Tag Archive: kindle-books-i-own


Review:


The Carolina Diaries: Belle

by Darlene Winters

The Carolina Diaries: BelleThe Carolina Diaries: Belle by Darlene Winters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know. This was hard to read. It is hard to review. It feels autobiographical. Though it–

I don’t do this often as I figure people will go read the blurbs themselves. But this and the reviews make me wonder if I read the same book.

“Her cousin wants to die. She has the whole roadtrip to convince her otherwise.

Darlene only knows of one way to help her cousin Belle after a life of disappointments–go with her on a cross-country road trip, head back to California where Belle was born… and where she intends to die.

But deep family resentments and drama rides with them across the country, shedding light on heavy themes like sexual abuse and depression, as well as religion and politics. Growing up in North Carolina, these cousins have a lot of stories to share: some sad, some comical, and some just down right disturbing.

If you enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine and Girl, Interrupted, you’ll want to read The Carolina Diaries with its unique blend of dark humor and even darker perspectives of life past, present and future; the real take-aways being how to cope and heal.”

I found no humor. I wish I hadn’t picked it up. It was exactly what I don’t want to read before bed. All the reality of our daily news lives during this pandemic. And though I agree with the author on a lot of stances, I couldn’t deal with it in my bedtime fiction.

My fault. I saw road trip, my first name, and didn’t read the description.

Maybe if I read it during the day I could see the humor in a suicidal cutter who had lived with so much abuse, of every kind, during a pandemic during the political turmoil of 2020. No. I don’t think so.

The reason I am not giving this a lower rating is the list of good books and ideas the author presents. Unfortunately, the way it’s presented makes me sure the ones who need the information will not see it. Still, there’s a chance I could be wrong.

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Urban Shaman  (Walker Papers, #1)Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like urban fantasy, this will do the trick. The main character, Joanne Walker, is tough with faults making her human enough to believe. She pulls from Native American shamanism and mythology to get the spirit world jobs done.

I got a little annoyed with how often she was getting injured in what seemed like hot temper issues or emotions flying. But it was in character with the auto mechanic of the police department. The female cop is not being respected enough to get a beat. Suddenly the shaman in her starts waking, and all hell breaks loose as she tried to solve a string of murders.

It was a good read, and I may read others in the series sometime.

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The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves (The Walking Dead #85-90)The Walking Dead, Vol. 15: We Find Ourselves by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wish I had read the graphic novels first. Then I could have said how wonderful the scriptwriters had great ideas in changing things around a bit to make the series last longer. If you saw the bit when Carl recuperates from having his eye shot out, that is where this issue is. But things are more centered on Rick and trying to bring out his softer sides and explore the nearby areas.

When you have seen the show first, this seems weird, but I think I would have liked to see a little less insanity and a little more sadness about the losses he and his friends have experienced.

But either way, the story goes, it must be remembered this is a post-apocalyptic time, and survival is the key. It is impossible to know who are good guys or who are the bad as they all think they are the good guys. It is how we all think. But actions show the people for the camp they are in. That is why I love reading and watching these shows. I think Robert Kirkman and the scriptwriters reveal the humanity and give us all guidelines to remaining humane. I think these are good stories for our present world.

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The Keto Vegan: 14-Day Ketogenic & Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan (With 51 Tasty Low-Carb Plant-Based Recipes) (The Carbless Cook Book 7)The Keto Vegan: 14-Day Ketogenic & Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan (With 51 Tasty Low-Carb Plant-Based Recipes) by Lydia Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like that there is a keto diet for vegans. This book outlines that plan well. I wish I had unlimited funds to support my dream eating habit. Still, I bought the Kindle version for my own references and followed recipes when I can in the future. Meanwhile, this book and others by this author are on Kindle Unlimited to peruse to see if it would help seek a healthier lifestyle.

I am still doing Intermittent Fasting but still need to find a doable food system for my particular needs. I look forward to trying some of these recipes in the future.

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Green LakeGreen Lake by S.K. Epperson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! For a free book, this was great! It’s still free; you should try it.

The main characters were unusual, and the main two, quite likable. I can’t say that for the rest of the town. Even the relatives are obnoxious. But they made the story more interesting.

The author kept me going. Gripping is the word that comes to mind. I had a hard time putting the book down. Once again, not the best book to help put you to sleep.

I decided to read this as a friend noticed it in my ‘to read’ shelf on GoodReads and hit ‘like.’ That made me notice it and decide to read it right away. I’m glad I did.

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The Moonlight ChildThe Moonlight Child by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sleep deprivation. I blame that if this review doesn’t turn out to make sense. Since I started reading this, I have been unable to stop reading to go to sleep. This morning, yeah, Christmas morning! I finished the book at 6 AM!

Mysteries are hard for me. They are mostly about murder. As if life wasn’t bad enough, why read about the bad people and the results of killing and lying. But this book wasn’t about murder. Okay, there is one, but it isn’t the focus and seems secondary to everything else.

One of the best things about this book is kindness. I loved all the characters, even the antagonist. And kindness is something each has as a factor in their part of the plot. I was sad to see the book end. It was satisfying, but I’m left wishing I could spend more time in the story and see what happened to each of them after.

This book is available on Kindle Unlimited, but after reading the blurb and wanting to read it, I found I already had 10 books in my KU account, so I bought the book. Well worth it! I may reread it sometime!

By the way, Merry Christmas!

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The Last Tea Bowl ThiefThe Last Tea Bowl Thief by Jonelle Patrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m sorry it took me so long to review this. I read it while deeply into NaNoWriMo, so taking the time from my own writing seemed impossible. But finally, here I am!

I love Jonelle Patrick’s writing. I always find myself drawn in by her characters and the virtual travel to Japan. I am not much into mysteries because most involve murder and finding who did the murdering. This mystery goes histories deep, and it is to find what happened to the tea bowls and the artist who made them. My way of describing this story sounds rather boring. The author makes this an adventure in two parts of Japan’s history. All the characters seem real and in the now with the reader. Best of all, in this book, there is no murder, even though in war times. Meanwhile, we learn a little about modern Japan while being taught about people’s rituals and beliefs from three different generations of Japan.

I was sad to leave the book in the end. As always, I want to know more. Don’t worry. You feel secure by the ending. Our main character, who has had to research the feudal and WWII Japans, grabs your heart as she tries to keep family and soul together.

Great job with something quite different in this genre Ms. Patrick!

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Round Loom Knitting in 10 Easy Lessons: 30 Stylish ProjectsRound Loom Knitting in 10 Easy Lessons: 30 Stylish Projects by Nicole F Cox
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a gift from my daughter. At first, I thought it was going to be too easy. I’ve been loom-knitting for a couple of years now. And though I didn’t read the book word for word I did enough examining the patterns and instructions to know that this would be a great book for beginners. But there are lots of more advanced patterns. Many I have bookmarked to try later.

I highly recommend this book for anyone into loom knitting or thinking about getting into it.

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The Spellslinger (A Fistful of Daggers #4)The Spellslinger by S.M. Reine

Sara Reine has done it again. I love that we get to visit our favorite characters over and over in an ever-renewing timeline. Once again we visit the Reno-Tahoe area which for me, makes for one more character to enjoy.

Through the characters, Ms. Reine asks questions that remind me of why I loved Sci-fi for all my life. With deities, angels, and demons, subjects like philosophy, religion, and why things happen the way they do, and how it applies to our norms, all this comes up in the course of the story and makes the reader think. That is my favorite kind of writing. It isn’t preachy, it doesn’t even set up any rule to follow. These are questions the characters present as they chase down the next plot twist.

Ms. Reine writes so well and keeps the reader involved. I almost always finish her books quickly as I don’t want to stop reading until the end.

As always, I suggest a person go back to the beginning, Six Moon Summer and read the gazillion other books, they are all terrific. I can’t wait to read the next book! What will she come up with next?

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A Clueless Woman (A Woman Lost, #0)A Clueless Woman by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book. I’m involved in writing NaNoWriMo, so it’s taken me a while to get the review. In between, I went ahead and read book one and am now involved in book two. I had already read the first and second book, and I remember really liking them.

I don’t know if it’s because how long ago I read them, or if it’s the Star Wars phenomena. Let me explain. I remember watching the first three Star Wars movies back in the 80s. They were fantastic movies. They were full of philosophies you could live by. The characters were strong, people you care about. But the prequels. I can’t give you words for this. I can only shake my head. Was it time between watchings? Was it the addition of new irritating characters? Need I say Jar Jar Binks? I don’t know.

It had been a while since I read books one and two. But I thought I remembered them enough to try to read from the prequel on. What I remember as a character I truly loved in my first read was a troubled, abused, weak character in the prequel. Would I have felt this way had I not read the first two books before? Had I started with the prequel before reading the others, would I have cared what happened to the character next?

Wait! That is not to say the character wasn’t appealing. That is not to mention the writing was not good. That is not to say this kind of warning for others who might find themselves in similar situations shouldn’t find their way out. Strong characters, personalities, can find themselves in abusive relationships. And I care for many friends who have fallen into these situations. They were still exciting, loving, deserving of love people. So maybe it is the fact that I remember a strong character from future books and can’t handle seeing her go through such pain.

Would I have handled it better if I read the prequel as an insert into the series as a flash-back? I think I might have done better that way. I don’t want this review to go against the author and her fantastic writing. So instead of rating this as a three-star grade, I will pull it to a four-star. It probably deserves more, but I have to be honest with my feelings about it, too. I do love the characters in this series.

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