Monday, July 31, 2017

Book Review: The Road To Jonestown

This was a book that I was surprised by. The author Jeff Guin really digs into Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple. He starts by tracing the early days in rural Indiana, where his childhood was experienced. Then it hurls to the last day, November 1978. This is a story that is memorable, so evil you can't understand how it happens. It was very intriguing, mainly because we all know how this tragic story ends. 

When I first checked this story, I was shocked and unsure how things went so wrong.  The research in this book is so deep and broad. He has many different sources and interviews with people. Mainly the people are survivors and defectors, and the records of the supposed church. He also managed to get a hold of Jones' rambling words, the recorded sermons, and journals. 

Nothing is held back. It even included so much that I was unaware of.  It showed the lives and work of people in the Peoples Temple. The things before Jones' took over and turned it into his personal game. There was so much I learned, so much that I don't think many people have read about. Things that are extremely important. 

The main thing I learned was Jones was obsessed with religion, an obsession that possessed him even as a child. But he also enjoyed tricking and harming things. He always seems to have the charm that attracted people. He also really liked being in control. Control is something that consumes people, and for Jones, it became his entire world. 

The biggest shock to me was he really didn't rope people to move to the jungle. Actually, people would really compete for the honor. Which is not what I expected, and is something that is different from other cults. 

The quote that will haunt me forever is from  Jim Jones Jr., one of the surviving sons of Jim and Marceline Jones: 
'Kool-Aid rather than equality is what the rest of the world remembers. The survivors are left to console themselves...' Jim Jones Jr. sighs, smiles, and concludes, 'What I'd say about Peoples Temple is, we failed, but damn, we tried.'
I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in psychology and mentality of cult groups. While this book doesn't answer every question we have it does help give some perspective. 

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley and Simon & Schuster

Goodreads Description: 

By the New York Times bestselling author of Manson, the comprehensive, authoritative, and tragic story of preacher Jim Jones, who was responsible for the Jonestown Massacre—the largest murder-suicide in American history.

In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader.

In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones’s life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died—including almost three hundred infants and children—after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.

Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones’s Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones’s orders. The Road to Jonestownis the definitive book about Jim Jones and the events that led to the tragedy at Jonestown.

Book Review: On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!: Ladi, Liz & CAM

Goodreads Description: 

Three friends - a little girl, a lizard and a chameleon - decide to have a race to find out which of them is the fastest. But they can't agree on a race they all think is fair.

Meet Ladi, Liz and Cam. Ladi is a little girl, Liz and Cam are a lizard and chameleon. The trio set out to find out which of them is the fastest runner but each place they choose to run the race gives an advantage to one of the friends.

Can they come up with a race that is fair to all three? Find out in this delightful picture book by Julia Lassa. On Your Marks, Get Set, Go! features beautiful engaging illustrations and is a great book to read to young children.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Book Review: The Dead Inside

I didn't enjoy this book. The story is extremely horrifying from the start and gets worse until the end. Although it is a story that I will stay with me for a long time. It was compelling and awful read. 

"You're not gonna believe this" is the opening line in the book and I almost didn't believe this book. It was horrific and tragic, it will shock you. Teenagers being hurt, abused, shamed, humiliated, brainwashed in so many unimaginable and different ways. 

The story follows Cyndy Etler as she recounts her adolescence and her time in a “tough love” style rehabilitation camp. The main character is thrown into a boarding school by her mother, or so she thinks. She is actually sent to Straight Inc., and it is actually a drug rehabilitation center for youths. In the first moments stepping inside Straight, Cyndy begins to realize that the methods used in the facility are far from normal. From being dragged down hallways by her pant loops, group meetings where teenagers wave their arms around erratically chanting. Things are so far from okay. It is truly unimaginable. 

This book explains the more than frightening and psychologically damaging rules and things that went on at Straight. I have heard of some of these types of practices but never seen anything like this. Kids are lead around by the back of their pants, forced to believe they have drug problems. Talking back and defending yourself isn't an option. 

Honestly, everyone should read this book. There isn't a teen that shouldn't check out this book. Although there needs to be a trigger warning for sexual abuse that happens in the beginning of the story. This book has lessons we all need to learn. 

For more information and personal stories on Straight Inc., check out

Disclaimer: Thanks to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Fire,  and the author for sharing this book with me in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description

Friday, July 28, 2017

Author Interview: John A. Autero


My Name - I was named after my Grandpa John and my Grandpa Andrew. Grandpa John worked as a machinist at a bakery for almost his entire life. Grandpa Andrew emigrated from Slovakia and worked as a coal miner when he was a young adult and then changed professions and worked as a locomotive engineer.
Interesting Person I Have Met - I met Captain James Lovell (Gemini 7, Gemini 12, Apollo 8, Apollo 13) at his restaurant in Lake Forest, Illinois. After a business dinner, some of my co-workers and I were able to talk with him for ten to fifteen minutes about his days at NASA. I was honored to be able to shake his hand.
Interesting Places I have Been - I have traveled to Brazil, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Japan on business. But the most interesting place I have traveled to was to an electric power plant inside the Arctic Circle. The plant used a crane to carry tree bark from a lumber mill to the power plant's steam boiler. The crane was not working properly, so I had to work with them to fix the problem. It took me about sixteen hours of flying and driving to get to the small town where the plant was located. It had one blinking yellow stop light, a KFC and a hotel (that had been built onto the side of someone's house). Even though I went there in June, the high temperature was in the 40s and it snowed overnight.
Most Harrowing Moment - I worked in a chemical plant, as an instrument technician, right after I graduated from college. One day I was asked to test a transducer that was located on the top of a separation tower in the ethylene plant. The tower was over 250 feet tall and was the tallest structure in the county. To get to the top, I rode in the basket of a crane. When I reached the platform that was on the top of the tower, I had to climb out of the crane basket and onto the platform. I was of course wearing a safety harness when I did this, but climbing from the basket to the platform was terrifying.
Prized Possessions - God has blessed me with a great life and numerous belongings. I have a guitar pic that Gene Simmons (bass player in the band Kiss) threw into the crowd during a concert. Actually my wife was the one that was able to get the pic. She was standing close to the stage taking pictures of Gene and he tossed the pic at her. Other fans standing nearby saw Gene toss the pic and a melee ensued. My wife as able to wrestle through the fracas after getting kicked in the nose, grab the pick and stick it into her pocket. She presented me with the pic after the concert. (What a wonderful wife.)
The Questions and Answers:

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
I started out writing articles for engineering magazine about ten or twelve years ago. The company I work for helps find magazines that will print them and encourages us to write them to promote ourselves and the company. After having some success with this, about five years I got the idea to write a novel. I didn’t really know what I was doing or anything about indie authorship at that time. It’s funny to think how much I have learned in the last five years, as well as how much more I need to learn. I currently have two independently published novels (Footprints and The Scorpion) and one in the works.

How long does it take you to write a book?
It has taken me about fourteen months to create my first two books. The one I am currently working on will be about the same, as I hope to have it released in November.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I put in a 40-hour work week, so my writing time is limited. I normally put in four or five hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I wish I could spend more time writing but it’s just not possible. But on the bright side, writing a book over an extended period of time gives you a chance to process the story line to make sure it’s realistic and allows you to come up with ideas to make it more enjoyable. I wrote both “Footprints” and “The Scorpion” this way.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmmm… this is a tough one. I don’t have any really weird ones like I have to eat green M&Ms or wear the same tube socks while I write. I guess I’m kind of anal about backing up my work. I’m also anal about consistency. If I call a piece of equipment a “handheld”, I want to make sure it is spelled and formatted the same way throughout the entire book. So it’s not “hand-held” in one chapter and “hand held” in another. Other than that, I can’t really think of anything. Maybe I’ll have to invent a quirk so I’m more interesting.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Inspiration tends to hit me in a few different ways. Sometimes when I’m reading a novel or a comic book or watching a movie I’ll be listening to the story and pinpoint something very small and trivial happening that might have legs to be its own piece of work. I write these ideas down on a list for possible future stories. Music lyrics tend to hit me like that too. I also have the random lightning bolt that hits me while I’m working on something, like cutting the grass. 

I tend to write about real things and situations and create a story around it. I commonly use Wiki-pedia to get some details on these things and situations. In “The Scorpion” there is a character named the “Folsum Street Avenger”. His name was created from an event that happened about ten years ago in San Francisco. I used Wiki to research the event and then inter-twine it into the story.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
About five years ago, I got the idea to write my first real novel. So that would have made me 46 years old. I guess I’m a late bloomer.

What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
I like to go to the gym. During the winter we like to watch movies. In the summer, my wife and I barbeque and relax on our deck. I like putzing around with my old El Camino sometimes too.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
It’s very difficult to introduce your book to the public. I read that there are 70,000 new books sent to Amazon (worldwide) every month! Having people find your book in an ocean that enormous is very difficult. Getting your book in front of people is so difficult. But I guess organizations like yours and GoodReads and Author’s Den are there to help.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
I tend not to have a favorite author, actor, sports player. My mind never worked that way. I guess I just love to read books (and watch movies) with twisty story lines, and I thought that I could write books with that same kind of excitement. “The Scorpion” really falls into that category. I think it’s great when readers tell me “Wow… I didn’t see that coming!” And once I heard that, I was hooked and I wanted to write more of them.

What do you think makes a good story?
I like to read mysteries and thrillers that have a techy, futuristic aspect to them (think Blade Runner). And that’s pretty much what I write. I love the unexpected and find it really entertaining when the storyline twists you into knots, only to have it become one hundred percent clear in the end. 

I received a copy of a rock-and-roll tell-all novel as a Christmas gift a few years ago and I thought it was incredibly interesting. I’ve kind of followed that band wagon for the last five or six books I have read. While they aren’t necessarily epic novels of exceptional writing, they do draw me in, reminding me of past times and places and I find them hard to put down. And isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Book Review: Broken Branches

Hey guys, today I have a super exciting post to share with you. This new book called Broken Branches is so good. It is filled with mystery and so much suspense. A book about a family curse, this book has all the elements that I love. 

My Actual Rating: is a 4.5 

I really enjoyed this one. We follow a man named Ian Perkins, who has returned to the house in which he grew up in. He is there with his son Harry, and wife Rachel. They have had their own issues, ups, and downs. Ian feels like this house has always had sort of a strange feeling to it, and returning has just elevated all of those feelings. We see a glimpse into his memories and his interactions with some of his family members. One, in particular, is his brother named Stuart. Who seems a bit odd.

The main element I loved in this story is the family curse. Which is sort of cloudy to begin with, is there really a family curse after all? Or is it all just in Ian's head. Never the less he is going to figure it all out. The course is centered around this tree in the families little cottage, which has caused problems for the family for many different generations. He quickly finds there is more here, that he needs to figure out.

There is a sadness to this book due to something that happens in the family, which adds to the emotional rollercoaster this book will put you on. The writing in this book is so moving, so different, and will have you on the edge of your seat. I devoured this book because I had to figure out what would happen, and that is exactly how a mystery book is supposed to be.

The only downside I saw to this book was in parts the book felt slow and I really sort of had to push my way through some of the build up. I also have to admit that it did feel flat in some places. Ultimately though the story was worth it.

The book is being launched by this awesome new publishing company called Hideaway Fall. This is either first book, and as you can see it is such an awesome book to launch with. If this is what is to come, I can't wait to read more books they publish, be sure to check them out.

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest and fair review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Links for purchase: Amazon // Book Depository

Goodreads Description: 

'Family curses don't exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don't think so.'

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. 

And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse

Book Review: Caraval

"Scarlett knew he was trying to manipulate her. She’d had enough experience to recognize the signs. Unfortunately, despite her lengthy history of being used by her father, or perhaps because of it, she was never good at evading it.?" 

This book is beautiful. The concept is perfect two sweet sisters, raised by an abusive father, decide to go to an island and run away to play a game. The prize is one wish, something more prized than anything else in the world. 

While this book had a lot of bad tropes such as instant-love, reckless girls, and love triangles. I still really loved it. I loved the character Scarlett, she is so good and genuine that you can't help but fall in love with her. Scarlett really wants security, she wants to escape the wrath of her father. I loved Tella's impulsiveness, she was cute and adorable. She fell in love quickly and was the voice of reason in the crazy moments. 

The Caraval is exactly like what it sounds like, it is a carnival-ish game on an island. People will often go there to play and try and win. The Master is this guy named Legend, who Scarlett is kind of in love with, though she wouldn't admit that. She has been writing to him for years. Finally, he has replied and was nice enough to send three tickets for Scarlett, Tella and Scarlett's fiance. Upon arrival at the island, Tella goes missing and it soon becomes apparent that finding her is all a part of the game. Scarlett must solve the clues and find her sister before Caraval is over.

There is an overall dark feel to this lovely book. I liked the disturbing violence, interesting world building, and fantasy feeling. It was so interesting. 

I disliked the ending though. It isn't a cliff hanger, but it didn't feel like it was wrapped up.  I really want to see what happens next. 

Goodreads Description: 

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the far away, a once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: Delta of Venus

This is my first erotic novel. Also my first Anaïs Nin novel. It took me about 2 months to really digest the things I read about. I enjoyed this book, but there was so much to take in. I honestly knew that I was getting into heavy erotica. I hadn't expected it to be such a beautiful read.

At first, I have to admit that I misunderstood this novel. This novel is a group of short stories. Delta includes things like incest, rape, and pedophilia. I figured out that erotica in this sense isn't supposed to turn you on, as much as to go to places other writing can't possibly explore. To push taboos and expand your mind. I looked past some of the grossest 

But this is extremely good stuff.. it is a writing that is pure, and one that is rarely seen in today's market. The book has a perfect weaving of characters and themes that make up the sensual eroticism of the book. While she takes a dark approach to everything, I believe she is trying to shock and disturb you. There are some difficult scenes, ones that will make you gasp and groan at them. They will shock you because they are taboo. 

This is literature, not erotica, it has taken some freedoms and explored the darkness of man, but it is quite beautiful, and even more brilliant. 

I can't write this review without mentioning something crucial, that an extremely broke Anais Nin wrote porn at a dollar a page for an unknown collector who kept telling her to write less literary crap, more of the in and out. This pissed her off and made her anger, due to the fact she believed he was destroying everything interesting about sex. This is so relevant because it is basically the same debate people are having today about internet porn.

So she keeps punishing him for it. Incredible sensual stories that are marked with taboo and shock the senses. She is basically ruining his mood. I find that to be quite hilarious in itself. 

Goodreads Description: 

In Delta of Venus Anaïs Nin penned a lush, magical world where the characters of her imagination possess the most universal of desires and exceptional of talents. 

Among these provocative stories, a Hungarian adventurer seduces wealthy women then vanishes with their money; a veiled woman selects strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hatmaker named Mathilde leaves her husband for the opium dens of Peru. 

Delta of Venus is an extraordinarily rich and exotic collection from the master of erotic writing.

About the Author: 

French-born novelist, passionate eroticist, and short story writer, who gained international fame with her journals. 

Spanning the years from 1931 to 1974, they give an account of one woman's voyage of self-discovery. "It's all right for a woman to be, above all, human. I am a woman first of all." (from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, vol. I, 1966) 

Anaïs Nin was largely ignored until the 1960s. 

Today she is regarded as one of the leading female writers of the 20th century and a source of inspiration for women challenging conventionally defined gender roles. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review: Here and Gone

When thinking about to write about for this book the words that came to mind were Dark...Creepy....Terrifying....

This is the kind of book I thought I would never read, I was hesitant to pick it up. But this book changed my life y'all. This is a hard book not to spoil but I will do my best. 

First, we meet this abused woman named Audra. She is hoping just to get away with her two precious kids when she is pulled over by a sheriff in a small town in Arizona. Not sure what it is but things are always a little weird in Arizona. Things go very wrong during that stop after the sheriff 'finds' a bag of drugs in the trunk of her car. He calls a deputy to take her two children to a safe place. Once at the jail Audra realizes that things are much worse than she originally thought. 
"Please," she said, unable to keep the quiver from her voice. "I've done everything you said. I've been cooperative. Please tell me where my children are."

Whiteside held her gaze.

"What children?" he asked

This is not the same old storyline you are thinking about. This one kicks but, because sometimes women aren't to be messed with. 

I enjoyed this author and his writing style.  I look forward to reading more of his books.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Blogging for Books and  Crown Publishing for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Description:

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother's desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.

It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she's pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they're gone than she must have done something with them... 

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dear Lovely Readers,

Recently it came to my attention that my blog had been changed private somehow. I want to personally apologize for this error. I am not quite sure how it happened but am ensuring it doesn't happen again. Thank you for your patience.

I have a lot of backlogged content that will be showing up in the coming weeks. I hope you will go through the archive and check some of it out.

This week will be published as scheduled.

Happy reading!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Book Review: Sweetgrass Basket

This is a powerful book, that I actually picked up on a whim when browsing my local library. Even though this is a work of fiction, it tells a horrific and true story so many women and men of Native American heritage suffered through. This is the story of two young sisters forced to live at a boarding school. Which doesn't sound too bad until you read some of what happened in these places! It isn't pretty, it isn't okay, and it's time for stories like this to be told. Below is taken from a few websites to give you a little history on boarding schools, A little history on this whole boarding school thing, please stay with me.

" The first boarding school was established by the Bureau of Indian affairs. The first school was on the Yakima Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. These schools were part of a plan devised by well-intentioned, eastern reformers Herbert Welsh and Henry Pancoast, who also helped establish organizations such as the Board of Indian Commissioners, the Boston Indian Citizenship Association, and the Women’s National Indian Association.

Ultimately the goal of these so called reformers was to use education as a tool to "assimilate" tribes into the main stream way of life, or at least the so called "American way of life".  This followed a religious ideology that was very popular in the mid 19th century. Which stated essentially stated that Indian people would be taught the importance of private property, material wealth, and monogamous nuclear families. They believed it was necessary to "civilize" native people. Force them to accept white culture, beliefs and value systems. "

I loved that this is a work of fiction which is told through poetry. To me poetry is such a powerful way to share your thoughts, and express your emotions in ways that might be hard other wise. The poetic text just leaks onto the pages, and you can feel the emotions down to your soul. One of my favorite lines from one of the poems is, 

'Poor Father.

He knows deep in his heart
that Sarah and I did not want
to leave our home.

Father said it would be best,
best for us, best for our family,
and that we had to be good.'

This is the heart breaking story of Sarah and Mattie. Two sweet girls from the Mohawk tribe in the early 1900s. At the start of the book their mother has passed away, and their father he is sending them away to Pennsylvania to a boarding school called Carlisle Indian Boarding School. I never could figure out if he was doing this, or he was being forced to do this. He seems to promise them that everything will be okay, that they will be taken care of, have a good education, get fed. He seems to genuinely expect good things to happen to his girls, which makes me think, he has decent intentions. He sends them by train, with the hopes to be reunited again, although this will never happen. 

What they get at the boarding school is anything but care and compassion. They get beatings, almost total loss of identity, and a gut wrenching loss of culture. This abuse is used to punish and publicly shame these children for how they were born and who they are. 

Told in alternating perspectives of both sisters you see just how damaging the abuse is. They attempt to make friends and avoid conflict, but somehow they always seem to be in trouble. Their story talks about racism, difficult economic times, a parent’s desire for them to have a better life. The deal with growing up, and friendship.  These issues are dealt with in a very interesting way, through their inner most thoughts. 

I believe this book needs to be in every school and library. It would make a great book for a class assignment. I believe everyone should read this one. 
Goodreads Description:

In prose poetry and alternating voices, Marlene Carvell weaves a heartbreakingly beautiful story based on the real-life experiences of Native American children. Mattie and Sarah are two Mohawk sisters who are sent to an off-reservation school after the death of their mother. 

Subject to intimidation and corporal punishment, with little hope of contact with their father, the girls are taught menial tasks to prepare them for life as domestics. How Mattie and Sarah protect their culture, memories of their family life, and their love for each other makes for a powerful, unforgettable historical novel.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review: When My Sister Started Kissing (spoilers)

Actual rating: 2.5

I was sold on this book when I realized that this book was told in verse. This one sort of felt boring at times for me. I also realize that this is more a middle-grade novel, so I am not really the desired audience for this one. This book is told in three different perspectives, which is the lake, Abi, and Claire. What is unique is that each perspective has a different poetical format. Out of all of them, I found the lake to be the most interesting one. I didn't really like how depressive this book was. 

These girls have always spent a month at the cabin on the lake every single summer. A terrible accident has happened and their mother has passed away. What was weird to me was the girls seemed to have issues going to the lake after this with their dad and new mother, but the mom died when they were just babies which made it seem out of the ordinary for them to be so distressed by this trip. I felt like this book was "trying" to solve a problem when there wasn't one. 

The biggest problem is the fact that Abi is becoming interested in boys, which is having a negative effect on Claire. Which I think is a cute part of the story, but it certainly doesn't feel like the point of this story. I will admit this is a sweet story about sisters and family. 

Another major issue why I couldn't give this book more than two stars is that the younger sisters voice is really annoying, and seems a bit immature for a girl her age. It made the whole seem ridiculous and made me lose interest. The last thing that seemed weird was that he continued to come to this little cabin after all the pain that was associated with this place. 

It is a cute middle grade, coming of age story. 

Goodreads Description: 

Claire and Abi have always loved their summers at the lake house, but this year, everything's different. 

Dad and Pam, their stepmom, are expecting a new baby, and they've cleared out all of Mom's belongings to make room.

 And last summer, Abi was looking at boys, but this summer, boys are looking back at her. 

While Abi sneaks around, Claire is left behind to make excuses and cover up for her. 

Claire doesn't want her family to change, but there doesn't seem to be a way of stopping it. 

By the end of their time at the house, the two sisters have learned that growing up doesn't have to mean their family growing apart.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Book Review: The Wild Swan (Bonus Review)

I never can tire of Hans Christain Anderson. 

Two great fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, this book contains The Wild Swans and The NightingaleI would dissect the meaning, symbolism, underlying themes, but I won't. I really enjoyed the cover is completely bright and super fun. 

I did feel like it was very long, but honestly, it was good. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Goodreads Description: 

A princess has eleven brothers. The twelve siblings live happily and well, until their father decides to remarry.

 Their new stepmother is a wicked woman, and she turns all the brothers into swans and banishes the princess from the palace. 

And so it is left to Elisa to endure countless hardships alone in order to save her beloved brothers from the spell.

This edition also contains a new translation of Hans Christian Andersen's beloved story The Nightingale, a story about a Chinese emperor who prefers the song of a mechanical nightingale to that of the real bird. 

When he falls ill, it is the nightingale who saves him. The story has been adapted for stage, opera, muscial theatre and television many times.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Book Spotlight: A Body Resurrected

Goodreads Description: 


Sixteen year-old Mira is an Egyptian girl who lives a quiet life in her small village in Lower Egypt 3303 B.C.E. But two visitors from the planet Aut are about to change that. The first “flying metal” that whips across the sky carries a murderous plague by the name of Demen. The second one that follows, brings a bounty-hunter named Weir. Against her father’s wishes, Mira becomes Weir’s accomplice in his mission to apprehend Demen before another woman dies by his hands.

But there’s a problem: Demen is now a powerful Pharaoh in the city of Sharkura. Will apprehending him cost Weir and Mira their lives? 
Almay, California, USA, twenty-first century:

Tina Leggs oversees the artifacts and exhibits of the Graham-Arlee museum. She has no idea that the mummy exhibit that’s drawing huge crowds, is the same Demen that her ancestor, Mira, bravely faced centuries ago.

Demen is no longer a powerful Pharaoh. Now, he’s nothing more than a museum exhibit since he was discovered in the Valley of the Kings. But a rare occurrence will give him life once more. And his desire to kill the misery known as woman is as strong as ever.

Enter Q, a second bounty-hunter sent from Aut to capture him. Like Mira, Tina has been cast into the role of ally to this handsome visitor. Amid the destruction Demen is causing, and the risk to their lives to stop him, they realize their deep love for one another.

But, will she leave her family on Earth for the sake of that love?

Alittle about the Author: 

I was born in the deep south where the number four has two syllables. I somehow did not acquire that distinct Southern accent, but I am accustomed to expressions of "Yall", "Ain't", and when I'm really mad--"Ain't gonna!".

I live with my Queen and best friend who happens to be my daughter. Writing is my passion; it keeps me sane. I couldn’t think of doing anything else. I write clean Suspense and Romantic/Suspense with five books published so far. 

One of my novels, ‘Cause She’s A Good Girl’, was featured on a popular Nashville Talk Show and given a Highly Recommended by BookWoman. 

My favorite time of the year is tennis season. When The French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open are airing, I’m nowhere to be found—unless you know where my 53” television set is. I’m also an avid reader, gardener, and I have an expensive habit of collecting crystal. Did I mention I'm addicted to bottled tea?

I really like to talk and interact with other authors and readers on just about any subject. Thanks to all of you who have added me to their list of authors they are fans of. I'm so honored! And I love when people friend me:) I'm not a big fan of Facebook or Twitter, but I invite you all to email me with your suggestions or questions.

You can contact me here on Goodreads or

Thank you for your time and Good Reading!