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Archive for May, 2015

KIDNAP: Part 1 of Guy Erma and The Son of Empire goes on sale today! Read on for more info on how to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
 
 

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Cold Heart

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Cold Heart by Chandler McGrew

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The shooting has started. For the next four hours a killer will stalk the inhabitants of a remote Alaskan village hidden in a wilderness of awesome beauty. And Micky Ascherfeld, a burned-out ex-cop, is the only person who can stop him. Without a gun, cut off from the outside world, Micky plays a deadly game of hide-and-seek with a man on a killing rampage.

Moving from cabin to cabin, she finds her once-familiar world turned into a landscape of sheer horror. To survive, she must confront the demons in her own past, even as she becomes the focus of a madman’s sick obsession and a terrified girl’s only hope. With another life to save besides her own, Micky has found a new reason to endure…if only she can.

The story starts with a deadly shoot out with robbery gone wrong. Micky barely survives but her partner/lover getting killed. This and other events in her past has Micky going to Alaska to spend some down time with her friend. The town of McRay is very small, very secluded, almost all transportation is done by foot, and there is only one phone. What better setting for a psychopath to start killing his neighbors.

Micky will have to use her police training to stop the killer and save the residents of McRay. But she has more baggage than just loosing her partner/lover. She is fighting against time and her memories. The real challenge will be if she can hold out long enough for help to get to her.

This story starts out with a bang and just keeps going. I felt for Micky, she had been through so much but she didn’t give up. I also liked who the killer was, I didn’t expect that one. The story was fast paced and I had a hard time putting the book down.

This is a great mystery that you need to read. I can’t wait to read other books by Chandler McGrew.

To purchase Cold Heart or for more information be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Chandler’s website.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Before the Fairytale: The Girl with No Name by Iscah

3 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Banished from her village, a young shape shifter sets out on a journey to find her place in the world…

The first of four “Before the Fairytale” stories, “The Girl With No Name” is told in a deceptively simple storybook style with the flavor of an original Grimm’s fable, but don’t expect your typical once upon a time scenario. This is a coming of age tale humorously interwoven with social commentary.

This story is recommended for older children to adult readers (9 & up) but may not be suitable for younger children.

A young girl learns that she is a shape shifter and can use magic. Since she had no parents she was never given a name. But she did have a caregiver that did his best to raise her with what he had. But upon his death the villagers learn about her secret and banish her.

The girl goes on a variety of adventures throughout her travels. She meets all kinds of people and has many adventures. She also learns many things from magic, her family, and most of all what people want and what they are will to do to get those wants. Some of this journey is hard but in the end these lessons guide her to find a place for herself.

This is one of those stories that kind of rambles from one point to another. The girl has some hard times and she has some good ones. But all of these shape her into the young lady she becomes in the end. Wasn’t really a fan of the ending but I did understand her choice. This is not one of those happily ever after endings.

This is a good story. It is geared toward mid grade readers. I think that kids would like it because it teaches them to embrace their differences and to make their own path.

For more information or to purchase Beyond the Fairytale: The Girl With No Name be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Iscah’s website.

I received this book for free a long time ago in exchange for an honest review.

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Descent of the Gods by Mark Cosman

(Excerpt from Goodreads) In their self-indulgent realm, the gods know no suffering until the end of their time. Compassion is the only portal through which they can escape the self and its eventual demise, but without suffering, compassion cannot be recognized. Thus they seek compassion in the human domain where happiness and sorrow abound.

Once there, they engineer a superior humanoid race and are soon distracted by the delight they find in the daughters of men. The gods become the extraterrestrial visitors of our collective memory.

The ageless story follows the adventures of the god Quay, his love of Daya, a humanoid, and their entanglement in the eternal web of impermanence, unrelenting consequences and death amidst a background of war, famine and geologic cataclysm.

Mark Cosman

Author

Mark Cosman’s writing began when his daughter, Berlyn, was murdered at her high school prom party. His book, “A Flower in the Snow” contains the searing personal account of his daughter’s murder and its heart wrenching aftermath. His odyssey in search of answers to the most profound questions we ask ourselves brought Mark to also write “Descent of the Gods” and “The Kids from the River.” Fiction novels, the works dramatize the hidden consequences of our actions we unknowingly enter.

Excerpt

Then, to my surprise, she gently placed her lips against my cheek. A tingling feeling where her lips touched ran all the way down to my toes. There was something special about her kiss. It reminded me I am her very best friend. I guessed it was what a kiss was supposed to do.

She looked down again before glancing up at me with a grin. I could tell she was happy again. Happiness is what best friends give each other. She taught me that, too.

*****

I thought of how pitifully tragic these humans are, trying to survive in a universe that seems not to want them.

Saddened by the cruelty their persistence brought to them, it could be I was feeling compassion once again. I looked up at Father from a lowered brow. His face was eclipsed the sun, creating a halo of blinding white light.

“Are you searching for compassion or spectacle? Which is it, Quay?” I could not behold Father’s face for the intense light. His voice seemed to thunder from the sun.

Perhaps I really did not have compassion for the human after all. Maybe feeling important by rescuing him was what I really wanted. Frightened into honoring Father’s warning, I submissively prostrated on the sand.

*****

Gradually, my brothers and I became conditioned by material nature, he wrote. We found it ruled the domain of happiness and sorrow. Our senses, spurred by concoctions of our minds, became attached to the gratification we found here. These senses of ours took us by surprise. They were so strong they carried our minds away. Now, I realize why Father was adamant about avoiding the lure of sense gratification.

“When one’s mind fixates upon the objects of the senses,” he told me once, “one develops attachment for them. From such attachment, desire is born. When impermanence prevents desire from being fulfilled, anger visits to take its place.”

 Review

5 stars

The gods are beings that can perish in one of two ways. They can let their dark sides take control which will destroy them. Or they can learn compassion from humans to survive. Descent of the Gods follows Quay, a god that has descended to earth. He is paired with Daya, a humanoid that is designed to serve the gods. The book follows their adventures through different events.

I really liked this book. It combined several different religions, mythology, and even aliens. I also liked how both Quay and Daya grew through their travels. Quay started to understand the human suffering and Daya great from a naive young lady to a strong woman. I loved all the different religions and myths. It really added to the story and was so fun trying to figure out where they came from.

I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next with Quay and Daya. I don’t want to give too much away because it will spoil the book but I will say make sure to check out this book, you won’t be disappointed.

For more information on Descent of the Gods or to purchase the book, be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Mark Cosman’s Facebook page.

Reading Addiction

I received this book for free from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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 23281918Dry Bones (Walt Longmire – 11) by Craig Johnson

(Excerpt from Goodreads) When the largest, most complete fossil of a Tyrannosaurus Rex is discovered in Absaroka County, it would appear to have nothing to do with Walt. That is, until the Cheyenne rancher who finds her is found face down in a turtle pond. As a number of parties vie for ownership of the priceless remains, including rancher Danny Lone Elk’s family, the Cheyenne tribe, the Deputy Attorney General, and a cadre of FBI men, Walt must recruit undersheriff Victoria Moretti, Henry Standing Bear, and Dog to investigate a sixty-six million year-old cold case that’s starting to heat up fast.

Review

5 stars

We start the story with the discovery of a mostly complete T-Rex fossil. The problem is who has rights to it. Danny Lone Elk seems to be that person until he ends up dead in a turtle pond and no paperwork to back that claim. Now the town is over run with everyone from the FBI, the Cheyenne tribe, and more are on the fight to get their hands on the fossil. Then it seems like Skip Trost just has to jump in a cause more problems for Walt.

And if that wasn’t enough, Walt has family coming into town and this doesn’t look like it going to be solved by the time they get there. He also has the past chiming in to keep things even more interesting. You just learn a little of Walt’s past and although short it makes you feel for the guy.

I have watched Longmire on TV but not all of the episodes. I have always wanted to read the books and couldn’t pass up this opportunity. All I can say is Wow!!. Now I’m going to have to get the other books in this series. Just like the TV series, I got sucked in at the beginning and couldn’t put the book down. There are lots of twists and turns and I didn’t know who killed Danny Lone Elk.

This is a great series, both TV and print. Make sure to get this book, it’s the 11th in the series and I had no problem figuring out what was going on. Now I’m off to get The Cold Dish.

For more information on this series or to purchase Dry Bones be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Craig Johnson’s website.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway

And now, what you have all been waiting for. I am having a giveaway for Any Other Name, book 10 in the Longmire series. It will start today and run until May 19th. Just leave your name and email address and I will draw a winner on Wednesday, May 20. The print book will then be mailed to you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tantra

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Tantra (The Anu Files – 1) by Adi

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires. For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather.

At first, it seems Anu’s biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu’s pulse racing.

To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

Anu is a guardian of New York, meaning she keeps the vampires away. Thos that get too close disappear for good. Anu is very good at her job but that also means that those she loves become targets for revenge. When her boyfriend Brian is killed Anu goes on the hunt. This leads her back home to Dehli and a whole new world for her.

Dehli vampires are not like they are back in New York. By the time Anu figures out the inner workings of the new system there is a killer planning on destroying the world with the power of Tantra. Anu is going to have to shift gears and start studying up on her Sanskrit to find a way to stop Senaka.

I love that Anu is an Indian character; you don’t really see that many characters with this background. She is really strong physically and I love how she has to shift gears to a completely new way to fight the bad guy. And if fighting to save people isn’t bad enough she also has to contend with marriage proposals from her family. Anu just can’t seem to get a break to save her life.

I enjoyed this story. There are a couple of things left open at the end but would lead into a second book easily. It’s not your typical characters and background but it really adds to the story.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

To purchase Tantra or for more information be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Adi’s Facebook page.

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Normal

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Normal by Graeme Cameron

4 stars

(Exceprt from Goodreads) “The truth is I hurt people. It’s what I do. It’s all I do. It’s all I’ve ever done.”

He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving you into the lane ahead of him.

What you don’t know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will—one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal… and it works. Perfectly.

Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room… the others. He doesn’t need any of them anymore. He needs only her. But just as he decides to go straight, the police start to close in. He might be able to cover his tracks, except for one small problem—he still has someone trapped in his garage.

Discovering his humanity couldn’t have come at a worse time.

This story is told from the point of view of the killer. We follow him as he kidnaps and locks women up in a cage below his garage. Then he plays with them, disposes of them, and goes on to the next girl. But then Erica, the grocery checker catches his eye. He becomes obsessed with her. He decides that he is done kidnapping and killing. He is going to put it all away just to be with her. But the cops are sniffing around him and he still has a girl in his cage.

I have to say that I really liked this book. It’s done from the killer’s point of view; you don’t even learn his name. I like when books take that direction but they run the risk of being unrealistic. Normal does a great job with him having a normal appearance and reactions out in public but being his real self at home. You also get a case of Stockholm syndrome because you almost cheer the killer on and hope he doesn’t get caught.

I think the best part of this story is it makes you start questioning the people around you. How well do you really know your neighbors, co-workers, or the barista? Just thinking about that gives me that creeps. Now I don’t want to leave my house.

This is a good thriller. I would recommend adding it to you TBR list.

To purchase Normal or for more information be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Graeme Cameron’s website.

I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Hold Me

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Hold Me (Fool’s Gold – 16) by Susan Mallery

4 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Destiny Mills believes passion has its place—like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that’s calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn’t. Her temporary assignment with the Fool’s Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what’ll happen if she does.

Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills—and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker’s cool facade is a woman who needs more than he’s ever given. With her, he’s ready to take the risk. But love, like skiing, is all about trust—and before you soar, you have to be willing to fall.

Destiny was the child of two county music stars. But because of the fame and pressure their relationships didn’t work. Because of that, Destiny has a hard time with her own relationships. She is going to spend a couple months in Fool’s Gold to get the software program set up for the HERO program.

Kipling was a world class skier but an accident almost ended his life. Now he is living in Fool’s Gold to work on the Hero project. Kipling finds himself drawn to Destiny. But with his past he knows he shouldn’t get involved. Destiny finds herself wanting Kipling but she has a whole mess on her plate with her relationship issues and a 15 year old sister that she knew nothing about and now has to raise.

This is a cute little romance. I felt for both characters, they have the damaged background that keeps them from people. Of course together they can work through that but they seem to be doing everything to jinx that. I really liked watching them grown. Destiny goes from being the neglected daughter to taking care of one. And Kipling is trying to find his place while missing the life he used to have skiing.

This is a cute little romance. I admit that I have not read the Fool’s Gold series so I don’t know how it compares to the other books. But if you are looking for a good, contemporary romance, look no further.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

To purchase Hold Me or for more information on this series be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Susan Mallery’s website.

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The Wraith of Carter’s Mill by C. Evenfall

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The Wraith of Carter’s Mill continues the saga of the Carter women. In addition to the three original tales, Sensitives, The Guardians and The Forgotten, this assembly contains a fourth, shocking segment. Carter’s Mill answers questions about the origin of the Wraith and explains its bond to the Carter family. It reveals the shameful truth behind the curse that plagues them.

An extremely cruel act by a family patriarch brings a terrible curse, an insidious wraith upon his family. It haunts the Carter women for five generations until finally; Shyanne is born with remarkable and uncanny abilities. It will be up to her to uncover a shocking, long-buried family secret. She faces the daunting task of setting a century old wrong back to rights. Will she find a way to lift the curse and banish the wraith back to the spirit world? If Shyanne fails, she risks losing her little girl to the dark entity forever.

Author

C. Evenfall grew up in a small fishing village in Eastern North Carolina. The area was rich with history, ghost stories and unexplained phenomenon; all fodder for the vivid imaginings of a young girl. She began “collecting” stories at a young age. At aged six, C. Evenfall experienced the paranormal firsthand and has been seeking answers ever since. Her fascination with the unexplainable and her love for old family ghost stories inspired her to write a collection of novellas. Each inspired by the experiences passed down through her family for generations. C. Evenfall resides on the Carolina Coast with her husband, a self-proclaimed skeptic. She loves him anyway and the two complement each other perfectly.

Review

5 stars

The Carter women have been plagued with a curse involving a dark man. This story follows them through several generations. Sensitives is about Libby and her brother Jack. She sees and is haunted by a dark figure. Unfortunately her mother, Julia, basically hates her kids and refuses to help Libby. In The Guardians Libby’s story is continued. Libby is married and has a small daughter Shyanne. Shyanne is introduced to the dark man and Julia learns more about the curse.

The Forgotten has Shyanne grown up with her own daughter, Melody. The dark man has gotten worse but Shyanne has the key to breaking the curse. Carter’s Mill goes back to the very beginning and explains where the curse started.

This is a really good series of stories. I love how you follow the family and the curse but you learn how it started. All of the characters were well described. I felt for poor Liddy and her awful mother. I really liked how the curse started but I felt for both families. It’s sad to know that although this is a story, events like this happen all the time.

This is a great story and I recommend it to anyone that likes paranormal, thrillers. Make sure to get your copy, you won’t be disappointed.

For more information on The Wraith of Carter’s Mill or C. Evenfall be sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and her website.

Reading Addiction

I received this story from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Ten Most Memorable Moms in New Fiction

What better time of year than Mother’s Day to showcase some of the most memorable fictional mothers in some of the best new novels? From loving, supportive mothers to complex, trailblazing mothers to selfish, vindictive mothers, this list has it all!

1) The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White

(Lake Union, July 2015)

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Ella Fitzwilliam, the mom in THE PERFECT SON, quit a successful career in jewelry design to be full-time parent, mental health coach, and advocate for her son, Harry, who has a soup of issues that include Tourette syndrome. She has devoted 17 years of her life to his therapy, to educating teachers, to being Harry’s emotional rock and giving him the confidence he needs to be Harry. Thanks to her, Harry is comfortable in his own skin, even when people stare. After Ella has a major heart attack in the opening chapter, her love for Harry tethers her to life. But as she recovers, she discovers the hardest parenting lesson of all: to let go.

2) Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb

(Plume, January 2015)

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In RODIN’S LOVER, Camille’s mother, Louise Claudel, is spiteful, jealous, and disapproving of Camille’s pursuit to become a female sculptor in the 1880s. She also shows signs of mental illness. Because of this relationship, Camille struggles with all of her female relationships the rest of her life, and ultimately, to prove to her mother that she’s truly talented.

3) Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen

(Astor + Blue Editions, April 2015)

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In IMAGINARY THINGS, young single mother Anna Jennings has a unique power that most parents only dream of—the ability to see her four-year-old son’s imagination come to life. But when David’s imaginary friends turn dark and threatening, Anna must learn the rules of this bizarre phenomenon, what his friends truly represent, and how best to protect him.

4) The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

(Sourcebooks, January 2015)

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In THE MAGICIAN’S LIE, Arden’s mother is remarkable both for what she does and what she doesn’t do. As a young woman, she bears a child out of wedlock and runs away with her music teacher, never fearing the consequences. But later in life, her nerve fails her—just when her daughter needs her most.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5) Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer

(Putnam, 2014)

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In FIVE DAYS LEFT, Mara Nichols is, in some ways, a typical mother: she loves her daughter fiercely, thinks about her constantly and goes to great lengths to balance her high-stress legal career with her daughter’s needs. But there are two ways in which Mara isn’t typical at all. First, she adopted her daughter from India, making good on a lifelong promise to rescue a baby from the same orphanage where Mara herself lived decades ago. And second, when Mara is diagnosed with a fatal, incurable illness that will render her unable to walk, talk or even feed herself, she has to make the kind of parenting choice none of us wants to consider—would my child be better off if I were no longer alive?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6) House Broken by Sonja Yoerg

(Penguin/NAL, January 2015)

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In HOUSE BROKEN, Helen Riley has a habit of leaving her grown children to cope with her vodka-fueled disasters. She has her reasons, but they’re buried deep, and stem from secrets too painful to remember and, perhaps, too terrible to forgive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7) You Were Meant for Me by Yona Zeldis McDonough

(Penguin/NAL, 2014)

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In YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME, having a baby is the furthest thing from Miranda Berenzweig’s mind. She’s newly single after a bad break up, and focused on her promotion at work, her friends and getting her life back on track. Then one frigid March night she finds a newborn infant in a NYC subway and even after taking the baby to the police, can’t get the baby out of her mind. At the suggestion of the family court judge assigned to the case, Miranda begins adoption proceedings. But her plans—as well as her hopes and dreams—are derailed when the baby’s biological father surfaces, wanting to claim his child. The way she handles this unforeseen turn of events is what makes Miranda a truly memorable mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8) The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft

(Sourcebooks Landmark, May 2015)

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In THE FAR END OF HAPPY, Ronnie has hung in there as long as she can during her husband’s decline into depression, spending issues, and alcoholism and he will not accept her attempts to get him professional help. She is not a leaver, but can’t bear for her sons to witness the further deterioration of the marriage. She determines to divorce—and on the day he has promised to move out, he instead arms himself, holes up inside a building on the property, and stands off against police. When late in the day the police ask Ronnie if she’ll appeal to him one last time over the bullhorn, she must decide: with the stakes so high, will she try one last time to save her husband’s life? Or will her need to protect her sons and her own growing sense of self win out?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9) Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

(Washington Square Press, 2014)

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In YOUR PERFECT LIFE, long-time friends, Rachel and Casey wake up the morning after their twenty year high school reunion to discover they’ve switched bodies. Casey is single with no children before becoming an instant mom to Rachel’s two teenagers and baby. Despite her lack of experience as a parent, and her often comedic missteps with the baby in particular (think: diaper blow outs and sudden sleep deprivation) Casey’s fresh perspective on her new role helps her connect with each of the children in a very different way than Rachel. And when the oldest, Audrey, is almost date raped at her prom, it is Casey’s strength that she draws from an experience in her own past that ultimately pulls Audrey through. Although it is hard for Rachel to watch her best friend take care of Audrey when she so desperately wants to, she realizes that Casey can help her daughter in a way she can’t. And Casey discovers she might have what it takes to be a mom to her own children someday.

 

 

 

 

10) The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman

(Bantam, 2013)

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Elizabeth Bohlinger, the mother in THE LIFE LIST, is actually deceased. But she still has a big presence in her daughter’s life—some may say too big! With heartfelt letters, Elizabeth guides her daughter, Brett, on a journey to complete the life list of wishes Brett made when she was just a teen. Like many mothers, Elizabeth has an uncanny ability to see into her daughter’s heart, exposing buried desires Brett has long forgotten.

Make sure to check out all of these great books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

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