Review: Sapient by Jerry Kaczmarowski

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a great weekend.  Today I am bringing to you a book that isn’t necessarily up my ally, but I found I couldn’t put it down.  Sapient is a book about how even the best intentions can get out of control.  It illustrates how science experiments can take on a life of their own.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

25334953Book Blurb:

Abandoned by her husband after the birth of their child, Jane Dixon’s world is defined by her autistic son and the research she does to find a cure for his condition. She knows her work on animal intelligence may hold the key. She also knows that the research will take decades to complete. None of it will ultimately benefit her son.

All that changes when a lab rat named Einstein demonstrates that he can read and write. Just as her research yields results, the U.S. government discovers her program. The army wants to harness her research for its military potential. The CDC wants to shut her down completely. The implications of animal intelligence are too dangerous, particularly when the previously inert virus proves to be highly contagious.

She steals the virus to cure her son, but the government discovers the theft. She must now escape to Canada before the authorities can replace her son’s mental prison with a physical one.

Review:

Jane Dixon is determined to find a cure for Autism.  This is a cause close to her heart.  When she has a breakthrough she is ecstatic.  But, when the government and CDC come in and begin looking into her experiments she begins to panic and does things that are illegal and unethical because of her fear.  When it is discovered that her “cure” has mutated and is infectious and possibly dangerous things change dramatically.  How can something meant for good change to something so dangerous so fast?  It is the actions after that will change Jane and her son’s lives forever.

What wouldn’t you do for your child?  The character of Jane Dixon will resonate with all mothers.  Her unwillingness to give up on her son is what drives her.  This is both fortunate and unfortunate.  For it is this that changes her good work to dangerous work and becomes a threat.  It is her drive to save her son no matter what that changes everything.  Though this isn’t the normal kind of book I’d read, this really was a fantastic story.  It is one that is both based in reality and allows the reader to have an emotional connection with all the characters, even Einstein and Bear.  This story will really have you thinking whether something like this is possible and how bad this would really be if something like this got out of control.  Overall, I really liked this book and would read another by Jerry Kaczmarowski.

Review: Ms. Conception by Jen Cumming

Today I am pleased to start your week off with a wonderful book, Ms. Conception by Jen Cumming.  This is a wonderful novel about the ups and downs of making a baby.  With great humor and honesty, Jen Cumming illustrates this struggle wonderfully.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead.

Ms Conception BT Banner Correct

Ms Conception_Jen Cumming_coverBook Blurb:

Abigail Nichols has tried everything from rash-inducing herbal creams to acupuncture in a desperate, last-ditch effort to get pregnant. Wedged into her iPhone schedule among new business pitches and rebranding design meetings is Abby’s ovulation cycle, along with potential opportunities for illicit afternoon quickies. With all of their hopes and savings on the table, Abby and her husband Jack enter the whispered world of fertility clinics.

Along with a meddling mother-in-law, competitive pregnancies, and constant obligatory sex, Abby’s baby-track mind conspires to ravage her career, her marriage, and her sanity. One thing she knows for sure: a healthy sense of humor (and the occasional glass of red wine) is the best coping strategy. One thing she wishes she knew: whether it will be enough.

Ms. Conception is an honest but light-hearted novel inspired by the ups and downs of fertility treatments and the emotional burden that rests on those trying to conceive.

Review:

Abby and Jack have tried for many years to have a baby.  It has gone on so long that she has begun to look at alternatives and fertility treatments.  She isn’t the only one who has been looking into treatments for her.  It seems like everyone from her mother and sister to her best friend.  When they finally decide to go forward with treatments the commentary from all around increases as negative test after negative test happens.  It seems everyone is able to get pregnant except her even her meddling mother in law shares more than one pointed comment.  But in the end the journey is rough but can be rewarding.  If Abby can juggle fertility treatments, her job, her husband and all the other obligations than children should be easy.

This was a highly enjoyable read.  It was definitely a challenge to put down when I had to get some sleep.  This really is a great novel for anyone who has had trouble conceiving.  It portrays it in a humorous, honest and intelligent manner.  This makes it seem like anyone who has been unlucky in natural conception is not alone.  Abby is a wonderful character that any woman can relate.  Her husband, Jack, is a husband that all men should hope to be.  Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a laugh with a great story.

Jen Cumming_author photoAuthor Bio:

Jen Cumming had two dreams: to be a mother and a writer. The first was much harder than she’d imagined, but it gave her plenty of material for her second dream. Now she’s realized both and traded drug cocktails and early morning line-ups at the fertility clinic for juice boxes and evening PTA meetings.

Jen’s latest dream is to live in a small village in France and eat croissants. Being allergic to wheat might hamper that dream, so in the meantime she does her best to balance life with two young children and run a business with her husband in Toronto. She loves to spend time at the cottage in the summer, ski in the winter, and travel whenever she can.

Buy Links:

Paperbook

Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Barnes& Noble

eBook

Amazon.ca | Amazon.com | Kobo | Nook | Apple | Google Play

 

Links:

Author website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Review: Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff

I am very excited to bring to you today Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff.  I have been a fan of hers since I read A Vintage Affair.  She is an engaging storyteller that takes hold of you and won’t let you go until you turn that final page.  Ghostwritten is no exception.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

20910086Book Blurb:

A childhood mistake. A lifetime of regrets.

Jenni is a ‘ghost’: she writes the lives of other people. It’s a job that suits her well: still haunted by a childhood tragedy, she finds it easier to take refuge in the memories of others rather than dwell on her own.

Jenni has an exciting new commission, and is delighted to start working on the memoirs of a Dutchwoman, Klara. As a child in the Second World War, Klara was interned in a camp on Java during the Japanese occupation – she has an extraordinary story of survival to tell.

But as Jenni and Klara begin to get to know each other, Jenni begins to do much more than shed light on a neglected part of history. She is being forced to examine her own devastating memories, too. But with Klara’s help, perhaps this is finally the moment where she will be able to lay the ghosts of her own past to rest?

Gripping, poignant and beautifully researched, Ghostwritten is a story of survival and love, of memory and hope

Review:

Jenni’s past has started to catch up with her.  The secret she has kept buried from everyone close to her is now effecting her life.  Though her personal life is being turned upside down, she is given an interesting opportunity to ghostwrite for a woman who’s story will echo close to Jenni’s.  In the beginning Jenni bulks at even doing this because it will take her to the heart of her past and keep her there until she is done with the story.  But, once Jenni meets Klara and her family she realizes that her decision to help Klara tell her story was the best thing to happen to both of them. 

This novel was one of the most poignant stories I’ve read in awhile.  It is emotionally ride that will leave you both happy and sad at the end.  Klara and Jenni’s stories are so realistic and relatable that you feel you are part of their stories.  Klara’s experiences on Java and the internment camps brought a whole new story of WWII that many people may not know.  I think this added a wonderful element of historical significance with a personal touch of someone’s experiences.  The intricate weaving of both Jenni’s and Klara’s stories are done with such ease that you flow between stories naturally.  Isabel Wolff does a phenomenal job going between past and present.  It takes a talent like hers to expertly move between years and not lose a reader.  Overall, this is a story that you want to pick up and never let go.  I know it will remain with me for quite sometime.  I can’t wait to read what Isabel Wolff comes up with next. 

Review: Immortal Reborn: Arianna’s Choice by Natalie D. Wilson

Today is going to start a week of catch up for me.  Last week was quite hectic and left me behind on my reviews.  So, today I am spotlighting Immortal Reborn: Arianna’s Choice by Natalie D. Wilson.  This was a great novel.  This is the first in the series and the series definitely has promise.  For my full review be sure to keep reading after the book blurb.  Be sure to keep up this week for all the great reviews that will presented.

21714174Book Blurb:

A Children of Angels Novel:
When Alexandria Grace Groaban was a child, she learned she was very different from other children and adults she encountered. She saw and heard things that no child should ever bear witness to. She knew details of things and people long since passed, and she could hear voices and repeat them in whatever language she heard during the scenes which played out before her young and impressionable eyes. Through an encounter with someone she thought to be her guardian angel, Alexandria was given a reprieve so that she might know some normalcy in her childhood. But at the age of twenty-one, Alexandria returned home to her family’s small estate outside Oxford, England for Christmas, and learned the hard way that her grace period was about to come to an abrupt and vicious end. Now, whether for better or worse, she will find herself on the edge of a great precipice. One that will call her into action and into a world that she could never have fathomed existed. For Alexandria to know who and what she truly is, she will have to rise to the challenge of a battle that has been waged for millennia by beings first spoken of in Genesis, and embrace that which has lay dormant within her since she was a child
.

Review:

Alexandria’s family has always known she was special.  She would be able to see the history of any object she touched.  This happened until her guardian angel Ganymede offers her a reprieve so she may have a normal childhood.  This reprieve is only temporary until a time in the future.  Alex’s reprieve ends when she is attacked at a ball.  It is only when Ganymede comes to her aid that things start to be revealed.  Alex learns that her soul is that of a Nephilim or a child of an angel.  Once she learns of what she is she want to learn more and leaves to go to a “retreat”  to recover from her attack.  It is at the “retreat”  that she really meets many Nephilim.  Most have known her when she was alive previously.  As she meets other Nephilim she also learns the powers she has and how to control them.  As she dives deeper into herself and into her powers she realizes she will need to make a decision to either stay mortal or choose an immortal life.  Though Alex knows she needs to make a choice soon but will she have enough time to decide or will her choice be made for her.

This was a great novel.  It was a clever and refreshing story.  Alex’s character was fantastic.  You actually saw her develop and change as the story went on.  It’s not just Alex that makes this story great.  I think the rest of the Nephilim with their unique abilities and personalities.  They are all fun and add an additional level.  Since they all knew Alex as Arianna they already care for her in ways that would take ages.  I think another level is the love triangle between Alex, Jackson and Gaius.  I definitely don’t envy Alex having to choose between these two men.  I did notice that this is a very religiously based story.  It’s not surprising since this is a story about angels but the story does focus on some specific scripture.  This aspect may turn off some readers who do not share certain beliefs.  I personally thought it was a new take on angels and their children.  Overall, I felt this was a good story with a lot of potential in the series to come.

Fresh Face Friday: Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo

Happy Friday!  Today I get to spotlight a wonderful author and book.  Just Destiny is the second book of Theresa Rizzo’s that I have read.  After reading this I have come to expect poignant and heartfelt books.  This book did not disappoint and is definitely one that draws you in and won’t let go until the very end.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and get to do something great.

935293Book Blurb:

What would you do if your whole world fell apart?
Jenny Harrison made some poor choices in the past, but marrying Gabe was the best thing she’d ever done. They had the perfect marriage, until a tragic accident leaves Gabe brain dead and her world in ruins.
Devastated by grief, she decides to preserve the best of their love by conceiving his child, but Gabe’s family is adamantly opposed, even willing to chance exposing long-held family secrets to stop her. Caught in a web of twisted motives and contentious legal issues, Jenny turns to best friend and attorney, Steve Grant. Steve wants to help Jenny, but he has reservations and secrets of his own.
When something so private and simple turns public and complicated, will Jenny relent? What is Steve willing to sacrifice to help Jenny?

Review:

Jenny’s life was perfect.  That was until the accident that turned her world upside down making it not so perfect anymore.  Throughout her life she has made mistakes and errors in judgment but when she married Gabe it was the best decision she ever made.  They made each other happy despite the age difference and seemed to have the prospect of a happily ever after with their own child.  That is when the unthinkable happens and Jenny loses Gabe in an accident and in turn miscarried the baby.  When the tough decision to let Gabe go comes and she decides to donate his organs and harvest his sperm she is met with contention from his uncle.  Jenny leans on her best friend, Steve Grant to help her get through these losses and the impending trial.  It soon becomes very clear that Steve has strong feelings for Jenny and can’t do what she asks.  In the end will Jenny get her happy ending out of the tragedy or will her world crumble and everything she has lost be for not?

This is a wonderful novel.  Theresa Rizzo has done it again with a fantastic story and wonderful characters.  Though many may have differing opinions about what Jenny wants to do the story allows for you to see both sides and root for who you believe to be right.  The characters of Jenny and Steve are great.  They are well-written and develop nicely through the story.  Their relationship, though only a friendship at first, develops very naturally through Jenny’s trials.  I think one of the best parts of this story is how it illustrates the levels of grief along with the emotional toll a trial can take on a person.  Theresa Rizzo really does a phenomenal job in capturing the emotions of these characters and the story.  In the end, you realize the real point of everything and you along with the characters have an “ah ha” moment.  If you like books that can give you an emotional ride and will leave you emotionally spent, you have to pick up Just Destiny.  You will not be disappointed when Theresa Rizzo is writing the book.

7041259Author Bio:

Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she now lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. 

 

Review: Tales from Aulora by Helen A. Quinn

I know I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday’s review, but today your going to get a double review.  First up today will be Tales from Aulora by Helen A. Quinn.   This was a very unique novel.  Its a set of tales that follow elite workers that make wishes come true.  A very imaginative story that is a unique addition to the fiction world. Be sure to check my complete review after the book blurb.

21294141Book Blurb:

Tales from Aulora uncovers the secret world of wish making through a series of eight human wishes that arrive on Aulora.

Travel from 1381 to 2009 as Bill and Bob receive requests (that’s wishes to you and I) to help a village idiot clear his name and find his way home, protect a woman from those who accuse her of witchcraft when she saved a young girl’s life, allow a Lord to maintain his lazy lifestyle, save two boys from a sadistic teacher, restore a troubled rock star’s success, help a teenage girl with self esteem issues, reunite a teenage boy with his mother and deal with a love request that is littered with complications.

Set against daily challenges, personality clashes, a recalcitrant boss and an ever increasing workload, Bill and Bob uncover a much darker force that is hell bent on destroying humans and the cause of failed requests. When the Negativities are uncovered and a powerful antidote is found and used against them, the future of Request Making hangs in the balance when the Negativities declare war on Aulora.

Review:

This collection of stories was a really different read.  It was organized in a way that is reminiscent of Chaucer.  With the main characters of Bill and Bob the stories show how complicated a simple wish really is.  Every story from helping the village idiot to a love request wish has Bill and Bob fighting those Negativities that would prefer to keep all wishes unfulfilled.  It was an interesting read but it does get a bit complicated and at points it can lose the readers interest.  Though I felt it was a unique book in its story and organization I thought that the story needed to be a bit more fluid than it was.  Overall, the individual stories were okay but in general I felt the stories were a bit too sectionalized and that made for a very slow read.

 

 

Coffee and a Review with Headline Ghouls by James Teel Glenn

Coffee-coffee-13874368-1920-1200Good Morning and Happy Monday!  Today we are having coffee and reviewing with James Teel Glenn’s book, Headline Ghouls.  This was a cute collection of stories that through back to a time of old Hollywood and journalism that strode the line of ethical and not so much.  Be sure to check out my whole review after the book blurb.

51y2Zgeh34L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-61,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Book Blurb:

Reporter Moxie Donovan has followed his actor-wife to Hollywood and taken a job as a studio flack, but he hasn’t lost his eye for a story… and Hollywood is full of stories. It’s 1938, Hitler rules Germany and is supporting U.S. Nazi groups, the studio system is in full force, America still suffers from the Great Depression, and hard-boiled reporter heroes are the order of the day.
  Written in the “pulp” style with over-the-top characters, bizarre situations that combine mystery, nazis and the occult, the hard-charging reporter hero, and plenty of fists, guns and drinking.

Review:

This collection of “pulp” like stories almost reads like a Dick Tracy comic.  With quite a few differences but the idea is there.  We follow Moxie and his wife Maxi as they snoop out stories from Nazi’s to voodoo priestesses.  This is definitely a fun throwback novel paying homage to the type of journalism that flourished in the time of the Depression and pre-World War II.  I really enjoyed the back and forth between Moxie and Maxi.  I thought they were both good foils for one another.  It seems like they could definitely find trouble under the most benign rock.  The colorful characters that came through the stories also help to grab the attention of the reader.  Though I enjoyed this collection I felt the over the top language and lingo of the time was a bit much.  That made it feel more like a comic than part of a novel.  Also, I would have loved to have seen just one of these stories a bit more in-depth and made into a full novel.  There is definitely the capability there and James Teel Glenn has the talent.  Overall, I felt this was a cute collection of stories and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good adventure back to Hollywood’s heyday and Journalism’s time to really press the envelope.

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