Friday, February 16, 2018

Review of IN EVERY MOMENT WE ARE STILL ALIVE


A prize-winning, bestselling debut of love, loss, and family—based on a true story—that’s winning readers around the world.

When Tom’s heavily pregnant girlfriend Karin is rushed to the hospital, doctors are able to save the baby. But they are helpless to save Karin from what turns out to be acute Leukemia. And in a cruel, fleeting moment Tom gains a daughter but loses his soul-mate. In Every Moment We Are Alive is the story of the year that changes everything, as Tom must reconcile the fury and pain of loss with the overwhelming responsibility of raising his daughter, Livia, alone.


By turns tragic and redemptive, meditative and breathless, achingly poignant and darkly funny, this autobiographical novel has been described as ’hypnotic’, ’impossible to resist’ and ’one of the most powerful books about grief ever written’. 

PURCHASE:

Do you ever think about why an author writes a book? I did with this one. Maybe the authors' inspiration was by putting down on paper the heartbreaking and difficult situations that he had to deal with it would help him in getting past the hurt. Though, that assumption could be far from the truth. Consequently, this was a difficult book to read. In the beginning, the prose mainly focuses on Karin and the baby, then the confusion starts as the writing randomly jumps around. Let me explain. For instance, you will be reading about Tom and a pregnant Karin then the next sentence starts, without any sort of paragraph change or going to another chapter, the story time travels to the past when Tom is playing hockey. Why? It is like this throughout the book, therefore, making it highly confusing to read.

The bones of the story are good. The topic of the birth mother passing away and Tom has to go through her death with a preemie baby is engrossing. Hence, after Tom brings the baby home the reader receives minimal details of him interacting with the newborn which was disappointing. Basically, I learned how the Swedish Government works when you have a child and the stress that will entail if you don’t prepare beforehand for situations like a mother's death. My intention was not to give the book a negative review yet this is what flew out of my fingertips.



Tom Malmquist is a poet and sportswriter. He has written two highly acclaimed poetry collections. In Every Moment We Are Still Alive is his first novel. He lives in Sweden.


Monday, February 12, 2018

RESURRECTION: SHADOWS OF OMEGA by Summer Lane + GIVEAWAY of Cassidy Hart Tactical Fun Box & Autographed Copy of State of Emergency, Collapse #1



Resurrection: Shadows of Omega 
Summer Lane
Publication date: February 9th, 2018
Genres: Dystopian, New Adult

The war is over. At last, Omega has been defeated, and the militias have found peace and stability. General Cassidy Hart has been elected to lead the newly resurrected post-apocalyptic government as President of the Western Republic.
The world is a different place. From the ashes, structure emerges. From death, hope blossoms.
Yet the shadows of Omega remain. Omega loyalists and dangerous anarchists infect every level of the crestfallen civilization, threatening to undermine the Republic’s attempts to maintain peace. Most of the world’s population has been slain: those who remain alive have very different ideas about what must be done to continue to survive.
A seasoned war veteran, sniper, and leader, Cassidy resents the stifling role of presidential leadership. General Chris Young, her former fiancĂ©, leads the United Militia’s military as it rebuilds. Her comrades from war have scattered, and the one person who understands her, truly and completely, has disappeared.

When a new threat emerges, one that could undo everything they have fought for, Cassidy is forced to make hard decisions and ask for help in places where she never imagined she could.

The old is gone. The new has come.

Welcome to the Hart Presidency. Welcome to the Western Republic.

The Resurrection has begun.

From prolific author Summer Lane, creator of the #1 bestselling smash-hit Collapse Series, Zero Trilogy, Bravo Saga, Unbreakable SEAL and Running with Wolves. Enjoy this new series, following the adventures of beloved heroine Cassidy Hart, along with some familiar faces that fans have come to know and love.
EXCERPT:
The chopper takes a sharp right turn, and then we are turning back across the island, toward the eastern side. I peer out the window, retracing our flight pattern in my head, glancing sideways at the three men beside me. They are unfazed by the sudden change in direction. I glance up toward the cockpit. Something uneasy stirs inside me, but I push the feeling away.
I am safe with these men. If the pilot is altering course, it’s purely because there is a change in the weather pattern. He will get me to where I need to go.
There are a lot of people who would like to see you dead.
I curse myself, and then I shout,
“Hey, why are we turning?”
The man beside me replies, “The pilot knows what he’s doing, ma’am.”
“That wasn’t my question!”
“I’m not the pilot, ma’am. I don’t know.”
“Our flight pattern was very clear. We shouldn’t be altering course.”
“Ma’am, I don’t know—”
I reach toward the earpiece in my ear, intending to key into the pilot’s headset and inquire directly about our change in course. The man beside me places his hand on my wrist.
“Ma’am,” he says, firmly. “Don’t.”
I glance at his face. It’s hard to read his expression—stony, direct. I push his hand away.
“Stand down, soldier,” I say.
I raise my hand again, and this time, he grabs my wrist and shoves my arm behind my back. It happens in the span of a single breath—fast, fluid, and efficient. Unfortunately for him, I am equally as fast. One year on the road as president has not even slightly dulled my reflexes or instincts. I immediately take in three things about him: One, his patch reads Douglas. Two, he’s at least two hundred and fifty pounds. Three, he’s trying to break my arm.
I use my right hand to grab the knife in my boot and swing it around. I slash the right side of his cheek open and he screams. Hot blood gushes from his face. I realize in this moment that the other two men in the chopper have risen from their seats. At first, I think they are coming to my assistance.
Wrong.
One has his handgun drawn. I unbuckle my harness.
Adrenaline. Here it comes. The supercharged rush, the inhuman strength. It flashes through my body, giving me speed and finesse I have not experienced since I took on the mantle of the presidency.


Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 20 hit novels, including the Collapse Series and newly launched Resurrection Series, featuring popular heroine Commander Cassidy Hart.
Summer owns Writing Belle Publishing (a management company) and Writing Belle (an online magazine). She is an experienced journalist and writing instructor.
Summer lives in California with her husband, Scott, and their German Shepherd, Kona. She is an avid adventurer, animal lover, and coffee addict.
You can visit her at her website, summerlaneauthor.com, for new and upcoming book release information. To stay up to date on current titles and events, follow @writingbelle on Instagram, or @SummerEllenLane on Twitter. You may also check out Summer Lane on Facebook.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Review of THE UPSIDE: Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture



The true story of a charismatic Algerian con-man whose friendship with a disabled French aristocrat inspired the record-breaking hit movie The Intouchables (American remake, The Upside, starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, coming March 2018).

The story of Abdel Sellou surprising friendship with aristocrat Philippe Pozzo di Borgo has been told and retold around the world most recently in the major motion picture The Upside, with comedian and movie star Kevin Hart portraying Abdel and his edgy charm. In this appealing memoir, Sellou shows us the real man behind Kevin Hart's smiling face. The book takes us from his childhood spent stealing candy from the local grocery store, to his career as a pickpocket and scam artist, to his unexpected employment as a companion for a quadriplegic. Sellou tells his story with a stunning amount of talent, humor, style, and though he denies that he has any-humility.

Paperback, 224 pages
Expected PublicationFebruary 6th, 2018
by Hachette Books (first published 2012)


PURCHASE:

Why does it take certain smart people longer to live up to their potential? Well, you must read about Abdel Sellou because I think his story might help us all understand why. The book is a quick read since it is not bogged down by abundant details Abdel gets straight to the point.

I didn’t do my eighteenth birthday justice. It slipped my mind. I was busy with other stuff, probably. But you can be sure the cops had circled the date on their calendar because when it arrived they didn’t waste too much time in getting ahold of me.  They came at me all at once...My turn to look like a happy idiot: I didn’t know that the tourist complaints that had been piling up for months could put me away for years.

I was astounded by his family's behavior. I realize that in African cultures that things are done differently but HELLO? Where is the functioning adult in this boy's life? Therefore, even though I don’t agree with his behavior and life choices when you read on what he was up against from the start, I give him some slack. Nevertheless, I kept thinking you have to be a man sooner or later and quit screwing the system and finally he did!

As Pozzo rightly says, I’m “unbearable, vain, proud, brutal, fickle, human”...I pushed a wheelchair, shock-anaesthetized a man whose sufferings seem intolerable, I was his companion for a few painful years. Painful for him, not for me. I was, as he says, his “guardian demon”

When? As Abdel becomes Pozzo’s life assistant, as a reader, I am joyed as he becomes a responsible man, though at times that rebel child still shines through. Also, it is indeed the best part of the book. This section is only 1/3 of the book while in my mind it could have been larger. Additionally, this is where there is happiness, humor, and inspiration occur. This is a delightful memoir and I know you will enjoy it too.

I got through those difficult hours by respecting the same logic as I did at Fleury-Merois: the situation was bad, I wasn’t in control of it, but I knew it wasn’t permanent. I just had to wait it out.

So, read this book first then go see the movie.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Review of YOU DON'T LOOK ADOPTED

Paperback, 312 pages
Published February 5th, 2017 by Running Water Press

When you take away the habits of your life, you get to the question of Who am I? And if you sit with that, you get to the question of How far am I willing to go to find the answers? If you are Anne Heffron, someone who had no idea where she was the first ten weeks of her life, you’ll give away almost everything you own, pack what’s left, and head for the city of your birth on a voyage you call Write or Die with the pledge you won’t go home until you find what’s real about yourself.

PURCHASE:
There are a lot of books available to readers regarding families and their journey of adopting a child, but this is the first memoir that I have come upon from the view of the individual who was adopted. I liked the way the book was constructed with titled passages. Consequently, more then not Anne Heffron’s story of being adopted was saddening though at times there is joy and happiness. As a reader, I learned a lot about what it means to be adopted. Although, it was only one individual's story maybe it will encourage others to come forward and tell of their experience.

 
Anne Heffron was born in Manhattan in 1964 to a young college student who gave her up for adoption. Fifty-one years later Anne returned to Manhattan to find the roots of her story, the story that began with her birth instead of the story that began “The day we got you.” This journey is the subject of “You Don’t Look Adopted”, an account of the perils and blessings of adoption.
Before turning to memoir, Anne co-wrote the film “Phantom Halo” with her writing partner, Antonia Bogdanovich. “Phantom Halo” was first shown at the 2015 Austin Film Festival and won Best Picture at the 2015 New York International Film Festival. She and Antonia currently have a screenplay, “The Rabbit Will Die” in development.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Angies' review of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US by Barbara Claypole White



















Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (January 16, 2018)


From the bestselling author of The Perfect Son comes a hopeful tale of redemption, renewal, and the promise of love.
Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.
But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?
To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.
PURCHASE:

This is the first Barbara Claypole White book that I have read. I was intrigued by the subject matter due to the fact I had no notion that OCD could affect an individual's brain like it does to a couple of the prominent characters. Nevertheless, the book might not have been perfect yet the favorable along with the adverse combined to produce a captivating middle of the road novel. Such as, repetitive amounts of “what if” throughout the book was driving me a bit batty. For example:

What if, just by being around me, she’s at risk? What if I was wrong to bring her here? She’s too close to the chop saw. What if I put her hand underneath, lowered the blade, and...An image. A bloody image.  

Another issue I did not at all agree with was Callum and Lilah pressuring Maisie into calling Lilah mom when she was not ready. Nevertheless, I do not want to give too many spoilers away. Katie to me was a superhero. She tried to overcome everything negative that was propelled at her. As a parent, shouldn't she have oodles of more access to her child? Unquestionably, there is more I would like to write about, but I have already given away enough spoilers.

I control fire; I am strong  
~Katie

*Please forgive such a weird review. I had surgery and am not recovering as fast as expected.

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Review of HOUSE ON THE FORGOTTEN COAST

The House on the Forgotten Coast
by Ruth Coe Chambers
Published September 19th, 2017 by She Writes Press
Paperback, 252

Like a monarch surveying her domain, the house has stood for over a hundred years in the fishing village of Apalachicola on Florida’s northwest coast. She has known life. She has known passionate love. She has known brutal death. But she has guarded her secrets well . . .

Then eighteen-year-old Elise Foster and her parents arrive from Atlanta in their silver Jaguar, bringing with them their own secrets and desires. Seeking friendship in their new community, they find instead that the townspeople resent their intrusion. But this intrusion on the house’s privacy also provides a pathway for the past and the present to merge—and for the truth behind an unsolved murder to finally be brought to light. As you strive to solve the mystery, you and the Fosters are forced to address two critical questions: What is real? What is delusion?

PURCHASE


As the book begins it moseys along at the same pace as the sleepy Florida coastal town, Apalachicola, where the story takes place. However, it picks up speed the deeper into the tale you get. The core focus is mainly on Elise and the unusual circumstances that are happening to her coupled with the long-ago death of Annelise, occurring in 1879, that the town would prefer left alone. I thought the plot to be unique yet also peculiar. Why? There are so many reasons. It is mysterious, bizarre, engrossing, contains young love, and as a reader by the end you will be plagued by what was truth or just hallucinations. I am still left scratching my head regarding Lawrence. Furthermore, the other characters' lives are gradually revealed, hence leaving me astonished at times.

If you enjoy reading fantasy, mystery or magical realism, I think you will really like this book. I myself found it worth the time I put into reading it. Therefore, I will definitely be reading it a second time since this is the type of book you will discover new details each time it’s read.



Ruth Coe Chambers takes pride in her Florida panhandle roots and her hometown of Port St. Joe has inspired much of her writing.
She is indebted to the creative writing classes at the University of South Florida where she found her “voice” and began writing literary fiction. Listed in the Who’s Who of American Women. She has recently republished one novel and published it’s sequel and has written two award-winning plays. She is currently working on the third novel in her Bay Harbor Trilogy. She has two daughters and lives with her husband and one very spoiled Cairn terrier in Neptune Beach, Florida.

Her two earlier novels include The Chinaberry Album and Heat Lightning


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review of LITTLE BROKEN THINGS

Little Broken Things
By Nicole Baart
Publication: November 21st, 2017 by Atria Books
Paperback, 368 pages

An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves.
PURCHASE:
The story that unfolded before my eyes is favorable to some other family dramas that I have read before. Though the author takes her time telling us her tale I found it to be a positive aspect reveling in the sublime wording. Furthermore, it’s being told from the point of the two Sanford sisters, Quinn and Nora including their mother Mrs. Liz Stanford. Let's not forget each chapter is told by a different character tossing the story around keeping it interesting making you think you have the plot figured out. Moreover, these characters don't only play a pivotal role throughout the book, each holds a significant piece of the larger picture at the end, so pay attention.

Liz was a good, God-fearing woman and a regular at the First Reformed Church of Key Lake, but she wasn’t the quintessential parishioner. She was fond of Jesus, not so much of people. And they seemed to love Walmart more than seemed strictly conventional.

Unquestionably, the book takes you on an emotional roller coaster one chapter you will be melancholy, then laughing, the next moment angry, and it proceeds by keeping you on your toes never knowing what emotion will blast your psyche next. Additionally, just the blurb alone should give you a good hint that there is not a dull moment to be had though it’s a family drama it contains a devilish mystery. There is no doubt in my mind it will grab your attention and not let go until the end such as it did for me. I am hopeful that my review has you ordering above or running out to the bookstore to grab your copy. It's worth it.

Don’t hate me for what you can’t possibly understand.I feel like I’ve always done my level best with what I’ve been given. Or, at least, usually. But sometimes life doesn’t hand you lemons-it throws a snake in your lap. And what are supposed to do with that?


Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of eight novels, including the upcoming LITTLE BROKEN THINGS. Nicole is a proud Tall Poppy Writer and a firm believer that we are, and always will be, better together. Find out more at nicolebaart.com or connect with Nicole on social media.


Nicole Baart’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, November 20th: The Sketchy Reader
Tuesday, November 21st: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, November 21st: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, November 22nd: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Friday, November 24th: Books & Bindings
Friday, November 24th: Jathan & Heather
Monday, November 27th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Tuesday, November 28th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, November 29th: Readaholic Zone
Friday, December 1st: The Baking Bookworm
Monday, December 4th: Katy’s Library blog and Instagram
Wednesday, December 6th: Lit Wit Wine Dine
Friday, December 8th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Monday, December 11th: Bewitched Bookworms
Monday, December 11th: Novel Gossip blog and Instagram
Tuesday, December 12th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Wednesday, December 13th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, December 18th: Girls in Books blog and Instagram
Monday, December 18th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, December 20th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, December 22nd: Not in Jersey