Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mississippi Blood - Book 3 in Trilogy - Review

Idgie Says:
 This is the final book in a trilogy by Greg and at almost 700 pages, he doesn't skimp on ending the story.  While I don't believe you NEED to read the first two books to become engrossed in this story, I do believe it would help greatly.  You would be more in tune with the emotions in play.  

At the same time, if you have not read the first two books, the characters in this novel are bold and alive.  I was pulled into the story by the first paragraph.  The writing has a beautiful flow and structure to it that settles into your imagination nicely. 

This is a book to enjoy and proudly display on your bookshelf.
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Soon to be a Cable TV Series!

Click HERE to read excerpt from EW.com

About the Book

ISBN: 9780062311153
ISBN 10: 0062311158
Imprint: William Morrow
On Sale: 03/21/2017
Pages: 704

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author
The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi—Greg Iles's epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.

Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for the murder of a former lover. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn's experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations--preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.

During forty years practicing medicine, Tom Cage made himself the most respected and beloved physician in Natchez, Mississippi. But this revered Southern figure has secrets known only to himself and a handful of others. Among them, Tom has a second son, the product of an 1960s affair with his devoted African American nurse, Viola Turner. It is Viola who has been murdered, and her bitter son--Penn's half-brother--who sets in motion the murder case against his father. The resulting investigation exhumes dangerous ghosts from Mississippi's violent past. In some way that Penn cannot fathom, Viola Turner was a nexus point between his father and the Double Eagles, a savage splinter cell of the KKK. More troubling still, the long-buried secrets shared by Dr. Cage and the former Klansmen may hold the key to the most devastating assassinations of the 1960s. The surviving Double Eagles will stop at nothing to keep their past crimes buried, and with the help of some of the most influential men in the state, they seek to ensure that Dr. Cage either takes the fall for them, or takes his secrets to an early grave.

Tom Cage's murder trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed. Unable to trust anyone around him--not even his own mother--Penn joins forces with Serenity Butler, a famous young black author who has come to Natchez to write about his father's case. Together, Penn and Serenity--a former soldier--battle to crack the Double Eagles and discover the secret history of the Cage family and the South itself, a desperate move that risks the only thing they have left to gamble: their lives.



Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making--one that has kept readers on the edge of their seats. With piercing insight, narrative prowess, and a masterful ability to blend history and imagination, New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a highly atmospheric and suspenseful novel that delivers the shocking resolution his fans have eagerly awaited.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Forever, Alabama - Book 3 in the Alabama Series

Idgie Says:
Ben is a truly likable character who is determined to win over a rather prickly Sabine. Sabine unfortunately hears nothing but endless stories about the romantic antics of Ben around town, which keeps her prickliness intact.  But when a family issue arises that throws them together, Ben's constant good nature, charm and handsome looks can't help but make Sabine's walls crumble. 

A fun book with humor, romance and enough of an edge to make you sit up and pay attention.

Note - this is part of a series of standalone books. You do not have to read the previous books to enjoy this one.

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Book Description:

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: The Tule Publishing Group (March 20, 2017)

 Everybody loves local attorney and favorite son, Ben Laroux. Well, at least everybody of the female persuasion–until he meets Sabine O'Connor. She loathes him and makes no secret of her feelings, even when he pours on his famous charm hoping to thank her for helping his family. Ben has never been told no, and if there's one thing he's never walked away from, it's a challenge.

Sabine hopes she’s finally found peace and safety in the small town of Ministry. She’s changed her name to escape her painful past and her shameful family secrets. Ben Laroux is a gorgeous and sexy complication she can’t afford, but also can't resist. However, when her past threatens to derail her present and future, Ben might be the only man she can trust.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

A Piece of the World - Review

 Idgie Says:
This novel is filled with lovely and flowing prose that grabbed me from the moment I opened the pages, even though at first I admit to not being that interested in the story.  When a book can change your mind by the first 3 pages, you know you're on to something wonderful. 

The descriptives are wonderful and made everything from the characters to the cutlery on the table jump to life off of the pages.

I very much enjoyed the Orphan Train and can say that Christina continues to succeed  in gaining and keeping a reader's attention with this novel.
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Click Here for an excerpt

William Morrow; First Edition edition (February 21, 2017)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World.
 
"Later he told me that he’d been afraid to show me the painting. He thought I wouldn’t like the way he portrayed me: dragging myself across the field, fingers clutching dirt, my legs twisted behind. The arid moonscape of wheatgrass and timothy. That dilapidated house in the distance, looming up like a secret that won’t stay hidden." 

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.


As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, she vividly imagines the life of a woman with a complicated relationship to her family and her past, and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists.

Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

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Biography


Christina Baker Kline is the author of instant New York Times bestseller A PIECE OF THE WORLD (Feb. 2017), about the relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, Christina’s World. Kline has written five other novels -- Orphan Train, The Way Life Should Be, Sweet Water, Bird in Hand, and Desire Lines-- and written or edited five works of nonfiction. Her 2013 novel Orphan Train spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, including five weeks at # 1, and was published in 40 countries. More than 100 communities and colleges have chosen it as a “One Book, One Read” selection. Her adaptation of Orphan Train for young readers is Orphan Train Girl (May 2017).

In addition to her novels, Kline has commissioned and edited two widely praised collections of original essays on the first year of parenthood and raising young children, Child of Mine and Room to Grow, and edited a book on grieving, Always Too Soon. She is coeditor, with Anne Burt, of a collection of personal essays called About Face: Women Write About What They See When They Look in the Mirror, and is co-author, with her mother, Christina Looper Baker, of a book on feminist mothers and daughters, The Conversation Begins. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Money, More, and Psychology Today, among other places.

Kline was born in Cambridge, England, and raised there as well as in the American South and Maine. She is a graduate of Yale, Cambridge, and the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing. She has taught fiction and nonfiction writing, poetry, English literature, literary theory, and women’s studies at Yale, NYU, and Drew University, and served as Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University for four years. She is a recipient of several Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowships and Writer-in-Residence Fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is on the advisory board of Roots & Wings, a foster-care organization in NJ; The Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor, ME; and the Montclair Animal Shelter, and supports a number of libraries and other associations.

Kline lives in an old house in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband, David Kline, and three sons, Hayden, Will, and Eli.  She spends as much time as possible in an even older house in Southwest Harbor, Maine.

A Bridge Across the Ocean - Review

Idgie Says:
The book description doesn't quite fully explain the story.  There are ghosts, you see.  Plus a few generations of women who can see these ghosts. A little Sixth Sense thrown into the mix.

Combine the ghosts on the Queen Mary with the stories of living women traveling on the ship, holding secrets and hiding stories of their own, and you end up with a juicy novel. 

The novel swings back and forth between the past - before and during WWII - and the present.  Secrets are hidden in the past and are about to be discovered in the present.  

What really happened to Annaliese and Simone during WWII?  What happened once they finally reached the possible safety of America?


I enjoyed how the novel's chapters moved between time and place and gave just enough of a glimpse into a particular woman's life each time to keep you not only guessing, but anxiously awaiting more. 

A great book to escape into. 

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(Berkley Trade Paperback Original; March 14, 2017

About the book:
Shifting between the war years in Europe, the 1946 voyage, and present day California, A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN is told from the alternating perspectives of Annaliese Lange, Simone Deveraux, and Brette Caslake.
In the aftermath of WWII, Annaliese and Simone join hundreds of other European war brides aboard the Queen Mary. Both have suffered greatly during the war: Annaliese is a German desperate to escape her abusive Nazi husband, and Simone is the only surviving child of a French Resistance spy. Their stories converge when they meet in line to board the ship. Both are desperate to leave the war behind and start over. 

As the women sail toward their new lives in America, tightly-held secrets are revealed in their shared cabin.
When the ship docks in New York Harbor, only one of them will live out her American dream. 
In present day, facing a crossroads in her own life and coming to terms with her family’s dark legacy, Brette visits the rumored-to-be-haunted Queen Mary. What she finds will lead her on a search to solve a decades-old mystery connected to Annaliese and Simone’s fateful crossing.

Love, Ish - Spotlight

Love, Ish
Karen Rivers
Algonquin Young Readers
March 14, 2017
Grades 3- 7

Click HERE to read an excerpt

A rich and moving story about how one girl’s celestial-sized dreams for a future on Mars go heartbreakingly awry when an unexpected diagnosis threatens her future.

Things Mischa “IshLove will miss when she goes to Mars: lying on the living room floor watching TV, ice cream, her parrot Buzz Aldrin. Things Ish Love will not miss when she goes to Mars: mosquitoes, heat waves, missing her former best friend Tig.

Ish is convinced that she’ll be one of the first settlers on Mars. She’s applied to—and been rejected from—the Mars Now project forty-seven times, but the mission won’t leave for ten years and Ish hasn’t given up hope. She also hasn’t given up hope that Tig will be her best friend again (not that she’d ever admit that to anyone, least of all herself). When Ish collapses on the first day of seventh grade, she gets a diagnosis that threatens all her future plans. As Ish fights cancer, she dreams in vivid detail about the Martian adventures she’s always known she’d have—and makes unexpected discoveries about love, fate, and her place in the vast universe.

In this story perfect for fans of Fish in a Tree and The Thing About Jellyfish, Karen Rivers has once again created an unforgettable narrator who will pull readers into her orbit and keep them riveted until the very last page.

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Also know in paperback - The Girl in the Well is Me
Grades 5+

Click HERE for Excerpt for this book. 
 
 Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal