Review: The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Hunger

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.

Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.

While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Hunger by Alma Katsu is an interesting yet dark journey. A moment in history known as the Donner Party has been relived and retold here. Survival is key. Each member of that doomed party went through hell. Back then, traveling was difficult if not impossible. Timing was not on the Donner Party’s side. Their hardships soon led to chaos, mistrust, and death. Alma Katsu made this historical fiction come alive with a suspenseful voice. A sadness clung to every page. The intensity of the plot grew and it was hard to let go of the book. I felt sorry for the characters and enjoyed following them on this trail. The plot was steady but packed with the right amount of details and action to keep the pages turned. Overall, I would recommend it to those looking for a scary yet entertaining tale.

Review: Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

He’ll have to play his cards just right for her to take a chance on him…

Megan Montgomery has always been careful…except that one time she threw caution to the wind and hooked up with a sexy groomsman at her cousin’s wedding. But that was two years ago—so why can’t she stop thinking about Alex Rebat?

Alex has been living the good life. He loves his job, has a great circle of friends, and doesn’t answer to anyone. The problem? There’s only one woman he wants and she ran out on him after one amazing weekend. But now that Megan’s coming back to town, Alex hopes he can convince her to take another chance on him…and on a future that can only be built together.

Montgomery Brothers Series:

Wait for Me (Book 1)
Trust in Me (Book 2)
Stay with Me (Book 3)
Return to You (Book 4)
Meant for You (Book 5)
I’ll Be There (Book 6)
Until There Was Us (Book 7)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Until There Was Us by Samantha Chase is the most emotionally charged book I’ve read so far. A young woman has had to work so hard to prove to her father that she is just as good as her brothers. Yet he has never once taken notice until she proved him she was just that good. However, she finds out that having her dad’s approval could mean an unwanted life with him constantly telling her how to run her life. Her brother Christian had always been their father’s favorite. But after what their dad did to him, he’s turned into ‘the stone man’. That visit with her brother helped them both. She got to see her brother and understand what would happen if she let her dad give her a job. Then, there the issue of her working too much. She is trying to fix that but it’s harder than saying she can. But there’s a special man who can help make her feel happy again. If only she lets him into her life and heart. Megan was burned once and her self-esteem isn’t as great as it should be. Megan is a determined, bright, and good person. I really liked her. I felt like her and I could be best friends for life. Plus, she has a secret…

Alex is a therapist. He’s so caring it’s hard not to like the man. Also, he’s just as sexy as he is sweet. Alex loves the outdoors and is best of friends with Megan’s cousin. Alex met Megan at a family wedding and they hit it off from there. But since then, Megan blew him off and has hidden from Alex. Life gets in the way, and Alex finds he’s still in love with her. Maybe, her coming back in his life is a positive sign. But knowing Megan, the road to convincing her to give them a chance will be tough.

Samantha Chase has created another amazing feel good title. It’s sexy, hot, and engaging as hell. I loved it! I could not stop reading it. I was held in suspense as to what would occur between Alex and Megan. They seemed perfect for each other yet…it was a constant tug of war. Samantha has placed a little bit of her awesome pug into this story! Maylene, is the beautiful yet sassy pug inside this heartfelt tale. I thought it was pretty cool to meet her as well. Overall, I highly recommend this contemporary novel to all readers.

 

Review: A Passionate Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband’s new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah’s cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith is a wonderful Jewish tale of love, hope, faith, and forgiveness. During this time period, the struggles were harder. Especially, when their coveted ark disappears. Yet they still remain hopeful and obedient to God. I liked how Hannah turns to prayer when life brings her curveballs. She is strong, independent, and faithful. She is an inspiration to all women. Jill Eileen Smith’s historical fiction is well-written. It engages me to follow Hannah as her life dramatically changes for good to problematic to good again. Her love of her husband and God are strong. Hannah felt sad, angry, and hurt when her husband married another women. I wanted to hug her immediately. Her pain is real. It is easy to connect with her on many levels. The title is exactly what this book is about…and I recommend this read to others.

Review: The Return

Synopsis:

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her. 

Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an inspiring tale. It’s also full of hardships, woe, and hope. The book is based off some realistic events from the past. I enjoyed following this historical Christian piece. A group of Christians find themselves in the wilderness. A new land that is just as dangerous as it is good. Indians are nearby. In fact, one Indian will become something more to one of the protagonists. Her faith is questioned. Danger escalates and loss is felt. A massacre happens. Half Indians are slaughtered out of fear by others. Anger and fear make for trouble. One Amish man finds himself in such a predicament. Caleb is half Indian and half Mennonite. Betsy feels protective of her new friend. But Caleb is struggling with what’s happening to his kind. Betsy is hopeful thinking one day, Caleb will be ready to enter her world.  But right now he’s hurt, confused, and not ready. Understanding and relating to each character inside this book was easy. I felt their emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, love, and hope. Kindness played a role throughout the troubled and terrible times. Overall, I would recommend The Return to readers everywhere. Themes of friendship, bullying, and respect are found here. It was a well-written yet engaging read. 

Review: Under a Desert Sky


Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Death by Roses



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Don’t Trust A Stranger

Synopsis:

Have you ever wanted to date someone online? Do you trust people easily? Sometimes that can be a deadly thing. Never be too careful. Never settle for less than what you deserve.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Don’t Trust A Stranger by Jacquelyn Wiles is a must read for all. Her memoir brings to life the issues many live with and are not aware of or may not have someone there to help them. It was quite frightening to read. I wanted to stop reading only because I thought it was going to get super worse with each page. Yes, the domestic violence upgraded; however, so did the help that the young woman received. I believe that without a supporting family behind her or the evidence and the timing of the police call, that things wouldn’t have ended as well as they did. I was then left with an ending that placed a relief within me for the writer but also a new fear emerged. What was going to happen next?

Don’t Trust A Stranger takes bravery to write and talk about it. I am happy that Jacquelyn Wiles has written this book. She has shared her experience with others who may be in that position right now…and need this to give them the help and motivation they seek. Inspiring and horrifying at the same. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

My Sadness

Writing is my way,
The only thing that brings me joy every day,
And now it’s slowly being taken away,
What’s sad it that I have no say,
My dreams are like that of clay,
Only I can create the way,
Oh, but it’s washed out like the color gray,
Hovering upon me like a stray….

Because of Me- written by me

everything was going perfectly,

just for once,

and then i made a decision,

and all hell broke out.

what  to do?

i thought.

 oh what am i going to do?

will i make it?

will i never get past this?

my heart quickens,

as i see my fate before my eyes,

i can sense its not going to go

well, yet it was of my own fault.

hold could i have been so wrong?

usually my instincts a re a lot sharper,

yet, today they were not there,

as if they’ve left me all alone,

to fend for myself,

because of the choices i had

made once before.

now its all tooo  too late,

the verdict has been passed,

the tension growing stronger,

the pain sinking deeper as though

a thousand needles were being forced into my skin.

my heart only beating out so loud, oh god can u hear me?

i thought. yet no answer.

i have to try and fend for myself.

yet to  no prevail.

i just have to wait..

and wait for the torture to begin again..

except it will be magnified to the extreme now,

my sense feeling all worn and torn out,

i close my eyes hoping all would solve itself.

Our Troubles- written by me

Today i feel so sad,

lonely, and cold,

i shiver knowing whats going to hapen next,

i try to keep my thoughts from straying,

to the worst of the worst,

my heart already sinking,

tells a horrible story,

 of one that I wouldn not

want to hear,

if i had the chance

to leave of this misery,

 thats grabbed hold of me,

then i would take that chance,

and fly free,

of the despair taking root in me,

the sadness creeping down my

face, staining my own rosy cheecks

with cold wet tears,

oh why, is this happening,

why does eveyone have to sufffer,

cant they be happy ever?

cant we just live on with out,

this horrendous time,

our hearts were sore before,

and now they gone worse

from wore of the pain,

stabbing us in the back repeatedly,

over and over..

never showing any mercy,

never giving up,

leaving us to suffer through

our own agonies..

Leaving You- written by me

i am leaving you 
so here i am on a train 
living with you was a great strain 
all i ever felt was pain 
as i lean back, i quietly listen to the rain 
my heart now has a stain
from your evil ways 
which should have never been, 
grief and fear taking up my days 
but no more for now, i’m gone just like our missing hen 
slowly counting to ten 
i fall into a deep sleep 
but not too soon did i realize you were trying to keep 
up with me 
because you don’t want to be 
free like the ray of light 
so you grab me harder holding too tight 
and that’s when i notice your fright 
looking puzzled 
you take that moment to be, me nuzzled 
deep within your arms 
while i silently wait your harms 
silently gazing 
you stun me with your apology which is amazing 
coming from a hard man 
not believing , you ask me what’s my plan 
feeling strongly 
i tell you what you have done wrongly 
after hearing what I’ve said you feel sad 
and i not feeling that i should be glad 
fear you being mad 
again but you only shake 
and i stand silently not knowing whats at stake 
laughing you say 
i knew this was the day 
but fear not my way 
because i am only a foolish man 
and you are still my only woman. 
he knew i knew this 
so what? surely he’s not expecting my kiss 
of forgiveness yet 
he still has to win my hearts bet.

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