Tagged: Contemporary

Pieces of Me – Review

About the Book

Pieces of Me, Carrigan Richards

Teen/Young Adult Drams 302 Pages

Carrigan Richards Publishing (August 13, 2013)

One second. 

Seventeen-year-old Corinne has everything. Her life. Family. Friends. Boyfriend. But in that one second, she loses it all. Now she’s left with harrowing nightmares. Hallucinations. And panic attacks that seem to come out of nowhere. She tries everything to take the pain away, but there’s only one option she sees as a true way out.

When Corinne is sent to live in a psychiatric institution, she doesn’t want to talk. It’s pointless. They can’t help her. But slowly Corinne opens up and wants to remember what it’s like to be happy so she begins reliving her past life to her doctor. She knows she can’t live in the past, but she sees no future and is faced with the hardest decision of her life.

About the Author

Carrigan is the author of Pieces of Me, a young adult contemporary romance, and the Elemental Enchanters Series, a young adult paranormal romance. She was born in Cullman, Alabama, but grew up in Birmingham, and moved to Atlanta at 18. She earned her BA in English at Kennesaw State University. For as long as she can remember, she was always making up stories and characters inside her head, sometimes using her dolls to act out the scenes.

When she’s not writing (which is rare), she’s spending time with her family and friends, listening to music, playing with her two furbabies, or cheering on her Atlanta Braves.

Jenn’s Review

Another debut novel. YA/teen lit, not exactly romance, but it has a sweet little love story built into it.

This wasn’t an easy read for me. I kind of knew it wouldn’t be when Carrigan emailed me about reviewing PIECES OF ME. My family has front row seats to the unpleasant faces of mental health problems, and this stirred some painful memories.

Corrine is dealing with a lot. So much, that her parents are checking her into a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt. She’s been through a lot, and at seventeen, she doesn’t have the life experience to sort out who she can really trust.

The author’s style feels a little clunky to me, not uncommon in debuts, but she more than makes up for it with realistic, sympathetic characters. I had a few moments when I needed to put the book down for a reality check (I really wanted to have a heart to heart with the protagonist, Corrine, about her less-than-best-friend, Lisa, who has serious issues of her own).

This is a teen read, but as a parent, I would approach this with caution. I would like my own daughter to read this, because, at 13, she’s already dealt with a suicidal friend. However, the storyline is heavy, and I’m not sure her attention span would stick it out. Without pulling out my personal soapbox, mental health issues, especially anxiety, depression, and PTSD are things that need to be talked about. They need to be on the table, and it’s time for the stigma to fall away. Ms. Richards takes a giant step in that direction with this story.

All of that said, the writing is a bit stiff, and the flashbacks get blurry, making the timeline a little hard to follow at times. This is one of those times that I would encourage the reader to stick it out. The story is worth it. The ENDING is worth it. Grab your tissues and hang on, because the further you get into the book, the harder it is to put down.

For those who might write this off as a depressing book, I challenge you to stick it out. Millions of people deal with these kinds of debilitating mental health issues every day, and Ms. Richards adeptly portrays the headspace of someone (especially a young someone) at the end of their rope.

And spoiler alert: the story has a happy ending. It’s not a unicorns and rainbows happy ending, but it’s a well-written happy ending. Four stars, and a standing ovation for Carrigan Richards for tackling this book.

Jenn reviews YA Fiction PIECES OF ME, a Carrigan Richards novel, in this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

 This book is available in Kindle and in paperback editions from Amazon  [affiliiate link}

Mindfulness – Review

About the Book

Mindfulness, Mark Williams, and Danny Penman

Adult Health 288 Pages

Rodale Books; 1 edition (November 13, 2012)

Mindfulness reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into daily life to help break the cycle of anxiety, stress, unhappiness, and exhaustion. It promotes the kind of happiness and peace that gets into your bones. It seeps into everything you do and helps you meet the worst that life throws at you with new courage.

The book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT revolves around a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed. MBCT has been clinically proven to be at least as effective as drugs for depression and is widely recommended by US physicians and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence—in other words, it works. More importantly, it also works for people who are not depressed but who are struggling to keep up with the constant demands of the modern world.

MBCT was developed by the book’s author, Oxford professor Mark Williams, and his colleagues at the Universities of Cambridge and Toronto. By investing just 10 to 20 minutes each day, you can learn the simple mindfulness meditations at the heart of MBCT and fully reap their benefits. The book includes links to audio meditations to help guide you through the process. You’ll be surprised by how quickly these techniques will have you enjoying life again.

Jenn’s Review

I picked this book up some time ago, and due to Life happening (including buying a house and various upsets to my usual routine), this eight-week plan took me almost four months. Did that affect the overall benefits of the plan?

Not at all.

This book was worth taking my time to get through. Between practical explanations in each chapter, the downloadable, guided meditations, and independent practice, I finished the book with more tools than I began with (and I have been meditating for years).

The authors of MINDFULNESS lay a solid foundation of research and application before starting the reader on a series of weekly steps, gradually building on the previous week’s learning and practice.

This is more than a simple how-to book. You *could* just read straight through, but the better investment of time would be to tackle one chapter a week. Repeat the week until you are comfortable with the given practice before you move on.

I’ve read a number of books on meditation and mindfulness, but this is, by far, the most practical of them all. I’ve fallen back on the tools learned in this book to manage stress, anxiety, panic attacks and dietary issues. Definitely worth trying if you are interested in deepening your mindfulness.

Jenn shares her experience with the book, MINDFULNESS - AN EIGHT WEEK PLAN, on this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, Audiobook, paperback, hardback and CD Audio formats from Amazon. [affiliate link]

Unfinished – Review

Thrice Read Books review blog post - UNFINISHED by Amy Snyder - Adult Contemporary Women's Fiction

About the Book

Unfinished by Amy Snyder

Adult Contemporary Women’s 262 Pages

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC July 25, 2017

Mirabelle is a writer who just can’t finish any of the stories she starts. When her twins leave home for college, they take with them Mirabelle’s sense of identity. As she strives to adjust to her empty nest she is visited by someone unexpected: a character from the very first novel she ever attempted to write.

Characters from all of her unfinished works begin to materialize in her home, in her car, at her job. They talk, yell, and some even throw things at her. Mirabelle can see them, smell them, touch them and though she knows they’re not real, she can’t help but engage them. She created them, after all. They become part of her daily life and she finds herself alternating between hiding them from and sharing them with her almost-always-doting husband, Alex.

Some of Mirabelle’s characters are like good friends, encouraging her to finish something she’s started. Others manipulate her for their own needs and storylines. Good and bad, these characters are part of her and Mirabelle discovers she needs to both fix and finish them before they destroy her life, her sanity, and her marriage.

About the Author

Amy Snyder began writing when she realized the strange things that happened in her imagination were far more interesting than the things that happened in her real life. After earning her degree in Radio, Television, and Film from Northwestern University, she worked at a financial brokerage house, a nationally published magazine, an advertising agency, and most recently, an elementary school as a Math Tutor, Substitute Teacher, and Library Paraprofessional. But she’s always been a writer. UNFINISHED is her first novel. Read more at www.amysnyderauthor.com.

Jenn’s Review

A cautionary tale for aspiring authors, Unfinished is a tense tale of dreams deferred and the high price of leaving projects incomplete. While this isn’t the first story of its kind that I’ve read, it’s the first that hit close to home for me.

Mirabelle is facing middle age, an empty nest, a job she hates, and the sudden appearance of the characters she’s written into the collection of unfinished fiction sitting in her closet.

As one protagonist after another shows up to confront their creator, Bella alternatively wants them to leave her alone and considers that she might be going insane. The problem escalates, forcing her to confess to her husband, who starts out understanding, if dismissive and progresses to taking Bella to a mental health professional for help. Ultimately, Bella has to choose between her creativity and her marriage as the plot develops.

As I dived into this story, I found myself alternately wishing the protagonist would stop whining, and seeing far too much of myself in the story (12 manuscripts on my WIP shelf… Yup). This is more than a story about a middle-aged woman on the brink of insanity – it also touches the tender points of finding balance in a marriage and standing up for your own dreams.

This is told in first-person, and while the dialogue is snappy, there were moments when I wished the protagonist would quit complaining to herself and DO something. The author definitely captured the troubles that we married writers face (we’re not always free to stop and capture great ideas, after all), and the timeless space that many of us slip into when deeply absorbed in writing a story.

This was a fast-paced story that kept me turning pages, even when it felt a bit draggy. A must-read for aspiring authors and women headed towards that scary, middle age/empty nest time.

Thrice Read Books review blog post - UNFINISHED by Amy Snyder - Adult Contemporary Women's Fiction

Buy This Book

This book is available from Amazon in paperback format only. [affiliate link]

Love on a Limb – Review

About the Book

Love on A Limb, Laurie Lewis (Great Expectations Love Stories: The Graykens Book 1)

Adult Religious Romance 344 Pages

Willowsport Press, November 26, 2017

Matthew Grayken is young, successful, and dying, which is why he’s about to propose to a total stranger. He isn’t interested in love. He needs a caregiver, a companion, and someone to be his legal voice when he can no longer speak for himself.

Lonely, compassionate nurse Mikaela Compton is intrigued by Matt Grayken’s tender request, but when their friendly marriage turns into love, she rejects the inevitability of Matt’s death and prays for a miracle instead.

Mikaela succeeds in reigniting Matt’s will to fight, but his body is losing the battle, and her determination to save him causes her to betray the fundamental promise she made him–to help him die peaceably. 

Their last hope at saving Matt’s life will require a sacrifice from each of them, and force them to decide how far out on a limb they’re willing to go for love.

About the Author

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis knows that wherever life takes her, she will always be a Marylander at heart—a weather-whining lover of crabs, American history, and the sea. She admits to being craft-challenged, particularly lethal with a glue gun, and a devotee of sappy movies. 

Therapists have been chasing her down to diagnose her multiple personality syndrome since she writes under three names–historical fiction as L.C. Lewis, romance and women’s fiction as Laurie Lewis, and general fiction as Laurie L.C. Lewis. 

Jenn’s Review

Cancer. It’s one of those words that make just about anyone cringe. But what happens when you’re fighting a losing battle? For your life, for your voice, for dying on your own terms?

That’s the question that bachelor Matt Grayken faces when he makes the choice to propose to Mikaela in the opening chapter of L.C. Lewis’s contemporary romance, Love on a Limb.

Matt has been battling cancer since childhood. He’s made a decent life for himself with the help of his adoptive, Irish immigrant parents, in the United States. This time, he’s chosen to withhold his renewed battle, to fight cancer his own way. 

He’s been observing gentle, compassionate Mikaela as she works with patients at the cancer treatment center when he’s in for chemotherapy. She’s exactly what he wants as an end-of-life partner, prompting his audacious proposal. They’ll be legally married, she’ll be his voice and nurse when he can no longer speak for himself, and she’ll inherit his home and a substantial endowment towards getting her medical degree. No one’s feelings get involved, no one gets hurt. 

Mikaela isn’t entirely on board with Matt’s plan, but she reluctantly agrees. It’s a break from trying to juggle everything in her life, but… 

Featured on the Thrice Read Books review blog: LOVE ON A LIMB by Laurie Lewis - Adult Contemporary/Inspirational Romance

The agreement works for both Matt and Mikaela, but a hitch develops in their tidy agreement. They’re falling for each other, fast. 

Ms. Lewis tenderly weaves the emotional turmoil of a life with cancer into a sweet romance. She tackles the billionaire rich boy stereotype and mixes it with a compassionate male character, whose purpose in life is to help others live their dreams. Mikaela is the compassionate nurse who strives to ease the emotional, physical and financial struggles that accompany the battle with cancer, and the two mesh beautifully. She refuses to give up hope and shows her backbone and stubborn will to beat Matt’s cancer right into their black moment, and against the odds. 

This is the first in a series, and my hope is that Matt and Mikaela win their battle against his cancer in the long run. Love on a Limb is for fans of sweet romance who don’t mind a tear jerker.

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue – Review

About the Book

How To Write a Dazzling Dialogue, James Scott Bell

Teen to Adult,  Reference, 136 Pages

Compendium Press (July 14, 2014)

There is one sure-fire way of improving your novel fast. . . You may know the fundamentals of how to write fiction. You may be more than competent in plot, structure and characters. But if your dialogue is dull it will drag the whole story down. On the other hand, if your dialogue is crisp and full of tension it immediately grabs the reader. And if that reader is an agent or editor, sharp dialogue will give them instant assurance that you know what you’re doing as a writer. Writing a bestseller or hot screenplay is no easy task, but dazzling dialogue is an absolute essential if you want to get there. The best part is, the skills of the dialogue craft are easy to understand and put into practice. #1 bestselling writing coach James Scott Bell has put together and expanded upon the dialogue lectures from his popular writing seminars. In How to Write Dazzling Dialogue you’ll learn:

  • What fictional dialogue is … and isn’t
  • The 11 secrets of crafting memorable dialogue
  • The 5 essential tasks of dialogue
  • 5 ways to improve your dialogue ear
  • 4 can’t-miss methods to increase conflict and tension in any dialogue exchange
  • The top 10 dialogue issues, and how to resolve them

You’ll also see dazzling dialogue in action with examples from hit novels and screenplays. Don’t sabotage your chances of selling your work to readers or publishers because the dialogue is unexceptional. Dazzle them with what the characters say. How to Write Dazzling Dialogue will give you the tools to do it.

About the Author

For notifications and deals about JSB’s new releases, sign up for his occasional update at www.jamesscottbell.com (the signup box is on the left side of the screen). Your mail box will never be overstuffed nor will your address be shared with anyone else. 

JAMES SCOTT BELL is a winner of the International Thriller Writers Award (for his novel Romeo’s Way) and the author of many bestselling thrillers. He is a popular writing instructor and conference speaker, and formerly served as the fiction columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine. Jim attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver, and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Law School. He lives and writes in L.A. and blogs weekly at Kill Zone — www.killzoneblog.com

Jenn’s Review

Dialogue is something I struggle with as a writer. I know that my characters’ mediocre, and often lackluster conversations are about 50% of what’s holding me back from getting published, so, I went out looking for a book to help clarify where I was going wrong. I also attended some great workshops on dialogue at RWA2018, but I was still missing a LOT.

Enter How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. Bell’s thrillers are multiple times best sellers, his books on writing craft are multiple times best sellers; this guy has some street credentials, even though I’d never heard of him.
Why his books make bestseller lists so often is clear, all the way through this slim volume on fiction dialogue. The instruction is concise and liberally peppered with examples, both from existing literature and off-the-cuff.

I took this book one chapter a day and will be applying it to my own writing going forward (I’ve already started on that, and the lessons are sinking in, as I notice dialogue more in what I read). Bell tackles such topics as tension, style, info-dumping, punctuation, and cursing. Period dialogue and dialect are also touched on in various degrees within the 134 pages of this book.

Bell’s book on dialogue is written so that most folks can easily understand what he’s demonstrating. If you are a writer, wanting to get published; if you teach writing; if you are the parent of a young writer; and yes, even if you’re an already published author — give this book a read. It’s now a permanent part of my writer’s toolkit, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to up their fiction writing game.

Jenn reviews HOW TO WRITE DAZZLING DIALOGUE by James Scott Bell in this edition of Thrice Read Books' review blog.

Buy the Book

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions. [affiliate link]

Two Hearts, One Stone – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Thrice Read Books helps contemporary romance author Leslie Scott celebrate her new release with a review of her new release: Two Hearts, One Stone

About the Book:

Two Hearts, One Stone by Leslie Scott

Contemporary Romance

The Wild Rose Press – September 26, 2018

Horse trainer Stone Dempsey’s life is all about the ride—with horses and women. He uses his equine talents to impress the country club set and earn money for Smoky Mountain Reining Horses. When his drug-addicted sister deposits her sick baby on his doorstep, he’s suddenly saddled with real responsibility.

Dr. Emmersyn Cole’s goal of starting a practice in her favorite place on earth is finally coming to fruition and she is not going to be sidetracked. Everything is going great until Stone swaggers into her life, half-dressed with a smile that could melt her insides. She’s determined to keep her distance…until he rushes into her grandfather’s home, clutching a feverish baby, terrified and vulnerable, and her heart’s hard shell begins to crack.

In only a few short weeks, Stone’s wayward heart suddenly relies on two women—one who needs him—and one that he might not be able to live without.

Excerpt (by permission of the author & publisher)

He was spinning and dizzy because of Emmy. He hadn’t expected her to throw him for a loop like she had, have him waiting on her after work, cleaning up his cabin, and all the other silly things he’d done in the past few weeks.

Yet there he was, with a shoulder against the stall door, watching the sparkles of faded sunlight dance in her reddish, curling hair.

He was a goner.

“I feel naked when you look at me like that.” Her fingers trembled as she tucked a lock behind her ear.

“That’s not the way I look at you when you’re naked.”

About the Author:

Leslie spends most days attempting to wrangle the voices in her head and often wishes she could clone herself so that their stories get told faster. She loves words, romance, and characters that feel like family and spends almost all of her free time with her own family; including a boisterous eleven-year-old that she homeschools and an assorted cast of rescue pets. She lives her own happily ever after with her soul mate and best friend in the northern part of Alabama and hopes you enjoy reading her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest    Youtube Playlists

Jenn’s Review:

Sexy cowboy Cassanova meets sweet pediatrician in Leslie Scott’s newest cowboy romance, Two Hearts One Stone.

Stone Dempsey is sexy, smooth, a fantastic horse trainer… And a shameless playboy who has more notches in his bedpost than any man has a right to. When his boss’s granddaughter, Emmersyn, moves back to town to start her pediatric practice, Stone is immediately attracted. Except she has a front row seat to a spectacular exit from his latest conquest, and his reputation precedes him.

Emmersyn doesn’t have time for a relationship. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself. Stone makes it easy to resist, at first. But when he shows up at her grandfather’s house with a sick baby, she’s caught in a tornado of emotion. When she learns the baby isn’t his daughter, and a bit more of Stone’s story comes to light, she has an increasingly difficult time convincing herself to stay away.

Ms. Scott weaves steamy sexual chemistry with deep characters against a southern rural backdrop filled with tempting debutantes and high-value horses.

This is the kind of romance I love to read, and it kept me turning the pages to find out what happens next.

For fans of adult contemporary romance and sexy cowboy stories. Mature language and scenes, with a sweet story and subplot.

Jenn reviews Two Hearts, One Stone, a new Adult Contemporary Romance from Author Leslie Scott and The Wild Rose Press on the Thrice Read Books Blog

Where to Buy:

The Wild Rose Press

Amazon: 

Your Next 24 Hours: One Day of Kindness Can Change Everything – Review

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

New book review on Thrice Read Books: Adult Nonfiction/self help - Your Next 24 Hours by Hal Donaldson

About the Book

Your Next 24 Hours: One Day of Kindness Can Change Everything, Hal Donaldson with Kirk Noonan

Adult, Self Help, 178 Pages

Baker Books (February 14, 2017)

If asked, who among us wouldn’t say we were kind people? But kindness is often manifested in feelings of pity or sympathy–especially when others are watching–rather than in deeds. And when it comes down to it, what good does mere feeling do for the world?

Your Next 24 Hours is about something much bigger–a lifestyle of kindness, without thought of reciprocation, extended toward every person in our lives, both friend and foe. Through powerful true stories of kindness lived out, this book shows readers the enormous difference they can make through small, doable acts of kindness in their families, communities, workplaces, schools, and churches. It shows how every encounter with another person is an opportunity to be kind–and a chance to change our world.

Readers of Your Next 24 Hours will find deep satisfaction and joy as they discover how they can be part of a revolution of kindness that starts with them and reaches out through every person their lives touch.

Jenn’s Review

Kindness is King, and the world could be an entirely different place if all of us made the choice to pay homage.

Through dozens of real-life examples, both famous and mundane, Hal Donaldson and co-author Kirk Noonan illustrate more than 20 ways and reasons to make kindness, not only a random act but a purposeful habit.

My teenager recently asked me, “Why are people so unkind?”

The answer to changing that is in this slender volume, as kindness is contagious.

If you’d like to reach out to others but aren’t sure where to start, I recommend letting this little book be your launch pad. Spend 24 hours in selfless kindness using the ideas in this book, and watch the ripples spread.

New book review on Thrice Read Books: Adult Nonfiction/self help - Your Next 24 Hours by Hal Donaldson

Buy the Book

Thrice Read Books has one hardcover copy of this book for sale through our website. Click the button below to buy now.

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle, hardback, paperback, audiobook, and audio CD editions. [affiliate link]

Beyond the Wicked Willow – Review

Sam from Thrice Read Books reviews MJ Rocissono's YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

About the book:

Beyond the Wicked Willow by M.J. Rocissono

Teen Science Fiction/Fantasy

Published by Pandosia Entertainment September 7, 2017

342 pages in print format

FRANKIE FRETINI has had a horrible year. And, just when he thinks things are looking up, well…all heck breaks loose. It happens in home-ec class just moments after the girl of his dreams, Jenny Moran, invites him to the annual town carnival. Still dazed from the unexpected invite, Frankie accidentally plasters the face of school bully, Brick McDuddy, with a giant scoop of chocolate mousse. 
Embarrassed, and fuming mad, Brick plots to deliver his painful revenge at the carnival. When Frankie, and his pals, Sam, Beef, and Bookworm show up to meet Jenny, Brick and his nasty bootlickers, Harold “The Horrible” Dunson and Billy “Scat” Pile, chase them into the eerie tent of an old Gypsy fortuneteller named Mala. Trapped with nowhere to run, Frankie makes a pact with Mala not knowing that he and his pals would be swept through her crystal ball to Medieval Italy. Now, their only hope to return home rests in Frankie’s hands. He must kill the evil Italian witch, Il Strega Diavolo, and rescue Mala’s twin sister, Tsura. But, can Frankie find the courage to face the Strega?

About the Author:

M.J. ROCISSONO is a lifelong daydreamer, an inescapable habit that earned him plenty of D’s and F’s throughout elementary and high school. After “graduating,” he spent seven years traveling around the United States, Europe, and the Balkans where he studied various cultures and customs. After moving to Vermont, where he settled with his wife and three children, he studied writing and literature at Vermont College of The Union Institute and University. His passions are family, human rights, social justice, animal welfare, and climate change. You can contact him on Twitter at @mjrocissono or by email at mjrocissono@gmail.com.

Sam’s Review:

Beyond the Wicked Willow, by M. J. Rocissono, is a teen read. It was very good, and its genre was fantasy. Filled with courage and humor, this good for those who like time travel, dragons and, more.

Frankie and his three friends, Bookworm, the nerd of the group; Beef, the glutton; and Sam, the strong tomboy who’s got a crush on Bookworm, are in a bit of pickle. Running from jerk bullies at the fair, the four buddies take shelter in the fortune teller’s tent.

Mala, the fortune teller, sends the four of them to the past to save her twin sister. Along the way, Frankie learns that he’s the Witchslayer, the one destined to kill the Strega, and his tiny army is made with seven people, counting Frankie and his buds.

I enjoyed this book because of the magic, and the hilarious scenes. I didn’t like how there were some words that I didn’t understand, but that’s okay since I don’t speak Latin. Other than that, I enjoyed. This book is fascinating to read, and easy to understand.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews M.J. Rocissono's Teen/YA Fantasy Beyond the Wicked Willow

Buy this book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats here. [affiliate link]

Beyond Circumstances – Revew

Jenn at Thrice Read Books reviews new release Adult Contemporary Romance by Gloria Joynt-Lang, Beyond Circumstances

About the book:

Beyond Circumstances     by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Series: Out of the Darkness     Contemporary Romance

Fiery Seas Everlasting     June 12, 2018

Dr. Lexie Draden didn’t want to leave her successful career as a surgeon in Chicago, but she didn’t have a choice. Her family needed to heal, and as long as she was around, it wasn’t going to happen. While adapting to her new community, she meets Zak Tifour, a man as intriguing as he is handsome.

Most of the small-town residents view Zak as a man who likes his privacy, but to a select few, something doesn’t seem right. Long-time resident Cicily McQuay believes she has the key to the man’s odd behavior – a link to terrorism. After all, he just isn’t the type of man who belongs in her community. But to belong, you need to be welcomed; something Cicily has never extended to Zak.

Zak knows plenty of terrorists and has even lived amongst them, but not like Cicily suspects. Escaping from a lifetime of bloodshed and regrets, he attempts to distance himself from the quirky townsfolk; people unable to comprehend boundaries. It appears to be working until he encounters the town’s new attractive doctor. Even though his secrets run deep, she ends up trusting him with her heart. But trust is fragile, and when Zak gets drawn back to his old life, Lexie must decide whether he’s a dangerous man or a broken hero.

Thrice Read Books is a stop on the Beyond Circumstances blog tour, hosted by Fiery Seas Publishing

 About the author:

Beyond Circumstances author Gloria Joynt-Lang

Gloria Joynt-Lang was born in Ars-Laquenexy, France and spent her childhood experiencing the vast landscapes of Canada. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a degree in Criminology, she devoted her career to working in the criminal justice system. She now splits her time living in rural Alberta, Canada as well as Southern California with her husband and their two dogs, a Maltese named YaHoo and Yorkie named Smookie Bijoux. Why the Yorkie has a stripper name shall remain a tight guarded secret. A lifelong nerd, she is most comfortable with a book or laptop close by except when she transforms to cool biker chick, hopping on her motorcycle for a speed limit abiding ride to the nearest bookstore.

Join Gloria on social media: Facebook     Twitter     Website

Jenn sat down for a chat with Gloria recently, to talk about her debut novel. You can read all about it here, in this edition of Between the Pages.

Jenn’s Review:

Holy wow! I had to read this book in about 3 sittings (darn you, Housework!), and had a hard time putting it down. Gloria Joynt-Lang knocked it out of the park in her debut novel, Beyond Circumstances.

When I say the characters of this book are well-developed, I mean that they could easily be the couple sitting next to you in the diner Friday evening. These aren’t “perfect” people. They are flawed, they struggle, they do their best, and they don’t always win. Even the secondary characters are developed and easy to picture (I actually spent time describing some of the characters, by giving them counterparts in our own small town).

Ms. Joynt-Lang lovingly, exquisitely crafts the inner and outer experiences of PTSD and bigotry. No subtle conflicts reside here. Nope. The reader is dropped deep into the mind of someone struggling with severe anxiety attacks and mental health problems. You walk right alongside the hero of the story as his past and present unfold and he fights to find something akin to peace.

The zinger, is in Lexie’s story. While you might think you understand what drove the heroine of this story to leave her big city life, the author waits…and waits…and waits…before she zaps you with the rest of the story.

This is the first book in a series, and I can promise that this reader will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the series. An easy 5 stars.

Book review of Gloria Joynt-Lang's debut adult contemporary romance novel, Beyond Circumstances, by Jenn of the Thrice Read Books staff.

Buy the book:

This book is available in Kindle format from Amazon here.

Healer – Review

About the book:

Healer by Susan Miura

YA Inspirational Fiction 

Vinspire Publishing January 31, 2018

258 pages

A young adult novel from Vinspire Publishing

Hovering just below the surface of Shilo Giannelli’s average existence lays an amazing spiritual power. Late one night, her world erupts with the revelation that, like her great-grandmother, she has The Gift. But the power to heal isn’t something she can share with the soccer team, her genius little sister, or her boyfriend, Kenji. Definitely not Kenji.

​Deep beneath Misty Morning’s tough façade is a lifetime of abandonment, foster homes and broken dreams. When her two-year-old son is abused by her boyfriend, her fragile world shatters…until Shilo prays for Tyler, and he is healed, leaving Misty grateful but incredibly curious.

Shilo can’t give Misty the answers she needs; she only knows she has a God-given destiny, and despite facing strained relationships, impossible decisions, and the threat of being hounded day and night for her abilities, she will fulfill it.

The journey Misty and Shilo take together unites them as friends but invites danger into their lives. And it will take a miracle for these unlikely friends to elude a gang bent on revenge, keep The Gift a secret, trust God in extraordinary circumstances, and hold on to the people they love.

About the Author:

Susan loves to wander. Beaches, mountains, deserts, caves and canyons…it doesn’t matter, as long as she’s surrounded by God’s amazing creation. When wandering isn’t an option, she’s an author, travel presenter, public relations professional and photographer. A native of the Chicago suburbs, Susan graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in journalism and a determination to become a reporter. From a newsroom in Berwyn, Illinois to a television station in Albuquerque, New Mexico, her dream became a reality. Back in her home state, she works in public relations for a library and is a member of Willow Creek Community Church and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Susan is happily married and the mom of a daughter, son, stepdaughter, and one incredibly adorable Cleo cat.

Sam’s Review:

Filled with religion, and magic, Healer is a good book. The author is Susan Miura, so please show her some love by reading her books.

Shilo, an Italian Christian, has the Lord’s healing power. This means that she can heal anyone, so long as God wills it. The gift runs in the family, but it has to remain a secret. If anyone knows about the gift, oh boy, reporters, sick people, injured people seeking out help, etc., will not leave her or her family alone.

Susan Miura’s Healer is a true fantasy with magic and a bit of drama. Even though it’s religious, I’m okay with that because I try not to judge people on what they write and what they like. Honestly, I can’t find any dislikes about this book, so that’s that.

Sam's Teen Reads Corner reviews Susan Muira's new release, Healer, a YA Inspirational/Christian fiction novel on the Thrice Read Books review blog

Buy the Book:

This book is available from Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions here. [affiliate link]

More Praise for Susan Miura’s Healer

Susan Miura’s thought-provoking novel, HEALER brought out longings in me I’ve had for years. How I’ve wanted to have the gift of healing during times when loved ones were suffering, but to no avail. However, Miura’s ever-present theme of “be careful what you wish for” is carefully balanced with the supreme mes- sage of what faithfulness, acceptance and love do to heal our wounds and bind up our hearts. It doesn’t take a special gift to exhibit those, but the resulting miracle is just as powerful. Beautifully rendered. – Lisa Samson, author of Women of Faith’s Novel of the Year, Quaker Summer, The Passion of Mary Margaret, and Summer of Hope.

Miura pens a unique and moving tale of a young woman’s extraordinary spiritual journey amidst all the tangles of being a teenager. Evocative in its possibilities and yet totally relatable, this is a book that will not only keep any reader turning the pages, but also stop and think “What if that happened to me?” — Allie Pleiter, award-winning author of over 25 inspirational nov- els.

Talented author Susan Miura has crafted an engaging young adult tale of the power of faith, love, family, and friends. I can’t wait to read more of what Shilo does next with her amazing gift. –A.J. Cattapan, award-winning author of Angelhood and Seven Riddles to Nowhere

Muira’s own gift of writing well crafted young adult suspense shines in this page turning story. Shilo’s strug- gle to learn what her gift means for herself and those around her parallels questions many have about their identity and purpose. This diverse, sympathetic cast deals with weighty situations in between soccer practice and normal life in a seamless, enjoyable story. – Amy Alessio, multipublished author, speaker, and librarian.