Book Review · Books


I haven’t read a vampire novel in years. Risen was compared to Twilight. I think this novel was definitely an improvement. This novel follows the story of Charlie whose been raised by her aunt Rachel in a little cabin in the woods. Charlie is only allowed to go only so far on her walks with her dog Jax. Charlie is sick of being cooped up at her aunt’s. She wants to see the greater world. Being homeschooled doesn’t help.

One day men in black come for aunt Rachel. Her aunt gives her one piece of advice. “Don’t run.” Charlie is about to find out why in her quest to rescue her aunt. One man in black seems different from the others. For some reason Sebastian and Charlie have some type of connection. Why did these men kidnap her aunt and is Charlie who she thinks she is?

If you like vampires and the book Divergent then you’ll enjoy Risen by Cole Gibsen. I received my free digital copy from Entangled Publishing in exchange for my review. Thank you for contacting me Melissa. I’m not a fan of vampire novels, but I do want to keep reading to find out what happens to Charlie.

Book Review · Books

The Mindful Day

If you desire to be more present in your home, work, play and love (partner, family, friend), then I recommend The Mindful Day by Laurie J. Cameron. Laurie takes each topic and breaks them down into bite size pieces you can understand. At the end of every chapter she has the How To section where she gives practical suggestions in how to live out what the chapter has talked about.

I received my free copy of The Mindful Day by Laurie J. Cameron in exchange for my honest feedback. To purchase a copy click here and to find out more about the author check out her website.

Book Review · Books

Everything Is Normal

If you love anything and everything Russian then you’ll want to add Everything Is Normal to your TBR. This in depth memoir is the coming of age book about Sergey who grew up in the 70’s-80’s in Russia. He experienced life before Gorbachev and after.

Growing up in the USA I don’t know what it’s like to be sheltered from the outside world like Sergey was growing up. To realize other countries are vastly different and not as evil as you’ve been taught has got to be mind boggling. To love your country and yet yearn to be free from it has to be quite the quandary.

Reading about Russia through Sergey’s eyes is fascinating. He brings all the characteristics of Russia to the page. You don’t even need a passport to step-back in time. I took one year of Russian in college, but this book brought to life more than what I experienced in trying to learn the language.

I received my digital copy of Everything Is Normal by Sergey Grechishkinfor free from NetGalley care of the publisher InkShares, who kindly reached out to ask if I’d be interested in reading this memoir. Of course I would. Thank you Angela.

Book Review · Books

In Praise Of Difficult Women

What is a difficult woman? It’s a woman who doesn’t let anyone stop her from being herself, especially when it goes against cultural norms. Author, Karen Karbo, showcases 29 ladies who broke cultural norms. A few of the ladies showcased are: Jane Goodall, Shonda Rhimes, Hillary Rodham Clinton, J.K. Rowling, etc. Each chapter is a short essay of that woman’s life and how they may be perceived difficult by the society of their time.

If you a right-winger this book may not be the best fit for you. If you are a leftist then this book might be just right. I’m personally middle of the road, which might be why I wasn’t fond of this book. A few of the ladies chosen I found fascinating: Elizabeth Taylor, Shonda Rhimes, Margaret Cho, Vita Sackville-West. Some of the other ladies picked I’m not sure how their lives could be something I’d want to admire. For instance Carrie Fisher, Janis Joplin to name a few. If you enjoy vignettes and learning about women from different time periods then you might like In Praise Of Difficult Women.

I received my free copy of In Praise Of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo from TLC Book Tours care of National Geographic. I was excited to get this title to review and I am sad I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was thinking I would. Even if this book isn’t my cup of tea, it might be your favorite kind. To go grab a copy click here and to find out more about the author check out her website.

Book Review · Books

Son Of A Predator

What would you do if you the person you should be able to love and trust exploits you for their personal perverted appetites? David decided he wants other victims to know they aren’t alone in what they are going through. As an adult he was asked to go on vacation with his dad. He thought it was for father and son bonding time. Nope. David was just a pawn in his father’s plan to get time with his current “girlfriend,” who David realizes is a prostitute. David has a stepmom and wonders if she’s aware of what’s going on. David is horrified by what he realizes his father is doing, but doesn’t want to taint his sister’s view of their father. How can he help his father without enabling him?

This book was tough at times to stomach. My brain can’t wrap around what David went through. For him to write out, to warn others who may have similar family members or friends like his father is brave. Families with a secret that big like to keep those family details under wraps. I can’t fathom having a family member who doesn’t have any emotional and parental bond to me. To be merely viewed as a pawn is a sadistic game. It’s sad. It’s disturbing. It’s twisted, but it happened.

I received my digital copy from NetGalley for free in exchange for my review. This book is an important read. It’s not an easy read to stomach, but if you know the signs to look for you can try and stop the manipulation in its tracks quicker.

Book Review · Books

Love Unleashed

Love Unleashed by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh is a picture book that showcases different dogs that have been rescued and how they’ve impacted their owners. Each dog’s story is accompanied with photos of the dog and their owners. Every story is unique and inspirational. If you love dogs then this would make a great gift for the dog lovers in your life.

I was given a copy of Love Unleashed for free from TLC Book Tours care of National Geographic in exchange for my review. This book is gorgeous and if you haven’t adopted a dog yet you’ll be clamoring to after the last page is read.

Book Review · Books

Permanent Marker

What would you do if you survived an almost fatal car accident? Aimee, an English teacher at her old high school, is on her way home with teens from her high school’s dance team when a young man runs a stop sign and hits her on the driver’s side. She shouldn’t have made it, but she did. Permanent Marker is her journey surviving the accident and two other life changing events prior to that night.

Surviving such a horrific event is a mental cluster f**k. It’s a lot to mentally wade through. I’m a survivor of sorts. I have survivor scars. Sometimes I think I mentally blocked them out, but one evening I truly looked at them and it was a very humbling moment. Scars are a personal momento to remind you that you won’t ever be the same as other people. They remind you that you are a fighter, who fought for their life. They remind you of grace, that you were spared when others were not. They can be beautiful and yet ugly. It’s all in your perspective.

Aimee’s memoir is blunt, raw, honest, funny, tragic and yet inspirational. She honestly talks about dealing with survivors guilt, dealing with recovering from serious injuries and figuring out how to piece her life back together after such a traumatic life event.

I received the ARC of Permanent Marker by Aimee Ross for free from KiCam Projects in exchange for my review. This memoir is short, but packs a punch in what an important read it is. If you enjoy memoirs, especially survivor memoirs then this one will get a special spot on your bookcase.

Book Review · Books

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky

Clare meets an older woman on the morning of her wedding. Edith is elderly, but sharp as a tack and helps Clare stop from entering into what would be a bad marriage. After Clare calls off her wedding to Zack she is trying to get her bearings again. One day she is informed that Edith gave her house to Clare in her will. Clare only clandestinely met Edith twice and wondered what would make Edith give Clare, a perfect stranger, her house?

When Clare goes to stay at her new house she discovers there’s more to Edith. Clare knew Edith had used her house as a guest house for vacationing families, but didn’t realize there were mystery guests she recorded, but that didn’t add up. Clare and her childhood sweetheart Dev go on an adventure to figure out who the mystery guests were.

If you enjoyed reading The Keeper Of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan then you will fall in love with Clare and Edith. This book is beautifully written, keeps you on your toes guessing and is a must read. To buy a copy click here and to find out more about Marisa De Los Santos check out her Twitter. I received my ARC copy of I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa De Los Santos for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review.

Book Review · Books

A Piece Of The World

What would you do if you had an ailment that doctors couldn’t figure out? You wanted a life free and carefree like others, but you knew you had your lot in life. Christina has terrible pain in her arms and legs. Her legs are misshapen, so getting around is laborious and takes time. Her family and few friends try to persuade her to go see doctors, but out of pride she declines. Christina helps out her parents on their farm. It’s a pretty piece of property on the coast of Maine. One day when she is older, Christina’s friend’s husband, Andy, an artist comes to draw at her house. What could Andy have her to possibly draw? Will Andy be the friend Christina needs, to truly show her who she is, no holds barred?

This novel switches back and forth between past and present in Christina’s life. The time period spans from the 1900’s to the late 1940’s. At times it can be a bit confusing, but the characterization is well thought out. You see how Christina changes and yet still remains her stubborn self. This novel makes me want to go visit the setting of this story. Maine sounds gorgeous, and yet brutal in winter.

I received my free copy of A Piece Of The World by Christina Baker Kline from TLC Book Tours care of William Morrow Books in exchange for my review. If you are interested in buying a copy please click here. To find out more about the author check out her site.