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Outside the Lines

Bella’s life has been a rollercoaster of hardships, from a childhood without proper care to bouncing between foster homes. She thought she had seen it all. But now, the devastating news of her terminal cancer diagnosis and only having one year to live shatters her world once again. Seeking solace, Bella travels to South Carolina, where she meets the quirky and charming Tilly, her new landlady and unexpected best friend. Tilly is determined to help Bella make the last year of her life count. Although they are many years apart, they share something in common. Both women know their deaths are soon.

Together, they embark on a journey of living life to the fullest and making every moment count. Bella’s unwavering strength and resilience are a true inspiration, and Tilly’s unpredictable nature will have you laughing one moment and tearing up the next. Without a family to support her, she has always been strong on her own. She has such a beautiful soul. Tilly was a fascinating character. The 90-year-old woman had unpredictable moods and was known for her sharp tongue. Although she said mean things sometimes, she had a big heart and was loved by almost everyone.

Mary Perrine provides masterful character development and an absorbing plot, and you’ll find yourself hooked from the first page. Outside the Lines explores the depths of friendship, love, and the power of the human spirit. It’s a powerful story of triumph over adversity that will touch your heart and leave you feeling inspired. The author’s writing is powerful, and I found myself at times wishing things were different for Bella, and then I would burst out laughing at Tilly’s remarks.

Outside the Lines is a must-read for fans of realistic fiction. Get ready to be transported into Bella and Tilly’s world and experience a story that will stay with you long after the last page. Don’t miss out on this beautiful and touching tale of courage and hope.

Pages: 349 | ASIN : B0BQ5D1F2J

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The Disciples 

The Disciples by D. Fuller Smith follows the lives of two young men, Sam and Carmine, who team up to pursue big goals of wealth and success. Despite their difficult upbringing and the challenges that lie ahead, Carmine’s desire for more in life makes an impression on Sam. Together, they grow determined to break the poverty cycle and recruit more people to achieve their plans, as disciples or followers, with the promise of a better, more lucrative life.

The author captures the big dreams and fantasies of young, influential students living on the edge of society through informal dialogue and brief, time-specific chapters that portray a minute-by-minute recollection and a sense of urgency with visual imagery and descriptions. I enjoyed the complex nature of the characters and their discussion of topics ranging from religion and politics to debt, work, and hope for the future. It’s a blend of naive excitement, uphill struggles, and potential exploitation due to their precarious situation.

I enjoyed the blunt, jarring style of the characters’ dialogue and personalities, which is well-developed and intriguing. They must battle their surroundings and the outcome of their shady decisions, articulating the world around them and finding their place in society. It’s an entertaining read sprinkled with humor, wit, and action. While the conversational-heavy story takes some getting used to, Fuller Smith does an exceptional job of bringing each character to life with their unique dialects and individual style.

The Disciples by D. Fuller Smith is about taking risks and surviving, written with realistic, raw narration. The story unfolds through the eyes and dialogue of the characters, who provide the gritty nature of their lives against the backdrop of a world they want to conquer and achieve success. It’s an entertaining read that is creative and original, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Pages: 393 | ASIN : B0BTQM3NW8

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Secrets In The Mirror

Psychology around twins is a fascinating subject. Identical twins have the same DNA, but what happens when you throw in a domineering father who favors one twin over the other? Treating one twin differently over the other twists their self-confidence and personality, sometimes for the worse. Gavin and Devon are identical mirror twins, which means they’re the opposite of each other, even though they look the same. When Devon looks into a mirror, he sees Gavin. But their twin bond can only take so much strain, right?

Secrets in the Mirror by Leslie Kain is a psychological thriller about a set of twins, Devon and Gavin, and how Devon’s narcissistic personality affects their relationship and their entire family. At first, everyone just believes that Devon is full of himself and has a lot of self-confidence. Still, after a horrific traffic accident, the doctors who treat Devon start to unravel his web of lies, diagnosing him with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. But, of course, Devon doesn’t believe a word of it, and he knows he is superior to everyone, including the doctors.

Gavin has always been Devon’s crutch, and this becomes worse as time goes on. Gavin is expected to clean up after Devon’s misdeeds, but eventually, Gavin realizes that he needs to protect himself from his own twin brother. One truly feels sorry for Gavin and his mother, the story’s victims.

Secrets in the Mirror by Leslie Kain is a fascinating book written from multiple perspectives, including Devon and Gavin. Kain gives readers a look into the twins’ minds through chapters from their point of view. The story takes a while to pick up and can be frustrating to read because of the personality disorders. However, I believe that just shows Kain’s ability to craft compelling characters. I recommend this book to anyone interested in twin psychology, personality disorders, and psychological thrillers.

Pages: 366 | ASIN : B0B34H59Y1

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The Dog in the Hollow

The Dog in the Hollow by Will Lowery is the captivating story of a dog named Goose, who has a big heart but is in a bad situation. Goose’s circumstances place him in disarray when his only option is to betray his instincts. While he’s never been aggressive, he’s part of a team of other dogs who live with a man, their owner, who’s cruel. After Goose loses a dog fight, his owner forgets to lock him in his cage in anger. Injured and traumatized from this event, Goose escapes the hollow and retreats to the woods, where he must learn to survive.

After making unlikely acquaintances in the woods, Goose is introduced to a man with a heart as gold, who decides to take care of him and give Goose a good home. Although Goose loves the man and his new life, he can’t help but think of the dogs he left in the hollow, and together he and the man face their past to fight for a better future.

Will Lowrey provides readers with an attention-grabbing read that is hard to put down. I couldn’t help but love Goose and his eagerness to risk his safe new surroundings to help his friends. Lowery did an amazing job creating Goose’s character, immersing the reader into his world, and helping us see life through his eyes. This book takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster as Goose discovers the difference between cruel owners and true companions. It’s a unique story that gives the reader a new perspective on finding love and kindness in the least likely places and finding the strength to confront those who cause harm.

The Dog in the Hollow by Will Lowery is a heartwarming and inspiring story highlighting the importance of animal rights and the unbreakable bond between dogs and their loving owners. This must-read book will leave you with a satisfying and fulfilling ending.

Pages: 198 | ASIN : B0BRH9LB95

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The Novel Is About Time

Tucker Lieberman Author Interview

Most Famous Short Film of All Time is an enlightening book with thoughtful observations on life and insight into being transgender. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Seeking ways to cut down my rough draft, I split the novel into 486 sections—one for each frame of the Zapruder film—and I limited each of those sections to 125 words. I marked each micro-section visually with a numbered frame from the film. Additional material didn’t fit within that structure. I found other ways to work in the rest of the material, so the novel remains long. That’s how the structure was set up.

Your characters were interesting and I enjoyed following them. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The narrator is treading water in his life when the story opens. Nothing much is happening for him. One day, he has a problem, and he realizes: The people in this system aren’t going to help me. This insight doesn’t merely open his eyes. His whole life accelerates. He has to find the way forward. Some ways back will have to close.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Replaying memories, ruminating on possibilities, dealing with ghosts, making decisions (or not), and what all of that tells us about our experience of time. The novel is about time.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?

It’s an opportunity to read a transgender character who’s dealing with things other than his gender transition. The narrator transitioned about 15 years before the main events of the story. Since he’s post-transition, the novel isn’t about his transition. It’s about other things he goes through as a result of being a person of transgender experience. I want to spark readers’ imaginations about certain life experiences and interpretations thereof that could be particular to transgender people and that we aren’t taught to see, appreciate, or respond to, partly because we tend to forget that post-transition is a real phase of life in which many people spend many years.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Ghosts and goddesses beckon Lev Ockenshaw. Oh, bother. Fortunately, he’s got a pill for that. In 2014, Lev is happily telling campfire stories in Boston with his longtime friend, Stanley, and his coworker, Aparna. One day, he receives an anonymous, threatening email referring to the company where he and Aparna work. He reports the threat to his boss, but is not believed. Most Famous Short Film of All Time is a non/fiction-hybrid philosophical novel about belief, prejudice, perception, ethical action/inaction, undoing/redoing decisions, trying harder, being excellent to your friends, being a fictional character, being trans, the nature of time, and burning things that do not serve.

Most Famous Short Film of All Time

Literature such as this is needed in today’s world. This is a unique and thoughtful book that conveys several messages that are important in contemporary society. A cross between literary fiction and philosophy, this is a wholly unique experience that will leave readers pondering well after they put the book down.

The first thing I’ll say about Most Famous Short Film of All Time is that it is an extraordinary piece like no other book that I have read. The story jumps around over a few years with a variety of circumstances unfolding over the timespans. The format of the book will ensure readers are engaged throughout as it has an unusual structure. While the book is a bit scattered I think that once readers have immersed themselves in the book they will start to see a pattern emerge and they will appreciate the story, which is about a person going through a profound transformational journey.

This was an enlightening book with thoughtful observations on life and insight into being transgender. Author Tucker Lieberman has done a marvelous job of bringing the transgender experience to light. As the story unfolds through this “metafiction” tale, it gives even the most closed-minded of readers an inside look at what goes on in the lives of people who make a choice in life that they feel inwardly drawn to make. While at the same time giving the reader a peek into the minds of people that actually drives one to make said choice.

Most Famous Short Story Ever can seem long from the number of pages, but this may be a result of the formatting so don’t let that turn you away. This is a good book that will open your eyes and mind to a subject that many are still uninformed about.

Pages: 922 | ASIN: B0B6Q9F19V

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Mac Has Hit A Bottom

Joe Clark Author Interview

MacGregor’s Final Battle follows a man who forgoes cancer treatment and sets out on a cross-country trip where he meets a nurse and inspires her to restart her life. What motivated you to write a biographical fiction novel about Mac?

A couple of things came together. I was challenged to write a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMO) in 2020. I had a chapter written in response to a question about my autobiography (not written and never will be). So, initially it was a spur of the moment adventure while I was recovering from writing and publishing Demented. But it led to some serious research about some serious issues. I wanted to write a romance – hence Mac and Kate – but I couldn’t pass on an opportunity to talk about family.

What were some obstacles that you felt were important in defining your characters in the story?

Mac has hit a bottom. He’s old. His wife of 40 years has recently died. He is dying of brain cancer. His family has abandoned him. But he has to do something. He has to make readers fall in love and root for him while accepting that he is going to die. He has to be tough as nails but vulnerable. In Chapter 2, he takes on armed robbers and misguided cops. In Chapter 4, Kate exposes his vulnerability. The great obstacle for the characters in this story is the age and social gap between Mac and Kate. They have to learn to get along together.

What were some ideas that were important for you to share with readers in this book?

Ageing and dying are foremost. What do we do with people who are falling apart before our eyes – perhaps suffering from an incurable disease or a disabling handicap or injury?

How we relate to others both as individuals and as a society: Tim’s race; Eddie and wound vet with hispanic heritage; our native American neighbors Our wars – Vietnam is especially difficult for Mac and me but it’s a repeating pattern that affects (perhaps defines) Eddie’s life.

Where do you see Kate Graham a couple of years after the story ends?

For the moment, Kate will continue as Eddy’s wife and partner. Their family will grow. She will rise to Nurse Practitioner.

Author Links: GoodReads |  Twitter |  Facebook | Website

When Donald (Mac) MacGregor learns that brain cancer is killing him, he sets out in an RV on one last adventure. Along the way he meets Kate Graham a nurse in an assisted living facility who is looking for an escape from a dead end life. Their stories unfold as they follow the Lewis and Clark Trail across the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean and then continue into the wilds of Alaska.The short time she and Mac spend together inspires her to restart her life.

Dear Dad, A Novel

Dear Dad, by John Hazen, is a wonderful but harrowing read. John Foster is the son of a decorated World War II vet who grew up in small-town New England during the build-up to the Vietnam War. Eager to do his part, Foster is drawn into small disagreements with his peers and family as he battles his own misgivings about the conflict. Once in Vietnam, his resentment toward the army brass, his enemies, and his fellow soldiers grows as he’s routinely faced with the horrors of war. When he’s wounded during an attack, he awakens to find himself in 1862, where he finds a nobler purpose.

John Hazen crafts a compelling story. Foster’s background and character are fleshed out extremely well through flashbacks to his upbringing in Fairbrook, Massachusetts. We learn of his camaraderie with his childhood friend group, and there’s a touching passage about how he brings his father back from the edge after his mother’s death. These strong family bonds clash harshly with the impersonal nature he learns to adopt in the military.

Once he’s transported to the Civil War era, he is confronted with more horrors of the battlefield, but now he feels as if he is part of something worth fighting for. I really enjoyed Dear Dad, A Novel. I found Hazen’s writing remarkably easy-going and entertaining.

Each chapter was prefaced with a letter that gave a little more insight into the story. Foster’s experiences on the battlefield are truly horrific. Hazen has a sharp critique of military bureaucracy, including the incompetence of some officers, while still admirably praising men who earned their way through merit. I think anyone who likes historical fiction from the Vietnam War or the Civil War would greatly enjoy this book.

Pages 303 | ASIN B007SXID7E

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