Hey everyone I just wanted to let you know that my short story Dead End Drive is being published to an Anthology. I’m super excited about it, and I hope you support me and click below to purchase one today!
The book I am reviewing is “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah. Let me just start off saying that it took me a long time to finish this book, only because I started it before the Pandemic. Once the pandemic started, I stopped reading it. However, once I went back to work, I finished it in a week.
I fell in love with the characters of this book. Ernt, Leni, and Cora Allbright. Ernt was the father, Cora was the mother, and Leni was the daughter. I technically fell in love with Leni and Cora, Ernt not so much (he was a bad guy).
SPOIL ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU PLAN TO READ THE BOOK
The story goes, Leni was a teenage girl and her father was an alcoholic man. He came back from Vietnam a changed man. But Cora loved him anyway, no matter how much he abused her.
Ernt would get in depressing moods and just want to pick up and move. So, one day when Leni got home from school, he picked his family up and whisked them out to Alaska. He inherited a piece of land from a Vietnam buddy who passed away. The issue with this was that the land was in the middle of nowhere. It was off the grid, they would all have to survive on their own.
When they arrived, the place was in shambles, but they made it their home. They were welcomed by other people in town. They’re really was only a handful, maybe a little more. They welcomed them with open arms and Ernt appreciated that. He thought Alaska would help him get better, get rid of his demons. However, it made him worse. His wife Cora was an attractive woman, so when men would look at her, he would become enraged and go home and hit Cora, like it was her fault.
When Leni started going to school there, there was only one classmate her age and his name was Matthew. Now at this time they were about 14. They were just friends, they didn’t think of each other in that way. However, something changed between them when Matthew watched his mother die. She was sucked under the ice. Matthew was devastated by her loss, that he decided to move in with his grandparents in a different part of Alaska, and Leni was left on her own.
Four years later, things were becoming really severe with her parents, that she wanted to get out there. More rather she wanted her mom, Cora to leave her dad. He was becoming more and more abusive and drinking more. Around this time is when Matthew came back. When Leni saw him, something changed inside her. She had a burning passion for him. She couldn’t stop thinking about him, and he about her. One thing you have to understand is that Ernt hated Matthews family, so she was forbidden to see him or hangout with him. However, during their senior year, they would sneak out and take trips and have picnics and that’s where Leni was kissed for the first time. She was thrilled and she wanted more.
One night Leni’s parents went out and she knew they would be gone for hours, so she invited Matthew over to the house. They made love for the first time that night. Matthew woke up to the sound of people walking around down in Leni’s house. He woke her up and she had to get him out of the house. She dragged her folks out of the house and Matthew got away.
After that night, things would never be the same. Leni wanted to be with Matthew always, but she couldn’t, so her plan was to go to college with him. She would leave this life behind, away from her dad and go with him. Her and Cora decided they were going to leave him. They headed to town with Ernt, and Leni yelled to Matthew to help them. Ernt heard that and yelled for them to get into the car. They went back into the truck and headed back home, but Matthew followed. When Ernt and the family got into the house, that is when all hell broke loose. He started beating Cora with her fists, smashing her nose and her face. Matthew came and pulled him off her and knocked him out. Cora and Leni went into Matthews truck.
They headed into town and Cora was dropped off at a really close friends house. Matthew took Leni up a mountain so they could escape her father. They set up a tent and woke up to each other. Leni was happy, but she needed her mom. She wanted to make sure she was okay. She needed to go, so Matthew decided to take her back. On the way down it started raining, and Leni lost track of Matthew and she fell into a crevice of the earth. She woke up with a broken arm and she couldn’t catch her breath. She broke some of her ribs. Matthew came after her and tried to save her life, but instead, it cost him a huge price. He fell and was in bad shape. He had a brain injury and he couldn’t walk.
A few hours, they were found and transported by hospital. Leni got patched up and was sent home. Matthew however, was in a coma. They weren’t sure if he would ever wake up.
When Cora and Leni arrived home, her dad was waiting for them. Cora didn’t press charges like she promised she would. Instead he went after them, but Leni told them she was pregnant and he started to beat the hell out of her. That is when Cora, took a shot gun and shot him! Not once, but twice. They had to hide the body, because this took place in the 70’s where it didn’t matter that men hit women. She would go to jail.
They hid the body and came back to the cabin, Cora’s close friends cleaned up and made up a fake story, saying that they were missing. Leni and Cora had to leave Alaska and went to Seattle, where Cora’s parents lived. They stayed there for 7 or 8 years. Cora became sick with Cancer, and gave Leni a confession letter and to go back home to Alaska with Leni’s son MJ. She told her she belonged there with Matthew, although she still thought he was a vegetable. That was her last wishes. She died and did what she was told. Her mom left her two one way tickets to Alaska.
Once they arrived, Leni did what she was told. She went to the police station and handed the envelope from her mom. The chief read it and coaxed her into telling him what really happened. She eventually told him what really happened and he arrested her. She told him to call Mr. Walker (Matthew’s dad) to come down. Mr. Walked came and saw Leni and she introduced him to his grandson. She told him to take care of him and left.
An arraignment was supposed to happen, but Cora’s friend came in and told the judge (who was friends with this woman) that it was a load of crap. All of a sudden there was a phone call from the governor and the case had been dropped. Thanks to Mr. Walker. In case you didn’t know, Mr. Walker is a big deal in Alaska, so he had a lot of strings.
Leni reunited with her son back on the Walker ranch. She wanted to see Matthew, but she was afraid. Mr. Walker took her to see him and when the door opened, she saw that he was conscious and aware. He was in a wheelchair and still had some damage to his head, but he was mostly aware of what was going on. He spoke in phrases. She was so happy he was back. She told him that he was a father. They walked hand in hand, (yes he could walk as well) and she took him to meet their son. He fell in love with him, as soon as he saw him. MJ yelled out daddy, and they became a family in Alaska.
This story actually had me crying. I never cry in books, like ever. But this one, I really couldn’t help myself. I give this story 4.5 stars. I would have given it 5, but it was a little slow in some parts. Especially toward the end. I kept waiting and waiting for the climax.
What’s up everyone!
I know it’s been awhile, been crazy busy with writing and reading!
Just wanted to let you all know if you live in the Bucks County, PA area, I’ll be apart of a local author expo at Northampton Free Library on Upper Holland Road. The time is 11 until 2.
Hope to see ya there!
I’m very excited to review this next book. It’s called Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. I gave this book five stars. It was amazing!
Here comes the spoilers in case you want to read this book yourself.
Garden Spells is about the Waverly family. Claire and Sydney. They are sisters that are the complete opposite. Sydney was a wild child while Claire was a homebody, who did right by everyone.
The Waverly’s were highly popular in their cozy North Carolina town. They were popular and well known because they were something magical. They knew things and things would happen when they were around. They weren’t per say witches, but there was something to them. The townspeople didn’t really care for them because they were different. Claire however, always tried to make people like her. She was a caterer and made wonderful meals that everyone loved. She tried to please everyone.
There was Evanelle, an Aunt from what I gathered who also lived in town. She had the power of giving things to people when they need them. A lot of people in town were afraid of her because you never know what she could give you. It was like something called to her and she needed to give it you right away. It could be in the middle of the night and she would have to get it to you.
Sydney ran away from her home where she was living with her daughter Bay and her boyfriend David. David was a bad man. He would beat Sydney within inches of her life, so she and Bay decided to move away from there and back home with Claire, who hadn’t seen her in years. They didn’t always get a long and didn’t see eye to eye.
So when Sydney showed up out of nowhere with a daughter who is five years old, Claire was shocked. She didn’t know what to think about all of this. Sydney wouldn’t tell her anything about the life she was living.
As time passed, the girls became closer. A man named Tyler lived next door to them and Claire had a thing for him, but it was more like he had one for her. You see there was an apple tree that was planted in the Waverly’s backyard. It had a mind of it’s own. It would throw apples and it would spread it’s branches out. It liked the attention. It was magic. It was said that if you ate one of those apples, you would see the one thing you were destined for. It would be either horribly devastating or wonderful.
Tyler ate one of those apples and he saw something that he never imagined. He saw Claire. She pushed him away as much as she could, she didn’t want love or to get hurt. However, there was something about him that drew her in.
Sydney spent a lot of time with Tyler because they were becoming great friends. They would tell each other everything and he would talk about Claire all the time.
Claire would make her infamous magical food to wean people away from her, but it didn’t work on Tyler. She couldn’t stay away from him any longer.
Sydney found Henry, a boy she knew since grade school. She just wanted to be friends with him, but Henry didn’t want that and it took him a good chunk of the book to tell her. At the end, she realized that she loved him. She kissed him to be sure, and it was pure electric. There was one thing though, there was David. The ex.
David pops in at the end of the story during a party that Claire and Sydney are throwing. He carries a gun with him and he shoots Henry in the shoulder. Bay hid away from David, she didn’t want anything to do with him. The tree threw an apple at him, thinking it came from Bay and he ate it. What he saw a few seconds later changed everything. He dropped the gun and he fled.
In the end David gets caught and goes to prison. They believe he saw his death in jail. Henry and Sydney spoke about marriage and Bay became incredibly happy. Claire and Tyler end up together with a baby and an engagement.
They all lived happily ever after.
That was my review of Garden Spells. I know what I wrote didn’t do the book justice but it’s only a tad of what this book is about. If I had to compare it to anything, it reminded me of Practical Magic.
For this review I’m doing it on the book Loreen On The Lam: A Tennessee Mystery, by Marielena Zuniga. I gave this book three stars. The story was pretty good, but the way it was written was not.
The story starts out with Loreen, a woman in her young twenties, from what I gathered, breaking out of prison. She meets up with a man that she was supposedly “sleeping with” at his garage and she steals Josh Montgomery’s tour bus.
Loreen breaks out of jail, because she receives a letter from her mama, telling her that she is dying and she doesn’t have much time left.
Loreen takes the bus and drives as fast as she could to her mama, but along the way she meets Tilly. Tilly is on the side of the ride crying and she needs a ride, to get rid of her abusive cop husband. Loreen now takes on the responsibility of this woman. They go on their way, when they meet a mute bible salesman, Splat. However, it turns out Splat isn’t who he said he was. He was a murderer and was on the way to murder Josh Montgomery. What a coincidence.
There are two parts of the story: one is Loreens, and the other takes place in the 80’s and has something to do with her grandfather Mac. Mac robbed a bank with some other people and hid the money and jewels in a cave back in the 80’s. These bad people were trying to look for this treasure, but Mac wouldn’t give it up and tell them where it was. They even threatened to hurt Loreen, when she was a little girl, but Mac still wouldn’t budge.
Meanwhile, Loreen was a woman who broke out of jail, and brought along two other people, now ran into a nun who was broke down in the middle of night. Loreen went out to get her, but Splat turned the gun on her and the nun. Loreen knew he was trouble. Splat made the nun get on the bus.
Throughout the story, all Loreen is trying to do is get home to her dying mama. Obstacles keep on getting in her way.
When Loreen finally makes it home to her destination, she goes to her mama and she is pretty much gone. She tells her that she loves her and apologizes for the daughter that she has become. She kisses her one last time. Her mama’s caregiver gives her a letter containing information where the money and jewels were. Mac wrote it back in the 80’s when he thought he would disappear, because of all the threats made against him. He was presumed dead, and was never seen again.
Loreen was on her way to the cave when Splat went after her with a twist Josh Montgomery, they were heading to kill Josh Montgomery’s wife. They were going to pin it on Loreen. However, when they got there, his wife wasn’t dumb and nailed Splat. His wife listened to Loreen’s story. She was her get out of jail free card.
The end of the story, Splat and Josh Montgomery go to jail for trying to kill his wife. Tilly and the nun are free from the chaos that happened. Loreen finds the money and jewels and returns them. Josh’s wife, gets Loreen off so she doesn’t have to do any time. The biggest shock for me in this story, was that Mac was indeed alive, but dying with the same thing her mama had.
I only gave this story three stars because of the way the book was written. The grammar and spelling were a mess. The story however, was good. Sometimes though, it took a while to get through. Some of the parts were boring. It took me months to get through it.
Have a great weekend!
my newest review is about the book Grey by E L James. This book is in Christian Grey’s point of view. I did read the Fifty Shade’s books when they first came out and I did enjoy them. However, as I became a writer, I noticed that I didn’t really care for them as much.
When I read Grey, I struggled to get through it. I just wasn’t into it, but I am not one of those people that can toss a book by the way side, so I reluctantly finished it. I am giving this book three stars. It did not hold my interest and it took me a really long time to finish it, although it was a pretty fast read. I found myself over it and over all the sexual escapades that was going on.
The story goes if you don’t know it already. Christian Grey, a wealthy man in his twenties who owns his own huge corporation meets Anastasia Steele, a twenty something college student.
Christian is all about finding a submission for his sexual lifestyle to succumb to his every need. However, when he meets Ana all bets are off. He finds himself having feelings for her, feelings that he’s not used to. He can’t stay away from her and he wants her all to himself.
That’s basically the gist of it. the story line was pretty good, but the writing style just wasn’t my cup of tea.
This week my review is the novel Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. When I first started reading this book, it got my attention. Some books are hard for me to get into, but not this book. Very good and very different.
This book follows Jason Dessen, a physicist teacher at a college. He has the perfect life: a wife, a son, a warm house to come home to in Chicago, IL. What he doesn’t know, is that everything is about to change. His wife Daniella convinces him to go out to a bar to have a drink with his friend Ryan. On his way home, he decides to take a different way and grab some ice cream so he can enjoy it with his family. Suddenly someone approaches him with a gun in the shadows. He doesn’t see his face. He tells Jason to get into his car and drive to an abandoned warehouse. When they get there, Jason is beside himself. He doesn’t understand what this guy wants. He starts to beg and plead for his life. The other guy then tells him to take off all his clothes and walk down a dark hallway. Jason does as he is told. They arrive at a dark area and the guy tells him to put on some clothes and then injects him with a serum.
Jason falls asleep and when he wakes up, he doesn’t know where he’s at. He’s in a building that looks like a scientists wet dream. A man runs over to him, excitedly. He kept saying ‘oh my god it worked!’ Jason had no idea where he was and who this guy was. He asks Jason all kinds of questions about this portal, and Jason is confused.
He comes to realize that this other person that kidnapped him, was his other self. On the opposite vortex there was another Jason, who did all he dreamed of. But he made this portal that can transport you into another parallel universe. The other Jason was home with his wife and son and this Jason was here at the lab, confused.
Jason decides to go back into this portal with syringes that contain a solution that will help him crossover. When he goes back in, it’s a long dark hallway. He continues walking and sees dozens of doors. He doesn’t know yet what the purpose is of these doors, so he keeps on walking. Eventually he walks through one of the doors, he’s trying to get back to his home. As he goes through the door, his world is completely different. His house has changed, and things are different even with his wife and son. He doesn’t understand what has happened and why things have changed.
The whole book is Jason going through various worlds to find HIS world. He’s tired, upset, lonely, and he misses his family.
#Warning: Don’t read if you don’t want to know the ending
By the end of the book, Jason has one ampule left to take. He figured out a formula to finally get back to his world. He outsmarts the hundreds of other Jason’s that have arrived (Which I still don’t know how that happened). He gets Daniella to believe that he his the real Jason and she believes him. They go to a cabin in Wisconsin I believe and take shelter to figure out to get rid of the Jason impostors.
At the end Jason takes the last ampule with his wife and son. Jason told his son to conjure up something beautiful in his mind and then they would walk through a door.
I gave this book four stars, only because some things I were confused about. If you like science fiction, you should read this book. It really makes you think!
I’m doing my sixth review on the book The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman. All I have to say is wow. I give this book 5 stars. I was kind of skeptical about reading this book because I never heard of the author. She was a bestselling author however, so I gave her a chance. I’m really glad I did, because I loved this book.
So if you’re reading my blog and how I usually do my reviews I always reveal the book and the ending, so if you don’t want to know how the story ends don’t read my blog 🙂 Anyway let’s get started.
Okay so this book is about Clare and Jess Martin. They are a married couple from New York. Jess was a bestselling author and trying to work on his second novel, but he lost his inspiration so him and his wife Clare move to Clare’s old neighborhood of Concord. They decide to be caretakers to a wealthy old man who was also Clare and Jess’s professor in college.
Katrine, the realtor tells them that this was the perfect place to get inspiration. They see the cottage and they think it is perfect. It was a huge property with a side suite down the hill from where Mr. Montague was staying (who they’re taking care of). They were to stay in this small cottage and help restore the mansion for Mr. Montague. He wanted to make sure it was in working condition if and when he passed away.
So they move into the cottage and the first night there, Clare hears sounds. It sounded like a baby crying outside the cottage. She wakes up and goes outside, but doesn’t see a baby but actually a shadowy figure in the fog of the pond. Clare tries to run to the figure but it vanishes.
Clare heads back to the cottage where Jess is still sleeping. She doesn’t want Jess to think she is crazy. She did have a breakdown in the past because of having a miscarriage.
So the story is basically about Clare getting haunted at this house. She hears babies crying, sees shadowy figures, hears and bells ringing in the middle of the night. She thinks she’s gong crazy, but she is also writing a novel that maybe caused these hallucinations. She was inspired by Monty. She decided to dig up who she really was. She was adopted as a young baby, and never found out who her real parents were. She heard the rumors of the Apple Blossom Girl and Monty’s father Bayard. His father had an affair with this young girl while married to Minnie and she got pregnant. Both actually got pregnant at the same time.
Minnie found out about the young girl, but didn’t do anything about it. When the young girl had her baby she gave her baby to her sister and she gave it to Bayard, but he didn’t want the baby and he gave it to the maid. The young girl, whose name was Mary Foley, drowned in the frozen pond the night she had the baby. The rumor was that she was haunting the estate ever since. Minnie went crazy because she thought her baby was killed and her baby was swapped with Mary’s baby.
So with that said, now you get the gist of what the story is about. Clare finds out that she is Monty’s daughter with a previous student of Monty’s. She tells Monty and he is happy. The thing is though, is that strange things kept on happening. Clare seemed to be going crazy. The way the author captivated her character, made her seem like she was a little off the hinges.
As the story comes to a close, Clare realizes that Jess and Katrine were conspiring against her. She finds out that Jess and Katrine actually dated in the past. Since Monty found out that Clare was his daughter, he wrote her into his will to own the house called River House, but called Riven House because of all the hauntings. Jess and Clare’s marriage was not perfect at all, in fact it was bad. Really bad. So Jess and Katrine arranged to inherit money from Clare, by trying to kill her in a way that looked like accident.
Okay so this story is strange, the ending got me a little confused. So Clare thought this whole time that Katrine and Jess were conspiring against her, however, I don’t think that was the case at all. Jess was actually proud of his wife for writing such an amazing novel and Katrine was actually trying to get Jess and Clare to live in Clare’s old childhood home to get away from River House because she was losing her shit. Clare had this illusion that Katrine was actually the ghost of River House, trying to make her crazy. She was dead wrong.
Clare saw Jess and Katrine go into Clare’s old home and spend a good hour in there. Clare sat there waiting for them to come out, but hid. Clare left upset, because she thought he was cheating on her and took off like a bat out of hell. She crashed her car and it flipped. It was freezing rain outside and Clare was inches from freezing to death, but she was able to get out of there. She raced back to the house on foot to tell Monty about Jess and Katrine’s plan to kill her. When she reached the house, she went into Monty’s room but he wasn’t there, but saw the pages of her manuscript on his desk. He was using her work to write his own novel. He saw her and he freaked out, he thought she was the ghost of the house and had a heart attack, and died. Clare confronted Jess about having the affair and Jess laughed it off. Clare got upset and the power went out. She grabbed a gun from Monty’s room and tried to leave the room, but Jess was holding her back. A tree flew into the window from the ice storm that was taking place outside. Clare was able to get free. She left the room but Katrine and Jess were able to get to her. She shot and killed Katrine. She ran away from Jess and he went into the pond and drown, but she did try and save him. She saw a ghost however, drag him down into the blackness.
So now you can choose what to believe. Was it really haunted or were Jess and Katrine conspiring with each other to kill Clare so they could inherit the house and the money?
I rate this story very high. I do love a good haunting/ghost story.
I read the final book in the Firefly Lane series. Fly Away was in my opinion a really great book. It was so heart-warming and touched me in the right spot. The writing was excellent and I fell in love with the characters.
THIS WILL HAVE SPOILERS!!
So the journey continues with Tully and Kate but after Kate passes away. Tully is destroyed by the loss of her best friend and she doesn’t know how to cope. Kate’s husband Johnny is beyond upset by his wife’s death and he doesn’t know how to handle their 3 kids. Marah who is the elder daughter of Johnny and Kate, spirals out of control with the passing of her mom’s death.
The story focuses on Tully and Marah. Tully is her godmother and promises to be there for her but Tully becomes a total recluse. She starts taking Xanax and drinking excessively. Marah wants to leave her family and move in with Tully. Tully agrees but Johnny is beside himself. He doesn’t want his family apart but he reluctantly agrees to it. They move to Seattle and Marah notices that Tully is out of control. She takes Marah to therapy because she feels it would be good for her to talk about her mother.
When she goes to therapy she meets a boy who ends up destroying Marah’s life. She moves out of Tully’s apartment and in with her new boyfriend. They start drinking a lot and doing drugs. She stops talking to Tully and to her family. She starts to spiral out of control.
The story takes a turn when Tully crashes into a wall and ends up in a coma. She sees herself in the hospital room with her lifeless body surrounded by doctors and sometimes by family. Kate comes to her and Tully is so happy to see her. They relive their experiences of their childhood and Tully’s mother. The relationship of Tully and her mother, if you read the first book, you know is strained. In this book, they talk about Tully’s mother and how she ended up the way she did. In the end of the story Tully is being taken care of by her mother and is living in the house she grew up on Firefly Lane. Tully comes out of her coma when she hears the sound of Marah reading the journal of Kate.
To me I thought this story was amazing. They brought everyone together. I enjoyed reading about each character and how each one had a purpose. From Kate’s parents to Kate’s family and even to Tully’s mother. It made me laugh, it made me cry. It was definitely a feel good book. If you read Firefly Lane then you should read Fly Away. Although the journey of Kate and Tully are over, I’ll always have a special spot in my heart for them. Well done Hannah!
I love to write, I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. I know most of you know that I have a full time job as a receptionist and it’s boring tedious work. This morning I woke up and I rolled out of bed dreading I had to be here. I know people say, “Hey, if you don’t like something then change it.” I wish I could do that, but unfortunately until I sign a contract for my books I can’t do anything. I have to do what I have to do to make money.
It’s been so long since I even blogged. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me because it’s my life. I chose the path I’m walking down. I’m just tired. I want to do what makes me happy, but money is the root of all evil.
So anyway, I started writing a new novel and it’s completely different then what I usually write. I tend to stay with the Young Adult books, but this time I decided to stray. Who knows though, it could turn into something else. That always seems to happen to me. I’m excited to see how it will turn out. I am however, going to take my time with this one. I have to be honest, the first novel I wrote Braver Than Yesterday, I coasted through it. I did get a good response from the book, but honestly it’s a mess. It’s all over the place and it didn’t get really good reviews. Hey I get it, it’s my first novel. It was my first try. Someone destroyed me with a brutally honest review on Goodreads. They gave me one star, if they could give me no stars they probably would have. I was upset at first but then I thought, hey it’s someones opinion and everyone is entitled to their own. I took it in stride and wrote a response back that was nothing but professional. I could’ve flipped out, but what’s the point? That’s not what I’m about. I just take it and learn from it and put my heart into the next novel.
My second novel From Within, I feel is a much better novel. Not many people read that one, but the people that did really enjoyed it. I was excited when I saw a review on Goodreads for that book. It was four stars and I was like yes! I’m hoping more people will check out my second book, because I have the sequel Forward to the Past out. Well it’s not technically out yet because I’m trying to get it out there with publishers/agents. It’s not an easy process. You have to get the query and the synopsis perfectly. The pitch is the most important. From Within is just really different because it has to do with spirits and I know how people feel about that. Maybe that’s why they don’t want to read it, but it’s geared towards young adults and teens. It’s a fantasy, magical story. I just want people to understand that.
…if dreams come true it will happen 🙂