Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Shall Be Near to You, by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Rosetta always preferred the more manly chores on her family's farm, being outdoors and doing physical work.  When her sweetheart decides to enlist in the Union army to fight in the Civil War, Rosetta convinces him to marry her before leaving.  She then disguises herself as a man, and enlists in the same unit as her husband.  Reinventing herself as Ross, she finds herself fighting as well as any man, for the sake of her country as well as her family.

I have been on a huge Civil War kick lately, ever since I visited Gettysburg this summer, so this book was right up my alley.  This book was really fascinating, not only thanks to the beautiful writing, but to the fact that this fictional story was based on actual women who fought in the Civil War.  The research behind the book was solid, and allowed me to be completely absorbed into the story.

I thought the writing in the book was just gorgeous.  I adored Rosetta as a character, and I admired her spirit.  I felt like I was able to connect to her adoration of her husband, and her desire to follow him to the ends of the world.  The book will appeal to fans of historical fiction and romance, but I think that in all reality this is the kind of book that would still appeal to fans of general contemporary fiction who tend to shy away from historical books.  While the historical aspect is a huge part of the story, it does not overshadow the book.  One does not need to be a Civil War buff to appreciate the beauty of this book.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Night Visitor, by Dianne Emley

Rory had a very glamorous life, one that anyone would envy, right up until the moment tragedy struck.  Suddenly, Rory's sister was dead, and a man accused of murder.  Rory attempts to move on with her life, but finds herself sharing an odd psychic connection with the accused man, as he attempts to clear his name.

I really felt this book was well written.  I felt that Rory's character, in particular, was really well developed.  I felt connected to her, and could really see the action of the story in my mind.  The writing is very vivid, and appeals to the reader.

I really liked that the book wove together a traditional crime thriller storyline with a paranormal storyline.  It made for something unusual and intriguing.  I feel like the book will appear to a variety of readers by crossing genres. All in all, this was a really solid thriller.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Thinning Years; Starving the Gay Within, by Jon Derek Croteau

From an early age, Jon felt different.  He preferred playing with the girls and hated sports.  His father, determined to make a "real man" out of him, belittled Jon's sensitive ways, bullied him into sports, and criticized his physical appearance.  As a result, Jon grew up in total fear of his father, of his own sexuality, and of being fat.  These issues morphed into a full scale eating disorder, fueled by self loathing and internalized homophobia.  For all if his adult life, Jon would struggle.

Oh goodness, this book made me rage, and weep, and rejoice.  Jon does a beautiful job of sharing his story in a way that is honest and genuine.  I did not feel the intention with the writing was to demonize his father, yet I raged over the kind of person his father was.  It breaks my heart to know that any child is emotionally abused in such a manner; this is abuse, and it has real, lasting consequences.  I applaud Jon for the hard work he has done to overcome his abusive past, to seek happiness and healing, and to make difficult but healthy choices in his life.

We constantly hear of young people developing severe emotional issues, engaging in self harm, and attempting suicide, all because of being abused and bullied.  It is important that we continue to spread the message that you can overcome these types of situations.  It will not be easy, and it will probably be painful and unpleasant, but it is possible, and you are worth it.   I am so thankful that Jon has become the strong, eloquent survivor he is, and that he has chosen to share his story.  We often hear of females who have eating disorders, but the reality is, males are also plagued by these issues.  Jon has given voice to an overlooked group, and probably has helped save a few lives in the process.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.