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review 2017-08-09 21:26
Any Dream Will Do (New Beginnings #4) by Debbie Macomber
Any Dream Will Do: A Novel - Debbie Macomber

My thoughts on: Any Dream Will Do

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text 2017-08-03 23:13
The Crowns of Croswald - D.E. Night

I tried to read it, a couple times but it was a struggle to get into it and I didn't even get good into the second chapter. I won this on a Booklikes Give-a-way and I had hoped I liked it but was nervous about it while I still tried to get past how I was feeling but there was just something about it that kept screaming: "No! Not for you!".


I can't sit here and tell anyone else how to feel about it because we all have different tastes, it's just not in mine.


It just seems a bit too young for my tastes, almost middle grade. Maybe it is and maybe that is why I can't get into it. Middle grade for me is hit or miss, mostly miss. There are some here and there that I read, get through & enjoy, some, I've even loved (i.e. Zorgamazoo, I loved! I think a lot of it was the narrator but if the story wasn't worth anything, not even the narrator could have saved it. Right now, I am also on Harry Potter, I do like the books but prefer the audio-books to just sitting and reading it, but, I'm off the topic of this book).


I am doing my review here because on Goodreads, I'd have marked it as read in order to put it down as DNF'd and it wouldn't be fair to mark it as read if I didn't even make it past chapter two. For me, to mark it as read, although I didn't finish it, I'd have to have gotten at least half to three-fourths of the way through it. 


So, I will just take it to my local used book store and hopefully there will be a young person who will find it and Fangirl/Fanboy all over it.


Best Wishes to this author, I hope you have much success in the world of writing. :-)

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review 2017-05-30 08:37
ARC Review – Elpída, by C. Kennedy
Elpida - C. Kennedy

Elpída. Hope.

Because without hope, we are all lost.

Because without hope, we have nothing.


The final installment of this trilogy leaves me shattered and sad, and full of anger towards the men who perpetrate this kind of abuse on children. But most of all, it leaves me with hope, exhilarated and happy, which, in this context, is nothing short of magic on the author’s part.


To take this extremely important and difficult subject matter, and lovingly show it without condescension or sensationalism, and give so many young people hope? Magic, indeed.


There is such powerful truth in this series. There is such compassionate giving of hope. It is horrid and beautiful at the same time, and it has a way of sending a spiraling sense of meaning out to young people who are hurting, telling them there is a future, there is a life, there is a way. Telling them that there are good people out there, who will love them.


Hope. Truly the most powerful of all human feelings.


We started with beauty in book one. And horror. And friendship. And love.

Omorphi. Beauty.

We continued with courage in book two. Lots and lots of courage. And love.

Thárros. Courage.

We finish with hope in this third book, as we run, and hide, and make mistakes, and fix them again. And love.

Elpída. Hope.


Thimi is a young boy who lived through the same horrors as Christy in Greece, and Christy finally gets to see his old friend again as he arrives in the US as a scared little waif of a boy. Thimi slowly opens up through the story, and as he starts to understand the sunshine that can exist in a normal life we get to see more about what happens inside a child after abuse.


When you read a YA book, not often does it also work as a manual of how to do things to help a former victim of abuse. It is not often that, in soft tones and sweet turns of phrase, you will understand and learn how to act around people who have been through the unthinkable. Who have been through the unspeakable.


This is a little bit like a beautifully crafted Technical Manual of Care and Maintenance for those who work with our collective youth, especially if they work with children or young adults who have had a hard time.


And the end result? The telling of a great, great love story — with true friendship shining through, the kind of love that inspires both happy endings and good laughs.


There are other new fascinating characters entering the scene, too, and especially Zero is someone I would love to see more of in a future book... I can truly say that I hope this trilogy gets a fourth and fifth instalment, because there are still things I’d like to know, (and history is full of excellent trilogies in five parts). (Just sayin’).


Beauty and Courage and Hope.

Because Elpida means hope.

And, as we said in the beginning, without hope, we are all lost.




I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, Harmony Ink Press.

A positive review wasn’t promised in return. I also beta-read an early version of the manuscript.


Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1567067/arc-review-elpida-by-c-kennedy
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review 2016-11-25 19:37
ARC Review — Heartifact, by Aisling Mancy
Heartifact - Aisling Mancy

Harper is a marine archeologist, and he has a job with an oil company, mapping out new drill sites on the Great Barrier Reef. His boss doesn’t want to hear about how what they’re doing there is killing the reef.


At night, Harper is visited by a gorgeous man in his dreams—a stunning soul that leaves him breathless. (And me, I’d like to add).


Harper needs a break. He gets one, when one day, his old friend Stick calls him: Stick is a woman I loved from the second she walked onto the page. There is an underwater archeological dig, in the Mediterranean, by a Greek island. And there are intelligent and knowledgeable people running the dig. Smart and fun. Such a treat. Off they go!


The story takes a fantastic turn when Harper starts diving. This is a thriller. With twists. And it’s hot. Very hot.


I fell into this story, as always with this author, and came out on the other side in an amazed daze. I love how there are a gazillion things happening at the same time, there is action and stuff going on at several levels, and then BAM! It’s over, and I’m still reeling.


I don’t know how Mancy crams so much into so few pages; this is a short story of some 150 pages, but holy moly, he packs them full!


There are plenty of technical details about the underwater world and work, details that convince you of the well-documented research that has gone on behind the scenes to write this story. I am forever impressed with the erudition of this author, his stories span such diverse topics.


The point of a short story is to be precise, concise, and pack a punch at the end.


Well, then. Check, check, and check.


To add to the marvel, I am in love with the cover. Such a radiant underwater feeling of magic and slanting sunshine. I just love it so much.


Extra bonus: Proceeds from this book go to supporting three different causes:  Le Refuge in France, Arcigay in Italy, and The Trevor Project in USA.


So, even though I was given an ARC for review purposes, I went and bought my own copies. Yes, plural, because this short story was also released in French—and the translation by Bénédicte Girault is absolutely stunning. Every nuance, every feeling, masterfully rendered in French colors. I hear the Italian version will be coming soon, so I’ll wait for that one, too.


Well worth my time to read this, and then read it again.


Try it.


Because you’ll also help some very good organizations.





I was given a free review copy of this e-book from the author, but then I went to buy my own eBook copies to support the good causes.

A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1499993/arc-review-heartifact
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review 2016-07-14 21:50
This was possibly the best buddy read ever!!!
Chase the Storm - V.M. Waitt

I've had this one for a while now and every time I looked at it I kept thinking it would probably be one of those books that would read even better with a friend or if you're lucky maybe 2. I was lucky as it happened one of Christelle's friends brought it to her attention and opportunity knocked and I pounced on that door all smiles and sweetness..."We should buddy read this, I've been wanting to read it for ages? Maybe Josy will join us?" and thus was born an epic buddy read.


Thank you lovely ladies for making what I'm sure would have been a really good read...into an amazingly fun read that definitely required tissues, hand holding and so many cowboy gifs.


Having just finished his first year at Harvard Eli Morgan is about to face a summer internship working for his father. He's never felt like he belonged and he may not know exactly what his path in life is but the one thing he's certain of is he's not on it. It's when he spots a battered, 1965 Ford pick-up truck with a 'For Sale' sign that he makes a spur of the moment decision that will change the course of his life forever.


After purchasing the truck and loading his belonging into it Eli heads out in search of something, what that is he's not sure but filled with a sense of freedom and optimism he's determined to find out.


It's in Nebraska that Eli's truck decides to break down. Luckily circumstances and a posting on a bulletin board solve Eli's problem of where to stay while he awaits the repairs and what to do for the money to pay for said repairs. 


Chase McKenzie needs help on his farm. He's been managing on his own every since the unexpected loss of his partner Owen, but he's still grieving and dealing with his feelings of anger and loss so having a sexy, young city boy whose all of 19 years old walk onto his farm and into his life and make his heart start beating again isn't necessarily his idea of help.


The relationship between these two initially is tenuous at best. Eli needs the job, Chase needs the help but it doesn't necessarily mean that he wants it from Eli, however, beggars can't be choosers and given the circumstances Chase can't afford to turn down his only available option so it's with more than a little reluctance that he takes Eli on as a farmhand.


I'm pretty sure that if I went through all the books that I've read I'd find a few that carry this same theme. Circumstances may be slightly different but the essence would be the same. What I wouldn't find would be a lot if any that grabbed me heart and soul the way this one has. 


'Chasing the Storm' for me wasn't a 'romance novel' it was a 'love story'. You may very well be wondering 'what's the difference?'. Truthfully, I've wondered this myself and I've given it more than a little consideration, I've even googled and the results were a variety of responses. There's even an article from the 'Huffington Post' that was written by an editor for Harlequin Romance. But I'm not going to go into all those details for this review since it's my review I'm simply going to share with you what the difference is to me. 


For me the difference between these two types of stories is about how they make the reader feel. Romances are big and splashy, with people that are often bigger than life and impossible situations, there's almost a sense of impossibility about them but that's why we love reading them.They take us away from the real world and let us experience an imaginary version where we know that at the end of it all the guy gets the girl or the girl gets the girl or the guy gets the guy whatever applies to the story and everyone lives happily ever after. They're fun and enjoyable but when the stories done so are the feelings, we don't linger over them they aren't lodged in or hearts days, weeks months maybe even years later. Don't misunderstand me, I have no issue with romance stories,  I've read more than a few and I'm sure I'll continue to do so in the future. 


But a truly good 'Love story' that's a much harder creature to find because for me a love story is more about the feelings. Not just the ones between the main characters...no more importantly it's the feelings that the story creates to connect the reader to it and how strong that connection is. It's the ability to make you feel everything that the characters feel as if it was happening to you. To share their laughter and tears, their anger and fear,  their joys and triumphs in a deeply personal way that stays with you well beyond the last page of the book.


Love stories aren't always about passionate romantic love between two people either, they can be about a parent's love for their child, friends, family. Love has many meanings and takes many different forms and a truly good love story will touch the heart like nothing else can no matter what form it is in.


'Chase the Storm' is one example of what I consider to be a love story. Practically from the beginning I willingly invested myself into these characters...heart and soul.


I jumped in that pick-up truck and rode down the highway right beside Eli singing those country tunes and anyone who knows me will tell you...Me in a ford pick-up? singing country songs? not gonna' happen but I'd do it for Eli. I loved him, I wanted to feed him milk and cookies and tell him to go make his music and screw his daddy and his Fortune 500 company but I'm a mom and I know better so I stepped back and watched Eli find his own path. It was a path that at times reduced me to tears as I watched him grow and mature and ultimately fall in love for the first time.


"...After all, what could a nineteen-year-old kid know about lifelong love?


But maybe the nineteen-year-old kid knew what love was because he felt it as his heart shattered in the aisle of a soundless barn."


And for all that I loved Eli my heart came to care for Chase as well. I ached for his loss and how lost he was as a result. Chase's struggle to move on with his life is not something that is foreign to anyone who's shared his experience.


Eli and Chase's journey to be together was neither simple nor direct and the authors ability to take us on a journey that was filled with a sense of emotion, truth and realism that isn't always present in fiction often made me forget that this was a work of fiction and not someone's story that I was sharing in. 


Just like the beginning and the middle the ending of this story was neither simple, easy nor direct but it was emotionally beautiful and filled with love because at the end of it all that's what separates a love story from a romance for me is that when all is said and done as I am drying my eyes I am left with a sense of contentment and completeness that I've just read a story that is as it should be.


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