12 Books to Help You Read More

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

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Did you make a New Year's Resolution to read more?  

Are you currently in a reading slump?  

Need help picking books that will help you stick with your resolution to read more books?  

You came to the right place!  

I have a fail-proof list of books that will keep you entertained for hours (days) and leave you wondering why you  didn't read these books sooner...


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1) When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is beautifully written and one of the best books I have ever read. Dr. Kalanithi would probably become one of the best writers in our century, had his life gone the way he planned: 20 years as a neurosurgeon/neuro scientist + 20 years as a writer.  
Warning: Tissue Box required and a book hangover might be a side effect.



2) A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first book in the fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas.  It’s constantly labeled as a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, being the tale of a kidnapped girl, two Faerie High Lords and a curse that needs to be broken. I’d like to think it’s Beauty and the Beast meets Twilight, but that’s just me. Grab your favorite snack and enjoy this unforgettable adventure.
Note: even though this book is constantly found in the YA section of bookstores, it  should really be in the adult fantasy section due to some highly steamy scenes.  You have been warned...




3) You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria goes behind the scenes of a latin telenovela and the necessary chemistry needed to make it believable.  What happens when the on-screen attraction becomes real?  I loved how the author showed the complexity of these characters, and how trust and communication are the most important things in any relationship (both on and off screen).  It's basically impossible not to get swept away by this one!




4)  Recursion by Blake Crouch - I’m a sci-fi fan and even though the whole concept of time-travel has been explored in a lot of books and movies, Crouch was able to explore a new angle, one that merged actual scientific advances into a fictitious reality that might not be too far from the near future.
His narrative is fast-paced, leaving the reader with no time to think twice when turning the pages.  To make it even more interesting, there’s also a love story ♥.


5) Take a Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert  ~ Dani Brown is all focused on her career and too busy for romantic relationships, but when the video of super-hot security guard Zaf carrying her out of the building goes viral, a new hashtag starts trending: #drrugbae.  What could possibly go wrong from a "friends with benefits" agreement between these 2?  I don't know about you but I was never that lucky when it came to security guys...just saying.  This one is perfect for those that like a romance high on the steamy meter.


6)  Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala is a heartbreaking story about coming of age in a conservative immigrant family.  Iweala takes us on a journey of self-discovery with Niru, who is torn between the guilt of not being the son his parents expect him to be and the freedom to accept (and love) who he truly is.  His brother OJ, advises him to not pick fights he can't win, when it comes to their parents, but Niru finds it hard to believe his brother would suffer the same judgement from their father.    


7)  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness takes us to a world with magical creatures: Witches, Vampires and Daemons...and an enchanted manuscript.  Diana Bishop, a descendant of the Salem Bishop Clan, is about to find out that she is the most powerful witch alive. Her parents were murdered when Diana was young and she has decided to live her life without using magic. Here comes Matthew Clairmont, a jaw-dropping good looking vampire who is also a geneticist.  When Diana somehow calls the enchanted manuscript, she unknowingly sends out an universal alarm that makes all magical creatures (good and evil) aware of who she is. She can no longer hide.  To make matters worse, it is forbidden for a witch to fall in love with a vampire! Can you guess what happens next?

8)  Sadie by Courtney Summers is the story of one girl and the radio presenter that starts investigating her disappearance.  Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, so you can't wait to read the next chapter.  This back and forth helps the story flow and keeps you hoping that the clues Sadie leaves behind will help West McCray (the investigative reporter) find her.  The closest he gets to where Sadie is, the more you want to keep reading...until the very last page.

9) Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce - By combining humor with the voice of the young Emmy, Pearce's novel showed us how people had to carry on with their lives and find hope in the midst of war.  A well-written novel about friendships and the lives of women during the war...PERFECT for lovers of historical-fiction!⁠

10) The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a novel in verse that captures the struggles of an Afro-Latina teenager growing up in Harlem, with a highly religious mother, an almost invisible father and a super intelligent twin. Xiomara has a hard time fitting in and she starts writing about her frustrations, anger and pain. Writing becomes her way to cope with everything around her, and when a teacher encourages her to join the Slam Poetry Club, Xiomara starts finding her own voice.  Acevedo's words are as powerful and realistic as the Xiomara I imagined in my head. A force not to be reckoned with. A Grand SLAM ⁠💥

11) Beach Read by Emily Henry will make you fall in love with the characters.  January is a hopeless romantic and Gus is a "life is shit" kind of guy. But not everyone is just one thing, is it? And as they start knowing each other, the layers start coming off, and they might discover that they are not so different after all.⁠  Add to that a nice dose of sarcasm combined with that twisted humor and endless eye rolls that make sparks fly, and you'll be singing love songs by the last page.

12) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is dark, magical and extravagantly imagined! A tale within a tale that takes you in as if in a dream...and we all know that in dreams anything can happen, so be ready to be WOWED!⠀


If you'd like to purchase any of these books, please visit Bookshop.org and help raise funds for local bookstores.  

https://bookshop.org/lists/15-books-to-stick-with-your-resolution-to-read-more


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THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Nikki Lee Taylor Release Blitz

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

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I am so excited that THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Nikki Lee Taylor is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $10 Amazon GC courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours & Nikki. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.

 

About The Book:

Title: THE SECRETS WE KEEP

Author: Nikki Lee Taylor

Pub. Date: January 11, 2021

Publisher: Magpie Creative Media

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N,

Read for FREE with a Kindle Unlimited Membership!

Not all mothers are created equal… Some are better at hiding the truth.

Crippled with anxiety, Sophie is desperate to overcome the pain of losing her husband and only child in a freak car accident. Living and working in isolation with only the company of her dog Miss Molly, Sophie agrees to take on a job reviewing the manuscript of an up-and-coming writer. But this isn’t any story. It is one that unearths old secrets and to discover the truth, Sophie must find the courage to embark on a search that will change her life forever.

​On the outside, Love Mommy blogging queen Madelyn-May has it all. To her online community she is the perfect mother. She has a successful husband, perfect twins, and an idyllic life. What they don’t know is Madelyn-May also has a secret. When her past collides with the present, Madelyn-May is forced to make a choice that could destroy everything she loves.

​Would you risk destroying a family, if it meant healing your own heart? Would you tell the truth, if it meant losing everything you love?

​The Secrets We Keep is a confronting look at the complexities of family and lengths a mother will go to for her child.

 

Excerpt

The blinds are drawn because I need them to be. There are days the light is welcome, but not today. Today I need the darkness. It is the best way I know to pull them in close, here in the dark, in the empty spaces where they no longer exist and yet still take up every particle of air.

My life. My love. My family. James and Josh. My husband and son, stolen while I was sleeping, peacefully unaware at that very moment that the entire world was shattering.

It’s the small things that hurt the most. An unexpected letter with his name on it. A television commercial for Linvilla Orchards – where we picked peaches every July, just the two of us at first, and then with Josh. His familiar scent trailing behind a stranger, its ghostly arms wrapping around my lungs and squeezing. The crisp sting of empty sheets as autumn turns to winter.

Worst of all: the sudden ring of a child’s laughter breaking the silence and tearing my heart into a thousand tiny pieces.

I stroke the fur on Miss Molly’s golden head and close my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I whisper, even though dogs don’t understand apologies. “It’s this day, it’s….”

I let the words trail off, unable to say out loud that five years ago my husband and son took their last breath, trapped in a car wreck, and I hadn’t been there. Unable to say that while they were dying, I lay peacefully in bed, useless and selfish, taking an afternoon nap. It hadn’t even woken me. I hadn’t sat up, my instincts kicking into overdrive. I hadn’t experienced so much as a bad dream.

At the time friends told me I should try to forgive myself, that it wasn’t my fault. They brought soup, and sent messages. They held me and promised things would get better. They stood on my stoop and reminded me, “There’s nothing you could have done.”  

Therapists call my depression and anxiety a form of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Survivor’s guilt, they say, although that’s not the official term. Apparently it’s natural for parents who outlive their children to experience a sense of blame, but I have struggled to believe there is anything natural about it. Could there be anything more unnatural than for a mother to bury her son?

Then there were the people who told me to have faith. I’ve never been a religious person, but I have stood alone on a rainy afternoon and heard the hollow thump of dirt shoveled onto a tiny white casket. I’ve heard the mournful cry of a loon as people, not knowing what else to say, turned and made the sad walk back to their cars. I have stood as day turned to night, staring at two holes in the ground, hoping my husband and son wouldn’t be cold on the first night away from their beds. Away from me. Having faith would mean believing James and Josh were taken for a reason, that there was some divinity to their absence. There is not. There is only pain and empty spaces.

I get up from the couch and pull the curtains further across. But no matter how dark I make the room, there are always slivers of light that keep me in the place I don’t want to be.

Slivers that never let me bury the one question I still have no answer for.

How do I ever find the strength to step into the light when they are forever lost in the dark?

 

About Nikki:

Nikki Lee Taylor is a long-time newspaper journalist turned fiction writer. She is also a dreamer, a doer, a storyteller, a coffee lover, and fur mum to two golden retrievers Max and Sam.

She spends most of her time staring into space, walking between worlds, and creating out-loud character dialogue that sounds a lot like talking to herself in the shower. She stays up late plotting and planning the lives of characters yet to be created and starts every day embraced by the warmth of a good coffee.

She is a courageous booktrovert who lives life with her right foot in NSW, Australia and the left in a world that exists only in her head.

She reads books out loud to anyone who’ll listen and drives her husband mad spending all her free time with friends who exist only on the page.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details:

1 lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.


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