Colleen’s Book Reviews – The 2016 BOOK AWARDS

So exciting to read Colleen’s Review for Book Bites! Check out her blog for lots of great reading.

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

WELCOME TO MY FIRST ANNUAL BOOK AWARDS PRESENTATION

I have been reviewing books for a couple of years now but never had the time or opportunity to do an annual awards post. 2016 has been filled with so much to be thankful for that I decided to recognize some of the books and authors whose writing made an impact on me, with the hopes that someone else will read these same books. It is a way that I can pay forward some of the enjoyment that I have received and recognize some outstanding Indy authors.

First, I must share that at the drafting of this post, I have read and reviewed a total of 63 books in 2016. That in itself is quite a feat! If you are looking for last minute Christmas Gifts, this is the place to SHOP!

Here’s how I chose the winners of my 2016 Annual…

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New Release and Esxcerpt: “Genteel Secrets” by S.R. Mallery

Christoph Fischer’s review of Genteel Secrets

writerchristophfischer

genteelsecretsfinalcoveruseuseusekim“Genteel Secrets” by S.R. Mallery

is a book I cannot wait to get my teeth into. For close followers of my blog the wonderfully talented Sarah / S.R. Mallery won’t be a stranger at all. I sang her praise on numerous occasions and interviewed her as well.
The new book is no exception to her string of excellent literary offerings.

Here are some excerpts and details for the new book:

Description:

What do a well-bred Southern Belle and a Northern working class Pinkerton detective have in common? Espionage . . . and romance. At the start of the U.S. Civil War, while young men begin dying on American battlefields and slavery is headed toward its end, behind the scenes, female undercover work and Pinkerton intelligence are alive and well. But in the end, can this unlikely Romeo and Juliet couple’s love survive, or will they be just another casualty of…

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Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “Genteel Secrets,” By Author, S. R. Mallery

A wonderful review about a great read! Genteel Secrets by SR Mallery

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

book-review-background

  • Title:  Genteel Secrets
  • Author: S. R. Mallery
  • File Size: 4027 KB
  • Print Length: 118 Pages
  • Publication Date: November 27, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MTU6KNE
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Romance, Victorian, Military

121316_2115_ColleensBoo1.jpgIn the Author’s Words:

“What do a well-bred Southern Belle and a Northern working class Pinkerton detective have in common? Espionage . . . And romance. At the start of the U.S. Civil War, while young men begin dying on American battlefields and slavery is headed toward its end, behind the scenes, female undercover work and Pinkerton intelligence are alive and well. But in the end, can this unlikely Romeo and Juliet couple’s love survive, or will they be just another casualty of war?”

My Recommendation:

Anytime S. R. Mallery releases a new book is a great day for the enthusiasts who follow her historical romances. So, you can imagine my…

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The Donut Shop Murder on Amazon!

The Donut Shop Murder A Greektown Story Novella Originally, The Case of the Coffee Shop Murder, I wanted to revisit the dynamic between Jill and Albert, Detroit homicide detective partners, without the complication of their complicated families. I mention them, but only in passing. Also, the action takes place before The Greeks of Beaubien Street. …

Source: The Donut Shop Murder on Amazon!

My guest blog at Helen Hollick’s amazing blog ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/

The Luck of the Weissensteiners is among my favorite (the word feels wrong,) about the holocaust.

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Here is my guest blog, published at Helen Hollick’s https://ofhistoryandkings.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/was-surviving-wwii-luck-for-some.html

Was surviving WWII Luck for some?

“Luck” .. in “The Luck of the Weissensteiners”

my Tuesday Talk Guest, Christoph Fischer
Fiction about any war is rarely a light-hearted enterprise. Although there are many publications on the subject out there, I was amazed at the new angles and perspectives I discovered during my research for the project. Especially a war as big as World War II, with such a long duration and with so many theatres, makes it hard to think of the endless number of private misfortunes and life-altering events and new circumstances.
It is easy to forget about the smaller ‘players’ in the political arena and the people whose lives don’t fit into the broad categories of sufferers we know about. Was surviving the war really “luck” for some? For many countries in the east of Europe the ‘liberation’ by…

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A Perceptive of Trees

In 1970, my parents bought 110 acres of land, about a quarter marsh land, in what was then a small town, less than an expressway stop on the road between Detroit and Grand Rapids. I don’t know how they found it except I vaguely remember my uncle’s name mentioned. He flew his own plane in those days and he might have taken my dad up to look at the land from the air.

What I remember most about it, after they had two ponds dug, long before they built their new home, was the excitement of them going to the conservation office and picking up a thousand trees. By that time, Jim and I were living in the ramshackle farmhouse with our two children while he went to college on the GI bill post Vietnam. We waited for my parents to return with a semi-truck of pine trees, our sleeve rolled up to help unload.

Instead, they had a bag of scallion sized seedlings. I still remember my mom and dad laughing about it. But they got their spades out and started to dig. Over the years, we watched the trees grow, the gentleness my father used clearing dead leaves away from them each spring so when he cut the walking path through the woods, he wouldn’t mow them down.

After my parents were gone forty years later, the trees towered majestically over their beautiful house. Go here for more about their house. photo(77)

So when we bought a house sight unseen three years ago, it was with a combination of joy and terror when I discovered it came with a dying avocado grove.

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I can’t really explain the feeling I had when I saw it; but it was more worry and anxiety about the trees well-being. I am, after all, my father’s daughter. The irrigation system had been vandalized; every part of it either ripped out, bashed in, cut, so I started to water it with a hose I dragged three hundred feet from the house. Then my wonderful husband found someone to put drip irrigation in so I wouldn’t have to put so much physical effort in to it. The psychic effort, however, was ongoing.

When we left to spend the summer back east, I was worried sick about the grove. Our kind neighbors kept an eye on the house, and we had hired grove sitters who made sure the irrigation was working properly. We returned the following fall to this! img_55371

All my effort had paid off; the pruning, the water, the feeding. We still didn’t have any fruit, but the trees looked great. A local grove owner even stopped by the house to compliment us, saying the trees hadn’t looked so good in a long time. But there was one caveat. “They’re old trees,” he said. “They probably won’t bear again.” Ugh.

I was determined. We watered for two more years, this in a time of drought. Let me preface it by saying San Diego County is still issuing swimming pool permits, so watering a grove felt ethical to me.

Reality hit when we returned to California this fall. We passed groves coming home which looked awful, lots of brown leaves and dead branches. The heat of the summer had taken its toll on even the best cared for groves. What would be in store for our grove?

The first thing we did was walk the grove after pulling into the driveway. My heart plunged. Shaking my head, I could see Jim watching me out of the corner of his eye. He put his arm around my shoulders. “Maybe I little more water?” It was clear the farmer had been correct. There wasn’t one fruit on the trees, and they were all half dead. It felt like I was torturing the trees. I thought about my dad, how with everything on their farm; animals and plants alike, if they were suffering, they had to go. And I wasn’t going to watch them die. I would have them removed.

I felt three years of effort was enough. Once I made up my mind, it couldn’t happen fast enough. We found someone local who does tree work. They came out and looked, and three days later, the trees were gone.

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The orchard was in front of that power pole. I was worried I’d be upset, but I have to say, it was a relief. Everything living has a cycle.

I read a poem by Robert Frost last night, The Sound of Trees.The last stanzas resonate.

Sometimes when I watch trees sway,

From the window or the door.

I shall set forth for somewhere,

I shall make the reckless choice

Some day when they are in voice

And tossing so as to scare

The white clouds over them on.

I shall have less to say,

But I shall be gone.

 

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