The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham

The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond DeathThe Hand on the Mirror: A True Story of Life Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Durham writes an excellently researched memoir concerning her husband’s death and circumstances surrounding her since. I like how she looks at it from a logical point and investigates every aspect while never making something hard to swallow up or delving into the crazy sounding stuff. The book is moving and heartfelt while not being a sappy reach-for-the-tissue type. I received an ARC through The Reading Room in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

On a personal note: I’ve had experiences that are supernatural. The definition of supernatural is:

adjective
  1. (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

Paranormal is a synonym and one I use more often than supernatural.

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The Plasm by William Meikle

The PlasmThe Plasm by William Meikle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very enjoyable book, especially since I did not feel lost with a host of jargon often found in SF genre reads. I loved the horror element which felt akin to the type found in Lovecraft stories. My son (13) picked it up and read it through in one afternoon then asked for more. It has bits of other elements worked in that just work well and add to the overall read. The only shortcoming is that it feels a bit like it is missing a complete start-middle-end with frantic page-turning, almost as though it were a rough draft. That said, it was still enjoyable and worth checking out, if only to dabble in a new genre. This was a personal acquisition and not a donation in request for a review.

A Christmas Kindness by C.C. Gevry


A Christmas Kindness A Christmas Kindness
by C.C. Gevry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very short story for younger (under 10) children to listen to. Older readers may also enjoy the quick story, however, my son (13) thought it was too short and simple and that the words would be too complicated for younger children. Reading it out loud is a good idea and since it is short it should keep their attention for all 15 pages (some of which have illustrations). The story is a good one, the type that warms the heart. I would love to see this in a larger format with more illustrations to help keep the attention of younger or non-readers while it is being read. This would work great in a story-time setting such as what our local library has if it were larger. We received an ARC in exchange for an honest review which in no way influenced our opinion.

 

 

This is also listed on Goodreads as:


A Christmas Kindness
by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Guest Post- Dawn Vogel

Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders Edited by Dawn Vogel and Jeremy Zimmerman

Dawn: I’m both an author and an editor, but some of the things that I write and edit really aren’t geared toward children. I’m also an aunt to two nieces and two nephews by blood, three nieces and three nephews by marriage, and a handful of other unofficial nieces and nephews through friendships. When we planned out our fifth anthology, Battling in All Her Finery: Historical Accounts of Otherworldly Women Leaders, we wanted to edit a book that we could share with our nieces, nephews, and other kids looking for female role models.

And we’ve got a wide array of role models in this anthology. We’ve got women travelling the stars, the cities, and other dimensions. We’ve got women of different races, both human and alien. We’ve got those who were born into leadership, as well as those who had to fight to reach their position of power. We’ve got young girls and old women. We’ve got leaders with disabilities, whether they be physical or mental. While we don’t have a story that represents every potential demographic, we’ve got a few stories featuring protagonists who are nebulous enough to be adopted by any girl or woman looking for a role model who is like them.

We’ve made sure to keep the swearing to a minimum, the violence non-graphic, and the sexual situations off camera, making this an anthology that you can share with kids. I’m always a strong proponent of parents reading things they want to share with their kids first if they’re not entirely certain of the appropriateness of those books or stories, and I encourage parents and other adult friends to children to read the stories themselves first, to determine if they’re too violent or too scary for the kids in question. Because it’s one thing for me to say “sure, this is basically PG with one or two PG-13 bits,” but another thing entirely for a parent to decide if it’s the right kind of PG or PG-13 for their kids.

Battling in All Her Finery is meant to be a book to be shared amongst generations, and we hope that it will be enjoyed by all of them!

 

P.S. I Love You by H. Jackson Brown Jr.

P.S. I Love YouP.S. I Love You by H. Jackson Brown Jr.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a cute book of sayings but most of them sound like bumper stickers or quotes from other people. It may be true that they were all P.S. notes from his mom and they may be ones that influenced the reader(s) of her letters. If you are the type who love books of smart, witty, and/or positive sayings, then you will likely love this book. It would make a nice gift or a stocking stuffer. We received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, which in no way influenced our opinion.

Breaking Creed by Alex Kava

Breaking CreedBreaking Creed by Alex Kava

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We recently had a very long trip in the car so I took this with us in the hopes it would be entertaining. It’s been a long time since I listened to books on CD, so long ago they were on cassette tapes. They weren’t very good then so I didn’t have high expectations for this one. Boy was I wrong. The only downfall is having to pull out the CD’s and find the next one to continue the book. The voice for reading the book was easy on the ears and he even changed his voice a bit for the various characters. I like that he didn’t build the tension with his voice but allowed Kava’s writing build it naturally. As for the actual book, Kava writes very well with excellent character building and story flow. Five stars for the CD, five stars for the book. I received a single copy of the audio version of the book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion.

Outsider by Becca J. Campbell

Outsider (Flawed, #2)Outsider by Becca J. Campbell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My son (13) read and enjoyed the first book in this series. I would recommend reading Empath before this one, although you could start here – you’d just not have the background on the characters or the original plot thread. These opinions are my son’s: Josh and Alex are well conceived characters with authentic personalities and reactions. Alex feels like a solid villain, the type you love to hate. The story is interesting with a peak towards the end that makes you want to pick up the next book. We received an ARC through the author in exchange for an honest opinion. This in no way influenced the opinion or swayed the review.

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart

River to RedemptionRiver to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an ok read for me. The progression from start to finish felt like it took ages, which for some readers is a quality they look for. The characters were nicely developed although Adria never seemed to develop into an adult as much as I felt she should have. There were a few minor inconsistencies related to her and decision making. The religious aspect is very noticeable although not preachy. I feel the historical aspect was well done and felt true to the setting and time period. There is some romance involved although it is clean and not rushed. Overall, this was a decent read that I feel will appeal to a lot of readers of Christian Fiction. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion, which is my own and may not mirror yours.

The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker

The Edge of Over ThereThe Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First and foremost, I recommend reading the first book in the series, The Day the Angels Fell, before reading this one. Skipping the first may leave the reader feeling a bit lost and confused. The first book wasn’t a five star read but it wasn’t a bad read either. This one is much better, especially for a Fantasy genre book that is also classified as Christian Fiction. The religious content wasn’t over-the-top or preachy in any way. I feel the expansion on the fantasy elements was well done and added to the overall enjoyment. The characters were well fleshed out and one especially added a creepy element without detracting from the overall story. The writing was well done. Smucker ends each chapter in a way that fuels the reader’s desire to continue reading, which I really enjoy in a well-written book. Overall, this is a good solid read and something I feel the Christian Fiction arena needs more of. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion, which is my own and may not mirror other views.

Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Minding the Light (Nantucket Legacy #2)Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This second installment of the Nantucket Legacy series is considerably better than the first. This is much more along the lines of what I’ve come to expect from Fisher’s writing style. The characters feel well fleshed out and are enjoyable to follow along through the story. I especially love how authentic the historical aspect feels and is backed by research. If readers can get through the first book I feel readers will be pleasantly surprised and enjoy the second installment much more. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I’m pleased that I was able to continue the story arc. I received an ARC through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinion, which is my own and may not mirror other opinions.