A Tale of Two Pages

Books, life, motherhood, and more!

Teddy ~A Book Review~ — 2018-12-12

Teddy ~A Book Review~

Growing up, I remember having teddy bears that I just could not be without. I loved those stuffed animals like nothing else. I still have a couple of them today, saved away in a box for safety. I have bought them for my kids, little loveables that they can hug on when daddy is deployed, or mama had to be gone. When you are in a military family, there are little things that you use to replace to hugs that you might miss from one parent. You can even add voice boxes into them so they can hear your voice when you are not there.

The story of the teddy bear is one that not many people are familiar with, and that is a shame. It is such a fun and interesting story – from a President who loved to hunt, yet refused to kill a small bear cub. This book releases in May 2019, and is one that your kids will enjoy reading again and again! Be on the lookout for it! In the meantime, here is a short little review!

~Review~

Who didn’t have a Teddy Bear when they were younger (or still) that they didn’t love? The story of the Teddy Bear comes to life in this little book! President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub, and the subsequent cartoon about the incident led to the creation of one of the nations most beloved toys! Two toymakers decided to make the little bear showcase in their store window but first requested permission from President Roosevelt to use his name with the toy. He gave his permission, and thus, the Teddy Bear was born!

This book was so adorable, and a fun read! I loved it! Your kids will adore this fun little book, and get a little history behind one of the worlds most popular toys!

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

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.

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!

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!

 

 

The Royal Art of Poison ~A Book Review~ — 2018-08-06

The Royal Art of Poison ~A Book Review~

Good day, dear readers!! It has been a little bit since I have brought you a new book to peruse through. This summer has been super busy, and we have been on the go, but there is always time for reading! I have some fabulous reviews to be bringing your way.

I don’t know about ya’ll, but there are some book companies that I watch like a hawk. St. Martin’s Press is one that I have on a watch list. They are always rolling out fantastic reads, and I always get excited to see what they have upcoming. Let me tell you that this fall, they will have a slew of books that are going to have you parked on the couch reading your heart out. I have been working on a handful of books from St. Martin’s Press, but I am so excited to share this one with you!

Hang on for a fabulously fantastic book!

Book Review:

Eleanor Herman takes us on a tour of one of the areas in history that are talked about, yet not. While that sounds a little weird – it is. Poison is something that we read about it books, suspected deaths and uses, but not really discussed and brought to the forefront.

From germs that were unknown and illnesses that today could be cured with simple remedies – life was not that simple back in the medieval ages. Doctors killed as many patients as they saved. Dirty hands and instruments were some of the leading killers, yet, their concoctions were just as unsafe. Now, there are going to be times within this book, that you might not want to eat before, during, or after… these “recipes” for medicines were NASTY. I have a very strong stomach, and there were a few times that I felt a tad queasy just reading through the ingredients that would go into a balm or drink for a cure.

Doctors though were not the only ones to blame. Cosmetics were also a leading cause of death. Women have always been very vain about their looks, and it was no different 600 years ago. Lead-based products, mercury, arsenic… the list goes on and on. Arsenic was used in just about everything! From clothing, cosmetics, fruit washes, and more. There was no test to see how deadly the many uses were at the time, and these were seen as agents that could “help” and “preserve” items. Little did they know that they were killing themselves slowly.

Mercury was used as a medicine, although in small doses. One of the main uses was for the treatment of syphilis, yet it would kill you just as quickly as the actual disease. It could be used though to kill someone if that was your intent. The Medici family perfected the art of poison and used it most effectively to eliminate many of their rivals. Yet, they were not the only ones to do so. While they are most commonly associated with poisoning – it was used on a far wider scale than many realize. England, France, Germany and many of the other world powers at the time had their own ways of poisoning a rival. Lady Francis Howard was convicted of murder in England, after removing a rival for her lover’s affections.

Kings, queens, ambassadors, and many others were liable to fall victim to poison, just as easily as they could fall victim to the many germs that were rampant. Cleanliness was not as prevalent as it is today, and bathing was seen as opening the pores of your body too bad humor. They would bathe just a few times per year (depending on the person, they might never bathe). King James I was known to boast that he had never bathed in his life, and the smell that his body emanated certainly backed up that fact.

I absolutely LOVED this book! From murder to daily products that could kill you, ancient to more modern times, I was hooked! I love a good mystery, and these cases draw you in. Eleanor Herman really draws you in and takes you down the many facets that made up the known world at the time, from famous figures to some lesser known ones as well. You can read about Napolean, Mozart, and so many more.

This book is now available! You can search for it at your local library or favorite book spot! I give this book 4/5 stars!

Links for Book Purchases:

Prince of York: A Story of Reginald Pole ~A Book Review~ — 2018-07-21

Prince of York: A Story of Reginald Pole ~A Book Review~

The story of Reginald Pole is one that I have long been interested in! I have always enjoyed reading what history has to say about him. He had a rather unusual family dynamic. They were related to the ruling family, but that did not ensure that you were safe – or even in favor with that family. Henry VIII was a rather difficult king, and after the many failures of his marriages and the inability to get a male heir, there was distrust and upset. While the King failed to see that the destruction that he was causing, many continued to thrive and grow their own ambitions.

Reginald was educated at the sponsorship of Henry VIII, but he did not always agree with what the King did, and when he refused to help him justify his divorce from Katherine of Aragon, it was viewed as a betrayal.

Samantha Wilcoxson has undertaken to write a novella on Reginald. As soon as I saw the book, I knew I had to read it. IT WAS AMAZING! I loved it!

Book Review

Reginald Pole was an enigma. He dared to defy a King.

The story of Reginald Pole is a sad one. Educated by Henry VIII, he rose within the Catholic Church. As he continued his rise, he dared to defy the King’s wishes. Refusing to be cowered by the threats and assassins sent after him, he was protected by the Pope.

When King Henry realized that Reginald would not conform to the new church that he had started, his mother and brother were arrested, and eventually executed for treason. The execution of an elderly woman was something that not only shocked England but was seen as barbaric throughout the known world. Through trial and tribulations, Reginald continued to seek comfort within the Church, and the many friends that he had. Though his earthly family was largely eradicated, he still had one brother left alive, who had given evidence against his mother and brother, but his eyes were on things not of this world…

Great novella on Reginald Pole! This man has always interested me, not only with his relationship with Queen Mary of England but because of his refusal to bow to the wishes of a mortal king. Reginald deserved to have his story told, and Samantha Wilcoxson has done a fantastic job with it! Her books never disappoint, and I was thrilled to be able to read this one as well!

If you want to read it on Kindle, you can grab the link here: https://amzn.to/2LAP8W3

Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Paddling ~A Book Review~ — 2018-06-19

Ranger Rick Kids’ Guide to Paddling ~A Book Review~

Summer is finally here, and its time to get some water fun and sports in. If your family is anything like mine then you spend the majority of your summer around water of some kind. I insisted that my kids learn to swim early on, but that is still not enough sometimes. Depending on the water sports that you are going to be doing there are other things that kids are going to need to learn and of course, master before they set foot on the water.

I got a copy of the Ranger Rick Kids Guide to Paddling, and I have to say – this is one of the best books that kids can get their hands on. Pictures, advice, tips and more are all laid out in this easy to read book. I love that my boys can get the tips through a fun to read and easily laid out book. Mom can tell them all day long what they need to know, but sometimes, you have to look at things from another angle.

Some of the things that are talked about throughout the book are life vests, what to do in certain situations, and how to avoid disaster. It even tells you to PRACTICE some of the issues that you might run into, so that you know how to respond if a situation arises that you need to get yourself out of.

I loved Ranger Rick magazine as a child. I remember being so excited to get them in the mail each month, so when I see something with the Ranger Rick name on it, I know its going to be something worth the money.  This book is available now, so if you have summer birthdays – here is the perfect gift! I might be looking into these for my nieces and nephews for just because presents!

Have you read anything by Ranger Rick? Share them with us here!

The Romanov Empress – A Book Review — 2018-06-03

The Romanov Empress – A Book Review

Good afternoon readers! I have a new book review for you! This book releases 10 July, 2018! Put it on pre-order now! C.W. Gortner is one of the best when it comes to historical fiction, and he has outdone himself with this novel. I could not put it down! I was hooked from the beginning. I hope ya’ll enjoy this read as much as I did!

Get ready to be transported back to Russia, a glittering court, and of course, the eventual end of the Romanov dynasty.

 

Review:

A young Danish princess, Minnie has led a rather quiet life. Her family has never had a lot of money, and they have done most of the work themselves. When her father suddenly becomes the heir to the Danish throne, their lives begin to change. Her sister Alix takes the British heir as her husband, and suitors are soon clamoring for Minnie’s hand as well. She accepts the suit of Nixa, the Romanov heir, but before they can marry, he is injured in an accident, and eventually dies from his injuries. He makes her promise to marry his brother Sasha, and while Sasha agrees, Minnie does not give her promise.

As her life with Sasha moves forward, their relationship moves from tepid to full-blown love. Together they raise several children and watch as their empire goes through several different turns. Murder, Rebellion, Revolution – Russia is a hotbed of activity. As Minnie does her best to keep her fragmented family together, war comes to Russia. When her son assumes the throne, he is unprepared, and his chosen wife, Alexandra of Hesse is not prepared for the duties of a Russian Empress. As the family pulls further into itself, Minnie tries to prod her son to action, but his distance only pushes the revolutionaries further.

This was an amazing book! I loved it from start to finish! We all know the story of the Romanov family, assassinated in the basement of a house, but we have not heard much about the mother that lost her son and grandchildren. Marie’s story brings the entire Romanov dynasty together as they try to survive within the ravages of war, and the heartbreak that would have broken a weaker woman.
C.W. Gortner has outdone himself with this book! It was hard to put down and I snatched any time that I had to read and learn more about this dynamic woman who fought to save as many of her family as possible and keep the Russia she loved together.