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October 20, 2017



Product Details


Regency Brides
A Legacy of Grace
Book Three
Carolyn Miller


Will a damaged reputation and desire for society's approval thwart the legacy of grace?

Tainted by scandal and forced to leave London for the quieter Brighton countryside, the Honorable Miss Clara DeLancey is a shadow of her former society self. She's lost the man she loved to another and, in a culture that has no patience for self-pity, is struggling with depression. A chance encounter brings her a healing friendship with the sisters of an injured naval captain. But Clara's society mama is appalled at the new company she's keeping.

Captain Benjamin Kemsley is not looking for a wife. But his gallant spirit won't let him ignore the penniless viscount's daughter--not when she so obviously needs assistance to keep moving forward from day to day. Can he protect his heart and still keep her safe?

When they're pushed into the highest echelons of society at the Prince Regent's Brighton Pavilion, this mismatched couple must decide if family honor is more important than their hopes. Can they right the wrongs of the past and find future happiness together--without finances, family support, or royal favor?

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey is full of the captivating, flawed characters, fascinating historical details, and masterful writing that Carolyn Miller's fans have come to know in The Elusive Miss Ellison and The Captivating Lady Charlotte. If you love Lori Wick, Georgette Heyer, and other clean, wholesome Regency romance, you'll love this third book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.

What a sense of heart the author, Ms. Miller brings to us. One living in the sheltered society world, the Honorable Ms. Clara DeLancey is now not so honorable. She is now living in a world of trying to live down the scandal she was involved int.  She went from the life in London to a subdued life in Brighton. Clara finds warmth and friendship with a couple of women she meets and  is in hopes of healing. But this makes her mother extremely upset. A captain knows Clara needs rescuing to find peace in her life, but she is now poor. He's not interested in any long term relationship. But this isn't entirely up to him. It's a matter of the heart, his heart and Clara's.

Will the two of them be able to find peace with the past? Will these two find happiness and will it be together? Two totally different people, can they find that middle ground?  The characters are far from perfect. They have their good and bad points. This could very well have been someone you would have known back in another time and place. The historical points are very well detailed so that you can visualize in your mind what is taking place. Often times we don't even think about what romantic and glorious time it was in Regency England. This book is more than just romance. It's got a bit of humor, a bit of wit and a dab of mystery. You will  love and be frustrated with some of the characters. You may want to  reach out and shake one character and another you may want to hug. This book gives us an element we don't often get in a romantic read and that is that sometimes lost human emotion of forgiveness. Perhaps not only enjoying the book but a lesson may be learned also.

Don't miss this book.  Step into a world where honorable goes to dishonorable and then back again.  A lovely emotional book. 

I received a copy of this book from Kregel Blog Tours and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 5 STARS. 



 The Beloved Christmas Quilt: Three Stories of Family, Romance, and Amish Faith by [Brunstetter, Wanda E., Brunstetter, Jean, Brunstetter, Richelle]

Wanda E. Brunstetter
Jean Brunstetter
Richelle Brunstetter
 Three Stories of Family, Romance and Amish Faith

LUELLA'S PROMISE/Wanda Brunstetter
Luella Ebersol has been caregiver for a dying woman and her young son. When Dena Zook gives Luella her favorite quilt, she makes Luella promise to pass it down to her future daughter. But Luella isn't sure she will ever marry if she can't find someone with maturity and faith like Dena's husband, Atlee Zook.

KAREN'S GIFT/Jean Brunstetter
Karen Allgyer and her husband moved to a slow paced villager to raise their children but Karen longs for the closeness of family to help her through the challenges of managing three girls with one on the way. When life's pressures rise, will Karen cave to her fears?

ROSEANNA'S GROOM/Richelle Brunstetter
When the unexpected happens on the day of her wedding, Roseanna Allgyer can't help but blame herself, despite not understanding why. Then an old boyfriend returns to town, and she battles feelings for him-while afraid of being hurt again. 

There is something special to each family member the Christmas Quilt is passed on from generation and generation..  Each special and personal. Three generations of women tell their stories of how the quilt holds special meaning to them.   You will go on each of these three women's journeys along with their struggles.  They are each walking with the Lord and placing their struggles in the Lord's hands.  Faith is at the root of each of these women's stories.  But along with their stories of faith, the reader gets much  more, including romance, and peace of heart.  The three women and their stories are bound by the quilt.  IT gives warmth, love, binding ties and hope.A Bible verse from the book, For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me: - Psalm 31:3
At times when these women were facing life changing struggles in their life, they each found a connection to each other and a reinforcement of their faith in God. The tie that bound them together was the quilt and their faith.
I would recommend this book to everyone.  There is a peacefulness that falls over you when you read these stories.  Also a good reminder to keep your faith and keep it sacred.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

I would give this book 5 STARS. 

October 19, 2017


31 Devotions  to Celebrate With Purpose
Melissa Spoelstra

 In the bustle of the Christmas season, it can be easy to get swept up in all of the things to do. But it's important to pause and remember that our priority should be to spend time celebrating Christ's birth and not forget to invite Jesus to his own party.

Christmas is far more than a celebration of an event from long ago or a modern holiday centered around shopping. Mindfully take time to listen to how God continues to speak through the Christmas story as the Gospel narratives centered around the birth of Jesus provide encouragement and revelation concerning the love of God and his wisdom for us today.

In Total Christmas Makeover, author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra provides a practical approach for you and your family to turn your attention toward God's grace day-by-day as you prepare for Christmas. This 31-day devotional presents key scriptures, ideas to implement with each reading, and questions for reflection to guide you in rediscovering rituals, relationship, and rest to connect you more deeply with Christ this holiday season.

Melissa SpoelstraMELISSA SPOELSTRA is a popular women’s conference speaker, Bible teacher, and writer who is madly in love with Jesus and passionate about helping women of all ages to seek Christ and know Him more intimately through serious Bible study. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology and enjoys teaching God's Word to diverse groups and churches within the body of Christ. She is the author of Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness, Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World, and the forthcoming Total Family Makeover: 8 Steps to Making Disciples at Home. She lives in Dublin, Ohio, with her pastor husband and four kids.

Surviving during Christmas doesn't have to be an option.  Now you can take time to enjoy and celebrate 'the reason for the season!  You can still have the family, the get togethers, the fun without all the fuss.   It's about making things easier, simpler, less stressful, more fun and getting back to celebrating the reason for Christmas!

Total Christmas Makeover by author and Bible teacher Melissa Spoelstra shows the reader an alternative to the hectic holidays at Christmas time. This time can bring you back to what Christmas really means   A time to celebrate Jesus' birth.   A time of joy instead of that stressful feeling of having too much to do and not enough time to do it.   This book is a devotional for 31 days of the holiday season.   It brings back those forgotten traditions that once brought happiness and peacefulness. It gives suggestions on how to make over your traditional hectic Christmas season to make it more enjoyable and rewarding.  You may even find time to take a moment for yourself.  Wouldn't that be refreshing?  The book has three sections, the common three elements of celebrating the bible.  Those three elements being, ritual, relationship and rest.    We have often forgotten how the Lord speaks to us and how we don't sometimes listen, especially during the blessed holiday season.  Learn to bring the LOVE back to the season!

I received a copy of this book from Litfuse Publishing and the author and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book  5 STARS.

Amazon Review Link
Goodreads Review Link

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BARBRA STREISAND: On The Couch - Book Tour

Premier Virtual Author Book Tours

 Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond

Barbra Streisand: on the Couch

 by Alma H. Bond

all information from Virtual Author Book Tours

Publisher: Bancroft Press (Oct 1, 2017)
Category: Literary Fiction, Celebrities, Barbra Streisand
Tour dates: Oct/Nov, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-61088-211-8
Available in Print, 308 pages
We all know Barbra, the star, but how well do we know Barbra, the woman? In the latest installment of my On the Couch series, Dr. Darcy Dale, a renowned, pioneering Manhattan psychiatrist, is confronted by Barbra, who is dismayed after thirty years of minimally successful therapy. Over the course of a year, Dr. Dale conducts an intimate psychoanalysis, breaking through Barbra’s defense mechanisms and repressions to delve deep into the heart and mind of one of America’s last remaining superstars.
Published at the same time as Streisand’s own, long awaited memoir, Barbra Streisand: On the Couch is an essential companion, a sensitive, objective, pitch-perfect opportunity to look behind the voice and image, and to understand and fully appreciate Barbra Streisand, the human being.

Praise Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.

“Thoroughly enjoyable.”—Kitty Kelley, author of mega bestselling biographies on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, the British Royal Family, the Bush family, and Oprah Winfrey
“Absolutely delightful … and wonderful … with fabulous insight … Fans of Barbra Streisand [will] love this book . . . It’s impossible to come away from [it] with anything but a warm, fuzzy feeling for this . . . adored songbird… Underneath is [an] . . . insecure little girl who lost her daddy . . . and never truly got over it.”—Readers Favorite
“This will appeal to anyone who enjoys discovering information about such a celebrity, how she feels about the ups and downs of her life, and other juicy details of her storied sex life and stellar career. […] The book has a can’t-put-it-down quality; the juiciness of the gossip, the emotional insights into her joy and pain, and the remarkable triumphs and failures of her long career are completely fascinating. Although the book is fiction, the author lists in a bibliography the numerous books and articles from which she garnered the very factual events and many of Miss Streisand’s own words from interviews that she used to create the sessions…”-Midwest Book Review
I’ve been a fan of Bond’s On the Couch series for years, but this one is absolutely her best. Barbra Streisand–with all her foibles and charms–comes alive on the pages of this book. Bond digs deep into Streisand’s psyche to give the reader a close-up look at a mega-star.
Instead of a tell-all novel that dishes out the dirt on her many costars, we follow along with Streisand as she herself recounts her many projects, affairs, and early history. Instead of a public relations–approved biography that glosses over Streisand’s need to be in control of her projects, this book revels in it, explores the reasons for a demanding actor/musician/director to behave as she does, shows the reader just how dedicated to her craft Streisand is.
If you’re a fan of her acting, her music, her career, or her activism, this is definitely a book you should read. Even if you’re not a fan, chances are you will be by the time you finish the book.”- Ann Beardsley

About Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.

Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. BondAward winning author, Alma Halbert Bond received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, and became a highly successful psychoanalyst in private practice for 37 years in New York City. She “retired” to become a full-time writer. Barbra Streisand: On the Couch is currently in production with Bancroft Press, who publish the On the Couch series.
Hillary Clinton: On the Couch was published a few months ago, and received a Best Books Award Finalist book award. Jackie O: On the Couch, the first of her On the Couch series to be published by Bancroft Press, was published on August 15, 2011, and received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, Best Books Award Finalist USA Book News, and International Book Awards Finalist. . Margaret Mahler, a Biography of the Psychoanalyst was published by McFarland Press in 2008. It received two awards, Best Books Award Finalist USA Book News and Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Finalist.
Michelle Obama, a Biography, was recently published by Greenwood Press. Dr. Bond has had 20 other books published.
Among other organizations, Dr. Bond is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Dramatists Guild, PEN, the International Psychoanalytic Association, and the American Psychological Association. She taught psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, where she is a fellow, and also has been a faculty member of WritersSchool, where she taught Psychology and Literature.
Website is

my thoughts:

This book is a work of fiction, although it is based in parts, on actual information.  It is not necessarily accurate. I actually thought when I got the book it was not fiction and that Dr. Alma Bond, Ph.D. was her psychoanalyst. I was mistaken.  It is fiction and Dr. Bond was the author.  She wrote this because she admired Streisand from a distance, like many others Most of us know Barbra Streisand as the performer.  Few probably know the person. Often times what appears on the outside is far from what is on the inside.   You put up walls to keep the utmost feelings, hurts, pain and unhappiness inside to prevent it from showing on the outside.  This results in extreme unhappiness and so much pain.  Barbra Streisand, an icon, a star, but what about the woman herself.   Take away all the glitz, the glamour, the tough skin, the armor and what was she really like? She had gone through a terrible loss as a little girl and like some, she never got over it. After years of unsuccessful therapy, Barbra turns to Dr. Dale, a well known psychiatrist in hopes of finding some peace.   It took a while, but Dr. Dale started to break down the walls and get to the root causes of Barbra's unhappiness.  Often times we only see the "star", we don't see the person.  As this book was coming out, Ms. Streisand was having her own memoir published so if you feel this is a book you'd like to read, I would suggest reading Ms. Streisand's memoir also.  Ms. Alma Bond has written several books in the 'On The Couch Series", along with 20 other books.  The author lets the reader in on some facts of Ms. Streisand's life.  You may go through a series of emotions anywhere from smiling, laughter, sadness and tears.   We all love the "stars". SO if you are a Barbra Streisand follower and fan or even, not, this is an interesting fictional read, with  chronological couch sessions with her doctor, Dr. Dale.  This is not only about Ms. Streisand the performer, but Ms. Streisand, the person, the woman, the human being.

At the back of the book is a list of articles where some of the information came from along with  books and a Yiddish Glossary.   Quite interesting.

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily decided to review it.

 I would give this book 4 STARS.





Follow Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond, Ph.D. Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 19 Giveaway
Gayle Books Reviews Etc Oct 20 Review
Dawn Bound 2 Escape Oct 24 Excerpt & Giveaway
Sal Bound 4 Escape Oct 24 Review
Patricia Reviews by Room With Books Oct 27 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
Katy Amazon Review Oct 30 Review
Lisa I Feel So Unnecessary Nov 1 Review
Kristin Second Book to the Right Nov 7 Review & Excerpt
Vicki I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach Nov 13 Review & Giveaway
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 22 Review
Greg Amazon Review Nov 30 Review
*This schedule is subject to change.

Barbra Streisand: on the Couch by Alma H. Bond, Ph.D.

October 17, 2017

PLAIN LEAVING by Leslie Gould

Sisters of Lancaster County
Book 1
Leslie Gould 

Product Details

Gould Offers a New Amish Series in Idyllic Lancaster County
At age twenty, Jessica Bachman left her two beloved sisters and her Amish community after clashing with the new bishop about her role in the family and the future of their farm. She tried to convince Silas Kemp, who'd been courting her for two years, to join her, but when he said no, she fled anyway.

Three years later, she returns home for the first time since leaving Lancaster to attend her father's funeral. Her arrival back revives all sorts of emotions--yearnings and sorrows alike. Jessica knows things will never return to how they were. But in seeing Silas again, she can't help but wonder what might have been.

Struggling to decide where her next step should take her, she learns the story of a Revolutionary War-era ancestor that echoes her own choices. Will Jessica leave her family and community forever, or is there peace and healing and love yet to come?   AMAZON BUY LINK

  • File Size: 9150 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 3, 2017)
  • Publication Date: October 3, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0727S1B9L
 Leslie Gould is the #1 bestselling and Christy Award winning author of twenty-two novels. She received her MFA from Portland State University and teaches writing at Warner Pacific College. Leslie enjoys traveling, hiking, and history. She and her husband, Peter, are the revolving-door parents of four children and three cats. Visit her at

Jessica Bachman had different ideas and views from her Amish community.    She had family, friends, a man who was courting her, but will it be worth  it to leave it all, because your views are different?    In the Amish community, things appear to be simple, easy and everyone got along.  But Jessica saw things differently and went against the new bishop.   She was twenty years old and time to marry and have boppli.   Silas Kemp had been courting her for two years.  Jessica decided to leave her community but Silas said he couldn't go with her.  She left anyway.  She stood on her principles for three years.   She stayed away from Lancaster and everyone and everything she knew.  But when her father died, she returned.  Along with returning to Lancaster, emotions erupted that were mixed.   When she sees Silas after those three years, she begins to wonder what would have happened if she had stayed.   But with that length of time gone, could things return to the way they were?   She isn't sure what to do.   She learns about an ancestor who was of the Revolutionary War era.   This ancestor was much like her in that, choices that went against other's beliefs were a part of the ancestor and Jessica.   Will this change the way Jessica has felt for three years?   Will she be able to rebuild what has been lost?   Will Jessica find a place again in the Lancaster community?  Feelings have been hurt, love has been lost for three years and there is so much healing to take place.  Will Jessica be able to find her faith in God and start the healing process?  Or will she, leave again, this time for good? 

The author gives us the community of Lancaster where everything is supposedly perfect.  But she also shows us that the Amish just like the Englisch communities are never perfect.  There will always be disagreements, different ideas and different ways of dealing with those feelings.  The book shows how faith in God along with looking at other's ideas, can bring about peace.   It makes you stop and think about what is really important.  Being right or having peace?    Very well written and leaves the reader with a lot to think about.  Your emotions may be torn in different directions.   

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Book Reviewers Program and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book  5  STARS. 


October 15, 2017


The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy
Book Three of Three
C.M. Skiera


Product Details

While Jetsam saved his mentor Seryn from execution, a shape-shifting impostor poisoned the royal couple and kidnapped Princess Giselle. As the fugitive wizard Seryn struggles to cure his brother and his love from the changeling's deadly toxin, Jetsam abandons him to search for the abducted princess.

Aided by his orphan ally and loyal terrier, Jetsam discovers the princess's abductor is the pawn of a supreme evil. The reappearance of this legendary warlock and his monstrous horde spells doom for the Oxbow Kingdom. Can Jetsam save the heir to the throne? Will he return in time to warn Seryn of the impending peril? And does their combined magic stand a chance against the Grimlord and his minions?


Crimson & Cream (The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy Book 1)Mirrors & Mist (The Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy Book 2)

To begin with.  I am rather disappointed that this is the end to the trilogy.  They certainly weren't a disappointment.  Mr. Skiera gives the reader so much to look forward to in each of these books.  You are taken into a world of fantasy where you can take a break from the stress and worries of everyday life.  A chance to a journey that is unforgettable and a place where you can get involved with the characters.  This third  book takes you from the first two books and gives you more insight into the characters and their lives.  The pace is fast, but not so that you become lost in the storyline.    From the first page to the last, you are entered into a world that is nothing like what you live from day to day.  An escape of sorts, a release of sorts. A chance to breathe and relax.  The author goes into depth in his descriptions of the characters and the settings.  You could see yourself inside the Kingdom alongside the characters.  The characters enter your heart and soul and you can feel what they are feeling.  You feel for them.   This isn't just a book for the young but for anyone who wants to go to that fantasy land.   Turning pages won't disappoint.  There is something new and exciting on each and every page.  Each page brings surprise, twists and turns and even a hint of mystery.  SO pick up a copy and read, enjoy and escape.

I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 5 STARS.



The End of the Gangster Era in Chicago
William Elliott Hazelgrove


 Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair: The End of the Gangster Era in Chicago is a historical look at Chicago during the darkest days of the Great Depression. The story of Chicago fighting the hold that organized crime had on the city to be able to put on The 1933 World's Fair.

William Hazelgrove provides the exciting and sprawling history behind the 1933 World's Fair, the last of the golden age. He reveals the story of the six millionaire businessmen, dubbed The Secret Six, who beat Al Capone at his own game, ending the gangster era as prohibition was repealed. The story of an intriguing woman, Sally Rand, who embodied the World's Fair with her own rags to riches story and brought sex into the open. The story of Rufus and Charles Dawes who gave the fair a theme and then found financing in the worst economic times the country had ever experienced. The story of the most corrupt mayor of Chicago, William Thompson, who owed his election to Al Capone; and the mayor who followed him, Anton Cermak, who was murdered months before the fair opened by an assassin many said was hired by Al Capone.

But most of all it’s the story about a city fighting for survival in the darkest of times; and a shining light of hope called A Century of Progress.

From the Author

When I read A Devil in the White City I was amazed at how little I knew about the Worlds Fair of 1893. I found the book hard to put down and I thought an author only stumbles on such a great story maybe once in a lifetime. But when I started to research for another book topic I was dumbfounded to find that Chicago had a Second Worlds Fair forty years after the Columbian Exposition of 1893. And like the First Worlds Fair it was constructed against all odds with a built in Dr. Holmes in the form of Al Capone. Chicago had to rid itself of the gangster who had the city by the throat and if that wasn't enough the fair was held in the worst year of the Great Depression. How Chicago was able to pull off the Second Worlds Fair is a story of tenacity, grit, preserverance and sheer luck. It is about a city looking for a ray of light in the darkest times ever known and pinning that hope on a fair called A Century of Progress. Enjoy

Some of the dates and information  have been stated in others reviews as being incorrect. I am not that informed about the dates and such.  I read the book because of the man, Al Capone.  I was interested in some information I didn't know about him and how the criminal aspect of 1933 came to an end.   There are quite a few history lessons to learn and I found most of it fascinating.   This man was a gangster who held Chicago  paralyzed through his criminal activity. This was a dark time for Chicago as well as other cities in the U.S. Chicago was wanting to put on the World's Fair in 1933 and the criminal activity had a strong hold at that time.   That wasn't the only problem. The Great Depression had a deep hold also.    The World's Fair was to be a positive time, a time for the people of Chicago to smile, a time for the dark to subside and light to take over.   This was a time when the people were poor, life was a struggle just to survive.  How would this city stage the World's Fair that would cost so much money, when there was no money? That is when a group of six men took on the gangster mentality and went on the mission to eradicate it from Chicago.  They were called the "Secret Six".   Would they succeed?  This was a time that was so important to the people and the city of Chicago.   A historical time in or history.  A time to remember so that it doesn't happen again.  This doesn't refer to the book, but sadly to say, It happened again.  A different time, a different type of gangster, a different society, but the gangster mentality remains.  So we need to look back on 1933 and the brave "Secret Six".  This could be a shining light in our society today.  The author keeps getting better and better with each book he writes.   He gives us valuable lessons along with a history lesson each time.  Maybe some facts are wrong.  Maybe so, but I took it as an interesting read and discovered many things  I didn't know.  The characters were fascinating and at times, I stopped and thought about what life may have been back then.  A gangster, so influential, with such a hold on an entire city, until, until they had enough and a few men took on the dangerous task of stopping the criminal activity in order to put on a positive World's Fair.  A positive time for a city in crisis. This was a story of a few good men bringing the city of Chicago back to a successful, bright time. 
I received a copy of this book from the author and voluntarily decided to review it.
I would give this book 5 STARS.

October 14, 2017


 For every woman who’s had to choose between the secrets that protect her and the people she loves the most…

Product Details.

For every woman who’s had to choose between the secrets that protect her and the people she loves the most…

1892—Des Moines

Katherine Arthur and her family are back and it’s time to collect the money Mrs. Mellet left them in her will. The tidy sum will allow the family peace of mind and a future that’s stable and fulfilling. But when things don’t go exactly as planned, Katherine steps up to do more than her share. Hired as a kitchen mistress, her intuition (with the help of a mysterious recipe book), cooking prowess, and work ethic make her the perfect partner for the enigmatic, wealthy woman next door. Then Aleksey Zurchenko arrives.

Violet Pendergrass is a well-heeled, progressive woman with half a fortune in one hand and a plan for enduring prosperity in the other. Resourceful, shrewd, and tough, Violet doesn’t realize her one and only weakness leaves her vulnerable as she attempts to solidify her independence. She sees unparalleled value in Katherine’s gifts and does her best to keep the girl close, to keep her true work secret from her mother and the world.

Katherine’s loyalties to her mother and Violet grow strained and soon her commitment to both frays even further as her feelings for Aleksey grow. Katherine must decide if pursuing her work with the formidable Violet and protecting her family are more important than following love. Can she do it all? Love, hope, joy, secrets buried in walls and hearts; all are threatened by those who claim to care about the Arthurs. Can Katherine separate what’s right and true from what it takes to survive? Are they even different things?

The Last Letter Series of novels by Kathleen Shoop is set in the Midwest of America in the late 19th and early 20th century. Shoop takes readers on an emotional journey through love, loss and redemption. Inspired by family letters, the novels pull from historical events and places and feature the life and times of the fictional Arthur family as they make their way in the world.

Available to buy from the following sites...

"Kathleen Shoop is a master of emotional depth and creativity."  - K.C.Finn, Readers’ Favorite Reviewer

"The Kitchen Mistress is a beautiful story beautifully told. Kathleen Shoop is a master storyteller with a great gift for the first-person narrative, a voice she harnesses so well to create a dramatic effect on readers... One of the things I enjoyed about Shoop's writing is her mastery of the conflict. It is introduced very early in the narrative and it escalates pretty fast. I read the story nonstop, waiting eagerly for the satisfying denouement." -- Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite 

"The Kitchen Mistress is a beguiling story, with characters that feel so real the reader could almost believe they walk the same road with them. The protagonist has a complex world to navigate and it is interesting to see how she deals with her secrets, faces the challenges of her relationships and her work, and how she connects to herself. The Kitchen Mistress is delicately written, with a beautifully imagined plot, great prose, and memorable characters. I was seduced by the expert writing and could not stop reading until the last page." -- Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite

Letter Series Book 1 - The Last Letter

Katherine wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't found the letter...

In the summer of 1905 Katherine Arthur's mother arrives on her doorstep, dying, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie's husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty--a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death.  

Ten-year-old Katherine had loved her mother fiercely, put her trust in her completely, but when there was no other choice, and Jeanie resorted to extreme measures on the prairie to save her family, she tore Katherine's world apart. Now, seventeen years later, and far from the homestead, Katherine has found the truth – she has discovered the last letter. After years of anger, can Katherine find it in her heart to understand why her mother made the decisions that changed them all? Can she forgive and finally begin to heal before it's too late?

**Independent Publisher Awards** 

2011 Gold Medal, Best Regional Fiction-Midwest 

**National Indie Excellence Book Awards** 

2011 Finalist Award-Historical Fiction

2011 Finalist Award-Regional Fiction 

**USA Best Books 2011 Awards** 

Winner, Fiction--Western

Finalist, Fiction--Historical

Finalist, Best New Fiction 

**International Book Awards** 

2011 Finalist Award-Historical Fiction

2011 Finalist Award-Best New Fiction

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Letter Series Book 2 - The Road Home

Find your way home...

1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts.

1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

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Luckily for author Kathleen Shoop, her ancestors kept hold of letters that are now between 100 and 120 years old. The first set of letters was handed down to Shoop from her mother. They appear in the collection called My Dear Frank. They are sweet and hopeful love letters written to Frank Arthur from his then-fiancĂ©, Jeanie Scouller. My Dear Frank only contains Jeanie’s letters to Frank, as his were lost or destroyed at some point. However, for readers who love to bask in the past, Jeanie’s letters make it easy to understand much of what Frank had said, as she responds as quickly as she possibly could. (Read more about My Dear Frank.)

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The second set of letters, Love From Mama, was written in the early 20th century. This collection is larger than the love letters as it contains correspondence by Jeanie, Frank, her children, some friends and also relatives. This non-fiction look into the past is a treasure for anyone who loves history in its raw, but real form! (Coming Soon)


Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY), Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Readers’ Favorite and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. Kathleen coordinates Mindful Writing Retreats and is a regular presenter at conferences for writers.

I adore writing historical fiction (The Letter series, After the Fog and Donora Stories that are coming soon!) but am having a blast writing romance like Home Again, Return to Love and Tending Her Heart (Endless Love series). Thank you so much for the time you take to read.

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This book was written so well, so realistic that you feel the emotions of the characters, and emotions for the characters.  As the story of of this family continues in this book three, you may feel really made about the actions, selfish actions that were being inflicted on them.   You may have the feelings that you want to protect them or see that they are protected.    It just seemed that life was so unjust to them, but life happens and steps in at the most inopportune times. But this family stood proud even during these times when everything seemed to be against them.   They were surviving, no matter what.
One thing I found I didn't like about the book was being left with unanswered questions.  Perhaps they will be answered in another book.
The author gives us characters that had a realness about them.   You could relate and put yourself in their shoes.   The book was rather long but there was much to go into and the author gave quite a bit of information about the character's personalities.  It would have been easier for me to read if I had read the previous books first. Just for the background on the situations and characters.  Perhaps the trials and struggles the characters endured weren't exactly what you, as the reader have endured, but you can relate at how life can be unjust at times.
 The story is lovely.  Written in first person.  The characters will remain in your heart and mind for some time. 

I received a copy of this book from the author and Beck Valley Books and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 5 STARS.


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