Tag Archives: Reviews

Sasee Review for August

Hi Everyone,

As you all know, I have had the honor of writing the book reviews for Sasee Magazine. Here is a snippet of the review that I did for month of August.

 

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

 

Who Left Me in Charge?

By: Erin Spatz

This past month, I had the pleasure of reading this new release by local author and new Sasee columnist, Erin Spatz. Erin mixes reality and humor as she shares her journey through Postpartum Panic Disorder. This book is a collection of her journal entries dealing with everyday topics that most Moms face.

Erin Spatz thought that throughout her pregnancy and childbirth that life would be magical once she held her newborn baby. Unfortunately, she developed Postpartum Panic Disorder that worsened after each of her four children were born. Throughout her struggles, she found a form of peace through writing and kept a journal of her chaotic days. Her honest and playful writing style makes it easy for all women to relate to her. Since the chapters are organized by topics, they are short and easy to read. Perfect for busy Moms looking to find something they can connect to, when they don’t have a lot of time to devote to reading.

 

You can read this issue (and the full review) at this link.

 

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Filed under Memoirs, Non-Fiction Books

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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Filed under Fiction Books, Romance Books

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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Filed under Fiction Books

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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Filed under Fiction Books, My Sister's Books, Mystery Books

My Sister’s Books Review #49

Carla’s Comfort Foods

By: Carla Hall with Genevieve Ko

 

Carla Hall is a chef known for her appearances on numerous television shows. With her latest cookbook, she hopes to show everyone how various cultures are connected through their cuisines. Carla demonstrates how one simple dish can be transformed through the addition of just a few regional spices. In the beginning she provides a useful spice chart that displays the connected tastes of the world. Though some of these ingredients may be hard to find, Carla provides numerous tips and helpful step by step instructions.  This book provides an easy way to take a trip around the globe, while remaining in your own kitchen.

 

Notes:

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

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Filed under My Sister's Books

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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Filed under Fiction Books, Romance Books

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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Filed under Fiction Books

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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Filed under Fiction Books

My Sister’s Books Review #47

Bride for a Night

By: Patti Berg

 

Duncan Kincaid was thrilled to marry Cairo McKnight five years ago, but his adventurous spirit forced him to leave her the very next morning and he ended up in jail. Several months later, when he received the annulment papers he was heartbroken and devoted himself to his secretive mission. Cairo McKnight loved Duncan ever since she first met him, when she was a teenager. Being married to him, even for just one night was a life-changing experience…literally. She is a mom to the precocious little five year old boy, but she must decide whether Duncan has matured enough to handle the responsibilities of being a father.

This book is a cute story. There is a secondary romance between Cairo’s aunt and Duncan’s father that adds a different perspective on second-chance love. Overall the story is endearing, but a tad predictable. The author seems to rush through certain emotions and discussions, but as a whole the story is a fun, modern romance. Readers will enjoy taking the journey with Duncan and Cairo as they explore their past and uncover the secrets hidden within Montana’s land.

Notes:

This review was written for My Sister’s Books.

Available only in store.

 

This author recommends:

Millie Criswell, Jenna McKnight, Sheridon Smythe

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Filed under Fiction Books, Romance Books

My Sister’s Books Review #46

The Unwilling Bride

By: Margaret Moore

Lady Constance was betrothed to Merrick of Tregallas from the day she was born. She remembers him as a spoiled rotten child and doesn’t want anything to do with him, until she meets him as the dashing knight. Merrick refuses to return to Tregallas due to his dangerous past, but when he catches sight of his future bride, he wants to be a better man. Though his past may come back to haunt him and cost him his Lady before she is even rightfully his.

Margaret Moore writes about a strong, determined woman during a time period that women were supposed to not speak. She adds a subplot full of twists and turns that only add to the romantic storyline. Though this book is the third in a series, it works well as a stand-alone novel. There are many characters to keep up with, but the intrigue keeps readers entertained. Readers will be rooting for Merrick and Constance all the way until the end.

Notes:

This review was written for My Sister’s Books.

 

Similar Authors:

Margo Maguire, Kresley Cole, Rose Gordon

This book is available in store and online.

Epub Link:

http://mysistersbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY:0012114501&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12564

Blio:

http://mysistersbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY:0012114500&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12564

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Filed under Fiction Books, My Sister's Books, Romance Books