Book Review: A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows

by Ian Skewis


Unbound Digital

General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 27 Mar 2017

I am reviewing a copy of A Murder of Crows through Unbound digital and Netgalley:

In Scotland the most violent Thunderstorm in living memory happens above a sleepy village on the West Coast of the Country. During the storm a young couple takes shelter in the woods never to be seen again!

DCI Jack Russell is called in to investigate the young couples disappearance, though he is nearing retirement, he believes this case will be solved in a matter of routine.

Soon Jack realizes there is nothing routine about this case, that in fact he is on the trail of a psychopath who has just started. Jack finds himself fighting to stop the evolution of a serial killer before there are more victims!

I give A Murder of Crows five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!


Book Review: Voices From the Second World War

Voices from the Second World War

Stories of War as Told to Children of Today

Candlewick Press


Children’s Nonfiction

Pub Date 20 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Voices From the Second World War through Candlewick Press and Netgalley:

This book reminds children that World War Two changed the course of history. That up to eighty million people died in this war!

This book is a collection of memories of the survivors of World War Two many of these stories were collected by Children.

We learn of Douglas Poole who joined Britain’s Territorial army or army reserve in 1937 and he was one of the first called up when war broke out! We learn too of Veronika Syrovatkova who was four years old when the Nazi’s invaded the Sudentland. She talked to to India Dalton Biggs about what her life in Czechoslovakia was like while under German Occupation! We learn of Francisek Kornicki who joined the Polish Air Force College in 1936, when he was only nineteen. He fought for Poland during the war and then he moved to France and finally Britain where he fought with the Royal Air Force! (RAF).

In August 1939 Ken (Paddy) French moved from Ireland to England, a month later war would break out!

In September of 1939 Jasmine Blakeway was seventeen and on Holiday in France when war broke out.

Sir Nicolas Winton talks to Amelie Mitchell and Daniel McKeever why he set up the Kinder-transport program from Czechoslovakia in 1938.

Mary Black was evacuated out of England to Canada, she was born in Austria.

We learn to of Ruth Barnett who was living in Germany with her family when Hitler came into power and was transported to England on the Kinder-transport!

Marguerite Columbe was almost nineteen when the war started and we talked to her Granddaughter Chloe Tartinville about the fall of France under German Occupation.

In this book we learn too of first hand accounts of children evacuated before and during the war. We learn too of what wartime was like for the Children who were unable to be evacuated!

We learn to of those who were involved in the Resistance.

World War Two would also be one of the first wars we saw women at war, women like Jean Barker Baroness Trumpington who was a conservative member of Britain’s House of Lord’s. She tells a young girl Gemma Carolan about her experiences with the Naval Intelligences at Bletchley Park. We learn to of Molly Rose who flew for the Airport Transport Auxiliary during the war, delivering and collecting aircraft.

We learn of Judith Kerr author of When Hitler Stole My Pink Rabbit who was born in Berlin and who fled Germany when Hitler came into power because her Father was a vocal critic of Hitler and the Nazi’s.

I give Voices of the Second World War five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Odd Girl Out

Odd Girl Out

My Extraordinary Autistic Life

by Laura James

Perseus Books, Da Capo Press

Seal Press

Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 27 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Odd Girl Out Through Seal Press and Netgalley:

This is a powerful portrait of an autistic mind. Laura James. Situations she can’t control or even predict confuse her whether negative or positive! She relates her feelings to colors, the good ones are pretty colors, the bad ones are shades of green! As a child she felt at peace when she was spinning around .

Laura James wasn’t diagnosed with Autism until August of 2015 by then she was married with Children!

In this book she talks about how as a child her meltdowns were kicking, screaming, throwing herself to the floor, crying until she was out of breath explosions but now when she has a meltdown it’s an implosion.

In this book we learn how Laura James has learned to accept her diagnosis and continue to live her life to the fullest extent she can.

I give Odd Girl Out five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: From Jerusalem to Timbuktu

From Jerusalem to Timbuktu

A World Tour of the Spread of Christianity

by Brian C. Stiller

InterVarsity Press

Christian , Religion & Spirituality

Pub Date 20 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of From Jerusalem to Timbuktu through Intervarsity Press and Netgalley:

The birthplace of Christianity was Jerusalem. It was concentrated in the West for many centuries but it has rapidly spanned across Africa, Latin America and Asia. Leaving Christianity’s geographic center of density is now in the West African country of Mali-In Timbuktu. In this book Brian Stiller will identify the five key factors that have shaped the church.

The first of the five factors that helped shape the Church being a renewed openness to the move of Holy Spirit, to the empowerment of ingenious leadership. In some areas Christianity is embattled and threatened while in many places it flourishes in a way it never has before. In this book you will discover how the gospel is advancing in places it never has before, and you will be encouraged to see that Jesus witness is reaching to the ends of the earth.

I give From Jerusalem to Timbuktu five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Every Shiny Thing

Every Shiny Thing

by Cordelia Jensen, Laurie Morrison


Amulet Books

Children’s Fiction

Pub Date 17 Apr 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Every Shiny Thing through Amulet Books and Netgalley:

Lauren prides herself on being a good sister, to her brother who is on the spectrum, when Lauren’s parents place her brother in a boarding school for teens on the spectrum.

Sierra moves into Lauren’s neighborhood after her Mother is arrested and she is placed into a foster home in the same wealthy neighborhood Lauren lives in. The girls are lost and hurting and find comfort in each other but soon Lauren recruits Sierra to help her with a Robin Hood scheme to help raise money for Autistic kids who do not have the resources her family does, but if anything goes wrong both girls can find themselves in deep trouble.

Lauren will have to learn that it is not just good intentions that matter when battling injustice, and Sierra learns that she sometimes needs to take care of herself not just everybody else.

I give Every Shiny Thing five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Permanent Marker Book Review:and Interview

Permanent Marker

A Memoir

by Aimee Ross

KiCam Projects

Biographies & Memoirs , Self-Help

Pub Date 13 Mar 2018

Life can be perfect, until it isn’t. Aimee Ross reminds us that life can seem perfect one moment and then everything can change. She had been raising three kids, was married to her high school sweetheart, and was a well respected teacher.

In 2010 her life would change in ways she could not even begin to imagine the ways it would change, early in 2010 she would ask for a divorce, just three days later she’d suffer a heart-attack and in July of the same year her life would be changed by an accident, in which 19 bones were broken and the young man who had caused the accident, because he had been under the influence would die the next day.

Aimee miraculously survived but would be left with permanent scars, and for a couple of years after the accident she would understandably hold on to anger at the young man, because Aimee and others could have easily died.

In time Aimee would forgive the young man, and be able to let go of that anger.

In 2012 Aimee would begin a relationship with an old acquaintance Jackson Ross, a relationship that would help her to feel even better about herself, on June.23.2014 she and Jackson oils become man and wife at Smathers Beach in Key. West Florida!

I would most definitely recommend Permanent Marker, Aimee Ross’s vibrant personality shines throughout the book.

Happy Reading!

Author Interview:

A Conversation with Permanent Marker Author Aimee Ross

Aimee Ross was living a perfectly normal life raising three kids, married to her high school sweetheart, and teaching at her high school alma mater.

Life was perfect—right until it wasn’t.

Unhappy in her marriage, Aimee asked for a divorce. Three days later, she suffered a heart attack at age forty-one. Five months after that, she survived a near-fatal car crash caused by an intoxicated driver.

Her physical recovery took months and left her body marked by scars. The emotional recovery, though, would take longer, as Aimee sought to forgive the man who almost killed her—and to forgive herself for tearing apart her family.

Throughout her healing process, Aimee found writing to be a way to process her traumas and discover—or rediscover—her true self. In 2014, she completed an MFA program in creative non-fiction writing at Ashland University, and in 2018 she will publish her memoir, Permanent Marker.

Aimee’s writing is marked by candor, wit, and humor as she finds the power in her story and chronicles her transformation into the woman she was always meant to be. Permanent Marker takes readers on a journey of healing, proving that from darkness can come new light, new love, and a renewed purpose for life.

In this Q&A, Aimee describes her writing process, her influences, and her advice for other writers.

1. What prompted you to write your memoir and share your very personal experiences with readers?

I had to understand what happened to me: Who had I been, and who did I become? I knew I was different. I knew something life-changing had happened to me, and I needed to understand how it had affected me so deeply. Sharing the experiences is education at its basic level—teaching and learning from each other. It’s so ingrained in me that I don’t know how not to share.

2. How did reliving your most painful experiences—a divorce, a heart attack, a near-fatal car crash—affect you? Did it feel therapeutic, or was it harder than you anticipated?

I’ve been working on this for more than six years, to tell the truth. When I first started writing, it was only about the accident. Before I knew it, the story of my divorce and heart attack was bubbling out of me without control. Within months, I realized that even though I’d chosen to get divorced, the heart attack and accident just happened to me; my first reaction was that karma was paying me back. Guilt made me wonder if I’d deserved all of what happened, and ultimately, that’s when I started asking the bigger questions of myself through writing that most definitely—as the book explains—became my therapy. I cried a lot and processed a lot. And thank goodness, because it worked. (But I’ve always believed in writing as a cathartic, insightful experience, as a veteran English teacher.)

3. Which writers and works inspired you to put your own story on paper? Who has influenced your writing style?

Darin Strauss’s Half a Life and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love both inspired me. Strauss experienced a traumatic accident as well, and as a result, he dealt with his guilt through writing his memoir—I took strength from that. Early in Gilbert’s book, she briefly writes about the end of her marriage, and it has always stuck with me.

My younger sister is a humor writer, and she’s been influencing and guiding my writing for years, no matter whether I was working on an essay, a lesson plan, a presentation, or an application. I’m also a huge fan of Abigail Thomas’s writing style, which I studied during my MFA. She writes almost conversationally, and she experiments with voice and chronology (or lack of) brilliantly. Both Jill Christman’s (Darkroom) and Cheryl Strayed’s (Wild) writing also have influenced my style, and not just their books—both women are prolific essay writers with unique, straightforward creative voices.

4. What makes a great memoir? What advice would you give to other aspiring authors who might be struggling to get started with a memoir?

A great memoir, no matter the writer’s experience, makes you feel as if you have been through it with her. Not only does the writer have a voice that’s relatable and realistic, her story has universal qualities that help you identify with it while making you feel something.

After hearing the same advice over and over again, from editors, writers, and publishers alike, I decided, “Hey, maybe they all know something I don’t (duh, Aimee),” so here it is: Figure out the story you want to tell and why it needs to be told. Then get it all out in writing. Every bit of it. After you do that, then you look for patterns and similarities and gaps, or ways you could experiment or change the structure.

5. What has been the most fulfilling part of the writing and publishing process for you?

For me, it has been the challenge of the writing itself: telling my story the best way I can and finding just the right words to say what I want. That gives me a tremendous feeling of satisfaction. When I can read something I’ve written over and over again in a quest for perfection and feel proud, that’s fulfilling, too.

6. What’s the primary takeaway you hope readers get from Permanent Marker?

Ultimately, I think we’re all asking the same questions of ourselves—Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? How do I get through this struggle?—and memoir is the perfect genre to find possible answers in others’ experiences to help us answer our own.

Aimee Ross is a nationally award-winning educator who has been a high school English teacher for the past twenty-five years. She completed her MFA in creative non-fiction writing at Ashland University in 2014 and also dabbles in fiction and poetry. Her writing has been published on and http://www.SixHens.Com, as well as in Scars: An Anthology (Et Alia Press, 2015); Today I Made a Difference: A Collection of Inspirational Stories from America’s Top Educators (Adams Media, 2009); and Teaching Tolerance magazine. Learn more about Aimee at

Book Review: NeverAlone

Never Alone

Exchanging Your Tender Hurts for God’s Healing Grace

by Tiffany Bluhm

Abingdon Press

Christian , Religion & Spirituality

Pub Date 06 Feb 2018

I am reviewing Never Alone through Abingdon Press and Netgalley:

In this book we are reminded that Only by the love of Jesus do we exchange our shackles of shame for the robe of freedom. We are reminded too that shame never lets us rest. It reminded us how we feel about ourselves when we would rather forget. It goes deeper. Tiffany reminds us that when we remind ourselves he took on our shame we shed our shame.

The author goes on to tell us that suppressing doubts will only move us farther from faith. We are reminded too of the danger of believing a shoddy version of the Bible when we need the real truth.

We are reminded too that though we will be hurt in our relationships, our relationship with Christ will heal us.

The author goes on to point out that Grace does not stop with those we forgive. We are reminded too that though we have struggles and heartbreaks Jesus will overcome the world. We are reminded too that we are created in the image of God. We are reminded too that all of our friends teach us in one way or another.

It is pointed out too that the smallest faith can make room for the great faithfulness of our Father.

We are reminded too of the danger of bitterness, it can poison both our hearts and others. It is also pointed out there is no hopelessness in Jesus Christ.

I give Never Alone five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Prayers of Boundless Compassion

Prayers of Boundless Compassion

by Joyce Rupp

Ave Maria Press

Sorin Books

Christian , Religion & Spirituality

Pub Date 02 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Prayers of Boundless Compassion through Ave Maria Press and Netgalley:

Compassion was at the center of Jesus’s ministry, he healed the sick, fed the hungry, and forgave sinners.

In this book of prayers we are encouraged to Love Another. We are encouraged to plants seeds of compassion. We are encouraged to not only have compassion towards others but to ourselves as well.

We are encouraged to pray for the sick, to pray for Refugees. We are reminded too that we need to activate the fruits of the Spirit. We are encouraged to send forth compassion.

I give Prayers of Boundless Compassion five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Boundless Compassion

Boundless Compassion

Creating a Way of Life

by Joyce Rupp

Ave Maria Press

Sorin Books

Christian , Religion & Spirituality

Pub Date 02 Mar 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Boundless Compassion through Ave Maria Press and netgalley:

This book reminds us that although living compassionately is rarely convenient and is often downright challenging but as Christians we should strive to live a Compassionate life. Awareness, Attitude and Action, are three essentials compromise the movement of compassion.

The seeds of compassion are nonviolence, non judgement, forgiveness and mindfulness. We are reminded too that every scar holds a story.

We are encouraged to breathe in and out. The author points out too that compassion burnout is real and that as well as being compassionate to others we need to have self compassion!

This book reminds us that we need to respond to tragedies and to be empathetic.

I give Boundless Compassion five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

Book Review: You Will Be Mine

You Will Be Mine

by Natasha Preston


Sourcebooks Fire

Mystery & Thrillers , Teens & YA

Pub Date 06 Feb 2018

I am reviewing a copy of You Will Be Mine through Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley:

Lylah and her friends can’t spend a night out together. Partying is perfect to let go of the stresses of life and school.. Lylah hopes that getting on the dance floor with Chace, her best friend will draw them closer together. Lylah has had a crush on Chace from day one, unfortunately he doesn’t seem to show any interest.

As the girls touch up their makeup and the guys put on their coats when the doorbell rings but no one is there. It’s a note for their friend Sony, perhaps a secret admirer until another note shows up and Sony never comes home.

I give You Will Be Mine five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!