Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Alright y'all this ebook was sent to me by the author herself. Margo Ervand reached out to me on bookstagram and I am so glad that she did! This book talks about grief, death, depression, toxic relationships, and reminds you to not judge people you don't know. I will warn that some moments in this book may be hard for some people, but overall it is an amazing book! So here we go!
Kate goes to visit her pastor at church after waking up from a dream involving her dead boyfriend, Denis, after 12 years. She tells the pastor about the dream and how she is struggling with her faith. She even admits that she is tired and doesn't want to live sometimes. He tells her to turn to God for He knows all the answers. She leaves the church and takes her normal walking route.
On the way to the bookstore, Kate can swear that she hears someone walking behind her. However, when she turns out to look for the person there is no one there. She has the sensation that someone is watching her, but she doesn't anyone near her. So she decides to go into the bookstore to at least be surrounded by other people in a public place. Once inside she starts browsing the nonfiction and self help books and completely zones out.
She picks up a self help book that catches her eye, and is looking at the blurb when she gets startled by a hello from beside her. She looks to see where the voice came from to see a man that she does not recognize but says he knows her. He says his name is Vadim and that he was friends with Denis. Kate has a small breakdown and asks him to just leave her alone. Instead he gets her to agree to join him for coffee, but that just leads to awkward conversations about Denis. Then when Vadim asks her about her painting and drawing, Kate decides that it is time she left.
She goes back to her parents house, which at the age of 30 she knows is not a good thing. However after Denis's death she just couldn't stay in their old neighborhood. When she walks through the front door and is pleased to find that her parents are not back from visiting her sister. She went back and bought the book she was looking at, and gets settled to read it. She quickly becomes bored so she gets up to put it on her bookshelf, and thinks that she sees someone outside the house. She ducks and peeks through the window to find that it was just the tree's shadow.
Monday comes and Kate goes to work her volunteer shift on the First Aid Van for the homeless shelter. She is sketching the people that she sees when an older woman comes up to the van screaming about her husband. The woman is claiming that the van came yesterday and took her husband away. Kate tries to calm the woman down while her partner is checking out a homeless man, but the woman keeps screaming that they took her husband. When Kate finally gets her calm enough to listen for five seconds, she tells the woman that she can come with them to the shelter and check for herself.
On the way to the shelter, the woman complains about the homeless man's odor, and then snatches Kate's sketch book without permission. The woman flips through the sketches until she finds the one of Denis, and gets very angry again. Kate asks her what is the matter, and the woman says that the man is a murderer and is responsible for her daughter's death. The rest of the ride to the shelter is in silence and anger.
Once at the shelter, Kate gets out and walks away from the van as soon as possible. She goes into the shelter's courtyard to have a moment to cool down. She is sitting on the bench when her friend and oldest volunteer, Nadia, comes and asks how Kate is doing before telling her that the woman did find her husband in the shelter after all. Kate feels bad because she kept saying that her husband wasn't at the shelter, but Nadia assures her that she couldn't have known.
Once Kate is calm, she goes inside the shelter where she comes across a pregnant woman in the dorms. This is odd, because they don't usually allow pregnant woman to stay in the shelter since there is another one that is better equipped to handle anything that comes up with a pregnancy. Kate tries talking to her, but the woman is rude. Finally Kate is able to get her to follow her to the dining area to get her some food. Just as Kate is able to convince the volunteer cook to get food after lunch is over, Nadia comes up and tells Kate that the woman will be staying in the shelter under Nadia's watch.
Kate finishes her shift and goes home to find her parents are back home. She has her usual spat with her mom about moving on with her life since it has been 12 years, and her dad tells her mom to stop. She decides to ask her parents if she recognizes the woman from Kate's sketch. Her mom criticizes the sketch itself before saying that it looks like a lady from their old neighborhood whose daughter died around the same time as Denis. Her dad takes a look, makes a supportive comment, and then agrees that it is probably the woman that her mom is talking about.
Kate goes to see her psychoanalyst the next day to talk about the last couple days. She talks about the woman accusing Denis of being a murderer to feeling like someone has been following her. Her psychoanalyst decides to focus on the feeling of being watched. Kate ends up admitting that she just wants to die and be with Denis again, but the need to prove that woman wrong is more important to her at the moment.
Kate goes to the homeless shelter for her shift in the laundry room and thinks about her first day. She thinks about how she can't believe that ten years ago she almost didn't come back. She hears footsteps out the hall and walks over to the door to see if she imagined it. She hears someone talking, and it is the pregnant woman on the phone with someone. When she hears the end of the phone call, Kate hurries back over to her seat just in time for the woman to walk through the door. It turns out that she has some laundry that needs to be done which means Kate has to put her name on it.
The woman says her name is Tanya and leaves. Kate separates everything to be washed and starts the load before taking the freshly washed clothing up to the line in the courtyard. Once all the laundry is hung up to dry, Kate sits down on the bench under a tree where Nadia catches up with Kate. Nadia tells Kate about how she is going to help Tanya as much as possible instead of sending her to a pregnancy shelter which surprises Kate, but she doesn't argue.
Kate wakes the following morning and goes to visit Denis's grave where she is once again surprised by Vadim. Kate cleans up the grave and they both set down flowers on top. It starts pouring rain so Vadim offers to take her to breakfast. They arrive at a restaurant that is usually out of Kate's budget. Vadim orders food for them both. Kate tells Vadim about the woman's murderer claim on Denis and asks for him to help her since he does has a law degree. He asks her if she believes the woman which of course she says no, but he says there must be some doubt if she is asking for help. Kate storms out of the restaurant and takes a cab home.
Later at the shelter, Kate tells Nadia about the accusation against Denis by the woman on Monday, and Nadia tells her not to worry about it and starts looking for baby goods in the newspaper. The following day Kate is walking to the shelter from the bus stop when she sees a man standing outside the gate protecting the court yard. Kate hides behind a nearby tree when she sees that the man is talking to Tanya. She can't hear much of the conversation except Tanya practically screaming "I don't need your help!" The man walks right past Kate without noticing her.
Kate goes inside the gate and catches up with Tanya who is once again cold and rude. Kate decides to not tell Nadia about the incident. She goes home for the night where she goes through the same harsh conversation with her mom while her dad tells her mom to knock it off. Monday comes back around along with Kate's shift in the First Aid Van.where the woman who gave them a hard time last week comes into view. Kate decides to confront the woman.
The woman starts to tell her to go away until she finally decides to talk to Kate. She tells Kate how a car that looks just like Denis's car hit her daughter and fled the scene. The five days her daughter was in the hospital, Denis visited every single day. The woman was convinced at first that Denis loved her daughter, but then came to the conclusion that he was just trying to cover up his crime. Her daughter died in the hospital, and then she says that Denis killed himself like a coward. Kate can't believe this woman, especially since Kate was told it was natural causes.
Kate decides to pay a visit to her pastor again and asks about the woman's daughter. The pastor tellsh her what happened and the rumors that flew around the neighborhood. Once again, Kate leaves the church to go on her usual route and winds up at the bookstore again. While browsing the books, she is startled by Vadim again who is holding a file containing the police report about the girl's accident.
Kate takes it from him but refuses to go anywhere with Vadim this time. Kate takes the file home and reads all the paperwork. It shows that Denis was a suspect but the description of the car that hit the girl looked like Denis's car but did not sound anything like it. It even shows how the police talked to Denis's auto shop and were told that there was no sign of Denis hitting anything but he still had the headlights replaced and car repainted. Kate decides that she needs to go back to the old neighborhood and ask some questions.
Kate goes to the shelter for her morning shift to find Tanya making out with a man just inside the gate. This man she assumes is the father gives Kate a hard time before Tanya slips an envelope into his pocket. Kate keeps telling him to leave or she will call the cops. He finally leaves once Tanya tells him to with the envelope secure in his pocket. Kate decides to not bother Nadia with this since Tanya stays in the shelter instead of going with the man.
Kate goes to the playground that sits outside the apartment building they used to live in. Just as she is about to change her mind and leave, Denis's mom comes out of the building. Kate greets her and gets invited inside. Kate goes through the usual quick catch up, and then asks about the day Denis died. His mom tells Kate about how the neighbor known as Aunt Sveta was the one that found Denis since the rest of the family was out of town. Kate stays for an hour before leaving.
Instead of going straight to the shelter for her shift, Kate stops by Aunt Sveta's apartment. She is met with the usual gruffness the woman had, but gets invited inside for a few minutes away. Kate asks Aunt Sveta about the day she found Denis. Sveta tells her about hearing Denis argue with a man with a scar on his chin a few hours before she found him in the kitchen. Sveta walked out of her apartment and seen Denis's front door wide open. She decided to walk in since she knew the family was out of town, and found Denis on the kitchen floor with two plates set out on the table. Sveta called the police and that was that.
Kate thanks Aunt Sveta and leaves. Kate arrives at the shelter and tells Nadia about what she has found out the past couple days. Nadia listens and then tells Kate about all the baby stuff that she found for Tanya. Kate gets a little jealous, but still says nothing. Friday comes and once again Kate is out in the First Aid Van. This time she is out checking people's temps and how they are feeling while her partner is with a homeless man in the back of the van. Suddenly she hears what sounds like a fight break out in the van. Kate rushes over to find that her partner was defending himself again the homeless man.
Her partner says that the man was trying to steal what few meds are on the van when the same woman who has been calling Denis a murderer comes running out. She is screaming "First my husband and now my son" over and over. Kate tries to talk to her while her partner restrains the man until the police come. They give the police the initial report and as they are walking the man to the car Kate sees that he has a scar on his chin in the same spot that Aunt Sveta described. Kate also realizes that it is the same man she saw with Tanya.
The next day Kate watches in horror as other volunteers are forced to break up a fight between two of the homeless women staying in the shelter. Just as they get things under control, Nadia comes walking down the hallway with a cleaned up Tanya. Nadia leaves Tanya with Kate while she goes to get the money needed to pay for the baby goods about to be delivered. Tanya is still rude to Kate.
Nadia comes back shouting that her money had been stolen out of her office. Kate remembers the envelope and finally tells Nadia about Tanya and the man. Tanya denies that it is the same money and runs off when she realizes that no one believes her. Just as Nadia is explaining that she knew about Tanya's male visitor because it involved money the man's father gave Tanya. Just then one of the volunteers walked up holding one of the women fighting and says that the fight was about some money one of them found. It turns out that it is Nadia's missing money.
Realizing her mistake, Kate runs after Tanya and sees her at the bus stop. When Tanya sees Kate coming towards her, she starts walking even further down the road and across the street. Kate keeps shouting for Tanya to stop, but just as she is crossing the street she gets hit by a car...
Will Kate survive? Will the truth about Denis come out? Will anyone ever figure out who ran over that poor girl all those years ago? Will Nadia and Tanya be able to mend their relationship?
I warned y'all that this book was a little intense. This book is about grief, emotions, and mystery. I could not believe everything that happened. I have to once again say thank you to Margo Ervand for reaching out to me. This book was a little hard to finish in one sitting, but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to review this book. I hope that you guys will read this and truly think about your own lives a little. This book does have some intense moments, but it is also a reminder to not judge someone without knowing their story. If you simply must read this beauty for yourself, then you already know that links are waiting on my page:
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First Prize A signed copy of A Fool’s Circle $10 amazon gift card A Fool’s Circle – fridge magnet A Fool’s Circle- Keyring A Fool’s Circle – makeup bag A Fool’s Circle – 6 pack of red pencils A Fool’s Circle – Pen A Fool’s Circle – wooden book mark 3 Note books 1 sequin pencil case 7 piece makeup brush set Rituals…50ml Zensational foaming shower gel Rituals…#HOLIAWESOME gift set containing Playable foaming shower gel 50ml Crackling body mousee 50ml 1 shower Pom Pom 5 assorted 7th heaven face masks 3 assorted 38g Lindt Lindor chocolate bars Second Prize Digital Copies of A Fool’s Circle Incredible right? AND this giveaway is open to EVERYONE!!! a Rafflecopter giveaway About the AuthorChapter 1A blonde head bounced on the floor in time to the yelling. Rays of the early morning sun caught her golden hair, and motes of dust hung in the air. Sophie Saunders was eight years old. Kneeling down on the floor, she played with her dolls, drumming Ken and Barbie against the carpet, her body bent forward, almost as if she were praying in her immaculately clean and pressed school uniform. But today her school uniform was the last thing on her mind. She bashed the dolls’ heads off the pink floor in unison. ‘Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosie,’ she sang aloud to herself as she tried to drown out the voices that rose up through the floorboards. The noises from downstairs were a regular occurrence, and fast becoming the norm. Sophie felt her dad’s anger, ever-present in his voice as it vibrated through her bedroom, positioned over the kitchen. Scared, she dropped her dolls, raising her arms and clasping her small hands over her ears. Sophie closed her eyes. Blinded, she felt for Barbie and Ken and gripped the toys by the legs. With one in each hand, she remained still for a moment, and as the voices intensified beneath her, she sensed them possessing the dolls. ‘You’re an old bag. I hate you!’ Sophie’s voice was deep and rough, as she rammed Ken’s head into Barbie’s chest. ‘Why are you always so nasty to me?’ She raised the pitch of her voice as she shook the dolls hard. ‘Because you make me want to vomit when I look at your fat ugly face,’ she growled. ‘Please stop being so cruel to me,’ she enunciated. ‘Who do you think you are? Don't you dare tell me what to do, bitch!’ With each word, she struck Ken against Barbie, again and again, until finally Barbie’s head popped off and rolled across the carpet. That hadn’t been her intention. She didn’t mean to decapitate the poor doll. Shocked, she stood up as she searched for the missing head. She found it under the bedside cabinet at the back, by the wall. She crouched down, stretched out her arm and grabbed it. Sophie sat up on her knees, struggling to reattach the plastic head to its body. ‘Bloody shit! Why won’t it go on?’ The racket from below grew ever louder. ‘Bloody shit.’ Frustrated, she gave up, and flung the dolls across the room. Downstairs, her father, Alan, almost lost his head. He shouted louder as his wife, Kate, persisted as the peacemaker. ‘As useless as a one-legged woman in an arse- kicking contest.’ His voice echoed around the large stark white room, drowning out the soothing music from the old radio sitting on the window ledge. ‘You’re one useless bastard!’ The barrage of abuse had just hit average level. ‘Fucking useless.’ The kitchen had seen better days, as had their marriage, but Kate worked hard to keep both spotless and functional. ‘Can you hear me?’ She strived hard at everything, as she had for a lifetime. ‘Hello? Is there anyone home?’ However, her efforts now went unnoticed or drew heavy criticism for no reason. ‘I’m fucking talking to you, whore.’ She knew only too well what was about to come her way, as she moved the blonde strand of hair out of her blue eyes and concentrated. She placed the boiled egg safely into its cup. ‘Where’s this fucking breakfast, for fuck's sake?’ She reached out her arm, picked up the knife and, clenching it tight in her hand, she decapitated the top of the egg. ‘I can hear you, Alan.’ The toast was the light side of brown, just as he liked it, but who knew these days? ‘There’s no point keeping on at me, shouting. I can’t go any faster.’ She set the breakfast plate before Alan. His face was dark and menacing—the antithesis of the light sense of fun that had been knocked out of her. ‘About fucking time. Talk about slow. You’re like a human fucking sloth.’ After ten years together, she found it more of a challenge to stay positive. Alan had turned negativity into a vocation. ‘What the flying fuck is this?’ She stared at the top of his head, bristling with the military-style haircut he’d had since he was a child, raised by an army commander who gave no quarter. ‘Do you seriously expect me to eat this fucking lot of shite?’ Alan had adopted the same rank in the family, but hadn’t served a moment in the services. ‘All these years, and you still can't boil a fucking egg? I mean, it's not fucking rocket science.’ She watched him as he snarled at her. ‘You’ve got to be having some sort of a laugh.’ He pushed the plate away with such force, it shot forward and hit the condiment pots. Kate flinched as the sharp noise pierced her ears. ‘Why, what’s wrong with it now?’ She clenched her fists as her body shook. Her nerves were all on the surface, as he mocked her and revelled in her fear. ‘What's bloody wrong with it? It’s the wrong colour, undercooked and looks like my fucking snot. You really are a fucking retard!’ She watched as his sneer took what used to be a pleasantly rugged face – a lifetime ago – and warped it monstrously. ‘Well, I can do another for you, if you like. It won’t take me a minute!’ She tried her hardest to stay calm, fearful of what might come next. ‘That’s how long I think you boiled that one for, a fucking minute, so what's the bloody point? You'll only mess it up again, you thick tart.’ Kate, petrified, noticed the pure evil as it manifested once again across his face. ‘You’re miles away these days. Maybe you should go see a doctor and get some happy pills from him. For fuck's sake, you can’t even time an egg.’ Once again defeated, she bit her lip and her voice broke. ‘Well, I did boil it for three minutes.’ She watched his face as it reddened. She knew the inevitable was about to happen, and wished it over and done with. ‘Yeah, yeah. Let’s face it, darling, you’re no good at cooking, no good in bed—in fact, you’re no good at fucking anything really. I bloody dread mealtimes in this house.’ The victorious grin that had taken residence across his smug face frightened her. ‘I try my best, Alan, I really do.’ Kate’s voice sounded weak. Alan fed off her vulnerability as he chipped away at her. He cranked up the volume another notch. ‘You really are a fucking retard. You’re trying to poison me with salmonella.’ Alan stretched out his arm, picking up the boiled egg. Terrified, she eyed him as he gripped it tightly in his hand. ‘Trying to do me in with food poisoning, are you?’ Kate jerked as he lobbed the egg towards her, raising her arm, shielding it from her face as it side-swiped her head. She tried to pick fragments of sticky shell out of her hair. ‘That’s what I think about your boiled eggs. Now go and fucking clean it up!’ She decided the best defence was to stay silent. Terrified, she turned her back on him, and tried to disappear into the background. ‘Don’t turn your back on me, I’m fucking talking to you! You’re one ignorant bitch. Don't you dare fucking ignore me!’ She closed her eyes tight and gritted her teeth, trying hard to remain calm. ‘I'm not ignoring you. I'm trying to get Sophie's breakfast ready or she’ll be late for school.’ Her smooth tone stoked his fury more. ‘I don't even know why I fucking married you. I could’ve done so much better. My parents were right on the money when they said I married down. An army bigwig and a doctor they were, and what are you? A washed-up failed actress, a shit teacher, and a poor excuse for a fucking wife.’ She ignored him as the vile comments became more and more aggressive. ‘I mean, have you taken a fucking good look at yourself lately?’ He rotated his chair towards her. She watched him in terror as he looked her up and down like he’d just stepped in a massive turd. ‘Please don’t, Alan. Please don’t start again today.’ She arranged the plate of food as fast as she could. Jumpy and exasperated, she picked up the tea towel from the draining board and wiped the edges clean, as he continued to mock her. ‘“Please don’t, Alan – please don’t, Alan.” Can you hear yourself, Kate?’ The onslaught continued towards danger point. ‘You've really let yourself go over the years. You need to get yourself to the fucking gym and start exercising. I married a woman, not a lard arse. Just look at you!’ She was tall and well-proportioned. If Alan wanted an anorexic model, he was living in cloud cuckoo land – and the wrong neighbourhood. ‘Oh, for crying out loud, Alan.’ Her adrenalin kicked in, and she snapped out of her former resignation. She threw down the tea towel on the worktop. ‘I do exercise, Alan, when I have the time!’ ‘Ha! Are you having a fucking bubble? You keep telling yourself that. You’re a silly stupid fat tart. You should take a leaf out of your friend Jill's book. Now she looks great. Perfect little figure, and a great pair of tits!’ He did nothing to hide the wicked grin that was plastered across his face, or his semi- erection. Watching him, repulsed, she tried logic. ‘Well, Jill hasn't got any children to worry about, or a husband for that matter, so she has more time on her hands than I bloody well do.’ She continued to busy herself, reaching into the cupboard next to her and removing a plate. ‘Excuses, Kate, always bloody excuses with you! Don’t you know the truth always comes out? Mind you, you wouldn’t know the truth if it jumped up and took a bite-sized chunk out of your big fat fucking arse, you thick bitch.’ Her stomach churned. She didn’t want another fight. Against her better judgement, she apologised. ‘I’m sorry about the egg, Alan, I really am, but do you have to do this now? Sophie will be down for her breakfast any minute.’ She showed him Sophie’s plate. Desperate, she reminded him of their daughter's existence. Kate was taken aback as she heard the almighty roar that bellowed out of his mouth. ‘Who the fuck do you think you are? You think you can tell me what I can and cannot do in my own house!’ The house belonged to both of them, a wedding gift from his parents, but she wasn’t about to argue the toss about that now. ‘Please, Alan, Sophie will hear you. It's not fair she has to listen to this day in, day out. Do you not think about what this is doing to her? She's your daughter, for heaven’s sake.’ She hated the sound of her weak voice. ‘Well, that’s fucking debatable.’ Sickened, Kate watched him as he swayed in his chair like a hypnotised cobra. A dreary Coldplay song rang out on the radio. ‘I don’t give a toss about you or your fucking daughter.’ The saliva flew in all directions across the kitchen, as he continued to spit more venom in her direction. ‘It’s my fucking house, my rules. Anyway, look at you. And what’s that on your face? Is that make-up and lipstick you’re wearing? Where do you think you're going today with all that crap on your face? You look like a washed- up old whore!’ She was frozen to the spot, and the colour drained fast from her face. ‘It's just pink lip gloss, for goodness sake. What the hell’s wrong with you?’ His eyes bulged from their sockets like a bullfrog’s, his tongue sharp like a flickering whip, as he leapt from his chair and grabbed her firmly by the hair. ‘Lip gloss, my arse.’ She fought hard to hold on to Sophie’s plate as he ground his thumb into her mouth and smeared the tacky pink gloss across her cheek. ‘Ha! That’s more like it! As if lipstick or lip gloss is going to help you.’ She felt the sting as the palm of his hand connected hard against her cheek. He picked up the dirty tea towel. ‘Please, Alan, stop this.’ He rubbed it hard across her flushed skin. Kate, struggling to breathe, heard the crash as the plate fell to the floor. ‘Look at the tea towel, cunt. It’s fucking make-up. Stop fucking lying to me!’ She could smell the remnants of the stale booze on his breath, which made her heave. ‘I’m not lying.’ She struggled hard to pull away from him, her eyes drawn towards the doorway. She noticed Sophie standing there, her perfect angelic face pale and in shock. ‘Go away!’ Kate mouthed to her terrified daughter. ‘What was that, bitch? Are you talking back to me again?’ She felt the sharp pain hit, as he punched her hard in the stomach. As Kate fell to her knees, she heard Sophie’s voice. ‘Leave my mummy alone!’ Kate looked up at him, and at the same time his expressive dark eyes narrowed. Alan turned around and faced his daughter. ‘Oh, it’s you! Have you seen your mother? Doesn’t she look like a cheap whore? This is what you’ll look like one day if you let yourself turn into a sack of shit like her!’ He hoisted Kate up from the floor by her hair, on to her feet, and slapped her viciously again across her cheek. She screamed. ‘Get out, Sophie! Get out!’ Kate watched Sophie as she turned around and raced from the kitchen in floods of tears. She pleaded with him: ‘Alan, please stop this! Please!’ She stumbled as he pushed her hard into the side of the Formica worktop. Unsteady on her feet, she reached out with both hands and gripped on to it. ‘You’re lucky I’ve got things to do today and that I don’t have to spend another minute looking at your gormless fucking mug!’ She watched as he grabbed his jacket off the back of the kitchen chair and threw it across his right shoulder. ‘What have I told you about lying, Kate?’ She saw the triumphant expression on his face as he left the kitchen and whistled down the hallway. Kate listened out as he opened the front door, and jumped as she heard his voice again. ‘Make sure you clean up all the mess and scrape all that raw egg off those bloody tiles.’ She closed her eyes for a split second and there came another almighty loud bang as the front door slammed shut behind him. Kate’s whole body trembled with this aftershock. ‘God help me,’ she said to herself. She crawled across the kitchen floor, picked up the newspaper off the chair and gathered the food and shards of broken plate onto it as she chanted to herself.
Suzanne Seddon was born in 1968 in Islington, London. After leaving school she had many interesting jobs, from swimming teacher to air hostess, and was able to travel the globe. Now a single mum to her teenage daughter Poppy-willow, Suzanne spends her days writing and has written several articles for magazines and newspapers.Growing up, Suzanne witnessed mental and physical abuse within her own family which strongly influenced her when she wrote her first play, A Fool’s Circle, when she attended the famous Anna Scher Theatre. Suzanne, however, was not content to leave it there and decided to go ahead and transform her play into a novel. Not one to shy away from exciting challenges, she also wrote, acted, directed, cast and produced a trailer for the book around her hometown in Islington with the support of local businesses, who recognised the drive and importance of Suzanne and her work. Suzanne is a passionate writer and she is determined to be heard so that the issue of domestic abuse is raised amongst the public’s consciousness, empowering others to speak out. She wants those who suffer at the hands of another to have their voices heard, loud and clear.
R&R Book Tours
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Alright y'all! This is my first book review for Reads and Reels Blog Tours run my @shannigans_of_readsandreels on bookstagram. This book is composed of three novellas written by Russ Colchamiro, Sawney Hatton, and Patrick Thomas with the common location of Montague Falls. Each novella is different in characters, plot, and murders. I loved the novellas individually and as a whole. It is like you are reading about this small town that just keeps having bad luck happen. Since it is technically three different stories I will be writing this review with the mindset that each story is it's own review. I will have them all in this one review, but I will format them individually. I know that probably sounds confusing, but I promise you will understand what I am saying halfway through. LOL. So with that being said, here we go!
Red Ink by Russ Colchamiro
Fourteen year old Isaac is in his sniper position just waiting for the go ahead to take out his target. Once he gets the go, the wind picks up ruining his shot, which means that he will simply have to get up close and personal. For Isaac, that is is easy enough since he has been "undercover" in this neighborhood for years. Isaac uses the ruse that he is the paperboy in order to blend in. Isaac goes to his target's house, knocks on the door, says collections, and gets his target to open the door. Isaac goes in and waits for the woman to turn her back to him, and just as he is about to "pull the trigger" he gets told to stand down. He takes the money, smiles, and walks out the door.
Isaac continues on his paper route and the spy game in his head breaks. He finishes collecting from most of his customers and heads home for the night. Isaac is counting up his money when his best friend and crush Dani calls him. She asks him how collections went and who was his target in his spy game today. Then she brings up the fact that a retired teacher named Ms. Gagne owes him two weeks worth of collections, which is unlike her. While walking to each house, Isaac checks out the newspaper from the headlines to the movie theater times. During his next round of deliveries, Isaac decides to try to collect from Ms. Gagne just one day early.
He knocks on her door and gets no answer, so he decides to look into the windows to see if he can see her. When he looks in through the living room window, he sees Ms. Gagne on the floor in a pool of blood. He does a double take and when he does he sees a pair of brown loafers stepping over the body. Isaac high tails it out of there to his bike, and does not stop peddling until he is almost close to his house. Once he is about to turn onto his street, he decides to keep riding his bike away from his house out of fear that the possible murderer is following him.
Isaac rides his bike all the way past the Montague Falls reservoir, across the busy road of Silver Peak, and into a gas station parking lot. When he finally stops for a rest, the gas station attendant comes out and offers to clean his hand which he apparently scrapped in his attempt to get onto the bike. Once he is sure that no one is following him, Isaac finally heads home where he decides that he would sleep on telling anyone or the cops.
The next school day passes in a complete blur for Isaac. At the end of the day, Dani asks if she can join him on his route so she could talk to him. Normally Isaac would have said okay, but today he cruelly tells her no. He leaves and does the paper route backwards to make sure that he finishes yesterday's deliveries before going to Ms. Gagne's. When he arrives at her house, he looks into the window again. Before he can get a good look into the living room, the front door opens. There is a man standing there with a cast on his foot saying that his name is Mr. Rotchford. Mr. Rotchford says that he is Ms. Gagne's brother and lives next door. Ms. Gagne is on vacation with a friend in an RV but she left behind the money she owes Isaac.
Isaac takes the money, but he is still not sure if he believes the man's story. He goes over to Dani's house after he finishes the route and apologizes for his behavior earlier. She invites him to stay for dinner, and when they are done eating he tells her about what happened yesterday. She believes him enough to get the phone book for the white pages after she gives him a kiss for the first time. Once they looked to see if there was a Rotchford on the same road as Ms. Gagne, Isaac kisses Dani back.
Detective Jonathan Butler is about to go to the courthouse to testify in a court case against a man who beat his wife to death. He is about to leave when his partner and friend Detective Les Narapoli tells him he needs to talk to this kid. The kid turns out to be Isaac with Dani at his side for emotional support. Isaac tells both Butler and Narapoli about what he saw the past two days at Ms. Gagne's house. Before they tell Isaac the next step, the two detectives go into the locker. Narapoli shows the file on Isaac's family from when his 18 month old sister, Frankie, died from choking on a stray nail and falling down the front stairs. It turns out that Isaac's dad was doing some work in the yard with his back to Isaac and Frankie who were playing by the front door. Isaac went inside to use the restroom when disaster struck. Frankie died a month later.
They go back out to where Dani and Isaac were still waiting, and tell them that without more evidence they can't open an investigation but they would still send a patrol car over to Ms. Gagne's house. Narapoli wonders if Isaac is just carrying around the guilt of what happened to his sister, and is trying to make this so called crime right. It also raises the question of if the crime really happened. He brings up what happened with Frankie to gauge both of their reactions to get a better idea.
Dani tries to comfort Isaac on the way back to his house, but he ends up trying to shut down his feelings and leaves her to walk alone. Isaac decides he needs to go into spy mode and try to find out what happened himself. He gets home, and finds a message from Butler on it which he deletes before anyone else can hear it. He goes to bed with a plan in his head for the weekend.
Isaac spends the whole weekend staking out Rotchford's house. Monday comes and he does the same thing, but this time he gets to follow Rotchford drive out to a house on the other side of the Montague Falls reservoir. Rotchford parks his car, gets into another one in the driveway, and drives away again. Isaac decides to check out the house, and doesn't really see anything. So he jots down the address and leaves with a plan for another night.
Butler decides to go check out Isaac's story himself and Narapoli after the court case against the wife beater does not go the way he was hoping. They go to Rotchford's place and ask him questions about where Ms. Gagne is and how his foot got in the cast. He seems nervous, but that is what they are hoping for. They have Rotchford call the phone service that Ms. Gagne supposedly set up before they go over to her house to see if anything seems out of place. While they are there, a woman claiming to be Ms. Gagne calls and speaks to the detectives. They leave not finding any proof that anything vicious happened, but Butler still wonders what did Isaac see then?
It is Halloween, which gives Isaac the chance to disguise his face before heading back over to the house he followed Rotchford to. Isaac goes up to the door claiming to be looking for an old friend. He speaks to the owner of the house who tells him that his tenant Dougie is the owner of the cars. The owner also says that Dougie has been living in the back half of the house for the past eight years, but just put in his moving notice not too long ago. Isaac tells him thank you and leaves even more determined to find out what happened.
Will Isaac find any proof that something really did happen to Ms. Gagne? Will the detectives continue to look into Isaac's story? Who is Rotchford/Dougie really?
Y'all this novella will have you playing who done it right along with this teenager. I think this one was a little too short, but I could be wrong. It is written with an easy flow and had me hooked from the very first chapter.
The Devil's Delinquets by Sawney Hatton
Cal and Derry are two teenagers that go to Van Buren High School in Montague Falls. They are currently sitting on the far side of the school's parking lot with a chalk pentagram trying to summon some kind of demon, but it doesn't work. An hour later they are driving around town in Derry's car hitting trash cans. The next morning they wake up in the car to find a dead squirrel had landed on the car. They realize that it is 8:15 a.m. and rush to school.
When they get parked and head into the building, they are stopped by Vice Principal Mr. Richards who gives them detention. They head off to class knowing they will be seeing Mr. Richards again after school. At lunch, the jocks and cheerleaders are giving them a hard time, but they ignore it. They arrive at the detention hall after school to see that one of the jocks and hippie dudes are also in the room. Sitting in the middle is a hot goth chick named Natalie, and she is sketching some crazy looking demon in her notebook.
After the hour was up, Derry and Cal go out to the car to try to light a cigarette when Natalie comes up to them asking for one. Natalie tells the guys that she transferred from a different school just a week or so ago. She also tells them that she can summon demons and shows off her pentagram scar on her stomach. Just as she is about to put her shirt down, cheerleader Amanda that Natalie cut some hair from, and her boyfriend Kyle pull up next to Derry's car.
Amanda tries to get Kyle to beat Natalie up for her, but Cal and Derry tell him to leave her alone. Kyle lets Natalie off with a warning, and gets back in the car with Amanda. Derry offers to take Natalie home along with Cal. Instead of just letting her out, Derry and Cal go in with her. Inside they basically watch a small fight occur between Natalie and her super religious mom. They go down a hall full of family photos before heading into Natalie's locked room. Once inside the room, the guys see that it is completely decked out in burgundy and black velvet.
Natalie refuses to let the guys touch anything, but she does show them a jar. Inside the jar is a fetus that is floating in some kind of liquid that she says it was she gave birth to after sleeping with an incubus. An incubus is a male demon that sleeps with women in their sleep. She says that it is not dead, just in a deep sleep until the start of Armageddon. A couple hours later Cal and Derry leave and go to their separate homes.
Cal goes into his house to find both of his parents in the kitchen. They simply ask where he was, he has a beer with his dad, and then goes to his room to wait for the dinner that his mom is cooking. Inside his room, his turns on Metallica and a horror movie. Derry goes home to find his stepdad hunched over a bunch of wires while his mom and little brother are watching TV. He goes out to the garage to play guitar to drown out the fight between his stepdad and mom.
Natalie performs a spell on Amanda using her hair, and has a dream like vision of Amanda. Amanda is sleeping in her bed when she wakes up to sun shining. She jumps out of bed when her hand comes off the bed covered in blood. Once standing, she sees that her crotch is just gushing blood and it fills her room until she drowns. Natalie's dream is interrupted by her mom knocking on the door telling her to go to bed.
The next day kind of flies by again, and Natalie doesn't really notice until Derry and Cal get her attention in the detention hall. It is almost the end of the hour when they realize that Mr. Richards hasn't returned from the bathroom so they just all leave. The trio goes out to Derry's car and instead of going home, they just kind of drive around for a bit. After driving around for a bit, they decide to try to scrape money together for some weed. Natalie offers up to go to her house to get some money.
Back at Natalie's, the guys decide to stay in the car while she sneaks in. Natalie goes in, sneaks into her parents' room, takes money out of the cabinet. She manages to sneak back out before anyone realizes that she is home. They go to Greeley Park to meet up with Marco the weed guy who hits on Natalie and invites the three of them to his party later that weekend.
Derry drives the three of them to the reservoir where they smoke the weed, talk music, movies, and the guys wanting to form a band. Natalie tells them that Satan can give them anything they want if they give themselves over to him. They leave the reservoir to get some food from 7-Eleven. When they are about to get in the car, Amanda and Kyle pull up into the parking lot. Natalie goes to the car and pretends to be looking for her bra when they come out. Amanda attacks Natalie, and the guys throw a fake severed arm at Kyle to break the fight up enough to let Natalie get into the car. Natalie reveals that she actually stole Kyle's comb so she can perform a spell on him too.
Kyle catches up to Derry and chases them to the Montague Falls train station where Natalie pretends to have a seizure so Kyle and Amanda would leave. Once they are able to safely drive off, they go to Natalie's house so she can grab her ritual bag. Once she has everything, they go to a forested area behind a grocery store. Once everything is set up, Natalie tells them to strip naked so she can try to contact Satan himself. After a few minutes, she makes a few noises and movements before telling the guys that they need to make a blood sacrifice in order to be accepted by Satan.
The next day they drive a couple towns over to kidnap a dog to use as the sacrifice. Later that night, they set up with the intention to kill the dog, but eventually none of them are able to do so because it is just too cute. They take the dog back to its home and drive around for a bit. After a short time, they decide to go to Marco's party after all.
They arrive to find it in full swing with people drinking and smoking weed. Marco tells them where the booze is and leaves them to it. Marco introduces Natalie to a guy claiming to be pagan while Cal goes to grab drinks, and Derry sits alone on a couch until a drunk girl approaches him because of the band on his shirt. After a while, Natalie gets tired of debating with the pagan and decides that it is time to go. While she is trying to convince Derry that they need to leave, Cal is so drunk that he smashes a bottle over pagan guy's head. They leave and come across Kyle and Amanda being attended to by first responders after Kyle wrapped his car around a pole. Natalie takes the accident as an omen from Satan himself, and they need to find a sacrifice worth of Satan.
Will Cal and Derry really help Natalie before a blood sacrifice ritual? Is she really able to summon demons and talk to Satan? Will Satan actually grant them anything their hearts desire? What or who will they sacrifice the following day?
Y'all this book was definitely so twisted that I had to ask myself WTF a few times. I think it is still a great spooky read, but I had to stop a couple times just to process what was happening,
A Many Splendid Thing by Patrick Thomas
Jethro is a Senior at Van Buren High School in Montague Falls who has not had an easy life here lately. His mom left his dad which lead to his dad become a secret alcoholic while his mom acts like Jethro does not exist. To make matters worse, Jethro is currently talking to Officer Meyers about a dead body that Jethro discovered on the way over to a friend's house. Meyers doesn't believe him and is about to take him to the station, but Sgt. Hansen steps in just in time. Why? Because Sgt. Hansen is an old time friend of Jethro's dad.
After doing a small version of catching up with Hansen, Jethro goes home to find his dad already drinking and waiting for his TV dinner. Jethro makes them each one and then heads to bed. Jethro thinks about how much his dad has changed since his mom walked out. It used to be that his dad would do anything for him. Jethro thinks back on the time his dad made sure his bullies never beat him up again.
One day Jethro was walking home from school when the three rich kids jumped him and beat him horribly. Jethro made it home and told his dad about how it was a three on one fight. Jethro is then dragged by his dad to the bar where the boys' fathers normally drink. Once there, his dad proceeded to beat up all three dads as bad as Jethro was. When one of the fathers starts to threaten to call the police, Sgt. Hansen walks up and says if asked he saw nothing happen since Jethro's dad was with him all night. Hansen's family was way more connected which lead to the boys never laying a hand on Jethro ever again.
At school the next day Jethro deals with the same verbal heckling from his bullies, but he has gotten used to it and can fire back some comments. He is going into science class which is taught by the very sexy Mrs. Carmine. While she is setting the class up for an experiment, the bullies make a mess all over Jethro's desk. Jethro stays after class to help clean up the mess.
Once it is clean, Mrs. Carmine asks him to help her with the grocery shopping. He quickly realizes that she didn't really need the help and asks her why. She simply replies that she likes his company, and tells him to wait while she goes back in the store to get her coupons the cashier forgot. While he is waiting, his mom and her boyfriend come up to him. After it is made clear that Jethro has no respect for either one of them, the boyfriend proceeds to beat the crap out of Jethro.
The one sided fight continues until Mrs. Carmine comes out and threatens to call the cops on them both. She takes Jethro back to her house to clean him up and ends up initiating sexual contact. Her husband is out of town, so they decide to spend the weekend together. She tells him that they can't be together again because of her husband. Jethro leaves thinking about how to change her mind.
At school on Monday Jethro is still on cloud nine as he heads to science class. When he walks in, he sees that Mrs. Carmine is wearing sunglasses to try to cover up a black eye. Jethro stays after class to ask her about it. She tells him what happened until they hear footsteps coming towards the classroom. She tells him to hide under her desk afraid that it is her husband. It turns out to be the principal instead. Jethro stays hidden though.
The principal tries to subtly invite her out to drinks to "discuss" the possibility of tenure for her. She tries to politely turn him down, and it very quickly turns into a battle of wits. He strongly suggests that she will have to sleep with him to get his letter of recommendation. She turns around and rips her clothes to make it look like he attacked her. She tells him that she will walk out of the school screaming that he tried to rape her, which will lead to a police investigation. To ensure that it is not a he said/she said, she will then find all the female teachers who were fired or quit during his time as principal to see if they can repeat her story. Jethro has no choice but to listen to everything from under the desk in anger.
Once the principal leaves, Mrs. Carmine takes Jethro into the storage closet and has sex with him again. Once they are done, she gets dressed and says she can't stand the idea of their relationship ending. She then starts talking about how they need to kill her husband. Jethro immediately starts trying to convince her to change her mind, and she just shuts down.
He starts to walk her to her car when one of his bullies takes over carrying the books Jethro has in his hands. The three of them make it all the way to her car where she once again tries to get him to change his mind about killing her husband. When he still says no, she takes the bully home while Jethro goes back to his own house.
Will Jethro change his mind? Will Mrs. Carmine just find another student to kill her husband? Will anyone ever find out about the two of them? What about the body Jethro found?
This book was honestly a little cringey for me, but it was still written well. This was just a hard one for me as a mom to two boys. I am sure that someone out there will have a different opinion and I am completely okay with that.
This set of novellas will have you in the spooky season really fast. The three were great by themselves, but the fact that they are all linked by this small town that just cannot catch a break is great! Montague Falls will have you trying to figure out the cases and possibly a little terrified. I personally think this was a rather quick read even though I had to take breaks to process novella two and three. However, I still loved it over all. Thank you so so much to Reads and Reels for allowing me to be part of this blog tour! I hope that you are dying to get this spooky book for yourself. If you are, then you know that you can find links on my page:
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Alright y'all, this one was sent to be my the author herself, and it is a beautiful poem book that will have you in your feels a little bit. Since this is a poem book I will be doing the review a little different. I am going to tell you the things that stood out for me in the book, and then I will have a few of the pictures and poems included with the permission of the author. So here we go...
This book not only has poems written by Salma Farook but she also has beautiful pictures that you could just stare at for hours. The other thing that makes this book stand out is the facts about an octopus to start each section. The poems are beautifully written, and had me tearing up a few times to be honest. I am confident that you will reread the whole book a few times, because I know that I did. Now here are a few of my favorite photos and poems that I know will have you wanting more
"Is it possible to crave
What you have never had?
All I want to do
Is be with you,
Anywhere you want, I'll go.
And we just said
-'I think my soul has met you before'"
"/This foolish heart
Is far more reckless than it should be.
Look at all this proof,
Of how beautifully I heal.
But, you're never the same again.
/This foolish heart
Is far more reckless than it should be,
"If only you listened,
To the things I didn't say,
You would notice
That my silences are far louder,
Than my words.
The commas and the full stops,
More weighty with meaning.
But, you don't hear.
To you, the presence,
And the absence
Of my words,
Are of no great
"You would leave
If you had even an iota of
I'm too selfish to point it out,
But I try.
Each time I push you away,
I'm secretly hoping you leave now,
Before I start believing you're here
Please trust me.
I'm not good for you.
I'm the sweetest toxicity,
Even when you know it's your last,
You still ask
For just one more taste,
And Like poison ivy,
I wrap all around you,
And I'm not letting go.
"I usually feed my pain
With vowels and words.
They bloom out from the tips
Of my fingers, unfurl,
To trickle deep into it's throat.
Until it's full, satiated,
Until it shudders and stills.
But the letters fail me today.
They refuse to be parted from me.
My soul has decided to keep
This guest as penance;
Even as it continues to scream,
It's stomach empty.
I can do it!
Although I can barely stand.
I convince the dawn,
That I am strong,
Even as my fingers tremble
With the effort of holding on.
This is a necessary lie,
I repeat it loud and often,
So Tomorrow overhears it,
"If I could go back ten years,
I would hug that lost little girl
Tell her that she's the centre
Of the compass,
The directions cardinal.
'Relax, child. All good things
Come out a little golden;
Autumn dressed in it's glory
Coffee, that turns chocolate in the sun,
It's not your job to be fair and lovely.
-'Letters to myself'"
"Sometimes two people can be
Perfect for each other,
Like two halves of a yin-yang circle,
But the world is a square hole,
And it's just not meant to be.
I don't care about the world, says he.
I stay quiet. I hear the whisper.
The world doesn't care about that.
-'When Time Lost it's Way'"
"According to the
National Crime Records Bureau,
A rape occurs every twenty mintues.
Three times in an hour,
Seventy-two times a day,
And over five hundred times a week,
I should remember to be thankful
That at least at this time,
It wasn't me.
A daughter of this great nation,
(In which Goddess are revered)
Cries out in pain,
A little too late,
A lot too cold,
And in 3 out of 4 cases,
It never arrives at all.
-'When will it stop?'"
"What exactly does 'I miss you' mean?
It does not mean I will stay.
It does not mean I cannot live,
Only that I realise it is a blessing
To know you,
And if only the world would allow it,
I would always be as near to you,
As you are to my every thought.
-'When I am not there, remember.'"
"I cover my hair
So it doesn't distract you
From my brain.
My heart only flutters
When you say
Because a woman enjoys compliments
Not statements of fact.
-'Brillant, Fierce and Fearless'"
"'How?' I ask her, perplexed,
'How do you love,
So unconditionally, someone
That bled your bones dry,
Caused pain beyond any other,
Only to demand more and more?'
'Because I am your mother,'
She states quietly.
'You will understand it then,
And never before.'
I really hope that after you read my favorite poems and seen my favorite photos that you are craving more. This book will have you in tears some moments and cheering in others. It felt like each section represented a stage of love for a woman. From her first love to her first heartbreak to finding her own voice and strength so she can love again to becoming a mother. I am so happy that Salma Farook reached out to me and shared her book with me. It truly shows her hard work on each page. I know that I will be cherishing my copy for a long time. If you simply must have a copy yourself, you know that you can find links to buy this beauty on my page:
Friday, October 25, 2019
Y'all this book was probably the best sci-fi/time machine book I have ever read! This book was sent to me in ebook format by the lovely author herself. Roxanne San Jose will have you devouring her book in one sitting. I know I did! I started this book this morning after taking the kids to school and was done with it by pick up time. This is not a short book, but it definitely felt like a quick read! I don't normally read sci-fi or anything like it, but this one has become one of my favorite books. So let's just get right into it!
It is currently 2015, and Angelie Thompson is a senior in high school and has a boyfriend named John Salvador that loves how smart she is. Angelie is currently working on building a time machine that actually works. She is just about done with it when John comes over with a cappuccino. Angelie takes a break after she is pretty sure it is complete. Once they finish their drinks, Angelie and John decide to do a test run and go to the year 3050.
It works! They arrive in 3050 behind a tree, and when they step out they can see flying cars and people dressed in funky suits. They decide to explore, and they end up sneaking into an empty warehouse building where they met Max that is a mental square monitor that has super advanced technology. Max is able to make pretty much anything from food to people. Max makes Angelie and John food and a bed to sleep in for the night.
The next morning, Anglie and John have Max prepare them breakfast before they head out to explore the city some more. Max creates some clothes for them so they will blend in better, and gives them directions to places to go in the city. When they leave, Max does a search on the clothing they were wearing and discover that they are from 2015 and he is not too happy about that fact.
John and Angelie explore the city a little before taking a shuttle to Mercury the planet. After a two hour shuttle ride, they are able to walk around Mercury. They are greeted by aliens and told to check out the Rock Restaurant before they leave. After they finish eating, they go to the zoo that is fully of these cute but crazy animals. Angelie feeds a few baby animals before they get back on the shuttle to go back to Earth so they can go back to 2015.
Back in 2015, Angelie and John are back in her attic and they tell her parents about the successful run. John goes back to his house and sadly does not tell his parents about the time machine.The next day John goes back to Angelie's house with cappuccino again. Angelie decides to make them club sandwiches in the kitchen. While she is doing that, John pushes the year 1970 into the remote and ends up accidentally sending himself back to that year without the remote. Angelie comes back to the attic and sees the remote on the ground and once she sees the year she realizes what happened to John. She tells her parents in tears who call John's parents and tell them.
Once John's parents come over, Angelie tells them about the time machine and what happened to John. She also tells them that she has a plan to make the remote a time machine itself. She is confident that she can make it work without the time machine John used so that she can go back to 1970 to find him and bring him back. She spends the day and most of the night working on the remote, and she thinks she finally gets it. She does a test run by going back to 2014 to when she first met John and it works. She tells both sets of parents who make her go to bed and get some rest. The next morning, John's parents go back to their house and get some clothes and money that will help her blend in better. They go back and give her the clothes and money before she uses the remote to go back to 1970.
Meanwhile, John arrives in Central Park in NYC in 1970. After making sure the time machine is hidden, he walks around the park while he processes the fact that he cannot go back to 2015 himself without the remote. With this in mind, he makes his way over to a homeless shelter where he is given food, new clothes, and a room that he shares with a man named James. He spends the night there thinking about what he needs to do to start a new life since he doesn't think that Angelie will be able to come get him.
Angelie arrives in New Jersey in 1970. She starts looking immediately for John in cafes near her where she meets a man named Aaron who tells her to go to the police. When she doesn't know what else to do, Angelie goes and reports him missing to the local police station. Once that is done, she walks out to find Aaron walking toward her. He takes her to an office building to make copies of missing posters to tape up hoping to find John faster. Once that is done and they are taped up, Aaron tells her that she can spend the night at his house instead of spending money on a hotel. Angelie is hesitant at first, but she ends up going.
The next morning, Angelie goes back to the police station to see if there is an update, but all they can tell her is that they are sending John's photo and information to other cities and states. Feeling a little defeated, she goes back to Aaron's and ends up telling him about the time machine remote. Instead of freaking out, Aaron believes her. Meanwhile in NYC, John gets up and decides to go apply for jobs that he saw in James's newspaper. He goes to Lesti Hotel to apply for a receptionist job which he gets after printing up a resume at the library close by. Next he goes and looks at an apartment which he signs the lease for the next day after the landlord agrees to wait til the end of the month for his first paycheck. He still has no idea that Angelie is in 1970 looking for him.
Angelie goes back to 2015 and updates the parents about what is going on so far. Then she goes to 3050 and asks Max to help her find John. Once he agrees and tells her that John in actually in New York City, so they both go back to 1970. Back at Aaron's house, Angelie tells him what Max is and that they need to go to NYC. They both back a bag of clothes and get in his car to drive from NJ to NYC. Once they get there, Angelie and Max go check in with the police station there while Aaron puts up some more flyers. The three of them meet back at the car and go in search of a hotel to spend the night at. They end up going to the Lesti Hotel.
Meanwhile John starts his first shift at the hotel and then takes the lease to the landlord. He is getting in the mindset that this is his new life and that he just needs to make it work. During one of his shifts, the younger version of his parents come into the hotel and he has to hide behind a co-worker until they leave. He finishes his shift and goes back to his new apartment.
The next day was his day off so John goes back to the homeless shelter to discuss setting up a job fair and a healthcare booth to help out the people in the shelter. Then he goes back to talk to the head of HR Elisha about setting it up. She wants to hear more about it so she joins John for a cup of cappuccino to discuss it. They end up going to Central Park and walking and talking until she kisses him. After the initial shock, John kisses Elisha back before walking her back to her place where they both say "I love you". John realizes that he has a good life in 1970, and still has no idea that Angelie is looking for him and is on the way to Lesti Hotel.
The next day Elisha announces her relationship with John before going into a meeting with the higher ups of the hotel to discuss John's homeless shelter job fair. All of the higher ups are completely behind the idea and even decide to do a fundraiser to help the shelter support the people there until they are on their own feet. Elisha tells John the good news and goes with him to tell James and the homeless shelter staff the good news.
The following day is when Aaron, Angelie, and Max arrive at the hotel to get a room. Aaron checks them in and gets them set up in a suite. They all walk past the desk without seeing John working just a few feet away from them. They go up and get settled in the suite before Aaron and Angelie decide to go explore Times Square. While they are walking around doing the tourist thing, Aaron decides to kiss her and she kisses him back. They go back to the hotel and Angelie gets a small lecture from Max about how they are there to get John back to 2015.
The next morning they have breakfast together and Angelie reminds herself and Aaron that she is there to find John and go back to 2015. Aaron agrees, and decides to go to the gym before they head out to look for John. He ends up getting lost and has to go to the reception to ask where it is. The man that answers his question is John, and instead of going to tell Angelie he goes to the gym. Once back at the room he still doesn't tell Angelie. She decides that she is going to the gym herself and that they would go look for John tomorrow. Aaron takes a nap himself without saying a single thing about John.
When he wakes up from his nap, Angelie is just getting back from the gym and decides to just go to bed. What she doesn't know is that Aaron snuck down and made dinner plans with John while Max and her were sleeping. He simply says that he is going to dinner with an old friend while she stays in the suite with Max. The following morning, Angelie gets up before Max and Aaron and decides to go down to the buffet for breakfast. While she is down there she finally finds John who seems surprised to see her. Elisha walks up in the middle of their conversation and just makes John realize that he has to really think about what he wants to do. Go back to 2015 or stay in 1970?
After listening to John say he has to think about going home, Angelie goes back to the suite where she just finds Max waiting. She tells him that she found John and that he is deciding what to do. Meanwhile John takes Elisha to Central Park and shows her the time machine that he used to get to 1970 and how he must go back to 2015 to his parents. After getting back from the park, John and Elisha go to Angelie's suite where they are talking about John when Aaron walks in and it comes out that he knew about John being in the hotel the whole time.
Aaron runs out and drives all the way back to his house. Angelie and Max decide to go talk to Aaron while John decides what to do. When Angelie and Max arrive they see that Aaron smashed the time machine remote through the window. When they finally get inside Aaron attempts to break Max and covers Angelie's mouth until she passes out. Once she is passed out, Aaron loads her up into his car leaving Max on the kitchen floor and drives to Washington D.C.
An hour passes before Max is able to repair himself and power back on. He floats into the back of a garbage truck that takes him to the hotel where he tells John what happened. Max and John get on a train to D.C. while Elisha gets a phone call from Aaron telling her to destroy the time machine and come to D.C. so they can keep both Angelie and John in 1970. Elisha gets there before John and Max so she helps Aaron tie up Angelie.
The next morning Aaron leaves to go get food, and Angelie is able to convince Elisha to untie her and let her go. As they are both running out of the room, John and Max arrive at the hotel. John listens to what happened and decides that they need to talk to Aaron before they try to find a way back to 2015. Once Aaron returns, Max freezes him like a human ice cube so that he can calm down. They all wait for him to thaw back out overnight and most of the morning. Elisha tells John that she is sorry and what she did to the time machine, and he surprisingly forgives her. They tell Angelie about the time machine being destroyed and she isn't mad either.
Once Aaron thaws out completely, they all talk about how John, Angelie, and Max are going back to the future and they ask both Aaron and Elisha to come with them. Aaron says no, but Elisha says yes. She first asks that they are able to formally quit their jobs and make sure that the homeless shelter's job fair is going smoothly. Angelie agrees, so they all head to Aaron's house in NJ. Once there, Angelie gets to work on fixing the time machine remote while Elisha and Max go get the time machine pieces from the garbage. Angelie fixes the remote with the pieces before they go to bed. She fixes it and Max stays up all night to guard it.
The next morning John and Elisha go to NYC and complete their checklist before meeting back up with the rest of the group at Aaron's house. They bring James back with them so that he can take a letter to John's landlord. Once everyone is packed up and ready to go, Angelie, John, Max, and Elisha go back to 2015. Once in Angelie's attic, they go downstairs to announce their return to her parents and then call John's parents before explaining who Elisha and Max are. After a reunion with all the parents, John goes home with his parents for the night.
The next day, Angelie and John take Elisha around town to get her clothes and get her used to being in 2015. While they are at the mall shopping, Elisha bumps into a boy named Luis who later bumps into them again at the park. The four of them end up going back to John's house for a bit when Luis asks Elisha out on a date for later that night. She says yes, and he leaves. Angelie and Elisha go home so Elisha can get ready for her date. After helping her pick out an outfit, Angelie and Max go into the dining room where she asks him about her trying to duplicate his technology.
Max agrees to let her try to duplicate him since back in 3050 he was taken out of his box and then left in that warehouse. Angelie calls John to come over and help her, and just after John gets there, Luis shows up to take Elisha out on their date. They have a wonderful time and are discussing a second date on the way back to Angelie's house.
Will Angelie actually be able to create another Max? Will Elisha truly adjust well to being in 2015? Will Angelie ever build another time machine or use the remote again?
Like I said y'all this book was definitely not what I was expecting when I saw time machine in the blurb. This book will have you devouring pages in a matter of hours. I am definitely able to say that this is one of my favorite books now. Thank you again to Roxanne San Jose for not only sending me a copy, but for being so patient with me. I really hope that you feel this book needs to be added to your personal library! As always you can find links to get your hands on a copy on my page:
Alright y'all, I was fortunate enough to have Aneil Komal reach out to me himself and send me this beauty in ebook form. This book was definitely not what I was expecting when I read the blurb on Amazon. This book will have you hooked from the first chapter. I will admit that it took me longer than I planned to get this review out, but thankfully Aneil understood my crazy schedule once ARCs started coming in. Anyways, this book is definitely a YA but it is something that I am pretty sure most of my adult readers will enjoy as well. So here we go....
Aries is a 16 year old boy that is living alone in Los Angeles while his family lives in New York in order to pursue his dream of becoming part of the ACNE (Advanced Computer Network Engineering) program that not many people get into. He is currently waiting for his results to the entrance exam to ACNE. He gets called into the head of the computer department and is told that he did not pass the exam by just 1%. Devastated, Aries heads to the exact spot on the beach that was his family's favorite when they would come for vacations. He calls home and talks to his family.
Aries stays in that spot for a while before he notices how late it is getting. Just as he starts walking back towards his bicycle he is attacked by a shadowy entity. It screeches and pushes him until he is running and scrambling to get his bike chain off. Aries peddles as hard as he can for a few miles before he finally slows down and chances a look behind him. He sees that the entity stopped following him, and he falls down on the bike due to the chain came off track. He fixes the chain but doesn't get very far since his tire goes flat.
Just as he is about to start walking towards a gas station, a silver Corvette drives up next to him. In the driver's seat is a man that is decked out in rather flashy and fancy clothes. He tells Aries to get in the car and he'll take him to the gas station. Aries is hesitant but gets in the car anyway, and it starts out with easy conversation between them. As Aries realizes that the man is not slowing down to pull into the gas station the conversation turns very hostile. Aries tries to get out of the car, but the seat belt is stuck and the man is flooring the gas pedal.
Once Aries realizes that the man is planning to crash the car into the cement barrier on the bridge, he punches the man and tries to gain control of the car. Sadly the car is spinning out of control and is going fast enough to straight through the cement barrier and plunge into the water below. Aries is still locked in the seat belt, and sits in terror as the water level rises. He passes out.
Aries wakes up sometime later and finds that he is laying on a little island that just has sand, trees, and a small cabin. The car is close by submerged, but when Aries looks the man is not in the car. Aries was his options: wait for a boat to go by on a slim chance, swim across and risk sharks and other deadly mammals, or just go into the cabin. He decides to sit on the beach and wait for a boat until it becomes dark. Finally he gets up and goes in the cabin which is completely pitch black.
Aries wedges his shoe under the door so that he can sort of see, and as he is walking into the room a candle lights itself. Before he can move any further he feels a note under his foot. He picks up and it reads "Save Us" and suddenly the door slams shut and the candle blows out. On the other side of the room is a gold door that suddenly opens to reveal the shadowy entity from before holding a scythe. It is telling him to go through the door.
Aries steps through and is greeted with a blinding light that forces him to close his eyes. When he opens them again he hears his alarm going off for him to get ready for school. He is back in his apartment and he assumes it was all just a dream. He starts getting ready for school like normal. When he goes to pull clothes out of the closet, he finds the shirt from yesterday hanging up soaked and covered in sand. He finds his pants in the hamper in the same condition. He finishes getting ready convinced it's just a coincidence.
When he goes into the kitchen for something to drink, everything that he is thinking he needs just magically appears on the counter when he goes to get it himself. Then when he drops the cup and it breaks it magically cleans itself up when he goes to get the broom. Thinking he is just seeing things, he goes to leave and realizes that his keys are missing. Wondering if he has a ghost living with him instead he tells it to find his keys for him. When he bends over to get the spare key from its hiding spot, he feels his key ring stabbing him in his pocket.
Officially freaked out, Aries rushes out of his apartment and down the building stairs. However, when he gets to the lobby he notices that it was like it got a make over during the night. The wood floors and walls are replaced by marble. He finds the door and runs out to the sidewalk. He is walking past an alley when a small boy catches his attention when the little boy cries out. Aries tries to comfort the boy, but he just keeps talking about how Aries is supposed to save them. The little boy takes off running further into the alley and Aries follows wanting to make sure that he is okay.
He watches the boy go through a door, and not really thinking about it, Aries walks through himself. On the other side of the door, Aries finds himself standing in a foreign place that has people all standing around a palace that is falling apart. Inside the thrown room that can be seen through the main holes in the walls, is a demon named Blace and he has been terrorizing the place for a long time.Aries watches as the little boy he was following shouts out that they are saved now that he has returned. Not sure who the boy is talking about, Aries watches as Blace orders his henchmen to seize the boy. They bring the boy to Blace, and when the boy continues to say that the people are saved, Blace starts to raise his hand to the boy. This is when Aries decides to yell stop to gain Blace's attention before Aries is forced to run from the henchmen.
They catch Aries and bring him before Blace who immediately starts talking about how Blace had defeated Aries once and ripped off his wings. This time he would make sure that Aries dies for good. Aries tries to run but one of the henchmen chains his legs and arms causing him to fall on the floor. Blace aims a laser revolver at him, and shots leaving a huge crater where Aries was just laying. Blace walks away convinced that Aries is really gone this time.
Aries is woken some time later by a woman with purple skin, hair, and clothes who says that her name is Raya and she is his Guardian Angel. She has brought him to a beautiful field, and when she is sure he can walk by himself, she leads him to a cave. She instructs him to close his eyes while she does something with a bottle in the middle of the cave. Aries peeks and sees her using a special crystal necklace to transport them to a different realm. Aries passes out again.
He wakes up some time later inside the same cave but it has household items and other people around him. In the group is Raya's sister Jaya who is the one that tells him about how he is in a spiritual realm called Nari and used to be THE Guardian Angel. She is also able to use a crystal ball to show Aries the truth about his past when he doesn't believe her. She shows him the night that Blace stormed the palace and ripped Aries's wings off his back leaving the vertical scars that no one in his life has ever been able to explain.
Aries agrees to help save Nari from Blace, and goes with Raya to find the spiritual healer that lives in the Dark Nebula mountains that most people don't ever come back from. Jaya walks with Raya and Aries to the entrance to the Dark Nebula before letting them go alone. They walk through the very negatively energy mountain range. They follow the path with a silver light on it until they come across a floating castle. Raya drags Aries inside and they are confronted by an ogre posing as a butler. Raya distracts the ogre long enough for Aries to get to the door before she flies them both out the door. Then they come across a werewolf that attacks forcing Raya to use more magic to turn it into a puppy. This takes out most of her energy that is already being weakened by the negative energy in the atmosphere.
They run until Raya collapses forcing them to stop and rest. While they were resting, a man and a woman appear before Raya and entrances her to follow them. Once they get her to a certain spot, she hugs them and they turn into a group of zombies. Aries tries to save Raya but just as he is about to get away the zombies trip him. Just as they are about to tear Raya from Aries's hands the shadowy entity with the scythe. It helps get the zombies off of them so they can run through a door that appears on the path. When they make it through the door Aries and Raya are in a rainforest with an iron gate not too far from them.
Aries picks up Raya and takes them through the iron gate, and follows the path that leads to a house where a young teen girl. The girl calls for help in the house and a bunch of fairies come out to carry Raya in the house. Once Aries knows that the fairies have a good grip on Raya, he passes out. He comes to later in a bedroom where the teen girl is standing over them. She is talking to the fairies about how she is waiting on Papa to come into the room. A man that she calls Papa comes in and calls her Gemini and watches as she heals Raya.
Once Gemini heals both Raya and Aries after the shock wears off on him, she shows them to the spare bedroom for them to stay in. Papa tells them they will stay in the house until he thinks that Aries is worthy to go back to Nari. Gemini tells them the rules are simply stay on the property inside the iron gate and do not go up the mountains behind the house by themselves. Aries and Raya get settled into the room for the night.
The next morning, they all have breakfast together before Papa says his name is Lotus and that he will start training Aries later that day. When time comes, Aries walks with Lotus all the way up the mountain side to where Lotus has a workplace set up. Once up there, Lotus talks Aries through the steps to a ceremony called kata that will help him get his wings back. They try and try over and over again for a week before Aries starts to get very frustrated with his slow progress. Lotus decides that the next day would be spent in the dojo near the house to learn combat skills.
During the dojo training, Lotus decides to use razor leaves to practice agility skills. Aries does well until Lotus throws one at him when he isn't looking, and it cuts his arm. Aries gets upset and storms out. After letting Gemini heal the cut, Aries loses it on Lotus by yelling how he is done training because he doesn't really believe that he is the savior of Nari or that any of it is real. Aries storms off and ends up climbing up the mountain side to Lotus's work space alone.
Once up to the top of the stairs, Aries ends up laying his head down and falls asleep for a bit. When he wakes he is on the moon. While he is looking around at the space around him, a woman named Yasi the Angel of the Moon. She tells him that she is the one that chose him to be The Guardian Angel and protector of Nari. He asks her why, and she replies it is because of his heart and beautiful soul. He thinks about his behavior and she says that everyone will forgive him. While she continues to talk to him, Aries feels his soul tell him that everything she is saying is true and that this is his true role. To be the protector of all the spirits that are being terrorized by Blace. Aries leaves Yasi and goes back to the house to ask for everyone's forgiveness and to continue his training.
Will Aries be able to get his wings back? Will he be strong enough to stop Blace before it is too late? Will he ever return to Earth or even want to?
Like I said y'all this book surprised me! I honestly was not expecting to finish it in a little over a day. Aneil Komal is a talented writer that will have you hooked pretty much from the beginning. I just have to say thank you to him for reaching out to me like he did. I am simply sorry that I took so long to read and review it! If you simply must have this book for your own reading pleasure, you know that you can find links to buy 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...