VOX shows a very scary time that is a strong possibility in this world we live in

40252487I’m a big dystopia fan.  The “what ifs” on how our world will look in 10, 20, 30 or even 100 years fascinates me.  Will our world be destroyed and everyone has to go back to living without technology.  Will our world be filled with the most advanced technology with mini computers implanted under the skin or will there even be a world left to sustain life.

In VOX by Christina Dalcher, we see a scary kind of future.  One where a crazy religious zealot has the ear of the President convincing him women should be silenced.  For centuries women have always been considered second class citizens and fight every day for equal rights.  Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Then sometimes what we have won gets stripped away.  I’ve never understood why men in power feel they have the right to decide what should happen to women’s bodies.

In Vox, women no longer have free will to talk. They are limited to 100 words a day.  A year before, a metal bracelet has been locked onto the wrists of every female in the country including little girls as small as a year old, silencing girls even before they learn speech.  As the female speaks, the counter goes down until you hit zero, wait for midnight for the counter to start over.  Speak more than 100 words and you are lightly zapped. Keep going and you could fry to death as the zaps get stronger.

Work? Read? Make a phone call?  Forget it.  All rights are gone.  Women can’t even retrieve the mail.  Now all women are good for is to cook, clean, and rear children.  If you are gay, forget it.  All gays are locked into a prison until they “convert” to heterosexual.  One female and one male placed into the same cell in hopes the conversion works.

Have an infraction?  Good-bye family and get ready to be shamed on national TV then shipped off to serve hard labor working on a farm or cleaning fish for a living.  No males in your family to take care of you?  Head to the farm or worse yet, be shipped off to a “pleasure house” for the men who can afford to visit.

The women losing their rights didn’t happen overnight.  Just like the Jews during the Holocaust didn’t lose their rights overnight.  Slowly fewer women were in government.  Women started losing their rights then BAM! One executive order changed everything.  That one executive order is the one thing that scared the crap out of me while reading this story.

With the current nutcase in the White House with his super religious sidekick who calls his wife Mother, you don’t know what could happen.  Look at how the white supremacists are rising in this country and now around the world.  Their voices are slowly growing as people of color are being shot and killed for no reason.  Look how the families are ripped apart at the southern border with children possibly lost forever.  Look at how relief aid is being taken away from Puerto Rico.

We are living in a scary world right now and sometimes it feels like we can’t stop the roller coaster from plunging down the big drop.  That is what I felt like listening to this book.  Watching what his happening around the country, I believe it only takes one to start the ball rolling and brainwash people.  Someone close to me was very open minded, now she believe what is happening at the southern border with families ripped apart is fine.  She likes the current White House occupant.  She likes Steve King from Iowa.  I don’t even know who this person is anymore, their views have swung so far to the other side.

In VOX, the children are learning new lessons, where life is easier if women are at home, not speaking and following along to whatever the males in their lives tell them.  A lot of the young kids are brainwashed and start to “drink the kool-aid” with what is shoved down their throats in school.  Children’s minds are easily manipulated as they haven’t seen what happened before.  If they are not learning about the past like the Holocaust, how will they learn an atrocity like that could exist.  How will they understand about equal rights?  The world could swing in so many different ways and VOX is not one I would every want to see happen in this country.

Look at what is going on in this country right now and then ask yourself, could something like V0X happen?

Book Description:
Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat


In Light of Shadows trilogy leaves the reader on the edge of their seat

31375113In Light of Shadows trilogy by Camellia Hart, follows the lives of Eva Avery and Clive Stanton as they navigate love, business and danger.

Chasing Eva (Book one), starts out with Chef Eva landing head chef of a prestigious restaurant but after her father’s passing, she must fulfill his dying wish to have her take over the family business of interior design.  She doesn’t know anything about the business but must learn fast to help her uncle keep it afloat as several long-time clients start to bail.

One of the new clients is Stanton Enterprises owned by Clive who she first shared a kiss with 15 years ago.  Their companies are housed in the same building and as they start interacting, the physical attraction can’t be ignored.  To Clive, she is the one that got away.  To Eva, she doesn’t remember ever meeting him.  As their relationship grows, ex-FBI Agent Clive, must keep from Eva that her life is in danger.

41975113Loving Eva (Book two) has the Eva/Clive romance ramping up as they become closer and closer and the storyline becomes steamier and steamier.  Sometimes I felt like the relationship was almost obsessive on both sides.  Once again, Clive must rely on his FBI training to keep Eva safe from the “informant” who seems to be set on killing her.  This guy is everywhere.  And what is up with her Uncle?  What is going on with the family company?  Is her Uncle keeping secrets?  Is he trying to sabotage the company?  Is he jealous of Eva stepping in at the top?

Killing Eva (Book three) really ramped up the suspense and danger.  Someone is out to destroy Eva and has gone as far as threatening to kill her.  She can’t go anywhere alone, always with a bodyguard, driver (Clive’s friends) or Clive.  But who is really out to kill Eva? Who can she trust?  And why can’t she have any alone time?

41974791The entire time I was reading Killing Eva, I trying to guess who was trying to kill her, who was making all these threats and every time I thought I knew who it was, Camilla threw in a loop and crushed my reasoning.  But that is what a great suspense story is all about.  Making the reader second guess themselves on who the real threat is and then in the end having a twist that you don’t see coming.

Camilla knows what it takes for a great suspense story with lots of romance thrown in that will keep a reader hooked.  She does a great job with suspense, twists, surprises and some heated romance that might cause you to take a cold shower.

I guarantee you will not want to put this story down and you will want to read it back-t0-back as the story flows seamlessly between the three books.  I’m so thankful to Camilla for letting me read her trilogy.  I can’t wait to see what she has coming up next.

Book Descriptions:
Chasing Eva – When Eva and Clive meet in the office elevator fifteen years after they’ve seen each other last, their mutual attraction not dulled one bit, they’re tempted to explore their intense, undeniable, chemistry further.

But then Eva discovers that the sinfully gorgeous Clive is the powerful businessman who’s causing her company’s downfall. She’s determined to sway her newfound enemy to reconsider his betrayal. They’re not even halfway through that debate, when they’re drawn to each other with a force neither of them anticipates.

Having lived through her share of disloyal relationships Eva’s sworn off heartbreaker men. No way she’ll fall for this assertive, enigmatic playboy.

But Clive isn’t one to give up that easily, or at all for that matter. She doesn’t know, he’s been chasing Eva since their first kiss fifteen years ago.

Loving Eva – The sensual trilogy of Eva and Clive continues in the hotly anticipated follow-up to Chasing Eva…

He’s addicted to her. He’s obsessed by her. He cannot stay away from her. He doesn’t want to. He couldn’t bear to. But when demons from his past threaten his future with Eva, he must make a devastating choice. A choice that may lead him to lose her…forever.

Her days are darkening. She’s losing all control. Her only anchor is Clive. But her troubles are mounting, and she’s pulling him with her into deep danger. Will their limitless passion overcome it all? Or will she lose him too…forever.

Killing Eva – The sensual trilogy of Eva and Clive concludes in the hotly anticipated follow-up to Loving Eva…

It started as a crush. Then a kiss. Then fifteen years of separation, and the agony of not knowing where or how to find Eva, the only girl he’s ever loved.

And when she returns to him it’s like a dream come true. He’ll never let her go.

She’s his beginning. She’s his end. She’s his now, and his forever. Then how did he let it come to this? How did he lose Eva?

He’s got to find her. He’s got to bring Eva back… or go where she’s gone

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

Before We Were Yours is a heartbreaking story

The historical fiction genre has taught me so much in my adult life.  More than I learned growing up and “sleeping” during history classes because they were so boring.  This time around, my mind was blown and my heart was broken by Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate.  Lisa tackles the story of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage and the director Georgia Tann.

Before We Were Yours is about the Foss family who live on the family’s shantyboat, named the Arcadia, on the Mississippi River near Memphis in 1939.  There are five children – the oldest, Rill is 12, then Camilla, Fern, Lark and Gabion.  The story opens with their Mom, Queenie, trying to give birth to twins.  When it becomes too much, their Dad, Briny, must take Queenie to the mainland to a hospital before a big storm rolls in.

The next day, Rill hears voices and thinks Briny is back.  But instead, several police officers come and round up the children, put them in a black car with Georgia Tann and taken to an orphanage.  Rill doesn’t understand what is happening to them but feels she needs to take care of her siblings and make sure they are together when Briny comes to pick them up.  But she soon realizes that things are not what they appear to be.  Tann immediately renames the children and soon they start to disappear.

Then we jump to present time and Avery Stafford is home in Memphis helping take care of her father, a senator going through cancer treatment.  Her grandma Judy has recently been placed in a high-end nursing home into the Alzheimer’s ward.  While visiting another nursing home, not as nice as where Grandma Judy is living, a strange woman gives Avery a hug from the back.  Avery meets May Cranford, who has a photo with Grandma Judy in it and Grandma Judy looks a lot like May.

Lisa Wingate does a great job of slowly revealing the Foss children’s fate through Rill’s eyes and what happened to them through Avery’s eyes as she learns more and more about Grandma Judy’s connection to May and what secrets she has been keeping.

Georgia Tann is one of our great country’s criminals and was very sneaky for almost 30 years.  She appeared to the outside world like she was acting out of concern for the orphaned children but in fact she stole more than 5,000 children and procured their adoptions to the highest bidder.  Tann brokered the adoptions of the children like they were property.  She even went back to some of the couples who adopted the children and extorted more money from them.

Tann visited hospitals and would convince mothers that had just given birth, still under sedation, to sign papers giving up their babies.  She had doctors and nurses in her pocket who would tell parents their babies had died when in fact she would take them and adopt them out.

Tann also had people working for her who would snatch kids right off the streets and didn’t have any issues because she had the police, politicians and the courts in her back pocket.  The woman made millions off these children.  Some of the famous people who adopted from Tann are Joan Crawford, June Allyson and Dick Powell and New York Governor Herbert Lehman.

Before We Were Yours, made me think about my own daughter and what if someone took her from me.  What would I do if I found out she was gone, never to be found again.  I then think about the immigrant families who have had their children ripped from them.  Children shipped across the country just like Tann adopting children out around this country.

This is a heartbreaking story but one that I think people should not forget.

Book Description:
THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

For readers of Orphan Train and The Nightingale comes a “thought-provoking [and] complex tale about two families, two generations apart . . . based on a notorious true-life scandal.”*

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

Intercepted will make a fan out of everyone

37801808Intercepted by Alexa Martin is a laugh-out-loud romance that should be enjoyed curled up on the couch in a blanket, by a warm fire while sipping a hot beverage.  It’s full of fun characters who will keep you entertained.

Main character, Marlee, has been dating her NFL boyfriend since before he was drafted.  Now it’s been ten years and they are finally engaged.  The years have not been all fun and games for Marlee as an NFL girlfriend.  Several of the wives have been downright mean to her because she isn’t a wife.

Marlee’s boyfriend is a self-centered (dare I say) prick, and he doesn’t deserve her.  Soon, a new quarterback joins the team and Marlee realizes it’s the guy she had a one night stand with.  Marlee hasn’t been able to forget about Gavin Pope since their encounter several years before when her relationship was on a break.

After a revelation or two surface about Marlee’s fiancée, she starts hanging out with Gavin.  I enjoyed the two of them together.  They have a fun relationship filled with a mutual respect.  Marlee is 5’2” and doesn’t like confrontation but she has a big mouth when it comes to her best friend and her man.  She speaks up and doesn’t back down even if it causes a brawl in the stands.

The wives in this book are so mean except for Marlee’s best friend Naomi.  There are always bitchy women who are jealous and try to knock other women down instead of celebrating their achievements. That is how I saw the Mustangs wives.

Alexa Martin writes what she knows.  As the wife of a former NFL football player, she has probably encountered a few mean wives.  Her experience after spending eight years as an NFL wife gives an inside look at the cliques, competitions, rules and politics of professional football.  Intercepted flows smoothly and the characters were engaging.  It was such a fun and entertaining story and I’m glad I got to experience a glimpse into a side of the NFL we don’t usually experience.

Book Description:
Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

Missed opportunities can happen in an instant

I love all things British.  Stories set in the United Kingdom and authors from the United Kingdom.  One Day in December by Josie Silver checks off both items on the list.  Josie does a great job giving each character a unique voice with a story that I enjoyed so much I read it in a day.  I ended up reading until 1 a.m., finishing with just 2% battery life on my iPad.  Nothing like cutting it close!

One Day in December’s main character, Laurie, is on the bus heading home from work when she looks out the window and sees a man on the corner.  They lock eyes and she feels an intense connection.  Laurie thinks the guy feels the connection too.  The bus pulls away before the guy can jump on the bus.  Laurie can’t believe she let the opportunity to meet him slip away and spends the next year looking for the guy, hoping to see him again.

A year goes by and she finally finds the guy, unfortunately he is dating Sarah, her roommate.  Laurie and Sarah are like sisters.  During college, they moved into a small attic apartment, immediately became fast friends and stayed in the tiny apartment after graduation.  They even created a signature sandwich only they enjoy.

Each chapter of One Day in December alternates the point of view, showing what the different characters were thinking at the same time.  Over a decade, they experience many life changes, dealing with heartache, joy, and pain.

This story will sweep you away on a journey that is entertaining, heartbreaking and frustrating.  Josie Silver has a winner with her first novel.  I can’t wait to see what Josie comes up with next.

Book Description:
A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick

“Get ready to be swept up in a whirlwind romance. It absolutely charmed me.” —Reese Witherspoon

“Josie Silver writes with a warmth so palpable her characters sneak their way into your heart and stay for a long time.”—Jill Santopolo, New York Times-bestselling author of The Light We Lost

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

When Life Gives You Lululemons is a funny look at life after Miranda Priestly

36373647I’m a big fan of The Devil Wears Prada.  Any time it’s on TV I have to watch.  I’ve lost count how many times I have caught parts or all of the movie over the years.  Of course my first exposure to the story was through the book by Lauren Weisberger.  I remember the story was funny and exciting.  It gave me a look into the fashion world that has always fascinated me.

So when Weisberger came out with Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, I was excited to know what happened next.  That book focused mainly on Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway’s character).  This time around Weisberger concentrates on Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s first assistant, in When Life Gives You Lululemons.

I must admit, I don’t own any lululemons and don’t plan to own any.  Why?  Because they are expensive and I don’t like hanging out in leggings.  I digress.  Let’s get back to Emily’s story.  It has been several years and Emily is now married, living in Hollywood and works as an image consultant for several famous stars.  Emily is just as snarky and rude as she was in The Devil Wears Prada.

Emily (Emily Blunt in my head) handles what I consider some pretty crazy celebrities.  They seem to be more of a pain in the ass instead of worth the time.  She tries to help them with their images and how they should conduct themselves in public, which doesn’t seem to work.  She seems to deal more with damage control that their social media post will have on their careers.

Then there is Karolina, a supermodel married to a senator.  Karolina gets arrested and charged with a DUI that seems super fishy.  This is the start of her life completely falling apart.  Then there is Miriam, a friend to both Emily and Karolina.  She gave up her high-stress job in the city to head to the suburbs with her husband and three children.  Miriam thinks her husband might be having an affair.  Karolina’s husband is having a very public affair and Emily has a husband that travels a ton and Emily likes to innocently flirt.

Miriam thinks Emily can help Karolina with her image and Karolina doesn’t want help.  While Emily doesn’t want to go home because her husband is traveling and their place is empty.  She also doesn’t understand why all these suburban women run around in Lululemon leggings like they are regular pants.  Emily would NEVER do that…until she does.

This is a funny, slightly irrelevant look at motherhood, suburbs and how life changes with age.  The three main characters were likeable and I hoped everything would work out for each of them.  Even though Karolina is a supermodel and should be at ease in front of crowds, she was klutzy and very downhome.  Her biggest wish in life is to just be a Mom.  There were other women in the book that I could not stand and wanted to reach in and slap them.

When Life Gives You Lululemons is a great continuation of Emily’s life after Runway and Miranda Priestly.  If you liked The Devil Wears Prada, you will enjoy this book.

Book Description:
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Weisberger returns with a novel starring one of her favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada—Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, now a highly successful image consultant who’s just landed the client of a lifetime.

Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat

Not If I Save You First is filled with Girl Power

35238072The last several years I have listened to audiobooks in the car, while working around the house and even at work.  For some books, the narrator brings the characters to life so much that I don’t want to let them go.  Sometimes the narrator is so blah that it ruins the book.  A lot of times the characters live with me for years to come, because I have heard their voices.

Entertaining, humorous, suspenseful and just a whole lot of fun.  This is what comes to mind while listening to Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter.  Main character Maddie, is strong, silly, girlie yet knows how to survive and take down dangerous Russian men.  Narrator Brittany Pressley, Earphones Award Winner, gives Maddie a voice that is very typical of a teenage girl.  Sing songy yet full of confidence.

The book starts out with Maddie’s Secret Service father being shot while trying to protect the first lady from an abduction by Russians.  Maddie and the President’s 10-year-old son, Logan, witness the attempted kidnapping and the shooting.  Maddie and her father move to Alaska so her father can recover from his injuries and to keep Maddie safe and out of danger.

Fast forward 6 years and now Logan is sent to spend time in Alaska with Maddie and her father.  Maddie is not happy about Logan visiting because he has been radio silence the entire time they have been apart and not once did he respond to one of her letters.  In fact, Maddie is so hurt and mad, she wants to kill him.

As a storm starts to roll in, Maddie’s Dad leaves to fly supplies to another part of Alaska leaving the two “friends” alone.  Of course with the parent away, there has to be danger.  Logan is snatched and taken into the woods.  Maddie is the only one who can save Logan.

Maddie has not been sitting around the cabin in Alaska painting her nails and writing in her diary.  Her father has been keeping her busy with wilderness training and teaching her survivor skills.  Skills that help Maddie in case something happens like a kidnapping.

This is a short book so it’s really easy to finish it in a day.  The pace is fast and will keep you involved with these unusual teens.  This is a great book for teenagers who like a book with danger, relationships, laughs and a strong female character.  All girls should have mad skills like Maddie and know how to protect themselves.

Book Description:

Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever.  But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president’s son, sometimes life has other plans.  Before she knows it, Maddie’s dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness.  No phone.  No Internet.  And not a single word from Logan.  Maddie tells herself it’s okay.  After all, she’s the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction.  (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.)  She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle.  Her life is full. Until Logan shows up six years later . . . And Maddie wants to kill him.  But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate.  Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help.  But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly.  Maddie still really wants to kill Logan.  But she has to save him first.

Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat