Don’t Try to Find Me by Holly Brown (Audiobook)

July 21st, 2014

Don't Try to Find MeDon’t Try to Find Me by Holly Brown highlights a parents worst nightmare; that of a missing child.  When Rachel drops her fourteen-year-old daughter Marley off at school one morning she certainly doesn’t expect to come home to find Marley gone and a note from her saying don’t try to find me.  Yet Marley is indeed gone and it is quickly determined that she got on a bus and left … but to where?  Rachel can’t believe that Marley would run away.  She’s just not that kind of girl but as Rachel starts digging into Marley’s life a little more she soon realizes her daughter may have been having a lot of things going on that may have made her unhappy enough to leave.  It also becomes apparent that the police aren’t going to be a lot of help so instead Rachel and her husband launch a media campaign in an effort to find her.  Unfortunately this goes awry and suspicion soon falls on Rachel.

As for Marley her story is only too real.  She meets a guy online on Facebook.  He says he’s friends with one of her friends and they start talking.  Soon enough Marley is sharing everything with him and they begin plotting her escape from her parents and her life.  When this guy picks her up though she begins to notice a few things about him that aren’t as he had portrayed and she starts getting more and more suspicious of him.  When things begin to get even crazier Marley realizes that she may have made one of the biggest mistakes of her life… but is it too late?  This story is one we hear of a lot nowadays.  So many kids are lured away on the internet and it’s downright scary.  Add to that a family life that isn’t as it should be and you have a recipe for disaster.  Marley’s parents were so involved in themselves that they weren’t taking the time to notice what may have been going on in their daughter’s life.  Take one insecure girl and a creep and that’s another recipe for disaster.

I enjoyed this book.  I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Hillary Huber, Angela Goethals, and James Fouhey and I really think they added to my enjoyment of the book in bringing fear, defeat, anxiety, tension – so many emotions to each and every scene in the book.  My only complaint of the story is that, to me, Marley did not seem to act as I think a fourteen-year-old would.  She seemed much too mature for her age and that at times had me disbelieving some parts of the story.  Overall though I really liked it and I was hooked on the audiobook for sure.

Recommended for those who enjoy stories of family and marital dysfunction as well as books that deal with the dangers of the internet and teens.

 

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher. Audiobook from my personal library. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

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Bitter Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland & Giveaway (eBook – open Int’l)

July 18th, 2014

Happy Friday everyone!  Today’s spotlight is on Bitter Chocolate by Dawn Greenfield Ireland and I must apologize once again  to the author for not having a review ready for today.  We are getting smoke in our city from the forest fires and our air quality is really bad which is making me really sick and being that I’m having a hard time breathing I’m also having a hard time concentrating.  I have however read the first book in the Alcott Family Adventures and enjoyed it a great deal.  I’m looking forward to getting back to Bitter Chocolate and reviewing both for you all!  In the meantime I want to let you all know about the book and the author and be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy of both of  the eBooks at the end of the post.

 

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Publisher: Artistic Origins Inc (June, 2014)
Category: Cozy Mystery
Series: Hot Chocolate Series- Book 2
Tour Date: June 30-July 30, 2014
Available in: ebook, 400 Pages, With Recipes

 

About the Book

The characters you loved in Hot Chocolate are back with more escapades of life in Houston’s wealthy River Oaks.

Lila Mae is in a tizzy over the Chocolate Ball – a huge event that she and her sisters, Dorothea and Madge, host every year. But due to unusual circumstances, Dorothea and Madge dump everything in Lila Mae’s lap. If it weren’t for Julian Gillespie of Event Is King, the Chocolate Ball would have melted.

Bernie, the Alcott sisters’ 92-year-old father, decides he wants his Bentley back. The sisters and Bambi are horrified. They hire Joseph’s cousin Chewie as Bernie’s new chauffeur.

Wolfram, Lila Mae’s new astrologer, gives clues of things to come. This leaves Lila Mae and her sidekick Amelia with brows furrowed.

On her day off, Amelia decides to bake a chocolate blueberry pie. She discovers she needs to make a grocery run. When she returns home, she discovers her kitchen door is slightly ajar. Arms loaded with groceries, she toes the door open.

Three things catch her attention: a vase of flowers on the kitchen island that was not there when she left the house, her marble rolling pin covered with blood… and a dead body on her kitchen floor.

Amelia’s eyes drift toward the dining room and beyond – is the house empty, or is there a murderer inside? She backs up, turns and hurries outside. After setting the bags on the ground, she slips back into the kitchen and snaps a picture of the dead guy. Then she calls Detective Chance Walker, Lila Mae and finally… 9-1-1.

 

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About the Author

Dawn-Full-sizeDawn Ireland is the CEO of Artistic Origins Inc, a 100% woman-owned publishing and technical writing service company that has been doing business since 1995. She’s an award winning independent publisher and author of The Puppy Baby Book , Mastering Your Money, and Amazon Best Seller Hot Chocolate (the first in the series, and her fifth novel). The Hot Chocolate audio book was awarded the AudioFile Earphones Award on Valentine’s Day 2014.

Her family feature film screenplay A Girl and Her Dog was awarded a Kids First! Endorsement by the Coalition for Quality Children’s Media in October 2012 and optioned by Shadow Cave Productions in February 2013.

Originally from Feeding Hills, MA, Dawn migrated to San Antonio in 1968, then when her first son was one years old, her family moved to Houston where work was more plentiful. After 40+ years of heat and humidity, she has her sights on the Pacific NW.

Dawn is the co-author of the animated screenplay Memoirs of a Dog which won the Spirit Award of the Moondance Film Festival (children’s category) September 2011. Her dark comedy Plan B was a finalist in the Table Read My Screenplay script competition in 2010 and years before that, Standing Dead won the Women in Film and Television (Houston Chapter) screenplay award.

Stay tuned for The Last Dog (futuristic/sci-fi 2015), and Spicy Chocolate (2016).

Author Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Google+

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY

Win 1 eBook Copy of Bitter Chocolate & an added bonus (from me) of Hot Chocolate too!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date August 2/14

Good luck!

(comments are very much welcomed but do not count as an entry)

 

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Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner & Giveaway (US/Canada)

July 14th, 2014

02_Go-Away-HomeGo Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner takes us back to the early 1900′s and into the life of Liddie Treadwell, an Iowan farm girl. Liddie wants more from life than the same old hum drum happenings of farm life, teaching, or marriage. She dreams of a career doing what she loves – sewing, and her dreams are almost within her grasp when her older sister suddenly has to leave the farm which means Liddie must stay and help instead.

Luckily Liddie’s family knows how important it is for Liddie to realize her dream and she leaves the farm and secures a job as a seamstress. Liddie revels in her freedom and is amazed that she is getting paid money to do what she loves. She later meets Thomas who awakens in her a love of photography and she considers making a life with him despite not loving him in order to realize even more of dreams. Taking a trip home though takes her back in time and has her longing for the simple life of the farm and a man named Joe. Liddie has a decision – go with Thomas and live the life of adventure she craves or stay with Joe, the man who makes her heart pound.

Go Away Home is an excellent portrayal of life back in the early 1900′s. It made me think of my grandmother as she was just beginning a marriage and life on the farm at the same time as Liddie. Liddie was a wonderful character. At a time in history when women were made to accept being only housewives or teachers she dared to be different and want more for herself. She realized the high level of inequality between men and women and wanted that to change. At the same time she had a deep love for family, friendship, and the farm that she grew up on.

Go Away Home will tug at your heart and leave you feeling enriched for having read it. For fans of historical fiction who enjoy stories of early farm life and the love of family Go Away Home is a beautiful story that definitely fits the bill! Recommended!

 

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

Win 1 copy of Go Away Home

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date July 30/14

Good Luck!

(Comments are still very much welcome but don’t count as an entry)

 

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

Lemongrass Hope by Amy Impellizzeri & Giveaway (US/Canada)

July 11th, 2014

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Lemongrass Hope is the debut novel of Amy Impellizzeri and it is one of those novels that captures you in its pages from the very first word that you read to the very last. I adored this book that tells of a love story with elements of time travel and a little mysticism, of connecting with a love, losing a love, and being destined to love. Lemongrass Hope is about shaping your destiny, hope, love, and second chances although not in the way a reader will expect (and on this I will not give away a single hint!).

When Kate accepts a invite to go to her friend Benton’s party and be set up with a man, Rob, from her office she has no idea how much her life will change. While waiting for them she meets another of Benton’s friends; a man named Ian who she feels a powerful pull towards. While Rob doesn’t call right away Ian does. They begin a intense romance fueled even more by the imminent departure of Ian for Africa. Ian would like Kate to come with him and Kate would like Ian to stay … yet neither happens. Ian leaves and eventually Kate marries Rob but she never forgets her connection to Ian, the man who owns her heart.

Years later Kate and Rob have two young boys and a marriage that is on the fast track to nowhere. What Kate needs is some time away so she takes a cruise with Benton and is more than surprised to find Ian there as well. This is the man who knows her more intimately than any other and she can feel them picking up right where they left off. What this trip gives her is the chance to change her destiny … with Ian. So what will she do? Live her dream life with Ian? Or go back to Rob and her beautiful boys?

I can’t say more without spoiling the book for future readers but I will say that the turn this book takes asks you to suspend belief which you are quite willing to do. It’s a unique story and I didn’t expect the turn that the book took but fully appreciated it. Amy has a beautiful and smoothly flowing writing style that leaves the reader feeling the emotions of her characters. The characters worked their way into my heart and the story itself did so as well.

Book clubs – Lemongrass Hope is going to be a book you want to put on your radar for October! It is chock full of discussion topics of which my favorite would be second chances. Don’t we all wish we could go back to one specific time in our lives and take a different turn than we did? How different would our lives be if we had taken that other fork in the road? Would it be better or worse? Add to that the topics of marriage, children, and motherhood and you have a book club pick your members are sure to love.

I loved Lemongrass Hope and it’ll be in my top ten of favorites this year. It’s unique and beautiful and a story that I won’t soon forget. Highly recommended!

 

Add to your Goodreads List
Amy’s website, Facebook, Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

Win a signed ARC PLUS a fun artisan designer item!

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date July 26/14

Good luck!

 

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