An Open Book – January 2018 #openbook

Open Book

Happy New Year!  Today, I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for “An Open Book.”  Here’s what I’ve been reading this past month and will be reading in the weeks to come!

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Miracles

Amazon synopsis: We’ve chosen our favorite holiday miracle stories from our past books. You’ll love these heartwarming and awe-inspiring tales of answered prayers, divine intervention, holiday angels, joyous giving, family forgiveness, and the wonders of gratitude.

These true, personal stories will deepen your faith and show you the blessings in your life. They’ll leave you smiling and inspired, ready to share your renewed Christmas spirit.

And we didn’t forget that miracles happen during the rest of the season, too, with stories about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and New Year’s. There’s something for everyone in these joy-filled pages, and you’ll be supporting Toys for Tots as well, creating miracles for children all over the U.S.

My review:  I enjoyed this book, although it contains stories from other Chicken Soup books so it’s mostly a rehash from other books.  But it was entertaining and exactly what I needed to read during the holidays.


House Foster Hill

The House on Foster Hill

Amazon Synopsis: Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather’s Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house’s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy’s search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives–including her own–are lost?

My review: Coming –  the Kindle book was on sale a few weeks ago. I’m about 1/4 of the way through this book and so far, it’s compelling and I’m especially enjoying the historical sections.

By the Hands

By the Hands of Men by Roy Griffis

Amazon Synopsis: Lieutenant Robert Fitzgerald has managed to retain his sanity, his humanity, and his honor during the hell of WWI’s trench warfare. Charlotte Braninov fled the shifting storm of the impending Russian Revolution for the less-threatening world of field camp medicine, serving as a nurse in the most hopeless of fronts. Their friendship creates a sanctuary both could cling to in the most desperate of times. Historical fiction about life, loss, and love, By the Hands of Men explores the power that lies within each of us to harm – or to heal – all those we touch.

My review:  Coming! I downloaded this for free or .99 recently.  I’m still reading it, but I finding the writing a bit dry at times. However, the story is compelling enough to make me keep going.


Barometer Rising by Hugh MacClennan

Amazon Synopsis: Penelope Wain believes that her lover, Neil Macrae, has been killed while serving overseas under her father. That he died apparently in disgrace does not alter her love for him, even though her father is insistent on his guilt. What neither Penelope or her father knows is that Neil is not dead, but has returned to Halifax to clear his name.

Hugh MacLennan’s first novel is a compelling romance set against the horrors of wartime and the catastrophic Halifax Explosion of December 6, 1917.

My review:  I could not put this book down.  Beautifully written with believable and well-developed characters.  I wouldn’t classify it as a romance, however.  It’s more historical fiction than romance, although there is a romance in it. I enjoyed the fact that it takes place in the days leading up to the Halifax Explosion and days after.  Highly recommend!  Five stars out of five.


I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark

Amazon Synopsis: In this gripping #1 New York Times bestseller from Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark, a Manhattan ER doctor is brazenly murdered in front of his young son in a city playground. Five years later, his killer is still at large.

When Laurie Moran’s husband was brutally murdered, only three-year-old Timmy saw the face of his father’s killer. Five years later his piercing blue eyes still haunt Timmy’s dreams. Laurie is haunted by more—the killer’s threat to her son as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn…”

Now Laurie is dealing with murder again, this time as the producer of a true-crime, cold-case television show. The series will launch with the twenty-year-old unsolved murder of Betsy Powell. Betsy, a socialite, was found suffocated in her bed after a gala celebrating the graduation of her daughter and three friends. The sensational murder was news nationwide. Reopening the case in its lavish setting and with the cooperation of the surviving guests that night, Laurie is sure to have a hit on her hands. But when the estranged friends begin filming, it becomes clear each is hiding secrets…small and large.

And a pair of blue eyes is watching events unfold, too…

My review:  Coming! I’ve always enjoyed Mary Higgins Clark, although I have found that the books she’s written in the past ten years or so not as good as her earlier books.  However, this one was on sale for $3 at a local bookstore, so I scooped it up.  The fact that it’s only $3 for a hardcover book makes me suspicious that it probably will be much like the last five or so MHC books I’ve read.  But for $3, I’m willing to take that chance.


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