“Return of the Continuums”–Review

51idwddhmil-_sx322_bo1204203200_Reaching the surface was just the beginning.

In The 13th Continuum, humanity was on the brink of extinction after a cataclysmic event.  Chosen candidates took refuge in various continuums—underground, underwater, and outer space—until Earth was safe to repopulate again.  One thousand years later, in the underwater 13th Continuum, Myra Jackson envisions what the Surface is like—a place and topic that is strictly forbidden and punishable by death in her totalitarian world.  However, when she learns of a frightening truth, she and her friends risk everything to reach their rightful home and to save their colony.  To do that, Myra must find her connection, Captain Aero Wright—a highly skilled soldier from the space colony in the Second Continuum.

In Return of the Continuums, after their struggle to reach the Surface, Myra and her friends set out to find the First Continuum.  But to get there, they have to travel through a hostile landscape, including hostile inhabitants of other continuums.  The friends must make an unlikely ally if they are to live long enough to reach the First Continuum and learn the secret behind the 1,000-year-old cataclysm and the hope of saving humanity.

The 13th Continuum was my first Sci-Fi read and I immediately loved it.  I went through all sorts of emotions with each chapter and was cheering for Myra to escape a world run by a fanatical religious sect.  As I got near the end of the book, I already knew I wanted more.  The sequel was even better and left me shocked at the end.  Of course, I won’t spoil any of it for those who’d like to read it.  Honestly, I can’t wait for the final book.  I’m sure it’s going to be superb!

For all the YA/Sci-Fi fans, I recommend this series.  Return of the Continuums will be released on November 1, 2016.  As always, feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from Turner Publishing, as part of the Review Team.

About the author: Jennifer Brody lives and writes in Los Angeles.  After graduating from Harvard University, she began her career in feature film development.  Her many projects include The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Golden Compass, and Love in the Time of Cholera.  She’s a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.  She also founded and runs BookPod, a social media platform for authors.  Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

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Flashback Friday

Good afternoon, bloggers, and Happy Friday!  I hope this month has provided you with great books, writing, and any other goals you’ve pursued.  Since NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) posts have been all over social media, lately, I’ve been thinking about participating.  I haven’t participated since 2014, so we’ll see.  How about you?

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about this month and how quickly it’s gone by.  I’ve overwhelmed myself with books I’ve wanted to read, which I’m glad I did, anyway.  Speaking of which, I just wanted do my first Flashback Friday post on here.

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Vroman’s Bookstore is one of my favorite bookstores.  If you’re in the L.A. area—or plan to visit—check it out, in Pasadena.  In mid-October, my sister and I stopped by to meet Cary Elwes.  He’s famously known for his role as the gorgeous farm boy, Westley, in The Princess Bride.  He was signing copies of his book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride.  Luckily, the excitement of meeting him was a good distraction from standing in that long line, in the heat.  Either way, I didn’t mind.

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While waiting in line, I took advantage of reading a few pages of this beautiful copy.

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Signed to my sister and me.  I love it!

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It was just an honor to meet Cary.  He was so polite and charming.  He’d asked us if we were sisters, and then he replied, “That it so sweet.”  It was the highlight of our day.  Meeting an author is always exciting.  Now that I think about it, I believe that’s the second author I’ve met this year.  When my sister and I left the bookstore, we practically swooned like Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz when they would meet celebrities.  It was worth it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to this coming month.  I’ll be posting a new book review soon, by the way.  Happy reading!

“The Two-Family House”–Review

51p7ayjdy3l-_sx327_bo1204203200_Good afternoon, bloggers! I just finished my required reading—The Two-Family House—for an upcoming book club, and I’m happy to share this with you.

In 1940s Brooklyn, a blizzard is approaching.  In a two-family brownstone are two mothers who are sisters by marriage.  Rose is dutiful and quiet, who just wants to please her distant and difficult husband, Mort.  Helen, although exhausted from raising four rambunctious boys, is caring, warm, and patient.  During the blizzard, Rose and Helen go into labor at the same time, with both babies born minutes apart.  Throughout the years, both women have raised their families side by side, supporting each other, and bonding like sisters.

After the storm has passed, both families go about their normal lives.  As the years pass, however, the once-deep friendship between Rose and Helen starts to unravel.  Rose hasn’t been the same since the the blizzard and Helen can’t figure out the reason, nor can both families.  It all eventually leads back to one misguided choice, a secret between Rose and Helen that can affect both families, should it ever be revealed.

I was immediately interested in this story when it first came out and I’m happy for having the opportunity to read it.  It wasn’t what I expected.  Some of the characters had me a bit frustrated—like the relationship between Mort and his brother Abe, Helen’s husband—yet made me want to know their story.  At times, it had me asking, “Why are you all this way?” And some scenes had me near tears, but I was enjoying the whole book.

As always, feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

About the author: Lynda Cohen Loigman grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.  She earned a B.A. in English and American literature from Harvard College and J.D. from Columbia Law School.  She is now a student at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College and lives with her husband and two children in Chappaqua, New York.  Follow her on Twitter.

“The Long Journey to Jake Palmer”–Review

410mbxgu66l-_sx322_bo1204203200_What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed?

That’s an interesting question.  What if there was such a place?  And would you be willing to find it?  In this story, Jake Palmer is a corporate trainer who coaches people to see deeper into themselves, to motivate and provide inspiration to their lives.  The problem, however, is that Jake no longer practices what he preaches.  Recently divorced and after a near-death experience, Jake is discouraged with life.  Even after his seminars, he questions his own purposes, all the while feeling sorry for himself and just wanting to be left alone.

Although he’s not too excited about the idea, Jake agrees to meet his close friends at a lake-house for a ten-day vacation.  While he’s there, Jake is informed of the legend of Willow Lake, where a lost corridor leads to a place where one’s longings can be fulfilled, where their lives can be completely healed.  Jake’s not sure what to believe.  Although he considers the idea absurd, he still can’t help feeling tempted to find this corridor.  And when he meets a man who talks of particular beliefs of the corridor, Jake becomes determined to find this path, to find himself, and to have his life back.

This book is quite an inspirational read and I’m happy for having the opportunity to read and share this with you.  It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but it was great.  Some of the scenes where almost as if I’d stepped into a fantasy novel and I liked the creativity behind it.  Sometimes, no matter where we are in our lives, we all could use that little push.  I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just recommend you check it out.  Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

FTC Disclosure: I received this copy from BookLook Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: James L. Rubart is a professional marketer and speaker.  He is the author of the bestselling novel Rooms, as well as Book of Days, The Chair, the Well Spring Novels, and The Five Times I Met Myself.  He lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest.  You can visit his websiteTwitter, or Facebook.