The Double by Alison Brodie
$3.99 on Kindle
This is one of those books that falls squarely into the category of “delicious fun.” It’s got some mystery, a few cliffhangers, and a strong dose of romance. The plot revolves around the storylines of two different heroines—an A-list rock star celebrity singer and an average everyday woman—but both are whip-smart, fiery, compassionate, and completely relatable.
The romance hits that perfect sweet spot that balances steamy and sultry with a deep emotional connection between the characters, which leaves your heart doing little flips because you just want them to get together so badly. In the review I left on Amazon I mentioned that this book gave me the same feeling that the movie Pretty Woman does and I’ve found that holds true even months after reading it. Just like that movie is one you can watch over and over, The Double is a book I could read again and again whenever I need a literary pick-me-up.
Visit Alison Brodie’s website at: http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/
Ever Faithful to His Lead by Kathleen Pooler
$3.99 on Kindle
It’s rare that I come away from a book feeling as inspired as I did by this one. Pooler’s memoir takes you on a journey through her life that includes growing up in the 60s, going to nursing school and fighting to be a career woman (while balancing a family) in the 70s, and finally becoming self-aware in the 80s and 90s. For much of this time she was in two long-term emotionally abusive relationships, which is the core issue explored in the book.
Although the subject matter can be dark and complex territory, I found myself totally uplifted by this book. No matter what she was going through, Pooler tells the events of her life simply, honestly, and with a personal elegance that is really quite beautiful. I actually felt myself become more courageous after reading this book and I can’t thank Pooler enough for sharing her experiences so openly.
Visit Kathleen Pooler’s website at: http://krpooler.com/
The Quickening by Mari Biella
$0.99 on Kindle
I love horror but I tapered off reading it a year or two ago just because I felt like I had read everything good. Also, I don’t like gory horror so it’s harder for me to find that perfect blend of eerie/spooky/creepy that really does it for me. Biella’s book astonished me with how unapologetically good it is. Seriously, the quality of her writing is phenomenal. She writes with a sophistication that reminds me of some of the best Hitchcock films.
The story is set in Victorian England and the main character is an extremely rational, scientific man whose wife seems to be mentally unraveling in front of his very eyes. Of course, a haunting is going on, but our dear hero doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff and won’t be convinced for one second. I knew a twist had to be coming, but what swept me off my feet was the way that twist was executed. I never saw it coming. This was honestly the best paranormal book I’ve read in a long time and I’m looking forward to reading more of Biella’s work.
Visit Mari Biella’s website at: https://maribiella.com/
The Laptev Virus by Christy Esmahan
$0.99 on Kindle
I need to preface this recommendation by saying that I am not a science person. I almost failed high school physics and I’ve tried to watch Neil deGrasse Tyson and he just puts me to sleep (blasphemy, I know). But if science was taught by using novels like this one, I would be so on board with it. I was hooked by the second page, I ripped through the whole thing in three days, and I actually got super interested in the scientific part of the storyline.
The book combines the author’s extensive knowledge of viruses (and mega-viruses, which are crazy and which I didn’t even know existed until I read this), the biology of prehistoric animals, and current-day environmental issues into one fast-moving suspenseful plot. Even though I was completely caught up in the characters and the storyline, I realized at the end that I actually learned a huge amount about science along the way. This book also won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for Medical Thrillers. Not surprising.
Visit Christy Esmahan’s website at: http://christyesmahan.com/
From Scratch by Sally Paradysz
Print-only at this time
When I told a friend of mine I was on a memoir kick she recommended this book to me. I didn’t know what to think when I started it, as I had never read a memoir of someone building a house before. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that it not only inspired me to work harder at my own life, but it also taught me how to be way more self-sufficient.
Paradysz was 60 years old when she decided to walk away from her life and build her dream home out in the woods with her partner (and their two cats). She ends up living in an unheated, no-running-water shed on the property because she feels such a connection with the land, and has such a strong commitment to participating in every single aspect of getting the house built. Just by reading this book I learned how to hire and deal with contractors, purchase renovation materials at prices far, far below Home Depot’s, and make a life dream come true with planning and plain old grit.
Visit Sally Paradysz’s website at: http://sallywparadysz.blogspot.com/
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