One Day in December by Josie Silver

41NHeAVyDlL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_I was in the mood for a Christmas-y romance and this one totally hit the spot! Debut novel, One Day in December, by British author, Josie Silver, is the December book choice of celebrity & avid book lover, Reese Witherspoon’s, Book Club called Hello Sunshine. I love a good forbidden romance, especially one as quirky as this one! Her writing style reminds me of JoJo Moyes and Sophie Kinsella.

Set in modern day London, this is the romantic comedy story of Laurie and Jack, unfolding in alternating viewpoints throughout the months of December since the moment they first spot each other as strangers in a bus station and fall instantly for one another after one glance. Talk about swoon-worthy! The problem is that neither know the other’s name or anything about them. Laurie is left to dream about “bus boy” and she keeps an eye out for him everywhere she goes, which no success of locating him again. She describes his features in vivid detail to her very best friend Sarah, and they both believe that “bus boy” is the one for Laurie, should she ever find him again.

Fast forward a year and the extremely beautiful Sarah begins dating Jack and she is convinced that Laurie must meet him and become chummy with him. Laurie agrees because she loves Sarah like her own sister. However, you may have guessed it, the moment she sees Jack, she is forced to hide her surprise and bury her true feelings. Jack is bus boy! Sarah has no idea she has fallen for Laurie’s “one that got away,” and Laurie is unsure whether Jack realizes who she is either. Thus follows a series of meetups (many in the month of December) over the years between the tragically tangled triangle of Laurie, Sarah, and Jack in which blissfully unaware Sarah falls deeper in love with Jack, and all the while Laurie tries to convince herself that Jack is not her 100%. Oh, the agony I felt for Laurie and Jack! Readers learn in Jack’s perspective that he too has often thought of the girl from the station, remembering her as well. But, will he ever tell Laurie? I guess you’ll have to read it, now won’t you!?

I would very highly suggest this book to any fiction readers. It’s such a sweet story with an ending that I know you’ll love. The author writes the characters right into the readers’ hearts, so that when Laurie cries, readers find tears in their own eyes. Read it! You won’t be sorry.

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Comfort Food by Julia Bettlehelm

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Librarian Laura’s Review

Who doesn’t love Comfort Food? Personally, I’m always in the mood for comfort food, whether summer or winter…bring it on! In her February 2018 published 122 page cookbook, Chef and author Julia Bettelheim includes recipes which at first glance appear to range in preparation and skill from simple to technical. However, most of the recipes require some background cooking knowledge and certain ingredients are not listed in specific details. The book contains main dishes, soups, salads, and desserts, all of which could be considered comforting food. Additionally, Bettelheim includes recipes specific to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Due to this, however, some of the ingredients used in the recipes may not be readily available in the states. In summary, this is a still a good choice of cookbook for its variety of recipe types and would make a great gift for food lovers who like to branch out and try international recipes.

Thank you to Clink Street Publishing for providing me with a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest reivew.

Summary:

There’s nothing quite like Comfort Food to put a smile on your face and a feeling of contentment in your stomach. Chef Julia Bettelheim is passionate about feeding people; from the students in her university kitchen to guests and family at home. From recipes that are as simple as a sandwich to as technical as a fruit cake, she knows the importance of creating delicious meals that are full of flavour and which always have budget in mind. Her recipes include easy to make classics and mouth-watering family favourites, using easy to find products that are fresh and economical. Fun, fast, indulgent and nurturing, there’s a time and a place for Comfort Food in every kitchen.

Information about the Book

Title: Comfort Food

Author: Julia Bettelheim

Release Date: 13th February 2018

Genre: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 122

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38560109-comfort-food

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Comfort-Food-Julia-Bettelheim-ebook/dp/B078HMMYG8

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The Dog Ate My Homework by Aaron James

51jnLwVjkvL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Recently released for purchase is The Dog Ate My Homework (And Other Poems for Children)  by Aaron James and published by Clink Street Publishing.

The paperback children’s book contains five school-themed poems which have rhyming texts. Each poem tells a humorous tale involving traditional school routines/activities. The illustrations are fitting to the stories being told and they show a diverse cast of characters.

The poems included are The Dog Ate My Homework, My New Pair of Trainers, School Dinners, Sports Day, and First Day at School.

Thank you to Clink Street Publishing for the review copy of this title.

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Summary:

The Dog Ate My Homework by Aaron James is a collection of short poems that will capture your imagination. Filled with fun stories that make you think, laugh and tell your friends. Do you remember your first day at school? Or when you tried to convince your teacher you actually done your homework? Or the excitement you felt when you bought your new pair of trainers? In The Dog Ate My Homework you will get a chance to read all these stories and many more!

Information about the Book

Title: The Dog Ate My Homework

Author: Aaron James

Release Date: 20th February 2018

Genre: Poetic Picture Book

Page Count: 18

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38908967-the-dog-ate-my-homework

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-Ate-My-Homework-children-ebook/dp/B0792NF6R3/

 

 

Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell

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Originally published in Library Journal, June 2018.

Historical fiction fans will delight in this romantic mystery set in World War II California. Louis Thorn and Haruto “Harry” Yamada have grown up as neighbors being civil to one another, despite the Thorn family’s claim that the Yamada’s stole part of their land. The pair of daredevils become unlikely comrades after joining the Earl Shaw Flying Circus as wingwalkers Eagle and Crane, where they share a love of flying and of Ava, Earl’s spunky, independent step-daughter.  Though both business partners need the money from their aerial stunts, the young men’s relationship is complicated by race, family, and love. In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Harry’s family is interned at Tule Lake simply for being Japanese. Then, a mysterious plane crash brings determined FBI Agent Bonner to the Yamada home to investigate. Bonner’s past experience with a Japanese family and connection to the Thorn family compels him to uncover the truth at all costs. VERDICT: Rindell joins the ranks with Kristin Hannah and Kate Quinn with this fast-paced, gripping novel as it charmingly explores a tumultuous era of history.

Crucible by James Rollins

y648The latest title in the fast-paced adventure/thriller Sigma Force series, Crucible, will be available from William Morrow on January 22, 2019.

Well-known skilled Sigma operatives Monk, Gray, Kowalski, Painter, Seichan, Kat, and Lisa are back for another action-packed race against time. The subject matter of artificial intelligence (AI) is both timely and terrifying to readers. Rollins highlights some of the amazing abilities of human-like AI, while also warning of the uncertainty in unleashing such an uber-intelligent entity into the world. As with all of his Sigma Force series, Rollins weaves the latest in scientific and technological advances into the story. He includes a very helpful and interesting “check the facts” section at the end, in which readers discover in annotated detail that most of the technological, scientific, and medical situations which seem impossible and far-fetched in the story are actually in fact NOT fiction. Perhaps because Rollins expertly shows that AI could be all too real in the near future, Crucible is truly captivating and thrilling.

Crucible is an engrossing read, written through multiple narrators, alternating chapters between different groups of Sigma members. I won’t give away too much of the plot, because what would be the fun in that?! No spoilers here, folks! The story starts on Christmas eve with a very pregnant Seichan home with Kat and her two young daughters, while their men are out having a drink celebrating Gray’s soon-to-be fatherhood. Upon arrival home they find the Gray’s home ransacked, Seichan, Penny, and Harriet missing, and an unresponsive Kat on the floor, unable to offer any clues as to what happened or who took their family.

Meanwhile, across the continent in Portugal at the University of Coimbra, a modern day group of witches called Bruxas is meeting to view a cutting-edge form of AI known as Xenese, created by brilliant young programmer and scholarship student of Bruxas, Mara. As Mara watches unnoticed from the webcam thousands of miles away, nine robed assailants brutally murder the five women, and the only clue caught on camera is a fifteenth century book known as The Hammer of Witches, with historical ties to witchcraft trials during the Spanish Inquisition. Now it’s up to Painter and his team to connect the mysterious, tragic incidents, with two main goals in mind. First, they must track down Xenese before it gets into the hands of those who wish to use AI for destruction and evil. But, most importantly to best friends Monk and Gray, they must find Seichan and Monk’s daughters before it’s too late. A pulse-pounding race against the clock ensues.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though much of the time I felt ignorant of the high tech programming and medical breakthroughs being carried out. It really is amazing how much research Rollins would have had to undergo for this novel. It is packed with science, historical details, and action. What more could a reader ask for? Oh…romance! There’s a bit of that in there as well, but not too much. Who has time for romance when the fate of the world is at stake, you know?! I’m a sucker for romance, but I have always been an extremely loyal fan of James Rollins and, as such, I trust that each new volume in the Sigma Force series will not disappoint. I hope you enjoy it as well!

The Amazing Adventures of Aaron Broom by A. E. Hotchner

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Originally published in School Library Journal.

Gr 9 & up – Hotchner’s historical fiction, coming-of-age tale set in Depression-era St. Louis will capture readers at the start with a mysterious robbery which creates an uncertain future for the amiable protagonist. Aaron Broom, is street-smart beyond his 12 years, fending for himself with a mother in the sanitarium for consumption and his father peddling watches, while trying to avoid the repossession of his Ford. When Aaron’s father is held in connection to the J & J Jewelry robbery, he first feels helpless, but then enlists the help of a motley group of friends to solve the mystery and release his father before he is caught by the juvenile welfare department. Athletic and smart, Aaron enjoyed playing sports and writing, but has bounced to almost a dozen schools since his family lost everything when the bank closed. Though he now is hungry and down to only pennies, Aaron keeps a positive outlook. He is rich with friends and kindness from strangers, including a successful lawyer, a newsboy, a retired prizefighter, and an old friend named Ella living in a Hoovertown camp. With bravery and perseverance, Aaron will keep digging until he uncovers the truth. VERDICT: Recommended for additional purchase, this fast-paced detective story will likely only appeal to teen readers interested in history.

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

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Originally appeared in Library Journal, May 2018.

Since the Unforgivable Thing, Lucy Albright refers to her mother as CJ, refusing to forgive or forget the scandalous act. Readers first meet 25 year old Lucy, who gave up a dream of being a travel journalist, settling as an account executive for an online publication in New York City. A bridesmaid in her best friend’s upcoming wedding, Lucy is hesitant to be entangled or seduced by Stephen yet again. Lucy’s toxic, heated relationship with Stephen DeMarco is revealed in alternating points of view spanning four years of college at Baird in southern California. First meeting during Lucy’s freshman year, a time of heavy recreational drug use and sexual exploration, Lucy falls hard for Stephen, despite unbearable pain and betrayal. Regularly depriving herself of food, Lucy struggles with body image. Confident, narcissistic Stephen makes her feel beautiful and loved, stringing her along in his warped view of a real relationship. Will Lucy finally rip off the Band-Aid of Stephen for good, or let herself fall back into the dangerous spiral of her past? VERDICT: Fans of Colleen Hoover will devour Lovering’s new adult debut full of toxic love, secrets, and intense romance.