Monday, February 28, 2022

"Secrets of the Western Town"
by Florence Linnington

Lottie and her Father have just arrived in the town of Red Canyon. He works for the railroad and it is his job to determine the best routes for new tracks to be laid and which towns the train will pass through. Lottie’s father is a widower who has never truly gotten over the loss of his wife, and unfortunately he has taken his pain out on his daughter. When he begins to ease his loneliness by becoming involved with the woman who runs the local cathouse, what will happen to Lottie?

This story has quite a few more twists to it than Ms Linnington's most recent tales. This is not a simple story of a young man or woman looking for a spouse, nor even a tale of love found or lost. In this case,  it was a tale about a young woman who must find the strength within herself to save not only herself, but those around her. And if she can't, she may lose more than just a romance or a family member. 

I enjoyed this more complex tale. It kept my interest held and had me wondering if this would have the happy ending that I have come to expect from Ms. Linnington's books. I won't give the answer to that question away here. You're just going to have to read the book for yourself to learn that one. What I can say here though, is that I think you will enjoy it just as much as I did.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Brothers of Belle Fourche, books 1-3
written by Kari Trumbo,
read by Scott Bennett

"Teach me to Love"

After Lizzy's abusive and demeaning husband dies, rather than returning to her parents home she leaves town to go and visit her best friend from school, Lulu. At this point, Izzy is only a fraction of herself, having been so emotionally downtrodden by her husband that she cannot believe in herself or trust that she is worth better.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story and enjoyed it. The male narrator wasn't as strong in differentiating the different voices of the male characters as some narrators, but it wasn’t too difficult to tell who was supposed to be speaking at any point. The story was good, and the reasons behind the character motivations came through clearly.

The story was short for this one, but as there are 3 books in this collection, it should even out once I've finished listening to all three.

"What the Heart Holds"

In this book, the new school teacher Stephinia appears to have fallen for Arnold after he and his brothers rescued both her and Lizzy from an irate kidnapper. Unfortunately, his heart still belongs to a girl who had died in an accident years before. 

Thus was another shorter seeming story, but one that I also enjoyed listening to as well as the previous book. This story flows perfectly from where the previous book ended.

"Deep Longing of the Soul"

In this third book in the series, Eli, who had shot and killed the man who had kidnapped Lizzy, has been having a very difficult time since that day. He views himself as a murderer, though he had been protecting and saving two women when it had happened. 

This book was about the same length as the previous two, and reaches a good stopping point in this series. It was just as enjoyable to listen to, and while the voices used for the three brothers may be difficult to distinguish at times from each other, the personalities of the characters eases any confusion of which brother happens to be speaking. (Plus it helps that each book focuses mainly on a different brother.) Overall, I enjoyed listening to this trilogy.

Monday, February 14, 2022

"The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse:
How to Build a Net-Zero Energy Greenhouse" by Lindsey Schiller with Marc Plinke

My husband and I are planning on turning an old gazebo into a greenhouse to extend our growing season this year. I read this book to see if it could help me with the planning stages of a greenhouse. (It's currently winter here, so nothing can be done for a few more months.) 

Reading this book gave me a lot of information that I didn't know anything about previously. While much of what I learned won't work for what we want to do, I did gain a lot of ideas that should work and will get us a long way towards actually building our greenhouse and having it work without needing to use electricity to keep it warm enough as the temps begin dropping in the fall and allow us to start our plants earlier in the spring.

In other words, while this was not a step by step guide on how to get our DIY greenhouse built, it did provide a lot of help in understanding what we'll need to do and how to go about doing it. Will we still run into other unconsidered problems along the way? Most likely, yes. But after reading this book, we learned what won't work for us and why, as well as providing us with a lot of ideas about what will work. 

So I would recommend this book for anyone who needs to learn about different types of greenhouses and is considering buying or building one for themselves. I found it to be very helpful overall.

Monday, February 7, 2022

"Wonderly Wroth" by Scott Telek

Book 5 of Mr. Telek's Swithin series, starts where book 4 left off. A 14 year-old Arthur, having forgotten his foster brother Kay's sword and needing to bring him one, had pulled the sword from the stone not realizing at the time that it was the one that would determine who was the rightful King. After much confusion, and being asked to repeat the act multiple times, it seems that the church believes he is the rightful king, though even Arthur doesn't seem too convinced about it.

This book tells the tale of young Arthur's training to become a knight, as well as of many other things that he will be expected to know. And while all of this is happening, we get to see not only what influences the young man's decisions along the way, but we get to learn more about some of the other characters that have yet to take center stage in this tale as well. It gives us a fascinating look into what drives and motivates them, as well as how each of them came to believe as they do.

As is no secret, I love a good King Arthur story, and this series has been one of my favorites. Mr. Telek has done a wonderful job of telling the familiar tale of King Arthur in a unique way. While those of us familiar with the basic story can usually make a pretty good guess about what is to come, Mr. Telek still manages to throw in a few surprises along the way that keep the reader riveted. It was very difficult for me to put this book down at night, as I kept wanting to keep reading to the end. (And when done, I was honestly surprised to find that this book was longer than it had felt while reading it.)  

If you enjoy a good King Arthur story, you will want to read this book/series. I loved it and think many of you will enjoy it as well. It is well worth taking the time to enjoy this one.

Wings of Ink by Angelina Steffort

Anya, after spending years in a Tavrasian Prison expecting to be killed, is instead given to the Crow Fairies. She is now to become the brid...