Family Drama

Book Review: In the Best Interest of the Child by Felicia Denise

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In The Best Interest of the ChildIn The Best Interest of the Child by Felicia Denise
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a surprising book! I knew it would be good because I’ve read author Felicia Denise’s reviews of other novels, interacted with her on social media, and visited her blog; however, there were so many different levels and components in the story, I really connected with it beyond expectations. And that’s saying a lot because I am very far removed from the primary topics and experiences it covers. Kudos to the author for capturing this reader’s attention and making my flight across the country quite entertaining and heartwarming.

Olivia was victimized in foster care ~25 years ago. Her father was killed, her mother’s memory practically erased in an accident. Despite everything that happened to her, Olivia pushed herself to become a successful lawyer who helped other children in similar situations. The only issue… her emotional confidence and ability to open up to others never fully developed. She threw herself into work and closed the doors to many things in life. But then life throws her a curveball with a case about a young girl in a very similar situation who needs help. Olivia agrees to take the case, but it’s far worse than she imagined: corruption, evil, family, secrets, and theft. On the flip side, the temporary family who is looking out for the young girl’s interest is amazing, and there’s a sexy uncle with a crush on Olivia. What’s a girl to do?

My favorite aspect of this book is the writing style Felicia Denise has chosen to employ. After much build-up regarding the awful side of the family who is trying to gain custody / oversee the case (hard to explain, but I don’t want to give anything away), readers will feel anger and frustration over the lengths selfish people go to steal from others. At the same time, we watch Olivia assemble information to protect the child, but we don’t necessarily know what facts she’s learning from all her meetings. We see her interact with others but through summaries while she’s getting to know the temporary family. It’s a wonderful approach because when the case goes to court to make the decision, EVERYTHING comes out and Olivia looks AMAZING. I had this jittery excited moment where I’m thinking… “Go Olivia, go!” I loved this approach and commend the author on igniting my passion for her story.

At some point, Olivia decides to give in to her feelings for the girl’s uncle whom she’s met and gone on a few dates with. The book completely changes in this chapter when we see Olivia’s barriers removed, and readers are treated to a passionate, vivid physical encounter, what I imagine is along the lines of a romance novel. I’m not a huge reader in that genre, so I can’t really compare… but it was quite strong and had a lot of contrast to the emotional tugging over what was happening to the young girl and Olivia’s heartbreak. I didn’t expect it and was like… wait… did I change books? All good tho, as it was tightly written, showcased the author’s range, and made me thoroughly excited for Olivia.

Well-written, tons of heart, lots of pain (in a good way), and provides proof that readers should chance reading different styles. I look forward to my next book by this author, as I hear there may be a sequel coming!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where 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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Kindle Download: FATHER FIGURE for .99 (5/16 – 5/20)

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Father Figure is a .99 cent download for the next 5 days from 5/16 thru 5/20. It officially begins at 11am EST today – help yourselves! Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it!   Download @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure

Description

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. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.    

Watching Glass Shatter

Father Figure was officially launched for sale on Amazon on April 2, 2018 as both an e-book and a physical book. Reviews have been extremely positive between Goodreads and Amazon since the 5-day free download and 5-day book blitz.

  • Book Blitz: For 5 days, (4/30 thru 5/4) we posted promotions, hints, and feedback
  • Blog Tour: For 5 days (6/4 thru 6/8) we posted reviews, interviews and a giveaway

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 Review: One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

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One Little SecretOne Little Secret by Cate Holahan
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

One Little Secret is the second novel written by Cate Holahan that I’ve read. Part mystery and thriller, it tells the story of six neighbors (three couples) who rent a house on the eastern shores of Long Island for part of the summer. As each chapter unfolds in third person perspective, we learn of the drama transpiring in their individual and combined households.

This book was a very easy read. I devoured it in two chunks over a twenty-four hour period, finding myself unwilling to put it down except for meals and priorities that I couldn’t skip out on. The characters are vivid, realistic but with a slight caricature-like tendency, and will clearly show their motivation for each move they make. Holahan has weaved clever tension beyond just the normal marital problems of infidelity and monotonous boredom. At times, I thought these people were all horrible, yet at others, I saw moments of intimacy and pain that provoked sentimental feelings for them.

Given where they rented a summer home, it’s obvious they came from money, though some try to indicate they do not. Doctors, lawyers, tech start-ups, and sports reporters earn a lot in this world, so be prepared for a high amount of affluence and the drama that comes with it. From the start in the prologue where someone is being pushed under water, you know there is a secret worth protecting, but which of the six is the victim and which is the murderer is the game you’ve signed on to play when you picked up this book. Love it!

By 15% in, all the major clues are dropped. We know the victim’s hair color or body type, then one by one the author described the six people so that it became obvious who died. The detective from the Suffolk County police force is also a key focus, as she’s called to scene of this crime and another one which has a connection we’ve yet to realize. It’s also personal for the detective given her young daughter was innocently sucked into a party gone wrong, and that party was attended by one of the six house guests.

My favorite aspect of the book is how the story alternates across three days–day before, day of, and day after. There are flashbacks, and information dropped about the past, but the critical elements are what’s not being said in conversations and which neighbor has a connection we don’t understand to someone else. I adore that suspense, especially trying to guess not only who but what happened.

Overall, I waffled between a 4 and 4.5 stars, but settled on the higher rating. There were a few items that needed a better closure or clarity, so I couldn’t give it a perfect rating. The ending was apropos, but I felt like the detective lingered in the story and made too many mistakes. I didn’t always believe she was smart enough to solve the puzzle and felt like a distraction to the story. It was minor, but enough that I noticed it. Also, we didn’t get enough time with the victim to understand exactly who (s)he was as a person and parent. I felt bad for the death, but one or two more scenes to show the vibrant life and charisma once held would’ve made it pop even more.

Holahan’s writing style is engaging and has a stellar fluidity that makes you believe you’re standing in the rental house or on the beach as everything occurs around you. I look forward to her next book as it will be at the top of my reading list.

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FREE Kindle Download: FATHER FIGURE (2/16 – 2/20)

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Father Figure is a FREE download for the next 5 days from 2/16 thru 2/20. Help yourselves! Thank you so much for your support in sharing, downloading, reading, and reviewing. I appreciate it!

FF Feb 2019

Description

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. Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown and fall in love. Contemplating her loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia faces life-altering tragedies. Brianna Porter, a sassy, angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to find her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. Desperate to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, Brianna accidentally finds out a shocking truth about her missing parent. Set in alternating chapters two decades apart, the parallels between their lives and the unavoidable collision that is bound to happen is revealed. FATHER FIGURE is an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense.

 

Watching Glass Shatter

Watching Glass Shatter: FREE 2/4 thru 2/8

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February is a big month! All of my books will be free for a few days at some point. This week, it’s Watching Glass Shatter, my debut 2017 novel about a family drama imploding from a bounty of secrets. Download here for FREE from 2/4 thru 2/8.

Read Free @A (1)

 

Book Overview

After 40 years of marriage, Olivia Glass thought she could handle the unexpected death of her husband. But when Ben’s will reveals a life-altering secret, she suffers a blow no widow should ever experience.

Olivia learns that she gave birth to a baby who later died in the nursery. Instead of telling his wife what happened, Ben switched the child with another. And as if that’s not enough, Ben’s will doesn’t reveal which of their five sons is truly not hers.

While an attorney searches for answers, Olivia visits each of her sons to share a final connection before facing the truth that will change their family, and discovers that each of them has been harboring a painful secret, just like their father.

Olivia challenges herself to re-assemble and save their relationships. But will the secrets destroy their family beyond repair?

Blog Tour

  • The book went on a 17-day blog tour at the end of 2017. You can read all posts via this one location by clicking here.

Radio Interview

  • The author was a guest on the Artist First radio segment on Tuesday, November 14th from 6 to 7pm. To listen to the recorded 1-hour broadcast for news on the book and author, click here.

Book Reviews & Interviews

  • In addition to Goodreads and Amazon, you can find a central link to some very fun and in-depth book reviews and author interviews here.

Get to Know all 5 Sons and Their Parents

Cassandra M. Baker

Olivia ForgetMeNot

Caleb GlassEthan GlassMatthew GlassTeddy GlassZachary Glass

Book Review: Killing Thyme by Leslie Budewitz

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Killing Thyme (A Spice Shop Mystery, #3)Killing Thyme by Leslie Budewitz

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Spices are essential to making our food and drinks taste better. Leslie Budewitz’s ‘A Spice Shop Mystery’ series is essential to making our cozy mystery reading schedules even better. I want to kick myself for waiting several years before picking up this series, but at the same time the next book doesn’t release until June 2019, so I might have been frustrated waiting that long if I had finished them sooner. With all 3 published ones under my belt, I can say two things: (1) I’m a definite fan and (2) It’s time to move on to her next series which takes place in the NW USA too.

In Killing Thyme, Pepper’s finally got everything under control. Her shop is doing well, Pepper has two great employees to replace the ones she lost in the last book, her mom is coming for a visit from South America, and she’s dating a cute and kind reporter. But with her mom comes a secret from the past hurling quickly like a typhoon at Seattle’s Pike Place Market where you’d never expect one to appear. A fellow store artisan is not who she appears to be… and when she’s found dead early one morning, Pepper’s forced into protecting her mother from being punished for a crime she didn’t commit (at least we think so). Throw in a few cute ‘dates’ with the reporter, a couple of accidents with her friends, and a very curious bracelet that appears from nowhere and you’ve got quite a mystery to solve.

I think the series’ setting has fully fallen into place. We have a wonderful group of supporting characters and stores that make each book connective and fun. My favorite parts besides the murder mystery occur when Pepper goes for her daily walk around the market and catches up with friends we’ve come to adore. Having Arf, her awesome dog, makes it all the more enticing, too. Sometimes she learns a clue, others it’s just more confusion. Budewitz knows how to drop just enough to make us squint and scratch our chin over what’s the truth and what’s a lie. I enjoy this series and was glad to get to know some of Pepper’s family. Her mom’s a hoot and I can only imagine what she was like as a psuedo-hippie nearly 40 years earlier. The best part… we finally learn Pepper’s REAL NAME! Another great installment in the lives of the curious and ‘glamorous’ life in Seattle’s finest market… can’t wait to visit again in June. Thanks for an amazing and strong beginning to my 2019 reads, LB!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where 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.

Book Review: Death Overdue by Allison Brook

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Death Overdue (The Haunted Library Mysteries, #1)Death Overdue by Allison Brook

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

After reading the second book in ‘The Haunted Library Mysteries’ by Allison Brook last year, I ordered a copy of the first in the series, Death Overdue, to read and get current. It’s a great setting and has a little bit of everything for cozy mystery lovers. Carrie Singleton (late 20’s, single) is about to leave Connecticut after visiting her aunt and uncle for a few months when she’s offered a promotion at the Clover Ridge library. Although she wants to escape, a ghost haunting the building convinces Carrie to stick it out. After her first event is held, the author she brought in to discuss new leads in a murder case from ~10 years earlier is poisoned and dies in the library. Carrie investigates to ensure no one thinks poorly of her, but she also finds the challenge an easy distraction to help her decide to stay in town.

Full of great supporting characters and side stories, this series has a lot of potential. You’ve got the ghost of a former employee who died under somewhat mysterious circumstances in a fall in the parking lot (we know that’ll be a mystery in future books!), a few colleagues who dislike Carrie because of her appearance or connection with her uncle as a member of the library board, her thief father who is missing, her sudden attraction with local sexy investigator Dylan, and a whole lot more. I look forward to all the capers and trouble that could happen in this charming New England town.

Brook has a simple yet strong writing style. It’s easy to get lost in the book for a few hours before realizing how far you’ve read. I like the descriptions and dialog as much as the narratives and past details being dropped throughout the story. I am very curious to learn more about Carrie’s aunt and uncle who likely have a very suspenseful and crazy past. This mystery was medium-complex and had a lot of family drama. Ultimately, I thought the killer was a little too easy to identify, but it did keep me guessing a few times in the middle section. I’m curious to see which characters stay in the future books and which ones disappear. There are only 2 in the series so far, but I’m sure a new one will be out in 2019. I’ll be looking for that ARC!

View all my reviews

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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.