Book Review · Books

Winter Of The Wolf

Bean’s best friend is her older brother, Sam, who named her back when he was two. He was that thrilled to be getting a little sister. Bean also, has her long time BFF, Julie. High school life seems fairly mundane and normal until the night of Sam’s best friend, Skip’s party. Sam hasn’t finished his paper, so their mom grounds him from going. He’s ticked off and fuming.

Julie and Bean were supposed to have a BFF sleepover, but that night their parents have company over. Bean gets their mom to ok Sam to quickly take her to go pick up Julie since Bean is only a freshman. That night a bad storm is ragging and the conditions are awful. The conditions were ripe for what happens next. The accident is horrific with a deer running out in front of the car and a tree stopping them.

Sam is gutted by the accident. Julie and Bean watch him go in the pouring rain to briefly lay himself over the dead deer. They get him to stumble home where his parents realize that he has a big gash down him and he’s bleeding a lot. His mom cleans him up and he retreats to his room to work on his paper. Bean and Julie go to their room.

Awhile later they hear a horrific scream. They rush to find Bean’s mom staring into Sam’s room. Bean can’t erase what her eyes are seeing. The paramedics are called and they all race to the hospital.

The end result is Sam is gone. Bean can’t fathom life without her brother. The cause of death is ruled one thing, while Bean determines it can’t be that. Sam loved his life. She determines to figure out the reason for his passing, to dig deep behind the supposed cause of death. Will Bean ever figure out the true reason?

I received my complimentary copy of Winter Of The Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler from Greenleaf Book Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are mine and of my own choice. This novel tackles the heavy topic of death and how Bean and her family each handle Sam’s passing.

Book Review · Books

The Socialite

If you love war romance novels then you are in for a treat. Enter the world of Katherine Whitfield who is determined to bring back her wayward sister, Eleanor from Nazi occupied France. Kat just wants to get convincing her sister to come back home over and done quick, but a handsome stranger seems to drop in the night Kat arrives to confront Eleanor. Who is this handsome man?

Barrett Anderson runs a local bar and seems to pop up anytime Kat needs help with Eleanor, but the person holding her sister back is Eric, her dashingly handsome Nazi boyfriend. This man makes Kat sick, but Eleanor seems blinded by Eric’s good looks and money.

Will Kat be able to get through her sister’s head how dangerous Eric is? Will this handsome stranger ever explain himself as to why he seems to be swimming in the same circles as Eleanor and Eric, but isn’t a Nazi, but a Scotchman with the brogue to boot. The more Kat tries to convince Eleanor to come back home to England the more Eric tries to block their goal. Will the sisters ever make it out of Paris?

I received my complimentary copy of The Socialite by J’Nell Ciesielski from Thomas Nelson, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To grab a stunning copy of your own support Thomas Nelson and to check out more about the author. This novel is rich in atmosphere, characterization and even has snippets of humor. The cover of this novel is beyond gorgeous. The dress the main character has on just ripples with elegance and the fashionable way her hair is coifed makes a woman want to throw on some classic candy red lipstick. It makes me wish for the classic beauty of that era.

Book Review · Books

No Truth Left To Tell

The cover is intriguing. What looks like tornadoes are in the background, the sky is red and in the front is a noose. That imagery alone makes you wonder if the story is about a natural disaster. This novel takes us to Lynnwood, LA where it’s racist past is still remembered. The town square by the courthouse is where people were lynched.

Daniel, the Grand Dragon of the local KKK wants to rile things up and decides to burn a few crosses at prominent places around town. One place was this little old lady’s front lawn. The pure terror of it caused her to have a heart attack.

Enter in Adrien Rush, the federal civil rights prosecutor from DC, who swoops in to get justice for the cross burnings. In trying to get the grand dragon to talk, Adrien realizes this group plays dirty. Will Adrien be able to get justice served?

I received my complimentary copy of No Truth Left To Tell by Michael McAuliffee from Greenleaf Book Group Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are of my own choice and mine. This debut novel is fast paced and interesting to see the inside workings from a prosecutor’s viewpoint.

Book Review · Books

The Eighth Girl

Did I just go on a roller coaster? My mind is still trying to grapple with the genius of a writer I just read. Genius in how she took a very complex mental health disorder and gave it the tender care it needs. She does a wonderful job to help those unfamiliar with Dissociative Identity Disorder otherwise known as Multiple Personality Disorder understand it better. This thick novel did just that.

Meet Alexa Wu who struggles corralling her different personalities. She lives with her stepmom Anna after her father left them and her mother died. She has her best friend Ella. They are close almost like sisters, until Ella agrees to work at a strip club to earn extra money, so she can get her own place. Alexa is not thrilled with Ella’s choice, but is hopeful it will be a short term gig. Her best friend is aware of Alexa’s personalities and loves her anyway. Alexa is thrilled about her new photojournalist job she scored. Now if only her alters (personalities) will allow her to keep it. This novel is Alexa’s journey to try to carve out a life for herself and how she deals with her alters and being able to function day to day.

Enter in Alexa’s psychiatrist, Daniel who has challenges of his own he is working to keep reigned in. He is challenged in dealing with Alexa and her switching her personalities within a session. Can Daniel help Alexa? How do you help someone with DID/MPD?

The way in which the author presents alters is spot on. I like how her description of where the alters reside is called the nest and how when one personality recedes they return to the nest. I think the way in which this difficult subject was handled was done with grace.

I received my complimentary copy of The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To grab your own copy to keep and to support HarperCollins and check out more about the author. This novel deals with very adult topics (abuse, suicide, etc.), so please be cautious before purchasing. This debut author is going to make a huge impact in the mental health field with her novels. I can’t wait to see what future novels she will produce. Thank you once again TLC Book Tours for helping me discover a new favorite author.

Book Review · Books

The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant

Three generations searching for love. Rachel who seems to have fleeting romances, Eve who has swapped her travels to Africa with her boyfriend in favor of taking care of her grandmother. Esther stuck on a island against her will by her husband, in an attempt to heal her from her grief.

Rachel lands on the Isles of Scilly to research clams. While going out to do her research a storm brews up fast and she doesn’t want to lose her boat. Attempting to swim it to shore behind her she ends up getting her arm caught between rocks. An older woman whose a recluse rescues Rachael. She has landed on an island called Little Embers. Her rescuer finds her some clothes to borrow. They are clothes from a different era with a secret.

Eve is stuck taking care of her grandmother and wonders if she’ll ever rekindle the boyfriend she left behind. Helping her grandmother write her memoirs Eve senses there’s more to her life then her grandmother is letting on.

Esther is stuck on an island to try and heal her grief. With her husband and little boy so far away can Esther heal?

Join Esther, Eve and Rachel on their journeys to discover love and the how the paths we choose shape our future. This gripping novel is set on the isles off the Cornish coast. If you enjoy small town stories then you might just fall in love with this story. This novel touches on so many different themes from loss, independence, grief, romance, adventure and most of all hope.

I received my complimentary copy of The Lost Letters Of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To go grab a gorgeous copy of this novel support HarperCollins and to find out more about the author.

Book Review · Books

Brave Enough

Cason Martin is a professional dancer whose life revolves around her dance schedule and high school. While auditioning to get into a professional ballet academy her one leg is giving her extra pain than normal, but Cason pushes through her routine. Her mom is her dance director and expects only perfection. At the end of her routine Cason hears a sound, not realizing it’s her leg. After being rushed to the doctor she finds out she has cancer.

Why does the big C word have to interfere with her plans for greatness? Cason’s one tract mind is on dancing and having to go through treatment isn’t going to help her reach her goal. While going in for treatment she notices a classmate of hers, Davis. He seems nice and everyone seems to like him on the oncology floor. The only problem is that he’s a recovering addict. Cason’s mom nips that potential friendship in the bud.

Davis notices Cason while doing his community service at the hospital and is sad when he realizes she’s there for treatment. Will her mom ever view him anything other than an addict in recovery? Davis decides to work on befriending Cason, though her anger about her circumstances doesn’t help ease his attempts at friendship. Can Davis convince Cason to go to cancer camp for a week?

Will Cason ever accept Davis’ friendship and will she ever come to terms with her diagnosis? Can a recovering pill addict and ballet dancer become friends?

I received my complimentary copy of Brave Enough by Kati Gardner from North Star Editions and Flux, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This novel was just plain sweet. If you need an impactful novel, a sweet YA romance then I highly recommend this title. The subjects involved aren’t easy to always digest, but cancer and pill addiction are two relevant topics in today’s world. I feel the author handled these topics realistically and with grace.

Book Review · Books

10 Days Gone

Police detectives A.L. and Rea have a serial killer that needs to be caught, but will they let their personal struggles distract them? Rea is trying to get pregnant, but her husband seems distracted and aloof. A.L.’s teen daughter is starting to act out. Can’t life ever not include extra drama?

When they figure out what the past victims have in common the serial killer becomes even more mysterious. Will Rea and A.L. be able to figure out whose next on his/her list? Will they get to the next upcoming victim in time?

This book was a fun, intense read that keeps you guessing. The characters are relatable and lovable. The setting of the story is in a small town where you think you know everyone, until women start dying with no signs of struggle. I am definitely going to seek out other titles in this series with A.L. and Rea.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long from MIRA Books, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. If you enjoy mystery, suspense with some romance thrown in then I recommend this title. This book makes me want to become a detective. Yes. It’s that engrossing.

Book Review · Books

A Sister’s Courage

Ever since Lorraine was little she wanted to be a pilot. Her mother, a French woman won’t hear of it. A lady had very distinct roles in life and doing a man’s dangerous job of flying was not one of them. Thankfully her father was supportive and understanding. How to change mother’s mind was going to be a challenge.

One of the pilot’s Doug takes a shine to her and offers to give her flying lessons. Thankfully Lorraine snags a job at the local airfield to help pay for her lessons.

The day Lorraine earns her pilot’s license is a dream come true, but she knows her mother won’t hear of it. Her sisters, Suzy and Ronnie are both supportive of her dreams to fly. Can she change her mother’s mind?

When she goes to inquire about the ATA (Airport Transit Auxiliary), her boss gives her the impression that she doesn’t qualify due to not enough flying hours. Lorraine is crushed. This doesn’t stop her from reaching out to the head lady of the ATA to inquire herself. What she finds out is that her boss isn’t supportive of women being pilots.

What will the head lady of the ATA respond with? Will Lorraine’s dream of being an official pilot be snuffed out even with a war going on? Will she be stuck at home with Ronnie and Suzy?

This novel tackles women’s challenges to be seen as equal to men as pilots and how they could help with the war effort. It also, touches on the social expectations of a woman to stay at home even if an unmarried adult, to help out with their family.

I received my complimentary copy of A Sister’s Courage by Molly Green from HarperCollins, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are my own and of my own choice. To grab a gorgeous copy click here for HarperCollins. This novel brought to light the era of World War II from the British perspective and the intricacies of the aviation industry and how women broke the flying glass ceiling by being pilots.

Book Review · Books

Get Out Of Your Head

Do you live in your head? I sure do. I’m a dreamer, worrier and the hamster is constantly doing laps in his cage. Sometimes I have to tell my mind to, “Shut up,” because it won’t be quiet. It’s exhausting. How can I tackle this? Enter in the book Get Out Of My Head.

The author, Jennie Allen is personable and forthright about her own journey to get out of her own head, to learn how to have a choice in the thoughts you think. She provides ways we can take our thoughts captive to Jesus versus allowing them to control our lives.

What we believe shapes our thinking and how we react to our life. One thing Jennie shares that hits home is one thing: “I have a choice.” It sounds simple, but I think may be a tad more challenging to remember every time we have a thought. We have a choice in how we will choose to react to the thought, or even if we’ll accept the thought we are having.

As a believer Jennie shares how we can take our thought captive to Jesus. Satan wants to keep our mind muddled, to keep us enslaved. The more mental distractions we can have the more we have trouble battling our thoughts.

I know the idea of having silence is unheard of. We constantly are bombarded with visual and audible distractions clamoring for our attention. Sitting in full quiet is not popular because then we’ll actually hear our inner thoughts, we just might be convicted if we get quiet. We just may hear God speak within our being silent.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Get Out Of My Head by Jennie Allen from Waterbrook/Multnomah, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. This book is helpful, convicting and educational. In a world filled with anxiety being on the rise I’d highly recommend it. Even if you aren’t a Christian there are still helpful things you can glean from reading Jennie’s book.

Book Review · Books

St. Francis Society for Wayward Pets

If you need a story that will pull at your heart strings, wrap you in a fuzzy blanket on a cold winter night and bring you hot tea, then go immediately to your local bookstore, or click the link at the end to grab a copy of St. Francis Society For Wayward Pets.

Maeve gets let go from her job as a sports writer due to the company going belly up, then her jerk of a baseball player boyfriend cheats on her. In public. Men! Not only is that a cluster of a combo, Maeve gets notified her birth mother has died and she’s invited to the funeral.

Would you go to a funeral for a woman who didn’t show an ounce of interest in keeping in contact? Maeve is shocked she’s invited with all things considered. She loves her adoptive parents and adoptive brother, Eli. Why rock the boat by going?

Being kind and sensible Maeve caves and goes. The town where her bio mom lives is like a step back in time to Mayberry. What would it have been like for her to have grown up here instead of big Seattle?

Maybe Maeve will get to learn about her birth mother. Why did she not want to get to know Maeve? Why would she be invited to the funeral if her mom gave her away? So many unanswered questions and a small town taking in Maeve. It’s hard when you look just like your dead birth mother.

I received my complimentary copy of St. Francis Society For Wayward Pets by Annie England Noblin from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To grab a gorgeous copy support HarperCollins and check out more about the author.