Review and Giveaway: Saving Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

01sav For those who don’t know, I have loved loved loved Poughkeepsie more than words can say. From the very first chapter, I knew this book was special. It is in my Top 10 of all time. In fact this was my very first signed book I ever received. So it will always hold a special place in my heart. So when I heard that she was making it a trilogy, I was concerned. I loved the first book so much, and I just didn’t know if the second and third books could hold a candle to it. I have such love for Blake, Cole and Beckett and was so worried something horrible would happen, that I almost didn’t want to read them. But I had faith in Deb, and she didn’t disappoint.

Synopsis
Beckett Taylor’s quest to be a better man has brought Eve Hartt back into his life, but sometimes it feels like they’re bound together with barbed wire. Though he longs to love her without causing pain, the wreckage of their past continues to crash down around them.

Yet with the help of this brothers—and for his brothers—Beckett won’t stop trying. He’s determined to make them all a family, to make a life they want to live, and to make Poughkeepsie a place that’s safe to live it.

He can feel their futures balanced precariously on his shoulders: Blake and Livia and their children, Cole and Kyle and the new baby they’ve just brought home, and Eve…always Eve. He wants their dreams to be real. But murderers don’t just get Happily Ever After handed to them. They have to wrench it away from Satan himself.

Good thing Beckett is prepared to do just that. After all, saving Poughkeepsie is the only way his story ends.

Prepare your heart and your head for a wild ride in this final installment of the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series. Debra Anastasia does not disappoint as she weaves the last chapter of a story that blends true love, turbulent emotions, and life’s harsh realities into an uplifting tale that calls to the good in each of us.

Okay. This book….I started this book knowing it was about Beckett and nothing else. I knew it was going to be rough. Cuz let’s face it, Beckett Taylor is not a clean cut guy. He is a force. If you don’t work with him, you’re against him, and he will take down anyone who’s against him.

Saving Poughkeepsie is just that. He wants to save it and will do anything, in his power, to do that. He wants his family to be safe. If that means losing his own life, then so be it. But he wants Eve as his family, so he’s going to do everything to keep himself, and her, safe as can be.

“Everybody in my life has their match. I just want you to be mine.”

Eve’s story was so heartbreaking. The fact that everyone around her was starting families, and she knew she couldn’t, it was chipping at her heart. But she loved Beckett and trusts him to be her family. So little by little, his little “Killer” was coming back to him.

This story was filled with a hefty dose of emotional scenes that stunned me to my core. I was so upset at one point, I had to step away. How can a book do this to me?? I kept hoping I was reading it wrong, or perhaps it was a dream. I was in no way prepared for what I just read.

This was the most action packed, nerve wrecking, heartstrings tugging, gut twisting, amazing book. The last 20% I spent on the verge of wanting to drink. The excitement level was through the roof. I felt like I was in the story. I was rooting for Poughkeepsie. I wanted to jump in there and defend it against those who wished to tear it down.

This was the best ending to the most fabulous series. I feel honored to be able to experience this story. Well done, Debra. Well done!!

***GIVEAWAY***
If you’d like to read about Poughkeepsie and experience all these emotions for yourself. Comment below and I’ll pick a winner later this week and you’ll receive a set of all three EBOOKS.

~Melpomene

Buy Saving Poughkeepsie

Get caught up with the brothers:
Poughkeepsie
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Review: Talon, by Julie Kagawa

01talon Okay, let me think for a moment. I liked it. I really did. I didn’t love it though. I liked her Iron Fey series more. But let’s talk about this one.

Synopsis
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

The story is really about Ember. She is supposed to have the summer off to do have fun before she is thrust full force into what Talon wants her to do. But that’s not exactly what happens.

Long story short, she meets two guys. Her human side is drawn to one, while her dragon side, to the other. That doesn’t seem so bad except that the rouge dragon shows her that what she always told, may not be truth, while the human may be the one thing that can truly destroy her.

How will she choose?

Most of this story I was torn. I didn’t know which guy I want her to go to. But I knew, either one would drastically change her life. Ember has to grow up very fast and make decisions that she isn’t ready to make, but she has no choice.

Garret is on a mission to kill all dragons. That is his only mission. That is who he is. He is sent to this town to find a sleeper dragon. He meets Ember and is immediately drawn to her, but part of him wonders if she is the sleeper. He knows he shouldn’t get close, but sometimes you can’t help it. Then he makes a decision that changes his life forever, but there’s no going back now.

I like the potential love triangle. I’m not sure who is best for Ember though. I’ll have to wait and see in the next book.

While this is mostly a YA book, it does have a scene that pushes it to the NA status. While it’s not bad whatsoever, there’s just a topic that my tween doesn’t need to read or learn about. So I say, this is for a 15/16 yr old. IMO. Well, at least MY kids will be waiting til then. I guess this would a coming of age type of book. You decide when your kids read it.

Talon doesn’t leave us in a cliffhanger, really, but it leaves many unanswered questions and a few lives in the balance. So when Rogue comes out, I will be staying up late reading it.

~Melpomene

Buy Talon (The Talon Saga)

Exciting news from Abbi Glines!!

Come join The Field Party!

Subscribe to The Field Party You Tube Channel for latest videos and teasers!


THE FIELD PARTY
by Abbi Glines
Coming Fall 2015
About the Author:

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of TWISTED PERFECTION, FALLEN TOO FAR, NEVER TOO FAR, JUST FOR NOW, WHILE IT LASTS, BECAUSE OF LOW, BREATHE, THE VINCENT BOYS, THE VINCENT BROTHERS, THE EXISTENCE TRILOGY.

Review: The Barefoot Sisters Southbound (Adventures on the Appalachian Trail) by Lucy Letcher and Susan Letcher

IMG_1481.JPGIf you’re a hiker or a camper or an outdoor nature lover, you’ll love this book. And even if you’re not (I’m not, really), reading Southbound lets you experience eight months of hiking without *actually* hiking. Which is kinda cool too.

I bought this book for my kindle in November 2011. Three years ago! It got buried under my virtual TBR pile until last week when my friend Maureen said she was going to dig it out of her own TBR pile and start reading it.

The beginning was a little rough reading for me: descriptions of mountains and hills and trails and supplies… Chapter after chapter… Repetitive.

Then about a third in, I mentally hopped on the trail with the sisters, and really felt like I was there. The brutal, bone-numbing cold, meeting up with the Family from the North, rank hiker smell, mountaintops pushing through the fog, and cold streams of water… I could feel it and taste it all.

Southbound is written beautifully, with rich vocabulary, unapologetic candor, and authenticity. I appreciate the gradual piecing together of the journey, the landscape, the relationships. Slow and piecemeal is how real life happens sometimes. The “summit” at the end is much, much less than the sum of its big, glorious, painful, joyful parts.

The sisters yo-yo’d and wrote a book about their trip back northbound. I’ll be reading that next.

-calliope

buy THE BAREFOOT SISTERS SOUTHBOUND

buy THE BAREFOOT SISTERS WALKING HOME
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Review: Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

NPHHave never really been a fan of NPH…but that’s only because I’ve never really watched him and I am not one to follow celebrity gossip. I had no clue he was married and had children. I barely knew he was gay to be perfectly honest…..NO…..my home is not under a rock on the moon!

Now that I have made my disclaimer, I will say, I really enjoyed this book. It was a pretty quick read. I loved the “choose your own ending” type of books….and this was no exception…haha….really, he did a brilliant job with that. It could have been a complete disaster. But really, isn’t that how his whole life (up to this point) story goes? There are so many different events that NPH has been though that many others would have handled differently….I think many of his choices could have ended in complete disaster. However, he seems to meet them head on and always seems to come out the other side, if not gleaming, well….at least confident that he made the correct choice for HIM….that’s perhaps what makes him so attractive and successful. He doesn’t seem to bend to the rules (even whilst he is, indeed, bending to the rules). He is confident, even in his uncertainty…

He is refreshing in his honesty. He doesn’t make apologies. He doesn’t try to back-step and cover up any wrong mistakes. He stands a bit straighter, throws back his shoulders, brushes off any lint, and steps fully into the spotlight and proclaims, “here I am”. He doesn’t seek the spotlight and demand everything be about him….but damnit, he won’t back down and he’s not afraid to make his feelings heard in a very loud and unquestionable way. I have to admire that. Here we have a guy that should be worried about his personal image. It’s how he makes his living. But his take it or leave it, I am who I am is what is so utterly refreshing about him. He leaves no doubt that if push comes to shove, the fame and hollywood image is nothing he is not willing to sacrifice for love of his family.

Yes, it took him a long time to get there. I imagine it was never easy for him. But unlike many childhood actors, he seems to have kept on a somewhat straight (haha…see what I did there?) path to get to where he is. He didn’t crash and burn. He didn’t use his success as an excuse to make poor decisions. Now that he knows who he is, he makes no apologies and remains true to himself. That is sometimes very hard for anyone to do….let alone someone who is so securely in the public spotlight….Bravo, NPH….I might not have been a massive fan before, but I sure am now…..well done you….

Until next time…..

Urania xx

Buy it now Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris

Review copy provided by Edelweiss for an honest review

Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

814W1xbdR+LI’ve read a few books by Diane Chamberlain, each one intriguing and full of a good story. This newest one didn’t disappoint.

Riley MacPherson has lived her life knowing that once upon a time she had an older sister. But just what happened to Lisa has never been completely clear. Did she die in a tragic accident? Was it suicide? Murder? Or is there something else going on, something that’s been kept secret for far too long? All of Riley’s beliefs and questions come together in a burst of confusion when, after her father’s death, she’s charged with the task of clearing out his house and settling his affairs. Brother Danny isn’t much help as he’s lost in his own solitary world after a tragic military accident. Friends and neighbors provide bits and pieces of information but each story conflicts with the other. A deep desire to find out the truth about her family leads her in a direction she could have never imagined.

This is a good story, solid and engaging until the very end. The characters are believable and likable, and the story line is entirely plausible. My only complaint is that it was mildly predictable and had me guessing the climax around halfway through. Still, Chamberlain is an author who knows how to write about contemporary issues, and she’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite contemporary fiction authors.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Silent Sister

Review: Happily Ever After by Trista Sutter

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I’ve loved Trista Sutter’s warmth and authenticity since I first saw her on The Bachelorette. I don’t watch the Bachelor franchise anymore, but it satisfies me to see the first Bachelorette marriage succeed.

Happily Ever After isn’t about finding happiness, or filling yourself up with something new to make yourself happy. It’s about taking another look at the life you have — the life you choose each day — and appreciating all of it: the rough, the easy, the sad, the joyful, the frustrating, and the tragic. We can’t see the full picture of our lives, because so much of our own life hasn’t happened yet. But Trista helps the reader look back at some of the bad times in order to see how they’ve contributed to the good things we have in life today.

I have had experiences like that: being upset and jealous that my dad helped the neighborhood children (who didn’t have a dad). I didn’t have a lot of time with my father when I was young. When I did, I wanted him all to myself. But when he was home, he took the time to help fix bikes, pump up soccer balls, and smile at these three girls who didn’t have a father figure in their lives. I resented it.

Fast forward 30 years when my father passed away, and those same siblings came over to shovels the snow from my mother’s huge driveway… In their words to repay my family for what my father gave them so many years before. Who knew that would come full circle?

That’s the kind of memory that Happily Ever After evokes. Not seeing the blessing right away doesn’t mean it’s not there.

*wiping away tears* *composing myself* *deep breath*

Okay, so Happily Ever After takes it one step further: we need to be actively GRATEFUL for the people and events in our lives, trusting that things really do happen for a reason. Trista makes a case for writing thank you notes, letting your children make a mess once in a while (be thankful for their creativity and joy!), and putting in the effort to maintain friendships.

Trista’s anecdotes are entertaining. She tells of the ups and downs in her life with sweetness and peace. Her joy and honesty translate through the pages. Read Happily Ever After and be uplifted.

-calliope

buy HAPPILY EVER AFTER