First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

First Frost, Sarah Addison Allen, Book JOurney

The Waverly’s were always considered a bit….


Claire went from a successful catering business to making candies that seemed to have taken the town by storm.  Everyone wants the candies and Claire finds that the candy business has slowly taken over every sweet moment of her life.

Sydney has a successful hair stylist shop which is ever-growing in clients, yet Sydney really longs to have a child with her husband.

Evanelle gives people strange gifts but finds her own health failing and she must make changes in her lifestyle.

Sydney’s daughter Bay has a gift of making things just right and is always on the decorating committees at school.  Now she has given her heart away to a boy who does not seem to want what she has so openly given.

And there is the Waverly apple tree, the tree which all the Waverly’s watch… waiting… for first frost.



I really enjoyed First Frost on audio.  Narrated by Susan Ericksen, whose voice lent a mystical musical tone to the book that was most appropriate.  Listening to First Frost was thoroughly enjoyable, almost relaxing as the story unfolds so smoothly.

Each of the women’s story line in the book is engaging.  Often when a story unfolds this way I find that I tend to enjoy one story line over the others and rush through to get to the parts I like.  This is not the case in First Frost.  Each character lends itself to the story building off the others.

Worth a listen.



  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 35 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Release Date: January 20, 2015


The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerald Kelly

the boy who loved rain, Gerald Kelly, Book Journey, TLC Tours

David and Fiona have one son Colom.  Yet no matter what they do, Colum, now 14, acts out at school and is desensitized when it comes to any sort of discipline.  David, who is a Pastor is adamant that Colom receive any counseling through the Church and that no outside help be administered.  Fiona, who just wants to help Colom is not so sure her husband’s ways are right this time.

As Colom continues to strike out as school, and have nightmares about a drowning sister although he has no sister, the walls feel like they are closing in on this family. David becomes more and more distant from his son and Fiona finds no other solution but to take Colom and run seeking shelter through the kindness of a friend… hoping perhaps distance from his father and from the school pressures will help Colom sort through what he is going through.

but how much of what is happening is Colom, and how much is David and Fiona’s own creation?



The Boy Who Loved Rain is a powerful read.  I was unsure picking this book up what I was in for…would I experience the slow destruction of a boy like in Nineteen Minutes?  Would I find the cold calculations of a child like in We Need To Talk About Kevin?

As it turns out, no, The Boy Who Loved Rain is an entirely different type of book and one that I enjoyed thoroughly.  Written in an almost lyrical way I like how this story unfolds from a family to individuals and it felt true to life.  Broken people just trying to get it right.  The book also brings up great discussion questions and I could not help but think that this would make for a good group read.

This book is a thought-provoking read.  I enjoyed spending time with it very much.



  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Fiction; 1st New edition (January 1, 2015)

I was able to experience this journey with Colom thanks to TLC Book Tours




Morning Meanderings…. Oh WordPress…. Beep Beep Boop To You.


Good morning!  CHILLY here in Minnesota the past few days however rumor has it that the weekend will warm up.  I hope so.  I am ready to be wearing Capri’s and light shirts and not having to dress in layers just in case.

For WordPress users such as myself, this post is kind of for us.  However, Blogger users hang out too as for years I have read posts or tweets on grumbles about Blogger and I thought “I am so glad I chose WordPress!”, now I too have a grumble.

Quite a while back WordPress changed how you created and edited a new post with a shiny new version that has a “beep beep boop” message while it is processing and is very different to use and format.



However, WP gave an option to click a sweet little button that said Classic Mode and my world continued in happy blissful blogging peace.  That is, up until couple days ago when WP decided that it was time to suck it up and convert to the new ways of doing things.  (The WordPress version of “drink the Kool Aid!”

wordpress editior, classic, Book JOurney, beep beep boop

Now I have been looking up ways on line to change it back to the way I like to use it.  I did find a way that you can go through your dashboard to the new posts, or edit from the dashboard to bring up the old way, however if you do this from the main page you will be directed to the new way.

Beep Beep Boop.

wordpress editior, beep beep boop, Book Journey


There are other posts about this and one I read this morning that explains ways around the new editor but really why change what is already working well?  Many WP users are not happy about this messing with what isn’t broke.

If you are a WordPress user and know easier ways to return to classic mode, chat with me.  :)


This morning I am enjoying a big cup of COFFEE after a fairly restless night.  I have my friends two dogs staying with us while she goes to see her daughter in Korea.  Yes, that means I have 5 (FIVE!) dogs in the house for the next week and then they will go to another friends house to share the duty.  Last night the two newbies to the house were restless, crying, and wondering the house most of the night.  Hopefully tonight they will feel more adjusted. :)  They are small so they do not take up much room… just a lot of activity in my home. :D


The Precious One by Marisa do los Santos

The Precious One, Marissa de los Santos, Marisa do los Santos, Book Journey

Recently, I had fallen behind on reviews.. you know… life happens and all that stuff.  When I sat down one morning and thought it was time to catch up I absolutely knew this was the review I wanted to write first.  I was so impressed and excited about this authors style of writing I was ready to gush gush gush, perform cart wheels and produce pom poms;  but here, let me share with you this story… ~Sheila

Eustacia (Taisy) Cleary grew up with Wilson, a father that was beyond structured and strict, and never quite earned the title of daddy.  Not only did he destroy the relationship she had with the only boy she ever loved, his selfish hard ways also led to the destruction of their family when he left Taisy, her twin brother Marcus, and their mother for a younger woman, and soon to follow a baby girl named Willow, who Taisy has never had a chance to get to know.

Now seventeen years later the dust of that destructive time has cleared and Taisy despite the damage to her self-esteem that her father had created, is doing well as a ghost writer.  Her relationship with her brother and mom are very intact, and the boy, Ben, the one that broke her heart just as much as she broke his, is but a small flutter of regretful memory.

Then out of the blue, Wilson calls.  He wants Taisy to come and stay with him for a couple of weeks and write his life story.  He claims that everything she has ever wondered about him will be revealed, but it is she who he wants to do the research and writing.  Against her better judgement, Taisy agrees to go, curious about the man who was so controlling, and his mysterious wife, as well as Willow, her sister who would now be 17 years old.

Willow, who has been home schooled until recently, and sheltered all her life by her parents is incredibly smart, beautiful, and freakishly naive about all things in the real world.  She has never had a cell phone, a computer, or watch TV other than educational programming… and she is immediately mistrusting of Taisy’s presence in her home, trying, in Willow’s opinion to take back the family she was no longer a part of.

Taisy is about to get a life lesson in family, in friendship, and in lost love.  There is so much more as to why Wilson has called on her, and all involved are about to move forward into a strange new present.

Let the gushing commence.  This is the first book I have read by Marissa de los Santos and I absolutely had no idea going in what an experience her writing would be.  I adored the long sentences of conversation (much the way I myself may talk) and the funny little comments in parenthesis … but it was so much more than the writing I enjoyed, it was also the amazing characters and story.

Once again I find myself in a sort of trend in books that somehow lead to someone coming back home to fix, repair, or learn something.  And again I am blown away with what a useful synopsis this truly is.  In Taisy’s case, she is only back in her home town for a task and then has every intention to return to her life.  Taisy is the kind of protagonist I really like, a strong independent woman who is just cleaning up some past residue.

Willow is also an excellent voice to this book.  Told in alternating chapters between Taisy and Willow, it is enjoyable to see life through this sheltered girls eyes.  Her dialogue is not that of a teenager due to her upbringing but even that is fun (it felt a little like Jane Eyre dialogue).  It was like Willow struggles between the sophisticated rich upbringing she has had and the desire to be a teenager and go through teenager stuff.  This inner struggles is handled superbly.

I absolutely devoured this book and am now eyeballing another book I have waiting for me by this same author, Belong To Me.

If you have not read this author, I highly recommend her.  She has a refreshing style that inspired me to really be myself in my own writing.  It was wonderful!

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (March 24, 2015)
  • Language: English

Morning Meanderings… What Book Are You Waiting For?


Good morning.  Ahhhhh…. Wednesday.  It almost feels like a plateau in my week and I like it.  I need it.  I was supposed to be on my way to Bemidji bright and early this morning for my Grant Writing class, however it is postponed until April and I am ok with that.  That gives me today to do some catching up.  It’s like a bonus day I wasn’t planning on having so I am all over that.

I noticed quite a few great titles have been released recently.  Books I think are drool worthy and I am sure the books that I am excited about is just the tip of the publishing iceberg as to what is AWESOME out there and coming available in Spring 2015.

Here are just a few that I am excited about:


Harlan Cobe, Book Journey, The Stranger

I have been a long time groupie of Harlan Coben.  His writing is engaging, witty, and usually has a sweet story line too.  The Stranger just released yesterday and I am holding up virtual pom poms for this one.  I can not wait to take an afternoon and dive into this one!  Released yesterday, March 24th.




Silent Alarm, Book Journey, Jennifer Banash


Silent Alarm actually released on March 10th.  I am adding it to this list because it is one I am excited about and plan on reading very soon.  Written in the vein of Nineteen Minutes and We Need To Talk About Kevin.




LIARS INC, Paula Stokes, Book JOurney

LIARS INC. is a book I do not have on my shelf but I think I want to.  A YA setting of a senior who starts a business selling permissions slips to fellow classmates… until things go terribly wrong.  Feels like it has a good vibe.






CATALYST, Control, Lydia Kang, Book Journey

Catalyst in the Dystopian sequel to Control, both books here… both I need to read.  These books look like they have potential and I wonder once again how necessary sleep is.





Precisous One, Marisa de los Santos, Book Journey

Precious One also released yesterday and is a book that made me a fan of Marisa De Los Santos.  This one is as excellent read, fun writing style, and gush worthy.  My review for this book goes up today.




I know there are so many great reads out there.  What are you looking forward to this month?  What books should be on my radar?













The Mystery Writer’s of America Cookbook edited by Kate White

Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Book Journey, Gift Book, Author Recipes,   Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal, Male Chauvenist Pigs In A Blanket

I love books.  I love food.  I love books about food.  One of the things I enjoy about reading is making food mentioned in books.  It’s true.   I make Pepsi steak to this day because a character did it in a James Patterson book I read years ago and I thought it sounded simple and tasty.  My husband loves it.

If you know all of this about me, then as you can imagine, saying yes to review this book was a no brainer.  Recipes from wonderful mystery writers that have come from their books.  My mouth waters just to think of it.

When the book arrived I was thrilled at how beautiful it is.  Sturdy hard cover, thick quality pages…definitely a beautiful gift book to that mystery lover you know.



I enjoyed that each recipe is accompanied by information from the author of where the recipe came from.  Gillian Flynn presents Beef Skillet Fiesta, she is a Midwestern girl at heart and says her characters are as well.  Laura Childs is known for her Tea Shop Mysteries so her recipe of Killer Sweet Tea should come as no surprise.  James Patterson offer us Grandma’s Killer Chocolate Cake which is something I know I need to make.  It will be Sandra Browns Mystery Crackers I will be making soon along with Harlan Coben’s offering of Myron’s Crabmeat Dip (which Harlan believes that while Myron’s friend Win makes this dip, he is pretty sure it was one of the many ex girlfriends of Win that told him how to make it.)

For now though….  I could not wait to make Nelson Demille’s Male Chauvinist Pigs In The Blanket.  The recipe is simple, it sounds tasty, and I had a friend coming over who could taste test.


Male Chauvinist Pigs In The Blanket

I am not going to rewrite the whole recipe, and it is much cooler in the book than I am about to write here… but here is the basics of this one by Nelson DeMille.

1 package of hot dogs

1 can of crescent rolls (like Pillsbury)

chili powder

a can of beer



Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal, Male Chauvenist Pigs In A BlanketCut hot dogs at an angle in half.  Place in bowl and add beer on top.  Leave in bowl until beer is not foamy anymore (I found that happened quickly so I left them in a little longer).  Take hot dogs out of beer bath and sprinkle with chili powder (according to DeMille this is the top secret ingredient).  Roll hot dog up in crescent roll as you would when making pigs in a blanket.  Cook at 375 for about 17 minutes, 5 minutes or so longer than you would if you were following instructions for PIAB on the rolls.  Serve warm and with mustard.

Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal, Male Chauvenist Pigs In A Blanket

Mystery Writers Of America Cook Book, Sheila DeChantal,Male Chauvenist Pigs In A Blanket Book Journey



The results:  Tasty.  I am looking forward to making this at book club as the next earliest convenience when I am presented with a male chauvinist character.  I can not wait!

Keep this book in mind if you need a gift for a fellow book lover.  I have already ordered a copy for just that purpose.



  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Quirk Books (March 24, 2015)
  • Language: English


Morning Meanderings… Never Underestimate The Power Of A Blog


Years ago my friend Esme at the Chocolates and Croissants blog had told me that the title of her blog had caused companies to send her chocolates for review.  I remember at the time thinking,

“Clearly I did not think through the name of my own blog”

I suppose I could have called this blog COFFEE Journey, or New Jeep Journey, just to see what might have come my way…. but alas, Book Journey is a good title and it has worked for me.

While Book Journey has always been a place where I can write about books it has over the years become so much more.  Not only has this site brought me great joy in friendships, connections to wonderful publishing companies, and taken me places like the Book Expo in New York – it also has caused me to be a more confident writer.  After all, I pretty much write every day. :D

The most recent happenings on this crazy blogging ride is I received an invite to go to Minneapolis next week and sit at a round table interviewing the stars of Nicholas Sparks books that will be a movie on April 10th, The Longest Ride.


The stars are Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s son) and Britt Robertson.

Of course… I said yes.

So now, as I have not read the book yet, I will be this week.  My book club, who know I have always pretty much avoided books about cowboys, westerns, or pretty much anything country…. are DELIGHTED to see I will be reading a book that has this on the cover:

Nicholas sparks, the longest ride, book journey, minneapolis, scott eastwood


I read somewhere recently that you are not living life fully unless you are spending time out of your comfort zone.

I think…

I am living life fully.

Book Journey, turns out is a very appropriate name for this blog.


I am out.  I have a coffee date with a friend who recently had surgery and a long overdue lunch date.  Other than that I have projects that will keep me busy all the time in-between.


Any fun stories to share?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


Hello!  Welcome to It’s Monday What Are You Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It’s a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read list. :D  You never know where that next great read may come from!

Another week!  We are whipping through March!  Here is what I posted this week:


How We Got To Now by Steven Johnson


WHEN by Victoria Laurie


Fascinomas by Clifton K Meador MD


Author Chat with Julia Lee – Author of Seven Stones (diversity in writing)


Seven Stones by Julia Lee


Insurgent – The Movie (based off the Divergent book series)


That was the week.  A pretty good one and I am caught up on reviews.  YAY!  Here is what I plan on this week:


For My Ears:

Outside the lines by Amy Hatvany, book journey

When Eden was 10 years old she found her father, David, bleeding on the bathroom floor. The suicide attempt led to her parents’ divorce, and David all but vanished from Eden’s life.

Twenty years later, Eden runs a successful catering company and dreams of opening a restaurant. Since childhood, she has heard from her father only rarely, just enough to know that he’s been living on the streets and struggling with mental illness. But lately there has been no word at all. After a series of failed romantic relationships and a health scare from her mother, Eden decides it’s time to find her father, to forgive him at last, and move forward with her own life. Her search takes her to a downtown Seattle homeless shelter, and to Jack Baker, its handsome and charming director. Jack convinces Eden to volunteer her skills as a professional chef with the shelter. In return, he helps her in her quest.

As the connection between Eden and Jack grows stronger, and their investigation brings them closer to David, Eden must come to terms with her true emotions, the secrets her mother has kept from her, and the painful question of whether her father, after all these years, even wants to be found.




The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford, Book Journey

A stylish psychological thriller with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep – in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend.

Dana Catrell is shocked when her neighbor, Celia, is brutally murdered. To Dana’s horror she was the last person to see Celia alive. Suffering from mania, the result of her bipolar disorder, she has troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death.

Her husband’s odd behavior and the probing of Detective Jack Moss create further complications as she searches for answers. The closer she comes to piecing together the shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her…or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again?

A story of marriage, murder, and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.



For My Eyes:


Vintage Susan Gloss, Book Journey

Vintage is Susan Gloss’s sparkling debut novel in the Vein of The Friday Night Knitting Club, centered around a Midwestern vintage clothing shop and a group of women who eventually transform the store and each others’ lives.

At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women who are drawn there.

Violet Turner has always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. When she is faced with the possibility of losing it, she realizes that, as much as she wants to, she cannot save it alone.

Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect 1950s wedding dress, she discovers unexpected possibilities and friends who won’t let her give up on her dreams.

Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her old clothes, remnants of her past life. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears she has nothing more ahead for her.

An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of women’s friendship and love, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal and hope when we least expect it.



I still have reading of other books to do and hope I can get time this week to do some reading.  What did you read this past week?  How about this week?  Add your link below to your own Its Monday What Are You Reading post.


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For those who read mainly children and middle grade books please add your link here as well:


Insurgent: The Movie

Insurgent, Divergent, Book Journey

Now that the factions are scrambling for safety and the world is literally in chaos, Tris and Four are trying to stay safe all the while knowing that the only way anyone will have hope of feeling safe is once Jeanine is dead.  In this world, you never know who you can trust.


A friend and I went to Insurgent this week.  I had read the book, as well as Divergent (the first book) and had been impressed with what they had done in the first movie.  Shailene Woodley (who also starred in Fault In Our Stars) makes an excellent Tris and I love the diversity in the roles that she plays.  Theo James as Four is a new actor to me although I see he was also in Underworld and an episode of Downton Abby so I must have seen him.  Theo is also perfect for the role that he plays in the movies.

I really enjoyed this second installment of the Divergent Series.  I have yet to read the third book due to grumblings I heard when it came out about how they should have just ended it at two books.  I have a year before the next movie will come out (Allegiant) which I see will be broke into two parts (the new trend to S T R E T CH out our movie addictions I guess.  I will read the final book before then.

I enjoyed the movie, I can not recall the book well enough to do a comparison, but I love the action and the story line. Kate Winslet gets kudos from me for playing the evil mastermind rule keeper of all (she is the equivalent of President Snow from Hunger Games).

Overall:  AWESOME SAUCE.  If you like YA Dystopia even if you have not red the books, see these movies.  They are kickin.


Morning Meanderings… New Books. New Happenings.


Good morning and happy Sunday.  I had quite the steady week of appointments, conference calls, and meet ups ending the week yesterday with a Writing Conference and with an Author Book Release party.  A busy week but looking over it now, a fun and productive one too.

It seems like at this time I am spending a lot of time reconnecting with people I have not seen in a while and maintaining time with those I do keep in my life pretty actively.  It’s all crazy but as I talk to people I am making connections for what I am doing now so it is all good.

Crazy good actually.

I had a nice little surge of books and audio come in this week that I am excited about:

Seven Stones, Julia Lee, Book JOurney, Laura Childs, Nicholas Sparks, Lydia Kang, Michelle Moran, Sara Gruen


Ming Tea Murder by Laura Childs (from the author)

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (purchased)

CONTROL by Lydia Kang

Seven Stones by Julia Lee (SQUUUEEEE!!!  purchased at her book signing)

The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau (from Touchstone/ Simon and Schuster)

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran (from the author)



The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein (Listening Library)

HALF WILD by Sally Green (Listening Library)

At The Waters Edge by Sara Gruen (Random House Audio)

DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson (Random House Audio)

The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter (Random House Audio)


I am going to spend some time reading today.  Seems like this past week that part has been lacking.  By the time I get done running each day I am too tired to read.  This week I hope to correct that. :)


Any fun new exciting books that have come your way this week?


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