Secrets on Saulter Road

Secrets on Saulter Road: Discovering Hope and Forgiveness in the Wake of My Toxic Upbringing


This was enjoyable and well written as Joan Kendall shares some of her angst of growing up with a mother who drinks too much. It causes much friction it the afternoon when her father comes home from work and sees his wife in that condition again. There is no closeness between Joan and her mother like her two older sisters have. Joan gets her mothering from their downstairs maid, Jadie Bell.  Jadie was a whiz at being a buffer in the family, especially when there was tension between father and mother. She also kept the household running and meals ready when the lady of the house was blitzed on the sofa.

As Joan grew older, she saw her sisters Linda and Susan get out of the house as early as possible, one marrying at 17 and the other escaping when she could too. Later they all started families and they eventually noticed issues that had followed them from back in that childhood. The author manages to work through her own and find a way to forgive. Easily read in an evening, I got really into it and then had to finish it. Glad I read this one. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Joan Kendall, and the publisher.


Publisher: Rush Ave Press, LLC – pages186
Publication: April 23rd, 2019
RATING: 5/5 Stars




The Author-   Joan Kendall was born and bred in Birmingham, Alabama. She was a member of the Board of Contributors with “The Birmingham News.” Her work has appeared in The Citizen Magazine and the anthology The Short and Sweet of It, and she has appeared several times on PBS’s For the Record.

Joan twice served on the Alabama State Textbook Committee at the request of the governor, and at the request of the state superintendent, she served on the steering committee of the Alabama Reading Initiative. She has spoken at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Conference, Alabama Veterans of Foreign Wars (keynote), Leadership Alabama, Policy Exchange Foundation, and Kiwanis Clubs.

She received a national award for involving the community in education. In 2003, Joan helped launch an after-school program for inner-city children, which is now in over thirty schools serving 2,000 children.

Joan and her husband, Henry, still reside in Birmingham, Alabama, and have three daughters and eight grandchildren.


Space Dogs

Space Dogs: The Story of the Celebrated Canine Cosmonauts

This turned out to be an interesting little book about the dogs that were used in the 1950’s space race by Russia. Before humans went to space, animals were used to test out space ships to see if they were safe enough for humans to try. The dogs that were used were strays that were taken right off the streets and given medical tests to see that they were suitable for their purposes. They had suits hand made to fit them for the journey. The US had used chimps to serve the same purpose. The first canine cosmonaut was a dog they named Laika, meaning ‘barker’. She was later followed by Belka and Strelka.

I especially liked all of the many photos of the memorabilia that was sold back then after the program became popular in Russia. So many different items adorned with a likeness of the different dogs gracing them. This book would work for those with an interest in space, animals, science, history, etc. A good short non-fiction book that’s loaded with pictures. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, authors Martin Parr, Richard Hollingham, and the publisher.



Publisher: Laurence King Publishing Ltd – 128 pages
Publication: June 11th, 2019
RATED: 4/5 Stars

The Authors- Internationally acclaimed documentary photographer Martin Parr is also known for his astonishing and witty collections of twentieth-century ephemera. Previous publications include Boring Postcards, The Last Resort and a retrospective of his work, Martin Parr. He has also been involved in several TV and film collaborations.

Prayers for Paris

I am sad for the people as well. I was fortunate to be able to hear a mass in this beautiful lamdmark once when I was very young, and it was unforgettable.

Rosemarie's Kitchen

As a Catholic, my heart aches.

Fire 9

As someone who treasures history, my heart aches


As a citizen of the world, my heart aches.

Fire 8

Heavenly Father, comfort the people of Paris for their hearts are truly breaking.

Notre Dame Paris

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The Pink Bonnet

The Pink Bonnet: True Colors: Historical Stories of American Crime

This is the second in a series of historical romance/ mystery books, with the first one I read being The White City. The Pink Bonnet is set in the time of The Depression 1932 and centers on a young widow Cecile and her three-year-old Millie Mae. Struggling to support them, Cecile leaves Millie with a neighbor while she looks for full-time employment, but when she returns to pick her up Millie is gone. She’s been taken to the Tennessee Children’s Home Society as some part of an adoption situation. When Cecile goes down to their office, she’s told she’s not a fit mother to raise her child, and that besides, she has already signed her rights away. Knowing this isn’t true, Cecile swears to get Millie back from them, no matter what it takes. Miss Tann tries to convince her that Millie is far better off, that she will be placed with a family that can provide the best of everything. Cecile, who has already lost her husband, screams at her that it’s her daughter and she’s not losing her too, and a mother’s love matters.

This is a good story for those who like reading about historical American crime stories. Follow the story as Cecile fights an increasingly difficult and nasty battle to find and regain her daughter. This is in the mystery romance and the Christian categories, but it’s not that heavy on the religion angle. I don’t recall it even coming in until about nearly halfway, too. So if that bothers you, it’s not that overwhelming. I found it surprisingly enjoyable, and I don’t go out of my way for Christian books, I’m more of a true crime fan on its own. I was fine with it. It was worth it to learn about this Tann woman who was scamming people, along with a judge and a politician, who were all involved in helping Tann cover up the adoptions for selling children to the highest bidder for thousands of children back then. It was an outrage that should never have been allowed to happen, but many were corrupt back then, or willing to turn a blind eye. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Liz Tolsma, and the publisher.




Publisher: Barber Books – 258 pages
Publication: June 1st, 2019
RATED: 3.5/5 Stars


The Author- Liz Tolsma is a popular speaker and an editor and the owner of the Write Direction Editing. An almost-native Wisconsinite, she resides in a quiet corner of the state with her husband and is the mother of three. Her son proudly serves as a U.S. Marine. They adopted all of their children internationally, and one has special needs. When she gets a few spare minutes, she enjoys reading, relaxing on the front porch, walking, working in her large perennial garden, and camping with her family.

When You Find My Body

When You Find My Body: The Disappearance of Geraldine Largay on the Appalachian Trail


Gerry Largay had a dream to hike the Appalachian Trail and at age sixty-six she was thrilled to finally be doing it. She’d started out hiking with her good friend Jane Lee, and Gerry’s husband George served as support crew. Part way through the journey Jane had a family emergency and had to return home. Gerry decided to hike on alone. She and George met and made friends with many hikers along the way, as George dropped her off and hiked in part way with her some mornings, and drove ahead to the next crossroad meeting spot then hiked in and met her.

Then, there was the fateful day when Geraldine became lost along the trail and everything changed.

I found this to be a very well written book and a very good read. Readers of Strayed’s ‘WILD’ would likely enjoy it, but the sad ending is obviously there. The book showed a great deal of research was involved and that made it very interesting to me, as I am happy as long as I’m learning new things. This had plenty of that in it on many subjects. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author D. Dauphinee, and the publisher.



Publisher: Down East Books – 240 pages
Publication: June 1st, 2019
RATED: 4/5 Stars


The Author- D. Dauphinee has been a mountaineering, fly fishing, and back-country guide for over thirty years and has participated with several search & rescue organizations. He has led many expeditions, including mountain, jungle, or desert treks on four continents. Twice he orienteered (without the benefit of a GPS) across the Isthmus of Panama, he has four first-ascents on mountains, has hiked the Negev Desert at its widest part, and has climbed above 20,000 feet thirteen times.

Blissfully Blended Bullshit

This is a humorous book written by Rebecca Eckler about when she got began dating after her divorce and met a guy. Things progressed quickly and before they knew it they were love, she was expecting and they were moving in together. She decided to write about her experience with blended families. She was surprised at how many people it actually affected, how nerved up she was when it took place, and how much crap her guy showed up with!


She has a great, irreverent way of recounting how it all went down that I enjoyed. Especially her take on her guy’s ex when her shrink suggested that she call his ex up and let her know that: 1. she’s pregnant, and 2. he’s moving in with her so her (his ex’s) two kids will be living at her place 50% of the time in the near future. Ballsy move.  And not well accepted either. This one is for humorous memoir lovers. A fairly quick read that was eye-opening and fun in places, sad in others and pointed throughout. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Rebecca Eckler, and the publisher.




Publisher: Dundurn – 216 pages
Pages: May 25th, 2019
RATED: 4/5 Stars


The Author- Rebecca Eckler is a journalist, columnist, blogger, and bestselling author of nine books, including Knocked Up: Confessions of a Modern Mother-to-be. Eckler is also the executive editor of, Canada’s largest parenting website. She lives in Toronto.

Holy Week and a Purple Passion Cake

I fell in love with this cake! Check out RoseMarie’s Kitchen, you’ll find all kinds of great recipes and suddenly realize you’re starving 🙂

Rosemarie's Kitchen

We are fast approaching the end of the Lenten Season. In less than a week, we will celebrate Palm Sunday, and the beginning of Holy Week leading to the joyful celebration that is Easter Sunday.

As I had mentioned before, while the physical number of days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday are greater than 40, when you count all the days except the Sundays, you’ll see that the season is 40 Days, less Sundays. That makes it about as clear as mud, not doesn’t it?

Our big Easter plans will involve a road trip up to the family farm. I have been thinking about creating something special for Palm (Passion) Sunday. Just as I had built an entire delicious meal around a Pink Margarita for Valentine’s Day, I want to build a beautiful meal around this awesome cake. I chose this cake for two reasons; the color (purple, the…

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