Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Searching for Normal by Alison Neuman: Book Review



While we all have at times felt left out and alone, Alison Neuman can easily have us all beat. Her disease has excluded her from many 'normal' activities. Maybe those times of exclusion made her more sensitive to others because never once did I feel that as a reader. She does not make herself into a hero or a victim. She is simply a woman living life and inviting us to hear her story. I am glad I had the opportunity to do so. I am glad to be included in her circle.

There were many occasions that this book left me stunned. I was stunned by her disease. I was stunned by the treatment she received from various people in the medical profession. I was stunned by her courage to keep going. I was stunned by her desire to keep trying new things. Alison Neuman is a woman who has overcome and flourished through some incredible odds. Her story is comforting, inspiring, and educational. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of the book from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.
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Searching for Normal Paperback – October 21, 2013

Thursday, September 25, 2014

River's Deep by Erin Keyser Horn: Book Review

If you have been around here or my Facebook page for any length of time, you know that I love the books this lady writes. So this one is no exception. In fact I love it so much that I'm going to post a review on here and on my other blog site.

RIVER'S DEEP front cover

So here we go with my review praise. (I might as well be honest.)

The character of Kasia  is one of my favorite people. She is honest and fierce in her love of people and protection of them. She is not afraid of the truth, but isn't always willing to share this truth with others. It is that protection thing again. She is trying to find faith, but has trouble loving herself  to believe God can help her. Thankfully she has a strong group of friends around her to push her to be better. Blay, Jen, and Scott never back down from the challenge. They are with Kasia every step of the way. These 4 people will make you believe in love, friendship, faith, and hard work.

The author, Erin Keyser Horn, did an amazing job with this book. She was not afraid to take her characters to hard places and push them through to become better people. The characters don't have an easy journey in front of them, but they really have no other choice. They have to walk through this. Sometimes as a reader it is hard to read as characters go though the hard stuff. This is not one of those books. They go through the hard stuff and we can read that without drowning in the pain. And for me, that is huge!

Some might be hesitant to read a book about the supernatural and God. You shouldn't be! Horn does a fabulous job balancing faith and fantasy. The characters of Slavic mythology fit into the rivers of Illinois and the overall Christian worldview. Some might find the final battle to be telegraphed, but I would disagree with that. The enemies are compelling characters and the heroes areas well. You care about who wins and who loses. The how doesn't matter as much as the who.

The who is the best part of Erin Keyser Horn's novel. These characters will become your friends and you will want to come back and visit them several times.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

You can buy it here. And you should buy it!

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River's Deep (The River Immortals) (Volume 2)[Paperback]

Erin Keyser Horn 

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  • Series: The River Immortals
  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Superstorm Productions (September 23, 2014)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro: A Book Review




I don't remember where I first heard about this book, but it has been sitting on my To Be Read shelf on Goodreads for a while. So on my most recent trip to the library I picked it up. The cover looked beautiful and the overall story seemed intriguing. However, I had my doubts. In the past I have not enjoyed most novels set in Paris and this one is primarily set there. As I began to read, the back and forth in time was interesting, but still made me hesitant. I was submerged into the various places and people of the novel quite easily and for the most part that was enjoyable. I didn't particularly like any of the characters and wondered more than once if society was really that way in the first half of the 20th century. So I wasn't completely sold on it. In fact about 3/4 of the way through the book, I started peaking ahead to see if I really wanted to finish it. I wasn't surprised by how the events unfolded, so they were rather obvious. The characters were still not particularly likable, so I had serious doubts about finishing this book. I decided to read a few more pages and see how it turned out. I'm glad I did because some of the characters finally became likable in the last 75 pages or so. The plot and setting were interesting enough to keep me reading through 350 pages or so, but it was the characters that made me finish the book.

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The Perfume Collector: A Novel Paperback – February 4, 2014

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  • Print Length: 469 pages