21 October 2018

Review: The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow

The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow by Laini Giles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was fun. It started out a little different than I expected it to, but when it ended....ZOWIE!!! I loved how the story wrapped up and then I saw it was based on a true person (Daisy DeVoe) and this really happened. I am not sure how much liberties the author took with the true story, but it the book read like a "it happened but it's hard to believe it did" tale. I very much enjoyed this, as I do the series. I am hoping so much that the author pulls off a Forgotten Actress story on Norma Shearer or Thelma Todd, or even Carole Landis.

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Review: The Two-Family House

The Two-Family House The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Helen and Rose, the best of friends married to brothers that work together. Both families live in the same house too. Sounds simple but what you are about to read is full of ups and downs and a little drama. The overall story, I loved. So many twists, so many turns...I loved it. Parts of the story, I felt were too accelerated...things were missing to me. It is for that reason that I give the book 4 stars instead of 5. I will tell you that the ending is exceptional!

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Review: The Affair: An enthralling story of love and passion and Hollywood glamour

The Affair: An enthralling story of love and passion and Hollywood glamour The Affair: An enthralling story of love and passion and Hollywood glamour by Gill Paul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I expected this book to be full of the tales of Liz and Dick as they fell in love on the set of Cleopatra. What I got was a book where that happened...PLUS, there was a Dateline twist! I loved that little surprise. Diana was hired to be the historian on the set of the epic film. She's married to an older man and disappointed he didn't want to go to Rome with her. She left her man at home and had all kind of adventures. These adventures changed her life forever.

I very much enjoyed this journey.

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Review: Love and Other Consolation Prizes

Love and Other Consolation Prizes Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

They say "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened", but that is very hard. I was sucked into the book and could NOT let go. Ernest is a character you fall in love with the second he appears. You want to hug him in the first chapter. Then when he goes to America you want to hug him again. The World's Fair will make your mouth drop because of the things Ernest experiences there and how a simple fair will change the course of his life forever. He will meet Fahn and Maisie in this new life and form bonds that will take him to the "present" day portion of the novel which is the early 60's. He will never break the bond form with these 2 little girls.

What I took away....Jamie can take dark places in the world and explain how it was and show that there can be good in unpleasant things. What Jamie does with his pen is explore good and ugly and takes the reader right with him. I have a couple of reasons why he is my favorite present day author.
1. He introduces me to parts of America (Seattle past) I didn't know existed, but I should have.
2. He makes me care about his characters and ache when they hurt and rejoice when they prosper.

Today begins the day that I start longing for his next book. Thank you Jamie.

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Review: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had to get this book a second time. It has haunted me a bit to know what happened to these girls and that USRC discovered what the effects of Radium could do and they covered it up. They lied in court and to medical professionals, all the while, the girl's bodies were falling apart or riddled with disease. The painful deaths the girls encountered were hard to read about because you knew it was true. The devotion of Tom Donohue is astounding ...what a wonderful husband, of course, his wife, Katherine is one of the bravest women I have ever read about. If you have not read this book, you should. It moved me like Henrietta Lacks. A must read.

I came back in 2018 because this book was still haunting me. I had to read it again. I still think it is one of the best books of 2017.

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Review: Tiny Little Thing

Tiny Little Thing Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So far this is my favorite Beatriz books. I love Tiny and Pepper. I loved how they fixed up a car together and how Tiny realizes that she doesn't have a perfect life. She is living just for status, with a man who prefers the company of others which could ruin his career in the day and age the story takes place. Cap (Caspian) is incredible. I love every part about him. He is just the dude you want to come into stories like this.

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Review: Pop-Up Truck and Peril

Pop-Up Truck and Peril Pop-Up Truck and Peril by Harper Lin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Harper Lin's books...they are fast, engaging and funny. In Pop up Truck and Peril, Amelia's best friend Christine asks her to move the truck to her work for a few days because a co worker has been murdered and the police do have a suspect....only Christine can't believe the suspect would do it. Amelia is on the job selling her treats and solving crime and getting herself into trouble...with the police and the real murderer.

In Amelia's personal life, her ex is getting married and causing drama with their kids. Amelia has to learn how to handle this without making her ex look bad to his kids and keep her sanity.

This is a perfect series to download and take on vacation with you. I don't think you have to read the previous 5 to get the story, but why would you do that? They are all so fun.

I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: The Secret Wife

The Secret Wife The Secret Wife by Gill Paul
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I discovered Gill Paul last year and I like her style a lot. She has done quite a few Titanic books and I am trying hard to read them all. I discovered this book because I was trying to get a hold of Another Woman's Husband (also by Gill). I thought I would give it a whirl. This one tells a story we are familiar with Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandria of Russia. We all know they were murdered, along with their children, during the Bolsheviks revolution of Russia in 1917. We have heard that Anatasia might have lived. Well, this story chooses to let another daughter live. Her body is discovered in modern-day after the love of her life dies of old age. It is believed she was murdered and hidden in a shallow grave but upon further inspection, she died of natural causes. What they don't know is that she escaped the murder and lived with her lover as man and wife until her natural life was over. She had changed her name as had her husband. It is a sweet story and does make you long to believe that those children could have lived.

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Review: Camino Island

Camino Island Camino Island by John Grisham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been on hold for this book forever. I didn't read what it was about, I just know I read every Grisham book. This one blew me away from the start. F Scott Fitzgerald! I love him! His manuscripts in the hands of crooks! I was sucked in and blown away. I had NO idea where this novel was going to end up, every time I thought I did something else happened to make me say "what".

I enjoy almost every Grisham book, but I do believe this one ranks up there near "The Firm" for me. EXCELLENT!

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Review: The German Girl

The German Girl The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My friend made me read this and I am so glad that she did! This book travels from 2014 with Anna to 1939 with Hannah and follows the lives of the Rosenthal's/Rosen's. The story traveled to Havana, which I loved. Having just gotten back from Havana and visited many of the places from the book....everything was so visible in my mind. The story was sad, so sad, but such an important tale to tell. I had never heard about the ship St. Louis and had no idea what happened to those people. It's another story from (pre) WWII that people should know. Thank you sir for telling this history along with adding some characters that we would want to know more about and enjoy spending time with (we would also be sad right alongside them).

A wonderful book.

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Review: Along the Infinite Sea

Along the Infinite Sea Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In the past, Annable marries a man she doesn't love just because she is pregnant. In the future, she buys a car from Pepper. Pepper the outcast who finds herself pregnant by some Washington big deal in politics. Pepper and Annable go on an adventure that will connect the past of Annable with the future of Pepper, strangers who become friends.

Beatriz can tell a story like no other, and I think you can read her books as a stand-alone, but if you pay attention you will see that most of them have a connection of either a character or a location or even a family.

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Review: A Fall of Marigolds

A Fall of Marigolds A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do believe this is the greatest book I have ever read. I have read it a few of times and every time I love it more. A scarf falls at Ellis Island in 1911 and then ends up at the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. The connection of the past with the present captivated me on a long 9-hour flight, then I re-read it while traveling through the bush in Alaska and fell deeper in love with how the scarf connects the past and the present. Reading fiction about 9/11 seems so real, maybe because we lived through it and we all have a story. This was another story that left me thinking "that really could have happened". I know I heard of folks that died that never knew they were going to be parents. I know someone who had circumstances have changed that day would have been right there in the center of it all. I remember sitting by the TV wondering if someone would come after the nuclear plant where I live. This book brought up the fear, but also the happiness, the American renewal, the partnership we all had to band together as one. It tells of how folks completely changed because of the events of one morning. I love this entire story.

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Review: Goodnight From London

Goodnight From London Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW!! I have been waiting to read this because I needed the ebook since I didn't want to mess up my autographed copy. It was well worth the wait. Once I opened the ebook I devoured the text. It was a wonderful journey. We met Ruby who seems like an incredible girl that has some deep secrets. Her secrets will be revealed and she will fall for a man that also has deep secrets. Ms. Robson writes the most perfect books for me, there is some romance, but not trashy and the books are FULL of history from the early 20th century wars. This one will focus on WWII, you will actually be right in the middle of the blitz in London.

I simply adore this book.

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Review: A Sound Among the Trees

A Sound Among the Trees A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This one left me with questions. Ghosts in an old house I get, but the dead wife, mental illness and the Civil War left me wondering (or wanting) another book.



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Review: The Return of the Gypsy

The Return of the Gypsy The Return of the Gypsy by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jessica's dad will save the man she thinks that she loves. The man was a gypsy who paid her a little attention during a "show" on her father's land. The man is sent away and Jessica marries a man she loves but one that doesn't excite her as Jake did. But Jake is gone she keeps telling herself. That is he is gone until he isn't. This one is twisty.

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Review: Knave of Hearts

Knave of Hearts Knave of Hearts by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lottie is now an adult living in France during the French Revolution. She meets her French half-sister and finds love in France. She always thought she would marry her cousin Dickon there in England, so she didn't expect to find love and other trouble there in France. I am not a huge fan of Lottie, but I like the plot.

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Review: The Adulteress

The Adulteress The Adulteress by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The was the first book that I read in the series in the 80's and fell instantly in love with the writing, the stories, and the author. I immediately started seeking out all of the books to own. It took about 20 years to find all of the books because many were out of print. They are back now in paperback and ebooks so you should have no issues. No excuses.

The one features Zipporah a beautiful woman. Folks say she looks a bit like her grandmother Carlotta (see Song of the Siren). She acts nothing like her, however. She marries a man who is kind to her and devoted 100%. She meets a Frenchman and everything changes. EVERYTHING. Until this point she and her husband had failed to conceive a child; so she and her husband both know how they are now having a child. Once Lottie is born she is just perfect. She is giving her to her mom and a caretaker for her father. She falls in love with her cousin. Her mother hates the cousin and plots to keep him away from her child. Then Zipporah's husband dies. You need to read how he dies. You need to read what Dickon does. You need to read how Lottie grows up. This is what Carr does well....intrigue.

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Review: Will You Love Me in September

Will You Love Me in September Will You Love Me in September by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carlotta's daughter is just as beautiful but she is so good. She is unlucky in love to some extent. She falls for a dashing officer because he was the second choice. The first choice was shipped to Virginia and she assumes she will never see him again so she moves on. Lance is handsome and charismatic. He just likes to gamble and possibly have affairs and plot his wife's death. The future brings Clarissa and her cousin Sabrina living together and taking care of one another, a man will enter their lives and change everything once again.

This book is full of intrigue and almost as good as the last one.

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Review: The Song of the Siren

The Song of the Siren The Song of the Siren by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite of the whole series. Carlotta is charming and captivating. I was in love with her the second she graced the series in the last book. She will spellbind you into loving and hating her. She will use Harriet to get what she wants. She will fall in love with someone who is pure evil and hurt a good man in the process. The thing is, what does around comes around. The beautiful siren's flame is flickering in the wind of her wake.

I have probably read this book 20 times.

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Review: Lament for a Lost Lover

Lament for a Lost Lover Lament for a Lost Lover by Philippa Carr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book follows Arabella Eversleigh, but what I love is the entrance of Harriet Main. She is in the next few books and I adore her!!!

This is the start of my favorite books in the whole series. Arabella meets Edwin in sort of an arrangement from the families that they fall in love and marry. It does happen. Edwin is a pleasing husband, who indulges Arabella and is very present...until he is not. What we don't know for now is that yes he is involved in bringing the King back to England but he is also spending time with Harriet. We will grow to hate and love Harriet over the next few books. She is someone who will not leave our hearts easily.

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Review: The Love Child

The Love Child The Love Child by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fabulous book about the lovely Priscilla Eversleigh. Daughter of Arabella and Carlton Eversleigh. Her father wanted a son and paid little attention to her. She sought men out early in life and when a young man comes along that is wanted by the government she and her brother hide him so they can get him to safety with her cousins mother. Once the young man is safe at Harriet's (the cousins mom) Harriet invites Priscilla to her home to visit the young man. They are deep in love and plan their marriage, forestalling their wedding vows. The young man is taken the next day and killed for being a traitor to the crown. Priscilla finds herself pregnant and begs Harriet for help. They run off to Italy where the baby is born under the pretense that Harriet is pregnant. Harriet takes the baby Carlotta to her home (because she is known as HER child) while Priscilla is still hung up in intrigue. A handsome man man Beau Granville entered her life while in Europe. He tried to abduct Priscilla and she was saved by her cousin Leigh. Leigh had beat Beau up scarring his beautiful face and Beau wanted revenge. When Priscilla's dad gets involved in a plot to overthrow the King, Beau offers to save her dads life in exchange for a night with her. Reluctantly, she does but tells no one. Her dads life is saved but as the years go on Beau enters her life again. This time he wants to marry Carlotta. Priscilla has to tell everyone Carlotta is her daughter and about sleeping with Beau to save her dads life. Carlotta and Beau try to run away to get married, but they are stopped. Then all of the sudden Beau is DEAD!! Who did it? It was Priscilla's half sister.


Yes, tons of characters, but each one has endearing qualities. I even admire Beau in some ways, he is the perfect villain. Carlotta is my favorite character in this book series. She is about to cause a mess of trouble in the next book "Song of the Siren"

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Review: The Witch from the Sea

The Witch from the Sea The Witch from the Sea by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As the series progresses things get more dangerous. This one will have a story with twists and turns and an investigation of how a murder could happen right under everyone's noses. After the murder, this one lacks a bit for me which is probably why we don't hear much of Linett's daughter after this book. It is still a worthy read to see how Linett died.

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Review: The Lion Triumphant

The Lion Triumphant The Lion Triumphant by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this book. I love this series! Every year I read the Philippa Carr series (I have each one of the books). This one is full of things that happen. There is never a dull moment. Set back in Mary I (barely) and Elizabeth I reigns.

I will add to this one. This is a typical swashbuckling story of the ages. A pirate comes to town and changes everything. Sometimes I want to smack our heroine but then others I adore her!!!

This is the series that made me fall in love with reading.

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Review: Saraband for Two Sisters

Saraband for Two Sisters Saraband for Two Sisters by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This has always been an interesting book to me...Two sisters...twins....with lives intertwined so tightly they can never part.

I will add to my original review. These two twins are inseparable until one of them gets smallpox. The other was sent away in an effort to save her life. She goes to London where her cousin introduces her to a military man who is much older. They fall in love and marry. Surprise, the other twin gets better. Now their lives weave together so tightly it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I love this book and I have read it way many more times than what is listed.

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Review: The Miracle at St. Bruno's

The Miracle at St. Bruno's The Miracle at St. Bruno's by Philippa Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in my favorite series of books. This one starts during the reign of Henry VIII and his abolishment of the monasteries and the formation of a new national religion in England.... all so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Bruno was a child everyone thought was a savior of some sort. That he was sent by God to correct some of the wrongs done to the monks and the citizens. Bruno wasn't perfect. He would marry one woman and create a life of good...yeah but here is the twist.

This book will suck you in and I think you should read the whole series.

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Review: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was as perfect as I expected it to be! Loved the adventure with Neil (with an I). I read it a couple of times. I did this with Choose Your Own Adventure books as a child reader.....you read it a second and third time only choose new adventures. Neil was just as entertaining as a writer as he is on the screen.

Excellent! I will be reading this one again.

I did and seriously this is the most creative autobiography that I have ever read.

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Review: China Dolls

China Dolls China Dolls by Lisa See
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set before, during and after WWII, this books features entertainers that are Chinese American and Japanese American , very beautiful women. Life long friends, but they are also enemies as they compete for top on billing. You can feel they terror these woman feel after the bombing of Pearl Harbor....and see what they'll do to climb to the top billing spot. I couldn't put this down once I got into it.

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Review: Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 by Robert Matzen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vivid, nerve racking, unreal , sorrow.....I felt all of this. I knew the story, but I didn't know the story. The wreckage is unreal and a bit morbid, but you need this detailed account to see just what Flight 3 did to so many families. I very much enjoyed the mini bio about Carole in between the horrific story of her passing. It was the good in all that bad.

I knew of Clark's sorrow, how it changed him....but I teared up reading just how miserable he was.

I have had this book on my to read book list for a long time and now I said "why did you wait so long?" Excellent!

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Review: With Love and Laughter, John Ritter

With Love and Laughter, John Ritter With Love and Laughter, John Ritter by Amy Yasbeck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a sweet story. You can tell the love she had for John. You can tell the importance they had on each other and their relationship. He seemed like a riot off-screen too, and very much in love with his kids. His passing made me sad because I am a big fan....here we see how his family felt. It's not all sad. We find out about John's roots, career, and hobbies. Amy downplayed her own strengths and made John look great. I am sure he wasn't so perfect and I know she's a better actress than she portrays herself to be. All in all, I say Ritter fans should enjoy.

I miss his talent.

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Review: I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend

I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend by Martin Short
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I laughed, I cried and laughed a tad more. Exactly, what I expected from Marty Short. He drops names, has vacationed with Steve Martin, interviews tons of famous and creates some of the most beloved characters. Personally, he shows you what a great guy you know he is. His devotion to family is rare in one so famous. Excellent!

I keep coming back to this book because I love it so much. Reading it is a blast, but I promise if you have time to do the audiobook you will thank me. Marty is quite entertaining reading the text to you.

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Review: Rubber Soul

Rubber Soul Rubber Soul by Greg Kihn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first saw this author and it reminded me of a favorite 80's song. I second wanted to read the book because it's about my favorite band. I third wanted to on read this book in because it seemed cool. It was a lovely trip. I felt like I was hearing the Beatles tunes for the first time. I felt like I knew the boys. I loved Dust Bin Bob and thought, I wish I could have done those things. This was wonderful.

And when I finished the book, I saw it was indeed written by the musician from my childhood, Jeopardy. Great job Greg.

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Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Parts of me liked this book, parts would say "this people are nuts". I didn't figure it all out until 90% into the book. Denial of what was right in front of me. If you like sickos I'm pretty sure this is the book for you. Often listed as a "if you like Gone Girl book"...I can't agree with that. Gone Girl was superb, this is all right; but you judge for yourself.

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Review: Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even though I knew a lot of the story, I kept losing myself thinking this was fictional. 1920's Hollywood was crazy. Drugs, alcohol, sex and no morals. This books touches on a few of the Silent film scandals, but focuses on the death of William Desmond Taylor. Who did it? Mary? Mabel? Sands? Blackie? Gibby? or Sands? Full of twists and turns.

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Review: Murder in Hollywood: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery

Murder in Hollywood: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery Murder in Hollywood: Solving a Silent Screen Mystery by Charles Higham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is about the same murder that Tinseltown was written about. I read these two back to back on purpose because I wanted to see what two different writers thought about this unsolved Hollywood murder. This book featured things that were not mentioned in the last book, evidence wise. I was wondering if it was fiction or actual facts? I did not enjoy this one as much. This one was writer with one criminal in mind and didn't much mention what others could have murder William Desmond Taylor. I did like that this author seemed to have actually interviewed some of the "players" or their families...but I question what their memories were given it was so long.

I made up my mind long ago who the murderer was and after reading these two books, I have not changed that....but we will never know the truth.

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Review: The Silver Linings Playbook

The Silver Linings Playbook The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I so very much enjoyed this book. Depression, reinvention and desperation....made for some great entertainment. I had not seen the film so I wasn't sure what was going to happen (or even of the film is like the book).

I hate reviewing books too much for fear of giving away plots....Pat was a bit screwed up, Tiffany was a complete mess but hey aren't we all? Pat is trying hard to start over so he doesn't have to go back to the bad place and so apart time can be over. That is his plan. Tiffany meets him and changes his plan, with him almost kicking and screaming along the way. A friendship is formed and hopefully Tiffany can help him end apart time.

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Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe

Someday, Someday, Maybe Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There was not one thing that I didn't love about this book, except that it ended. I loved the characters, the story, the drawings, the setting. ..everything! I you're Lauren is working on a sequel. Simply perfection.

Franny is an in and out of work actor in the mid 90's. She struggles with jobs, agents, and her love life. She has set a goal for herself to make it big or use the backup plan. Will she get the big break? Or use plan B? Or like a good episode of Law and Order, will there be a twist?

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Review: A Touch of Stardust

A Touch of Stardust A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I simply LOVED this book. No ands, ifs or buts about it. It is a fictional story set in the time of 1938 during the filming of Gone With The Wind. The main character works for Carole Lombard, girlfriend and then wife of the famed Clark Gable, AKA Rhett Butler. The characters are perfectly suited to the real-life Carole, Clark, and Selznick. Any GWTW fan should like this as well as fans of film fiction. A wonderful time was had by all.

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Review: Mademoiselle Chanel

Mademoiselle Chanel Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have never been a fan of Coco, just of her designs. I thought I would give this a try because it is set in the period that I like to read about. Even though it did not change my mind about Chanel the person, it was a very enjoyable read. It read like a bio even though it was fiction. It did not portray Andre as Coco's child, as I have often read, but as her nephew; which was how he was presented to the world. Only Coco would know the real story there.

If you like the 20's-40's and fashion, you would like this book. If you are reading because you think you like Chanel....well, maybe you should rethink that and read it for some other reason. She is not an easy person to like because of her beliefs and this book does not change them to make her more likeable, and I liked that it stayed true to how CC was.

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Review: The Dressmaker

The Dressmaker The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was worried that this fictional work might be portrayed as real Titanic history. I'm glad the author explained that at the end. While, I wished there was more time spent on the ship and less on that dreadful trials, this was a fine read. It might get folks interested in the real Titanic. The Duff Gordons did indeed sail on that ship, and the controversy of lifeboat #1 has always intrigued me, so of course I found the authors take interesting. I am interested to know what happens to Tess. Also, Ms.Alcott's writing is making me happy. This is the second book I have read of hers in a couple of months and I am ready for another.

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Review: The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas

The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas by Laini Giles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my word! I have waited forever to read a book on Olive Thomas. I have been intrigued by her since childhood. This was written as if Olive was telling us the story. Fiction that reads like nonfiction. Written in a style most celeb auto bios are written in...."I make good choices but those around me don't." It was a perfect way to tell a story about a big celebrity that no one now knows because she died in 1920. She was big Before talkies and married a Pickford. A Ziegfeld girl, the most beautifil woman....Olive had it all. She was royalty.

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Review: Mrs. Hemingway

Mrs. Hemingway Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Each of Hemingway's four wives get to narrate a section of the book. I LOVED this! Hadley was my favorite wife, but I think it is because of the time period in which she belonged to Ernest. He was a budding writer and spent lots of time with F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, while they all lived in Paris.

I have read about Hadley before, but this story also gave a voice to Pauline (Pief), Martha and Mary. I enjoyed getting to know them and seeing through a fictional work, what life might have been like for them all.

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Review: The Trouble with Scarlett

The Trouble with Scarlett The Trouble with Scarlett by Martin Turnbull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest movie ever...if they can get it cast.

This book revolves around friends, Gwendolyn, the actress of the friends is doing whatever she can to get cast as Scarlett O'Hara in GWTW. While Marcus, a screenwriter, hangs out with the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald while he is working on GWTW script and Kathryn, a reporter, is on the verge of breaking the biggest gossip secret in Hollywood.

The first book was good, but this one is much better. The characters are developed and there is a bond with you and them. You really hope they all succeed.

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Review: I'll Be Seeing You

I'll Be Seeing You I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first great read of 2016! This book is really a collection of letters told by WWII wives/mothers/friends, though the letters tell some great stories. Stories of friendship, love, marriage, death and regrets. This was a beautiful book and it is very easy to place yourself in 1944, in the lives of these women and feel what they feel.

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Review: The Pink Suit

The Pink Suit The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I looked at the suit I thought Chanel. Upon research a few years back, I learned it wasn't Chanel, it was an exact copy so that the American public would not be angered by Mrs. Kennedy using a French designer. Chez Ninon, a New York Fashion house actually did the work. Copying Chanel stitch for stitch. This book tells the story of how the house created and constructed the dress. I'm not sure if the story of Kate and the dress is real. I've never read anything about Kate and the Pink Suit, but it makes a nice story. I like how the fashion house refers to Mrs. Kennedy as "the wife".

The book ends with the story we all know, of JFK being assassinated on that November day...only the author intertwines her story with the historical events.

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Review: Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wanted more than anything for this book to be my pick read for 2016. I love the subject matter and the author wrote my 2 favorite books of 2015. I was sadly disappointed. It was a good book, don't get me wrong....It just lacked a bit of that charming world that Fall of Marigolds and "Secrets of a Charmed Life" had. I LOVE GWTW and loved that something of Scarlett's would have a spot in the story, what I did not like was the way it was intertwined in the story. I think I like the characters of Audrey and Violet, at times...then I think "nope she went in a different direction. I just could not love this and I wanted to so bad. I would say if you don't like old Hollywood, or are not a huge fan of Meissner, you might pass on this one.

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Review: Empire Girls

Empire Girls Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in the height of prohibition and full of speakeasys....this book will take you right back to the 20's. The tale of two sisters who don't seem to have one single thing in common, but are thrust to have the same interests to save the family home.

It took some time to get into this book. At first I wasn't sure what I was to side with while reading. I couldn't figure it out. After the girls moved to NYC, I was still a tad confused as to how, if anyone was to be the hero. About 1/2 way through, I began to see little clues and start piecing things together. I liked that it kept me guessing. Once I got to the point where I was figuring things out, I could not put it down.

Overall, time well spent.

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Review: The Swans of Fifth Avenue

The Swans of Fifth Avenue The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I waited MONTHS for this book to be released. I must say I was NOT disappointed. This is EXACTLY what I hoped it would be. Picture this....New York in the 50's, 60's and concluding in 1974 with a death.

Truman had a pack of friends he called his "Swans". A bunch of beautiful, very rich, very powerful, and well married ladies. They liked fashion, to smoke, to drink, to go to parties and tell Truman their intimate secrets. You have to read to see what he does with this knowledge.

As of April 8, 2016, it is my pick book of the year.

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Review: Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency

Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency by Bill O'Reilly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fabulous book! I remember the day Reagan was shot. We were so worried he was not going to make it. Reagan was very popular with me, was that the fault of Alex P. Keaton? Probably, but it shaped my views on the Presidency. Reagan made me fall in love with the office and this book gave me more back story, not just on RWR, but also the man who was in love and would do anything for Jodie Foster. This has no colorful cover-ups, this is strictly facts and pretty ugly.

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Review: Platinum Doll

Platinum Doll Platinum Doll by Anne Girard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book takes what is known about the unknown starlet Harlean McGrew, who is the woman that would one day become the beautiful Jean Harlow. Her relationship with her husband, Chuck is so sweet. Actually, from what I know of the Baby, this book describes her to a T. She was a kind, gentle soul. A woman by the look of things, but a child's heart who wanted nothing but to please her mother. Her mother the overbearing, controlling, domineering woman that pushed her into Hollywood, pushed her away from her first husband and pretty much ran every part of Harlean's life. This book is fictional, but reads like a non fiction and captures the spirit of the real life players perfectly and I am not just saying that because I love Jean Harlow!!!

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Review: Madame Picasso

Madame Picasso Madame Picasso by Anne Girard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started this book in Feb, then got busy with work and put it down. I picked it up again last weekend and I could NOT put it down. All those months away were good for me. What a wonderful tale. I am not sure about the ending....I had heard a different version when studying painters in college. The timeline was a bit off in spots, but the story is magnificent. Just what I expect from Anne Girard.

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