Review: Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

An accidental slip of a blade…Then murderous revenge…A patient’s accidental maiming leads a young surgeon to abandon his profession…Now, ten years later, a series of gruesomely senseless murders are rocking the medical community. The weapon? A surgical scalpel.Who is preying on these victims? What does the grisly pattern reveal? And who will be next? Special prosecutor Jana Berzelius is in charge of the investigation. What she can’t know until finally closing in on the murderer is how her own mother’s recent death is intimately connected.

For fans of Tess Gerritsen and Patricia Cornwell, an intricate medical thriller that keeps everyone guessing. 2017 SWEDISH CRIME WRITER OF THE YEAR’Schepp may be the smoothest storyteller among the new crop of Nordic noir aces…the ingenious plot reveals and hidden connections keep you glued to the action.’ – Kirkus Reviews

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp is a frightening thriller. Imagine being locked in with an unconscious prisoner only to find him awake…the nurse dropped the needle. Her partner bent down to pick it up only to find her dead and the prisoner alive.

Death hung in the air on every page. The intensity of the increasing violence and the volume of people being murdered by a scalpel made my hair stick up. Then, I found out the main character, a prosecutor, may have a personal attachment to the case at hand. Freaky, deadly, and chilling…Emelie Schepp got the fear factor in full force.

The novel really went into depth on the strictness or lack of strictness in the punishments for prisoners. It also showed how some higher individuals also got lower to no punishment for their crimes. Unjust and quickly spiraling out of control, the justice system is sinking. People are scared. These issues are still a big problem to be dealt with…yet nothing got fixed.

How many people have to die before the justice system is fixed? And who is behind all the killings? Is a less strict policy best for deals with criminals…like our prosecutor thought? Or was she wrong? Overall, I enjoyed reading Slowly We Die by Emelie Schepp. It definitely left me thinking hard on these subjects.

 

Review: A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out by Sally Franson

A Lady's Guide to Selling Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A brilliant young woman navigates a tricky twenty-first-century career—and the trickier question of who she wants to be—in this savagely wise debut novel in the tradition of The Devil Wears Prada. 

Casey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best friend thinks she’s a sellout, but Casey tells herself that she’s just paying the bills—and she can’t help that she has champagne taste.

When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is both excited and skeptical. But as she crisscrosses America, wooing her former idols, she’s shocked at how quickly they compromise their integrity: A short-story writer leaves academia to craft campaigns for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life’s work to a manufacturer of granola bars.

When she falls in love with one of her authors, Casey can no longer ignore her own nagging doubts about the human cost of her success. By the time the year’s biggest book festival rolls around in Las Vegas, it will take every ounce of Casey’s moxie to undo the damage—and, hopefully, save her own soul.

Told in an unforgettable voice, with razor-sharp observations about everything from feminism to pop culture to social media, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our era and trying to escape the rat race—by any means necessary.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out by Sally Franson has some promising parts to its story. However, other parts just fell flat. I loved the book cover. It was pretty to the eye. The book blurb also caught my attention made me think, OMG-This book is it!  But the main character was just going through the motions without any effort on her part. It appeared she put effort into not being the same kind of sell out yet she was just that.

Casey is a main protagonist that made me want to like her. However, I was only half-way liking her. There were her attempts to be good that made her likable. She just didn’t accomplish it on any scale. Casey is supposed to be the hero…

Anything with books or about writing in fiction has caught my full interest. This tale had the ingredients but they weren’t used right. I just did not feel emotionally attached at all to Casey. Yes, I loved how she loved books etc…and her romantic relationship with the Ben was the best part of this novel. Overall, it was good but could have been better.

 

 

Review: Not that I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

Not That I Could Tell

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Not that I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser is one of the most intriguing drama mysteries that I’ve read. This was similar to Pretty Little Liars and Big Little Lies. A lot of deception is found, here on the pages. Just when the characters think they know everything, their neighborhood gets shaken upside down.  Secrets, drama, and mystery were combined making this a page turner. I was deeply engrossed with the characters’ lives and how they were connected. My curiosity was snatched immediately by this writer.

A group of women sit outside, sipping their wine. Too much to drink, and one of them disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to their missing neighbor or why. Kristen seemed to have the perfect life and a divorce that was just about closed, when she was found missing.

The ending was sort of surprising in a way, but I kind of predicted  what was going to happen. It felt like the same kind of plot as other books but on a grown adult level. The story was easy to get lost within…but like I said it was predictable in many ways due to similarities. Otherwise, great mystery novel.

 

Review: The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lucy Lang isn’t looking for fireworks…

She’s looking for a nice, decent man. Someone who’ll mow the lawn, flip chicken on the barbeque, teach their future children to play soccer. But most important… someone who won’t inspire the slightest stirring in her heart…or anywhere else. A young widow, Lucy can’t risk that kind of loss again. But sharing her life with a cat named Fat Mikey and the Black Widows at the family bakery isn’t enough either. So it’s goodbye to Ethan, her hot but entirely inappropriate “friend with privileges” and hello to a man she can marry.

Too bad Ethan Mirabelli isn’t going anywhere. As far as he’s concerned, what she needs might be right under her nose. But can he convince her that the next best thing can really be forever?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins is a sweet yet steady contemporary romance. I enjoyed the themes of friendship, family, and forgiving. Other themes were widowhood, death, and grief. I cannot imagine loosing a loved one or how I would be able to move forward from that kind of loss. But with family and friends, anything is possible. But the character has to be willing to let down her guard and accept fate.

Lucy Lang has always wanted marriage and kids. But she lost her husband not too long after they married. That left Lucy alone, miserable, and widowed. She felt like widowhood is a curse in her family. Every woman older than her has lost their husbands. Widowhoodseems to be their curse. Except most of them were able to have kids before they lost their loved ones. Unlike alucy who has nothing but memories to hold of her late husband. It’s been years and she still cannot let go. Until Lucy’s younger sister gives birth to a baby. Holding the baby made Lucy want more in life.

Her plan is to find someone to love her and give her what she wants in a partner. But she does not want to fall in love with the man.

There’s nothing more fun than watching a perfect plan go to pieces.

Ethan is the younger brother of Lucy’s late husband. Ethan and Lucy got along well, in fact, too well. Until the moment Lucy held her sister’s baby, their perfect no strings attached relationship ends. Lucy tells Ethan that they cannot have sex anymore because she wants to find a husband. Ethan has loved Lucy for a long time. Lucy has never realized that nor does she until it’s almost too late…

Cutting off their relationship and trying to be just friends is tough. Ethan starts to treat Lucy like a regular everyday chic. Lucy feels like Ethan has dumped her…but it was her who dumped him. When he starts hanging around women, the jealousy breaks out.

Lucy loves Ethan but thinks he isn’t perfect for her.

Ethan has been therefor Lucy every time and always.

When Lucy starts to date men, things get funny. Some men are just not that great of a match. Both Ethan and Lucy have jealous issues and are starting to realize what they had…or could have if they open up to each other.

The Next Best Thing is funny, sad, and real. Some parts made me laugh so hard while other moments I cried my eyes out. There was always this strong push and pull between Lucy and Ethan. I could not get enough of them and their craziness. Lucy gets into so much trouble that Ethan has to come save her butt every time. He was the closet thing to a perfect knight in shinning armor. Cheesy, feel good, and romantic…this novel almost reminded me of The Big Fat Greek Wedding movie. Overall, I recommend this contemporary romance to all.

 

 

Review: Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an illuminating tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family’s enduring love.

Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Everything is comfortingly the same, yet each detail is rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara release the hold of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new love, career, and hope for the future.

Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate who doesn’t know where her life will take her, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt’s beach house. On the island, she is part of the freer, natural ocean lifestyle she loves, rejoining the turtle team, learning to surf, and falling in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original “turtle lady,” Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.

In this heartwarming novel, three generations of the Rutledge family gather together to find the strength, love, and commitment to break destructive family patterns and to forge new bonds that will endure long beyond one summer reunion.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe is a great read featuring family, relationships, commitment, and love. A family torn by traditions and new beginnings is found inside these pages. A daughter who went to college, earned her degree, and is home looking for a job. Her father is pushing her to work for him. Her brother is forced to go to the same college as his dad and to work for the family business. This caused a tidal wave that is felt by the whole family. The mother is wanting her daughter to uphold the same principles she holds for the family. Then, there’s an aunt who lost her love, adopted a baby, and is tackling on a new relationship. In the background, are the sea turtles that come back every 2-3 years to build a nest and lay new eggs. I loved how an older sea turtle came back to the beach and was found to have survived a shark atrack. The aunt in the family is finally returning back home to her beach house to stay. Her niece helps with babysitting while finding her own way in life. The plot was engaging, realistic, and steady. There was action, romance, and a destructive family force to be dealt with…but it was dragged out a little too much for me. Choices are presented and will be made. Where the characters and future of the sea turtles lie, is a journey for readers to find out…overall, it was a good story.

Review: Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home–and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

Bestselling author Irene Hannon invites readers back to their favorite town for a story that will light a beacon of hope within their hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon is a nice clean read. It is a story of one grandson who loss his grandfather and inherits a lighthouse that nobody wants, ncluding him. Then, there is the cat he tried to save only to get scratched up, the police called on him, and a determined female reporter wanting a story from him. Ben Garrison is an easy character to like and connect with…his emotional journey sucked me into the story. Sad, entertaining, and hopeful, this novel was good. I felt everything Ben did.  It was like I was there personally watching it all unfold. Overall, I recommend this sweet heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A brilliant detective…A baffling murder…An isolated manor…A list of less than perfect suspects with perfect alibis…No way out…It’s going to be a long and gruesome night.

Hired to stop a murder at a birthday party of invited suspects at a Mississippi Manor cut off from the world by The Great Flood of 1927, Detective Rowan Manory needs to solve a 20-year-old case to save his client from unwrapping a deadly and perhaps deserved gift of revenge.

Can Manory figure out the identity of the murderer before the bodies start dropping?

‘Goodnight Irene’ is a locked-room murder mystery that will have you guessing until the final reveal.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The prologue of this book, made me curious. Death, murder, and mystery are found on these pages. The plot was very interesting. It was mostly steady. The dialogue between characters kept me reading. Like the characters, I too, am a Cub fan. Or was in the past…but now, I do not follow any sports teams. Sometimes, it felt like there wepas more telling than showing what was happening. This caused for a feeling of slowness in spots throughout the book. It seems that clues were left and the detectives find a string of murders that might help them solve a current case. The police have no where to go with the investigation. All suspects have a clear alibi. Goodnight Irene by James Scott Byrnside is similar to the style of Mary Higgins Clark and Michael Connelly. The night a mother checks in her daughter everything changes. The daughter’s life is never the same. Irene’s past comes tumbling to the present, and there’s nowhere to hide…overall, I enjoyed the intrigue and suspense of what happened all those years ago and how they related to the present time. I would recommend this fiction title to readers everywhere.

Review: Traits and Emotions of a Salvageable Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

All people have their own remarkably intrinsic value, and it’s time we recognize it in ourselves and share it with the people in our lives.

From the wisdom of elders comes Traits and Emotions of a Salvageable Soul: A Conversation with a Touch of Class, a guide to growing and healing ourselves so that we can live the quality of life we were always meant to live. From life’s hard lessons, Crawford offers the reader encouragement and truth, a path for using life’s challenges to overcome and even thrive.

Don’t give up, he reminds us. Every one of us has great potential and purpose. We just need to have faith in ourselves and courage.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Traits and Emotions of a Salvageable Soul by Keeshawn C. Crawford is an uplifting yet inspiring nonfiction boo. The pages bring a sense of calm into readers like me. Life is challenging and tends to wear us down as humans. This book has a way of pushing one back up, encouraging one to bloom fully again. The writer makes me feel cared about…when I fell, the writer’s words gave me a hand to get back on track. Sure, I struggle with loving myself. Always comparing myself to others. Feel like I do not compare…I fall short of expectations. Yet this book digs through that emotion and causes for a newfound joy, an inspiration to not give up hope. Overall, I recommend this self-help guide to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Return of the Continuums (book 2)

Return of the Continuums (The Continuum Trilogy #2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

As Myra Jackson and her friends set out to find the First Continuum, Captain Aero Wright and two companions from the outer space Second Continuum find themselves banished for treason and stranded on Earth. Wright has vowed to complete his late father’s mission to recolonize their ancestral planet, but his true mission is to find the mysterious girl who haunts his dreams. Meanwhile, Myra and the young refugees of the underwater Thirteenth Continuum must make an unlikely ally if they are going to survive the hostile surface world and reach their destination, the nexus of humanity’s hope for survival. As their paths begin to converge, the Beacons that guide and connect Myra and Aero begin to prove their power, and a shadowy force with a centuries-old grudge reveals itself.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Return of the Continuums by Jennifer Brody is a great YA dystopian novel. It continues off where the first novel left off. A bunch of teens working together to finish a quest. The obstacles that await them are challenging. It kind of reminds me a little of Star Wars and the Jedi. They have lost a lot of people for cause that may or may not win. Loss, grief, struggles, war, and survival are themes found in this book. Only two characters hold the burden of survival on their shoulders. Determined, they continue their journey for hope. For those looking for action, adventure, and fantasy…this, is a must read. It contains all of these elements.

Review: The House of Binding Thorns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The multi-award-winning author of The House of Shattered Wings continues her Dominion of the Fallen saga as Paris endures the aftermath of a devastating arcane war….

As the city rebuilds from the onslaught of sorcery that nearly destroyed it, the great Houses of Paris, ruled by Fallen angels, still contest one another for control over the capital.

House Silverspires was once the most powerful, but just as it sought to rise again, an ancient evil brought it low. Phillippe, an immortal who escaped the carnage, has a singular goal—to resurrect someone he lost. But the cost of such magic might be more than he can bear.

In House Hawthorn, Madeleine the alchemist has had her addiction to angel essence savagely broken. Struggling to live on, she is forced on a perilous diplomatic mission to the underwater dragon kingdom—and finds herself in the midst of intrigues that have already caused one previous emissary to mysteriously disappear….

As the Houses seek a peace more devastating than war, those caught between new fears and old hatreds must find strength—or fall prey to a magic that seeks to bind all to its will.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The House of Binding Thorns by Aliette De Bodard is a fallen angel story. Fallen angels among others are fighting to own Paris. But after a war, they are struggling to make the city strong again. Still fighting over ownership, two houses are trying to combine power of ownership. Yet destruction still hangs in the air…ready to strike once more. Power, fear, and loyalties are tested within these pages. The plot felt slow to me. I felt like I was dragged through the book, in the slowest way possible. I did not feel connected to the characters. It was like they did whatever they felt like doing for their own goals. This book held potential to be more than what it presented. However, it fell short of those expectations.

 

Review: The Killing Edge

Synopsis:

Chloe Marin was lucky. She was just a teenager when a party at a Florida beachside mansion turned into a savage killing spree, and she was one of the few to survive. Bloody handwriting on the walls pointed to a cult whose rituals included human sacrifice. Chloe’s sketch of one of the killers linked two dead cult members found in the Everglades to the massacre, closing the case as far as the cops were concerned.

Ten years later Chloe works as a psychologist specializing in art therapy to help traumatized victims, and on the side she finds release in her passion for the martial arts. Police who hire her as a consultant know she’s a literal kick-ass advocate for victims who can’t always speak for themselves.

The current disappearance of a young swimsuit model ranks low on the cops’ priority list. Everyone assumes the girl has run off for some fun in the sun, instead of getting ready for a photo shoot. Everyone but Chloe, who suspects a killer is using the modeling agency to stalk his prey. When the ghost of the model appears, asking Chloe for help, she knows that she has to do everything she can.

So does Luke Cane, a British ex-cop-turned-P.I. investigating the disappearance of the model on behalf of her father. Chloe and Luke have trouble trusting each other, but they can’t help their strong attraction for one another. Luckily they agree on the important things: someone needs to find those missing girls, and if a few laws have to get bent so lives can be saved, too bad.

When Chloe arrives late for an appointment at the modeling agency, she discovers a gruesome mass murder eerily similar to the one she witnessed a decade ago—and can’t help thinking that if she hadn’t run late, she would have been there when the killer arrived. Ten years ago she hadn’t been convinced the police had identified the real killers, and now she’s sure of it. The same evil mind is behind the current murders, and she’s afraid she’s the target— and terrified that she won’t be able to cheat death a third time. She has no choice now but to trust Luke on every level, because with a killer closing in, he’s the only one who’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her alive.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Unlike similar novels from this author, The Killing Edge, just did not engage me as much as I had hoped. It was still interesting, edgy, and dark. Murder, bloodshed, and serial killer(s) still out hunting down their victims. I usually feel connected to the main characters but I did not feel connected to these characters. I understood them. I felt their pain and determination to solve the murders. Yet, I was not hooked. I was both intrigued and entertained though. Heather Graham still has the talent for writing novels that ring a chill down my spine. The intensity of the scenes happening in this novel was just as exciting. The plot felt slower to me. I felt like I was moving steady. I usually move quickly through the pages. Just was not happening this time around…overall, it was good. The Killing Edge is worth reading.

Review: Hunters in the Dark

Synopsis:

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

 

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: A Sister’s Place



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

 

Synopsis:

For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.

As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst–that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?

In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is one of the best YA tales that I have read. Here, readers will meet a deeply flawed character who has one heck of a journey to find herself. Courage, love, and friendships are easier said than done. When one has a mental disorder such as being bipolar, that brings a lot of insecurity to a teenage girl. Teens go through enough stress and inner turmoil without adding to it. But this, new flaw, will be the disaster or the realization she doesn’t have to be alone anymore. It’s tough keeping people out of one’s circle. Especially, when that said character wants to be around them. Friends can come and go. Who’s to say they will stay if they find out Mel’s deep secret? Then there’s that good guy that every teenage girl wants in her life…David. David is another great character. He struggles with the fact his grandma is being taken care of by others. It puts him in an awkward situation. But his grandma is okay and the girl helping his grandma fascinates him more than anything. But as with all good things, there’s always the deep dark side to that must come with it. Eric Lindstrom takes readers deep into his character’s mind and heart. Feeling and hearing everything through Mel’s eyes. I loved getting to know her and to watch her grow. Facing her struggles is tough but I kept my hopes up…Overall, A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is exactly that. Tragic but wonderful too. I highly recommend this YA story to all.

Review: No One Is Invincible

No One Is Invincible by [Walker, Shawn]

 

Synopsis:

Summary Life is a precious thing. This is something sixteen year old John knows all too well. Intelligent, punk rock, and seemingly alone in a home filled with domestic violence, John runs away and finds himself homeless and living on the streets. Faced with hunger, horrid winter weather, and human ignorance, John struggles to find morality in the world around him. That is, until the love and help of a mysterious old lady who goes by the name “Mom” and charismatic, 6-year-old little girl, Candy, show him light can be found in the darkest of places. Can John face down not only homelessness, but also the fear of losing a loved one to a very deadly killing agent, cancer?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

No One Is Invincible by Shawn Walker is a read to behold. This novel holds more than to the eyes see. A story is that is deep…emotional and one that awakens readers to the evils of men. Human ignorance is one of the worst evils humans possess. That and greed. The more we have the more we want. Yet when we meet those who have little or nothing we turn a blind’s eye to them. It’s those people that we should be helping and paying attention to…not to our wealth. Family comes in all varieties these days. A young man is smart yet feels alone runs away from his home. He is soon faced with problems of hunger, shelter, and love. Humans see the issues but they harden their hearts instead of opening them. I felt sadness, frustration, and anger. The difficulties and struggles of the characters were easy to relate to and understand. I want to cry, hug, and love the characters like they were my own family. I wanted to help them. In the end, I felt the loss, the grief, but also, a sense of belonging and love. There is hope after all…Shawn Walker’s novel, No One is Invincible is one that all should read. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. The issues are real. The characters will tug at readers’ hearts and souls. I fell in love. Overall, this was masterfully woven and well-developed.

 

Review: Tiny Tim & the Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge

 

Synopsis:

In the sequel to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Tiny Tim, now a grown well-to-do young man, builds to a crisis of faith after he loses his love and soul-mate years earlier. It all comes to a head when old Scrooge, his benefactor, friend, and second father dies just days before Christmas. Blaming God and rejecting Christmas, Tim slips more and more into an uncaring mood with only a tenuous need to live on. Scrooge’s ghost now returns to show Tim what he does not understand about true faith when bad things happen to good people. Tim is shamed by an example of real faith and finally begins to understand what Christmas really means in Tiny Tim and The Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge, The sequel to A Christmas Carol.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Norman Whaler has brilliantly written a sequel to the famous A Christmas Carol. Inside this stunning tale, readers find themselves lost in Tiny Tim’s world. The world is very much like our own. Poverty and suffering all around. This time, however, Tiny Tim is suffering the loss of two great people in his life. Ebenezer Scrooge comes back as a ghost to Tiny Tim. His message is that he came back because three people need help right away and Tiny Tim must come with him. Tiny Tim, bless his heart, doesn’t hesitate to go with Ebenezer Scrooge.  So the journey begins…lessons are learned and it’s another heart-melting tale that readers won’t ever forget. I enjoyed following Tiny Tim’s new adventure as the story unfolded. This is a new classic that will become everyone’s new favorite Christmas tale. Overall, I highly recommend this beautiful piece to readers everywhere. Tiny Tim and the Ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge is definitely a must read for all.

 

Review: The Beauty and the Feast

 

Synopsis:

Eva Raines is an uncomplicated country girl who’s all about food. Eva moves to the Napa Valley where her culinary skills come to the attention of the owners of a start-up and Eva finds her niche as a personal chef. Now all she needs is a man as perfect as her cooking, but she has serious doubts such a creature exists.

When wealthy entrepreneur, winery owner, and noted lothario, Gabriel Abbott, makes plans to seduce his flavor of the month, his assistant hires All Things to All People to cater a gourmet dinner. Eva expects to use her way with food to showcase the startup. What she unexpectedly discovers is that her culinary skills showcase far more. Gabriel Abbott finds himself seduced by her voice and the sensual flavors and textures of her food and his previous plans are quickly forgotten. He begins to obsess about meeting his little chef in person. He’s not alone. Once Eva hears Gabe’s voice and spends time in his home in the Napa Valley, she begins to wonder about the real man and her dreams of him are so hot they could ignite a barbecue.

When Eva and Gabe finally come face to face, the question is, how hot will their fire burn?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Beauty and the Feast by J.R. Barret is a highly entertaining romance. It’s hot, sexy, and funny sweet. This was the first novel I have read by this talented individual. The characters were fun to read about and follow along with as the plot developed. Readers will be enticed with this title from the first page and onward. Food, culture, and amazing travel readers will get to taste and view when reading this brilliant novel. I found myself completely lost as I read this story. It was like I was right there watching and engaging in the exciting scenes around me. The smells were so vivid that I found myself almost tasting the delicious meals prepared by the main character. She is beautiful, smart, and fun.

J.R Barret’s novel is steady paced and well-written. Once readers open it up to read it won’t be put down until they read the last page. Inside The Beauty and the Feast, readers are taken into a kitchen where we find our main character cooking and then being hosed down by a horny teenage boy. A horny teenage boy that she has to babysit for her boss. He takes great pleasure in soaking her shirts until they are transparent..then leaves grinning like a cashmere cat in Alice of Wonderland. Readers will be intrigued by Eva whose cooking skills will make anyone’s mouth water…especially that of a hot sexy man who heats up her dreams. Gabe is soon led to Eva and unlike most romances..this woman has a lot more than looks that attract a red-blooded male like him. But what fate holds in store for them both is one, readers must find out on their own. I absolutely loved reading this title..the cover and name of the book fit in perfectly with the story and its characters. Spicy, sensual, and masterfully woven, The Beauty and the Feast, is definitely a must read for all.

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