Review: Brambleberry House





Synopsis:

Come stay awhile at Brambleberry House, a place infused with acceptance, healing and heart–as only RaeAnne Thayne can imagine it.

 
His Second-Chance Family 



Julia Blair spent many happy summers at Cannon Beach and fell hard for sweet local boy Will Garrett. Now the for-rent sign at Brambleberry House seems like a wonderful omen for widowed Julia and her young children. She craves the warmth she once felt in Brambleberry House–and in Will’s arms. But before he can embrace his first love, he’ll have to lay down the burden of the past and open his heart again.

 
A Soldier’s Secret 



Struggling to rebuild her business and her life, Anna Galvez knows she’s fortunate to have inherited Brambleberry House as her rock-solid base. When she finds a handsome new tenant in injured army pilot Harry Maxwell, Anna thinks her luck–in love, at least–might be changing. Until the lieutenant’s story begins to unravel…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

RaeAnne Thayne is a mastermind when it comes to creating the perfect contemporary romance tales. Her latest book, Brambleberry House, contains two short novellas. Each one has its way of pulling me deep into its journey. Epic, heartfelt, and well-written. The characters are to die for…

Inside, His Second-Chance Family, I got to two old sweethearts. Traveling back to their sweet moment of being 16-years-old and in love. A brief sweet kiss from a first love.  Their memory of that has stayed with them even now, as adults. One stayed and the other left. Now, many years later, fate has brought them together. Both have lost a loved one two. Their shared experience in pain, grief, loss, and love has a way of making a new path. Maybe, love and healing is in the air…

Next, is A Soldier’s Secret. Here, I got to meet a nephew of a deceased woman. His aunt gave her home to two ladies. One such lady was Anna Galvez. Her luck in love was bad. Her finance ran off with another woman and left her on their wedding day…

Now, she appears stiff as a board but there’s more to Anna than beats the human eye. With some help from a dog and the spirit of the deceased aunt…Anna and Harry might have a chance at a happily ever after. But they must overcome their fears and find courage to move forward. Love is in the air. It’s up to the charcaters to brace enoughto accept it.

Troubled hearts filled with pain, loss, and grief. RaeAnne Thayne has brought two unique tales that teach lessons of life as well as showing me that anything is possible. Love can happen when we least expect it to…overall, I highly recommend Brambleberry House to readers worldwide. The plot was enticing from the first page. Charming charcaters and tales that steal readers’ hearts.

Review: Still Well





Synopsis:

Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.
“Cash makes the pain of a man who lost the love of his life palpable in this supernatural thriller with a genuinely surprising resolution.” 

– Publisher’s Weekly 
“Cash easily draws readers into the story by creating three-dimensional characters who are easy to care about.” – ForeWord Reviews

“With strong characters and a twist unexepected in a thriller, this book is an enjoyable beach read.” – ForeWord Reviews
“A horror tale with well-developed characters…” – Kirkus Review 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Still Well by Michael Phillip Cash is a dark intriguing tale. The characters have a way of dragging readers straight into the book. I was immediately drawn into the story. Captivated by the mystery and danger. Goosebumps crawling out on my arms as I dug further into the plot. 

Still Well is definitely a page-turner. A fast-paced, yet edgy ghost-story that nailed my attention from the first page to the last. Frightening tale that holds themes of loss, grief, love and death. A husband who loses his wife due to an illness. Paul has a job of selling places. The most interesting place up for him to sell is a haunted mansion. It’s here where all the darkness comes.  Creating a phenomenal paranormal novel. Buried pasts and a love that doesn’t end…Paul has to rescue his wife’s soul. 

Here, Michael Phillip Cash has masterfully woven a book that engaged me with every page. I was addicted. The action, suspense, and thrill of what lies ahead held me like a prisoner. Still Well’s hero, Paul Russo, is a man that is easy to relate to as well like. I instantly connected with him. His pain of losing his wife and now, having to save her from evil spirits is hard. Paul is a strong character. He grows as the plot unfolded. Overall, I was entertained with this read. I highly recommend this paranormal thriller to all. 

Review: The Memory of You

Synopsis:

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Memory of You by Catherine West is a haunting read. One that breaks my heart. Losing a sister is like losing half of oneself. Readers can easily relate to the main character’s pain. Now, that same character has to return home. It is there that I followed Natalie Mitchell to where she grew up…her grandfather needs her. Despite all the dark and nightmarish memories of what home brings to Natalie she still makes her way back there. I loved that about the main character. She was brave and loyal. My heart tore at her pain as the story continued. Mesmerizing and engaging to read.

The Memory of You takes readers to California. There I got to visit a family owned winery. That’s the full focus of Natalie’s pain. Loss, grief, and heartbroken. Complex, intriguing, and entertaining. This was the first novel I have read by Catherine West. I definitely recommend it to readers worldwide. Adventure, family, and an emotional journey waiting to be read by all. 

Review: The Idea of You

Synopsis

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…
Heart-wrenching and poignant, this latest work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: what does it mean to be a mother in today’s hectic world? And what if it’s asking too much to want it all?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse is a powerfully written novel. A novel that all women can relate to easily. Love, relationships, and family are just a few of the themes presented inside this tale. From the beginning, I felt saddened by the main charcater’s life. She gave up her one and only child. A child that kept her wondering for forty-years, if she had a good life or not. The  Idea of You was indeed a perfect title. It perfectly worked for this read.  This same woman felt like a loner. Always single at events that couples would be attending. My heart reached out to Lucy. But then, the unexpected happens and she meets Jonah. He’s a great man. Their love is true and it made me smile to watch them as they worked out their issues and are just as happy as when they wedded.  However, a secret comes out and before readers know it, Lucy’s and Jonah’s world has been flopped upside down and inside out…then, Jonah’s daughter has a secret to tell. I felt that this tale was very believable. I can see this situation happening to anyone. Jonah’s struggles as a father and husband were tested. I loved the end results that Amanda Prowse created. So much sorrow and then some healing and laughter. Lucy went through a lot more than giving up her only child, she also miscarried. I can only imagine her hurt…overall, I highly recommend The Idea of You to readers everywhere. Emotionally deep and satisfying to read. 

Review: Coping with Ash

 

 

Synopsis:

Ashton Taylor was a hypochondriac—justifiably so—with multiple and sometimes self-diagnosed issues that turned him into a bit of a misfortune teller. Always knowing he would die young-ish, and anticipating what would otherwise have been an unorganized and messy affair for others, he had thoughtfully left behind a step-by-step post-mortem plan. Choreographing circumstances and conveyors, Ash had arranged for his cremains to be distributed to the places he cherished in this world, by the people who meant the most to him—especially his patient and tolerant partner of the past twenty years, Rich Dreadfulwater.

Rich, who is known by his family as Limping Rabbit, on account of a childhood tumble from a moving pickup truck, is a Seattle-based Native American defense lawyer suddenly grappling with grief, his caseload, and the task of divvying up the four pounds of his ash-rendered boyfriend into nineteen pre-labeled black plastic 35mm film canisters.
Struggling with everything he’s lost, he finds himself coping with a whole lot more than his partner’s ashes. In honoring the final wishes of the man he never imagined he could live without, the mourning lawyer embarks on a quest to find his Inner Indian … and the destiny that has always been his birthright to seize.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Coping with Ash by Michael Scott Curnes is a sad and emotional read. It instantly wrapped its way into my heart. Tears felt like spilling. Losing a loved one is never easy. Coping with Ash is a story told by the dead character. His death left his lover in a terrible state. A lover who wasn’t ready to let go. Ashton Taylor died with a wish to be cremated. He wanted his ashes spread out to his favorite places. His lover, Rich Dreadfulwater, is a successful lawyer with Indian roots. Rich was not prepared for the loss of Ashton. In fact, he completely fell apart the day Ashton went in to be cremated. Heart breaking, devastating, and realistic. The journey of one trying to cope with the loss of a loved one. The stages of loss, grief, and anger felt so real. I don’t believe anyone reading this book will not feel saddened by it. I enjoyed reading this novel. Michael Scott Curnes has a talent for sucking readers into his characters’ lives. Overall, I highly recommend Coping with Ash to all.

Review: Rayna 




Synopsis:

Rayna escaped the bordello as a teenager. She meets a Buddhist monk that helps her to learn that life is worth living again. She learns different languages and several studies of martial arts. Rayna also has a secret. Without warning, time will stop moving. Only Rayna is allowed to move in this frozen world. She can not control it, but uses it to her advantage to seek revenge on those that have hurt her.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Rayna by R. K. Marts is a wonderful YA fantasy. One that instantly draws out an emotional attachment to the protagonist. I felt her sadness, anger, and frustrations. Then, the knowledge about her birth mom only led my curiosity out further. 

Rayna is a young girl who spent her entire life in an orphanage. The kids teased her because of her pretty looks. She has never known her mother. Soon, she’s adopted and and that’s where the plot takes a knife to one’s heart. Dark, frightening, and sad. Rayna will experience things girls herage never should have to go through…yet it still happens. From there she escapes and friends a monk. A man who defended her. I wanted to hug the monk. After that the plot spirals readers further on a journey of revenge, discovery, and a mission for truth. 

R. K. Marts’ book was easy to read. Following along, was simple. Danger, violence, sex, arejust a few themes inside this tale. I would recommend this YA read to those eighteen or older due to the adult content. Beside that, the story was powerfully told and engaging to read. I recommend Rayna to readers worldwide. 

Review: A Thousand Letters





Synopsis:

Sometimes your life is split by a single decision. 
I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them. 
But now he’s back.
I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid. 
Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance. 
One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.
*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Wow! Staci Hart knows how to write well. Her story immediately dragged me deeper into the lives of her characters. A Thousand Letters is about an engaging tale of loss, love, and new beginnings. Deeply emotional…readers beware you will cry and fall in love. 

A love so strong that it literally digs into your soul and doesn’t release you until the ending. Epic. I found myself feeling the raw but bold desire radiating off the two main characters. Their sparks are electrifying. Zapping me each time they were near each other. 

Death can do a lot. Elliot has her reasons and so did Wade. But what tears them apart can also bind them. Family life is complex that is can take a toll on who the characters become and how they live their lives. The book almost had a Dear John kind of vibe but more spectacular. Heartfelt, realistic, and a romance that I couldn’t ignore. My heart tore and stretched throughout the piece. Overall, A Thousand Letters is a must read for all. 

Review: The Weight of Him




Synopsis:

In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.

At four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food’s colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy’s beloved son Michael takes his own life.

Billy determines to make a difference in Michael’s memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention–his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy’s dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.

Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.

Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan was a heartfelt read. I felt the deep connection to the characters pain. An overweight father stressing over the loss and pain of losing his son. His wife seems to have pulled away from him completely. No touching her for pain of her moving away from his touch. The father is determined to lose weight and make it a memorable thing for his dead son. There are others who have lost someone due to suicide. The father isn’t alone. The tale carries the heavy weight of the dead son on every page. Loss, grief, blame, denial, and then finally admitting the feelings of having lost the child. His wife opens up…his other son is still alive. Life will move forward. Slowly but memory of their son stays with them forever. The loss of a child is something we all can relate to as well as losing a loved one to suicide.  Eating ourselves up for the death of that loved one. Thinking we could have done something different to stop it. Then, the question as to why the son killed himself plagued the father. Why…

The Weight of Him is a steady paced novel. Full of darkness overshadowing a family. They’re struggling with the death of a son and brother. The father’s journey of overcoming the darkness was powerfully told. I enjoyed watching him take on the pain and trying to keep his family together. Death has a way of breaking things. Hearts are broken. Readers take on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Ethel Rohan has masterfully created a realistic telling of the sad reality of life. It’s not always picture perfect not a happily ever after. It’s a scale whose bad days sometimes out weigh the good ones. Overall, I recommend the book to all. 

Review: The Night Mark 

Synopsis:

She has nothing to live for in the present, but finds there’s something worth dying for in the past…

From Tiffany Reisz, the international bestselling storyteller behind The Bourbon Thief and The Original Sinners series, comes an enthralling new novel about a woman swept away by the tides who awakens to find herself in 1921, reunited with the husband she’s been mourning for four years. Fans of Kate Morton and Diana Gabaldon will fall in love with the mystery, romance and beauty of an isolated South Carolina lighthouse, where a power greater than love works its magic.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz was superb. It made me cry so hard, I needed a box of tissues. Loss, grief, and love. All of these entangled into one marvelous read. Imagine finding a love that works, then losing a child. Soon afterwards, losing that husband. For Faith, she seems to go about this round of loss again. Only she lets her husband go. Her heart really wasn’t for him. She still longed for her dead husband. He made her laugh so easy. The past consumed her whole. Over took her life. Faith was drowning in her sorrows. One day she decides to divorce and accept a job photographing. Her life soon turns for a different route. Maybe, just this once, she will be happy again…

The Might Mark is stunning. Every page was more intense than the previous. Engaging me to read further. Entertaining in that a modern woman goes to live with a man from the past. A love that swallows her whole. I couldn’t stop reading this book. I finished it within an hour. The plot was so entertaining, I didn’t dare put it down or stop. Tiffany Reisz is indeed a talented writer. She dragged me deep into her world of fiction and I loved every moment. Tears and all. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers worldwide.

Review: The Garden City Rules 




Synopsis:

Kathryn “Kat” is bursting with excitement and anticipation to begin high school. She is hoping, as most girls do, for acceptance, popularity, and, most of all, a boyfriend. But the sudden death of her father changes everything. Her family begins to unravel. Her mother becomes absent, and she finds herself in trouble and sent away.

Devotedly, Steve, her oldest brother, rescues her and takes on the responsibility of raising her and her brothers. They keep a watchful and protective eye over her as she begins her long awaited high school years. High school brings her everything she wanted—acceptance, popularity, and a boyfriend—as she struggles to pick up the pieces of her past.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Garden City Rules by Michelle Courtney is a contemporary YA piece that readers won’t be forgetting any time soon. The plot immediately draws readers into its emotional rollercoaster ride. Sad, tragic, and beautifully written. There was so much inside this book. I was easily able to identity with not just the main character but all of the characters. Their story took me in deeper. I felt their pain, their frustrations and the tensions were real. Growing up while trying to do what’s right for one’s siblings is hard. Without parents in the picture, it’s left to the older or oldest sibling to carry the burden. Life is hard enough without losing people one loves. But as the story progressed, it went from sad to peaceful. The understanding and love was powerful. Watching the characters grow, was interesting. Definitely, a page turner. Michelle Courtney not only wrote about loss and grief,  it also about struggling with popularity, acceptance, and dating. Responsibility was another important theme. This book was super easy to read. The plot went by faster than I thought.  The Garden City Rules is one read that I highly recommend to readers worldwide. 

Review: A Sister’s Place



Synopsis:

Sometimes the friend you’ve always needed is the sister you’ve always had.
Throughout the years, sisters Gracie and Juliette Bennett have let life’s changes pull them in opposite directions. But when their beloved grandmother Mimi passes away, they’re drawn back together in the most unexpected way. Set to inherit the family home, a charming Craftsman with an overgrown garden and lush fruit trees near the beach in Santa Barbara, the estranged sisters learn there’s a catch: the house can be theirs, but only if they agree to live in it for one year—together.
Suddenly Gracie, a pragmatic paralegal who’s always stayed close to home, and Juliette, an intrepid recent NYU grad in search of the next thrill, are living under one roof. Forced to reexamine their relationship, they find themselves confronting their pasts and bonding over love, heartbreak, and deeply held secrets. Soon they’ll discover whether a sister’s love is what they need to get them through their darkest hours—and if their grandmother’s clever plan can preserve more than just a piece of family history. It just might preserve the friendship of a lifetime…and reveal the sisters and women they were always meant to be.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Sister’s Place by Savannah Page is an interesting yet heart wrenching novel. Losing someone one loves dear is hard. Life does begin and end…and in this case it was time for a grandma to leave. Her family is brought together. Especially two sisters who were the best of friends when they were younger. Now, as young twenty-something’s they hardly speak or are there for each other. Their friendship hanging by a thin thread. However, with their grandma’s wish, both have to live together in the house for a year. Or else the family home will be sold. Neither wants to lose the family house. With no other choice they begin filling their late grandmother’s wish. 

Savannah Page has created a book that allows readers to re-examine life in a new way. Deeper, more emotional, and funny too. I loved following the two sisters. Their journey made me laugh and cry. Both are completely different. The younger one is taller and more of a wild card. The oldest is more calm and a ruler abiding punctual adult. Together, years and memories unfold as they learn to accept each other as sisters. Sisterhood as their grandma, Mimi, called it. It’s a special gift. After reading this novel, it makes me wish my baby sister was closer. As each day grows, I miss my own sister more. A Sister’s Place is realistic and heartfelt. I loved it. Overall, I recommend every woman and sister to read this book. 

Review: The Cherished Quilt 



Synopsis:

Tragedy tore Christopher’s world apart. But Emily believes there are enough pieces left behind to stitch together a beautiful new beginning.

Emily Fisher is eager to meet the new employee at her father’s shop in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania. But when Christopher Hochstetler arrives, his cold demeanor freezes her attempts at building a friendship.

Longing for a fresh start, Christopher travels from Ohio to Bird-in-Hand to work at his uncle’s shop. Christopher’s heart is still wounded from memories of home, and making new friends is the last thing on his mind—he knows the pain that comes with losing those you love. When Emily is kind to him, he tries to remain distant, but he soon finds himself stealing glances at her throughout the day.

When Christopher shares his tragic reasons for leaving home, Emily decides to make a quilt for him as a gesture of their friendship. Even though he is not a member of the church, she’s found someone with whom she can imagine a future. The two are quickly falling in love when a family emergency calls Christopher back to Ohio without warning.

Emily finishes the quilt, in spite of her pain. But when Christopher receives it, will he have the courage to follow his heart?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Amy Clipston has done it again with her latest novel, The Cherished Quilt. An Amish romance that readers will instantly love and never forget. This tale is heart melting, sweet, and awe inspiring. The emotional tugs will surely keep readers glued into the plot. 

A young Amish woman meets a man of her age working at her father’s place. He’s not like the other men. He appears cold and distant yet he can’t help feeling pulled into Emily’s kindness. She doesn’t give up…and neither should he.

Christopher took off from his family home to live with his uncle. He thought he was the sole reason for his troubling heart. Not able to sleep, Christopher struggles with the weight of his pain. God seems to be calling home when he finds out that his family needs his help. Christopher doesn’t hesitate. Leaving he doesn’t even stop to tell Emily…

Emily thinks her Christopher were getting along just fine. Then, he tells her they can’t be together and that he doesn’t want to be a member of their church. Telling him he’s a coward, only makes Christopher feel worse. But Emily is heart broken…

Can second chances happen between these two young people? Amy Clipston takes readers deep on a roller coaster of friendship, love, heartbreak, and faith. A strong sense of family and committment to God is seen throughout this story. I loved it. The characters have a way of keeping me interested from beginning to end. The Cherished Quilt is indeed a perfect title…as it has a deeper meaning inside. Overall, I highly recommend this Christian novel to readers everywhere. Amy Clipston is talented and writes beautifully engaging reads. 

Review: Disinheritance (collection of poems)


Synopsis

A lyrical, philosophical, and tender exploration of the various voices of grief, including those of the broken, the healing, the son-become-father, and the dead, Disinheritance acknowledges loss while celebrating the uncertainty of a world in constant revision. From the concrete consequences of each human gesture to soulful interrogations into “this amalgam of real / and fabled light,” these poems inhabit an unsteady betweenness, where ghosts can be more real than the flesh and blood of one’s own hands.

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Disinheritance by John Sibley Williams is a stunning yet beautifully written collection of poems. Inside, readers will go on an emotional rollercoaster of every kind. His words sink deep into the souls of his readers. I felt the grief and loss absorb into me as I read each word. The depth in which each poem creates in brilliant. Realistic, heart wrenching, and phenomenal. Every page carries a unique poem. I found myself lost within the pages and the emotions they created inside of me. John Sibley Williams collected the essence of life and captured it within every piece. The reality of life and its rawness come alive within these pages. Disinheritance is indeed one magnificent collection of poetry that I highly recommend to all. Once readers open this book, there’s no going back. Hard to put down, and absolutely breathtaking. Overall, John Sibley Williams is a master of poetry. 

Review: Sealionaire (book 2)


Synopsis:

Former Navy SEAL Adam “Reaper” Dedman is cruising toward the bottom of the pit of despair. The Navy has washed their hands of him and now he’s got nothing else to do but waste the rest of his life. Or so he thinks. 

Down on his luck and running out of choices, Reaper agrees to meet the man who walked away from his mother. If not for anything else, it’ll give him another chance to get close to the mysterious but oh so sexy, Olivia “O” Darling. 
Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Sealionaire (book 2) is the second installment in the exciting hot new series by both M.S. Parker and Shiloh Walker. These two talented writers have definitely rocked the whole Navy Seal image. A young Navy Seal has been dealt a hard hand. Between watching his teammates die in battle and then coming home just in time to watch his mom die…it takes a toll on a man. Such a toll it took that Adam decided to pick a fight at a bar and send 5 guys to the hospital. He soon realizes that he’s put his only career and life on the line. Then just when he least expected it…a family member comes to his aide. The aide is in the form a tough looking woman who sends Adam’s senses into overdrive. The heat blows up with an intensity as well as the career. Just when the sexy Navy Seal thought he has had enough grief, he ends up losing another loved one. Loss, grief, and family are three important themes found in this stunning novella. I found myself addicted and lured right from the beginning. Once again, both M.S. Parker and Shiloh Walker have created another masterpiece for all to enjoy. Overall, I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next one. 

Review: The Invitation

The Invitation by [Foley, Lucy]

 

Synopsis:

An evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately–and dangerously–to hide.

Rome, 1953: Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him. One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella. Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Together, they escape the crowded party and imagine a different life, even if it’s just for a night. Yet Stella vanishes all too quickly, and Hal is certain their paths won’t cross again.

But a year later they are unexpectedly thrown together after Hal receives an invitation he cannot resist. An Italian Contessa asks him to assist on a trip of a lifetime–acting as a reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian coast toward Cannes film festival, the most famous artists and movie stars of the day gathered to promote a new film.

Of all the luminaries aboard–an Italian ingenue, an American star, a reclusive director–only one holds Hal in thrall: Stella. And while each has a past, that belies the gilded surface, Stella has the most to hide. As Hal’s obsession with Stella grows, he becomes determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who’s been confined to history.

An irresistibly entertaining and atmospheric novel set in some of the world’s most glamorous locales, THE INVITATION is a sultry love story about the ways in which the secrets of the past stay with us–no matter how much we try to escape them.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Invitation by Lucy Foley is a historical romance story set in the 1950’s. Its tale takes readers deep into the darkness that surrounds the characters. Regret, sorrow, and loss. But even with that, there was also, the luxury of lives lived in glamorous ways. Rich, fascinating, and enticing. Lucy Foley magnificently creates, a world in which readers want to dive into time and time again. The emotional journey is one that baits and hooks readers deeper into the plot. Moving back and forth dipping into each character’s life so as to give readers a clearer picture of who they are. The mystery behind the characters and their dilemmas is fascinating to watch. This book is like a moving picture. The Invitation brings a realistic yet romantic story that nails me to its pages. A search for redemption and love is so great that I simply couldn’t put the book down…to stop reading. I highly recommend this to fans of historicals, romances, and family sagas. Lucy Foley is indeed a talented writer.

Review: One Last Dance

One Last Dance by [Patino, Ernesto]

 

Synopsis:

Marco Anissi comes out of a comma, days after his car slams into a light pole—the same pole he had crashed into exactly ten years ago, killing his fiancé, Susan. Coincidence? Not to him. Her spirit has reached out to him in a way he would understand. If it had happened on a different date, in a different place he would have missed it entirely. With the help of Susan’s mother, Marco learns that a woman named Julia Tinsley had received her daughter’s heart. She lives in Tucson where she works as a dance teacher. Obsessed with the idea of reconnecting with Susan’s spirit, Marco travels to Tucson. But he can’t just walk up to Julia and introduce himself. What would she think—a complete stranger wanting to meet her? He signs up for lessons, hoping to develop a relationship. Now, Marco must make a decision: tell the truth about himself and risk losing Julia with whom he’s falling in love, or remain silent and enjoy his new life with her.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

One Last Dance by Ernesto Patino is an inspirational romance story. One that will tug at readers’ hearts. I definitely felt the pull on my own heart. The emotions that flew through me were sadness, loss, grief, hope, and love. I was amazed at the survival and second chances that occurred in the tale.

Ernesto Patino wrote a beautifully woven story that I won’t ever forget. The character’s loss and grief were realistic. It was easy for me to connect with him on those levels. It’s never easy to lose someone we loved. As fate would have it, Marco Anissi, ends up in a coma from crashing into the same spot that he crashed into before. Except the first time, ended up killing his fiance. The second time, fate only put him into a deep sleep. After waking up from his coma, Marco learns that his fiance’s heart lives in another woman. This propels the man to find the woman and meet her. A part of his fiance still lives and he wants to be there to be near the heart of his fiance’s. The novel, is deeply engaging, fast-paced and absolutely brilliant. I couldn’t stop reading it. Maybe…Marco can find peace and love once more…Overall, I highly recommend One Last Dance to all.

 

Review: Closure

Closure: A Novel by [White, Neil A]

 

Synopsis:

A moving coming-of-age tale that follows three young boys through adolescence into adulthood, each trying to make sense of a world turned upside down.

Poland (1939)
The German army sweeps across Poland intent on the destruction of an entire people. In a small Polish town, ten-year-old Piotr Kowalczyk’s idyllic world will be forever destroyed.

Croatia (1944)
Young Dino Mitak flees to the freedom of the West as the communist-led Partisans move ever closer to Zagreb.

Australia (1980)
A small boy, already struggling to cope with the loss of a parent, is confronted by a gruesome murder.

From the tranquil foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in southern Poland, to the Balkans and a simmering feud centuries in the making, to the streets of inner-city Melbourne where histories collide.

These events, generations and worlds apart, are interwoven in a poignant story of grief, hatred, revenge and finally, closure.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Closure by Neil A. White is a brilliant coming of age story that all readers will love. I was glued to the story from page one. Three boys…each one from a different country suffering through loss, grief, and troubled-times. Poland, Croatia, and Australia. It’s hard not to find one’s self drawn to each boy’s story. The danger comes alive. Emotions are formed deeply, creating the connection from readers to the characters. A historical novel that is highly engaging, suspenseful, and intriguing. The plot thickens as the pages are turning. The unknown of terror lies ahead keeps readers guessing. Each of the three boy’s will have the world’s the grew up in lost forever. They will know what pain is and the hardness of life that comes with destruction. Closure is about each character finding a way to close the darkness of their lives and to move forward with life, hope, and love. Neil A. White’s writing is stunning. I look forward to reading more books by him in the future. Overall, I recommend Closure to readers everywhere.

Review: No One Is Invincible

No One Is Invincible by [Walker, Shawn]

 

Synopsis:

Summary Life is a precious thing. This is something sixteen year old John knows all too well. Intelligent, punk rock, and seemingly alone in a home filled with domestic violence, John runs away and finds himself homeless and living on the streets. Faced with hunger, horrid winter weather, and human ignorance, John struggles to find morality in the world around him. That is, until the love and help of a mysterious old lady who goes by the name “Mom” and charismatic, 6-year-old little girl, Candy, show him light can be found in the darkest of places. Can John face down not only homelessness, but also the fear of losing a loved one to a very deadly killing agent, cancer?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

No One Is Invincible by Shawn Walker is a read to behold. This novel holds more than to the eyes see. A story is that is deep…emotional and one that awakens readers to the evils of men. Human ignorance is one of the worst evils humans possess. That and greed. The more we have the more we want. Yet when we meet those who have little or nothing we turn a blind’s eye to them. It’s those people that we should be helping and paying attention to…not to our wealth. Family comes in all varieties these days. A young man is smart yet feels alone runs away from his home. He is soon faced with problems of hunger, shelter, and love. Humans see the issues but they harden their hearts instead of opening them. I felt sadness, frustration, and anger. The difficulties and struggles of the characters were easy to relate to and understand. I want to cry, hug, and love the characters like they were my own family. I wanted to help them. In the end, I felt the loss, the grief, but also, a sense of belonging and love. There is hope after all…Shawn Walker’s novel, No One is Invincible is one that all should read. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. The issues are real. The characters will tug at readers’ hearts and souls. I fell in love. Overall, this was masterfully woven and well-developed.

 

Review: Still Here

Still Here: A Novel by [Vapnyar, Lara]

 

Synopsis:

A profound and dazzlingly entertaining novel from the writer Louis Menand calls “Jane Austen with a Russian soul”.

In her warm, absorbing and keenly observed new novel, Lara Vapnyar follows the intertwined lives of four immigrants in New York City as they grapple with love and tumult, the challenges of a new home, and the absurdities of the digital age.

Vica, Vadik, Sergey and Regina met in Russia in their school days, but remained in touch and now have very different American lives. Sergey cycles through jobs as an analyst, hoping his idea for an app will finally bring him success. His wife Vica, a medical technician struggling to keep her family afloat, hunger for a better life. Sergey’s former girlfriend Regina, once a famous translator is married to a wealthy startup owner, spends her days at home grieving over a recent loss. Sergey’s best friend Vadik, a programmer ever in search of perfection, keeps trying on different women and different neighborhoods, all while pining for the one who got away.

As Sergey develops his app—calling it “Virtual Grave,” a program to preserve a person’s online presence after death—a formidable debate begins in the group, spurring questions about the changing perception of death in the modern world and the future of our virtual selves. How do our online personas define us in our daily lives, and what will they say about us when we’re gone?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Still Here by Lara Vapnyar is an astounding novel. Readers will be instantly hooked upon opening the book. This read offers a realistic and a deep emotional journey. One that has a way of powerfully knocking readers off their feet. The cast of characters come in an array of differences. Each one with their own journey that they struggle to overcome. Grief, stability, and an endless search. I was easily able to connect with each of the characters. Their lives were created in a way that is beyond believable. Emotions such as frustration, sorrow, and determination are felt as readers weaved through the pages.

Inside Lara Vapnyar’s novel, I have met individuals in the busy city of New York. The toughest place to settle and make a living. Yet these four immigrants do exactly that. Settled, worked, and loved in the one city that can make or break people. Still Here showed that a group of friends supported one another through their tough and troubling times. Entertaining, quirky, and smart. I enjoyed reading this tale as well as having followed the four friends as their new lives progressed. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

 

Review: A Long Walk with Sally

A Long Walk With Sally: A Grieving Father's Golf Journey Back to Life by [Clark Jr., David]

 

Synopsis:

A parent’s worst fear and most unimaginable horror began on April 4, 2004. As his world was torn further apart, David’s only wish was to escape–to walk away–but how could he? How would he ever find the peace he so desperately needed?

On a golf course in Ireland, the answer came. Thus began a ten-year quest, taking David to 290 courses throughout the British Isles. As he was about to leave on his final trip, he looked out the windshield of his car and realized where he would find his peace.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

A Long Walk with Sally by David Clark Jr. is a memoir that will an impact upon readers everywhere. Readers will get to travel a father’s darkest journey. The loss of his only daughter. A loved child…now, taken from this world.  The emotional journey within this memoir is something to behold. It will not only capture readers’ interest but also their hearts. Sad, powerful, and inspiring. Who knew golf, one of the most boring sports to me could be therapeutic to a father? I was surprised. I learned something from this book. Readers, I know without a doubt will take something deep and thoughtful from this father’s experience and the way he dealt with handling his daughter’s death. A Long Walk with Sally shows us that we all handle grief and loss differently. This father found a way to cope, to come to terms with the loss, and found an inner peace. It was easy to connect with the father in this book. Well-written and poised in a way that readers will enjoy reading it. Overall, I highly recommend it to all.

 

Today-14th Day of Writing a Young Children’s Book

Today, is the last day out of the fourteen days of writing a children’s book together. But fear not. There will be more children’s book ideas, advice and tips posted daily. Except, instead of givig you a character, a conflict and a plot , I will tell you to come up with each of these on your own. Sometimes, I will give you one of these three and leave to gigure out the rest. Which will be interesting to read. Because the plots and characters will be different. And exciting!
So, for our last challenge for writing a young children’s book, I thought hmmm…I can give you one of the three main ingredients for making a story and allow you to do the rest. I will help you write your story along the way but you get to decide what you want.
Today, I will give a conflict. The conflict is: your character is sad about his loyal dog’s death. He/ she knew this dog since they were born..A new dog, a stray who is hungry and very dirty trys to befriend your character. But your character keeps chasing the stray away because the character is still sad about his/her dog. Write how they stray sticks annoyingly by your characters side no matter what your character does your shoe it away. Write what happens to the character, where the stray comes to the characters rescue and how the character falls in love with the stray. Then write what happens when something bad happens to the stray…will your character lose the stray dog too?
Post your responses down below for feedback.