Our Better Angels by Jonathan Reckford @JReckford @MacmillianUSA #review #nonfiction

Overview

Inspiring and insightful, Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World celebrates the shared principles that unite and enable us to overcome life’s challenges together.

“When the waters rise, so do our better angels.”―President Jimmy Carter

Jonathan Reckford, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity, has seen time and again the powerful benefits that arise when people from all walks of life work together to help one another. In this uplifting book, he shares true stories of people involved with Habitat as volunteers and future homeowners who embody seven timeless virtues―kindness, community, empowerment, joy, respect, generosity, and service―and shows how we can all practice these to improve the quality of our own lives as well as those around us.

A Vietnam veteran finds peace where he was once engaged in war. An impoverished single mother offers her family’s time and energy to enrich their neighbors’ lives. A Zambian family of nine living in a makeshift tent makes room to shelter even more. A teenager grieving for his mother honors her love and memory by ensuring other people have a place to call home. A former president of the United States leads by example with a determined work ethic that motivates everyone around him to be the best version of themselves.

These stories, and many others, illustrate how virtues become values, how cooperation becomes connection, and how even the smallest act of compassion can encourage actions that transform the world around us. Here are tales that will make readers laugh and cry and embrace with passion the calling of our better angels to change the way we take care of ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world.

Review

The author of this book is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity. He explores, through powerful stories, seven virtues. These are kindness, community, empowerment, joy, respect, generosity and service. Each of these stories are wonderfully inspiring and encouraging. This really shows how strong everyone is when they come together to help each other.

I am always amazed how great some people truly are. My job makes this difficult to see in the general public. So, this book really moved my soul. As I was reading these truly inspirational tales, I felt refreshed and uplifted! Sometimes you just need something to restore your heart! This one hit the spot!

I received this book from Tandem Literary for a honest review.

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Rose’s Ghost by Theresa Dale – BOOK SPOTLIGHT

Rose’s Ghost

By Theresa Dale

Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Supernatural

 

Maggie’s worries about moving to her husband’s childhood home in rural Nova Scotia couldn’t have prepared her for the disturbing events that began right after they moved in.

 

Nevertheless, she and her family became quickly entangled in the torment of long-dead neighbors who remained tethered to the land on which their tragic lives – and deaths – played out…but death did not free Rose from the tragedies of her life. And between that time and the haunting of Maggie’s family, her enduring madness has twisted her reality into something darkly skewed. Increasingly desperate, she beseeches those who reside upon and around her land to aid her in her quest, but her efforts threaten to alter the lives of those whose help she enlists – or end them.
 

Rose’s Ghost is the first in a chilling series of three about a family’s connection with a tormented ghost, still desperate to gain back the child she lost.

 

Preorder: https://books2read.com/u/4j1OoZ

 

About the Author

 

Combining a lifelong love of words and a penchant for all things supernatural, Canadian author Theresa Dale specializes in scintillating thrillers. She delights in enticing readers with loveable characters, then spooking them with unexpected twists.
Theresa lives in Gatineau, Québec with her husband and children.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roses-Ghost-251245769089736/

Blogger: https://rosesghost.blogspot.com/

Instagram:@theresadaleauthor

 

 

Brief Excerpt:

 

She was in her back yard. Birds were singing in the trees, and she was aware of the distant sound of a lawnmower. She knelt in the soil, planting seeds of zucchini, carrots and tomatoes. It was long, dirty work, but she loved it. There was something fulfilling about planting a vegetable garden. Something reassuring about the promise of growing your own food.

She heard the phone in the kitchen ring. Wiping her hands on her jeans (she never used gloves), she ran to get it, wondering absently, when did I plant a garden?

She spoke to Zoe briefly; she’d asked for Jack, who was at work, to plan a joint gift for Martin, and Maggie was little help.

As she hung up, a movement from the window caught her eye. Her hand froze on the wall-mounted handset as she looked at the woman standing on the other side of the bridge.

Some memory from a different time tried to surface, but she was unable to grasp it. What was it? This woman. Where had she seen her before? She finally let go of the phone and walked to the window. The woman was looking at her, too.

There was something dripping from her left arm. And she held something in her right hand. What was that?

Maggie stepped outside onto a thin blanket of snow. Hadn’t it just been warm? When did it snow?

The woman waved at her then. Waved with the hand that held something. Maggie moved closer, smiling and waving back.

“Hello! Did you come from the trail?” She stopped.

The woman was holding a severed hand.

Maggie’s hands flew to her face, and she covered her mouth before she could scream.

The woman smiled and lowered her waving hand – the hand that was holding what must be her other hand because, at this closer proximity, Maggie could see her left hand was indeed missing from its arm, and severed roughly, at that, hence the steady stream of blood flowing into the snow.

Oh my God!” she yelled and ran toward the woman, who quickly held out the severed hand, as if to say, stop.

Maggie skidded in her tracks, her eyes riveted on the woman. She watched as she brought the forefinger of the hand to her lips and said, “Shhhhh. He’ll hear you.” She looked in the direction of the farm.

Dark rivulets of blood flowed from the stump of the hand down her arm, and the blood on the finger smeared over her lips.

Maggie sank to her knees, screaming, and in some trick of perspective, the woman appeared on Maggie’s side of the bridge, again bringing the forefinger of the severed hand to her lips as she shushed her. Her eyes were wide in – what? – fear?

Maggie flew backward at the shock of the woman’s sudden closeness, and just as suddenly she was standing above her, smiling down at her, her mouth impossibly wide, stretching her face grotesquely. “There was so much blood,” the woman said, her mouth widening into a gaping, black hole in her face as her jaw stretched to her chest and the word “blood” seemed to go on forever. Maggie felt certain she’d be engulfed by it and live in this terror forever.

 

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My November Reads #wrapup #reviews #5starreads

I hope everyone is fat and sassy after Thanksgiving. I worked that day…and even though begging some of my customers…I still did not get any dressing! Dressing is my all time favorite. Maybe next year!

Y’all…I am ahead for the first time since I became a blogger. I know this won’t last but I will enjoy it while I can! I have a lot of books I have read ahead of schedule! WHOOOOOHOOOO!

Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks @stmartinspress #review

Agent Jack by Robert Hutton @stmartinspress #review #nonfiction

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell #review #suspense @AtriaMysteryBus @AtriaBooks @lisajewelluk

These reviews are coming up soon!

Let me know what books you enjoyed for November!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Audible books for November #audible #audiobooks

November was a little different for me as far as audible books go. I went out of my comfort zone. One worked…one didn’t.. so I went back to a regular genre.

I am late to the party on this book. This is not my usual genre so I avoided it. It came up on one of the audible sales and so I decided now was the time to give it a try. This is a good read, not great. Most of the reviews give it a great rating. The story is very intriguing but I thought it was just a bit too long.

The Golem and the Jinni

This is the second time I have tried this book. The first time was a physical book. I thought maybe an audible book might be different…nope…still the same out come. Did not finish!

The Last Girl

Oh I really liked this one! I enjoyed the mystery and the supernatural elements just added to the suspense! Add in a little romance…and it is a really good listen! Very much enjoyed!

The Daughters of the Lake

Thanks for stopping by!

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All About Evie by Cathy Lamb @kensingtonbooks @cathylamb #review #5star

Overview

Set against the natural beauty of the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb’s latest novel tells the emotionally compelling story of one woman’s life-changing discovery about her past . . .
 
As a child, Evie Lindsay was unnerved by her premonitions. As an adult, they have become a simple fact of life—sometimes disruptive but also inescapable, much like her quirky, loveable family.  Evie’s mother, Poppy, and her aunts, Camellia and Iris, are well known on San Orcanita island for their free-spirited ways and elaborately decorated hats. Their floral shop and Evie’s bookstore draw streams of visitors all summer long. This season promises to be extra busy: Evie’s sister, Jules, is getting married on the island.
 
As Jules plans her unconventional wedding, she arranges to do a DNA test with her mother, sister, and aunts, to see how much accepted lore about their heritage holds true. The results blow apart everything Evie has grown up believing about herself and her family. Spurred on by the revelations, Evie uncovers the real story of her past. But beyond her feelings of shock and betrayal, there are unexpected opportunities—to come to terms with a gift that has sometimes felt like a curse, to understand the secrets that surrounded her childhood, and to embrace the surprising new life that is waiting for her . . .

Review

Evie’s sister, Jules, is getting married. And not in the usual way! Jules decides to have a DNA test done on her and Evie. This throws a huge kink in the whole family’s heritage. This explains at lot about Evie’s special gift…among other things.

Evie has premonitions. She can see if someone is about to get hurt. This is a curse as well as a gift. Sometimes she just can’t save everyone. It is heart wrenching for her. Plus, she is having a premonition with herself involved and she cannot figure out what is going on. She is also being stalked by the new law enforcement officer in town. She is completely unnerved by this man, and not in a good way.

This story is just full of unique characters and creative imaginations. Evie’s aunts tickled me to death! And Evie is a character I fell in love with. I related so well to her, minus the premonitions 😂. She is an introvert but yet, she loves people. She also loves books! I enjoyed all the book references. But, that is just a small section of this tale. This story is about love, family and overcoming difficulties. I highly recommend this extraordinary tale!

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Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks @stmartinspress #review

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Overview

From the beloved author of Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend comes a wonderful new novel about a struggling man, written entirely in lists.

Daniel Mayrock’s life is at a crossroads. He knows the following to be true:

1. He loves his wife Jill… more than anything.  
2. He only regrets quitting his job and opening a bookshop a little (maybe more than a little)
3. Jill is ready to have a baby.
4. The bookshop isn’t doing well. Financial crisis is imminent. Dan doesn’t know how to fix it.
5. Dan hasn’t told Jill about their financial trouble.
6. Then Jill gets pregnant.

This heartfelt story is about the lengths one man will go to and the risks he will take to save his family. But Dan doesn’t just want to save his failing bookstore and his family’s finances:

1. Dan wants to do something special.
2. He’s a man who is tired of feeling ordinary.
3. He’s sick of feeling like a failure.
4. He doesn’t want to live in the shadow of his wife’s deceased first husband.

Dan is also an obsessive list maker; his story unfolds entirely in his lists, which are brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humor, unique world-view, and deeply personal thoughts. When read in full, his lists paint a picture of a man struggling to be a man, a man who has reached a point where he’s willing to do anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life.

 

Review

Dan has so much to worry about. He has changed jobs. As a matter of fact, he has quit his job and opened a book store. He is constantly worried about money and if his wife knows how broke they really are. He is worried about his wife’s first husband. Does Dan measure up to this guy…and on and on. Dan copes with these many worries by making lists….tons of lists.

This is a unique read, basically because of the format. The whole book is lists…Lists about his marriage, lists about his job, lists about lists. This did get a little old after a while, but it is quirky and funny enough to keep you reading. There really were so many places I laughed out loud. But, the format did throw me off a bit.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Agent Jack by Robert Hutton @stmartinspress #review #nonfiction

Overview

The never-before-told story of Eric Roberts, who infiltrated a network of Nazi sympathizers in Great Britain in order to protect the country from the grips of fascism

June 1940: Europe has fallen to Adolf Hitler’s army, and Britain is his next target. Winston Churchill exhorts the country to resist the Nazis, and the nation seems to rally behind him. But in secret, some British citizens are plotting to hasten an invasion. Agent Jack tells the incredible true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of “Jack King”, helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores. Gifted with an extraordinary ability to make people trust him, Eric Roberts penetrated the Communist Party and the British Union of Fascists before playing his greatest role for MI5: Hitler’s man in London. Pretending to be an agent of the Gestapo, Roberts single-handedly built a network of hundreds of British Nazi sympathizers—factory workers, office clerks, shopkeepers —who shared their secrets with him. It was work so secret and so sensitive that it was kept out of the reports MI5 sent to Winston Churchill. 

In a gripping real-world thriller, Robert Hutton tells the fascinating story of an operation whose existence has only recently come to light with the opening of MI5’s WWII files. Drawing on these newly declassified documents and private family archives, Agent Jack shatters the comforting notion that Britain could never have succumbed to fascism and, consequently, that the world could never have fallen to Hitler. Agent Jack is the story of one man who loved his country so much that he risked everything to stand against a rising tide of hate.

Review

Eric Roberts…aka Agent Jack is a bank clerk. He becomes an agent for the British MI5. He actually infiltrates groups of communists and fascist. Then after WWII breaks out he becomes a Gestapo Agent…or does he. He is actually a double agent reporting everything to the MI5 agency.

Most of Agent Jack’s story was classified until 2014. I cannot imagine trying to research about this fascinating man and all his exploits. This book is so well researched and full of compelling information. However, I did get a little tired of some of the details. It is slow going in some areas. But, it is an interesting part of WWII which seems to have been overlooked. And Agent Jack is a true hero! Without his work and expertise, the war could have turned out very differently.

I received this biography from St. Martin’s Press for a honest review.

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