The Prized Girl

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Crazy unputdownably good, it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. Virginia Kennedy, our darkly messed-up, severely hurting, main protagonist, is twenty-six years old, living in a small New England town. Biting sarcasm, extreme social avoidance, and an alcohol-induced haze, Virginia’s prime tools for coping, do little to…

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Enough Already

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 From her earliest days on “ One Day at a Time”, I’ve always thought of Valerie Bertinelli as a living, breathing, approachable, everyday kind of person, albeit one who is beautiful, talented, and a very successful TV star. She always just came across as so kind, so real,…

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Around the Dark Dial

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I remember reading Ray Bradbury as a kid and being totally captivated. That rush of immediate childish wonder - of starry nights and worlds out there to be discovered - and lurking in the sidelines, the terror of the unknown, the darkly magical, and just what could be out…

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Brother

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Devastating in its quiet truth, “Brother” is a book about love, about hope, about wanting the best for your family and the future, and the insurmountable odds that may make the ordinary, the safe, and the comfortable completely out of reach. Michael and his brother, Francis, live with their…

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Dragon(e) Baby Gone

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What a hoot! “Dragon(e) Baby Gone” is a side-splitting, rollicking ride of urban fantasy mayhem - a glimpse into a world where illegal magic can at best be loosely controlled as “extra-planar” creatures, teeming with malevolence and greed, and aided by extraordinary powers, seep across the earthly planar divide…

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The Ballerinas

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 I am a fast reader. It will typically take me a day, perhaps two, to read a book, obsessively finding the time to squeeze in more reading for a book that I am particularly enjoying. This book, “The Ballerinas”, broke my pattern apart. Hooking me from the very…

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October Storms

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Meticulously researched, “October Storms” tells the tale of Louise Hawkes, a young woman living in central Illinois in 1897, with her two young children, Randall and Becca. The history of the time period comes alive beautifully in the author’s carefully detailed descriptions of the hardships, lifestyle, and communities that…

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A Change of Circumstance

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Easily one of my all-time favorite detective series, Book 11 in the Simon Serrailler series, “A Change in Circumstance” is every bit as wonderfully engaging as its precedents. Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler, a complex man who is something of an emotional enigma, has an exceptionally close relationship with…

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The Glory Road

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Fascinating and heart-breaking, this wonderful immersive look at the true-life experiences of a gypsy gospel child, raised in the deeply restrictive Pentecostal faith by ordained pastor parents, both of them musically talented, who practice their faith primarily through the participation and organization of traveling musical revivals that celebrate…

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