The Witch of November by Rick Collins

The Witch of November by Rick Collins

A young football player fights for survival after being paralyzed in a high school game in Cleveland. His father, a miner in Minnesota, desperately tries to get back to his son. After the father’s truck breaks down, he is befriended by a young sailor who offers to stow him away on the iron boat on which he works, also headed for Cleveland. But the weather on Lake Superior in November is fraught with danger. Can the young sailor get his new friend to his son before it is too late, or will the Witch of November exact the ultimate price? (Summary via Amazon)

If you don’t believe in miracles…..you will by the time you finish reading The Witch of November by Rick Collins. This story will not only have you believing but your emotions will be all over the place !!

The Witch of November is about a family and what a parent will do for their child.

Joe Willis works for the Minnesota Iron Range most of the year while his wife Betsy and son Charlie live in Cleveland. One day Joe gets a call from Betsy that Charlie was hurt while playing football and it doesn’t look good. Charlie heads for home but unfortunately he runs into a lot of problems. Luckily a stranger takes pity on Joe and offers to help. The stranger turns out to be a worker on a iron boat and can stow him away on the boat and get him to Cleveland.

The stranger Bruce stows Joe in a storage closet and only him and the cook, Robert, know that he is there until the boat, The Edmund Fitzgerald, hits a big storm and Joe goes out to help……

While Joe does whatever he can to stay alive and get to his son at the hospital, the doctors and nurses are doing everything they can to stabilize Charlie.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy reading The Witch of November and you will feel like you are right there in the middle of all the action. You might suffer injuries from turning the pages so quickly. Once you open up The Witch of November, you will not be able to stop reading until you get to the end to see if Joes makes it to Charlie’s bedside.

I really enjoyed reading this story and love how Collins switches from what is going on with Joe and then to what is going on with Betsy and Charlie so that you are aware of everything going on. I’m confident that you will love this book as much as I did. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting.

Review by Missi M.

Instructions for Dancing

Instructions for Dancing

by Nicola Yoon

In this romantic page-turner from the author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, Evie has the power to see other people’s romantic fates–what will happen when she finally sees her own?

Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

In Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon young Evie Thomas has a great small circle of friends that she does pretty much everything with…they are even planning a cross country trip when they graduate high school. Unfortunately Evie is also dealing with some things that she can’t share with everyone. The biggest secret is that her parents are getting divorced and she knows why but cannot tell her younger sister Danica and she really wishes she could share this so they could process it together. Then when Evie goes to drop all her romance novels off to a drop box, she meets a mysterious woman who says that she has to take a book when she gives a book….and the only book in the box is Instructions for Dancing so she takes it thinking nothing of it. Later that evening when she gets home and sees her sister and boyfriend kiss, she has visions of their relationship from the beginning until the end and it knocks her for a loop !!! The only person she feels safe confiding in is her friend Martin but he doesn’t seem to be very helpful either.

So Evie decides to try returning the book to the dance studio that is indicated in the book but when she gets there she meets some very interesting people and gets roped into pairing up with the owners grandson for a competition. This means that Evie and Xavier (“X” for short) have to spend time getting to know each other personally so that they will be comfortable dancing in the competition.

Evie is still struggling with seeing visions of relationships when she witnesses the couple kiss and is trying to work through that as well as learning her father is getting remarried and wants her and her sister to be there. Evie doesn’t know how to handle that when Danica doesn’t know what broke up their parents marriage. And no matter how hard she tries to not like X, she cannot help but be drawn to him and lean on him through everything.

Readers will love Instructions for Dancing…..you cannot help but get lost in the story immediately and love the characters instantly. Yoon knows how to write the words to keep your eyes moving and your fingers turning the pages. I couldn’t wait to see how things get resolved at the end but it was an inner struggle with myself to try to read slower to make it last. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Review by Missi M.

The Stowaway

The Stowaway

by James S. MurrayDarren Wearmouth

From internationally bestselling authors James Murray and Darren Wearmouth comes The Stowaway, a suspenseful masterpiece that leaves a cruise ship stranded at sea with a serial killer hiding aboard…

Two years ago, Maria Fontana was the deciding vote on a jury that set alleged serial killer Wyatt Butler free. Now, she and her family are enjoying vacation on a two week long transatlantic cruise. But when passengers are discovered brutally murdered in a similar way to Butler’s ritualistic MO, the ship goes on lockdown. Maria, one of only twelve people in the world with intimate knowledge of the case, faces a perilous ticking clock. Is it a copycat? Or is she trapped on board with the bloodthirsty maniac she chose to set free? (Summary via Goodreads)

If you are a fan of James “Murr” Murray from the hit television show Impractical Jokers, I can honestly tell you that reading The Stowaway which he co-wrote with Darren Wearmouth will show you a COMPLETELY different side to him. You are going to witness a side to him that you never would have thought possible. In the show Impractical Jokers, it is all about 4 lifelong friends pulling pranks on each other and there is always a lot of laughing involved, however, when you start reading The Stowaway there will be no laughing involved…..

The Stowaway begins at the trial of a serial killer whose story is gruesome and eleven out of twelve jurors found him guilty. No matter what they did, they could not agree so Wyatt Butler was set free. One of the jurors, Maria Fontana, could not move on with her life. She kept seeing the horrific pictures of his victims and when she learns that someone is harrassing the other jurors to find the one juror who voted not guilty, she decides to take a stand.

Fast forward a bit and Maria and her fiance Steve are boarding a cruise ship with her twin children, Christopher and Chloe for a well needed vacation. And everything is going according to plan until there is a smell in an unoccupied room that leads the security team down a twisted path…..and when Maria gets wind of the situation, she goes to the head of security to talk some sense into him. Now I must back up a bit and mention that Maria is not some crazy woman, she is actually very intelligent and a master in her field, she is the head of the Psychology Department for Columbia University. And she has studied Wyatt Butler and his behavior more than she’s even studied anyone else.

Things take a horrible turn when a child goes missing from the ship in the middle of the night……Maria is convinced that Butler is on the ship and not only is he back to his old habits, but she fears he is after her and her family. But can Maria and the security team stop this madman ???

Readers will be on the edge of their seats while reading this thriller !! There will be times that you will feel like you are right there along side Maria and you may have to look up to remind yourself that you are in a safe place and the scary man will not jump out of the book at you. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Stowaway and seeing a different side to Murray as well as getting to know co-author Wearmouth. I hope that they continue writing together and hopefully we will see more of Maria.

Review by Missi M.

Chasing the Firefly’s Light by Heidi Sprouse

Chasing the Firefly’s Light by Heidi Sprouse

Kaleb Young has been making wishes on fireflies since he was a child and met Hope Young. She was his first wish come true.

He’s spent a lifetime making wishes, building dreams, and finding hope in his wife. After all, it’s in her name. Now he wishes for only one thing.

Time.

Brooklynn Kelly writes fairy tales in her mind every time she sees Kaleb Y., her meat man at the local grocery store in Saranac Lake. She’s imagined many characters he could play alongside another version of herself. She never thought their worlds would actually collide.

Until she met his wife.

As Brooklynn becomes a tried and true friend with the Youngs in the most difficult time of their lives, she’ll be asked a nearly impossible request. There are only two questions left. Can she do what Hope Young asks of her and will Kaleb Young let it happen? (Summary via Amazon)

When you fall in love, how deeply do you fall ? When you get married, how seriously do you take your wedding vows ? Do you stop loving your spouse when they die like the vows state…till death do us part or do they stay with you forever….. Also if you have a best friend, how far will you go to fulfill a wish they ask of you when they are getting near the end of their life ?

In Chasing the Firefly’s Light by Heidi Sprouse 6 year old Kaleb Young knew that when he met Hope in the sandbox on the playground that she was going to be his forever. And she was….they fell in love, got married and had a storybook fairy tale love story until Hope was diagnosed with a terrible illness. Hope was ill at home but one rainy day when Kaleb was getting ready to leave his job working in the butcher counter at the local grocery store, he offered a customer shelter from the storm. An offer that changed their lives forever

Brooklynn Kelly had a slight crush on the butcher but never thought she’d fall in love with his wife as well. When Kaleb takes Brooklynn home to wait for the tow truck, she meets Hope and she is instantly drawn to the fragile beautiful woman laying in the bed. The two woman develop a strong bond. Brooklynn does whatever she can for Hope and Kaleb and spends as much time as she can with them.

Watching Hope suffer takes a piece of Kaleb’s heart day by day. Luckily for Kaleb and Hope, Brooklynn is there to hold them together but when Hope makes a request that turns her world upside down, Brooklynn doesn’t know what to do.

When I finished reading Chasing the Firefly’s Light I had to take some time to process the story. Sprouse had my emotions on high alert. I have NEVER cried more reading a story, or watching a movie for that matter, than I did reading this story. Once you start reading you are immediately in the story, you can see everything in your head so clearly and you feel everything that the characters are feeling. There are some POWERFUL scenes that will have you breathless. Hope, Kaleb and Brooklynn will stay with you for a long time after you finish the story.

So I ask you again …. how far would you go for your best friend and does your love stop when someone dies ?? I guarantee after your read this book you may have a change of heart.

Review by Missi M.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Number-one New York Times Best Seller

Selection of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club

A Highly Anticipated, Best Book of Summer Selected by * Vogue * USA Today * Entertainment Weekly * CNN * Town & Country * Parade * Bustle * and more!

A “gripping” (Entertainment Weekly) mystery about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life – until he disappears.

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers – Owen’s 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity – and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future – one neither of them could have anticipated.

With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn. (Summary via Amazon)

What would you do if your husband of one year went missing and left you with his 16 year old daughter and a note given to you by a stranger that said “Protect her” ? How do you explain to this daughter that you don’t know where her father is and that you are all she has right now ? And you have to convince this 16 year old who already doesn’t like you to try to trust you…..

Well in The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave that is exactly what Hannah Hall has to do when her husband Owen leaves for work one day and doesn’t return. The only thing that Hannah is certain of is that Owen has a very good reason for deserting his daughter Bailey…unfortunately she has no idea what that is.

Hannah soon learns that Owen’s boss is arrested for fraud and falsifying financial statements and thinks that Owen ran because of that. Hannah is soon visited by a member of the U.S. Marshal as well as Special Agents from the FBI. She doesn’t know who to trust or what to do. She begins to learn that Owen isn’t who he claims to be and that send Hannah and Bailey on a search for answers.

Hannah takes the words on the note from Owen as her only clue to what to do and she knows that no matter what she will protect Bailey at all costs…….unfortunately when they start looking for answers they find more questions and a road they don’t want to travel.

Readers will be unable to put this book down. Once you start reading The Last Thing He Told Me you will want to know what is going on and where Hannah and Bailey are heading and if they will ever see Owen again. The way that Dave writes chapters on how Hannah and Owen met and their relationship, readers will see the love and devotion and the turmoil that Hannah faces with Bailey. And when you get to the last page of the book I guarantee you will get goosebumps … at least I did.

Review by Missi M.

Letters to Sis

Letters to Sis

by Cesare Giannetti

Letters to Sis originated from the letters I wrote my sister, from when I first enlisted into Army, to her death, following a short and fierce battle with breast cancer. Over that 9 year period I was stationed overseas; beginning with the fall of the Berlin wall. Next, I deployed to the Persian Gulf War for Operation Desert Storm. Then, I went to Bosnia-Herzegovina, (the former Yugoslavia) for peacekeeping operations. And Finally, I went back to Germany as security for the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt. When I retired from the Army I thought I could use the letters to memorialize my sister, as well as chronicle those years in a memoir. Ultimately, I wanted to share with my daughter the unique, worldly, and sometimes unwise experiences in my life, as well as tell her about some good people we lost along the way and how a very special person helped me through it all. (Summary via Goodreads)

I was very excited to start reading Letters to Sis by Cesare Giannetti. I love reading books that have letter writing between people as part of the story. I think it adds so much to the characters in the story. And also I feel that I can relate when the story involves breast cancer because my mother is a two time breast cancer survivor….and I know every day that we are blessed 100 fold that she is still here when there are so many women that have battled it and lost as Cesare’s sister Marisa did.

Letters to Sis follows Cesare as he leaves his family behind in New Jersey after he enlisted in the Army. While in the Army Cesare is far away in Europe starting in Germany. The first part of the story is heavy on his experiences in the Army and very little about his sister and family. It is interesting to read but I was looking for more of what the title states.

After a while the reader does get to see the “letters” part of the story as Cesare begins to write to Marisa more and when she is diagnosed with breast cancer, he wrote more and more. Readers get to see Cesare’s vulnerability and love for his sister.

Letters to Sis is a good book to read. I personally wish that Cesare and Marisa had more letter writing throughout the book and they opened up more. It seems like the letters just graces the surface and leaves the reader with a lot of questions. I realize that it was a very personal and upsetting topic and situation to go through but the author knew that going intot he story writing and I feel that readers would have been able to better relate to the family and its journey better if there was more heart to heart.

On a final note I did enjoy the songs that Cesare shares throughout the story as we are about the same age and those were songs that I also grew up with. I believe that songs can be very powerful amd meaningful to everyone and I am sure they helped Cesare and his sister through the dark times. I am also sorry that they lost Marisa and feel for the family. May she rest in peace……

Review by Missi M.

People We Meet on Vacation

People We Meet on Vacation

by Emily Henry

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love. 

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations. (Summary via Goodreads)

Poppy Wright didn’t have a good childhood and couldn’t wait to escape Linfield, Ohio which she did as soon as she could. She started off at college where she met Alex Nilsen and learned that he was from Linfield also. They began an awkward friendship that lasted longer than any other relationships that either of them ever had. They decided to take a vacation every summer no matter what is going on or where they have ended up. And when Poppy lands a job for Rest + Relaxation traveling all over the world and writing and documented the trip, the two travel in style. This works for then for years unti one drunken night changes their friendship in the worst possible way…..now Poppy is determined to get their friendship back to where it was with one final summer trip.

Readers will thoroughly enjoy People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry. Henry allows the reader to get to know Poppy and Alex in the present as well as the past and where it all began. Some chapters will deal with the present and the trip that Poppy is planning to rekindle their friendship and then other chapters will take the reader back to the very beginning as well as past trips and eventually we will get to the trip that changed their friendship. Readers get to see what Poppy is willing to do to save the best friendship that she has ever had. Readers cannot help but fall in love with everything about this book. Henry knows how to put the words on the page allowing the reader to follow the story and enjoy it to the fullest !!!

I highly recommend grabbing your copy of People We Met On Vacation by Emily Henry and check out Book of the Month at https://www.bookofthemonth.com/ and start having this and other great books delivered right to your door !!!

Review by Missi M.

Darkness and Grace

Darkness and Grace

by Kathryn Schleich

Even the strongest of families aren’t immune to malice, betrayal, and deceit. Supportive, loving, and affluent, the Pierson family is delighted to celebrate the marriage of sensitive middle son Paul Pierson and his wife, Pamela. Everyone rejoices that Paul has finally recovered from the tragic loss of his beloved first wife and looks forward to Paul and Pamela’s new life together. But just as family members are celebrating his happiness, they start noticing that his beautiful bride may not be what she seems.

As the strain between siblings and spouses worsens, the Piersons discover that neither their money nor their considerable influence can keep the family safe from one woman’s malicious intent. When the true nature of this family member is revealed, each of the Piersons is confronted with the quandary of human conduct and moral responsibility.

Darkness and Grace is a compelling story of the classic struggle between good and evil, as well as the violent undercurrent running beneath the illusory serenity of a close-knit Midwestern family.  (Summary via Goodreads)

As soon as you start reading Darkness & Grace by Kathryn Schleich you will be unable to stop, your surroundings will become invisible, the noises will be silenced and you will be with Kaye and the Pierson family as they deal with hell on earth !

Kaye Pierson has two brothers, parents that are loving and a family business that keeps them all connected. Luckily the family is a strong family because what they are going to deal with when Paul gets married for the second time after his first wife dies, is going to try to rip them apart. The entire family was estatic when Paul met Pamela and they got married and when they had their daughter, Kaitlin, they were the perfect family…..until something in Pamela snapped and she changed. Pamela becomes money hungry and will do anything to get as much as she can and doesn’t care who she destroys.

When Paul finally divorces Pamela the family hopes that that is the end of things but sadly it is just the beginning. Pamela lies and tries hold Kaitlin over Paul’s head so the family has no other choice but to fight dirty like she does. They hire a private investigator and Kaye even talks to Pamela’s first husband to see the depths of her craziness. The family soon learns that there is nothing that Pamela will do or say to get what she wants…..and it will take something dangerous and drastic to get her out of the Pierson’s lives for good !!

Darkness & Grace plays out like a Lifetime movies in your head. Readers will be shocked at the malicious behavior that Pamela shows. Readers will want the Pierson family to give it right back to her but know that the way that they handled it is for the best. And the ending will shock you to your core and you will not see it coming at all !! Schleich knows how to draw the reader deep into the story and keep a firm grip on you throughout the entire story from the first word until the last sentence.

Review by Missi M.

Act of Negligence

Act of Negligence

(Doc Brady #4)

by John Bishop

Something unusual is going on with the dementia patients at Pleasant View Nursing Home.

Dr. Jim Bob Brady, Houston orthopedic surgeon and amateur sleuth, finds himself in the midst of a different type of medical mystery. His friend and colleague, Dr. James Morgenstern, refers him a series of dementia patients with orthopedic problems from Pleasant View Nursing Home. Each patient dies, irrespective of the treatment, a situation that Doc Brady is unaccustomed to.

Each death prompts an autopsy, performed by another Brady colleague, Dr. Jeff Clarke, who discovers unusual brain pathology in each patient. Some of the tissue samples show nerve regeneration, a finding unheard of in dementia patients.

Doc Brady, enraged by the loss of his patients and obsessively curious about the pathologic findings, begins to investigate the nursing home, as well as its owner and CEO, Dr. Theodore Frazier. This leads Brady and Clarke on an adventure to discover the happenings at Pleasant View—an adventure that sees them running for their lives. (Summary via Goodreads)

John Bishop MD has done it again !! Act of Negligence is the fourth book in his Doc Brady Mystery series and it will blow you away !!

The Doc Brady Mystery series follows main character Doc Jim Bob Brady around as his spends time with his beautiful wife Mary Louise and as he works as an orthopedic surgery at the Medical Center in Houston Texas. Normally he enjoys his job fixing people’s joint pain with surgery so that they can continue on with their active lives. However in Act of Negligence Doc Brady operates on a number of patients that were sent over from a nursing home, Pleasant View Nursing Home, and shortly after their surgeries the patients die from the same thing. As Doc Brady is not use to losing patients, especially that many in that short of a period, it weights heavy on him. Luckily he has a nurse that works on that floor and is use to seeing death more that him set his might at ease a bit. Unfortunately when Dr. Jeff Clarke, the pathologist handling the autopsies, finds some interesting results, he teams up with Doc Brady to find out what is going on.

All of the deceased have more in common than they should and it looks like the director of the nursing home, Dr. James Morgenstern, may be doing more to them than he should be. Unfortunately they are going to need solid proof and not just their gut feelings to bring a stop to Mortgenstern’s experiments…..

Author Bishop has a way with drawing the reading into the story. Doc Brady and Mary Louise are a great couple and reading about their every day lives is entertaining enough but when you get to go along with Doc Brady to his job and see everything he does through the doctor’s viewpoint, it is a real eye opener. But we can be rest assured that no matter what the case involves, Doc Brady will find out the truth in the ends…..even if it is way above his pay grade and he could end up looking down the barrel of a gun before it’s over.

Review by Missi M.