Tag Archives: Family Issues

Review & Giveaway: A Necessary End by Holly Brown

A Necessary End (432x648)

•Hardcover: 400 pages
•Publisher: William Morrow (July 7, 2015)

A riveting novel of psychological suspense—a domestic drama full of secrets and twists—about a woman determined to have a child, her ambivalent husband, and a pregnant teenager with a secret agenda of her own.

The characters are loathsome. Their agenda – calculating, self-absorbed, manipulating, downright unlikable. Adrienne and Gabe won’t exactly pull at your heartstrings, you feel zero sympathy towards them and as their secrets along with their true colors are revealed, it’s no surprise your arm length distance served you correctly. Leah is a snake in the grass, you know from the start she is sneaky, not to be trusted. Brown does a wonderful job with the realistic interaction and complexity of the characters.

The narrative has a few surprises matched with predictable scenarios. Plenty of secrets make the story exciting casting an overall darkness. The narration alternating between Adrienne and Gabe reveals their psychological state, their very different perspectives are full of humor and bold faced honesty, you comprehend their strength and weaknesses, their vulnerability and invincibility. The dynamics of their marriage is plausible and a hoot.

Brown’s therapy background infused in her characters psychological make-up make this a darkly fascinating read with surprising twists. Smooth writing paired with a fast pace makes this very entertaining with despicable protagonists.

About Holly Brown41148

Holly Brown lives with her husband and toddler daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she’s a practicing marriage and family therapist. Her blog, Bonding Time, is featured on PsychCentral.com.

Connect with Holly on Facebook.


Enter for a chance to win a copy of A Necessary End, please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 7/22/15

Thrilled to be included in the tour for Holly Brown’s A Necessary End. Be sure to click on the TLC banner to check out the entire tour schedule. Thank you TLC!

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Filed under 2015, Fiction, July

Review & Giveaway: Love at First Flight by Tess Woods


What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare.

“The verb love is what counts, not the feeling of love. When you feel love, it’s selfish, it’s just for you and it affects nobody but you. But when you act love, you are committing the act of loving somebody.”

Infidelity is a dicey subject matter to tackle. I was hesitant to read this book being of the mindset it would somehow exploit and validate a reason and promotion of betrayal – I WAS WRONG.

Tess Woods takes on infidelity complete with the pleasure and pain, anguish and joy such an act commits. She beautifully displays the emotional and mental wreckage not limited to the parties involved but the children as well. Woods in no way glamorizes infidelity and she doesn’t allow her characters to either. Providing an in depth glimpse into the chaos and aftermath infidelity leaves long after the offense is committed.

The narrative is raw, brutal and heartbreaking. I felt as if I was spying on the parties involved, witnessing their ecstasy and sorrow. Their trials and tribulations became mine, I was completely invested in the entire cast. A very realistic view of infidelity.

Woods gives the reader three varied characters. You learn of them intimately which allows you to feel their pain, regrets, delight. Characters so well-developed you find it difficult to dislike any of them, instead you empathize, sympathize and feel for them with your heart and mind.

Full of twists and a compelling ending, this book was amazing especially given the subject matter. Tess Woods demonstrates her talent, creativity and emotional depth with this incredible and memorable portrayal of one woman torn. POWERFUL.  PROVOKING.  AFFECTING.

tess woodsAbout Tess Woods

Tess Woods is a health professional who lives in Perth, Australia with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love at First Flight is her first novel for HarperCollins. When she isn’t working or being a personal assistant to her kids, Tess enjoys reading and all kinds of grannyish pleasures like knitting, baking, drinking tea, watching Downton Abbey and tending to the veggie patch.

Find out more about Tess at her website and connect with her on Facebook and  Goodreads.


Enter to win an iBook voucher for Love at First Flight (vouchers EXPIRE June 25) by completing the giveaway form below. Open Internationally. Ends 6/22/15


Filed under 2015, Fiction, June

Review & Giveaway: The Abduction of Smith and Smith by Rashad Harrison

The-Abduction-of-Smith-and-Smith-199x300• Hardcover: 352 pages
• Publisher: Atria Books (January 6, 2015)

In this harrowing and thrilling work of historical fiction, two enemies become the unlikeliest of allies as they fight to save their own lives aboard a hell ship headed into the dangerous unknown.

Quite a riveting story, full of adventure, a historical fiction of challenging subject matter, inciting.

Harrison delves into the aftermath of the Civil War, the ravages and scars left behind, the question of freedom and loyalty dominate this edgy tale.

Numerous characters and their story’s blend creating an impact. The setting is bold, coarse and crass as you hit the high seas with the bawdiness of sailors and their raucous behavior. Shady characters, nefarious dealings with suspense and intrigue in abundance.

Harrison address slavery, in particular the master – slave relationship in close examination. Emotional, compelling as two men face their father’s sins. Brothers, enemies, memories, will their loyalty or treachery prevail. Love or hate which will bridge or divide the fissure between these two men joined in name and blood. Twists and turns propel the story into high voltage territory often unaddressed. Harrison crafts a exceptional and demonstrative core.

A gritty affecting tale of slavery and its reverberations revealed in a noir manner, leaving the reader lost in the backwash, the past felt decades later. Morals will be questioned as the peruser deliberates love, family and loyalty.

About Rashad HarrisonRashad-Harrison-300x217

Rashad Harrison was the Jacob K. Javits Fellow in fiction at New York University. He is the author of the acclaimed novel Our Man in the Dark (2011) and The Abduction of Smith and Smith (2015). He and his family currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Visit Rashad at his website, RashadHarrison.com, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.


ONE lucky winner will have a chance to win a copy of The Abduction of Smith and Smith please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 5/11/15

Excited to be included in the tour for Rashad Harrison’s The Abduction of Smith and Smith. Be sure to click on the TLC banner to check out the entire tour schedule. Thank you TLC!

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Filed under 2015, Fiction, May

May I Suggest…Giveaway Hop


Thank you Val at Stuck In Books for hosting

I am featuring author Tommy Cotton and his latest book, for my full review click HERE
Just Went Out For Milk

A  copy of Just Went Out For Milk
$20 Amazon GC

To enter please complete the giveaway form below
US Residents Only. Ends 5/16/15

Click HERE to see the many fabulous blogs participating in this hop!


Just Went Out For Milk

After five passionate years together, lovers Dane Costello and Kayla Manning are torn apart when Dane leaves to buy milk. While Kayla is forced to fight for her life in hospital, Dane is thrown back into a world he fled from years before.

Kayla tells her story through a series of quirky, unsent letters to Dane and relives her rollercoaster past in her childhood diaries, a past she must face if she is to survive. At the same time, Dane must confront his own violent past and the person who hates him most – the one he was once closest to – if he is to make it back to the woman he loves.

Just Went Out For Milk is a physical and emotional journey, the raw love story of two scarred people, who long to find their place in the world.

Will Dane make it back to Kayla? Will she be alive if he does?

About Tommy Cotton

A quirky, fun loving author from Melbourne, Australia with a passion for writing,image storytelling, travel and coffee.
I’m inspired by the world around me and what I feel and create within.

It is my passion to bring entertaining stories to people, and to brighten the world in my own small way.

Find Tommy!



Filed under 2015, Fiction, Giveaway, May

Review & Giveaway: Just Went Out For Milk by Tommy Cotton


A physical and emotional journey, the raw love story of two scarred people, who long to find their place in the world.

Right off the bat you learn how eccentric Kayla and Dane truly are. They have their special way of interacting with each other. As their heartbreaking pasts are revealed you understand why these two are the way they are. Their backstory’s are crushing, I found myself in tears on two occasions. This is NOT your average love story it is much much more. Cotton broaches heavy subject matter, I must say I was taken off guard, no idea this read would be this weighty. Their present story’s are equally affecting and compelling.

Plenty of characters you will despise, a few you will embrace. Oscar was my absolute favorite along with sweet Burty.

The narrative is a combination of action, romance, thriller even a smattering of mystery. Yes there are a few implausible scenarios but they balance the depth of the bones of the plot. You cannot deny the meat of the plot and the authors intent and vision is apparent. The narrative is rather powerful as varying themes weave their way through. Plenty of surprises both expected and unexpected – plausible and implausible. The ending agreeable.

A very memorable couple with gritty, raw pasts leaving you contemplating the role of fate or coincidence. There was a reason these particular souls joined, there is a reason why their history’s are similar and their capacity to love unconditionally.

A wonderful debut effort from a promising, impassioned author. A fabulous story addressing, love, acceptance, forgiveness and resilience, strength.


To enter to win my copy of Just Went Out For Milk please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 5/6/15

•Paperback, 268 pages
•Published November 2014 by Tommy Cotton (first published October 31st 2014)


Filed under 2015, April, Fiction

Review: Hyacinth Girls: A Novel by Lauren Frankel


A young teenager on the brink and a parent desperate to find the truth before it’s too late.

“Do you know your children?”

A story not limited to the hot topic of bullying it also covers the ties of female friendship, love and loss.

Frankel debuts with a laborious narrative involving a controversial subject matter. Exploring bullying from alternating perspectives from the mean girls handiwork poses quite a reading journey. I admire Frankel’s demanding effort to bring forth dodgy topics.

I enjoyed the varying perspectives. Rebecca struggling to understand the accusations while juggling her belief in Callie. Callie, a girl crossing both lines, victim and tormentor. Yes, she has a challenging history but there’s more to this young girl as we discover with the unfolding of the story. The secretiveness of teen life is a point of focus – scary how they operate covertly, emotions muted or voiced. As a parent you want to maintain a balance of advocate and accuser as we find with Rebecca. Provoking read leaving plenty open for discussion. No doubt you will be asking yourself numerous questions, especially if you are a parent.

I felt Frankel nailed harassment and victimization very well, however, a few areas I found dissatisfying. I felt the narrative in regards to Callie’s history a tad dramatic, seemed overly contrived. The pace of the story was unveiled in such a laggardly manner remaining on task was difficult. I wish character development was stronger towards Callie, I had an understanding of Rebecca but Callie felt vague.

A significant narrative examining a difficult subject matter. Commendable effort on Franel’s part, stalwart inauguration.

•Kindle Edition, 288 pages
•Expected publication: May 12th 2015 by Crown

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Filed under 2015, Fiction, March