Book Review · Books

What Blooms From Dust

Have you ever been caught in a dust storm, or even worse yet, a haboob? I have watched one roll in and they are quite fascinating to watch from inside your house. The sky turns a funny yellow color, sometimes reddish brown and one moment you can see objects in front of you, then next they are hidden by the giant cloud of dust. If you suffer from asthma don’t get caught out in one.

What Blooms From Dust by James Markert is the story of a town called Nowhere, where the 1930’s bring black as night dust storms that turn day into night. Twin brothers, Josiah and Jeremiah both love a woman named Ellen. Sibling rivalry turns ugly when Josiah rats out Jeremiah to the police. He witnessed his brother bury four men and figures his brother killed them. Jeremiah goes off to prison. When a tornado rips through where the prison is at, Jeremiah escapes.

On his way back to Nowhere Jeremiah spots a family trying to sell one of their kids. He’s shocked a child would be for sale. With a flick of his coin the boy ends up following him. This little boy is described as not all there since he smiles nonstop. Jeremiah takes the boy under his wing as he returns to his home town.

Ellen is married to Josiah and has a son. She’s a teacher trying to survive the dust storms. When Jeremiah and the little boy walk into town she’s shocked how the little boy makes her think of a child she almost had, but lost.

When the dust storms won’t stop the town starts to go haywire. People turn catatonic, not able to eat or drink. The dust becomes just another fixture the towns people have started to ignore.

Will the towns people survive? Who is this mystery child who finds comfort in typing on his type twitter? Will Jeremiah and Josiah clear the years of hurt between them? Will a reporter’s desire to uncover the truth put a wedge between Jeremiah and Ellen?

If you enjoy historical fiction with a unique twist you may enjoy this novel. Parts of this book made me think of Stephen King. Will Nowhere allow a dust storm to take them all down?

I received my free ARC paperback copy of What Blooms From Dust by James Markert from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson and Harper Collins in exchange for my honest feedback. If you are interested in getting a copy click here to purchase from Amazon and to find out more about the author check out his website. This novel made me want to research the dust bowl more thoroughly.

Book Review · Books

Discovery

I enjoy historical fiction and Christian historical fiction sounded different from what I normally read. This short novel is about the relationship between Dr. Giselle Gelis and Dr. David Rettig who are both researching Maria Madeline. Giselle from a Christian view point and David from his skeptics, archeologist stance. It mirrors their relationship with Abbe Francois Berenger Sauniere and Marie, whose the daughter of the family he stays with. Both couples want to discover the truth about Maria Madeline.

Giselle Meets David at a biblical conference where they both sense there is a romantic spark between them. Giselle is reserved at first because of being burnt by men in her past. David is thrilled, but understanding that they have opposite spiritual views.

I have never done any research on Maria Magdalena, but reading this novel makes me want to do more research about her. She has been known as the prostitute in the Biblical narrative. When Abbe Francois Berenger Sauniere begins to rebuild the church named after her he discovers more than he bargained for. When he asks to have what he’s discovered to be translated he realizes that he’s being kept quiet. Who would see what he discovered as a threat to the church and why?

I received my free paperback copy of Discovery by Leslie Schweitzer Miller for free from Smith Publicity in exchange for my honest feedback on this novel. My feedback is strictly my own. This novel is sweetly written, humorous at times, romantic, fascinating and makes the world of France come alive both in modern times and the 19th century.

Book Review · Books

Where Hope Begins

Some beautiful book covers are just that. Beautiful. The innards don’t always mirror the outer. Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is a book I asked to review because I thought the cover was gorgeous. The cover didn’t remotely prepare me for the depth of the story waiting for me.

Savannah is a mother still reeling from the untimely passing of her eldest daughter when her husband, Kevin, decides he wants to separate. He had an affair and decides to move out to go live with the other woman. To help herself heal and move forward, Savannah decides to go stay at her parent’s cabin.

She discovers she has nice neighbors to keep her company. One of the neighbors is Maisy, a little girl who looks so much like her late daughter. Savannah is captivated by Maisy’s Dad, Brock, not realizing who he actually is. Through her neighbor’s friendship she begins to heal her broken heart. Brock’s Aunt Clarice keeps Savannah on her toes spiritually, seeming to know so much without Savannah having to say a word.

Savannah feels like her life is finally showing signs of healing when Kevin wants back in. Will Savannah let him? How can you forgive someone you love and trust after betrayal? Is it possible for a family to be repaired? Can a family move forward after the loss of a child?

This novel tackles so many tough topics that are realistically portrayed through Savannah’s story: marriage, betrayal, death, faith, love, hope, family, relationships, friendship and more. This novel will stick with you long after the last page. I wish there was a sequel. Better yet a movie.

I received my free paperback ARC copy of Where Hope Begins by Catherine West for free from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson in exchange for honest review. To learn more about this talented author check out her website and buy a copy from Amazon.

Book Review · Books

It Takes Death To Reach A Star

If you love Game Of Thrones and are into futuristic sci-fi novels then, It Takes Death To Reach A Star May be the novel for you. I never read sci-fi, but this novel has encouraged me to start reading more from this genre. This novel follows the paths of Mila and Demitri who are thrown together when their worlds collide after the Third World War. This war wiped out many people with the NBD, or new Black Death epidemic. Mila is a Robust and Demotri is a Gracile. These two groups don’t normally socialize.

Mila clings to the old world’s faith, while Demitri tries to keep his secret under wraps. One carries information that is vital to surviving and the other has an addiction to numbing out his sameness existence. When they both realize what the Leader has in store will they band together to stop him, or will their social classes keep them from stooping the evil leader?

The topics that range throughout this book are what constitutes a family, faith, how knowledgeable can shape and change us. Other topics explored are, are demons real and if so, how do we handle them? Lastly the topic of religious differences is covered. Will we allow religious differences to separate us through violence, or will we learn from each other?

I received my free paperback copy of It Takes Death To Reach A Star by Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington for free from TLC Book Tours care of Vesuvian Books. To support these authors click here to purchase off Amazon and to check out more about the authors: Gareth and Stu . I enjoyed this novel. It’s fast paced with short chapters which is nice. Thank you for such an engrossing read.

Book Review · Books

Grabbing Pussy

When I saw the title it piqued my interest. I love poetry and thought for sure the topic would mean the poetry would be powerful. Alas this was not the book for me. I understand wanting to be edgy, in your face, bold, blunt and a sprinkle of funny, but I had to force myself to finish this book. I don’t like wanting to DNF a book.

This book of poetry and commentary is about the topics of Trump, Hilary, politics and feminism. I love poetry, but I think I need to stick with more classical poetry that doesn’t sound worse than a truck driver. I know the author is just trying to make a loud statement; it’s just not my preferred style of poetry.

I received this digital ARC from Edelweiss for free in exchange for my honest feedback. If you enjoy potty humor, swearing and crass poetry then you may love Grabbing Pussy by Karen Finley.

Personal · Self Care

No Words

Sometimes you aren’t prepared. This morning my partner mentioned someone had died. I was trying to guess who it might have been. I was not ready for what he showed me.

When he showed me the news headline I immediately cried out, “What? Nooo.” I instantly burst into ugly sobs. I rarely sob. Sobbing at 5AM is not a fun way to ring in a Friday. No, I didn’t know Anthony Bourdain personally. I watched his shows “No Reservations,” and “Parts Unknown”. I’ve watched them many times.

Tony’s shows are funny, heartfelt, snarky at times and make you want to travel the world. He is blunt in his verbiage, but has a heart for people. Tony won’t be forgotten.

It was hard to concentrate at work earlier today because I kept thinking of Tony and wondering why. Why choose to bow out when what ever was ailing him could be resolved with time and patience? I know so many of us struggle with depression. We keep moving forward with smiles plastered on, not letting everyone see behind our perfect looking masks. I don’t know the reasons. We may never know. His own daughter may never know why her dad chose to leave early. I can’t fathom her heartache today.

One thing I do know is Anthony is loved by so many and respected as a chef, author, travel host, Dad, boyfriend, friend, etc. He was a big life figure in the culinary and travel industry.

Part of me wants to curl up in a ball and just sob. This untimely death has hit me hard. I cried more over James Gandolfini. It took me months before I could watch or hear the theme intro song to, “Sopranos.” I usually don’t get this emotional over a celebrity, but these two figures made a giant impact on our world and their passing have left holes in our hearts.

We may not know how we impact others lives, but we do. Even someone we just smile at in passing. That one act of positivity could make someone’s day, it could let them know they are seen and loved.

I hope you are resting in peace Tony. You are loved and admired by many. I am just sad you choose to leave early when you had so much more life to live. You blessed more people than you’ll ever know.

Book Review · Books

The Handbook For Beautiful People

Marla seems to be getting her life back together. She has an accomplished musician boyfriend Liam and her roommate Dani is a true friend, minus her drug addiction. Marla enjoys her job at the diner and doctor’s office. When Marla’s deaf brother Gavin comes for a visit her world is upended. Gavin and Dani get along better than she thought. She wasn’t expecting them to fall in love. Liam tries to convince Marla that Dani is a bad influence on her. When Marla gets pregnant she thinks her happily ever after has finally arrived until she realizes Liam isn’t as much the night in shining armor she thought he was. When Marla gets into a car accident she’s sure Liam will come to her rescue, but it ends up Dani and Gavin arrive instead. Even though Dani has her drug and men addictions she truly does care about Marla.

This book was tough to get into except for the prologue. The story’s POV jumps around within chapters so it can get a bit confusing of whose talking. The chapter names make no sense in relation to the story except for one chapter. I had to force myself to finish this book. I don’t believe in DNFing a book. Thankfully the ending made up for the struggle.

I received my free copy of The Handbook For Beautiful People by Jennifer Spruit from TLC Book Tours care of Inana Publications and Education in exchange for my review. If you enjoy new adult novels you may enjoy this one.