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The Throwaway Children

Thursday, April 13, 2017 posted by Joan
Love Greeting Stones

I Love Grandma Engraved Stones

The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe is a heart wrenching story of two sisters, Rosie and Rita, who lived in England after World War II.  These two young girls, ages five and nine years-old were given away by their mother.  How can someone give away their children like throwing engraved stones in the water?

The girls had lived with their mother who married a bully whom they all feared.  She was pressured by her new husband to send the girls to an orphanage.  However, she didn’t realize that the papers that she signed gave away her rights to her children. Even their maternal grandmother, was not able to have any contact with the girls.

The sisters were sent to an orphanage in Australia and then separated.  As the book unfolds, you will learn about the severe obstacles and extreme hardships that the girls faced.  This compelling story will make you appreciate intact families who value their children.  If you care about kids, this book is a must read.

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The Girl With No Name by Diney Costeloe  

Sunday, February 26, 2017 posted by Joan
L'Chaiim Inspirational Stones

L’Chaim (To Life) Inspirational Stones

Reading about the engraved stones in the streets of European cities with the names of the Jewish people who had lived there, causes me to think about the stories of survivors of the Holocaust.  What could be more heart breaking than the story of a young girl who escaped from Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport.

 Thirteen-year-old Lisa finds herself in London with a few belongings and not able to speak a word of English.  The photo of her family, which she left in Germany, keeps her going through difficult and lonely times.

 Although Lisa has many obstacles to face, she is fostered by a Jewish, English couple and life improves.  But when the German Blitz strikes London, she wakes up in a hospital with no memory or who she is. 

 This is the story of a brave child who makes the best of her situation facing every challenge with perseverance and a steadfast attitude.

 

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A Beautiful Mess by T.K. Leigh and Tracy Kellam

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 posted by Joan
I Love You Engraved Stone

I Love You Greeting Stone

I found it difficult stop reading A Beautiful Mess by T.K. Leigh and and Tracy Kellam.  How can you trust again when you lose everyone that was important to you? How do you build a new life when you can’t remember what came before?  This is the challenge that faces Olivia Adler.

Olivia lost her parents at a young age and was raised by an uncle who she lost as a young adult.  As a result, she’s not able to maintain a relationship with anyone even her best friends.  Until Alexander Burnham entered her life and then everything changed.  Alexander knows about Olivia’s past and was part of her past, but he is keeping it a secret because he’s too fearful to share it with her.  Although Alexander’s actions repeatedly show his love for Olivia, more than engraved polished stones, will she allow him to love and protect her? Can he tell her what he knows or will it force her to leave?

There are so many unanswered questions that this book will leave you hanging.  You will be will be compelled to read the sequel.

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Review of The Paris Architect

Thursday, January 21, 2016 posted by Joan
La Chayim - To Life

L’Chaim (To Life) Engraved Stones

This gripping thriller story will make you think about how far you would go to save another’s life. No inspirational or wedding anniversary inscription could be more thought-provoking than this saga.

In Nazi occupied Paris during 1942, Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money and fame, at a time when jobs are scarce or non-existent for French architects. However, this commission will also place his life in great danger. Is he clever enough to design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man? Such a space has to be invisible to the Nazis who are searching the city for this man. If he accepts this challenge, he will be given an opportunity to design a factory for the Germans.

After accepting the first challenge, Lucien continues to design more hiding places for Jews and more factories for the Nazis. After a while, the Gestapo recognize Lucien’s involvement in hiding Jews and the plot develops and the suspense increases. Although saving Jewish lives was only a means to a commission at first; as the story unfolds, it becomes Lucien’s personal struggle to save the Jews.

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One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 posted by Joan
Be Happy Greeting Stones

Be Happy Engraved Stones

This is the story of a single mom living on the southern coast of England, who is desperately holding her family together, although she continually faces extreme financial and emotional challenges. However, Jess is the eternal optimist which can be described by the sentiment, Be Happy, on inspirational engraved river stones. Jess Thomas works two jobs while raising her kids, Nicky a 16-year old who is the target of vicious neighborhood bullying and Tanzie, her 10-year old daughter who is a math whiz. Norman.

One of Jess’s house cleaning clients, Ed Nicholls, and Jess find their paths colliding. Ed is a computer geek and self-made millionaire who finds himself in serious dificulties. He is being charged with insider trading, his best friend will not talk with him, his ex-wife is hounding him for money and his father is dying.

One Plus One is the story of a road trip that Jess, Nicky, Tanzie, Norman (Tanzie’s dog) and Ed take together. They are trying to get Tanzie to a math competition in Scotland, which will be the answer to Jess’s financial difficulties allowing Tanzie to attend a private school away from the neighborhood bullies.

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Review of America The Beautiful

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 posted by Martin
Engraved Motivational Stones

Engraved Inspirational Stones

America The Beautiful was authored by Dr. Ben Carson, a candidate for President of the United States on the Republican side. Dr. Carson is a brilliant analyst who is able to put things into proper prospective. Those not familiar with him just assume that he is a Republican stereotype. They believe his opinions are from a stone engraving of the early 20th century. They believe what is said by others. This book is a breath of fresh air.

Carson regards people as people, not of a particular race. He discusses the strife faced by the founders during the 1700s and by the Negros after slavery. He believes that America accomplished more than any country in history because of the amazing economic engine which evolved. He believes in the rights of the states, but also understands the need for some central governmental controls. He believes in giving a helping hand, but that all people should be able to prosper from their efforts. He believes that career politicians cause the mess that the country is in and that non-politicians are needed in government. The book is well written and very worthwhile.

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In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Thursday, August 20, 2015 posted by Joan
Happy Chanukah Greeting Stones

Happy Hanukkah Engraved Rocks

If you’re beginning to look for Christmas and Hanukkah greetings and gifts, I recommend this compelling story which is based on actual events. During a three-month period starting in December 1951, 3 airplanes fell from the sky hitting the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey. The author, Judy Blume, was a teenager, living through this horrific time. According to Blume, “These events have lingered in my mind ever since. It was a crazy time. We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified.”

Blume takes this event and weaves it into a story of how families, friends and neighbors coped with this tragedy which changed their lives forever. In 1987, Miri Ammerman tells her story while returning to her hometown to attend the commemoration of the plane crashes over Elizabeth. Through Miri, we get to know her family and friends.  The author takes us back to the tragedies so we can relive them with her.  We are given the opportunity to view the emotions, needs, ambitions and coping skills of those who lived through the events.

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Review of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 posted by Joan
L'Chaiim Inspirational Stones

L’Chaim (To Life) Inspirational Stones

Author, Kristin Hannah, shows us the heart-wrenching horrors of war from the women’s perspective. The misery and plight of the French people under German rule including the horrific actions of the Germans towards the Jews come to life in this book. The Nightingale is the story of two sisters during German-occupied, war-torn France during World War II. No words can tell the tale of the survival, freedom, and love as well as Hannah does in this thought-provoking and riveting novel which is based on a true story of a real Belgium woman. Engraved rocks, with the words L’Chaim (to life) represent their only objective – survival.

Vianne’s husband leaves her and their young daughter to fight in the French army. Although Vianne survives the German occupation of her home, her every move is scrutinized while her life and the life of her child are in constant danger. She is forced to make difficult choices, without food or money, to keep herself and her daughter alive.

Her younger sister, Isabelle, joins the resistance while risking not only her freedom but the freedom of her family. Isabelle brings British and American pilots who have been shot down across the dangerous mountains and into Spain.

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