April’s Heart

April’s Heart

By: Shilah Ferr

323 Kindle Edition Pages

★★★★

The Autumn of 1977 is a start to a multitude of changes for April Schweiter. The preadolescence age is something entirely new for the young girl, and she spends the next few years discovering who she is and who she will soon become. With the introduction of love and heartbreak, readers are offered an insight to April’s life and the challenges she faces during a time that we can all relate to all too much.

April’s Heart is a coming-of-age novel written by Shilah Ferr and published in January 2020. At roughly 320 Kindle edition pages, the length was perfect for diving in and consuming the story as an entire experience. From beginning to end, April’s character developed from a young, naive pre-teen to a mature and respectable young woman who has endured the life-altering experiences of love, heartbreak, friendship, and respect.

I admire how the author presented the main character’s personality as such a realistic and relatable role. April has a heart of gold and her caring personality shines through, even during the trying times of teenage selfishness that are commonly present. When April encounters her first experience with love with Mitch, it is delivered in a way that I felt the pain and bliss that I also experienced many years ago all over again.

The secondary characters in the story were also a large part of the credibility of the story. The snarky teenage girls are present, of course, along with those who are as caring and honest as April. When April and Mitch are introduced as a couple in the story, their bond is remarkable and I found myself rooting for their achievement, despite it being a “teenage love story.”

Written in such a way that I was actually able to picture all the scenes playing like a movie, it took me a while after finishing the story to accept the completion and move on from what I would have wanted to continue long after turning the last page. Along with being an exceptional story of self-discovery, April’s Heart was well-written and well-edited much to my approval. I’m so pleased to rate April’s Heart 4 out of 4 stars and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed a feel-good novel with deep emotion.

Now I’ve finished April’s Heart, and, oh my heart….. the feelings are still rushing, the high of the love lost and regained, and then possibly lost for good is something that just hit a reminiscence of memories for me.

Shilah Ferr, well done on this one. You’ve won me over. 🙂

April’s Heart can be purchased on Amazon below:

Review: Furlough Diaries by Tim Rickhuss

Furlough Diaries

*** Note** I had originally written this review for Reedsy, of which a 5-star scale is used— which is noted below in my review.

★★★★

COVID-19 has been challenging, to say the least, for most of us. Although I’m in the US, reading Tom Rickhuss’ Furlough Diaries, his daily life during the pandemic in the UK was eerily similar. His recount of the furlough is divided into 3 sections throughout 39 days; In the Beginning, In the Middle and In the End. In the Beginning he spends most of his time enjoying the newly found free time of furlough by tackling the tasks he has typically been putting off due, In the Middle, he starts to experience the inevitable case of going stir-crazy, and In the End, he’s adjusting to what is to be considered a new normal by all of us.

Furlough Diaries is a must-read for me, and easily one that I’m happy to recommend to all readers. It was easily a one-sitting read, documented it a way that I would have also enjoyed the experience of reading one daily entry at a time. We’ve all experienced challenging times due to the global pandemic and although everyone has had different experiences during these trying times, we can all relate to fearing the unknown. Rating Furlough Diaries anything less than the well-deserved 5 star rating would be disheartening for me, as the author deserves much praise for his dedication to document the challenges

I found the author’s humor throughout his entires to be delightful and so relatable. While reading, I could actually feel the same emotions he’s showcasing in nearly real-time, as I experienced nearly the same day-to-day life changes. I commend his effort throughout furlough to continue writing his daily entries, as I’m sure it was challenging, due to the mundane feelings that come along. The daily entires written by Rickhuss are not only beneficial for readers around the world, but also for himself. As life will slowly begin to return to normal, I expect it will be a humbling feeling to refer back to these entires and recall those moments where we had adjust to making due with so little while also experiencing such fear of the unknown.

Review: Deliverance by Evelyn Montgomery

Deliverance

By: Evelyn Montgomery

254 pages

★★★★

Evelyn Montgomery delivers an exceptional romance novel in the 4th installment of The Kismet Series with Deliverance. Although Deliverance is the 4th installment in the series, the story reads well as a stand-alone, as I had no trouble following the character’s storylines and chain of events. Featuring two outstanding main characters, Troy and Jo, the story’s perspective alternates between the two. Troy Young is a man from Jo’s past. Although the two shared a memorable summer together, Troy has never been able to offer Jo the promise of forever due to his active status as a respected Navy Seal. Jolene, affectionately referred to as Jo throughout the novel, is a single, hardworking mother with sky-scraping determination.

After the heartbreak of Troy walking away several years prior to the present time, Jo meets and marries a man named Brian, and together they bring into the world a beautiful baby girl, Anna May. Brian, though, becomes the man from a woman’s nightmares and ultimately becomes the cause for Jo and Anna May to move away and start a new beginning while he serves a prison sentence. During the coincidence of a lifetime, Troy walks back into Jo’s life at the moment she needs him the most, when her safety is jeopardized by an unexpected intrusion from Brian.

Troy vows to ensure the safety of Jo and Anna May, providing the two with a level of comfort and safety they crave. However, when Troy comes crashing in to save the day, he also manages to come crashing back into Jo’s heart. Unable to stop herself from falling for Troy more and more each day, Jo attempts to break down the walls he has put up to protect himself and everyone around him from heartbreak. He knows there is no guarantee of his return due to his career, and he refuses to allow the thought of heartbreak that would follow without his safe return if he made a promise he couldn’t keep.

Now, does that synopsis set the scene for a completely swoon worthy romance read, or what?

With perfectly painted scenes by the author, the main characters in this story are two of the most memorable that I’ve ever encountered. Jo’s dedication to her daughter and determination to keep her safe is commendable and beautiful. Troy’ dedication to his country and those he loves causes him to be highly respected. While I found myself wholeheartedly rooting for these two to be able to find their perfect compromise, I was completely drawn into the consideration that sometimes our reality is just “wrong place, wrong time.”

Will Troy be able to overcome his fear of commitment, knowing he could be possibly causing more pain by staying? Will Jo be able to continue to provide her daughter with the security and safety she deserves, while also managing to guard her own heart?

Due to a significant presence of intense and passionate sexual scenes and language, it’s necessary to give a reader’s discretion warning, as this novel is certainly only recommended for mature audiences.

I can’t possibly prepare readers for the roller coaster of emotions that will come along with experiencing Deliverance. The characters share compassion, desire, lust, fury, frustration, and love- all in under 300 pages!

Reading another phenomenal piece of work by Evelyn Montgomery, as well as having the opportunity to review, has been an honor and I’m thoroughly pleased with her ability to captivate my emotions with her writing. I am already anticipating the experience to fall in love with more characters from her series.

The Love Dose by Romil Zaveri

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The Love Dose

By Romil Zaveri

Published March 17, 2017

105 Kindle edition pages

 

★★★★

 

The Love Dose is a modern-day tale of love and romance that can often be explained as something of utter confounding developments between the inhabitants. Written by Romil Zaveri and published in March 2017, The Love Dose is a quick, yet engaging read, at right over 100 Kindle edition pages. Centering around the chaos and evolving emotions between three couples at different points, their dubious actions and often unexplainable intercommunication with each other can make readers develop questions, and those questions, often include querying if any of us really even know what love is.

With a premise which seems to bounce around in time frames, the accuracy needed to place characters and circumstances is valuable for this story. Beginning with the story of Sara and Ron, readers are given an insight into the turbulence which becomes of their lives and how we can lose what we love the most in just the blink of an eye. Soon after, the time and place shifts, rolling back to a year prior with the relationship of Sara and Toad. Although I felt this relationship was the most unique of all, it was particularly beneficial to understand the emotions and peace of mind for Sara. Toad’s actions are questionable and often frustrating, but as I read on, I was quickly introduced to why his expectations for relationships are they way they are. With the unveiling of their relationship, the story backs up, even more, to elaborate on that of Toad’s parents, which seemed to be the most dramatic and arguably the most interesting of the story.

Although all the romances are linked in one way or another, their stories are equally polished and specific with their own purpose. What I seemed to enjoy the most within the story was the author’s notes included within the story, which are particularized by being bolded and italicized to ensure readers understand that they are more of a perception and elaboration on the situations.

The side effects of love are certainly well-noted within this story and easily perceived individually for all readers. What one person takes away from a story at any given time can certainly vary from that of another, however, specifically within this story, it’s apparent that the takeaway each reader has is certainly in relation to what place they are at in their own personal lives or relationship.

I’m pleased to give The Love Dose a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. While I was hesitant at the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised by the author’s ability to grab hold of a reader’s attention by playing on the emotions of a reader. I’m interested in hearing what other readers take away from Romil Zaveri’s story. As of today (9/1/19), it’s currently offered FREE with a Kindle Unlimited subscription!

 

ALSO, can we please take a moment to appreciate that cover art! WOW! She is absolutely stunning, and so much can be taken away from it! Unfortunately, I have no information to offer as of now as to who she is or any kind of backstory, if there is one, regarding her. If I find out anything, I’ll be sure to update! 🙂

Let me know what you think below! I’m happy to discuss different interpretations and opinions of the story with those who have also read it! Don’t forget to check it out!

 

Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47891586-the-love-dose

 

Amazon link:

Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometime I Lie

By Alice Feeney

Published March 13, 2018 by Flatiron Books

262 Pages

 

★★★★

 

If you’ve followed my review history at all, you probably have already guessed that I’m a huge fan of psychological thrillers. I can’t get enough of them. Which leads me to Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney.

I actually received this one as an ARC right before it was published. I don’t know why, but it just kept getting pushed back further and further on my bookshelf since then and I had yet to pick it up. My sister has asked to borrow it a few times and i just keep saying, “Not yet, I haven’t read it yet.” Yesterday I just randomly picked it up and decided I was going to give it a shot now. AND OH MY GOSH. 

I was home alone all day so I literally did not move from one spot from start to finish. I could not put this one down. But as I closed the last page, I still had soooo many unanswered questions.

 

If you’ve read this one already, I’m super open to discussion.

 

 

 

:::::Spoilers:::::

:::::Below:::::

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, so, where to begin?

 

The fire… did Claire survive?

Is she the one who brought the bracelet in with the room service?

Why did Amber do it though?

Just to get even?

To escape from the hold that Claire seemed to have on her throughout their entire lives?

What was the point of involving Edward? Was it just to prove how far Claire would go to protect Amber? or is he back?

 

I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

 

 

If you’ve read this one, let’s talk about it!

 

I still need some time on this one to process everything I read, so I might come back with some updates once I’m able to decipher out some more.

 

Review: Lay an Egg and Make Chicken Soup

 

Lay an Egg and Make Chicken Soup: The Holistic Innovation Process from Concept to Market Expansion

Lay an Egg and Make Chicken Soup

by Arie Brish

Published December 4, 2018

260 Kindle edition pages

★★★★

As an appreciation to my time spent on reviewing the book, Mr. Arie Brish assigned a REBATE COUPON for my contacts. Coupon number is 863433KB745944537 . If you purchase the book by Aug/15/2019, please email me a copy of the receipt and write 863433KB745944537 on the receipt. Your rebate will be $5 if you purchase the paper version or $2.5 if you buy the e-book.

 

Lay an Egg and Make Chicken Soup: The Holistic Innovation Process from Concept to Market Expansion, written by Arie Brish is a modern-day take on the world of business and teaches readers how to innovate and improve successfully in the business world. Published in December of 2018, Lay an Egg and Make Chicken Soup reads much like a textbook format, though I certainly didn’t feel like I was sitting in a classroom wondering how this information would even benefit me in real life.

The beginning of the book includes a list of acronyms and abbreviations for different terminology, which can be especially helpful to those with little business education. As could be expected, someone with little business education might feel overwhelmed when opening the book and finding business jargon, however, when finding a list of these abbreviations spelled out, it can be less difficult to follow.

The concepts within Lay an Egg and Make Chicken Soup are addressed and explained in an easy-to-follow format with the author explaining all parts thoroughly to accurately depict the texts true point. The language used throughout was used with minimal business lingo which could lead to confusion, but more so broken down in a way so that readers with a minimal business educational background will also be able to comprehend the concepts. By using some of the best historical examples possible, Mr. Brish teaches and reiterates to readers that if we are not learning from historical mistakes and business errors, those errors and mistakes will be repeated.

My favorite thing about the book that I have to elaborate on is the “takeaways” section at the end of each chapter. These “takeaways” point out the main and most specific points in what you have just read and lists them off with bullet point marks. At around 260 pages in the Kindle edition, it wasn’t necessarily a long read, however, the thoughts and ideas were deeply rooted and resembled a textbook, which would take me a bit longer to digest.

I was especially pleased with the editing work that has gone into the book as well, as I found no errors while reading. It is always beneficial, especially in a book of this type, to ensure that the editing is concise to corollate with the education that is being presented with the writing. I would rate Lay an Egg and Make Chicken Soup a full 4 out of 4 stars and gladly recommend for everyone involved in the business world, whether it’s a business that is part of the Fortune 500 or a much smaller venture.

 

Review: Faulty Christian

Faulty Christian: A True Story

Faulty Christian

by Ariel Gentry

Published December 4, 2018

124 Kindle edition pages

208 hardcopy pages

★★★★

First things first.. I am not generally a fan of memoirs. It’s too often that I feel like the writers are filling the pages of a diary rather than telling a story that’s ready and thoughtful to share and I occasionally feel myself trying to rush through them just to see what they’re trying to get at. Although I would label Faulty Christian as a memoir, I was so pleased with the way the author formatted the story to read like a novel. Second, although I was already hooked from just reading the premise, Ms. Gentry is an author fairly local to me, leaving me even more excited to read her story.

(High-five for the Kentucky ladies!)

Although not something I would classify solely as a religious read, Faulty Christian blurs the lines between an engrossing story about a woman allowing others to steer her in wrong directions and an awe-inspiring memoir about a woman learning to find herself again with the help of the Lord she knows she needs.

In Ariel’s personal and absolutely real experience memoir, she shares how she faced betrayal and loneliness at a time when a woman would hope to feel complete and satisfied. After having met a charming man online, Ariel makes the challenging decision to move away from her family, church and entire life she has built for herself to leave her home in Kentucky and move to Canada to start a new chapter in her life. While putting her faith through the complete test, Ariel goes against her gut feeling numerous times throughout her journey only to discover that her plan and His plan may not have aligned the same way she would have hoped. While I can say that a large majority of women experience betrayal and heartbreak in their lifetime, Ariel’s sacrifices and dedication to what she has promised are soul-deep.

I was pleased with the editing of the story, almost as much as the memoir itself. There are few things that ease my mind as much relaxation while reading- and finding no editing qualms to complain about. The entire cycle of the story read like a dream, with just enough elaboration where needed and never too much dwelling on situations that would drag on.

Ms. Gentry- You have a gift. I can’t even begin to express how much I hope to see more of your writing in the future. I’ve already informed a few of my close and personal friends of your story and recommended they give it a shot. 

I turned the last page and immediately sent a text to my sister. She has to read it. She just has to.

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43097354-faulty-christian

Amazon:

Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer

Book Cover

★★★☆ 

 

First things first.. 

It’s so important that I point this out, because without this little bit of information, the book will be read totally different. Although not to take away from the story in itself, the author of this book was 12 YEARS OLD when he wrote this story. How incredible is that?

 

Now, back to the review…

Island Games is a YA novel written about two boys, Ryan and Matthew, who wake up to find themselves stranded on an island with no memory as to how they got there, and only faint memories of their lives before waking up. Although scary on it’s own, the boys are also fearing that someone has strategically placed them there, as they find their way to multiple “quadrants” where they must complete tasks in order to be rewarded with food and water.

When I started reading the book, I somehow must have missed that it was a YA read. As the chapters went on, I started to feel as though the conversation was a little immature for my liking, however, once I realized that it was indeed written for Young Adults, it did seem a bit more fitting.

 

You can read my full review here:

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=108919

 

Playing Hurt by Gerald L. Nardella

Book Cover

 

★★★★

FOUR STARS. 

 

Playing Hurt was published in fall of 2015, but the opportunity for review had just recently came available to me. The story line takes us back to the 1960’s, where we are given a glimpse into what it was like to make the transition from adolescence to adulthood, although not that different that what I see during the present.

Despite the short length of the story, this one was packed full of drama and in-depth relationships between characters. There are so many story lines playing out, yet somehow the author manages to keep the flow smooth and intertwines the different plots applicably.

I’m impressed.

 

My full Onlinebookclub.org review is below.

https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=108625

Review: Real Good Man by Meghan March

Real Good Man (Real Duet, #1)

 

★★★★

FOUR STARS. 

 

yes. F-O-U-R

For a romance novel to get four stars from me, that’s really saying something.

Meghan March is at it again!

 

Although this one was actually published in early 2017, I’m just now getting around to getting my hands on the series I’ve already heard so much about. Since first discovering Meghan March, I’ve been a fan of her work. I swoon over her characters continuously, and Logan- the main character in Real Good Man, does not disappoint!

To set the scene for you…

Banner Regent from New York has been texting with Logan, the mechanic from Kentucky for weeks now. Although they’ve kept everything on a friendship level, Banner can’t help but see how different he seems than the other men she’s met in New York. As the casual texting back and forth banter soon turns into Logan planning to visit. Will the mechanic from Kentucky be able to leave a memorable impression on the busy city girl?

Ya’ll…. This one is intenseeeeee. Just a warning though, it’s an erotic novel. Meaning sex. and lottttsss of it.. and I don’t just mean a mention or two of the occurrence. I’m talking, downright visuals will be implanted in your mind for weeks.

Banner is a new favorite character for me. Her wit was undeniably similar to mine. (yes, tooting my own horn here) She’s easy to relate and doesn’t allow people to walk all over her.

I actually listened to this one via audiobook rather than reading a copy, so I can’t comment on the editing and proofreading, but Ms. March is no slacker and I can easily say with over 30 books under her belt, she made sure this one was perfect before sending to the printers.

I looooooveeee cliffhangers- which this one made me visibly shudder with the thought of not being able to immediately continue with Banner and Logan’s story. Thankfully, the second book was available and I started within five minutes after finishing the first.

 

Now.. if only I can find my handsome Kentucky mechanic to swoon over.

OH, wait. They aren’t really like that here…. :/

🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️

 

Here’s the Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/work/editions/52815058-real-good-man-real-duet-1