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review 2017-10-13 12:45
Spungunion by John Boden
Spungunion - John Boden

 

 

It's difficult to review this amazing novella without taking away from the beauty of the writing-this is a story that needs to unfold to the reader personally. That said...here we go:

 

 Deke has been on the road carrying loads, as truck drivers do, when he comes home to a tragedy. His grief is palpable-almost suffocating. About two years later,  Deke gets a chance to find out who was responsible for his pain and suffering and he jumps on it, despite several warnings that this may not be the best course of action. We're along for the ride.  

 

Throughout this story, there are sentences and passages that resonated in my heart-some to do with grief, some not. This, for instance: 

Outside, night had lumbered in and clubbed the day to death, like a Neanderthal.

 

Another quote I loved which reminded me of Robert McCammon:

My heart is as thin as a dime but I'd give it to her anyway. In her small hand, it would look like a doubloon. She could cram it in the slot in my back and see all the senseless tricks I would perform, to make her smile again. 

 

All of the wonder that is this tale was brought to us via a fabulous intro from Bracken MacLeod. He said the things about John Boden's work that I want to say, but sadly, I lack the skills to say properly.  

  

Beautifully written, poignant, grief-filled and yet resilient, Spungunion is a powerful piece of work which I HIGHLY recommend.

 

Spungunion: (pronounced: Spun-Gun-Yun) noun; 1.) a dish made from rotting road kill, usually a skunk or a opossum. The more fragrant or maggoty, the better. 2.) Something that's been on the road for a long and unfortunate time. 

 

Available on Halloween, but you can pre-order here: Spungunion

 

*I was provided a digital ARC of this tale in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-09-17 15:31
Grief Cottage: A Novel - Gail Godwin

After the death of his mother, 11 year old Marcus is sent to his mother's aunt who lives in a beach house on an island in South Carolina. A derelict cottage (and it's sad story)attracts his attention.It is in this cottage that he "meets"a ghost. The ghost of a 15 year old boy,who disappeared during a hurricane in the fifties. But this is in the first place a story about the ghost of a beloved (and departed )mother.It is the ghost of grief and bereavement.I think this is a marvellous story,the pace(probably too slow for some )depicts so well the lazy summer and the slow adjustments of this boy to his new situation,to his aunt,to his new life. Grief cottage is a well chosen title !

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review 2017-08-31 00:03
Healthy Healing: A Guide to Working Out Grief Using the Power of Exercise and Endorphins by Michelle Steinke-Baumgard
Healthy Healing: A Guide to Working Out Grief Using the Power of Exercise and Endorphins - Michelle Steinke-Baumgard

A special thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

After losing her husband in a tragic plane crash, Michelle Steinke-Baumgard faced the darkest moment of her life. Widowed, with two young children, Michelle confronted her grief head on by choosing to strengthen her body, mind, and spirit. In doing so, Michelle rediscovered happiness through fitness and wellness.

Please don't let the title sway you into thinking that you have had to experience a loss to benefit from Michelle Steinke-Baumgard's book. She addresses the physical, mental, and emotional effects of grief juxtaposed against healthy eating and exercise in a 12-week plan that anyone can use.

Steinke-Baumgard dispels a lot of the myths not only surrounding grief, but also with diet and exercise. There is no one-size-fits-all in grieving, healthy living, or wellness—Michelle tackles these myths with knowledge and personal experience. Her approach is kind, motivational, and above all, honest. She has a huge following from her One Fit Widow community where she provides the same support, candor, and honesty to her followers (you can check her out on social media). Michelle is a wonderful writer and I have been following her for a while now.

If you are even remotely considering changing your lifestyle, and/or are struggling with grief, pick up this book. Not only will your body thank you, but in times of loss, your heart and soul will thank you. Michelle, you are a wonderful role model, woman, and coach—thank you for sharing your personal story of loss, your fitness journey, and your knowledg
e.

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review 2017-08-08 19:25
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle  
The Ballad of Black Tom - Victor LaValle

These days we know from ranting, gibbering, racist, sexist, nasty-ass old men horrifying their friends and relations with pointless cruel stupidity, stunning everyone at the festive holiday gathering into silence. LaValle answers Lovecraft's most vile, offensive story, with a work of terrible beauty. "Ah, yes," you think as you close the shorts book: "that's what I wish I had thought to say." Order has been restored, the nasty old man has had his ass whipped in public.

You know what horror is? How far we haven't come in a century.

Damn, I love this story. I just want to go around smacking people upside the head with it, mostly figuratively. Perhaps the most thoroughly satisfying work I've ever read.

Library copy

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review 2017-07-31 05:25
The Beach Inn
The Beach Inn - Joanne DeMaio

By: Joanne Demaio

ASIN: B06XRHJCX9

Publisher: Joanne Demaio

Publication Date: 5/16/2017 

Format: Kindle

My Rating:  5 Stars

What another fantastic summer beach read! 

Join me for Blog Tour Stop July 31! 

A longtime favorite New England author, Joanne DeMaio returns following the unforgettable summer beach series (2017) BEACH BREEZE, with her latest THE BEACH INN, as we continue the journey with the memorable characters of charming Stony Point, a beach town on the coast of Connecticut.

Having read ALL of DeMaio’s books, and an avid fan of her work was anxious to catch up with the characters we have come to love and care about, as family and close friends. There has been a lot of tragedy and some of the characters (more than others), are having a very difficult time with their grief and loss. 

“Much of grief and sadness is like the tide here at Stony Point, the way it comes and goes.”

An entire community has been shaken to the core, with the loss of a dear friend, Salvatore Deluca. He came into their lives and brought second chances to many. He made a huge impact (larger than life attitude, touching many), and his presence will not soon be forgotten.

Jason is having a particularly hard time. He had a second chance to live when his brother Neil died nine years earlier in an accident. He was able, to walk away after the wreck with the help of a prosthetic leg, below the knee. 

He also was given a chance at love two years earlier when Maris unexpectedly returned to Stony Point and his life. However, now he feels like Neil is not there to give him inspiration any longer. He can no longer hear his voice. 

Then Sal came into their lives like a breath of fresh air. Someone for Jason to fish with. Someone to talk with about construction, design, his father’s Vietnam war stories, and his brother. It felt as though Neil had returned in the guise of Sal. He had just given the eulogy and left shortly afterward. He feels cheated. Jason feels as though he has lost his brother all over again. 

Picking up from the last book, Jason returns to his wife and home, and attempts to help Sal’s mom Elsa, also making some drastic decisions, since the passing of her son. 

She had planned to renovate the Bed and Breakfast Inn (the old Foley’s cottage) and Jason was the architect. However, now she is putting a stop to the project and putting it up for sale; ready to return to Italy. The town rallies to convince her to stay and move on with her plans. 

Elsa DeLuca is determined to leave; however, it is time for an inn-intervention. Operation "Make Elsa Smile." Will their efforts be enough to change her mind? They will need to come up with something big and momentous. 

Sal wanted this beach inn to be the premier destination on the Connecticut coast. 

Celia was also filled with sadness over the life she and Sal would never have. She has gone back to Addison. Even though his visit to their town this past summer was brief. Will Jason try and convince her to return? She also is full of surprises. 

Maris is also making changes in her life. She had returned to Stony Point from a Chicago fashion career to settle her father’s estate and reunited with her sister Eva. Now Maris has left her job to take care of her loved ones. What is next for her? New beginnings?

Everyone was supposed to make a pack not to make any sudden grief-motivated decision that they would regret in time. Not until at least six months had passed. There were many who wanted to pack up and leave their paradise to escape their loss and pain. 

. . . “Grieving is okay because it comes from love.” 

 



Michael, Sal’s friend from New York has delivered all of Sal’s messages and letters, as well as few surprises for those he left behind. Emotions run high. Jason is out of control and pushing everyone away. 

Cliff and the entire community hold an inn-intervention. The entire family is in crisis. They try and stop the sale of the house. Elsa does not want to think about the business team: Jason, Celia, and Lauren. It was to be the future Ocean Star Inn, and now Sal was gone, Celia has left, and her dream had evaporated into the sea’s midst.

Everyone is out of sorts with the grief. Everyone is concerned about the Inn and their loss. A place that holds all their friend’s history. However, will Jason and Elsa be able to bond and carry on with their dreams in Sal’s loving memory as well as the rest of their friends and community? 

Have they lost themselves when they lost Sal? Is this what he would have wanted?

"A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn." 

A time of healing and rediscovery. The best place to start over . . . by the sea. They each will need plenty of love and magic connections in order to pull off the impossible. 

A true demonstration of how people handle grief differently. Plus some new unexpected adventures are in store and hopefully, Sal is smiling down at all the new events unfolding. 

If you have not read Joanne Demaio’s books, you are missing a rare treat. Full of emotion, heart, and soul, with vivid descriptions and settings, memorable characters and sea breezes which transport you.

Highly recommend reading in order, to enhance your overall reading experience. Still hoping for a Hallmark TV series! 

If you enjoy Debbie Macomber and Sherryl Woods, you will devour Joanne Demaio’s storytelling. Characters which linger long after the book ends.

Join me for Blog Tour July 31 to highlight this special book THE BEACH INN and this special talented author. Always on my best book list! 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/03/26/The-Beach-Inn
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