Book Review · Books

The Quiet You Carry

Victoria’s life changes the day her mom dies. Her mom asks her to promise she’ll take care of her dad. Victoria says, “Yes,” not realizing what this will entail. How do you help a grieving parent when you, yourself, are trying to grieve as a teen? Victoria does her best to help out by cooking and cleaning. Her dad meets Tiffany who he takes a shining to. Next thing Victoria knows she’s gained a stepmom and a stepsister, Sarah.

Life seems to be turning into something normal once Tiffany and Sarah enter Victoria’s life until the night her dad acts weird towards her and throws her out. Literally. Victoria lands into foster care, not understanding why. She is placed into Connie’s home.

Life in her new foster home is like walking on eggshells. Connie is strict and not one to hand out sympathy. Victoria attempts to befriend her foster sister, but the other girl mainly keeps to herself. Being at Connie’s means that Victoria is thrown into attending a different school and living in a different town.

Will Victoria adjust to her foster home? Can she start over in a small town where it seems everyone knows everyone else’s business? Can Victoria keep her secrets hidden indefinitely?

I received a digital ARC copy of The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess from North Star Editions and Flux, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are strictly mine. This book is engrossing from page 1. I could not put this novel down. Victoria’s story is an important one that everyone needs to read. This book will have you crying, laughing, cringing and cheering. For a debut novel I’m beyond impressed. I will definitely be searching for other titles by Nikki Barthelmess because she is a talented author you won’t want to miss. Definitely keep an eye out this year for this upcoming YA novel.

Book Review · Books

Raising Faith

What would you do if your child could see people who have passed on and you aren’t a believer of the supernatural? Claire Waters finds herself in this exact predicament. Her daughter, Faith is shy and not one to boast of her abilities. When she is little Claire discovers her daughter’s psychic ability. At first Claire is creeped out, wondering if her daughter is safe with these people she can see, but Faith never seems frightened. To Faith it’s normal to her and nothing is wrong. This memoir is Claire’s journey in learning about her daughter’s supernatural abilities.

Claire does a great job of being forthright in her skepticism and how she goes about researching these gifts her daughter has. As someone who didn’t believe in life after death, after her daughter confirms she can see her grandfather, Claire is provided more evidence that helps her in believing her dad isn’t truly gone. He may not physically be there, but that doesn’t mean he’s not there in spirit form.

This book was fascinating. I can’t see spirits of people who have passed on, but I do know someone who can see angels. I believe this is a spiritual gift you have to be careful and mindful with. I do believe there are demons out there that can masquerade as someone you may have known and try to trick you. Not all spirits are good and safe. They are those that want to harm you. I do believe in life after death and I do think those who have passed on can send us signs. This book a bit out of my comfort zone, but I do find the topic interesting. I think children are more open to the supernatural because they haven’t been tainted yet by the world.

I received my digital ARC copy of Raising Faith by Claire Waters from John Hunt Publishing, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are strictly my own. If you enjoy books about this topic then keep an eye out for this title next year.

Book Review · Books

The Sparkle Effect

Even though I’m more of a tomboy than a girlie girl the title of The Sparkle Effect captured my attention. This book has a cute name, but the contents are a spiritual powerhouse of a wake up call to your soul. This book is not a fast read. You can try to read through it quickly, but it begs to be savored and respected. Kristen writes from the heart with stories from her personal Christian walk, the struggles and triumphs she’s faced, as well as a prayer at the end of each chapter along with applicable Bible verses.

I enjoyed reading Kristen’s book. Some of it I honestly found a little schmaltzy in its Christianese language, but I also, think this book is meant to be reread multiple times. There are spiritual diamonds inside and only one reading scratches the surface.

Kristen is the epitome of gorgeous. She brings to mind a childhood friend of mine I always thought of as having it all together: beauty, brains, a perfect life. I know that’s a lie and no one has a perfect life. I like that Kristen is forthright in how her life truly is.

If you need a book that will inspire and humble you then this book will rock your world. This book is geared for women. I wonder what countless Christian young ladies lives would be like if they were gifted Kristen’s book at the start of high school or college?

I received a complimentary copy of The Sparkle Effect by Kristen Dalton Wolfe from Faith Words. The views expressed are only mine. Thank you Kristen for being an open book, to shine a light for those who need a light to help guide them on their Christian walk.

Book Review · Books

Still Standing

What would you do if you were falsely accused to being involved in illegal activity your spouse was involved in? Anaite Alvarado experienced just this in 2015 when she gets arrested in Guatemala. Anaite has dual USA citizenship since her parents are Guatemalan. Her husband, at the time, had only the previous year advised her of some financial trouble he was in. She was not involved whatsoever.

Anaite is whisked away by the police one morning after her children are sent off to school. I can’t imagine the trauma of being taken away without being able to warn your children of what is going to happen. Her memoir, Still Standing, is her journey being stuck in prison and waiting to be freed. Anaite’s account of prison life is intense, sobering, and educational. Her time in there shows how humane inmates are and how they help each other stay sane through their friendships and generosity in sharing what little they have.

I received a complimentary copy of Still Standing by Anaite Alvarado from Apollo Publishers care of Smith Publicity. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you are needing an inspirational read I highly recommend this memoir.

Book Review · Books

A Surgeon’s Odyssey

Do you enjoy travel memoirs? Are you interested in becoming a doctor? Do you love any kind of inspirational memoir? If any of this rings true for you then you’ll enjoy reading, A Surgeon’s Odyssey. Dr. Richard Moss raised in NY wanted more in life then to just start his own practice. He wanted to help those less fortunate in other countries.

When a fortune cookie from his favorite Chinese restaurant confirms his desire to be adventurous and follow his heart to help others he takes the plunge. Dr. Moss travels to Thailand, India, Bangladesh, etc. to assist with his expertise as an ear, nose and throat cancer doctor. He is not prepared for what he encounters in these countries. The late stage cancer he discovers is extreme, but the one thing that takes him by surprise are the patient’s attitudes.

The countries he visits are mainly Buddhist and some Muslim. The Buddhist patients could have late stage cancer and have the most positive disposition, grateful for whatever help he can give. Even if there is nothing he can do the patient is still grateful to be seen. Their outlook on life is vastly different from those in the United States. Dr. Moss is shocked how someone with such an advanced stage of cancer can have such a happy disposition when someone in the USA would be an emotional wreck.

I thought reading a doctor’s memoir might be stuffy and boring. I was wrong. Dr. Moss has a great sense of humor throughout out his book. He explains things regarding cancer and procedures in a way an average person can understand. Dr. Moss has quite the adventures in each country he stays in. Reading this book is helped increase my interest in visiting Thailand and India. It also, increased my knowledge of the different types of ear, nose and throat cancer. He even included photos from his travels. Before this book I had never seen what advanced tumors look like.

I received my complimentary copy of A Surgeon’s Odyssey by Richard Moss, M.D. from Claire McKinney, PR, LLC. The opinions expressed are strictly mine. This memoir is one of my top favorites for 2018. I am definitely going to look for his other memoir.

Book Review · Books

Going Through Hell To Get To Heaven

As a little kid I went through the whole don’t drink and drive spiel in grade school. I remember being a literalist and not allowing my parents to even drink soda in the car because that was a drink. Have you ever thought how you’d deal with life if you encountered a drunk driver? Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz and his family did the day their car got hit by a drunk driver.

In his memoir, Going Through Hell To Get To Heaven, Dr. Hodkiewicz tells in gritty detail his family’s ordeal in being hit by a multiple time DUI drunk driver. His memoir in detail describes all they went through during the accident, the angels that were put in place to help them and the journey his family takes in fighting for their survival.

Dr. Hodkiewicz thought his life was on track to get what he wanted in life until his plan got interrupted by God’s plan. His memoir is not merely a survival memoir, but a faith memoir. He honestly describes what his faith was like prior to the accident and how the accident helped grow his faith instead of causing him to become bitter. Yes, he struggled and he doesn’t shy from sharing about that.

If you love memoirs then this one should top your books to preorder for 2019. This book is definitely one of my top favorites read this year. This book is not schmaltzy as a lot of Christian books can be. Dr. Hodkiewicz is not preachy, but relatable in a nonjudgmental tone. Even if you aren’t a mutual believer I think this book can still be an inspirational read.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of Going Through Hell To Get To Heaven by Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz courtesy of KiCam Projects. The views expressed are strictly my own. Thank you once again, KiCam Projects for the opportunity to get to read such a wonderful testimony to the gift we call life.

Book Review · Books

Get Weird

I’ve never considered myself normal by society’s standards. I was never part of the popular crowd growing up. I tried my best to fit in, but the popular kids were always snotty and mean. I always befriended the underdogs in my class.

I was the bookworm at school growing up. Ever since 2nd grade when reading independently took off I’ve always had a book with me. I enjoyed going to the school and local library. I was the nerd who never had the popular clothing brands.

Get Weird is about finding out what makes you weird, different, unique and owning it. It’s not easy when TV, society, social media is constantly blaring hype on what we supposedly need in our life. This book gives examples of those who have paved the way for letting their weirdness shine.

I received a complimentary copy of Get Weird by CJ Casciotta from Faith Words. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This review is sponsored by Faith Words. If you think outside the box, consider yourself weird, unique and quirky you will love this book.