Month: April 2018

May 2018 TBR… and what did I read in April?

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In the hopes I can control my all-too-frequent impulse purchases and agreements to read new books, I started a new monthly segment on my blog where I list all the books I will read in the upcoming month. I hope that having something written, where I can be held accountable, helps me keep from increasing the TBR until I clear off many books I already want to read. I am going to plan 8 books each month, which is in-line with my 2018 Goodreads challenge to read in total 104 books (two per week). I’ve left some room to add anything in case I win an ARC or have a due date for an unplanned read. That said, let’s dive into next month’s planned reads…

May 2018TBR

 

Note: I will be out of the country for ~3 weeks in May, so I may not get to read a lot. I’ve only selected these 6, but I hope to read more. If I do, you’ll see them show up in next month’s update!

***

James’s 18 April Read Books

*Includes my own book published this month (Father Figure) and 4 Agatha Christie books from the Readathon

Scripting the Truth
Scripting the Truth — Rating & review coming on May 2nd, 2018
Father Figure
it was amazing

My second novel is now available via this Amazon link. It is available both in e-format and physical format. To see more about the upcoming launch plans and read a short sample, check out Father Figure.A book blitz will happen all over…

The Secret Adversary
really liked it
I am hosting an Agatha Christie Readathon on my blog in April 2018 where we are reading one of her books each week. The first book up, The Secret Adversary, is the initial entry in the Tommy & Tuppence cozy mystery series she’s written. …
A Column of Fire
it was amazing
I’ve reviewed ~575 books in the last few years and don’t often give out 5 stars. I can be a bit stingy as I want the book to just completely knock me over. Ken Follett is one of few authors who consistently impress, excite, and satisfy t…
The Impact of a Single Event
really liked it
In the Fall of 2017, I won The Impact of a Single Event by R.L. Prendergast in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was finally able to make time to read it, and I’m so sorry I waited this long. It was superb! I initially entered the contest because …
The Phantom Tree
really liked it
Last year, I read another novel by Nicola Cornick and found myself eager to try The Phantom Tree when I saw it listed on NetGalley. I was awarded the book about a month ago and scheduled it for this week. If you’ve never read something f…
Peril at End House
really liked it
Peril at End House, the eighth book in the Hercule Poirot cozy mystery series, was selected as the next book to read in the April 2018 Agatha Christie Readathon that I’m hosting on my blog at This Is My Truth Now. Four weeks of books fro…
Playing With Bonbon Fire
really liked it

Why This Book

I belong to a cozy mystery group that offers a few giveaways to read ARCS each month. I won Playing With Bonbon Fire by Dorothy St. James and picked it up in between my Agatha Christie Readathon books this week….

Then She Was Gone
really liked it
I read a Lisa Jewell novel last year and connected immediately with her writing style, tone, and voice. When Then She Was Gone showed up on NetGalley last month, I immediately requested it and added it to my reading queue for April. I re…
Providence
liked it
When the newest book, Providence, by Caroline Kepnes became available, I excitedly requested and downloaded it on NetGalley. Her first book, You, is one of my favorites, and her second, Hidden Bodies, was very strong. I rushed through Pr…
The Curse
really liked it
If you’ve read my book reviews before, you probably know that they tend to be mysteries, thrillers, historical or contemporary fiction; however, you also know I’m branching out to try a few different genres, including romance, fantasy an…
Three Classic Mysteries Starring Miss Marple: A Murder is Announced /The Body in the Library / Murder With Mirrors
really liked it
This review is for The Body in the Library, the third cozy mystery book in the Miss Marple series, written by Agatha Christie in 1942. I read this book at least once in the past, and even wrote a very brief review on Goodreads in 2017 wh…
Our Little Secret
liked it

Why This Book

I was either approached by the publisher or received the book, Our Little Secret written by Roz Nay in 2018, through NetGalley. I liked the premise of the story and saw it was getting positive reviews, so I took…

Us Against You
it was amazing
Where does one begin when it comes to describing an author whose books constantly amaze you to the point you cannot easily put them down for any reason other than an emergency? Fredrik Backman has struck gold with the second book in the …
Last Girl Gone
really liked it
Starting off this review by saying it’s right around 4.5 stars for this one… Everyone once in a while, a writer truly catches you off guard with either a story arc or a plot twist. It’s especially powerful when it’s a new writer you’ve…
The Murder at the Vicarage
really liked it
A solid 4.5 stars for Murder at the Vicarage, the first novel in the Miss Marple cozy mystery series, written by Agatha Christie in 1930. I’ve read ~ten novels by Christie and this one is near the top of the list for me. From the charact…
Just One Damned Thing After Another
really liked it
At some point last year, I must have been on a kick to enter tons of Goodreads Giveaways in the hopes I’d get a bunch of free books. Included in that over-zealous moment was Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. I tend to g…
Final Resting Place: A Lincoln and Speed Mystery
really liked it
Earlier this year, the Crooked Lane publishing company suggested several books that I might be interested in reading. Final Resting Place: A Lincoln and Speed Mystery by Jonathan F. Putnam is one of those books. It is the third book in t…

 

Share book reviews and ratings with James, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Father Figure: Book Blitz — Day 1 Links

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Thank you very much to four stellar bloggers who promoted Father Figure today on their blogs. From their beautiful words to their amazing content, I’m blessed to have their support. Please stop by to see their Book Blitz posts and see the GIVEAWAY and EXCERPTS shared @

Reads & Reels

Nesie’s Place

Books, Reviews, et al by Shalini

Invisible-no-more

***

For five days from April 30th thru May 4th, Reads and Reels has hosted an amazing book blitz to help promote Father Figure across the blogs. Below are the links and schedule to read the posts each day. Stay tuned for book excerpts, FREEBIE options, and a GIVEAWAY. Check out my author website with a full list of all the Father Figure reviews, posts, interviews and details!

Father-Figure-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

 

May 1st

Beware of the Reader http://bewareofthereader.com/

The Voluptuous Book Diva  http://www.thevoluptuousbookdiva.com/

Valerie’s Musings http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com

Inspiration Pie https://inspirationpie932794997.wordpress.com

May 2nd

Author, Kim Knight http://www.kimknightauthor.com

Misty’s Book Space https://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Finding Life Through Pain http://lynnetteok.wordpress.com

May 3rd

Audio Killed the Bookmark http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com

Brizzlelass Books https://brizzlelassbooks.com/

The Scribblings https://thescribblingssite.wordpress.com

Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews https://sinfullywickedbookreviews.wordpress.com

The Sassy Brit https://alternative-read.com/

May 4th

Port Jericho http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Bri’s Book Nook http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

Crystal’s Book World http://crystalsbookworld.wordpress.com

Jessica Rachow http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

Splashes into Books http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com

Globeflowers Blog  https://globeflower.co.uk/blog/

TAG O’RAMA: Past Due Gratitude – Part 1 of 5

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Life has just gotten away from me in the last few months… between the 365 Daily Challenge, publishing two novels, reading ~100 books, and earning a living, I haven’t been able to keep up with all the wonderful tags and awards that I’ve been blessed with. I’m so grateful to the blogging community for the love and support you’ve shown me and feel awful that I’ve gotten behind on about ~40 nominations or ping-backs. I’ve been trying to catch up, but it’s not working! So… I’ve decided for the next week, I am going to highlight several bloggers each day who have been generous enough to tag me…

Untitled.png

These bloggers deserve the kudos and a celebrated mention so that more people can find out about them and/or connect with amazing people around the world. Below please find 7 blogs you should be checking out and following. I’ve included the original post they tagged me on as well as a response to a few questions or items from their tag. If I stay on schedule, I’ll be caught up and current on my tags within a week, and then I promise to try to stay on top of them going forward. Thank you to everyone for understanding. Much gratitude for sharing your blogs with me and in turn with the rest of the blogosphere!

***

10 Random Facts About Me

  • BrizzleLass Books
  • My random fact is that I can’t stand the taste of mushrooms. They ruin the flavor of anything I’ve ever eaten. And it’s a fungus… why o’ why would someone eat it? 🙂

New Disney Princess

Burn, Rewrite, ReRead

  • She Reads at Past Midnight
  • Books randomly chosen from Goodreads ‘read’ list – this was tough!
    • Burn
      • John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’
    • Rewrite
      • William Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’
    • ReRead
      • E. B. White’s ‘Charlotte’s Web’

Handwriting

  • Ice Breaker 694
  • I truly have the world’s worst handwriting because I’m always rushing, so if I wrote anything, you wouldn’t be able to read it!

School Subject Book

  • Ann the Book Master
  • FRENCH – YOUR FAVORITE FOREIGN BOOK/FILM/PROGRAM
    • Beartown by Fredrik Backman (it was translated from Swedish)
    • beartown

Carpool

  • Growing Self
  • I don’t have a car anymore since I live in NYC, but my last car when I lived in the suburbs was a Volkswagen Tiguan (the year they came out) because it had a moon roof that was the entire ceiling of the car!

Emperor’s New Clothes

  • The Orangutan Librarian
  • “THE DOUBLET IS A LOVELY SHADE OF GREEN” – A BOOK THAT SEDUCED YOU WITH ITS COVER (THAT YOU ENDED UP DISLIKING)
    1. I only picked this because I expected it to be so much better, but the story wasn’t very strong for me. The language and imagery was great, but I was disappointed in how it felt too metaphorical and fluffy.
    2. The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy #1) by

      bear

Nominations

Father Figure: Book Blitz Has Begun!

Posted on

For five days from April 30th thru May 4th, Reads and Reels has hosted an amazing book blitz to help promote Father Figure across the blogs. Below are the links and schedule to read the posts each day. Stay tuned for book excerpts, FREEBIE options, and a GIVEAWAY. Check out my author website with a full list of all the Father Figure reviews, posts, interviews and details!

Father-Figure-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

 

April 30th

Reads & Reels

Nesie’s Place

Books, Reviews, et al by Shalini

Invisible No More http://invisiblenomorecom.wordpress.com

May 1st

Beware of the Reader http://bewareofthereader.com/

The Voluptuous Book Diva  http://www.thevoluptuousbookdiva.com/

Valerie’s Musings http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com

Inspiration Pie https://inspirationpie932794997.wordpress.com

May 2nd

Author, Kim Knight http://www.kimknightauthor.com

Misty’s Book Space https://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Finding Life Through Pain http://lynnetteok.wordpress.com

May 3rd

Audio Killed the Bookmark http://audiokilledthebookmark.wordpress.com

Brizzlelass Books https://brizzlelassbooks.com/

The Scribblings https://thescribblingssite.wordpress.com

Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews https://sinfullywickedbookreviews.wordpress.com

The Sassy Brit https://alternative-read.com/

May 4th

Port Jerricho http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Bri’s Book Nook http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

Crystal’s Book World http://crystalsbookworld.wordpress.com

Jessica Rachow http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

Splashes into Books http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com

Globeflowes Blog  https://globeflower.co.uk/blog/

Agatha Christie Readathon – Wrap Up & Links

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Our April 2018 Agatha Christie Readathon was a smashing success.  I am thankful to everyone who participated by reading, reviewing, or spreading the news. I had so much fun chatting with readers, bloggers and friends this month. As a re-cap, in case you missed any post or were waiting until the end, below are the links to the prior posts and the 4 dedicated book pages to find all the reviews. Kudos to everyone for such fun!

 

hristie

***

Background on the Agatha Christie Readathon

I’m an avid mystery reader and one of my favorite authors is Agatha Christie. I shared a post on this wonderful writer several months ago and have a dedicated page to her on my blog. Click on both links to see what I’ve read or said in the past. I’m holding an Agatha Christie Readathon in April. For more information, click the link and see the background and guidelines below. Essentially, we will read 1 book for each week in April 2018, then post our reviews.  You can join in and read with us — either 1, 2, 3 or all 4 weeks! The goal is to revisit an old favorite, connect with new bloggers, and share the love we have for this fantastic author. Voting in the pools was held from 3/1 thru 3/14, and the results are in for which books we will read in April:

  • The Secret Adversary (Other) – Read By 4/6, Post Review on 4/7 (Week 1)
  • Peril at End House (Poirot) – Read By 4/13, Post Review on 4/14 (Week 2)
  • The Body in the Library (Re-Read) – Read By 4/20, Post Review on 4/21 (Week 3)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Marple) – Read By 4/27, Post Review on 4/28 (Week 4)

If you’re interested, please respond below in the comments with which weeks or books you want to read. I will create a separate page for each one and list all the sites where you can find the reviews. You will post the review on your site, and I’ll link it from that page so everyone can see them!

Please share with your followers so we have even more participation. Thanks!

mega.png

Below is the structure and guidelines of the April Agatha Christie Readathon:

  • In April 2018, we will read 4 books written by Agatha Christie.
  • We will follow a schedule (6 days to read, 1 day to post review):
    • We read the first book from Sun 4/1 thru Fri 4/6, then post reviews on Sat 4/7. It will be from a non-series book I haven’t read.
    • We read the second book from Sun 4/8 thru Fri 4/13, then post reviews on Sat 4/14. It will be a book from the Hercule Poirot series.
    • We read the third book from Sun 4/15 thru Fri 4/20, then post reviews on Sat 4/21. It will be a book I’ve already read but I will re-read another time.
    • We read the fourth book from Sun 4/22 thru Fri 4/27, then post reviews on Sat 4/28. It will be a book from the Miss Marple series.
  • You can read only one week, a few weeks, or all four weeks — your choice.
  • Reviews/Posts can be any format, but you will link back to my main page where I will then list all the blogs or websites who are participating so that everyone can find your reviews.

hristie

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Book Review: Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

Posted on Updated on

I am hosting an Agatha Christie Readathon on my blog in April 2018 where we are reading one of her books each week. The fourth book up, Murder at the Vicarage, is the first book in the Miss Marple cozy mystery series she’s written. I’ve read many in this series, but you can read them out of order. It’s more about books using the same characters but not really connected other than a few fun memories and mentions. This was selected as my book to re-read as part of this challenge.

16331

A solid 4.5 stars for Murder at the Vicarage, the first novel in the Miss Marple cozy mystery series, written by Agatha Christie in 1930. I’ve read ~ten novels by Christie and this one is near the top of the list for me. From the characters to the setting and the plot to the tone, it’s an intriguing and immersive read. It started out a bit slow for me as the scene was being set, but once the murder happened, it took off in quick force. I can happily say that I had 2 potential guesses as the culprit(s), and I was correct (which doesn’t always happen). I also knew there was way too much reference to ‘time on clocks’ for it not to be important; someone messed with the spinning needles to change the appearance of when the murder happened. But only by minutes… and you’ll never guess how important it was!

For many, this will be too on-the-nose or over-simplified when it comes to the layout at approach of Miss Marple’s investigation. Though she’s responsible for solving it, she’s not the main character. The vicar tells us the story of what happened to the deceased, and he interacts with the detectives investigating the crime. Another priest is murdered, but he’s not very well liked, so it’s okay, right? Some think so… but not all the ‘little old biddies’ (how the book refers to them) are in agreement. The gossip is out of control in this book, but I adored it for what it was — a clever plot technique to reveal clues and keep us guessing. Add in the very peculiar marriages between the different priests and their wives, and it’s baffling what life was like a century ago. But I’d give nearly anything to be part of it.

What appeals to me most in these Marple novels is how she drops a few thoughts, then scatters around. She leaves mysterious notes for someone to come see her, then won’t reveal everything she’s thinking. She teases us. But it’s as much fun as it is frustrating. She knows, but she’s not 100% certain how… so she won’t say it all at once until she’s got every nasty little detail ferreted out.

The poor vicar suffers in this one as the murder happens in his house — everyone is up in his business. We know it can’t be him or his wife, but wow do they look suspicious. Add in the side-stories and you’ve got one easy read. It just makes me smile to absorb these quaint settings and stories. I think even though this is the last in my April Agatha Christie Readathon, I am going to keep reading one a month this year.

***

Background on the Agatha Christie Readathon

I’m an avid mystery reader and one of my favorite authors is Agatha Christie. I shared a post on this wonderful writer several months ago and have a dedicated page to her on my blog. Click on both links to see what I’ve read or said in the past. I’m holding an Agatha Christie Readathon in April. For more information, click the link and see the background and guidelines below. Essentially, we will read 1 book for each week in April 2018, then post our reviews.  You can join in and read with us — either 1, 2, 3 or all 4 weeks! The goal is to revisit an old favorite, connect with new bloggers, and share the love we have for this fantastic author. Voting in the pools was held from 3/1 thru 3/14, and the results are in for which books we will read in April:

  • The Secret Adversary (Other) – Read By 4/6, Post Review on 4/7 (Week 1)
  • Peril at End House (Poirot) – Read By 4/13, Post Review on 4/14 (Week 2)
  • The Body in the Library (Re-Read) – Read By 4/20, Post Review on 4/21 (Week 3)
  • Murder at the Vicarage (Marple) – Read By 4/27, Post Review on 4/28 (Week 4)

If you’re interested, please respond below in the comments with which weeks or books you want to read. I will create a separate page for each one and list all the sites where you can find the reviews. You will post the review on your site, and I’ll link it from that page so everyone can see them!

Please share with your followers so we have even more participation. Thanks!

mega.png

Below is the structure and guidelines of the April Agatha Christie Readathon:

  • In April 2018, we will read 4 books written by Agatha Christie.
  • We will follow a schedule (6 days to read, 1 day to post review):
    • We read the first book from Sun 4/1 thru Fri 4/6, then post reviews on Sat 4/7. It will be from a non-series book I haven’t read.
    • We read the second book from Sun 4/8 thru Fri 4/13, then post reviews on Sat 4/14. It will be a book from the Hercule Poirot series.
    • We read the third book from Sun 4/15 thru Fri 4/20, then post reviews on Sat 4/21. It will be a book I’ve already read but I will re-read another time.
    • We read the fourth book from Sun 4/22 thru Fri 4/27, then post reviews on Sat 4/28. It will be a book from the Miss Marple series.
  • You can read only one week, a few weeks, or all four weeks — your choice.
  • Reviews/Posts can be any format, but you will link back to my main page where I will then list all the blogs or websites who are participating so that everyone can find your reviews.

hristie

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Father Figure: Early Reviews, Interviews & Book Blitz Marketing

Posted on

Father Figure was officially launched for sale on Amazon about three weeks ago. There have been ~20 very positive reviews between Goodreads and Amazon to help promote the book. We will kick off the marketing plans in May. I’m excited to begin sharing them with you…

Father-Figure-Promo-Hardback-Ereader

Early Blog Reviews

Available Interviews & Marketing

Upcoming Plans

  • Book Blitz: Monday April 30th thru Friday May 4th
    • Q&A Interviews
    • Giveaway
    • Excerpts
    • Other Fun!
  • Download and read for FREE options: Sunday May 6th through Thursday May 10th
  • YouTube Audio / Video: Mid May
  • Blog Tour: Early June

Gratitude

  • Thank you to everyone who has read or reviewed the book in the last few weeks. I am so happy it is going well. I can’t wait to share everything as they post.
  • I am also very appreciative for everyone who has re-blogged or shared these reviews and posts. You help make this even more successful.
  • If you’ve published any posts that I’ve missed or didn’t include here, please let me know. I will keep updating my author website with all the links through end of June when I’m done with the initial marketing phase.

Book Overview

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town, and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Struggling to survive in a claustrophobic, unforgiving world, they embark on a journey to overcome all the pain, disappointment, and horror of their experiences.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown, connect with others, and fall in love. Contemplating an impending loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia suffers devastating, life-altering tragedies. No matter where she turns, someone or something always steals her hope of finding happiness, protection, and love.

Brianna Porter, a sassy yet angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to determine her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. All the confusion stems from desperately needing to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, but an unexpected discovery of a journal leads Brianna to a shocking revelation about her missing parent. Unfortunately, by casting the net to find him, she’s unleashed a tragic history that was meant to stay buried and might now completely change everyone’s futures.

Through alternating chapters set two decades apart, each girl’s plight unfolds revealing the parallels between their lives and the subsequent collision that is bound to happen. In an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense, fate intervenes forcing someone to make a dreadful decision that will leave permanent scars.