Review: Before I Fall

Synopsis:

With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today’s foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person’s life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver is a stunning YA novel. Inside, I was immediately sucked into the protagonist’s mind. Everything, she said, did, or felt….felt like I was doing it all. Creepy in a way. This book is packed high with emotions. Anger, loss, love, and sadness. Every page was engaging. Entertaining. The ending was epic. The pacing of this book felt a bit slow. It was mostly a steady pace all the way through it. Lauren Oliver does have a talent for writing. I opened up this title and got lost. Teenagers go through so many dramas and emotions that I felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride. Ups and downs…craziness everywhere. Strong, bold, and dramatic. The effect worked. I was hooked. Before I Fall, is a recommended read. Beware you may need a tissue box….

Review: Asking for Truffle

Synopsis:

When Charity Penn receives a letter saying she won a trip to Camellia Beach, South Carolina complete with free cooking lessons at the town’s seaside chocolate shop, The Chocolate Box, she’s immediately skeptical. She never entered any contest. Her former prep school friend offers to look into the phony prize–only to end up drowned in a vat of chocolate. Struck with guilt, Penn heads to the southern beach town to investigate why he was killed. But as wary as she is of the locals, she finds herself lured into their eccentric vibe, letting her defenses melt away and even learning the art of crafting delicious chocolates. That is, until delight turns bittersweet as she steps straight into the midst of a deadly plot to destroy the seaside town. Now, only Penn’s quick thinking and a mysterious cask of rare chocolate can save the town she’s learning to love. Rich and decadent, Asking for Truffle, the first in a new cozy series by Dorothy St. James, is sure to be a delectable read for fans of JoAnna Carl and Joanne Fluke.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James is an exciting cozy mystery. Dorothy St. James brings readers murder, mystery, and romance. I love chocolate. The main protagonist is a fan of chocolate herself. Easy to connect with and likable. Charity Penn has always felt like something was missing in her life. Her mother was gone and her father moves quickly from woman to woman. All she had was an elderly woman took her in like a mother would. However, Penn soon finds trouble. She receives a letter which causes so much suspicion that she sends her best friend on the case. Only, he ends up dead. He found something. Told her to come there quick. And after that his body was found. The whole town thinks he was into drugs and that’s what caused his death. But Penn knew better. Her guess work soon leads into an investigation of crazy events. Money, chocolate, and greed. Penn and her new friend, a fury snapping dog head out to find answers. Asking for Truffle is indeed the perfect title. Suits well for this book. I loved it. Engaging from beginning to end. I look forward to reading more mysteries by Dorothy St. James. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Shadow of Death

Synopsis:

1940 Louisiana. The body of Sister Mary Gretchen is discovered hanging from the balcony in a deserted mansion next to the leper colony on the banks of the Mississippi River.
In New Orleans, her sister, Catherine Lyle, doesn’t want to retrieve the nun’s body. It’s not because she doesn’t love her older sister, but because she’s afraid to go outside her house. For almost twenty years Catherine has lived with a terrible secret, carried deep inside her subconscious, suppressed behind the safety of her portraits and her restoration of damaged works of art. But while the journey terrifies her, Catherine knows she has no other choice but to go.
As Catherine tries to put her fears aside, she finds compelling reasons to reject her sister’s death was suicide. From the hemp noose around her sister’s neck to the brutal murder of a leper patient, strange, unrelated clues are compiled: clues of Nazi infiltration of the colony and death threats to others. As Catherine gets closer to discovering the murderer, she finds herself marked for death. In the midst of the lush, exotic setting of a lonely leper colony on the banks of the Mississippi River, readers will find themselves transported to a time and a place that is no more. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Shadow of Death by Jean Sorrell is an entertaining mystery. From the beginning, Jean Sorrell sucked me into her book. The main character, Catherine Lye, is interesting. Went from talking about her dolls associated to anger and loss to solving a murder case. Her sister died and it doesn’t look like suicide…Catherine is starting to piece the clues together. As she does so, she also marks herself as the next victim. Danger, risks, murder and even a bit of a romance can be found. It was exciting. Shadow of Death is a combination of a historical and a cozy mystery. The combination suits this novel well. Overall, I recommend this read to all. 

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: Beneath Copper Falls





Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble returns to her beloved Rock Harbor—but both danger and romance hide in this idyllic small town.
Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff’s dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.
Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams “He’s going to kill me too” before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it’s too late. Allyson’s death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn’t believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?
Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson’s cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana’s ex-fiance locates her, she’s caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse as she and Boone fight to catch one killer while evading another.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble is another stunning book! This author is another one of my all-time favorites. Her writing has a way of pulling me deeper into the plot. Heart pounding, thrilling, and dangerous. Beneath Copper Falls has it all. Mystery of a friend’s death. As that investigation continues it sends, one woman right in the harm’s way. Her abusive ex is after her again. Plus, there’s a killer that she and Boone are following. Two people wanting to move forward are thrust together. Heat transpires and the romance begins. But there are plenty of risks that comes with it. Then, there’s is the constant danger both have to dig themselves out of…once more, Colleen Coble has created a suspenseful story. Addictive once I got started. Most intriguing novel yet. Overall, I highly recommend this romantic suspense title to all. 

Review: The Last Confession of Morten Flygare

Synopsis:

The Last Confession of Morten Flygare is an unnerving suspense thriller narrated by Morten Flygare – multi-lingual translator and multiple murderer. The blood-stained document that comprises the narrative of the novel is his claustrophobic, unreliable account of the murder of Valentina, and the incarceration and death of his drug-addicted sister, Sonia. This is no ordinary confession, however. In a unique and distinctive style, Morten gradually reveals his secret: this story has only one reader, the police inspector he holds responsible for his beloved sister’s death, and that while he writes in the flickering candlelight, he has one last grotesque secret to share that is his ultimate revenge. The Last Confession of Morten Flygare is a ‘whydunnit’ with a twist.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

For those who love super dark reads, this one is for you. Dark, chilly, and full of strangeness. The Last Confession of Morten Flygare is frightening. It sort of reminded me a bit of the Chucky movies and a little of Jack the Ripper. Death, murder, loss are just a few of the themes mentioned inside…Morten Flygare’s writing takes on a darker shade with each passing page. The further I went the more nightmarish it got. The ending surprised me. Different from other thrillers. 

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: Ascension of Larks 

Synopsis:

When globetrotting photographer Magdalena Henry loses the only man she’s ever loved, she risks her stellar career to care for his widow and young children on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.
Free-spirited and fiercely independent, Maggie adores her life of travel and adventure. But she has a secret. She can’t let go of her first and only love, renowned architect Marco Firelli, now married to her best friend Lena.
When Marco drowns in a kayaking accident, Maggie rushes to the Firelli family’s summer home on San Juan Island. Once there she discovers that Marco was hiding something that could destroy his family. As fragile, perfectionistic Lena slowly falls apart, Maggie tries to provide stability for Marco and Lena’s three young children.
When Maggie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the world’s most prestigious photography competition, she thinks she’s found the answer to their problems. Then Lena makes a choice with unexpected and devastating consequences, forcing Maggie to grapple with an agonizing decision. Does she sacrifice the golden opportunity of her career or abandon the Firellis just when they need her the most?
Gradually the island begins to work its magic. A century-old ritual to beckon loved ones home offers hope in the midst of sorrow. And a guilt-ridden yet compelling stranger hiding on the island may offer Maggie a second chance at love, but only if she can relinquish the past and move forward to find joy in unexpected places.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden is a captivating read. Talk about an adventure! The main character, Maggie has her hands full. A past lover marries her best friend. From there things get more complicated, messy, and mysterious. When Maggie’s past love dies, she rushes to the aid of his family. Trying to help them out as they move forward in life. But even then, life gets shaken. Maggie is offered a once in a life time event…and the family she’s come to help, is needing her help more than ever. Decisions need to be made and soon. Following Maggie as she grabbed what came her way, was interesting. She’s the kind of woman who deeply cares and does everything possible in her reach. Fate has a way of awarding her…maybe. A possible new love may enter into her complex situation. Rachel Linden’s novel was fast-paced. It held a promising tale. Delivered with excitement, an emotional journey, and believable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ascension of Larks. Loss, love, and new beginnings. 

Review: Fire in the Wind

Synopsis:

Book 4 Wind Series. Outraged by a cross burning on her land, Megan forms the Night Posse then strikes back. Meanwhile, she is saddened by the tragic illness of her dear friend, James. After her new boyfriend is killed, she is jailed for his murder. Later she fights to the death in the darkness against an avenger. An undercover cop pursues her. When a dying James attempts to end his life, Megan is forced to act.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Once more Judy Bruce has lured me into her world of fiction. Here, I found tons of action, danger, and risks. Love, loss, and murder are also inside this exciting read. Never a dull moment. The main character, Megan, has her hands full in this tale. Things being done on her property, being charged for her boyfriend’s murder, and trying to fight back. With the police trailing her, it quite an interesting and intense plot. Fire in the Wind is a perfect title for this book. Book four to a wonderful, engaging, and mysterious series. I recommend Judy Bruce’s writing to all. 

Review: The Angry Fighter’s Story




Synopsis:

Bullied at a young age, David develops a hot temper and needs an outlet to challenge his aggression into. When he learns about his Uncle’s past, David decides to follow in his footsteps and become a champion fighter, but it won’t be an easy journey. Can David live out his dream?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Angry Fighter’s Story by Bill Vincent is well-written. His novel reminded me of The Karate Kid but at an older age. Just like The Karate kid, David, too was bullied by kids in school. Always coming back injured. Then, David’s life takes a turn for the better. He has an aunt and he discovers about a fighter in his family. The aunt has him trained. Soon, David goes on a new journey. The transformation was great. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece of fiction by Bill Vincent. His main charcater was well-developed. Emotionally entertaining. Engaging to read. Overall, I recommend The Angry Fighter’s Story to all. 

Review: A Sky Full of Stars




Synopsis:

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.
LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU

Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase is another brilliant masterpiece. Once again, this talented writer, has brought me to tears. Her story is full of emeotions that pulled at my heart strings. Sad, hilarious, frustrated and loved. A book that made readers feel something is a book worth reading. A Sky Full of Stars has it all. 

Inside this latest novel, Samantha Chase features the brainiac brother. Dr. Own Shaughnessy. He’s hot, clever, and the sweetest man ever. But little by little, I got to view his bolder side. His personality is one that intrigued me. All his life, his family stood up for me. Telling him,,he’s normal. When everyone else said differently. As an adult a lot of that feeling of not being normal transferred over…making it harder for Dr. Owen to believe in himself. Yet, his family continued to tell him he’s perefect. I love the Shaughnessy family. Yes, they’re loud and different, but they’re loyal. They love each other. 

A Sky Full of Stars is about Dr. Owen finding the courage to believe that he’s perfect the way he is. That’s he’s normal. It’s a real struggle for the man whose so talented. Then, as the plot unfolds, his world gets shaken. Enter Brooke Matthews. A girl trained for beauty pageants. Together their lives will be rocky. As in the real world nothing comes easy…these two will cry, laugh, love, and fight. I enjoyed watching them grow. Also, themes of loss, love, and courage are found on every page. Overall, I highly recommend A Sky Full of Stars to all. 

Review: Jellybeaners

Synopsis:

Jellybeaners is a contemporary novel set in the heart of Appalachia, revealing the money ties, political corruption, wasted lives, and overall cash-churning nature of the prescription pill culture from perspectives spanning both sides of the law.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Jellybeaners by Gene Scott is a great contemporary read. This novel alerts readers to the pill popping issue. What better way to address it than to weave it into a work of fiction…an addiction that continues to haunt our world. Prescription drugs is one of the easy drugs for others to get their hands on…whether it’s over the counter from family members or on the store shelves. The entire plot was believable. Realistic, strong, and held truths. Gene Scott is a writer whose not afraid to lay out the troubles faced in reality. Not many are aware of the prescription pill addictions. I was intrigued by the tale. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: White Fur




Synopsis:

A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City 

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore. 

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives. 

White Fur follows these indelible characters on their wild race through Newport mansions and downtown NYC nightspots, SoHo bars and WASP-establishment yacht clubs, through bedrooms and hospital rooms, as they explore, love, play, and suffer. Jardine Libaire combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

White Fur by Jardine Libaire is a thrilling romance. Similar to the Great Gatsby in ways. I was intrigued by this plot. Two lovers from opposite sides. Threatened and in danger all because they love each other. A love that shouldn’t be if, a particular family had its way. Perfect plans can be hard…when others are determined to see it fail even if that means a couple of lives are lost. Poor versus the rich and the star-crossed theme hits hard with this tale. White Fur is an intense love story. Filled with glamour, anger, an one brilliant emotional journey. Deep, heart felt, and exciting. Jardine Libaire kept me captivated with Jamey and Elise. Tragic yet realistic…a love story that pulls. I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Balmy Darlings and Deaths






Synopsis:

Raina Sun is cashing in a gift certificate for a free hairstyle from the town’s premier beauty salon and day spa. No more walking dandelion head, thank you very much. Life is on the up-and-up—until she finds an attacker holding her best friend in a headlock outside the treatment rooms. 

She never thought she would spend her birthday pinned against a sweaty armpit, gagging on a mouthful of seaweed, with the attacker plucking at her best friend’s weave like a farmwife de-feathering a chicken. 

When the attacker ends up six feet under, her best friend becomes the prime suspect. Raina summons her sleuthing skills to jump full-tilt into this murder investigation to clear her best friend’s name. With her stink-bomb-toting grandma and the geriatric posse, she soon discovers death is easy, and it’s the living that kills to protect the dead. 

For readers who like fun cozy mysteries, quirky characters, and a dash of humor. 
Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Balmy Darlings and Deaths by Anne R. Tan is a fun cozy mystery. This novel has plenty of action to keep readers intrigued. I enjoyed following Raina as she worked as a sleuth to solve the mystery. Imagine going into a hair salon only for an elderly lady to hit the salon, a jealous woman to attack a worker of the salon, and for the jealous attacker to be found dead. So many things happen and it’s only time to find out if Raina’s best friend is a murderer or not. Raina has a lot on her sleeve. A crazy grandmother, an ex, and a best friend who isn’t acting like a friend at all. Emotionally troubling…and full of drama. The elderly ladies make this tale sweet and hilarious. Balmy Darlings and Deaths is one adventure after another. A murderer is on the loose and situations keep getting more intense…Anne R. Tan has woven an entertaining tale. I recommend it to all. 

Review: Coping with Death and Destruction 

Synopsis:

This is a collection of twelve, high concept, multi-part short stories reflecting on and inspired by the death and transformation of the year 2016. It serves as an elegy for that period of time, submerging into its dark themes of loss, extracting what irreverence and hopefulness it can, and reflecting it through a prism of an eternal universe. Sorted astrologically, the stories sometimes span generations, depicting conflict based around such themes as apocalypse, dreams, aging, dying, ghosts, the afterlife, animals, nature, global politics and pop culture. Location also varies, taking the reader through several American states to North Korea, Africa, the Philippines and beyond – often peppered with heavy doses of Southern Gothic sensibility. Here you can read about religion based on science fiction and fantasy, a 1960’s lounge singer marginalized by the Beatles, or a mixture of drugs that allows the user to summon the dead. Several of the tales blend fact into the fiction, nodding to the cultural giants whose deaths loomed over the year 2016: David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Carrie Fisher and others. These are detailed and developed stories, intended to instill within the reader a sense of timelessness and a comfort in the notion of infinity. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Coping with Death and Destruction by Arrison Kirby is an epic collection of short stories. Each one has a different plot. Every plot gives off another emotion. One that takes my heart and pulls and tugs until it sets me free. Sad, haunting, and dark. The tales told, captivated my attention with every page. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened this book. However, I am thrilled to have done so. This was a path full of multiple journeys that I won’t be forgetting. There’s a variety of unique characters and stories to suit the taste of readers everywhere. The emotions hit me hard and square. I loved it. Coping with Death and Destruction not only entertained me but left me to feel things…that’s when I knew this was a book I would recommend to all. One fantasy after another can be experienced by each story told. Well-written. 

Review: The Beloved Hope Chest 

Synopsis:

In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston was a wonderful Amish heirloom read. This novel, was a journey down memory lane for Mattie. Memories that might change the present. Doubt, fear, and worry fill Mattie’s mind. Her daughters know something…but not enough. Imagine keeping a secret for so long…and finally it’s about to be revealed. Choices have to be made. For better or for worse. I loved reading this charming, engaging, and emotionally powered book. The family life tugged at my heart strings. Suspense of what might happen kept me intrigued. Every page was entertaining. The Beloved Hope Chest is another brilliant piece featuring strong female heroines. Amy Clipston has once more captivated my full attention with her latest novel. Overall, this heartfelt read is one that I would recommend to readers everywhere. The story is full of both woe and happiness. 

Review: Upon A Spring Breeze 

Synopsis:

After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love? 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Upon A Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a Christian tale full of tragedy, loss, and new beginnings. A young woman loses her husband and faces life as a single mother. Beth buries herself into work. Keeping busy. Aidan is facing internal struggles over his friend’s death and the growing attraction towards his friend’s wife. The child seems to be pulling the two adults closer but Aidan and Beth have to overcome their obstacles and fears before love can set in…

Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page. Overall, I recommend Upon A Spring Breeze to all. 

Review: Goodbye Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison? (less)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner is a stunning YA novel. Instantly, the plot dragged me into its depth. Deep, emotional, and troubling. As I read further, I wasn’t sure of what the outcome would be. Intrigue, sheer curiosity, and the intensity of the tale hooked me. Friends, death, loss, and uncertainty are major themes found on every page. The main character, Carver Briggs, has a way of luring me further into his life journey. Blame, angry, and heated moments are sure to follow…overall, Goodbye Days has the effect of breaking me into a million pieces and pulling me back together. That kind of epic adventure is truly one worth reading. I recommend this title by Jeff Zentner to readers worldwide. Whether one is a teen or an adult, the pages will send you falling into the book.

Review: Luxe 2

Synopsis

In Luxe Two: A LaLa Land Addiction by New York Times bestselling author Ashley Antoinette, there is only one thing more powerful than anything…the love of the high…
Bleu is addicted…addicted to the luxe life and it has led her down a road of self-destruction. She knows what it feels like to be turned out by the game. With a crack cocaine addiction that she can’t seem to escape, she is desperate for a savior. Her problem is she has two great loves that want to come to her rescue. When her best friend, Noah comes searching for her she is faced with a dilemma. Will she let him save her? Or will she stick with the kingpin, Iman, who has loved her since their first encounter? Or will both men lose her to a love she can’t get rid of…one that abuses her…and one that will be the death of her… 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Luxe 2 by Ashley Antoinette is an urban fiction tale that nailed my attention. Immediately, the main charcater’s life was hitting rock bottom. The life of drugs over taking her. Luckily, Bleu had two men in her life and several friends to help her. One man is a kingpin the other is a best friend who wants to rescue her. But only if Blue lets him. Noah is the man that is good for the main charcater. I can’t say too much without giving away the plot…next, there’s Iman. He loves Bleu but her heart says Noah. Yet he’s still a major part of life in more than one way. Bleu is a strong heroine that will need to make major decisions soon before it’s too late for her. Surprises and plot twists are ahead for readers. I enjoyed reading this African American novel. It portrayed real lives in a fictional sense. Everything was believable. Overall, I recommend Luxe 2 to readers. 

Review: Brambleberry House





Synopsis:

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

 
His Second-Chance Family 



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

 
A Soldier’s Secret 



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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Still Well





Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: The Blue Hour




Synopsis:

Sometimes you get a second chance to live the life you’ve always wanted…if you’re brave enough to take the chance.
In this epic tale of love, loss, and redemption, the year is 1861, a time when women are expected to be married by a certain age. At 26, spinster Emily Wainwright has no reason to believe her sheltered life will ever change — until the charming Samuel Todd unexpectedly crosses her path.
Samuel yearns to homestead and start a family in Oregon, but he first needs to find a wife. Blinded by Samuel’s good looks, and grasping at her final chance to have a husband and children, Emily accepts his marriage proposal. However, Samuel is not the man she thought he was, and her marriage becomes a cold, cruel prison, offering her no solace amidst the hardships of farm life. 
When Samuel dies and a second chance at love and happiness arrives in the form of farmhand Cole Walker, Emily must overcome her bitter past—or risk losing Cole and the life she has always dreamed of having. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini is a historical read that will inspire many. Inside, readers will find out how women lived, what was expected of them by society, and the difficulty of marriage. Marriage is scary especially, during this time period. If stuck in a bad marriage, there was any escape. I easily connected with the main charcater. A pioneer woman. Stronger than most women I know. 

The Blue Hour presents readers with the journey of one woman. Emily Wainright. She wasn’t married yet but the pressure of it caused her some serious issues. Then, marrying lead her to a man who looked good outside but was rotten inside…the marriage was a disaster. No escape. But Emily spores her best to survive. Soon, fate gives her a second chance in life. Her husband dies leaving her free. Only Emily isn’t sure of what to make of the new man in her life. Life is hard and having already made one mistake, Emily is weary of making another one. 

Next there’s the male protagonist. Cole Walker. A decent man who is a farmhand. Good looking and kind. He is good for Emily. However, due to her past, Cole may not have a chance with her. Their futures are set on whether Emily can overcome her fears and let go of the past. Otherwise, she may lose her chance at happiness. Real happiness. 

The Blue Hour is an unforgettable tale. Detailing the hardships and life of women out west. I was fascinated from the beginning to end. Here, I experienced hard work, society’s rules and expectation, romance, love, loss, and kindness. The emotional journey was believable and stunning. Overall, I highly recommend Vicki Righettini’s novel to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Memory of You

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Coping with Ash

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Rayna 




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: A Thousand Letters





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review

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

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

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

Review: Human Acts by Han Kang



Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling author of The Vegetarian, a rare and astonishing (The Observer) portrait of political unrest and the universal struggle for justice.

In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed.

The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre. From Dong-ho’s best friend who meets his own fateful end; to an editor struggling against censorship; to a prisoner and a factory worker, each suffering from traumatic memories; and to Dong-ho’s own grief-stricken mother; and through their collective heartbreak and acts of hope is the tale of a brutalized people in search of a voice.
An award-winning, controversial bestseller, Human Acts is a timeless, pointillist portrait of an historic event with reverberations still being felt today, by turns tracing the harsh reality of oppression and the resounding, extraordinary poetry of humanity. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Human Acts by Han Kang is dark, haunting, and powerfully told. I haven’t read Han Kane’s previous work, but will definitely do so now. Her writing captured my attention immediately. The power of authoritarian rule and the suppression of its people…is not something anyone will ever forget. Especially the dead…

Bodies are building up…the numbers of dead are rising. Sadness broken out everywhere. Human Acts has caught a realistic event in South Korea. An uprising, a massacre, an a tragic situation overall. Violence hangs over the people like a heavy stone. Suffocating them little by little. Anger, censorship, and death. Families losing loved ones…the whole book was like a nightmare unfolding before my eyes. The pain, suffering, and emotions were terrifying. Like revisiting the Holocaust era all over again but more horrifying. 

Overall, Human Acts is well-told. The journey inside will never be forgotten. Han Kang’s characters have left their imprint…the terror was gruesome but entertaining to read. Definitely a page turner. I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Weight of Him




Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

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

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

Review: Bess 



Synopsis:

Bess Parker is only 21 years old when she sets out by herself in 1908, leaving the safety of her childhood home for southwestern North Dakota to establish a homestead. And it takes all the strength she can muster to succeed—facing the perils of the vast prairie, making her homestead productive, conquering the dangers of the frontier, flirting with romance, struggling with the emotional needs of her heart and body, and meeting the challenges of life on the prairie. But this unique young woman has a steely determination, and her story is the epitome of courage and grit in a difficult and sometimes cruel time in the history of the west.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Bess by Charles Cranston Jett is an enriching tale about a pioneer woman’s journey of courage, grit and love. Bess Parker has to be one of the bravest female characters I know. She goes out to a middle of nowhere to make her own home and life. Traveling alone is a dangerous for a man and even more so for a woman. She had spunk and real courage. Adventure of a lifetime is definitely eating on these pages. I enjoyed following Bess as she fell in love, married, gave birth to kids and started her own homestead. She isn’t weak. Her  personality is strong, fun, and charming. Full of life. Hardships came and went. A failed marriage and the loss of a child. The future is ahead of her. Charles Cranston Jett has created a wonderful masterpiece. Capturing the lifestyle and time period of pioneers with every detail. Bess breaks the mold for most women especially during this time period. I found it amausing and highly engaging. Overall, I recommend Bess to readers everywhere. 

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: The Night Mark 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Garden City Rules 




Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: A Sister’s Place



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: A Path Less Traveled



Synopsis:

From this bestselling small town series comes a heart-tugging love story about a single mom, her traumatized little boy, and the new attorney in town who longs to rescue and protect them.

A recently-widowed single mom is tired of being rescued. Though surrounded by friends and family, Trish is determined to blaze a path for herself and her daddy-starved little boy without outside help. Unfortunately, her attempts to run a small town bride business just doesn’t pay the piles of bills. Though the new attorney in town seems interested in both her and little Bo, the timing is all wrong. Will her current life circumstances mean leaving the hometown she loves?

When a world-weary attorney starts a new law practice in Miller’s Creek, he’s prepared for business challenges, but not for falling in love–especially with a woman and her son whose tragic life circumstances are heartbreaking. Can the new attorney romance Trish and get through the wall of stubborn hurt encasing her heart? Will Trish be forced to leave Miller’s Creek? And will they both learn to trust the Lord to take a path less traveled?
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Path Less Traveled by Cathy Bryant is amazing. It shows the human heart at its rawest moments. Trust, faith and love. Three of the toughest things to learn and earn from someone. For some, it’s easy to give. Others it’s much harder. Here, I got to watch a woman struggle with her trust issues. But with time, patience, and friends she was able to move forward to a happily ever after.

Cathy Bryant’s novel is a bestseller. I instantly understood why. After reading her women’s fiction title…I fell in love. Trisha is a a single mother. Her ability to trust is little to nothing. Her life was a huge mess. Until the day, a man walked into it. From that moment onward things got more interesting. However, Torah held the power to move forward or to stay backwards. Choices…life is full of them. Sometimes we need to jump in and risk our hearts. If we don’t try, we will never know what would have been. A Path Less Traveled was entertaining, believable, and well-written.  Anyone can easily relate to Trish and her issues. I found the book inspiring, sweet, and powerful. The messages were clear. Overall, I highly recommend this read to readers everywhere.

Review: Death by Roses



Synopsis:

Death by Roses is an outrageous, laugh-out-loud, exploration of life and love before and after death. Leading us on a journey full of shocking revelations, eccentric characters, and perhaps even enlightenment, Vivian Probst is a master of her craft. Death by Roses mixes just the right blend of irreverence, ingenuity, and heart-felt sincerity in a touching story of life and relationships as the universe’s sense of humor unfolds.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Death by Roses is a hilarious yet heartbreaking story. Vivian R. Probst is indeed one talented writer. She had my hooked. I was both laughing and crying all the way. Excellent characterization and visually engaging. The main characters, Mae Rose and Mary Lee are two women who have been given another chance to make things right. Mae Rose died on a toilet. She is funny, sweet, and a meddler. She loves putting herself into other’s business. Then there’s the woman, Mary Lee. A dying woman who is struggling with her career. Mae Rose is sent back to earth and has to share Mary Lee’s body. This is crazy, entertaining, and eccentric. 

Death by Roses is a great read. The title is a fit for this tale. Both female characters will keep readers in suspense as they go about fixing other people’s lives as well as their own. The writing was clear and easy to read. I had no trouble following the characters as the book progressed. My curiosity Rose with every page. I loved Mae Rose. Her husband is another fascinating character. Their marriage was real and believable. I wanted to hug Art. I felt so sorry that he had ‘to let his wife go and move on’. Letting go is tough. Missing loved ones never gets easy. Even with their blessing. Love may just be on the horizon for Art in the future…and as for the two lady characters they may just be successful enough to get more assignments. I really enjoyed reading this book. I can’t wait to read more by Vivian R. Probst. Overall, I highly recommend her novel to readers worldwide. 

Review: Of Stillness and Storm




Synopsis:

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing. 

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix is a stunning tale. The emotional journey is like a strong current taking readers deeper into the characters’ lives. Sad, heartbreaking, and silent. The pages bring to life one family’s struggles. They started out as one unit and then…into broken pieces. Only time will tell if they ever heal and become whole again. Michele Phoenix has created a beautiful heart wrenching masterpiece. The characters dilemmas are so real,that it’s frightening. Readers like myself will need a box of tissues nearby. A storm so powerful will drag readers into an unforgettable world. A mother’s love, a broken marriage, and an injured child are just the highlights to this story. Communication comes and goes. It left me wondering if the communication between the parents will ever connect once more like they used to…and what will happen if it doesn’t. Captivating, intense, and suspenseful. Of Stillness and Storm is indeed a wonderful novel. The title fits the tale like a glove. I couldn’t stop reading this book. I can’t wait to see what this talented writer brings next. Overall, I highly recommend it 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.

Review: The Cherished Quilt 



Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Disinheritance (collection of poems)


Synopsis

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review

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

Review: This Is Our Song 


Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase crafts a tender, hopeful family-centered romance..

She knows him by reputation…
Riley Shaughnessy knew that to stand out in his large family, he’d have to go big. Making a name for himself as a musician wasn’t easy, but he followed his dreams to rock-star success. But the relentless expectations of fans is not helping the slump he’s in now. So of course the person who attracts him is the woman who is not impressed by fame.

Which gives Riley Shaughnessy a lot to prove…
Entertainment reporter Savannah Daly is completely unfazed by pretty-boy rock stars. She’s just here to get her interview and write her story. But spending an entire month with the Shaughnessys is going to show Savannah a side of Riley she never could have guessed.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

This Is Our Song by Samantha Chase is an intoxicating contemporary read. The novel holds a lot of sass, sweetness, and intrigue. The featured couple make a great team…only if they are willing to let their hearts fall for one another. Famous rockstar singer and his big sweet loving family is enough to make any woman fall closer to the man…but still fear keeps her at bay. Even her own family loves the singer and his family. Heart melting, engaging, and definitely a page turning tale. Sexy but family orientated. A bit cheesy and a whole lot of romance. The instant sparks between the journalist and rock star are enough to heat up the day and make readers blush. I loved the way the siblings were all there together. The father and son bond was beautifully done as well. A song writer who is experiencing writer’s Block and is frustrated beyond meets a woman who isn’t happy about doing his interview. Yet when they finally meet…both can’t forget the other or let go of each other. Is it fate? 

Samantha Chase has brilliantly spun another fabulous title. I love her world of fiction. Irresistible characters, thrilling plotline, and a fast-paced tempothat will keep readers interested until the last page. I love how Samantha Chase creates magic within her books. This was a stunning magical journey that I want to revisit again. There was so many the,see to love about this story. Family, love, dreams, and finding oneself. This Is Our Song was perfect. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: Rag Doll 


Synopsis

America’s most famous ex-child star Jana Lane is starring in The Detective’s Wife, a murder mystery television show in 1985. Guest starring on the show is Christa Bianca, a rags-to-riches ingénue who has flooded the entertainment press. Life imitates television as cast members are murdered, and once again it’s up to Jana, along with sexy ex-detective Chris Bove, to save the day before the lights fade to black.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Once more, Joe Cosentino has created the perfect masterpiece. This book, the 5th Jana Lane Mystery novel, is superb. Five major issues are discussed and well-written. Issues ranging from gay rights to Christian beliefs to AIDS. The entire plot takes readers deep into the trouble ahead. Murder, mayhem, and romance. Jana Lane is an older actress that is clever, beautiful, and sweet. She is a happy mother of three boys and a wife to a great husband. Her youngest son is featured on the same TV program as Jana. By now, readers know that wherever Jana Lane goes to act, there’s always a murder case to solve. Rag Doll is the best story in this series so far…

I love Joe Cosentino’s writing. He incorporates major themes that readers can easily relate to such as bullying. Humor is found within these pages as well. I loved watching Jana Lane struggle with the new on and off screen attraction towards a co-star. Definitely keeps readers guessing. Plus, the troubles ahead on studio cause wide panic and fear among the group of actors. So many suspects…and so little time to catch a killer. Plus, Jana’s nightmares and a personal issue keep the suspense building. Readers will be excited, intrigued, and fascinated with this new title. Joe Cosentino has out done himself when he wrote Rag Doll. I was amazed how he brought up evmerything, keep readers in the dark, and made it entertaining as always. I loved it. This is a definite must read for readers worldwide. A bit of everything for All to enjoy. Overall, I high.y recommend it and look for the next grand adventure. 

Review: Stray Son 


Synopsis:

Stray Son is an adult novel telling the story of a haunted Vietnam vet in the year 2000, reduced to working for a Santa Barbara mortuary, picking up dead bodies. One day he picks up a live one—his elderly father’s young ghost, a WWII Marine who starts following him around town. Then son receives a phone call that his old father just died. At that moment the young Marine knocks on the son’s trailer door. The grieving, confused son can no longer keep this apparition from his wife and kids—and opens the door. The Marine finally declares why he is there: to straighten out his stray son—and bum a ride to see his dying mother in a 1942 Sioux City, Iowa hospital. The son needs to take his family to Sioux City in the year 2000 to attend his father’s funeral. So the young father and the old son take their battles back to World War II on a trip across a wartime America towards death and an elusive reconciliation.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Stray Son by Richard Slota is an interesting piece of literature. Here, readers go one a ride of a lifetime. Traveling between the character’s past and present. Themes like family, love, and redemption are woven into the tale. Stray Son is a novel that leaves readers following Patrick. Patrick defys the norm when it comes to fictional characters in a way. He’s day job is peculiar yet he pays the bills. Bills like the months of rent. His job is to pick up dead bodies. Bodies of people that just died. Then, there’s his life background that made me feel sympathy for him. Soon, he sees a ghost and thinks he’s losing it. Only he can see a Marine. A Marine ghost that doesn’t stop following everywhere. Until, he introduces the ghost to his family once he found out that his father died. Sort of. Now, as a ghost and staying near the son he kicked out…is a lot to swallow. I found this tale stunning, heartbreaking, and realistic. The emotional journey of father and son is one that readers won’t be forgetting. It will stay with me forever. The sadness became my own. The life that the older son, Patrick had to live through because of his mother and father…was crazy. Yet in the end, it was good. Saddening in a good way. Then, somehow, when readers will least expect it, Richard Slota, surprises readers once more. Stray Son, is a great story. So much was packed into it. I felt like I was swallowed into one of those movies that make the watcher cry endlessly. Sad but good tears. Overall, I loved this powerful yet gritty novel. I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

About the Author
My life is about going for the long odds, so of course I’ve written a literary novel, Stray Son. I assisted at autopsies in the army during Vietnam and worked countless hard scrabble jobs since. I earned my Masters in Creative Writing, have BA’s in Theater Arts and Psychology and I am a produced playwright and published poet.

Review: Child of the River


Synopsis:

A compelling coming of age story with an unlikely and utterly memorable heroine, Child of the River is a timeless tale of heartbreak and triumph set in South Africa at the dawn of apartheid.

Persomi is young, white, and poor, born the middle child of illiterate sharecroppers on the prosperous Fourie farm in the South African Bushveld. Persomi’s world is extraordinarily small. She has never been to the local village and spends her days absorbed in the rhythms of the natural world around her, escaping the brutality and squalor of her family home through the newspapers and books passed down to her from the main house and through her walks in the nearby mountains.

Persomi’s close relationship with her older brother Gerbrand and her fragile friendship with Boelie Fourie—heir to the Fourie farm and fortune—are her lifeline and her only connection to the outside world. When Gerbrand leaves the farm to fight on the side of the Anglos in WWII and Boelie joins an underground network of Boer nationalists, Persomi’s isolated world is blown wide open. But as her very small world falls apart, bigger dreams become open to her—dreams of an education, a profession, a native country that values justice and equality, and of love. As Persomi navigates the changing world around her—the tragedies of war and the devastating racial strife of her homeland—she finally discovers who she truly is, where she belongs, and why her life—and every life—matters.

The English language publication of Child of the River solidifies Irma Joubert as a unique and powerful voice in historical fiction.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Child of the River by Irma Joubert was a remarkable read. The talent of the writer was phenomenal. I couldn’t stop reading the novel. The tale inside was so captivating…that I kept on turning the pages. I had to know what happened and how and the why. A young girl grows up in South Africa. Her family is beyond poor. In fact, they live off another’s farm for work. The house is tiny only two rooms. A stealness over bears the senses. The roof barley holing up, and then there’s the dark stuff that happens inside the home. A step-father who bullies his wife and kids. As long as Persomi’s older brother Geraband was there. She was safe from her step-father. Her life gets more interesting. She is soon told by Geraband that their father isn’t their real father. Both share the same mother but different dads. Just as Persomi comes to this idea. She is then set on finding out who her father is. 

But then fate takes an interesting twist. Persomi is soon a lead witness against her step-father and Geraband goes to war as a solider thus providing food and money for Persomi and their mother. With these new events happening, Persomi’s life changes forever. She, a dirt poor girl, is soon excelling as fast or faster than the kids who can afford to go to school. Persomi wins scholarships to pay for her high school education. At first the kids don’t like her, because she’s poor, and because of her step-father. But then Persomi ends up winning awards for the best girl in sports. Her grades are good and she makes a new friend Beth. Beth is a girl raised by a reverend and his wife, after her mother died. Both Beth and Persomi have no idea who their fathers are. Persomi is still working on that revelation. However, Irma Joubert keeps readers in suspense. The revelation comes in when readers least expect it. I was surprised at first, but it made sense. I liked how Persomi succeeded despite being humiliated due to a stigma and how she continued to prove to others how wrong they were of her. Persomi’s dream of being a lawyer may work out…love, friendships, betrayal, death, loss, and hope are all tied beautifully inside this read. I loved it. Child of the River is a must read for all. A new historical tale that should be a new classic. Lessons learned and highly entertaining. I was deeply engaged from the beginning to end. Irma Joubert’s novel is the best I have read in quite awhile. OveralL, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Deborah Rising

Deborah Rising: A Novel Inspired by the Bible by [Azrieli, Avraham]

 

Synopsis:

Set in ancient Israel, Deborah Rising (HarperCollins, 2016) portrays the dramatic (and unlikely) rise of the first woman to lead a nation in recorded human history. In the tradition of The Red Tent, The Fifth Mountain, and The Mists of Avalon, this absorbing novel delivers an inspiring story of suspense and adventure in pursuit of freedom and self-determination, starring a courageous 14-year-old girl who would become the most powerful woman in biblical lore.
Before he was murdered, Deborah’s father had dreamt that his daughter would one day become the leader of the Israelites. But the social and religious mores of her time dictated that a girl must marry–even against her will–and obey her husband in all matters. When Deborah is forced to marry the violent son of the local judge, she rebels, determined to forge a path of her own.

Captivated by the notion of escaping the arranged marriage and fulfilling her late father’s dream, Deborah embarks upon an epic journey to find a mysterious elixirist, one rumored to be blessed with the ability to turn women into men. It is a journey that proves increasingly perilous–filled with wild beasts, lustful men, unscrupulous priests, and warring tribesmen. Yet Deborah manages to attract unlikely allies, including lepers, slaves, Moabite traders, and even a dead tiger, while she persists in the face of seemingly insurmountable setbacks and continues to pursue her daring quest.
Part historical novel, part adventure story, part visionary fiction, Deborah Rising is a captivating tale about a girl on the cusp of womanhood, whose unrelenting struggle to overcome discrimination, sexism, and paternalism spoke to the lives of girls and women today.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Deborah Rising by Avraham Azrieli is a stunning historical fantasy. One that has an epic journey that no reader could guess. It’s nothing like anything I have read. This novel brings about some historical people and their customs as well as what kind of lives they lived back then. I was constantly intrigued by the story. Each page sent me on another journey. the main journey was one that a father passed down to his youngest. After losing her parents and her older sister, the young girl sets off to fulfill her destiny. However, trouble comes her way each time. The men from her land are worshiping idols and killing innocents due to lies and greed. The lives of women are similar to those of the Indian customs. Many women are controlled by men. A paternal ruling that still survives, today. I was frightened by what the women went through constantly. Even if they followed rules by their society there was always a man or men who abused them. Sadly, many are stuck in this threatening lifestyle. Like Deborah’s older sister. One false accusation and she like many other women were stoned to death over a lie. Women were not permitted to speak on their defense. I almost wished Deborah’s sister retaliated. Imagine letting your own people stone for no reason at all. Why should the innocent be slaughtered so easily? Realistically told and captured the time period perfectly. Avraham Azrieli is indeed a talented new author. His work can be read by teens and adults. The issues presented in this novel were strong yet the material was done in a clean manner. After reading this book, I felt like I traveled back in history. The young woman’s journey was quite fascinating to follow. An adventure that is both intriguing and entertaining. Deborah Rising is a YA religious tale, that I highly recommend to readers worldwide. I believe that the issues shown in this title are ones that need to be read by all.

Review: The Faraway North

The Faraway North: Scandinavian Ballads by [Cumpstey, Ian]

 

Synopsis:

These ballads convey a fantastic vision of the world as it was imagined in medieval Scandinavia, with monsters and magic intermingled with the very human concerns of heroism, tragedy, love, and revenge.

The great hero Sigurd is joined in this collection by troll-battling warriors including Holger Dane, Orm the Strong, and others. There are dramatic scenes of romance, betrayal, and loss. Some of the ballads translated here are attested by paintings or maps that date from earlier than when the first full ballad texts were first written down in the 1500s. An adventure ballad relevant to the history of an Eddic poem is also included.

The ballads are storytelling songs that were passed down as part of an oral folk music tradition in Scandinavia. This collection brings many new ballads to the English-speaking reader. The readable verse translations succeed in conveying the rhythm, spirit, and imagery of the originals. The translations are mainly based on Swedish and Norwegian ballads, with some from Danish tradition.

For each ballad, there is also a short introduction with commentary and background information.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Faraway North by Ian Cumpstey has set me back to when I was in high school. I remember reading a lot more literature that covered these themes back then. I was excited and enticed. The title brought a lot of thought running through my mind. I wasn’t sure what to expect, until reading it. Ian Cumpstey has won my attention with his brilliant writing style. Adventure after adventure, I was thoroughly entertained. Each ballad, contained action, risks, and sacrifices. Interesting, engaging, and beautifully told. Absolutely, a must read for all. I can’t remember enjoying a piece of literature as much as I have The Faraway North. Overall, this book is highly recommended to readers worldwide.

 

Review: Cries in the Wind


Synopsis:

Merriam Press Fiction Number 5. First eBook Edition 2016. The third story in the Wind Series finds Megan stirred by the mystery of two strangers and the unsolved murders of two local women from decades past. Pregnant yet haunted, Megan summons the help of close family and friends then plunges into an investigation which uncovers deceit, revenge, and betrayal. As Megan nears the truth, she and her crew become endangered by the killer. When Megan persists, she faces disastrous consequence.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Cries in the Wind by Judy Bruce is the third installment in the wonderful Wind Series. Judy Bruce was a new writer that was introduced to me. I ran into two of her novels and loved her work. From there, I have gone on to read her new series. The Wind Series books. Books one and two were stunning, and here book three has hit it off the charts as well. 

Cries in the Wind is another intriguing mystery. Judy Bruce’s writing has hooked me once again. Inside this novel, there are murders, shootings, and a divorce. Danger is so intense it’s crazy. Readers will be awed with the talent that shines on every page. Here, readers will have met Megan. She’s pregnant and will soon put herself and her baby, as well as others in danger’s way. The consequences are truly grave for Megan. Curiosity will take over readers’ minds. The pages flew by fast and the mysteries are deadly. Even though there’s destruction, evil, and a strong presence of evil inside, Judy Bruce also, creates hope for the future. The main character, Megan is a strong heroine. I really liked her. She went after the case and never gave even when the risks were high. Megan is a female character readers everywhere can admire. Overall, I recommend Cries in the Wind to all. 

Review: Consciousness


Synopsis:

From new horror author Pete Castillo, comes a story that revolves around an age-old supernatural phenomenon. 

Marco Torres was a boy when his parents thought he was abnormal. The scare wasn’t long, but little did they know, it was only the beginning. 

Eventually, Marco becomes aware of his abnormality so he searches for answers. Around the same time, ghostly psychic visions of a crazed homeless man appear to him. When the defect and visions subside, Marco thinks he’s in the clear until he’s almost killed by the same crazed man. 

As Marco gets older, the affliction intensifies. He tries to become a writer and does a quick stint in the Navy. Eventually, he flips when his path crosses with a mystery couple who have the same abnormality as him. They gain his trust the hard way, then the new friends go on several adventures. Their biggest exploit is a murder investigation. Will Marco learn to harness his rare ability without getting himself killed?

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

Breach of Consciousness by Peter Castillo is just the perfect read for this kind of season. I can’t think of a better ways to start fall than by reading a creepy steady paced mystery. Breach of Consciousness is a combination of murder, paranormal activity, and an investigation. This ingredients bring forth a novella worth reading. The beginning introduces, the main character, Marco Torres. The details given are just enough to hook readers. Then, from there it builds into a mystery woven with the characters mysterious ability and the action coming ahead. Murder, power, and government agents all play a role in Marcus Torres’s life. He soon goes on a mission to find the truth and solve the death of a friend but in doing he might risk everything including his own life.  Peter Castillo’s writing well organized. It carries readers into moments when the writer himself wants them to land there. Readers will think it’s slow. However, each writer has the power to lead us when and exactly how he wants us to reach each scene. I think Breach of Consciousness is a great debut novel. The ending left thoughts of what will happen after this story and whether Peter Castillo will grant his readers another book. Another dark tale that showcases the same characters once again. Overall, I recommend to all.

Review: Resolve, Courage, & Hope


Synopsis:

On December 13, 2007, in the small town of Lake Wales, Florida, Leon Davis Jr. walked into an insurance agency with a gun, duct tape, and gasoline. He demanded money, wrapped two women in tape, doused them with fuel, and flicked a lighter.

In what is considered part of the worst killing rampage in Polk County history, Resolve, Courage, Hope tells the true story of how Scott Headley picked up the pieces after a longtime client deliberately and viciously killed two of his employees, the aftershock of Davis’s murderous rampage, court trials, night terrors, and regaining his sense of self.
Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Resolve, Courage, and Hope by Scott Headly and Alison Nissen was an intriguing memoir. It’s unlike most I have read thus far. It’s about one man’s journey into the darkness. How he crumbles and falls into a black hole. Letting it swallow him up whole. His journey happens so quickly and is quite frightening. I was shocked, scared, and interested. My heart broke into many pieces not just for the man mentioned but for his family and the families of the women who died. Death, destruction, and hope. Nightmares that come and stay forever. Those are images one can never forget. Sad, well-written, and highly engaging. I had to read it all. Needed to know how the memoir ended. Resolve, Courage, and Hope is a new read that I recommend to all. It shows the darkness that haunts our world and plagues those who still survive. Overall, a great read. 

Review: Sealionaire (book 2)


Synopsis:

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

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

Review:

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

Review: Sealionaire (Book 1) 

                                                                                            
Synopsis:

Navy SEAL, Adam “Reaper” Dedman, has lost almost everything he holds dear, and is about to lose the last thing that’s keeping him alive – his career in the US Navy. 

After Reaper gets arrested for nearly killing five men in a bar fight, a mystery women, Olivia “O” Darling shows up, telling him she’s there to help him. That his life not over. In fact, it could be just beginning. All he has to do is agree to meet the father he’s never known. 
But Reaper isn’t big on the forgive and forget part. His dad was never part of his life in the past. Why now? Besides, he doesn’t have time for complications. The US Navy is looking to hammer him for the trouble he’s caused. So everything else will have to wait. And that includes the sexy Olivia Darling. 
Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Sealionaire (book one) by both M.S. Parker and Shiloh Walker is a brilliant short romance read. Hot, sexy, and irresistible…double check. Then, add in a powerful emotional journey. I was not only baited but hooked. This first book gave me the taste for the next masterfully written installment. There was action. Plenty of action to move readers forward. The writing duet also gavel sad yet heartfelt tug to the story. Danger, loss, grief and and spice that’s not quite clearly defined. That meant there might me more of the spicy scenes or less. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book. This one held several unexpected twists. Readers won’t know what hit them…overall, I loved this new romance. The writers style worked well. I fell in love with their work and look forward to the second one. I highly recommend Sealionaire to readers everywhere.