A Tale of Two Pages

Books, life, motherhood, and more!

Rapid Falls ~A Book Review~ — 2018-11-16

Rapid Falls ~A Book Review~

Christmas is coming, and so is the release of RAPID FALLS. You are going to want to add this to your book mountain now! I just finished reading this, and so many thoughts are tumbling through my head about this book! I am not sure that I could say enough about it, but the short review below might help! Amber Cowie delivers one fabulous novel, perfect to give you shivers of horror and delight as you work through the muddied relationships of a family whose lives have been shattered by one accident…

The release date for Rapid Falls is 1 December 2018.

~Review~

When tragedy ripples through a small town, one person is pegged with the blame. But time does not heal all wounds. Cara and her boyfriend Jesse were supposed to be together forever, but a car accident on the night of their prom leaves Jesse dead, and Cara and her sister Anna injured. Anna is charged with DUI and spends time in prison for the accident, but she cannot remember anything that happened that night. She has snippets of memory, but nothing concrete.

As time moves forward, Cara has moved on with her life, but Anna cannot. She has sunk into drugs and alcohol, forever relying on her sister to bail her out of trouble. As questions begin to surface in Anna’s mind about the night of the accident, Cara is desperate to keep them quiet. She does not want her husband to know about their past.

Cara is about to discover that secrets can only be kept for so long before they bubble to the surface…. and some secrets are better left buried in the past…

OH MY GOODNESS. This book was amazing! I read through it in one sitting, and could not have loved it any more. Family secrets, haunting dreams, and desperation all come together in one thrilling novel that will leave you gasping for more!

 

**I received an Advanced Readers Copy for a fair and honest review. Thank you to Lake Union Publishers, Amber Cowie, and NetGalley for the digital copy.**

Whisper Me This ~Book Review~ —

Whisper Me This ~Book Review~

With the winter weather setting in, its the perfect time to cozy up with a fabulous book! Catch Whisper Me This now! I promise you, this book will not disappoint! Kerry Anne King did a fabulous job with this novel, and it was one that drew me in from the start! Just another wonderful read this year! Visit your local library today or check for the link below where you can find it on digital format. Hold on to your seats, this book will take you on a wild ride!

~Review~

Maisey always felt as though something was missing. With her imaginary friend as a child, she could do anything. But having an imaginary friend upset her mother, so she put that behind her. As an adult, Maisey is still doing everything wrong. Her ex-boyfriend always explains things to her as though she were a child, and yet their daughter is strong and mature beyond her years.
When tragedy strikes at home, Maisey is forced to confront not only the past mistakes she has made but the secret past that no one was ever supposed to know about. Her mother kept everything locked up tight, not allowing Maisey or her father to ever know the secrets of her past. Until her mother’s death, everything was normal. But her world was turned upside down.

Some secrets are better left to themselves…

Whisper Me This was amazing! I was captivated from the first page, and could not put it down! This book is not for the weak of heart, however! Mystery, secrets, past scandals and so much more lurk between the lines of this book!

Are you hooked yet? This is one book that you need to read! It is available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and other formats. You can catch the book here: Whisper Me This

My Thanksgiving Blues —

My Thanksgiving Blues

Thanksgiving is next week, and I am sitting here trying to figure out what in the world I am going to make. This year has been so crazy busy! My husband is constantly getting onto me for not sleeping more, but there is just so much to get done. I am one of those people that hate to be behind in anything. This year, I feel like everything took a crazy lurch to one side, and I have not been able to get it right again. I don’t know if I need a vacation, a full night of sleep, or another me to get something accomplished.

Our homeschool journey has been much like my Thanksgiving menu. Slow going and frustrating. My kids have become perfect at putting everything off, and somehow not accomplishing anything. They get little bits done, but I feel like I am failing in that too. BLAH!

It’s Not ALL Crazy

There are good things happening! We got some snow today, so we had a little relaxed time just watching it fall and blanket the ground. My computer is set to where I can look out my back window into the backyard. Watching the snow come down, made me realize how thankful I am for so many things. We take so much for granted, that we rarely stop to think of what we can truly be thankful for. I might not have that menu done, but we have food in the house. My kids might not get all their papers finished, but they are learning. We have heat, running water, and a roof over our heads. Blankets to keep warm with, and clothes to wear. The ability to do laundry, go to the store and having a car to run errands with. That list right there tells me how much I have to be thankful for. But I also have a fabulous husband and kiddos who make me laugh each day.

Looking over what we have, and what could be, makes me realize my “crazy” days are not really so bad after all. Working means that I have a paycheck coming in to help support my family. So what if the student loans are still there. They are going to be there for a bit.

Doing Something Different

This year, I want to challenge everyone to do something different. When you are putting your Thanksgiving meal together, think about those that are less fortunate. Instead of packing away those leftovers, pack up some to go containers and pass them out. Make a smaller dinner and take to a homeless shelter. Find a way to give something back to those who are truly in need. There are needs all over.

 

 

A Light In The Labyrinth ~Book Review~ — 2018-10-31

A Light In The Labyrinth ~Book Review~

What a week it has been so far! This month has flown by, and if the rest of the year is going to be like this, well Christmas should arrive next week. I have been reading like mad, and have finished 156 books this year, but I am trying to push that number to 200.  While we are searching for new books and adventures, I have a new adventure to share with you. A Light In The Darkness published earlier this year, but I loved it! I really enjoyed this read. I am not a huge fan of the Tudor dynasty, as I prefer the Plantagenets and their buckets of crazy. However, this book was a bit different. It comes from a different perspective and one that was much appreciated.

Now, while the blog has been quiet lately, there will be more coming! I have so many things that I want to share with you! I just have to find the time to sit and write more than a short blurb for you! Now, run out to your library and check out this book! 4/5 stars! Wendy J. Dunn worked a bit of magic in this book!

Review

Kate Carey is the daughter of Mary (Carey) Stafford, and niece to the queen of England. While she chaffs under her mothers care, angry at the world, she longs more than anything to be at court with her aunt, where she is sure that she will be more loved than she is at home.
Mary Stafford wants nothing more to protect her daughter from the intrigue at court, but she is holding secrets of her own, that Kate knows nothing about.
When Kate finally gets to court, she is blown away by the secrets and the scandal that seem to run rampant through the court. Her aunt is unhappy and seems preoccupied with everything but her niece. Kate begins to wonder if coming to court was a good idea.
As life in the palace begins to calm to a norm, more issues arise, and her aunt, Queen Anne starts to fear for her life. Factions at court are working to bring her aunt down, and Kate finds that her loyalty is pushed to new heights, defending and comforting her aunt. As the road leads to the Tower for Anne Boleyn, Kate is more determined than ever to stick next to her aunt – until whatever the end might bring.

Great read, and very enjoyable! This is one that will keep you engaged from page one. Definitely worth the read. While I am not a fan of the Tudor’s, I enjoyed this book told from the perspective of a fourteen-year-old girl, while learning an entirely new way of life.

18 Cranes ~A Book Review~ — 2018-10-09

18 Cranes ~A Book Review~

I have a new review to share with you! Do not miss out on this fabulous read! Get it today! 5/5 stars!!

Read this book, and then let me know your thoughts!

18 Cranes By Robert Campbell

Bing is fixing to enter one of the most stressful moments of his life. For his entire life, he has studied and prepared for this moment, to take the highly competitive examinations. The Civil Service Examinations are a mark of the elite. Those who pass will attain high honor. Those who do not will study again to either retake the exams or go into another form of work. The exams are tedious, meant to test you at every turn, and extremely hard to pass. He has had the best tutors, every opportunity to succeed, but now the rest remains with him. He will be tested on what he knows, and how well he can articulate those thoughts. In 1630s China, sons follow the family traditions and continue in the vein of their fathers. Bing’s father is a highly respected government official, and he has given Bing every opportunity to succeed and follow in his footsteps.

But as the exams progress, Bing begins to have strange dreams. In these dreams, 18 Cranes are the focal point. Searching his mind, he tries to reason what the dreams could mean, but he struggles to find a common thread. He seeks out his father’s advice and the wisdom of his grandfather. While they challenge him to think of what the dreams could mean, Bing knows that there is more to it than what they are suggesting.

As the time for the grades to be released, Bing spends more time in quiet contemplation, mulling over his dream. He wonders if it does not foretell something of his future. His grandfather, however, is not done telling him everything. As he begins to reveal a long-held family secret, Bing knows that there is more yet to be discovered and that his dreams are thoroughly entwined with his grandfather’s secret….

Final Thoughts

This book was a fantastic read! I read it twice as there was so much to take in! This book was captivating from the first page! If you are looking for a book that will make you think, encourage you to read between the lines and to just enjoy a fantastic story, then you must check out 18 Cranes by Robert Campbell. I felt drawn to Bing, and could empathize with him on the agony of preparing and taking the exams. The boo is written in such a way that you feel as though you are just as exhausted as he is. I could smell the flowers described, and wanted to meet Grandfather Ai! I cannot wait to find more books by this author, as now I must know the entire story of Bing, and unravel the full meaning of his dream. Travel back to China and embark on a tremendous journey with Bing!

The Witch of Willow Hall ~A Book Review~ — 2018-10-08

The Witch of Willow Hall ~A Book Review~

Good day readers! What a start to October! This month is already flying, and I am not entirely sure where the time has gone! There are still so many things that I want to share with you this year, and I feel like my time is running out too quickly! I am going to make the most of what I have so there will be quite a few new books reviews coming your way, as well as some other exciting things! I hope that you will enjoy it!

But this book is one for the MUST READ LIST. I know that I share this with you at times, but there are some books that stick out more than others, and this book was one of those. I sat down to read, and was so drawn into the story, that I had to remind myself at times, that there are tiny humans in my house that I must take care of from time to time (I jest, I do care for them always, but there are times that I really just want to read and forget all other responsibilities).

The Witch of Willow Hall by Hester Fox is a fabulous read! I cannot say enough good things about it! 5/5 stars! Really, get this added to your read list, and then tell me what you think about it! There are so many different aspects to this book. Love, joy, sorrow, secrets and more! When you try and narrow down just one thing about this book, there is no way!

Here is a short review:

Lydia has a gift that she has no idea exists. When she is angry things happen…

Lydia Montrose and her family have left Boston due to rumors circulating around town regarding her family. While her sister Catherine does not care what people think, it is hurting the family and the business her father is in. So they head off to Willow Hall, to start fresh and begin a new life.
There, they meet their father’s new business partner, Mr. Barrett. Lydia is smitten with him, but as always, her sister Catherine seems to hold sway with all the men.
When tragedy strikes the family, things begin to shift. Lydia begins to see ghosts, not only of her sister, but of two women, and a little boy that seems to be somewhat of a prankster.
Lydia knows she has to do something, but she is not sure what she can do to put her sister to rest, and also to claim the happiness that she so desires with Mr. Barrett.

This book was amazing! I started it and then got sidetracked with life, but when I picked it up and started reading again, I was hooked! I could not put it down, I had to know what happened next! This is definitely a MUST read for the year!

Final Thoughts:

Okay, like I said – I cannot recommend this book enough. I would love to hear from you and get your thoughts on it! There is so much that I want to say about it, but I do not want to ruin the read for you! This is a book that you have to experience for yourself! I look forward to your comments and sharing a great discussion on this book!

The Lost Letters Of William Woolf ~A Book Review~ — 2018-09-25

The Lost Letters Of William Woolf ~A Book Review~

Good day, dear readers! I have such an exciting book to share with you, and one that needs to be on your pre-order list NOW! The Lost Letters of William Woolf is a book that has mystery, intrigue, a little love lost, and SO MUCH MORE! Oh my goodness, I sat down and read this in one sitting! It was that good! Now, this book does not release until next year, but I promise it is one that you are going to really enjoy!

I hope that when you get the chance to read this book that you will love it as much as I have! Let me know your thoughts!

~Review~

William works as a lost letter detective. When letters and packages are lost on their way to their destinations, they come to his department. He must try and find the person they were intended for, or else they perish into the flames of the incinerator.

While his work life can be dull, it seems to be slipping into his personal life as well. The smooth marriage he once had is now falling apart. Claire seems withdrawn and holding resentment for everything that he does. He is not perfect enough, looking for sufficient achievement, and she is tired of being the primary breadwinner of the family. William is working on a book, but that too seems to have fallen by the wayside. He holds onto hopes of writing a book about the lost letters, but his boss does not full seem on board with the idea. He feels they are too personal to share with the entire world. William feels otherwise, he thinks they should be shared with the greater public. You never know who might be reading! What a way to find someone!

When he receives letters from “Winter” in his pile, he is drawn to a woman he has never met, and wonders what it would be like to meet her, and if they are destined for each other. Even though he knows its stupid, and he is married, he cannot help himself from going to look for her, and to solve the mystery of the many letters that she has been sending.

~Closing Thoughts~

This book was fantastic! I loved it! The many twists and turns of the book, leave you wondering what will happen next! Hard to put down and definitely one that should be on the top of everyone’s list of must reads! Y’all, I think this is going to be one of those books that will fly off the shelves. The stories and the hopes – it makes you wonder what happens in mailrooms today! Do they really look this hard to find the owners of these letters, or are they merely thrown into a fire to be destroyed once and for all? I would love to think that somewhere, there is a William Woolf who is trying to bring letters and packages back to their rightful owners.

Release Date: 4 June 2019

Author: Helen Cullen

Rating: 5/5 stars

 

Thank you to NetGalley and Edelweiss for an advanced copy of this book! I have read and given it a fair and honest review.

 

Back To School Is Here! — 2018-09-16

Back To School Is Here!

The day has finally arrived, the dreaded back to school. I got the boy’s curriculum in the mail this past week. We have been doing shorter days as all of their schoolwork had not yet arrived. But now, it is here, and we are ready to kick off another school year. Summer was fun while it lasted, but to be honest, I am very ready to get back to a decent schedule. We have been fighting the dreaded monster known as boredom for a few weeks now.

I don’t know about yall, but I hate it when my kids spend to much time on electronics. Everything we do now has something electronic involved. My kids have decided that they love to play Minecraft, and a few other games as well. However, it is starting to detract from other things that need to be done. My house is needing to be cleaned, they have chores that are falling by the wayside, and there are little things that I could use a helping hand with.

Mom Frustration

I do not mind for them to have a little time to play their games, but I am tired of not having their help when I need it. How do we combat this? I want them to be successful and have considered putting them into coding classes online, but then I add more time that they are online. ARGH! It is very frustrating to figure out! For the past week, they have been begging to have an older computer that we have so they can play their games together.

We are currently working on building a schedule that will tie in their game time. I am wanting to limit the time that they have to 1.5 hours maximum for a day. However, I feel as though that is still a bit much, but if they get their school work done, I suppose that they could play and still learn at the same time.

School Work and Downfalls 

Part of the schoolwork we are doing this year is online. We are using Khan Academy for math. I really dislike math, so for me to try to teach it is not going well. There are things that I excel in. History, English, and Writing – we are good to go. But science and math I struggle a bit more. Science, I feel as though I am learning right alongside them, it has been so long since I have these classes! I still love learning, and it has been fun to rediscover old knowledge and share new things with them.

But here is my downfall – I work from home. I love working from home. Sometimes being able to take the time that we need fo school and working can be a bit difficult. But it is time to get our school year started and see how we fair this year. I am very excited to get started, and to see what these boys are going to accomplish!

Special Projects

So each year, I have the boys work a special history project. Before we hit the back to school mode, we select a topic and they work on learning more about it. One is going to do Ancient Egypt and the other wants to focus on the Civil War. Both of those are super broad subjects, so we are going to try and focus the scope a little bit and then see what we can learn this year. As a history teacher, I love both of these subjects, so I am very excited to help my kids learn more about these fascinating subjects. I am already putting documentaries on our saved list, and finding books that we can dive into together to learn more about these fun subjects.

For those of you homeschooling, share what projects you work on!

Reading Through September — 2018-09-10

Reading Through September

September is here, and the reading list is ever growing! I have begun to narrow down my list. I have 136 books to finish before the end of the year! Minor freak out moment just happened! I sat down and cleaned up the titles that I have to finish, and just about had a nervous meltdown. But then I thought, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED! I have already finished 128 this year, so why not 136 more?

When you break it down, it comes out to 34 books a month. Completely doable, right? I hope so! I have a feeling that I am forgetting a few on this list so it might be growing a bit more. However, if I can finish the entire list, that means that I will have finished 264 books this year. Might as well just round that number up to 300, and push for the gold this year.

Working Toward Goals

I was telling my husband about my goal, and he looked at me as though I have lost my mind. To be completely honest, this year has been busy! Between work, Boy Scouts, Church functions, kids, family, life in general, and the fun little speed bumps that pull in – well – life stays constantly moving, and I LOVE IT! I cannot imagine not being busy, yet, there are the occasional days where I wish that I could hide in bed and just read the day away. I snatch bits here and there, rely on some audio books to get through the ones I really want to read and carry my Kindle everywhere. Usually I have several books on the go at once. I would not know what to do with myself if I did not have something to read at any given point.

During the day while I am working, I keep an audiobook going in the background. It helps to keep my mind rolling, and gives me a little boost when I need it. In the past, I would keep the television going throughout the day, but I was finding too many documentaries that I wanted to watch and it was taking away from work time. So, now I save them to watch later when I need to sit down with a crafting project and let my mind unwind a little. While reading is life, I do enjoy my crafting moments. There are several projects, already working ahead for Christmas, and trying to get some little projects in the works that I want to get completed.

In Other News…

In the world of crafting, I am participating in a cross stitch project with 113 other stitchers. We are all over the United States. What a fascinating project we are working on! We are stitching George Washington crossing the Delaware, and when it is finished, it will be one of the biggest pieces ever finished! We are so excited, and it is moving along nicely. I will be adding some pieces in here, and talk about that as we move forward. It is a five-year project and something that I am loving being able to participate in. What a piece of history! Can you imagine being able to tell my grandkids in the future, that I worked on that historic piece? Not only am I loving being a part of it, it encompasses one of my biggest loves – cross stitching! So this is your warning that there are going to be blog posts and photos coming!

While September continues to move forward, the end of the year is looming. I would love for time to slow down and to allow for some relaxation in our busy schedule. I am excited for what the rest of the year holds, and the many fun adventures and projects that are coming up! Stay tuned!

 

Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen ~A Book Review~ — 2018-09-03

Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen ~A Book Review~

Good day, dear readers! I am bringing you a new review! This book was amazing from start to finish! The history of Aethelflaed is one of a remarkable woman, one who stood out in the time when women really disappeared into history. Many of them have only their names known, through their powerful husbands or brothers, but many others are simply lost to us. Aethelflaed was determined to make her mark on the world, and she did so with such gusto and energy, that is a wonder that she has not been written more about. Known as the Lady of the Mercians, she ruled in her own right after the death of her husband. Women in those days would have been expected to either remarry or to retire quietly to a nunnery to finish out their days after the death of their husbands, but she refused to do either. Taking up the reigns of government, she continued in the stead that she and her husband had been going for the many years of their marriage, and pushed even further than one might have dreamed. She led troops to battle, designed and saw many burghs carried out, with fortifications to keep citizens safe against the invading Vikings. This book JUST released, so it is available now!

 

5/5 stars

History

Author – Margaret C. Jones

Founder, Fighter, Saxon Queen – Review

Aethelflaed was a woman ahead of her times. The daughter of Alfred the Great, how could she be anything but fabulous!

Aethelflaed was courageous and not afraid to make her mark in the world. At a time when women were expected to stay in the background, she was determined to lead her people fairly and honestly. Married at a young age, she had only one child, a daughter. Yet this woman was more remarkable than many could have dared to hope for. She planned and executed the building of several burghs and towns, fortified to keep the townspeople safe from Viking attacks, held off Viking attacks, and even managed to bring peace throughout her realm.
Known as the Lady of the Mercians, she ruled in her own right after the death of her husband. While her brother, Edward, was her overlord after the death of their father, she ruled Mercia alone for years. After her death, her daughter ruled briefly ad the Lady of the Mercians, before Edward swept through with an army and removed her from power, where she disappears from history altogether.
Aethelflaed, had she still been alive would have fought back against her brother, but the daughter was no match for her powerful uncle. At the time of her death, she was in process of brokering peace with York, where a great Viking community was thriving. Her untimely death waylaid all plans for peace and it was almost ten years later when her nephew would finally bring York under Saxon control.

The story of Aethelflaed has not been recounted as often as it should, and many times she is afforded a footnote in the annals of history, brushed aside. But she deserves more attention than she has been given. Her layouts for the burghs reverberate through many of the towns that she founded, and still exist today.
Margaret Jones did a fantastic job in fleshing out this remarkable woman and bringing her exploits to life. This book was fantastic and one that deserves to be read!

 

My Opinions

I absolutely LOVED this book! I sat and read it in one sitting. It is not very long, about 208 pages, but it was well done. History is a major love of mine, and so for someone to be able to bring new information, or expand on older information, to the table, and present it in a way that it can be learned from and expanded upon is awesome. I have not heard much of this woman before reading this book. She was just a footnote in ONE of the many history classes that I took when working on my degrees. I hope that ya’ll enjoy this book as much as I have!