Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction

180 Seconds

Synopsis

Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

Review

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!! This is easily one of my top books of 2021, if not the top book. Jessica Park got me in all the feels…I laughed, I related, I felt, and I cried…I cried hard! As a treatment foster care case manager, Allison’s story was one that touched my heart in so many ways. I know firsthand the trauma one can face being in foster care, and that made this story all that more real. There are so many amazing moments and realizations throughout this book by the characters, that spoke to me in so many ways. The quotes, the stories, the struggles…all spoke to me and made this book that much more amazing. The characters were FANTASTIC. Their relationships, their struggles, and their triumphs made this book incredible. Jessica Park’s writing is amazing. Her way with words made this book both heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time. I cannot say enough good things about this book! This is a book that I will read over and over and I will learn something new from it every time. If you have not picked up 180 Seconds by Jessica Park, make sure you do! You will not regret it! I can’t wait to read more of Jessica Park’s books!

Rating

About the Author

Jessica Park is the author of LEFT DROWNING, RESTLESS WATERS (Left Drowning #2), FLAT-OUT LOVE, the FOL companion novella, FLAT-OUT MATT., FLAT-OUT CELESTE, CLEAR, and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. Jessica grew up in the Boston area and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After spending four years in the frigid north, including suffering through one memorable Halloween blizzard, Jessica hightailed it back to the east coast. She now lives in (relatively balmy) New Hampshire with her husband, son, bananas dogs named Fritzy and Finn, and a selfish cat. When not writing, Jessica indulges her healthy obsessions with Facebook and complicated coffee beverages.

 You can e-mail her HERE. Tell her about your ex-boyfriend who was a font nerd. Or send pictures of awesome Flat People on adventures. (You get bonus points for this. Possibly some sort of award, too.) Stories of online romance. Apartment rental disasters. Skydiving experiences… Whatever you want. And like any normal person, she has an online addiction, so you can find her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER where she updates with much greater regularity than she does on her blog.

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · Contemporary Sports Romance · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

Slapshot

Thank you to Sarina BowenHeartEyes Press, and Rebecca Jenshak for the gifted copy of Slapshot. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

I’m banished to Vermont for a scandal that wasn’t my fault, and broke because my famous father cut me off. And did I mention my roommate stole my boyfriend? Yeah, I’m loving my Moo U experience. 

Now I need a job, because this gel manicure won’t upkeep itself. The only available option is the last one I’d ever want–a job as the hockey team’s equipment manager. My plan is to do the bare minimum, get paid, and find my way back into my father’s good graces. 

I will not get involved with a hockey player, no matter how hot. They’re cocky. And obnoxious. I know their type, and I’m not willing to risk getting hurt again. Until Lex Vonne glides into my life looking like sin on a stick. 

He thinks I’m a spoiled brat. 
I think he’s using me to get ahead. 
But the fire I feel when we’re together is like a slapshot to my heart…

Review

I was so excited to hear that there was a new hockey series coming out…Moo U. If you have not already guessed, I love hockey! Combine that with a good romance novel and this girl is one happy camper!!! 🙂 I absolutely loved Slapshot by Rebecca Jenshak! Rebecca has a similar writing style to Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, two of my favorite authors. I loved the characters in this story. Lex and Kaitlyn were amazing characters! I loved the determination of both characters in their own lives. The determination to be who they were going to be regardless of what other people thought. I also loved the determination of each of the characters in their love lives. Both Lex and Kaitlyn knew what they wanted and then went for it! This is the first book that I have read by Rebecca Jenshak and I must say it made a great first impression. Rebecca wrote a story that was not only believable but also one that kept you turning the pages and wanting more after the story was done. I can’t wait to read more in the Moo U series and I can’t wait to read more by Rebecca Jenshak!

Rating

Book Info

Release Date: February 15, 2021
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2VFqM4b
Purchase here → https://geni.us/AmazonSlapshot
Audio → https://geni.us/AudibleSlapshot
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

About the Author

Rebecca Jenshak is a new adult romance author. A Midwest native transplanted to the desert, she likes being outdoors (drinking on patios) and singing (in the shower) when she isn’t writing books about hot guys and the girls who love them.

Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · Contemporary Sports Romance · FIction

Blindsided

Thank you to Sarina Bowen, HeartEyes Press, and Victoria Denault for the gifted copy of Blindsided. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

What if Romeo wore hockey skates, and Juliet was raised on a farm next door?
As a life-long Vermonter, there are three beliefs I’ve always held true:
1. Our family farm is everything
2. Hockey is a close second
3. The Todds next door are our sworn enemies
But this season will test everything I stand for. 

I have an illicit side job that could cost me my hockey scholarship. And now Maggie Todd knows my secret. She’s waiting for the right moment to use it against me. But every time I face off against her, I learn things I shouldn’t want to know. Like how deeply her competitive streak runs, and how sexy that is. And how easy it is to make her blush… everywhere.

An Adler and a Todd cannot be lovers. Breaking that rule is like pulling a pin on a grenade–everything in my life could blow up. Can we surrender to these feelings… or will our families’ feud make us its next casualty?

Review

I was so excited to hear that there was a new hockey series coming out…Moo U. If you have not already guessed, I love hockey! Combine that with a good romance novel and this girl is one happy camper!!! 🙂 I absolutely loved Blindsided by Victoria Denault. Victoria has a similar writing style to Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, two of my favorite authors. The characters were well developed and the storyline was believable. I absolutely loved Maggie and Tate and their antics. I loved all the fights they got into and I loved the twists and turns that Victoria Denault put in the story with the “Romeo and Juliet-esk” family feud. The one thing that shocked me, but also made the story that much more amazing, was when what the family was feuding about was revealed…this was a curveball that I did not see coming! I won’t tell you what it is, but I will tell you, it was not what I predicted and this twist was not even on my radar. As a first-time reader of a Victoria Denault book, this one certainly made a great…no fantastic first impression. I absolutely loved Blindsided by Victoria Denault and will be picking up more books in the Moo U series as well as more books by Victoria Denault.

Rating

Book Info

Release Date: February 15, 2021
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3omh4Qh
Purchase herehttps://geni.us/AmazonBlindsided
Audiohttps://geni.us/AudibleBlindsided
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

About the Author

Victoria is  represented by Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary.

Victoria’s debut novel, One More Shot, was released June 2, 2015. Between 2015 and 2019 she has had 10 novels published with Forever (Hachette) in two standalone series – The Hometown Players and The San Francisco Thunder.

Victoria’s love of books began at 12 when she picked up her first Sweet Valley High and grew from there. Her favorite childhood gift remains the 1930s typewriter her parents found at a garage sale which actually wasn’t a gift for her. It was meant to be a display piece in their front hall but Victoria snuck it into her bedroom and it was on that typewriter she first began pounding out her own stories.

When not writing books Victoria can usually be found on a beach somewhere. Her favorite beaches are La Concha in San Sebastian, Spain, Zuma Beach in Malibu California and Ocean Park, Maine.

Book Review · Contemporary · FIction · Middle Grade · Young Adult

Harbor Me

This book has been on my TBR list for a while now, and I was finally able to get a chance to read it! This was one of those books that you read in a little over and hour, and you think about for the rest of the day.

Synopsis

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat–by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them–everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

Review

I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I selected this book to add to my TBR list, but I can tell you, that whatever it was, this book was more. What I thought would be a book about some kids and talks that they had, turned into a lesson about race and a life lesson that I think I will carry with me for the rest of my life. In the book, Jacqueline Woodson writes “If the worst thing in the world happened, would I help protect someone else? Would I let myself be a harbor for someone who needs it? Then she said, ‘I want each of you to say to each other: I will harbor you.’ I will harbor you.” This made me think about how many times we go through our days, only worried about ourselves. It made me think of those times that we are in a hard place, and all we do is think about how to rescue ourselves, but not how to rescue others in the same position as ourselves. I mean no offense, but sometimes, and maybe more often than not, we are a selfish people focused only on ourselves. While this book was indeed about some kids and the talks they had, it was much more. It was about kids who had to learn the hard lessons of racism and the unfairness of it all at a young age. It was about kids who had to harbor each other during this year of their lives. It was about kids who had to protect each other from bullies and from the curveballs that life throws at you. I very much enjoyed this book and the life lessons it taught me in a different way than I had heard them in the past. I will leave you with this quote:

“Before you used to hear the word immigration and it sounded like everything you ever believed in. It sounded like feliz cumpleanos and merry Christmas and welcome home. But now you hear it and you get scared because it sounds like a word that makes you want to disappear. It sounds like someone getting stolen away from you.”

Rating

About the Author

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories across sidewalks and penciled tiny tales in notebook margins. I loved and still love watching words flower into sentences and sentences blossom into stories.

I also told a lot of stories as a child. Not “Once upon a time” stories but basically, outright lies. I loved lying and getting away with it! There was something about telling the lie-story and seeing your friends’ eyes grow wide with wonder. Of course I got in trouble for lying but I didn’t stop until fifth grade.

That year, I wrote a story and my teacher said “This is really good.” Before that I had written a poem about Martin Luther King that was, I guess, so good no one believed I wrote it. After lots of brouhaha, it was believed finally that I had indeed penned the poem which went on to win me a Scrabble game and local acclaim. So by the time the story rolled around and the words “This is really good” came out of the otherwise down-turned lips of my fifth grade teacher, I was well on my way to understanding that a lie on the page was a whole different animal — one that won you prizes and got surly teachers to smile. A lie on the page meant lots of independent time to create your stories and the freedom to sit hunched over the pages of your notebook without people thinking you were strange.

Lots and lots of books later, I am still surprised when I walk into a bookstore and see my name on a book or when the phone rings and someone on the other end is telling me I’ve just won an award. Sometimes, when I’m sitting at my desk for long hours and nothing’s coming to me, I remember my fifth grade teacher, the way her eyes lit up when she said “This is really good.” The way, I — the skinny girl in the back of the classroom who was always getting into trouble for talking or missed homework assignments — sat up a little straighter, folded my hands on the desks, smiled and began to believe in me.

Audiobook · Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Young Adult

Only Mostly Devastated

Synopsis

Will Tavares is the dream summer fling – he’s fun, affectionate, kind – but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his happily ever after, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy-tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted – and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.

Right? Right.

Review

This was a fun, light-hearted, and deep book all packed into one! I absolutely loved the characters that Sophie Gonzales created, especially Ollie. I must admit however, I am not sure if I would have loved them the same had I read the book instead of listening to the audio version. Narrator Mark Sanderlin really made Ollie’s character come to life and made the story that much more real. Speaking of real, while I can imagine the storyline and it happening in real life, some of Ollie’s reactions to things, especially as a teenager, seemed a bit off to me. Ollie appeared way too calm and put together. Don’t get me wrong, there are teens out there who are calm and put together, but being a gay teenager that is out in a school where being gay is joked and laughed about, and one going through as many trials as Ollie went through, I am not sure how he reacted is realistic (of note, I have no idea what it is like to be a gay teenager in this situation, I am only speculating…I do not say any of this to offend anyone or pass judgement on anyone – it is merely an observation/opinion). Overall, I loved Ollie, his family, and his friends and the story told by Sophie Gonzales.

Rating

About the Author

Sophie Gonzales was born and raised in Whyalla, South Australia, where the Outback Meets the Sea. She now lives in Melbourne, where there’s no outback in sight, but slightly better shopping opportunities. Sophie loves punk music, frilly pink skirts, and juxtapositions.

Sophie has been writing since the age of five, when her mother decided to help her type out one of the stories she had come up with in the bathtub. They ran into artistic differences when five-year-old Sophie insisted that everybody die in the end, while her mother wanted the characters to simply go out for a milkshake.

Since then, Sophie has been completing her novels without a transcriptionist.

Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance

The Kiss Quotient

Synopsis

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases—a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice—with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan—from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Review

This book was not what I expected at all!!! The writing in this book was amazing, and for those of you that listen to audiobooks, the narrator of this audiobook was perfect! Within the first few minutes of listening to this book, I found myself loving Stella and the character she portrayed. Helen Hoang has a way of writing and describing her characters that has you loving them in minutes and also wanting to learn more about them. I also loved Michael; from his mysterious background, escort service views, and his boy next door characteristics, it was all wrapped up into one likable man. I really enjoyed the story of Stella and Michael and what it means to find love when it feels like the odds are against you. I am not sure what I expected from this story, but it was not what I read (listened to)! Helen Hoang had me laughing throughout at the interesting situations Stella found herself in and how she got through each of them. This book also had a more serious tone and gave me a glimpse into the world of autism and the struggles one faces, but also the successes one experiences. I absolutely loved this book and will be picking up more by Helen Hoang.

Rating

About the Author

Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since.

In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired THE KISS QUOTIENT.

She currently lives in San Diego, California with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

Book Review · Contemporary · FIction · Women's Fiction

Ladies Night

Synopsis

Grace Stanton’s life as a rising media star and beloved lifestyle blogger takes a surprising turn when she catches her husband cheating and torpedoes his pricey sports car straight into the family swimming pool.

Grace suddenly finds herself locked out of her palatial home, checking account, and even the blog she has worked so hard to develop in her signature style. Moving in with her widowed mother, who owns and lives above a rundown beach bar called The Sandbox, is less than ideal. So is attending court-mandated weekly “divorce recovery” therapy sessions with three other women and one man for whom betrayal seems to be the only commonality.

When their “divorce coach” starts to act suspiciously, they decide to start having their own Wednesday “Ladies’ Night” sessions at The Sandbox, and the unanticipated bonds that develop lead the members of the group to try and find closure in ways they never imagined. Can Grace figure out a new way home and discover how strong she needs to be to get there?

Heartache, humor, and a little bit of mystery come together in a story about life’s unpredictable twists and turns. Mary Kay Andrews’ Ladies’ Night will have you raising a glass and cheering these characters on.

Review

I have always loved books by Mary Kay Andrews and once again, I was not disappointed!  The characters in this book were wonderful.  Each had their own personalities and quirks, which made this book so entertaining, I would find myself sitting in my car listening long after I arrived at my destination!  This is a great story of how life sometimes falls apart and what you need to do it put it back together; A story of picking up the pieces and making lemonade out of lemons.  Mary Kay Andrews writes in a way that brings the story to life and makes it easy to imagine in your mind’s eye what the characters look like and the places they are at in the book.  I love Mary Kay Andrews’ wonderfully descriptive writing!  If you have not picked up a book by Mary Kay Andrews, first what are you waiting for, and second, make sure to read Ladies Night.

About the Author

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels (including Hello, SummerSunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The WeekendersBeach Town; Save the Date; Ladies’ Night; Christmas Bliss; Spring FeverSummer Rental; The Fixer Upper; Deep Dish; Blue Christmas; Savannah Breeze; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues), and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by twelve more New York TimesUSA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels, and both available to rent through Tybee Vacation Rentals. In between cooking, spoiling her grandkids, and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.

Book Review · Book Tour · FIction · Mystery · Paranormal

Possession

Thank you to author Ginny Fite, Milford House Press, and Suzy Approved Book Tours for the gifted copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Synopsis

Recently widowed Sylvie Andrus moves with her young son, Jason, to a small river town, and discovers she must solve a two-century old mystery to rid herself of the ghost who haunts her. Still grieving, she finds the ghost of her husband, Ned, waiting in her new home to seduce her. Jason warns Sylvie the ghost is evil but, swept up by her yearning for her husband and determined to reveal what happened to Clarinda Braxton, a Revolutionary Era painter who disappeared without a trace in 1794, she delays, putting her son’s life in peril.

Review

What an interesting book! I remember reading the synopsis, thinking “let’s give it a go,” as I am pretty finicky about books that have historical fiction in them and paranormal activity in them (I think that is what ghosts are categized as). When I began reading this book, I thought it might be a DNF book for me as I felt the book was SO slow to get started. However, once the story got started, boy did it pack a punch!! And it ended up being a page-turner for me! I really enjoyed hearing not only Clarinda’s story but the story of Sylvie and Jason as well. While this book was set in 2 different time periods, it was easy to follow what was happening in each of them, and both time periods really held my attention. Ginny Fite writes a beautifully sad story about 2 different families both affected by death and the effects the deaths have both in the hear and now and in the afterlife. I ended up really enjoying this book. It was not the story that I expected, and I am pleased to say the story was better than what I was expecting! I hope to read more by Ginny Fite in the future!

Rating

About the Author

Ginny Fite, author of Blue Girl on the Night Dream Sea, the thriller No End of Bad, and the dark mystery thrillers Cromwell’s Folly, No Good Deed Left Undone, and Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder is an award-winning writer and journalist. 

She’s also been a spokesperson for a governor and for a member of Congress, for colleges and universities, and a robotics R&D company. With degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University, she also studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. 

In addition to her novels, she is the author of I Should Be Dead by Now, a collection of humorous lamentations about aging, three books of poetry– The Last Thousand Years, The Pearl Fisher, and Throwing Caution– and a short story collection, What Goes Around. 

She is addicted to Twitter and posts as @Unwrinkledbrain. She resides in Harpers Ferry, WV. Website http://ginnyfite.com/

Book Spotlight · Book Tour · FIction · Historical Fiction · Historical Romance · Romance

Book Spotlight: In the Lion’s Den

About the Book:

Release Date: Oct. 6, 2020

From New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford comes the highly anticipated second book in the House of Falconer saga.

James Lionel Falconer has risen quickly from a mere shop worker to being the right-hand man of Henry Malvern, head of the most prestigious shipping company in London. With Malvern’s daughter Alexis running away to the country after a terrible tragedy and refusing to return, James’ ascent to head of the company seems inevitable. But even a charmed life like James’ is not without its setbacks.

A terrible fire threatens to end his merchant career before it’s had a chance to truly begin. Mrs. Ward, James’ former paramour, has a secret that could change his life forever. And his distaste for Alexis Malvern is slowly growing into feelings of quite a different sort. Can James continue to be the master of his own fate, or will all of his charm, intelligence, and wit finally fail him when he has to enter the lion’s den?

Spanning the years from 1889 to 1892, In the Lion’s Den is Barbara Taylor Bradford at her historical storytelling best.

About the Author

Barbara Taylor Bradford, OBE is one of the world’s best loved storytellers. Her 1979 debut novel, A Woman of Substance, ranks as one of the top-ten bestselling books of all-time, with more than 30 million copies in print. All 31 of her novels to date have been major worldwide bestsellers. Her 32nd book, Secrets Of Cavendon, will be published in hardcover and eBook on November 21 by St. Martin’s Press.

Bradford was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire (UK) as the only child of Freda and Winston Taylor. She grew up in the Leeds suburb of Armley and after Town Street Church of England School worked in the typing pool at the Yorkshire Evening Post before going into journalism. By the age of twenty she was the fashion editor of Woman’s Own Magazine and an editor and columnist on Fleet Street for the London Evening News.

Bradford’s books have sold more than ninety one (91) million copies worldwide in more than ninety (90) countries and forty (40) languages. Ten (10) of her books have been made into miniseries and television movies, making her one of the best-selling authors over the last 30 years.

In April of 2003, Mrs. Bradford was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America alongside Mark Twain, Langston Hughes and Dr. Seuss. She was awarded an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours list for her contributions to literature. Her original manuscripts are archived at the Brotherton Library at Leeds University, alongside the works of the Bronte sisters. In 2009, Barbara’s publishers began a worldwide 30th anniversary celebration of A Woman of Substance. The first annual Woman of Substance Awards took place on September 10th 2009 at the Dorchester Hotel in London. She lives in New York City with her husband, of 51 years, television producer Robert Bradford.

Author’s Links

         
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Book Review · Book Tour · FIction · Historical Fiction

A Frenzy of Sparks

Thank you to author Kristin Fields, Lake Union Publishing, and Suzy Approved Book Tours for the gifted copy of A Frenzy of Sparks. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Synopsis

It’s 1965, and thirteen-year-old Gia, along with her older brother and cousins, are desperate to escape their sleepy, tree-lined neighborhood where nothing ever happens. The only thing Gia would miss is the surrounding marsh, where she feels at home among sea birds and salt water.

But when one of Gia’s cousins brings drugs into their neighborhood, it sets off a chain of events that quickly turn dangerous. Everyone will be caught in the ripples, and some may be swept away entirely. Gia is determined to keep herself and her family afloat while the world is turned upside down around her. Can she find a way to hold on to the life she was so eager to leave behind, or will she have to watch it all disappear beneath the marsh forever?

Review

It’s been a minute since I took time to review a book. I’m not sure what really happened, other than life got in the way. Don’t worry, I have still been reading up a storm, but just didn’t get any posts written. But, I am here now and I am excited to get to reviewing again!

I really enjoyed a Frenzy of Sparks by Kristin Fields. This was a wonderfully written, heartbreaking story of what happens to a family and a community when drugs are introduced into their lives. As a social worker, I know all too well the effects that drugs not only have on the person who is taking them, but also the aftermath that happens to loved ones. Gia, a 13 year old girl, is stuck in the middle of trying to discover who she is and who she will be in the future, while also trying to take care of and protect her family. My heart broke as I read about Gia and her family. About all the trials they go through. But, her life too was sparked with bits of light. Kristin Fields’ writing has a serious manner to it, while also making you want to turn page after page to read more of the story. This books comes out on November 3rd, and I hope everyone goes out and gets a copy to read!

Rating

About the Author

Kristin Fields grew up in Queens, which she likes to think of as a small town next to a big city. Kristin studied writing at Hofstra University, where she was awarded the Eugene Schneider Award for Short Fiction. After college, Kristin found herself working on a historic farm, as a high school English teacher, designing museum education programs, and is currently leading an initiative to bring gardens to public schools in New York City, where she lives with her husband.