Category: iread

Our Friendship Matters Book Spotlight

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Can they find a way to resolve their differences, putting them to the side and learn to accept each other’s viewpoints? Or is their long friendship finished for good?

About Our Friendship Matters

Leah and Sasha are 17-year-old friends who had been close to one another since elementary school, but as the summer approaches they find their friendship tested in ways they never anticipated. Following graduation, Sasha’s privileged life and perception of the world around her is suddenly altered when an old childhood friend persuades her to join in a campaign against an injustice after his best friend is killed by the police. But joining the protest has unforeseen consequences for Sasha, distancing her from Leah, who becomes jealous of Sasha’s new friends and finds herself on the opposing side, protesting alongside her group of new white friends. As the tension mounts between the two bitterly opposed factions, a tragedy strikes and threatens to make Sasha and Leah enemies. Can they find a way to resolve their differences, putting them to the side and learn to accept each other’s viewpoints? Or is their long friendship finished for good?

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author

Kimberley B. Jones is a small country girl from St. George, SC. She followed her heart in college writing children books. Recently she decided to challenge herself and branch off to novels. She is your typical nomad who moves from place to place. Not by choice, but her husband serves in the military. She has a bachelors and masters in early childhood education. Kimberley is represented by Rhetaskew Publishing company and is best known for her debut novel, Our Friendship Matters. ​ When she is not writing, she is either thinking of another topic or reading. She loves writing , it gives her a chance to escape into another human character and express herself, other than being your typical mother and wife. If you don’t want to be on her bad side, then she needs her white chocolate mocha every morning. Some days Folgers breakfast blend coffee is okay.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Bones of the Redeemed Book Review

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A pit of corpses. An ancient cult. A quest for redemption that could leave her dead

About Bones of the Redeemed

A pit of corpses. An ancient cult. A quest for redemption that could leave her dead… New Mexico, 1952. Archaeology grad student Ruby Delgado is plagued by guilt after losing her son. So when her latest excavation drops her down a sinkhole filled with suspiciously mutilated bodies, she’s driven to bring the murderer to justice. But when digging deeper brings her dangerously close to a sinister religious sect, she could be their next sacrifice… Discovering some of the victims were crucified, Ruby pushes hard to give the evidence to the authorities. But when her trail crosses the path of a beaten man left for dead in the desert, she realizes she may be the only person who can save the community. Can Ruby stop the sacrifices and slay her inner demons, or will hers be the next body laid to rest? Bones of the Redeemed is a hair-raising standalone Southwestern mystery. If you like complex heroines, cult conflict, and hard-won redemption, then you’ll love Kari Bovee’s grisly tale.

My Thoughts

Bones of the Redeemed is a thrilling adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat as we watch Ruby uncover deadly secrets in a remote, religious community.

You will love Ruby’s character – she is a strong, confident, intelligent woman who will not take no for an answer. She stands by her beliefs and will not allow anyone to tell she cannot do what is right. She has had a difficult past, an event that almost destroyed her (the death of her son) and we watch as she struggles to move forward. She has a passion and skill in the field of archaeology that others are quite jealous of. It is this passion and skill that assists her as she uncovers murders, a religious sect and works to uncover the identity of the murderer (or murderers?) all while trying to keep herself alive.

I loved every moment of this fast paced novel. The plot was unique, and kept me on the edge of my seat as I never knew what to expect next. You could never quite tell who was a friend or who was an enemy. There were many intricate layers to the community, their religious beliefs, religious members and questions surrounding the murders and timelines. Her skills are constantly put to the test and I loved watching her work through the situations she found herself in. Bones of the Redeemed is a definite must read novel.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

When she’s not on a horse, or walking along the beautiful cottonwood-laden acequias of Corrales, New Mexico; or basking on white sand beaches under the Big Island Hawaiian sun, Kari Bovee is escaping into the past—scheming murder and mayhem for her characters both real and imagined, and helping them to find order in the chaos of her action-packed novels. Empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events fill the pages of Kari Bovée’s articles and historical mystery musings and manuscripts. An award-winning author, Bovée was honored with the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards Hillerman Award for Southwestern Fiction for her novel Girl with a Gun. The novel also received First Place in the 2019 NM/AZ Book Awards in the Mystery/Crime category, and is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards, as well as the Next Generation Indie Awards. Her novel Grace in the Wings is a Finalist for the 2019 International Chanticleer Chatelaine Awards and the International Chanticleer Goethe Awards. Her novel Peccadillo at the Palace is a Finalist in the 2019 International Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Awards and the 2019 International Goethe Awards, as well as a Finalist in the 2019 Best Book Awards Historical Fiction category. Bovée has worked as a technical writer for a Fortune 500 Company, has written non-fiction for magazines and newsletters, and has worked in the education field as a teacher and educational consultant. She and her husband, Kevin, spend their time between their horse property in the beautiful Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, and their condo on the sunny shores of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.

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Back to the Burgh and Beyond Book Review

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Meet Alexa Owl. She’s returned home to Pittsburgh after a divorce to start a new life and a new business, The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe. Much to her surprise, she’s getting more than she ever bargained for.

About Back to the Burgh and Beyond

Meet Alexa Owl. She’s returned home to Pittsburgh after a divorce to start a new life and a new business, The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe. Much to her surprise, she’s getting more than she ever bargained for: Detective Bobby Starr, and he’s no ordinary sleuth. Bobby is an angel who’s returned to Earth in hopes of earning his way into the Guardian Angel Squad. He’s been sent by none other than Saint Pete to acquire Alexa’s help to solve three cold case murders he left behind. Except, here’s the catch: he’s only been allotted four days to solve the first case! How in heaven’s name is she supposed to do that? Alexa is a professional seamstress—not a detective. Bobby insists the only way to solve the first case is to return to 1953, and Alexa’s not in love with that idea at all!

My Thoughts

I could not put this wonderful novel down! It made me laugh, it made me curious and I fell in love with the characters (they were just irresistible and Bobby just made you shake your head).

In this novel, Alexa Owl (love her name) is returning to her home town after a pretty pleasant divorce. She has started up her business, The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe, in a beautiful older part of town (with a mix of old and new clients). What she doesn’t expect? A bunch of visitors from the building’s past! A beautiful but haunting cat that has long since passed away but whose spirit remains, an older woman whose family used to run a business in the building and the ghost that this story centres around – Detective Bobby Starr. Bobby Starr was not the world’s greatest detective (but he had a great heart most of the time) and had left three cold case murders unsolved. He is tasked with solving one of them in this novel and needs Alexa’s help to do so.

This is where the novel becomes hard to put down – Alexa travels to the past to help Bobby solve the murders. As Alexa spends time in the past solving the crimes, a copy of her continues to be in the present as she travels between the past and present. Alexa does an amazing job solving the murders, as she puts the pieces together and even saves an innocent man from being charged.

I loved the unique plot, it was well written and I loved the way the story developed. It was exciting and kept you on the edge of your seat, and while they were solving murders, Alexa and Bobby’s characters added some comic relief to the story throughout. This was an excellent read from start to finish, and one that I have already re-read.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. Classically trained at Pittsburgh Ballet Theater School, The Pittsburgh Dance Alloy, and many others, she became a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time, she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. In 2016 she added the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series that everyone, including teens and tweens, can read and enjoy. Presently, the Fiona Quinn Mysteries nine books with a tenth slated for 2021. The books are also available on audio, narrated by Maren Swenson Waxenberg. Cindy’s newest venture is The Owl’s Nest Mysteries. Once again, she has set her cozy mystery in Pittsburgh. The female protagonist, Alexa Owl, is much different from Fiona Quinn. The Owl’s Next Mysteries has a little grit, a little time travel, a little romance, and a whole lot of cozy! Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Boy Between – A Mother and Son’s Journey from a World Gone Grey

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For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

About The Boy Between – A Mother and Son’s Journey from a World Gone Grey

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times. Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life. In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child. For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

My Thoughts

It is hard to put into words how powerful this story was for me. It was honest, open and raw – you feel their pain, their love and their hope. You feel the frustration and disappointment with the medical system. But most importantly, you feel connected to both Josiah and Amanda.

I have dealt with depression and anxiety for the last ten years (roughly) and I have good months and bad months. I have days where I feel I can accomplish anything (and take on more work than I can do and this backfires on me during my bad days) and days when I struggle just to get out of bed. I saw so much of myself in this story that at times it hurt. I know people mean well when they give suggestions on how you can “make yourself better” but going to the gym, eating better and just thinking positively doesn’t just make the feelings go away. It is almost a constant battle everyday, and it is not a battle that anyone else can do for you (although having a family who loves you and is your champion makes things so much better).

I hope that others reading their story that have never dealt with depression are left with a better understanding and compassion for others. That the stigma around mental health can be broken down and that there is better access to healthcare (not to mention providers that are able to support patients dealing with mental illness).

The Boy Between is a powerful and personal story, that took a lot of courage to share but I am so happy that they shared their story with the world. This is a definite must read for young adults and adults, and a great resource for families that are dealing with depression.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon US, Amazon CAN and Amazon UK.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Amanda Prowse is an award winning international bestselling author best known for her contemporary fiction novels. A radio broadcaster and TV presenter renowned for her empathetic and emotional books, she is known in the UK as the ‘Queen of family drama’. Her books have sold over 8 million copies in dozens of languages around the world.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Josiah (Josh) Hartley is the son of Amanda Prowse who has co-authored with his mother to tell the story of his journey through life so far. Born in the England, Josh was fortunate enough to attend one of the country’s elite public schools from an early age and was awarded a place at one of the UK’s top Universities where he planned to work towards a medical doctorate. But just at the moment when he should have been having the time of his life, he started feeling nagging tugs of self-doubt which spiralled into a depression during which time he planned his suicide. Luckily, his family intervened and after a roller coaster couple of years, he is alive and well and sharing his story to help other families who find themselves in the same position navigate their way through those difficult times.

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Braidy Von Althuis and the Changeling Children (Book 4)

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“All of the regret that she buried in her garden in America will grow up like weeds and swallow her like quicksand.” 

About Braidy Von Althuis and the Changeling Children (Book 4)

Braidy von Althuis is celebrating his eleventh birthday, but not with his best friend. Mr. von Althuis has decided to move the family out of Maple Hills, and Braidy is forced to say goodbye to Kara and to eat his cake alone. Even though the von Althuises have lived in Maple Hills for hundreds of years, something has spooked the adults so badly that they feel helpless without Gran. Something is coming for them, though Braidy knows not who or what.When the family arrives in Ukraine, a whole slew of new problems arise. Mr. von Althuis gets a job, Uncle Rolo finds himself in more trouble, and Aunt Liz and Braidy are summoned to an audience with the Fairy King. In order to go home, Braidy and Aunt Liz must solve riddles or belong to the Fairy King forever. Will Braidy and Aunt Liz be able to escape the Fairy King’s clutches or will heartache and memories of a life long gone tear Aunt Liz and Braidy apart?

My Thoughts

Braidy Van Althuis and the Changeling Children is Book 4 in this series. I have not read the other three books in this series and a part of me wished I had. I had a bit of a hard time following the characters in the beginning and how they got to where they were. Once I had a better understanding of the family, their personalities and a bit of their history, the pieces started falling together and the book was very exciting to read.

The story is fast paced and I loved the different characters and the magical world we are exposed to. The plot is exciting and very unique (not sure I have ever read a book quite like this one), and I love how we learned so much about Aunt Liz’s past and the family through the riddles that they had to solve. Braidy’s character is someone that many young adults will relate to and I loved how he plays such a strong but fair and kind role in this novel. Despite his age, he plays a very important part in this family.

Braidy Van Althuis and the Changeling Children is a well written novel in a series of novels. It was exciting, full of adventure and important lessons for young adults. I do feel that you likely should read all the books in this series first to really get a stronger understanding of the characters but it was a great book nonetheless.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

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About the Author

I’m Cassidy, and I love storytelling! I’m incredibly passionate about writing, art, and anything that allows me to create my own worlds. My goal is to write dreamy fiction for all ages that is unique, inspiring, and imaginative. I want my books to instill wonderment in the reader. I like to write about themes that include coming of age, magic realism, identity, relationships, and bullying. My books are intended for readers ages eight to twenty-five, and are meant to connect the world of the fantastical to everyday life. I currently live in Colorado and just got my MA in Publishing!

Connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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