Review: Mine





Synopsis:

Anika Mason—simple name. Brown hair—average color. Blue eyes—she wished they were brown. But somehow she’s attracted the attention of the new boy at highschool, and he is becoming quite obsessive and possessive over her. She needs to figure out how to get rid of him, fast. But when she’s forced to lie about having a boyfriend to get him to leave her alone, she gives the name of the biggest player in the school; Brady Morrison. Not only did she not like him, but he barely knew she existed. And now she had to pretend she was dating him. Wonderful.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Mine by A. N. Senerella is an exciting YA novel. Inside, I found a young high school student avoiding the new guy. She makes up a lie and then has to live it. Unlike most stories, the pretend boyfriend, goes with it. I thought that was interesting. Then, A.N. Senerella holds yet another surprise. But then something dark and tragic happens…the tale gets more intense and darker with each page as I went through a stalkerish account from the new guy’s point of view. Intriguing. Mine is a perfect title for this book. As I was led further into the plot, I was hooked. Romance, mystery, and drama. Anika Mason is an ordinary girl whose life becomes visible and emotional. A. N. Senerella’ writing is fun to follow. I enjoyed following each of the characters as the tale unfolded. Overall, Mine is a great YA contemporary read. 

Review: A Life Removed





Synopsis:

Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own.
Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain.
If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Life Removed by Jason Parent is a thrilling criminal tale. Inside, readers will follow an investigation. Murder happening more than once. A former officer once good turns into a monster. With two of the best detectives following the evidence, it’s only time until Aaron Pimental’s life stops. The chase is exciting. The detectives, Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette, are interesting to follow. A killer is loose and it will take time before they stop him. Death, danger, and intrigue are covered on every page. I enjoyed reading this novel. I look forward to reading more books by this talented writer. Overall, A Life Removed is one thriller I recommend to all. 

Review: About A Girl

Synopsis:

“About a girl” is a short novel that begins with two strangers, a man and a woman, who meet at a bus-stop and go on an impromptu bar-crawl on a cool, winter day. Taking place in twelve hours it recounts the oddball, hardcore, characters they meet and their increasing emotional connection as they fall for each other almost immediately. Infused with sexual energy, pop-culture references, intellectual debate and literary allusions this is an unapologetic, uncensored look at our society through the eyes of the outsider. It is written in a free-flow, spontaneous style with long unhindered sentences that enable the reader’s eye to glide down the page as the story flows and moves to an urban beat of strippers, punk rockers and nightlife happenings.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

About A Girl by Tony Nesca is an interesting and unusual read. No other is like this one. The way it’s written is special. Loose, realistic, and more engaging. Reads like a book of poetry in a way. The sentences run together makes it easy for readers like me. Slipping into the charcaters’ shoes. Their thoughts and actions felt like my own. Crazy. Bold. But very good. Well-written. Uncensored writing that kept me intrigued. Unexpected love, life, and the shadiness of the characters is different but luring. Overall, I recommend About A Girl to readers everywhere. 

Author Interview with Patricia Gachagan 



Author Interview: Patricia Gachagan, Born Together
ULM: What lead you to writing your inspiring memoir, Born Together?

 

I have always been attracted to writing, keeping journals over many years as well as being a fan of the old-fashioned pen and paper letter writing as I travelled and lived abroad. I simply started one day to write down and express my deep feelings about the unexpected journey I had been taken on after giving birth to my son. I always wanted to write a book and before I knew it I had 20,000 words written and realised this was my opportunity as well as my motivation.

 

 

 

ULM: What was the journey like for you as you went through your diagnosis of multiple sclerosis?

 

There was an element that the whole situation was unreal and that surely it couldn’t be Multiple Sclerosis as I had only just had my baby and I was in the throes of adjusting to life as a first-time mum. It was also quite terrifying waking up in a ‘different’ body day by day, with my ability and mobility changing dramatically and I had no control over it. I was consumed by fear at the same time as experiencing joy with my wonderful baby. It was a real juxtaposition of my emotions to contend with.

 

 

 

ULM: What were your first thoughts when informed of your diagnosis?

 

I suppose it was disbelief in amongst the absolute panic as I had found out by accident, on my own with baby Elliot, at a routine doctor’s appointment. Even although I knew MS was the main contender, I was still shocked at the realisation that my worst fear had come true. My panic was not for just for me, but for how little Elliot’s life would be affected by my diagnosis. I was so scared to begin with.

 

 

ULM: How did you feel when writing about your journey in Born Together?

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of writing Born Together. From the very first sentence, I was hooked. My writing journey unlocked many emotions, from grief and fear in the beginning to finally the relief of accepting my ‘new’ self and abilities. It very much challenged me, but I embraced those challenges fully and seized it as an opportunity to move forward with my new life.

 

 

ULM: Was the writing therapeutic for you?

 

Writing was very therapeutic for me and serendipitously came along at the same time as the counselling sessions I had been referred to by my GP. They very much worked together. They challenged me to the core about how I had been dealing with my diagnosis and all the changes it had brought about in my life. I had to face some hard truths and painfully let go of the ‘old’ me. It was not an easy task, but it was the beginning of a much brighter and more positive future. I am very grateful for my writing journey.

 

 

ULM: How did you find the determination to get through this difficult time for you and your family?

 

That was easier than anything else I had to face physically. Just one look at Elliot, just the thought of my wonderful son with his whole life ahead of him was enough to drive me forward with lethal determination that his life would not be adversely or negatively affected by me having a lifelong diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

 

 

 

ULM: What advice would you give to others going through what you did?

 

To stay positive and learn to accept your new self and the changes to your life. That is part of a process and doesn’t happen overnight, but the sooner it does happen, the better it is for yourself and those around you. There is the need then to adapt to those changes, but to stay very much focussed on what you can do and not hold on to the past and what you can’t do anymore. Try to see it as a new beginning and not an ending and take charge of your own health. I am very pro-active in managing my MS and that has been a defining fact in my new abilities and creating a different quality of life, but still one that is enriched and fulfilling.

 

 

ULM: As a mother of a new-born with a disability, was there anyone you had for moral support? What gave you hope during these struggles?

 

I didn’t then, and still don’t now, see myself as someone with a disability. I see myself as ‘differently’ abled, but able nonetheless. I focus on what I can do and achieve and it is a lot. My husband, Allan, was an amazing support and tower of strength. He still is and he too is very pro-active and determined. My mum and sister have been selflessly committed to supporting me and Elliot and were around a great deal in those early days. Elliot, and the importance of his future, gave me the hope and the belief necessary that I could manage well and turn my life around from a path of ill-health and disability to one of positivity, achievement and ultimately a happy and fulfilled family life.

 

 

ULM: What’s your favourite quote to live by?

 

‘Do ordinary things to live an extraordinary life.’

 

 

 

ULM: Your memoir mentioned a new treatment. Would you recommend it to others?

 

This new and pioneering treatment is called Robo-Physio and is based on a ‘Spinal Approach to Health’. It is a physio therapy device which releases the stiffness in your spine. I have seen good results of this therapy, but it needs to be used on a regular basis to maintain the benefits. It helped very much with my fatigue and ability during the period I tested it, allowing me to be able to move my body better, balance better and walk better at that time. This is a private therapy, but I would certainly suggest people look in to it and consider giving it a try. It is available through Pacla Medical and you can contact them to arrange a free trial. There are no side effects which is a clear bonus and seems to make it worth trying to see if it is suitable for you individually.

 

 

ULM: What are your plans for the future?

 

I plan to continue writing and sharing my positive message as far and as wide as I possibly can. I plan to live as full and enriched a life, with Multiple Sclerosis, as I possibly can. I want to show others that a chronic diagnosis like mine does not have to be the end. We all have to take what we’ve got, whatever that may be, and turn it in to the very best we can.

I have introduced my MS jigsaw to help support individuals with MS and I plan to develop that further with a view to extending self-help ideas for living with MS. My MS jigsaw has many pieces, all of which can help someone with MS manage their symptoms and reach the best quality of life they can.

 

 

ULM: Where can readers find you and your memoir online?

 

Readers can find me at www.patriciagachagan.com for more information and to buy Born Together. It is also available through kindle and at bookstores, such as Waterstones, to order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Born Together





Synopsis:

Born Together is the inspiring memoir of Patricia Gachagan, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and her determination to overcome the challenges to live a full life and to be a mother to her son, Elliot. When Patricia became pregnant with Elliot, she could not contain her joy and elation at the prospect of starting a family. But within hours of his birth, her body began to deteriorate. Born Together tells of Patricia’s struggle to cope with her declining health and the simultaneous demands of motherhood. 
Eventually, Patricia was diagnosed with MS, and it was put to her that her immune system had attacked itself, in error, following the birth of her baby boy. Patricia took an alternative approach to almost everything and refused to settle for a prognosis of a life of disability and vulnerability. Many doubted her ability to succeed, but her determination to turn her life around was rewarded with a new and pioneering treatment, researched by Medical Research Scotland and part-funded by the Scottish Government Enterprise Scheme. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Born Together by Patricia Gachagan is an inspiration to all. Her journey of determination and strength will amaze everyone who reads this book. It amazed me. Hooked me in fast. A mother’s terrible yet frightening journey of survival. After giving birth, her body was suddenly taken over by a paralyse. Her health kept turning for the worse. I kept thinking that she wasn’t going to make it. That this was going to be the saddest book I’ve read. But Patricia Gachagan held surprises from me. She kept moving forward despite her challenges. Every time I feel like complaining, I’ll always remember this book and consider myself lucky. Overall, I recommend this nonfiction book to readers worldwide. Especially, to mothers out there. 

Review: The Little French Bistro

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop, an extraordinary novel about self-discovery and new beginnings.

Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

With all the buoyant charm that made The Little Paris Bookshop a beloved bestseller, The Little French Bistro is a tale of second chances and a delightful embrace of the joys of life in France. (less)

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Little French Bistro by Nina George is an interesting read. It took me to the Seine in France. Once there, the protagonist’s life seems so,Little that she risks losing it forever. Then, given another chance she seems to find her way. But only with the help of strangers. Her knowledge of their world and language is little to none. I found it strange how she was able to hold down a job without knowing the language but it was entertaining. The pacing is steady. Some may find it too slow or not exciting enough. But to me, it was believable. The main character lost her way and may end up having found it again. A purpose to living. Overall, this read is recommend for women everywhere. A great summer read.

Review: My Soul Looks Black 

Synopsis:

In this captivating new memoir, award-winning writer Jessica B. Harris recalls a lost era—the vibrant New York City of her youth, where her social circle included Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and other members of the Black intelligentsia.
In the Technicolor glow of the early seventies, Jessica B. Harris debated, celebrated, and danced her way from the jazz clubs of the Manhattan’s West Side to the restaurants of the Village, living out her buoyant youth alongside the great minds of the day—luminaries like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison. My Soul Looks Back is her paean to that fascinating social circle and the depth of their shared commitment to activism, intellectual engagement, and each other.
Harris paints evocative portraits of her illustrious friends: Baldwin as he read aloud an early draft of If Beale Street Could Talk, Angelou cooking in her California kitchen, and Morrison relaxing at Baldwin’s house in Provence. Harris describes her role as theater critic for the New York Amsterdam News and editor at then burgeoning Essence magazine; star-studded parties in the South of France; drinks at Mikell’s, a hip West Side club; and the simple joy these extraordinary people took in each other’s company. The book is framed by Harris’s relationship with Sam Floyd, a fellow professor at Queens College, who introduced her to Baldwin.
More than a memoir of friendship and first love My Soul Looks Back is a carefully crafted, intimately understood homage to a bygone era and the people that made it so remarkable.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

My Soul Looks Black by Jessica B. Harris is a great memoir. Her book is about famous African Americans featured in New York. Yet, I felt this Read fell flat. She spoke about the people but didn’t give more details about them that would have made this more of a fascinating read. It seemed like she mostly talked about those around her and not about having direct contact with these people mentioned. When she mentions a little bit about herself, it was okay. Still Jessica B. Harris could have done more for this memoir. I was interested in the title of this book and was curious as to what it held. After reading it, I’d say it’s okay but not exceptional. 

Review: Before the Court of Heaven

Synopsis:

Historical Fiction based on a true story. A cautionary tale for today – how Germany’s Weimar democracy became the Nazi dictatorship.
Germany, after World War I. Ernst Werner Techow, son of a magistrate, a child of privilege, joins the violent right-wing response to Germany’s defeat. As a member of the para-military Free Corps and the murderous Organization C, he is recruited into a clandestine assassination network trying to bring down Germany’s fledgling Weimar democracy. These are the seeds of the Third Reich. Ernst participates in the murder of Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, the highest-ranking Jew in the Weimar Republic. 
While on trial for his life, Ernst receives an unfathomable offer of forgiveness that jolts his surety in the fascist cause and sets him on a complex and harrowing journey of redemption. Throughout, he pursues his childhood sweetheart, Lisa. They are star-crossed lovers, their passion inextinguishable, buffeted by the rising storm of Nazi ascendance.
Before the Court of Heaven is populated by historical figures and accurately depicts events as they unfolded in Germany and beyond. Animated as historical fiction, Before the Court of Heaven is an immunization against recurrence. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Before the Court of Heaven by Jack Mayer is a stunning historical novel. It’s based on a true event, World War I. In this book, I got to travel back in time. Placed in Germany. A frightening time in a world of confusion, conflict, and mistrust. War is something no one ever forgets. Before the Court of Heaven is a tale I’ll never forget. The characters lives stayed with me even when I finished. I felt like I was there as the events rolled by quickly. Realistic. Every page was believable. Jack Mayer’s talent is superb. His novel was well-written and told in an engaging way. I was hooked. Overall, I recommend this book to readers worldwide. 

Review: Bucket List





Synopsis:

Leah’s run-of-the-mill teenage life has never been too eventful. That is, until the boy-next-door who’s just moved in, turns out to be none other than her old childhood best friend, Damon. Rekindling their friendship, the two become inseparable and life seems perfect, until Leah learns a tragic secret; Damon is terminally ill and has only one more year to live. 
With the clock ticking and time precious, Leah and Damon decide to embark on an adventure to have the time of their lives and cross out every to-do on their ‘Bucket List’. 
On your last journey of a lifetime, what would you hope to find?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Bucket List by Emily Ruben is just as good as her previous novel, I Was A Bitch. Here, I instantly liked the main characters. Two old friends catching up again after five years. I liked their teasing banter. I can feel their emotions as if I were in their shoes. The story is entertaining and enjoyable to read. Humor, friendship, and adventure are inside this incredible book. Once more, Emily Ruben has lured me into her world of fiction. I recommend this novel to young adults and adults everywhere. 

Review: Jennifer Brown’s Journey

Synopsis:

Five feet one and full of fizz, Jennifer Brown lights up the room. She has a gorgeous partner, a wicked best friend, and a boss who doesn’t mind that she’s the worst typist on the planet. She’s loyal, generous and irredeemably ditzy. Everyone loves Jennifer Brown. But can she learn to love herself? When her world caves in, she needs every ounce of her steely core to step back from the abyss and take charge of her life, reinventing herself first as cook and housekeeper to a saucy sexagenarian, then as manager of a tumbledown country estate with sensitive secrets.

Peopled by a battalion of hilarious characters from the caustic, cross-dressing confidant to the besotted ex-boyfriend with a barmy ex-wife, Jennifer Brown’s Journey is a heartwarming, thoughtful, often poignant portrait of the trials of life as a thirty-something woman.Jennifer Brown champions the importance of self-belief, and the value of a bucket-sized glass of wine in a tight spot. And, always in the background, there’s the quiet man with the warm eyes and the velvet vowels. What on earth is Jennifer Brown going to do about him? 

The first in a series of three, Jennifer Brown’s Journey is a story of female self-empowerment and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of challenges that many women will recognise. Lighthearted and poignant, the story gives readers a very real sense of a woman, initially rather ditzy, maturing into a redoubtable, self-possessed individual who faces her many challenges with developing aplomb. 
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Jennifer Brown’s Journey by Angie Langley is an entertaining book from beginning to end. The main character, Jennifer Brown, is an ordinary woman. She’s stuck at a job that she doesn’t like nor do well. Her episodes of mistyping memos is hilarious. I love her humor. Jennifer isn’t sure what she wants to do. She feels like she’s the only one growing old. Her journey from one job to another is exciting. There is plenty of juicy scenes to enjoy. Drama to respecting herself, Jennifer Brown has a journey that is just beginning. Angie Langley has created a fun atmosphere. Her character feel real. Their troubles are easy to understand. A laugh out loud comedy that is alluring. Overall, I recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Wish You Were Here

Synopsis:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers and Swear on This Life comes a novel about a young woman who reunites with a soulful artist after their magical one-night stand…only to be faced with an impossible decision.
Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, floating from interest to interest, job to job, and guy to guy, searching for a spark but never quite finding it. All she knows is that she won’t discover it working as a waitress at a pies-and-fries joint in Los Angeles or living with her fun but aimless best friend in a tiny apartment in the Arts District.
Then Charlotte collides with Adam, a gorgeous and soulful painter who seems just as lost as she feels. Their instant connection turns into a midnight drink…and a whirlwind night of champagne, Chinese food, and the kind of conversation that only happens in romantic comedies. But the next morning, Adam gives Charlotte the cold shoulder, leaving her confused and hurt—and wondering if the few odd moments between them the night before were red flags in disguise.
Months later, Charlotte hasn’t been able to shake Adam, so she decides to find out what happened the morning after their magical night together. This fateful decision rewrites their wild love story, but what Charlotte doesn’t know yet is that the ending has already been written.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino is a stunning read. This novel, shows readers what it’s like to find oneself and where they fit in the world. The main character has had just as many jobs as she’s had boyfriends. Then fate comes shaking her world up…and before she knows it, she’s falling in love. Someone else loves her, but she loves the complete stranger instead. Life can be as cruel as it is kind. Love, chances, loss, and new beginnings are found in this emotionally intense tale. I cried, laughed, and fell in love. These characters made the world seem lighter and fuller. Opportunities comes and go…but some may never leave us. Those will end up being a part of our happily ever afters. Maybe. Wish You Were Here was well-written. I was entertained from the first page. I didn’t know what to expect next. I liked the susprises. Renee Carlino is talented. Overall, I highly recommend this read to women worldwide. 

Review: In the Fullness of Time

Synopsis

In this sequel to Hattie’s Place, the year is 1913. Hattie Robinson is married to the widowed Charles Barton and has left her teaching position at Calhoun School to raise Charles’s sons and manage the Barton estate. Now she must reconcile her role as mother and wife with her work for woman’s suffrage, a cause that ignited her passion when attending the Woman’s Suffrage Procession in Washington, on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s first inauguration. 
As a young bride, twenty-three years her husband’s junior, Hattie struggles for acceptance in the community and Barton family. And then, Will Kendrick, her first love, appears, causing old feelings to resurface. When Julia Martin, the widow of Charles’s best friend Percy, reaches out to Charles for legal advice in settling her husband’s estate, Hattie discovers clues casting doubt on Charles’s fidelity, and begins to question her marriage. 
As Hattie throws herself into her work to gain the vote for women, South Carolina’s reactionary politicians Ben Tillman and “Cotton Ed” Smith thwart suffrage efforts in the state at every turn. Even the progressive president Wilson drags his feet, invoking states rights as the only pathway to an amendment. Equally discouraging is the anti-suffragist sentiment among those of Hattie’s own gender. 
When Hattie’s sister-in-law Alice learns to drive and purchases a 1916 Saxon touring car, Hattie agrees to go on a road trip to join the peaceful protests in Washington on the eve of President Wilson’s second inauguration. Alice also invites Julia Martin to go along, and to Hattie’s chagrin, Julia is sitting in the passenger seat when the two arrive from Columbia to pick her up. The journey brings new insight and fresh perspective, enabling Hattie to resolve misunderstandings with Charles and convincing her to continue her work for suffrage, with her husband’s blessings. 
But the road Hattie has chosen becomes even more fraught with disappointing setbacks and delays. In 1917, the US declares war on Germany and the president mobilizes the country in the fight for freedom in Europe, ignoring the oppression of the rights of women at home. Public opinion shifts, casting the women’s movement as unpatriotic and subversive. 
Hattie does her part for the war and agonizes when Charles Jr. and the boys from Calhoun are drafted and sent to the front. She continues to support the suffrage cause, but must cancel a second road trip due to gas rationing. 
When the war ends, she travels with Alice and Julia and Charles Jr.’s fiancée Pauline, to Washington to join the peaceful protests at the White House, organized by Alice Paul and the Woman’s Party. The women become inspired to drive on to New York to join the demonstration against president Wilson, who is speaking at the New York Opera House on the eve of his return to the Paris peace negotiations. The peaceful demonstration turns violent when the police and soldiers, who have flooded the ports on their return from war, begin shoving the suffragists and breaking and burning their banners. 
Amidst the uproar, Pauline becomes convinced that she has spotted Charles Jr. in the crowd and is determined to go and look for him. Hattie persuades her that they must first go to police headquarters to find Alice and Julia, who have been arrested and detained there. 
The Susan B. Anthony Amendment finally passes the Senate in 1919. But Hattie and the South Carolina suffragists endure their greatest disappointment yet when the South Carolina legislature refuses to ratify the amendment by an overwhelming majority. They must now depend on the men of other states to ensure their enfranchisement. 
In August, the Tennessee legislature becomes the thirty-fourth state to ratify, ending the long struggle for suffrage, and making the 19th Amendment the law of the land, just in time for Hattie to cast her first vote in the 1920 presidential election.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

In the Fullness of Time by Katherine P. Stillerman is a historical detailing the very life of one woman, Hattie Robinson. She lives during the time period of the women’s suffrage movement. A very important and trying time for women everywhere. Not every woman wanted to get involved due to the consequences men tossed their way. But others like the protagonist kept going. Luckily, she had a husband, who understood and gave her his blessings to continue work for the movement. An exciting adventure awaits readers. I was fascinated, hooked, and lured deep in the South. Women fighting to have the right to vote. I loved the female protagonist. Hattie is an incredible woman that all women can easily like and relate to…overall, I highly recommend this book to all. 

Review: Swan Point

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods draws readers back into the world of strong friendships and heartfelt emotions in Serenity, South Carolina
Determined to build a new life for her family after her divorce, Adelia Hernandez has bought a home in the historic Swan Point neighborhood of Serenity. Promoted to manager of Main Street’s most fashionable boutique, she feels revitalized and ready for a fresh start as a single mom. But barely into this new independent phase, she crosses paths with the sexiest man to hit Serenity in years.
Gabe Franklin, back in town to make amends for past mistakes, has no intention of settling down, but Adelia’s proving irresistible. Cheered on by their friends, “the Sweet Magnolias,” Gabe is bringing long-absent passion and laughter into Adelia’s life. To his surprise—and hers—sometimes a rolling stone is just what it takes to build the rock-solid foundation of a family.
“Woods’ readers will eagerly anticipate her trademark small-town setting, loyal friendships, and honorable mentors as they meet new characters and reconnect with familiar ones in this heartwarming tale.” —Booklist on Home in Carolina 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Swan Point by Sherryl Woods is a heartfelt novel. A feel good women’s fiction. The tale features abusives husbands and nast divorces. Kids are involved and it’s up to the mothers to fight back. I was surprised to see who saved the day. A teenager struggles with her new life with her mom and siblings. She’s afraid to let another man near her or her mom again…but something about the new man…has her opening her heart to possibilities. 

Gabe struggled as a kid when his mom made bad choices. He fought off kids who made fun of his mom. The town’s gossip hurt both his mom and him. After his mom died, he left Serenity. Now, as a grown man he comes back home. There he meets Aedila and her kids. They leave footprints on his mind and heart. 

Adelia is a woman and single mother. Her divorce is just been done. Her kids and her move into a new house. The younger kids don’t understand it all yet. But her oldest, Selena does. Their dad cheated on their mom and tried using the kids against their mom. Selena hates her father for good reason. Adelia feels a tug towards the handsome Gabe. But her cheating husband isn’t done messing with her and the kids…

Swan Point brings up a lot of issues. It was messy, complicated, and sweet. Sherryl Woods knows how to lure readers deep into her books. I was both intrigued and hooked. The plot was believable and realistic. The characters have a way of wrapping around my heart. I cried and laughed. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Onyx Webb Book Nine

Synopsis:

Welcome Back to the World of Onyx Webb! This is Book Nine. (Episodes 25, 26, 27, & 28) Haven’t Gotten Entangled Yet? Please Start with Book One.

Book Nine is the most cataclysmic book in the series yet and what we have been building to for so long. The web is almost entirely formed now. But questions remain: what happens to everyone now that it is?
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.
In Book Nine: The Mulvaney’s host the Solstice Eclipse Ball for the Restoring Savannah Foundation and Gerylyn’s prediction comes to pass. Stan Lee gets his revenge and Juniper battles a dark evil at the mansion. Onyx Webb spends her days at the lighthouse alone again without Noah Ashley but Noah may have other plans. Scroll Up and Grab Book Nine Today! 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Onyx Webb Book Nine by both Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz has been my new favorite series. This book series has it all and has everything readers want in each book. The characters are complex and realistic. Yes, there are dead characters…like ghosts but they so make this an interesting and unforgettable read. I love it all. These two writers are definitely masters of fiction writing. They have combined parts of both the past and present in ways that make it easy to follow along and understand. It’s hard to do that in any particular book, but Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz have succeeded each and everytime. Readers can also find a variety of every genre known to readers inside this novel. Yes, I’m serious. Yes, it works out perfectly. Onyx Webb is the main character of this series and I’m so sad to see this series coming to a close. Action, adventure, romance and mystery on every page. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: A Forever Family for the Army Doc

Synopsis:

Rescued by the single mom
As a nurse and single mom, Izzy Halliday has her hands full. The last thing she needs is the distraction of a maneven one as irresistible as new hospital director Nicholas Macpherson!
Former army doc, Mac, has come to Wetherby to heal his soul but the sparks flying between him and stunning redhead, Izzy, aren’t bringing him much peace! Mac is in search of a quiet life, but time with Izzy and her daughter soon teaches him the unexpected joys of a chaotic family life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

A Forever Family for the Army Doc by Meredith Weber is a great read. It brings up the life of adoption and adoption families. Not every child goes into a good home. But the main leading female charcater ended up in a home where the people loved her. It was crazy, messy, and good. 

Izzy had it bad. Her life has been going okay, until she meets the new stranger in town. Izzy soon learns that it’s her new boss. That means off limits for her. Dating a previous doctor she worked with has landed her in the zone of ignoring all men. Especially, with what happened with the last boyfriend. 

Mac wasn’t expecting to meet a woman like Izzy. The redhead has his attention from the get go. Instant chemistry. But soon he learns who she is…and that means off limits for him. Izzy isn’t the woman he can just roll in the hay with…and she deserves better. Plus, she has a daughter and is his coworker. Yet somehow, their time together is pulling at their threads and causing them to break…love is in the air. 

A Forever Family for the Army Doc is an entertaining read. I found it realistic. The characters were believable. Their situations kept building into an intense environment leaving me hanging off my seat wondering if it will go anywhere….Meredith Weber’s novel was strongly about family life. I liked that. Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

Author Interview with David Spencer




ULM: What inspired you to write your book, Dark Skinned? 

I was inspired to write Dark Skinned after listening to some people share on Youtube who had went through similar situations growing up that I did. Hearing their stories helped me heal and deal with some issues I had been holding onto. I was eager to share to so could be that motivation for someone else. I started out writing the stories for blog entries but I soon realized the content was more in depth and needed to be housed in a book. Being Dark Skinned was specifically what I had to deal with but that issues are interchangeable- one could be over weight, too short, too tall, not athletic etc. I believe talking about your issues can help others deal with theirs.  

 

ULM: Did you always want a career as an author? 

That desire came later. I always wanted to motivate and inspire people around me so I have always been in the light. Becoming an author was a natural progression to building greater influence.

 

ULM: How would you describe your writing style using only three words?

 Open. Honest. Transparent.

 

ULM: What is the message you would like readers to take from reading your novel?

You can control everything that happens to you but you can control your response to it. Don’t let dark moments make you dark. Use those moments to create light in dark places.

 

ULM: Why is it challenging to get African American men to share their experiences caused by their darker skin tone?

From youth, African American boys are told to stop crying and to man up. Showing emotions not equated to masculinity. Little boys are often forced to grow up to fast becoming man too soon. It’s easier to suppress the hurt then risk being viewed as weak.

 

ULM: Do you think the racism in America will ever end?

Honestly, I do not. I think it will become harder to openly display it. Racism is a legacy. Racist pass those ideas down to their children.

 

ULM: You mentioned holding a B.A. in Ethno-Musicology. Can you explain what it was like studying for that? 

Half of my academic career was spent in the music department and the other was spent in the history department learning about the African Diaspora. Not only were Africans shipped off like cattle but the oppressors tried to erase their history. There is evidence in the music of African American Music that supports Deculturization was not successful.   

 

ULM: You mentioned that African American men are supposed to be big and strong all the time. That they are not supposed to cry. I’ve also noticed that this stigma sticks to all men despite color of skin tone. Why do you think society view men in this way? 

We are what we see. Men have traditionally been the head of the house hold, the primary provider, and the stronger sex. That image is everywhere in history and media. Anything that doesn’t fit that norm is not accepted.  

 

ULM: How did your masters in entertainment, help prepare you as a newspaper executive, singer, songwriter and being an author?

It helped me pay more attention to presentation and packaging. A good idea will stay that if you do not connect the right people and get others to buy. We can limit our growth because of our inability to reach out. We do not have to be masters of everything.  

 

ULM: What songs have you written?

My most recent song is one called “Flawed” that sums up many of the emotions I dealt with growing up dark skinned. I went through a phase where I questioned God’s intentions in creating me flawed. I want my music to articulate feelings people are sometimes reluctant to express.

Listen Here:

Flawed (Dark Skinned)

ULM: Do you have more books planned, if so, can you share that with us, readers?

 

I want to do another book of “Dark Skinned” stories. I want to change the approach by interviewing others who have stories to tell. I also want to do a children’s book describing how great the world would be if we follow the rules we had on the playground. Be nice and wait your turn.

 

ULM: What lead you to the media and entertainment industry?

I love to create content for others to enjoy and/or scrutinize. I like tough conservations this career path welcomes those types of conversations.   

 

David Spencer

Sound of David LLC

DS Designs

910-827-2961

Review: Sweetbriar Cottage






Synopsis:
When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.
Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.
Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.
But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.
As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter is a beautifully written novel. Inside, I met a couple that resemble today’s couples everywhere. Divorce. It’s a messy and complicated monster that takes over the lives of couples. Here, I got to watch two people once happily married wanting a divorce. However, the wife forgets to sign it in time…and it leaves them as a married couple. The emotional journey was epic. I loved every moment. Clean, engaging, and sweet. Josephine and Noah will have a tough time of roughing their situation and until they fix it…or maybe not. Life is unpredictable and even more so for these two. Overall, I recommend this Christian novel to readers everywhere. 

Review: Resisting Her Army Doc Rival 






Synopsis

Flirting with danger!
Infuriating, irresistible army doc Sam Lowe is the last person Madison Hunter wants to work with. He challenges her, and soon the only thing hotter than their rivalry is their growing chemistry!
But Maddy hides scars that tell a heartbreaking story, and Sam has his own emotional wounds. He’s determined to take his heart with him when he leaves the army base, yet as he starts to see beneath Maddy’s tough exterior, it becomes more and more clear that his heart belongs with her.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Resisting Her Army Doc Rival by Sue MacKay is truly a heartfelt tale. I was instantly taken with the story from the beginning. The two main characters were believable. Each one had a tough life. Both held secrets that tore at the daily. Keeping them from enjoying life to its fullest. 

Maddy went through a trauma event that left her scarred. It might even have left her infertile. Her husband left her because of her scars…that left Maddy feeling worse. As the time went by, she went back to school to finish her degree and enlisted as an army medic. A doctor. There she finds someone from her past…

Sam.

Sam is the current army medic. He’s been at his post for a year. He only has two weeks left to make sure the new medic is comfortable then he’s gone. But to his surprise…he meets none other than the smart pretty girl from his past. No longer a girl but a beautiful, clever, and strong woman…

Maddy.

Together for two weeks, they fight the mutual attraction for as long as possible. Then, Maddy pushes Sam’s buttons and then all secrets are out…where they go from there if ever, is for readers to read…overall, I fell in love with this medical romance story. Resisting Her Army Doc Rival was everything I had hope for…plus, more. I recommend it to all. 

Review: Under a Desert Sky


Synopsis:

There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places. 

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well. 

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life’s hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke is an inspiring memoir of one woman’s journey with cancer. Cancer is the toughest path one finds in life. It takes hold of us, crushing us under its pressure. Sometimes, we feel like we’ve lost the battle and want to give up. However, this book, redefines hope, beauty, and faith in the hardest places. Lynne Hartke’s words grabbed my attention immediately. Her words made me cry and feel that hope never dies. Pain only makes one stronger. Beautifully written by a survivor, who went through it all. Pain, grief, and hope. Overall, I deeply recommend this memoir to all. 

Blog Tour: Play for Me by Celine Keating


Interview with Celine Keating

ULM: What inspired you to write your novel, Play for Me?

A train trip across Canada, a kind of concert in motion, jumpstarted the idea. I had begun studying classical guitar, which led to writing for music magazines. When I heard about the train ride and how several bands would be performing, jamming, and interacting with their fans, I decided it was something I just had to be part of and write about. It was quite an experience, and I found myself wanting to explore why music is so powerful for us and about obsession and hardcore fandom. To top it off, on the train I was berthed next to the leaders of two of the bands and had a front row seat to their very explosive romantic breakup – they became the models for my lead singer Blaise and her guitarist JJ. 

 ULM: What was it like creating the main character, Lily?

I actually based Lily in large part on my sister. Her twin daughters were going off to college and she was suddenly confronted with empty-nest angst and the realization thatshe had lost sight of her own needs through years of work and childrearing. I wondered,is it possible to reinvent yourself in middle age, to rediscover your own creative potential? In a way, Play for Me is a cautionary tale, especially for women, of what can happen if you lose touch with your deepest self.

ULM: Since your novel is around the central theme of music, what kind of music do you enjoy listening to? 

While I love most styles and kinds of music of music, my favorite is anything guitar-centric, whether rock, acoustic, classical, flamenco. I also really enjoy singer songwriters.

ULM: How would you describe your novel, using only three words? 

emotional, intelligent, honest 

ULM: How would you describe your other main character, JJ? 

 He’s charming, sweet, needy, super talented, and, ultimately, selfish.

ULM: What advice would you give to other writers?

I advise writing every day, even if just for 15 minutes. One trick I use if I’m stuck is to work off other writers. Sometimes I copy out entire passages I admire and then use that as a base to write something of my own. It’s a great way to improve technique. I also recommend joining a writing group – whether in person or online –for feedback, advice, and support. 

ULM: Do you have any future writing projects that you can share with us, readers?

I’m currently working on a new novel set in Montauk, Long Island, with a broad cast of characters. It’s about the conflicts and pressures – environmental and financial – on a beach/resort town.

ULM: What is it like being both a writer and editor? Which task would you say was easier? How long have you been an editor?

A very interesting question! I think it’s sort of right brain/left brain – both are creative in their way and both also require basic language skills, but overall, editing requires the analytic part of the brain while fiction depends on the intuitive and on the imagination. Happily editorial work doesn’t make the same kind of demands on me that fiction does –of invention and imagination. So they are complementary but very different. For me, editing is easier, because most of it can be learned, whereas fiction is an art, and any art relies on being able to tap into the deeper parts of the self and on honing one’s creativity and unique point of view—and how all of that works is something of a mystery! I’ve been an editor for decades. I started out in publishing as an editorial assistant and worked my way up through various editing jobs. Then I switched to magazine copyediting, and now I work as a freelancer. 

ULM: Being a music reviewer, would say that this had some influence on writing your novel, Play for Me? 

Yes, absolutely. I have been able to do many interviews with musicians for various articles and found their lives and struggles to be quite interesting. So I used a lot of that material in the novel. Also, in writing reviews one has to describe – to people who are listeners but not necessarily musicians – how music sounds. Finding the right descriptivewords and a way to put them together is a unique kind of challenge. The experience writing reviews really helped when I was trying to communicate how JJ’s music sounds to Lily so the reader can imagine it, and also to understand the profound effect the music has on her. 

 ULM: How did you become a music Reviewer?

 I find that pretty interesting. It’s not every day one hears about meeting a Reviewer of music. Breaking in to music reviewing is similar to breaking in to other writing for publications—with a query letter and your clips (already published work)—except that you are requiredto play an instrument yourself. I wrote a query letter to Acoustic Guitar magazine about a CD I wanted to review, and they accepted. After that they asked if I’d like to review for them regularly, and that led to longer pieces and to writing and reviewing for other places as well.

ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?

 I’m at www.celinekeating.com and I’m always happy to hear from readers. Many of my stories and reviews are available, as well as excerpts from my novels.  


Synopsis:

International Book Award finalist in literary fiction

Indie Excellence Award finalist in fiction

USA Book Award finalist in fiction
“Keating combines the soul-searching of Eat, Pray, Love with the rock ’n’ roll fable of Almost Famous to create a novel of midlife crisis with music at its core.” —Booklist 
Middle-aged Lily impulsively joins a touring folk-rock band, leaving her job and marriage behind in an attempt to find a second chance at life, passion, and art.
It happens without warning: At a folk-rock show at her son s college, Lily becomes transfixed by the guitarist s unassuming onstage presence and beautiful playing and with his final note, something within her breaks loose. After the concert, Lily returns to her comfortable life an Upper West Side apartment, a job as a videographer, and a kind if distracted husband but she can t stop thinking about the music, or about the duo s guitarist, JJ. Unable to resist the pull of either one, she rashly offers to make a film about the band in order to gain a place with them on tour. But when Lily dares to step out from behind her camera, she falls deep into JJ s world upsetting the tenuous balance between him and his bandmate, and filling a chasm of need she didn t know she had. Captivating and provocative, Play for Me captures the thrill and heartbreak of deciding to leave behind what you love to follow what you desire.” (less)

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Play for Me by Celine Keating is a contemporary piece written mostly for women. I can feel the main characters’ emotions as the scenes played out…I also noticed that the writer’s book held her passion for music. Deep, entertaining, and well-told. As I followed the main character, Lily, I got lost within her story. She goes out doing what she loves and ends up entangled in her own problems. Decisions have to be made….and the consequences are intense. Making the novel’s atmosphere that more electrifying. Romance between two that shouldn’t occur, a marriage held by a strong, and destruction of her daughter’s life lay ahead. As I read through the pages and wasn’t sure what advice I would give to Lily. I felt her pain as the plot continued. Celine Keating has a way of luring readers like myself further into the book. 

Play for Me is exactly as it states and the options get harder as one wife slash mother tries living her life and balancing the old with the new. But as with reality, life has a way of knocking us back down to earth. Overall, great read for women everywhere. Easy to relate to and connect with the characters. 

Review: The Gay Preacher’s Wife





Synopsis:

The deeply personal memoir of Lydia Meredith, a woman who spent almost thirty years married to a preacher—only to have her husband leave her for a MAN —and how her life becomes a testimony of tolerance and a theology of love and acceptance.
After being married to Reverend Dennis A. Meredith for almost thirty years, Lydia Meredith discovers a shocking truth: the love of her life left her for a MAN. Now, Lydia opens up for the first time about how that revelation shattered her world—and strengthened her faith.
With her life turned upside down, Lydia struggled to put the pieces of her broken heart back together and that led her to pursue understanding through an accredited theological education. She wanted a way to put her family back together and she found Jesus’ ministry and teachings were “actually” about teaching tolerance and love for people who are labeled different.
Candid, honest, and incredibly touching, Lydia Meredith shows that faith and perseverance can get you through any challenge life throws your way.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Gay Preacher’s Wife by Lydia Meredith is a deep memoir. Inside, I followed her journey as an African American women. Just being in that category is hard enough. Then, to add to the fact her husband had lied to her for the past 30-years. Well, it was easy to sympathize with her. I can only imagine how hard that was to deal with after finding out. Having a man lineage his wife for an reason is hard on the soul and heart. Lydia Meredith’s husband left her for another man. Wow. I wouldn’t know how to handle that scenario myself, if placed in the same situation. Her journey was emotional and interesting. I believe the writer dealt with the situation in the best ways possible. I can’t judge her nor her husband. Life is complicated, messy, and hear shattering. Readers can easily connect with Lydia as her words engage them further into her life. Overall, this personal memoir took great faith and courage to share. I recommend it to others. 

Review: The Hideaway

Synopsis:

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.
After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.
Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.
Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.
When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton is a great read for women everywhere. The tale is easy to relate to and connect with the main characters. The writing was well-done. Readers like me will travel to New Orleans. There the story takes place. This book was an eye opener. It laid out choices. Choices that readers like me have to make in life. It’s never easy to make a decision. It just get harder as the time gets closer and places the pressure onto the charcater’s shoulders. Here, I got to explore topics such as family, love, and career. The plot goes further in showing that despite being happy in a successful life that there were things missing that only the life inNew Orleans could provide. I found it inspiring.

Lauren K. Denton’s main character, Sara Jenkins,  returns back to The Hideaway. A place where her grandmother lived. Now, her grandmother is gone and the place needs major repairs before selling it and heading back to her previous life. There Sara finds things belonging to her grandmother that affects her decision on life and whether she stays or not. Plus, there’s the people around her that she has come to love and know that will make saying goodbye that much harder. Nothing’s easy or predicatable in this read. The charcater can take either route and the intrigue is powerful enough to have kept me reading. But there’s also a danger. A land developer threatens to take The Hideaway…and only Sara can stop it. Choices…

The Hideaway is a fascinating read. The charming charcaters, the realistic lives they live, and their believable situations have hooked me. Southern way of life is sweet, memorable, and enchanting. Overall, I recommend Lauren K. Denton’s novel to all. 

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: Mr. Make Believe






Synopsis:

Marnie Martin’s formerly perfect life is not quite going to plan. 
Hard-hitting newspaper journalist turned stay at home mum slash part-time (terrible) cookery columnist slash full-time day dreamer, she’s not entirely sure when it all went wrong… 
She suspects it was at exactly the moment she gave up writing the front page for the apparent bliss of perfect motherhood. But while her (tall, handsome, lawyer) husband Matt’s career is taking off, she is left behind with the impossible task of pairing socks. His late nights at the office are turning into late nights who knows where else. They haven’t had a proper conversation in weeks, sex in months, and a full night’s sleep in what must be years. Love has taken a back seat to the laundry pile and Marnie is feeling a little lost. 
So when an extended fantasy about movie star Maddox Wolfe leads to a missed deadline, a very high profile case of food poisoning, the loss of her job and potentially her husband… Marnie becomes Mrs Make Believe: Anonymous blogger, secret spiller and voice of fantasy-life spinning imperfect mums everywhere. 
Mrs Make Believe knows the bedtime battles, the marriage screw ups and the shrinking clothing (she remains a size 10, what are her clothes playing at?) only too well. She also knows that it’s ok to let your mind wander into make believe… What she didn’t know was that a movie star crush could walk off the screen and into her life, turning her already muddled world (with a husband with one foot out the door) totally on its head. 
Will Marnie be sucked back into the world of uncomfortable cocktail dresses and Botox-frozen smiles? Will she find happiness in her infuriatingly imperfect marriage or in the arms of the (literal) man of her dreams? Or will Marnie find that true love is just make believe? 

This laugh out loud romantic comedy will have you glued to your sofa. Journalist turned author, Beezy Marsh, is perfect for fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones, Tracy Bloom and The Bad Mother’s Diary. The battle through love, life and laundry should never be a one woman struggle. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Mr. Make Believe by Beezy Marsh is a hilarious women’s fictional tale. A romantic comedy about life and marriage. Inside this book, readers will find a strong woman whose life changes after becoming a mother. Her fashion writing career comes to a halt as well as the romance in her marriage. Her career comes to a haunt, while her husband is to busy with his. Lately, he becomes more interested in his work and other things than in the woman he loved and married. 

Marriage has its ups and downs. Beezy Marsh clearly shows readers just that withevery page. However, its more complicated than just a marriage suffering. The main charcater, Marnie finds a way to combat her dead end life. She creates a column about fantasy life. Her readers become so engaged in her that she ends up selling a book. By that time, Marine will have had a romance with her fantasy crush, experienced being cheated upon,and come to realize that her love for her husband is greater than what she thought. Whether she leaves her crush for her husband is for readers to figure out for themselves. I loved following this emotional journey. 

Mr. Make Believe is the type of novel, that pulls in readers like myself. I became addicted. Page after page, the fun never stopped. The ending was just as brilliant as the beginning. Love, marriage, betrayal, and second chances are all inside this book. Beezy Marsh has a way with brining her charcaters and words to life. Over, I was satisfied with reading it. Highly recommend it to all. 

Review: You’ll Think of Me



Synopsis:

In a small town in Idaho’s idyllic wine country where the past looms large, can two people realize their individual dreams for the future … together?
Abandoned once too often, Brooklyn Myers never intended to return to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Her hometown holds too many memories of heartache and rejection. But when her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies and leaves his family home and acreage to her and their ten-year-old daughter Alycia, it’s an opportunity to change their lives for the better—a chance Brooklyn can’t pass up, for Alycia’s sake if not her own.
Derek Johnson, Chad’s best friend since boyhood, isn’t keen on the return of Brooklyn Myers to Thunder Creek. He still blames her for leading his friend astray. And now she has ruined his chance to buy the neighboring ten acres which would have allowed him to expand his organic farm. To add insult to injury, Chad’s dying request was that Derek become the father to Alycia that Chad never was. How can he keep that promise without also spending time with the girl’s mother?
Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Derek and Brooklyn must both confront challenges to their dreams and expectations. He must overcome long held misconceptions about Brooklyn while she must learn to trust someone other than herself. And if they can do it, they just might discover that God has something better in mind than either of them ever imagined.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

You’ll Think of Me by Robin Hatcher is a heartfelt yet a good Christian tale. I loved how the characters spoke to God in prayer. Life is difficult and never easy. Praying helps lift the burdens, doubts, and fears off their shoulders. Another great part of this wonderfully woven novel, was how the writer spun the characters’ past and present moments together. I thought it might make it harder to follow along. But it didn’t. It gave me more understanding into the characters. 

Robin Hatcher’s leading female protagonist, Brooklyn Myers, returns back home. She came back due to her husband’s death and his will staying the house goes to both her and their daughter. Pain is easily felt as Brooklyn moves through these scenes. My heart ached for her. Death, loss, and grief will consume readers instantly like it did for me. 

Next, there’s Derek Johnson, Robin Hatcher’s lead male protagonist. He was best of friends with  Brooklyn Myers’ husband. He too, returns back to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Unlike Brooklyn, Derek is full of anger. Especially, at her for what she did to her husband, Chad. Then, there’s the  promise from Chad about being a father to Alycia. That proves most difficult when her mom is the one woman he doesn’t want to be near. Derek also wanted to expand his land but now, he can’t…

Fate has brought both Brooklyn and Derek together. Each one is facing their own personal issues. Trust and letting go of the past will prove hard for these two characters. However, there’s hope and where there’s hope there’s a possibility. Dreams might just be on the horizon. I loved following the characters. Their emotions took over me. Engulfing me into their hearts as the pages speed by…I highly recommend this well-written tale to readers everywhere. You’ll Think of Me is right…after reading it, I’m still thinking about the plot, characters and 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: The Ebb Tide


Synopsis:

A Heartwarming Tale of Courage and Love from Amish Fiction’s #1 Author

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter’s nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her. 

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he’s learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she’s never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish. 

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie’s realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis is a sweet Christian tale. A young Amish woman has had a heart for traveling the world in which God created. Her family wishes to see her baptized as an Amaish soon, but they start realizing it may not be what is good for their daughter. Sallie has a good Amish man back home who cares about her…yet her heart is constantly drifting back to Kevin. His family is Mennonite, not Amish. Sallie never once gives up trying to be a good Amish woman. She tries her best. But her heart is being pulled into another direction. Kevin and exploring the world. Beverly Lewis’s novel is heartfelt. The words carry a deep meaning and captivate me as I went through them. I felt sad and then happy for Sallie. Despite what our families want for us, we have to go find what it is that we want. Happiness is by falling our hearts. A deep and beautifully told story. The Ebb Tide is one that I recommend to readers worldwide. It’s relates to everything we all go through…each day. Finding ourselves. 

Review: It’s Not about Me 



Synopsis:

Christopher M. Milo is a Nationally Renowned Concert Pianist, Professional Motivational Speaker and creator of the “13 Messages from Milo”. He has been fully trained in Life Skills and Resiliency. He has spoken to over 100,000 students on topics of Leadership, Anti Bullying, Suicide Solutions, Teen Pregnancy, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Cutting and many other forms of Self Harm. He embraces students who battle Developmental Disabilities, Autism, Cancer and Diabetes. Christopher continues to have ongoing relationships with local state hospitals and children’s services with partnerships at many Educational Service Centers within the State of Ohio. 

During a recent Leadership Conference with over 300 students in attendance, a teenager asked Christopher, “Why do you work with younger students?” to which he replied “one day you may be balancing my checkbook when I am unable to see clearly, or you might be carrying my groceries when I lose the strength to do it myself. One day you might be the one making decisions for my community, or the country I fight for. If I can make even a small positive impact on our youth today, I will continue dedicating my life doing just that!” 

Educators have often asked why students are so eager to listen to someone like Christopher. With his unique program, students quickly and clearly see that Christopher is someone who cares and understands what they are going through. He uses real life scenarios to drive the messages into the hearts and minds of people. He continues to bring out the truth by telling the truth. “13 Messages from Milo” creates a noninvasive environment that is welcoming to youth where walls come down and relationships are made. A small idea in a small group becomes a life changing opportunity for an entire student body, a home or place of work.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

It’s Not about Me by Christopher M. Milo is one of the best reads yet. It is a nonfiction book that provides step-by-step guides to being happy in life. Lessons that can teach us about life. Scenarios are found on the pages. These are great. It allows readers to read, understand, and relate to the situations. There are also important tips inside by the writer to help readers. Christopher M. Milo’s book gives back to readers. It has deep Thought provoking sessions as well as reflective exercises to help us, readers, think, relate, and search within ourselves. I loved how there was an open connection from the writer to myself and how he guided through every page. It was like having a mentor hold my hand through each stage. Overall, It’s Not about Me is one of the most inspiring books that I have come across and highly recommend to all. 

Review: Madame President 



Synopsis:

The harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

When Ellen Johnson Sirleaf won the 2005 Liberian presidential election, she demolished a barrier few thought possible, obliterating centuries of patriarchal rule to become the first female elected head of state in Africa’s history. Madame President is the inspiring, often heartbreaking story of Sirleaf’s evolution from an ordinary Liberian mother of four boys to international banking executive, from a victim of domestic violence to a political icon, from a post-war president to a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author Helene Cooper deftly weaves Sirleaf’s personal story into the larger narrative of the coming of age of Liberian women. The highs and lows of Sirleaf’s life are filled with indelible images; from imprisonment in a jail cell for standing up to Liberia’s military government to addressing the United States Congress, from reeling under the onslaught of the Ebola pandemic to signing a deal with Hillary Clinton when she was still Secretary of State that enshrined American support for Liberia’s future.
Sirleaf’s personality shines throughout this riveting biography. Ultimately, Madame President is the story of Liberia’s greatest daughter, and the universal lessons we can all learn from this “Oracle” of African women.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Madame President by Helene Cooper is an inspiring read. Women everywhere will be awed at the work done by one woman, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She has gone beyond any other woman of her time in a country that mistreated women as objects. Here, I got to follow the brave and clever woman as she rose from just a mother to a president of a nation. Going to prison, suffering like every other woman has done…,yet she managed to rise dispite the hardships that fell upon her. I was amazed. She kept on going even when it might have meant the end for her. Writer, Helene Cooper, has brought Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s life alive on these pages for All to see. Just when I thought I have seen, heard, and know it all…this book brought out more than just a woman struggling to rise among men of her country. It’s a story of survival, courage, determination as well as breaking barriers. Overall, I recommend this nonfiction piece on one of the most compelling stories of a woman to readers everywhere.

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: Book of Summer 



Synopsis:

Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family’s Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Though she’s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home’s definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess’s grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never contemplated.
The bestselling author of The Paris Apartment and I’ll See You in Paris, Michelle Gable now transports readers to Nantucket.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable is a beautiful tale. Memories that won’t ever fade. History and secrets are found as the main character, Bess Codman, goes to her mom. She must convince her mother to leave the house on the cliff. Her father persuades her to do so. When she reaches there, so many things come unraveling. Emotions spills across the pages. Michell Gable created a crazy, hilarious, yet engaging story of a family. Their lives may not be perfect but they care. 

The Book of Summer is centered around a house that has seen its days. Erosion is happening and it’s only time when it collapses. One woman determined to keep it standing and another to help get her out before it’s too late. I found the history colorful and interesting. My imagination went wild with all the what happened back then. Anything with a historical moment attached captured my undivided attention.  Michelle Gable has once again, brought another women’s fiction piece to my heart. I’ll ever forget the journey that trapped me inside…

Review: The Co-Parent 

Synopsis:

Brianna: My life has always been a little ironic. I’m afraid of the dark, and I’m blind. My parents were my world, but they died in 9/11. I wouldn’t mind a relationship but men perceive me as a burden. So it shouldn’t have been a shocker that the guy I fall in ‘like’ with ends up being a top of the line player from the UK. 
It also shouldn’t have shocked me that the guy that was meant to be a sexy fling; just an erotic encounter to reminisce over, left me more than just a memory. He left me with a bump. 
That’s okay, because when life bitch slapped me into being blind, pregnant and single…I just called ‘plot twist’ and carried on. 
Besides, this little surprise in my belly is relying on me to get it all right. 
So do we really need him? 
Gabriel: Party, drink, sex, work, repeat. Sometimes I’ll throw sleep in there. Aside from that the life of a millionaire has brought me everything, but in the night is when I realize I still have nothing. Being a party animal might be frowned upon but it led me to her. 
She’s the most fascinating woman I’ve ever met and her body and flaming hair make me wild. Can’t trust women, though. That’s why I left. Best not to give women power, but now she’s carrying my child. 
Brianna’s unique, though. She doesn’t want my money, she wants my partnership. She wants to ‘co-parent.’ 
What the bloody hell is a man like me supposed to do with a child? I still live like one. 

So here’s my options. 

Persuade her to forget it.

Walk away or Stay. 

But can I stay? Can I be the co-pilot she needs and the father our child deserves?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Co-Parent by Nicole Strycharz has hit it off the charts for me like everyone of her previous novels. This story, is a heartfelt and deeply emotional read. I couldn’t get enough of these characters. Once more, this superb writer, has deeply kidnapped me inside of her plot. Fast-paced, thrilling, hilarious, and sexy. It’s difficult to put down this book. Once I poen d it up, I could not let it go. Talk about a high that gets you so addicted…that your only thoughts are…got to have more….and that’s how Nicole Strycharz left me. Her characters are literally out of this world. I laughed, cried, and felt every e option known to humans. Plus, I would hug this writer. Every plot, can have similarities to other fabulously good stories I have read in the past, however, Nicole takes her plot to the next level. Imagine hitting a baseball out of the park and your baseball team ends up scoring more than one homerun…well, that’s what happened here. I can’t describe how amazing this romance novel truly is…but I can say it’s the best of the best. Here, inside The Co-Parent, I have meet a blind woman who lost her family, and is smoking hot. Her personality is like a sugar craving you can’t resist…apparently neither could the player…Gabe. Gabe has his flaws, but beneath all of that he’s the man every mother wants for their girl. There’s more to him than beats the eyes. Together they hit it off and create a phenomenal tale. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to readers worldwide. 

Review: Mary Poser


Synopsis:

The recipe for a warm and humorous story…

In a modest bowl of Nashville, gently place a girl who is Country music, Bible belt, and a steakhouse foodie.

Then add a surprise portion of exotic and handsome Anglo Indian to the container who is a passionate Bollywood director, vegetarian and Hindu.

Stir vigorously on a bed of intense attraction. 

At first, the ingredients will seem to clash and separate.

Keep stirring…

Include a dollop of jealous boyfriend and a meddling mother.

Splash in a serving of fun and mischievous friends.

Keep stirring…

Add a dash of crazy aunt and a minister father to keep the flavors working together.

Sprinkle in even more complicated family members to taste.

Cook on high emotions.

The secret ingredient that cuts through the sweetness is a final layer of shocking revelation that adds a surprising depth of flavor.
Finish with a twist of ‘Oh My God! Is she really going to do that?’.

Serve as tasty bite-size chapters in a novel dish of mayhem and madness with a side of 

Country music and Bollywood dancing.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Mary Poser by Angel A was the most interesting novel I have read in awhile. The culture and religious content Mad me even more curious. The entire story was entertaining. The main character, is in a sticky situation. Her parents want her to do what they want yet she’s not happy…and what makes her happy is something they wouldn’t want for her. However, she has to,learn for herself whether she wants to break free and be happy or live forever within the hold of her parents. Life is messy, complicated, and a major struggle after struggle. Here, Mary Poser has what I call the real life syndrome. Struggles are just a part of life. Mary is at a crossroads…and when she finally finds the courage to make a decision it will be beautiful. The tale lagged a bit at times but then picked up speed. Angel A created a realistic plot that readers can easily relate to…and feel connected to the characters. Overall, this story was a great read. 

Review: The Night of the Eleventh Sun




Synopsis:

The fossil record is unclear. Did Neanderthal speak? Did he laugh, have music, feel love? Did he interact with Homo sapiens or get killed by him in mortal combat or get pushed to extinction on less marginal lands? This book answers some of those questions in a strongly researched fictional setting.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Night of the Eleventh Sun by Steven Burgauer is a fascinating tale. Takes readers deep into the prehistoric ages. The cavemen. Reading these pages, I got a glimpse into the lives of these cavemen and their cultures. The reality of life and hardships was realistic. I felt like I was watching versus reading the words. Steven Burgauer has a way of breathing life onto his pages. His characters are three-dimensional. Clans and their order of living, eating, as well as relationships were stunning. I felt every emotion. Stress, frustration, loss, grief, and love. Plus, lust. Death and life go hand-in-hand inside this book. Overall, I enjoyed following along. The Night of the Eleventh Sun is a must read for all. 

Review: Restless in L.A. 




Synopsis:

It was an innocent online flirtation…until it wasn’t…

Alexandra Hoffman thinks she has it all together. She lives with her work-obsessed husband Jason and their three challenging children in upscale Los Angeles. She never meant to “friend” her old boyfriend, Matt Daniels. She hasn’t seen him in twenty years. But as Alex’s fortieth birthday approaches, she finds herself re-connecting with Matt online—and re-reading her college journal, which details their intense connection and unresolved ending. But Alex’s hands are full with the kids, one of whom she just can’t help, no matter how hard she tries.

Lonely and alienated by the helicopter moms, and from Jason who is never around, Alex’s flirtation quickly moves from on-line to real-world. Alex realizes—too late—that she cannot trust herself. When she meets Matt for dinner, the attraction is undeniable. And when he touches her face, it’s electric. As her life spirals out of control, she clings to her free-spirited life coach, Lark, to make sense of the mess she’s made. But Lark’s advice is clear: Alex must confront her past and find the courage to face her future, even if it means risking everything.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Restless in L.A. by Robin Finn is a must read for all womne. It instantly took me deep into a married woman’s life. Complicated, complex, and adventurous. A full-time mom, battling the struggles of her marriage and children. One of her children has a lot of symptoms that make it hard for him to fit in within a normal classroom setting. His behavior and learning needs are hard. His school isn’t helping him and Alex knows it. Her son needs more. Something different. Alex tries to tell her husband but he doesn’t agree. It’s like a constant battle between them. Tense, messy, and unraveling. Just in case, Alex didn’t have enough to juggle in her life…there’s a photo of her old lover. A man who made her heart race and feel on fire. She ends up making a lot of mistakes, but she needs to really find herself. Life happens…and it can be both bad and good. Restless in L.A. is a contemporary romance that explores a restless married woman’s life. Funny, sad, sexy, and frustrating. Robin Finn writes extremely well. The first few pages were slow, but the plot build up quickly after that. I was hooked. This story was believable. Robin Finn captured real life in her novel. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: Amish Weddings 



Synopsis:

Gould’s Series Concludes in Love and Marriage



Gregarious Rose Lehman, who’s always the life of the Amish youth singings, is determined to marry the bishop’s son, Reuben Byler–until the handsome Army buddy of her future brother-in-law shows up in Lancaster County. In comparison to Trevor, Reuben seems downright boring. Trevor shares Rose’s sense of fun and adventure, and her easygoing disposition.

When her sister Lila’s buggy is rear-ended and Lila is horribly injured, Rose finds herself with more freedom than she’s ever experienced. Everyone is so concerned about Lila that no one realizes Rose is sneaking out with Trevor. Except for Reuben. But in his usual passive way, he doesn’t confront her, nor does he address the situation with her Dat or anyone else in the district. Rose appreciates Reuben’s discretion, but she also resents it. Part of her relishes the freedom she’s found with Trevor, but the other part of her wishes Reuben would “fight” for her, as much as any Amish man would. Too late, she realizes the foolish choice she’s made. Has she ruined her best chance at love, or is there another path to happiness she just hasn’t seen yet?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould is a must read. This engaging tale is unlike most Amish stories that I have read. It’s plot was unique. Inside, readers will find a lot of action, big families, and choices to make. The main characters have so much in common, I thought it would be a simple life for them. However, as in real life, things change. A young woman wanted marriage right away. But it didn’t happen. She felt a bit rebellious and believed in the wrong man. The one wrong man who made her pregnant. Despite her new life change, she grows as a woman. Doesn’t give up her faith and becomes kinder. Before, she only thought about a man’s riches and now, she doesn’t. All she has to do is put her faith back in God. God always helps. Blessings of all sorts happen within these pages. Beautifully written and highly realistic. I can actually see everything happening for real. Real choices and real world issues. Growing up, maturity, and love are just a few themes masterfully woven in Amish Weddings. Overall, I highly recommend Leslie Gould’s latest novel to readers worldwide. It’s sweet and emotionally entertaining. 

Review: Hunters in the Dark

Synopsis:

From the novelist the New York Times compares to Paul Bowles, Evelyn Waugh and Ian McEwan, an evocative new work of literary suspense

 

Adrift in Cambodia and eager to side-step a life of quiet desperation as a small-town teacher, 28-year-old Englishman Robert Grieve decides to go missing. As he crosses the border from Thailand, he tests the threshold of a new future.
And on that first night, a small windfall precipitates a chain of events– involving a bag of “jinxed” money, a suave American, a trunk full of heroin, a hustler taxi driver, and a rich doctor’s daughter– that changes Robert’s life forever.
Hunters in the Dark is a sophisticated game of cat and mouse redolent of the nightmares of Patricia Highsmith, where identities are blurred, greed trumps kindness, and karma is ruthless. Filled with Hitchcockian twists and turns, suffused with the steamy heat and pervasive superstition of the Cambodian jungle, and unafraid to confront difficult questions about the machinations of fate, this is a masterful novel that confirms Lawrence Osborne’s reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Hunters in the Dark by Lawerence Osborne is dark, gritty, yet most engaging read ever. Nothing will happen like reader’s expect. Twits and turns everywhere. The suspense builds like a fire consuming a forest. Anticipation grows as readers wait to find the unexpected outcomes. I got to travel from my reading spot to Cambodia. Most exciting yet dangerous place I have traveled. The main character, Robert Grieve, is a British teacher, whose life sudden engulfs readers like myself into a steady plot. He leaves his life behind and the new one…is like wild rollercoaster. Karma and humanity tough topics found within the pages. The beginning was a bit slow, but it soon lead to the adventure at hand. Well-written. I recommend Hunters in the Dark to readers everywhere. 

— NPR “Best Books of 2016” – Staff Picks, Realistic Fiction, Seriously Great Writing, and Tales from Around the World selection

Review: How to Mend a Broken Heart


Synopsis:

A compelling, heartbreaking tale that will make you laugh, cry and believe in the kindness of strangers. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson.

Life is good for nurse Kat. That is until the man she intended to marry legs it, she’s unexpectedly promoted to a position with too much responsibility, and a patient arrives on her ward under strange circumstances.

Susan is a mystery. She refuses to speak or interact with anyone, she’s obsessed with a book of fairy tales, and the only name in her diary is that of Rhys – a plumber she barely knows.

Down-to-earth Rhys is trying to get his life back on track after the death of his beloved brother. His mum is his priority, and she needs him as much as he needs her. Or at least she did, until she starts disappearing, leaving him to find comfort in the form of his brother’s girlfriend.

Complicated is an understatement.

As the lives of these three lost strangers intertwine, will they find a way to lay ghosts past, present and future to rest? And when the chance comes to mend their broken hearts, will they be brave enough to take it?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

How to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Mansell is a tale for all. It’s about three people who dig through their lives finding a way to mend what’s broken. Happiness can only be found if determined to find it. Life is complicated and messy. Women everywhere can easily relate to the characters and their issues. Real world issues masterfully told in an entertaining way. Deeply emotional and thought-provoking. Mysterious, intriguing, and highly engaging to read. It was easy to follow along as the plot unfolded. Everything felt real. The pacing of the story is slightly slow but good. I haven’t read anything by Anna Mansell before, until now. I recommend her nove to all. Healing is an important themes that needs to be read and explored by everyone. 

Review: Regolith



Synopsis:

Elle is a sales superstar at Aspen-Hayward Inc., a company specializing in consumer products and medical supplies. To her surprise, she is hand-picked by the company’s board to run the Research and Development department with an impossible mandate: deliver an industry-leading adaptive learning program to anticipate consumer needs, or else. Aspen-Hayward—languishing in the shadow of its nearest and largest competitor, Rossigland Inc.—is wagering its future on Elle’s leadership.

Meanwhile, Daniel and Greggory work for a security team responsible for loss prevention along Rossigland’s far-reaching and treacherous supply chain. During a routine delivery run, Daniel and Gregg encounter an unusual threat that leads them through a wild ride of adventure.

Elle hires Noam, a developer-savant who quickly brings her department to the verge of something great: the world’s first artificial consciousness, capable of creating humanity’s most needed solutions— saltwater agriculture, a cure for aging and cancer, and sustainable energy.

What none of them know is how their two worlds will collide with an impact of unprecedented scale.

Characters

Elle

Ellison Cole is a tough young woman: a joy with friends but tenacious at the office. She relies heavily on her underachieving but lovable confidant, Cy. Elle has a complicated past and her present becomes more conflicted after meeting Victoria, a more tenured executive at Aspen.

Daniel Brevier

Daniel is a field manager for Rossigland security. If there is one person you can count on to solve a problem, Daniel is your guy—but don’t expect him to avoid making a mess in the process.

Noam

Noam Cohen is much more than a developer and has effortlessly excelled since a young age. He is nothing short of a prodigy at his job and is “a natural” when the team is off-duty.

George McPherson

George is Rossigland’s low-profile COO and, over the course of the book, emerges as much more important than he first appears.

Major Themes

Chaos vs. Order

Evolution: Does a superintelligence present a risk or a benefit to humanity, or both?

What does it mean to be human? Is our purpose to be purely objective, or is humanity defined by an imperfect but vibrant subjective experience?

Advanced physics: an abundance of Earth-like planets in our galaxy; quantized super-vacuum theory related to the AI’s power once born.

Ellison Cole and Aspen-Hayward

Aspen-Hayward wants to rise to the level of sophistication of Rossigland Inc., a larger and much more successful competitor. Senior leadership promotes Elle to bring a sales-oriented focus to Research and Development. She hires Noam and later directs him to take the program to the limit, even if her methods and motivations are compromised in many ways. Then things become complicated.

Daniel Brevier


Daniel and his crew suffer an attack and soon gain valuable intelligence from the crew of another ship. Greg returns to his family, while Daniel smells danger and wants a piece of the action.

Action he finds in a series of adventures, at a classified armory to a battle at an energy processing facility to the brink of an epic battle for humanity’s survival.

The Two Stories Converge


We later discover the problem Daniel discovered is much larger than anyone had imagined while Elle and Noam struggle to realign their project. The two stories weave together in an intricate and beautiful conclusion that will leave you wanting more.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

H. William Glenbrook has masterfully woven two tales combining them into a super novel. Each story has its own set of characters and consequences. Both of these will soon be emerging together. Suspenseful, intense, and well-written. I haven’t read a novel like this one. There is a lot of action happening. Trouble ahead. Regolith is like having Star Wars collide into our real world.  The danger is a huge threat. No one will just realize the extent until they’re pressured into trying to stop it. The writer has combined business, technology, and fantasy into one interesting story. Like with all businesses choices are made and it can break or make the people involved. The plot is clever and fast-paced. Regolith is full of action and intrigue. It kept me keep reading until I reached the last page. The characters are the most fascinating group, ever. Smart, savvy, and bold. Their personalities make them believable. H. William Glenbrook has taken the impossible and made into something that could be possible. Quite frightening. The reality of the future…will keep readers engaged. Overall, I highly recommend this book, to all. 

Review: Marked for Revenge


Synopsis:

When a Thai girl overdoses smuggling drugs, the trail points to Danillo, the one criminal MMA-trained public prosecutor Jana Berzelius most wants to destroy. Eager to erase any evidence of her sordid childhood, Berzelius must secretly hunt down this deadly nemesis with whom she shares a horrific past.  

Meanwhile, the police are zeroing in on the elusive head of the long-entrenched Swedish narcotics trade, who goes by the name The Old Man. No one has ever encountered this diabolical mastermind in person; he is like a shadow, but a shadow who commands extreme respect. Who is this overarching drug lord? Berzelius craves to know his identity, even as she clandestinely tracks Danillo, who has threatened to out her for who she really is. She knows she must kill him first, before he can reveal her secrets. If she fails, she will lose everything. 

As she prepares for the fight of her life, Berzelius discovers an even more explosive and insidious betrayal—one that entangles her inextricably in the whole sordid network of crime. 

The second in a trilogy of fast-paced, high-stakes thrillers by the international bestselling author Emelie Schepp, Marked for Revenge involves the international drug trade and child trafficking and features the brilliant, enigmatic prosecutor Jana Berzelius, whose own dark past has, until recently, been hidden even from herself.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Marked for Revenge by Emelie Schepp is the second installment to one of the best and darkest thrillers ever. Immediately, I was drawn into the web of darkness. One that definitely surrounds the main character, Jana Berzelius. A prosecutor who goes to danger’s most i inviting places to get what she needs. Answers. Things like secrets, betrayals, and suspense have their way of always making it into Emelie Schepp’s novels. I felt compelled to know more. Even if that meant following, Jana Berzelius, to her death. 

The characterization is amazing. I got more of an insider’s scoop with this book. More information on the main character’s life, is unveiled. Emelie Schepp has created another compelling read. She makes organized crime like child trafficking into one of the most horrendous nightmares yet. While, I wish these crimes were not being committed at all, the reality and fear of what happens is perfectly caught within this novel. The plot is fast-paced, complex, and bone chilling. Captivating, frightening, and engaging…Marked for Revenge is definitely a recommended read for all. 

Review: The Karaoke Queen

The Karaoke Queen: And Her Year of Yes (Adventures of The Karaoke Queen Book 1) by [Powers, Annie]

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes you get older before you actually grow up, and twenty-seven-year-old Kennedy James is about to discover just that.

Sure, she has a fiancé and a future, but she realizes (just in time) that it isn’t quite the future she wants—much to her down-home Arkansan family’s chagrin.

Stifled by the conventions of Southern society, the expectations of older generations, and the everyday struggles of being a responsible adult and professional woman, Kennedy is in desperate need of a change.

She ditches the ring and starts over closer to home. With the help of a lively best friend, a new puppy, and a few nights with too much alcohol (OK, maybe more than a few), her decision to embark on a “Year of Yes” drives her closer and closer to her true self.

Through everything, she slowly discovers a person she can truly love—the quirky, empowered, karaoke-loving Kennedy she hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Karaoke Queen by Anne Powers is a great read. The main character, Kennedy goes about life exploring. She has to say yes, to everything within reason. I thought that was interesting. However, it felt like she wasn’t really into anything at all. She just skirted by life and ended up where ever life took her. That’s how it felt to me. The only thing that made me like her was her getting Rosie. A newborn puppy. I didn’t feel any kind of emotional attachment to Kennedy. She rolled with each chapter. No connection to anyone or any place. She dumps her fiancé, which I totally understood why. Then, she dates but nothing really hooked me into her story or into why she should be liked. I felt like this was more of a memoir than fiction. No hook. The character was real and I can see her doing the things she did…but everything felt empty. No purpose. Nothing. She didn’t fall in love. She didn’t get her heart broken. Kennedy just does what she wants. This is why I give it only three stars. Felt flat to me. I wanted to be swept off my feet and plunged into the book. That never happened here. The writer’s book was okay. Not the best. The ending held nothing for me as well. So, she forgave someone and moved completely on…but there was no emotional feeling to it. It was like a teacher telling students to do homework. Their minds and hearts are not into it but if they don’t do it, they get a zero. Kind of how this read. The Karaoke Queen would be better if their was a way for readers to connect with Kennedy. 

Review: The Dark and Other Love Stories



Synopsis:

“The emotional range and depth of [Willis’s stories], the clarity and deftness are astonishing.”—Alice Munro

The characters in the thirteen stories that comprise The Dark and Other Love Stories exist on the edge of danger, where landscapes melt into dreamscapes and every house is haunted. A drug dealer’s girlfriend signs up for the first manned mission to Mars. A girl falls in love with a man who wants to turn her into a bird. A teenage girl and her best friend test their relationship by breaking into suburban houses. A wife finds a gaping hole in the floor of the home she shares with her husband, a hole that only she can see.
Full of longing and strange humor, these subtle, complex stories about the love between a man and his pet crow, an alcoholic and his AA sponsor, a mute migrant and a newspaper reporter—show how love ties us to each other and to the world. 
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Dark and Other Love Stories by Deborah Willis is a compelling read. Each story inside contains its own set of emotions and powerful tug. Luring me deeper into its core. The characters are believable and well-developed. The stories are easy to read. Every page brings a new sense of excitement. Never knowing what the next tale will contain. Deep, engaging, and well-told. Deborah Willis is definitely talented. It shows in each piece. The Dark and Other Love Stories is a collection of fictional worlds for readers to explore. Meanings that will not be forgotten. The human heart, soul, and mind are brought up in each tale. So sad but rich…I loved reading every single story. Overall, I highly recommend it to others. 

Review: Recall (A Red Ops Thriller)




Synopsis:

Amazon Bestseller!

Meet Red Harmon, a special ops veteran who learns he never left the call of duty . . .

To a trio of muggers, Red looks like just another suburban dad. But when they demand his wallet at knifepoint, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, two muggers are dead, the third severely injured, and Red doesn’t remember a thing. Once an elite member of the Det, a secret forces outfit whose existence is beyond classified, Red thought his active service was over.

But his memory is coming back–and a lethal killing machine is returning to duty . . .

Facing an unthinkable nuclear threat, a volatile international power play, and a personal attack against his family, Red has no choice. He must rejoin his old team, infiltrate the enemy camp, and complete the biggest mission of his life . . .

“David McCaleb has a real winner here. Recall is a smart and well-plotted thriller, a fantastic read that I could not put down. Red Harmon is a guy I’d want on my side.” 
– Marc Cameron, New York Times bestselling author of BRUTE FORCE

 “If you’re looking for suspense, nonstop action, and a hero you can root for, The Red Ops series will clean your X ring.”

– David Poyer, USA Today bestselling author of TIPPING POINT and ONSLAUGHT

“Strap in tight and leave your disbelief behind. Just my type of action thriller. I read it in a blur.”  
– George Easter, Editor of Deadly Pleasures magazine.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Recall: A Red Ops Thriller by David McCaleb is a thrilling tale. Danger, intrigue, suspense all wrapped into one stunning novel. Fans of the Bourne Series, as well as the Marvel Action Hero Movies will enjoy this thriller. I did. The main character, Red, is like a Jason Bourne. Once a military guy, always a military guy. The training never leaves them. Their skills are what keeps them alive. Red is a man that I instantly loved. His character is smart, skilled, and tough. He is the good guy everyone wants. Like all men in the military, once they are in…the danger never stops. Enemies are easily made. Red wants a normal life, but the danger he has coming after those he loves will make his life complicated and deadly.  Although, Red can kill anything anywhere. It’s instilled into him. Just like Jason Bourne memory is a key to everything. Action, fighting, romance, and a threatening situation makes for one of the best reads ever. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down…overall, I highly recommend, Recall to all. 

Review: The Skeleton Code

Synopsis:

Early in life, we learn to exaggerate our positive personal qualities and hide or deny our failures and weaknesses. The Skeleton Code is a satirical and humorous look at the many ways we protect our public personas by closeting our personal secrets, an ultimately self-deluding way of life. As a parody of the self-help “success” genre, the book presents facetious strategies about how to cover up our silly and scandalous secrets before turning to The Skeleton Cure.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Skeleton Code by both Alla Campanella and Ken Massey is a great read. The book is a super neat way of getting the past to stay in the past. We are all human. Meaning we’re bound to make mistakes that keep us on edge if ever leaked. Both writers go through every step of addressing skeletons and how to move forward. Their advice and self-guide helps going through the process. Plus, there’s situation of skeletons inside that help us relate to our own skeletons. From there it makes us feel that we can take on the future and not be dragged downward by the mistakes. The help also leads readers into a more productive, positive, and engaging lifestyle. Limit future skeletons. Funny, well-written, and absolutely the best self-help book I have come across in a while. Overall, I recommend The Skeleton Code to readers worldwide. 

Review:  Brooklyn Streets Meet Wall Street


Synopsis:

Coming from a ruff section of Brooklyn, New York, a young man climbs the ladder to success and falls in love. His happiness, however, can’t last forever, and an important friendship puts his future in jeopardy.
Josh Robinson was drifting through life. When he thinks about the man he wants to be in the future, the only thing he is certain of is that he wants to wear a suit. To Josh, a suit means respect. When people saw his father in a suit, they would go out of their way to call him Mister.

For his future, Josh picks one of the professions where wearing a suit is mandatory: securities trading. The second he sets foot on Wall Street, he knows he made a great decision.

His future looks even brighter when he meets the lovely Lisa. She is gorgeous and intelligent, but their relationship leads to a complicated and messy love triangle that will have severe repercussions for all of them.

In this novel of sweet romance and high finance, Josh is forced to make a difficult decision about his priorities and his future. Can he really have the dream job and the dream girl?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Brooklyn Streets Meet Wall Street is an urban fiction novel that readers won’t forget. It literally takes readers straight into the characters’ lives.  Josh is an African American who grew up on the streets and dreamed of doing something better with his life. That dream was working at Wall Street. Financial investments. Wearing a suit to Josh represents respect. Wearing a suit would give him the respect he wants. However, life is never as simple or easy as well plan. There’s always more struggles, tough choices, and mistakes before we get anywhere. I liked how this urban fiction novel was easy to read and follow along to…it represented a realistic side to the street life. The ugly side to how the poor really live and how they struggle to make ends meet. Their decisions to engage in crime shows two sides of them. Survivors and and those who don’t care about humanity. From killing to drugs…readers can feel the violence and intensity of every situation. Coming from this kind of lifestyle is hard to get away from no matter how high one is willing to sprite in the world. James Jimmy Richardson has created an entertaining read that will capture his audiences from everywhere. Well-written, stunning, and well-developed. Overall, I recommend Brooklyn Streets Meet Wall Street to readers everywhere. 

Review: Girl in Pieces


Synopsis:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

A deeply moving portrait of a girl in a world that owes her nothing, and has taken so much, and the journey she undergoes to put herself back together. Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow is a phenomenal read. She has taken readers into a portion of humanity’s darkest moments to show what some go through in life. These kind of reads are frightening. Because they show what could and does happen to others. The greatest conflict ever is pain. Pain is the pressure life puts upon us. Here, we see what a young teenage girl has to take. Life pulled the rug from under feet more times then I or the character herself would like. Pain is that numbing sensation that eats at our souls until we can’t feel anymore. Kathleen Glasgow depicts a realtor protrait of suffering and survival. Emotional and physical pain. Life isn’t pretty nor easy. It’s a constant battle against our demons and the bad that comes our way.

Girl in Pieces is is deep. Keeps readers turning the pages. I found myself lost within Charlotte’s life. I was placed immediately into her shoes. I cried so hard. The frustrations and anger came off the pages until life situations took that away. Then, there was nothing. Yet, in that moment pain was at the core. Women everywhere think they have it hardest and that no one else knows…this read shows that not everyone has it well. Even thought it’s fiction the tale was so believable, I could have sworn it was nonfiction. Heart wrenching, beautifully told, and well-developed. Kathleen Glasgow has brought a masterpiece into the world.

Review: Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories




Synopsis

YESTERDAY’S MOMENTS… Today’s Memories is the third in David Turner’s nostalgic trilogy depicting rural and small-town life in Canada during the last century.

“From as far back as I could recall,” Turner says, “I’d been listening to the stories passed down through generations of my family. As the years went by, an unrelenting passion dictated I record these recollections and the lives of those who lived here. To flourish both intellectually and emotionally, we need to know who we are and where we’ve been. 
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing is the ability to convey those thoughts to others. Whenever a story is repeated, it rekindles the attribute of something otherwise forgotten. Friends and loved ones pass on, and with the years, our memories fade—but through their stories, the legacy of those who came before can live forever.”
The counties of Grey, York, Peel, Simcoe, and Perth have been home to the Turner family for many decades. In 2014, David and his wife Mary retired to Huron County.

Rating
: 5-stars

Review:

Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories is a great biography and memoir to read. It took me back to the writer’s family history. His roots. Once there, I got to follow some of his ancestors as their lives unfolded before me. Page after page, I was dragged deep into the past. From farming to mechanics, the people inside the book come to life. I loved how David Turner preserved his ancestry and their lives. It thought it was interesting. As I read, I keep making comparisons as to back then versus now. Travel, adventure, exploration….can be found within the book as well. It was even more interesting when big historical moments landed on the pages. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to find that a relative was there the night of Titanic sinking? I thought it was. The lives and cultures as well as the food….was interesting. Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories is a beautifully captured tale of many memories and history…that will lure readers old and young to its pages. Being a millennial, I find anything with the past and past lives as interesting as any of peers find advance technology. David Turner’s writing shows his talent as a story teller. There is so much to be found and learned…I highly recommend this memoir to readers worldwide. Truly a treasure to behold. 

Review: Cross-Out

Synopsis:

Cross-out…

17-year-old Jaime “Kimo” Flores is weeks away from graduation at Chavez High in Bell Gardens. Jaime has his foot in three worlds: he’s a talented art student; he’s a promising future cop in a Police Explorer program; and, as “Kimo,” he’s the informal leader of a crew of graffiti writers. A drive-by shooting results in the death of a gang member just released from jail. Things heat up when Posse leaders demand retribution for the death of their man. They are intent on first identifying, then hunting down the occupants of the drive-by vehicle. In this small community in southeastern Los Angeles, the continuation high school is considered one of the best in the state. Families work hard to earn a living. The police in town try to keep the streets safe, but these positives camouflage deadly and vindictive forces in the community. Nothing is quite what it seems. This story reveals a rare look into the guarded worlds of graffiti crews and street gangs. These subcultures are seen through Jaime’s eyes as he struggles to stay ahead of the malevolence that is cutting down those closest to him. Jaime’s worlds can no longer be separated. He must choose before others choose for him.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cross-Out by Roger Cannon is a must read for all. Teens and adults need to read this book. It portrays the realistic side of a teen being stuck in the crosshairs of danger. Choices have to made before there isn’t time to choose. Urban street life comes alive on every page. The main character, Jamie, is the teen who is living it rough. He has secrets like the rest of us. His is the fact of living three separate lives which will clash time and time again, if he doesn’t do something about it. His family could be in danger. The intensity of his dreadful situation builds. Keeping me satisfied and hoping for the best. I want to sympathize and shake that kid. Taking his problems on his own may not be the solution. Bold, deadly, and entertaining. Cross-Out is about a community that also has a darkness. Good and evil living together…one will win. Suspenseful and cleverly written, Roger Cannon pulled me deep into his story. The title is a symbol…which readers will find once they begun this journey…overall, I highly recommend this crime novel to all. 

Review: A Viscount’s Blazing Love



Synopsis:

Jane Watson cannot forget those long summer days with her best friend, John Christopherson.

But… everything changed on the day John left to make something of himself.

She never forget John’s promise . . . that he will make something of himself and return for her.

When suddenly, two years later, at a ball, he appears…
Can she hold him to his promise? Most of all, does he still love her?

While Jane wrestles with her feelings, it is clear that John’s status is on the rise.

He is no longer a farmer’s son but a viscount.

Yet his rough upbringing means he may never be good enough for Jane, no matter how much he loves her, no matter what position he holds.

When John’s father reveals a terrible secret of the most horrible nature, John must decide what to do.

If he shares this secret, it will affect not only John, but Jane.

It will also affect Jane’s family… FAMILY, the one thing that matters to her most.

There is no way her family would ever approve of his marrying Jane now.

Not after what his father did.

Will John be able to tell them all the truth?

If he does, is true forgiveness really possible?

Redemption is a powerful thing, but will John and Jane love and trust enough to experience it?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Charlotte Stone has once more created a beautifully written romance. Her story has captured my attention from the beginning and swept me off my feet. The Viscount’s Blazing Love is another regency romance that has the break it or make it moment. So intense and intriguing…readers won’t want to stop reading it. Addictive, entertaining, and romantic. The characters come to life. Their ways and personalities make this story more than just words on a page. They made me believe, hope, and fall in love. 

The Viscount’s Blazing Love is exactly as the title suggests. Sweet, enticing, and fiery. Secrets come unfolding and choices have to be made. Two lovers separated long enough to cause doubt and confusion. This only stirs the plot more. Family and redemption are other major themes. The scenes were visually fascinating. Charlotte Stone has a way of magically bringing her words into realistic beings and places. The emotional tugs from the novel will keep readers hooked. I absolutely loved reading this new book. Charlotte Stone is still one of my favorite historical writers. After reading her novels, readers will easily understand why. Overall, I highly recommend The Viscount’s Blazing Love to readers worldwide. 

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.