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text 2017-11-06 22:58
My dream cast for ACCEPTING THE UNEXPECTED

Get ready for my dream cast line up and character introduction for my romance book Accepting the Unexpected. How do you like it??? :D

 

 

Leila Pierce, Creative Director Sleek magazine:

 

 

Blake Collins, Actor/Model 

 

 

Richard Speal , former NFL player:

 

James Higgins, RAF engineer.

 

 

Jessie , Receptionist at Sleek Magazine.

 

 

Miranda Cain, Editor and chef Sleek Magazine.

 

 

Jasper Sharratt, Fashion Designer.

 

Accepting the Unexpected - Mollie Jo JosephWhoever said love hurts... was not lying! When Leila Pierce, a creative director for a magazine named "Sleek" got brutally ditched by the man she thought she was going to end up with, that was just the start of her life being turned upside down. After the heartbreaking betrayal, she then found herself in a dark emotional tunnel, veering towards depression.
She finds herself packing her bags and leaving Cornwall, England and heading to New York to help Sleek international magazine make it big in the US. Leila is great at her job, and this means she can quell any anxiety over this amazing opportunity, and when she somehow gets introduced to Blake Collins, an actor and model, things start to look up. 
To add more drama to the mix, she also meets the mysterious Richard Speal, a retired NFL player with a drinking problem and some pretty big emotional baggage of his own. She finds herself inexplicably drawn to Richard—could they be kindred spirits?
How could she possibly fall for another man when she's still broken from the last one? And the bigger question is: which man? 
The one that is too good to be true?
 The mysterious one? 


OR
 The one she thought she was supposed to be with in the first place?
Too many questions and not enough answers. She needs to work all this out and impress her boss, Miranda Cain, editor and chief at Sleek NY by making the magazine a success. That's a lot for anyone to deal with right?
 

 

 

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text 2017-11-01 08:00
November 2017 Reads
Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War - Lauren Willig,Joshilyn Jackson;Hazel Gaynor;Mary McNear;Nadia Hashimi;Emmi Itäranta;CJ Hauser;Katherine Harbour;Rebecca Rotert;Holly Brown;M. P. Cooley;Carrie La Seur;Sarah Creech,Jennifer Robson,Marci Jefferson,Jessica Brockmole,Beatriz Williams,Evangeli
Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir - Kelle Hampton
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly
A Gentleman's Game (Romance of the Turf) - Theresa Romain
The Unyielding - Shelly Laurenston
Death of a Christmas Caterer - Lee Hollis

Winter has come to East Anglia. Good weather for bundling under blankets with a cup of tea and a book. COYER Winter Edition sign ups start mid-November, and the challenge starts in mid-December. And I have been working my way through the SBTB GR Oct-Dec challenge. I'm going to participate in the festive holiday game here on BL with MbD and TA hosting. All this plus meeting my BL/GR reading challenge (just one more book)!

 

Here is what I hope to read in November....

 

1. Fall of Poppies: Stories of Love and the Great War by Various Authors

    Will use for Pop Sugar Challenge, just don't know where yet. Can also use the book to fill the prompt "veterans' day" in the SBTB GR challenge.

 

2. Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected by Kelle Hampton

    Pop Sugar prompt: By/About a Person with a disability (memoir about motherhood and raising a child with Down's Syndrome)

 

3. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

    I have already seen (and loved) the movie, but I wanted to read the book for the Pop Sugar prompt 2017 movie adaptions.

 

4. A Gentleman's Game (Romancing the Turf #1) by Theresa Romain

    To be used in the SBTB GR challenge prompt "game day"

 

5. The Unyielding (Call of Crows #3) by Shelly Laurenston

     To be used in the SBTB GR challenge prompt "give thanks" 

 

6. Death of a Christmas Caterer by Lee Hollis

    To be used in the SBTB GR challenge prompt "food coma"

     

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review 2017-10-25 23:45
Mollie Jo Joseph: Accepting The Unexpected Book review by Eve's Bookish World
Accepting the Unexpected - Mollie Jo Joseph

What should I say about this book?! It is a little diamond! If I had to use some words for it, these would be: fresh, funny, glamorous, stylish, adorable but even serious as it has to do with a really important issue. Depression.

Let's take it from the start. I love chick lit. You know I do, I told you that at my last post. I love the humorous ways it deals with some problems and issues, either these are relationships, or anything more serious. This one has to do with depression. Depression is a serious medical illness. It is a state of low mood (melancholy), that affects a person's thoughts, activities, feelings and generally life. It makes us feel sad, anxious, hopeless and having a low self-esteem. The great trap is that sometimes the person who is under the affect of depression, cannot even recognize it, unless someone else make it clear to them, and most of the times it is hard to admit and accept it.

Our story has to do with a British young lady, Leila, who works at a great magazine and is in a relationship with James, a man that travels a lot and never has enough time for her. After some situations she decides to break up with him and make up her life... READ MORE ON Eve's Bookish World

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review 2017-10-25 03:15
A secular Israeli comes back from the dead and creaks havoc
An Unexpected Afterlife: A Novel (The Dry Bones Society Book 1) - Dan Sofer

Moshe Karlin wakes up after his birthday party got out of hand -- so out of hand that he doesn't remember drinking as much as he clearly did, he doesn't remember what happened to his clothes, or why he's in the cemetery on the Mount of Olives. He makes it home, crawls into bed and finds another man in his bed with his wife. The man (his best friend and business partner, Avi) and his wife are pretty freaked out -- as is Moshe. Moshe because that's the last thing he expected to find in his bed, and the other two are freaked out because Moshe has been dead for 2 years.

 

Moshe might be alive again, but his life is gone -- his business is a wreck, his daughter doesn't recognize him, and his wife won't talk to him. But his neighbor a rabbi will listen to him, and talks to him about the believes around the Resurrection. They soon discover another person claiming to be resurrected -- she has no memory about anything, not her name, cause of death, anything. The two bond quickly and begin working together to provide for their new lives, to understand them, and to try to get Moshe's family back. Along the way, they bring in more of the Resurrected to help out. It's not a large, general resurrection at work, or even a stream of them -- but it is a decent trickle.

 

Their rabbi friend tries to get them in front of the religions leaders in the culture, but are rebuffed. Next thing they're fighting to survive. They have no legal standing, a need for money and shelter, jobs, and some way to make people pay attention to their claims.

There's a prophet running around, too. An accident put shim in the hospital and takes him off the chessboard for most of the game, but he's aware of Moshe and his friends as well as knowing what that means for the world. If only the medical establishment would let him get to work. His character is plenty interesting and I found myself grinning at the situations he found himself in.

 

The writing is crisp, nothing too flashy, but it's more enough to keep you reading. Sofer imbues his characters with a good deal of humanity, of hope. There's a splash of humor that helps a lot, too. I'm not sure why Moshe is so taken with his wife, but he is -- and you have to admire his dedication to her (and if we had some more time with her, I'd probably agree with him). The reaction he has to his daughter not recognizing him is hard to take. All of the resurrected are having difficulty fitting back in to the world -- especially when they try to fit in to their old lives -- and that's a very interesting thing to see play out.

 

I'm really uncomfortable about the subject matter -- it's one thing for McGuire or Hearne to pillage myths of the Tuatha Dé Danann or Riordan to pillage the Greek/Roman/Egyptian/Norse stories. But it's something very different for someone to utilize figures and beliefs of a religion like Judaism -- especially when it's not just beliefs, but utilizing actual figures from the religion for your own means seems to cross a line to me (and yes, I'd say the same about Christian fiction, for example). I'm not saying Sofer's wrong to do this, or that he does so with any measure of discernible disrespect, but I figured I have to throw up a warning.

 

If you can get past the use of the religious characters/events, I'd expect that you could like this one. I'm not sure I can get behind it, but it's good, I can tell you that.

<i><b>Disclaimer:</b> I received this book from the author in exchange for this post and my honest opinion -- my thanks to him for this.</i>

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/10/24/an-unexpected-afterlife-by-dan-sofer
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review 2017-10-10 15:14
An emotional journey into a disintegrating mind and its effects
Disease: When Life takes an Unexpected Turn - Hans M. Hirschi

I have read quite a few books by Hans Hirschi (not all, but I might get there given time) and have enjoyed them, no matter what the genre. The author is not somebody who writes thinking about the market or the latest trend. He writes stories he cares about, and beyond interesting plots and fully-fledged characters, he always pushes us to think about some of the big questions: prejudice, ecology, poverty, child abuse, families, laws, gender, identity… If all of his stories are personal, however fictional, this novel is perhaps even more personal than the rest.

As a psychiatrist, I’ve diagnosed patients with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease or other types), I’ve assessed and looked after patients with dementia in hospital, and I have seen, second-hand, what the illness does to the relatives and friends, and also to the patients, but as an observer, from outside. I’ve known some people who have suffered from the condition but not close enough to be able to give a personal account.

The novel tries to do something quite difficult: to give us the insight into what somebody suffering from Alzheimer’s feels, what they think, and how they experience the process of losing their own memories and themselves. The book is written in a diary format, in the first person, by Hunter, a man in his forties who, after some episodes of forgetfulness, goes to the doctors and is diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. He writes articles for a living, is married to Ethan, who is a high-school teacher, and they have a five-year-old daughter, Amy (born of a surrogate mother, and Ethan’s biological daughter). They live in Michigan, where they moved to from California, and therefore they are not legally married, as that was not an option at the time. To the worry of his illness and how this will affect him (Hunter’s mother also died of the condition, so he is fully aware of its effects on its sufferers), are added the worries about practicalities, about Amy’s care, about financial stability, about his own care, as they are not a couple with equal rights in the eyes of the law.

Hunter’s diary is framed by Ethan’s narration. Ethan finds the file of the diary a couple of years after Hunter’s passing and decides to publish it, mostly letting Hunter’s words speak for themselves, but at times he clarifies if something Hunter narrates truly happened or not, or gives us his own version of events (for instance, when Hunter gets lost). Although the story is mostly written by Hunter and told from the point of view of the sufferer, Ethan’s brief contributions are poignant and heart-wrenching, precisely because we do get the sense that he is trying so hard to be strong, fair, and to focus on his daughter. He accepts things as they are and is not bitter, but the heavy toll the illness has taken is clear.

The novel ends with a letter written by Amy. Although brief, we get another perspective on how the illness affects families, and through her eyes we get to know more about how Ethan is truly feeling. A deeply moving letter that rings true.

The characters are well drawn, and even when the progression of the illness means that some of the episodes Hunter describes might not be true, they still give us a good insight into his thoughts, his illusions, and his worries. He writes compellingly and beautifully (although there are is evidence of paranoia, ramblings, and some disconnected writing towards the end), and the fact that his writing remains articulate (although the gaps between entries increase as the book progresses and he even stops writing when he misplaces the file) fit in with research about preservation of those skills we have used the most and are more ingrained. Hunter pours into his diary his thoughts and experiences, some that he has never shared in detail with anybody (like being trapped at a hotel in Mumbai during a terrorist attack), and others that seem to be flights of fancy or wishful thinking. He shares his own opinions (his dislike of nursing homes, his horror at the thought of being looked after by somebody he doesn’t know, his worries about the future, his memories of the past…) and is at times humorous, at times nasty, at others indignant and righteous. He is not a cardboard cut-out, and neither are any of the other characters.

Apart from the personal story of the characters, we have intrusions of the real world, including news, court decisions, that ground the events in the here and now, however universal they might be, but wherever you live and whoever you are, it is impossible not to put yourself in the place of the characters and wonder what you would do, and how much more difficult things are for them because they are not a “normal” family.

This is an extraordinary book, a book that made me think about patients I had known with similar diagnosis, about the difficulties they and their families face (there are not that many nursing homes that accommodate early dementia, and most of those for elderly patients are not suited to the needs of younger patients), about end of life care, and about what I would do faced with a similar situation. The book does not shy away from asking the difficult questions, and although it is impossible to read it and not feel emotional, it tells the story with the same dignity it affords its main character.

Although there is a certain degree of intrigue from the beginning (we do not find the exact circumstances of Hunter’s death until very close to the end) that will, perhaps, contribute to reading it even faster, this book is for readers who are interested in dementia and Alzheimer’s (although it is not an easy read), who love well-drawn characters, deep psychological portrayals, and stories about families and their ties. A great and important book I thoroughly recommend and another first-rate addition to Mr. Hirschi’s oeuvre.

I received an ARC copy of this book and I freely decided to review it. Thanks to the author and the publisher for this opportunity.

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