Category Archives: Fiction Books

Snow Fence Road

By: Phyllis Edgerly Ring. Format: Paperback. Read: August 2014.

The Spinnaker Inn is a quaint and cozy place to vacation near the coast of Maine. It has been around for decades and its familial history is just what Tess Johansen needs to heal her wounded heart. After suffering the devastating loss of her fiancé, she returns to the one place that still holds fond memories for her. As for Evan Marston, he avoids the inn and all of its memories, as he tries to cope with the daily life since his horrific accident. Slowly throughout the changing seasons, these two become friends who rely on each other and the inn to mend their broken souls.

Snow Fence Road is a short, sweet and power-packing book. Readers will be riding an emotional rollercoaster, while turning each page as they try to figure out each twist and turn. One thing that the author focuses on is that tragedy, while devastating, could lead towards unanticipated opportunities. If this book were a little longer, the characters could have been fleshed out more. However the plot line is uplifting and the ending will leave readers’ astonished.

 

Notes:

The author of this book provided a copy in exchange for an honest review. To learn more about this author, please visit her website.

 

 

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

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My Sister’s Books Review #53

The Walk

By: Richard Paul Evans

#1 in The Walk Series

 

Alan Christoffersen had it all, a beautiful home, a fabulous career and his soul mate as his wife. His life couldn’t have been better, but sadly it slowly disappeared after that fateful day when his wife fell off her horse. When his life becomes virtually extinct, Alan decides to end it all, but he is reminded of the promise he made to his wife. Since he has nothing left, he decides to go for a walk, but not just any kind of walk, one that will get him as far away as possible. With just a few supplies and his hiking boots, he sets off from the outskirts of Seattle, Washington towards Key West, Florida, in hopes of finding life again.

From the very first page, Evans delivers a powerful and poetic tale. Through the first person narrative, the author proves that true human character is revealed during critical times. The quotes from Alan’s diary that start each chapter, give a preview as to what is to come. Readers will be able to relate to Alan’s desire to walk away from everything and thanks to the use of descriptive words, they will feel as though they are walking and eating right next to him. Despite the fact that the book starts with Alan in Key West, he is still in the state of Washington throughout this whole novel. The Walk is a dramatic start to a promising series that will compel readers to follow Alan’s journey.

 

Notes:
This review was written for My Sister’s Books. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #52

Small Blessings

By: Martha Woodroof

Rose Callahan has always been a wanderer, never staying long enough to get too emotionally attached to people.  However, when she starts her new job at the college bookstore, the welcoming, quirky individuals pull at her heart. Tom Putnam leads a monotonous life and with the help of his mother-in-law, they try to cope with his wife’s debilitating depression. When a shocking letter arrives, declaring Tom a father of a ten year old son, his world Is about to change forever. How will the people of this small college town cope, as their lives turn upside down?

Martha Woodroof challenges readers to think about the qualities that truly make up a family, whether it is love, duty, responsibility or blood. Broken into two distinct parts, the first section is a fast paced action ride, while the second is more descriptive and verbose. There is a strong cast of secondary characters that play a vital part to the story. With a little help from Shakespeare and Harry Potter, readers will dive into the magic of life and the beauty of love. This debut novel will leave readers hoping for more.

Notes:
This review was written for My Sister’s Books. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #51

The Fault in Our Stars

By: John Green

Hazel has terminal cancer that has forced her out of school. Despite her desire to stay inside reading, sleeping and watching television, her Mom forces her to get out and go to Support Group each week. It is there that she meets Augustus Waters, a boy who has been cancer-free for close to a year. He has a different outlook on life and with his unlit cigarette, he plans on making Hazel Grace’s life broader and brighter.

Written in a first-person narrative, John Green has created a poetic and powerful novel.  This book has a dark, realistic beginning, but quickly it sweeps the characters and readers up into a majestic fantasy. The author focuses on how cancer affects the patient, but also how it affects everyone. Knowing the end result, means grief is a daily experience for all, but the choice is to continue living life for however long it exists. Brimming with references to another heart wrenching, fictional tale, Green manages to tell an additional story within this one, to help foreshadow the growth of his main characters. Readers will cry and laugh as they fall in love with Hazel Grace, Augustus and Isaac.

 

Notes:

This review was written for My Sister’s Books. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.

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Tripped Up Love

By: Julie Farley

Heather Nester Meadows thought she had her happily ever after. She was married to her childhood love and had three delightful kids. However her world was tossed upside down when she unexpectedly lost her husband. Trying to manage the kids, staying strong on the outside and fending off the waves of friends filled with pity, became her daily routine over the past year and a half. That is, until a pothole struck her down during one of her morning jogs. Peter Adamson saw Heather fall and immediately rushed to her aide, but what he can’t explain is why he seems drawn to this complete stranger.

Julie Farley has created a sweet romance that develops in a completely relatable world. Readers will be able to connect with Heather on an emotional level as she struggles to find her own happiness. The point of view switches between Heather and Peter, which is confusing in the beginning. Even though this is an adorable romance, the author covers two very important topics through Heather’s behavior. The first being survivor’s guilt. Throughout this whole book, Heather is coming to terms with her loss, while learning when it is okay to be happy again without feeling as though she is betraying her lost husband. The other thing that Heather struggles with is something that every reader can relate to: the role of social media. In this technology-obsessed society, has human nature suffered a blow to self-confidence due to humans being consumed with how their actions will be taken by others? During the development of this book, readers will be cheering for Heather and by the end, they will be anxious to read the rest of her story in the next book.

 

Notes:

The author of this book, provided a copy in exchange for an honest review. To learn more about this author and her work, please visit her website.

 

Enjoy!

~Ariesgrl

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The Quest for Juice

By: Jonathan-David Jackson

 

It all started because Oscar’s favorite juice has disappeared and unfortunately for him, it doesn’t end there. Yes, his one friend notices that he has stopped taking his anti-psychotic meds, but that is not of any importance when the people out there are messing everything up as part of a grander scheme. It is up to Oscar to uncover this hidden organization and reveal their plans, before the whole world is lost. Sadly his mission is waylaid when he lands himself in the mental institution.

Told from the first person narrative of a paranoid schizophrenic, this book will take readers on a wild and bizarre theme-park ride. Even though readers understand Oscar is mentally ill, they will fall in love with his humorous, witty and gloomy antics on his journey to find the truth. As readers dive further into the story, they will begin to look over their own shoulders, as Jackson seems to be echoing their singular thoughts, just in a more extreme fashion.  Quest for Juice is a satirical and entertaining story with a dash of suspense thrown in towards the end.

Has anything in your daily life become suspiciously different over time?

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

 

Notes:

The author of this book, provided a copy for me to review. To learn more about this author and his work, please visit his website.

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My Sister’s Books Review #50

Miss Julia Strikes Back

By: Ann B. Ross

Miss Julia’s new husband and friend are each away on their own dream vacations, so she decides to throw a party to occupy her time. Unfortunately for Miss Julia, the day after the party, she discovers her prize engagement ring missing. Someone has stolen several of her friends’ jewelry too. Miss Julia is determined to get her possessions back, before her loved ones return. The search takes Miss Julia, Little Lloyd and Miss Wiggins on a wild adventure down to Florida in hopes of catching the unsuspecting criminals. Upon their arrival, Miss Julia realizes she must also sober up Florida’s most prominent investigator to help her go undercover, before the Feds confiscate her rings as evidence. Will Miss Julia’s plan work or will her items be lost forever?

This book is the eighth installment in Ann B. Ross’s series, which contains fifteen titles thus far. The first person point of view carries readers on a wild ride with Miss Julia, which will allow them to feel everything that she is feeling. Ann B. Ross has created a pristine character full of southern charm and class, whom readers will adore. Since this book has Miss Julia on the road, it takes several chapters before the real fun begins. This is a delightful series for fans of cozy mysteries with a southern twist.

 

Note:

This review was originally written for My Sister’s Books. To learn more about this bookstore, please visit their website.

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Inevitable

Harmony #1 By: Angela Graham. Format: eBook. Read: March 2014.

Cassandra Clarke is enjoying the last few weeks of summer, before she begins her first teaching job. Running in the morning and organizing boxes full of old memoirs is how she spends her days, until gigantic moving trucks indicate a new neighbor is in town. Little does she know, her new neighbor is Logan West, a handsome, rich and strong man with a certain reputation among women. Will Logan’s son, Oliver, bring these two together or will Logan’s past be too much to handle?

This is a sweet, multi-layered debut novel by Angela Graham. Readers will be able to explore their own feelings and motives with each new depth revealed by the characters. The minor characters are just as vital to the story as the main couple and they will cause just as many strong emotions within readers.  Graham does a delightful job weaving her tale and balancing it through each of the characters. The beginning and ending are very fast paced, while the middle will have readers anxiously flipping to the next page. Inevitable is a sugary and promising start to this Harmony series.

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

 

Notes:

The author provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about this author and her work, please visit her website.

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Forbidden Harvest

By: Peter Rizzolo. Format: Paperback. Read: March 2014.

Dr. Ken Benholtz has spent his career at the Children’s Hospital working to preserve organs for transplant. His job becomes more personal when his nephew is admitted and is in desperate need for a heart, around the same time that his research funds are cut. He decides to take matters into his own hands by illegally harvesting cadaver organs. This is the story of the medical and legal consequences of his decision.

This story seems to have it all… young children in need of life-saving organs, details of both the medical and legal worlds and it is packed full of suspense and intrigue.  Though this book covers an intense topic and technical jargon, the plot allows it to be a fast and enjoyable read. Rizzolo does an amazing job of blurring the lines between the good guy and the evil guy. Readers will be questioning how far they would go, to save a child’s life.

 

How do you like your medical fiction books? Do you like them to read like a compelling thriller or a heart-wrenching story, or somewhere in between?

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

 

Note:

The PR representative provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about her, please visit her website.

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Lillian’s Garden

By: Carrie Jane Knowles. Format: Paperback. Read: February 2014.

 

Helen’s mother-in-law, Lillian, has a beautiful garden that Helen likes to take care of, because it soothes her mind. However Helen suffers from bipolar disease and when she suffers a breakdown, her husband commits her to a mental institute. This decision leaves her children reeling from pain and confusion, because they do not understand their mother’s illness. While in the institute, Helen decides to write letters to her children, hoping for forgiveness and understanding, not just from her family, but also from herself.

This is a powerful and poignant tale of how bipolar disease affects not only the patient, but also the entire family. Add in the background of faith and family secrets, and readers will have a hard time remembering that this is a work of fiction. Switching narratives between the young girl and Helen allows readers a more intimate look at the family dynamics. Knowles has created a mesmerizing work of art that captures the human spirit. This is a must-read for anyone looking to get inside of a mind suffering from the wretched disease.

 

 

Why the long delay on this review? Well I had a hard time reading this book, seeing as how I read it during the same time that my family was experiencing the hear-wrenching side effects of Alzheimer’s and mood disorder. Then when it came to write the review, I sat down several times thinking I was ready, but my hands just hovered over the keyboard, as my mind played back the memories of that horrible month. I erased my rough draft twice, before finally writing this version. All I can say is that this is one powerful book, a must-read, but definitely a book that you need to prepare for and schedule time to recover afterwards.  Thank you all for your patience and understanding with this delay… now that I have posted this review up next on the blog will be the subsequent three reviews from The List.

In the meantime, what do you like to do to help focus and bring peace to your mind? Do you tend a garden, color, read, write in a journal, etc.?

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

 

Note:

The PR representative provided a copy of this book for me to review. To learn more about her, please visit her website.

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