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Honey and Leonard by Mark Paul Smith

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Release Date - November 2019



My mom has Alzheimer's. It's torturous watching someone slowly lose the ability to find the right words, keep control of emotional outbursts, etc. I was drawn to Honey and Leonard for that reason. I know what it's like.

Billed as a romance, I found there's an awful lot of reality in this novel, which isn't surprising given the author's experience with a parent with Alzheimer's. I wanted it to be uplifting, but I found it to be a little too true and sad to be uplifted by it.

Honey loves Leonard with all of her heart. The same is true in the other direction, even if Leonard sometimes forgets who Honey is. His niece has power of attorney and has him in an assisted living community, which Honey believes is a non-stop track to a slow death.

When blood tests find high levels of arsenic in Leonard's blood, Honey is barred from seeing him. His niece is applying for guardianship and the social worker assigned to his case makes it cl…

A Bittersweet Surprise by Cynthia Ellingsen

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Release Date - September 2019



The "good news" her stepmother boasts of isn't good news to Emma Laurent. Her father's candy store is her pride and joy. Selling it to a large company isn't good news, it's heartbreaking.

Emma doesn't like to ask for help, but she needs to save the shop. Her only hope is to qualify for a loan in order to buy it. She has to save the shop. It's the only way she can afford the assisted living apartment her grandmother calls home.

As if she doesn't have enough on her mind, there's a single mom in town who seems to need a friend and Emma can't turn her back on anyone. Plus, a secretive couple has offered Emma $20,000 for a painting of her father's that's been a candy shop fixture. The painting isn't by anyone famous from what Emma can tell, so their sudden interest is unusual. The money, however, could be the answer to all of her problems getting a loan to purchase the shop and keeping her grandmother …

Christmas From the Heart by Sheila Roberts

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Release Date - September 24, 2019



Many holiday romances come out in the summer when it's just way too early for me. I held off reading Christmas From the Heart for that reason.

Christmas From the Heart's organizer, Livi, relies on donations from Hightower Enterprises. Her charitable organization ensures that everyone in her town has a wonderful Christmas, even if money is tight. When Guy Hightower announces they're no longer able to donate to Christmas From the Heart, Livi is infuriated. This modern-day Scrooge is going to destroy the holidays many in her community deserve.

His company is in shambles, and Guy has to tighten the belt. Getting called out as a miserly jerk is not something he'll stand for. On his way to his mom's house for a holiday gathering, his car breaks down. He finds himself stranded in Pine River, Livi's hometown. Worse, Livi is the woman who comes to his rescue, only she has no idea who he is and he doesn't want to tell her.

When Guy …

Revamping Due to New Policies

Due to new policies, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with this review site. Amazon now requires that all reviewers make it clear on each and every post that the product links for Amazon are affiliate links and pay the blogger a small percentage if people click on that link and make the purchase.

Having to individually update 10 years of posts isn't easy. As a result, I'm thinking it may be time to stop linking to Amazon at all. It's taken far too long to update posts one by one. I haven't read a book in a month, and that's the reason for no posts lately.

Book Release News - Before the Devil Fell by Neil Olson

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Release Date - October 8, 2019



I was due to review Neil Olson's Before the Devil Fell, but the digital copy never came through. I don't want to skip posting for the blog tour, therefore I can at least share news of the new book. It looks intriguing!

Here's the blurb from Hanover Square Press:


Will Connor returns to his hometown, a village north of Boston, to care for his injured mother. He’s kept his distance from the town since high school, but once home he finds himself reexamining a horrific incident that took place during one of his mother’s “spirit circles.” His mother had embraced the hippie generation’s fascination with New Age and the arcane, but the unexpected death of a close friend put an end to the meetings of the modern-day coven.

Or did it?

As Will looks deeper into his family’s history he discovers that her practices weren’t so much a passing fad but the latest link in a long tradition of New England witchcraft, which still seems to hold a strange power over …

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

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Release Date - October 1, 2019



If there is one thing that really saddens me, it's that people don't seem to have learned from Hitler's horrific actions. When someone I know cheers that they're rounding up asylum seekers and putting them in horrible internment camps, I'm sad. It gets worse daily.

Cilka's Journey is partially based on facts and is the sequel to The Tattooist of Auschwitz. How much of it is truth vs. fiction is up for debate as some say the real Cilka denied that she prostituted herself and that she never wanted her story told. I opted to treat the story as fiction that's loosely based on some truths.

It tells the story of a young Czech woman who, with her sister, is trying to survive the harsh conditions of the concentration camp she's in. To survive, she's raped often. When a commandant notices her and claims her as her own, she lets it happen. Even if it means being forced to sleep with the enemy as often as he chooses.

When the wom…

Life on Loan by Ashley Farley

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Release Date - October 8, 2019



I like the theme of Life on Loan. It all comes down to "have you ever wanted to walk away?" I think at some point in our lives, we all have that moment.

Lena Browder's demanding husband has pushed her to the brink. She gave up everything to raise their daughter. Now, that daughter is a college graduate with no job and no apparent motivation to do much. When Lena finds a naked man in her daughter's room, she's had it. Her husband's you-take-care-of-it attitude is the final straw. She packs up and leaves.

Olivia Westcoat's divorce launched her far off the rails. She cannot believe her husband left her for another, especially another man. She's ready to get away and clear her mind.

When the pair bump into each other in the airport, the friendship they shared in college comes rushing back. Soon a plan is hatched. Lena will stay in Olivia's condo in Charleston for a month, and Olivia will stay in Lena's riverfront va…