Book Review · Books

Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Two teens broken by loss and both struggle with anxiety in different forms. Dew uses a tape recorder to record different conversations and Naima counts the hexagons on her quilt to calm herself. One desperately wants to befriend the other, but trust is a commodity dolled out sparingly.

This novel deals with the loss of a parent and how it’s not easy to keep going, to allow other adults to take over the role of your parent. Dew is thrown into foster care where he acquires a sister, Faith. Naima lives with her grandparents after her stepmom leaves her there for the summer to visit like she does annually. Dew and Naima are neighbors. Can Naima be open to Dew’s friendship or will her anger at her dad for dying close her off to the help that is just a fence away?

The casts of characters in this novel are fun. I like how the author gave a fun nickname to Dew’s coffee shop boss as Sasquatch and his coworker Violet is a bubbly girl whose into new age. I also, think the name for the coffee shop is clever: Baked and Caffeinated.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger from St. Martin’s Press, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. When I started this book I felt it was ok, but the deeper I got into the story of Dew and Naima the more I grew to love these two characters.

Book Review · Books

Dare To See

This book cover does not do the meat of this book justice. Dare To See is a collection of vignettes from Katie’s life and how God has changed her life. Each chapter is unique and covers different subjects from fitting in at school growing up, to being single and buying your own home, to going through the journey of adoption. Katie writes in such a way you feel as though she’s your best friend sharing with you.

If you are new on your Christian walk, a seasoned believer, or wondering what it all means this is a great book to pick out. Katie shares her faith through the different life stories she shares and doesn’t dumb it down, or go over your head. I found each chapter relatable to my own life and things I have gone through. I am at an interesting place in my faith. This book wasn’t Christianese in verbiage, which could have been triggering for me, so I’d even recommend it to those burnt by the church. This book is actually spiritually comforting.

I received my complimentary copy of Dare To See by Katie Brown from Faith Words. The views are mine and of my own will. I don’t have TV (shocking!), so I have never heard of Katie Brown and her TV show, but this woman of faith is the real deal. She is not showy, fake, but genuine in her love for God and her faith story is relatable. I have read a lot of Christian Living books and this one is a new favorite of mine. I look forward to reading more books by Katie.

Book Review · Books

Visions Of Love

Rosalie is different. Being psychic in a small town makes you stand out even worse than being an adoptee. She lives with her brother, Brecken who runs the local diner their parent’s used to run. Rosalie has a few friends, but other than that keeps to herself.

When Rosalie meets one of the local Dr.’s named Zade, she figures he’s way out of her league. Her past track record with relationships have left her distrustful of men. Zade being clueless of Rosalie’s past is undaunted in pursuing her every chance he gets. Rosalie is unsure why Zade would be so interested in her. Brecken is leery of Zade since an older man could equal trouble for his sister and he doesn’t want her getting rejected.

After many attempts at wooing Rosalie, Zade is successful at getting at date out of her. The only quandary is that Rosalie has a big job offer in a different state to do a T.V. show that all is all about her being able to showcase her psychic gifts. It’s a huge upgrade from her local radio show and an opportunity to start life over fresh in a new place. Will Rosalie take the new job, or will the dreamy doctor keep her in her small town forever?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Visions Of Love by C.M. Albert care of Candi Kane, PR. The views are my own and of my own will. I don’t normally read romance, but this book not only delivers true steamy scenes, but the story is one you’ll root for page after page. Rosalie and Zade are quite the pair and the transformation of their friendship to more is sweet and relatable. This is my first C.M. Albert novel and I definitely will want to read more of her novels.

Book Review · Books

Book Girl

Have you loved to read since you were little? Did your patent(s) read to you as a child? Were you the type of bookworm who would check out 10+ books from the library? Oh you too? Great! Keep reading.

Author, Sarah Clarkson writes about the awesome addiction that is reading and books. Ink, paper and that great smell of paper. Ever since Sarah could recall her mom has read to her and gifted her the love of reading. Sara provides lots of titles to add to your TBR. Each section deals with different topics, so you can browse by topic or just read straight through. She touches also, on the topic of faith and how it can help shape your reading habits.

This book was like reading a book written by your childhood best friend who knows your favorite authors and knows wether you prefer hardcover or paperback, physical or e-book. This book is a must buy.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Book Girl by Sarah Clarkson from NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. Sarah is a fellow bookworm kindred spirit whose love of reading shines through each page. Thank you for writing a book that makes book girls feel less alone. Bookworms unite. If you are a fellow book girl please comment or send me an email. Would love to befriend other lovely book girls/ladies. Thank you Sarah and thanks NetGalley for another opportunity to discover a new favorite author.

Book Review · Books

The Great Unexpected

Joel’s wife recently died and now he has a roommate at his retirement home that doesn’t talk back. Mr. Miller is in a comma, but is still someone to talk to. That is, until he expires one day and Joel has to watch the nurses try to revive him.

Joel wonders if he’ll get a new roommate then enters in Frank Adams otherwise know as Mr. de Selby; an old actor who has the flair to match his fancy scarfs he wears. He’s very chatty and everyone at the home seems to like him, but Joel is not too, keen on his roommate.

Overtime they form an interesting friendship of sorts. Slowly his roommate scrapes away the bitterness that Joel holds onto like a vice grip. Life seems to be looking up until Joel confesses that he wants to be done with it all. The question is how does he want to go out? Frank wants to help out so he starts to write a play of Joel’s final moments via brainstorming in his journal.

Since Joel’s time is nearing to an end once he figures out how he wants to go, they both decide they want a night out on the town. They escape the home and proceed to go to a bar. They get properly sloshed and go back to the home. The head director is fuming and Joel’s daughter is furious he’d risk his life when he has a ver perfectly good place at the retirement home.

One person whose worried about Joel is his friend Una, who was friends with his wife, Lucey. She’s been keeping an eye on him and he’s been avoiding her obvious interest in him.

Frank and Joel decide to go on a few more nighttime jaunts into the city. One such adventure they bump into Joel’s grandkids who find it hilarious their grandfather is boozing it up with his roommate. Who knew partying with your grandkids could be a fun time. When they return more precautions are taken so they won’t escape again.

This novel discusses so many important topics. Friendship is a key one, but also, the topic of receiving respect when you are elderly. I know when my grandmother had to move into her retirement home it wasn’t easy. Having sense of loss after living in a house to a small apartment with neighbors all around is a big change. I also, think going from living independent to assisted living is a big change, to feel your sense of control of your own life is being micromanaged by someone else who is in charge. Another topic covered is how we ware masks as a defense mechanism. Joel’s roommate Frank uses his character, de Selby as his persona when he’s not wanting to be vulnerable. Joel uses grumpiness as his defense mechanism.

I received my complimentary copy of The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney from TLC Book Tours. The views expressed are my own and of my own will. This book is a gem and a reread. The characters are hilarious and thought provoking. The banter between Joel and Frank reminds me of the movie, “Grumpy Old Men.” I can’t wait to read more fantastic books by Dan Mooney.

Friends · Personal · Self Care

Whore Out My Heart

Lately I feel like I keep getting the word of knowledge to guard my heart. I am so needy for friends and wanting constant communication. I want to ideally be best friends with everyone and yet, those I’ve poured out a lot of my heart to have burnt me. I know no one is perfect. Life happens and friendships don’t always pan out, but I’m feeling fragile lately.

Why did I title this post Whore Out My Heart? Not a whore in the promiscuous sense, but in the emotional sense. I’m like a dang puppy anytime I make a new friend. I guess I definitely have an addictive personality, friendship addiction. I get so excited about having a new friend that I latch on like a barnacle. It’s unhealthy of me. I need to stop being so flippant with my heart and be selective in who I truly open up to. Not everyone is worthy, no matter how much I wish them to be. Yes, that includes family as well. Family doesn’t automatically equal entrance to my heart and soul.

My job was been busy lately and the energy coming off callers has been draining to say the least. Holding my anger in is challenging at times. I’m not a screamer, or yeller, but I abhor rudeness. When I get mad I cry, but that’s because I’m that mad that tears just have to come out. Someone crying or mad I get that. Rudeness just pisses me off.

Do I want real friendship? Yes. Quality over quantity. True friends, kindred spirits, bosom buddies, girlfriends, guy friends. Those I can trust.

I only have a very small amount of childhood friends that I still keep in contact with. Not all friendships make it from childhood to adulthood and that’s ok. It just means more room for authentic friendships.

Book Review · Books

The Stone Rainbow

Jack recently came out to his mom and is slowly befriending Cody, whose teaching him how to swim. He hangs out with his friend Ryan and likes to get advice from Ryan’s girlfriend Clare. Life is improving from the previous year when things felt hopeless.

When cute new kid Benjamin starts talking to Jack in art class, Jack is surprised since Benjamin is the school VP’s son. Jack can’t tell if Benjamin is just being polite, or actually likes Jack. He doesn’t know of any other gay kids in their town.

When Benjamin and Jack have to make an art project for class, Jack is surprised how out Benjamin is. He makes a rainbow out of stones he colors and then writes the meaning behind the different colors. Jack is concerned for his safety once everyone in town knows Benjamin is gay. Benjamin on the other hand is out and not shy about being obvious.

Benjamin starts talking about how their small town should have a Pride parade, but Jack knows with how conservative their town is there’s no way they’d get it approved. When there’s an incident Jack has to decide if hiding who he is, is worth it.

I received my complimentary digital copy of The Stone Rainbow by Liane Shaw from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. If you haven’t read Caterpillars Can’t Swim you can still read The Stone Rainbow without being lost as to what happened in the first book. A lot of times sequels don’t live up to the first book. This one surpassed it. This book is a powerful story of friendship, family, community and being true to who you are no matter what others think, or do.