The Girl In Between broke my heart

32739853There are a lot of things in life that are sad, things that can break your heart.  The Girl In Between by Sarah Carroll is a book that is sad in so many different ways and broke my heart.  The story depicts life on the street and on the move for a young girl and her mother from the eyes of the young girl.

Life is good when the girl and her Ma live with grandma, but Ma doesn’t want to stay there, so they move out.  They don’t have any money and nowhere to go.  Ma is a drug addict and promises the girl she will stop the drugs and drinking and take care of her.  But Ma doesn’t keep her promise.  She forgets to feed the girl, she takes her daughter to scary places where drug dealers live and she doesn’t take her to school.

They end up on the streets until moving into an abandoned old mill they call The Castle.  The castle that Ma has promised the girl they would live in some day.  The girl explores the Castle, drawing on the walls, and from the roof, spies on the people walking by.  The girl must be vigilant to remain invisible from the outside world.  She can’t leave the Castle but can only let the Caretaker see her.

The girl thinks the mill is haunted and tries to lure the ghost out into the open.  She learns about the ghost from the Caretaker, who is struggling against his past and grief to leave the mill after forty-seven years.

The girl doesn’t want the Authorities to see her because they could take her away from Ma.  Now, the Authorities have come to the Castle, but not for her. They have come to take her Castle away leaving Ma and her with nowhere to live.  There are flashbacks intermixed in the story that slowly brings everything together ending with a shocking revelation.

The Girl In Between shines a spotlight on addiction, parenting on the streets, the relationship between a mother and a daughter and how drugs can make someone selfish.  No child should live on the streets and this book shows what it’s like for some of the children living on the street.  This is a very sad story.

Book Description:
I know the mill has a story cos there’s something strange going on. I heard something. I’ve decided that I’m going to find out what it is later today when Ma leaves. Cos even if it is scary, we live here and we’re never leaving. So if there’s something going on, I need to know. 

In an old, abandoned mill, a girl and her ma take shelter from their memories of life on the streets. To the girl it’s home, her safe place, the Castle. But as her ma spins out of control and the Authorities move ever closer, the girl finds herself trapped – stuck in the crumbling mill with only the ghosts of the past for company.

Can she move on before it’s too late?

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

Be careful what you wish for

22813276I have mixed feelings about How to Date Dead Guys by Ann M. Noser.  One, it was very well written and an interesting concept.  Two, I wanted to reach in and throttle Emma.  Emma is a very naive college student who can barely talk to a guy without showing how socially inept she is.  Her extrovert roommate and sister take Emma to a campus party where they leave Emma leaning on the wall by the beer keg while the party raved on around her.  In walks Mike and he is a vision of beauty to Emma, he is all she can see.  He is a guy that she could fall in love with.

When Mike’s 21st birthday rolls around, his friends and brother get him super drunk.  He leaves with Emma and wants to swim across the river where others have drowned.  Emma wants to do something crazy, so she decides to swim across the river with him.  But Emma makes it to the other side and Mike is nowhere to be found, which Emma thinks is all her fault.  Personally I thought it was partially her fault because if Mike was as drunk as he was, then I think she could have distracted him away from the river.

I was mad at Mike’s brother Kevin for getting him super drunk.  It drives me crazy when I hear about a 21-year-old over drinking on their birthday and either getting injured or die.  They have a lifetime to drink, their friends should know better than to keep pushing the drinks on them.

Emma finds a book of spells under her roommate’s bed and decides to bring Mike back.  Like that is a good idea.  Of course, she doesn’t get what she wants and soon dead guys are showing up all around her.  There is a reason they are showing up and Emma has to figure out how to help them while avoiding her roommate, who is dating Mike’s brother Kevin.

This is part paranormal romance, part mystery and very entertaining as the nightmare of one night pushes a young woman beyond her comfort zone and into the hearts and souls of strangers.  There are funny moments, sad moments and moments that might make you cry.  A very enjoyable story that makes you ask the question – would you bring someone back from the dead?

Book Description:
College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one.

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand… at first.

More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

Grave Echoes will have you on the edge of your seat

grave-echoes-2-11-15-ghostlyTo me, a good murder mystery doesn’t give away the criminal until the very end.  It will make you change your mind on who you think the killer really is.  In Grave Echoes: A Kate Waters Mystery by Erin Cole, I was sitting on the edge of my seat.  First I thought it was one Kate’s sister’s boyfriend, then I thought it was the witch then I thought it was Kate’s boyfriend.  I kept bouncing back and forth between the different characters trying to figure it out.

Kate Waters is a woman of science, a geologist who suffers from narcoleptic visions.  Visions that have already happened and visions that are going to happen.  The story opens with Kate’s sister Jev running of the road and dying.  Did she lose control of the car or did someone murder her?  Was someone chasing her and could someone have saved her.

Kate finds a key among Jev’s belongings that was found on the floor of her car.  She also finds out that her sister was involved with the occult and possibly black magic.  While this is all going on, her job is taking her to a volcano that wants to erupt and Kate and her teammates have to go up and fix different monitoring equipment.

This story is packed with suspense, intrigue and the author was able to reach into her characters and bare their souls.  Erin Cole draws the reader in swiftly, and doesn’t let up.  She brilliantly blended a great mystery with seemingly normal events, and intertwined elements of the paranormal to create a story so life-like that it demands your full attention.  This is a must-read murder mystery with a paranormal twist.

Book Description:

The nightmare is real… Kate Waters suffers from narcoleptic hallucinations, which recently involve her unreachable sister, Jev, and a mysterious key.  When Kate receives the terrible news concerning Jev’s fatal car accident and acquires the strange key from her visions, she unlocks her sister’s world of perilous secrets involving witchcraft, poltergeist, and a heartless killer determined to get back what is his. The danger lies in whom to trust.  Terrifying paranormal encounters, a trailing wolf, and an attempted murder of one of Jev’s friends, forces Kate to turn to the one she fears most, the priestess of Jev’s coven, Thea.  She challenges Kate’s beliefs and provides her vital clues about her sister’s murder, but will Kate overcome her fears before anyone else dies?  To do so, she will have to trust in a world where the possibilities are unbelievable and the consequences are deadly.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

 

Things are not what they appear in Just Breathe

23474174Lately I’ve been very lucky with the books I have won, received from publishers or requested to read by authors I have never heard of before.  Each time I read one of these books, I have been pleasantly surprised.  Just Breathe by Kari Lynn is one of those surprises.  This is Lynn’s first novel and she does an outstanding job.  I was quickly pulled into the life of Keira and her family from the start.

Keira and her older twin siblings have moved from Wisconsin to Oregon to live with their aunt and uncle after their parents have been killed.  The kids are junior and seniors in high school and start at the new school a few months into the school year.  On the first day, Keira quickly becomes friends with Ashlyn and Katie making her transition at the new school easier.  Keira then meets David and falls madly in love.

Keira has a hard time sleeping and only gets a few hours at a time.  She also forgets to breathe when she is in a nervous situation, which has caused panic attacks in the past.  Now that she is in Oregon, she hears a voice in her room.  A voice that sounds familiar to her but she can’t quite pinpoint who it is.

It is soon revealed that there are witches and vampires in the world and they are a lot closer than you think.

Lynn pulled me into the story immediately and I had a hard time putting the book down.  This is a very well written book that will pull you into the story.  There are times when the story goes really fast and times when it slows down.  I really liked Keira’s brother Justen, he was such a nice guy to Keira.  It would have been nice to have had more of him in the story.  This is such a good book and worth the read.  Pick it up and enjoy the ride.

Book Description:

After the death of her parents, sixteen-year-old Keira is forced to leave her childhood home to live with her aunt and uncle whom she never met.  One night a voice wakes her from her troubled sleep, a voice that cannot be placed.  A voice that cannot be unheard.

Amid settling into her new life she meets David, an attractive charming senior. His confidence and mystery engage and consume her.  Keira tries to escape her haunts but finds herself battling with anxiety.  She learns she doesn’t live in the world she thought she did.  She isn’t who she thought she was.  Her thoughts no longer feel as if they are her own and all too often she can’t breathe.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

In Aqua, water isn’t what it appears to be

AquaAqua by M.A. George is about 17-year-old Layla who lives with her Mom and Aunt Cora.  Each year around Layla’s birthday, they move to a different city and different state.  They always move somewhere close to water where they can get in a daily swim.  In Aqua, they have just moved to Texas.

While at the beach, Layla meets Tristan and Pyke.  She is immediately attracted to Tristan.  Pyke, who is covered in tattoos and has a beard, scares her.  While watching them at the water’s edge, Pyke dives into the water and doesn’t come back up.  When she turns around, Pyke is standing there dry.  The next time she sees the guys, as Pyke is diving into the water, he liquefies before he hits the water.

Layla soon finds out her life and family is not what she thought it was.  George does a great job of creating a world where people live in the ocean and they can easily transition into water.  They can also manipulate water and can make themselves dry quickly.

M.A. George does a great job of immediately drawing the reader into the story and the lives of the characters.  She makes the reader care for Layla and Tristan.  The characters have great depth to them and are all very different.

I had a hard time putting this book down.  When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about Layla and Tristan.  I wanted to put my tablet next to my computer at work so I could read it while I was working.  This is well worth the time if you like the paranormal genre.

Book description:

Novelist (unpublished, but cut her some slack…seventeen is a bit early to despair), Slightly neurotic introvert (Alright, let’s be honest…there’s no “slightly” about it), International Woman of Mystery, and…

Okay, just scratch the bio.

The only real “mystery” in Layla’s life is why her father has never been on the scene. Or why her mother drags Layla to a new coastal home every year.

Nothing about the latest hometown seems too newsworthy…until a routine day at the beach leaves Layla questioning whether she’s read one too many paranormal fantasy novels. The plot thickens when a random guy claims to know things about her father—a bizarre claim he backs up with an equally impossible stunt. And Layla soon finds herself on the wrong side of a mysterious attempted drowning…on her own kitchen floor.

When all is done, Layla will attest that fact is far stranger than fiction. And nothing in real life is ever as transparent as it seems…Not even water.

Especially not water.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat