Review: Second Chance Cowboy 

Synopsis:

Dancer Larissa Martine is ready to start over and Las Vegas seems like the perfect city for a shiny new beginning. But first, to honor her pact with her girlfriends, she wants to make a quick stop in Cheyenne, WY to make amends with her first love, the guy she left to chase her dreams of Broadway fame. Except rancher Matt Briggs isn’t nearly as interested in her regrets as he is in keeping her in town for his sister’s wedding. It’s a request she can’t deny when his family takes up the cause to make her stay for just one more week, but it’s difficult to maintain her friends-only boundaries with a man who attracts her as much as ever. 
After losing his father and inheriting the family ranch in addition to the one he’d bought on his own, Matt’s life is all about obligations. But Larissa’s unexpected arrival during the wedding mayhem is a bright spot he won’t ignore, even if that means tempting her into far more than just a dance. He figures one night with her will bring them both some peace with their past, which is all she said she wanted. But one night leaves Matt wanting a whole lot more and this time, he’s willing to gamble everything to make her stay. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Second Chance Cowboy is the second book that I’ve read by Joanne Rock. I was amazed by her talent with her other book that I read before this one. Her characters literally pop off the pages. Bringing the story to readers in live motion. I felt like I was there experiencing it all in both the main characters’ shoes. I got the best perspectives from the leading female and male protagonists. Their thoughts, actions, and words could easily be felt and understood. 

Joanne Rock made me cry happy tears while reading this contemporary romance novel. I also laughed a lot. Cowboy rancher, Matt, just has affect on women. Especially, Larissa, aka Rissa. Sexy as hell, Mattcan make any woman swoon on spot. But the one woman he wanted left him eight years ago. Now, he finds her back in their ranching world. This time, he’s not ready to let her go…

Larissa is having a crappy life. Her dancing career did hit it off until her injury. Her hips still give her pain. But she still wants to audition in Las Vegas. However, on her way there, she stops home to seek forgiveness and a fresh start. Little does Larissa know that fate has more in stored for her than she planned. Like resurfering sparks between her and Matt. Matt…looked even better than she remembered. She wants him again. Feeling a bit jealous of the girl hitting on him, Larissa skates her feelings. Then, Matt’s sister ends up forcing them together for her wedding. Close proximity with each other will set off memories they never forgot…

Second Chance Cowboy is the latest novel by Joanne Rock. I love how she created so many raw emotions within me. The journey was epic. Addictive, hot, and charming. Every page was well-written. The entire story went by faster than I thought. The actions of the protagonists sped up my reading. I was so eager to find out what happened between them that I soon found the last page. And it was so good. Better than good. Superb. I have fallen in love for the second time with Joanne Rock’s writing. She delivers only the best for her readers every time. Overall, I recommend this sexy cowboy romance to all.  

Review: Misdiagnosed (The Search for Dr. House)

Synopsis

When a lymphoma scare threatened the life of a journalist, she began a quest to find the correct medical diagnosis for the mysterious illness she’d battled for nearly 20 years. She turned to her favorite TV show, House M.D., for inspiration. She used her research skills to look for a “real life” Gregory House to give her some answers. In this brutally honest memoir, Nika Beamon reveals how she found the doctor who saved her and how you can too. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House by Nika C. Beamon caught my full attention. Everybody knows who Dr. House is. The title peaked my interest. I found this memoir interesting. A young female journalist is struck by a life threatening illness. Her search for a real life version of Dr. House was inspiring. Misdiagnosed is a sad, heartbreaking, and brave journey. The journey made me wary for the writer. I was worried as she went through all the exams, pills, and diagnosises. Searching endlessly for the right doctor proved difficult. But Nika C. Beamon never stopped her search. Her determination and strength is inspiring. A hope to all who suffer greatly. Overall, I greatly encourage readers worldwide to read this tale. 

Review: The Night Trilogy





Synopsis:

Night is one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. First published in 1958, it is the autobiographical account of an adolescent boy and his father in Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel writes of their battle for survival and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day. In the short novel Dawn (1960), a young man who has survived World War II and settled in Palestine joins a Jewish underground movement and is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. In Day (previously titled The Accident, 1961), Wiesel questions the limits of conscience: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life despite their memories? Wiesel’s trilogy offers insights on mankind’s attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Night Trilogy by Elle Wiesel is a gruesome account of the suffering he and his family faced during World War II. A time of Death, loss, and torment. This was one of history’s nightmarish memories that will never be forgotten. The Nazis were cruel dictators killing innocent human beings without a hesitation. The page in this book showed it all. 
Young Elle Wiesel experienced what no other teenage boy should have faced. He and his family were just one of countless numbers herded onto cattle cars. Usuhered to their death. The showers of death, the endless starvation, beatings, and cruelty killed so many humans. Humans who didn’t know what lied ahead. 
As I read this book, it brought me back to something I wish I never knew about. Something that should never have happened. But it did. A memory that no being can wash away. The smoke from the screaming dying corpses in the “shower rooms” and the endless fears were terrorfying to revisit. It survivors like the writer who show the world what happened and may happen again. 
The Night Trilogy is memoir that will always be remembered. Survival, loss, death, and much more. Terrible days that never end. Even with so much time having passed. It is a gripping and well-written book. I recommend this Holocaust story to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Kentucky Cure

Synopsis:

Elise Newton is your classic non-committer. Although this time…this guy, Darren Masterson is giving her a run on her oath to staying single forever. After all, that’s how her mother raised her–never let your guard down and get sucked into forever. Before she has to decide what to do, she gets called home to take care of her mom, fresh out of foot surgery. While in Kentucky, she runs into Ben, her first love–the one who almost lassoed her with a ring and an ‘I do’ twelve years ago. 
Follow Elise’s journey to understanding why she can’t commit, and you’ll discover the one she can’t live without.
*title was previously released as A Reason to Stay*
Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Kentucky Cure by Julieanne Dove is a great journey. A young woman who has commitment issues may find her cure after all. The main character, Elise, was believable. I felt like she kept running away from life over and over again. It was hard to feel what she was really feeling. I couldn’t really get a good grasp on it in the beginning. Then, towards the middle I discovered why she has the issue. But again, I couldn’t really connect with her. Instead, I felt more connection to the guys who loved her. Heartbreaking, heartfelt, and emotional. The whole story felt sad. Until the ending…it was great. It was worth reading the ending. The title fits the plot well. Overall, Kentucky Cure is a contemporary romance novel that is entertaining. 

Review: Stargazey Point






Synopsis:

Shelley Noble’s Stargazey Point is a beautiful story of love, heartbreak, friendship, and new beginnings.

Devastated by tragedy during her last project, documentarian Abbie Sinclair seeks refuge with three octogenarian siblings, who live in a looming plantation house at the edge of the world.

South Carolina’s Stargazey Point used to be a popular family beach resort, but the beaches have eroded, most of the businesses have closed, and the crowds have gone. It’s the perfect place to hide from the rest of world.

But hiding is harder than she thought it would be. There’s a wise Gullah woman who seems to see into Abbie’s soul, and an intriguing man on a quest to bring Stargazey Point back to life.

Stargazey Point by Shelley Nobel is the perfect beach read any time of year.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Stargazey Point by Shelley Noble is a fascinating tale. Full of action, intrigue, and heartfelt moments. It instantly grabbed my heart from the beginning. I laughed, cried, and fell in love. The characters were amazing. Felt so real. It was almost like magic. The plot itself was interesting. Believable. Like stepping into a Hallmark movie. Shelley Noble’s words created a deeper meaning. Family, community, and new beginnings. Every page made me feel as if I were really there with the characters. 

Stargazey Point is a small southern spot that readers will love. History, culture, and the people who live there come to life on every page. Until now, I haven’t read any other books by Shelley Noble. I’m very happy to have read this one. A woman who feels depressed from her past is soon sent by a friend to Stargazey Point. There, she stays with her friend’s family. Two older women and an older man. Southern charm is turned up full notch here. Big southern plantation that somehow survived a storm that ruined the once thriving town. Money is almost out for one family. The brother has a kept secret that may come to save them and their home. Abbie comes looking for peace and ends up bringing life into the town and the people she met. It was hard not to like Abbie. She struggled with her own demons. Yet she gave everything she had to help others. Then, there’s Cab. He at first mistrusts her…but after knowing her a bit she soon engages his full attention. Sparks fly. But first fears have to be solved if they they even stand a chance at happiness. Themes like friendship and love are strong. Shelley Noble has done a superb job in creating this masterpiece. Entertaining, emotional, and charming. Overall, I recommend it to others. 

Review: The Wedding Arrangement 

Synopsis:

The author of Just Say Yes is back with another sweet and sultry Strictly Business novel about working hard and falling harder into an unexpected romance…

 

Love doesn’t always follow the same schedule…

 

Alex Walker doesn’t need a woman in his life. In fact, he doesn’t have time for one. Between his career in the FBI and the demands of being good father, romance is an unwanted distraction. 

 

Likewise, Cassidy Mullen is fine on her own. The independent career woman has never had a husband in her plans—forget about kids. But when her friend Alex gets into a bind with his ex over their daughter, Cass finds herself suddenly playing the part of Alex’s stable, child-loving fiancée—and liking it a lot more than she’d care to admit.

 

Soon Alex and Cass can’t deny the real passion growing between them. But as fake affection turns into real love, Cass and Alex will have to make a choice: say “I Do” to their feelings or give up on happily-ever-after for good… 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Wedding Arrangement by Elizabeth Hayley is an emotional journey. It pulls me in deeper. The lives of the characters feels real. I got lost within their emotions, thoughts, and actions. Strong, sad, funny, and sweet. Cassidy aka Cass and Alex are best friends. They also sleep together at times. Cass is a working woman but cares deeply about helping her friend Alex. Alex is having issues with his ex-wife about taking care of their seven-year-old daughter. Sometimes, he gets called for a special investigation seeing as he’s an FBI agent. His ex makes him feel like the worst father ever. He loves his daughter. Cass sees that. So, out of the blue she ends up fibbing to Alex’s ex about them being engaged. At first he’s even more frustrated but then as Cass explains her reasoning, he goes with it. Neither one thought of love. But life is messy, complicated, and charming. Alex is this super sexy alpha that has a good heart. He even has a good sense of humor. Cass lacks the normal humor as an adult but she has a good heart too. She can’t cook but she does make a good fake stepmom and fake fiancée. Only here…the fakeness starts to become real for both. Neither realizes it at first. Overall, I enjoyed reading this entertaining contemporary romance. Sexy as hell and engaging. I recommend The Wedding Arrangement to readers everywhere. 

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: Resisting Her Army Doc Rival 






Synopsis

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Sam.

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

Maddy.

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

Review: 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: 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: Spring Fever



Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental delivers her delicious new escapist novel about small towns, old flames, and deep secrets

Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless. They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance. Maybe everything happens for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back. But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town. On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone. Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews is a contemporary romance worthy of reading. The raw chemistry that flares between characters is great. Two families that have a controlling mother. A father who slept around…and fathered a child outside his marriage. An older son who takes responsibility far greater than he should. Another son who takes no responsibility at all. Two former lovers have had a lot on their plates…and their love for each other hasn’t died. But where their lives are headed is one intense journey. Love conquers all. Other themes like marriage, faith, and family are popular throughout this book. Another interesting twist was the rich and poor charcaters intermingled on every page. Friendship lasts a lifetime. 

Mary Kay Andrews brought to life a real world inside her novel, Spring Fever. The characters’ lives were troubled from day one. Drama, money, and family always got in the way. In the real world those same things change and alter people’s lives. I was addicted. The plot wasn’t a fairy tale. It was rough around the edges. Entertaining, well-told, and fascinating to follow. Spring Fever was believable in every way possible. Overall, I recommend to readers everywhere. 

Review: Tell Me How This Ends Well




Synopsis:

Why is tonight different from all other nights?

Tonight we kill dad. 

In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith, and Jacob, in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian. The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz’s demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father’s iron rule for good. That is, if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships, and distrust of one another aside long enough to act. 

And God help them if their mother finds out . . . 

Tell Me How This Ends Well presents a blistering and prescient vision of the near future, turning the exploits of one very funny, very troubled family into a rare and compelling exploration of the state of America, and what it could become. (less)

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson is a dark read. A dysfunctional Jewish family that has more problems than most. Each family member has struggles. These struggles create the craziness and intensity that becomes frightening. Three adult kids each one hates their father in more ways than I can count. Their hatred is so strong that it sends chills over my arms and down my back. Despite hating their father, they all love their mother. They see her a the victim against their father’s terrible iron clad rule. As the pages unfold, I also learned what the father felt and thought of his kids and wife. There was never a good moment between all members. Sad, edgy, and unexpected twits. Tell Me How This Ends Well is a bold telling of one family. Their lives are far from perfection. The family’s pain will stay with readers for a long time. Overall, David Samuel Levinson’s book was a great read. 

Review: Three Little Words 




Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Barrowfields 

Synopsis:

A richly textured coming-of-age story about fathers and sons, home and family, recalling classics by Thomas Wolfe and William Styron, by a powerful new voice in fiction
Just before Henry Aster’s birth, his father—outsized literary ambition and pregnant wife in tow—reluctantly returns to the small Appalachian town in which he was raised and installs his young family in an immense house of iron and glass perched high on the side of a mountain. There, Henry grows up under the writing desk of this fiercely brilliant man. But when tragedy tips his father toward a fearsome unraveling, what was once a young son’s reverence is poisoned and Henry flees, not to return until years later when he, too, must go home again. 
Mythic in its sweep and mesmeric in its prose, The Barrowfields is a breathtaking debut about the darker side of devotion, the limits of forgiveness, and the reparative power of shared pasts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Barrowfields by Phillip Lewis takes readers on a journey of discovering truths and facing our demons. A family that was once happy soon turned into anything but happy. A son couldn’t wait to be free from his life at home. Taking off, her thought he could escape what haunts him. But he soon learns that no matter how far he goes, it would never leave him. This caused him to return home. Love, conflict, and family are three important themes corporates into this novel. I found it heartbreaking and dark. 

The Barrowfields is a tragedy that won’t be forgotten far after it’s been read. It felt like Phillip Lewis took me straight into the minds and hearts of both the father and son featured inside this tale. Quite mesmerizing. Broken and sad are the emotions caused by every page. The story begins well…then slows down some. Luckily, it moved back up to speed. Henry is a character readers everywhere can easily relate to and understand. Phillip Lewis masterfully crafted a heartfelt novel whose pages tore at my heart. Overall, I recommend this coming of age tale to all. 

Review: The Idea of You

Synopsis

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Some Small Magic

Synopsis:

She whispers, “I’m supposed to take you home.”
“Not yet,” Abel says. “Please, just not yet.”
All Abel wants is a little bit of magic in his life. Enough money so his mom doesn’t cry at night. Healing for his broken body. And maybe a few answers about his past.
When Abel discovers letters to him from the dad he believed dead, he wonders if magic has come to the hills of Mattingly, Virginia, after all. But not everything is as it seems.
With a lot of questions and a little bit of hope, Abel decides to run away to find the truth. But danger follows him from the moment he jumps his first boxcar, forcing Abel to rely upon his simpleminded friend Willie—a man wanted for murder who knows more about truth than most—and a beautiful young woman who was already on the train. 
From Appalachia to the Tennessee wilds and through the Carolina mountains, the name of a single small town beckons: Fairhope. That is where Abel believes his magic lays. But will it be the sort that will bring a broken boy healing? And is that the magic that will one day lead him home? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey is a heart breaking read. I wanted to cry and hug the characters. I felt the need to help, sympathize, and care. The entire read was an emotionally deep story. One that takes readers into its core and never lets go. Captivating, well-written, and stunning. Each character had an issue that pulled at my heart. I would love to see this book on the big screens everywhere. 

Billy Coffey has a talent for providing a fictional world that drags readers instantly inside and change everything they feel. A mother who is single and ones what she cans for her and her son.  A son who has a condition that makes readers like myself connect immediately with him. Then there’s others with other conditions that are just as sad. Some Some Magic is about a boy looking for the magic he believes exists. It’s up to readers to find out if he finds it or not. Once I picked up this book and read it, there was no returning from the tragic tale. Brilliantly woven for readers’ entertainment…Some Small Magic is a must read for all. I highly recommend it. 

Review: Love’s Dark Door 

Synopsis:

Charlotte is going through the normal difficulties that follow graduation from college: finding a life of her own and a place to work. It is complicated even more when her parents tell her they are going to get a divorce. The divorce makes Charlotte feel depressed, and it seems as though no one can help her at all… until she meets Lane.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Love’s Dark Door by Julia Bailey is a contemporary romance that is easy to relate to as well as understand. The character’s situation is one that can happen to anyone. Coming home from college, Charlotte finds her parents fighting. They are getting a divorce. That puts pressure on Charlotte. She thoughtby coming home, she could fix their situation. But she soon realizes that she can’t. She soon applies for an interview…and her dad just barely gives her the time of day. Then, upon the interview she reacted in a way that most people wouldn’t for fear of losing a job. But considering the stress she was under it felt right. From there Charlotte gets more than she thought she would. Love’s Dark Door is complicated, messy, and emotional. The ending felt a little cut off…like it was too short or neededa bit more before ending…other than that the book was great. Charlotte goes through a rollercoaster ride as her life changes from negative to positive to negative again. 

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: The Co-Parent 

Synopsis:

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

So here’s my options. 

Persuade her to forget it.

Walk away or Stay. 

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review

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

Review: Here I Am


Synopsis:

In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” to order him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” to ask him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”
How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years–a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a spiraling conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home–and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear. 

Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a mature novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers of his generation.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Here I Am is the first novel that I have read by Jonathan Safran Foer. Jos writing style is completely new to me so, I can’t compare this to his other works. But based on what I have read, this book is worth reading. It shows a dysfunctional Jewish-American family that many can relate to…plus, the characters come off as realistic. I may not understand the full content of what the writer wanted to show me…but I got the gist of it. The plot surrounds a family. Parents with marital problems, frustrated son, and a religious upbringing. The oldest son is the one character that really pulled me into the book. His journey is full of bumps. More bumpier than his parents. He sees, hears, and experiences that he may or may not want to experience. He’s growing up and his view on things are sad, rebellious, and frustrating. I can sympathize with him at times. The novel, Here I Am, is definitely an emotional rollercoaster ride that was believable even if it was hard to follow at times. Definitely different than what I normally read. Overall, it was good. 

Review: Life After 



Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Hometown Cowboy



Synopsis:

NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH A COWBOY 

Jessa Mae Love is done with relationships. No matter how tempting he might be, she cannot–will not–fall for a man like Lance Cortez. The outrageously handsome cowboy is practically a living legend in Colorado, as famous for riding bulls as he is for breaking hearts. What would a big-time rodeo star like him see in a small-town veterinarian who wears glasses, rescues animals, and cries when watching rom-coms? Turns out, plenty. 

Raising bulls, riding the circuit, and looking after his ailing father–Lance never stands still for long. Yet Jessa catches his attention, and the more she tries to resist him, the more he wants her. When she agrees to move to the ranch to keep an eye on Lance’s dad, Jessa tells him they have to keep it professional: no flirting, no sweet talk, and definitely no kissing. But with Jessa now living under his roof, that’s easier said than done . . . 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Hometown Cowboy by Sara Richardson is a must read for all. This romantic tale is full of hot sexy cowboys who can make any woman swoon. Their stories come alive with every page. Deep, sad, and emotionally charged. Sara Richardson has created an unforgettable story. Her characters are charming, funny, and believable. Themes of forgiveness, love, and family are represented from beginning to end. I remember just opening the book and before I knew it, I was done. The reading went by fast. I got lost within the lives of the characters. I loved reading it.

Sara Richardson brought a tale about one small-town family. Cowboys. A father was a bull rider. His wife couldn’t handle the pressure of losing him…and knowing her boys wanted to do what their father did…only pushed her further away. One day she left. Never returning. It was that day foreword that the lives of three boys and their father changed dramatically. Secrets kept since childhood come tumbling out…as all four men are reunited under sad circumstances. The oldest son, took over as parent to his younger brothers. It not long until fate comes knocking his world completely upside down and inside out…Jesse Mae Love. A woman who is dumped once more and ready to give up on romance and love. That was…before she got tangled up further into the lives of one family. Especially with the eldest son. Fates are entwined and it’s only a matter of time if they both come out healed or completely destroyed. Hometown Cowboy is definitely Italy a page turner. So much action, drama, and love to lure readers within its depth. Overall, I highly recommend it to all 

Review: Brothers-In-Arms 

Synopsis:

Can a Jew and a Nazi survive Hitler’s Germany?
Franz Kappel and Japhet Buchanan never expected their friendship to be tested by the Third Reich. Friends from early childhood, the boys form an inseparable, brotherly bond. Growing up in a little German village, they escape most of the struggles of war until the day Japhet is banished from school for being a Jew, and later has a rib broken when other village boys beat him up. Franz learns he is putting himself in danger for spending so much time with Japhet but continues to stand up for his Jewish friend even at the risk to himself. Then one day their lives are shattered when they see first-hand that the price of being a Jew is dangerously high. 
With the war now on their doorsteps, Franz and Japhet come up with a desperate plan to save their families and get them out of Germany alive. Leaving behind the lives they’ve always known, they move into Berlin with nothing to protect them but forged papers and each other. Convinced their friendship can keep them going, the boys try and make a new life for themselves while trying to keep their true identities and Japhet’s heritage a secret. Taking his best friend’s safety upon himself, Franz joins the Nazis in an attempt to get valuable information. At the same time, Japhet joins the Jewish Resistance, neither friend telling the other of their new occupations.
With everyone in their world telling them a Nazi and a Jew can’t be friends, it is only a matter of time before they believe all the lies themselves, until neither is certain if they are fighting against a race of people or fighting for their homeland. Somehow they have to survive the horrors of World War II, even when all of Germany seems to be against them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Brothers-In-Arms by Jack Lewis Baillot is a tale that takes readers immediately back into the dark and haunting time for Jews. Even their German friends were in danger. Imagine trying to help a Jewish member escape from the cruelty of the Hitler’s Nazis…if caught one’s death could be just as bad or much worse than what the Jews received. Sad and troubling times. A moment in history all will never forget. Jack Lewis Baillot has created a fictional world full of suspense, deadly consequences, and an unforgettable friendship unlike any other. A German Nazis best friends with a Jew. 

Inside this novel, readers meet two boys who grew up being friends. Times have changed and with it their lives are at stake. Japhet Buchanan is a Jew. For that reason alone he is tormented by all. As war breaks out, he and his family will be in grave danger. His friend Fran’s Kappel, a German, works with his friend to get out of Germany with their family. Safety. But getting out will prove most difficult. Brothers-In-Arms had me rooting for both characters and crying too. Both went through so many demons to get to the ending moment. The writing brought back the fears, tears, and memories of WWII. I highly recommend it to all. Plus, the writer has gone even further by breaking more boundaries within this masterpiece. Absolutely, stunning. 

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 Hope Chest


Synopsis:

The Hope Chest is a deeply emotional novel about three people who have seemingly lost all hope until one woman’s heirloom hope chest is rediscovered in the attic, along with its contents and secrets.

Mattie is a fiercely independent woman battling ALS; Don, her deeply devoted husband is facing a future without his one true love; and Rose, their struggling caregiver, is a young, single mother who feels trapped in her life. With each item that is discovered—including a beloved doll, family dishes, an embroidered apron, and an antique Christmas ornament—the hope chest connects Mattie, Don and Rose to each other and not only helps them find hope again in the face of overwhelming life challenges but also brings new meaning to family.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Once more Viola Shipman has stunned me with her characters. The plot is like a vine. It keeps growing until it has me wrapped itself around me…taking me deep into it’s story. The heart of it, is sad yet beautifully told. Life, love, family and most of all hope. A family passes on the words of hope to their daughter. Later on in her life, she passes it onto her helper and her husband passes it on the the helper’s daughter. The Hope Chest is more than just a title or suggestion. It has meaning. A purpose that draws more life into the lives of others. Viola has sucked me into her main character, Mattie’s life. She’s suffering from ALS. Her hope has vanished. Until the Hope Chest is found and once more the forefront of the tale. Mattie’s suffering brings tears to reader’s eyes. Her husband has to watch as his once strong wife grows weaker each day. So much hope and joy has vanished that it’s intense when Mattie looks at her old home. Remembering her life as it was. But then enter’s a new woman. Rose. She is a helper for those needing extra care. Mattie and her husband need Rose’s help. Don, Mattie’s husband is trying not to cry and trying to breathe. It’s hard for a man to keep strong around his wife. Her life isn’t the same anymore. With Rose, life becomes more joyful. Don once more has hope…even as Mattie is deteriorating. The ending made my heart break and mend with love and hope. Overall, I loved reading this book. Viola Shipman creates a world where readers lose the,selves completely. Getting caught up within the emotions brought on by the scenes on every page. Stunning, well-developed, and the most engaging novel, I have read. Truly, a masterpiece all should read. I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Restless in L.A. 




Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Dark and Other Love Stories



Synopsis:

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

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

Review:

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

Review: Cancer Country

Synopsis:

The only symptoms were itching. The prognosis was slightly incredible – a type of cancer that only one in a half million Americans get, and my chances of survival were one-in-ten.
That was the beginning of the journey. Along the way were anger and surprise and relief and fear … a bone marrow transplant … and the feeling of being in a strange country whimsically designed for the absurd.
Visit http://www.cancercountry.com for more information.
From Cancer Country
“In the Medieval world, Death was the standard guy with the scythe, coming around when your time was up. Now then, one morning, drinking coffee in my kitchen around 10 AM, I looked out the window and saw, a few houses away, a twenty-year old guy with a clipboard – a Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, or a college kid with some environmental issue.I then had this weird vision of him being Death, of him having started his canvassing miles and miles away, way up in northeast Portland or somewhere, and now, after 67 years of human life, he had made it down here, to me, and in about five minutes would be knocking at the door, and I’d answer it, and he’d ask me if I like unpolluted air and clean water and tall trees, and I’d say Yes, and then he’d ask me for a donation, and I’d write a check, and then I’d sign his petition, and then all this world would be gone, just like that. All the places I’d hoped to travel to – forget it. All the years left with family and friends – over. Yes, that’s it, I thought: the Medieval people had a nice thing going with the black hooded figure and the scythe, but he was so out of date, so past-millennia. This was our hooded guy now: a door-to-door canvasser, clipboard, politeness, a good cause. Death handing you a ballpoint pen that only half-worked.”

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Cancer Country by Chet Skibinski is one of the best memoirs about this particular topic. Cancer. It is one of the most scary things that can happen to a human being. One day, we are perfectly fine, the next, we find out we have cancer. The shocking, frightening, sad discovery is a difficult one to swallow. One can live or die. Surviving it is slightly improving but still it takes a lot of will power going through the process. I was able to get lost inside this incredible memoir instantly. It was easy to relate to and follow along. I have lost people to heart conditions…so, I know how they writer felt when told about the cancer found. Anger, frustration, and grief. However, as the book unfolded, I found some humor as the cancer survivor fought back. I thought the book would end in a certain way and then, I was surprised. It took on a completely different path. One that I was super happy with and the emotional journey tugged at me. So many emotions and not knowing until the ending how or where it was going to lead me. Cancer Country is an inspiring read for all. I highly recommend to readers everywhere. 

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: Girl in Pieces


Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Secret Life of Thomas Commons 


Synopsis

The Secret Life of Thomas Commons is about the emotional struggles of Mr. Thomas Franklin Commons and Mr. Wesley Tobias Ashfield as they battle their tragically structured upbringing and predetermined lives. Mr. Thomas Franklin Commons is a wealthy, but bitter twenty-two year old man living in London, England when he meets Mr. Wesley Tobias Ashfield, a cheerful and charming young man whom he is soon to enter into business with. However, Thomas is soon caught off guard when Wesley’s friendly nature gradually begins to warm his frigid temperament, and their friendship becomes more than either of them expected.

As their relationship evolves from friendship to love, they find themselves caught up in a romance that transcends infatuation and gives way to dangerous consequences. The feelings of both men are tested when they’re arrested for sodomy and imprisoned for their alleged crimes against the nature of human sexuality. Thomas and Wesley’s affect on each other becomes so strong that their feelings give way to a slow epiphany that neither of them may come out alive. Both men are thrown into the reality of their situation when they must make decisions based on what is realistic or where their happiness for themselves and one another, truly lies.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Secret Life of Thomas Commons by Brittany Weekley is a captivating read. For fans of M/M romance then this, is definitely for you. Putting that aside, the plot is magnificent. It captures the elements of the time period perfectly. Brittany  Weekley has also managed to show a realistic yet believable encounter of both characters’ dilemma. Same sex relationships back then and still even now, struggle to live their love life. (While I don’t encourage it, I don’t shun those people out. Taught to love and accept accept others.) The novel has strong emotional pulls that lure readers deep into the fate of each man. Both Mr. Thomas and Mr. Wesley have ways of capturing the audience’s hearts. Sympathy for them is felt full blast. Society has strictly punished them for simply being in love. Denying one’s heart is impossible and forced when in this situation. Strong men dealing with their time period the best they can. Survival isn’t easy. But it has both men rethinking on how to move forward so that each can be free. I wanted to cry. I felt their frustrations. It was so real…that readers would feel that they are merely glancing into the past versus reading the magical worlds coming to life. Every page was intense. Thomas Commons is the one telling the story. He ends up being my new favorite gay character. The troubles that came the character’s ways were heart felt. I see the talent of Brittany a Weekley shinning forth on every single page. Three-dimensional characters, interesting historical tale, and a romance that readers won’t forget. I highly recommend The Secret Life of Thomas Commons to all. 

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: Tea Planter’s Wife 



Synopsis:

#1 International bestselling novel set in 1920s Ceylon, about a young English woman who marries a charming tea plantation owner and widower, only to discover he’s keeping terrible secrets about his past, including what happened to his first wife, that lead to devastating consequences.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies is a captivating read. A historical that sucks readers straight into its world. I was mesmerized by the tale. From the beginning, I liked the main character. A young woman who marries a man and leaves everything behind her. The story weaves an emotional journey that dragged me deeply into it. Frustrating, sad, and mysterious. Dinah Jefferies has woven a book that will hook readers into the life of her novel. A time in history when things were so much simplier yet harder. Marriage life is portrayed as something that is like a rough sea. Both terrifying and rocky. Giving birth to a baby, usually makes a marriage more cemented. Yet, this marriage felt like it was spiraling deeper and further apart. Every page kept me lured. I was so intrigued and wondered what would happen next. A mystery surrounding Lawerence’s first wife creates a hostile and intense environment throughout the tale. Gwen is a female character that all could sympathize with and love. She brings a softness to the tale’s rough edges. Darkness creeps around the couple and holds fast onto the, squeezing out the happiness and only leaving painful memories behind. The Tea Planter’s Wife is bold, engaging, and rich. I loved reading it. This was a historical novel, I won’t be forgetting…the memory of it shall linger in my mind forever. Overall, I recommend this stunning well-written story to all. 

Review: Mary’s Prayer


Synopsis

Mary Beiler is not ready for change. She wants to hold onto the past as tightly as she can. But new roles and relationships test Mary’s boundaries as she learns that she must trust God’s plan for her life. 
Eli Glick used to be a school-yard crush, but she hasn’t let herself dream of a future with him. When their paths begin weaving together, she starts to wonder if the feeling she notices towards him might be more than the memories of her childhood. 

From Mary’s Prayer: 

Not so bad! How was that for a compliment! she thought angrily as she stood and stepped towards the ladder. She turned to move down it, but as she placed her boot on the first rung it slid sideways several inches, and she took her foot off. 
“Hang on, I’ll hold it,” he said. 

He stood and walked towards her, and knelt near the top of the ladder. He held it in place as she turned again and put her foot on the top rung. This time, with his help, it was perfectly solid. 

“See what happens when we work together?” he asked, and she felt a smile peek onto her lips despite her upset. 
How does he do that to me? she wondered. She’d just been feeling upset and sorry for herself, and now a crack of lightheartedness found it’s way into her heart. It was as if he was bringing out her smiles –smiles that had been buried such a long time that they almost felt strange on her lips.

As she climbed down, she once again found herself uncomfortably close to the handsome man. Eli grinned at her. He was looking right into her eyes, and this made her blush. She was glad, at least, that he was no longer staring at her scars. 
“You sure that we can spend this time together, and you won’t fall in love with me?”he asked in his deep voice. 

Mary knew he was teasing her, but she felt her heart skip a beat at the flirtatious sound in his voice. Oh don’t flatter yourself, she thought. He’s only teasing you, just like he acts with all the girls. Besides, he likes Abby Trovey. With his face so close, and his blonde hair and good looks only inches away from her, she swallowed hard. 

Will Eli Glick see past Mary’s scars and into her heart?

Will Mary learn to trust again? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Mary’s Prayer by Faye P. Baker is an Amish romance that will tug at readers’ hearts. I definitely felt a pull on mine. The story is both sad and sweet. Many obstacles to overcome like math and fear. Faye P. Baker has created the perfect atmosphere with just enough intrigue and and suspense to keep me reading all night long. I loved it. Mary is a young Amish woman moves to a new place. She lost her mom due to a fire. Mary has scars that make her feel self-conscious and the fact that her math isn’t well enough to work the cash register in her dad’s bakery…this puts her in a situation that makes her feel lost. Then, there’s good looking Eli who friends her. But she as she falls hard for him, she realizes that he likes another girl. Mary then feels completely lost and angry. Feels like God isn’t listening to her. Mary’s Prayer is a realistic telling of life and hardships that fall onto our paths and show us how we can move forward. Inspiring, well-written, and heart melting. I highly recommend this novel, to all. 

Review: Waiting for Rio


Synopsis:

Rio Levant growing up had a normal loving family. But one fateful night his mother was killed and the life he knew was gone. His father committed an unforgivable act and Rio blames himself for the outcome. Now, a recovering alcoholic, Rio is still struggling to piece himself back together. Nothing and no one has been able to help him.

Until her.

Growing up, Stacy Hammond was taught that the best way to survive was to latch onto a man and hope he never let you go. Stacy is determined not to follow in her mama’s footsteps and is committed to making a life for herself without a man by her side. But a drunken one-night stand pushes Stacy towards a man who she never would have picked out for anything other than his hot body and his bad boy attitude. He seems like the wrong choice but she can’t seem to get enough of him.

Rio and Stacy are going to find out that sometimes what you believe is completely and totally wrong.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Waiting for Rio by Marie Cole was heart breaking as well as heart melting. The sad past that Rio Levant had to live with still haunts him into his present life. He blames himself entirely for those close to him who died. He keeps thinking that he could have prevented the deaths. Rio then takes his problems to a bottle and thus, his drinking problems arise. But he has friends who support him and help bring him out of the bottle. Rio stays clear of women. Because they’re trouble. He has been sober for two years until he meets one woman. Stacy. Stacy Hammond went to the same bar that Rio did one night. From there they had a one night stand. But both secretly tell themselves that the other is not good for them. However, fate has a funny way of pulling people to together. The attraction both Rio and Stacy feel is something they can’t hide nor control. But they’re both afraid to love again.

Marie Cole’s sexy contemporary romance is to love. I felt the raw chemistry between characters. Also, the tender pulling on the characters’ hearts felt real. It was like my own heart being torn into multiple directions. My mind would tell me to stay clear but the heart says to keep on going. Funny, sweet, sad, and addictive. This plot had it all. I was intrigued with Rio’s backstory as well as his present life. Then Stacy was another fascinating character to follow. Her personality was realistic. Both could be real people as far as this story read. Waiting for Rio was an epic journey for a character to let go of his past and live in the present moment. If this were turned into a movie, I would recommend to everyone I know. As a novel, this is definitely a must read for all.

Review: Long Way Gone


Synopsis:

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it himself.

A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin is truly a phenomenal story. I couldn’t believe the writer’s talent. I kept asking myself why or how I haven’t read any of his previous books until now…absolutely amazing. The tale instantly hooks readers into the plot. It was memorizing. The heart and soul can be felt with every page. At first the tale reminded me of the biblical tale about the older son leaving and then returning home. In a way this was similar to that. The main character, Cooper O’Conner is one that readers like myself will never forget. His journey was epic. Sad, realities, and heartfelt. It makes me want to reach out to the character. The past can only hold us back from our futures if we let it. That was the theme I strongly senesed inside here as well as one of redemption and love. Then there was also, hope. The ending was heart melting. I loved reading this latest novel by Charles Martin. He definitely knows how to wrap his words around and into readers’ hearts. Overall, I recommend this coming of age read to readers worldwide. 

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: Just Juliet

Just Juliet by [Reagan,Charlotte]

 

Synopsis:

The coming out story that will completely change the way you look at love.

Juliet represents the road less traveled. Will Lena take it?

Lena Newman is 17, her best friend’s a cheerleader, her boyfriend’s a football player, and as far as everyone is concerned, her life is sorted. But that’s before she befriends the new girl. Juliet is confident, slightly damaged, drop-dead gorgeous and a lesbian.

Lena realizes that her interest goes beyond just friendship. She sets off on a path of self-discovery where the loyalty of those closest to her will be tested.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Just Juliet by Charlotte Reagan is the kind of genre I normally don’t read. However, the story was well-developed and well-written. I liked how realistic the characters were. Love is not pretty. It’s more of a complicated knot that gets more twisted before it’s smoothed out…into fineness. I noticed that the writer captured the high school drama right down to its raw yet ugly form. Being in love is tough then add the attraction to the same sex and it’s worse. Worse as in hard for others around the main characters to accept as okay. People don’t choose who they fall in love with. Love isn’t a fashion statement it’s part of who that person is and if we can’t let them be who they are then love isn’t real. Experiencing what may be right for one is a scary path. Then add insecurity and drama to it and well, it makes for an interesting tale. Unfortunately, this tale came off so real, that it was frightening in a way. Charlotte Reagan definitely knows what goes on with teenagers and how they react to situations. She masterfully captured everything exactly the way it should be. Just Juliet is a YA coming of age book that I highly recommend to readers worldwide.

 

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: Enjoy the Ride


Synopsis:

This memoir chronicles the last seven years of the life of Uncle Sammy, a Holy Fool, as he travels the different dimensions of dementia. There are stories of deep wisdom in this simple tale, written by Sandia Siegel and Sammy after he came to live with her in Hawaii. He is truly a rascal and an unlikely sage.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Enjoy the Ride by both Sandia S. Siegel and S. George Green is a beautifully written book that all will love. It is about an older man who goes through the journey of suffering from dementia. I can truly relate to this book because someone from my family is suffering from it as well. It’s hard for us to accept a loved one going through the it. This title, gave humor and wisdom everywhere. It made me laugh, cry, and love it. Truly a refreshing outlook and a real experience that readers can be sucked into as well as enjoy. Life seems too harsh not to try and enjoy the present moments. Enjoy the Ride is definitely a memoir that I would highly recommend to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Best Possible Answer

 

Synopsis:

AP Exams – check
SAT test – check
College Application – check
Date the wrong guy and ruin everything you’ve spent your whole life working for– check

Ultra-high-achiever Viviana Rabinovich-Lowe has always had a plan—and no room to be anything less than perfect. But her quest for perfection comes to a screeching halt when her boyfriend leaks racy pictures of her to the entire school. Making matters worse, her parents are getting divorced and now her perfect family is falling apart. For the first time, Viv feels like a complete and utter failure.

Then she gets a job working at the community pool, where she meets a new group of friends who know nothing about her past. That includes Evan, a gorgeous guy who makes her want to do something she never thought she’d do again: trust. For the first time in her life, Viv realizes she can finally be whoever she wants. But who is that? While she tries to figure it out, she learns something they never covered in her AP courses: that it’s okay to be less than perfect, because it’s our imperfections that make us who we are.

E. Katherine Kottaras once again captures what it means to be a teenager in The Best Possible Answer.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras is a young adult novel unlike any I have personally read. This book is just as epic as The Fault in Our Stars movie was. Mega sad. Actually is was sad all the way until the ending…the ending gave off an enormous feeling just as strong the weight of grief. I can’t ruin it and say what the new feeling was…but it’s one worth experiencing from beginning to end.

Inside, The Best Possible Answer, I like the main character a lot. I easily was able to connect with her frustrations, anger, grief and other feelings. Her reactions are completely normal for any teenage girl. Yet she handled every major life situation as maturely as possible. Okay, shouting at people isn’t mature but certain times do call for it. Working a summer job, she ends up offering her summer money to her mom. That’s shows she handles situations above her teenage years. Most teenagers roll their eyes, show awful attitude, and don’t want to do more than necessary. Here, however, Vivian is pressured into doing too much by both of her parents. This sets into motion the conflict that will hover over every scene.

Katherine Kottaras’s latest novel, The Best Possible Answer, shows readers a realistic side of being a teenager. Not only that but also how a teenager goes through a traumatic experience. Parents divorcing, failing AP exams, doesn’t get into the college of choice, a secret photo popping up everywhere and a health condition that lands her in the hospital. Could the life of Vivian get any worse? Yes. It does. But that’s for readers to find out and for me to keep top secret. I loved reading it. A great novel that captures everything brilliantly. I hope this makes it onto the big screens one day. Super good. Overall, I highly recommend this read to all.

Review: Stolen Lives

Stolen Lives (The Lives Trilogy Book 1) by [Lewis, Joseph]

 

Synopsis:

Three fourteen-year-old boys, Brett McGovern, Stephen Bailey and Michael Erickson are inextricably linked by the abduction and murder. Brett, who was abducted from Indianapolis, fears that his captors will decide to kill him. More recently, two boys from a Milwaukee, Wisconsin suburb, Stephen, and Michael, have been abducted, and the detectives on the case know that if they are not found within 24 hours, any chance of finding them is remote and they will be gone forever. A fourth boy, George Tokay, a Navajo, holds a key piece to this puzzle and doesn’t realize it.

Pete Kelliher and his team of FBI agents from the Crimes Against Children Unit have been tracking the murders of children for the past two years. He believes that if they can find these two boys, they might find the answers to the questions that have been eluding them. He and his team race to find Stephen and Michael before they disappear forever. There isn’t much to go on, and each time he gets a break, potential witnesses are found dead. As Pete and his team investigate, the stories of these boys are like loose threads on a sweater: pull the wrong one and it unravels completely. Slowly, Pete comes to the realization that one or more members of his own team might be behind it all. There are injury and death, some of which is Pete’s fault and that causes him to question his effectiveness and his future.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Stolen Lives by Joseph Lewis is a remarkable piece of fiction. It takes things that have happened and puts it into a new twist, inside this fictional world. The terror and events are similar to ones we find in our world, today. Real stories inspired this talented writer to bring about the issues into a work of fiction. Readers will be trapped within the walls of every scene once they opened up the book. The plot is full of intrigue, danger, and suspense. Crime fiction at its best.

Here inside this thriller, Stolen Lives, brings to life real problems in a way that will have readers on the edge of their seats. Dark, sad, and definitely an eye opener. Joseph Lewis brings to readers’ attention that boys too are abducted and sexually abused just like girls are. The world is never a safe place, but when those who should be protecting may be the cause of danger…everything spirals out of control. The story has a way that wrapped itself completely around me. It sucked me in from page one and wouldn’t release me until the last page. There’s plenty of action and mystery that hooked me right away. The ending was great…and left me wondering what’s to happen next. Joseph Lewis’s writing was superb. His characters drew me into the plotline. The dialogue was easy to read and follow along. Overall, I highly recommend this masterpiece to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Remembrance of Blue Roses

 

Synopsis:

Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust. Mark, the narrator and an American, works for the United Nations in New York as a personnel officer; his friend, Hans, German, also works for the UN as an economist; and Yukari, Japanese and Hans’s wife, is a professional violinist. One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond. The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as

During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond. The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as

One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond. The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as an expectant mother. Mark, Hans, and Yukari celebrate New Year’s Eve at the height of their friendship and happiness. … Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Remembrance of Blue Roses by Yorker Keith is about loyalty, friendship, and love. The story swept me off my feet and into a beautiful yet sad tale. The ending brought back a little bit of peace to my heart. This literary novel is well-written. The characters are well-developed. Their friendship, betrayal, and desires will keep readers hooked. Friends stay true to another even until the end. A man who lusts after another man’s wife tries keeping the couple together. Soon the three are happy again. But then fate has a way of knocking down our doors. Two friends are taken away from this world but leave behind a gorgeous little girl. Almost an exact remembrance of her mother. The same mother who before she died was going to finally divorce her husband and marry the husband’s friend. They held so much in common. I felt like I was almost reading Romeo & Juliet in a way. Two lovers about to be together forever then taken from one another. However one dies and one still lives. Remembrance of Blue Roses symbolizes the blue roses that two male friends planted and soon become three friends. They would visit these blue roses and in the ending, a visit is made again to these blue roses in honor of the two people who died. Sad yet bittersweet but almost peaceful too. Yorker Keith’s writing has a way of drawing readers into his world of fiction. I couldn’t stop reading once I opened the novel. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers everywhere.

 

 

 

Review: A Long Walk with Sally

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

 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

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

 

Review: Sky (Me Against The World

 

Synopsis:

We got a glimpse of Sky in “I Hate That I Love You” but now we get to hear her full story. Lauren was dealt a bad hand from birth but when she runs away and finds the life she always wanted, things start to change. Her life changes overnight when Sky’s born. Sky had the things Lauren would stay up at night crying, and dreaming about… A family that loved her, anything she wanted at her fingertips but most of all Sky had a safe home. Lauren never felt safe at night until she met Mrs. Carter and Jalen but one day that was all taken from her and her life as she knew it would never be the same. Sixteen, with a heart full of pain and revenge on her brain Sky’s forced out in this cold world trying to find her way. Will she find her way in this mean world or will she get swallowed alive?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Sky (Me Against The World) by Keyanna Ford is truly a deep insider’s view, to the ugly side of our world. Sure we know about crimes that are committed but when a family turns against a child…that’s the worst kind of crime of all. A seven-year-old girl runs away from after her mom’s boyfriend tries touching her in a way no man should. Yet the mother knows and let it happen anyway. Luckily, the little girl finds an elderly woman who takes her. Once she’s safe inside with the older woman, the little girl’s life changes forever. For once she is treated like a child and loved. However, happy endings never last in real life. Again the world has returned to blow Sky a cruel hand. The elderly woman is now suffering from cancer and is dying…then, there’s the elderly woman’s son, who has become an uncle to little Sky. While they’re at home they get a terrifying call…Uncle was shot and didn’t survive the surgery…Little Sky is now a teen and lost the only good she had in life. Now, it’s up to her to find a good life or to fall back in the dark.. Keyanna Ford’s writing is superb. Her novel is African American literature but it presents real life scenarios, that all need to be more aware of… and I loved how well-developed the tale was. This was a fast-paced story that will grab readers’ hearts and suck them in whole. I loved reading every page…addictive, sad, and well-written. Overall, I highly recommend Sky (Me Against The World) to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Beyond the Stars

 

 

Synopsis:

Falling for him wasn’t in the plans…

Most girls would kill for the opportunity to work for Jack McAlister, Hollywood’s hottest actor, but twenty-one-year-old Jessica Beckett is ready to kick him out of her red Ford Fiesta and never look back. She should be spending her junior year in France, eating pastries and sharpening her foreign language skills. Instead, she’s reluctantly working as Jack’s personal assistant, thanks to her powerhouse talent agent aunt.

Jack is private, prickly, and downright condescending. Jessica pushes his buttons—she’s not the type of girl to swoon over celebrity heartthrobs, precisely why her aunt thought she’d be perfect for the job—and Jack pushes right back.

But as she begins to peel away his layers, Jessica is shocked to find she craves her boss’s easy smile and sexy blue eyes. The problem is, so does the entire female population. And what started out as the job from hell soon has Jess wondering if a guy like Jack could ever find love with a regular girl like her.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise is a contemporary romance that is well-written. Her story blew me away. Here, we have a typical movie star who asserts authority over everyone including his new assistant. Yet, as the time flies by…his assistant sees him more as a human being portrayed wrong by media. There’s trouble ahead for both of them…and only time will tell what sparks between the two. Can individuals with different careers find the happiness they deserve or will it forever be ruined?

Beyond the Stars is a laugh-out-loud kind of read. Imagine a high profile woman giving her ex-boyfriend slash popular movie star a pig…because she thinks it fits him. Somehow, he has everyone convinced that his ex, gave him the pet pig as a gift of love rather than as a bad statement. The pig is sort of like the Marley and Me tale. It’s funny as hell but will also make readers cry and fall in love too. Stacy Wise’s writing is superb. I loved reading this novel by her. Overall, I would highly recommend it to readers everywhere. I look forward to reading the next best adventure by this brilliant writer.

Review: Wrapped in You

 

Synopsis:

The Monroe brothers found a home in Haven, Georgia, thanks to the big-hearted couple who adopted them all. Now, grieving their late sister, these three very different men will come together to honor her memory. And with the help of some unforgettable women, each will find the chance to build a whole new future…

Zach Monroe has made mistakes–big ones. The worst left the girl he loved injured, and his own brother barely speaking to him. It was a night Zach won’t let himself forget, even when the girl in question–perfect, polished Sophie Allen–walks back into his life. A realtor, Sophie’s brought an offer for their sister’s dilapidated Civil War era property. But Zach’s determined to renovate the rambling old place himself–though he longs to rebuild Sophie’s trust in him…

A business deal isn’t how Sophie wanted to approach Zach after all this time, but he won’t let anyone get personal. She can’t deny that the accident changed her life in irreparable ways. But watching gruff, quiet Zach beat himself up year after year hurts too. The wounded boy she once adored needed love and the man is no different. Now Sophie will need every bit of her resolve to convince Zach to let love heal them both…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Wrapped in You by Jules Bennett is a contemporary romance that instantly drags readers into the plot. This is a hot, sexy, sizzling read. The action and intrigue will continue to capture the hearts, souls, and minds of readers. I myself have fallen in love with the story. Deep and emotional. The journey is stunning. Wrapped in You is about loss, love, and hope for the future. Many hearts are on the line and only time will tell if they heal or worsen…

Jules Bennett’s writing is superb. I am fascinated by her world of fiction. This was the first of her novels, I have read. Believable plot lines and irresistible characters. Wrapped in You will wrap itself around readers and keep them held in for a long time. Funny, sweet, sad, yet highly satisfying. Jules Bennett’s latest novel brings a lot to digest. It’s definitely worth reading. Loss of a loved one, past injuries and mistakes and an old love flame that keeps burning hotter with every page. Trust, hope, and love may just be within the reach for these perfect characters. Or maybe not. Readers will run after the bad boy Zach who has a lot to live, through…like the loss of a sister, hard feelings between him and his brother, and then the woman he loved and left hurting.  Overall, I highly recommend this brilliant romance to all.

 

Review: My Darling Dorothy

 

Synopsis:

Based on authentic letters from the era, My Darling Dorothy is a timeless love story that transcends both hard times and the brutal impact of war. The tumult of the Great Depression and World War II provides the background for a novel about three young people; Tommie, Jack and Dorothy and their challenges, struggles, defeats, and triumphs.

Tommie struggles to survive the Bataan Death March in the fall of 1941, clinging to his dream of a gratifying future with Dorothy as his bride. On the front-lines, of the European Theatre, Jack experiences the horrors of endless battle. Dorothy, caught between the two, works to maintain her dream of a life beyond small-town Nebraska. The hopes and hardships they share are reflected in the letters that they exchange. Are they remnants of lost dreams, or the foundation for a joyful future?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

My Darling Dorothy by Jo Virden is a fascinating fictional journey. One that takes readers back and forth during WWII and  to the present moment. A young woman finds letters within odd things her parents have collected over the years. Something in her gut says there has to be something special hidden in the junk stuff…and her instincts paid off. She finds old letters. A man named Tommie wrote to her mother…why? And what happened to him? The historical novel explores the past lives of Tommie who fell in love with Dorothy. Then there’s another man who has captured Dorothy’s attention. The handsome devilish guy named Jack. Dorothy writes back and forth to both men. The tale takes us through the hardships each young person struggled and lived through during their lives. Intriguing, highly entertaining, and well-written. There is an emotional toll that kept on tugging on my heart as the scenes flew by me. A fast-paced story that somehow wraps itself around me, causing me to fall deeper into the characters’ lives. Beautifully told. My Darling Dorothy is about love, adventure, loss, and war. This was my first novel that I have read by Jo Virden.  She has created a masterfully woven tale that I won’t ever forget. Memorable. Satisfying. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: This Too Shall Pass

 

Synopsis:

Blanca is forty years old and motherless. Shaken by the unexpected death of the most important person in her life, she suddenly realizes that she has no idea what her future will look like.

To ease her dizzying grief and confusion, Blanca turns to her dearest friends, her closest family, and a change of scenery. Leaving Barcelona behind, she returns to Cadaqués, on the coast, accompanied by her two sons, two ex-husbands, and two best friends, and makes a plan to meet her married lover for a few stolen moments as well. Surrounded by those she loves most, she spends the summer in an impossibly beautiful place, finding ways to reconnect and understand what it means to truly, happily live on her own terms, just as her mother would have wanted

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Review:

This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets is a deep emotional journey. Readers like myself won’t ever forget it. Milena Busquets brought me to Spain. A place where the events were happening. This was a tale of a forty-year-old woman who has just lost her mother. The daughter is speaking about her life and journey to her dead mother. The shock and sadness that the main character felt and thought became my own feelings. The point of view from the daughter was interesting. I found myself lost in this woman’s despair, discovery, and life. Lots of sex within this read. I enjoyed reading this summer novel. It was definitely a refreshing story from what I have read in the past. The tale is about love and loss. Deep, thoughtful, and complicated. The scenes played before me…but it was like getting tiny glimpses into the forty-year-old woman’s life. I wished it went deeper into how she felt when she did have sex or what made her happy…every other book I have read there was at least one thing that made the main characters happy. Maybe, in this tale, it was Blanca’s mother that made her happy. Once her mother died, it was like everything didn’t have any meaning…Overall, I recommend this novel to all. It definitely has kept me guessing.

Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

 

Synopsis:

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960’s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon Evie, is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.

Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Girls by Emma Cline…is indeed a sensational hit. From the first page readers like myself are hit with a strong intensity to know what’s to come of the girls. Including the one that is telling readers about them. Curiosity prickling my mind. The main character, Evie Boyd, makes the girls she sees like an exotic painting that to others can be too bold while other would stare at it with an awe. Evie Boyd is in held in awe of the girls. Something deep lured her straight to them. An imaginary magnet that constantly pulled her to them. So many real life issues were woven into this story. An average girl failing her parents. No raw talents. No exotic beauty. Plain, short, and simple. Parents divorced. Neither seems to notice their daughter and when they do, she’s only a disappointment to them. Sensing that doesn’t help a person achieve anything.  A father with a younger woman who came back wearing the lipstick that belonged to Evie’s mom. A mother going through changes so rapidly that her daughter hardly knew what her mom did when not around her. Then the group of girls that belonged to a cult…were like air that Evie so desperately needed. They caught her attention and dragged her into a world sadder than the one she already knew.

Emma Cline’s writing is superb. It transferred me straight into the life of Evie Boyd. Everything that happened to her felt like I was her. The emotional toll is deep. A thought provoking novel that silently sends messages to its readers. What not to do and how time can go by faster than people thought. Realistic portrayals of life’s issues with the family and teens is strongly evident here.  Growing up…like Evie Boyd did…was like growing up alone. Isolation instantly felt and brought on by her parents. Her lack of abilities and plainness drew Evie into a world none of hope to find. The sighting of the girls brought her mind swirling with more questions than answers. The way the girls presented themselves drew Evie’s divine attention. But like the saying goes…curiosity kills the cat…so too, will Evie’s curiosity plunge her into a darker world. I loved reading every moment of this coming of age story. The Girls by Emma Cline overall, is a must read for all. Once readers read this book, there’s no turning back. I highly recommend it to all.