After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother’s country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…
Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander’s past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her. (From Goodreads.com)
Bubby: Sissy read this book first and warned me to not read it at night, as I would have nightmares and not be able to sleep. I, of course, scoffed at her because I am a strong and powerful woman and nothing scares me! So I went ahead and read it one night while my husband was at work late. The kids were all asleep in their beds (none of which are on the same floor of our house as my bedroom, by the way) and I was all alone. And about 15 minutes in I was terrified out of my mind. It was all I could do to force myself to open up my bedroom closet the next morning for fear that a psychotic ghost would be waiting inside. I should have listened to Sissy!
Sissy: Let’s see–“I should have listened to Sissy”—Ding, ding, ding! That should be the mantra for your life (everyone’s life, really, except it would read “I WILL listen to Sissy.”). Also, the part where you said “nothing scares me” is, of course, a complete lie. Readers: Bubby is a first class scaredy cat. In the case of Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto, however, the fear is well justified. I also read this book alone at night (well, everyone was asleep but me). I went to bed (translation: ran terrified to my bedroom) only to find my dear hubby snoring loudly. Normally I would have gone down to the guest bedroom to escape the snores, but I was so petrified by the thought of Isobel the creepstash swamp-thing jumping out at me from anywhere en route or in the guest room closet that I simply attached myself to the ghost conquering snorer and lay awake but safe. Let me add, lest you get the wrong idea, that I really liked this book. It was full of drama, excitement, romance, and enough ghostly encounters to scare the holy pantalones off me. Just look at the cover–it’s like Heathcliff meets 21st century teenage medium.
Bubby: We should make it clear here that these are your standard “made bad decisions in life and can’t let go” ghosts, not “evil spawn of Satan” ghosts. We don’t do them Satanic sorts of things – I mean, there’s scary and there’s afraid for your immortal soul scary. We don’t go there. Anyway, my favorite part of Ghost House has to be the ending. Alexandra Adornetto wraps up the story so nicely – all the loose ends are tucked away neatly and everything’s back to normal. And then, in the very last two sentences of the book, BOOM! Massive cliffhanger. Yup. I literally dropped my Kindle on the floor and yelled “What the heck?!?”. I did. You can ask my kids. And the worst part? Ghost House was just barely published. So now I have to wait to find out what on earth is going to happen next. Well played, Alexandra Adornetto. Well played. 4 absolutely flesh-crawling bubbles of creepy from me.
Sissy: There are many characters in this story that we haven’t mentioned; Chloe’s dad who sends her and her brother Rory away because he can’t handle parenting after the death of his wife, the aforementioned Rory, who I wonder how he gets through all this without psychological problems of his own, Granny Fee, who owns “Ghost House”, and Joe, Chloe’s sympathetic English friend. All in all, a terribly enjoyable read. For daylight only! 3.75 ghostly orbs.
Click HERE to buy Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto at Amazon.com
© Bubble Bath Books 2014
Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible–something to truly believe in. (From Goodreads.com)
Sissy: The thing I liked most about The Bridge from Me To You is that it is told from the perspectives of both Lauren and Colby. They alternate chapters and a lot of Lauren’s is done in verse, which sounds like it would be annoying but surprisingly, it wasn’t. This literary technique elevated what could have been your average angsty teenage romance into something more readable and meaningful.
Bubby: I loved that these characters are so much more than they appear on the surface. They both have hopes, dreams, secrets and a depth that most of their peers can’t see from the outside. Lisa Schroeder does a great job of creating characters that I really related to.
Sissy: Well worth your time. We looked at Lisa Schroeder’s website and she has a whole stack of delicious looking YA books. Also, some fun books for middle readers. Go take a peek!
Bubby: I predict that we’ll be reviewing more from Lisa Schroeder. So many books; so many people who want me to do other things than read! (My family has no vision…)
Katie Parker is about to get a new life—whether she wants one or not. With her mom in prison, and her father AWOL, Katie is sent to live with a squeaky-clean family who could have their own sitcom. She launches a full-scale plan to get sent back to the girls’ home when she finds herself in over her head…and heart. When Katie and her new “wrong crowd” get into significant trouble at school, she finds her punishment is restoring a historic theater with a crazy grandma who goes by the name of Mad Maxine. In the midst of her punishment, Katie uncovers family secrets that run deep, and realizes she’s not the only one with a pain-filled past. Katie must decide if she’ll continue her own family’s messed up legacy or embrace a new beginning in this place called In Between. (From Goodreads.com)
Bubby: I have found a new favorite author – and so has my teenage daughter. You know an author is good when I finish a book and NEED to buy the next two books immediately, which is exactly what happened with the Katie Parker books by Jenny B. Jones. And as for my daughter? I let her read the first book one morning during the last days of summer vacation and I swear to you she did absolutely nothing else except read. All three books. Luckily she reads freakishly fast!
Sissy: Here’s the thing about Jenny B. Jones. She’s hilarious! This you would not expect from a young adult genre book but I laughed out loud so many times. The dialogue is so witty I wished that I could come up with stuff like that. My favorite character was, of course, Maxine, Katie’s foster grandmother.
Bubby: I LOVE Maxine! I want to BE Maxine!
Sissy: Excuse me, I was not finished. Anyway, when you read the conversations between Maxine and Katie (especially in the second and third books) you’ll see that Jenny B. Jones totally channels a crazy 60 or 70 something year old lady. I went to the author’s website and looked at her picture and look at her! She’s this young thing! Awesome humor, Jenny. You and me should be friends. Then I would be more popular.
Bubby: Wow, Sissy. Popularity isn’t everything, you know! I really enjoyed the arc of the three books. First we have our introduction to Katie and to James and Millie, her foster parents. We get to watch Katie struggle with being accepted in the town and with learning how to live in a loving home. And then there’s book two, On The Loose. It’s the perfect middle book. Everything goes wrong. The town gets hit with a tornado, Millie gets cancer, and it’s just drama, drama drama!
Sissy: Plus a new male character is introduced, et voila! We have a love triangle! Tate, who supposedly looks like Channing Tatum (need I say more?), brings interest/confusion to Katie’s life. Will she end up with long time crush Charlie or new boy Tate? You may think you know the answer to that question by the end of book three but then Ms. Jones decides to kill us with a teaser for a yet-to-be published novella (Can’t Let You Go) in which things seem to go a different direction. I read somewhere that the novella is supposed to come out September 21st but that is not confirmed on the website. I truly went crazy at that point and wanted to go camp out on Jenny Jones’ doorstep until she fed me the end of the story!
Bubby: Exactly! I have strong feelings on how I want it all to turn out but my strongest feeling is that I want to know! Right now! I can’t possibly recommend these books highly enough. I loved them. I bought them as ebooks and I will probably buy them in hard copy as well. And maybe build a shelf just for them. And hold them and squeeze them and call them George…
Sissy: Okay, now you’re getting creepy.
Bubby: Oh, sorry. I didn’t mean to say all of that out loud. Oops. Anyway, 4.5 bloomin’ bubbles from me. Loved them.
Sissy: Great series. I’m only giving them 4.87 bubbles and not 5 because of the crazy-making novella that I cannot read yet.
Click HERE to buy In Between by Jenny B. Jones from Amazon.com.
Click HERE to buy On The Loose by Jenny B. Jones from Amazon.com.
Click HERE to buy The Big Picture by Jenny B. Jones from Amazon.com.
© Bubble Bath Books 2014
Can a stack of long-hidden love letters from a WWII war hero inspire a heartbroken woman to love again? Reeling from a bitter divorce, Adrienne Carter abandons Chicago and retreats to the sun, sand, and beauty of Southern Florida, throwing herself into the restoration of a dilapidated old Victorian beach house. Early into the renovations, she discovers a tin box hidden away in the attic that reveals the emotional letters from a WWII paratrooper to a young woman who lived in the house more than a half-century earlier.
The old letters—incredibly poetic and romantic—transcend time, and they arouse in Adrienne a curiosity that leads her to track down the writer of the letters. William “Pops” Bryant is now an old man living in a nearby town with his handsome but overprotective grandson, Will. As Adrienne begins to unravel the secrets of the letters (and the Bryants), she finds herself not yet willing to give up entirely on love. (From Amazon.com)
Bubby: We’re back! Wow, what a summer. I think Sissy would agree that what we really need now is 6 months of really boring life. No drama, no excitement, no big events, nothing. But for some reason, I doubt that will be the case!
Sissy: I know. From your lips to God’s ears, Bubby. At some point during the summer, I don’t know when, we both read this book and found it to be so sweet and poignant. We knew we needed to share it with you! Two love stories happen within its pages, one beginning in the WWII era and one in the present day. The thing that weaves them all together is the bundle of love letters bound with one lavender ribbon – hence the title. And let me tell you: those letters were beautifully written. I fear in this fast paced age of texts and tweets that such lovely writing is becoming extinct. I have a bundle of love letters that my husband wrote me when we were courting. Does that make me sound ancient?
Bubby: Yes, but so does everything you say, so…
Sissy: Wow. I see your summer experiences have not polished off your rudeness! My love letters are a magnificent treasure, just like the ones in Heather Burch’s novel.
Bubby: I actually think that I do have a few letters somewhere from my dear husband. I’ll have to see if I can find them. I’m sure that they are quite romantic, just like yours.
Sissy: Not possible. My husband is the King of Romance.
Bubby: I don’t know about that. My husband bought me a yard full of sod for our 20th anniversary. And an ironing board for my birthday. Can’t beat that! (For the record, we went to Spain last month and celebrated our anniversary early, and I REALLY wanted that ironing board so…) I have to say that of the two love stories, I prefer the older one. It’s just so sweet to see love that stands the test of time. Besides which, there’s a nifty little twist that really makes the whole story sing. I could expound but then Sissy would have to kill me.
Sissy: I only want to kill you because you got to go to Spain and I didn’t.
Bubby: Get over it.
Sissy: Anyway, if we can stop talking about SPAIN, if you are looking for a heartwarming reading interlude, One Lavender Ribbon by Heather Burch will truly satisfy you. 3.7 bubbles from me.
Bubby: It was a wonderful story. Heather Burch does a fantastic job of evoking romance, nostalgia and hope. Loved it. 4.25 lavender bubbles.
Click HERE to buy One Lavender Ribbon by Heather Burch from Amazon.com
© Bubble Bath Books 2014
Nobody in the family talks about Ellen’s grandmother Lola, who was swallowed up by the circus and emerged as a woman who tamed tigers. When Ellen’s husband, Wayne, beats her nearly to death, she runs to the only place she knows where a woman can completely disappear—the same Big Top that once sheltered her grandmother. Though the circus moves from one town to the next, Wayne tracks it, and Ellen, relentlessly. At the same time, Ellen learns more about her feisty, fiery relative, and the heritage that is hers for the taking—if she dares. With her violent husband hot on her trail, Ellen must learn to stand up and fight for herself, to break the cycle of abuse, and pass down a story of love and redemption to her children. (Netgalley.com)
Bubby: I have to give props to Sissy on this one. I was not overly interested in reading The Language of Silence. I have difficulty reading or watching anything that deals with domestic violence or the abuse of children. I’m just too much of a softie. And circuses have clowns and clowns scare me because they are creepy. Put the two together and I decided that this was not a book for me. But Sissy made me read it. And I am glad. It was great. I really hate to say it, but Sissy was right. This time.
Sissy: Do we have to keep revisiting the old sad theme of how I’m always right? The language of Silence was maddening to read, at times, because it is so hard for a person not in an abusive relationship to understand how difficult it is to get out of one. A normal reaction would be to say to the victim, “Just leave the bum. No one is allowed to treat you that way. Call the cops!” It seems so cut and dried. But it’s so not. The thing that made this book readable and not just another sorry sad tale was the magic in it.
Bubby: And Aunt Ruth. I love Aunt Ruth. I want to be Aunt Ruth.
Sissy: Yes, I was going to say Aunt Ruth and her “sight” and the back story of Lola and the circus that is interwoven throughout the book take this book to a magical level. Plus spangled costumes and feather plumes.
Bubby: I passionately hated Ellen’s mother, Josie. You’d think that someone who had grown up knowing her father was abusive to her mother would not only recognize the signs in her own daughter but actively seek to educate and protect her child. Not Josie. Her reaction when Ellen tells her about the abuse? “For Pete’s sake, Ellen. Don’t do anything to set him off. You know how moody men can be. You just have to smile and carry on.” Bull hooey. My daughter tells me her husband has hit her? She’s moved out and he’s got a restraining order and we have new ammo for the shotgun. And if my son ever hit his wife or kids? He’d better start running and not stop.
Sissy: She made me so furious! Such a dark ages point of view–“Do whatever you need to keep the man happy, and if he’s not happy it’s your fault.” I think I would add to Bubby’s answer to abusive men–how about our connections to the Samoan mafia? Didn’t know about that, did ya?! But karma leads Ellen and Aunt Ruth full circle–back to the place where Lola found happiness and where Ellen eventually finds her own. How about a dark and handsome trainer of Andalusian horses named Luca? I think Bubby would get all giddy here and say “Yumm!”
Bubby: Absolutely! I love the redemption of the circus. It’s where Lola found her true love and life and where Ellen does as well. It’s also where Lola’s husband got what he deserved (no spoilers!) and it’s the same for Ellen’s husband (to an extent) also.
Sissy: I think the answer for all abusive men (and women) is 10 minutes with an angry tiger…
Bubby: Sissy! No spoilers! I can’t wait to read more from Peggy Webb. The Language of Silence gets 4 sequined bubbles from me.
Sissy: A lovely tale. I hate the name Wayne. By the end so will you. 4 bubbles from me.
Click HERE to buy The Language of Silence by Peggy Webb from Amazon.com.
We received a copy of The Language of Silence from NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.
© Bubble Bath Books 2014
Forget prophecy. Make your own destiny. Sheltered from the outside world with no hope for escape, slave girl Reychel dreads her fifteenth birthday – when her master’s symbol is burned on the back of her bald scalp. Her best friend disappears the night before, leaving her to face the branding ceremony alone. She soon discovers nothing is as it seems when people desperate for freedom beg for Reychel’s help. Can Reychel learn to believe in herself? (From Netgalley.com)
Bubby: Sometimes we go and look at other’s reviews on a given book just to see what other people are thinking. Sometimes when we do that, we find wildly conflicting opinions. That is the case with Anathema. It seems to us that Anathema was published previously and has been re-released after some major editing, hence the conflicting reviews. At any rate, the version of Anathema that I read was really quite a treat. Original, well-written, great characters. It is the first in a series of 6 books that are split into two trilogies (Cloud Prophet Trilogy and Swarm Trilogy) and a novella that promises to tie the two trilogies together. I have in my possession said novella and book 1 of the Swarm Trilogy. Happy reading ahead for me!
Sissy: Our main character Reychel is a slave who is given some strange preferential treatment by her owner Kandek. Her story is an exciting adventure that leads us to find out she is much more than she thinks. Twisty relationships and secrets revealed add drama and color to the whole tale. There is a touch of romance to spice things up and a whole cast of interesting characters.
Bubby: Including, as always, one you’ve just got to hate. Oh, that character is a nasty piece of work!
Sissy: But that character is dealt with deliciously in the end. All you have to do is look at the face of the cover model and her dreamy eye makeup and you know she is clever and bound to come out on top.
Bubby: Perfect book for a beach read. Now all I need is a beach! 3.5 bubbles.
Sissy: Experience with Reychel secrets that will change her life. I know you can’t wait to find out what happens! 3.5 bubbles.
Click HERE to buy Anathema at Amazon.com (Currently FREE!!)
We were given a copy of this title from Netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review.
© Bubble Bath Books 2014
To the student nurses at The Nightingale hospital, the ward sisters are heartless and frightening, with impossibly high standards. But the sisters have troubles of their own…
The new night sister is not all that she seems. Who is she and what dark secret is she hiding? As the mystery deepens, Sister Wren is determined to find out the truth.
The student nurse is struggling with her own secret, and with her heartbreak over Nick, the man who got away. A new arrival on the ward brings the chance to put a smile back on her face. But can she really get over Nick so easily?
Dora’s fellow student is also torn between the two men in her life. But then an unexpected friendship with an elderly patient makes her question where her heart – and her future – really lies.
As the nation mourns the death of King George V, it seems as if nothing is ever going to be the same again, especially for the women at the Nightingale.
Sissy: Back at the beginning of June we reviewed the first book in this series, The Nightingale Girls. Much to our delight, we were able to receive a copy of this book, number two in the series, so we just had to read it! And recommend it to you!
Sissy (again): Oh, you thought Bubby might chime in about how much she enjoyed the continuing saga of Dora, Helen, and Millie? You thought she would natter on about the new nurse Violet, or wail about waspish sister Wren? Well, you thought wrong. Bubby is, at present, in Spain! You heard right–Spain! But I am not jealous. Oh, no–I would never begrudge Bubby the opportunity to savor the sights of Seville and meander in Madrid. And I certainly carry no envy concerning her plans to leap over to Lisbon, Portugal, and trot down to Tangier, Morocco. I am perfectly happy to stay here and write this blog by myself in the exciting and stimulating environs of small town America. So, until further notice…
At any rate, The Nightingale Sisters is thoroughly enjoyable, and you will find yourself highly invested in the dramas, highs and lows, and everyday dealings of the nurses at the Nightingale hospital. 4 starched-white bubbles!
Also–Stay tuned for upcoming blogs from me and various guest bloggers in my sister’s absence. It will be exciting!
Click HERE to buy The Nightingale Sisters by Donna Douglas at Amazon.com
©2014 Bubble Bath Books