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review 2018-03-23 21:15
In Every Moment We Are Still Alive -- from tragedy comes poetry
In Every Moment We Are Still Alive - Tom Malmquist,Henning Koch

The first page opens in an ER trauma room where Tom's pregnant partner Karin's clothes are being cut off and her vital stats are being called out. Anyone who's ever been in one of those rooms will instantly feel the claustrophobia, confusion and terror.

The crisis never ends. It gathers new crises to attach to itself, and in the midst of it all is a young man desperately trying to keep himself together and put one foot in front of the other. Karin had a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. Beneath a breathing mask, she tells Tom she wants to call the baby Livia, and her health (which was great days earlier) deteriorates rapidly. Very soon they induce a coma, transfer hospitals in order to get cutting-edge care, deliver her baby and perform multiple interventions to no avail. Soon she is gone and Tom is left alone with Livia. Tom, who has been living a rather charmed life becomes a widower and the single father of a premature infant in the span of days.

Tom Malmquist went through this exact same thing, and as such, it's very hard to read this as fiction and impossible to be dispassionate about the book. It's a fictionalized autobiography. I have no idea which parts are which beyond the broad strokes. There is nothing maudlin, some absurdity (ie, the baby has to bring a legal suit against Tom to become his daughter because Tom and Karin weren't married. They lived together for a decade. He'd had a DNA test, but the baby is not automatically his, despite the fact that he is the one caring for her. I would say "only in America" but apparently not.) We go from the main story to flashbacks of when Karin was alive. It feels real - that at these moments, Tom the character is remembering Karin, so the flashbacks of her work well. There are others of his father, who is also dying when the book opens, and the main timeline is straightforward but there are many branches on this tree, all culminating in the sketch of a life from childhood to present. 

The final chapter is gorgeous and brims with love. It's set apart from the acute stages of the rest of the book and moves quickly through Livia's early years to her first days of staying alone at school. Tom has learned how to parent and while he says he feels like a bad parent, it's clear he is not. It's a compelling and tear-inducing final chapter full of poetry and hope.

Malmquist is a poet for real. Prose is a newer endeavor., and this story had to be prose. The book is in translation, and the translation feels very clunky at times. I can feel the poetry trying to break free, but it fails to do so, especially in dialogue. The writing doesn't always employ typical dialogue signifiers like breaks or quotation marks. This works extremely well when Tom is stressed and too much information is coming at him. But in the midst of something that could've worked well comes what may be an overly-literal translation. So everything is conveyed, but not always in the best of ways. When dialogue isn't being overly literal, the translation doesn't get in the way, but this is yet another book I would love to read in its original language. 

No matter the translation, this is a universal story that works despite moments of clunky dialogue. Well worth keeping an eye out for anything else to come from Tom Malmquist.

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review 2018-03-23 00:00
Lucky in Love (Silver Bay, #3)
Lucky in Love (Silver Bay, #3) - Amelia Judd They came together for all the wrong reasons, so how come it felt so right? Claire is the girl that always has a plan. So why is her world falling apart? Amelia Judd always gets it right. Lucky in Love is a charming tale of heartbreak and second chances. Claire and Ethan are a reminder that it's okay to laugh, even at the worst times. A lesson we all can learn from.
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text 2018-03-22 17:17
Fan Cast: Her Christmas Guardian by Shirlee McCoy


Boone: Domhnall Gleeson
Scout: Rachael Taylor

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review 2018-03-22 17:11
Her Christmas Guardian by Shirlee McCoy
Her Christmas Guardian (Mission: Rescue Book 2) - Shirlee McCoy


Former army ranger Boone Anderson immediately senses danger when he spots Scout Cramer and her precious little girl while holiday shopping. Then two cars suddenly give chase in the parking lot—kidnapping the child. His worst suspicions are confirmed, and professional instincts propel him into action. Having lost his own infant daughter years before, Boone is determined to reunite the beautiful single mother and her missing child. But when a secret from Scout’s past finally catches up to her, she must work with her self-appointed guardian to save her daughter. Before the kidnappers cancel Christmas for all of them…permanently.

Mission: Rescue—No job is too dangerous for these fearless heroes (from Goodreads)

Series: #2 in the Mission: Rescue series

Rating: 3 stars

First things first, BOONE IS PERFECTION. Okay, no, but seriously, I adore Boone. He is my favourite Love Inspired Suspense guy thus far. He’s sarcastic and loves food and God. What else do you need in a guy?

This was good for Love Inspired Suspense, I’ve read much worse. But to be honest, when the book is centered around a single mother whose child has been kidnapped, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that while in a blind panic trying to find her child, she has the mental capacity to fall in love? I don’t know, it’s never really sat well with me. Plus, in the same notion, the stakes are different so while it’s terrible (no child should have to go through that) it doesn’t live up to the suspense part of the name, because from what the readers are getting, nothing really suspenseful is happening. All that is happening to the child, but because we’re from the point of the parent(s), we don’t get that. We just get blind panic.

The fact that Scout (I love this name by the way) had a bad head injury and insisted on never following Boone’s orders, putting herself in danger countless times, kind of irked me. I get it, her daughter has been kidnapped and that’s terrible, no parent or child should have to go through that and the fact that they do sickens me, but she should’ve rested in the hospital and let HEART and the FBI do their jobs, because putting herself on death’s doorstep is not going to help Lucy.

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review 2018-03-21 23:05
4.7 Out of 5 "Whirling Ball" Stars
Forever Right Now - Emma Scott




Forever Right Now

Emma Scott



Darlene Montgomery has been to hell and back…more than once. After a stint in jail for drug possession, she is finally clean and ready to start over. Yet another failed relationship is just the motivation she needs to move from New York to San Francisco with the hopes of resurrecting her dance career and discovering that she is more than the sum of her rap sheet. As Darlene struggles in her new city, the last thing she wants is to become entangled with her handsome—but cranky—neighbor and his adorable little girl... 


Sawyer Haas is weeks away from finishing law school, but exhaustion, dwindling finances, and the pressure to provide for himself and his daughter, Olivia, are wearing him down. A federal clerkship--a job he desperately needs--awaits him after graduation, but only if he passes the Bar Exam. Sawyer doesn’t have the time or patience for the capricious—if beautiful—dancer who moves into the apartment above his. But Darlene’s easy laugh and cheerful spirit seep into the cracks of his hardened heart, and slowly break down the walls he’s resurrected to keep from being betrayed ever again. 


When the parents of Olivia’s absentee mother come to fight for custody, Sawyer could lose everything. To have any chance at happiness, he must trust Darlene, the woman who has somehow found her way past his brittle barbs, and Darlene must decide how much of her own bruised heart she is willing to give to Sawyer and Olivia, especially when the ghosts of her troubled past refuse to stay buried.






My second Emma Scott book and I think I've found a New Adult Author that I love.  Her stories are genuine and heartfelt, with no over-the-top drama.  Her characters are the same.  I can't help but advocate for them.  The feels that she invokes for me are indelible, and the best part about her books, no gratuitous sex scenes.


"You get back what you put in.  Negative shit gets you negative shit.  Positive energy begets positive energy.  Whatever you put out there in the universe...it listens.  And then it answers.  So when I talk, I try to give it something it wants to hear and hope it answers with something I want to hear."











Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 4.5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.


Book Cover~  It's okay…it goes with the story well.

Series~ A stand-alone but Darlene's Character is a secondary character in The Butterfly Project.

Setting~ San Francisco, California

Source~ Own on Kindle eBook.



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