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

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review of NEW BOY by Tracy Chevalier



By Tracy Chevalier
Published May 11th, 2017 by Hogarth
Hardcover, 204 pages

From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring comes the fifth installment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, a modern retelling of Othello set in a suburban schoolyard.

Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, a diplomat's son, Osei Kokote, knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players - teachers and pupils alike - will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970's suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

PURCHASE:

How about we begin with that for some strange reason I am indecisive regarding my opinion of this book. I have never had this occur before, so as you can imagine I am perplexed concerning it nonetheless I will forge ahead.

Next, this is a speedy read, you should blast through it in no time. The story takes place within one day additionally each section is a different part of the school day. Now, the story itself is interesting keeping you engaged. Furthermore, as a reader, I was engrossed in the many different aspects of hate and deception that the book was abundant with. However, eleven-year-olds do not have the mental capacity for such a complex plan that Ian instigated also some other situations were not proper for an elementary school playground. Plus, at that age, boys and girls are not as involved emotionally. Consequently, the plot of the story had trouble working logically for me though it was entertaining. That’s all folk’s.





Born:
19 October 1962 in Washington, DC. Youngest of 3 children. Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.

Childhood:
Nerdy. Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading. Favorite authors back then: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L’Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander. Book I would have taken to a desert island: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

Education:
BA in English, Oberlin College, Ohio, 1984. No one was surprised that I went there; I was made for such a progressive, liberal place.

MA in creative writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1994. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not you can be taught to write. Why doesn’t anyone ask that of professional singers, painters, dancers? That year forced me to write all the time and take it seriously.








Friday, November 3, 2017

Review of THE FIRST SIGNS OF APRIL by Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe

The First Signs of April: A Memoir
By Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe
Published September 5th, 2017 by She Writes Press
Paperback, 257p

Wounds fester and spread in the darkness of silence. The swirling reds, oranges, and yellows of fall’s foliage dance alongside Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe like flames as she tears through the winding back roads of the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont. Desperate to outrun memories that flood her mind, no matter how hard she rolls her motorcycle’s throttle, she cannot escape them.

Shut down and disconnected, Briscoe has lived her life in silence in order to stay alive. Her grief is buried, and shame is the skin that wraps around her bones—but then, following the brutal murder of a local teacher, she is forced as a grief counselor to face her lifetime of unresolved sorrow. Will she finally be able to crack the hard edges of her heart and allow in the light of truth so real healing can occur?






AMAZON | B&N | GOODREADS





Do you read memoirs? No! Well, as a reader of multitudes of memoirs, you definitely can put this on your TBR list since it reads like fiction due to its remarkable writing. To begin with, the book is set-up so that it goes back and forth from 1981 when she was in high school and the year 2000 the summer after finishing her doctorate with a nice flow. It effortlessly held my attention till the end.

Generally speaking, even though it is comprised of oodles of sorrow this factor brings forth insight, the wisdom of mental healing, and learning what defines you. Furthermore, Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe focused solely on what was vital to explain her dilemma, nothing more, nothing less, so there is no overload of useless information. Finally, I want to mention how this book opened my eyes causing me to see more clearly regarding past and present situations that are restricting me from being all that I could be. Since nobody should miss out on reading this spectacular memoir purchase yourself a copy above.


Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe is a licensed mental health counselor currently on sabbatical from her private psychotherapy practice in northeastern Vermont. She currently spends her time between Cape Cod, Vermont, and Ireland. She has a masters degree in clinical mental health counseling from Lesley University and is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a Certified Trauma Professional. She has been a lecturer for Springfield College School of Professional and Continuing Studies St. Johnsbury, Vermont campus. She has contributed to Cape Woman Online and Sweatpants and Coffee magazine. This is her first book. Visit her website, her Facebook, and on Twitter.