Blog Tour Book Review: Diamond Head by Cecily Wong

Diamond HeadAbout Diamond Head

Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Harper (April 14, 2015)

A sweeping debut, crossing from China to Hawaii, that follows three generations of a wealthy dynasty whose rise and decline is riddled with secrets and tragic love—from a young, powerful new voice in fiction

Frank Leong, a prominent shipping industrialist and head of the celebrated Leong family, brings his loved ones from China to Hawaii at the turn of the twentieth century, abandoning his interests at the port of Tsingtao when the Japanese invade. But something ancient follows the Leongs to the islands, haunting them—the parable of the red string of fate. According to Chinese legend, the red string binds one to her intended beloved, but also punishes for mistakes in love, twisting any misstep into a destructive knot that passes down through generations.

When Frank Leong is murdered on Oahu, his family is thrown into a perilous downward spiral. Left to rebuild in their patriarch’s shadow, the surviving Leongs attempt a new, ordinary life, vowing to bury their gilded past. Still, the island continues to whisper—fragmented pieces of truth and chatter—until a letter arrives two decades later, carrying a confession that shatters the family even further.

Now the Leongs’ survival rests with young Theresa, Frank’s only grandchild. Eighteen and pregnant, Theresa holds the answers to her family’s mysteries and is left to carry the burden of their mistakes. On the day of her father’s funeral, as the Leongs gather to mourn the loss of their firstborn son, Theresa must decide what stories to tell, with whom to side, and which knots will endure for another generation.

Told through the eyes of the Leongs’ secret-keeping daughters and wives—and spanning the Boxer Rebellion, Pearl Harbor, and 1960s Hawaii—Diamond Head is an exploration of whether there’s such a thing as a legacy of the heart. Passionate and devastating, it is a story filled with love, lies, loss, and—most astounding of all—hope.

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Thanks for stopping by my stop on the blog tour for Diamond Head by Cecily Wong! I’d like to send a big thank you to both Cecily Wong and TLC Book Tours for giving me the chance to read this book for an honest review!

Diamondhead is work of historical fiction that tells the story of the Leong family. It spans multiple generations and takes place geographically in both China and Hawaii.

This book was pretty complex in it’s storytelling which I loved and the writing was beautiful. My favorite parts of this story were when pieces of the family history were revealed whatever it may have been like Hong telling the story of when she met and fell in love Shen or really anything told about the family’s past. I love that the story is told through the women of the family…their narratives show their strengths, weaknesses, loves and tragedies. The family’s history get’s so interesting as we slowly discover it’s secrets – from lost loves and mistakes to tragedies and happiness. One thing I really loved that this book did really well was to describe war and the settings of China and Hawaii. I felt like I was there! I love how even though there are sad things that happen throughout the story there is love and hope reflected throughout, especially at the story’s conclusion which also seems like a promising beginning.

I struggled with what rating to give this book because I did love it but it took me a little bit to get into the story. I ended up giving this book a 4 star rating. If you love Asian fiction or even just historical fiction in general, don’t miss out on reading this book!

Cecily WongAbout Cecily Wong

Cecily Wong is Chinese-Hawaiian. She was born on Oahu and raised in Oregon. Diamond Head grew from family stories told to her by her parents and grandparents. Wong graduated from Barnard College, where the first pages of this novel won the Peter S. Prescott Prize for Prose Writing. She lives in New York City.

Find out more about Cecily at her website, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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New Release Alert: Demons & Pearls by P.S. Bartlett

Hey guys! Happy Hump Day! I wanted to share with you a new release that I am dying to read. I have read and reviewed three books now from this author and I have loved every one of them! My favorite thing about this series is that it has a female pirate! Groovy right?

Demons_&_Pearls_Cover_for_KindleTitle: DEMONS & PEARLS
Author: P.S. Bartlett
Release Day: April 14th, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Romance

 Had I known the repercussions of murdering the captain of a pirate ship, I may have taken the time necessary to rethink the act. As if I’ve ever had a choice that didn’t involve a fight or at the very least, defending myself against some man, hell bent on destroying me or my kin.

All we wanted was our freedom. All we found were demons disguised as men.

A woman pirate needs friends, big strong male friends, to survive in this unforgiving land of thieves and murderers—at least until she gets on her feet. Of course, trying to find one person you can trust is like finding an oyster with a perfect pearl in it—you have to break a few shells and get your hands dirty. We were lucky. I found the biggest, baddest and most honorable man in the Caribbean and he just happened to be in the pearl business.

Articles of the Code of the Demon Sea

  1. The captain of the ship is to be elected by a majority vote of the crew: If any time the crew finds just cause and sufficient evidence to prove the Captain unfit or the Captain is killed in battle, the Quartermaster shall act as Captain until the vote is taken. The Vote must be taken within one full day of its announcement. Failure to follow this procedure will be deemed mutiny.

  2. Every man has a vote in affairs of moment; has equal title to the fresh provisions, or strong liquors, at any time seized, and may use them at pleasure, unless a scarcity makes it necessary, for the good of all, to vote a retrenchment.

  3. Every man shall obey civil Command; the Captain shall have two full shares and in all Prizes; the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain and Gunner shall have one Share and a quarter. The fund of all payments under the articles is the stock of what is gotten by the expedition, following the same law as other pirates, that is, No prey, no pay.

  4. If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any secret from the Company, he shall be marooned with one bottle of powder, one bottle of water, one small arm and shot.

  5. If any Many shall steal anything in the company, or game, to the value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marooned or shot.

  6. That Man that shall strike another man whilst aboard ship and whilst these Articles are in force shall receive 40 lashes on the bare back.

  7. That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoke tobacco in the hold, without a cap to his Pipe, or carry a Candle lighted without a lantern, shall suffer the same punishment as in the former Article.

  8. Lights and candles must be snuffed out of eight o’clock. If any man desires to drink after such time, he shall do so on the open deck without lights

  9. That Man that shall not keep his weapons clean and fit for an Engagement, or neglect his business due to drunkenness, shall be cut off from his share, and suffer such other punishment as the Captain and the Company shall think fit.

  10. If any Man shall lose a Joint in time of an Engagement he shall have 400 pieces of Eight; if a limb 800.

  11. No boy or woman is to be brought aboard ship or amongst the crew in disguise for the purpose of sexual seduction. If any man is to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he is to suffer death and the woman or boy will be placed in the custody of a sentinel.

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Author Bio & Interview:Author Photo

I was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family.

I write, I draw and I still work full-time. I’ve been married for 20 years and together we have two sons, a daughter, three beautiful granddaughters and a ten year old Maine Coon cat named Columbus.

An Interview with P.S. Bartlett

  1. How old were you when you wrote your first piece?

I honestly don’t remember but I started very early writing poems. I used to make my own greeting cards as a child, complete with illustrations. I thought I would grow up to work for Hallmark.

  1. What made you write it?

Lack of money I suppose and having plenty of ideas and art supplies.

  1. What have you written since then?

Poetry, short stories, plays and in recent years, novels. I am about to publish my fourth novel in two years.

  1. What was the inspiration for your current book?

My favorite inspiration; PIRATES!

  1. Tell us a little about it, and where it’s available.

I’ve developed a pattern of what I call writing backwards. It sounds a little crazy I know but twice now, I’ve written a novel and instead of moving forward in time, I want to go back to the beginning and find out what makes my characters tick and why they became who they are.

This story is the beginning of Ivory Shepard. Ivory is a fictional character but the things she goes through and the life she lives as she is becoming the woman she ends up being, is authentically pirate based. Ivory and her cousins are orphaned at a young age during a Spanish raid on Charles Towne, South Carolina and left to fend for themselves. They end up surviving and doing well for themselves until one night, the pirates show up.

This book chronicles the lives of the four cousins as they embark on a journey to Port Royal aboard a pirate ship and what comes after. The next book in the series, Jaded Tides, will follow them even further into their lives as pirates.

  1. Is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?

The easy answer is no. I can get ideas anywhere from sitting and watching television, reading or driving in my truck. It’s storing it all in my memory until I can get to my computer that is the challenge.

  1. What made you choose either traditional or independent publishing?

I tried to go traditional but I was rejected so many times I can’t even remember. The only book I submitted to agents was my first novel, Fireflies. Fireflies went on to win awards, including the silver medal in paranormal fiction from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards. I guess agents don’t always get it right.

  1. If you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?

Good relationships with other authors and peers in the industry. I have made friendships and connections with people that I believe will be life-long. We support each other through ideas, suggestions and encouragement, as well as advertising and social media.

  1. What mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?

I’m not sure if I’ve made any mistakes other than paying a good deal for certain types of advertising on book web sites. Other than that, my mistakes have all been learning experiences and we all have to make them in order to find our way.

  1. Do you have an idea for your next book?

I actually have two books in the works right now. The first is jaded Tides, which is the second book in the Razor’s Adventures series and it is almost half written. The second is collaboration with another writer on another book that will be a part of the series but will focus on a different main character. I don’t want to give any more away on that one though!

Links:

If you would like to connect with the author on social media and/or purchase this book please visit one of the links below and enjoy!

Web Site: http://psbartlett.me/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PSBartlett

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012732.P_S_Bartlett

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/P.S.-Bartlett/e/B00CP4PF4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Instagram: Author_P.S.Bartlett

Book Review: Veganish by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose

51GNHRvHXjL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Veganish by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose
Genre: Cookbook
Publisher: Viva Editions
Page count: 240
Format: PDF (Edelweiss)
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Rating – 5/5

Tens of thousands of people have put down their knives in favor of a vegan or vegetarian diet for weight loss or to control blood pressure and cholesterol. Many people got exactly what they were looking for, along with a few surprises, such as loss of bone density and dental issues. Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose has experienced much the same in her journey as a vegan chef raising her child vegan. This utterly unique “vegan +” cookbook offers over 100 easy-to-make vegan recipes and many basic methods and cooking techniques, as well as advanced options. A trained chef, Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose also offers sage advice about food and nutrition, along with her personal story about transitioning from a 20-year long vegetarian diet to eating some animal-based foods. Chenier-Cowan Rose has dedicated herself to making sure vegan and vegetarian folks are aware of vital and important information about the vegan diet, including the nutritional elements that are essential to good health, especially for families and children. Veganish is necessary reading for anybody considering this lifestyle and a must-have for veggie families with children.

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I received a copy of Veganish from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review! Thank you to the author Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose and the publisher Viva Editions!

As an ethical vegan there are definitely things said in this book that I do not agree with by any means at all but the book is called Veganish so I should have grasped that the ish part was literal. There is a lot of good “clean eating” information here for an omnivore but if you’re exclusively an herbivore this book may not be the absolute best book for you but do keep in mind that these recipes are really great plant based recipes and there may be some information in here that you may find useful. The author does preface this in her introduction by saying “If you already follow a Vegan diet, you’re going to love my recipes, but you may not like my story.” That’s pretty accurate but I do appreciate the information the author includes on factory farming and farming practices, as well as other subjects like GMOs and Organic foods.

This book did teach me a little about nutrition and vitamins regarding which ones vegans should be sure to include in their diets that resonates with what I’ve read in other Vegan centric books like Vegan For Her. I do like how the author did mention that cashews and other nuts can be used to make yummy cheeses. I wholeheartedly agree with this. Some of my favorites are Chao coconut milk cheese and Treeline Treenut Cheese and you can also make your own. I also liked that the author called to attention the fact that such phrases as free-range, cage free and naturally raised are misleading. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of times people always offer the sentence, “well I only eat cage free eggs” or “I only eat grass fed beef” with the belief that these animals are allowed to happily wander acre after acre of beautiful farmland soaking in the sun’s rays which is totally not the case.

There are also some really good cooking and grocery shopping tips in this book that I found really helpful. This book also taught me the differences (and in some cases harmfulness) in different types of cookware and food storage items. These are things that I had never really considered before.

I did check all the recipes and they are technically Vegan. The only reason I say technically is because the recipes sometimes allude to nonvegan items you can use like honey or organic feta. If you are Vegan though you know that you can use Beeless Honey or Agave Nectar and Vegan Feta crumbles. I think an omnivore would do good with this cookbook if they are trying to approach a healthier lifestyle or are veg curious. Also this is a good transitioning cookbook that I wish I had when I was transitioning.

I tried a few of the salad dressings and they were absolutely delicious. I’m a big fan of Vinaigrettes so my favorite was actually the “Follow Your Heart Vinaigrette” on page 52. I tried it with a few different vinegars and the result for each was different and amazing. There is a handy dandy reference guide at the bottom of the page that describes the flavoring of the different vinegars so accurately. I had also been looking for a good Pesto to try out and the Parsley-Almond pesto on page 60 was magnificent.

My favorite recipe of all was the Spicy Roasted Cauliflower on page 105…it was most delicious and offered the right amount of flavor and spiciness. It was so yummy. I did opt to garnish with the nut parm and it really did make such a difference. One thing I want to try so bad that I haven’t gotten to is the Chicken Fried Tofu. Reading over the recipe, it sounds like it will turn out deliciously.

I’m a huge fan of Lemon and Lime flavors so I tried the Lemon Cashew Cheesecake on page 174 and that has fast become one of my favorite desserts. I’m not Raw Vegan but I do like to eat Raw Vegan desserts and this one is deliciously tangy and pretty easy to make. At some point I will get up the courage to try the Heavenly Chocolate Cake. I’m usually not much of a baker but I will try just for this cake. I’m hoping to make it for my 1 year Veganniversary which just so happens to also be my birthday!

I do definitely recommend this book to veg curious omnivores, transitioning vegans and even experienced vegans looking for some good recipes to try. The ones that I have tried so far came out really well. I usually steer clear from cookbooks that don’t have any pictures just because I’m still so new to the cooking game and I get anxiety that anything I make will suck (even with detailed instructions lol) but I had a lot of luck with these recipes turning out what I imagine they are supposed to be. Although there were things in this book that I did not agree with, there is a good amount of health information as well as information about why vegans choose to live compassionately coming from an animal rights focus. That said, the book is definitely Veganish so if you are Vegan for the animals  keep in mind that you will see ingredients in the *optional* section that would make the food not vegan but there are Vegan subsitutes for everything! I gave this book five stars because I do feel that it holds helpful information and also has some really great recipes for vegans and nonvegans alike (and if this books helps someone go Vegan, right on!). I will be adding this book to my cookbook collection!

Blog Tour Book Review: A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell

A Reunions of GhostsAbout A Reunion of Ghosts

• Print Length: 400 pages
• Publisher: Harper (March 24, 2015)

Three wickedly funny sisters.

One family’s extraordinary legacy.

A single suicide note that spans a century …

Meet the Alter sisters: Lady, Vee, and Delph. These three mordantly witty, complex women share their family’s apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. They love each other fiercely, but being an Alter isn’t easy. Bad luck is in their genes, passed down through the generations. Yet no matter what curves life throws at these siblings—and it’s hurled plenty—they always have a wisecrack, and one another.

In the waning days of 1999, the trio decides it’s time to close the circle of the Alter curse. But first, as the world counts down to the dawn of a new millennium, Lady, Vee, and Delph must write the final chapter of a saga lifetimes in the making—one that is inexorably intertwined with that of the twentieth century itself. Unspooling threads of history, personal memory, and family lore, they weave a mesmerizing account of their lives that stretches back decades to their great-grandfather, a brilliant scientist whose professional triumph became the sinister legacy that defines them.

Funny, heartbreaking, and utterly original, A Reunion of Ghosts is a magnificent novel about three unforgettable women bound to each other, and to their remarkable family, through the blessings and the burdens bestowed by blood.

Praise

“What if the man who invented chemical weapons was also a grandfather, and what if his great-grandchildren grew up to be three hilarious, introverted, deeply-haunted sisters? And what if those sisters co-wrote a fascinating, funny, and deeply sad 350-page suicide note? Then you’d have A Reunion of Ghosts. This is a triumphant, beautiful, and devastating novel about coincidences, family, and the sins of our fathers.”
— Anthony Doerr, New York Times bestselling author of All The Light We Cannot See

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for A Reunion of Ghosts written by Judith Claire Mitchell. I’d like to give a big thank you to the author and TLC Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to read this book for review!

A Reunion of Ghosts is about three sisters who are planning to commit suicide and this book is their suicide letter. Interestingly enough, they come from a pretty lengthy line of ancestors that have also left this world by their own choosing. The story discusses their familial history, their individual problems, and their feelings towards family and most importantly towards one another.

This was definitely a unique book, the concept of it (the book as a suicide letter) was really intriguing. I did really like it although it did lose me a couple of times but I’m a completionist and just have to finish every book so I soldiered on and ended up really liking it and glad that I did hold on. The way the narration was written felt a little awkward to me at first but it didn’t take away from the story at all.

My absolute favorite thing about this book are the three sisters. They were all very quirky and witty. I felt sorry and sad for each one of them when reading about their problems and reasons for wanting to commit suicide, and just really felt like their whole lives they’ve had just this sort of cloud hanging over them, especially when we take into the account the “curse”. But this book also had really heartwarming and tender moments as well. Not only that though, it was also darkly funny. The sisters themselves are a complete riot and I loved them so much.

I thought this book was very well written and interestingly, my experience of reading it gravitated from reading a historical fiction piece to reading a tragic comedy. I love it when books transcend genres and this one does just that. I never really thought that I would read a book that dealt with death that was also funny and witty but reading this book has accomplished just that.

This was a reall good book. It’s definitely not light reading but I love that about this book…it makes you chuckle, makes you reflect, feel slightly depressed and is also heartwarming at the same time. I gave this book 4 stars, great read!! (Also, the cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous! I am also in love with the deckle pages!)

Judith Claire MitchellAbout Judith Claire Mitchell

Judith Claire Mitchell, author of the novel The Last Day of the War, is an English professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Judy has received fellowships from the James A. Michener/Copernicus Society, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, the Wisconsin Arts Board, and elsewhere. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband, the artist Don Friedlich.

Find out more about Judith at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.

Blog Tour Book Review: Fiercombe Manor by Kate Riordan

Fiercombe ManorAbout Fiercombe Manor

– Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Harper (February 17, 2015)
– Rating: 4 stars

A house as old as Fiercombe Manor holds many secrets within its walls. But which dark chapter of its history is haunting Alice, a young woman staying there during the course of a fateful summer?

In 1933, naive twenty-two-year-old Alice is pregnant, unmarried, and disgraced. She can no longer share her parents’ London home, so her desperate mother concocts a cover story and begs her old friend, Mrs. Jelphs, for help. The housekeeper at rural Fiercombe Manor, Mrs. Jelphs is moved by Alice’s “plight” as a new widow and agrees to watch over her in the secluded English countryside until the baby is born and given up for adoption. Because the manor house’s owners, Lord and Lady Stanton, no longer live there, Alice’s only company will be Mrs. Jelphs and her skeleton staff.

Thirty years before Alice’s arrival, Lady Elizabeth Stanton awaits the birth of her second child, fervently hoping he will be the boy her husband desires. But as her time nears, she is increasingly tormented by memories of what happened with her first baby and terrified that history will repeat itself . . . with devastating consequences.

At first, Fiercombe Manor offers Alice a welcome relief from her mother’s disapproving gaze. But she begins to sense that all is not well in the picturesque Gloucestershire valley. After a chance encounter with Tom, the young scion of the Stanton family, Alice discovers that Fiercombe’s beauty is haunted by the clan’s tragic past. She is determined to exorcise the ghosts of the idyllic, isolated house.

Nothing can prepare Alice for what she uncovers. Can she escape the tragic fate of the other women who have lived in the Fiercombe valley?

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Fiercombe Manor! Thank you to Kate Riordan and TLC Book Tours for giving me the chance to read and review this book!

Fiercombe Manor is a work of historical fiction that is told through the dual narratives of Elizabeth and Alice. These two women live in completely different time periods but their stories connect across time. The bulk of the story takes place on Fiercombe Manor and it’s surrounding area.

In general I tend to love stories that are told through multiple perspectives and it was a really great way to connect the stories of both of these women. I loved seeing the differences in their lives and in their feelings and I was always especially interested in Alice’s feelings about Elizabeth throughout the book.

The thing that really interested me while reading this book though was the manor and the property around it itself. I found the descriptons of the manor to be irresistible. It felt so real to me as I was reading it, I could definitely picture walking down it’s hallways and hearing the creaks of it’s old floorboards and doors. What a wonderful setting for this story!

This story was a bit slow to develop but it did keep me interested in it as part of the beauty of historical fiction novels is the amount of detail given to the geography and the historical elements in the stories. It was definitely well written and descriptive with a light yet somber feel. It really did have a historical feel to it. It was also creepy in the perfect places. This book was interesting as it can be classified under a few genres that I love: women’s fiction, mystery, supernatural and overall, historical fiction. I do think that historical fiction fans will enjoy reading this book as I very much enjoyed it. I was glued to it’s pages from start to finish and felt very much transported to a different time.

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Kate RiordanAbout Kate Riordan

Kate Riordan is a British writer and journalist who worked for the Guardian and Time Out London. She is also the author of Birdcage Walk and is already at work on her third novel. Born in London, she now lives in the Gloucestershire countryside.

Find out more about Kate at her website and connect with her on Twitter.

Blog Tour Book Review: An Uncomplicated Life by Paul Daugherty

An Uncomplicated LifeAbout An Uncomplicated Life

• Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 17, 2015)

A father’s exhilarating and funny love letter to his daughter with Down syndrome whose vibrant and infectious approach to life has something to teach all of us about how we can better live our own. Jillian Daugherty was born with Down syndrome. The day they brought her home from the hospital, her parents, Paul and Kerry, were flooded with worry and uncertainty, but also overwhelming love, which they channeled to “the job of building the better Jillian.” While their daughter had special needs, they refused to allow her to grow up needy—“Expect, Don’t Accept” became their mantra. Little did they know how ready Jillian was to meet their challenge.

Paul tells stories from Jillian’s mischievous childhood and moves to her early adulthood, tracing her journey to find happiness and purpose in her adult life, sharing endearing anecdotes as well as stories about her inspiring triumphs. Having graduated from high school and college, Jillian now works to support herself, and has met the love of her life and her husband-to-be, Ryan.

In An Uncomplicated Life, the parent learns as much about life from the child as the child does from the parent. Through her unmitigated love for others, her sparkling charisma, and her boundless capacity for joy, Jillian has inspired those around her to live better and more fully. The day Jillian was born, Paul says, was the last bad day. As he lovingly writes, “Jillian is a soul map of our best intentions”—a model of grace, boundless joy, and love for all of us.

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Welcome to my stop on the tour for An Uncomplicated Life! Thank you to the author and TLC book yours for letting me read this book for review!

An Uncomplicated Life is a memoir that is written by a father about his daughter who was born with Down Syndrome. It is a beautiful memoir that reads like a fathers love letter to his daughter.

I was really excited to read this book and I ended up loving it. Reading about Jillian made me feel a lot of things! This book made me smile and laugh. I love how Jillians parents approached her life from the start with not wanting to set limitations for her life but working hard to give Jillian every opportunity they could. An immense amount of love is evident through the telling of Jillian’s story, not only from  how her family loves her but also from how Jillian loves them and how she loves life. She sounds absolutely amazing and super funny. I’m really grateful that her father has shared the story of their family with us, I feel that my life has been touched just by reading about Jillian which is powerful!

This book is beautiful, warm, funny and even sometimes sad but mostly just beautiful and inspiring. A beautiful testament to the beautiful character of a girl named Jillian without whom I’m sure the world would be a far more dreary place. Awesome book, five stars!

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Paul DaughertyAbout Paul Daugherty

Paul Daugherty has been a sports columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer since 1994. He has covered nearly every major American sporting event, as well as five Summer Olympic Games. He is the author of Fair Game, a collection of his sports columns, and coauthor of books with Chad Johnson and Johnny Bench. He blogs daily at The Morning Line on Cincinnati.com. He lives in Loveland, Ohio, with his wife, Kerry.

Connect with Paul on Facebook and Twitter.

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Blog Tour Book Review: Dog Crazy by Meg Donahue

Dog CrazyAbout Dog Crazy

• Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 10, 2015)

The USA Today bestselling author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls returns with an unforgettably poignant and funny tale of love and loss, confronting our fears, and moving on . . . with the help of a poodle, a mutt, and a Basset retriever named Seymour.

As a pet bereavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog rescue organization.

Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie’s office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear-and to open her heart to new love.

Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, Dog Crazy is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain of separation, and the power of our dogs to heal us.

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Hello everyone and welcome my stop on the blog tour for Dog Crazy. I’d like to send a huge thank you to the author Meg Donahue and also to TLC Book Tours for letting me participate in this tour by reading and reviewing this book.

A big fact about me that you have probably caught onto by now is that I love animals in general but I REALLY REALLY love dogs. You can definitely call me a bit dog crazy, as a matter of fact I’m pretty sure those exact words have been said to describe me, so you can imagine how excited I was to be reading a book where dogs played a major role in the story and essentially in the development of various characters.

As you read in the description above this story is about Maggie Brennan, a charmingly neurotic pet bereavement counselor who is not only struggling with building a life and business in a new city while dealing with her pretty severe agoraphobia but also, with the recent death of her beloved dog Toby. In one of her sessions she meets frazzled Anya who is convinced that her dog has been stolen and has dedicated her life to finding him when everyone else thinks it’s too late.

For some reason when I first read the description my general impression of the book was that it was going to be a suspense novel centered around the disappearance of the a dog, I thought it may read like a “whodunnit” mystery where they scoured the city turning over clue after clue until AHA the culprit is found and there is lots of action and mystery. It wasn’t like that at all and you would think I would be disappointed but I wasn’t at all. I rather enjoyed this book…I found it funny and endearing. It was both grave and lighthearted for me since I take the subject of my dog dying so heavily but it was beautiful in the way it treated this, I found words of comfort in it that one who has suffered the loss of a loved one (pet or human) needs to hear.

I absolutely loved the main character Maggie. I loved her and all her quirks and I loved the way the author wrote her relationship with dogs and their positive impacts on her life. I love, love, loved all of the dogs we get to spend time with in this story, especially the rescue part! (I won’t give you any spoilers)

I loved this book and of course, given the subject, I cried in a few parts of the story so when you read it make sure to have a tissue within reach because it’s inevitable to cry during a read of it. At the same time, it made my heart warm…especially the ending. What a beautiful ending! Definitely recommend! Halfway through the book I was pretty sure I was going to give it a four star rating but by the time I finished I was ready to give it a five.

And oh my god, the cover!! So freaking adorable!

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About Meg Donohue37962

Meg Donohue is the author of How to Eat a Cupcake. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, their two young daughters, and their dog.

Find out more about Meg at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.