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#The Ash Family by Molly Dektar–Review 4-Stars-#NetGalley

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Nineteen-year-old Berie was on her way to college when a charismatic man, she met, changed her mind. Bay represented everything that Berie was looking for, freedom, saving the environment, and belonging to a family. Even though Beri’s mother worked, scraped, and sacrificed to send her daughter to college, Berie followed her new friend Bay, instead. 

Beri was told she could stay at the Ash farm for three days or for the rest of her life. When Beri decided to stay on, she was accepted into the Ash family and given a new name. It was a culture shock, at first, for Beri, when she was required to relinquish her possessions, work long hours on the farm, and bathe only once a week. But, once Beri, aka Harmony, had the new routine down, she felt good. And, the longer Harmony stayed, the more comfortable she became with the leader’s strange thinking, and the Ash family’s backward way of doing things. It was all wonderful until Harmony realized that when people left the farm, they usually didn’t survive. 

I enjoyed this book and found the storyline fascinating. I am always amazed at how easy it is for some people to accept a cult’s teaching and then become trapped in that lifestyle. A friend tried to help Harmony escape, but it was the Ash family’s leader who had Harmony’s loyalty. 

Thank you,  Simon & Schuster and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Molly Dektar is from North Carolina and lives in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College, where she was awarded the Himan Brown Award and the Brooklyn College Scholarship for Fiction. She is a graduate of Harvard College and was the recipient of the Louis Begley Fiction Prize, the David McCord Prize for the Arts, and the Charles Edmund Horman Prize for Creative Writing. The Ash Family is her first novel.

 

 

#The New Happiness by Matthew McKay & Jeffrey Wood– 4 stars–#NetGalley

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The New Happiness is a captivating and well-researched nonfiction read. Although this book touches on many religions, it focuses on a psychological approach to spirituality. I agreed with most of what the authors presented in this book, except for when it came to their definition of grace. As a Christian, I had a difficult time getting past the authors’ thoughts on the subject.

The book begins with an exercise, to discover your core values, and life purpose. This I found to be advantageous, since those points, are major players in becoming and staying happy. I thoroughly enjoyed learning new meditations, intentions, and exercises. My favorites from this book were, Still Mind meditation, the two Compassion meditations, and the healing Soften-Soothe-Allow- technique.

Everyone is on their own spiritual path, and this book assists the reader in deepening their spiritual walk, especially through meditation. This is not a book to read through just once, but one to ponder, experience, and then read through again.

Thank you, New Harbinger Publications and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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#The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib–Review–5 Stars–#NetGalley

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The Girls at 17 Swann St. is an enlightening, haunting novel about women who suffer from Anorexia. Anna is a twenty-six-year-old ballerina who used to love roller coasters, ice cream, and fries. She loved her family, her husband, and life itself.  When a leg injury caused her to lose her dancing position, Anna was devastated. But when her husband received an offer to work in America, Anna’s spirits lifted. She was hoping to find a ballet opportunity in the States. She was wrong. Instead of dancing, Anna worked as a cashier in St. Louis, while her husband worked long hours as a physicist. Anna’s increasing depression and loneliness led her to lengthen her running times, eat less food, and lose weight. By the time Anna was admitted to 17 Swann St. treatment center, her food choices had narrowed down to only strawberries, and her body weight to 88 pounds. 

It is difficult for anyone who does not suffer from Anorexia to understand it. This book illuminates for the reader the symptoms, treatment, and complications of this devastating disorder. It also provides insight into the Anorexic mind and emphasizes the seriousness of this chronic condition. The Girls At 17 Swann St gives the reader a realistic view of what Anorexia looks and feels like. 

Although this book is heartwrenching and often, painful to read, it has its touching and heartwarming moments as well.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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#Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey–Review–5 stars #NetGalley #SMP

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Don’t Miss This Outstanding Book by Rea Frey–Not Her Daughter–Coming 8/21/18!

 

Not Her Daughter is a captivating and well-written novel.

Not every woman is cut out to be a mom. Motherhood is challenging, and not for everyone. Amy Townsend is such a mother. She has deep feelings of inadequacy, and, unfortunately, takes her frustrations out on her daughter, Emma. People always remark on how beautiful her daughter is. And, even though, Amy should be happy about her daughter’s beauty and charming personality, she isn’t. She’s jealous.

Although Sarah was happy and successful at work, her heart was broken. The relationship with her long-term boyfriend ended. Sarah couldn’t stand to stay with a man who wouldn’t commit to her. Sarah wanted a husband, a home, and children. She wanted a daughter whom she could love like she should have been, as a child. Sarah, at the age of eight, was abandoned by her mother. So when she witnessed five-year-old, Emma, crying and being abused, it broke Sarah’s heart. 

When Sarah came across Emma, being bullied by her mother again, something snapped inside of her. Sarah was aware that kidnapping a child was all-kinds-of-wrong, and against the law. She also knew that she’d go to jail if caught, but she did it, anyway. 

Amy reevaluated her life after her daughter went missing. She began to make positive changes. Amy hoped that if her daughter were found, that it wouldn’t be too late to build a relationship with her. Amy knew, however, that she had a lot of making up to do. 

Although this book left me with unanswered questions, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Not Her Daughter is a gripping, well-written and engrossing novel. Highly recommended.

 Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Rea Frey is an award-winning author of four nonfiction books. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter. NOT HER DAUGHTER is her debut novel. 

 

Check Out Today’s New Book Releases!

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Released Today

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon–5 stars
The Room on Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel–5 stars
I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman–4 stars
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton–4.5 stars
The Other Mother by Carol Goodman–4 stars

 

In Case You Missed My Reviews on These Fab Books, Here Are The Links:

 

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon—5 stars
https://write-escape.com/2018/03/09/i-was-anastasia-by-ariel-lawhon-review-5-stars

The Room On Rue Amelie by Kristin Harmel—5 stars
https://write-escape.com/2018/03/18/the-room-on-rue-amelie-by-kristin-harmel-review-5-shining-stars

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman—4.5 stars
https://write-escape.com/2018/03/14/i-have-lost-my-way-by-gayle-forman-review-4-5-stars

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton—4.5 stars
https://write-escape.com/2018/03/12/the-sun-does-shine-by-anthony-ray-hinton-review-4-5-stars

The Other Mother by Carol Goodman—4 stars
https://write-escape.com/2018/03/19/the-other-mother-by-carol-goodman-review-4-stars

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah–#Review–5 Stars!

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Don’t Miss Kristin Hannah’s Newest Outstanding Release.  The Great Alone, Coming 2/6/18

 

The Great Alone is a superbly written, compelling novel, that takes place in Alaska, during the 1970s.

Cora Albright has always been devoted to her husband Ernt; even after he came home a changed man, from Vietnam. Ernt was no longer the loving, happy husband, he once was. He was moody, angry and abusive. But, Cora loved him, anyway. Even after her daughter, Leni, pleaded with her to leave Ernt, Cora stood by her husband’s side. I wanted to shake some sense into Cora. I loved so many of the colorful characters in this book; Leni, Matthew Walker, Tom Walker and Large Marge, were my favorites. Although I knew that Ernt Albright was suffering from PTSD, I still couldn’t bring myself to warm up to him. I detested the physical and emotional abuse that he flung at his family without a second thought.

While reading The Great Alone, I felt as if I was part of the story, braving the harsh Alaskan weather, and grieving unbearable losses. Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t put it down. The Great Alone is a poignant story about domestic abuse, toxic love and everything in-between. To say that I became involved in the story is an understatement. By the time I finished reading this book, my heart had been torn into a million pieces and then stitched back together again. I was emotionally exhausted but smiling. The Great Alone is an unforgettable story and one that will stay with me for a very long time. I loved every page of his outstanding, unputdownable book. Highly recommended.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy!

~5 out of 5 shining stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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Bio (from Author’s Page on Amazon)

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including Winter Garden, Night Road, and the blockbuster Firefly Lane which sold over 1.2 million copies.

Her novels Home Front and Night Road were among the first novels to appear in the #1 spot on 5 New York Times bestseller lists simultaneously. Home Front has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct.

Kristin’s highly anticipated new release, The Nightingale, will be published on February 3, 2015 (St. Martin’s Press). The novel –an epic love story and family drama set in France at the dawn of World War II–is a profound and compelling portrait of two estranged sisters, living in a city under siege and a country at war, where sometimes surviving means doing the unthinkable.

http://www.kristinhannah.com

 

 

Written In Blood by Layton Green–5 Stars–Book Review

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Layton Green’s Newest Crime Thriller is Brilliant!

 

Written In Blood— Release Date 11/7/17.
Don’t Miss It. I Loved it!

 

Synopsis

Detective Joe “Preach” Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children.

No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina–a bohemian community near Chapel Hill–than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer’s community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed–and that one or both of them may be his next target.

 

My Review

 

Written in Blood is a meticulously crafted perfectly paced crime thriller. The author’s ability to create lifelike characters and authentic crime scenes brought this story alive for me. Once I started reading this book, I was hooked, engrossed and addicted. Written In Blood is brilliant!

Murders were adding up in Creekville, North Carolina. The killer was recreating brutal murder scenes, from books, written by Dostoevsky, Poe and Agatha Christie. But why? Creekville was just a small town where nothing ever happened; at least it was.

Joe Everson aka Preach was once a top-notch detective, but a mental breakdown in Atlanta changed all of that. Preach returned home to Creekville and was hoping to slowly ease his way back into his law enforcement career. Detective Joe Everson, however, would not get his wish. Shortly after the detective returned to his hometown, Creekville had its first murder in a decade. And, since Preach was the only detective with homicide experience, ready or not, he would have to head the investigation. This was no ordinary killer they were looking for. The only connection Preach could find, along with his friend, Ari Hale, a bibliophile, was that each murder scene was precisely recreated from a horror book.

Preach was grateful for Ari Hale’s literary expertise and although he knew that the timing was wrong for a relationship, he could feel a mutual attraction between them, growing. Their relationship, however, no matter how secret they tried to keep it, was noticed, namely by the thugs gunning for Preach. And, the closer Preach and his partner Kirby came to nailing the mastermind, behind the killings, the more dangerous, life became for them, as well as for everyone Preach and Kirby loved and cared for.

Written In Blood is a multi-layered, superbly crafted, compelling thriller. It’s a riveting twisty tale of intrigue, greed, revenge, and self-discovery; with a dash of romance, mixed in. Layton Green is a talented writer. If you haven’t discovered this author’s work yet, I would highly recommend, Written In Blood. The book is extraordinary.

Many thanks to Layton Green, Prometheus Books, and Edelweiss, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

~5 out of 5 shining stars~ Review by Peg Glover

 

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Biography

Layton is a bestselling author who writes across multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and fantasy. He is the author of the popular Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have been optioned for film, nominated for multiple awards (including a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award), and have reached #1 on numerous genre lists in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Layton is also the co-editor of International Thrills, the online magazine of ITW (International Thriller Writers).

In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade. He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door to door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there.

Layton lives with his family in North Carolina. You can also visit him on Facebook, Goodreads, or on his website (www.laytongreen.com).
JOIN LAYTON’S VIP READER’S GROUP (http://laytongreen.com/contact) FOR UPDATES ON NEW RELEASES, SPECIAL PROMOTIONS, AND MORE.

 

http://www.laytongreen.com

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