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review 2020-04-07 02:25
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline

Damn life in the early 1900s was hard and the things that were allowed back then I can't even! Trains transporting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable orphaned children to be sold off like cattle. Appalling and fascinating and I devoured this book in a couple of days thereby breaking a bit of a slump I was having.  


A-Z Challenge - Adoption

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/3266842316?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
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text 2019-01-27 22:10
24 in 48 Read-a-thon Master Post - Update #4
The Chef's Mail Order Bride: A Sweet Western Historical Romance (Wild West Frontier Brides Book 1) - Ashley Merrick,Kirsten Osbourne,Jeannine P. Pray Cindy Caldwell
An Awakened Heart (Orphan Train): An Orphan Train Novella - Jody Hedlund




24in48_v2-03_full color

Update #4

Time: 12:23:20

Pages Read: 597


In between a Skype call with my mom, making and serving dinner, getting the kids' into their bedtime routines and actually into bed, and cleaning up the kitchen - I managed to finish The Chef's Mail Order Bride. I have two hours left in my time zone and so I am starting An Awakened Heart but I also just took some Nyquil so I could actually sleep through the night and not cough all night. All books read so far have been uploaded to the 24 in 48 website to be catalogued in their read books spreadsheet. 


I have a lot of reviews to write this week...



Update #3

Time: 9:44:42

Pages read: 465


The birthday party for my friend went a LOT longer than I had anticipated, so by the time I came home I was so tired I went right to sleep. Luckily, I didn't drink any alcohol (I played the part of a DD as a favor to the hostess), so I had no after effects/hangover this morning. Before leaving for the party, I made it halfway through The Good Luck Sister, so that was the first reading I did this morning. After breakfast, I started and finished Poison in Paddington, as chosen by RNG but counted from the bottom up (the number being 1). Both books were so good that I have added the series to my FicFact list to read more from in the future. 


RNG has been less than random (how many times can the number 3 come up?), but it chose for my next book The Chef's Mail Order Bride. This will put me over my pages read goal and within striking distance of my stretch goal. The time goal may not happen....


Update #2

Time: 5:05:11

Pages read: 230


Finished The Yellow Wallpaper and To Be a Spy. Random Number Generator turned up a lucky 3, which was For the Love of Laura Beth and I just finished it. Out of the lot so far, For the Love of Laura Beth is definitely a 5 star read; I didn't care for The Yellow Wallpaper and To Be a Spy didn't have enough of it's own storyline to get anything out of it, so it was a pure prequel bait.


RNG gave turned up another 3 (how random is RNG....), which will start my next set of reading with The Good Luck Sister by Jill Shalvis.


Update #1

Time: 1:30:24

Pages read: 70


So I read six pages of the first book at midnight and then the Nyquil kicked in. So I didn't do any real reading until I woke up this morning. So far I've finished The Schoolmarm's Surprising Suitor and A Death on the Way to Portsmouth. Oh, have I fallen for Lady Ashes in those 17 pages and can't wait to start the series! Now that I have had breakfast and my first cup of tea, it is time to tackle The Yellow Wallpaper and To Be a Spy.


I really like the new logo. This is my Friday Reads post for today in addition to my master post for 24/48. I feel a little under pressure to make up for my dismal performance in BoB24 earlier this month. I decided to go for the shortest books on my NOOK for this go-round just to clear up some space on my NOOK and keep within the COYER restrictions. I am starting at midnight Saturday morning London time (US EST +5) with the books attached to this post. After that, I am using Random Number Generator to choose my books since that way I won't dawdle and waste reading time. I won't be participating in any of the challenges except for the opening and closing questions. 


To my fellow 24/48 participants - Good Luck and I look forward to seeing what you are reading!



1. Read for 15 hours; stretch goal is 18 hours.

2. Read 500 pages; stretch goal is 750 pages.

3. Take one hour to read to the kids.


List of Possible Books:

1. Mail Order Cowboy by Maisey Yates (94 pages)

2. Hometown Heartbreaker by Maisey Yates (113 pages)

3. For the Love of Laurabeth by Aubrey Wynne (110 pages)

4. A Death on the Way to Portsmouth by Christine Trent (17 pages)

5. The Good Luck Sister by Jill Shalvis (100 pages)

6. What Lies Behind Us by Sierra Rose (133 pages)

7. The Christmas Mail Order Bride by Kit Morgan (136 pages)

8. Gone with the Ghost by Erin McCarthy (143 pages)

9. Love on the Prairie by Ciarra Knight (152 pages)

10. A Search for Refuge by Kristi Ann Hunter (122 pages)

11. An Awakened Heart by Jodi Hedlund (153 pages)

12. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskill (151 pages)

13. Herland by Charlotte Gilliam (150 pages)

14. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilliam (21)

15. Strange Tango by Michelle Dayton (131)

16. Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare (122)

17. A Mail Order Heart by Janelle Daniels (121)

18. To Be a Spy by Jessie Clever (29)

19. The Cost of Hope by G.S. Carr (133)

20. The Chef's Mail Order Bride by Cindy Caldwell (132 pages)

21. The Maid's Quarters by Holly Bush (70 pages)

22. The Schoolmarm's Surprising Suitor by Beverly Bernarnd (53 pages)

23. Lady Grace by Vicki Hopkins (161 pages)

24. A Lady of Esteem by Kristi Ann Hunter (153 pages)

25. Poison in Paddington by Samantha Silver (135 pages)


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text 2017-06-01 04:09
New June Releases That Are On My TBR
Forbidden Fruit - Stanley Gazemba
High as the Heavens - Kate Breslin
With You Always (Orphan Train) - Jody Hedlund
The Little French Bistro - Nina George
The Underground River: A Novel - Martha Conway
The Supremes Sing the Happy Heartache Blues: A Novel - Edward Kelsey Moore
The Unquiet Grave - Sharyn McCrumb
A Fierce Love: One Woman’s Courageous Journey to Save Her Marriage - Shauna Shanks
The Secret History of Jane Eyre: How Charlotte Brontë Wrote Her Masterpiece - John Pfordresher
Beneath a Burning Sky - Jonathon Burgess

First, I must say that this month is the month of beautiful covers. There's only a couple in this line up that don't scream, "Buy me!" Super thrilled for all the historical fiction from Bethany House Publishing. Y'all know how much I love my historical fiction. I'm revisiting some authors and enthusiastically picking up some reads by authors that are new to me. The two books that I'm eager to get into are Forbidden Fruit by Stanley Gazemba and A Fierce Love by Shauna Shanks. Both have awesome covers.


I'm a sucker for covers. I've been known to rebuy books with better covers. Most often I actually prefer UK covers to US. If you didn't know I prefer paperbacks to hardcovers. The aesthetic of hardcovers on the shelves are better, but hardcovers are heavy and cumbersome. Paperbacks feel better in my hands and are easier to transport. Okay, I've gone on tangent.


Are any of these awesome titles on your tbr? 

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review 2017-05-01 03:47
With You Always by Jody Hedlund
With You Always (Orphan Train) - Jody Hedlund


 With the death of their parents and struggling on the streets while trying to keep her family together, Elise Neumann is lucky to have stumbled upon a place that could offer shelter to her family and her a well needed job. With faith and a bit of luck Elisa finds herself in a building town and finding herself meeting someone again by chance.


 Thornton Quincy has lived in the tall shadows of his Father and twin, but with his father's health failing, a contest pits the brothers against one another to build a town and marry in six months time. Thornton's plans go awry when he meets Elisa again and starts seeing things from a different perspective and who truly sees him...


 Jody Hedlund works always show the strength in the human spirit. She never preaches to the reader, she shows the reader the bad and good in life she doesn't stray from the harshness of life, but shows the one can overcome the bad. Elisa and Thornton both show this, Elisa takes a chance to make a living for herself and her family but isn't scared of standing up against injustice and giving someone a push in the right direction and believe.


 Through Elisa's eyes, we see how poor immigrant women who came to the US in hope and didn't find nothing but heartache. Elisa may be soft spoken but has a spine of steel and is able to keep her family together the best she can and even help Thornton who she met in a trying time (in the middle of a riot no less) But even Elisa can't stop things, good or bad, from happening. She only has her inner faith and her strength to help her through and love.
 Thornton had to find himself, he was a better man but him seeing it took a bit longer. He to loved his family and turned a blind eye to even their worse faults. He finally stood as his own man and showed who he truly was with help from Elisa.

 Elisa and Thornton love grows slowly as they learn about one another and show and prove something not only to one another but to themselves. By the end you can see together they can face anything and everything with by each other's side.


 The only trouble I had with the book was the very rushed ending and while it left it open for the rest of Elisa's family, the ending just went by in a fast and felt a tad jarring.

Hedlund placed the reader in a time not talked about but truly made it vivid with amazing characters and place I look forward to more from this series.

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review 2017-01-21 20:03
Orphan Train
Orphan Train - Christina Baker Kline

Molly Ayer is seventeen and has been kicked around the foster system in Maine for a good part of her life.  With her current family, she doesn't quite fit in; her foster mom isn't too sure of Molly and is convinced that she is a bad kid.  When Molly is caught stealing a copy of Jane Eyre from the library, she either has to do time in juvie or 50 hours of  community service.  Luckily, Molly's boyfriend hooks her up with 91 year-old Vivian, whom his mother works for.  Vivian needs her attic cleaned out from an entire lifetime of memories.  Molly agrees to the project and quickly finds out the she and Vivian share many experiences.  As boxes are unpacked, Vivian's memory unfolds and she shares her experiences as a rider on a orphan train, her troubled placements and how they have shaped her life. 

I love stories that parallel two time periods, so this book immediately appealed to me. I was also very interested in finding out about the orphan trains, a piece of American history that I didn't know much about.  With many dual time stories, I am drawn into one story much more than the other; however, I was very much drawn into Molly's story in the present as well as Vivian's in 1929-1943. More than anything, Orphan Train reminds us that family is more than blood and while the past may help shape us, it does not define us.  The history of the orphan train was intriguing to me, especially how the children seemed to be used more as a free employee to midwest families rather than a child.  I'm sure this was not the case with all, but it seemed to happen to plenty.  Vivian's story was surprising, moving, heartbreaking and showed the tremendous amount of strength and character that she needed to survive from being an immigrant to an orphan to an unwanted child.  Molly's story parallels some of Vivian's, although Molly did not have nearly as rough a time as a child floating through the foster care system as Vivian did at any point in her life.  Molly, however did tend to make everything more dramatic as teenagers tend to do and I would not say that Molly having to deal with her foster mom not respecting her choice to be a vegetarian was at all comparable to Vivian not having food or having to make squirrel stew to survive through the Depression.  I would say that some of the characters in the present needed a little more depth to them, I really wanted to know what foster mom Dina deal was. I also really wanted to know what happened to everyone after the ending.  While most things were happily resolved, I felt that there Molly and Vivian might have had more to say.  


This book was received for free from Harper Collins through TLC book tours. 

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