Book Review · Books

Postmark Berlin

Father Burke was at the pub drinking away his worries while Meika Keller was needing to speak with him. Why ten at night? The next morning she is found dead, floating in the water of the Halifax coast. Father Burke is overcome with remorse. His gift of sight doesn’t help him sleep at night when all he can see is her expression as she’s floating in the water.

Why would Meika be killed off or kill herself off? From outer appearances she seemed to have a wonderful life teaching at a prestigious university, her stepchildren adored her, as did her husband. Who would want such an accomplished, beautiful woman dead?

Father Burke knows a little bit of her past from Meika sharing with him that she’d escaped East Germany in the 70’s and that her daughter had not survived the escape. He decides he wants to figure out why she died. His conscious won’t let him rest till he figures out the mystery. Father Burke decides to travel to Germany with his brother Terry after they discover that Meika received a cryptic postcard from Germany.

Father Burke is not only dealing with Meika’s sudden death, but the drama at the school where he teaches music. He has one troublesome student who thinks he can get away with bullying since his parents are one of the main financial donors. One of his students, Normie is a young girl who cares about her priest and is worried about how much he’s known to drink. Will Father Burke be able to cut back on his addiction?

I received my complimentary digital copy of Postmark Berlin by Anne Emery from Baker and Taylor Publishing Services, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This novel is filled with twists and turns that will keep you reading to find out what happened to Meika. This novel was a tad long, but interesting enough to keep you guessing what happened. The characters are complex and interesting. I will have to read the other books in the Father Burke series.

Book Review · Books

What Unbreakable Looks Like

Do you know what it’s like to be trafficked by your own mom’s boyfriend’s friend? Poppy can tell you. She thought she was Mitch’s favorite of all the girls. Her world is thrown for a loop when the cops bust into the hotel where they are staying at and she’s sent to the hospital to get checked out. Poppy finds out her aunt, Krys, wants to take her in. Does Poppy want to escape the Hell hole that her life has become? How can her own aunt choose a broken, used up teen like Poppy? Will anyone truly love her?

When she gets the chance to escape the hospital with one of the other girl’s pulled from the hotel Poppy stays back and decides from then on she’s going to relearn how to be Alexa. She’s leaving Poppy behind and wants to reclaim who she was born to be. Lex.

Will Lex go and live with Krys? Does she cave in and decide to return to Mitch? What will she choose? This novel drops you smack dab into Poppy’s world. It’s a story about how evil sex trafficking is and how one teen decides if she wants to face her demons.

This story is not for the faint of heart. This topic is very adult, heartbreaking, gut wrenching and leaves you stunned. Can you handle Poppy’s story? Her story is addictive and I can guarantee you’ll stay up to find out what happens. Poppy is a character you can’t resist rooting for. Not only rooting for Poppy, but for Lex. Will Poppy allow Lex to shine?

I received my complimentary digital copy of What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin from MacMillian, care of NetGalley. The views are of my own will and are mine. This novel better win lots of awards because this story is vital for everyone (age appropriate of course) to read. I can’t stop thinking about Poppy, Lex and a whole cast of characters you’ll wish you could call up to chat. This novel has the power to change and to help end sex trafficking.

Book Review · Books

Calm The F*CK Down Journal

Do you stress easily? Does your imagination go to town on scenarios that most likely won’t happen, but your mind likes to screw with you mentally? Was this book secretly written for me?

Calm The F*CK Down Journal is a journal that provides helpful tools to help you figure out if something you are stressing about is worth your energy. Sarah provides different quizzes to help you determine which kind of freak outer you are. She also, helps you categorize the level your stressor really is vs what your imagination is telling you. She writes in a fun, yet frank manner. If you haven’t discovered her books yet, I do recommend her.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Calm The F*CK Down Journal by Sarah Knight from Little Brown Company, Hattachette Book Group and Voracious care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own will. This journal is very helpful and a great way to keep your stress in check so that aren’t wasting your pressure energy and emotion on things that won’t happen and if even if it’s a potential years down the road, why stress early if it’s not needed? I definitely would like to add this journal to my journal collection.

Book Review · Books

Once You Go In

Some memoirs you read and wonder where has this particular author has been all your life. If you have been disenfranchised by the church, dealt with spiritual abuse, or are wanting to find a different church expression then this book might be calling out to you.

Carly takes you into her homeschooled world of Northern California. She’s always felt different, wanting to belong and one day when she discovers Pine Canyon Assemblies Of God Church she thinks she may have found a place to fit in.

This book is Carly’s journey into the world of the charismatic church. Her descriptions of what the services can be like is spot on and the peer pressure to speak in tongues even when you may think the whole idea to be weird is huge. When Carly does finally speak her special language she describes the spiritual high she gets from it and how everything else in life sort of fades away when she’s in that mode.

I recall when I visited a charismatic church and there was pressure to be slain in the spirit. When the piano player timed the music a little too, planned I sensed the whole sham that I felt it was. Were church goers truly under the Holy Spirit’s power, or was it a false spirit? Is having what looks like seizures truly a move of God, or demonic? I left that service with my charismatic interest snuffed out.

This church is Pentecostal and on fire for Jesus which includes speaking in tongues, long prayers and being monitored by the leadership. It’s all in love right? Carly’s parents are believers, but not as intense as this church body is. She longs for approval and to be seen as worthy, to be as spiritual as her youth pastor’s wife, that befriends her.

When something goes terribly wrong on a mission trip Carly tries to chalk it up to her not listening to the rules for the trip. Other things happen where logically she feels the leadership is being overly legalistic. Carly wants so badly to do the right thing that she brushes off her gut reaction.

How do you know when a church is unhealthy, or spiritually abusive? How do you stand up for yourself when your spiritual leaders have you under their spell of sorts (not an actual spell)? Carly deals with these vital topics and more.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Once You Go In by Carly Gelsinger from She Writes Press, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are of my own will and mine. I commend Carly for writing so candidly about her church experience and faith journey. It’s not easy to share such personal moments. Thank you for baring your soul, so others know they aren’t alone in their journeys to find their spiritual home, whether that’s in a church or in a park.

Book Review · Books

Find Your Mantra

Positive thinking can seem a tad woo woo, but is being grumpy really going to change your life for the better? This short little book of mantras are a bit stereotypical, but there are grains of truth in this book. The chapters are broken up by different themes like love, peace, etc. There are gorgeous illustrations and photos throughout this beautiful book.

I’ve always been mainly a positive and upbeat person. I do have my own don’t want to adult moments. Can I just get paid to read books and review? This little book will help remind you that you do matter and that with diligence we can accomplish so much with our life. It’s not about keeping up with the Jone’s, but staying in the moment good times, or bad and being thankful we get to experience our unique life.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Find Your Mantra by Aysel Gunar from Quarto Publishing Group, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. If you like inspirational books then you just might want to add this title to your library.

Book Review · Books

Women Of Spirit: Volume 2

I’ve read many inspirational books about women who have overcome hardships, but Women Of Spirit takes the top spot. This book is a collection of memoir vignettes that share stories of overcoming varieties of life challenges from abusive upbringings, bad relationships, career hardships, to the death of loved ones and many other types of challenges. Each memoir is unique with an author photo before the vignette. This collection is comprised of and by ladies from the UK.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Women Of Spirit: Volume 2 by Susie MacKie from NetGalley. The views expressed are mine and of my own will. If you need a book that will not just inspire, but convict to keep pressing on when life is horrendous, then this book is a life saver. I hope that there will be further volumes of Women Of Spirit, like a USA edition, a South American edition, etc. No matter where you reside this book will be relatable on many levels.

Book Review · Books

Edna’s Gift

I was not prepared for this memoir. In my brain I was thinking the theme was World War II, but I was in for a surprise. This memoir takes you on the journey of two sisters, Susan and Edna. They both have a disability. Susan’s is not visible, but Edna’s is. They were very close, but in social situations Susan isn’t quite sure how to get Edna to fit in, but Edna will strike up a conversation with anyone. Susan shares how hers and Edna’s relationship morphs after Edna is sent away to a special school. This is during the era of the 50’s when there weren’t special schools close to home.

As an adult Edna lives in a community for other adults like herself who help out and live with caretakers that also live there. While Susan is living her life on the outside she wonders how Edna is doing. When her and their parents visit Edna, she realizes how much of an impact Edna has on others.

I received a complimentary digital copy of Edna’s Gift by Susan Rudnick from She Writes Press care of NetGalley. The views are my own and of my own will. This book is not an emotionally easy read. Getting help for those with a disability has changed a lot since the 50’s and 60’s, yet this book taught how important it is to help be a voice for those who may be not able to express as well, or as clearly on what they want and need. I’m glad Susan wrote about Edna’s life and her own life. Thank you for giving Edna a voice.