Monday, December 27, 2021

"A groom for Celia" by Cat Cahill

This is the 3rd book in the "Blizzard Brides series. In this book, we get to once again visit the town of Last Chance, Nebraska and the women who survived the sudden blizzard that had killed their husbands & livestock. In this one, we get to hear Celia Thornton's tale.

I enjoyed reading about what happened to Celia after she'd lost her husband to the storm and was left with a farm and no husband to help her keep it going. She chooses a letter from Jack Wendler, a businessman from New York, to hopefully become her husband and help her run the farm. He might not have started out as seeming to be what she needs in a husband, but watching the interplay between the two of them, as well as with others in the town leads to a surprising twist that I think the reader will love.

If you like mail order bride stories, with or without a twist, I think you'll enjoy not only this book, but very likely the rest of this series as well. It's a quick but very fun read.

Monday, December 20, 2021

"The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart"
by Alexa Kang

Vicky Kondo is a Japanese-American in Hawaii. She’s engaged to a man named Taro, another Japanese-American, and though not certain she's really ready to marry him, he's more than ready and wanting to set a wedding date. Time has passed since the fateful day when the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, but it seems that there are even more changes coming in her future.

The Army is looking for Japanese-American women to Join the WAC (Women’s Army Corps) and help with the war effort, but most aren't willing to go against the traditional views among Japanese families that women should be married & not in the army.  The army is for men, and any woman wanting to be part of the WAC must be immodest & not someone who would ever make a suitable Japanese wife. So what happens when Vicky first begins not only to consider it, but decides to actually join up?

I really enjoyed reading this story. It was clearly very well researched and as accurate as any historical fiction book can possibly be. Vicky's story was one that grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go. It covered all the questions, problems, and emotions that she would have had to deal with as a young Japanese-American woman during WWII, both before and after she decided to join the WAC.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, WWII stories, or simply someone who wants to know more about what women joining the WAC had to face, whether of Asian descent or not. This was a very good book and the author's notes at the end are certainly something you won't want to miss reading either.

Monday, December 13, 2021

"Tattoos and Clues" by Trixie Silvertale

In this second book of the Mitzy Moon series, Mitzy is still trying to find her place in town. And once again, she stumbles across a dead body.  As before, she can't keep herself from trying to solve his murder before the local police do. And once again, she finds herself in quite a bit of danger while doing so.

I know that I started off reading this series out of order, and while it's easy enough to pick up on the things I've missed, finally getting the chance to read about her beginnings makes things from later in the series so much clearer and much easier to understand.

In this book, Mitzy begins to discover about her psychic gifts for the first time and begins receiving a bit of training in how they work/how to use them from Silas. She also begins to realize how useful that knowledge can be, especially when it is her own life that is at stake.

I enjoyed reading about Mitzy's early days. I think that if you've enjoyed any of the other books in this series as well cozy mysteries with a twist or any of the other books written by Trixie Silvertale, then this book will likely be one that you'll enjoy as well. If you haven't already, I'd recommend giving this fun series a try.

Monday, December 6, 2021

"The Legend of the Western Bride"
by Florence Linnington

After the mine collapse in Stillwater had killed all the town's men, the women were left on their own to find a way to manage to survive. Chloe has been acting as the town mayor, doing her best to keep everything running & to help the women of the town avoid starvation. She protects them from outsiders who might prey upon the women as best she can, but they live in near constant fear that outsiders will threaten them, and is very worried about what will happen once winter arrives & they no longer can feed themselves from their gardens. 

When strangers from a nearby ranch discover that the town is still there, will it be the town's salvation or their doom?

This was another one of Ms. Linnington's books that I enjoyed. At several points early in the book I wondered if I had already read this one as a good deal of it felt very familiar, but I quickly realized that it was because many of the characters in this book had featured in one or more of her other books, so parts of their stories had been told from a different perspective.

But while parts of this story may have felt like a simple retelling, the rest of it was completely new & entertaining. There were the usual misunderstandings & miscommunications causing the expected problems, but there was also the expected happy ending reached through a unique and unexpected solution.

Overall, I found this to be an entertaining & enjoyable story. I think anyone who enjoys mail order bride tales or any of Ms. Linnington's other books would also enjoy this one.

Witch Of the Black Circle <br>by Maria DeVivo

Josephine (Joephie) is a teenager who was cursed by a witch before she was born. Her mother has moved the two of them often. They never real...