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Archive for May, 2015

Vacation Reading Blitz

While this was a book about embracing life, it was also a sad book. And it just felt too close to home. The writing style of Steven Manchester is one that draws you into the lives of his characters. I felt like I was a part of the family. I laughed, but I also cried buckets throughout this book. While I enjoyed the book, I can only recommend it if you are not dealing with death in your own life right now. I gave it four out of five stars (mostly because of the sensitive nature of the content).

I love Chiaverini’s historical fiction novels around the time of the Civil War. They draw me into a time period that I love reading about. This book didn’t quite have the draw of her other books (Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival and Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule) that I had grown to expect. However, it was still very well written and had great characterizations. I felt it could have been a tad bit shorter as some places the book seemed to drag a bit.

Delightful historical fiction featuring a young woman determined to make a difference. She defies her family and gives up her comfortable lifestyle in order to do just that – and, of course, be near a man she has fallen in love with. This was an easy read and I cannot wait to read the next book.

Laugh out loud funny! The writing style was easy to read and the adventures and foibles of Daisy Fay as written in her diary were charming. Fannie Flagg never disappoints, and this book was no exception as it followed Daisy Fay from a young girl through adulthood. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a fun, easy read.

Continuing on with my period reads, The Butterfly and the Violin was a darker piece from Nazi camps. I can’t say it was a totally enjoyable read, but it was definitely a toned down read from what it could have been. The Auschwitz camp stories of the women alluded to what was happening around them, but didn’t have to give the details. We already know the horror and can fill in the blanks ourselves. This was a love story – a unique love story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who reads from that time period. The two points of view helped break up the horrors and added a different perspective.

I also read Dark Blessings by Sarah Cradit, which I had read earlier as a part of an anthology (Face the Music). A bit of a departure from the normal paranormal writing that Cradit excels in, this lagniappe delves into a world of vampires – but still within the Sullivan/Deschanel family. It was well written and weaves a story that is so believable as one of the Sullivan triplets pursues a vampire life.


My idea of a perfect vacation is plenty of time to read outdoors where it is warm. I have just returned from a week in Florida. I stayed with a girlfriend and she appreciates and understands my need to be quiet and do nothing but read. We did, however, enjoy plenty of time together laughing and eating and drinking. We went to a lighthouse and climbed to the top (and I survived!).IMG_2694 IMG_2680

We also took the brunch yacht cruise up (maybe it was down) the intracoastal looking at the beautiful multi-million dollar mansions. I think I will stick with my house and six acres though.IMG_2702 IMG_2705

And we lunched at the beach – the very crowded beach. I love the beach but I prefer a quieter beach so I’m not right next to other people.IMG_2711 IMG_2710

But I also got lots of reading done. Be sure and see the next post with my book reviews of the things I was able to complete on vacation.

Book Reviews en masse

I have been lax in posting book reviews, both here and on Goodreads/Amazon. So, rather than just go on, I am going to post a few from recent books I’ve read.

Katie Sullivan, of D/A Dialogues fame and author of Changelings: Into the Mist, has written a short novella. Three Ghosts illustrates the depth of Katie’s writing and gives us the viewpoint of multiple characters. I really enjoyed it but had wished it was longer. Perhaps this could be the start of a novel? Five stars

I typically do not read non-fiction, or if I do, I only read the first half before I quit out of boredom. To me non-fiction is telling a story that I basically already know and am familiar with. I gave this five stars for the story content. I was compelled to keep reading. While the Wright Brothers is a story we think we know, there is so much more that is commonly not known.  However, I only give this book three stars for the writing. I know that David McCullough is a popular biographer, but the sentence structure was really awkward in several places, causing me to re-read sections to be sure of the meaning. That is unfortunate because with improved writing this would be a five star book for sure.

I love historical fiction, particularly Nazi Germany and Civil War books. This book did not disappoint. The story was told from the slave point of view, but also from his childhood friend, who was the slave owner’s son. Freedom means different things depending on your perspective. This tale was not filled with slave whippings (which I abhor reading about), but was instead how these two boys lived their lives. I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone. Five stars


Happy Book Birthday to Me, Happy Reading to You…

Michelle Eastman Books

WARNING-Shameless Plug to follow…


I’m celebrating the 6 month birthday of my first published children’s book. The whole experience has been more than a bit surreal. I never dreamed I’d see my book on the shelves of libraries and bookstores, let alone that people would ask me to sign copies. I also never thought I’d come up with another idea for a book. But, Kevin Richter and I are currently working on book #2 in what has now become a series of Dust Fairy books. Needless to say, I am blessed.


I’m also blessed to enjoy the company of such awesome blogging buddies. Your support and encouragement means a lot to me.


So, here comes the plug. In honor of the 6 month anniversary of my book, I am offering the Kindle version for 99 cents for 6 days. If you enjoy picture books with colorful pictures and subtle, yet…

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The Legend Of Dust Bunnies: A Fairy’s Tale by Michelle Eastman (PLUS a Special Giveaway!)

Lauri Fortino's Frog On A (B)Log

23276128Title: The Legend of Dust Bunnies: a fairy’s tale

Author: Michelle Eastman

Illustrator: Kevin Richter

Publisher/Year: Byway Press/2014

Back Cover Blurb: Join the Dust Fairies on their messy nighttime adventures, and discover how one misfit fairy uses his talent to create something legendary. His story will have families looking at dust bunnies in a new light and may actually give kids an excuse NOT to clean their rooms.

Before I begin my review, I want to report that the Dust Fairies are frequent visitors to my house and, in fact, I do believe they were here just last night. Now, let’s get to the review.

The Legend of Dust Bunnies: a fairy’s tale answers a question many of us have had, probably for a very long time–Where in the world does all that dust come from? And the answer is Dust Fairies! Dust Fairies come out at night and spread, not…

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Empire of Shadows by Sarah M. Cradit Review

Where do I begin? And how can I possibly tell you what I think of this fantastical creation without spoilers?
Empire of Shadows takes us on a roller coaster ride through other worlds and other lands as Ana, Finn, Aidrik, Nicolas, Amelia and the rest of the Deshanel clan search for answers. 
This latest installment in the House of Crimson and Clover series is an epic tome. The characters are even further developed, story lines created and twisted and other worlds explored. Every book by Sarah Cradit I think is better than the last, but this book is a masterpiece. Cradit has written such a complete novel with Empire of Shadows. I was concerned about the length, but quickly realized it wasn’t long just for the sake of length. Every word was necessary. The author matures with each book and invites the reader to enter the world of the Empyreans. 
I could not put this book down. It drew me into its worlds and held me there. I would give this far more than five stars if I could. This book left me speechless, yet wanting more; sad and angry, yet wanting more. Cradit is a masterful writer and I cannot wait for the next book. 
*I was given an ARC in exchange for my honest and fair review

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