Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Believing the Superstitions

The black cat.
Never walking under a ladder.
Friday the 13th.

We all know the familiar superstitions. But is it true that if you believe in something enough, you give life to it?

Beth Ciotta explores this idea in her novel Jinxed with our heroine, Afia. Born on Friday the 13th, she believes herself to be the most unlucky girl in the world. And after her financial adviser runs away with her money, not to mention two dead husbands under her belt labeling her "The Black Widow", it's an easy thing to believe.

Knowing that she has the worst luck, Afia is determined to start her life over. Without her millions of dollars and without her talisman of good luck charms she wears around her wrist.

As a woman raised to believe she is the epitome of superstition, can she find a way to stop all of her bad luck?

The reader can connect with Afia based on her self-esteem. Afia doesn't believe in herself and readers can hold onto that. Not saying that readers have low self esteem, but we all have areas where we excel and areas where we struggle. The hope that Afia has to change her bad luck can be interpreted as altering her outlook on the life she was given. With hard work, determination, and positive affirmations, Afia begins to create the life she has always wanted inspiring readers with her (hilarious) journey.
Jinxed on Amazon
rating: 5/5 cups

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Facing the Nightmares

How do you unravel a secret when the key is your memory?

Barbara Ellen Brink sets up the mystery of Fredrickson Winery, in her novel Entangled, with Billie inheriting the California winery from an Uncle she barely remembers meeting.

When keys and unwritten letters show up to drag her into the mystery that covers the winery, Billie is forced to face her past and determine why it was she who inherited the winery and if she should stay to run it.

Except, more is on the line that it first appears. The nightmares are back. And Billie is determined to face them.

No matter what.

Entangled is glowing twisted metal. A weapon that the reader doesn't know how to handle. The connection the reader forms with Billie will be different for everyone. The novel taps into mental illness, child abuse, domestic abuse, and night terrors, among other things. It's definitely an entanglement of emotions.  The multi-leveled novel is one that will keep the reader engaged and begging that no more secrets are hiding in the cellar by the last page.
Entangled on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Realizing You Can Live the Life You Want

The Liberation of Alice Love by Abby McDonald takes the reader on a journey of change. What would you do it someone stole your identity and lived your life the exact way you had always wanted to, but had been to afraid to try?

While the fake Alice Love is loading up credit card debt and dashing from city to city, the real Alice Love is sitting snugly in an attic office taking direction from her (it must be said) bitch of a boss.

When the real Alice discovers the identity theft, she takes matters into her own, very capable, hands and decides to track her down, swearing to reclaim her lost self.

The entire journey shows the reader that when you  realize it's possible to live the life you want: it changes you for the better. Yes, Alice's identity does get dragged through the gutter, but it also brings out her real personality. Until the identity that was stolen turns out to not have been her true identity at all. The readers follow Alice as she grows and changes into the person she wants to be, the person who has a grip on her own life.

Not only can readers connect with the cautious Alice who follows all the rules, but they can grow with her throughout the events that force her to take hold of a life that she thought she lost.

The Liberation of Alice Love on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Thin Line Separating Friend and Enemy

As people, we all slip into some kind of routine that makes us comfortable with the juggling that comes with work obligations and personal responsibilities. Abby McDonald's novel The Liberation of Alice Love focuses on a woman who is the definition of routine.

Until a friend disappears from Alice's life with her life savings, leaving our heroine in over one hundred thousand pounds of debt.

The plot line brings up the age old question, how well do we really know the people we share our lives with? Can we truly trust our friends, or should we be in constant worry that a knife will soon end up in our backs?

The idea that those around us are the people we should trust least is alarming. As fellow human beings, we literally put our lives in each others hands. And not just with our identities. With just the right amount of information, a close friend can immediately become our greatest nemesis.

The definitions of friend and enemy blurred into one.