Book Review · Books

Burn Our Bodies Down

Margot’s life is within the walls of the place she shares with her over worked, emotionally closed off mom. Her mom always tells her to keep a candle burning. Margot thinks this is a tad weird, but any time she deviates her mom gives her an earful. Margot’s life consists of her, her mom and school. No one else.

One day to be thoughtful to her mom, Margot decides to go to the local pawn shop to buy back an item her mom pawned. While trying to find the special item she discovers her mom’s childhood Bible. Inside she discovers a message she’s not expecting and proof her mom had a childhood. She purchases the Bible. The proof contains the name of a place and number. Does she have extended family?

While her mom is at work Margot decides to risk calling the number. Will this family member answer? Do they know she exists? As a person answers the phone her mom appears at the phone booth and demands her to hand over the receiver. There are words exchanged and Margot’s mom slams the payphone down. What’s so terrible about possible family?

Margot decides she has to find out. With the money she skimmed from her mom she hitchhikes to the town referenced. Will Margot find a long lost, loving family member? Can she ever gain the home life she yearns for that her mom seems unable to provide? Why is her mom keeping Margot from family? What could her mom be hiding?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power from Delacorte Press, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This novel is a whirlwind of different emotions. It’s a roller coaster that keeps you hanging on till the end of the ride wondering what the heck just happened. I’m still trying to mentally wrap my brain around Margot’s story. This novel captures the challenges of family and what family means. If you enjoy YA suspense with a dash of surrealism jump on to this hair raising ride.

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

Resurrecting Rain

Life seemed all set until her husband, Martin lost out on his property deal. Now Deena and her family have downgraded to a small apartment. Her husband is withdrawn and their son, Elliott and daughter, Lauren are both secretive.

When Deena meets a visiting professor where she works she can’t fathom why he’d be flirting with her. It’s nice to finally get some attention and appreciation. The professor wines and dines her. Finally she crosses the bridge and has an outright affair. Knowing he is moving away for his next job soon Deena knows her life will be able to resume back to boring normal. Until it’s revealed her secret isn’t such a secret.

With one swoop Deena is homeless. Martin has moved out and her son has started serving his country. Lauren is off living her life in a different state. Deena has no where to go. Until is she rings up the professor to see if he’ll let her stay with him.

This novel handles the subject of an affair from inside the eye of the storm with honesty. Deena’s challenge being homeless brings to light how our lives can seem picture perfect and within one decision be turned upside down. We think we’ll never be the other person till our own pride and choices become our downfall. Deena’s story is one I think each of us can relate to in some way.

I received my complimentary copy of Rain by Patricia Averbach from Golden Antelope Press, care of TLC Book Tours. To grab a copy go here and to find out more about the author. The views expressed are mine and of my own choice.

Book Review · Books

You And Me And Us

What would you do if you were given terminal news? Tommy Whistler has this quandary. Of course his significant other, Alexis wants him to fight his illness the best he can, to give him more time with her and their daughter, CeCe. Tommy prefers to have quality over quantity. What’s the point of prolonging the end result if you are too, sick to enjoy time with your loved ones? With time ticking he decides he wants to spend his last few months in his hometown.

Alexis is not thrilled to return to Tommy’s hometown. She doesn’t want to risk his past coming back into their lives, or giving their daughter food for thought. The past has to stay the past. Yes, Tommy loves and is committed to Alexis, but there are certain people she doesn’t want to share her family with.

CeCe is mad she’s missing out on acting camp. Just when her high school experience was coming together after participating in their play of, “Romeo and Juliet.” CeCe’s lead costar seems to be smitten with her supposed ‘best friend’ instead of her. Maybe her time away won’t be so awful.

Will Alexis and CeCe put aside their frustrations to help make Tommy’s summer the best it can be? This novel explores what it’s like to deal with a terminal illness and how the choices we make regarding to do treatment or not affects our family members and friends. What would you do if you were in Tommy’s shoes?

I received my complimentary copy of You And Me Snd Us by Allison Hammer from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are of my own choice and mine. This debut novel is a sweet, thought provoking story that will have you wishing you could hug these characters. To go grab a gorgeous copy click here to help support the publisher and to find out more about this fantastic author. Thank you TLC Book Tours for helping me discover another wonderful new favorite author.

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

A Flame Through Eternity

Helle and Jason are trying to get back to normal life now that Sam Woolf is dead. Helle is thrilled to finally officially be Jason’s wife. For this time ever they are husband and wife. No more Sam Woolf to tear apart her and Jason’s love.

On one of their trips to Jason’s family castle of sorts his colleague Nigel brings his infamous girlfriend Miranda. Helle is turned off by Miranda’s New Age stance. When Miranda attempts to read Helle’s palm what she sees disturbs Helle, making her wonder how legit Miranda might be.

When things start hearting up with attempts on Jason and Helle’s lives they both wonder if Sam Woolf is truly dead. No body was ever uncovered. They thought for sure his fall off the cliff did him in.

When the one police contact John Stapleton steps in to befriend Helle due to her headaches and nightmares about the evil Sam Woolf, his solution is his Aunt Katherine. Why would his old Aunt Katherine be helpful? When Jason and Helle go to meet John’s Aunt Katherine, a surprise neither of them was expecting is waiting for them. What could make old Aunt Katherine someone who might be able to help Helle?

If you love steamy erotic scenes then the passion between Jason and Helle will have you begging for more. These scenes are tasteful depicted. I’m not huge into romance novels, but this past lives love story is heavy on the passion and the storyline is hard to put down.

I received my complimentary copy of A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage from Matador, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To grab a copy for your own click here and to read more about the lovely author here. The great thing about this series is there is enough background provided that you don’t necessarily have to read the first two titles in this series. If you love romance, past lives, and an intense villain then you’ll gobble up this passionate love story.

Book Review · Books

The Moonglow Sisters

Some books are life changers. Some stories take you down a long dark tunnel that is scary as Hell, but the story stays with you, to comfort and guide you to the end where your life becomes that much brighter. This story is one of those gems.

Gia, Shelley and Maddie were as close as three sisters could be until the night their bond was destroyed and they each went their own, separate ways. Five years pass and Gia gets a strange letter from their grandmother. Her request of Gia is to reunite the sisters. Gia is not quite sure if their grandmother’s request will be heeded, but she can try. Who knows if Maddie, or Shelley will come back to home base?

The C word is scary, ugly and something none of the sisters want to face, but all three show up. Wether or not their bond is able to be mended is still out for debate, but Gia hopes Maddie and Shelley will try. In order to help spur the truce along, Gia has a nuts idea to help get them to finish the quilt. The dang quilt tied to the day that reunited their sisterhood, but will Gia’s plan work?

Follow Gia, Shelley and Maddie as they embark on a journey of self discovery, challenges, hopes, dreams and the occasional road block. Hear from each sister, from their view of what transpired to ruin their sisterhood and what might be their saving grace. Can these sisters redeem their sisterhood?

I received my complimentary copy of The Moonglow Sisters by Lori Wilde from William Morris, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To grab a copy for your own click here and to read more about the lovely author here.

This novel was EPIC. I didn’t want to finish this lovely, deep, challenging family drama. Each character was unique and I could see myself in each one. Gia, the youngest who is the ever peace keeper. Shelley, the free spirit and Maddie, the eldest who took her big sister role seriously. You will step into their lives and not want the last page to arrive.

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

The Story Of Harriet Tubman

I know some basics about Harriet Tubman, but if you are looking for little intro biography on her, then I recommend picking up a copy of, The Story Of Harriet Tubman. This short biography gives a nice overview of Harriet’s life from birth to death. I had no idea her family nickname for her was Minty, but once she escaped to freedom she changed her name to Harriet. I never knew she was married prior to helping with the Underground Railroad, but then down the line her husband remarried since he didn’t leave with her, so she ended up remarrying. In Harriet’s later years she opened up a home for the elderly and poor. This book brought her to life in a fascinating way.

This book features Jump In The Think Tank, a side blurb that gives you a topic within the story to think about regarding your own life and how you may be able to relate to Harriet. Also, has the When feature which provides a timeline of events to see where you are at in the story. There is also, a Myth & Fact section to help you determine what is true. I like that bigger vocabulary words are bolded and of course there’s a nice glossary at the back to help know what those words mean.

I received my complimentary copy of The Story Of Harriet Tubman by Christine Platt from Rockridge Press, care of Callisto Publisher’s Club. The views are mine and of my own choice. This Biography for young readers inspires me to go read an in-depth biography of Harriet Tubman.

Book Review · Books

What Is Empathy?

Empathy is a trait you learn by example. In, What Is Empathy, best friends Ava and Sofia learn what empathy is when Sofia has to move away from Ava. With that life change Ava makes a new friend, but this new friend wants to hog their friendship, so Sophia is left out. Will Ava and Sofia make amends? This story is told from both their perspectives.

This middle grade book brought up my own memories of being bullied in elementary school. If bullying is a trigger for you, as an adult, then you may want to tread gently. Even though it is a simple book for kids on what empathy is and how they can reflect it in their lives, the examples of bullying in the story are realistic.

It’s strange how you can recall incidents as if it happened yesterday. I recall as a kindergartener/1st grader the older kids would pick me up and not put me down when I nicely asked. I was small for my age. One time I visited my old school the other kids thought I was there to visit the Kindergarten class. Another time in second grade an older boy almost beat me up at school, but the kid whose grandmother’s house I stayed at after school rescued me. Even in junior high I got asked why I didn’t shave yet. I was 12. Calm down. Needless to say kids and teens can bullies.

I received my complimentary copy of What Is Empathy by Amanda Morin and John Joseph from Rockridge Press, care of Callisto Publisher’s Club. The views are mine and of my own choice. This picture book is a great book to add to your child’s school classroom or personal home library. It makes a great conversation starter and I’d say it affective for any age group, young or old.