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review 2017-04-27 23:39
Just starting here and rereading the Blossom Street Series
The Shop on Blossom Street - Debbie Macomber

I just learned about this website today and it is definitely right up my alley.  I read all the time.  I have chronic pain and other health issues so reading is my escape.  I started a regular blog on blogger but I haven't been keeping up with it.  I realized it is because I haven't been into anything but reading lately.  

 

I just learned about Hoopla digital a few days ago and downloaded it.  Since then, I have listened to two audio books.  I found the audio book for the book I just finished reading and listened to it.  I really don't like abridged audio books but I don't mind so much when I've read the books before.  

 

I decided to reread the Blossom Street Series by Debbie Macomber.  I really enjoyed the first several (maybe 6?) books I had and I've read them multiple times.  I got to Hannah's List and just couldn't get interested in that one.  I loved all the others before that one, especially Susannah's Garden.  I recently noticed that there were more books to the series that I missed so I picked them up.  I decided to start back at the beginning and read my way through again or listen to the audio books available through the library.  Now I use Fictfact.com to keep track of my series.  

 

The Shop on Blossom Street

 

I feel a real connection with Lydia in this series.  I haven't had cancer but I identify so much with a lot of what she says.  In the very beginning when she is trying to get her older sister to understand what she is going through she said it was as if her sister thought she had chosen to have cancer.  That is also how I feel about my family or friends sometimes. Either they think I should just deal with it, smile and think about puppies and rainbows and I'll be all better, or they think I'm just being weak and whining too much.  No one really understood or seemed willing to listen.  Lydia's sister Margaret finally comes around though.  First, she had her own cancer scare when a lump was found in her breast. Lydia went with her to the follow-up appointment and everything ended up okay.  Then, Lydia had another cancer scare.  Another tumor had formed and had to be removed. Her sister was with her through that and seemed to grow a heart.  I won't say more about this as I don't want to spoil the story for anyone.  

 

In this book, Lydia decided to open a yarn store as her affirmation of life.  She opened the shop with an apartment upstairs using inheritance money from her grandmother. She decided to have a knitting class to draw people into the store, the first project being a baby blanket.  The pattern for that blanket is in the front of the book and I started it.  Maybe I'll finish it someday.  

 

Three very different women signed up for the class.  Lydia wasn't sure the class was going to go well since 2 of the women kept butting heads.  They grew on each other though and ended up becoming very close friends.  I really like Alix because she reminds me of myself.  She is an individual who likes to be different.  Alix wears black and has purple spiked hair.  She is a bit rough around the edges since she had a rough childhood.  

 

Carol decided to sign up for the class when she saw they were making a baby blanket. She wanted desperately to be a mother but so far hadn't been able to carry a pregnancy to term.  She decided this was a sign from God that she was going to need a baby blanket for her child.  

 

Jacqueline is a high society woman who is used to being catered to. She isn't happy about her son's choice for a wife and now they are expecting a baby.  She was hoping her son would come to his senses, realize his mistake and escape from that sham of a marriage.  A baby complicates things though.  Her husband doesn't understand her problem with their daughter in law and encourages her to take the knitting class to make a blanket for their granddaughter.  

 

These three women, so different but all with the same goal, attend the class determined to master the challenge, even if they can't stand each other.  

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text 2017-04-27 19:59
Alchemy of Love Giveaways: Free Books and Courses
Mindful Being - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

I am very happy to share with you our 2 giveaways:

 

1. Paperback Book Giveaway For A-Ma Alchemy of Love https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/233726-a-ma-alchemy-of-love 


2. 15 Mindful Being Courses available for FREE at http://booklikes.com/giveaways/show/2439/mindful-being-natasa-pantovic-nuit


 

Mindful Being Dragana's Goodreads, 02. April 2015: Great Self-development Tools
Mindful Being Course is full of useful exercises and great self development tools. The mindfulness course is divided into 12 modules and full of tips about spiritual work. It reminded me of many spiritual tools that I used during my life time of meditation and yoga. A systematic approach that covers body, mind and soul 'work' is inspiring.
Highly recommended mindfulness Training!

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photo 2017-04-27 14:42
Alice in Wonderland

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review 2017-04-27 13:17
It Happened on Love Street by Lia Riley
It Happened on Love Street - Lia Riley

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I enjoyed this small town romance overall. I have been wanting to read Lia Riley for a while and once I read the description for this book, I knew that I wanted to give this one a try. It was a light-hearted, fun story that went pretty quickly for me. This is the first book in a new series and I just loved the little town of Everland, Georgia.

Pepper has just relocated to Everland for a new job. She shows up for her first day of work and realizes that there is a major problem and she doesn't have the job after all. So now she is in a new town with few funds and no job. When she is offered a job as a dog walker by the town vet who happens to be her next door neighbor, she needs to overcome her fear of dogs quickly and take the position.

Rhett is the local veterinarian. After a previous romantic mishap, he does his best to stay out of local gossip. He helps out the new next door neighbor and is instantly attracted but wants to keep things private. He is very much a part of the local community with his best friend serving as the mayor. Everyone in the town seems to be waiting for cupid to catch Rhett.

I liked Pepper and Rhett. Pepper was pretty tough and was able to make the most of the situation she is in. She does take on more responsibility than she probably should and tries to always make practical decisions. Rhett was such an all around good guy. It would be hard not to like him. Together they had a lot of chemistry and the more they were together the more I liked them as a couple. They really did seem to get closer as the book progressed and by the end of the story, I could really feel their connection.

The book did have a couple of issues. Pepper has a huge fear of dogs at the start of the story. It seemed to take her all of 30 seconds to get over that fear and become a pro dog-walker hanging out at the local dog park. She even adopts a puppy pretty quickly after shedding her fear of dogs. To go from can't stand to be near a dog to must adopt this dog in the span of a few pages seemed crazy. I am sorry it just doesn't work like that.

I also was pulled out of the story several times by some weird phrasing. It seemed like maybe the author was trying to be funny but it felt forced. There were several times that I had to stop and go back over a passage to make sure it really said what I thought it did. I didn't notice this happening as much towards the end of the book but it seemed to happen a lot at the beginning of the story.

I would recommend this book to others. Despite a couple of issues, it was a really fun romantic read. I look forward to future installments in this series.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley.

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review 2017-04-27 02:31
A Fun Read
How Dachshunds Came to Be: A Tall Tale About a Short Long Dog (Volume 1) - Kizzie Elizabeth Jones,Scott Ward

How Dachshunds Came to Be:  A Tall Tale about a Short Long Dog by Kizzie Elizabeth Jones is a mythical story about how Dachshunds were created.  The reader is introduced to a little girl who loves to play with her sea creature friends.  One day, the girl becomes sad because her friends are preparing to migrate to warmer waters for the winter. 

 

The girl’s sea creature friends decide that since they cannot stay with her, they will create an animal that can.  Each friend contributes a personal characteristic to the creature.  What magical beast do they create?  Dachshunds!

 

Will the little girl like the Dachshunds?  More importantly, will the Dachshunds like her?

I thought this book was a fun read.  I do wish that the story would have been a bit longer.  I feel that it ended quite abruptly after the girl is gifted the Dachshunds.  I would have liked to see more interaction between the girl and her newfound friends.

 

Additionally, I would have liked to have a little more background information about the little girl.  Is she living alone on the beach?  What happened to her family?  If she has a family, what do they think of the Dachshunds?

 

Scott Ward’s illustrations are simply delightful!  I love his use of vibrant colors.  Ward’s depiction of Dachshunds is spot on and I love the characters that he has created.  My favorite illustration is the blueprint of the sea creatures.  The detail of the illustration blew me away.

 

Overall, this book will delight animal lovers of all ages.

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