How To Plot A Payback by Melissa Ferguson | Contemporary Romance Review

How To Plot A Payback by Melissa Ferguson

How To Plot A Payback
Melissa Ferguson
Contemporary Romance

He crossed an ocean, and it still wasn’t enough to escape his lifelong nemesis. Now he has to work with her.

Successful screenwriter Finn Masters just landed his dream job writing for Neighbors, one of Hollywood’s highest-rated, longest-running sitcoms. The only downside? It will put him back in proximity of the show’s universally adored, optimistic, altruistic star, Lavender Rhodes, who has been inadvertently ruining his life since they were school chums in England. But she doesn’t even know she destroyed his acting career and wrecked his relationship with the love of his life.

He’s not about to let this woman yank yet another dream out from under his feet. In fact, he realizes he’s been given the ideal opportunity to plot his payback: spinning her character in shocking new directions. What could go wrong? Only everything. As Finn’s not-so-brilliant plot backfires one scene after the next, catching him in the blasts, he’s forced to think about this impossible, infuriating…and maybe even lovable woman in an entirely new light.

My Thoughts

This is quite possibly the perfect summer read. Finn and Lavender have history that only Finn recalls and his recollections are what make this novel hilarious. Lavender's blissful unawareness just adds to the hilarity.

Finn is holding a huge grudge against all things Lavender. But Lavender doesn't have a clue and is determined to win him over. The problem for Finn is that the real life Lavender is hard to resist. 

I absolutely adored this story and I'm hoping that Melissa Ferguson supplies us with more just like it (including these characters would be a bonus). In fact I think this would make a delightful movie. 

I recommend getting a copy of this book (or audiobook) and pop it in your bag for your next trip, whether it be to the pool or the beach. You're not going to regret getting this one!


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review. 


The American Queen by Vanessa Miller | Historical Fiction Review


The American Queen by Vanessa Miller

The American Queen
Vanessa Miller
Historical Fiction

Over the twenty-four years she was enslaved on the Montgomery Plantation, Louella learned to feel one thing: hate. Hate for the man who sold her mother. Hate for the overseer who left her daddy to hang from a noose. Hate so powerful there's no room in her heart for love, not even for the honorable Reverend William, whom she likes and respects enough to marry.

But when William finally listens to Louella's pleas and leads the formerly enslaved people off the plantation, Louella begins to replace her hate with hope. Hope that they will find a place where they can live free from fear. Hope that despite her many unanswered prayers, she can learn to trust for new miracles.

Soon, William and Louella become the appointed king and queen of their self-proclaimed Kingdom of the Happy Land. And though they are still surrounded by opposition, they continue to share a message of joy and goodness--and fight for the freedom and dignity of all.

The American Queen weaves together themes of love, hate, hope, trust, and resilience in the face of great turmoil. With every turn of the page, you will be transported to a pivotal period in American history, where oppressed people become extraordinary heroes.

My Thoughts

The American Queen is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. It's not a story that's easy to read. In fact the first section is brutal and hard to read. But in my opinion it's something we as a people need to face so that it doesn't happen again. 

Before you start this story I would urge you to read the forward by the author. It will give you insight into what her motives were in writing the story as she did. It will keep you from being offended and let you enjoy the story as it unfolds.

Now let me tell you what I enjoyed about this story. First it's based on an historical time and place that I knew nothing about. The main character is Louella and her tenacity and fortitude are truly inspiring. Through overwhelming adversity she continues to make her face like flint and presses forward.

One of the things that's most admirable about Louella is that she doesn't just seek better for herself but also her people. Mind you, this was done at a great personal cost but she just continued to press on. By the time they reached their ultimate destination I was cheering so hard for them. The difficulties weren't over by a long shot but you could see that there was a better day coming.

I truly can't recommend this book enough. Again, it's not an easy read but by the time you turn the last page I think you will be just as moved as I was. 


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.

Fiona and the Easter Egg Hunt by Zondervan and Richard Cowdrey | Juvenile Fiction Review

Fiona and the Easter Egg Hunt by Zondervan and Richard Cowdrey

Fiona and the Easter Egg Hunt
illustrataed by Richard Cowdrey

Join your favorite hippo, Fiona, the beloved internet sensation from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, as she plans an Easter egg hunt for her animal friends at the zoo! Fiona and the Easter Egg Hunt is another addition to the New York Times bestselling Fiona the Hippo series.

Spring has sprung, and new adorable babies are being born all over the zoo! Fiona and her friend Rico the porcupine decide to have an Easter egg hunt for the animals. But when one of Mrs. Swan’s eggs gets accidentally mixed in with the Easter eggs in Fiona’s basket, will Fiona and her friends find the egg before it hatches?

Fiona and the Easter Egg Hunt by Zondervan and Richard Cowdrey

My Thoughts

These Fiona books are such a hit at our house. Of course the illustrations by Richard Cowdrey are a visual treat. But I have to say that the storylines are also rather engaging. They are clever and at the same time help children to understand life lessons.

This time around we are celebrating Spring and the Easter season with Fiona and her friends. She and her dear friend Rico decide to put on an Easter Egg Hunt. It's so much fun for all the little creatures at the Cincinnati Zoo. But then tragedy strikes. Mrs. Swan is missing an egg and it's ready to hatch! Fiona and her friends band together to help find it.

This is an adorable story about friendship and helping others. I think you and your littles will enjoy reading this one over and over. It goes without saying that this would be the perfect addition to this year's Easter baskets.

Check out the other picture books in the Fiona the Hippo series:

Fiona, Love at the Zoo
You’ve Got This, Fiona
Fiona Helps a Friend
Fiona, It’s Bedtime
Fiona the Hippo
A Very Fiona Christmas
Happy Birthday, Fiona


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.


The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible Search and Find by Jan & Mike Berenstain | Children's Book Review

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible Search and Find

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible
Search and Find
Jan & Mike Berenstain
Juvenile Fiction ages 3-6

Explore favorite Bible stories in a fun and interactive way with The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible Search and Find.. Young readers will find carefully hidden objects in these scenes from familiar Old and New Testament stories, such as Noah and the ark. Jesus's birth, and the Last Supper--all while strengthening early reading and math skills, including attention to detail, concentration, and counting.

Inside The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible Search and Find

My Thoughts

My grandkids love to do search and find activities. The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible Search and Find gives even the youngest the opportunity to work on these skills. What I really like about this book is that it has lots of learning activities that also include the central parts of the Bible.

The first search activity is all about the Creation story. There's a short little reading that introduces where our story begins. Then there are about a dozen different objects to find. 

I am thrilled that this is a board book which makes it sturdy for those sweet little hands to enjoy over and over. It also holds up to being thrown in a backpack for those car trips and waiting rooms. 

I recommend this book to anyone that has littles in their lives. It would be a great gift or addition to your child's personal library. 


I received a copy of this book from the publisher to facilitate my review.


Far | Five Minute Friday

Far | Five Minute Friday

One Word Prompt ~ Five Minutes of Writing ~ No Editing
Today's Prompt: Far


We are about six months in to a serious health situation. Most days I am able to look back and see just how far we've come. I've got all the records (and bills) to remind me that we've definitely come a far distance from the beginning. It makes me smile and just want to celebrate.

Last week we met with the oncologist and we got wonderful news. Again that sense of jubilation and need to celebrate this milestone. But then I asked a question and the response was we still have a far journey ahead. That's always a bubble burster! 

It's such a balance. Looking back while looking forward. It's that tension of the in-between. We get to see what has been but we must live by faith in what's to come. I am choosing to continually remind myself that the same Jesus that has walked with us this far will continue to walk us through to the end. Because He alone is the author and finisher of our faith! 


My five minutes of words were pretty short this time! Would you like to join us in this fun writing adventure? Link up with us here at Kate Montaung's Five Minute Friday.

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