Review: Three Little Words 




Synopsis:

“Sunshine, you’re my baby and I’m your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she’s not your mama.” Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system. 

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed – and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a biography that readers everywhere need to read. It gives readers a deep insider’s view to the foster care system. Sure we all think that it’s great the kids will be taken care of and all. But not all foster homes are perfect. Just like the fact that Americans are forced to believe about a 1950’s ‘ideal American family image’ that no family actually lived up to…society isn’t always that great. Inside this nonfiction book, I got to journey through the writer’s life as a foster kid and how she overcame the obstacles. I was deeply troubled by what occurred to her while in foster care and my heart tore in a million pieces. No child should have it worse when being taken care of…yet this woman did. I spent some time in foster care myself due to both my parents; however, my time in there was okay. But not all are lucky. I knew what happens. I remember seeing my day taken away from us kids the day before foster care picked us, kids, up…thus, relating to Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir was easy and sad. Bad memories…Three Little Words is a well-written book. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Life After 



Synopsis:

          Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

     A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest. 

     Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake.  

     In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Life After by Katie Ganshert was amazing. Beautifully told. Her story lasts with me even after reading it. The stunning characters and the emotional plot. Being a survivor is a common story. But being the only survivor out of a dreadful nightmare situation…and the story changes direction. Sad, heartbreaking, and intriguing. I was immediately drawn to the main character. She woke up wanting answers. The pain and rollercoaster ride was one that hooked me. I have never read a tale by Katie Ganshert, but after reading this one, I’m tempted to read her other books. Powerful story. The pages went by quickly. Life After tells the story of one woman surviving a deadly train accident. No one else lived. Only her…it was hard to not want to know more. Curiosity got the best of me. I couldn’t stop reading this Christian/ women’s fictional piece. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: The Sun is Also a Star



Synopsis:

The Instant New York Times Bestseller! Soon to be a Major Motion Picture!

The dazzling new novel from Nicola Yoon, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything (in theaters May 2017!), will have you falling in love with Natasha and Daniel as they fall in love with each other!

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel:  I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is by far the greatest book ever. Her story weaves readers into its depth. Never letting them go. I felt the tension, rebellion, and the yearning. Two unlikely characters by chance meet. A meeting that shakes up their world and puts it upside down again. Love. True love. Chemistry. Instant attraction. Neither one was expecting it to happen. But there in the midst of everything they fell into a whole. One that has swallowed them both. However, as with real life, love is separated or broken. In this case, both are separated. One is being taken out of the country and the other staying. Their chance of love is impossible. But the hearts protest…

Nicola Yoon’s debut novel is brilliant. Refreshing, exciting, and leaves readers wanting it to never end…it’s a book that captures its audience. I was hooked. Every page lured me deeper into the character’s lives. Society, family , and distance keeps playing the bad parts…but somehow the odds might just break. The Sun is Also a Star kept me wondering what will happen next. I never knew what was going to occur. This phenomenal read is similar to that of The Fault in Our Stars movie. I really can’t wait to see this one on screen soon. Suspenseful with every page. The characters are amazing. Well-developed. The tale is well-told. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: The Mortifications

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Synopsis:

Derek Palacio’s stunning, mythic novel marks the arrival of a fresh voice and a new chapter in the history of 21st century Cuban-American literature.

In 1980, a rural Cuban family is torn apart during the Mariel Boatlift. Uxbal Encarnación—father, husband, political insurgent—refuses to leave behind the revolutionary ideals and lush tomato farms of his sun-soaked homeland. His wife Soledad takes young Isabel and Ulises hostage and flees with them to America, leaving behind Uxbal for the promise of a better life. But instead of settling with fellow Cuban immigrants in Miami’s familiar heat, Soledad pushes further north into the stark, wintry landscape of Hartford, Connecticut. There, in the long shadow of their estranged patriarch, now just a distant memory, the exiled mother and her children begin a process of growth and transformation.

Each struggles and flourishes in their own way: Isabel, spiritually hungry and desperate for higher purpose, finds herself tethered to death and the dying in uncanny ways. Ulises is bookish and awkwardly tall, like his father, whose memory haunts and shapes the boy’s thoughts and desires. Presiding over them both is Soledad. Once consumed by her love for her husband, she begins a tempestuous new relationship with a Dutch tobacco farmer. But just as the Encarnacións begin to cultivate their strange new way of life, Cuba calls them back. Uxbal is alive, and waiting.

Breathtaking, soulful, and profound, The Mortifications is an intoxicating family saga and a timely, urgent expression of longing for one’s true homeland.

— The Millions – 2nd half of the 2016 book preview
— New York Times Book Review, 100 Notable Books of 2016

 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Mortifications by Derek Palacio is a fascinating debut novel. This Cuban-American literature takes readers deep into the lives of immigrants. Human needs and wants are explored throughout the story. Home, faith, family and survival are just several themes readers can find. I found it enchanting. Derek Palacio has brilliantly created a Read that will shutter readers’ hearts everywhere. The novel provokes strong emotions and realistic attachments from readers to the characters. Each character presents his or her life to readers openly. The struggles are believable. I found that the title, The Mortifications was indeed a perfect name for this book. There were shameful moments…within the pages. However, this novel showed me the hardness the immigrants like the Cuban Americans faced while trying to create their new lives. It was a refreshing reading experience from what I usually read. The journey is worthy of reader’s attention. The Ecarnacions are a dysfunctional family that experience all the trials life brings and takes from us. Vibrant, entertaining, and bold. Overall, I recommend this writer’s novel to readers worldwide.

Review: Sun on Sundays

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Synopsis:

Sun on Sundays is an emotionally compelling tale of family, friendship and hope. Carrie-Ann is 19 and in love with Tom; she always has been, yet their worlds only touch every other weekend. She had thought that by agreeing to work on Nutt Hill she would get see him far more. Unfortunately that didn’t seem to be the case. But Maggie is a sucker for young love and despite Carrie-Ann keeping her years of yearning close to her chest, one day Tom turns up on the hill. Will he ever see her the way she wants to be seen? Sometimes these things need a helping hand… The second Echoes of Nutt Hill novel.

Sun on Sundays is an emotionally compelling tale of family, friendship and hope. Carrie-Ann is 19 and in love with Tom; she always has been, yet their worlds only touch every other weekend. She had thought that by agreeing to work on Nutt Hill she would get see him far more. Unfortunately that didn’t seem to be the case. But Maggie is a sucker for young love and despite Carrie-Ann keeping her years of yearning close to her chest, one day Tom turns up on the hill. Will he ever see her the way she wants to be seen? Sometimes these things need a helping hand… The second Echoes of Nutt Hill novel.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Once again, Wendy Lou Jones has created another brilliant novel. This new tale is just as sweet and addictive as her other novel that I read. I love how believable her characters are. It’s easy to connect with them on every level. Their dilemmas and troubles seem to be the only thing standing in their way. However, as with everything there’s always help coming on the way. But even with some help there’s still doubt if the new relationship will stay or break.  Themes like family, life, work, and friends are strong in this new novel. I loved the hope that on every page. Despite the circumstances keeping the characters apart, the silver lining of love may just prevail after all.  Wendy Lou Jones has another well-written and well-developed novel for readers to love. I definitely fell in love with all the characters. Funny, sweet, and inspiring. Responsibilities are calling…yet what the heart wants pulls the characters in a different direction. Only they have the power to overcome their troubles. But will they? Overall, I recommend this new story to readers everywhere. I enjoyed reading Wendy Lou Jones work again…her writing is superb.  Sun on Sundays is a must read for all.

Review: The Tidewater Sisters

The Tidewater Sisters (Carolina #1.5)

 

Synopsis:

Tandi Reese and her sister, Gina, have always been bound by complicated ties. Amid the rubble of a difficult childhood lie memories of huddling beneath beds and behind sofas while parental wars raged. Sisterhood was safety . . . once. But now? Faced with legal papers for a fraud she didn’t commit, Tandi suspects that her sister has done something unthinkable. With Tandi’s wedding just around the corner, a trip to the North Carolina Tidewater for a reckoning with Gina was not part of the plan. But unraveling lies from truth will require confronting strained sibling bonds and uncovering a dark family secret that could free Tandi from her past or stain her future forever.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Tidewater Sisters by Lisa Wingate is an extraordinary novel. A perfect read for all. The tale inside is full of loss, heartbreak, secrets, and distrust. A mystery surrounding the lawsuit in Tandi Reese’s hands lands her back to her childhood home. There she finds things she never thought she had. Anger, frustration, and sadness crept, over readers, as they follow Tandi’s final journey. Imagine two sisters, not on good terms at all and then a horrible surprise leading back to the past. One past, that the main character thought she left behind for good. Her current life has moved forward. A marriage on the horizon with a decent man and now, this.

The Tidewater Sisters is the final book in the series. The writer’s style is beautifully played throughout the story. I felt the emotions as if they were my own. The struggles were believable and the suspense of what was to come…kept me hooked. A fast-paced read that will stun all. I would love to see Lisa Wingate’s novella turned into a movie or TV series. It’s definitely that entertaining as well as intriguing. Overall, I recommend this read to all.

 

Review: The Lesser Bohemians

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Synopsis:

One night an eighteen-year-old Irish girl, recently arrived in London to attend drama school, meets an older man – a well-regarded actor in his own right. While she is naive and thrilled by life in the big city, he is haunted by more than a few demons, and the clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both.

A captivating story of passion and innocence, joy and discovery set against the vibrant atmosphere of 1990s London over the course of a single year, THE LESSER BOHEMIANS glows with the eddies and anxieties of growing up, and the transformative intensity of a powerful new love.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride is a beautifully written piece of literature. I found it intriguing from start to finish. The tale instantly wraps around me. Dragging me further into the interesting plot. A plot that moves rather quickly. The action is realistic. I can feel and see things through the the characters’ point of view. It switches viewpoints but is still being shown in first person. I can definitely see why this second novel is a hit. The writer’s talent shines through every page. The images are vivid. The emotions created by the characters’ situations leads me to being highly entertained. A love affair that happens out of nowhere. Neither character was expecting anything to happen. Both taken in by the moment. That first moment and onward. However, there is much more than just the present moment and raw chemistry that burns between them. There’s their pasts. So much of it can make or break them easily. This is the suspense that carries me through to the end. Wondering, guessing, and hoping. Not ever truly knowing what will happen until the ending. Raw, brilliant, and definitely exciting. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride is indeed a must read for all.. The young Irish woman studying art and and an older man who is a famous actor will have the time of their lives as readers follow their journey. I loved reading this book. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide and look forward to the next novel by Eimear McBride.

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: Damaged

 

Synopsis:

One boy. One lawyer. One chance for justice.

Ten-year-old Patrick O’Brien is a natural target at school. Shy, dyslexic, and small for his age, he tries to hide his first-grade reading level from everyone: from his classmates, from the grandfather who cares for him, and from the teachers who are supposed to help him. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family, and the school district. Patrick’s grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio for help and Mary DiNunzio is, on the case. Soon Mary becomes Patrick’s true champion and his only hope for security and justice. But there is more to the story than meets the eye and Patrick might be more troubled than he seems. With twists at every turn and secrets about the family coming to light, Mary DiNunzio might have found the case that can make her a true protector, or break her heart…

With Lisa Scottoline’s trademark emotional depth and fast-paced action, Damaged will have readers riveted to the last page as they root for the beloved characters and their fight for justice.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Lisa Scottoline has done it again! She has once more brought readers an intriguing legal thriller that leaves readers on the edge of their seats. I liked that the characters are a variety and how a child with learning disabilities is brought into the light. Just because someone is different doesn’t make them the enemy. Here, readers are taken on a deep journey that’s not just vividly physical but emotional as well. Anything that involves that law can be messy and super stressful. What really happened at a school shooting is a mystery that Mary DiNunzio will figure out…and hopefully come out of it with no worries. A case that seems to be tough gets harder as she digs through the evidence…Damaged is exactly what will happen if Mary isn’t careful.

Inside Damaged, readers are brought a fast-paced action thriller that will keep them turning the pages. A successful lawyer takes a case involving a young boy with dyslexia being accused of a school shooting. Mary NiNunzio works on proving the boy’s innocence. However, what she never expected was to fall in love with the young boy. Mary is also balancing her love life that might just hold a marriage in her future. Is it possible to have everything in life or will Mary lose what she has worked hard for? Lisa Scottoline’s novel is deeply satisfying. Every page is bone deep in suspense. Plus, there is a lot riding on the young boy, Patrick. The why’s and who would want to frame a kid is one that will perk up readers’ interest as the plot continues to roll. Abuse, family, and love are strong themes within this exciting tale.  What I really enjoyed was how one smart woman was brave and bold enough to face the challenges ahead and know what could possibly happen by committing herself to the case at hand. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this masterfully woven story. I would highly recommend Damaged to readers everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Review: When I Lost You

 

Synopsis:

Do you ever wish you had the chance to meet someone again for the first time?

When Leo and Molly met and married, they believed they were invincible. Together they could take on the world. But Leo,a war correspondent, lives for life on the edge, and when he takes a step into the unknown, tragedy strikes and he loses his memory. Molly rushes to help him fill in the gaps and soon they start falling in love all over again.

The trouble is, Molly is hiding something. Something big. The devoted wife at Leo’s bedside is a sham; Leo and Molly’s marriage was on the rocks long before Leo’s accident.

The closer Molly gets to her husband the more scared she becomes that he will remember. As Leo’s memory begins to trickle back will Molly lose the man she loves for the second time?

An emotional, heartbreaking read that will restore your faith in the power of love.

If you like to lose yourself in Jojo Moyes or Nicholas Sparks then you will love WHEN I LOST YOU, the deeply moving new novel from Kelly Rimmer.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

When I Lost You by Kelly Rimmer is a journey of life that explores marriage, love, and memories. A woman suffers from a marriage where her husband always puts her last and she puts him first. She still loves him but handling the way he’s destroying her heart. Now, he’s in a coma and once he wakes up, it will be a whole new journey. As a reader, I explored the depths of what made Molly and her husband fall in and out of love. Living with my grandparents, I know love is tough. There are times when you’re so frustrated that you want to strangle your spouse or times when you just want to hug them forever. Spouses can make you laugh, cry, feel angry but most of all their share the emotions and troubles that come along…no matter what trouble comes, the spouses are  a solid rock for one another. I can’t ever see my grandparents love fading and just like them…Molly and her husband go through life’s rough patches. Seems like there are more rough than soft spots but these two will learn that neither one can be without the other. That love does persevere. When I Lost You brought me on an emotional thrill ride, unlike  any other novel. Bursts of every  emotion flowing through me like I was experiencing first-hand. It was intense but definitely kept me turning the pages in a rush of excitement of what would be the final outcome for this couple. Kelly Rimmer’s writing is beautiful, realistic, and breathtaking. Her work does indeed remind me of Nicholas Sparks’ novels. Perfect, heartbreaking, but brilliant. Overall, I highly recommend this tale to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Harlem Heroine

 

Synopsis:

Tonia Taylor’s life changed forever on the night that her friend and brother
Jermaine “Baby Jay” was murdered. But Jermaine was actually the last of a
long line of real, smart, and handsome street dudes she encountered growing
up in Harlem. In the early 80’s she became intrigued by the fast life despite growing up in a strict and disciplined household. That curiosity eventually led her, to becoming, one of the popular girls in Harlem who obtained luxury cars, money, diamonds, and furs. In this tell-all memoir, she takes us on a journey back to her life on the streets of Harlem, a journey that intertwines the stories of many Street legends.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Harlem Heroine by Ms. Tee is a deep memoir that sends readers on a journey into what a street life was really about and like for many. Heartbreaking and courageous tale in sharing the past of hurt, pain, regret, and the violence that came with it all. It was enchanting to read about the bad life and what comes with it from someone who has gone through each stage of that particular lifestyle. We all make choices. Sometimes for the best and sometimes for the worst. The drama felt like I was there actually experiencing first-hand.The events take place in Harlem around the 80’s and 90’s time era. It was quite an interesting and educational experience. The fact that this was real and not one’s everyday urban fiction novel, made the connection to the story being told that much more important. Ms. Tee is a talented writer and whose story will stick forever in the minds of every reader. One has to be a strong person inside and out to survive the street life or else risking it swallowing one whole. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers everywhere.

Rveview: Onyx Webb Series (Book 5)

 

Synopsis:

Readers of the series will see the web tighten in this book, the past and present are slowly starting to catch up to each other and shocking connections continue to be made.

Onyx Webb is a complex multi-genre mash-up that combines elements of supernatural suspense, crime, horror, romance, and more. The Onyx Webb series follows the unusual life of Onyx Webb along with a central group of characters in various locations and times.

The billionaire Mulvaney family, piano prodigy Juniper Cole and her brother Quinn, paranormal show hosts Cryer and Fudge, and a few others make up the core of the series. Written like a book version of your favorite tv series (think: supernatural soap opera like American Horror Story) each character’s story moves forward with most every episode. It may appear that the characters are entirely unrelated and yet episode by episode, the connections will become clearer. Like being an inch away from a spider web, with each book, the web will move further and further away revealing the full story of every character and most importantly, the stunning conclusion for Onyx Webb herself.

In Book Five:

  1. It’s the 1980’s and Bruce Mulvaney starts his own family while a killer watches from afar.
  2. It’s 2010, and the Mulvaney’s are dealing with Koda’s accident.
  3. Onyx Webb fights to keep her way of life.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Onyx Webb Series (Book 5) by both Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz continues to have it all. Suspense, intrigue, and murder as well as romance, ghosts, and revenge…are all inside each and every book. I have fallen in love with the Onyx Webb Series. It’s addictive. Characters such as Onyx, Declan, Koda and many others bring a variety and freshness that readers like myself don’t get when reading any other fictional series. There are a serial killer…tons of money involved, and a whole lot of drama that kept me deeply lured on every page. The plot as always is fast-paced and full of action. Never a dull moment inside this series. The characters are always doing something that releases a chain of events that affect others in the tale. Greed, love, and an emotional journey that has once again blown me away. Both Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz are the best writers when it comes to hooking readers’ attention and entertaining them throughout every page as well as every book. I can’t get enough of what happens next…I loved reading this latest title and look forward to reading more by these writers in the future. Overall, I highly recommend Onyx Webb (book 5) to readers worldwide. Once you pick this up to read, you will be begging to read more.

 

 

Review: Parched

 

Synopsis:

The sun has become a ‘red giant’ and the world is hot and parched. In California, James and Lexie Deforio have three goals: to find food and water, to survive another day, and to protect their two children. When their home is abruptly robbed and burned to the ground, the family is forced to embark on a cross-country journey in search of safety and water.

Facing ruthless bandits, murderers, and some of the most extreme conditions they have ever encountered, they struggle to survive. When James is shot trying to help another family, Lexie and her children set out on a harrowing journey to save him. Finding temporary safety in the abandoned Ohio salt mines deep under Lake Erie, they appear to have found a new home. But, like everything on their journey, not all is as it seems.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Imagine the world we know turning into nothing but a hot deserted land where the sun is red, and the heat is scorching your skin. This is where readers are taken and will meet a family so like our own. They battle every day against the unrelenting heat that reaches above 95 and with only 3 gallons of water and canned food, they must survive. This family composes of a father, mother, son, and a baby girl as well as their dog. A truck comes bringing water for families to take. Then disappears after thirty minutes time. At night, that’s when the worst danger comes…each night checking to make sure everything is locked up properly and set-up so that you can tell if an intruder comes into the home will set readers hearts into a panic. No electricity, no water, and food that comes from a can. Robbers, despite people, and an unbeatable heat will soon cause this family to leave in search, for food, water, and safety. Parched by Andrew Branham is a must read for readers worldwide. A tale that carries the worst nightmare of all for humanity. Here readers will follow a family’s struggle to survive where water is the most valuable asset to have. I loved reading this novel. Andrew Branham’s talent with words will show readers how hard life can be  and the dangers that come with it. The story brings suspense, fear, and an intensity that will keep readers sucked into its pages. A sad and heartbreaking survival story that readers will love. Overall, I highly recommend Parched to readers everywhere.

Review: In Twenty Years

 

Synopsis:

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.

But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.

Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch is a heartbreaking and heart melting read. A story about a group of friends who lived together during college and became something more like one big family. As with all big families, conflicts arise and emotions are flying high. Many things have happened since those twenty years they were all last together. The death of their best friend Bea leaves them all broken. But when twenty years has gone by they are brought together again for Bea’s sake in the same house where old memories become alive. Wounds cut deep and before they know it…they are tearing each other down for what did happen between them all. Now, the friends will go through a journey that needs to be led and will soon find what they were all needing.

Allison Winn Scotch’s brilliant novel, In Twenty Years, explores the life of college friends whose memories from the past resurface to a boiling point. They reunite for Bea’s birthday. She wrote them all a letter to read when they were all twenty years older. Will Bea’s hope and wish for them all help her now grown-up friends? Or will the past continue to tear them apart? Friendship is important. It’s what ties us all together and keeps us going. Even though the friends were angry, torn, and sad…they somehow make it through everything. This story has come, to life, for readers in many ways. We all have done something in our younger years that led us to regrets and or wishes that will either break us or make us as adults. We have to find the courage deep within us if we choose to be happy. That’s exactly what this talented writer has demonstrated in her beautifully written novel. For fans of Forty Years, this is a must read for all. I highly recommend this to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Behind Closed Doors (Book 2)

 

Synopsis:

“The love of money is the root to all evil, but poverty and wealth are its greatest companions…” ~ A.L. Smith

Human trafficking is often considered an international phenomenon and women from third world countries are the first images that come to mind. However, “familial human trafficking” is a more intimate crime due to the dynamics of the underlying relationships. Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal entities in the country today, second only to drug trafficking…200,000 cases reported each year. Abject poverty, visible obscurity and other socioeconomic disparities are contributing factors.

Behind Closed Doors 2 is the riveting tale of one little girl’s struggle to overcome circumstances beyond her control. Born and raised on the ruthless streets of East St Louis, Dana Toussaint was accustomed to a life of privilege, thanks to her father, a Haitian-born immigrant and notorious drug lord. Dana’s mother, a materialistic southern belle from South Louisiana, is consumed by the good life, as memories of her upbringing in an East New Orleans housing project become a distant memory.

In spite of the similarities between the Haitian and Louisiana Creole cultures, the marriage unravels and the unthinkable occurs when Dana’s father abruptly abandons the family. At the age of 12, Dana becomes the ultimate sacrifice and her mother brokers the deal.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: 

Behind Closed Doors Book 2: Dana’s Story is a phemnomonal story. One that readers will feel with their hearts and souls. This kind  of story never leaves a reader. A.L. Smith has beautifully spun together a novel worthy of every reader’s attention. Her second novel is just as stunning as her first one but packs more of an emotional journey.

Inside of A.L. Smith’s, Behind Closed Doors (Book 2), is the sad underlying truth to the world real nature. A talented writer with a goal and passion for writing is one to watch out for…and A.L. Smith is indeed on my favorite author’s list. Her writing inspires, encourages, and shakes down barriers. Dana is the new heronie that readers will fall in love with from the first moment and until the very end. Her life is one that no one can think possible yet it’s happening. A young girl grows up only to deal with a mother like that of Cinderella’s stepmother but far much more cruel. Dana is treated like garbage and then her mother plans something that would endanger Dana’s life… A.L. Smith’s work is sad, heartbreaking, and a must read.  I enjoyed reading this masterpiece, and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

 

Review: Made for Me to Love

 

Synopsis:

True love does triumph…in some shape and form.

Isabelle has always risen above tragedy and heart break. When her baby died, she rose and survived. As she dealt with a cheating and abusive husband, she rose and survived. Isabelle thought her chance at finding happiness was fading, but real love was nearby. When true love presents itself she realizes accepting it is not the easiest thing to do. This tale tells the struggle of the human spirit’s desire to be loved even when it is not entirely right.

Set in the 1970’s, Made For Me To Love is a heart-warming story based upon actual events in the author’s life.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review:

Made for Me to Love by Unnis Ballad is an inspritational journey that readers will love. Heartbreaking at first, then there’s the fight to stay strong despite everything that happens. Yes, life tosses us curves balls and pulls the rug from under our feet occassionally, but readers will find this one woman’s fight is the hardest. Love created a precious gift and only to be taken away from the arms of one woman. Then, her relationship with her man is one that many women find themselves trapped within. However, Isbelle fights and she fights with all the passion and strenght God has given her. Being happy is something we all want. Unnis Ballad’s realistic and believable character, Isabelle believes that happiness just isn’t within her reach, until fate brings something to her. Maybe, just maybe Isabelle will finally find what she deserves after all. Happiness.

Made for Me to Love is a remarkable African American piece of literature that is heartbreaking. A story how how many lives come together all facing a future that none of them wanted. The ending was something, I didn’t expect. It was definitely one that readers won’t see coming. Unnis Ballad weaves family, love, and loss all into this beautifully written story. The characters are well-developed. I enjoyed reading this novel, and I highly recommend it to readers everywhere. It will definitely open up one’s eyes to the world’s cruel fates.