Wednesday, July 24, 2019
So this beauty was sent to me by the P.R. Instagram and I am so grateful!!! The beautiful cover caught my eye almost instantly!!! However, Adam Boostrom definitely surprised me! This type of book is not normally in my wheel house, but I LOVED IT!! There are still parts that I find hard to imagine living with or without, but I still absolutely loved it! Thank you so so much for sending it to me! This book is written to include Wikipedia pages that would exist during this time frame, bulletins announcing new laws and programs, newspaper clippings, Athena's dreams, and the story itself of course. So it was actually a rather quick read once I got fully sucked into the story. Alright, since I know I have a few of y'all that are waiting to see what I think about the book, let's get started....
Athena Voss is just your typical teenager in the 2090's living with her friend Nomi in a cabin by a lake. Athena loves to paint. She mainly paints what she sees right in front of her. However, here lately she has been having dreams about a building she's never seen. One morning she wakes up just like any other morning and decides to paint the building she keeps dreaming about. She asks her home smart computer (yes, just like in Smart House, but not emotionally crazy lol) to identify the building and it tells her it doesn't exist. The other thing Athena keeps dreaming about but doesn't tell anyone is a man that does not exist. That's right! There are no men of any kind around anymore. They all died from a disease called the Y-Fever. It was designed to kill every single person who carried a Y-Chromosome. There are no fathers, sons, brothers, or men period. (Can you imagine?? I had a hard time with this part. I could not imagine a life without my husband or sons. I still do to be honest, but I can see how it fit the story.) Women run the world and are actually living rather peacefully. (I know very shocking! I was sure there would be a Mean Girls situation.) They have even ended world hunger and poverty!
Dr. Antares who is the CEO and co-founder of a company called Helix where she is also the Head Scientist. She is currently working on trying to reverse the Y-Fever so that she can help bring back men. This has been her life's work for the past four years. Before that she and everyone else at Helix worked on making it possible to artificially inseminate so that daughters could be born with the mother's idea of perfect genes. Basically, Helix has made it to where every women everywhere has a say in every aspect of their lives. (Sounds like a Eutopia right???) However, Dr. Antares starts working on Project Lazarus in memory of her brother who died during the Y-Fever outbreak.
However, Dr. Antares's genome that she's been developing for Project Lazarus to bring back men has been stolen. That's right, the one thing that has all the details of her work to bring back men into the world after four decades has been stolen. Turns out that some women have absolutely no desire to bring back men. (Can't say I'm entirely surprised, but then again I still struggle trying to picture a life without my boys.) So, how does Athena and Dr. Antares tie together??? The Core (an A.I. that serves as a sort of tie breaker in certain situations is the all knowing computer that has every single piece of information stored in its memory) has said that Athena is the key to finding the missing genome. (I know super long sentence, but hey..)
Athena is brought into the PSHQ (Public Safety Headquarters) because the Core has told Captain Bell and her team that she is the one person that can help find the missing genome. The reason the Core has brought Athena into the loop is the fact that, thanks to all the recordings that happen every day at every moment, she has been having these weird dreams about the non-existing building. (You're probably thinking "why doesn't the Core just say who did it?" and the answer is simply because it can't. To help explain that a little more, the Core kind of follows the same rules that are given to robots in I, Robot. All A.I. cannot harm a human and it cannot do anything that would cause any harm to humans.) At first Captain Bell accuses Athena of taking the genome because she doesn't know what the Core means exactly when it said that they needed to talk to Athena. Once she is convinced that Athena is the culprit, Captain Bell tells her that she has been summoned to visit the Core at the Hanger.
So, off Athena goes to meet with the Core, which only three other people have done. Athena finds out that the Core knows about her dreams, and thinks that they are connected to the case. The Core tells Athena that she needs to help Captain Bell with the investigation. She believes that there may be things that Athena will catch that Captain Bell will not. After leaving the Hanger, Athena gets a formal invitation to join Captain Bell on the case as an outside consult. After thinking it over and having a small fight with Nomi about it, Athena decides that she needs to do this. Her paintings are not selling or being shown in art galleries, so she needs to feel like she is doing something with her life. She wants to feel like she has at least one accomplishment.
Day one of the investigation for Athena starts with meeting Captain Bell at a nursing home. Why? Because one of the residents' computers was used to hack into Helix in order to steal the genome in the first place. It was used by someone who dressed as a nurse, but the security cameras and system doesn't recognize the person. Once Bell catches Athena up on that part, they move on to meeting with Dr. Antares herself. Once there, Captain Bell accuses the good doctor herself of stealing the genome, which of course didn't happen. Then Bell asks if there was anyone on the staff that could have stole it or help steal it because they do not support Project Lazarus, which of course Dr. Antares replies not to her knowledge. Once they leave Helix after arranging to speak with someone in HR the next day, Athena decides to tell Bell about her dreams since they are now involving a man she's never seen and a book called "The Original Sin".
After hearing about Athena's dreams, Captain Bell makes Athena sit down with Officer Evans who is kind of like a sketch artist with the help of the advance technology. After about an hour of working with Officer Evans, there is finally a sketch of the building that haunts Athena in her dreams and it's in more detail than Athena's painting. However, the computer once again says the building does not exist. Evans decides that she needs to do some further investigation into this error, and tells Athena that the PSHQ has set her up with a temporary apartment. The next day Athena wakes to a phone call from Bell saying to come in because she has some news.
When Athena arrives back at PSHQ and Officer Evans desk, she is told that a deeper investigation into the computer system shows that pieces of information have been wiped away about certain buildings and texts during the past few decades. The building and book that are constantly in Athena's dreams are among the list of historical information missing. While the rest of her team looks into the information, Bell and Athena continue on investigating people who could have stolen the genome. First stop for the day is Mirza Khan who has been arrested many times for protesting and disrupting many projects in the past. However, Bell knows that Khan would simply brag about taking it after they question her a bit. Khan ends up getting Athena drunk during the interview to the point that Bell has to put Athena in a drunk tank holding cell for a bit before they head off to their next suspect.
Next on the list to interview is Dr. Eve Kirilov who is the co-founder of Helix. She is also one of the few woman that does not broadcast her location and everything in her life on the main network thanks to the Personal Data Act of 2063. That means there is no record at all of her whereabouts the night the genome was stolen. So they must ask her where and take her word for it. Athena and Bell are interviewing Dr. Kirilov when the doc basically tells them to f*ck off. She says she has no desire or motive into stealing the one thing that only her and Dr. Antares had access to and had been working so hard on. (Sounds fishy right? I thought so too.) Since the doc refuses to cooperate, Bell orders her turn on her location-tracking for PSHQ viewing and is now named the prime suspect.
The next day Captain Bell and Athena are asked to come to MIT to speak to Dr. Nagaraj who is the Head of the Genomics Department off the record. Which means that they cannot record anything that is being said during the conversation. When Bell and Athena arrive they learn that Dr. Nagaraj thinks that Dr. Antares is covering up the theft. Why cover it up? Because it possible that the Lazarus Project will be up for bid again since it's been five years with no results. Dr. Nagaraj said that she received the tip from a friend who is in Congress, but could not say who. Shortly after, Bell and Athena receive a message that Dr. Antares wants to see them immediately.
Dr. Antares tells them that she knows they went to see Dr. Nagaraj and that she believes the theft is fake. She also knows that Bell has filed to get warrants to search the whole entire Helix building and computer servers and personal servers of the employees. She tells Bell and Athena that their meeting also needs to be off the record. When they agree to turn off all recording devices, Dr. Antares takes them down a hallway that seems to appear out of nowhere and into the floor despite Dr. Kirilov's protests about what Bell and Athena are about to see. Dr. Antares shows them that the Lazarus Project was a success in a result of a man that seems to be viable, dreaming, and 20 years old! But the project has only been approved for five years?! Dr. Antares says there are many reasons why this information has not gone public yet with it's success, but she cannot tell them what they are. She says there was still a hack into the computer system, but they very clearly had physical back up copies which is why there appears to be no huge rush to find the missing genome. She also asks that Athena and Bell tell no one, absolutely no one, and that the warrants be cancelled. Bell agrees to give Helix three days to come up a statement about this "irregularity" before she has to go through with the warrants and it all becomes public knowledge.
Athena joined Captain Bell in her apartment where they start to try to process Athena's new dream and where the library could possibly be. Her dream last night involved her friend Nomi turning into a buffalo and repeating that she needed to "find the library, save her, find the library in the place where it is not and save her." Finally sitting down in Bell's living room creating every search they can both think of while Bell eats a piece of apple pie, they come up with nothing. Bell goes to lay down because she thinks she has the flu and looks paler and blue. Athena sits there and thinks about the statement "look for it where it is not" and finally thinks of the proper search parameters needed. She finds the library is in a exclusion zone in Colorado where a college used to be. She goes in to tell Bell, and discovers that she is dead. The next day after being reminded that Bell has passed and being told that the case will probably be closed, Nomi shows up at the temporary apartment. Nomi says that she will help Athena solve the case in Bell's honor. To do so, Athena has to ask someone for help that does not mind breaking a few laws, Mirza Khan....
Sadly this is where I must stop in order to avoid spoiling the ending. Now I did not include everything that I read in the pages leading up to the end, mainly because it is all pieces of information needed for you to understand what is going on in the story. I absolutely loved this book! Like I said, this is probably not something that I would normally read, but Adam Boostrom just wrote it to where I had to read it. Most of it in one setting... Anyways, if you simply must have this book to call your own, you can always find links to buy it on my page:
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Just a heads up, this is not going to be a normal book review for me. This one is going to lack in content a little for the simple fact that I personally needed this book and didn't know it. So I am more or less going to give you an idea of why I think everyone needs this book...
So this wonderfully titled book was sent to me by HarperOne and I am so grateful for it! This is Gary John Bishop's second book, the first being title Unf*ck Yourself. It is technically a self-help book, but it is not your typical self-help book! This is NOT the typical "all you need is willpower" or "you just need to imagine your new life"! It is a in your face, I'm going to tell you like it is, and you need to work on yourself because you are F*CKED up too type of self-help book. I don't normally read self-help books, but the title alone pulled me in! I thought I was going to read this, and be like "ok, I know a couple people in my life that could use this book," and it turned out that I needed it as well! I had to actually had to stop quite a few times to truly process and understand what Gary John Bishop was saying. It actually pointed out a few things that I had acknowledged in the past but hadn't thought much about it. Well, that's not the case anymore, but that's another story for another time! Alright, so let's get into the book....
Gary John Bishop is a Scottish man who decided that he wanted to share his wisdom with the world. He is very blunt, honest, sarcastic, and loves to use cuss words. I love that completely! It is from page one to the very end, and I think that's why I was able to relate and understand what he was trying to tell me a little more. The first thing he talks about is the fact that everyone needs this book! No one is perfect by any means necessary, and yes some are a little better off than others, but everyone has something about themselves that they don't like. He doesn't just use his own personal wisdom to help explain what he is talking about in that chapter. He also quotes a lot of people! From Ralph Waldo Emerson to Karl Max, and every single one basically tells you what you need to hear in just slightly nicer words lol.
He covers many topics such as the one question that you are constantly asking yourself, like "why didn't I just stick with that one job?" and the three saboteurs you have in your brain that always messes things up for you. He even discusses how you are like a sponge, soaking up everything in your childhood years then eventually drying up and hardening as you get older and set in your ways about certain things. However, it is never too late to change how you handle obstacles and how you see yourself. Gary John Bishop is all about simply acknowledging what the root of your personal problems are and how to deal and fix them in a healthy matter.
A lot of us out there do not want to admit that there is anything wrong with us. There are even people that like to act like everything is absolutely perfect in their life and they wouldn't change a thing when they are in front of people, but by themselves and there's at least one thing they would change about themselves and another they would change about their life. Gary John Bishop even covers perfectionists, and how that's an even more ridiculous notion.
I will admit that I even had my own moments throughout the book where I thought I'm not that bad off, but he was absolutely right. Everyone has issues. On some level there is an issue, no matter how big or small. Even the people who you think are happy either in person or on social media, there is something that they will not admit right away is bothering them. There is always something that they will criticize themselves over and over about until it causes them to sabotage whatever is going good in their life. It could be something as small as the color of their hair to as big as their weight.
However, if you sitting here going "ok so he just helps you tear down your issues so you can acknowledge them and that's it?!" No, that's not it. The last three chapters are dedicating to how you can finally stop truly doing all the thing that you discovered about yourself that have resulted in self-sabotage and improve your life so that you have it back fully! This is truly a step by step process that includes who to move on once you do the work on yourself with his help.
Since this book actually helped me out and many, many others with a wide range of topics, I am going to add a few of my favorite quotes pulled from the book to give y'all an idea what to expect. I honestly think that everyone needs this book!!! Alright here we go:
"In your day-to-day life you are, for the most part, on autopilot"
"It's always much easier to measure the decline of others than your own"
"Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
"If you spend your life wanting to be happy, by its very nature you're constantly starting from a place of unhappy"
"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate." -C.G. Jung
"You are in a perpetual state of fucking yourself over so that you can repeatedly save yourself from what fucked you over in the first place!"
"We forge the chains we wear in life." -Charles Dickens
"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." - Karl Max
I know these quotes may seem a little out there or something you may have heard before, but I promise you once you read the content that goes along with them, it will be even clearer. These quotes and the things he talks about are just amazing. He tells you exactly how it is in his honest, blunt, and sarcastic way, but uses some of these quotes and more to make sure that everyone who reads it can understand it easily. I know that sounds super weird, but if you read this book for your personal growth alone it will make sense.
So, like I said this book is not your typical self-help book, and was not going to like my other reviews. Probably honestly far from what you imagine when you hear the words self-help book. However, it is most definitely one book that needs to be in every home out there. Everyone has issues on one level or another, and this is just book that is needed to honestly deal with them. I asked for this book for two main reasons.. First was the title alone, because I loved the bluntness, Second was the fact that he focuses on self-sabotage which I actually have a few things that I do that I didn't notice before. This book took me by surprise by how much I needed it myself. I am even more grateful to the HarperOne team that made it possible for me to have a copy for myself. I will honestly be rereading this book anytime that I feel I need to remind myself that it's okay to be a little f*cked up, but I don't have to let it take over my life. If you are so interested to the point that you simply must have it for yourself right now, then head on over to my page:
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Alright, so this beauty was given to me by Sarvenaz Tash after I won her giveaway for a signed copy!!! I was super excited for two main reasons; one was of course that it was a signed copy, and two because I had read a few reviews and the blurb about it and wanted to read it. So, that was amazing to win a copy alone since I don't win anything normally, but it win a signed copy is just amazing!!! It was so cute and funny, and definitely a modern love story with the wonderful (and annoying in my personal opinion) age of dating apps. So without further ado...
First we meet Miriam who is a freshmen in college at New York University, NYU, in her first semester who is just trying to figure out what her major will be while dealing with her first break up. Her high school boyfriend of three years decided that they needed to break up before heading off to college since he will be going to school in California. Which means that Miriam is basically a recluse that comes out to go to class and her job at the campus rec center. Sitting on her desk in her dorm room is a coupon for a dating app called HEAVR (Happily Ever After Virtual Reality), and Miriam decides to use it after being told a few times she needs to get back out there.
Her first session with HEAVR is all about figuring out who she is and answering some questions to match her to three people. The rules are pretty simple. They give you three matches, you have to take the first three dates in their VR simulator and only communicate in their dating app until after the third date occurs. If after three dates it does not progress further, they give you a chance with one of the other matches for free. The only thing they guarantee is that you will find your Happily Ever After. (I know that sounds like a really silly thing to "guarantee", but just wait it gets explained in just a minute.) So, Miriam goes through the setup process for her profile , and lo-and-behold one of her matches is her ex Caleb.
What does she do? Does she ignore that it appears that Caleb and her are meant to be??? Or does she decide to try to start things up again? Of course she chooses Caleb, especially after she finds out that she can use a different name and an avatar that she can edit a little for the VR dates. So now she is Sienna and is using an avatar with funky hair and a few changes that should disguise who she really is, and has asked Caleb on a VR date. Caleb accepts, and now Miriam must see how it all unfolds while trying to make sure that he doesn't figure out it's her before she's ready to tell him. (Now yes, she is technically Catfishing her ex, and yes that doesn't end well 85% of the time, but just wait.)
First date is slightly awkward, and I mean normal first date awkward, and a little tricky since they are both trying to learn how to work the VR simulator gloves. They have what is called a "meet cute" encounter to start the date where he says something pretty suave to start the whole date like they were meeting each other for the first time in person. The second dated is a little more relaxed even though Miriam/Sienna is still doing everything she can to answer questions without giving away her true identity. They talk a little through the app about a possible third date, but then Thanksgiving break comes and Miriam finds out that Caleb is also going home. Uh oh...
While back at home which is just a train ride away for Miriam, she decides to go bowling with a few old friends, and who does she see?? Why Caleb of course! She decides that she needs to tell Caleb right then and there before it goes any further with Sienna. However, when she finally gets the courage to go over to him and his friends, he basically breaks her heart all over again by saying that he still thinks they are too young to try to make long distance work. Hmm... Sounds a little off since he is obviously so in to Sienna who Miriam has played off as going to the same school... So Miriam lies and says that she just wanted to tell him that she's seeing someone. You know, the whole "I thought you should hear it from me first" thing that we all try to say to appear mature in awkward situations with exes...
Anyway, break ends and it's time to get back into a school groove before semester finals and winter break comes. Miriam/Sienna still hasn't told Caleb who she really is, but she has managed to confide in a few people who are now her friends. Her new friends are her roommate Hedy, Hedy's girlfriend Genevieve, and her co-worker and other potential HEAVR match Jeremy. They all listen to her while she goes through this absolutely insane journey of trying to possibly win Caleb back, and don't judge her too much on it. However, they all agree that she needs to tell him like now.
Her and Caleb go on their third date, and he still thinks she is another girl named Sienna. Miriam knows she needs to tell him, but is afraid of what will happen after. So she decides that telling him in a VR date or in the app is not the way to go about it. Especially not after Caleb tells her that he wants to come by NYU on the way home. Miriam debates and discusses for a few days before she finally agrees to meet him at the airport. Of course when he finally figures it out when he arrives in New York, he's naturally pissed off and hurt that she would do this. To him, it looks like Miriam just wanted to make a fool of him by Catfishing him. She tells him she's sorry and explains that she was trying to see if he was still in love with her and if they were really meant to be. She tells him when and if he wants to talk to reach out, otherwise she'll leave him alone.
So, she goes home for winter break and does everything she can to avoid Caleb, and sadly does run into him a couple times. However, she doesn't bring it up and doesn't try to talk to him when she does. She tells her older brother and sister what happened, and they tell her that she just needs to get back to normal. A normal that does not include Caleb like she should have done when she went off to school. So, this time Miriam really tries. She doesn't go back to HEAVR even though they call her to let her know that she still has two other matches.
Miriam gets back to school, and really puts focus on herself, her new classes, and her new friends. Hedy and Genevieve try to include her when they go to campus events like common room movie night, and Hedy (who is a film major) keeps introducing her to classic movies. Jeremy is still her co-worker and best guy friend, and Miriam eventually tells him that he was one of her potential matches. He eventually tells her that he wants to kiss her, but that their friendship is more important right now. Miriam is actually enjoying her second semester classes for the most part, and is finally starting to heal from both break ups with Caleb. However, it wouldn't be a good book if it ended right there right?
One day out of the blue, Caleb messages her through the HEAVR app saying that he misses her and wants to talk. So, Miriam thinks about it, talks it over with the group, and decides to talk to Caleb. The following day they talk on the phone, and Caleb reveals that he wants to make it work and that Miriam's catfish plan worked after all. But is this what she wants now?? After finally deciding to move on and work on herself, and is starting to wonder if there may be something romantic to pursue with Jeremy??? What is she going to do?? She decides to give it a go with Caleb, but she's not as happy as she thought she would be...
So Miriam and Caleb are making the long distance thing work for now thanks to HEAVR and their VR dates that are available to those that don't live close to each other. Sadly however it seems like Jeremy just kind of slipped into the background. Jeremy starts using HEAVR again, but tells Miriam that it just went okay. Next she sees him at a frat party with the lead singer of a band that is made up of students that go to the music school of NYU. Miriam also tries to reconnect with her friend Rose by inviting her to spend the same weekend of the party at NYU, but that sadly goes south rather quickly when they get into a fight about Caleb for the second time since they have known each other.
Miriam is starting to realize that she misses having Caleb physically near her every single time they go on a date inside the worlds created by HEAVR. Caleb suggests her coming out there for Spring Break, but they don't have it the same week. So, now she must decide if she is ok with asking for money from her parents and missing a few days of classes to go. Jeremy listens to her trying to decide and suggests that they do a workout together after her shift is over at the rec center. His idea of a workout involves the rock climbing wall that she had no idea was even there. Once they are done with the workout, Jeremy tells her that his HEAVR date was actually with a replica of her and they went rock climbing as well. (I know creepy and weird and a small invasion of privacy, but I mean come on! He obviously did it because he has some romantic feelings for Miriam!) How is she supposed to process this? What does this mean for Miriam and Jeremy's friendship?? Can she make her relationship with Caleb work long distance once she decides that she no longer wants to use their services after Jeremy spills the beans??
Sadly you will have to answer the questions yourself by getting your hands on a copy! This was a very cute book that I really enjoyed! I am so happy and grateful that Sarvenaz Tash chose me to be one of her giveaway winners. I will certainly cherish and guard this book til the end of time, and I cannot wait to be able to let my daughter read it soon when I'm sure there's a possibility that something like this could happen in like the next ten years. I hope you enjoyed this review enough to want to buy a copy for yourself. If so, then head on over to my page:
Saturday, July 13, 2019
First thing I need to say is this one should be read by an audience of people 18 years old and up. It is a novel that made of poems and a story in between. It is just over 100 pages, but wow! The details and story in this short novel pull you in instantly and make it near impossible to put it down. I was lucky enough to have Mark Edwards reach out to me himself and send me his self published novel for a honest review in return. This is his fourth book that he has written so far. So here we go....
This story is told through the narrator's point of view, and tells the story of him, his life on the streets, and a woman he is in love with named Shaina. They come from similar but different backgrounds, and sadly met each other when they are both in a relationship with someone else. Even though he runs in the streets, he is also a worshiper of God and attends church pretty regularly. They try to keep the relationship in the friend zone, but he makes it very clear that he wants her in a romantic relationship. Finally they are both no longer in the relationships that were "preventing" (I use quotations because he is very actively pursuing a relationship with her this whole time) them from being together fully.
First date comes and he plans out a wonderful evening of Broadway and dinner, but she stands him up. He arrives at the designated bar and grill they are supposed to meet at and waits patiently. While he is waiting a waitress comes over to make sure he doesn't need anything, and it turns out to be his ex-girlfriend named Aiyana. She ends up giving him her number in hopes that can catch up later on a napkin. He doesn't notice it until he goes to leave after of waiting for almost two hours.
A week goes by, and both him and Shaina are busy with work so they decide that she will come over for the weekend. She comes over, they have breakfast and then sex a couple times, dinner and then they fall asleep together. The next morning he discovers she left some time before he woke. However instead of calling her to see what happens, he simply goes back into the streets with his friends. After a long day and some devastating news, he goes back to his apartment. Shaina is waiting outside, and gives no explanation as to where she has been all day long.
The next day he tries to take Shaina to his church, and she ends up leaving right when the pastor is about to start the sermon. He doesn't hear from her until the next day when she sends text message after text message of excuse and no real reason for her leaving. After a long day at his job he decides to go out for a drink at the same bar and grill that Aiyana works at. After being there for over an hour she finally shows up, and comes over to talk to him in between checking on her tables. He stays for her whole shift and more while they catch up fully, and even tells her about the issues he's having with Shaina. Which he wouldn't normally do since that's what the streets have taught him...
After the death of Shaina's uncle, he decides to take her on a cruise to the Bahamas and Florida to give them both break they seem to need to just recharge mentally and emotionally. They had already scheduled time off work at the same time in hopes to spend in some time together, so the cruise was just the thing they seem to need. First day is spent on the boat relaxing. The second day is half spent in the Everglades of Florida and the ship's poetry and karaoke event. The third day is spent on a secluded beach in the Bahamas for a couple hours and then shopping until it is time to return to the ship to start heading back home.
When they get back on the ship, he decides to stay in the room for a bit and takes a nap while she goes back out to explore the ship's events. When he wakes up an hour or so later, he looks for her and finds her sitting in a lounge chair on the deck. At first it looks like she's singing a song or praying, so he tries to surprise her by sneaking up on her. Sadly, he is the one surprised when he finds out that she is actually on the phone with someone talking about seeing them immediately when they get home, and she hangs up as soon as she realizes that he is behind her. They don't discuss it right away, and that discussion leads to him ending it with her after debating it for a few weeks. Or does it???
Now keep in mind that in between each section of the story being told is a poem that helps transition to each part. It doesn't flow like a regular story would, but the poems beautifully explain what happens next. A few of them are sexual and very descriptive, but still amazing! They're aren't all sexual, some are very sweet and loving, and a few are sad. However, each one is set in the right spot and is wonderfully written. There are a few quoted Bible scriptures in it, but it's not overbearing that anyone can read this book and enjoy it.
I revealed a little more of the story than I normally would in this one to give you an idea of what is going on. I did not give all the details away of the story, but I wanted to make sure that you knew what was going on. The fact that this was not what I was expecting out of a poetic novel made me love it and devour it in a matter of hours!!! Mark Edwards is so sweet and nice and completely humble about the fact that I would read his book and review it honestly. I loved it and am so grateful that he reached out. To read the poems and find out what details I left out, you can find links to buy the book for your own pleasure on my page:
So, this is another ARC that I was fortunate enough to get from Minotaur Books. This is book two in Ellison Cooper's Agent Sayer Altair series. However, I did not feel confused or like I was missing something, but there was enough to make me want to read the first book as well. It is a mystery/thriller that has you trying to piece together who the bad guy is while it kind of gives you an insight into what could possibly goes on in law enforcement. Since it is an ARC that is not out yet I will give as much detail as I can. It celebrates it's pub day on July 16th.
First we met FBI Special Agent Max Cho and his trained FBI Human Remains Detection dog Kona who are hiking through Shenandoah National Park on their day off. Suddenly Kona alerts that she smells something in the air and takes off when Max signals her after calling the Park Ranger Station. After running through the woods for a little bit, Kona stops and signals around an area and Max sees nothing. He starts to walk through where Kona seems to be alerting, and suddenly falls into a cave. Once Max recovers from the initial shock of falling into a sink hole, he discovers that the cave's floor is littered with skeletal remains. He can't climb out of the 20 foot deep cave, and is really grateful he called before following Kona.
Next we met Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair who is a FBI neuroscientist that is on desk duty after being shot by a psychopathic serial killer that was her co-worker just six months ago. During her six month desk ride, she has been conducting research on noncriminal psychopaths to see if she can tell the difference between noncriminal and criminal psychopaths. She is about to start her day when she is called by Assistant Director Holt to jump onto the case involving the skeletal remains that Special Agent Max Cho has found. So, Sayer hops on her Matchless Silver Hawk motorcycle and heads to Shenandoah National Park. When she gets there, Max drives her to the cave crime scene in his truck and Sayer sees that the Head Medical Examiner (M.E.) is former FBI M.E. Dana Wilbanks. Dana and Sayer know each other from the countless hours and cases together before Dana joined the U.N. to work on the case around the massacres in the Congo.
Dana and Sayer are catching up a little and discussing what Dana has found so far in the cave when sudden someone starts pouring gas into the cave and lights it on fire. Thankfully Dana and Sayer find some fire blankets and don't burn alive. However, some of the evidence that Dana had uncovered already that isn't skeletal is now gone, but Dana didn't get very far. Now though Sayer must not only find out who put the skeletons there, but what was so important that the UNSUB (unidentified subject) had to try to burn them alive with the evidence. Once the fire is out and Dana and Sayer have been checked out medically, the team gets back to work on gathering evidence and fully examining the cave itself. Upon doing so they realize that there is a tunnel of some sort that is just big enough for an average size person to crawl through. When one of the Park Rangers volunteers to go into the tunnel, he discovers two more bodies that are relatively "fresh" inside the tunnel wrapped in plastic.
Once the team gets the two bodies in plastic out of the tunnel and back to their makeshift lab and headquarters in an old Rangers Station, Dana gets to work on starting the autopsies. First body is a woman that has only been dead for about three days, and during the initial physical look over with a black light, Dana finds "Help Us" written on the woman in saliva! Help who?? Next, Dana decides to unwrap the other body who is also a woman, but she has been dead for about three weeks. Dana continues the initial physical look over and decides that she can't continue past swaps and pictures until she gets some X-Rays at the local hospital.
Now we met Hannah Valdez who wakes up in an unknown room made of rock and concrete. She is trying to remember what happened to her, how she got there, and what happened to her two year old daughter Sam. Hannah tries to stand up and walk to the door, and passes out. Some time later she wakes up again to find a woman standing in front of her trying to clean her up. Hannah passes out again. Hannah wakes up later and finds the same woman standing in front of her telling her to follow her. Hannah is taken to some kind of pit by the woman, who she finds out is named Jillian Watts, where Hannah is told to either smash her own pinkie with a brick or Jillian gets shot. Hannah smashes her pinkie and is taken back to her room.
After everything is set up for the makeshift lab and sleeping arrangements have been made, Sayer heads back to Quantico to check in with Holt about what is going on in the case and to conduct a scheduled interview for her psychopath study. Her interview is with someone she simply knows as Subject 037 who seems to know a lot of personal information about Sayer and everyone in her life. After checking in with her little family and packing a bag, she heads back to Shenandoah to get fully invested in her new case. Sayer makes a phone call to FBI Data Analyst and friend Ezra Coen to come join her on the case. When Ezra joins the team in Shenandoah, he gets to work on identifying the two woman that were wrapped in plastic and anyone that is reported missing that may fit into the case. Ezra gets a hit on a missing person case of a mother and a child, Jillian and Grace Watts. He also finds Hannah's missing persons report as well, but her daughter Sam was found safely.
Sayer reaches out to a profiler psychologist that is currently a professor at University of Virginia (UVA) about putting together who the kidnapper and murder is based on the victims and evidence found inside the cave. The professor believes that the UNSUB is a male in his mid-30s that has a high profile job and has high social skills to be able to take these women in broad daylight. She believes that he is targeting these women for a reason since they all, the missing and the deceased, all look like they could be dopplegangers (twins that are not related).
Hannah wakes up again and is taken back to the same pit by Jillian. This time though there is a child strapped to a chair with a knife pointed at her throat. That poor baby is little Grace Watts. The person that told her to smash her pinkie tells Jillian and Hannah that they must fight to the death in order to save Grace. Jillian tries to hurt and kill Hannah to save her daughter's life like she has apparently done before, but is too weak to from being in the cave for so long. Finally Jillian asks if Hannah kills her will Grace be set free, and the mysterious person agrees. Hannah pushes Jillian away and Jillian uses that "momentum" to throw herself into the wall. Jillian is dead and Grace is set free, however Hannah realizes that she's not done yet.
Early one morning, Dana wakes up and decides to get to work on the bones they found in the cave. Dana goes into the makeshift lab where Ezra is sleeping close by because he cannot walk to the cabins near by since his legs were blown off below the knee in an explosion on the last case he worked with Sayer. Dana realizes that there is something on the cervical vertebra on a couple of the skeletons when something makes a scraping noise waking Ezra. There is someone in the lab that is not supposed to be there, and attacks Dana and Ezra. Ezra had sent Sayer a text message before confronting the person, but Sayer doesn't come in to the lab until the person is gone. However, Max and Kona arrive right after Sayer and take off through the woods after the attacker. Meanwhile, Dana and Ezra are checked out by the team and they find that Ezra scratched the attacker and got some skin cells under his nails, which they collect and send off to the lab in Quantico. When Dana checks out the bones, she realizes that one of the skeletons that was slightly charred is missing.
Realizing that the attacker is very likely their UNSUB, Sayer decides that she needs to look at the police archives for everything that happened during the times that the skeletal remains were put into the cave starting fifteen years ago. Sayer and Max meet police chief Kyle Nelson at the archives to look for any files that could be necessary for the case when they are attacked again! All of three are find except for a bullet grazing Kyle in the head that requires stitches at the hospital. Once again, the attacker gets away from them even though Sayer took off after them right away.
When they all make it back to the rangers station that is their headquarters and lab, they start to go through the files when Ranger Piper, who has agreed to be part of the local force helping, gets an alert that a little girl was spotted on the side of the road by herself. Sayer, Piper, and Max ride to the spot and find little Grace and Jillian laying down in a small ditch next to the road. They rush Grace and Jillian to the hospital where they are told that Jillian is still alive thanks to the cold weather.
Hannah wakes up again some time later and realizes that now that Jillian and Grace are gone, there is a real chance that her kidnapper will go after Sam. Hannah sees a vent in the wall and scrapes away the paint until she can pry it open and crawl through. Hannah pulls herself through the vent until she arrives in an underground cavern that has a river, a door, and a stone slab where a slightly charred skeleton lays on top. The door leads back to the pit where she watched Jillian throw herself into a wall to save Grace, so Hannah goes back into the cavern. There she decides that the only way out is the river, and she dives in. After being thrown into some rocks in the river, she passes out and wakes up later on a riverbed. She did! She's out! She starts walking through the woods until she finds a path that leads straight to the very cabin that Sayer and her team are in. Sayer and Max take her to the hospital after they calm her down enough to get close to her.
Now that Hannah is safe and knows that Sam was returned to Hannah's wife, they get to work on trying to figure out where she was being held captive and who did this. When Hannah has been looked over by the doctors and is cleared to talk, she tells Sayer what happened from the moment she was kidnapped to how she got out. Hannah tells Sayer that her kidnapper could very well be after Sam next, and Sayer rushes over to Hannah;s house. Once she gets there, she finds out that Sam has gone to school for the day and Sayer rushes to the school. She is met by Chief Kyle at the school, but they don't get to the front of the school in time to find Sam before the kidnapper takes her. Now Sayer not only has to find the place where all these women were held, but now she must find Sam before the kidnapper realizes that Hannah escaped! Will the team find Sam in time? Will there be another woman taken to replace Hannah? Will the team figure out who is behind all this? Is the same person who put the skeletons in the cave over the past fifteen years???
Sadly this is where I must stop. I know! I always stop at a part that makes you go "wait, no! You can't stop there!!" However, this book will be celebrating its pub day on July 16th. I loved it for the simple fact that I felt I was really part of the team trying to figure out everything. It also felt like I was reading either a true crime or an episode of Criminal Minds. Which I absolutely love! If you love mystery novels, then you NEED to add Ellison Cooper to your list of authors to read. I am now looking for her first book Caged thanks to the few details that she dropped in this book. As always you can find links to get your own copy of this thrilling beauty on my page:
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
So this was my first book tour that I signed up for, and was lucky enough to receive this ebook. The author is super sweet, and this is the beautiful cover that she included in her emails. First thing I must say is that this book is steamy. Tastfullly steamy, but still steamy enough I recommend that you only read if you are 18+ years old. It is only book one in the Everly Davis Series by Amelia Oliver. It is a short book so there will be only so much detail that I can give. Anyways, here we go!!!
Everly Davis is a woman who just lost her adoptive mother while living in Manchaster. Her mom leaves her a beach cottage in Scarborough. Everly makes the necessary arrangements to move to the cottage in hopes that it will be easier for her to physically breathe once she lives the suffocating city. After one rude Uber driver, a long train ride, a bump into a handsome stranger named Leyland, and a sweet and helpful cab ride, she finally arrives at her new home in Scarborough. Everly gets to work settling in since her new job at the local DIY shop owned by Garrot's father doesn't start for a few days. On her first day at work, she discovers that Leyland and Garrot are very handsome brothers, and they have another equally handsome brother named Karl, and they're all supernatural.
Leyland is a Cupid that is normally invisible to humans as he stands on the train station's exit trying to open as many hearts as possible to love. However, for some reason Everly has managed to physically see, and speak to him. They both immediately start drooling over each other even after Everly forces herself to walk away her first day into town.
Garrot is telekinetic and seems to be the main brother that works in his father's DIY shop when he isn't helping his brothers battle monsters. He gets a better chance to know Everly first when she needs a few things from the DIY shop delivered to her house to spruce up the place. Garrot offers to show her around town after her first day at work.
Karl is a hunter, yes kind of like the Winchester brothers, with the power to control earthly elements and is the brother that seems to have to hunt down monsters all the time. He's been out of town hunting down SS for about six months since they had hit a lull inside the small town of Scarborough. Karl is introduced to Everly when he arrives back in town on her first day at the shop.
All three of the brothers are attracted to Everly like she is destined to be with all three of them. Everly has been having dreams where she is on a cliff over looking water until three shadowed figures appear behind her. Are the figures the guys?? Are they all destined to be together? To make things a little more cute and awkward, Everly has no idea about what the guys are or the fact that they have been dreaming of her for as long as they can remember.
Everly starts to fall for Leyland and Garrot almost immediately, but takes a little longer with Karl. After a month of trying to adjust to being in a relationship with the two guys, they decide it's time to tell her their big secret. When they do, they decide to do so at Karl's house. She freaks out a little naturally and runs out. When she does she is kidnapped by a Selkie, which is a creature from the sea that shifts between land and sea. They are after Everly to bring her to Posedion, the king of the sea and Everly's father. Once they defeat the Selkies, they all realize that there is more they need to figure out besides their relationship.
Now as much as I would love to reveal more detail, I sadly cant. Like I said, it's a short book for an ebook, and I think that any other details besides describing Everly and the three hunky men magically in her life will either get steamy or it will give away the fun and exciting ending. There's lots more detail in the book, but some of it I can't say on here. I am so grateful to be chosen to be on this book tour, and loved this as a quick read. It is only book one in the series so stay tuned for more to come! As always, you can find links to buy this beauty for yourself on my page:
Monday, July 8, 2019
Alright y'all. This is another ARC that I received from Minotaur Books and I am so grateful! This is the third book in Kristen Lepionka's Roxane Weary series. I thought that I would be a little confused since it is a third book, but she did so well with filling in certain things to keep it clear. It honestly is kind of picking up a stand alone in a series, but has enough detail that makes you want to pick the other books in the series. Anyway, I will give as much detail as I can, but since it is an ARC I have to be careful about how much I say. It is available for your own reading pleasure on July 9th.
Here we go...
Roxane Weary is a Private Investigator in Michigan that had a cop father who died two years ago. She still has her mother and two brothers, Andrew and Matt. She also has a girlfriend named Catherine who goes out of town a lot for her job. Roxane or Rox for short is in the middle of an investigation for a CEO of a leggings company that feels there are knockoffs out there. Yes, that's right, the CEO is paying her to buy leggings online to hunt down the people making the knockoffs. One night when she is trying to sleep over at Catherine's house, Rox gets a phone call from Andrew in the middle of the night saying he needs help. Of course, she heads over to his place.
When she gets there, she sees and feels that something isn't right. Andrew has a few scratches on him and is just overall worried. Andrew tells her that an ex fling and ex co worker of his named Addison showed up at his door asking to use his phone and acting all fidgety. When her phone call isn't answered, she leaves acting all frightened. She didn't want the cops called or bothered calling anyone else, which is fine by Andrew since he has some weed in the apartment.
Since it is her brother that is concerned enough to call her and didn't want to bother their father's old cop partner with it, Rox decides to get to work on finding Addison herself. Rox starts with the typical steps such as going to Addison's place and trying to talk to friends and co workers. All that turns out to look like she had been home some time between when she left Andrew's and that morning when Rox goes to her place. However, as days pass it seems like there's more than meets the eye....
Addison is apparently a DJ at a sketchy club called the Nightshade, which just happens to be right across the street from Andrew's place and is owned by the Phoenix Group, who Rox has some kind of connection with from a year ago. It is run by Mr. Pomp who likes to make "investments" in businesses. Mr. Pomp has money in Nightshade, and is currently looking for the owner of the club because there is still money to be paid. The night Addison shows up at Andrew's place is also the night that the club owner and a bouncer named Wyatt seem to have disappeared as well.
The main friends that Rox reaches out to find out more about Addison are Elise, Jordy, and Carlie. Elise and Jordy are childhood friends, and Carlie is Jordy's stepsister as well as Addison's current roommate. Rox meets Carlie first of course, and upon a second visit to Addison's place meets Jordy and Elise. Carlie doesn't seem to notice that Addison is missing right away because of the crazy schedule Addison has as a DJ. Carlie does mention that a cop named Mickey had just asked about Addison the week before. However, Jordy and Elise get more concerned when Addison doesn't show up for a coffee date the three of them had planned for a while.
Mickey, the cop that left his business card for Addison, is found dead in the half frozen river just a few days after Rox tries to contact him unsuccessfully about Addison. Naturally, Rox tries to find out as much as she can about Mickey as well since he seems to be connected in some way, but there doesn't seem to be much to tell. What does Addison, Wyatt, and Mickey seem to have in common??
A dating app called BusPass that is apparently used by Addison, Wyatt, and Mickey. Of course, Rox had no idea it existed until Jordy said something about it, but she looks into it anyway. During Rox's investigation, Andrew is arrested for drug possession and is a person of interest in the new missing person's case about Addison started by Addison's father. So now things have gotten really complicated for Rox and everyone involved. While Andrew's lawyer seems to be handling things, Rox realizes she needs to find Addison in order to help her brother.
Rox finds Wyatt holed up in the same motel as the owner of Nightshade. She takes him home, and tells him that she still needs his help to find Addison. Wyatt however shuts down and holes up in his room at his mother's house. Rox leaves her business card and gets back to work trying to find out more about Addison and her BusPass use. After talking to the company that runs BusPass and getting a little behind the scenes access, she discovers that Addison has two profiles?! What does this have to do with where she is? Well, one was in contact with Wyatt and Mickey while the other seems to be fake. Wyatt is told by one profile tells him to go to Addison's place where Wyatt is shot by the SWAT team responding to a possible hostage phone call, and is now in critical condition in the hospital. Finding Addison is more important than ever now...
Sadly this is where I must stop. I know so annoying right?! However, since this is an ARC and I NEVER give away the ending, this is where I must stop. As you can see this is a mystery that definitely has you trying to figure out the next step and who done it from the very beginning. There are a couple things that I am a little fuzzy on since this is the third book, but not enough that it changes the fact that I could not put it down! This is one mystery that you definitely need to add to your TBR before 2019 is over! As always, you can find links to buy this beauty for your own reading pleasure either as a pre-order or on July 9th on my page:
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Alright y'all, this is another ARC that I was very thankful to get from Mulholland Books. They have been so great to work with so far, and I honestly didn't think that I would be able to get my hands on a copy! It is definitely a thriller that makes you think about what you would do in this situation. It tugged at me as a mother, a person trying to simply be good, and as a person who would do anything to protect my loved ones. It definitely gives you the creeps in certain aspects. My interest was peaked at first because of Stephen King's quote on the front cover: "This nightmarish story is incredibly propulsive and original. You won't shake it for a long time." I mean come on! How could you not want to read it on that statement alone?! Anyways, this scary beauty is in two parts, and I will happily tell you what I can since its pub day is not until July 9th.
First we meet Kylie (Rachel's daughter), Rachel (single mom and cancer survivor), and Pete (Rachel's ex-brother-in-law). Kylie is a preteen who takes the bus to school every day, however Thursday changes all their lives forever. Kylie is waiting for the school bus Thursday morning when a car pulls up next to her, and kidnaps her! There is a man sitting next to her in the backseat, and a woman in the front seat driving. The man makes her put on a blindfold, and they drive. Meanwhile, Rachel is driving to met her oncologist when she receives two phone calls. First one is from someone using a voice distorter who tells her she is now part of The Chain, and the second is from the woman who has Kylie and gives Rachel her instructions.
The Chain instructions are simple: No COPS, POLITICIANS, or JOURNALISTS. Step one is to pay a huge ransom on the DARKWEB using Bitcoins, and buy a bunch of burner phones. Step two is pick your replacement in the chain and repeat the process that the person before you did. Again, NO COPS, POLITICIANS, or JOURNALISTS any where in the family. You can tell no one, and yes they will know, or there will be blowback. What do you do????
Rachel realizes that she needs to do whatever possible to get back Kylie. Rachel completes Step One, and starts to pick out potential targets. Yes, that's right, she has decided to do what the mystery person on the phone says and continues The Chain. Don't worry though, she doesn't do this without a knot in her stomach, a serious internal moral discussion, and a heavy heart. (I have to say that I don't think I can honestly blame her for doing what she does, or what anyone involved in this sick twisted game does. I would probably do the same thing if it involved one of my three children. Okay, back to my review lol.)
Rachel has picked out five kids, two main targets and three back ups. Kid A seems to be a perfect fit until a stakeout reveals that the mom has a secret COP boyfriend. Looks like Kid B will have to be the new Kid A. When she thinks that she has most of the plan worked out, Rachel reaches out to The Chain about bringing in her ex-USMC ex-brother-in-law, Pete, to help her. Why her ex-brother-in-law you may ask? Well, her ex-husband is off golfing, and Rachel is positive that he'll go to the police which will just get Kylie killed. So, Pete is her next best option. Pete has done five tours during his service, traveled the world a little, and done some training that will help in this situation. Sadly, Pete is also addicted to Heroin since he was Honorably Discharged and almost received a court-martial before he giving up his pension and full benefits.The Chain approves Pete's insertion into Rachel's link in the ever growing chain. Rachel and Pete set out to kidnap their target, but have to improvise when it doesn't go according to plan...
Sunday comes, and Rachel's target family the Dunleavy's are completed Step One by paying their ransom and Kylie is finally released! Her kidnappers drop her off at a Dunkin Donuts on a highway twenty minutes away from Rachel. Kylie gets to call Rachel to tell her where to pick her up. Rachel drives like there's no tomorrow, and finally gets to physically see Kylie for the first time in FOUR days. Now for the hard part, trying to return to normal while waiting to hear that they can release Amelia. Pete is mainly watching over Amelia in the emptied summer home that Rachel picked out before bringing in Pete. However, Rachel isn't just waiting to hear when to release Amelia, she's waiting to hear that her part is done for good. Oh how wrong she was...
It turns out that the Dunleavy's target family the Hoggs require some special attention to get them back on track for everyone's safety. After a long drive done by Rachel and Pete to get this done, Rachel finally is told to release Amelia on Monday evening. Her active part in The Chain is over with, and now she simply has to try to get back to normal without ever telling anyone what happened. Which means that not only can Rachel never say anything, neither can Kylie or Pete...
Part two seems to be a glimpse into the people behind The Chain. We meet toddler twins Moonbeam and Mushroom, and they are living in a commune in the 1970's. The commune has been revealed to be a "sex drug cult." One day two men storm the commune looking for a woman named Alicia. Alicia is apparently Moonbeam and Mushroom's mother. One of the men storming the place is a young man named Tom. Tom and his older partner search the place until they find Alicia high as a kite and in bed with a couple. The men end up burning the commune to the ground after murdering anyone that gets in their way during their search for the twin toddlers.
Cut to a few years later, and Tom Fitzpatrick has the twins Moonbeam and Mushroom, now called Oliver and Margaret along with a pregnant wife, Cheryl. They are moving into a house on a normal street in Bethesda. Once they are all settled in, they decide to have a house warming party to meet their new neighbors. Tom is an undercover FBI agent that works in the Joint Organize Crime Task Force. The big house party turns into three small ones; one for the men, one for the women, and one for the children. The men and women's party seems to be according to plan, but the kids' party not so much.... Oliver is getting picked on a boy who says that "his mom looks like a whore" until Oliver says that his mother was murdered and burned. Next thing you know, here comes Margaret daring the boy to drink a beer that has been laced with ipecac. Party is obviously over afterwards...
A few years later, and the Fitzpatricks are moving again to another normal neighborhood in Anaheim. Now the twins have a baby brother named Anthony, and stepmom Cheryl is self medicating where she can. When they get settled into the new house they had to move to after Tom gets a promotion, the kids are all forced outside. Anthony gets along with the other kids just fine, Oliver and Margaret on the other hand run into trouble. A girl named Jennifer starts to pick on Margaret until she cries, and despite knowing better, Oliver hits Jennifer. Jennifer's big brother comes out, chokes and slams Oliver on the ground. The twins hide in the garage until dinnertime, and tell no one. A short time later, Jennifer starts to get mysterious notes telling her to do very embarrassing things after her pet rabbit "escapes his enclosure" in order to get the rabbit back... Is Margaret behind it???
Y'all, I am actually a little sad that I cannot reveal much more in my review since the book will not be available for a whole week! However, I will say that this book is definitely my current favorite thriller of 2019! It has you on the edge of your seat the whole time, and you are constantly asking yourself why?! Why would someone do this? Why was it happening to these people? You also ask yourself what you would do in this situation. If you are a huge fan of this type of thriller or mystery, then this book is the next one you need to read!! Its pub day is July 9th, but is available for preorder now! Thank you again to Mulholland Books for including me in the reviewers you chose to read this terrifying beauty! If you simply must have this book for yourself, you can always find links to preorder it on my page:
Alright y'all, I met Mark Edwards on bookstagram when he reached out to me to review his poetic novel Love & Trust. He was also o...