Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blogging for Books- What you Left Behind

What You Left Behind by Samantha Hayes is an intriguing whodunit that fans of British police procedurals are going to LOVE. Unexpected twists and turns, a large suspect pool and lack of a clear motive make it virtually impossible to guess the perpetrator’s identity. Although it is the second installment of the DCI Lorraine Fisher series, the novel can be read as a standalone.

Detective Chief Inspector Lorraine Fisher’s vacation is anything but relaxing when she finds herself embroiled in a perplexing mystery while visiting her sister Jo. Immediately upon arrival, she learns distressing news about Jo’s marriage but most shocking are the changes in her nephew Freddie. He is withdrawn, moody and refuses to accompany the rest of the family on excursions. It is soon clear that something is deeply troubling him, but he refuses to reveal what that something is. Jo is deeply concerned about her son because eighteen months earlier, a cluster of teen suicides rocked their small village and the recent death of a homeless youth, Dean Watts, was also ruled a suicide. Her fears are compounded when another young man takes his own life and Jo grows increasingly alarmed about Freddie’s state of mind.

Although Lorraine is also worried about Freddie, she is enjoying her visit with Jo until she receives a disturbing picture that leads her to look a little deeper in Dean’s death. While she is at the local police station, the death of another young man is reported and she goes with the lead detective, DCI Burnley, to the crime scene. She quickly sees evidence that foul play might be involved and knowing that Burnley is known to cut corners, she cannot resist investigating on her own. Lorraine’s husband Adam joins her and just as they are beginning to sort through the clues, Freddie vanishes and they are pulled in two different directions as they continue trying to make sense of the prior deaths while at the same time searching for Freddie.

Freddie’s story arc is as fascinating as it is frustrating. For reasons that are never quite clear, he absolutely refuses to discuss what is causing his extreme distress and he continues to spiral deeper into hopelessness and despair. Things become even more complicated for Freddie when he tries to help a friend and he unwittingly puts himself in danger.

While the pacing of What You Left Behind is a little slow, it is an overall compelling novel. The storyline is quite suspenseful and Samantha Hayes’ clever plot twists and red herrings keep readers guessing how this terrific mystery will end. A jaw dropping revelation ties up all of the loose ends and brings the mystery to a stunning conclusion. It is an excellent addition to the DCI Lorraine Fisher series that old and new fans do not want to miss.

I received a complimentary copy for review.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blogging for Books- The Secrets of Life and Death

From Goodreads: 
In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a monumental secret--She's Dead. Or she would be, were it not for magic which has artificially extended her life. But someone else knows her secret. Someone very old and very powerful, who won't rest until they've taken the magic that keeps her alive.... 
In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee, the Elizabethan Alchemist and Occultist, and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece, the infamous Countess Elisabeth Bathory. But they soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess' malady, is the magic that might be able to save her...
As Jackdaw and Felix race to uncover the truth about the person hunting her, it becomes clear that the answers they seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee's assistant, Edward Kelley. Together they must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying. 

I thought the concept was rather ingenious. The concept that someone could be kept alive through magical means, but nearly always be at the point of death in their "new" life. The concept that their blood could heal others is an interesting slant.All that being said, I found it slow going. I wished the story would have had a faster pace. I think it got bogged down in excessive history. I am a fan of historical fiction with a twist, but it just felt like I was trudging through the story. At once point, I hoped it would end.While it took a long time to get to the end, it also felt like there wasn't enough explanation on either of the endings. The "ending" with Kelley and Dee felt deliberately mysterious, which would have been fine if it had been more explained in the Jack and Sadie ending, which also felt deliberately mysterious. I don't like that in endings. I want to time to fully know what all went down. I want explanations on some of the weird, obtuse moments. I realize that it's my personal preference.The bottom line is, this book was okay. If you are interested in John Dee or the Bathory legends, this would be a great novel for you. If you like reading about the Inquisition, you will be very surprised at its role in the novel. In general, I may recommend this book to the right friend. Overall, I think a good story, with promising originality, got bogged down by all the moving parts of history that the author felt she must include.

I got this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books.

Monday, November 24, 2014


I've been gone for a long time from this here blog. If you could even consider it that. My goal for 2014 was to write more. Lean on my blog for guidance. Express myself through my words. It maybe 11 months late, but I think I'm finally read and willing to do so.
It's always fun to give you a little background about the person behind the blog. I learn new stuff everyday about the blogs I read and I find it really enjoyable to know more about their ins, outs, preferences, and such.

Name/Occupation/Age/Stats Sarah/Business Office at Republic County Hospital, Nursing Student, Mother, Wife, Girl Scout Leader and all the in between/28/ Married mother of 2 daughters and 1 stepson. Fur mom to Yogi the Teddy Bear and Kate the kitten.

Family Info. Husband Tim (Married since 2005), Step son Kaleb (12) - All boy. State wrestler, Football & Baseball player, avid sport lover. (Also note he's at that age where parents & family are no longer cool and he only wants to be around his friends and girls.) Daughers: Lexus (9) All girl which means no sweating, running, getting dirty or playing sports. She also has her BFF Lindsay who is basically our 3rd daughter. They are either always at our house or Lindsays. We are just used to it now and love her as our own. Brooklyn (7) is a spitting image of her momma, loves her momma with all her heart and is so kind hearted to everyone she meets. She listens, follows rules and hasn't quite developed the attitude and hate her siblings have. We have a 5 year old Teddy Bear (Yogi) (and before you ask- its a Shih Tzu/Bichon cross) and a Kitten named Kate that Lexus just got for her birthday.
Favorite Hobbies Scrapbooking, Scuba Diving, Snowboarding, Take pictures, Reading, Drinking Wine, shopping, Sleeping, Watching movies, Netflix, Dr Pepper, Coffee with White Chocolate Mocha creamer.
Five Things I Can't Live Without My Cell phone, my family, my friends, Dr Pepper, Netflix,
Typical Day. Wake up at 5am, shower, get ready for work, get kids ready for school, arrive at work at 7am, leave at 3:30, pick up kids from school and go to dance, sports practices, do homework, supper, bathtime and bed. I then work on my homework and clean up the house before crashing and waking up to do the same exact thing the next day.
Favorite Go-To Beauty Products I really don't wear a lot of makeup, nor do I use anything fancy in my hair and don't paint my nails or anything like that. Plain Jane girl right here. I do feel a good mascara can go a long ways.
Favorite Music/Bands/Singers Bob Marley, The Avett Brothers, Pink, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty, Modest Mouse, Blake Shelton, Johnny Cash, Luke Bryan, The Offspring
My Top 10 Movies When a Man Loves a Woman, Grease, PS I love You, Drop Dead Fred, Pippi Longstocking, Pitch Perfect, The Twilight Series, The Notebook, Practical Magic, Clueless.
Favorite Food to Make Anything in a crockpot. Peppered Steak, Chicken & Noodles, Soups. I hate cooking so if the crockpot will do it for me, and everyone will eat it, I'm happy.
Top Reads (in no particular order) Black Lies, Anything by Nicolas Sparks, His Bright Light by Danielle Steele, The Hunger Games, Twilight Series, 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, Ugly Love, Cross Roads, The Shack

Other Q&A
What you wanted to be when you grew up: I wanted to be a volconologist, a substance abuse counselor or a nurse.
Beauty secret: Less is More. No matter who you are, pounds of makeup is gross. Be proud of who you are and don't try to cover it up.
Celebrity crush: Ian Somerhalder/Channing Tatum

Welcome to my world, Stay a while?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Five on Friday

I'm linking up with AprilDarciChristina and Natasha for Five on Friday! I LOVE reading everyone's posts every week and tell myself I'll get around to doing it but rarely do.
If you haven't linked up with them before, all you have to do is post about five things on your mind, grab their logo, and join the party by using the linky tools. Easy, and a great way to find new blogs and be found! :)


Can't wait to have a girls night with my BFF, Ami and head to see Mockingjay in theaters. Ya'll, please tell me you read the books and are diehard fans like we are?!?  I've been patiently waiting since November 22, 2013 for this movie to come out. I just don't know that I'm publicly read to bawl over Finnick and Prim's death.  If you haven't seen the trailer yet, here it is!

We are going with all my cousins and their kids to see Disney on Ice this weekend in Lincoln and I couldn't be more excited. Ever since our family business closed down, everyone has moved away and taken their own paths and we don't see each other as often. And despite not ALL of the Lambert side of the family being there, its still going to be a lot of us and that makes me happy. Plus, next Wednesday we'll all be together at Grandma & Grandpas for Thanksgiving so its twice in a week which makes me even happier. Topping on the cake?! Hello, its Disney on Ice! I've never been and I think I'm just about as excited as the kids are! 

I've enrolled for my 3rd semester of college. Never did I think I'd be at this place in my life to start college at 28 or go to school for anything completely different then what I always envisioned myself doing, which was working at Lambriar. I couldn't be happier to follow my dreams of becoming a nurse, and am so proud of myself for being able to do the school thing and work full time and be a mom to 3 very busy active children. The house may be a little messier, my calendar may be fuller, I sleep a lot less and drink way too much coffee, but I'm doing it. I'll be applying for LPN school and taking my TEAS test within the next month so keep your fingers crossed and say an extra prayer for me will ya? 

How is it almost Thanksgiving and where did the month of November go? 33 days til Christmas? I LOVE LOVE LOVE the holidays and being around family, but I hate buying gifts and stressing over where the money is going to come from and how I'll find the time to get it all done. I am TRYING to not be a Ba humbug this year, I owe that to my children. So Christmas lists and carols and decorations galore, here we come. But not until the day after Thanksgiving, or I'd be in trouble. There are strict rules about that you know. 

A friend sent me this recipe and it looks to die for. Its a must try this weekend! I'll let you know how it turns out! Soup and sweater weather is about the ONLY good thing about Winter! 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blogging for Books: The Divorce Papers

Sparkling and sophisticated, this sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking debut novel tells the story of a very messy, very high-profile divorce and the endearingly cynical young lawyer dragooned into handling it.
Twenty-nine-year-old Sophie Diehl is happy toiling away as a criminal law associate at an old-line New England firm, where she very much appreciates that most of her clients are trapped behind bars. Everyone at Traynor, Hand knows she abhors face-to-face contact, but one week, with all the big partners out of town, Sophie is stuck handling the intake interview for the daughter of the firm’s most important client.
After eighteen years of marriage, Mayflower descendant Mia Meiklejohn Durkheim has just been served divorce papers in a humiliating scene at the popular local restaurant, Golightly’s. Mia is now locked and loaded to fight her eminent and ambitious husband, Dr. Daniel Durkheim, Chief of the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Mather Medical School, for custody of their ten-year-old daughter Jane. Mia also burns to take him down a peg. Sophie warns Mia that she’s never handled a divorce case before, but Mia can’t be put off. The way she sees it, it’s her first divorce, too. For Sophie, the whole affair will spark a hard look at her own relationships—with her parents, colleagues, friends, lovers, and, most important, herself.
A rich, layered novel told entirely through personal correspondence, office memos, e-mails, articles, handwritten notes, and legal documents,The Divorce Papers offers a direct window into the lives of an entertaining cast of characters never shy about speaking their minds. Original and captivating, Susan Rieger’s brilliantly conceived and expertly crafted debut races along with wit, heartache, and exceptional comedic timing, as it explores the complicated family dynamic that results when marriage fails—as well as the ever-present risks and coveted rewards of that thing called love.

My review: 
This story is interesting with well developed characters and a narrative that moves along very well. The book is made up of emails, letters, and legal documents which makes for an interesting format. All in all, I would say it was a great book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Blogging for Books for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, and this review is my own opinion. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throw Back Thursday

Circa '97 and everyone was looking fly! The big bangs, the huge glasses. Eeek. I do however wish we could take another Lambert family cruise or trip! 17 of us then, would be over 33 of us if we went now! Love and treasure all our memories together growing up, even though everyone is so far apart now. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

I've never been real good with Halloween costumes. They are last minute, scrounge up whats left over at Walmart after everyone picks through everything, type costumes. This year, we were ahead of the game and despite wanting to make homemade costumes for everyone (and encouraging Lexus to be the crazy cat lady- which she refused), I'd say we did pretty good. The candy overload and tired whiney kids at the end of the night who fell asleep while sorting their candy stash made the long night worth while. We went to the truck or treat downtown after school, drove to Mahaska and Narka and then back to Belleville to hit up a few prime spots. 

Pippi Longstocking - Her Favorite Movie. My favorite costume EVER! She fits the part to a T! My mom is digging out pictures of when I was Pippi Longstocking back in the day. It will be fun to compare! Bonus? It only cost me $2 for this whole outfit! :) If your children have not been blessed to see this movie- hurry up and go buy it. RIGHT.NOW. Brooklyn was even skipping down the road singing "Life is a Breeze, we live it for fun. No apologies to anyone." 

Walking Dead Girl- Her attitude and facial expressions definitely made pulling this off easy. Funny thing is I don't know why she wanted to be this? We watched the first episode of Walking Dead and I had such a panic attack and the girls were so terrified we haven't and won't watch anymore. Yet, this is what she wanted to be. Guess the first episode made a lasting impression on her! She also won Best of Show award at a Halloween party we attended for her costume. 

Poor Pippi Longstocking- her siblings are all walkers. I think she can take care of herself though! 

Between the leg pose and the dead skin grossness, I'd say Kaleb pulled this off fairly well last minute. All we heard the whole time was he was too old and not going to dress up or go trick or treating. He ended up changing his mind. Who doesn't love candy?

Hope you and your family had a Happy Halloween!


Template by