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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Book Release News - Before the Devil Fell by Neil Olson

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 the town. Will hopes that unearthing the facts about the death will put his questions to rest, but there are those willing to resort to violence to keep those secrets buried.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris

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 women in the concentration camp are finally liberated, Cilka's not allowed to leave. She's suspected of working for the enemy, so she's sent to a new camp in Siberia. There, the conditions are even worse, and she will have to rely on strength she doesn't even know she possesses in order to survive the harsh environment, people who hate her, and guards who feel it's their right to treat her anyway they please.

Cilka's Journey broke my heart. In a world of #metoo, Cilka faces things that no woman should ever have to face, yet when she does in order to survive, she becomes just as hated. That poor young girl couldn't win. I hated what was done to her and others in her situation. I had to keep reading to find out what happened in the end.

Yes, this is a sad story, but it's also packed with hope. I hope many read it. It's worth every minute.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Life on Loan by Ashley Farley

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 vacation home in Virginia. There, they have a month to decide where to go from here.

I was ready for a refreshing, light-hearted story. Life on Loan fits the bill. It was fun, light, and leaned towards romance without being specifically about romance. It is a quick read with likable characters and gorgeous settings. Sometimes the writing could become overly descriptive involving the type of wine the characters were having or what they were eating, but I could move past that quick. I'm not big into having brand names thrown at me when I'm reading a fictional story.

All in all, if you want light and refreshing, this is the perfect read.