Safe With Me by Amy Hatvany (Audiobook)

April 15th, 2014

safeAmy Hatvany once again amazes me with her beautiful writing and her newest novel Safe With Me. It is such an emotional and heart wrenching book and I’ll admit to shedding more than one tear while listening to it. Which brings me to saying that I listened to the audio version and all I can say is wow! It is narrated by the amazing and one of my favorites Cassandra Campbell as well as Joy Osmanski who I also enjoy and Rebekah Ross who I haven’t listened to before but would again. These three women bring such raw emotion to this story that the reader can’t help but be drawn into it.

The novel is told through Hannah, Olivia, and Maddie. Hannah, a single mother, is devastated when her young daughter is hit by a car and killed. At the hospital she is faced with the hardest decision of her life when asked to donate her daughter’s organs. Ultimately she says yes as she feels that this is what her daughter would have wanted.

On the other end of the spectrum is Olivia whose daughter desperately needs a liver transplant. She is overjoyed when a liver becomes available and yet sad that another mother had to lose their child for hers to have life. On a chance meeting Hannah meets Maddie and her mom Olivia and without revealing who she is finds herself drawn into their lives. Olivia though has problems that her seemingly perfect life now that her daughter is well doesn’t reveal. Her husband is abusive and she feels it only fair to hang on in the marriage until Maddie leaves for college. At what cost though?

This novel was such an emotional read for me because I connected so deeply with Olivia and Cassandra Campbell added so much depth to Olivia’s character with the way she portrayed her. Safe With Me would be a fantastic book club pick with its wide array of discussion topics. You have organ donation, loss of a child, abusive marriages, and so much more. This story really makes you question what you would do if in the same situation and the lines aren’t always as clearly cut as one might think.

While there is sadness in this novel there is also happiness, hope, and new life. Amy Hatvany has become a favorite author of mine and Safe With Me comes very highly recommended – especially the audio version!

 

Buy at Simon & Schuster, Audible, and iTunes

 

Source:  Review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

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Her Loving Husband’s Curse by Meredith Allard & Giveaway (US/Canada/Int’l)

April 11th, 2014

Her Loving Husbands CurseHer Loving Husband’s Curse by Meredith Allard is the second in the The Loving Husband Trilogy. I really enjoyed the first in the series Her Dear and Loving Husband so I was anxious to read this one as well to see what would happen next. Once again I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Laura Jennings. I really enjoy listening to her. She has a soft tone to her voice and is very good at using different inflections for different characters. She really makes the story come alive and that really added to my enjoyment of the book.

I really want to be very general about this book because saying too much can give away parts of the story that you get from the first book and then the second and that would just ruin it for anyone wanting to experience it for themselves. In this installment we find James and Sarah happily married but Sarah is now haunted by memories of a child she once carried in a past life and this leaves her wanting a child for her and James. Being a vampire James can’t father a child so they turn to adoption and find the perfect baby in Grace.

All seems to be coming together for them until Kenneth Hempel, the reporter, starts again with his vicious rumors of vampires living and working among the innocent citizens of Salem. It isn’t long before things are out of control and James and Sarah must decide what to do to keep Grace and themselves safe.

This sequel expertly weaves actual events in history such as the Salem Witch Trials and the Trail of Tears into Sarah and Jame’s stories. I found this part of the story very interesting as I hadn’t even known of the Trail of Tears before. I love how Meredith takes the reader back in time and enlightens us to a time in history while giving us a modern and page-turning story. That’s one of the reasons I love this series so much.

Meredith truly has a talent with words and I would be remiss in not saying how beautifully written this book is. This is not just another vampire novel! This book is so much more with the emotional elements of Sarah and Jame’s lives together and now with baby Grace all woven together with their past lives. I do suggest starting with the first book Her Dear and Loving Husband otherwise you may find yourself a bit lost plus it would be a shame to lose out on any part of this great series. Highly recommended!

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Meredith’s Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, Book Depository, and B&N

 

GIVEAWAY (US/Canada/Int’l)

I have one copy of Her Loving Husband’s Curse by Meredith Allard to share with my readers.  There is a print copy available to US and Canadian residents and an eBook copy available internationally.  To enter…

  • Leave a comment for 1 entry into the giveaway.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.

Print open to US/Canada
eBook open Internationally
Draw Date April 26/14

premier

Source:  Audiobook from my personal library.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume (Audiobook)

April 5th, 2014

margaretHow many of you remember the book Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume?  I probably read this book three or more times as a pre-teen girl and to this day the story had stuck in my mind.  As I was browsing the library for children’s titles for this week I came across it and I couldn’t resist listening to the audio.  It is still just as good today as it was then and I am very much out of the age range for this one.  LOL.  Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret is still relevant for a young girl growing up and struggling with puberty and just where she fits in the world.  I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Laura Hamilton and she does a wonderful job and the way she portrayed Margaret brought her alive in this book!

Twelve-year-old Margaret has just moved to a new neighborhood in Farbrook, New Jersey and she’s not too happy about it.  She’s had to leave her friends behind and most importantly her grandmother.  Margaret is sure that is why they moved as her parents didn’t approve of how Margaret’s grandmother spoiled her with private schools and many more things.  Now Margaret will be attending a regular public  school and she’s worried.  Will she fit in?  Will she be able to make friends?  Lucky for her Nancy, who lives nearby comes over and befriends her.  They are the same age and in the same class at school.  Soon enough Margaret finds herself in a private girl’s group with Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie.

The girls decide the first order of business is to get them all in bras which leaves Margaret mortified as she’s going to have to ask her mother to take her shopping for one.  Margaret is pretty gutsy though and goes home and just blurts it out and ends up in a training bra soon enough.  The biggest thing though is they are all so anxious to get their periods.  Margaret especially felt this would be the gateway to making her more grown up.  I found it so funny because it isn’t long before us women are wishing we didn’t have them anymore. Another one that cracked me up was the ‘We must, we must, increase our bust’.  LOL.  I do remember doing that when I was a teen.  Then there was the more serious side of things with Margaret’s confusion over religion.  Her parents aren’t any religion, her grandmother is Jewish, and Margaret is caught in the middle.  Her parents told her when she was old enough she could choose what she wanted and there again the book highlights how hard it can be growing up and having to figure things out for yourself.

Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret was a trip down memory lane for me but for a pre-teen girl I think it would be a valuable resource.  Margaret is a normal, everyday teen girl making her very easy for a teen to connect with.  She realistically tells of her feelings, concerns, and fears and they are many that all girls go through.  I can still remember when I read it and it made me feel as though I was normal.  All the feelings I had were just the same as other girls had and that had made me feel better.  An excellent choice for a pre-teen girl!

 

Are You There God?  It’s Me, Margaret is available in paperback, Kindle, or Audiobook from Amazon

 

kid-konnection-newKid Konnection is hosted by Booking Mama and it posts each Saturday so I’ll be linking up my children’s books there. If you have a post relating to a children’s book, middle grade or young adult from the last week head on over and you can participate too!

 

 

 

Source: Copy from Library

The Villa Dog by Ruth Zavitsanos (Audiobook)

March 29th, 2014

villaThe Villa Dog by Ruth Zavitsanos is a children’s book that was simply delightful! Of course I’m such a dog lover as most of you know so having a dog as a main character just made me smile. I was lucky to listen to the audiobook which is narrated by Greg Salinas. It’s very short at just under an hour but I enjoyed the story so much that I listened to it twice! The Villa Dog is a heartwarming and feel good story that is perfect to share with your kids or even on your own!

From the very beginning of The Villa Dog I felt transported to the olive groves of Tuscany and into the life of a very special dog. Sole is the villa dog and he loves to meet and greet the families that come to vacation there. He always makes sure it’s a family that loves dogs and then he spends his time with them making sure the kids are safe and of course getting treats and hugs. It is a dog’s life after all. Even more than that though is that Sole likes to make people happy. When Issy arrives he senses right off that she is sad and he makes it his mission to find out why and to make her happy instead.

This short little book really highlights the loving and healing nature of dogs. Just petting a dog can make a person feel better and Sole personifies that. Stay tuned because Ruth has two more books about dogs and I’m going to review them over the next few weekends. The Villa Dog made me smile and while I enjoyed it immensely I can’t help but think how much more fun I would have had sharing it with a little one!

 

The Villa Dog is available in paperback, Kindle, or Audiobook from Amazon

 

kid-konnection-new

I discovered this wonderful feature over at Kathy’s website but it’s actually hosted over at Booking Mama.  It’s called Kid Konnection and it posts each Saturday so I’ll be linking up my children’s books there.  If you have a post relating to a children’s book, middle grade or young adult from the last week head on over and you can participate too!

 

 

 

Source:  Review copy provided by the author.  No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

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