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A Fifty year Silence

Miranda Richmond Mouillot


A young woman moves across an ocean to uncover the truth about her grandparents’ mysterious estrangement and pieces together the extraordinary story of their wartime experiences
 In 1948, after surviving World War II by escaping Nazi-occupied France for refugee camps in Switzerland, the author’s grandparents, Anna and Armand, bought an old stone house in a remote, picturesque village in the South of France. Five years later, Anna packed her bags and walked out on Armand, taking the typewriter and their children. Aside from one brief encounter, the two never saw or spoke to each other again, never remarried, and never revealed what had divided them forever.
A Fifty-Year Silence is the deeply involving account of Miranda Richmond Mouillot’s journey to find out what happened between her grandmother, a physician, and her grandfather, an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials, who refused to utter his wife’s name aloud after she left him.  To discover the roots of their embittered and entrenched silence, Miranda abandons her plans for the future and moves to their stone house, now a crumbling ruin; immerses herself in letters, archival materials, and secondary sources; and teases stories out of her reticent, and declining, grandparents.  As she reconstructs how Anna and Armand braved overwhelming odds and how the knowledge her grandfather acquired at Nuremberg destroyed their relationship, Miranda wrestles with the legacy of trauma, the burden of history, and the complexities of memory.  She also finds herself learning how not only to survive but to thrive – making a home in the village and falling in love.
With warmth, humor, and rich, evocative details that bring her grandparents’ outsize characters and their daily struggles vividly to life,A Fifty-Year Silence is a heartbreaking, uplifting love story spanning two continents and three generations.
My Review
I am intrigued by books written around this time, I guess it is because my mother lived through this time of war in Germany...I was born in Germany in 1958...I have always been very interested in the history of Germany...Although this is not a good time for Germany nor those who suffered and die as a result of a maniac named hitler...I will never understand why he was so evil and those in his service were as well. This book brings me to how it must have been during this time...the suffering and loss of so many is heart breaking...I can smell the dirt and here the sounds that were written in this book...I was brought right in to the war...I really liked this book and recommend it to anyone who likes history books about real people.

About the Author
MIRANDA RICHMOND MOUILLOT was born in Asheville, North Carolina. She lives in the South of France with her family.


Instant Happy Journal
Karen Salmansohn

About the Book
Brighten your day with this colorful journal from happiness expert Karen Salmansohn. Jam-packed with 365 “happiness prompters” including motivational quotes, scientific studies, and thought-provoking questions, this journal amps up your ability to notice (and create!) moments of joy and gratitude in your life—one day at a time.

My review

It has just enough to write per day...not too much and not too little...

From a Christian perspective, there are things within this journal which promote a humanistic perspective on life. The focus is heavily on detaching from or disregarding anything or anyone that doesn't please us and chasing after that which we deem fulfilling. One page says, "NC-17" and prompts you to write out "naughty thoughts". Another states"Wrong Thinking: Life does stuff to you. Right Thinking: Live gives you stuff. Translation: Things happen for you, not to you." There's a fair amount of talk about "energies," it's like the word "vibes" has made a come-back with a facelift. Many pages do promote ideas which are consistent with Christianity, encouraging forgiveness and gratitude and promoting love as powerful. There are pages which prompt us not to be overcome by our fears, and some which call out that we won't be happy if we try to control everything or if we say one thing and do another.
So I would not recommend this book to other Christians .

About the Author
Karen Salmansohn ( is a best selling author and award winning designer - with over 1 million books sold - who is passionate about empowering people to live their happiest, highest potential lives. She's known for creating a new breed of self help - for people who would never be caught dead doing self help - because she merges a range of psychological and philosophical research with humor and stylish graphics. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for writing this review. All thoughts are my own and are not swayed by receiving a free copy of this book.



Ties That Bind: A Novel

(The Amish of Summer Grove)

About the Book
Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?
Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach. 
 Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.  
Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.      

My Review
Thank goodness this is the first book in The Amish of Summer Grove series (there will be three books)
At first I was a little confused trying to figure out who was who....many different people in this book...I have always enjoyed books about the Amish people because I do agree with many of their beliefs. In this book many are explained so it helps the reader to understand their ways. It was an okay read but, very busy, yet very slow....Ending was kinda open which kinda left me wanting to read more but unfortunately I do not think I would read the other two books.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy books about the Amish.

About the Author

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times, CBA, ECPA, and USA Today best-selling author who has written over a dozen works of fiction and one of nonfiction book. Her connection with the Amish community has been widely featured in national media outlets. She's been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains.

If you'd like more information or to contact her, you can go to her website: or Facebook


Jody Hedlund

She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire. 
In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther.
 His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself.
 Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different.
 But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love.
 Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.

I have always enjoyed reading about Martin Luther....his story fascinates me. What he did was open others eyes to Gods Truth in many ways. He was called by God to do so and so was Katharina. They had to work together no matter what was happening around them. They were willing to lose their lives to finish Gods purpose for them.
This book was a fascinating read....much drama...much to think about what I would have done...It is a remarkable story with many turns and twists. Jody brings all the characters to life. I have read books that Jody has written and I am never disappointed.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy reading about the history of Martin Luther and his family.


Jody Hedlund is an award-winning and bestselling author of inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.
As a busy mama-writer, she has the wonderful privilege of teaching her crew of 5 children at home. In between grading math papers and giving spelling tests, she occasionally does a load of laundry and washes dishes. When she's not busy being a mama, you can find her in front of her laptop working on another of her page-turning stories.
She loves reading almost as much as she loves writing, especially when it also involves chocolate and coffee.

Reservations for Two
Hillary Manton Lodge

About the Book
Food writer-turned-restaurateur Juliette D’Alisa has more than enough on her plate. While her trip to Provence might have unlocked new answers to her grandmother’s past, it’s also provided new complications in the form of Neil McLaren, the man she can’t give up.
 Juliette and Neil find romance simple as they travel through Provence and Tuscany together, but life back home presents a different set of challenges. Juliette has a restaurant to open, a mother combating serious illness, and a family legacy of secrets to untangle – how does Neil, living so far away in Memphis, fit into to her life?
 As she confronts an uncertain future, Juliette can’t help but wish that life could be as straightforward as her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Can her French grandmother’s letters from the 1940’s provide wisdom to guide her present? Or will every new insight create a fresh batch of mysteries?

My Review
Unfortunately I did not read the first book in this series, I think this book would make more sense if I did. I just think reading the first book would have given me more understanding of the story and characters.
I don't like to leave things unfinished and this book felt like it ended abruptly, I guess because there is a book 3. This book starts of a little slow for me but picks up shortly and is a fun entertaining book !
If you are looking for an easy summertime read that is a gentle romance with some recipes thrown in, this is a book you will enjoy.
I would recommend this book to those who have read the first book in this series.

About the Author

Hillary Manton Lodge is the author of Plain Jayne, a Carol Award Finalist, and Simply Sara, an ECPA bestselling book. A graduate of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, Hillary discovered the world of cuisine during her internship at Northwest Palate magazine. A storyteller at heart, in her free time she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, watching foreign films, and exploring new walking trails. She and her husband live in Portland, Oregon. - 
See more at: Author Spotlight


The Wood's Edge: A Novel (The Pathfinders)
Lori Benton

About the Book

The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
 On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
 When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

My Review

The Wood’s Edge is a story of faith, repentance, redemption and of God’s power to heal us from our wounds. I love Lori Benton’s writing. It is descriptive and conveys the tone of the scene quite well. I found myself really empathizing with all the characters as their stories unwound. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, so when I got the chance to review The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton I was thrilled. The book didn’t disappoint! I love that Benton doesn’t shy away from telling a story that accurately portrays life in the forts, wilderness and settlements of 1700s. It wasn’t easy and people were far from perfect, yet Benton’s tale made me want to travel back in time, even if only for a week….let’s not get crazy people, a girl needs her Del Taco. The Wood’s Edge is the first in the Pathfiners Series and it left me eager to read book two! It is exciting to see how these two families are interwoven when they finally meet and how they each must trust in their God to bring things together for His glory!

I Highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a Good Book !!!

About the Author
Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God's transforming grace.
Lori's debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.


The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden:

Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers 


About the Book
This classic gardening bestseller (over 500,000 copies sold) uses ecologically friendly, intensive bio-dynamic methods to produce large amounts of vegetables in very tiny spaces. Revised for an all new generation of gardeners, the 40th anniversary edition includes brand new information on the variety of heirloom vegetables available today and how to grow them the postage stamp way.
To accommodate today's lifestyles, a garden needs to fit easily into a very small plot, take as little time as possible to maintain, require a minimum amount of water, and still produce prolifically. That's exactly what a postage stamp garden does. Postage stamp gardens are as little as 4 by 4 feet, and, after the initial soil preparation, they require very little extra work to produce a tremendous amount of vegetables--for instance, a 5-by-5-foot bed will produce a minimum of 200 pounds of vegetables.
When first published 40 years ago, the postage stamp techniques, including closely planted beds rather than rows, vines and trailing plants grown vertically to free up space, and inter-cropping, were groundbreaking. Now, in an ever busier world, the postage stamp intensive gardening method continues to be invaluable for gardeners who wish to weed, water, and work a whole lot less yet produce so much more.

My Review
I was excited to receive this book because this is the 3rd year we will have a garden and we are learning every year what to correct in our planting and harvesting of our garden. I live with my brother and sister in law with my beloved husband. We are in what I call a“communal living” situation because of finances. We live in an old farm house with a little more than an acre of land and have one garden in front and one garden in back of the house. We get along so very well that others think we are a family without the “in Law”. My sister is the garden planter with me assisting her in planting,weeding and harvesting!!! We both enjoy it so very much. After looking through this book thoroughly we both agree that this will be our garden guide this year and for the rest of the time to create our gardens!!! It is very well written and so very to easy to understand. There are grids to look at for planning the best and easiest way to use the least amount of land to product awesome veggies!!!
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to plant veggies in their yard or containers!!! It is a go to book!!!!!

About the Author

Karen Newcomb lives in northern California and is the widow of author Duane G. Newcomb. She has contributed to, and co-written eight gardening books. She is a lifetime vegetable gardener, a vegetable garden blogger for Cappers Farmer and Grit magazines. Her current book THE POSTAGE STAMP VEGETABLE GARDEN BOOK will be published February, 2015. She has devoted an entire web site to the principle of small space gardening. It also includes vegetable varieties listed either under hybrid or heirloom and where to buy the seed. 

She also writes fiction (Texas Pride and Home Again to Texas Roots), both books on Kindle. She is a writing teacher of fiction and non-fiction and a writing coach for those in her critique group.
She has been a Literary Agent, a writing event planner, and was Executive Director for the Sierra Writing Camp for 9 years. Together, she and husband, Duane founded Newcomb Editor Services that helped non-fiction book authors with writing book proposals. Most of which sold to major publishers.



In Her Kitchen:

Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World

In a gorgeous keepsake volume based on the slideshow that captured the world’s attention, Gabriele Galimberti’s beautiful portraits of grandmothers from all over the world with their signature dishes stunningly illustrates the international language of food and family.On the eve of a photography trip around the world, Gabriele Galimberti sat down to dinner with his grandmother Marisa. As she had done so many times before, she prepared his favorite ravioli—a gesture of love and an expression of the traditions by which he had come to know her as a child. The care with which she prepared this meal, and the evident pride she took in her dish, led Gabriele to seek out grandmothers and their signature dishes in the sixty countries he visited. The kitchens he photographed illustrate both the diversity of world cuisine and the universal nature of a dish served up with generosity and love. At each woman’s table, Gabriele became a curious and hungry grandson, exploring new ingredients and gathering stories. These vibrant and intimate profiles and photographs pay homage to grandmothers and their cooking everywhere. From a Swedish housewife and her homemade lox and vegetables to a Zambian villager and her Roasted Spiced Chicken, this collection features a global palate: included are hand-stuffed empanadas from Argentina, twice-fried pork and vegetables from China, slow-roasted ratatouille from France, and a decadent toffee trifle from the United States. Taken together or bite by bite, In Her Kitchen taps into our collective affection for these cherished family members and the ways they return that affection.

In Her Kitchen is an evocative, loving portrait of the power of food and family, no matter where in the world you sit down for dinner.

My Review
I love the photos. Because each photo was like an appetizer; it is just enough to explore the appetite of their cultures, countries and cuisines.
I was more impressed with this project because I can only imagine the work that went into traveling to so many far places, connecting with host homes and collecting the stories and recipes. But taken as a whole, these 60 grandmas and their food stories are a powerful testament that people the world over are connected by their communion over a good meal and good company. In Her Kitchen is a great way for an arm chair or kitchen table chair traveler to sample some home cooking that might not appear in typical cookbooks.


Hope Crossing: The Complete Ada's House Trilogy
which includes
The Hope of Refuge”,“The Bridge of Peace” and “The Harvest of Grace”

Cindy Woodsmall

My Review

What a wonderful trilogy weaved in hope,refuge, faith, peace, and grace. Cindy Woodsmall writes easily and moves your heart by words that bring us to love the characters . Ada's House is a place everyone could call home.
At first when I began reading the beginning of The Hope of Refuge I was a little confused as to how the two main characters...only for a short while...then once I started reading it I could not put it down!!!This trilogy is inviting and warm. The characters are a mixture of personalities that draw the reader in as it's easy to relate to these characters.

In “
The Hope of Refuge" we meet some wonderful characters , and as you go into book 2, "The Bridge of Peace", the same characters and we are introduced to new characters . Last book,but not least "The Harvest of Grace", brings us to a wonderful conclusion to this trilogy. It was hard to say good-bye to these characters, but Cindy closes the trilogy in such a way that you feel the story is complete.
If you love Amish fiction this is a trilogy you don't want to miss! Perfect for snuggling up on a winter afternoon with your favorite coffee. So easy to enjoy you won't be able to put it down.
I HIGHLY recommend this book for anytime reading!!!!!


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