Big Kid Books | The Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

The Unprotected: A NovelThe Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lyrical and poignant, this novel follows Lara as she goes from “anti-kids” to “ try-anything- for-one”. The novel explores what happens when everything you have ever wanted turns out to be nothing like what you expected.

The gradual build up was so well done, it shows how easy it is to get to the extreme end of postpartum depression. I think that there are aspects to this story that every mother can relate to.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Big Kid Books | How Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

How Not to Hate Your Husband After KidsHow Not to Hate Your Husband After Kids by Jancee Dunn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you only ever read one self-help book let it be this one. It’s almost a five for one deal in that the author has painstakingly researched and ferreted out the best of the best in various areas of psychology that is vital for a healthy marriage.

I think that many, if not most women can relate to the cover image of this book. The harried, flustered mother just trying to get by day by day with as much sanity as she started with, while her frustratingly nonchalant husband casually lives life by the seat of his pants. Probably because he has what we don’t…a wife looking out for everything!

I loved how thorough this book was. Everything that could be affecting a marriage was included in here, from chore distribution to sex life and date nights (or lack thereof), to child discipline to anger issues and ostrich syndrome (hiding your head under the sand). There really are so many moving parts in a marriage, and so many seemingly small things that can make a huge difference. I loved that they were all addressed in a very genuine and thoughtful manner.

The author was so honest in this book, I was very impressed. I think that honesty is what made this book impossible to put down. You can’t help but trust in her genuine desire to fix her marriage. That raw desire for improvement seeps off of the page and you find your own ember for change and happiness reignited.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy (This would also make a great baby shower gift!)

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

Stuff I've Been Feeling LatelyStuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb: In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.”

Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her “independence” and official separation from that venture. She also drew the front and back cover herself. Alicia is a contributing writer for many blogs and news outlets, including the Huffington Post and multiple Gannett Publications. She writes regularly on drug addiction and how it directly affects families. Because of this, she has chosen to donate 100% of royalties to the Willow Tree Center in New Jersey.

My Musings:I loved how unique this book of poems was. Anyone that has ever dealt with grief and self-doubt will get a lot from this. The idea of setting each poem to a song was brilliant. Of course it worked a lot better for me when I was actually familiar with the song. For this reason I think it would be a cool idea if the book came with a cd of its playlist, or if in the audio version the poems song played after each poem.

There are many books that I have loved, but few that felt like they were written just for me. The writing was beautiful without being flowery, raw without being harsh. The author feels like a kindred spirit. These poems make me want to cry and smile at the same time. Alicia Cook is a master in the balancing act of bittersweet prose.

The only thing that was a little disappointing for me was that the black-out poetry in the second half of the book was not visible at all in my advance reader copy. I know this is not an issue in the finished work so I won’t take off a star for that. I am just sad that I couldn’t fully experience this book of poetry, but even just the first half of the book was worth five stars to me.

This is poetry for everyone. Well done Ms.Cook.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy

 

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

Dead Girls SocietyDead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 
Goodreads Blurb: You are cordially invited to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.

Hope is sick of everyone treating her like she’s breakable. Sure, she has cystic fibrosis (basically really bad lungs), but she’s tired of being babied by her mom and her overprotective best friend, Ethan, not to mention worrying about paying for her expensive medication and how she’s going to afford college. And she’s bored with life in her run-down New Orleans suburb.

When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she might win some real money.

But the Society isn’t all it seems . . . and soon Hope finds that playing the game isn’t a choice—it’s a requirement. Continue reading

Big Kid Books | A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

promiseGoodreads Blurb: Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her. Continue reading

Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani Review and Kindle Fire Giveaway

MoA_FC_FNL16_BNGoodreads Blurb: In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

Amazon Pre-order  |  Barnes & Noble Pre-order  |  Apple | Kobo | Add it to GoodReads

My Musings: What a wild ride! Once again Ms.Khanani delivers a top notch fantasy. I am so happy that this sequel is a full length novel, as I wanted to spend as much time as possible in this amazing world. I was on the edge of my seat for the whole novel, this author has some of the best pacing that I have ever read. No boring bits in this.

I loved all of the characters in this book, even the villains. The main character is so relatable (although honestly she is probably more moral than me). Ms.Khanani’s books always lift my mood so much, it’s nice to have found a new auto-buy author.

If you love young adult fantasy this book is for you, it is also free from romance/insta-love/love triangles for those who detest that. The main character is intelligent without being unrealistically perfect, she has flaws without being annoying, and the character depth in this story will make you wishing that you could be best friends with Hitomi. I am in love.

Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Buy.  At $1.00 for this book and $0.75 for the first one these books are a steal! I would easily pay over ten times that for these great stories.

KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY

Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

A Special Treat For Those Who Pre-order…

Not only is the pre-order of Memories of Ash on sale for only 99 cents, but anyone who buys the pre-order will receive a free digital art print of Hitomi by artist Grace Fong. Just email your proof of purchase to moapreorder@gmail.com!

Haven’t read  Sunbolt (Book 1) yet? It’s been knocked down to just 99 cents to celebrate the release and is available at most major e-retailers. That’s two fantastic books for less than a cuppa joe.

MoA_PreOrder Special

About Intisar Khanani

Khanani_Author_PhotoIntisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, featuring the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles.

Website/Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads

Big Kid Books | Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

brGoodreads Blurb: A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others? Continue reading