The Push

They scream. They bite. They push. They cry. They throw things. No, I’m not talking about your spouse or your significant other. I’m talking about the bad side of your kids.

Have you ever sat there pulling your hair out and thought, “I really am at my wits end with this kid!” Your patience tested to the limit…

What if that feeling was justified? You saw your kid doing terrible, awful things. Evil things. Yet no one believed you. They saw a sweet, loving kid. You saw the monster. What would you do? What could you do? Would you still love them? Could you still love them?

The Push is visceral, provocative, compulsive read that hooks you from the first page and refuses to let you go, throwing you neck deep into a tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and eventual breaking of a family, and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for; instead, it turns out to be everything she feared.

It is a look at the dark side of motherhood, and all the things that can go wrong. It addresses motherhood taboos and paints a vivid picture of how mothers sometimes feel towards difficult children.

The main character, Blythe, takes us on a journey that explores deep issues. What are the generational implications of being raised by a deeply damaged mother? Can parenting be inherited? Mental illness, neglect, failure to bond all resonate through the generations of mothers and daughters in this story. The author relates in excruciating detail the experiences of childbirth (with one of the most raw and realistic childbirth scenes that I have ever read!) and those early weeks and months of motherhood that take all new mothers by surprise in their intensity, beauty and pain. The complexities of love and the breakdown of a marriage in the wake of tragedy are revealed in the small details of domestic life. The crushing weight of grief at the center of the novel is palpable! Blythe’s healing journey is surprising in the path it takes, almost to the edge of madness and back.

“The Push” makes us question the very nature of reality. It makes you look at things like nature versus nurture. Our protagonist vacillates between what she believes to be true and what she so desperately wants to deny. Her foundation and entire belief system has been ripped from under her feet and she no longer trusts her motherly (or personal) instincts. As readers, we struggle with trusting the narrator not because she wishes to deceive us but because she does not trust herself.

The Push will grab you, shake you, pull you to places you aren’t sure you’re wanting to go, and stay with you and haunt you long after the final sentence leaves you gasping for air.

I absolutely recommend rushing out and grabbing your copy of The Push today! This is a thriller you don’t want to miss.

My absolute thanks to #NetGalley, @PenguinRandom, and the beyond talented @audrain Ashley Audrain for the electronic ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.



This is so gorgeous in person!

Have you ever thought about how books travel round and round, as if on a never ending carousel. They get passed from person to person, each new set of hands adding their mark to the story. Those grease stains on page 67 you see and then end up daydreaming how they got there. Each house the book lands in adding its own imprint with the family, smells, sounds, and page turning that occurs there. It’s almost as fascinating as the novel itself to think about a books story; it’s journey.

A carousel and a hot air balloon, oh my!

I’ve never been one to part with “things” easily, and books are one of the hardest for me to let go of. That’s why being able to repurpose them, give them new life, and a new chance to bring joy without being dumped in a recycle bin somewhere, thrills me. Oh the things you can do to and with books!

Mermaid carousel

I’ve made this carousel in so many colors and so many different size varieties, even making the spindle from a clear tube to add more lights. It’s so pretty in person!

You should check out my Etsy shop and look at some of the ways that a book can be repurposed. I’m always adding new ideas. Come by, look, send me a message and let’s see if we can customize something for you to keep as a reminder of your love of books. There’s Oceans of Books out there for you to explore … read them, hold them, shelve them, or display them as book art!

I do hope that your week is a great one this week. Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. Leave a comment for me or follow along. . . I am definitely glad that you’re here!

I’ll see you soon my friends!

The Ladies of the Secret Circus

This is a sweeping saga of old family secrets, love and loss, sacrifice, beauty, magic and revenge that blends a family generational mystery with the supernatural which results in a mesmerizing tale of romance and the macabre.

And in the center ring. . . a magical, demonic circus from Hell.

Our journey to Hell includes anxiety inducing life or death events, a perilous romp through the streets (and ages, as this is a dual timeline adventure) of Paris, family drama and the most imaginative, and tempting, depiction of Hell (as seen through the windows of the circus as well as a spin on the Ferris Wheel as it slowly descends down the realms of Hell, lending view of the river Styx).

This circus definitely came to please. There are disappearances, mystery and intrigue, a treasure hunt (of sorts), personal quests, devious machinations and of course there are the murders. All of this interwoven and laced with magic and trickery was both gratifying and exciting.

The magic surrounding the ladies, and of course the secret circus, comes from a forbidden love affair between a high ranking daemon and a mortal, producing daughters who have daemonic powers passed down to them. These magically mischievous daemon prodigies perform in, and are irrevocably linked to, this scintillating circus in Hell for all eternity.

There is betrayal, a slight love triangle (if pining over a missing or possibly dead fiancé could be considered one side of a triangle) and then the tense, well planned out magical showdown at the end.

I was wholeheartedly addicted to this story. This is one that will have you compulsively turning pages, promising yourself just one more page, until you find yourself in the wee hours of the morning, still curled up with the book in your hands, and realizing you can’t stop now as the showdown is just beginning for you! You just won’t be able to put this novel down.

This story was so captivating, that I also could see the appeal of giving (almost) anything to be able to watch, join, fly, perform, and just enjoy this wickedly delicious, and utterly seductive sanctum. I am definitely on edge to see (and read) a sequel! This is definitely one you should not let pass you by.

I would like to offer my sincere thank you to Redhook Books, Constance Sayers, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest opinions and review.

Thank you for stopping by reading my review. I would love to hear your thoughts, share a book recommendation with me, or even just follow along with my blogs journey. Enjoy the read my friends!

Nightmare Before Christmas

I know, it’s only March, but who doesn’t just love The Nightmare Before Christmas all year long? I go around singing songs from here all year long. One of my favorites …

Because Mr. Oogie Boogie is the meanest guy around! If I were on his boogie list I’d get out of town!

And what about the love story that is Jack and Sally? I’m not a big romance person, but I must admit that this makes me wanna be under the moonlight too.

We’re simply meant to be.

So, I decided to upcycle this book into a tribute to one of my favorite movies. Tons of handmade book flowers, hand cutout hearts, and lots of hand cut character pieces, I hand cut the town and even painted a moon.

Hand cut pieces make this book so unique.

I didn’t just stop on the inside though. . . Take a look at what o did to the cover to make it match!

I see Zero!

Do you have a favorite movie or character that just makes you smile and feel happy? The best thing about books art sculptures is that it can be done just for you. Take a peek at my Etsy shop! Send me a message… I bet we can make your favorite come to life and give a book a second chance to bring you happiness too!

Under the moonlight …

The Devil Aspect

Only the brave seek out the Devil.

The bohemian setting of Czechoslovakia is the perfect stage for this rich and macabre tale of a young doctor taking a new assignment at Hrad Orlu asylum for the criminally insane, in order to prove his controversial Devil Aspect theory. Dr Viktor Kosarek believes that a ‘devil aspect’ exists in everyone (meaning the Devil himself is in us all) and it is this part of our psyche that assumes control, allowing actions and behaviors that the individual him or her self is unaware of (much like a multiple personality situation). The asylum, which holds the 6 most feared killers of the time (the Devil Six), used to be the castle of the abominable and feared Jan of the Black Heart (who himself was considered the Devil.) His heinous, deplorable actions, and the legends surrounding his entombment in the castle, are still feared by the villagers.

Tread carefully mortals

Adding to that fear is the rumors of tunnels leading from the asylum out to the town, lending for the Devil (or any of the Devils 6) to escape, claim his victims, and return unseen. Through the authors magic, you will feel the dampness of the castle walls and you will breathe the fetid air of its tunnels right along with the characters.

Meanwhile, police kapitan Lukas Smolak is hunting for a killer. Dubbed ‘Leather apron.’ The killer has been targeting people on the outskirts of society in Prague. The methods of butchering his victims are similar to those employed by Jack the Ripper, and the author expertly interweaves Jack’s exploits and methods of torture with his own killer’s reign of terror in Prague.

The interviews between Viktor and his patients, (interviews where each describes their slaughter of their victims in detail,) makes for a beguiling and gruesome new horror thriller that drags you into its dark world kicking and screaming, crawls under your skin slowly, and then sticks in deep, like the tip of a butcher knife, carving into you a psychological horror you will remember long after you’ve closed the cover.

This is a kaleidoscope of myth, history, politics, bigotry, psychology, romance, crime, mystery, and sublime horror with each aspect taking turns directing the action, fighting for the readers attention, toying with readers sanity as they struggle to anticipate the shattering conclusion of this astonishing, virtuoso piece of gothic horror writing. The story is utterly immersive, authentically complex and completely propulsive, which all leads to compulsive page turning late into the night, rushing you toward that final, blood curdling sentence. This is a must read for all fans of literary fiction, great crime and horror writing, and I highly recommend you join Viktor in his quest to find The Devil Aspect. Just enter knowing that sometimes when you seek the Devil, he just might find you. Enjoy the ride my friends!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review. I’d love for you to leave a comment, recommend a book for me, or just follow along my blogs wild ride!

I’d love to share the love of books with you!

A different kind of candle

When I think about all the books that get thrown away, all those words and thoughts from somebody’s dreams, it makes me feel like the world became just a little bit darker. Colder. Sad.

Oh no! But don’t worry…

This ability to recycle books into beautiful pieces of art allows for there to be a little more light and life brought to not only the written word, but to our homes, families, friends and co-workers.

This little light of mine…

It’s even better that each one can be customized just for you. Your favorite colors, hand made bows, handmade paper flowers, ribbons, buttons, Czech glass, crackle glass, aurora borealis crystals… so many awesome and beautiful things can be done that it’s mind boggling!

I’m gonna let it shine!

These are so much prettier in person. No matter how you photograph them, when you see it in real life… wow!! This candle has over 255 folds in it, as well as over 470 individual cuts, and comes from hours of painstaking care and work before its ever even decorated. Flowers are handcrafted from book pages, mulberry paper, card stock, origami paper, and even hand dyed book pages and papers. I think all that work yields a beautiful result. Topped with a tea light that gently flickers like a flame, this is the ultimate in show stoppers.

Just simply beautiful!

Feel free to come visit my Etsy shop as well as my blog. Leave a comment, recommend a book or just say hi. I hope that you have a great week this week. I’ll share more book art soon! Stay safe my friends!

Out Cold

This is one fascinating read!

What do you get when you cross a neuroscientist and journalist? You get book that will knock you Out Cold with a fascinating, albeit weird, journey though the science behind hypothermia.

I might be a little chilly…

The author, and his writing style (as if he is checking in with you throughout the book, like a protective big brother while you’re being told scary campfire stories,) kept my interest and attention all the way through this frosty journey.

Are you okay in there?

We are shown what happens during hypothermia, whether therapeutic, torture induced, accidental, or just plain scientifically; given the definition of the words “cold” and “temperature”; and are brought to witness the invention of the first thermometer and the discovery and recognition of our accepted scientific heat measurement of 37 degrees Celsius. Our chilling brush with the past also includes examples of ancient forms and uses of cold therapy.

The cold will help… promise!!

The author also discusses extremophiles (hey, if you can’t take the heat…), water torture, exploration of Antarctica, the use of cold for healing, as well as touching on the topic of cryogenics.

Yeah, Baby!!

Another interesting fact the author touches on is how the determination is made by medical professionals as to whether someone is truly dead post a hypothermic exposure (as some do return to life after being pronounced dead, lending to the expression that “you’re not truly dead until you are WARM and dead.”)

Get that CPR!

If you’re like me, with all these facts now swirling in your brain, you’re teetering you on the edge of brain freeze, and then the author adds another hard, cold fact to your ever expanding neural connections by exploring how Nazi water tortures, conducted on helpless and innocent people in concentration camps during WWII, still play a part in our science of today. Talk about a thorough walk in the valley of cold.

I couldn’t say it better!

This is a book you will return to to read and re-read. It definitely will appeal to science minded people, medical professionals, and people who just love obscure and ghoulish facts.

For me, it provided background and information on a therapy that was used on my father after he had a massive heart dysthymia, causing him an anoxic injury from ineffective CPR by a well meaning, yet under educated, bystander. While this therapy didn’t produce a desired outcome for my father, but rather prolonged a horrific journey for him and our family, the information provided and HOW it’s presented allowed this jaded daughter to see just how valuable cold therapy can be if and when used correctly. This is definitely a book that will inspire deep thought and hardy conversation material in an area of science and medicine that can cause great controversy. I highly recommend this book and suggest you grab your copy when it’s released on June 1, 2021. Grab a blanket, a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and snuggle up against the chill of Out Cold. Happy reading my friends!

Please feel free to leave a comment, follow my blog, or send me your book reading recommendations. After all, sharing is caring and I love to get new reading suggestions and conversations going!

My sincere thank you to Perseus Books, PublicAffairs, NetGalley, and the author Phil Jaekl for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinions and review.

Falling In Paints

When all the words have been read, and the book is thrown down and forgotten, before the trash man has a chance to haul someones dreams away, there is a way to not just give a book a second chance, but also to breathe new life into it. This is but a few ways books can live on in your home and draw the attention of all your friends and neighbors. What a great way to talk about your favorite book again, impress your book loving sweetheart with something unique and made custom just for them. Check out the Etsy shop as well as my blog. Supporting small businesses and local artists is always a good thing. Let me know what you think! I always love to talk books… in ALL forms!


Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between Bad and Good, but between Bad and Worse. —Joseph Brodsky

This was such a fun sci-fi read from the absolutely talented author V. E. Schwab, the author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Since that book blew me away, I quickly researched and have started down the “read everything she’s written path” as there’s nothing I love more than an incredible story teller that allows you to experience the world and characters as they are, showing you the events without telling you what to think and experience, while providing fantastic entertainment.

This book didn’t disappoint. I did get a whiff of Flatliners vibe – you know, that awesome flick from the 90’s? But what a tale of what’s left when you come back, good versus evil, and who determines who is good and who is evil.

Be afraid of what comes back… and what doesn’t.

I generally became engaged with the characters (and thank her for Mitch and his chocolate milk drinking fetish and his role esp at the end!) Even better, this book has a follow up, Vengeful, which is the final book in this Villains series.

Oh Mitch, you and your chocolate milk!

Should you read it, I certainly think so, especially if you like magic, Near Death Experience, resurrections, dark humor, prison breaks, revenge, best friends turned enemies, likable characters, heroes, villains you love to hate, and of course villains you just can’t help but love. Definitely a 4.5 out of 5 read for me and one I encourage you to jump in and try as well.

4.5/5 star read. Well done start to a series!

Everyone needs a little hero and villain, sprinkled with a whiff of magic in their life. You just might find yours here.

We all just need a little magic.

Lastly, for me, when I look to a review I have already read the description and have my curiosity peaked and am looking to see whether I get that final push to spend my hard earned money and purchase the title or should I wait and get on the long list at the library to borrow it. This is definitely one I’d slap the card down for no problem. However, if you haven’t read what this novel is about, there’s no better person to turn to than the publishers themselves. So here is what they wrote:

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates―brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find―aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge―but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.”

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review! I truly hope you will drop me a line, a follow, or share a book recommendation with me, after all, that’s what reading and sharing is all about. Happy reading my friends!

The Perfect Daughter

I know in this pandemic we all have had to find new ways to keep ourselves happy, entertained, and connected to something as we have endured an ever changing way of life, sometimes it’s felt like an everyday change. One thing that luckily hasn’t changed is the creativity and quality of novels being released this year.

Well, here’s one to add to your April 2021 reading list! Another brilliant thriller novel waiting to fracture you with its twists and turns.

Didn’t see that one did you?

We all have those little quirks, voices if you want to call it, that allows us to slip fluidly from one situation to another, being funny and outgoing, shy and demure, wild and crazy, or just calm and relaxed as the situation calls for, but stop and think for a minute what would happen if for each change in mood or affect, you ended up with “blank spots.” Each part of your personality taking on a life of its own, never to share its experiences with the other personalities, not in thoughts or in deeds. Now take that one personality is found with a dead body, covered in blood, holding a knife, and no clue how they got there. Oh boy, you now have The Perfect Daughter. Only this daughter has such a troubled back story that while reading the book, you alternate between sympathy for her and fear of her. Can any one person be that out of control?

Author D. J. Palmer has done an outstanding job incorporating both the mental disorder of dissociative identity disorder, (formerly multiple personality disorder,) with a tightly woven legal thriller.

This was a journey that was surprising, thrilling, and a blast to read! Not only did Palmer meet a thriller lovers expectations, he exceeded them. This is a great way to sit down and lose yourself in a wild mouse ride of lies, betrayals, and of course a gruesome murder. Get your copy preordered today for it’s APRIL 20, 2021 release now! You won’t be sorry you did, just be sure to bring some really good super glue to put yourself back together with… no one likes a missing or rogue personality out there. Enjoy my friends! 😁

I would like to offer my most sincere thank you to NetGalley, D. J. Palmer, and St. Martin’s Press for providing me an ARC in exchange for my unbiased and honest opinions.

Lastly, for me, when I look to a review I have already read the description and have my curiosity peaked and am looking to see whether I get that final push to spend my hard earned money and purchase the title or should I wait and get on the long list at the library to borrow it. This is definitely one I’d slap the card down for no problem. However, if you haven’t read what this novel is about, there’s no better person to turn to than the publishers themselves. So here is what they wrote:

“Meet Ruby, who speaks with a British accent.

Then there’s Chloe, a perfectionist who strives for straight A’s in school.

And along comes Eve, who is spiteful and vicious.

All of them live inside Penny…

Or do they?

Penny Francone, age sixteen, is a murderer. Her guilt is beyond doubt: she was found alone in the victim’s apartment, covered in blood, holding the murder weapon. The victim’s identity and her secret relationship to Penny give her the perfect motive, sealing the deal. All the jury needs to decide now is where Penny will serve out her sentence. Will she be found not guilty by reason of insanity, as her lawyer intends to argue? Or will she get a life sentence in a maximum-security prison?

Already reeling from tragedy after the sudden passing of her beloved husband a few years before, now Grace is on her knees, grateful that Massachusetts doesn’t allow the death penalty.

As Penny awaits trial in a state mental hospital, she is treated by Dr. Mitchell McHugh, a psychiatrist battling demons of his own. Grace’s determination to understand the why behind her daughter’s terrible crime fuels Mitch’s resolve to help the Francone family. Together, they set out in search of the truth about Penny, but discover instead a shocking hidden history of secrets, lies, and betrayals that threatens to consume them all.

The perfect daughter. Is she fooling them all?”

%d bloggers like this: