Now that Paul O’Brien has returned from serving in Vietnam, he wants nothing more than to piece together a meaningful life. But the war-spawned, guilt-driven nightmares won’t stop haunting him. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, Paul is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his family amidst his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As his life unravels from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth is committed to helping him overcome the obstacles in their path. Determined to live in love, they struggle a lifetime with the burden that Paul brought home. However, in spite of the darkness he carries, he still manages to create a legacy of light, compassion, and understanding that Elizabeth and their children will keep forever.
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Tags: Alexa Kingaard, author, book, book review, book trailer, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, KEEP FOREVER, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, military, nook, novel, ptsd, read, reader, reading, romance, story, trailer, true story, veteran, vietnam, war, writer, writing
Loving Two Women By Matthew Lutostanski is a captivating story of love passion, and tragedy. Tadeusz thought he had lost his first love Ella during the Holocaust. Having moved on and building a new life with his wife Maria, decades later he finds out Ella is still alive. Will he be able to choose between his past love and his present love?
This alluring story is a perfect blend of romance and historical fiction. The memories that Tasdeusz, Ella, and Maria carry with them are heart wrenching and tragic. The author has written a fascinating story that brings in the drama of Tasdeusz, his two loves and the history of the holocaust. Lutostanski has done his research and it showed in each scene portraying the indescribable suffering people went through during the Holocaust. Beautifully written with vivid imagery and such detail that you feel like you are in the story.
I was invested in each character and their backstory but more so I was anxious to read more about the war. I can see this being made into a movie, the kind which the world needs right now because of the pure true love and the chance to say all the words you wanted to say that most people never get the chance too. Loving Two Women a romantic thriller that uses its true story roots to tell a fantastic historical romance story.
Pages: 127 | ASIN: B08DYCFXJP
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, family, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, LOVING TWO WOMEN, Matthew Lutostanski, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, true story, war, world war 2, writer, writing, wwII
Someone To Kiss My Scars is a wonderful amalgam of coming of age, mystery, science fiction, and love story. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that change as you wrote?
The character of Jazz was the impetus for this story—passionate about science, trying to find a way to deal with her childhood trauma and her ineffectual mother, forced to grow up much too fast in a world where body shaming is the norm. She has every reason to be depressed, to have no interests, to be bored with life and the world. Yet she has an unflappable spirit and a burning need to find some happiness in her life. I have always been fascinated with the nature of memory and consciousness. Where do they exist? How can two people who have experienced the same event remember it differently? Can ions passing across a synaptic gap hold memories? What if they actually exist outside the body and the brain is a receiver? These are all legitimate questions that many respected scientists have pondered. The experiment which Jazz conducts in the story where she trains worms, amputates their heads, and then discovers that the worms still retain their memories is an actual famous experiment performed years ago and redone more recently. So the idea that Hunter can capture the memories of others is a direct result of the ideas behind that experiment.
Hunter is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
Hunter lost everything—his mother, his memories, his younger brother, his purpose. He lives with a seemingly disinterested father who offers no emotional support. He writes stories of imaginary worlds until his brain is invaded by salacious, cruel stories about people he’s never met. Where do they come from? Who can he tell? Jazz befriends him, both dying from loneliness, and their relationship grows. Jazz serves as his guide, trying to explain his visions. Once Hunter realizes that he can remove a painful memory and that so many kids have suffered horribly, he grows into a fighter, someone who will accept any burden to relieve others of their pain. He faces his dark past, which would destroy most anyone else, and channels his pain into the desire to rid others of their pain.
This novel explores abuse in many different forms. What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Too many people believe the experiences depicted in this book are rare and should not be depicted. In fact, more kids and teens suffer from abuse than most realize. I have seen the effects of every kind of abuse against a teen and the lingering harm such events cause throughout their lives. In my experience, most kids suffer some kind of abuse from others or themselves. Their stories need to be told. When some complain that such stories should be muted, that writers who use them sensationalize relatively rare events to drive a story, I have trouble stifling my anger. Too many people chose to ignore reality and believe that focusing on stories without sexual content will keep teens from engaging in sex. The most difficult job today is being a teenager.
One of the main themes is the love between Jazz and Hunter. They know EVERYTHING about each other yet they still love. Hunter has seen Jazz’s darkest days and deeds and finds his heart still filled with love for her. As Hunter says, “People start to heal when someone cares enough to accept their suffering. They finish healing when they kiss someone else’s scars.” Redemption comes only when someone tries to help another.
What is the next project you are working on?
I am currently writing the sequel to Some Laneys Died, but I also have plans to write a sequel to Someone To Kiss My Scars. I also have ideas for two other books dealing with racial conflict. Too much to do and not enough time to do it.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, Brooke Skipstone, ebook, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, science fiction, Someone To Kiss My Scars, story, teen fiction, writer, writing, young adult
In The Empath’s Lover: A Sci-Fi MM Romance Novella by Sidonie Savage, Davon Pax is the Chief Medical Officer and Microbiologist on the Explorer 2. Davon wakes from cryo-sleep after a ten year journey from Earth and is excited to be one of the first humans to explore Neptune and its moons. But before the crew can complete the mission, their research vessel is attacked. They are saved by an alien named Tulq’on, a Kyphomi Intelligence Officer who has been studying humans. He is injured, and Davon heals him. The two find themselves feeling unexpected emotions for each other. But unless Tulq’on can convince the Kyphomi that humans are worthy of life it will be the end of all humanity.
This short novella was a quick and engaging read. I enjoyed the meeting of two worlds and reading about how Davon and Tulq’on interacted together when they first met and as they learned to communicate and discovered more about each other, both their differences and the ways that they were the same. I liked that they had compassion and respect for each other, acting selfless in putting the other before themselves, as they worked together to prove that their species could coexist. Due to the short length of the book, I felt that the conflict was resolved quickly, but I liked that the story had a happy ending for Davon and Tulq’on even though they came from different worlds.
It was interesting to learn the details of the Explorer 2’s mission at the beginning of the book, but I think this level of detail would have been better suited to a longer story, or for a story that was sci-fi fiction rather than romance. For a romance novella, the heroes should have met sooner in the story. This did not happen until after the first quarter of the book, which didn’t give the heroes much time to come to know each other before declaring their love. I felt that this was too rushed, and I would have liked the book to be a bit longer to allow for more focus on this aspect of the story. I also wanted to see how Davon adapted to life among the Kyphomi, and how Earth reacted to the introduction of the alien species. There was not much world-building and I would have liked to know more details about the Kyphomi and their society.
Pages: 76 | ASIN: B08H4W2YHF
Two days later Douglas called Lorena his best friend ever. His words touched Lorena deeply, she sat staring into the front yard through the glass door, thinking of Douglas. Little did she know then that she would never be able to shut him out of her soul, that he would always be beside her, in her dreams. The cage she was confined to, albeit temporarily, hardly brought Lorena any joy, but it couldn’t prevent her from being carried away in her dream to the ocean beach next to Douglas. They were on the beach, side by side, Lorena’s eyes fixated on Douglas’s smiley face. Unable to speek, mesmerized by his presence, Lorena longed to touch his cheek, caress his face, but resisted the urge. After a while, feeling emboldened, she uttered in a low voice, almost whispered:
“May I touch your face?” Douglas kept on staring at her, smiling smartly, as if knowing what was happening in Lorena’s soul.
“Certainly”, he whispered back and smiled again.
Lorena reached out slowly and run her shaky fingers gently across his cheek. Douglas kept smiling, then took Lorena by the hand and looked straight into her eyes. He then reached out with his own hand and touched Lorena’s cheek, leaned over and gently kissed her on the lips. Lorena closed her eyes, she wanted to save this memory to be able to savor it, to warm her soul once she became lonely once again.
Phantasia by Efthalia is the second installment in Efthalia’s Phi Athanatoi series. This novel follows Carissa, an ex-cop and demigod granddaughter of Zeus, as she embarks on the greatest mission of her life thus far – saving a few morally astray Greek gods from causing ruin and chaos to not only their ethereal realm in Mount Olympus, but also to the susceptible and unknowing mortal world below. Efthalia’s entertaining way of storytelling and character building, combined with a unique plot that blends romance, adventure, Greek culture, and Greek mythology, are all key aspects that make this a thrilling paranormal romance.
Even though this is the second book in her Phi Athanatoi series, Efthalia does a great job at building each character so that even if a reader picks up the book out of sequence, they have enough context about important details to still be able to follow the story line. Carissa and Xen’s romance is hot, steamy, and palpable in all the right ways, while still making apparent the couple’s devotion to one another. Even auxiliary characters, such as Carissa’s mortal family members, are given the chance to shine, reminding readers how embedded loyalty and familial ties are to Greek culture. All the characters are likable, realistic and have their own sense of morality that adds to the depth of the overall novel. Each scene is portrayed in a way that allows the reader to easily envision happenings as they unfold.
Efthalia is a brilliant writer who also uses her work as an opportunity to highlight Greek culture. Her numerous and regular Greek vocabulary and cultural references add significant depth to the reader’s experience. The Greek glossary at the end of the book, which provides definitions of all Greek vocabulary used throughout the text, is a further welcome touch. Her vivid depictions of each of the Greek gods in the story, from Zeus to Ares to Hades, reflect the well-researched nature of her storytelling.
There are definite aspects that are reminiscent of popular thrillers, such as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Since there are sexual scenes, depictions of alcohol use, and some images of violence, this novel is best enjoyed by an adult audience. I would recommend Phantasia and the rest of the Phi Athanatoi series to anyone with an interest in the adventure romance genre, as well as any aficionados of Greek mythology.
Pages: 289 | ASIN: B083TBWNPH
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, Efthalia, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, greek, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, myth, mythology, nook, novel, paranormal, Phantasia: A Bad Day On Olympus, read, reader, reading, romance, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, vampire, writer, writing
Loving Two Women is a historical romance novel set in post-World War II about a man, Tadeusz, receiving a letter from his ex-fiancé from 40 years before who thought the Tadeusz passed away in the war.
Loving Two Women starts off very strong with the first chapter having the protagonist receive the first letter from his past lover, Ella, which is where the reader understands the basic premise of the novel, that is arguably one of the most intriguing aspects. Matthew Lutostanski, the author, stated that this is based off true facts and it is obvious that he put a lot of research into the setting and time as well which added a lot to the authenticity to the setting. Although I felt like there was one or two chapters where the setting was, albeit necessary for context, felt more like a summary of events and could’ve been written in a more interesting way. Fortunately, that only happened once or twice and the setting in the most of the novel was set up expertly, even down to the small details.
The three main characters, Tadeusz, Ella, and Maria, were expanded on enough for me to understand how they felt or would feel from the actions of others. We delve deep into Tadeusz’s inner conflict between the love of his current wife, Maria, and the love of his ex-fiancé. Lutostanski also successfully describes the emotions of the others characters at the same time. Personally, my favorite character was Maria. We only get a handful of chapters from her perspective but we come to understand her very much through her actions and Tadeusz’s view. We also receive a handful of chapters from Ella’s view and it is obvious from all perspectives that Lutostanski is more than competent in writing strong, female characters.
The plot of Loving Two Women is quite concise, there isn’t a lot of things happening at once, instead it follows one aspect deeply before moving onto the next. Personally, the best aspect of this novel was the prose, specifically, the switch between third-person past and first-person epistolary. Epistolary being the letters that Tadeusz and Ella send to each other was one of the parts that I found myself continuously looking forward to and enjoying. Each of these tended to last a while, and even a chapter long, which was thoroughly enjoyable.
Pages: 127 | ASIN: B08DYCFXJP
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, family, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, LOVING TWO WOMEN, Matthew Lutostanski, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, world war 2, writer, writing, wwII
Meena Kaul is riding high in her position as director of Behera House, a safe haven in India for women who have survived domestic violence. But when the stock market crashes, Behera House loses its funding to expand. The right-wing Hindu Democratic Party (HDP), seeing an opportunity to win women’s votes before a national election, steps in with a multimillion-dollar grant. While Meena is reluctant to accept the offer, it is the only way for the project to proceed. Her worst fears come to pass when the HDP wins the election and begins to chip away at a hundred years of progress on women’s rights. Meanwhile, Simon Bliss, America’s foremost “green” architect, who had been commissioned to design the new facility, falls for the alluring Meena and is drawn into the perilous world of Indian politics. In his attempt to loosen the HDP’s grip on Meena and win her affection, Simon takes on reactionary politicians, shady priests, and crooked businessmen. In the process, he comes face to face with disturbing truths about his past, while Meena finds herself trapped in ways she never could have expected.
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Tags: a nest for lalita, author, book, book review, book trailer, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, india, ken langer, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, political, read, reader, reading, romance, story, suspense, thriller, trailer, writer, writing