Blog

Review: Waiting for Fitz

Addies loves nothing more than curling up on the couch with her dog, Duck, and watching The Great British Baking Show with her mom. It’s one of the few things that can help her relax when her OCD kicks into overdrive. She counts everything. All the time. She can’t stop. Rituals and rhythms. It’s exhausting.

When Fitz was diagnosed with schizophrenia, he named the voices in his head after famous country singers. The adolescent psychiatric ward at Seattle Regional Hospital isn’t exactly the ideal place to meet your soul mate, but when Addie meets Fitz, they immediately connect over their shared love of words, appreciate each other’s quick wit, and wish they could both make more sense of their lives.

Fitz is haunted by the voices in his head and often doesn’t know what is real. But he feels if he can convince Addie to help him escape the psych ward and get to San Juan Island, everything will be okay. If not, he risks falling into a downward spiral that may keep him in the hospital indefinitely.

Waiting for Fitz is a story about life and love, forgiveness and courage, and learning what is truly worth waiting for.


My Review:

With the recent posts on social media about mental health, and especially what OCD is and what it isn’t, I thought I would revisit this book. I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley.

This book took me awhile to get into.  I almost gave up. I’m glad I didn’t. This book is worth the read, especially after I learned more about what OCD is. OCD isn’t the simple disorder people joke about.  (You like to keep your pens grouped by color? Paperclips organized by size and color? That’s not clinically OCD if it’s because you like things organized to a fault. But if you organize it every day in your office as a ritual before you work because if you don’t calamity will befall you or the office, that is OCD. )

Addie has OCD. Part of why this book was hard for me to get in to was you really get into Addie’s head. It’s very internalized.  Dealing with mental illness in your family is difficult enough. You often feel like you are walking on eggshells, not wanting to trigger them. Seeing it from the patients side was also hard for me.  It gave me new understanding and renewed empathy.

Now, other aspects might be hard to believe.  But this is a work of fiction, and is also a coming of age story about Addie.  If you can suspend your disbelief about children being able to escape the hospital,  it’s worth it.

 

Advertisements

Monsters and Mythical Creatures from around the World

monsters and mythical creatures

Description

Monsters and Mythical Creatures from Around the World will be available November 28, 2019.

 

I received an ARC via Netgalley.

Free Book: Alfheim Seoul

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Alecia doesn’t know anything about goblins or magic. She’s never even heard of Alfheim. She’s just trying to get through high school and get her driver’s license.

And then she meets a faerie creature who needs her help. One impulsive bargain later and she has magic powers, her grandfather kidnapped, and the FBI is involved. But she knows she did the right thing. Can she pull it all together before things entirely spiral out of control?

Alfheim Seoul is a fast-paced, fantasy adventure.

Clean. Suitable for all ages.


 

Roxbury Books Says:

I had to grab this. (It’s price is hard to beat, FREE, until Sunday 6-15–19.)  I’m way behind on book reading myself, but two things caught my eye in one of my writers groups today.  The words goblin and Seoul.

Two things I like.

If you grab this title, feel free to comment back. I’d love to know what you think.

Welcome Spring with Books

I’ve asked the authors at Clean Indie Reads for books that take place in spring.   Let’s hop right to it and the books are:

Librarian Chloe McAlister finds solace in her books—and hats—but doesn’t know where to turn when her longtime crush gets engaged. On a whim, she signs up for a speed-dating mixer and convinces her best friend, Dill Thomas, to attend. All goes as planned until she realizes Dill means more to her than she thought … and he goes and falls for someone else.

This 10,000-word short story is perfect for your lunch break, workout, or while you wait in line at the mall. Read it today to experience a hint of spring any time of the year!


 

This book will have special  Kindle Coundown pricing April 2 – 8th

It sounds too good to be true…

The invitation from “Perfect Match” offers Ava Godfrey an all-expense-paid week on Enchanted Island with the man of her dreams. Seven days of Caribbean sunshine, tropical beaches and candlelight dinners sounds like heaven. The only catch—she can’t meet her Prince Charming until she arrives on the island. The scenario sounds risky, yet she finds the prospect intriguing. Will she find her “perfect match” or will she encounter the perfect scam?

They send him to deal with the diva…

Jeffrey Thomas has a job to do—cancel Ava Godfrey’s contract. She’s cost his boss a small fortune by turning down not one, but two matches sent by the agency. He’s determined to cut her loose until he meets the spunky, fun-loving redhead and is irrevocably attracted to her. Though he’s temped to stay and find out if she’s his perfect match, his priority is to persuade her to go home. But when Ava’s bag is stolen along with her identity, Jeff’s only concern is helping her recover what she lost. Will he lose his heart to her in the process?


 

There’s a new King in town! That’s the good news. The bad news is that William Bradshaw has problems. He’s new on the job but he’s already made enemies with a fire-breathing dragon. His friends aren’t much better: goblins whose favorite pastime is messing things up, trolls with anger management issues, an over-achieving fire scepter, and an uncooperative magic mirror.

Aside from that, all he has to worry about is a war. And that’s the trouble. Throughout recorded history the goblins have never won a battle, let alone a war. But things are going to be different this time. William Bradshaw is determined to win, using every means at his disposal, including stealth, subterfuge and exploding outhouses.


Most people fear the Spanish Inquisition. He’ll make the Inquisition fear him.

Hiding behind a veneer of Catholicism, the Mendez family secretly practices their Jewish faith. It’s a dangerous way of life in 17th century Spain. Their worst fears are realized when, one late spring night, armed soldiers arrest Simon Mendez’s father for “Judaizing” – teaching Jewish traditions to others.

Incensed by the arrest, Simon is determined to rescue his father before he’s burned at the stake.

It won’t be easy. The Mendezes’ neighbors turn against them, and Simon and his family must flee their home to escape arrest. But they can’t hide forever, and in order to save his father, Simon must risk everything.

He will need to strike back hard against the overwhelming power of the Inquisition. With his father’s life on the line, there is no other choice.

The Inquisition had better start praying


There’s someone kidnapping the street kids in Twynne Rivers! DeFrantis is a young human girl living on the streets, trying to eke out a living in the sprawling city, and she has problems. First, after a botched attempt to steal a chicken, she’s on the run. Second, for some reason, someone other than the City Guard is trying to hunt her down. Finally, the poor kids she was trying to feed got sold off to slavers. She has to save them, but first, she has to find them! Along the way, she gets help from strangers: Antonerri, a soldier turned heretic – Thissraelle, an elven mage girl; Granthurg, the studious giant; and Karendle, a half-dwarf wizard wannabe ….But who is the Dragon’s Flame? “…Each of these characters emerges from wildly differing circumstances, and have unique perspectives and goals, which don’t always neatly align with those of their companions, and in some cases can leave them wondering if they’re even fighting on the right side. It’s that searching and self-doubt — all while being swept up by larger events — that makes these players in this little drama so fascinating.” – Doug Bedwell, Author of “A Counterfeit Princess” and “Robot Captain” This story is based on the setting and system of the table-top role-playing game, “A Tale of Heroes” By Mark Hansen, Brendon Hansen, and Jacob Hansen. It’s a family-friendly, story-driven system designed to help families enjoy time together.Roll Dice – Build Character.


 

This post has been brought to you by the letter S

And the following sponsoring books:

erica books1
click here to learn more

 

Feel free to return to let me know which titles you liked. Comments appreciated. 🙂

 

 

Review: Oh My Oppa! A My Korean Crush novel by Sabine Berlin

 

 

Kate Morrison has plans to rekindle her dying relationship when her boyfriend Derek invites her on a two week business trip to Korea. But when the trip turns out to be just that—business—she discovers that eating kimchi and bulgogi alone isn’t exactly what she’d hoped for.

Even though he can’t take his eyes off his laptop, Derek does try to make sure Kate isn’t completely bored. Unfortunately, hiring an oppa tour guide to show her around isn’t the solution Kate had been hoping for. All she really wants is for Derek to remember how much he still loves her.

Kate decides that spending more time with her “oppa,” Sean, might jog Derek’s memory. The problem is, Sean isn’t just attractive—he’s smart, funny, and he not only listens to her dreams about writing children’s books, he encourages them. With Derek too busy with mergers and acquisitions to find time to be jealous, will Kate be able to win his heart back before her new oppa steals hers away?


 

My Review:

This series has been a lot of fun to read, and this title had its own charm.  I don’t want to be unfair, but this wasn’t my favorite book of the series. I found it a bit hard to really root for the romance, and in a romance book that is big.  Perhaps though, my expectations was what I was missing as a reader. This story isn’t as much a romance as it is a slice of life story. And with that in mind, it is a story worth reading.

Kate and Derek are in a relationship that neither of them appear to be invested in anymore.  As this is Kate’s story, we don’t really get to learn much about Derek except that he’s a workaholic.  His job is his mistress; and Kate isn’t getting what she wants or needs out of the relationship.  When she realizes she might get that with Sean, she’ll have to decide does she stick with Derek for old time’s sake, or risk it all on love.

This novel is on sale for $0.99 for a limited time.

 

 

 

Review: Ojiichan’s Gift by Chieri Uegaki

ojichan's giftWhen Mayumi was born, her grandfather created a garden for her. It was unlike any other garden she knew. It had no flowers or vegetables. Instead, Ojiichan made it out of stones: ?big ones, little ones and ones in-between.? Every summer, Mayumi visits her grandfather in Japan, and they tend the garden together. Raking the gravel is her favorite part. Afterward, the two of them sit on a bench and enjoy the results of their efforts in happy silence. But then one summer, everything changes. Ojiichan has grown too old to care for his home and the garden. He has to move. Will Mayumi find a way to keep the memory of the garden alive for both of them?

This gentle picture book story will warm children’s hearts as it explores a deep intergenerational bond and the passing of knowledge from grandparent to grandchild over time. The lyrical text by Chieri Uegaki and luminous watercolor illustrations by Genevieve Simms beautifully capture the emotional arc of the story, from Mayumi’s contentment through her anger and disappointment to, finally, her acceptance. The story focuses on an important connection to nature, particularly as a place for quiet reflection. It contains character education lessons on caring, responsibility, perseverance and initiative. It’s also a wonderful way to introduce social studies conversations about family, aging and multiculturalism. Mayumi lives in North America with her Japanese mother and Dutch father, and visits her grandfather in Japan. Some Japanese words are included.


My Review:

Heartwarming tale with beautiful illustrations.

One of the things I loved about this storybook was that it showcases family love. Although Grandpa lived far away from Mayumi, he still was a part of her life through the garden he created for her. The ending is poignant.

I received and ARC from the publisher.


Thank you, Ms. Uegaki, for this beautiful story.

This book releases April 2, 2019.  You can pre-order on Amazon.

Review: Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold

ollie oxleyTwelve-year-old Ollie Oxley is moving-again. His mom is starting another new job, this time at the Bingham Theater in Granite City, California. Moving all the time means Ollie has struggled in the making friends department, but he quickly connects with a boy named Teddy. To Ollie’s surprise, though, his first friend in town is a little more . . . unique than those he’s made in the past. Teddy is a ghost.

Befriending someone who lived during the famous California Gold Rush sure does make things interesting for Ollie. But when the school bully, Aubrey, targets Ollie and it looks like the Bingham Theater might close, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Can Teddy and Ollie work together to take down Aubrey, save his mom’s job, and solve a mystery years in the making?


My Review:

I loved this book. For one thing, I could relate to how Ollie must feel about moving. Ollie’s unhappiness is straining his family relationships. Quickly upon moving, Ollie has a run in with the class bully, and a friendly boy name Teddy.

When Ollie’s mom’s new job is threatened with closing, Teddy tells Ollie about his father’s hidden gold. The trouble is, Teddy doesn’t remember where his house is, nor his last name. So Ollie and Teddy go on a hunt for the golden treasure, and end up repairing another treasure–Ollie’s family.

This is a must read book. It’s middle grade, but I do feel that it’s a good book about family.  If you like heartwarming tales of adventure and family, this is for you. All the pieces fit together nicely.

This book releases June 18, 2019.

I received an ARC from the publisher.

Review: The Winter of the Witch

Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all.


My Review:

The Winter of the Witch is the third book in the series, The Bear and the Nightingale. I have enjoyed the series, although there were a few things I could do with out. (For sensitive readers, such as myself, there are several instances of the word b—h,  and in this particular book, mostly in reference to a dog with nursing puppies.)

You can read my reviews for The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower here..

Again, I enjoyed this book. I enjoy the way author Katherine Arden writes, the way she weaves her words. But there were a few things I didn’t care for.

The story picks up where The Girl in the Tower left off.  A growing mob wants Vasya dead, endangering Vasya’s sister Olga and her family. So Vasya faces the peril head on, and goes into Midnight. Meanwhile, Russia  is on the brink of war, the bear is again lose, and Morozko is trapped.

The ending was satisfying.

Sensitive Reader warning: Some language, nudity, and some sensuality.  (the b word, Vasya gets naked a few times, such as  a scene were she is drying her clothes, and there’s a mostly fade to black sex scene in the bathhouse.)

 

I initially received an ARC from the publisher, and went on to buy a copy.


 

New Release: Reality Show Romance (My Korean Crush Series Book 4) by Shannon Kent

‘Til the end of the show do us part

Letty McDonnell—a hug first and ask questions later kind of gal—stumbles into an unexpected scandal with her favorite K-pop star when she spots him at the airport. Is it bad timing or a blessing in disguise? The international publicity leads to a job offer from the reality show Marry My Stalker, where the two pretend to be man and wife as they complete a variety of crazy couple missions.

Wacky challenges, jealous fangirls, and a language barrier can’t slow Letty down. Especially when she has handsome translator, Ben Park, whispering in her ear. He steers her away from cultural faux pas and offers behind-the-scenes encouragement as she maneuvers the unfamiliar public arena. But is he sincerely interested or just doing his job? The affectionate words her fake husband says for the cameras are always repeated by Ben’s caring voice, and Letty begins to wonder if a romance without spotlights or red carpets is the real path to true love.


My Review:

This book was a lot of fun.  This book starts after Flower Boy Tour Guide, where we first met our leading lady, Letty.

We start off at the airport, where a classic K-drama scene unfolds. Letty literally bumps into her favorite star and becomes an overnight gossip sensation. Not to miss out on the free publicity, the Kpop singers  agency launches a web show, Marry My Stalker. Because Letty doesn’t speak Korean, she gets her own charming translator, Ben.

From the array of  reality brides, to the camera crew, the Kpop stars themselves, and to Letty’s developing relationships with her co-stars and translator, this story will keep you turning (digital)  pages.

A delightful modern day fairy tale.

Only  $0.99 today, January 23, 2019.

New Release: Ragnarok Unwound

Prophecies don’t untangle themselves.

Just ask Ikepela Ives, whose estranged mother left her with the power to unravel the binding threads of fate. Stuck with immortal power in a mortal body, Ives has turned her back on the duty she never wanted. But it turns out she can’t run from her fate forever, not now that Ragnarok has been set in motion and the god at the center of that tangled mess has gone missing. With a ragtag group of companions—including a brownie, a Valkyrie, and the goddess of death herself—Ives embarks on her first official mission as Fate Cipher—to save the world from doomsday.

Nothing she can’t handle. Right?