Posted in Norma's Keto in a Coulee

Norma’s Keto in a Coulee & a Book: Week Four Wrap Up! The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray #ketodiet #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Norma’s Keto in a Coulee Progress

Hello Week Four!  So I am absolutely loving this keto lifestyle, and I am so happy to blog my progress to share with all of you.  It definitely helps me with accountability issues as well as keeping me motivated.

I am going to be doing something a little bit different this week and adding in my current book that I am reading to share my initial thoughts with all of you.  

Highlight of my week – Today (Saturday) I had the pleasure of spending the whole day with my hubby!  We went into the city and did some shopping, went for lunch, and purchased some new prescription sunglasses for him that he was so desperately needing because of some  health issues.  He is going to look so good wearing those new sunglasses!

Please feel free to join me or send me some encouraging words!

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray

Goodreads Description

The Mothers meets An American Marriage in this dazzling debut novel about mothers and daughters, identity and family, and how the relationships that sustain you can also be the ones that consume you.

The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important. 

Publishing Date:  February 19, 2019

I am about halfway through the book and right away this book grabbed my attention and is definitely holding my interest.  I am really enjoying the authors writing style and the storyline.  The characters are all quite compelling to read about and I am really looking forward to seeing how the rest of this story unfolds.   This novel is definitely an impressive read and has been able to invoke quite a few different emotions from me.  I have a feeling that this is going to be a 5 star read from me!

Is this book on your TBR?

Norma’s Dinner Journal

Keto Chili

I eat my breakfast and a lunch, which usually consists of the same thing everyday so I thought I would only include my dinners in my food journal below.

Sunday – Keto Chili.  Our family rating 10/10 (Simply Keto cookbook).  This is the second time that I have prepared this dish.  It is so easy to make and is extremely tasty.  

Monday – Mary Brown’s Chicken 

Raspberry Cream Cheese Fat Bombs.  (Simply Keto cookbook) 10/10.  These are such a big hit that I made them again this week!  The little bits of raspberries in these fat bombs was beyond amazing.  My tastebuds were jumping for joy after eating these little morsels of pure heaven! 

Tuesday – Breakfast for dinner tonight.  Bacon, eggs, fried mushrooms & avocado slices.  This is probably one of my favourite easy and quick meals to make when I’m in a hurry.  I know that it isn’t all that creative but it is a tasty one!

Wednesday – Fish and cauliflower.

Thursday – Grilled Parmesan Garlic Wings.  Family rating 10/10 (Simply Keto cookbook).  Oh my goodness these were so darn tasty and was a huge hit with my whole family.  I think I said yum with every mouthful.  The recipe called for chicken wings but I didn’t have any so I substituted with chicken drumsticks and instead of grilling I baked them in the oven.  Will be definitely making this recipe again!

Friday – Fried chicken drumsticks, beef garlic sausage, broccoli & cheese bites & creamy mashed cauliflower.  This meal was extremely tasty too.

Saturday – Mary Brown’s Chicken.  I am kind of obsessed with Mary Brown’s Chicken and whenever we go into the city that is usually what I pick up to eat to bring home for dinner.  And, yes I eat the skin! LOL

Fried Chicken Drumsticks

So I have gotten up a little earlier everyday to prepare my Rocket Fuel Latte every morning to take to work with me.  I am not all that much for coffee but I am definitely loving this drink and look forward to having it every morning.  If anyone is interested in the recipe that I use (I kind of tweak it a little bit from the original recipe in the book) just drop a comment below and I will be sure to add the recipe next week.

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Norma’s Stats:

  • Weight:  ⬇️0.4 lbs
  • Start Date:  October 20, 2018
  • Sleep:  I don’t know my insomnia is still no better and it definitely is very frustrating to me.  I just wish that I could sleep. I’m extremely tired of not sleeping!  The good thing though is that I do rest throughout the night and for some reason my body is able to function the next day without actually feeling all that fatigued.
  • Energy Level:  My energy level is actually very good and I am happy with the way that I am feeling.
  • Difficulty Level:  Easy and I am not getting frustrated at all.  I am actually enjoying looking through my cookbooks for new recipes to try.  The Simply Keto cookbook by Suzanne Ryan is my favourite right now.  The recipes are actually really good and very similar to my families tastes.  
  • Goals:  Drink more water!  Only weigh myself once a week, Saturdays.  Same goals this week because I totally failed in following through with both of these goals.
  • Affirmation: I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.

Random Thoughts:  I am totally surprised that my body didn’t go through any sugar withdrawals and very thankful that it didn’t.  I have gone through them before and they aren’t all that fun to deal with.  Another great week for me and I am so pleased with the way that I am feeling and how clear my head feels.  I still go through some bouts that I feel like I am out of it but not anywhere near like I was before starting this keto lifestyle.  

Do you have a recipe to share with me?  Do you have any sleep recommendations?  What book are you currently reading?  Any comments are welcome! 

Posted in Coulee Chatter, Traveling Sisters Reads

Falling Behind Friday @about_thethrill #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Happy Friday!!!  Friday is here and it’s that time again when we chat about a couple books we have been falling behind on with Kim@It’s All About the Thrill and Christina@Recipe and a Read . Today we all are chatting about different books we have fallen behind on.  Travel on over to their blogs to see what they are chatting about today.

We are chatting about A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. Norma, Lindsay and I have fallen behind on the group read but really want to read it. I have been seeing some really great buzz for it.  The group read was added a month ago and we haven’t been able to catch up.  After reading Stephanie’s amazing review I noticed we missed the pub date for it.  Stephanie really has me wanting to dive into this one soon.  Zoe @ What’s Better Than Books? review caught my eye as well.

I did take a peek into the threads to see who read this one and looked at their reviews.

From The Traveling Sisters’ review

From Debra’s review  This book is beautifully written, tragic, compelling and hard to put down. Boyne has given me a character that I love to hate. Maurice Swift is so deliciously “amoral”.  

From Diane’s review: Now I am the type of reader who enjoys being given a character who tugs at my heart, someone in which I can hope for, cherish. But….I also say if you can’t give me that, then give me some stellar prose, or a plot that is intriguing, pulls me into the story. And…..yes that is definitely the case here, this plot pulled me in, like watching a train wreck I couldn’t pull away.

I have to add the beginning of Angela’s review.  My interest is definitely peaked after reading that.  What do you do when you have the blind ambition to be a writer and while you can write, you just don’t have a creative idea in you? If you are the unscrupulous, narcissistic, slimeball named Maurice Swift – you do anything that it takes – steal their stories and their books and ruin their lives.

img_6785Let’s Chat about books we have fallen behind on.  So I am convinced we are squeezing this one in!  Have you read this one?  If so we would love to hear what you thought about this slimeball.

Want to join us on our fun and chat about a couple titles you have fallen behind on? Join us on Fridays with our Falling Behind Friday meme where you chat about a couple books you have fallen behind on and then link Kim, Christina and us so we can travel on over and check out your post.  Drop your link in the comment section for everyone to check it out.

Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: What makes a book a great reading experience for you? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Hi everyone! Hope everybody is having a great Friday!

I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do. I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

Well I am a day late in posting my Random Book Musings question for this week.  I have no other excuse except that I kind of lost track of what day it was because with Monday being a holiday it sort of threw me off my schedule.  Luckily I knew it was Tuesday at work or else I might have made a few mistakes there.  LOL

Anyway onto my question this week……I’ve been told it is my hardest one yet.

Norma’s random book question:

What makes a book a great reading experience to you? Is there certain things that you look for while reading? Are you an emotional reader or are there certain aspects that a book must contain in order for you to feel like it is a great book?

Print_L375-5_brunete_brown eyesNorma’s Answer

I am definitely an emotional reader and all for how a book makes me feel. If a book gives me those warm fuzzy afterglow feelings then it is a great book. For thrillers, the ending is usually what tells me that it was a great book. I don’t necessarily have to be shocked for it to be a great book though but it has to come together really well.  Also, being totally immersed in the storyline and thinking about the book when I’m not reading it is another telltale sign for me that it was a great book.

I am also big on writing style. I definitely like to have a connection with the way that the author is telling the story.  Beautiful writing gets me every time.

If I get any type of emotions while I’m reading whether it be scared, mad, angry, sad, happy, excited, surprised and even contentment, then that usually tells me that it was a great book too.

Looking forward to hearing what makes a great book a great book to you!

L389-3_brunete_green-eyesBrenda’s Answer

I love the books and authors who make me think.  I love to be drawn into a character’s mind and emotions.  I love to be shown how they feel and see them experience the events of the story in my mind.  I am not a big fan of being told what they feel or do or big on the shock factor.  I love the stories that make me dig deep into the layers.  So I guess the well-layered books are the ones that make for the best reading experience.

And of course, the very best reading experience is when I can discuss and see other people’s thoughts on the book whether it’s in our groups or here on our blog or traveling over to other bloggers and reading your reviews.

L383-3_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s Answer

Norma – a great book for me is one that I simply cannot put down. If I read it in a day or 2 that usually means I loved it. I’m a highly emotional reader and love a good “book cry”. Like you, I really love to feel something while I’m reading which means I really connected. 💜

 

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

graphics by Lovelytocu

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

One Day in December by Josie Silver @JosieSilver_ @CrownPublishing @penguinrandom @about_thethrill #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Reading One Day in December is a like a getting a warm hug on a chilly winter day.  It warmed our hearts and left us feeling like we just experienced something very special.  

One Day in December by Josie Silver

Web_L367-4_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

I have been talking about a few books I have read lately that have not been my normal and One Day in December was definitely one of them.  This sister does not have a romantic bone in her. My poor husband.

One Day in December is warm, captivating, unforgettable and quirky love story not only between couples but within a friendship as well.  It’s a story of friendship, loyalty, and missing chances that left us questioning if they really were.

Sometimes I think I am more romantic when it comes to friendships.  I envied the relationship our main characters Laurie and Sarah had. Both characters were so different from each yet similar in some ways.  

One of the things that makes this story so great is how it is told over a long period of time.  We really get the chance to connect to the characters and see them develop, change, and experience different things.  The dynamic between the characters seemed realistic and was heartwarming and truly special.

One Day in December made for one of the best group discussions we have had.  We received a group kit with discussion questions and it had some of the best questions we have yet used.  You can find them online as well. The questions are very thought-provoking, easy to answer and really related to the theme, insight and emotions we felt towards the story.

We highly recommend this one and think it is one to put on your do not miss list.  If you get the chance to read it in a group we suggest taking it as its one of the best stories to discuss.  You could always join the Traveling Friends. This is one I am definitely going to suggest they read.

img_6779Norma’s review

Smashing, engrossing & devouring!

Wow! I absolutely LOVED this book! Laurie, Sarah & Jack were great characters!

Random amusing line:
“I squint, trying to duck my head to see what he’s reading ….”

Oh my, I think all of us book lovers can relate to that sentence. I know that I have done that very same thing so many times!

ONE DAY IN DECEMBER by JOSIE SILVER is a fabulous, brilliant, heartwarming and delightful story that completely stole my heart and consumed my thoughts. It took me less than 24 hours to read this book because once I started reading it I absolutely could not put it down. It had me totally absorbed, entertained, and interested in the storyline right from the very first page.

The way that this story was told and presented was actually much more than your typical love story. It was such a powerful and moving story that had so much heart and warmth flowing through the pages of this book that I absolutely could not get enough of. I’m actually kind of a little disappointed that the story was over. It definitely left me yearning for more but in a good way though.

JOSIE SILVER delivers an engaging, intriguing and beautifully written tale of love, friendship, hope, longing, loss and regret that flowed so perfectly. I was wholly impressed with Josie Silver’s writing style and how perfectly she interweaves the passage of time and storyline with the perspectives of Laurie and Jack. I have totally invested in these characters lives and was definitely hoping for a happily ever after for them.

It was one of those books that were definitely an all-consuming read for me and the perfect winter escape.

Web_L355-3_blonde_blue eyesLindsay’s review 

Charming.   Witty. Endearing.  Refreshing. Heartwarming.

I do not generally read romance, but when Brenda and Norma offered the Traveling Sisters the opportunity to read this title, I thought I would take a chance and try it out.  I am SO GLAD I did! This is not your typical love story.

This novel follows Laurie who believes she has found “the one” when she happens to look through the window of the bus she is on and makes magical eye contact with a handsome stranger.   She doesn’t believe in love at first sight, yet she feels an unexplainable intense connection to this man as her bus drives away. Along with the help of her best friend Sarah, Laurie spends the next year scouring the city in the hopes of reuniting with this handsome stranger.   Over a year later, Laurie does reunite with this man, named Jack, although it is not in the way she had hoped…..

This book spans over a decade in which we follow the ever-changing relationship dynamic between Laurie, Sarah and Jack.  The author, Josie Silver, does an outstanding job with character development. I was completely invested in their lives and I simply adored Laurie.   The pace and flow of the story was perfect which is impressive considering the many time jumps throughout the plot. I loved the ‘New Year’s Resolution’ sections – they were a brilliant addition to the novel.

Web_L083-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Kim’s review

This very well might be my biggest surprise read of the year. WOW! I can’t even express how much I loved this book. It is such a feel-good book, you just genuinely feel good after reading it. This book had me from page one. Okay, so you get the idea that I loved it.

I don’t read books that are not thrillers/suspense. Repeat I don’t read them……..until now! I can’t wait to get my hands on another Josie Silver book. This author has an amazing writing style. I flew through this book and it wasn’t because it was some mindless chick lit book, because it was not. The characters were well developed and I could completely relate with Laurie. She could be my BFF for sure. I can’t recommend this book enough and I swear if you are hardcore thriller/suspense readers and write this off because it is “not your type of book” you are missing out.  For Kim’s full review

Web_LF05-1_brunette_green-eyesFrom Stephanie’s review

I admit it, I love a good romance and One Day in December more than delivers. I was enthralled from the moment that I started reading; I felt like I was watching scenes from my favorite romantic holiday movies, and the entire time I was reading I felt like I was connecting with each character on a personal level! It is so emotional and so delightful to read, and I think that Josie Silver has written an outstanding debut novel. 

Most of all, the very real relationships and friendships these incredible characters share with one another was just amazing, and it made me cry and laugh, want to shake them sometimes, but mostly just root for them and wish them nothing but lives filled with love and joy!

This is a book that makes you question missed chances, fate, whether there is just that one special person for you in a lifetime, friendship versus true love, and moving on when life throws out the unexpected. It’s a romance, but a romance filled with heart and soul that will make you think, feel, dream, and love. You definitely don’t want to miss One Day in December this holiday season! I love it and think you will too!! For Stephanie’s full review

Web_L075-1_brunette_brown-eyesFrom Nikki’s review

One Day in December is an absolutely delightful read. It’s the story of friends, fate, what-ifs, navigating adulthood, and all the roads taken and not taken. Picture Laurie on a bus having a love-at-first-sight moment with a young man. A connection. A click. That once in a lifetime feeling. And the bus drives away. Laurie is left to ponder, stress, agonize over this moment and this man. She spends months and months looking and hoping to find her Bus Boy. And one day she does. But not at all under the circumstances she imagined.

Told from both Laurie’s and Jack’s perspectives, One Day in December takes the reader through the years of their lives, keeping the reader on edge and engaged the entire time. The characters are well developed and relatable, and I found myself completely connected to the story. This novel is a wonderful mix of heartwarming moments, heartbreaking moments, and laugh-out-loud moments.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I love everything about this cover from that beautiful design to the embossed snowflakes!
Title: Appealing, intriguing, and such a meaningful and fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, impressive, engaging, captivating, and fluid.
Plot: Warming, sweet, comical, thought-provoking, engrossing, perfectly-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining. I adored this storyline!
Ending: A touching and emotional ending that I was extremely satisfied with that left me with that warm fuzzy afterglow feeling. If a book produces that feeling from me then it is a splendid read indeed!
Overall: This book was beyond wonderful! Loved, loved, loved it! This book has made my top five books of the year! Would highly recommend!

*Thank you so much to Emily from Goodreads for making this spectacular Traveling Sisters group read possible!*

Thank you so much to Crown Publishing and Josie Silver for gifting us the Perfect Night In book club kit and sending out copies to The Traveling Sisters.  It was an absolute pleasure reading this incredible book!

img_6429Have you read this one?  What are your thoughts?  Want to read it? Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Can't Wait Wednesday, Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Watching You by Lisa Jewell @about_thethrill #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Here we are again sistering up with our Traveling Sisters Christina and Kim with another Can’t Wait Wednesday meme that is hosted by  Wishful Endings

Our Traveling Sisters Group Read for Watching You by Lisa Jewell is fast approaching and we can’t wait to read it.  Lisa Jewell is another favorite author of mine.  After reading I Found You I was hooked and knew I had to read more of her books.   I have read most of her books in our group and she is a favorite author for a few of us.  Every time I see a new book out by her I do that cheering thing we love to do.

Kim over at It’s All About The Thrill  and Christina at Recipe and a Read have not read any books by Lisa Jewell and I knew I had to correct that.  Pop on over and check out what the have to say about that.  There is just something so exciting about reading a book with sisters who are reading a book by an author for the first time.

So on to the book and the cheering.

 

 


Watching You
by Lisa Jewell
Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam

img_6785Let’s chat!

Have you read any books by Lisa Jewell?  Have a favorite?   Want to read one?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens @aeskens @HBGCanada #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Joe Talbert is back in this highly anticipated title The Shadows We Hide!!  We are really excited to bring you our reviews from this Traveling Sisters group read.  It is now available, so if you haven’t read it we highly recommend getting your hands on it.  

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskens

Web_L365-4_brunetteBrenda’s review

Allen Eskens is a favorite author of ours and I have read and loved all of his books.  I think we read most of his books in our group. I was very excited to see Allen Eskens brought back Joe from The Life We Bury and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Thank you to HBG Canada and Allen Eskens for Norma, Lindsay and my ARCs and the opportunity to read this intriguing and exciting story here with The Shadows We Hide. We all were left cheering after reading and discussing this title.

The Shadows We Hide is the sequel to The Life We Bury where we meet and get to know Joe Talbert and his family.  Allen Eskens drew us in right away with the well-developed characters. He has this way of bringing such emotion to the story through the dynamics between the characters making them very real for us.  

In The Shadows We Hide we learn who might be Joe’s father and that brings a mystery to the story when he is found dead. We are taken to a small town where secrets are hidden and Joe is determined to find answers. The gripping story slowly unfolds with well plotted and perfectly paced twists.  We were glued to our books, turning the pages as fast as we could to that satisfying outcome that had us guessing right to the end.  Norma was so glued to this story, she read it in 24 hours, waking up with the best book hangover ever. 

The ending left us all cheering with how it all wrapped up and we really enjoyed discussing the ending.   If you haven’t read The Life We Bury yet we strongly recommend reading it and following it up with The Shadows We Hide.  You are in for a real treat.

Web_L337-4_brunetteNorma’s review

Suspenseful, gripping & thrilling!

THE SHADOWS WE HIDE by ALLEN ESKENS is an engaging, interesting, fast-paced and excellent mystery novel that pulled me in right from the very first page and held my attention right to the very end.  I was totally immersed in this suspenseful storyline and thoroughly enjoyed the narrative, the mystery and the characters.

ALLEN ESKENS delivers a complex, well-written and well-plotted read here with memorable and realistic characters, a great mystery and some surprising twists and turns along the way.  I absolutely loved how this story played out and I did not guess the ending at all. And I am so happy that I didn’t because I absolutely love it and find it so satisfying when the pieces of the puzzle all fall into place as the story unfolds and we learn the reveals right along with the characters.  

Eskens’ ease of writing and his choice of words is so appealing and highly entertaining.  He has this perfect skill of immersing you totally into the emotional side of the characters making the mystery that much more thrilling.

I was absolutely thrilled and pretty excited to revisit much-loved characters from Eskens’ first book, THE LIFE WE BURY, which I absolutely loved too.  Even though this is a sequel I think it would also work out really well as a standalone.

Web_L353-4_blondeLindsay’s review

A thrilling and suspenseful follow up to The Life We Bury.

Joe Talbert Jr. has graduated from college and is a journalist at the Associated Press. He comes across an article about the murder of a man named Joe Talbert in a small town a few hours away.   Desperately curious to find out if this could be a link to the father he never knew, Joe finds himself digging up details and chasing answers to try to sort through the small town’s secrets.

I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel from start to finish.  The writing is solid and suspenseful. I was glued to the pages, trying to piece together how things would play out.  The heart-pounding intensity and shock-factor really kicked up a few notches near the end – wow! There were a few things left open in the end, but I was still very satisfied and felt that it was a great way to leave the story.   I hope the intention was to leave the door open for Book #3.

I highly recommend this novel!   If you haven’t read The Life We Bury, I strongly suggest starting with that one so you can get the full backstory on Joe.  He is a fantastic character that I love rooting for.

Norma’s Stats:

Cover: Eye-catching, intriguing, and an excellent and fitting representation to the storyline.Title: Intriguing and an extremely fitting representation of the storyline.  I absolutely loved how the title played into the storyline. Writing/Prose: Well-written, catchy, suspenseful, and smooth.  Absolutely love Eskens’ writing style!Plot: Engrossing, suspenseful, interesting, fast-paced, and entertaining.Ending:  Surprising, gripping, and intensely satisfying.Overall:  A fantastic, highly entertaining, enjoyable and immersive read!  Would highly recommend!

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Let’s Chat!

Have you read The Life We Bury? Want to?  It’s now being currently read in The Traveling Friends group!  You can find us on Goodreads to join in!

Have you read The Shadows We Hide?  Are you adding it to your want to read list?

Have you read any other books by Allen Eskens?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!