Book Review · Self Care · Books

Find Your Awesome

I’m a sucker for self-help books. When I saw the cute artwork on the cover I couldn’t resist requesting the appropriately titled Find Your Awesome. This short book has 30 different ideas on ways that you can learn how to start loving yourself. Some of the suggestions that stood out to me the most were:

* Rocking my life list

I need to make a life bucket list, so I have goals I am always reaching on meeting.

* Hold a burning ceremony

There are things about my past and myself I need to let go of, but my OCD reparative thoughts like to dwell on those things anyway. A burning ceremony of letting go would be acknowledging these things, but then physically letting them go by burning away their hold on me.

* List 10 people you are grateful for

Writing down 10 people I’m grateful for helps me stay focused on the important people in my life who help influence and shape me in who I’ve become through the years.

* Organize something

Organizing is something I like to do briefly, then my piles start up again. Going through my things and only keeping what is essential is therapeutic. I need to do more of it so there is more room in my life for things I truly need, plus I will feel less claustrophobic.

* Unplug

Unplugging from social media occasionally is important and something I want to do more often. It’s never a dire emergency to check notifications. If it’s an emergency the person will call me and leave a voicemail.

* Be unapologetic

I am a classic apology case. I apologize often to where it even annoys myself. I need to stop apologizing, especially when I’m not truly sorry. It’s a bad form of coming across humble and selfless when in reality you aren’t wanting to own your true feelings about something.

* Write your personal manifesto

Writing my own manifesto on how I want to live my life is something I need to do. It’s a way for me to have a nice, firm reminder of what I believe in, stand for and want to accomplish with my existence.

* Decide what matters

Deciding what matters can be a tough exercise.

* Write yourself a love letter

I don’t like being the center of attention, so the idea of writing myself a love letter sounds egotistical, but I need to honestly love me for me and writing it down will help cement it in my mind.

* Design a book cover for your life story

Some day I do want to publish. A memoir might be a tad strange, but to design a unique book cover for it would satisfy my creative side.

These suggestions each speak to me in that they are ways I can uncover who I am down to my core.

What would your answers be to these different suggestions on how we can love and care for ourselves more?

I think with social media when can get so caught up in following other’s lives that we forget to be ourselves, to be our own unique selves. These suggestions help peel off the layers of fitting in, so that we can love ourselves for who we are. I know I don’t always like what I see when I peel back my protective layers, but it’s important for me to truly like myself, even the scary parts of me (body parts, personality, habits).

If you need a uplifting pick me up, go find a copy of this short book. The artwork alone is sweet and inspiring. I received my free digital ARC of Find Your Awesome by Judy Clement Wall care of NetGalley from HCI Books in exchange for my honest feedback. Thank you Judy for an easy to use self-help book that will help society get their life balance back.

Book Review · Books

Rose Colored Glasses

Memoirs steal your heart. The author gives you a peek into their personal life, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Jo Ann Simon does just that in her memoir, Rose Colored Glasses. In her book she chronicles her marriage to Tom otherwise known as TK. Their love and romance reads like a fairy tale until they are faced with a harsh health update for Tom.

What would you do if your spouse or partner suddenly has to deal with a terminal illness? Jo Ann meets this challenge head on like a freight train, determined to find a cure for Tom. She is honest about their good days when Tom is back to his old self and days when getting through the day is a challenge. I can’t fathom going through what Jo Ann has. You expect to grow old with your other half.

I received my free digital ARC copy of Rose Colored Glasses by Jo Ann Simon from NetGalley care of Smith Publicity in exchange for my honest feedback. This memoir was beautifully written with little notes from Tom to Jo Ann sprinkled through out the pages. Loosing a partner to disease is devastating. Jo Ann shows how we can get through to the other side of this premature challenge to live life again. If you have a friend, family member, or an acquaintance that needs assurance they aren’t alone going through this kind of major life change then I recommend to read this book. It’s a book about hope.

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

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

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.

Book Review · Books

A Sin Such As This

If you love reading novels by Ellen Hopkins then you will love A Sin Such As This. This sequel to Love Lies Beneath finds main character Tara married to doctor Cavin Lattimore. Tara is ready to move beyond her previous home in San Francisco to Lake Tahoe where her husband and stepson, Eli live.

Tara is glad to have a fresh start with Cavin, though she is not used to having a stepson whose quite the charmer. The atmosphere in her new home is a bit rocky with her niece Kayla living with them and dating Eli. Tara doesn’t trust easy, but does her best to trust both her new husband and her stepson. Her niece is a different story.

Life takes a turn when she realizes her husband’s ex fiancĂ©, Sophia lives too, close for comfort for her tastes. Cavin says he’s over her, but when Tara keeps encountering her at Cavin’s office, her concerns rise.

Does Tara have anything to worry about in regards to Sophia? Will Eli keep his libido in check? Why is her sister, Melody acting strange all of a sudden?

This book sheds light on integrating two families, cultures and what happens when people we think we know aren’t all they seem. I received my free ARC copy of A Sin Such As This from TLC Book Tours care of Atria Books. If you haven’t read book one have no fear. I haven’t and was able to follow the storyline along just fine. This book had hot scenes, humerus one’s and nail biting ones. To buy a copy click here for Amazon and to contact Ellen Hopkin’s check out her website. Now I’ll want to go read the first book in this series.

Book Review · Books

The Hazel Wood

Alice moved a lot with her mom Ella. She didn’t think much of it until one day when she was little she got kidnaped by a man who claimed he was going to take her to her grandmother. Alice never met her grandmother, but knew she was a famous writer of fairy tales. The strange thing was that Alice’s mom didn’t want her reading her grandmother’s book. Alice tried countless times to find a copy, but it seemed they disappeared out of existence.

In high school Alice’s mom marries a rich man with a snotty daughter. One day Alice comes home from school to find everyone gone. There’s an odd smell in the apartment and there’s a note on her bed for her. It’s a page from her grandmother’s book. What did it mean? Alice goes to her classmate Finch who is a major fan of her grandmother’s book. Will Alice and Finch find her mom? What’s the mystery behind her kidnapping and the note?

If you enjoy fantasy, fairy tales and mysteries you may enjoy The Hazel Wood. This book was fast paced, intense, fascinating, a mental whirlwind and outside my usual genre. This book has made me want to read some classic fairy tales that haven’t been Disney sanitized. I received my ebook ARC of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert for free from NetGalley in exchange for my feedback. I bought a physical copy since I wanted one for my book collection.