Saturday, August 30, 2014

Home Again Book Review



HOME AGAIN (ENDLESS LOVE)
By Kathleen Shoop

1969-- Set on the shores of the Albemarle Sound, April Harrington has fond memories of summers at her family home, Bliss. After her fairytale wedding disintegrates, it becomes her refuge—the one place where she can attempt to pull the unraveling threads of her life back together. Unbeknownst to April, the stately house has been neglected in recent years. The once-sturdy roof is leaking in a few dozen places, and the wharf is rotting. Nothing is the same as she remembers. Nothing except for Hale, a Viet Nam pilot who is haunted by a dreadful secret, and who is also her brother’s best friend, a brother killed in the conflict that is tearing the country apart. In Hale’s presence, April finds familiarity and solace. They share grief for a lost loved one, and from the comfort of Hale’s arms, passion blooms. Yet, April’s future is unresolved. Her wealthy, arrogant almost-bridegroom wants her back and the ghosts of Viet Nam are whispering to Hale. Can they find new love in an old treasured home, the kind of affection and trust that lasts forever?

  
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***MY HONEST REVIEW OF HOME AGAIN***

April Harrington thought she knew what she wanted, that is, until she sees a picture of her fiancé with another woman. She leaves him standing at the alter and flees straight to her family homestead to heal and regroup. Upon arrival, she walks to the dock and accidentally falls into the bay, but gets saved by Hale Abercrombie. Hale and April’s brother were best friends growing up, with April always tagging along.

April is devastated to find the homestead all but falling down from neglect. Hale offers to help her with repairs. While working on the house, April and Hale grow closer. Will they be able to heal each other, and begin a future together?

I like the strength that April shows. Even though she was always surrounded by wealth and prestige, she could also fit the tomboy description. I think she and Hale were perfect together. I only wish that the author had brought more of April, her brother Andrew, and Hale’s growing up time into the story.

My review can also be found at:
    AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     GOODREADS
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**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me to review.


If you would like to read my review on The Last Letter, another of Kathleen Shoop's books, go HERE.


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About the Author


A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. 

Kathleen has also written Love and Other Subjects, award winning After the Fog and her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011.  The author's stories have also appeared in several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.





Friday, August 29, 2014

Return to Love Tour and Giveaway




Sweet Romance… Fresh off their whirlwind nuptials and unexpected, but joyous pregnancy, April and Hale Abercrombie are gleeful about their life together. But, while Hale is serving his country in Vietnam, he receives news of the loss of their newborn daughter.


Back home on leave, Hale can barely wait to hold his wife. Their reunion is passionate and their physical connection, strong and soothing. His embrace, his touch, and his love are just as perfect as April remembered. But nothing, not even Hale, can ease April’s heartache.

Hale stumbles through his attempts at convincing her that their future will be rich and full of wonder despite their loss. His good-hearted, but take-charge approach causes her to retreat. Even in grief, April recognizes Hale’s earnestness, yet she can’t help but distance herself from him. With only a short time before Hale must return to war, the couple begins to understand that hope starts with them—that the bliss they once knew will return only if they are willing to trust again.

Set on the beaches of the Outer Banks, Return to Love is the second book in the Endless Love series. Book one, Home Again, was named a finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.


Buy the book from.......

About the Author

A Language Arts Coach with a Ph.D. in Reading Education, Kathleen lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.


Kathleen has also written Love and Other Subjects, award winning After the Fog and her debut novel, The Last Letter, garnered multiple awards in 2011.  The author's stories have also appeared in several of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.


Follow the Author.....





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***MY HONEST REVIEW OF RETURN TO LOVE***

While April’s newlywed husband Hale is in Vietnam, her baby is birthed stillborn. Hale is unaware of how badly April is taking it, until he gets word from his mother telling him to come home. He takes leave and comes home to find April has indeed changed, and no matter what he says, she just withdraws further away from him. With April becoming more and more irrational, Hale begins to wonder if their marriage is in trouble, and more important, if he save April from herself?

I really liked the book, but I hate to say that I thought it went on a bit too much on April and the way she reacted to Hale’s help. I’ve never lost a child, so I can’t speculate how April felt. I can only empathize with her. I kept thinking that if it was a full term baby, why did it not get a proper burial? I guess this shows how much things have changed in this short period of time.  I got so aggravated with Hale as he kept saying the wrong things. I wanted him to just shut up and listen to her. And when they started talking about naming the baby, I just knew they would choose Sarah. Boy was I surprised.

Kathleen Shoop never fails with her research and accuracy of times past. I've learned so much from her books and I look forward to many more.

My review can also be found at:
    AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     GOODREADS
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Also available.......
Endless Love series. Book one, Home Again


1969-- Set on the shores of the Albemarle Sound, April Harrington has fond memories of summers at her family home, Bliss. After her fairytale wedding disintegrates, it becomes her refuge—the one place where she can attempt to pull the unraveling threads of her life back together. Unbeknownst to April, the stately house has been neglected in recent years. The once-sturdy roof is leaking in a few dozen places, and the wharf is rotting. Nothing is the same as she remembers. Nothing except for Hale, a Viet Nam pilot who is haunted by a dreadful secret, and who is also her brother’s best friend, a brother killed in the conflict that is tearing the country apart.


In Hale’s presence, April finds familiarity and solace. They share grief for a lost loved one, and from the comfort of Hale’s arms, passion blooms. Yet, April’s future is unresolved. Her wealthy, arrogant almost-bridegroom wants her back and the ghosts of Viet Nam are whispering to Hale. Can they find new love in an old treasured home, the kind of affection and trust that lasts forever?

Buy the book from.......


Book Tour Dates
Photobucket


I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

NOW FOR THE AUTHOR'S GIVEAWAY !!


THREE Lucky Winners will each receive a $15 Amazon Giftcard,
courtesy of author of Return to Love, Kathleen Shoop
Ending on Sunday 7th September at 11.59pm EST
Open Worldwide

Enter  Below & Good Luck !!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Woman Who Loved Too Well




The Woman Who Loved Too Well

By David Orsini

In the summer of 1942, Marc Roussillon, a heroic French pilot flying with the RAF, draws his wife Simone into a plot to save his best friend Jean-Claude, who has been captured by the Germans. Aware of her influence upon Gerhard Hauptmann, a German officer, Marc urges Simone to persuade Gerhard to help her set Jean-Claude free. But, unknown to Marc, Gerhard agrees to help her only if she will sleep with him. Just before Jean-Claude is freed, Simone joins Gerhard for ten days in Switzerland. Falling in love with Gerhard confuses Simone and makes her feel guilty. She still loves Marc, but she also needs Gerhard. 


When he discovers that Simone has fallen in love with Gerhard, Marc tells Simone that they can save their marriage if she joins him in his plan to kill Gerhard. Lying, he convinces her that Gerhard is responsible for the deaths of many innocent people. Now Simone consents to Marc’s plan. She will meet Gerhard at a Swiss ski resort. There, Marc plans to kill Gerhard. 

But Marc’s plan unfolds in ways that he does not anticipate. Simone discovers that Marc lied about Gerhard. Now she hurries to save Gerhard from Marc’s revenge. In a sequence of violent episodes that occur in Switzerland, Marc, Simone, and Gerhard play out the turbulent resolution of their triangle.
  
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***MY HONEST REVIEW OF 
THE WOMAN WHO LOVED TOO WELL***

Mark and Simone had the perfect marriage, until their mutual friend Jean-Claude was captured and tortured by the German army. In order to save him, Simone must fool Gerhard, a German officer, into thinking she loves him. The problem is, she actually does fall in love with him. When the plot backfires, it becomes the downfall of Mark and Simone's blissful life together.

This read gave me conflicting thoughts. If they were so in love with each other, how could Simone love another as much? I’m not naïve, I know this happens in real life. I just can’t understand it. And Mark becomes a psychopath, but yet has such self-loathing, which doesn't make sense. I tried putting myself in their place to understand the depth of their feelings. I sympathized with Simone, but couldn't even feel sorry for Mark.


This was an intriguing read. The characters created the ultimate love triangle. Even the minor ones had depth. I did feel it strange, though, that the story-line involved Jean-Claude so much, but he is never involved. Of course it didn't end the way I would have liked, but I did love the story.

My review can also be found at:
    AMAZON     GOODREADS
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**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me to review.


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About the Author

David Orsini is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University, where he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English Literature. David has taught literature, grammar, and composition at secondary schools and colleges in Rhode Island. He is the author of Bitterness / Seven Stories, The Subtleties of Seduction, and The Woman Who Loved Too Well


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Winding Road Book Review



A Winding Road
By Paulette R. Johnson

Brian Duncan, a twelve- year- old boy, dreams of coming to America. On his arrival in New York, his expectations are dashed by his experiences and that of his family. He becomes despondent, depressed, and homesick and dreads going to school. Brian, in this vulnerable state, is befriended by a kid who introduces him to street-wise activities which could have serious consequences. During one of these ‘errands’, an unsuspecting Brian becomes part of a police investigation, resulting in his parents threatening to send him back to his home country. He is scared to lose his freedom on the one hand, and his family on the other. He chooses to stay in school, and work hard at improving his grades if he is to achieve the American Dream. He makes new friends, studies hard, and throws his energy into playing basketball. However, when his family falls on hard times, Brian thinks that he can be of some financial assistance by returning temporarily to that way of life that got him in trouble in the first place. The consequences of that decision are devastating. He is finally convinced after his traumatic experience that to go down that winding road can not only be dangerous but also deadly.


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***MY HONEST REVIEW OF A WINDING ROAD***

Brian is 12 years old. Living on a Caribbean island, he dreams of going to America, and becoming rich like all Americans are. When his family in fact does suddenly move there, he is overjoyed thinking his dream has come true. But when he gets there, nothing is as he pictured.

Even though this book seems to be geared toward pre-teens, I enjoyed it. Brian almost immediately gets into trouble, which is understandable since he isn't streetwise. His innocence reminded me of when I was that young and naïve. It was fun seeing America through his eyes, giving me a perspective from an outsiders view.

I’m glad the author gave mention of 9-11 a couple of times since air travel and New York were in the setting. I think I would have liked reading more into Brian’s daily life, not just basic home to school then home. It just seemed to be missing things, like what the buildings and people looked like. I couldn't see it in my mind without these types of descriptions. 

My review can also be found at:
    AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     GOODREADS
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**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me.


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About the Author
Paulette R. Johnson holds an LLB degree in law. She also holds a Master's degree in Accounting and a Master's in Urban Ministry with emphasis on the urban family. She is involved in programs that foster reading in children and young adults. She has contributed to Boys' Life Magazine, which is a publication of The Boys Scouts of America. Paulette was born and raised in Guyana, South America. She and her husband once lived in London, England. Paulette, her husband and three adult children currently live in New York. This is her first novel.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Humanity of Justice Book Review



The Humanity of Justice

By Burke E. Strunsky

Against the backdrop of his most haunting, high-profile murder and child abuse cases, a veteran prosecutor goes beyond an insider’s reflection to shine a light on the human like qualities personified in the U.S. criminal justice system and what this means for our future. 


The Humanity of Justice is a procedural true-crime book told through the eyes and heart of a veteran criminal prosecutor who cares about the people he meets and their life-altering circumstances. Burke E. Strunsky, a senior deputy district attorney in southern California, takes the reader inside the courtroom for some of the most haunting criminal cases in the state as well as the nation, including: a highly respected church leader who brutally murders his wife for the insurance money while their baby sleeps peacefully in another room; a twisted father who sexually molests his daughter’s own friends at her slumber parties; a former police chief who drowns his wife of thirty years in their backyard spa; and a young man who sadistically tortures and kills a helpless three-year-old boy, yet manages to dodge the death penalty. 

Strunsky’s own impassioned social and moral commentary is woven throughout this thought-provoking book on issues significant to the world of criminal justice. Even in the midst of the darkest stories, the voices and courage of the victims and those who love them will leave the reader touched and inspired. 

100% of the proceeds from this book will be donated to The Humanity of Justice Foundation, a non-profit organization, to help prevent child abuse and neglect.




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***MY HONEST REVIEW OF THE HUMANITY OF JUSTICE***

I learned many things pertaining to court proceedings and the law from this book.  The author has extensive experience through the office of district attorney.  While I read each case he presented, I felt horrified. These innocent children were never given a chance from the beginning. I could feel his compassion and helplessness for the victims through his words.  I was feeling the same.

I liked hearing about how every word and gesture in the courtroom has meaning, and him explaining it. These were things I never knew or even thought about. I was glad to hear that he trusts that the members of each jury truly try to do what’s right. Until now, I wasn't so sure about that.  I was appalled to hear how certain religious organizations handle molestation and how they have procedures to protect the molester.

He describes in plain words things like corruption, circumstantial evidence, gun control, and even how murder has more definition than the obvious. These discussions made me realize that there are a lot more gray areas than I ever realized.

My review can also be found at:
    AMAZON     GOODREADS
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**The above opinions are 100% my own, whether I purchased the book or it was given to me.


Buy the book from...



About the Author
Burke E. Strunsky is a senior deputy district attorney working in Riverside County, an hour east of Los Angeles. His office has one of the highest conviction rates in California, is the fourth largest in the state, and the fifteenth largest in the nation. The author specializes in homicide cases and crimes against children. His tenacious work ethic and impassioned attitude in the pursuit of pedophiles and murderers have earned him great respect and recognition in his field. In 2009 and 2011, the author was named Prosecutor of the Year. He has prosecuted defendants in extraordinary criminal cases that have been featured on national TV shows.