Oct 292019
 

INVISIBLE AS AIR by Zoe Fishman
Genre: Women’s Domestic Life Fiction
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
ISBN-10: 0062838237
ISBN-13: 978-0062838230
Pages: 416
Review Copy From: William Morrow
Edition: TPB
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR)

A provocative and timely new novel by the author of Inheriting Edith, one that will haunt you long after the final page is turned…

Sylvie Snow knows the pressures of expectations: a woman is supposed to work hard, but never be tired; age gracefully, but always be beautiful; fix the family problems, but always be carefree. Sylvie does the grocery shopping, the laundry, the scheduling, the schlepping and the PTA-ing, while planning her son’s Bar Mitzvah and cheerfully tending her husband, Paul, who’s been lying on the sofa with a broken ankle. She’s also secretly addicted to the Oxycontin intended for her husband.

For three years, Sylvie has repressed her grief about the heartbreaking stillbirth of her newborn daughter, Delilah. On the morning of the anniversary of her death, when she just can’t face doing one…more…thing: she takes one—just one—of her husband’s discarded pain pills. And suddenly she feels patient, kinder, and miraculously relaxed. She tells herself that the pills are temporary, just a gift, and that when the supply runs out she’ll go back to her regularly scheduled programming.

But days turn into weeks, and Sylvie slips slowly into a nightmare. At first, Paul and Teddy are completely unaware, but this changes quickly as her desperate choices reveal her desperate state. As the Bar Mitzvah nears, all three of them must face the void within themselves, both alone and together.

My Thoughts

This is the first book that I have read by this author and hope to read more of her work in the future.

An emotional story of today’s current problem about opiate addiction and the havoc it plays on families.

Sylvie Snow wakes up, with dread and profound sadness on the third anniversary of her daughter Delilah’s stillborn date. Her husband Paul, recently injured his ankle and was prescribed OxyContin but refused to take them because of the way it made him feel. Sylvie decides she will just take one pill to help her get her through this painful day that she doesn’t want to deal with the pain in her heart and mind.

Just one!!! And it helps.

A loss that, she, her husband and 12-year-old son, Teddy, have not dealt with either as a family or independently.

Liking how it makes her feel, she continues to take the pills and finds in some situations, why not take another? Until it is too late, and she is totally addicted. And will do things that she never thought possible just to be able to have those pills.

As Teddy comes upon his Bah Mitzvah and the rite of becoming a man, it is his wisdom that may just pull this family together.

The narrative alternates between Sylvie, Paul, and Teddy.

The author does an outstanding job of allowing the reader to truly understand and feel the emotions of all three characters. A story that will stay with a reader long after the last word.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Oct 012019
     

    Birth Right

    by Julian Iragorri and Lou Aronica

    on Tour October 1 – November 30, 2019

    Synopsis:

    Birth Right by Julian Iragorri and Lou Aronica

    In the mid-sixties, a young woman and a young man meet and begin the romance that will define their lives throughout the decades.

    In the early nineties, two young men meet and forge a friendship that will propel both into newfound worlds.

    Today, those same two men face a reality that could change the course of the world . . . and a fantasy that both have only dared to imagine.

    How these three stories come together is the driving pulse of BIRTH RIGHT, a novel about despots and rulers, spouses and lovers, friendship and brotherhood. Playing out at once on the most global and the most intimate of stages, it is a story about the power one is born into and the power one earns and, at its very heart, the power of love.

    MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW

    5 stars

    Caveat 1: I have been a fan of Mr. Aronica’s for many years from when I first became involved in the book blogging community in 2009 and have read many of the books from his publishing company, The Story Plant, (see my previous reviews at the bottom of this post). Some books I absolutely loved, only to find out until much later, that he wrote, but under the pseudonym, Michael Baron. It’s been a while, however, so I was anxious to read this book.

    Caveat 2: What I enjoyed the most about his books was that I always felt that I was transported into the story through his descriptive writing. I could picture in my mind the settings and the characters came to life and felt that I intimately knew them. Did this book do the same for me?

    About BIRTH RIGHT: Days before her wedding, that her uncle arranged, Sandra met Cayetano and knew in her heart that this man would be the love of her life. But traditions ruled and she had no choice but to marry Sebastian. Cayetano married a few years later but also knew that Sandra was the one who owned his heart. For decades, the two would meet every year, which they knew was wrong, but the love they shared was too profound. Nobody really knew either of them more than they knew each other.

    Years later, Alex Soberano, a financial expert in international corporations, meets Prince Fernando the future King of Léon, which Alex’s ancestors had ties to. They became best friends and at the time, Fernando’s father, King Alfonso IV, brought Alex into the fold because he felt the Prime Minister was ruining the country’s economy and that he had plans to become a dictator. Does Alex have a hand in the demise of the Prime Minister? How does Alex’s 10-year-old daughter help with the plan?

    Are these 2 stories connected? And if so, how?

    And now to answer my previous question, did this book do the same for me? OH YEA!!!

    This weekend I became a jet setter, traveling the world visiting places I have never been. The characters were brought to life, not only did I feel connected to them, I was able to feel their emotions of love, fear, friendship, guilt, sadness, loss, sensitivities, and perceptions.

    Once the story came together, I let out an audible gasp to the point, I had to stop reading and process what I just witnessed via the written word!!

    An eloquent and intense read that I could not stop turning the pages!!! !!! Captivating and poignant!! So engrossing that this story will stay with me for a very long time!!

    Highly, highly recommend!!

    Book Details

    Genre: Literary Fiction
    Published by: The Story Plant
    Publication Date: September 7th 2019
    Number of Pages: 224
    ISBN: 1611882664 (ISBN13: 9781611882667)
    Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    Alex had been to exactly one inaugural ceremony before. His parents had taken him to see President Marcador take the oath of office back when he was thirteen. That president had turned out to be ineffectual, serving only one term and, even at his young age, Alex had the sense that Marcador was going to be a footnote in Legado history. The man projected so little presence, almost as though he didn’t have enough internal energy to put a persona out there. What Alex subsequently learned was that Marcador was a compromise candidate during a period of transition for his country. The story would be decidedly different sixteen years later, when a wildly charismatic candidate – one who happened to be Alex’s cousin – would take the nation by storm and win the election in a landslide.

    Alex could hardly believe the ceremony he was watching today had the same function as the one he’d witnessed as a boy. This one had so much pomp, so much music, so much color. Javier Benigno was easily the most popular political figure to rise from Legado since the late, ever-beloved Viviana Emisario, and perhaps the first to inspire the passion from the people that seemed to have been extinguished when Viviana’s helicopter had crashed during a diplomatic mission. Viviana’s death had snuffed the joy from a nation. It had done more than that to Alex, but that was a story he would forever keep to himself.

    “Legado was always our most vibrant colony,” said a voice to his right. “This ceremony has more hues than a Joya de la Costa garden.”

    Alex turned to look at the speaker. The man seemed to be about his age and height, though he was a bit heftier all around. Maybe this is what I’d look like if I didn’t spend as much time in the gym, Alex thought.

    “I assume you’re aware that Legado hasn’t been a colony since your great-great grandfather was a twinkle in his mother’s eye.”

    The man flashed a heavy-wattage smile. “Oh, well, of course. But one never stops thinking of their children as children, do they?”

    “Well, we’re all grown up. And we’ve been a democracy continuously for more than a century. I don’t believe our ‘father’ can say the same thing.”
    “I don’t know what you mean,” the man said, laughing boisterously. “The public elected El General to each of his nine terms. By an overwhelming majority, in fact. Usually more than ninety percent.”

    A huge cheer went up at that moment. Looking down from the grandstand, Alex could see that the new president’s motorcade had entered the staging area.

    “Yes, ninety percent,” Alex said to his companion. “My cousin should find that humbling, as he only received fifty-nine percent of the vote.”

    “Cousin? I assume that makes you a Benigno.”

    “Soberano, actually. Javier is a cousin on my mother’s side.” Alex put out his hand. “Alejandro Soberano. My friends call me Alex.”

    The man shook. “Fernando Alfonso Trastámara. My friends call me Fernando.”

    Alex should have recognized the man. He’d certainly seen the heir to the Léon throne in enough tabloids. “They don’t call you ‘Your Majesty.’”

    “God, no. They will hopefully never call me that.”

    “I assume that means you’re wishing for a very long life for your father and not that you’re expecting El General to come back from the dead.”

    The man beamed again. It was easy to see why women found him so irresistible. Between the smile, the future crown, and the massive fortune, what was there to resist? “No, El General is gone forever. Just to make sure, my father sends an envoy every day to dance on his grave.”

    Alex nodded approvingly. The people of Legado did indeed consider Léon to be close family, and the last thing that Alex would have ever wanted was a return to the days when El General dominated Léon so absolutely. Alex was barely in elementary school when the dictator had suddenly stepped down, allowing Fernando’s father, Juan Alfonso Trastámara, to take his rightful place on the throne and to allow for a duly elected prime minister to operate the government, but he could remember his mother spitting invective at the television every time she saw El General speak. And while Alex didn’t truly understand the cause of celebration on the streets of his hometown when El General resigned (and the only slightly-less-raucous celebration that happened when the dictator died eight months later), he would never forget the taste of the pastel con tres leches his mother made that night to mark the occasion.

    “Very wise of your father,” Alex said. “Is he here?”

    “He wishes he could be. He thinks highly of your cousin. But there’s a gathering of several European heads of state that Léon is hosting, so he of course needed to attend that. He sent me to represent the crown in his stead. He’s accurately deduced that my one statecraft talent is waving and smiling broadly, so I’m the perfect man for this assignment.”

    Fernando did some smiling and waving at that point and excused himself. At the inaugural ball that evening, though, Fernando came up to Alex with two glasses of Champagne and offered him one.

    “I noticed you didn’t have a drink,” he said.

    Alex took the glass and tipped it in Fernando’s direction before taking a sip. “I was pacing myself.”

    “I don’t have the remotest idea why anyone would do that.”

    Alex grinned at Fernando’s acknowledgment of his excesses. “Lots of family around. And I wouldn’t want to do anything that might embarrass my cousin.”

    “Hmm. Interesting perspective.”

    “It was nearly time for another drink, though, so I appreciate the Champagne.”

    “Happy to be of service. So, I hear you’ve been conscripted to accompany me to Anhelo tomorrow for the hospital ribbon-cutting ceremony.”

    Just a few hours earlier, Alex had learned that his cousin, the president, had requested that Alex be part of the prince’s travel party for the opening of a new hospital that Léon had funded. The request had surprised Alex, because he’d never performed any sort of official government function before, and there were surely dozens of people on the presidential staff who could have filled this role. Had someone seen Alex and the prince speaking at the inauguration and decided that Alex would be a good companion? He did notice his mother looking at them a lot during the inauguration and then he saw her talking to the president later. Maybe she wanted him to become friends with the prince? But he doubted she would have such influence on the new president, even though he was her younger cousin. Did President Benigno think this might help groom Alex for some future place in his administration – something Alex had never considered and wouldn’t particularly desire, especially now that his career was kicking into its next gear? Regardless, he wasn’t going to turn down the new leader of his native land, and some pomp and circumstance at the side of the prince of Léon could be entertaining.

    “Yes,” Alex said. “It appears they needed to tap the absolute best available talent for this engagement.”

    “I’m flattered. I was afraid I was going to get a member of Benigno’s rotund retinue. Is it just me or is everyone in the president’s inner circle at least forty kilos overweight?”

    Alex chose not to respond beyond a polite smile.

    “No matter,” the prince said. “Tell me: is the Colina after-hours club scene as ribald as its reputation?”

    “I wouldn’t really know. I’m down from New York, and I grew up in Anhelo. I’ve never taken much advantage of the clubs when I’ve been to Colina in the past.”

    Fernando nodded thoughtfully for several long moments. Then his face brightened. “Care to join me on a bit of a research expedition after this event is over? Purely for cultural reasons, of course.”

    Alex lifted an eyebrow. “I believe our plane is scheduled to leave at eight tomorrow morning.”

    Fernando shrugged. “We’ll make it an early night, then. In bed no later than four.”

    Alex had heard that Fernando could be a bit dangerous when out on the prowl, and Alex not only had his own reputation but the reputation of Legado’s new president to uphold. Still, it was difficult to avoid getting caught up in Fernando’s enthusiasm.

    “I’ve heard of a few places that might be ideal for your ‘research.’ And I’m sure they would love a visit from the future king of Léon.”

    “Excellent. One condition, though: you really need to stop calling me the future king of Léon. I already get all of the reminders I need about that from my father.”

    Excerpt from Birth Right by Julian Iragorri and Lou Aronica. Copyright © 2019 by Julian Iragorri and Lou Aronica. Reproduced with permission from Lou Aronica. All rights reserved.

    About Our Authors:

    Julian Iragorri:
    Julian Iragorri lives in Manhattan. He has worked on Wall Street since the early nineties.

    Lou Aronica:

    Lou AronicaLou Aronica is the author of the USA Today bestseller The Forever Year and the national bestseller Blue. He also collaborated on the New York Times nonfiction bestsellers The Element and Finding Your Element (with Ken Robinson) and the national bestsellers The Culture Code (with Clotaire Rapaille) and The Greatest You (with Trent Shelton). Aronica is a long- term book publishing veteran. He is President and Publisher of the independent publishing house The Story Plant.

    Find Lou Online:

    LouAronica.com | Goodreads | BookBub | Twitter | Facebook

    Tour Host Participants:

    Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!


    GIVEAWAY:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for The Story Plant, Julian Iragorri, and Lou Aronica. There will be 5 winners of one (1) copy of The Edge Of The World by Julian Iragorri and Lou Aronica (eBook). The giveaway begins on October 1, 2019 and runs through December 1, 2019. Void where prohibited.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thank you for your interest in this tour!

    Find Your Next Great Read at Providence Book Promotions!

    Previous books that I have read and reviewed via The Story Plant:

    Click on title(s) to read my review(s)
    THE FOREVER YEAR, THE JOURNEY HOME, SPINNING, ANYTHING, WHEN YOU WENT AWAY, A WINTER DISCOVERY, LEAVES, RECOVERY, and AN ANNIVERSARY FEAST.

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

    • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
    • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
    • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
    Sep 302019
     

    29 SECONDS by T.M. Logan
    Genre: Psychological Thriller
    Published by St. Martin’s Press
    Publication Date: September 10, 2019
    ASIN: B07NTQ8HP7
    Pages: 356
    Review Copy From: St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
    Edition: eBook
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .

    When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

    He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

    No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

    All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

    Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?

    My Thoughts

    A Psychological Thriller that will have your heart pounding from beginning to end!

    This is the first book that I have read by this author but he is now on my radar.

    Sarah Haywood, PhD. has been working at Queen Anne University in the English Department for the past 2 years and is hoping that she is up next to obtain a permanent position. Financially she really needs this promotion since her husband has left her and their 2 children to find himself with another woman, again!

    The Department head, Alan Hawthorne, an arrogant, misogynist, well respected in the community has hinted that she could have the position, however, there is a catch but she is not interested.

    On her way home from work, after being passed over for the promotion, she witnesses an apparent child kidnapping and jumps into action. But this split-second decision will turn her life upside down. The child’s father is in her debt for saving his daughter, something that seems impossible, to have someone, anyone that has done her wrong to just vanish. She just has to name the person. But she knows she couldn’t make that decision? That is until things go from bad to worse. All it took was a 29 second phone call. And then it seems her world blows up when things go wrong, horribly wrong.

    This book will have you on the edge of your seat!! As the seconds pass, the suspense will leave you breathless. A totally chilling and thrilling read!! An exceptional read!

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Sep 182019
     

    SILENT VOICES by Fran Lewis
    Genre: Horror, Suspense
    Published by: Southern Owl Publications, LLC
    Publication Date: June 10th 2019
    Number of Pages: 51
    ASIN: B07S75JPQW
    Series: Silent Voices
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: TPB
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis

    Driving down a rocky road I saw the overgrown grass, weeds, and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew permeated the air, along with the stench of animals killed by cars coming up from the ground along this dirt road. I could see the sadness on the faces in the cars behind me; I could feel the pain and sorrow. As I looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, I began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they traveled down life’s highway, maybe for the very last time.

    What stories lay behind the faces behind the wheel of each oncoming car?

    What stories were hidden?

    Whose voices are now silenced?

     

    Reviews:

    “Unique, haunting, terrifying, incredibly moving: Fran Lewis’ SILENT VOICES is all that and more as people tell spell-binding stories of their lives – and their deaths – from beyond the grave. You won’t forget this one!” – R.G. Belsky, award-winning author of the Clare Carlson mystery series.

    “Silent Voices is a shrewd, sensitive and scintillating collection of short stories that make us feel and think. Noted talk show host Fran Lewis proves herself to be as skilled a storyteller as she is a listener, adept at both tugging on our heart strings and exposing the raw emotion between the lines. Her tales reach beyond the grave in fashioning rich tapestries drawn on a sprawling landscape at once both rich in color and gray-toned. A can’t miss effort certain to live with you far beyond the turn of the final page.” -Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author

    “Once again, Fran Lewis knocks it out of the park with the latest in the Silent Voices series. At once chilling, but also inspirational, these stories do not fail to entertain. They will also raise the goosebumps on your skin. Prepare to be thrilled.” Vincent Zandri, New Your Times bestselling Thriller Award winning author of The Remains and The Caretaker’s Wife

    My Thoughts

    I have read previous books by this author so was looking forward for reading her latest, SILENT VOICES.

    You can check out my reviews for HIDDEN TRUTHS AND LIES and A DAUGHTER’S PROMISE.

    Having attended too many funerals for loved ones and making the somber drive through the cemetery to their final resting place, I too have looked at all the headstones and wondered who lies beneath those stones, who they are, how did they live and die? What are their stories?

    This book consists of seven (7) short stories of those that have passed and their voices silenced. However, they get their chance to speak one final time from the grave in this book. Fran Lewis, in her descriptive writing, gives us a peek into just that and allows the reader to envision those that are of subjects of each story.

    Two (2) of the stories were personal to the author, the voices of her grandmothers, which I felt so very sorry for with the kind of life they had and had to deal with.

    Some of the stories are sad, some eerily chilling and some that their past caught up with them and now face their ultimate judgment.

    A haunting read!! I guarantee, after reading this book, you will also wonder who lies below the headstones and what they would say if they hadn’t been silenced!

    **Stop by Friday for Q&A with Fran Lewis**

    Sep 122019
     

    THE NANNY by Gilly Macmillan
    Genre: Psychological Thriller
    Published by William Morrow
    Publication Date: September 10, 2019
    ISBN-10: 0062875558
    ISBN-13: 978-0062875556
    Pages: 400
    Review Copy From: William Morrow
    Edition: HC/eBook
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew conjures a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.

    When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

    Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

    Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

    In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

    My Thoughts

    Holy Moly!!! My head is still spinning!!

    I read a previous novel by Ms. Macmillan, I KNOW YOU KNOW, and knew I had to read her latest book.

    Jo and her daughter Ruby have reluctantly returned to her London childhood home and her mother after the sudden death of her husband. The move from California was only made because Jo needed financial assistance. Jo and her mother, Lady Virginia Holt has always had a strained relationship, especially since the day that her mother sent her beloved Nanny Hannah away.

    After their arrival, Jo takes Ruby out on a canoe on the estate’s lake and makes a gruesome discovery, a human skull. Virginia does not want the police involved, but why? Does she know more about the death on the estate that occurred years ago? However, Jo does report it and an investigation ensues.

    Then there comes a knock on the door and Jo comes face to face with her cherished Nanny Hannah. But Virginia has doubts that this is the “real” Hannah”.

    The author’s written narrative creates such a vivid description of the characters and settings that I felt I was transported into the story.

    The suspense had me turning the pages as fast as I could read! There were red herrings at every turn that I kept bouncing between characters as to who was the murderer and who was the victim, who was the better liar and who had the deepest secrets. The ending!!!! The ending was explosive that I am still reeling from it.

    An exceptional and thrilling read that had me white-knuckled from the first page to the last word!!

    Thank you, Ms. Macmillan, for another entertaining read!!

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

    • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
    • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
    • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.