Thursday, April 19, 2018

That's What She Said: Wise Words From Influential Women by Kimothy Joy

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

An artist and activist committed to the empowerment of women and girls has created a gorgeous illustrated volume, blending watercolor and short biography to showcase the contributions of more than fifty influential female leaders whose words and actions are a passionate call to arms.

Distraught by the results of the 2016 election and the realization that the nation was not ready for its first female president, Kimothy Joy found herself poring over the biographies of brave women throughout history—those who persisted in the face of daunting circumstances—to learn from their experiences.

Turning to art, Joy channeled her feelings to the canvas, bringing these strong women to life in bold watercolor portraits surrounded by inspirational hand-lettered quotes. With each creation, Joy found catharsis and hope. She shared her watercolors with her online community and encouraged everyone to raise their own voices and recharge for the battles ahead.

Now, in this beautiful gift book, Joy has gathered her stunning illustrations and quotes and paired them with surprising, illuminating biographies of her subjects to inspire women of all ages, races, and backgrounds. That’s What She Said honors a powerful and diverse group of over fifty women—from Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Virginia Woolf to Sojourner Truth, Malala Yousafzai, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg—role models whose words and insights remind us that we must never give up the fight for a more just and equitable society.

Reclaiming the derogatory cultural barb “that’s what she said,” this stunning book celebrates strong female leadership throughout history and empowers current and future generations to find their voices and inspire change in their communities.

my thoughts:

What an inspirational book! I absolutely LOVED That's What She Said: Wise Words From Influential Women by Kimothy Joy.

I really enjoyed dipping in and out of such a lovely book, especially when I was having a rough day.  This book inspired, motivated, and comforted me - it was the perfect pick-me-up!  Its filled with  mini-biographies, watercolor paintings, and quotes that showcase female empowerment.  Women from all over the world are celebrated in this delightful book - their strength, determination, and intelligence leaping off the pages. You can't help but love learning about all of these amazing, influential women and their accomplishments - its fantastic!

Such a treat to read! I can't wait to share this book with friends and family - I just know they are going to fall in love with That's What She Said: Wise Words From Influential Women.  How could they not?!

I would happily recommend this book to anyone and everyone - you will love how inspired you feel whilst reading this book and long afterward.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: That's What She Said
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Good Neighbors: A Novel by Joanne Serling

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

A searing portrait of suburbia, friendship, and family strained by a devotion to false appearances.

In an idyllic suburb, four young families quickly form a neighborhood clique, their friendships based on little more than the ages of their children and a shared sense of camaraderie. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopt a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group’s loyalty and morality is soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?

As the seams of the group friendship slowly unravel, neighbor Nicole Westerhof finds herself drawn further into the life of the adopted girl, forcing Nicole to re-examine the deceptive nature of her own family ties, and her complicity in the events unfolding around her.
“I haven’t been captivated by a story like this in so long. The tension, the complexity, the obsession over status; how one hopes to be seen by others versus how one fears one is seen…GOOD NEIGHBORS is a stunning, shocking, entertaining, and thought-provoking look at humanity. I want everyone to read this book.”? Julia Fierro, author of The Gypsy Moth Mother and Cutting Teeth

“Riveting…GOOD NEIGHBORS exposes the dark underbelly of seemingly perfect families and friendships in this compulsively paced suburban thriller.”? Bethany Ball, author of What To Do About The Solomons

my thoughts:

What a terrific story! I absolutely LOVED Good Neighbors by Joanne Serling!

Paige and Gene adopt a little girl from Russia. Instead of rejoicing over their new addition, they are having to combat accusations from their neighbors - apparently, Paige's "mothering" is called into question when the neighbors (specifically, Nicole) begin to notice some odd behavior.  Of course, nothing is ever as it seems and no one really knows what is happening behind closed doors.  As speculation about Paige and her daughter heightens, the atmosphere becomes tense.  The neighbors aren't as neighborly as they once were.

Serling has written a fantastic story that is riveting, suspenseful, and chock full of drama. I just loved getting to know this group of neighbors and learning about their relationships through Nicole's eyes - talk about a skewed perspective!  As for the writing -  it was top notch with its attention to detail and slow-going pace.  I just loved getting caught up in the drama and trying to figure out what was really going on.  Serling's exploration of communities, relationships, and foreign adoption is fascinating. You can't help but think about your own neighborhood and relationships - definite food for thought.  Good Neighbors is a great read!

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE Good Neighbors!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Good Neighbors
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Other Mother: A Novel by Carol Goodman

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

“An atmospheric and harrowing tale, richly literary in complexity but ripe with all the crazed undertones, confusions, and forebodings inherent in the gothic genre. Recommend this riveting, du Maurier–like novel to fans of Jennifer McMahon.” — Booklist (starred review)

From the author of the internationally bestselling The Lake of Dead Languages comes a gripping novel about madness, motherhood, love, and trust.

When Daphne Marist and her infant daughter, Chloe, pull up the gravel drive to the home of Daphne’s new employer, it feels like they’ve entered a whole new world. Tucked in the Catskills, the stone mansion looks like something out of a fairy tale, its lush landscaping hiding the view of the mental asylum just beyond its border. Daphne secured the live-in position using an assumed name and fake credentials, telling no one that she’s on the run from a controlling husband who has threatened to take her daughter away.

Daphne’s new life is a far cry from the one she had in Westchester where, just months before, she and her husband welcomed little Chloe. From the start, Daphne tries to be a good mother, but she’s plagued by dark moods and intrusive thoughts that convince her she’s capable of harming her own daughter. When Daphne is diagnosed with Post Partum Mood Disorder, her downward spiral feels unstoppable—until she meets Laurel Hobbes.

Laurel, who also has a daughter named Chloe, is everything Daphne isn’t: charismatic, sophisticated, fearless. They immediately form an intense friendship, revealing secrets to one another they thought they’d never share. Soon, they start to look alike, dress alike, and talk alike, their lives mirroring one another in strange and disturbing ways. But Daphne realizes only too late that being friends with Laurel will come at a very shocking price—one that will ultimately lead her to that towering mansion in the Catskills where terrifying, long-hidden truths will finally be revealed….

my thoughts: 

Twists and turns a plenty. I was seriously surprised by the ending that I did not see coming. Okay, I saw some of it, but not all of it.

This is the story of Daphne, a young mother who belongs to a group for women who suffer from Post-Partum depression. She's feeling lonely and out of sorts, so when she befriends, Laurel, one of the mothers from the PPD group, she is over the moon.  She feels like they have such a great connection and soon finds herself divulging all of her secrets to Laurel.  The two friends even begin to dress alike and look alike when Daphne gets her hair done in a similar style.  The duo seem on track to BFF status.  Except, things are exactly the way Daphne says they are. In fact, maybe Laurel really isn't her friend.  As problems at home escalate to the point that Daphne is terrified of her husband, she comes up with a plan to escape - an archivist job for her favorite author deep in the middle of nowhere.  Sure, the place is next to an insane asylum, but who cares, right?! Its the perfect escape from her problems and the perfect place to hide from her husband.  So, she takes her baby and makes a run for it.  She's soon settled and caught up in her new job, that she doesn't stop to pay attention to her surroundings or the people around her.  Instead, she gets obsessed with a story she's read, that by the time she realizes what's really happening to her, its already too late.  Of course, by this point, we begin to wonder if what Daphne's told us about her life is even real, let alone true.  Is she Daphne or is she Laurel? Apparently, both women kept diaries and documented everything, but their stories don't seem to match up - so, who's telling the truth?  Who is Daphne and who is Laurel?

Talk about a fun story! I really did enjoy this one - it was creepy and suspenseful. Plus, I just loved trying to figure out what was really happening.  The Other Mother was definitely a treat to read. I would happily recommend this book to fans of Carol Goodman and anyone looking for their next great read.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Other Mother
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Eventide: A Novel by Therese Bohman

(Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

An astute novel following the life of an art professor at Stockholm University as she navigates the academic world, with its undercurrents of sexuality, competition, deceit, and fear

In her forties and childless, Karolina Andersson feels adrift living alone after the breakup of a long relationship. She finds fulfillment in her work, and when she starts advising a new postgraduate student, she is struck by his confidence. He claims to have discovered new materials from a female artist working around the turn of the century that would change the historiography of Swedish visual arts. Karolina soon finds herself embroiled in a game with unexpected complexities, both emotional and professional.

Eventide is a perceptive novel of ideas about love, art, and solitude in our time, and the distorted standards to which women are held in their relationships and their careers.

my thoughts:

An art professor in her forties who is single and pondering the quality of her life after ending a long-term relationship.  She considers what is the meaning and purpose of her life.  She notices the vast differences between her friends that are married with children and her own single, childless life.  She's having one-night stands, walks of shames, affairs with married men.  She feels lonely and drinks too much. Her sole focus is work, work, work.  And she begins to wonder if career over family was the right choice to make.

Talk about an arresting read! I absolutely LOVED Eventide by Therese Bohman. It was a melancholy tale chock full of art references that I enjoyed learning about and a character that I couldn't help but relate to.  The story explores loneliness, relationships, academia, gender wars, and so much more.  The writing was elegant, realistic, and mesmerizing.  I found myself captivated by this character study of a woman and her life in progress.  I loved reading her thoughts about her life, her work, her art, her affairs, etc..  And I loved when she found herself involved with a postgraduate student who claims to have discovered an unknown artist who will change the art world - he is smart, confident, pretentious, sexy, and irresistible to her.  Their relationship reawakens a passion in her that is fascinating to read about. Such a great story!!

I would happily recommend Eventide to fans of Bohman's books and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!!

Thank you to Other Press for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Wild Inside: A Novel by Jamey Bradbury

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The Wild Inside is an unusual love story and a creepy horror novel — think of the Brontë sisters and Stephen King.” —John Irving

A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica.

A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed.

But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure.

Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack—or why she’s kept it to herself.

It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge.

Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?

my thoughts:

A mystery-thriller with a spot of romance and a bit of horror - what more could I want, right? The Wild Inside was a terrifically gripping story that had me from the start. I absolutely loved getting to know Tracy and the Alaskan wilderness through her story.  Born and raised to hunt and trap animals, Tracy knows the forests surrounding her family's home like the back of her hand. She is comfortable in them and familiar with the sounds nature makes.  Plus, she follows the rules her late mother made about staying close to home and never hurting anyone.  Unfortunately, sometimes rules are made to be broken. One day out in the wilderness, Tracy gets attacked and when she comes to she sees a man who has been injured - was she the one to injure him? Unsure of what really happened, she keeps her attack a secret from her father.  However, when a new stranger comes to work for them, she begins to wonder who he really is - was he the man who attacked her? Why is he here in a remote part of the state? What's his motive? So many questions for her to ponder, but not enough time to do so - especially as she's still helping her father cope with the loss of her mother and getting ready for the upcoming Iditarod - ack!

Bradbury has written a fantastically compelling story set in a part of the States that I've always wondered about. The beauty and the vastness of the land spills from the pages. I could smell the clean, crisp air and imagine being surrounded by the wilderness. I felt myself easily caught up in Tracy's life and wondered what she would do to protect her family.  I loved trying to figure out who was responsible for the attack and why. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the book - suspenseful and thrilling at the same time!  This is definitely a book I would recommend to anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Wild Inside
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!