Book Review · Books

The Six Gifts Part 1: Secrets

Olivia has an NDE when she is three by almost drowning. She sees this white light, feels peace and love, but then she’s rescued out of the pool. Through the years she longs to discover that peace again. Olivia is so desperate for this peace she felt she attempts to drown again, but it doesn’t work.

When Olivia marries Marco they build a life in NJ until she becomes mysteriously sick. At first her husband feels she’s exaggerating, but when he starts to get the same symptoms they go to the doctor. After many visits they find out their was a pipe leak and they were being slowly poisoned. This leads them to move to a new state for a fresh start, but to Olivia she begins to feel caged. Olivia and Marcos have two sons. One still close with them and the other estranged.

Via social media Olivia discovers her old high school boyfriend was in a fatal crash. Even though she’s long over this ex, Olivia decides to go on a cross country adventure with one of her dogs to his funeral. Marcos is leery of her going alone due to her health, but Olivia feels she has to go. Not only to pay her respects to her ex, but to do some healing regarding her family’s past before Marcos came into the picture.

This is Olivia’s adventure with her dog Tucker. Will she come to terms with her past? Will Olivia ever feel better? What really is ahead for her?

I received my complimentary copy of The Six Gifts Part 1: Secrets by Christie K. Kelly from Bruce Farr Publishing, care of Smith Publicity. The views expressed are of my own free will and strictly mine. This novel is rich in characters, location description (who doesn’t love the beauty of Colorado?) and a story that will have you begging for more. I know I’m wanting to continue reading more. This novel is fiction with a possible dose of magic.

Book Review · Books

The Boys Who Woke Up Early

Stony lives in small town Early, VA where in the 1950’s it’s the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. He befriends a new kid at school named Jack. They both want to be detectives so they venture to the sheriff’s office to see if they can be of any help. They are asked to help investigate a local theft.

When Stony and his cousin Gina discover a secret KKK room they realize those they know in town might be more involved than what may appear. Stony doesn’t agree with the KKK and feels that blacks should be allowed to vote and have more rights.

Roosevelt starts working at the local garage where Stony works at after school and Stony isn’t too, keen on it. Stony has never befriend a black boy, but changes his mind after Roosevelt wins a drag race against arrogant Todd from school. The only challenge is that Roosevelt is sweet on Stony’s love interest, MaryLou. His love interest has no clue of his crush.

When the town gets wind of MaryLou and Roosevelt’s relationship things turn ugly fast. Will Stony and Jack be able to stop the chaos? What does it take to be a man when you are on the cusp of adulthood?

I received my complimentary copy of The Boys Who Woke Up Early by A.D. Hopkins from Smith Publicity. The views expressed are my own. This historical novel started out slow, but got more interesting towards the end. If you enjoy historical fiction and novels based in the south then this book may be a good fit for you. I did enjoy learning more about Virginia and what life was like during the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. I also, learned quite a lot about different types of firearms used in that era.

Book Review · Books

Still Standing

What would you do if you were falsely accused to being involved in illegal activity your spouse was involved in? Anaite Alvarado experienced just this in 2015 when she gets arrested in Guatemala. Anaite has dual USA citizenship since her parents are Guatemalan. Her husband, at the time, had only the previous year advised her of some financial trouble he was in. She was not involved whatsoever.

Anaite is whisked away by the police one morning after her children are sent off to school. I can’t imagine the trauma of being taken away without being able to warn your children of what is going to happen. Her memoir, Still Standing, is her journey being stuck in prison and waiting to be freed. Anaite’s account of prison life is intense, sobering, and educational. Her time in there shows how humane inmates are and how they help each other stay sane through their friendships and generosity in sharing what little they have.

I received a complimentary copy of Still Standing by Anaite Alvarado from Apollo Publishers care of Smith Publicity. Opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. If you are needing an inspirational read I highly recommend this memoir.

Book Review · Books

Cockloft

The cover to Cockloft endeared me right away as it reminded me of the cover of Jenny Lawson’s memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Jenny’s cover has a mouse and Kyle’s has a squirrel, but both their poses are the same. Dramatic and hilarious.

If you love short chapters, have a healthy dose of snarky humor then you will enjoy this memoir of sorts. Kyle takes you behind the scenes of what gay married life is like in NY before Trump and during Trump. He also, takes you along on a few of his and Julius’ vacations. Some of my fave chapters include: Amsterdam, France, the squirrel chapters, and many others.

I received a complimentary ARC of Cockloft by Kyle Thomas Smith from Gatekeeper Press through Smith Publicity. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Book Review · Books

The Reluctant Healer

Will is an attorney who goes to a bar after work with his coworker and has a chance meeting with a mysterious woman named Erica. She captures Will’s interest when she makes comments about his aura. Will is not into New Age lingo so it throws him off a bit, but when Erica mentions she senses he has healing powers his interest is piqued.

Will starts dating Erica and gets sucked into her alternative healing path. When an encounter with healing a man just by being in the room Will takes Erica’s stance a bit more seriously. Will he discover his healing powers?

This novel was outside my usual story zone. I think Will’s character was interesting seeing how he goes from skeptic to being more open to the alternative healing path. Erica’s character I found a bit on the bossy side. I didn’t feel Will and Erica’s relationship felt believable. I think it seemed like Will was being bullied into getting into Erica’s line of work, of energy healing. I did like hearing the story from Will’s perspective. His character is relatable in how we process new belief’s about life and mysteries we can’t always explain.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Reluctant Healer by Andrew Himmel from Greenleaf Book Group Press through Smith Publicity. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. If you enjoy novels about spiritual discovery then you may enjoy this book.

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

Discovery

I enjoy historical fiction and Christian historical fiction sounded different from what I normally read. This short novel is about the relationship between Dr. Giselle Gelis and Dr. David Rettig who are both researching Maria Madeline. Giselle from a Christian view point and David from his skeptics, archeologist stance. It mirrors their relationship with Abbe Francois Berenger Sauniere and Marie, whose the daughter of the family he stays with. Both couples want to discover the truth about Maria Madeline.

Giselle Meets David at a biblical conference where they both sense there is a romantic spark between them. Giselle is reserved at first because of being burnt by men in her past. David is thrilled, but understanding that they have opposite spiritual views.

I have never done any research on Maria Magdalena, but reading this novel makes me want to do more research about her. She has been known as the prostitute in the Biblical narrative. When Abbe Francois Berenger Sauniere begins to rebuild the church named after her he discovers more than he bargained for. When he asks to have what he’s discovered to be translated he realizes that he’s being kept quiet. Who would see what he discovered as a threat to the church and why?

I received my free paperback copy of Discovery by Leslie Schweitzer Miller for free from Smith Publicity in exchange for my honest feedback on this novel. My feedback is strictly my own. This novel is sweetly written, humorous at times, romantic, fascinating and makes the world of France come alive both in modern times and the 19th century.