In the Light of What We See

by Sarah Painter

In the Light of What We See by Sarah Painter


I couldn’t put this book down. I fell in love with the story, characters and everything about this amazing book. This was one of those stories that you can’t stop reading but so sad when you come to the end, you wish it could go on forever. In The Light of What We See is so touching and really just worms it’s way in and stays with you long after you finish it. I love the 2 women it explores and really lets you see all the relationships, and their connection to each other. I would recommend adding this to your summer reading list I don’t think you will be disappointed. I plan to read more of Sarah Painters books, she is new to me and I’m so glad I found her.


summary: Brighton, 1938: Grace Kemp is pushed away by the family she has shamed. Rejected and afraid, she begins a new life as a nurse. But danger stalks the hospital too, and she’ll need to be on her guard to avoid falling into familiar traps. And then there are the things she sees.… Strange portents that have a way of becoming real.

Eighty years later, Mina Morgan is brought to the same hospital after a near-fatal car crash. She is in terrible pain but recalls nothing. She’s not even sure whom to trust. Mina too sees things that others cannot, but now, in hospital, her visions are clearer than ever.…

Two women, separated by decades, are drawn together by a shared space and a common need to salvage their lives.

thank you Lake Union Publishing, Sarah Painter and netgalley for allowing me to read In The Light of What We See. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.


She’s Not There

by Joy Fielding

Shes Not There by Joy Fielding


You can’t go wrong when it’s a Joy Fielding book. There are a few authors that I know no matter what the books will be great and she is one of those authors. She’s Not There reminds me a lot of the Madeleine McCann case in the beginning. That case I remember so well since I had a 2.5 year old, I couldn’t even imagine what that family went through and still goes through on a day to day basis.

She’s Not There I think did a good job at portraying how the family dynamics fall apart when a tragedy falls on them. I thought each character was developed very well and while I can say I didn’t like some of them I did enjoy reading their stories and how they unfolded. The oldest daughter is exactly how I see a child that is left would act. The story was a page turner and I liked how it kept shifting from present day to year past as the whole story developed. I saw a small part of the ending that happened but I didn’t really see the whole curve ball that was thrown. In all I should have but Joy Fielding did a great job at keeping the reader guessing how they missed some of those clues.  I give this one 5 stars and would recommend it for any reader. There is no gore or violence it is a great suspense story that while might not be exactly ripped from the headlines, most of us will see some similarities.

summary:  “I think my real name is Samantha. I think I’m your daughter.”

Carole Shipley’s heart nearly stops when she hears those words from the voice on the other end of the phone. Instantly, she’s thrust fifteen years into the past, to a posh resort in Baja, Mexico—and the fateful night her world collapsed.

The trip is supposed to be a celebration. Carole’s husband, Hunter, convinces her to leave their two young daughters, Michelle and Samantha, alone in their hotel suite while the couple enjoys an anniversary dinner in the restaurant downstairs. But returning afterward, Carole and Hunter make a horrifying discovery: Two-year-old Samantha has vanished without a trace.

What follows are days, weeks, and years of anguish for Carole. She’s tormented by media attention that has branded her a cold, incompetent mother, while she struggles to save her marriage. Carole also has to deal with the demands of her needy elder daughter, Michelle, who is driven to cope in dangerous ways. Through it all, Carole desperately clings to the hope that Samantha will someday be found—only to be stung again and again by cruel reality.

Plunged back into the still-raw heartbreak of her daughter’s disappearance, and the suspicions and inconsistencies surrounding a case long gone cold, Carole doesn’t know whom or what to believe. The only thing she can be sure of is that someone is fiercely determined to hide the truth of what happened to Samantha.

thank you Random House Publishing Group – Ballatine, netgalley and Joy Fielding for allowing me to read and review She’s Not There. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Maximum Exposure {and Bigelow Caramel Chai tea}

Max Revere Series: Book .5 (novella)

by Allison Brennan

Add to your GoodReads shelf

Maximum Exposure by Allison Brennan


I love mysteries, crime dramas and thrillers. My favorite show when it was on was Cold Case, man I loved that show and wish it was still on or that I could watch it again somehow.  I just discovered Allison Brennan when I picked up book 1 of this series Notorious at Barnes and Noble. I haven’t started it yet I was finishing up another book, well I found out last night there was a novella that explains a bit of background stuff before Notorious picks up.

Max Revere is a very likable character and very determined to give families and friends the closure they need even if the truth hurts. She has experienced the same heartbreak and unanswered questions as the families and friends of the cold cases that she is helping solve. She works alone and likes it that way, she has trust issues and a very very short list of friends. Maximum Exposure lets the reader inside Max’s head and shows why she is the way she is. She is very smart and great instincts. She can get people to admit and say things that they don’t want anyone to know. She might go outside the lines of the law to get the results she needs but she never is destructive or destructive when getting to the bottom of a case. She wants to see justice being served and sometimes doesn’t like when the law and punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

I can’t wait to read Notorious now that I’ve read Maximum Exposure. While you can start this series without the reading the novella, it is a short fast read and really gives you the back story. You can grab a copy through Amazon  and Barnes and Noble for $1.99.

I paired this book with some yummy Bigelow Caramel Chai Black Tea.

Bigelow Caramel Chai


I love tea and always drink a cup while reading. This one was a new one to me and it was perfect. I usually take my tea plain with no sweeteners but I added some honey and it added a depth to the chai that made it so yummy. { photo source }


I bought the book and tea so no compensation was giving for both reviews. I just love tea and books so I am going to start sharing my book reviews with the tea’s I drink and love.

The Time Garden

A Magical Journey and Coloring Book

by Daria Song


Coloring books are all the thing, they are fun, relaxing and they actually reduce stress. The illustrations that are in them for coloring are beautiful and I love them. Time will fly by so you might want to keep an eye on the clock or set a timer if you have to be somewhere. I know that almost happened to me, thank goodness my mom called with a quick question before I had to head to work. 🙂

The Time Garden is such a wonderful, magical coloring book. It is meant for adults and older kids. My 4th grader grabbed it and all her colored pencils the minute arrived and has been coloring in it over the past few weeks. I love this book and have been wanting a “grown up” coloring book for quite some time now. It is full of detailed coloring pages with so much to color. Some pages can take several days to finish. I’ve even had fun grabbing some pencils and relaxing. What is it about setting down with some art supplies that makes you relax. If you have an older child (upper middle school through high school and even adults) who loved to color as a child than think about grabbing The Time Garden: A Magical Journey coloring book along with a big set of colored pencils in all kinds of colors. This would make for a perfect gift idea for birthdays or holidays…

thank blogging for books and Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of The Time Garden. I have had so much fun relaxing and coloring. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free coloring book.


by Chrissy Teigen


Cravings by Chrissy Teigen


I love cookbooks, and I really like Chrissy Teigen’s blog so I jumped at the chance to have this little book on my shelf and in my kitchen. I’m always on the lookout for recipes that we will eat, not just ones that look great but cost an arm and a leg to buy all the ingredients. Not to mention having to go to umpteen millions stores to find that 1 ingredient that is impossible to find. Cravings is not about fancy foods with hard to find ingredients, that cost lots of money. Cravings is about good down home flavorful foods that families will like. I have so many post it’s  coming out of this book it looks like a rainbow is stuck with in the pages. I have made many of the foods and even did a week of Cravings meal. Guess what my grocery bill was not really any different price range wise. It was a  few dollars more but nothing that would make me say wow these recipes are too rich for me. Chrissy is a tell it like it is gal and her charm and wit come across in the recipe descriptions. I laughed so hard while reading through this book, and that is a first with a cookbook. I just love Chrissy  and John and so happy for all the happiness they have going on right now, first her book baby and her pregnancy. Gift Cravings to any one wanting to good, or someone who loves to cook. This book makes a great gift for a bridal shower or birthday. Cravings would also make a wonderful new mom gift – make a meal from the book and gift the meal and book and you’ve just giving a wonderful gift to new parents.

Some of my favorite meals we’ve eaten so far from the book:

  • Spicy Tomato Skillet Eggs
  • Pull Apart Buttermilk Biscuits with sausage gravy
  • Pot Pie Soup with crust crackers (genius idea and so yummy)
  • Vegetable Tortilla Stew (so yummy! Even my have to have meat with every meal guy liked this one)
  • Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Ranch Dressing
  • Chicken Lettuce Wraps
  • Spicy Italian Sausage Meatloaf
  • Spicy Cajun Sausage Peppers and Cabbage
  • John’s Tuscan Brick Chicken with Charred Lemons

and so many more….

thank you Clarkson Potter, Chrissy Teigen and Bloggins for Books for sending me a copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Something Like Normal

by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

When Travis returns home from Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother has stolen his girlfriend and car, and he has nightmares. But when he runs into Harper, life actually starts looking up. The plot contains profanity, adult situations and violence.

Something Like Normal was a great book with likable characters. I really liked Harper and Travis, they have such hard life stories to tell. You find yourself rooting for Travis and Harper.

Travis is back suffering for PTSD just like so many of our soldiers. He is having a hard time coming to grips with what happened while he was fighting, he has guilt that he just can’t quite let go of just yet. But to live a life that is some what normal and let go of the nightmares that plague him he most let go. Harper is a girl who has grown up in town with a reputation that has plagued her all through the school years. She earned this reputation through an untrue rumor just like many have experienced. It’s just her and her dad. She is trying to live life on her terms and not let what others say about her stop her from fulfilling her dreams. In walks Travis a boy she hasn’t seen in quite a while. He has grown up a lot in those years he was away, but has he grown up enough.

Harper doesn’t pass judgement. She is caring and willing to be there for Travis and might just be the answer to his prayers. With Harper on his side he is able to come to terms with the demons he brought back with him. Can their friendship and budding relationship survive? Can they help each other realize and fulfill their dreams!

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden

Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers
by Karen Newcomb

Spring is around the corner and garden plans are being made. Seed catalogs are being mailed and stores are digging out all their gardening supplies. Every year I say this year will be the year I turn our unused green space into pretty gardens. I love veggies and eat tomatoes like most people eat apples. Last year we did a local CSA and it was great and all but at $35 a week it added up fast. Just think if I took a months worth of CSA money and spent it on making a big vegetable garden!

Each chapter explains so much and you learn so much. I really think while this book is probably made for the beginning gardener an experienced gardener would enjoy reading it also. Karen Newcomb even includes chapters on plants that get along and pest control. Thanks to her chapter on how to compost I plan on starting our composting in the spring. I’m a little nervous but she really explained all the do’s, dont’s, gave great tips and even a quick guide method.

She spends a lot of time explaining all the different types of vegetables and herbs that you can plant. Everything type listed included the everything you ever wanted or needed to know about each. You can’t go wrong and mess things up. The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden will make a green thumb out any reader and make you a proud veggie garden owner!

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

by Neil Patrick Harris


You remember choose your own adventure books right? They were so popular when I was younger. They were so much fun and it was like you were getting several books in one. Plus I know you know who Neil Patrick Harris is?  I’ve been watching him since he was Doogie Howser. We love him in the Smurf movies and of course there is always Barney. Well he wrote one the best autobiographies I’ve ever read!

Neil Patrick Harris Choose Your Own Biography is so much to read. Many times biographies for me can be a bit dry, boring and just not that much fun to read. I’m not a biography girl. However I knew I wanted to read this since Neil Patrick Harris is such a fun guy!

This biography will have you smiling, laughing out loud so much people are going to stop you and ask what are you reading! This book is also sad in parts and he doesn’t hold anything back it is honest and emotional and you will end up loving him even more for this book! I have learned so much about this actor that really loves life, is witty, talented and an amazing author!!! I will be reading this book many times! I hope he writes many more books. He would be a wonderful children’s author. Oh my gosh would those children’s books be so amazing! All and all this book was amazing and if every biography was like this I’d totally be a biography reading girl! 🙂

I hear that the audio version of this book is wonderful, his narration is so great it will be like Neil is sitting in the car talking your ear off. I placed it on hold at my library I have to hear this!

The Widow

by Fiona Barton

The Widow by Fiona Barton


First off I want to say the back cover description says “If you’re a fan of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train you will love The Widow” I’m not a fan of either so I went in thinking I’m not sure I’m the right reader for this book. However so many are talking about it like they talked about the other 2 books so I had figured why not give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised and I did like this creepy page turner book. I found myself catching moments here and there to read a little bit more. How that wife could stand behind her man and never leave him and expose all his gross secrets I’ll know or understand. The Widow is really all about the person who can stand behind these monsters, the why and how. She still leaves you hanging a bit but then I guess for each person the reasons would be different. For me I think Jean is just a crazy as her monster of a husband.

The Widow is a fast paced page turner and while it wasn’t a hands down absolute favorite of mine I did like it. I think the creepy factor of what the monster did is what made my skin crawl.  I found out that this is her first book and that really surprised me the writing quality is right up there with Lisa Gardner, Joy Fielding and Mary Kubica. This book stayed with me long after I finished it and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a really good book that leaves you thinking and with even more questions after you finish.  I know she is already an international bestseller with The Widow but I have a feeling that if her other books are as good as this book than she will be one of those go to authors when you are looking for a great book to read. I would read another book of her’s and will be on the look out for more from her.

summary: Following the twists and turns of an unimaginable crime, The Widow is an electrifying debut thriller that will take you into the dark spaces that exist between a husband and a wife. When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on when more bad things began to happen. . . But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore. There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. The truth–that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything.

thank you so much Berkley Publishing, NAL (New American Library) and Fiona Barton for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.

Modern Printmaking

A Guide to Traditional and Digital Techniques

by Sylvia Covey


Modern Printmaking by Sylvia Covey


First off I most say this book is beautiful, it is very well made and printed on thick glossy paper. Modern Prinkmaking would be a wonderful “coffee table” type book yo have on display not shelved. This is one that every one can flip through and admire and enjoy. I got this book because I have a love of art and wanted to learn more about Printmaking. This book is divided into the chapters based on the type of printmaking technique that is being introduced. Each chapter gives a brief history and introduction as well is what materials and equipment are needed and how to prepare for that type of printmaking. Sylvia Covey also introduces the reader to so many great artist that use printmaking for their form of art. I love reading about and discovering new artist.  There are so many types, many I had not heard of. While most are ones you can’t just do in your home unless you have the money and studio this book is still amazing and I enjoyed every minute of it. There are some techniques that you can do at home and are not as hard or as expensive to get the supplies. I think this summer I might try my hand at a few, that way I have the time to slowly gather my supplies that I do not have. While she does explain everything and this is an instructional book I’m not really it is for the beginning or average home artist, it is geared for the art student who is working on learning all these techniques. I loved this beautiful book and I know I will continue to flip through it from time to time. This book gets 5 out 5 stars and I’d give it more than that if I could it is just so beautifully made.

summary: A fully illustrated instructional printmaking book presenting step-by-step examples alongside representative works from thirty top contemporary printmaking artists.

Printmaking is flourishing in the modern era, appealing to both traditional artists as well as those interested in graphic design and digital techniques. This all-in-one guide is both technical and inspirational, examining the history and contemporary processes of relief, intaglio, lithography, serigraphy, mixed media, digital transfers, and post-digital graphics. Featuring step-by-step examples alongside representative works and profiles of top printmaking artists, this colorful resource provides a truly fresh look at printmaking today, in all its forms.

thank you so very much blogging for books, Sylvia Covey, Waston Guptill and Crown Publishing for allowing me to read and start my printmaking adventures. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.