Author Archives: theliteraryvixen

About theliteraryvixen

My name is Laura and I am a Makeup Junkie, Book Dragon, Blogger, Beta Reader, and PA I’ve always loved both books and makeup. I’m always reading at least two or three books at any given time. Email: theliteraryvixen@gmail.com

Interview with an Author Featuring K.L. Kolarich

The Literary Vixen presents…

Joining us today is K.L. Kolarich! Her debut, House of Bastiion (The Haidren Legacy Book 1) released on January 19th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

Long before the whisper of Orynthia graced my ordinary ears, I had embarked on a much different project, writing a non-fiction exposition. A different tale from a different lifetime, after curating a good deal of material, my sister-in-law challenged me around the halfway mark in my progress. She said, “why are you writing something you would never read?”, a seemingly harmless statement, but it really rocked me… because she was absolutely right. That huge project of mine would never blend in on my bookshelves, amidst my tales of wonder and old. Therefore, in probably one of the scariest endeavors of my life, I trashed it, figuratively, and set out into the unknown. I opened my laptop one night on a plane and let myself dream. The first to meet me there was the Figure, who opens the prologue in House of Bastiion. On his mysterious shoulders, the entirety of The Haidren Legacy series was born, and in a sense, I with it. That was over five years ago. So to answer the question, I’ve been trapped in an alternate world for half a decade, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Describe a typical writing day.

At present, my writing is wedged in the pockets of the day not allocated to work or familial commitments. Be it by the light of a flickering, nearly dead Edison bulb late at night in my office, or beside a fresh bloody mary on a Saturday morning, I try to schedule time with my imaginary friends whenever possible. Thankfully, my calendar will start to allow for more routine in my writing regime in the coming months.

Aside from actual hours available to traverse the Other, my writing sessions are always scored. I usually need the assistance of a musical escort to voyage me away from the rigidity of my tasks, deadlines, ever-growing laundry pile. I will cater the instrumentals to the scene, much like how the HOB playlist is framed for readers. As the entire book is already meticulously plotted, for the most part, I ease my way into the draft, moving from my plotting to the chapter outline, then to an expanded outline, and finally to the outpour of words on the page. I wish I could say I was a “panster”, but the truth is I’m pretty neurotic about my method. Apart from my characters, and their story, I find beauty in the literal puzzling. When we step back, after the entire series, and are able to see how all these threads come together to create a pictural tapestry we never saw coming – it’s breathtaking. In that sense, I aim to lose my breath during my work. I want to look up at the end of it all to find a luminous web of intricate chaos and completion. Pouring out my very essence, I wish to see it multiplied into something I could never become within myself. And doing that, certainly requires ignoring the laundry bin…

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

One major theme in The Haidren Legacy series, is a full cast of contrasting characters, each coming from their own corner of the map. Growing up in a very diverse area of the country, I wanted to grant each House their own culture, dialect, customs and cause. If every player comes from centuries of particular practice and priorities, their motivations are seasoned with a history that extends beyond the personal. The dialects, specifically, are inspired by my own experience in Metro Detroit, where my family would often try to learn bits and pieces of the language of our neighbors. This became a privileged way to meet them where they were, and in a humbling transaction, be welcomed into their lives a little bit more. There is something magical about language, how it sounds, how it conveys. The symphony of vowels and consonants, in fluid tandem, moves us just like music. When it came to my characters, I wanted us to know them and their House of origin, just a little bit more intimately, and language is the perfect vehicle to deliver that distinction.

Thematically, The Haidren Legacy is laden with crumbs of my own reformation. The most wonderous aspects of my life have been transformative, therefore transformation as a theme plays a major role in the telling of this story. I purposely wanted the reader to meet our characters before their finest. Intentionally regressing them, was a way to emphasize the need for redemption in us all. We are so imperfect and ever malleable. The loveliness of our humanity is the strive to transform, in various ways. That calling, above all, is the central anthem to the series.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

While most readers connect with Luscia, our highlander protagonist, she is not so much my favorite as she is my mirror. I’ve given her specific elements of myself, while also gifting her the attributes I wish I had. But to be honest, more than anything she harbors my deepest fears and my interpersonal shortcomings. Writing her is revealing, and that vulnerability is less enjoyable at times as compared to the others.

Like nearly every reader, I adore Dmitri, the quiet leader and subsequent “glue” to our cast of bickering, influential misfits. In him, I planted much needed reprieve amidst the battle of wills. Many times, Dmitri imitates some of my favorite people. My own friends who soften my hard exterior, or who still my need to perform, to excel, to punish myself for not being more. Friends like this are the critical antithesis of bold personas, because they remind us that strength is not always imposing, courage is not always loud, and that leadership is rooted in service to others, rather than service to self. Dmitri, in his own imperfection and flaw, offers Orynthia hope. Hope that people are born for goodness and can choose it still.

Out of all of my characters, it is Zaethan who is my favorite to write. He is my exact opposite, and in a way, is completely unapologetic about it. I framed Zaethan off my own spouse, were he emotionally unhealthy that is, and so I probably favor him for that reason. Like my husband, Zaethan is boisterous and brave, ferociously loyal, and wields a rebelliously wit at the most inopportune times. Where these two men differ, is their backstory. Zaethan carries many scars under his skin that drastically affects the way he relates to others. This realistic depiction of him as a victim emerging from an abusive upbringing was essential to his character development. I hate how in books, it is often portrayed that victims of abuse easily bypass generational patterns, never exhibiting these behaviors themselves. When the reality is, individuals who battle those generational patterns must do the hard work to weed certain habits out of their own instinct and practice. It’s painful and arduous, but it’s necessary. This is why I love Zaethan so immensely—he is unequivocally, uncomfortably real.

How do you deal with emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?

Cry in the shower. Just kidding—well, kind of. 

My husband, Aaron, and I use an analogy in our relationship that also applies to the relationship I have with my society of imaginables. We relate our capacity to give (be it emotional or otherwise) to tokens at a carnival. Each of us, in our individual wiring, are given a certain and differing amount of “tokens” to spend each day, week, etc. To that end, we know from experience that I have a pretty limited number of tokens in my own bucket, as opposed to the average person. In life, I deplete rather rapidly from social engagement, and it is no different when it comes to the emotional impact of my writing. While my characters aren’t real… they are real to me. Their feelings are wonderfully burdensome, and the energy to knit them together has a cost. So, to deal with that cost, at the start of every week, Aaron and I chart out time allotted for each other, as well as those in our life, real or imagined. Just like when there are less dollars in my pocket, it’s my responsibility to budget my tokens wisely and honestly. In addition, the time to recover and “replenish the tokens” I’ve spent. This is normally achieved by adequate periods away from others, doing absolutely nothing. Like a socially awkward robot, who must go into sleep-mode to recharge. Preferably, with a large pizza in my lap.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?

I am! Though don’t judge me too hard in terms of my socials, I’m still learning the reigns and for the sake of my aforementioned tokens, am not always active. But I love chatting with readers, especially in our THL forum! Fair warning, I really like cat GIFs…

*Links to follow are down below*

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

Since THL is my first attempt at fiction, as opposed to my previous projects, I can only say that for me personally, I just keep going down that rabbit hole. As the series is not yet complete, I don’t have a need to freshen things up yet, but I look forward to that day! At present, my paws are full trying to finish this tale. It’s haunted me for half a decade, and I can’t wait to get it out into the world as a complete saga. 

Because this leaves readers waiting on the sidelines, I love recommending works by my literary heroes in the Indie community. Off the bat, some authors whose tales are similar to my own would easily be Sarah M. Cradit, Angelina Steffort, Cameo Renae, and so many others.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Why, the second installment in The Haidren Legacy series, of course! Book 2 is coming along, on pace, and while my fear of a sophomore slump is real… it’s already proving to be such a delight as much as it is a challenge. 

In this sequel, readers will begin traveling the Orynthian map, which is exciting in and of itself. Out of all overarching stories, since THL engages multiple at once, this installment zones in on Zaethan, our male MC. Journeying to the Andwele mountains, we get a harsh and thrilling glimpse of his backstory on a new level. In addition, more time with his pryde of militia, who are by far my most ridiculous band of personalities. Yet, even though book 2 centers around Zaethan a bit more than the others, readers should rest assured… they get plenty of Luscia, her Sight of the threads, and the most important character of all, her wolx, Aksel.

What advice would you give to other authors?

A newbie myself, whenever asked this question, I tend to give the same response as it pertains to my own authorship: Write your favorite book.

Yes, we want to write for our readers, naturally. But if I get lost in trying to imitate those I admire, keep up with their progress, or change the story because someone doesn’t like one facet… I will no longer be writing for me, the first fan.

No one will love my characters as much as I do. How could they? We know the page can never hold all that they are, and so it’s my job to do them justice. If I sacrifice them to the demand of anyone else, I’ve diminished what makes them special. I think as authors, we must hold onto what initially made us fall in love with our story, our characters, our very worlds. Usually, that’s something no one should alter. And to shield it, sometimes we need to step away and give ourselves room to create, freedom to flex our imaginations away from the mainstream. Otherwise, we just end up becoming second-rate versions of everyone else.

No one will love your characters like you do. So, love them well. Love them by protecting them from your own comparisons. Love them by getting your sleep. And most of all, love them by first loving yourself.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

The Haidren Legacy is definitely a niche read! Hefty on worldbuilding, I always say THL is for anyone who loves a fat, healthy glossary. Additionally, House of Bastiion, the first installment, does not harbor a heavy romantic side-plot, though as promised to many, romance will develop in time throughout the series.

Perfect for fans of Sanderson, Rhodes, Hobb and other epic fantasy sagas, THL wrestles with some difficult themes, namely, the dichotomy of joy and sorrow. And in that vein of joy and sorrow, everyone at court is wearing a disguise, each for their own end and agenda. For after all, behind the mask of duty and power, no one is who they seem…

 

Thank you K.L. Kolarich for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, The House of Bastiion today!

~Synopsis~

House of Bastiion is the first installment in the series, The Haidren Legacy, an intricate epic fantasy adventure loaded with political intrigue, sharp objects, and complicated characters, packing an epic punch for NA and upper YA readers. Fans of Brandon Sanderson, Morgan Rhodes, and Robin Hobb won’t be able to resist!

The Series
Dive into the alluring world of Orynthia by exploring additional THL references online. For a more immersive reader experience, visit http://www.TheHaidrenLegacy.com today!

House of Bastiion (THL, Book 1)
Behind the mask of duty and power, no one is who they seem…

Centuries after the Forgotten Wars ravaged the world and turned it to ash, the Houses of Pilar, Darakai, Boreal, and Bastiion forged an accord with the royal line of Thoarne, founding a Quadren of advisory to the throne of Orynthia. Every generation, a single Haidren from each of the four Houses is appointed to this coveted chair.

Upon her Ascension to adulthood, Luscia Tiergan takes her seat at court as al’Haidren to the House of Boreal and is quickly drawn into a maze of political traps and dark secrets. As she adjusts to her new life, Luscia uncovers a pattern of forgotten children, slain in the streets of Bastiion.

Raised on superstitious rumors about Boreal’s penchant for sorcery, Zaethan Kasim, al’Haidren to the House of Darakai, inevitably clashes with Luscia when she arrives in Bastiion. But when his position is threatened by an old rival, Zaethan is forced to set aside his hatred and form an uneasy alliance with the Boreali al’Haidren to secure his claim.

Following a disturbing stream of innocent bloodshed across Orynthia, Luscia and Zaethan discover their ideals are far more aligned than they might have imagined. But in a land of war and deceit, the path to peace should never be trusted.

K.L. Kolarich is a debut New-Adult fantasy fiction author, based out of Nashville, TN. Growing up in Metro Detroit, Kolarich developed a deep love for eclectic variety as well as the underappreciated. Both themes readily present throughout her series, The Haidren Legacy.

An individual plagued by sarcasm, conviction, and an ever-present distraction of fable and lore, K.L. Kolarich dreams in the day and writes through the night. Often hearing her characters argue in the background, Kolarich stifles the daily temptation to abandon reality and lose herself in the realm of Orynthia.

When fully present in the real world rather than another, Kolarich explores local waterfalls, habitually frequents the same Thai restaurant, adds to her ever-growing spice collection, and maintains a thoroughly messy kitchen for the sake of colorful vegan feasts.

With too many cats and not nearly enough wine, Kolarich resides in the woods away from the noise, happily married.

THL Newsletter: https://www.thehaidrenlegacy.com/contact

FB (Series Page): https://www.facebook.com/thehaidrenlegacy

FB (Reader Group): https://www.facebook.com/groups/teamhaidren

IG (Series): https://www.instagram.com/thehaidrenlegacy/

IG (Author): https://www.instagram.com/k.l.kolarich/

Goodreads (Author): https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20726718.K_L_Kolarich

Amazon (Author): https://www.amazon.com/K-L-Kolarich/e/B08H1FFQ59/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/k-l-kolarich


The Imposter by Marin Montgomery – My Review

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Title: The Imposter

Author: Marin Montgomery

Release Date: March 9th 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

From the Amazon bestselling author of What We Forgot to Bury comes a twisted psychological tale of a mother and daughter’s mind-bending descent into the truth.

From the outside looking in, Sibley Sawyer has a perfect life. As a successful attorney, she’s worked hard to get to the top of her game—but when her personal and professional lives implode, Sibley looks for a way to turn the page.

Unable to shake the tragic circumstances that caused her to flee her rural Midwestern hometown, Sibley wants nothing more than to reunite with her estranged mother, Deborah, and bury their past tensions.

But as she reenters the life she left behind, she realizes her mother isn’t the same person she remembers, and she’s not the same daughter either.

As both women struggle to piece together a tangled web of deceit and lies, and the shocking circumstances that caused Sibley to leave in the first place, it becomes clear there are secrets rooted deeper than either mother or daughter could ever have imagined.

Can you really deceive your past and those around you?

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The blurb hooked me. Deceit, lies AND a painful past? Sign me up!

The story started off good. There was enough unexplained things happening that had me invested into the story. Oh Sibley…how I wanted to like you. I tried but you made it so hard. Deborah on the other hand, I just felt bad for her. Neither one were very likable. At times it felt like the story wasn’t going anywhere. Just rambling and wandering around. Then it found its way towards the end. Sort of. The ending was ok but I was expecting much more from this story that I felt let down. 

I felt like this story was missing something. It was an ok read and like I stated above, I expected more. Despite my feelings about this particular book, I will check out others by this author. I give this 3 stars. 


The Broken Realm: Kingdom of the White Sea Book 2 by Sarah M. Cradit – My Review

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Title: The Broken Realm: Kingdom of the White Sea Book 2

Author: Sarah M. Cradit

Release Date: March 23rd 2021

Genre: Dark Fantasy

“The game has changed. The Broken Realm is passionate, deadly and polished. Get ready for a whirlwind of emotions.” – Laura Trujillo, The Literary Vixen

The treacherous, magical, seductive world of Kingdom of the White Sea, introduced by USA Todaybestselling fantasy author Sarah M. Cradit in The Kingless Crown, continues in this thrilling sequel, The Broken Realm.

The crown demanded everything. The kingdom will answer.

Chaos paints the White Kingdom. Missing children, dead nobles, and a daring escape have created an upheaval that threatens the future of the entire realm.

The lords and ladies are armed with a powerful secret weapon as they prepare to make a stand against the crown, but the resistance has plenty to overcome before they can claim triumph. The lord-less Westerlands prepares for war with the formidable Quinlanden Guard spreading their men and cruelty to every corner of their Reach. In the Easterlands, the sorcerer Mortain cultivates his ominous influence over the enslaved Saleen, a decisive threat he could unleash upon the kingdom with a snap of his finger.

To the kingdom, it appears as if these assaults on their freedom are cosigned by the crown. It seems only a matter of time before the king’s victory becomes total.

But from his isolated throne in Duncarrow, King Eoghan has discovered his authority is not absolute. There are other powers at play, as sinister as they are resilient. Those close to him curate the facts he is fed, keeping him tucked away in the dark while they issue orders in his name. As his control spirals, and opposing forces gain ground, the king’s fragile resolve turns to desperation.

Yet, across the kingdom, a quiet but powerful awakening of magic is taking place. One that began generations ago, on a cold night in Duncarrow…

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The game has changed. The Broken Realm is passionate, deadly and polished. Get ready for a whirlwind of emotions.

The spectacular follow up to The Kingless Crown, Sarah M. Cradit will dazzle readers and leave them wanting more! The phenomenal world she has created will transport you to a different realm and you won’t want to leave. I give this 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Sons of Sindicato by Cam Johns & Sonya Jesus – My Review

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Title: Sons of Sindicato

Author: Cam Johns & Sonya Jesus

Release Date: March 2nd 2021

Genre: Mafia Romance

I took back my strength… and kept going until I found my freedom.

When hope is held prisoner by a sicko in a suit, someone needs to tear him down. And that someone is me, Braelynn Shaw, attorney-at-law.

The woman who just committed murder. 

Granted, it was self-defense, but I kept going. Now, I’m on the other side of the law, and my only way out is the crime lord I defended last year, Seth Giordano. The bad boy defined by his mob ties and the one I fell in love with.

For me to come out unscathed, our secret relationship comes to light, and the ramifications come banging on my door. The Mafia doesn’t approve of me, the color of my skin, or my involvement with the son of the Sindicato.

Until we have a mutual enemy.

Sons of Sindicato is a gripping interracial love story between a straight-edge lawyer and the criminal who loves her. An addictive combination of dark romance, crime fiction, and suspense. This story is a standalone novella about the youngest son of the Sindicato.

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This book is sure to get your pulse racing! 

A perfect blend of action, passion and sexy. With a tad bit of revenge in there. I highly enjoyed the combined writing talents of Cam Johns and Sonya Jesus. Together they bring you a world where love is put to the test and the leading man steals your heart. This book will have you addicted and yearning for more! One click this unputdownable book today! I give it 5 stars! 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Interview with an Author Featuring Casey L. Bond

The Literary Vixen presents…

Sessions April 2019 438

Joining us today is Casey L. Bond! Her newest release, Gravebriar released on March 17th 2021.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been published for seven years, but have been writing for 8-9-ish!

Describe a typical writing day.

Typically, I try to write as much as I can during a writing session of an hour or so, then take a break to walk around or do something that has nothing to do with writing. It’s a refresher to get away from the screen for a bit. Then I go back to writing after a break. I repeat this process until I run out of creative juice or other obligations need my attention.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

Music is a heavy influence, but I guess I get inspired by many things. Art. Pinterest. Life. I enjoy bringing many elements into my work.

Do you have a favorite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special.

It’s so hard to pick just one. I’ll say that the ones I’ve felt the most connected with were Sable from When Wishes Bleed, Liv from With Shield & Ink & Bone, and Noor from a book I haven’t announced yet. ❤

When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?

Always music. I’m usually really hyped to write it but have to walk away from an intense scene. If it’s emotional, I get drained easily. With Shield and Ink and Bone was one I had to take breaks from. The book made me cry many times while writing it.

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Happy, Smart, Kind.

When writing a series how do you keep things fresh, for both your readers and also yourself?

I have been writing more standalones lately but just dove into a small series and I think the key to keep things fresh is not to re-hash what was in previous books. When you write series, you have to remember that there is an overall plot arc for the entire series and not lose sight of that while writing one book at a time.

Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?

Smiles…. I’m writing a duet/ duology. It’s YA Fantasy. I can’t tell you more because I really like to do fun things with my readers, like sending stickers for title reveals. I’ll be hosting sign-ups for one of those in the next couple of months. Hint. Hint. Watch social media for my posts as spaces are limited.

What advice would you give to other authors?

Never give up. Never quit. Never stop. Don’t limit yourself. If you want this, make the time. Put in the work. Do the thing. If I can do it, anyone can.

What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?

I write from my heart and soul and want the reader to feel what the character feels, experience what he/she experience. I want the book to be an experience and one that you’ll remember. I want my books to be re-read! ❤

Thank you Casey L. Bond for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Gravebrair today!

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~Synopsis~

Sometimes witches hunt their own…

Someone knows my secret and they’re wielding it as the weapon of my execution. I stand accused of poisoning my Gravebriar coven mate. To my fatal regret, I can’t prove my innocence without revealing the truth I’ve long kept hidden: while every other Gravebriar witch are green witches and healers, my magic lies in poisons.

There is one witch who believes me – the same boy who was sent to kill me with instructions to pluck the briars that sprouted from my grave – the only cure for a Gravebriar witch. Forge Silverthorn will be my undoing… or my salvation.

He claims there is a malicious plot vining through the witch town of Cauldron that threatens to tighten around my throat in a deadly noose. Promising I can escape by seeking the help of a banished witch who hides our kind in plain sight, he leads me to a dark circus full of witches.

The ringmaster will only help us if we agree to join his circus of uncanny tricks and diabolical feats for two nights only, using our magic to thrill his patrons. In exchange for our participation under the big top, he’ll divulge the information I need to save my coven mate and clear my name.

But when dark secrets emerge from the shadows of this promised sanctuary, I’m forced to decide if I can truly trust anyone, especially Forge… my would-be executioner, my coven’s sworn enemy, and my could-be love.

Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. She likes goats and yoga, but hasn’t tried goat yoga because the family goat is so big he might break her back. Seriously, he’s the size of a pony. Her favorite books are the ones that contain magical worlds and flawed characters she would want to hang out with. Most days of the week, she writes young adult fantasy books, letting her imaginary friends spill onto the blank page.

Casey is the award-winning author of When Wishes Bleed, Things That Should Stay Buried, and With Shield and Ink and Bone.

Website: www.authorcaseybond.com

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gcAu9v

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/authorcaseybond 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorcaseybond 

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorcaseybond

Bookbub Author Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/casey-l-bond

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/AuthorCaseyBond/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7212486.Casey_L_Bond

Amazon: amazon.com/author/caseybond

YABC: https://www.yabookscentral.com/search/tag/authorname/casey-l-bond/?criteria=6


Are We There Yet? by Kathleen West – My Review

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Title: Are We There Yet?

Author: Kathleen West

Release Date: March 16th 2021

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Among fake Instagram pages, long-buried family secrets, and the horrors of middle school, one suburban mom searches to find herself in a heartfelt and thought-provoking novel from the author of Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes.

Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.

When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice’s social standing is quickly eroded to one of “those moms” who can’t control her kids. Soon she’s facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn’t made of glass).

Then her mother unloads a family secret she’s kept for more than thirty years, and Alice’s entire perception of herself is shattered.

As her son’s new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother’s choices, Alice realizes that she’s been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else’s standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she’ll have to figure out to whom to turn for help and decide who she really wants to be.

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This story was like a train wreck. I couldn’t stop reading and in some parts it kept getting worse. I kept going because I wanted to see where this wreck would crash. It felt like a TV show of some sort. Most of the characters were not very likable. I’m sure that’s the point. Too many adults acting like children and being way too selfish, while others felt they were better than everyone else. The teens and children acted like how I expected they would and in social situations. In our age of technology and apps, where do you draw the line on trust and monitoring your child? Some part were entertaining. 

As a whole, this is an ok read. I wanted to like. I truly did but I couldn’t get past my issues. While I could relate to most of the situations, I couldn’t get past the behaviors of the adults. The writing is good and the cover is cool. This book wasn’t for me but I’m sure others would enjoy it. I invite you to check it out for yourself. I give 3 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Amelia Unabridged: A Novel by Ashley Schumacher – My Review

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Title: Amelia Unabridged: A Novel

Author: Ashley Schumacher

Release Date: February 16th 2021

Genre: Young Adult

Sparks fly between two teens as they grapple with grief, love, and the future in this unforgettable debut novel sure to entice fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer E. Smith

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Ashley Schumacher’s devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.

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This is a touching story about two people dealing with their grief and finding the calm after the storm. Amelia is dealing with the loss of her best friend. They had plans. Their futures planned and it’s all gone in an instant. A mysterious package is delivered to Amelia and she sets off to find out the reason for it and finds more than she bargained for. 

This was an emotional story. Losing a loved one isn’t easy. There are many feelings and emotions to process. I loved the story telling style and the story is very well written. I found myself wanting to take a trip and find this amazing bookstore! The characters were great and really made the story pop. My heart went out to Amelia and N.E. This book got me right in my feels! 

This is a wonderful read. A fabulous debut for this author! I enjoyed both the story and her writing. I can’t wait to read more from her. I highly recommend this book! Add it your TBR today! I give this 4 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Bad Muslim Discount: A Novel by Syed M. Masood – My Review

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Title: The Bad Muslim Discount: A Novel

Author: Syed M. Masood

Release Date: February 2nd 2021

Genre: Historical Literary Fiction

“Masood’s novel presents a stereoscopic, three-dimensional view of contemporary Muslim America: the way historical conflict in the Middle East lingers in individual lives, the way gossip travels in a close-knit immigrant community.” The New York Times Book Review

Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America.

It is 1995, and Anvar Faris is a restless, rebellious, and sharp-tongued boy doing his best to grow up in Karachi, Pakistan. As fundamentalism takes root within the social order and the zealots next door attempt to make Islam great again, his family decides, not quite unanimously, to start life over in California. Ironically, Anvar’s deeply devout mother and his model-Muslim brother adjust easily to life in America, while his fun-loving father can’t find anyone he relates to. For his part, Anvar fully commits to being a bad Muslim.

At the same time, thousands of miles away, Safwa, a young girl living in war-torn Baghdad with her grief-stricken, conservative father will find a very different and far more dangerous path to America. When Anvar and Safwa’s worlds collide as two remarkable, strong-willed adults, their contradictory, intertwined fates will rock their community, and families, to their core.

The Bad Muslim Discount is an irreverent, poignant, and often hysterically funny debut novel by an amazing new voice. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, Syed M. Masood examines universal questions of identity, faith (or lack thereof), and belonging through the lens of Muslim Americans.

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When I read the synopsis for the book, it piqued my interest. This is definitely a genre I don’t typically read but I wanted to give it a try. The beginning is slow but picks up the pace after awhile. It was both interesting and heart wrenching to read about each of their journeys. The story telling is great and the characters are as well. Not sure how I felt about Anvar but I did find his humor entertaining throughout most of the story. Safwa was a favorite A survivor for sure. Anvar’s father is a hoot! 

I realize there are mixed reviews on this book. I went into this book expecting a good story and  that’s what I got. I don’t believe that all Muslims are like the ones portrayed in this book. I DO believe there are people in every race and or religion that question why things are the way they are. I myself did that with my own upbringing. That being said, I truly enjoyed this book. It’s well written and I loved the different cultures that were woven in. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to read outside of their comfort zone. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Eternally Yours: A Vampire Paranormal Romance by Harper A. Brooks & Olivia Boothe – My Review

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Title: Eternally Yours: A Vampire Paranormal Romance

Author: Harper A. Brooks & Olivia Boothe

Release Date: February 16th 2021

Genre: Paranormal Romance

She wasn’t looking for love. He gave her forever…

After being attacked by a wolf-like creature and left for dead, Loren Stone wakes in the house of a mysterious and sexy stranger. Something within her has changed. Her veins crave human blood. But it’s another type of hunger she finds herself fighting to control… her unrelenting need for Nicholas Guerra. She should hate the vampire who took everything she loved from her, yet is thrust into a battle against her own burning desire for him.

After centuries of being groomed to be the next vampire leader, Nicholas turned his back on his family to live among the humans. The last thing he expected was for his immortal life to collide with that of a mortal’s. Then… he watched Loren get attacked by the beast sent for him. Unwilling to let her die, he’s forced to sire her. However Nicholas never expected to fall in love, and now he aches for the one woman he’s forbidden to have.

From USA Today Bestselling Author Harper A. Brooks & Romance Author Olivia Boothe, comes a new sizzling paranormal romance that will leave you thirsting for more.

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Harper A. Brooks and Olivia Boothe wrote a book together? YES!!

This book is a perfect mix of paranormal, action, and steamy. From that first page, I was hooked. Loren’s life is changed after trying to save a life. 

Let’s get into these characters. Loren is pretty awesome. She reacts like I would expect someone to after their world was turned upside down. Loren is smart and tough. Did I also mention feisty? I loved the twist they gave her. Ah Nicholas, the sexy as sin vampire who struggles between doing the right thing and succumbing to his instincts. I loved the push and pull between Loren and Nicholas. One of my favorite characters is Catherine! She is a total bad boss lady! 

The story is fantastic. I devoured it in one sitting! It had everything I wanted in a story. Huge fan of the story telling and writing. Harper and Olivia work well together. I will wait not so patiently for another fabulous read by these two. A guilty pleasure read that will leave you wanting more! I give it 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Dark Horses: A Novel by Susan Mihalic – My Review

Title: Dark Horses: A Novel

Author: Susan Mihalic

Release Date: February 16th 2021

Genre: Psychological

A darkly gripping debut novel about a teenage girl’s fierce struggle to reclaim her life from her abusive father.

Fifteen-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and outside of it. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all areas of her life. The warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan’s relationship with her father has long been inappropriate. She has been able to compartmentalize that dark aspect of her life, ruthlessly focusing on her ambitions as a rider heading for the Olympics, just as her father had done. However, her developing relationship with Will Howard, a boy her own age, broadens the scope of her vision.

At the intersection of a commercial page-turner and urgent survivor story, Dark Horses takes the searing themes of abuse and resilience in Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling and applies the compelling exploration of female strength in Room by Emma Donoghue. In much the same way that V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic transfixed a generation of readers, Susan Mihalic’s debut is set to a steady beat that will keep you turning the pages.

Dark Horse is one of the reads that feels like a punch to your gut but in a good way. There’s a lot of emotions being felt. They range from sorrow to anger and it sort of just stays there. I felt for Roan. That sense of hopelessness she was feeling, transferred over to me and I wanted to jump into the book and save her. I wanted more for her. This may be a hard read for some readers. It has triggers and I say proceed with caution. Roan’s story a hauntingly beautiful. The characters were well written. Some I loved and some I wanted to choke. A twist and an ending I didn’t see coming. I was not disappointed.

This is an emotional and dark read. It deals with abusive and that is not something that’s easy to read about. The author did a wonderful job on the story telling. Her writing is brilliant and I look forward to reading more books by her. I give this 5 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*