18 September 2018

The Suicide Letters of Jack Monroe by Mary Maurice [A Review]

I love this time of year. It's the time when seasons change, the air gets a bit cooler, and the fall leaves start to come in. It's a bit different for me this year because I was let go of my job last Monday. One week later and I'm still surprised I'm not venturing out the door. Luckily, I was able to read a great book over the weekend and I can't wait to tell you about it. It's called The Suicide Letters of Jack Monroe by Mary Maurice.

Here's a bit about the book:
Susan Jordan awakens at her Santa Fe apartment, cloudy and disoriented. Her clothing is unfamiliar. Where has she been? Her nose crinkles as she smells his scent. Jack's back! Rubber filled legs brace against the stone cold tile floor as she reaches for the pile of mail haplessly setting on the table. Dozens of letters! Jack Monroe never stops. Susan wishes he would just leave, take his advice and go back to Detroit. He's gaining to much control! He's taking over!


What I Thought: 

The book is written in the form of letters being written back and forth between Jack Monroe and Susan Jordan. Jack provides descriptive details of his journey to the Santa Fe area as well sticking with his mission to help Susan. This book is an incredible journey into the human mind and tormented psyche. I thought this book was incredibly written and a fascinating experience as well. I'm very much into books written in the form of letters and what's revealed ever so slowly in the book makes it an even richer and more intriguing experience.

This was an incredibly satisfying and interesting read. I highly recommend if you are looking for something a bit different to add to your reading list. It really gives you an inside look into the struggles of mental illness. It's a subject close to my heart too.

Be sure to purchase your own copy of The Suicide Letters of Jack Monroe by visiting this link. 

Visit the WOW! Women on Writing launch day post to follow along the rest of the tour. Let me know if you'd like to be added to the tour as a late participant as well! If you want to join in other WOW! Blog Tours, send me an email to nicole[at]wow-womenonwriting.com.

About the Author: 


Mary Maurice wrote her first poem when she was in the ninth grade, and hasn't stopped writing since. Catching the fire at an early age, she continues to dedicate her time to the craft.Ms. Maurice has completed several novels of fiction and poetry, and has performed readings in distinct cities around the country. She presently resides in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

Connect with Mary online:

Website: www.marymaurice.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marymauriceauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MMauriceAuthor




I received a copy of the book in exchange of my honest review. This post contains an affiliate link for which I receive small compensation if you purchase through my link.

14 September 2018

An Excellent Book if You (or Your Kids) Love Adventures!

I am so excited to be part of this incredible book tour with author Fiona Ingram. The book I'll be chatting about today is called The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. Here's a bit about the book:

A plane crash! Lost in the jungle! Hunted by their old enemy, will Adam, Justin, and Kim survive long enough to find the Third Stone of Power? With only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, the kids make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the lost city of stone gods, where the Stone of Power might be located. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper is now available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.\


What I Thought:

This is a middle grade fiction book, but I can tell you right now how much I enjoyed this book. It's book three of a series, but it didn't hold me back from enjoying it at all. Along the way, the characters help out in referencing events of the past to give you some background (without overdoing it, of course). So, I wasn't lost at all.

The setting of the book was incredibly vivid. You can just sense the thick jungle that surrounded the three adventurers - Adam, Justin, and Kim. I was so excited - yet scared - every step of the way! It's like I couldn't read this book fast enough. I was so eager to find out what happened next. 

As far as the characterization, each character was unique and vivid to me. They each had such unique personalities. I felt so bonded to them and their journey along the way.

Most of all, the writing on this was so well done. Fiona is a fantastic writer and has an excellent way of weaving you into the story and not letting you go. I can't wait to read the next book and highly recommend it!

Want to read books like this one and be part of WOW! Blog Tours? Be sure to send me an email to nicole[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

05 September 2018

Now Seeking Book Bloggers: Upcoming Women on Writing Blog Tours

Hi everyone!

As some of you may know, I'm part of the WOW! Women on Writing team and I'm putting together a couple of new blog tours! I'd love for you to participate so, let me know if any of these below catch your eye by leaving a comment with your email so I can reach out to you OR best of all, send ME an email expressing your interest at nicole [at] wow-womenonwriting [dot] com.

Book: Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, Book Two

Perfect For: Middle Grade Readers (and anyone young at heart); People who are a fan of Arthurian legends; adventure readers!

Tour Starts: October 15th and runs through November 19th

Seeking: Reviews, Guest Posts, Interviews

About the Book: When their adventure turns deadly & dangerous, Guinevere & Cedwyn find themselves embroiled in a life-or-death struggle.

Not only are they in danger, but so are the kids of Cadbury Castle.

Renegades – foiled in their attempt to kidnap the princess – steal the children of Cadbury Castle to sell as slaves. Guinevere and Cedwyn vow to rescue the children, but a miscalculation puts them all in more danger.

As the plan quickly unravels, Cedwyn chooses to turn his dream of becoming a knight into reality.

Will their courage be strong enough to survive, or will one make the ultimate sacrifice?

Check out this incredible review of the book on Readers' Favorite and read a preview on Amazon.


Book: My MacArthur

Perfect for: people who love history, and non traditional romances (without the happily ever ending); Historical/Biographical book readers.

Tour Starts: November 5th and runs through December 3rd

Seeking: Reviews, Guest Posts, Interviews

About the Book: 

The year is 1930. The place: Manila. Douglas MacArthur is the most powerful man in the Philippines, a United States colony. He’s fifty years old, divorced, and he falls in love at first sight with a ravishing young Filipino woman. He writes her a love note on the spot. Her name is Isabel Rosario Cooper, an aspiring movie actress. One glance at his note and she thinks of him as "my MacArthur."

MacArthur pursues his romantic obsession even though he’s breaking numerous taboos. She reciprocates his affection because he could open doors for her financially struggling family. When MacArthur is appointed the U.S. Army chief of staff, he becomes the youngest four-star general and one of America’s most powerful men.

Out of hubris, he takes Isabel with him to America without marrying her. Amid the backdrop of the Great Depression, their relationship lasts until 1934. After four years of relationship, MacArthur leaves Isabel for fear of a political scandal. The general goes on to become the iconic hero of World War II, liberating the Philippines and rebuilding Japan, while Isabel drifts in Los Angeles unable to muster the courage to return to Manila.

Read more about the book here on the author's website.

Remember, if any of these catch your eye, the best way to let me know you are interested is to leave a comment with your email OR send me an email to nicole [at] wow-womenonwriting.com. 

11 August 2018

3 Suggestions on a Saturday Night

We made it to the weekend! In Portland, we have suffered through a terrible heat wave for the second week in a row. I'm very grateful though that we have made it to the weekend because this also means we have a break from the heat wave. It's actually raining right now! I thought a fun feature on my blog would be three suggestions on a Saturday night. Most of these are actual things I experienced this week, so hopefully something will catch your eye!

Alright, here we go:

1) My Saturday Night Reading Suggestion: The Fat Lady's Low, Sad Song by Brian Kaufman. I'm taking more of a chance on Indie reads lately and this one took me by total surprise. I'm not a baseball person at all or even really a sports person, but if you are interested in a book that talks about team camaraderie, good humor, and great characterization, you should read this book. It took me by total surprise and I'm so glad I read it (check out my review here).

2) My Saturday Night Movie Suggestion: Vertigo (1958). Are you a Hitchcock fan at all? I watched this recently and it took me by total surprise at how good it was. I took a Hitchcock class in college and many classes were spent watching Hitchcock movies, which was really cool. If you aren't really into old movies, I'd say give this one a shot. It really makes you think and the ending itself is a conversation piece.

3) My Saturday Night Song Suggestion: I have a radio app and while I don't think to listen to the radio, I have been lately and caught a song that I really liked. The song is called Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man and wow it was so good! I think this makes a fantastic gym song and the singer has an unusual voice. Give it a listen:


So tell me your reading suggestion, movie suggestion, or a song you just found recently that you want to recommend. Have a great weekend everyone! 

06 August 2018

5 Thoughts on a Monday Morning

photo credit: Wouter de Bruijn Sunrise on a cold morning via photopin (license)

Monday Monday, oh what a day. Anyone else unbelievably sick of the summer? I swear my personal writing and creative self takes a huge step back when it comes to the heat. So, I came across a list of journaling prompts and thought I would use them as inspiration to blog again. I decided to just pick the ones that jumped out at me and write five thoughts about the question. You can check out the prompts I'm going off of here. So, here's one that I wanted to write - what are five things you do every day without fail?

1) Talk to God.

I can't remember a day ever going by when I wasn't talking to God in some way throughout my day. Some conversations in prayer are more casual than others, but most of all, I pray on a regular basis and spend time with the Lord at least a little bit each day.

2) Drink coffee.

There's very few things I commit to each day without fail and coffee is one of them. I'm recently trying San Francisco Bay blend coffee and that has proven to be a much better cup of coffee in the morning lately.

3) Check my email.

I'd love to be the kind that can unplug but in all honesty, I don't all that often! I at least check my email everyday. Have you been using the new Gmail design? The one feature I love about it is the "snooze" email feature. It's like my own little reminder that pops up!

4) Spend time with family.

This is a big one and is very important to me. Family time matters a lot and a day doesn't go by where we aren't connecting with each other in some way.

5) Reading.

I am currently reading a book that I'm reviewing for someone as well as Plague by Michael Grant. It's book four in the Gone series, although in all honesty I'm not that into it. I feel semi-exhausted with the state of matters in the book and I may end up choosing something else. I also read scripture regularly and of course news articles. So, reading in general is always something I'm doing!

Okay, your turn. What are five things you do everyday without fail? 

31 July 2018

A Touching Memoir: Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon [Book Review]

Is anyone else shocked this summer is going by so fast? As we all venture off towards the beaches and outdoors this summer, spending time with our loved ones, and enjoying the summer days while they last, every now and then a small little moment will happen that changes the course of our life forever. For author JoAnn Simon, a tick bite changed the course of hers. 

I had the chance to read Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon this weekend and it captured my heart. 

About the Book:

Dear Tom, 

I'm back on Anna Maria Island... missing you.
But walking down these beautiful beaches reminds me of us and makesme feel a little less far away from you. And that encourages me as I am writing our story.Hopefully this will help other people who are feeling our pain too.I love and miss you every day, darling.Love, Me
From the fateful tick bite on Block Island to central nervous system failure, to healing my grief and loss, I stayed afloat, upbeat, and connected to Tom through devotion, true love, and by donning my own special pair of rose-colored glasses.


When he first saw me, Tom said that he would spend the rest of his life with me. To my surprise, he actually did. He was the love of my life. We shared a story that felt like a dream. Every moment was an adventure... and then Tom became ill.As his mysterious symptoms persisted we were hurtled through a maze of fear, tests, doubts and sorrow. But while doctors toyed with diagnoses- Lyme disease, ALS- we filled each day with joy, hope, good food, wine, music and travel.Even when death came to crush our storybook romance, we found that the human spirit is greater than the frailties of the body, greater than suffering and grief.


What I Thought

I wasn't sure how I would feel about this book, because I am not normally a fan of nonfiction. However, it wasn't long before this book captured my heart. JoAnn's journey with her husband, Tom, to fight the disease and figure out what was happening was intense, emotional, and an incredible roller coaster. It was a journey through heartbreak, loss, but most of all, love. The love that JoAnn and Tom shared shown brightly in this book. I felt like I really got to know them both. 

I read this over the course of just a couple of days and I couldn't put it down. And I couldn't help but tear up at the end. One of the most moving parts to me was when JoAnn finally had to say goodbye to Tom. This book is a lesson in love that conquers all, recovering from incredible grief, and also what it means to be the advocate of a loved one not doing well. I think anyone should read this book who has either lost a loved one or is in the midst of helping a loved one go through a ravaging disease. JoAnn's strength and determination is inspiring. 

About the Author

Jo Ann Simon, a corporate executive, is a lifelong nutmegger, living in various locations in the Nutmeg state of Connecticut. She is a constant traveler, exploring the world including her favorite country, Italy. When she is not traveling, Jo Ann loves spending time with her family, friends and her seven grandchildren. Her day job running a company, painting fine art, gardening and writing fill in the blanks of her life. Palm trees are essential in her personal landscape with beaches to match.

Find JoAnn Online:
Website: https://www.joann-simon.com/
Blog: https://forgetmenotjosi.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForgetMeNotJoSi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joannsimonauthorpage/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo-ann-simon-27626518/
Instagram: forgetmenotjosi

Be sure to get a copy of this book via Amazon. If you want to read great books like these, be sure to send me an email at nicole [at] wow-womenonwriting [dot] com. This book is part of the WOW! Women on Writing blog tours and we would love for you to take part in the next tour.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This post also contains affiliate links for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link.










12 July 2018

Lies by T. M. Logan [Book Review]

Anyone else dealing with a heat wave? Well, nothing helps me survive a heat wave more than an air conditioned room and a really good book. I had the chance to review the book Lies by T.M. Logan over this July heat wave and I can't wait to tell you about it.

Here's a little bit about Lies (summer courtesy of Net Galley):

What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—and then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? It’s the evening drive home from work, a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But when he unexpectedly sees his wife’s car ahead of them, he decides to follow her—and ends up witnessing her secret rendezvous with another man. The encounter will tear two families apart and leave an innocent man set up to take the fall for a murder. Joe finds himself in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything he treasures. He will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the net tightens around him, his life begins to fall apart. Soon, Joe is in a life or death struggle with a cunning opponent who is always one step ahead. Lies poses the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us? Lies by T.M. Logan is an unputdownable thriller in which each chapter changes the meaning of what came before, keeping the reader guessing until the jaw-dropping finale.

What I Thought: 

This was an incredible thriller. First of all, I absolutely loved the little boy in the book, William. The author described William so well and he became such a vivid and important character to me as much as the father, Joe. When Joe discovers where his wife is going and sees her with another man, my first instinct on this was that this was going to be the standard 'couple's life falling apart due to an affair' type of book. It was so much more than that. The second that Joe finds his wife with another man is just one piece in an enormous puzzle that Joe has to figure out.

Truly, this book will grab you and not let go. Right when Joe thinks he is helping his situation, he makes it worse. And I absolutely didn't see any of it coming. It didn't once make me roll my eyes and think that it was predictable. I tend to read a lot on my bus ride home and I just couldn't wait to read this one.

Oddly, and maybe not surprisingly, I didn't like Mel. Despite everything she did in the book, I feel like there should've been aspects of her that was likable. I didn't trust her at all. I thought she was incredibly phony most times and seemed set out to make the situation worse. Of course, considering what unfolds, maybe that was intentional. Some part of me felt like it was characterization flaw. I wanted to find something deep within her and there wasn't a whole lot that I saw.

Overall, if you like thrillers and reading at the edge of your seat, you must read this book. You will not be disappointed.

Pre-order your copy today on Amazon.com! It's available to purchase on September 11th.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This post also contains affiliate links for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link.

23 May 2018

A Book to Read if You Are On a Spiritual Journey [Catch a Dream by Wendy Brown-Baez]

Over the past couple of years, I've gotten closer to my faith in God. I grew up going to church and even attended a Christian elementary school, but it wasn't until recently that I took my faith more seriously. This has been such a transforming experience for me and it's been such a tremendous walk with God over the last couple of years. Which is unusual because it's also been tremendously difficult in my personal life. Anyways, so when I had the chance to read Wendy Brown-Baez book "Catch a Dream" which discusses her own spiritual journey, I couldn't wait to read it.

Here's more about the book -


A woman’s healing journey begins in a country embroiled in relentless turmoil. In Israel, the first Intifada has just begun. Palestinian frustration for a homeland erupts in strikes, demonstrations and suicide bombings and Israel responds with tear gas, arrests, and house demolitions. Lily Ambrosia and Rainbow Dove arrive in Haifa with their children on a pilgrimage to sow seeds of peace. Lily’s fascination with Jewish culture inspires her to dream she can plant roots in the Holy Land. She falls in love with the land itself, with its people, and with Levi, a charming enigma, dangerous but irresistible. Eventually she is fully immersed in Israeli life, earning her way as a nanny, hanging out in cafes with friends, and attending Yom Kippur in the synagogue. Her son rebels against the lifestyle she has chosen and war with Syria looms on the horizon. Will she be able to stay? What does she have to give up and what will she be able to keep?

Catch a Dream is available in print and as an ebook on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound


What I Thought -

This took me by total surprise. I wasn't sure that I would like it or enjoy it as much as I did. Wendy did a FANTASTIC job of vividly describing the details of Israel and what it was like. I felt like I was there (did you know this book was based on a memoir? Read the Women on Writing interview to learn more about the author!). And I was just really connected to whether or not the main character would decide to do after she met this love of her life. I was so connected to her journey and what she would decide to do when things started to move in an unexpected direction. I felt the emotions right along with her. 

Anyways, if you are on a spiritual journey of your own, or love to Travel, go on this journey with Wendy and read her book Catch a Dream. I know you will love it and you will be glad you read it. I definitely was!

Find more about the tour by visiting this link here. You can enter to win a copy of the book this week (giveaway ends Sunday, 5/27) and you can also find out more about the author and where else she will be on the tour.

Want to read books like this one? Send me an email to nicole@wow-womenonwriting.com with your blog link and I'll make sure to let you know about upcoming tours.

Have a book you want promoted? Send me an email to nicole@wow-womenonwriting.com and I'll send you information about what WOW! has to offer.

I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

18 May 2018

A Book to Read if You Love a Good Thriller [The Pinochet Plot]


As I write this, it's raining outside and I love rain in May. It's warm and everything is just so green and lush. What a beautiful time of year! So, thanks to WOW! Blog Tours (with WOW! Women on Writing) I had the chance to review a really good book called The Pinochet Plot. Here's a little bit about the book -

Successful San Francisco attorney Will Muñoz has heard of the brutal former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, of course, but it's not until he receives his mother's suicide letter that he has any inkling Pinochet may have had his father, Chilean writer Ricardo Muñoz, assassinated thirty years earlier.

Her suspicions spur Will on to a quest to discover the truth about his father's death–and about the psychological forces that have driven his mother to her fatal decision. His journey takes him deep into unexpected darkness linking his current step-father, the CIA, drug-experimentation programs, and a conspiracy of domestic terrorism. The Pinochet Plot is not just a story of a man seeking inner peace; it is also a story of sinister history doomed to repeat itself.

What I Thought:

I really enjoyed this thriller! I'm not usually one for political thrillers as this one sometimes felt, but I thought this was captivating and well done. It was written in first person, which gave me close insight to the main character. I liked the main character a lot and enjoyed the details used to describe his childhood, family and the surroundings. The author did an EXCELLENT job of being detailed about everything the character was experiencing and it was such a richly told book. The book also takes you through some very real history which was very interesting! Admittedly, some did go over my head, especially with the CIA angle, but it was a book where I just had to see what happened! I oddly didn't like the female character, Cheryl, in the book. Yet I did like how Will's mom was portrayed and his memories of her and how she was during his youth.

Anyways this book was fantastic and a definite must read!

Visit this Amazon link to purchase a copy of the book.  

Here's also a bit about the author and where you can find him -\

David Myles Robinson grew up in Pasadena, CA. He holds degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco School of Law. After practicing law for thirty-eight years in Honolulu, Hawaii, he retired with his wife, former Honolulu judge Marcia Waldorf, to Taos, NM. Robinson is the author of three previous novels: legal thrillers Tropical Lies and Tropical Judgments, and Unplayable Lie, a golf-related suspense novel.

Find David Online:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825244-the-pinochet-plot

David Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DMRobinsonWrite

David Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidMylesRobinson/

David Website: www.davidmylesrobinson.com

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Also if you want to join in with WOW! Blog Tours and find incredible books to read like this, send me an email at nicole@wow-womenonwriting.com and I'll let you know about which incredible books are available to read next!

09 May 2018

On Writing Dreams, Reality & Life

I ran into a metaphor for life while cleaning out my closet yesterday. While sorting out an old jewelry box,  I came across a clump of tangled necklaces that I attempted to unravel. One necklace came out nicely, the other two were twisted together and knotted so much I had to leave it. Part of the reason I left it, was because of what the necklace reminded me of. Take a look for yourself -



That word  - dream - that dangles from the end of a dainty little necklace is now twisted and tied up with a beady, chunky, necklace thanks to my neglect. Isn't that life though? I find as time goes by that unless you pay attention to and take care of a dream, especially one you've held onto for years, that it can end up looking messy and unsalvageable, a bit like this necklace.

In the midst of a stressful time period, I've managed to keep writing. What is the "dream" now though? Is it the same as when I was a kid? Of course not. The dream has always been to write and get published, but seeing that dream at 31 is far different from how I saw that dream at 10. Working with authors with WOW to promote their book as well as reading and reviewing books for authors through this blog have both taught me that publishing a book is only step one. It takes more than a good story to get readers. I've read and reviewed many books that didn't get on the bestsellers list and also deserved far more attention than they got.

So, my dream has gotten a bit tangled due to reality as well as the messy qualities of life. It's hard not to let that happen. To untangle the dream from reality and life is work, much like it will take work to untangle that necklace. With patience and determination and an unfailing ability to never quit, I can untangle the dream.

That necklace now sits in a prominent place in my room. Not because it's such a beautiful clump of cheap jewelry, but because it represents something that needed reminding. Don't let go of the dream, but don't neglect it either.




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