#BookReview: Fishnet by Kirstin Innes

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

6FEA3D06-04B0-4B0C-AE8C-5B60DFD60BE1Summary:

Rona Leonard was only twenty-years-old when she walked out of her sister Fiona’s flat and disappeared.

Six years later—worn down by a tedious job, childcare, and an aching absence in her life—Fiona’s mundane existence is blown apart by the revelation that Rona had been working as a prostitute before she vanished. Driven to discover the truth, Fiona embarks on an obsessive quest to investigate the sex industry that claimed her sister. However, as she is drawn into this complex world, Fiona finds herself seduced by the power it offers women in a society determined to see them only as victims.

In bold, unflinching prose, Fishnet offers a clear-eyed look at the lives of sex workers, questioning our perception of contemporary femininity and challenging assumptions about power, vulnerability, and choice.

Review:

Fishnet by Kirsten Innes is a book to be respected! It is a story about sex workers and it affords us the opportunity to learn about the sex trade in Scotland. It will make you think about their situation and maybe you will change your thoughts about the sex trade. I do think the situation in Scotland is different than it is here in the States due to our laws and the safety in some areas of big cities.

Fishnet was a difficult story to read for a several reasons. One, most of us don’t like to think about the sex trade and would probably prefer to sweep it under the rug. Two, the dialog was told with the Scottish brogue. I didn’t always understand the slang and it took me a while to catch on. Third, the story not only changed from past to present but, was often being told by a different character. In my opinion these were not smooth transitions and it took me a page or two to figure it out. I was about 25% into the book before I caught onto the flow. 
 
Fishnet is a worthwhile book and worthy of your time especially if you have a curiosity about the sex trade.
I thought it was going to be more of a suspense story and this probably was not a comfortable subject for me to read about
 
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
3 Stars.

#BookReview: The Mourning Parade by Dawn Reno Langley

Reviewer: Annie

0549510F-813A-452B-A9C4-30157255EDCCSummary:

Natalie DeAngelo lost everything the day her two young sons were killed in a school shooting. Desperate to find relief from her unspeakable loss, she volunteers as a veterinarian on an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, but soon realizes she may be in over her head. Battling the memories that torment her day and night, Natalie must find a way to heal an angry, injured elephant named Sophie. Through love, acceptance, and gentle care, Natalie and Sophie heal together, finding new ways to enjoy life again.

Review:

I feel utterly blessed for having read “The Mourning Parade”. It is an extremely beautifully written story. Not often do I read a story and feel better for having read it, and when it does happen I want to tell everyone I know to read it.

Dawn Reno Langley introduces us to a grieving single mother named Natalie, who had just lost both of her sons to a school shooting. To try and find some peace and healing Natalie goes to Thailand to volunteer at an Elephant Sanctuary. She meets an elephant named Sophie in need of some peace and healing, as well.

I promise you will be happier for knowing Natalie and Sophie! I know I was deeply in love with them. I was rooting for them as if I was alongside them! I truly felt transported. It was amazing! They now live within me! Every character was written into the story with such finesse; they will truly touch you.

While I know this book is about grief and mourning; it is mostly about the resilience and the light that can shine as we go through these times. It’s about that human condition. It’s also about the natural instincts that elephants have; and all they can teach us. It’s about who is teaching who along the way!

Above all this is a story about love and it’s power!

What a powerful ending! I literally got chills! The hair on my arms stood up! I sat up while reading…and, gave it every ounce of my heart as I finished. It commanded my full attention!

You will finish the book and your heart will be made bigger for having read Langley’s powerful lyrical story. I know it was one of the most heartfelt stories I’ve read in quite some time.

Place it on your bookshelf. You’ll read this one again! And, Go tell your friends about it! Tell all of them!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Desperately Seeking Househusband (Reality of Love #3) by Marika Ray

Reviewer: Serena Soape

231896B1-E207-40B2-8B55-DBCA4B32459BSummary:

Release Date: September 18th, 2019

I’m fake dating my ex’s brother…all on national television.

Gabby
I just needed a fake boyfriend to be on the reality show Desperate Househusbands with me to prove once and for all I was over my evil ex and living my best life.
Too bad the only guy willing to do the job turned out to be my ex’s half-brother.
Dimples are my kryptonite and he’s got two of them.

Rhett
I was intrigued by her before I knew who she was.
And I admit, I signed up for the fake boyfriend position because I was curious how someone so successful could have dated my asshole brother.
Maybe it’s the way her edges soften at night when she cuddles up to me.
Or maybe it’s watching her rebuild her confidence brick by brick.
Maybe it’s just the goats stirring up repressed sexual desire.
Either way, I have feelings. Real ones.
Which is a bummer when my brother, the wrecking ball, comes back through the door, ruining everything we fought so hard for.
Where’s a goat to rekindle the flames when you need one?

Desperately Seeking Househusband is the third sexy RomCom stand-alone novel in the Reality of Love series.

Review:

Marika Ray has written another entertaining rom-com. I found myself laughing out loud at many of the scenes in the book. The characters were both likeable and relatable.

I enjoyed watching the development of Rhett and Gabby’s relationship.

Definitely a must read if you want to laugh.

This is the third book in the Reality of Love Series, but all can be read as stand alone.

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview & #SpookyReads: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

87FB7773-4864-4FF8-A5E9-C5E05BC51E8BReviewer: Christine Davis

18FF5373-D9D6-4507-A14C-1A603879A98CSummary:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Review:

Ruth Ware delivers a bone chilling story that is sure to please the thriller fan in everyone! From the first page you discover Ware’s unique writing style that draws her readers in and keeps you guessing till the end. While you’re bracing yourself from one fear raising incident to another, you’re left guessing about the mystery and the earthly , or not so earthly, involvement in the going ons!

Characters stand out, especially the main character, with the presentation of their human flaws that also has you speculating about what they have done when the creepiest things happen!

I had this book in my hands, rarely setting it down, for three days and finished it. Everytime I thought I understood what was happening, something else was thrown into the mix. I consider this a top read for this fall and getting one into the feel for the upcoming spooky season! Money was well spent on this novel!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Cilka’s Journey (The Tattooist of Auschwitz #2) by Heather Morris

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

C8145661-CF1C-4B45-B326-96F44E9BC124Summary:

Release Date: October 1, 2019

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, comes the new novel based on an incredible true story of love and resilience.

Her beauty saved her life – and condemned her.

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp, in 1942. The Commandant at Birkenau, Schwarzhuber, notices her long beautiful hair, and forces her separation from the other women prisoners. Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly given, equals survival.

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia. But what choice did she have? And where did the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was sent to Auschwitz when still a child?

In a Siberian prison camp, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she makes an impression on a woman doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing. Cilka begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.

Cilka finds endless resources within herself as she daily confronts death and faces terror. And when she nurses a man called Ivan, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

Review:

I am in awe! Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris is a beautiful book.

If you read the Tattooist of Auschwitz, you will love Cilka’s Journey. We met Cilka in the Tattooist of Auschwitz and as you can guess this is her story. I fell in love with Cilka as she is such a warm, kind person. Reading what she went through will break your heart.

I am not going to tell you anything about the book because I want you to discover her and her journey on your own. This book was a little easier to experience than the Tattooist of Auschwitz. I am not sure if it was because I thought I knew the horrors that would be coming or if this was truly a more gentle story just as Cilka is.

Please don’t miss reading Cilka’s Journey!
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
5 Stars.

#BookReview: Friends Of the Library by Susan Cushman

Reviewer: Annie McDonnell

2DB61876-A50A-46EE-98FC-5FC6B3D6D6BBSummary:

“. . . a beautifully wrought hymn of praise to readers and book-lovers in the most sacred of places, the libraries where we find both.” –Cassandra King, author of the best-selling novels The Sunday Wife

WHEN ADELE COVINGTON becomes an author in her sixties, she goes on a book tour to speak to the Friends of the Library groups in ten small towns in her home state of Mississippi. Chasing her personal demons through the Christ-haunted South of her childhood, Adele befriends an eclectic group of wounded people and decides to tell their stories. From Eupora to Meridian, from a budding artist with an abusive husband to a seven-year-old with a rare form of cancer, each story contains elements of hope and healing and honors the heart, soul, and history of the Magnolia State.

Review:

Don’t we love happy endings! That’s what Susan Cushman writes in “Friends Of the Library”…..Short Stories; all with happy endings!

This is the story of a hero author named Adele. A woman that can lead the way to a better life, better choices and better options for those of us that have been abused, damaged, battling illness, or still hurting in this world. As she visits local libraries she happens to finds that person that needs her. 

Personally, I like a deeper read when it comes to the serious subjects that were discussed. I had a tough time with the reasoning of everyone opening up to Adele so easily. But, I am sure that comes from my personal battle scars. 

That being said; this was truly a beautiful book. It was heartwarming and refreshing. I know this book will touch a lot of people and hopefully get people talking about what is hurting them.

Each story had its own allure and I was left thinking about someone in my life at the end of each of them.

If you enjoy short stories; quick romps to happiness….This is the book for you.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
3.75 Stars.

#BookReview: The Red Dirt Hymnbook by Roxie Faulkner Kirk

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

00ECB3ED-C783-4F02-B924-20DD3CA40CB7Summary:

Ruby Fae McKeever is realizing that she made a terrible decision when she dropped out of college two years ago to marry that sweet-faced JW Jasper and join his family’s traveling revival ministry–or, as her Daddy had put it, when she “run off with the dang-fool Jesus Circus.” She’d thought at the time that she was called by God. But now that she thinks about it, maybe she just really, really likes singing on stage. Or she could have confused God’s voice with the feeling of JW’s hand up her shirt. Hey, It’s an understandable mistake.
Now she’s trapped on a never-ending bus tour with a controlling father-in-law, a cipher of a mother-in-law, and a man-boy for a husband who is so desperate to prove himself to his father, he’s capable of almost anything. Homesick, worried for her baby daughter, and cut off from communicating with her family, Ruby Fae is desperate to get back to Oklahoma.

Review:

The Red Dirt Hymnbook by Roxie Faulkner Kirk was a beautiful book. The flow was great, but it was the subjects of spousal abuse, child abuse and control that; in my opinion, made it difficult to read at times.
Ruby is the main character who has married into a family that lives on a bus traveling from town to town doing revivals. She lives with her husband, her daughter who is less than a year old and her in-laws. Her father in law has complete control of the family. I don’t want to tell you the whole story but just wanted you to get an idea of how hard Ruby’s life was. You will find yourself pulling for Ruby throughout the story.
The Red Dirt Hymnbook will make you think about your beliefs concerning leadership, family units and Christianity. The book deals with scripture and how it is guides people’s lives for the good and how some can twist it’s meaning to meet their needs and wants.
Roxie Faulkner Kirk did a great job of bringing us a story that pulls at your heartstrings and encourages you think about your beliefs. It wasn’t necessarily an easy read but, I enjoyed the book. Don’t shy away from The Red Dirt Hymnbook. I think you will like it!
I was given a copy of this book by Book Sirens for a fair and honest review.
4 Stars.

#BookReview: Friends Of The Library by Susan Cushman

Reviewer: Serena Soape

77137D0F-6856-41AB-8BCC-B331516CBF12Summary:

“. . . a beautifully wrought hymn of praise to readers and book-lovers in the most sacred of places, the libraries where we find both.” –Cassandra King, author of the best-selling novels The Sunday Wife

WHEN ADELE COVINGTON becomes an author in her sixties, she goes on a book tour to speak to the Friends of the Library groups in ten small towns in her home state of Mississippi. Chasing her personal demons through the Christ-haunted South of her childhood, Adele befriends an eclectic group of wounded people and decides to tell their stories. From Eupora to Meridian, from a budding artist with an abusive husband to a seven-year-old with a rare form of cancer, each story contains elements of hope and healing and honors the heart, soul, and history of the Magnolia State.

Review:

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were many stories that tugged at my heart strings and made me feel like I was right there with Adele. This was a quick read perfect for a weekend. This was my first book by Susan Cushman and look forward to reading more of her books.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview: The Hunt by Jacqueline Terrill

Reviewer: Phyllis Jones Pisanelli

D6977C28-1A4E-426C-B93A-385BF2F160F8Summary:

After thirty years of marriage, Rachel observes herself amid a matrimonial nightmare. While at first, she sought to write off Seth’s nighttime escapades and drinking as a midlife crisis. The local sheriff hands her a foreclosure notice because her mortgage hasn’t been paid.   Rachel perceives something is awry.

Devastated and needing space to reflect, Rachel accepts a respite from her best friend Lauren to hang at her cabin in the Allegheny Mountains for Thanksgiving, where she reconnects with Lauren, and her family.
When Rachel tries to understand Seth’s change of heart, the schemes of her husband, mother-in-law, and the entire Blackstone crew.  The family she married into became an illusion.
As her thirty-year marriage dissolves, Rachel realizes that getting into the Blackstone family is one thing, but getting out alive is another.
Desperate to get off of this roller-coaster ride without shattering, Rachel must figure out the shrewdest way to pull herself up out of this turbulent charade.
Can she stay alive through the worst episodes that marred her down to her knees?

Review:

If you like a thriller with a little romance thrown in, you will love The Hunt by Jacqueline Terrill. I read The Hunt in under 24 hours. It was about 220 pages which is a short book but, with the interruptions of a husband and two dogs that was pretty good. I read until I couldn’t hold my eyes open any longer and still could not go to sleep because I was trying to figure out what was going to happen to the main character. I figured Jacqueline would not wrap this book up as easily as I thought she might and I was right!  She threw some things into the end of the story that I did not see coming. I was totally entertained by The Hunt.
The first chapter threw me off a bit and If you read this book I will advise you to keep going. The second chapter is better and that is where you will get hooked. Her writing is not as smooth as it could be making the flow a little rough sometimes. The story line more than makes up for the little blips. Jacqueline really did an outstanding job on her plot. I look forward to reading more from Jacqueline Terrill. You will too!
I am giving The Hunt 4 stars because I was so thoroughly entertained. Thank you Jacqueline Terrill for a good book. Keep up the good work!
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
4 Stars.

 

#AuthorInterview: Carla Vergot author Of Lily Barlow: The Mystery of Jane Dough

Carla Vergot is a one cool chick!! She was easy to talk with and she opened up about some very personal things in her life during her interview. Her character Lily is very quirky and I had a lot of fun chatting about that with Carla! I loved everything that made Lily quirky, but I will save that for my review. 😀📚

What I will tell you is that you will learn a few “Truths” about Carla (we played a game)…And more about how personal the writing of this book truly was to her, I didn’t even know that!! Life really does work in mysterious ways. For Carla, life truly was a beautiful gift and so was this book.

We had quite a few laughs. It was just like her book. She makes you laugh!! And, you know how much I love to laugh..haha!

To know more about her and her books, you won’t want to miss her interview.

Keep in touch with Carla Vergot:

Be Sure to Like/Follow Pages and add her Books tp your TBR Lists.

Website:

https://carlavergot.com

Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/carla_vergot/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/carla.vergot.1

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18108684.Carla_Vergot

BookBub:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/carla-vergot

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Carla-Vergot/e/B07DFBZ99Q?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1566641217&sr=8-2

Please check out some of Carla’s writing here…truly emotional:

https://piedmontvirginian.com/the-victory-garden/

Where I purchased her Book:

Second Chapter Books

Middleburg, VA

540-687-7016

Tell Carla you are making the purchase and she will try to go down to the bookstore and sign the book for you 😉