Tag Archive: free



The Magic of Friendship SnowThe Magic of Friendship Snow by Andi Cann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a cute picture book for winter. The pictures are lovely and the story was sweet. I think my only problem was how the girl could give the snowman to her human friend when it wasn’t winter. But maybe I missed something. I read it just before bed and I was so sleepy. But nice to read that story of learning to be a friend.

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The Hope Chest: A NovelThe Hope Chest: A Novel by Viola Shipman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was personal for me. I recently lost a dear cousin to ALS. It was through her mother that I got my antique hope chest. It was one of those dome-lidded train trunks. My grandfather and brother lined that hope chest with cedar and the lid with velvet. With all that family involved in this chest, how could I not fall into the thought processes of the day? Girls grow up and have families. They get married. Become someone else’s. That’s not all bad. (I’ve grown to accept that a hope chest could just be hope of growing up and having a place of your own, not put the hope into another person.) But I had a wonderful family full of aunts and uncles and double the grandparents. No matter how life at school or home was, there were other relatives of love I could rely on.

My hope chest aunt taught me to knit. All the cousins, girl cousins, learned to knit slippers. My other aunt taught me to crochet and sew. Mom didn’t have the patience for all that but having a fantastic extended family gave me hope and taught me what I think everyone should know. That you can love past differences. The uncle attached to that aunt, taught me how to tie my shoes. That uncle and the uncle attached to my crochet aunt, taught me that even if you disagree so much with ideas the rest of the family hold, everyone will still love you. Just disagree with you.

My brother, who helped my grandfather fix up that chest, was killed in a car accident. That grandfather died of Parkinson’s. Even that chest disappeared in the many moves of my life. But the love of that family is still there. My cousins and I see each other on FaceBook daily. It is the only reason I haven’t left social media. It is my new hope chest. It’s in my heart. And so is the cousin who isn’t with us anymore, at least not where we can see her.

This book brought all that up for me. Sure, in ways it is a little hokey. But it wasn’t a stupid romance novel. It was about people who love or learn to love and help each other. The writer wrote characters I could believe. The mom was a little too strict with the little girl, seemed she wouldn’t let her be a little girl. But there are people like that. The woman with ALS seemed a little too perfect, though in pain and having the disease. The husband was every woman’s dream husband, so maybe not so real. Even still, when a book can reach into your heart like this one did and you see and smell the garden and the lake and feel the love, that’s a good book. Bring your Kleenex.

Thank you, NetGalley for letting me read this gem!

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Undead Drive-ThruUndead Drive-Thru by Rebecca Besser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was on one of those Free Kindle Book offers and since it was in the genre I’m writing about, I thought I’d give it a try.

The story was short and darkish humor. It could have been a story that occurred at the start of The Walking Dead. I could almost see it in comic book form. I finished reading it in one night. It draws on the same psychic bent that poor Maggie’s dad, Hershel, had on the show, that the zombie is just a sick version of the loved one.

It was a fun short read. You might like it.

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Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life UnstrungGone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Passion.

That is what this book inspired in me. The music major (piano/voice) in me was jumping up and down as I read and listened to this book. By the way, I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley.

As I have often said, it is hard to rate an autobiography. It is their life, their truth. Even so, if you have practiced any instrument for any length of time you feel what the author feels about her violin. Min Kym has written a readable and relatable story. She describes her passion to play the violin in great detail. Stagefright doesn’t seem to enter her world as she is with her best friend at all times. Her life goes downhill when the violin disappears. I won’t give spoilers but that is enough. I have been without my piano (by the way, I have a love/hate with the piano) and worse found times when my voice didn’t work (bronchitis, etc.) and I know I was a mess!

I don’t want to rewrite her book or tell much more. I think musicians will appreciate this book the most but others will enjoy it, too.

The biggest thing that has happened to me since reading this is I want a violin to play with! I’m watching sales hoping. I know I might never get past Twinkle, Twinkle, something I did learn when I tried it a long time ago, but, I want to try!

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The Secret of Big A (Embracing the ABC with Love)The Secret of Big A by Ofra Peled
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I read children’s books I do it with my own children in mind. Now granted, they were kids 40 years ago, so things might be different now. But with that in mind as I read this I found myself a little bored. I know. That is a surprise as this stars reading and beaches. That should have won me over, but I couldn’t see my kids liking it or wanting to read it over and over. There seems to be a lot of positive feedback on this book so it’s just me, I guess. I hope everyone else loves it.

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Forever Road (Peri Jean Mace #1)Forever Road by Catie Rhodes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was one of those I could have put away after the first chapter. I didn’t much care for the timid ghost-seer. I cared even less for most everyone in the book except the grandmother. And because of the grandmother, I pushed on. The book took me way longer to read than it should have but I just didn’t want to be reading it.

Here’s the deal. If you see ghosts all your life, I think it would not be so scary. Sure there might be ones that are not so nice. There are live people that are not so nice. But you would learn to filter your reactions so as not to show fear and try to show understanding.

So if you stay with it, you may find that around 70% into the book, it finally got interesting. But suddenly you have names that had been thrown at you over the first half of the book that you can’t remember who they are. Don’t worry, if you forgot as the book goes on you will be reminded.

The book was free. I think it still is. So if you want to read another ghost story, here ya go. But I am still not into the main character enough to pursue the rest of the series. You might just love it, who knows?

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How To Color With Colored Pencils: The Complete Step-By-Step Beginners Guide To Color Palettes And Coloring Techniques For AdultsHow To Color With Colored Pencils: The Complete Step-By-Step Beginners Guide To Color Palettes And Coloring Techniques For Adults by Margaret Fox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, while preparing to write this review I couldn’t find a page on Amazon to read stats and reviews about the book. I did find a place from a link in Margaret Fox’s book to place a review so I will copy this there next.

I read this a couple nights ago when I was between fiction books and not ready to get involved in a deeper story. It fit the bill. It inspired me to get out my pencils and start playing again. As much as I love my coloring books, though, I am not enjoying ‘coloring’ with the pencils. I think I’ll start trying sketching and coloring in my own work so as to really experiment, and pull out my Crayola (not some cheap knockoff that is always way too waxy) and work in my coloring books that way.

Does anyone find themselves over-inspired most of the time? I’m planning out my NaNo for this year–hey, I have one character–that makes it less ‘seat of the pants’ than former years. I don’t like my stories when I pants it. I continue loom-knitting toys and comfort items for charities. I have started working on needle felting. I still think about and sometimes get in and spend time at the piano or singing, or just listening to music to keep my musical brain happy. I still try to work on Japanese, Esperanto, Spanish, and German on DuoLingo daily. So when I find a book that inspires me to action I have to weigh what to give up or lessen to have time to devote to the new creative avenue. So much fun to try and so little time!!!!

Anyway, this book did the job. And, of course, I learned of new items I will have to buy to try some of the technics I learned in Ms. Fox’s book. But there are plenty of endeavors I can try with what I have. I think I will use colored pencils to draw my characters as they develop.

I hope this book will be available for others to try soon. It is a good beginner’s book or one to inspire and get you started playing again.

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Ultimate Guide For Starting Your Own Hydroponic GardenUltimate Guide For Starting Your Own Hydroponic Garden by Nathan Scheer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

‘Ultimate’ is the word I most object to here. I felt I got a small introduction to the subject. And worst of all no pictures. A whole chapter was about making a small hydroponic planter. But, and this may be my fault, I couldn’t picture what the author was trying to do.

Illustrations would make this book better, but it certainly isn’t the Ultimate Guide to anything. As many books, it starts with the old sales trick of why one should have what the author is selling. It was neither compelling nor helpful.

But then again, maybe that was just me.

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Lichgates (The Grimoire Saga, #1)Lichgates by S.M. Boyce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When a young distraught young woman finds herself in another dimension her life is forever changed. As long as she becomes what this new reality wants from her.

It was an interesting read but the minute it became like epic fantasy I became bored with it and nearly stopped reading. For those who love those ancient stories, this will be quite pleasing. But I only liked it when the modern woman who has now lost her parents finds herself back and forth in time. I thought it interesting to watch a modern woman adjust to old ways but when the story veers off to the inhabitant of that world, YAWN! Thank goodness it went back to the main character it became more interesting again.

Maybe others will like it better.

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Cast in Balefire (Mage Craft, #4)Cast in Balefire by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so sorry that it took me so long first to read the book and then to review it. Life. That’s all I can account for.

Marion is still an amnesiac. I have to admit that this has gotten boring to me. Now that the world has changed so it makes it even harder to understand who is who and what position are they at now. Ms. Reine’s universe has gotten quite complicated and there really needs to be a glossary in the back or front of the book to look up the characters and where they are now.

The strange affliction has Marion married while in love with someone/something else. I just find myself confused and somewhat bored. I’m giving this 3.5 stars rounding up to 4 as I do enjoy seeing the old gang of wolves, etc. But this new world is just not as fun for me. Thanks for letting me read this book. I look forward to a satisfying end to this part of the story (…fire books).

Still, I think everyone could love SM Reine’s stories starting with the Six Moon Summer. This author is so prolific that one could read forever and not catch up. A clinker or two is just fine as it moves the reader to the next book in the series(s). (How does one pluralize more than one series?) Still, Enjoy!

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