"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer" - Albert Camus

Monday, February 9, 2015

Still Life by Christa Parrish

Still LifeStill Life by Christa Parrish
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A tragic plane crash. One woman who lost her husband. Another who gave up her seat for him.

Ada spent her first 25 years in a religious sect. Her father proclaiming to be a prophet. She only had outside world contact, through the farm store. That's where she met Julian Goetz. A famous photojournalist. He had come to document her family's way of life. Just a few days later, she and Julian had eloped.
She was thrust into an unknown world. However, having Julian there was helping her cope. On the day of her 26th birthday, Julian trades seats with Katherine Cramer, to get home to his wife.
Julian's life was taken on that flight, as the plance crashed. Five short months of marriage, now Ada is a widow.Now Ada is left to figure out this unknown world on her own.

Katherine Cramer, gave up her seat to Julian Goetz, to spend one more night with her lover. She wakes up the next morning to her family panicking, they knew that was her flight.
She must deal with the fact that she gave up that seat, to get one more night in her affair, and they person she gave it to died. It could have been her.

As Ada and Katherine's lives and paths intersect, they must both deal with loss and shame. They also discover that there is plenty of life ahead of them.

I loved this book. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down! It was amazing. The characters were so intricate. The plot was just an unbelieveably sad, yet intriguing story...
I recommended it to all my friends. I believe this is a must read!

Christa Parrish is the award-winning author of four novels and founder of Breaking the Sea Ministries. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, pastor and writer Chris Coppernoll, and they have four children in their blended family. When not writing, she is creative director of Concentric, a contemporary "arts-based" worship service, co-leads her church's youth ministry, and produces a weekly radio show. She's at work on her fifth novel, and is now also slightly obsessed with baking wild yeast bread.

*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book, from BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for my honest review and opinons.*

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Friday, February 6, 2015

The Biology of Luck by Jacob M. Appel

The Biology of LuckThe Biology of Luck by Jacob M. Appel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Odd-job queen Starshine Hart is about to go on somebody else’s perfect date. At 29, the usually carefree Starshine has realized that it is easier to start sleeping with a man than to stop. Her lovers include one of the last underground members of the Weathermen and the dilettante heir to a lawn chair magnate. Both men have staked their romantic future on her. Her only respite is her impending dinner with the nonthreatening but unattractive tour guide Larry Bloom. But Larry, too, has a stake in her future. He has written a book about their impending dinner in which he fantasizes about Starshine’s life on the day he wins her heart.

The book switches back and forth between Larry's view of the day and Chapters from his book..

I really liked this book. I found myself not being able to put it down, once I got started. I even found myself thinking, that this would be an excellent movie.. I could see it in my head. I loved the characters. There were many "small part" characters, but yet they were just as complex as the main characters. I loved how all the characters eventually linked together somehow...

The only thing I didn't like was the ending. I'm glad Jacob left it open for other boks, but I really hate not knowing! I hope he puts a sequel out soon...

With that being said, I felt Jacob did an amazing job putting this story together! I would recommend it to all my friends!

Jacob M. Appel's first novel, The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize. He has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received "special mention" for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently practices psychiatry in New York City.

*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book, from the author, in exchange for my honest review and opinons.*

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

Paper HeartsPaper Hearts by Courtney Walsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Abigail Pressman is not a fan of love. Even being the Great Great Granddaughter of Loves Parks' founders.
Being 29 and single isn't easy when your whole town and family is infatuated with love. Sometimes, it's sickening.

That is until she drafted by The Volunteers, a group of ladies who sort through the mountain of mail that gets sent to Loves Park, for it's famous postmark stamp. When Abigail obtains Paper Hearts, with romantic messages written on them from an anonymous couple, she begins to doubt her opinon on romance. She didn't think that was possible.

On top of that, Abigail has a new landlord. A hard to read doctor, who she's attracted to. She's in fear that he's going to through her out. She's lose her business. Her lively hood.
Trying to fight her attraction to him, and keep her store, Abigail hangs the hearts, tapping into the town's love infatuation.

When a new batch of hearts arrive, it seems something terrible has happened to the couple.

Will uncovering the mystery confirm her doubts on love, or will it completely change her mind and her heart?

I adored this book. It was beautifully written. I connected with the character of Abigail. I have my doubts in love, but stories like the couples' changes my mind. It took me no time at all to read this book. I just couldn't put it down! I've recommended it to some of my friends, even guys. I think it's that good!

Courtney Walsh is an author, artist, and playwright. Her debut novel. A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children.

Visit her online at www.courtneywalshwrites.com

You can also check her out on Facebook.

Here's a link to the trailer for the book:


*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book, from Tyndale Publishers, in exchange for my honest review and opinons.*

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Monday, January 26, 2015

I Found My Friends: The Oral History of Nirvana by Nick Soulsby

I Found My Friends: The Oral History of NirvanaI Found My Friends: The Oral History of Nirvana by Nick Soulsby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nirvana, one of rock history's greatest bands, started as two simple guys in Washington. Through this book, author Nick Soulsby gets to a more intimate side of the history of the band. Using interviews from other musicians and people who knew them from the start, he tells the story of how the band came to be, their rise to stardom, the struggle to find the right drummer, the drug abuse, emotional trauma, and ultimately the demise of the band following Kurt Cobain's tragic death.

This book reveals how the music community in Washington, was more than just that. They were a family. When Kurt died they lost a family member.

As a HUGE Nirvana fan, I throughly enjoyed this book. I loved reading the history, and getting a view from people who knew them when they were sleeping in their cars. It amazed me to read just how in 8 short years, Nirvana was just a local Washington band, then hit stardom, and then sadly, after Kurt, was no more.

I like reading the interviews and the POV's of other local musicians. Their view of Kurt, who is one of my favorite people in the world. I loved the fact that it revealed, that Nirvana felt there weren't above all other bands. They just felt like part of a musical family.

I loved this view in the preface:

"Victor Poison-Tete, Rat at Rat R: Why do and/or should we love Kurt Cobain and Nirvana? They will not be given the opportunity to disappoint us. No future song entitled "Smells Like the Interior of a New Lexus." No duets with a current octogenarian to broaden the audience demographic. No holiday specials or department-store clothing line (pre-washed grunge apparel), sugary soda downloads, halftime wardrobe malfunctions, or attempts to build an alternative marketing strategy that actually works, omly to turn and appear on lamestream media shows that flash signs prompting you to clap or laugh. And Nirvana will never attempt to bring sexy back, buy a basketball team, or act as a judge on a talent show."

Nick intervied over 150 other musicians to get a more personal history. More than 20 years after Kurt's death, Nick takes us back to the beggining of what has become one of rock's last immortal bands.

I'm so glad I got to read this book. After reading it, I felt I understood the band more. I felt more connected to Kurt and felt so grateful to be able to experience his gifts.

*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book, from, St. Martin's Press, in exchange for honest review and opinons.*

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jagger Starts Scholarship

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has started a Fashion Scholarship in honor of his late girlfriend, L'Wren Scott. Scott was found in her apartment March 2014 after an apparent suicide. The couple had been dating for 13 years.

Mick has provided the scholarship fund to London's Central Saint Martin's College to go towards students with a carrer in fashion.

L'Wren Scott was 49 years old.

Click HERE to read more about the story.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson

A Thing of BeautyA Thing of Beauty by Lisa Samson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Former Child actress Fiona Hume left Hollywood a decade ago, right after she left rehab. She moved to Baltimore, bought an old run down mansion, and has dreams of restoring it and becoming an artist. She would be forgotten as an actress and live a life of art.

That was her plan.

Ten years later, Fiona's old mansion is filled with junk found at thrift stores, yard sales, or just picked up off the curb. Each piece was supposed to be for a project . . . but so far the only project she has, is a piece of twine with some old buttons threaded on it.

She's thirty-two years old and she still gets recognized for her childhood career, but the money has run out. She's gotten deperate. So desperate that she decideds to rent out the maid's quarters.

Josia Yeu, a local blacksmith, ends up renting the room from Fiona. He is everything she isn't: peaceful, in control with out being controlling, and in short - happy.
As Josia's light begins to brighten up the old mansion, something inside Fiona brightens as well. Something she sees is beautiful. With peace growing inside of Fiona, she decideds to mend her relationship with her father and to stop letting her mother bring her down.

I loved this book. I liked how the author opened up the life of former child actors and how sometimes they end up, living a life outside of Hollywood. Lisa did a wonderful job, making these characters eally come to life. I would love to read more of Fiona. I would like to know where her relationship goes with some of the characters in the book.

The Christy-award winning author of nineteen books including the Women of Faith Novel of the Year Quaker Summer, Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks." She lives in Kentucky with her husband and three kids.

*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book, from Booklook Bloggers, in exchange for my honest review and opinons.*

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Always on My Mind by Susan May Warren

Always on My Mind (Christiansen Family #4)Always on My Mind by Susan May Warren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Casper Christiansen has always been the "Mr.-Fix-It" of the family. That is until he found out that the woman he loves had a fling with his brother Owen. That ended in a fist fight at his sister's wedding and Casper with a bruised heart.

So, Casper takes off to Honduras, digging for treasure, trying to get Raina Beaumont off his mind. It, however, doesn't work. So he heads back home to resolve these feeling once and for all. He arrives on her doorstep, and gets the surprise of his life. Raina is pregnant, and the identity of the baby's father hurts him even more.

Heartbroken, Casper tables his dreams of finding tresure, and is determined to help his brother, Darek, keep the family resort afloat. Casper longs to be the hero of the family, just once, but it never seems to work out. Worse yet, his new job seems to bring him in constant contact with Raina.

Can Casper, put aside his hurt, and be the friend Raina needs? Will love overcome all obstacles and allow them to be together and have a family?

I loved this book. I have read another book in the Christiansen family series, and I fell in love with the story and the characters. I love Susan May Warren. I love her writing style and how she pulls you into the book so quickly. I would recommend this book, in fact the whole series, to any romance lover. I can't wait to read some more.

*I recieved a complimentary copy of this book, from Tyndale Publishing, in exchange for my honest review and opinons.*