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review 2017-07-11 02:57
Witty and fun
Dear Neighbor - River Laurent,Mayhem Cov... Dear Neighbor - River Laurent,Mayhem Cover Creations,Teresa Banschbach

Witty, fun, and hot! Max and Mimi are great together and their banter kept me in stitches. There was a twist toward the end that I totally saw coming and another that completely caught me by surprise, but twist or no twist, the whole dang story was great. The hilarious dialogue combined with the fan yourself hotness make this one a winner.

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review 2017-06-10 20:09
The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo
The Fire by Night - Teresa Messineo

A powerful and evocative debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II that illuminates the unsung heroism of women who risked their lives in the fight—a riveting saga of friendship, valor, sacrifice, and survival combining the grit and selflessness of Band of Brothers with the emotional resonance of The Nightingale.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school.

Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor. Surrounded by cruelty and death, Kay battles to maintain her sanity and save lives as best she can . . . and live to see her beloved friend Jo once more.

When the conflict at last comes to an end, Jo and Kay discover that to achieve their own peace, they must find their place—and the hope of love—in a world that’s forever changed. With rich, superbly researched detail, Teresa Messineo’s thrilling novel brings to life the pain and uncertainty of war and the sustaining power of love and friendship, and illuminates the lives of the women who risked everything to save others during a horrifying time.


The Fire by Night is a book that really shows the dark side of WW2. The book as two POV, first we have Jo McMahon who is stuck tending six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. She had to do this all alone after bombs destroyed the hospital convoy she would have traveled with and to make it all worse is the unit close to the Germans. Her friend Kay is trapped in a Japanese POW camp in Manila. Both of them have gone through so much and in flashbacks we get to see what happened to them, both during the nurse training as well events before the predicaments they are in now. It's a story about heartache and of losses, but it's also a story about friendship.

I found The Fire by Night to be an engaging and strong book. The characters are well-developed and it's hard not to feel for them and all they have gone through in life and all they have to go through before the war is over. There is a moment in the beginning of the book when Jo realizes that the American soldiers are not as they appear in the movies, they are not always a charming Gary Grant type, they can be quite unpleasant and rude and that felt so good to read. Well, not that they can be assholes, but that not everything is black and white. It doesn't feel like a glamorized WW2 novel with no depth and flat characters. This book feels real and everything the go through feels real.

I'm deeply impressed with this book and I hope that Teresa Messineo writes more books like this.


I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

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review 2017-05-05 00:00
The Fire By Night
The Fire by Night - Teresa Messineo

I really enjoyed this novel. The excitement of two best friends experiencing the war from two different locations, made this novel one that I couldn’t put down and one that also frustrated me. Jo and Kay had been best friends back home and now the two friends found themselves far away from one another, taking the oath as nurses, in a war which sometimes did not make any sense. It was the Nurse’s Creed and these two women with the other nurses around them, lived by this oath, as they guarded their patients like soldiers and never left their side, even as bullets were raining down around them.


Told in diary format, the year is 1942 and Kay lives her life in a tunnel near Pearl Harbor. With other individuals sent over to care for the sick and dying, Kay cares for her patients inside this tunnel. They live like hermits; their patients are brought to them inside this tunnel and everyone lives in fear. To step outside this tunnel, would be to risk taking your own life as the Japanese patrol this area. Kay and her fellow nurses and doctors are allowed a few minutes outside the tunnel for fresh air but the view outside the tunnel is revolting. Casualties of the Japanese soldiers lay scattered about while small rodents rummage among them. After some time, Kay and her team must move out of the tunnel for they are being relocated. This move is hard for Kay, for she is leaving much more behind than just security and the tears are falling from my face as she leaves. War is hard and for Kay, this is only the beginning.


Jo, is as close to the front lines as a field hospital can get. I can feel the urgency and the desperation each time I read Jo’s entries. I feel as if I must be quiet as I read about Jo’s life, otherwise someone might hear me and they might start bombing Jo and her team. I seriously couldn’t get enough of Jo; this woman is amazing. She shows us that she is human, I can feel how scared she is yet this woman is devoted to the Nurse’s Creed 100% and while the war is hitting her unit hard, she’s standing. Jo somehow during all of this, she is finding the words to her childhood song to calm things down. I loved how these two best friends are still in each other thoughts as they are each experiencing their own little hell. This novel was great, I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it. It got my blood pumping and I was sad to see it end.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-04-24 10:55
The Grave Tracker Review
The Grave Tracker - Teresa Brown The Grave Tracker - Teresa Brown



I received this book last year. I decided not to publish this review at the time (November) because of feedback from the author. However, now that enough time has passed, I believe I can publish this review as the criticism was that I reveal too much of the story here. So, if you don't believe in spoilers. Do not read the review. It contains spoilers. I think that's enough fair warning for readers. Please continue if you're okay with spoilers. Thanks!




What would you do if your son escaped a high-security mental facility and you know he's going to come and get you? You'd hire a hit on him, of course! This is my first criminal novel is a while (if ever, I'm not sure). We follow the life of a murderer who escapes from a mental prison and sets out to kill his father for putting him there. The next person we follow, the actual Grave Tracker, a retired officer who can find even the slightest hint of a person long forgotten. Hence the name. Note: This book is for adults, it contains some violent scenes.




There are several "main" characters in this book, but only four that we sort-of follow. Firstly, there is Tony, the deranged son who is hell-bent on killing his father, Joseph (a tough guy who has money with connections throughout the justice system). Tony is a smart dude who wants revenge and will stop at nothing to achieve that. He looks for his lost son so that he can play the ultimate slow-game revenge on his father, and the main reason for this story. Tony wasn't mental until he escaped into the real world. His one-track mind over all the years he was kept away for crimes (he did commit), has rotted and tortured his mind. Now, he takes it out on whoever he wants or whoever gets in his way.

The next person we follow is Tony's father. We learn he has a lawyer friend who he leans on, and why he trapped Tony away all those years. I found him (Joseph) quite an arrogant character, with a sense that he looked down on people. He's the one that calls on the skills of our next character.

Paul is the Grave Tracker. Paul has been injured long ago and never returned to the force. He has a dog named Waya, who is trained and creepy. Waya and Paul go everywhere together when Paul goes on his tracking missions. He typically doesn't track people who are alive, but with a murderous villain, our hero is willing to go to the extra effort. I found Paul quite stereotypical, based on my movie watching experience, so I found nothing really "fresh" or unique about him.

The last person we follow is Sophie, who is the (not so obvious but you know it's coming) lover. She's Tony's son's new mother (if that makes any sense). She's split from her ex-husband and lives alone in a cabin rental place near some woods. She's a single parent who seems to be overwhelmed by her duties as a mother and manager. As a character, I found her strong and I overall I quite liked her and her adopted son, Jake.




My guess at the major theme in this book is revenge. We see this on multiple occasions, such as the main storyline of the book. A boy sent to a mental facility by his father. Feels betrayed. Plots his revenge. Many years later, escapes and tries to exact his revenge. BUT, there is a plot twist, and I'm not going to reveal it. Revenge is not always the answer, and maybe you should think it through before you rush headstrong into your little plan (I know you're hatching one up right now).

The second theme I'd like to discuss is family. Kind of a different idea, but there is so much about disjointed and disconnected families in here. Firstly, we have the rather bad father-son connection. Secondly, there is the Grave Tracker without his wife, raising his daughter. Lastly, there is the "divorcee" Sophie with her adopted son. The one thing the last two (not all) have in common, is that the families work. You can find love and life anywhere you choose. You can decide to give a better life to your grandchild (as Joseph did). Family comes in all shapes and sizes, and no one size fits all.




While I enjoyed the novel, it did play in my head as kind of the stereotypical criminal films I've seen over and over. It was quite easy to predict what was going to happen (most of the time). However, in saying that, I found it easy and mostly enjoyable. The characters felt quite natural (apart from Tony), and I could settle into the book quite well. I would recommend you give this book a try.


Note about this review


I received a copy of the book from the author for an honest review. I always try my best to balance the reviews and not favour any one person (though I may be a bit subjective when it comes to the genre).

Source: www.amaitken.com/book-review/the-grave-tracker-review
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review 2017-04-20 15:47
Conservatorio Di Santa Teresa - Romano Bilenchi

Quando si parla di romanzo non possiamo riferirci al numero delle pagine, né alla presenza di un intreccio. Un romanzo deve cogliere lo spessore della vita, che è fatta di oggetti e di eventi concreti, ma anche di sogni e d’immaginazione. L’importante è cogliere quei rari momenti di turbamento, di emozione in cui l’uomo riesce ad ascoltarsi vivere, a prenderne coscienza. (Romano Bilenchi)


Conservatorio di Santa Teresa uscì nel 1940. In poche settimane vendette più di quattromila copie. Per l’epoca, un successo. Bilenchi rifiutò la seconda stampa per ragioni politiche e per ribellarsi ai tagli apportati al romanzo dalla censura fascista.

In un’intervista, di esso affermò: Conterrà molti difetti, tutto quel che vuole, ma se lo rileggo ora è l’unico mio libro che mi emozioni e mi sembra il mio libro migliore, anche se quando cominciai a scriverlo avevo soltanto ventisei anni ed ero molto, ma molto più asino d’oggi.”


Sergio è un bambino dal sentire amplificato, dalla fantasia sfrenata. Facile agli entusiasmi e altrettanto pronto a disperarsi.

Sergio contempla il mondo che lo circonda. Contempla la vita, quella della natura e quella degli uomini. Ne è attratto. E un po’ la teme.

Sergio è troppo adulto per i suoi anni. Sarà immaturo domani.

Sergio vive fuori del tempo, ma il suo scorrere lo porterà dal sogno al disincanto.

Sergio è emozioni mai gridate. E quando accade, è un grido improvviso e muto. È lo sguardo meravigliato, è la bocca spalancata per la gioia esasperata o l’angoscia soffocante.

Sergio è ricerca d’amore e paura dell’abbandono.

Sergio è una lacrima succhiata in fretta. È lo spavento di precipitare.

Poesia del disagio e del desiderio, Sergio rimane sulla pelle. Come la salsedine dopo che s’è salutato il mare. Solo che non se ne va sotto l’acqua che scorre. Resta.


Scrittura intima, pura. Onesta.

E bella, bellissima.

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