Savor your Spring reading experience with 8 fabulous new books to download to your Kindle, or order on amazon.com. or find in your favorite bookstore.
Each of the books will offer you something very different to think about from romance to Romanichal gypsies, military to memoirs, and more!
There’s a reason why Olivia Rigal is a six-time USA Today bestselling author of romantic suspense!
Artistic License by Olivia Rigal ( Amazon Digital Services LLC August 2018) is an intriguing tale featuring art, intrigue, villains, two gorgeous guys and (depending upon your view) just a bit of kinky sex.
What like so much about Olivia’s books are that they are interesting, but also more complex and intelligent than a lot of the romance novels out there. Her stories have depth, They are not just a tepid remake of the standard romance plot.
She makes you want to know what the next page will bring. Then, she delivers it so fasten your seatbelts for the ride!
In Artistic License we meet Laura Sweet. Suddenly orphaned, she goes to live with her Aunt Lily who is horribly mean to her.
A neighbor is Maurice, an elderly man who teaches Laura how to retouch paintings. She’s good at it, and unwittingly gets caught up in more than she bargained for.
After Maurice dies, Laura ends up getting embroiled in relationships and business dealings including with Maurice brother, who is corrupt and ruthless,
At the same time, she is also being championed by hunky gorgeous and young Art Gallery owners James and Steven. They both want her to be theirs. Cue the Menage a Trois!
Laura is portrayed as overly naive for her age and situation but for the sake of the story, I’ll go with it.
It would be a shame to reveal much more. Buy the book and enjoy this fast-paced story!
If you want to read a nightmarish story, Together, a Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap by Judy Goldman (Doubleday books February 2019) will really make you think about having medical procedures,
Imagine going in for a supposedly simple procedure for back pain and finding yourself paralyzed from the waist down. That’s what happened to the author’s husband.
She describes in no holds barred details how her husband and she got through the worst of it. You really get to see a couple putting the wedding vow ” In sickness and in health” a workout.
You never really know what you’re capable of until you’re thrown into a situation.
This isn’t a “feel good” story, but the power of positive transformation and the power of love, loyalty and dedication make it in many ways, uplifting.
The book isn’t so expertly written (it could use more editing) but the story will stick in your memory, perhaps forever. I know it will, in mine.
Queen of Bling:
Fans of reality television will immediately recognize the name of dressmaker Sondra Celli, known for the jaw-dropping couture she creates on the hit television series My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding,
In Bling! The Uncommon Crystal Couture World of Sondra Celli by Sondra Celli and Tisi Farrar (Schiffer Publishing Ltd) May 2019) you will not only learn about how Sondra became the “Queen of Bling” but how she creates those amazing dresses so big some brides can’t easily get out of the door or into a car.
She also writes about some of the things that go behind the scenes of the TV show, and how she got involved with the Gypsy community.
Sondra shares how she adds crystal brilliance to everything from tuxedos to Converse sneakers to pet accessories and it’s fun to gawk at the fabulous fashions she’s created.
However, it’s not all about her, some of it is also about how to DIY your own blinged-out accessories and clothing. The step by step directions are easy to follow although in practice, you need some patience to do a really good job.
Sondra also writes about her bling kit which is available for purchase on her website. She promotes it (gently but firmly) to those who want to bling out their own items,
Even after reading Bling! I don’t think too many of us could compete with the “Queen of Bling” myself, but I’m sure many, will try!
Muslim Arab Reminiscences:
The Wrong End of the Table: A Mostly Comic Memoir of a Muslin Arab American Woman Just Trying to Fit In by Ayser Salman (Sky Horse Publishing March 5, 2019) is meant to be a (somewhat) humorous book about a young girl entering the United States and having to learn how to fit in.
I’ve seen quite a few autobiographies from savvy Arab American women with the theme of adjusting to life in the United States. Some also write about moving back to their own (or their parent’s) native country after living in the United States.
In The Wrong End of the Table, the author breaks down experiences in stories ranging from her early years to her 40’s.
Clearly, the author loves her family and they are a key part of the book. They come across intelligent, loving people. However, many of the stories really aren’t that funny, merely a smirk or a small chuckle.
There seems always to be someone or something mean-spirited behind them. Not everyone has an open mind, and it’s clear that any immigrant population will meet with misconceptions and suspicion.
The overlying message, however, is that no matter how awkward you feel, eventually can find your place.
Find Your Inner Peace:
If you need spiritual enlightenment and/or inner peace, perhaps it’s time to read Sacred Journeys: Your Guide to the World’s Most Transformative Spaces, Places, and Sites by Meera Lester (Adams Media January 2019).
There are beautiful photos and 200 pages of places to go to boost your inner chi, or just sit and wonder as a delightful diversion. Because, no matter where you are in the world, there’s a place to “find yourself” harnessing the spiritual aura of that specific location.
This is a travel guide to give you a taste (just a page) of what you might find if you go near, or very far, and what that particular place might help your healing or wellness.
You won’t find a list of restaurants or hotels or nightclubs. the purpose of this book is to show you what’s out there to “soothe your spirit.”
Each location also has a small paragraph about what makes each place super special.
Consider this book as fun for the armchair traveler, but on a serious note, one of these locations might entice you enough to visit.
World War II Women:
During World War II the Red Cross introduced “Clubmobiles.” They were converted half-ton trucks and single-deck buses that dispensed coffee, donuts, and other small items to the troops overseas.
Clubmobiles were operated by women volunteers and these women were very carefully chosen. This is the backdrop for the women featured in The Beantown Girls by June Healey (Lake Union Publishing February 2019).
It’s 1944 and Boston girl Fiona Denning is dreaming of the day her fiance comes back from the war. Alas, now he’s missing in action or maybe, dead.
In an effort to do something positive and hopefully find out about her fiance, Fiona agrees to volunteer overseas as a Red Cross Clubmobile girl, recruiting her two best friends to come along.
Will the ladies survive the challenges? Will they have happy stories in the end? The story is fiction, but the characters seem believable.
The author interviewed or researched material from actual Clubmobile women. In today’s “selfie” and selfish world, it’s amazing how young men and women felt so differently about country and duty.
The Beantown Girls will keep your attention page after page.
When he died in action, Haper finds herself living with her mother and young son for a number of years. She just doesn’t know what she wants to do to move forward.
Enter another SEAL from her husband’s “band of brothers” to steal her heart and bring her back to life.
The plot isn’t strikingly new or even a fabulously written, and you can almost figure out the ending from the beginning.
But who cares?! Lovers of lovers (and romance novels) will find The Military Wife, very satisfying.
Komal Kapoor, author of Unfollowing You (AndrewsMcMeel Publishing February 2019) has over 300,000 Instagram followers but follows almost no one. But it’s clear it’s her platform that bagged her a book deal,
The “poetry/art” book is a trend that’s getting stale. An amateur artiste using simple statements as poetry is not that exciting. Nor is using text message graphics to convey “feelings” of love/loss.
I’m just “SMH” (shaking my head) about what readers are getting out of this.
Here’s just one example : Page 73 sports a graphic of a text message “argh idk. idgaf” and the response? “You deserve more.” I don’t like to malign other writers, but I couldn’t let this go unsaid.
However, as someone who has lived a bit, this book just feels like a ripoff. Surely there’s more to say an in an intelligent and thoughtful way.
Ms. Kapoor, being an Instagram “influencer” doesn’t make you a poet, or an artist nor is it necessarily the basis for a book. Obviously, someone out there likes her style.
The author will probably never read this review, or follow me on Instagram or anywhere else. However, I care about my readers and followers and I do follow back.
“BTW” (by the way) my personal Instagram is @alisonblackman and the Advicesisters.com Instagram is @advicesisters_beauty_and_style).