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January 2017

Review Time: Featuring Coal River by Ellen MarieWiseman

Do you love Historical Fiction? This is one of the genres that I started reading after I retired. And, I love it. I guess what I really like most about it is that it usually contains some truth. Either the topic being discussed or the setting, and sometimes real people. Not to mention that reading about history is fun especially with added fiction.

I will let Amazon tell you  a little about Ellen and a little about the book. Then I will add my review because… well just because…. it is my blog after all. 🙂

About the Author:

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Ellen Marie Wiseman was born and raised in Three Mile Bay, a tiny hamlet in Northern New York. Ellen lives on the shores of Lake Ontario with her husband, two spoiled Shih-tzus, and a rescued yellow lab. She loves to cook, travel, garden, watch movies and spend time with her children and grandchildren.

For more information about Ellen, please visit http://www.ellenmariewiseman.com.

And I will add that this area of upstate New York is absolutely gorgeous. I am not particularly fond of the winters up there, but the Spring, Summer and Fall can’t be beat. (says the somewhat partial New York Army Mom.)

 

Amazon Synopsis:

In this vibrant new historical novel, the acclaimed author of The Plum Tree and What She Left Behind explores one young woman’s determination to put an end to child labor in a Pennsylvania mining town. . .

As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at nineteen, she accepts a train ticket from her aunt and uncle and travels back to the rough-hewn community. Treated like a servant by her relatives, Emma works for free in the company store. There, miners and their impoverished families must pay inflated prices for food, clothing, and tools, while those who owe money are turned away to starve.

Most heartrending of all are the breaker boys Emma sees around the village–young children who toil all day sorting coal amid treacherous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind Emma of the little brother she lost long ago, and she begins leaving stolen food on families’ doorsteps, and marking the miners’ bills as paid.

Though Emma’s actions draw ire from the mine owner and police captain, they lead to an alliance with a charismatic miner who offers to help her expose the truth. And as the lines blur between what is legal and what is just, Emma must risk everything to follow her conscience.

An emotional, compelling novel that rings with authenticity–Coal River is a deft and honest portrait of resilience in the face of hardship, and of the simple acts of courage that can change everything.

My Review:

One of the things I look for in a novel is description; I want to feel the characters, feel the setting, and most of all feel the story. In doing so, I feel like I know the author. No matter what the topic, a good author shows themselves in what they write! Coal River is one of those beautifully written stories.

As Ellen describes the area and the characters, I could actually feel the dirt on their feet and the black coal on their faces, not to mention the cuts and bruises on their bodies.

I can’t even imagine the lives that the miners and their families lived. With little food, clothing and coal to heat their homes, they got up every morning and went to work. The women stayed home as their husbands and children, as young as 5/6, went off to the very unsafe mines to work 10 hours every day! The stress of  whether or not they would return each night had to have been unbearable.

Once I got to the midpoint of the book, there was no putting it down. Page after page, I just wanted to see what happened next.

I noticed a few reviewers didn’t like the romance in the story! Well Gosh;  Emma is 19 years old, of course there needs to be some romance! It was written well and certainly wasn’t overdone.

And then there was the ending! I never saw it coming, but I loved it! If you want to read a good Historical Fiction with a few twists and an unexpected ending, then this is a book for you.  I highly recommend Coal River, and I am looking forward to reading more from Ellen Marie Wiseman. My rating, definitely 5 Stars… 

p.s. Along the way Emma does a few things that aren’t legal… I couldn’t help but to think about Robin Hood as I was reading. 🙂

I received this book while attending an online facebook party… Thank you Ellen for sending it to me, I really enjoyed reading and reviewing it.

 

As Always, don’t forget to:

LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and by All Means, READ!

Sharon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adult Coloring–Fun AND Good for You!

For those who like to color, there are benefits!

Reade and Write

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I wrote a post today for Novel Spaces, where I post on the 22nd of each month. The post is all about adult coloring and it’s benefits for your mind and spirit. You can check it out here.

Thanks for visiting!

Until next time,

Amy

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Choose To Be Kind or Not!

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So I had a very enjoyable outing and I of course I ran into a couple of crazies out there! LOL! The first one honked his horn at the light because I took less than 30 seconds to make my turn! I prayed that God would give him a little more patience! Then, on my way home I stopped at a red light and the truck behind me drove into the rut to my right and took off like a crazy person! Maybe he didn’t know that the law states that you make a full stop, check for oncoming traffic and than proceed to make your turn! In about a minute I was right behind him! Silly boy! I prayed for him too!

Now the good stuff… a very kind lady was in front of me at Michael’s Craft Store, and she turned to me and said, “I am sorry, this is gonna take a few minutes” and I smiled and said that’s ok… I had my walker with me just in case I needed to sit down.. then she looked down and said, your boot is untied, may I please tie it for you so you don’t fall! For that I was very grateful, unless I am sitting, I can’t tie it! Then she turned to the clerk and said, please cancel what you are doing and ring this lady up so she can get home! Even though I said no no no, she did it! We chatted while the clerk rang me up and I told her I was going to make Valentines cards with my granddaughters. She got all excited and told me that she was a third grade teacher before she retired. She said of all the holidays including Christmas, this was the kids favorite. They loved exchanging those little valentines, and believe me, she said, they read every line.

As an aside to my story here, I’ll throw this in… In previous years I created a design and they copied it. This year, I bought a bunch of stuff and I am gonna let them create their own designs. It should be interesting to see what they come up with. I will have to post some pics when they finish!

That, my friends,  was a very pleasant outing at one of my favorite stores. But, that is not the end of my story. I stopped on the way home to pick up a drink and while I was walking toward the register (with several people in front of me), a second clerk opened her register and motioned for a man to come forward, he turned to me and said, you go ma’am. and I said, “no, no, you were here first” he smiled and said, “I am in no hurry, it will only take an extra minute.” So true an extra minute…. what’s a minute in a lifetime, I thought to myself. I smiled and thanked him and we both went on our way.

So, four people, two in a mad rush, and two showing kindness… You decide; take that extra minute to be kind or rush through your life as if every minute you delay will cost you something.

In my mind, the choice is very simple….. what I have learned over the years is that kindness goes a long way.. If you smile at someone today, I guarantee you will get a smile back… in the meantime, Don’t forget to:

Live, Love, Laugh and by all means Read!

Until next time!

Sharon

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Quick Look at 2016 and Let’s Move On to 2017

Unless I have new readers, I don’t think I have to tell anyone that 2016 was not my best year! Writing about it is undoubtedly very difficult!

Having been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer just before Christmas in 2015, I began to prepare for what I knew would be a very long and difficult year for my family, my friends, and me. Actually, if I am going to be honest here, I planned for 6 months of difficulty, because I really didn’t expect to be here beyond June 2016! No, that wasn’t my doctor giving me a prognosis, that was all me trying to read God’s mind! Alas, he had other plans!

I am not going to write a play by play of the 9 months of treatments, pain and all that went on during that time, I will just say that it was not fun! And yes, I whined a lot!

So now I will skip to September; my last chemo treatment was definitely successful ! Lots of partying going on, well not really partying but definitely a lot of smiling! And on October 12 I received the good news that I was cancer free!!!! A day I will remember for a long time!

It’s actually Christmas Eve as I write this and I am still smiling! I am so grateful for the gift of life and I want to thank so many people! My many doctors for the skills that they work so hard to learn. So many nurses that I met at the doctors offices, the infusion clinic and the hospital. The compassion that they share is beyond incredible. An even bigger thank you to My family and friends, without all of you I would not be writing this today! I was listening to Delilah on the radio the other night and she was telling us to get off the computer and get out and about with real people!!! Well I am here to say she is wrong about that. I thank Facebook for allowing me to keep in contact with many folks that I would not have been able to during this very difficult time. Prayer travels far and if you allow it to, a hug can be felt clear across the country! For that, I am thankful.

I didn’t set any resolutions for 2016, but I decided I would definitely set some for 2017. Here they are!

1) I want to lose 20 pounds! That doesn’t seem like much but it will be difficult since I like to eat.

2) Exercise daily. That’s a tough one, but I will think positive.

3) Read 50-75 books. This should not be hard since it is what I love to do!

4) Get back to writing my blog!!! If not weekly,  Then biweekly.

5) last but certainly not least… remember and practice one of my favorite quotes, Live, Love, Laugh And READ!

That’s it for 2016, and  as I welcome 2017, please join me as I wish my family and friends a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Let’s make 2017 a year to remember! READY, SET, GO!

And don’t forget… to… Live, Love, Laugh And READ!

Sharon

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