’s unwittingly become one of the key players in the story. Her fear and anxiety escalate – for her marriage, her daughter, and her own life.

Bestselling novelist and former legal analyst for Fox News Lis Wiehl takes us behind the anchor’s desk in this gripping look at high-stakes reporting in a country torn apart.

My review:

This fast paced suspense novel uses relevant political unrest that anyone can relate to in this day and age, especially living where I do. Erica tends to be a bit of a mess, learning lessons  at the end of each book, that she seems to forget at the beginning of the next one. I keep saying, “When is she going to learn?!!”

I have to say at the end of this one, I am hoping there will be at least one more book, where she does finally find some good balance between news and home, but as it is published as the final book, I can only hope for her lesson to stick this time.

This book is one of those that if you want to be absorbed in a story that may feel a bit realistic without reality, pick this one up!

This book was given to me for review by BookLook Bloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

 

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Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what–but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery.

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life.

My Review:

I was not sure how well I would enjoy this book as this time period has not always been my favorite. However, Angela Hunt did not fail me. She takes a time period that is often forgotten and brings it alive in a way that you want to read more about it. This book is not a “HEA” tale, but one of suffering, pain and turmoil, woven with the beauty of words.

I loved the midwifery angle that was put in the book as well, and struggled with the constant devotion to a friend that was not really a friend. In my own life, I have struggled with that, asking myself why I might stay loyal to a friend that has not returned the favor.

In this story of Cleopatra, it would be excellent for a student in high school to read. There is little to no romance in this book, but it does contain some harsher realities of the time period, but not in graphic detail.

This book was given to me for review by Bethany House. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

 

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About the book:

Hope Irvine always sees the best in people. While traveling on the rails with her missionary father, she attracts the attention of a miner named Luke and a young mine manager. When Luke begins to suspect the manager is using Hope’s missions of mercy as a cover for illegal activities, can he discover the truth without putting her in danger?

My Review:

The cover on this book is gorgeous, which made me want to read it. It took me a bit to get into the story, as Judith Miller, though a talented author, has an older style of writing that is something I have to readjust to. You were able to overlook the missing pieces as you read through and enjoyed the sweetness of the story.

I enjoyed the history of the chapel train car, mines and the bootlegging thrown into this story. It was a happy, sweet story, with a happy ending for most in the story. I would not totally categorize this as a romance, but it has a romantic story thread throughout, but the historical aspect is more the forefront.

I was given this book to review from Bethany House. The opinions contained herein are my own.

 

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A Week away…

It is always fun to get away from home at times. I live a high stress life, which is not always enjoyable for me. But it is not really something that is going to change very soon, so I seek out ways to help me to cope in the middle of it.

Every summer, for the last four years, we volunteer at a beautiful camp in the middle of the mountains just outside East Glacier in Montana. It is rustic, by many people’s standards, but for me, it feels a little like going home.  It has the conveniences that I wish I had when we lived without electricity. The generator is set up to the run the camp when needed, but is only on for brief moments and about an hour in the evening.

I love technology, but I also hate it at the same time. My job and how I make money is linked to it, so I cannot live without it, but I love being away from it all.

When I do not have to work and have the stress of daily life pounding on me, I get a lot of reading done!

The view from the cabin. We were up near the tree line, so most of the mountains were below us as well.

20155979_10210246747664929_5164266823872110304_n.jpg20229112_10210246747224918_4438296154974285741_n.jpgMy little bedroom set up and ready for reading and napping.

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One of the daily skits! 20228257_10210246746704905_2272606574586338845_n.jpgEach cabin put on a skit as well..

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Singing time is always exuberant! 20246468_10210246742184792_3497062737534175458_n.jpg

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One of the many meals we prepared! 20229288_10210246740904760_2541237538891886057_n.jpg

 

20245756_10210246741064764_599955545030869020_n.jpgSaying goodbye to the last camper before we headed out of camp!

If you ever want a great camp experience or volunteer experience, this is a good one!

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The Turquoise Table by Kristen Schell

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

A simple way to connect your neighborhood, your community and build friendships.

Are you consumed with a busy life but unsure how to slow down? Do you desire connection within your community and think, “Absolutely, but I don’t have time for that” or “I can’t create that”? What if there was another way through it all, a way to find those moments of peace and to create a time for honest, comfortable connection? What if meeting neighbors and connecting with friends was as simple as showing up and being available?

Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, and began inviting friends and neighbors to join her. Life changed in her community and it can change in yours, too. Alongside personal and heartwarming stories, Kristin gives you:

Stress-free ideas for kick-starting your own Turquoise Table Simple recipes to take outside and share with others Stories from people using Turquoise Tables in their neighborhoods Encouragement to overcome barriers that keep you from connecting New ways to view hospitality

Today, Turquoise Tables are inviting individuals to connect with each other in nearly all fifty states and seven countries. Ordinary people like you wanting to make a difference right where they live.

Community and friendship are waiting just outside your front door.

My Review:

This simply written book gives plenty of great ideas on connecting with family and making new friends with your neighbors. For me, as someone that deathly afraid of getting too close to anyone who lives in the near vicinity, it had some very scary ideas, but it is good to stretch my mind.

I liked the simple ideas filled with connection that pull people. I thought of that cheesy commercial, where everyone brought tables into the hallway and their dinners out to share with one another.

We do truly live in a society where connection is lacking in person, but I also think for the severe introverts these ideas can be horrifying as well. So, I read this book and thought of ways that I can incorporate them without chilling me to my bones. =)

Overall, amazing concept, great book and one I will want to buy as gifts for a few people.

This book is available on Amazon for purchase. “The Turquoise Table” 

This book was given to me for review by BookLookBloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

 

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Twenty Two by Alison Trowbridge

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

Allison Trowbridge harnesses the power of story in a series of letters to an imagined young woman wrestling with the questions that arise as she stands on the precipice of adulthood.

The 21st century is a wonderful and complicated time to be a young woman. From access to higher education and advances in gender equality to the innovations of social networks and limitless travel destinations, no twenty-two-year-old woman has ever had more options before her than the college graduate of today. And yet, even with the world at her feet, she often has more questions than answers, more pressures than prospects, and more disenchantment than direction.

Stepping into this glaring disconnect, Allison Trowbridge offers Twenty-Two, a series of personal letters that marries true life experiences and advice with the fictional life of the recipient, Ashley, a young woman looking for mentorship from someone one step ahead in life. Trowbridge subtly weaves in today’s most pressing social issues—from poverty in our neighborhoods to human trafficking across the globe—inspiring a greater sense of mission in both Ash and the reader.

Twenty-Two is a book that speaks to millennial women, a generation hungry for a bigger life story yet uncertain about how to get there. But it is not a how-to book for girls coming of age, because a field guide could never capture the complexities of this season. Rather, Twenty-Two is a deeply personal narrative about friendship, heartbreak, and hope that will inspire young women from a wide variety of backgrounds to live fully into their own remarkable journeys today.

My Review:

This is a unique book of letters from a mentor to another, full of life issues that might face a young woman of today’s society. I think that it would speak to many young women of today, but I found myself lost amid the pages a few times and realized my age.

It would be a lovely gift for a graduating senior, heading out to college to read, if they take the time to read. The short letter like chapters, leave this book easy to follow and read for those that relate to the issues addressed.

This book was given to me for review by BookLook Bloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

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Finally Focused by James Greenblatt M.D.

 

 

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

 

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About the book:

Dr. James Greenblatt has seen thousands of children and adults struggling with the symptoms of ADHD – hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and often irritability and combativeness. Rather than simply prescribing medication for their ADHD symptoms, he tailors remedies to his patients’ individual needs, detecting and treating the underlying causes of the disorder.

Finally Focused provides proven natural and medical methods to easily treat problems such as nutritional deficiencies or excesses, dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance inside the body), sleeping difficulties, and food allergies, all of which surprisingly can cause or worsen the symptoms of ADHD. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s effective Plus-Minus Healing Plan, parents will first understand the reasons behind their child’s symptoms, and then be able to eliminate them by addressing the child’s unique pattern of biological weakness. Adults with ADHD can do the same for themselves. And if conventional medication is still necessary, this integrative approach will minimize or even eliminate troublesome side effects. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s expert advice, millions of children and adults with ADHD finally will get the help they need to achieve true wellness.

My Review:

I was very skeptical to read this book as I have read many, “Cure ADHD” books. This one was different. In each chapter it laid out specific and scientific reasons why certain vitamins, diets and medication help ADD and ADHD. I found a couple of things in opposition to advice given in other chapters, like the one chapter on going gluten free and then the other chapter focusing on making sure they had enough carbs and grains. The gluten free chapter seemed more faddish than science, but since it was just one chapter, I could overlook it.
I did order a box load of vitamins and have not been able to tell if it is helping or not, but I liked how he gave instructions for a time table, even when talking about cutting out foods, that if it has not changed at this point, it is not that causing the issue.

I would recommend this book to any parent with a child or an adult with ADD/ADHD.

This book is available for purchase wherever books are sold and Amazon. “Finally Focused” It also comes on audio.

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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If I am Found by Terri Blackstock

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko 

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The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

 

My Review:

Time seemed to bind these two writers in one story, both in the wrong love matches and in their writing. I really did enjoy this book, written in a similar fashion to “The Wedding Chapel”, I still wanted a bit more at times. It was a deeper read, but woven in a way that you read to discover the secrets.

I love a book about a writer and this one has several writers as characters in the story. You will want to pick it up and figure out the mystery of the desk, the author that sat there before and how are the two writers from different time periods connected.

It is also a story about relationships between mothers and daughters. That is more subtle, but very present throughout the story. As we see in the stories, a mother controlling for good or for wrong can change the pathway of our life, and how we react to it will impact us.

This book is released July 11th and is available for order from Amazon or wherever books are sold. “The Writing Desk”.

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To The Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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My Review:
When I picked up this book by one of my favorite authors, I found myself checking to see that it was by her. The style seemed different. It was not in a bad way at all, but you know how you start to feel like all the characters are similar?  I did not feel that way about this one. Ryan seemed so different than my other favorites by her, and I was intrigued by Jenny as well.
The time period and history, which Ms. Camden is always a gifted story teller with, seemed to find those twists and turns that I have come to expect and enjoy. This is not one you will want to miss if you enjoy historical fiction. It is one that I will want to re-read again or suggest for  a book club. I throughly savored this one.
It is available to purchase wherever books are sold.
“To the Farthest Shores” on Amazon. It is also available on audio.

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