Lovely Rheeta

Lovely Rheeta

by Rick Collins

Jeff is a boy with a broken heart, literally. He has lived past his expiration date and one more medical crisis and that might be the end of him. Rheeta is the new girl in town. Her arrival is mysterious, so late in the school year, but when she and Jeff meet, sparks fly. They fall in love, but Jeff doesn’t have much time. He wants what his parents have, a chance to love, but he feels robbed because of his medical condition. 
When Rheeta confides in Jeff just how desperate her life is, he decides he must save Rheeta by kidnapping her. Jeff and Rheeta run away, but a bounty hunter is hired to track them down. Can Jeff give Rheeta the thing she wants the most; her freedom and chance at true love? (Summary via Amazon)

If you have seen the 2002 movie A Walk to Remember with Mandy Moore, you will want to read Lovely Rheeta by Rick Collins. A Walk to Remember is a love story between two high school kids where Mandy Moore’s character is sick. Lovely Rheeta is similar in that it is a love story between two young people and one of them is sick but it has some gripping differences that will surely keep your attention. In Lovely Rheeta readers are introduced to Jeff, a high school student who has a bad heart and has had multiple operations. He has had so many operations that he has a nickname for his doctor. He has awesome parents who are very loving and over protective, two best friends, Sammy and Lauren, who will do anything for him and we witness just how far they will go later in the book.

Jeff is trying to live his life to the best that he can with his bad heart, however, he wants to experience a love like his parents have. He doesn’t think that that will happen before he dies ….. until Rheeta walks into his math class.

Rheeta is different and the other kids bully her whenever they get the chance. Luckily for Rheeta she has Jeff, Sammy and Lauren to stand up for her. The four become fast friends even though Rheeta is very secretive about her life. Little do the three friends know just how awful Rheeta’s home life is.

Jeff and Rheeta hardly know each other but they know that they love each other and Jeff will do anything to keep her safe…..even if it could kill him…..

Collins will blow you away with this story. You will be on the edge of your seat and unable to stop until you finish reading it. Readers will want to know what happens to Jeff and Rheeta and if they get their version of happily ever after.

Lovely Rheeta is more than a young love story…. more than a story about friendship…. more than the connection between parents and their child….it is so much more !! It is about strength and courage….it is about right and wrong….it is about not judging a book (person) by their cover…..it is about survival and fighting for what you want…..and NEVER giving up !!!

I highly recommend grabbing your copy and getting lost in Jeff and Rheeta’s mesmerizing love story……

Review by Missi M.

Reboot Ranch

Reboot Ranch

by Eileen Watkins

Two years ago, Anna Loehmeyer’s comfortable life fell apart when her husband was arrested for fraud. She found a new purpose, though, after she rescued a mare bound for slaughter. Acquiring two more hard-luck equines and a small farm in western New Jersey, Anna decides to start her own horse-rescue operation. (Summary via Amazon)

Reboot Ranch by Eileen Watkins is an uplifting, captivating story and if you are an animal lover, it is a must read !!

Anna Loehmeyer is going through a devastating time in her life. While competing in a horse show, she and her horse, Duke, have an accident where she gets hurt. At this time she also finds out that the man she married has been lying to her and stealing money from people. So Anna moves away and starts a horse rescue farm and tries to move forward in her life.

Anna’s niece MJ is also going through a rough time since her father died and her mother is pushing her to go to college. MJ doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life but knows that going to college at this time is not what she wants or needs. MJ convinces her mom to let her go to Anna’s for the summer to help out with the farm and try to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

Anna and MJ have no idea that what they both need is each other and help with their confidence and finding themselves…..even MJ’s mom can’t argue with that.

Reboot Ranch will have readers rooting for Anna and MJ as well as the horses they have brought to the farm to help heal. You will find yourself falling for the horses as much as they do and you will experience the highs and lows as well. Watkins has a knack of keeping the readers attention from the moment you open the book until you close it for the last time. I highly recommend taking a trip to the farm…..

Review by Missi M.

Dancing Bear: A Memoir

Dancing Bear: A Memoir

by Gary Waid

Some have called Gary Waid’s unconventional Dancing Bear a self-incriminating, self-flagellant, self-abusive paean to the underbelly of American moral decadence. But if you’d like to read mostly-true stories about marijuana smuggling or federal prison, or even running from the law, this is the book for you. 

Not since Portnoy’s Complaint has there been such a sad-sack confession. And Waid won’t let you stop laughing until the last page.  (Summary via Goodreads)

Unconventional…..yeah that is a very good way to describe Dancing Bear: A Memoir written by Gary Waid. After reading it I’m not really sure what it is I actually read…… Is it real ? Did it really happen ? Is everything he said true ?? Is it even possible ??

Dancing Bear is like driving by a car accident….you keep on driving but you slow down so that you can see what happened. When you start reading Dancing Bear you are reading a conversation between author Gary Waid and a judge…..a very long conversation that seemed to go on for days….and you are hooked. You will want to see the outcome of the conversation and see where Waid takes us next.

Waid will definitely entertain readers with his colorful descriptions of people and stories of his trips that he took on the boats and his time behind bars. I will guarantee that readers will stop, more than once, to question his mentality and may even question their own mentaility as they continue reading and get deeper into Waid’s world.

I highly recommend reading Dacing Bear: A Memoir…..if for nothing other than to scare you into taking a different path than you are currently on…. Hey….what have you got to lose right ???

Review by Missi M.

Lost on Lewey Lake: Book Six in the Lost in the Adirondacks Series by Heidi Sprouse

Lost on Lewey Lake: Book Six in the Lost in the Adirondacks Series by Heidi Sprouse

Graham Scott has had a love affair with the wilderness since he was a boy. It’s only natural, growing up in the great Adirondacks of Upstate New York. It’s where he’s found his career as a environmental conservation officer. It’s where he found his wife, Sarah, and her daughter, Lila. He can’t picture anyplace better than a romantic getaway, camping out under the moon and stars, with nothing but the wilderness surrounding him and his better half. How could he be so wrong?When disaster strikes near Snowy Mountain, it will rock Sarah’s world, forcing her to have more courage than she ever has before. Will she have what it takes to get help in time?Join Graham, Sarah, and some of the characters you have grown to love as you get lost in the Adirondacks again.  (Summary via Amazon)

 

If you have read any of the previous books in the Lost in the Adirondacks Series by Heidi Sprouse you already know that Heidi is “crazy”…… she is so intense in her writing that you will be LOST in a good way !!!  Once you open up ANY of the books in this series, you will be hooked !!  There will be no going back, no putting the book down, no moving on with your life until you finish reading the very last word in the book…. and even then, you may need to close your eyes, breathe and clear your head.  Then you will open your eyes and be back in your living room, or wherever you sat down to read, and be able to continue your life.

Lost on Lewey Lake is the sixth book in this series and it is the most intense, nail biting, holding your breathe, not eating, drinking, or sleeping while the book is open story you will read EVER !!!  No matter what I say, or try to say, it is not going to do the book or the author justice  but I’ll try…..

Graham and his wife Sarah are finally going on their long overdue honeymoon and, of course, Graham is taking Sarah camping.  The environmental conservation officer knows the Adirondack Mountains better than anyone and they are a part of his being so taking the love of his life to one of the mountains, Snowy Mountain, to spend some quality time is a no brainer for him.  Little does he know that the mountain is going to test him to his limit and take his wife along for the scary ride.

While preparing for their first breakfast on their honeymoon on the mountain, a mountain lion comes between Graham and Sarah and Graham jumps to Sarah’s rescue only to get brutally torn apart and left in a puddle of blood.  Sarah will move heaven and earth to save Graham !!  Sarah runs blindly through the woods to the only place she knows to go with a crisis like this…..to John Benson’s house.  John ( also known as Kane Johnson ) and Graham and Sarah have a tortured past that they were able to overcome and finally get to a postive place.  John also knows the mountains like the back of his hand having lived in them since he was a young boy with his family so when Sarah knocks on his door covered in Graham’s blood, he kisses his wife and son and runs into the woods ahead of Sarah to find the man he has a strong bond with.

Sarah calls 911 as well as Grahams best friend, police officer, Jim Pedersen, who also kisses his wife Jeanie, their daughter, and Sarah and Graham’s two children and tears out of the driveway heading to Snowy Mountain and his best friend.

Unfortunately injured Graham is not the only thing in the woods but three drugged out kids who stole a bunch of drugs and are trying to escape to Canada.  And, of course, before John can get Graham’s injuries tended to, they are taken by gunpoint to help the drugged out kids get out of the woods safely.

The first book in this series, Adirondack Sundown saw Graham searching the Adirondacks looking to save Sarah.  Now Lost on Lewey Lake brings everyone coming to the aid of Graham and saving him from the mountains.  As readers get lost in the journey, they will spend time with each person who is an important part of Graham’s life as they struggle to save the man that is so important to them.  The intensity will be off the charts and you will feel like you are on the mountain, in the middle of the night trying to find traces of Graham’s blood so that you can help bring him the help that he needs.   You will find yourself giving up hope as you get deeper and deeper into the story but you need to have faith……just like everyone who loves Graham has to have.  You must be strong !!!

The Lost in the Adirondacks Series is one of the most intense series you will get !!  There is a lot to love about this series….and a few things to hate (but I’ll let you come to those conclusions yourself.  I will say that the things you find you hate will be the things that make you stronger and keep you reading.)  Sprouse is an amazing author and her talent in storytelling is off the charts !!  You want a book, or series, that will capture your attention and keep you up way past your curfew reading…… stop no more.  This is the series for you !!!

Review bu Missi M.

 

(P.S. The Lost in the Adirondacks Series by Heidi Sprouse should come with a reading warning.  This series is a VERY INTENSE series that will take a piece of you and leave a piece of it within you and you will be VERY VERY happy and content after reading them.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberty’s Price (The Liberty Series Book 4) by Heidi Sprouse

Liberty’s Price (The Liberty Series Book 4) by Heidi Sprouse

Cooper Bradley is consumed by three figures that feel like memories—two men and a woman in Revolutionary clothing. He spends his days sketching, sketching, sketching, trying to make sense of the shadowy figures that have haunted him since he was a toddler. He has no idea who they are, but they won’t leave him alone. His father wants him to forget the doodling and follow in his footsteps as a lawyer. But Cooper is drawn to a much older legacy: to fight for home and country, hoping to find himself and the life he wants to lead. When the path he takes nearly tears him to pieces, he learns the true price of liberty.Will his endless sketching and those he loves be able to help him to find his way back?Join Cooper Bradley, along with your favorite characters from Whispers of Liberty, Liberty’s Promise, and Liberty’s Legacy in the conclusion of the Liberty series.  (Summary via Amazon)

 

I took Liberty’s Price by Heidi Sprouse outside to read while I sat in the sun ….. I was so lost in the story that a few times I had goosebumps….and it was 82 degrees out !!!

In Liberty’s Price you are hanging out with Cooper Bradley (who I think Bradley Cooper should play if this ever became a movie…..) and Cooper has been seeing 3 people in his dreams ever since he can remember.  He has also been drawing them, starting when he was young and drew them as stick figures.  No matter what he does, he can’t get them out of his head.  He sees them as people living during the Revolutionary War, a woman and 2 men and he sees them at different times during the war, sometimes he even feels their pain.

Cooper’s family is wealthy and he lives on an estate with his grandmother, father and mother.  His father is a lawyer and that is what is expected of Cooper.  However Cooper doesn’t want to follow in his father’s footsteps.  His talent is his artwork.  One night out drinking with his best friend, they decide to enlist in the Army.  Cooper knows that his father will be enraged and his mother and grandmother will be heartbroken, but the dreams he continually has force him to take action.

While in the Army Cooper does not escape the dreams no matter how hard he pushes himself and he pushes himself hard.  After his parents die in a car accident, he pushes himself even harder and he draws constantly trying to get the images and the guilt out of his head.

Unfortunately an accident sends him home and it takes everything out of Cooper.  But the love from his grandmother, someone special and two strangers who he has an unusual connection to draw him out of the dark and surround him with love and hope.

If you have read the previous books in this series, I don’t think I have to convince you to read Liberty’s Price.  I’m sure you are already planning to read it.  However if you haven’t read the previous books in this series , I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you do.  Like I said I started with this fourth book and I was COMPLETELY hooked on the story.  Sprouse definitely grabs the readers attention and knows what to write to keep a firm grip on you until the last word.  And even then, after you finish the book, you will need to sit back and absorb everything that you read.  Every time I read a book written by Heidi Sprouse, I am amazed at her writing talents.  I have met Heidi, her husband and her son and she is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.  She’s a elementary school teacher and I’ve seen her sitting in a bookstore reading a story to a bunch of young students but when you read some of her books, she will blow your mind !!!  It amazes me how her mind works and the stories that come out of it !!!  I can’t say it enough….. READ HER BOOKS !!!!

You can learn more about her and her books here : https://heidisprousewriter.com/

It Emptied Us by Rick Collins

It Emptied Us by Rick Collins

Tim and his best friend, Andy Jones, live in the town of Beaumont, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. They have been best friends ever since they played Pop Warner football when they were nine years old. Tim’s dad is Coach Joe of the Beaumont Warrior Varsity Football Team. Coach Joe and Tim have lived alone since Tim was three when Tim’s mother left Coach Joe and Tim. Andy’ lost his father suddenly to a heart attack when Andy was thirteen and just entering middle school. Somehow, Tim and Andy have found a way to overcome the terrible heartbreak of having lost a parent. 
The twins, Bobby and Donna Wilson, move into Beaumont when they enter freshman year. They are both talented athletes, but they are running away from a dark secret that has torn their family apart. They move into Beaumont, and immediately the two make an impact on Tim and Andy; sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. The four friends grow up together, but Bobby’s rage over his family’s past can hardly be contained. Bobby pulls Andy into the spiraling vortex of drugs and alcohol, while Tim and Donna’s friendship changes into something much, much more. 

The tension between the four friends becomes tested when they become seniors and captains of their teams. But pain and suffering are poisons that have to come out, and only through the greatest of tragedies can the four friends become whole again.    (Summary via Goodreads)

 

After reading It Emptied Us by Rick Collins I had to walk away and regroup.  I went and played a game on Facebook until my mind settled.

It Emptied Us is a story that veers off in a lot of different intense directions.  You have a story about a mom and her two children who run away from an abusive husband and father.  You have a father and son who were left by a wife and mother.  You have a mother and three sons who lost their husband and father to a massive heart attack.  You have a high school football team who adore their coach.  You have conflict among players of a high school football team.  You have a father who is the coach of a high school football team and his son who is a player on the team.  You have a girl and a boy in high school experiencing their first real relationship.  You have a story about a brother and sister.  You have high school athletes and the strain they experience playing a sport not wanting to let their coach, school, and community down.  You have friends and their struggles with themselves, their friends and school and their town.  You have drugs and alcohol and the struggle to fit in.

Even though you have so much going on within the words on the pages you are far from lost.  Collins pulls the reader in instantly and you are hopeless in stopping.  Readers will want to know what is going to happen.  Once you start reading you are introduced to Donna, Bobby and their mother.  Donna and Bobby are twins so they have an unbreakable bond and readers witness that through the story.  And when you are introduced to Tim and Coach Joe, you see that they also have an unbreakable relationship.  And when Donna and Tim get together, you know that they will also have an unbreakable bond.

It Emptied Us is more than a story about teens and high school and football.   It is about commitment, strength, unbreakable bonds, love, loss, courage and devotion.  And when readers get to a certain part in the story you will think that you know where the story is heading and you will prepare yourself for what is going to happen……HOWEVER Collins does not take you down that road.  NO WAY !!  It’s like he knows that is what you are thinking so he decides to take you down a much darker, less traveled road…..and I can tell you… there is no way to prepare for what he has in store for you.  My best advise to you is to buckle up, sit back, and brace for impact…….

It Emptied Us is going to leave it’s mark on readers and leave you with a scar …… and it is so worth it !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door: An Awesome Mom Handbook by Deborah Ann Davis

How to Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door: An Awesome Mom Handbook by Deborah Ann Davis

What worries you most about your relationship with
your tween/teenage daughter?

Are you finding it harder and harder to communicate with her?

Is she getting advice from her friends instead of you?

Do you find yourself constantly in reaction mode instead of anticipation mode?

***

Your relationship with your tween/teen daughter is the most important female bond in her life. She needs you to help her through these hectic, stormy, and exciting years of change.

With guidance from educator and coach, Deborah Ann Davis, discover how to:
• Broach touchy subjects with a moody adolescent
• Deal with button-pushing, envelope-stretching, and adolescent angst
• Teach your walking volcano how to better relate to you and her world
• Pursue an emotionally satisfying relationship with your teenage daughter
• Reduce your stress by attacking 3 major myths:
o The Guilt Myth
o The Supermom Myth
o The Plenty-of-Time Myth
You don’t have to figure it out on your own.   (Summary via Goodreads)

 

I am neither a mom or a teenage girl, however, I read How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door by Deborah Ann Davis and I closed the book learning a few things that I can take forward in my own life.

How to Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door is an awesome tool for mothers to use if they want to strengthen their bond with their daughter.  Davis makes the book an easy to read and follow tool to incorporate into the relationship.  The book in broken down into 7 easy to follow chapters and these chapters provide valuable words of wisdom and exercises for both mom and daughter to do to achieve a stronger bond between them.

If you are having trouble relating to your daughter or you want to get your relationship to a better place, I encourage you to pick up this book.  If you feel like you are losing your daughter to outside forces and want to get her closer to you, I encourage you to pick up this book.  If you are seeing bad habits in your daughter and maybe yourself that you want to change, I encourage you to pick up this book.  If you want to be a better mother to your daughter and be a better person in general, I encourage you to pick up this book.

My suggestion to you after you get your own copy of How To Keep Your Daughter From Slamming the Door is to first realize that this is going to take time !!  This is not an overnight fix.  You are not just putting a bandaid on a boo boo, you are going to surgery on a limb of the body in order to save the entire body !!  Secondly I would read the entire book, front to back, before starting any of the activities or changes Davis lays out for you.  Thirdly, and maybe this should have been first before purchasing the book, sit your daughter down and talk to her, adult to adult.  Tell her that you purchased the book so that you can become closer in your relationship.  Allow her to look through the book as well.  Explain to her that you are willing to make the effort and do the work and ask her if she is willing to do it as well.  Hopefully you will both agree.  If not, don’t be discouraged…..tell her you are going to start reading the book and see where it leads you.  THEN START READING MOM !!!  There is a lot in this book that will help you and, with or without your daughter you will come out ahead.

GOOD LUCK !!!!

 

Review by Missi M.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Exquisite Corpse by Helen A. Harrison

An Exquisite Corpse by Helen A. Harrison

The first book in a new mystery series

When the Cuban painter Wifredo Lam turns up dead in his Greenwich Village studio, the investigation takes Detective Juanita Diaz and her new NYPD counterpart Brian Fitzgerald from Chinatown’s underworld to Spanish Harlem’s gangland in search of a killer who left a grotesque calling card: an exquisite corpse.

Suspicion soon falls on the tight-knit circle of Surrealist refugees who fled Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. Did one of their bizarre parlor games turn deadly? Set in the sexually liberated New York art world of the 1940s, populated by European artists in exile and the young Americans itching to take over the avant-garde, Harrison’s tale is an amalgam of truth and invention.  (Summary via Goodreads)

 

An Exquisite Corpse by Helen A. Harrison is a very unusual tale…..it may take the reader a while to warm up to the story but I encourage you to continue reading it because you will get to a point in the story that will tie everything together, not in a neat bow mind you, and you will thorough enjoy the story.

An Exquisite Corpse is set back in 1943 in New York City and centers around a group of surrealist artists.  It is set during a time when telephones were not common in every household, the price to ride the subway was a nickel, maritial affairs were extremely common and overlooked, however, death and murders still occurred, drinking and partying were still common, there were still good and bad people and it seemed like everyone lied.

In An Exquisite Corpse Andre Brenton is going to a party and on the way he stops at his friend Wifredo Lam’s studio to see if he wants to go.  Unfortunately he finds Lam dead on the floor.  Before he can go to the police, he stops over to the party because he will need someone to interpret what he tells the police.  Within this unique circle of artists and friends, it is not uncommon for someone to not speak English.

Not only is Lam who is a Cuban artist dead but he is staged in a very pecular way….as in the surrealist parlor game the artists are known to play.  The way that his body is staged points to one of the artists…….

While you read this story Harrison will take you on a crazy rollercoaster ride with lots of twists and turns and stomach dropping moments.  You may begin reading this story and want to stop because of the wierdness but I encourage you to continue…..you will get to a point that you will want to see it through to the end.  You will want to know who did it and why.

I am sharing my review of An Exquisite Corpse by Helen A. Harrison on this blog due to some vulgar language and a detailed sexual scene.

 

Review by Missi M.

 

 

 

 

 

Santander: Rambling on Borrowed Time by David Ellison

Santander: Rambling on Borrowed Time by David Ellison

What if you should have died before you were even born? What if, since you knew you were living on borrowed time, you’d lived, taught, traveled and wondered outrageously? Why, sixty years later you’d have one hell of a good story!

A unique memoir/travelogue/reflection-on-life, Santander features poignant short stories that, like pieces of a puzzle, create a captivating whole exploring themes of personal growth, adventure, justice, wonder, disillusionment, and ultimately gratitude. Although Santander recounts a teacher’s wild exploits and perceptive musings, it appeals to anyone who has raised or taught children, who’s traveled the world of countries and ideas (or who’d like to live vicariously though someone who has); anyone who’s struggled to find compassion for oneself and others; who, in the words of Robert Frost, “had a lover’s quarrel with the world” and tried to make a difference. Santander pays homage to living an authentic life.

From Santander:
“Terrified, I finally realized the federal agents answered to no one and could do with me whatever they pleased. I thought of the death squads who had “disappeared” so many others into the Central American jungle.”

“I was filled with awe and gratitude, but with sadness, too…the constant companions, it seems to me, of anyone who dares to travel with an open mind and heart through the world, through history, and through life.”

“Children all have that same amazing power over me—not only to make me laugh, but to make me believe in myself, in them, and in life.”   (Summary via Amazon)

 

I have to give David Ellison a lot of credit after reading his book Santander rambling on borrowed time.  I have never seen a teacher more dedicated than him.  And the places he went “on vacation” were crazy !!!

Santander rambling on borrowed time is separated into three sections.  The first section Rambling About Life was my favorite because readers get to know David personally.  My favorite chapter was the one titled Rainbow Lining…..it reminded me of the struggle the son of a friend of mine had when he came out in college.  I was instantly sent back to the day his mother told me and all the emotions I experienced for him.  I was very proud of him for finally admitting his true self but I was also concerned for the struggle he was going to have to face.   I commend David for putting that chapter in this book.

The second section in this book is Rambling About Schools where David talks about his different positions he held in the school system and some stories during that time.  He talks about the struggles he had in certain schools and some of the problematic students that he couldn’t forget.

The third section, Rambling About the World, was probably the hardest to read because of the places that he visited and the things he experienced.  I know “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” but David takes that saying to heart !!  I don’t think there are a lot of people that would have done the things he did and that is inspiring.

Santander rambling on borrowed time is a eye opening book to read, especially if you are a teacher.  Readers will never look at a teacher the same way after reading this book.   It gives everyone a behind the scenes look at a teacher and the ups and downs they may tackle trying to educate students, especially the less fortunate ones.

I was very moved during and after reading this book and am definitely going to recommend it to my friends who are teachers……oh who am I kidding, I’m going to recommend it to all of my friends.

 

Review by Missi M.