Book Review · Books

Caroline

Growing up I was a big fan of “Little House On The Prairie.” I watched the show religiously M-F at 5pm sharp. I liked Laura, but found her sister, Mary stuffy. When I was asked if I wanted to review this historical novel, Caroline, I couldn’t resist.

Caroline is the viewpoint of Laura Ingall’s family’s move from WI to KS, but told from Laura’s mother’s stance. This novel is so detailed you feel as though you are traveling right alongside Caroline with Charles, Mary and Laura. The author, Sarah Miller’s research is detailed. One scene was so detailed regarding prepping hides to be tanned I almost got ill reading about brains being mushed to coat the hides.

I enjoyed reading this novel. The only challenge is I felt it was a tad too, long. The detail is excellent, but for that long of a book I’d almost want to read a biography on the subject. The realism of venturing out on the prairie is very vivid. The author took great care in explaining the little details of pioneer life. It makes me sit in awe how people could survive with such basic provisions and in modern times we are spoiled with an over abundance.

I received my free copy of Caroline by Sarah Miller care of TLC Book Tours from William Morrow in exchange for my honest feedback. If you would like purchase this title go grab a copy from HarperCollins and to read more about the author check out her website.

Book Review · Books

What Blooms From Dust

Have you ever been caught in a dust storm, or even worse yet, a haboob? I have watched one roll in and they are quite fascinating to watch from inside your house. The sky turns a funny yellow color, sometimes reddish brown and one moment you can see objects in front of you, then next they are hidden by the giant cloud of dust. If you suffer from asthma don’t get caught out in one.

What Blooms From Dust by James Markert is the story of a town called Nowhere, where the 1930’s bring black as night dust storms that turn day into night. Twin brothers, Josiah and Jeremiah both love a woman named Ellen. Sibling rivalry turns ugly when Josiah rats out Jeremiah to the police. He witnessed his brother bury four men and figures his brother killed them. Jeremiah goes off to prison. When a tornado rips through where the prison is at, Jeremiah escapes.

On his way back to Nowhere Jeremiah spots a family trying to sell one of their kids. He’s shocked a child would be for sale. With a flick of his coin the boy ends up following him. This little boy is described as not all there since he smiles nonstop. Jeremiah takes the boy under his wing as he returns to his home town.

Ellen is married to Josiah and has a son. She’s a teacher trying to survive the dust storms. When Jeremiah and the little boy walk into town she’s shocked how the little boy makes her think of a child she almost had, but lost.

When the dust storms won’t stop the town starts to go haywire. People turn catatonic, not able to eat or drink. The dust becomes just another fixture the towns people have started to ignore.

Will the towns people survive? Who is this mystery child who finds comfort in typing on his type twitter? Will Jeremiah and Josiah clear the years of hurt between them? Will a reporter’s desire to uncover the truth put a wedge between Jeremiah and Ellen?

If you enjoy historical fiction with a unique twist you may enjoy this novel. Parts of this book made me think of Stephen King. Will Nowhere allow a dust storm to take them all down?

I received my free ARC paperback copy of What Blooms From Dust by James Markert from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson and Harper Collins in exchange for my honest feedback. If you are interested in getting a copy click here to purchase from Amazon and to find out more about the author check out his website. This novel made me want to research the dust bowl more thoroughly.

Book Review · Books

Where Hope Begins

Some beautiful book covers are just that. Beautiful. The innards don’t always mirror the outer. Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is a book I asked to review because I thought the cover was gorgeous. The cover didn’t remotely prepare me for the depth of the story waiting for me.

Savannah is a mother still reeling from the untimely passing of her eldest daughter when her husband, Kevin, decides he wants to separate. He had an affair and decides to move out to go live with the other woman. To help herself heal and move forward, Savannah decides to go stay at her parent’s cabin.

She discovers she has nice neighbors to keep her company. One of the neighbors is Maisy, a little girl who looks so much like her late daughter. Savannah is captivated by Maisy’s Dad, Brock, not realizing who he actually is. Through her neighbor’s friendship she begins to heal her broken heart. Brock’s Aunt Clarice keeps Savannah on her toes spiritually, seeming to know so much without Savannah having to say a word.

Savannah feels like her life is finally showing signs of healing when Kevin wants back in. Will Savannah let him? How can you forgive someone you love and trust after betrayal? Is it possible for a family to be repaired? Can a family move forward after the loss of a child?

This novel tackles so many tough topics that are realistically portrayed through Savannah’s story: marriage, betrayal, death, faith, love, hope, family, relationships, friendship and more. This novel will stick with you long after the last page. I wish there was a sequel. Better yet a movie.

I received my free paperback ARC copy of Where Hope Begins by Catherine West for free from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson in exchange for honest review. To learn more about this talented author check out her website and buy a copy from Amazon.

Book Review · Books

It Takes Death To Reach A Star

If you love Game Of Thrones and are into futuristic sci-fi novels then, It Takes Death To Reach A Star May be the novel for you. I never read sci-fi, but this novel has encouraged me to start reading more from this genre. This novel follows the paths of Mila and Demitri who are thrown together when their worlds collide after the Third World War. This war wiped out many people with the NBD, or new Black Death epidemic. Mila is a Robust and Demotri is a Gracile. These two groups don’t normally socialize.

Mila clings to the old world’s faith, while Demitri tries to keep his secret under wraps. One carries information that is vital to surviving and the other has an addiction to numbing out his sameness existence. When they both realize what the Leader has in store will they band together to stop him, or will their social classes keep them from stooping the evil leader?

The topics that range throughout this book are what constitutes a family, faith, how knowledgeable can shape and change us. Other topics explored are, are demons real and if so, how do we handle them? Lastly the topic of religious differences is covered. Will we allow religious differences to separate us through violence, or will we learn from each other?

I received my free paperback copy of It Takes Death To Reach A Star by Stu Jones and Gareth Worthington for free from TLC Book Tours care of Vesuvian Books. To support these authors click here to purchase off Amazon and to check out more about the authors: Gareth and Stu . I enjoyed this novel. It’s fast paced with short chapters which is nice. Thank you for such an engrossing read.

Book Review · Books

The Handbook For Beautiful People

Marla seems to be getting her life back together. She has an accomplished musician boyfriend Liam and her roommate Dani is a true friend, minus her drug addiction. Marla enjoys her job at the diner and doctor’s office. When Marla’s deaf brother Gavin comes for a visit her world is upended. Gavin and Dani get along better than she thought. She wasn’t expecting them to fall in love. Liam tries to convince Marla that Dani is a bad influence on her. When Marla gets pregnant she thinks her happily ever after has finally arrived until she realizes Liam isn’t as much the night in shining armor she thought he was. When Marla gets into a car accident she’s sure Liam will come to her rescue, but it ends up Dani and Gavin arrive instead. Even though Dani has her drug and men addictions she truly does care about Marla.

This book was tough to get into except for the prologue. The story’s POV jumps around within chapters so it can get a bit confusing of whose talking. The chapter names make no sense in relation to the story except for one chapter. I had to force myself to finish this book. I don’t believe in DNFing a book. Thankfully the ending made up for the struggle.

I received my free copy of The Handbook For Beautiful People by Jennifer Spruit from TLC Book Tours care of Inana Publications and Education in exchange for my review. If you enjoy new adult novels you may enjoy this one.

Book Review · Books

A Sin Such As This

If you love reading novels by Ellen Hopkins then you will love A Sin Such As This. This sequel to Love Lies Beneath finds main character Tara married to doctor Cavin Lattimore. Tara is ready to move beyond her previous home in San Francisco to Lake Tahoe where her husband and stepson, Eli live.

Tara is glad to have a fresh start with Cavin, though she is not used to having a stepson whose quite the charmer. The atmosphere in her new home is a bit rocky with her niece Kayla living with them and dating Eli. Tara doesn’t trust easy, but does her best to trust both her new husband and her stepson. Her niece is a different story.

Life takes a turn when she realizes her husband’s ex fiancé, Sophia lives too, close for comfort for her tastes. Cavin says he’s over her, but when Tara keeps encountering her at Cavin’s office, her concerns rise.

Does Tara have anything to worry about in regards to Sophia? Will Eli keep his libido in check? Why is her sister, Melody acting strange all of a sudden?

This book sheds light on integrating two families, cultures and what happens when people we think we know aren’t all they seem. I received my free ARC copy of A Sin Such As This from TLC Book Tours care of Atria Books. If you haven’t read book one have no fear. I haven’t and was able to follow the storyline along just fine. This book had hot scenes, humerus one’s and nail biting ones. To buy a copy click here for Amazon and to contact Ellen Hopkin’s check out her website. Now I’ll want to go read the first book in this series.

Book Review · Books

The Widow’s Watcher

Jenna Shaw is at the end of her rope of grief. Her family of 5 dwindled down to just her within the length of one gut wrenching phone call. She’s left behind her last family member of sorts, a fur child called Beckett. Jenna was on a mission to get to a frozen lake so she could be put herself out of her misery. The frozen lake in MN is beautiful and she’s at peace with her decision until an old gentleman stops her.

Lars is a man, whose life has been dealt more pain than most people can fathom. He chooses to soldier on in life, so when he sees a strange woman out on the lake heading toward the parts of the lake where the ice is thin he chooses to go out and stop her. Jenna is not expecting to have her plans rudely interrupted. With grumbling she allows Lars to lead her back to her van. Low and behold it won’t start. Through some phone calls Lars calls his son to come tow Jenna’s van. With the son’s insistence Lars is stuck hosting Jenna while her vehicle is getting fixed. Neither Jenna or Lars are in the mood for company.

As Jenna gets to know Lars and his son, Owen, Jenna learns why Lars is such a brooding, sometimes grumpy old man. When Owen was little his mom left him and his dad behind, taking his two younger siblings. When his mom was found the kids were missing and his mom was in no mental state to tell anyone where they were. This mystery has clouded over Lars and Owen’s lives.

Jenna one day asks the fateful question if anyone has asked Owen’s mom if she could retrace her steps of where she took her kids on that day. This leads to the investigation being reopened. Will Lars’ wife be able to shed new light on what truly happened that day?

This novel, The Widow’s Watcher by Eliza Maxwell is a masterpiece. The opening sequence sucks you into Jenna’s world and I don’t think you are able to let out a true breath till the last page. It’s rare you care about characters this deeply. My emotions were a wide range, but the one that stuck out the most is love. Of Jenna, Lars and Owen. Of how family dynamics can change in an instant and life doesn’t ask permission first. This is a roller coaster of a ride, but it’s worth every page. Pick up this gem at Amazon and connect with the author through her website.