Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Road to Delano By John Desimone

Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond - as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances 10 years earlier, he's had to be the sole emotional support of his mother.

With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don't become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father's shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack's father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can't control his impulse for revenge.

While Jack's girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to do anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to LA, after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother's land. When Jack's efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects.

Pick up your copy here...

John DeSimone is a published writer, novelist, and teacher. He’s been an adjunct professor and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. His recent co-authored books include Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan (Little A Publishers), and Courage to Say No by Dr. Raana Mahmood, about her struggles against sexual exploitation as a female physician in Karachi. His published novel Leonardo’s Chair published in 2005.

In 2012, he won a prestigious Norman Mailer Fellowship to complete his most recent historical novel, Road to Delano. His novels Leonardo’s Chair and No Ordinary Man have received critical recognition.

He works with select clients to write stories of inspiration and determination and with those who have a vital message to bring to the marketplace of ideas in well-written books.

My Thoughts...
Small town politics and characters you can connect with. You are in for a treat with this book. 
This was a new to me author and I was unsure about this book at first, but it was a very engaging and easy read. Well until the end a little surprise for you towards the end.
 I gave this book 4 stars. Give it a try.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

When God Made The World By Matthew Turner

From the author of the bestselling children's book When God Made You comes a rhythmic, whimsical journey through creation--for little readers who love science and wonder and the beginnings of all things.

For spiritual parents who are looking for a different kind of creation book, Matthew Paul Turner's When God Made the World focuses on the complex way that God created our vast and scientifically operating universe, including the biodiversity of life on our planet and the intricacies of a vast solar system. Scottish illustrator Gillian Gamble brings the natural world to vibrant life with rich colors and poignant detail certain to stretch young minds and engage imaginations.

Planet Earth, God made a blue and green sphere,
And designed it to orbit the sun once a year.

God made daytime and nighttime, climates and seasons,
And all kinds of weather that vary by region.

God made continents and oceans, islands and seas,
A north and south pole that God put in deep freeze.

God carved rivers and brooks, mountains and caves,
Made beaches with sand and huge crashing waves.

God made tropics and plateaus, glaciers and meadows,
marshes and tundras and erupting volcanos.

Pick up your copy here...

Look at the faces of these two Models. Your kids are sure to love this book as much as Johnathan and Avi did.

The story of Creation is one of the most beloved narratives of all time. That’s certainly one of the reasons why I wanted to write When God Made the World. But I also wanted to retell this familiar story because for as long as I can remember, I have been moved and mystified by the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” My hope is that this little book will offer children of all ages a renewed sense of wonder and joy in all that God has created, that it will help them see (or see again) that God’s story is around us, and that they, too, are a part of that beautiful narrative. Moreover, I hope this book will encourage readers to see themselves as protectors and caretakers of the world, that they will grow up knowing that God wants us to care for this planet and the things that live and grow on this planet. The world is a gift from God and I hope this book will help all of us see it as such.

My Thoughts...

The illustrations in this book were so cute and fun for the kids to look at while reading the story.
Kids love the fun rhymes in this book. This was a book that held kids attention and they enjoyed us reading it as well as the pictures.
A good book to read at bedtime. A learning book to read in Sunday school class. A fun book for brothers to read together.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

All The Silent Voices By Elena Mikalsen

Twenty-one years ago, Emma Shephard was sexually assaulted and forced to leave college. She has tried to forget the trauma, building a new life as a loving wife and parent with a successful marketing career. Then her world is rocked when her rapist buys the pharmaceutical company where she works. Now it's an impossible choice between keeping the safe life she's created and pursuing justice. With her marriage at risk and her child in danger, Emma finds herself at the center of ugly secrets and scandals.

Pick up your copy here...

I am a Women’s Fiction author.

My novels are all about love. WRAPPED IN THE STARS is about love that lasts forever. Two lovers, Mark and Rebecca, got separated in the early 20th century, but their love remained behind, it didn’t die. Part of their love stayed in the ring that Mark gave to Rebecca. So, when this ring is found years later, another couple picks up the energy from their Mark and Rebecca’s love and falls in love themselves.

In THE HOUSE BY THE CYPRESS TREES I explore romantic love. That wild feeling of new love when you first fall for someone and you want to spend every moment with them and you will do anything for them.

In ALL THE SILENT VOICES I explore the depth of love between a husband and wife and what challenges a good marriage can withstand. How far will a wife go for her husband and how far will a husband go for his wife?

Finally, in the novel I am working on right now, CITY OF GLASS, the focus is on sibling love. A sister sacrifices everything to save her brother.

I am somewhat obsessive about travel, but, when I am at home, in San Antonio, I can be found browsing through bookstores or antique shops with my husband and two children.

When not writing stories, I am a Pediatric Psychologist helping children with chronic medical illness. I blog on issues of mental health for teens and adults. I enjoy working with the media due to my expertise in managing anxiety, stress, and parenting issues. I provide consultation to authors on writing about mental health. 

My Thoughts...
Who's ready for a  psychological suspense thriller. This one is full of twists you don't see coming and lots of action. I was not surprised how fast I read it, there was not a second to catch your breath. It is a super fast read and one you won't want to put done until you turn the very last page.
I gave this book 4 stars.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, January 27, 2020

More Than By Diane Barnes

“You are obese, Mrs. Moriarty.”Peggy Moriarty is stunned. She knows she’s let herself go a bit, but she thinks her young, skinny doctor is exaggerating. Her husband’s death fourteen years ago left her to raise their twins, Grace and Greg, alone. But now that they’re teenagers, doing their own things, her only hobby is watching Messages from Beyond, a show about a medium who connects the grieving with their deceased loved ones.When the twins leave for college, they give Peggy a gift certificate for an exercise class. At first, Peggy is insulted. But once the sting wears off, she realizes if she gets in shape, she might gain the confidence she needs to go on her favorite TV show and talk to her husband one last time.With help from her new friends at the gym and Carmen Tavarez, the mother of Grace’s boyfriend, Peggy begins to emerge from her prolonged grief and spread her wings. She may soon discover that her sum is more than a mother, a widow, and her body.

Pick up your copy here...

Diane Barnes is the author of More Than (October 29, 2019 ), Waiting for Ethan (2015), and Mixed Signals (2016). She is also a marketing and corporate communication writer in the health care industry. When she’s not writing, she’s at the gym, running or playing tennis, trying to burn off the ridiculous amounts of chocolate and ice cream she eats. She and her husband Steven live in Massachusetts and dream of moving to Turks and Caicos – at least for the winter months. She hopes you enjoy reading her books as much as she enjoyed writing them. 

My Thoughts...
Chick-lit fans are going to enjoy this one.
A caterpillar and a butterfly on the cover of this book are perfect. The metamorphosis that took place in the characters was  very prominent in every chapter. You are going to fall in love with them and you will find them very easy to relate to.
This is a book to add to your to be read pile. I was hooked right away.
I gave this book 4 stars and I recommend it.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Four Day Prince Charmimg By K Leigh

Walking the red carpet alone is a bore.

While there’s no shortage of willing women, they only want me because I’m Action Jackson—everyone’s favorite superhero. I've become accustomed to the single life. An older woman isn’t who I pictured as my leading lady, yet there’s something special about Lexi Robinson.

When I manipulated fate to spend some time with her, I wasn't expecting to be handed the reins. I have four days to fulfill her fantasies, but it will take more than a short tryst to win Lexi’s heart.

Being a single mother isn’t for the faint of heart

I can’t remember the last time I woke up without bags under my eyes. Winning a getaway to the Smoky Mountains feels like a dream. As much as I hate to leave the kids, I could use some alone time. Despite my sister’s challenge to find a four-day Prince Charming, sitting by the fireplace with a good book is the only hot date on the agenda.

Until Chandler Thomas invades my space. He's ten years younger, but age is just a number when our eyes meet. After all, it’s not every day you get the chance to seduce a superhero.

It started out simple

a four day affair bound by three rules.
But what if that’s not enough?
What if I want my happily ever after?

Pick up your copy here...

K Leigh is an author, mom, wife, and Ravenclaw.
When not reading and writing, she shares inappropriate humor on social media and looks for her keys.

My Thoughts...
 Okay let me be real honest my initial thought was why did this author send me half a book, after I read the last page. It was to short for me. I was left wanting more. The authors idea was to leave me wanting me I am guessing. The book was a fast read of course now I have to wait, and I am NOT a patient person.
So with that being said and out of the way. I want to tell you readers to grab your copy of this book but don't be surprised if you love it so much you are unhappy with the wait for the next book.
I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend it, hey why don't we all email the author and tell her to hurry up with the next book already.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Almost Just Friends By Jill Shalvis GIVEAWAY!

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis returns to Wildstone with the touching story of finding your place in the world—and the people who make it home.

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.
When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.
Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

Pick up your copy here...

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.
or email her at 

My Thoughts...
I read this book right though to the very end in one sitting. Family and all that entails is the heart of this book. The good the bad and the ugly. Secrets and all. The romance was so good Cam was swoon worthy. Cam is every women's dream man. I HIGHLY recommend this 4.5 star book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

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Monday, January 20, 2020

The World Come to Us By Molly Campbell

Tommy Poole and her mother Meg have decided to become recluses together. Not forever; only for a year. And not at night when the dog needs to be walked. But in the midst of their grief over the loss of Tommy's other mother, Sam, shutting themselves off from the outside world seems like the only viable path to recovery.

However, while they have decided to step away from the world, the world has not made the same decision. Soon, Tommy's best friend is living with them. And the crotchety neighbor is making his presence felt far more than anyone appreciates. And when a teenaged girl with a troubled past and an indignant future enters their orbit, life might be as full for Tommy and Meg as it has been in years.

And that was before the wedding . . .
Pick up your copy here...

Molly D. Campbell is a two-time Erma Bombeck Writing Award winner and the author of two previous novels, Keep the Ends Loose and Crossing the Street. Molly blogs at http:// Also an artist, Molly's work can be found at She lives in Dayton with her accordionist husband and four cats.

My Thoughts...
A sad book that I could understand very well. Loss is a big deal, grief is different for all of us. I loved how Campbell dealt with this and I hope that everyone who reads this book understands how hard it really is.
You are going to find this book one you want to keep on your shelf after you read it, its just that kind of heartwarming read.
I gave this book 4 stars. I recommend it if you can overcome the grief in the book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Nancy Naigle has some news...

Small-town baker, Kelly, gets a big surprise when she is invited to compete on a Valentine's Day baking show in New York City - and an even bigger surprise when she runs into her ex-fiance.
Starring Erin Cahill and Brendan Penny.

PREMIERING Saturday February 15 9:00 PM/8c
Wednesday February 19 10:00 PM/9c
Saturday February 22 7:00 PM/6c
Sunday February 23 2:00 PM/1c
Tuesday February 25 4:00 PM/3c

Honey Almond Cake with Berries and Mascarpone Crème Fraiche

Almond Cake:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 2¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp. almond extract
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond meal flour
  • 1½ tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. canola oil

Vanilla Honey Glaze:

  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest, fresh
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 tbsp. half and half cream

Mascarpone Crème Fraiche:

  • 3 (8-oz.) packages mascarpone, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups crème fraiche
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • As needed, sliced toasted almonds
  • As needed, fresh mint sprigs
  • As needed  whole Starwberries 
Yield: 1 Three-Layer Cake
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
1. To prepare cakes: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat three 8-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place a round of parchment paper on the bottom of each pan; spray with cooking spray.

2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine buttermilk, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract in bowl and mix until fully blended. With a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Add to buttermilk mixture and beat on low until fully blended. Scrape down sides of bowl.

4. Slowly add oil to buttermilk/flour mixture and beat on medium-low until fully blended.

5. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes; invert on wire rack to release cakes.

6. To prepare glaze: combine honey, vanilla extract, lemon zest, confectioner’s sugar and half and half in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Brush tops and sides of warm cakes evenly with glaze. Cool cakes completely. (If making cakes ahead, wrap tightly and freeze.)

7. To prepare mascarpone crème fraiche: combine mascarpone, crème fraiche, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.

8. To assemble cake: place first cake on cake pedestal or serving plate. Spread about ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche over top of cake. Top with second cake layer. Spread about ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche over top of cake. Top with third cake layer. Spread about ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche over top of cake. Spread remaining ¼ of mascarpone crème fraiche on sides of cake to make a light crumb coating. Using a bench scraper or cake spatula, lightly scrape top and sides of cake to remove excess mascarpone crème fraiche forming a smooth surface.
Get ready to fall in love with Bailey's Fork all over again. I've seen the early cut of the movie and it is so wonderful!

The settings are perfect and Erin Cahill and Brendan Penny make the perfect Kelly and Andrew.

You're going to love all the back stage scenes and Maneet Chauhan, who has been a judge on Chopped! on the Food Network, is the host of the Four Square show in this movie. Re-read the book so you'll recognize the changes. 
Mark the dates on your calendar right now, and tell your friends!

Let's make the cake and get together to watch this movie together. Shout out to my sweet friend Nancy. How many Hallmark books and Hallmark movies does this make?

PREMIERING Saturday February 15 9:00 PM/8c
Wednesday February 19 10:00 PM/9c
Saturday February 22 7:00 PM/6c
Sunday February 23 2:00 PM/1c
Tuesday February 25 4:00 PM/3c