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Jane Goes Batty: A Novel

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ARC (advance reader copy) review by JM Powers (pen name Summer Falls)The premise of Jane Austen, a two-hundred year undead author among the modern world is intriguing, but adding the fact she is a vampire, quite inept with her powers, is hilarious. Her former lover, Lord Byron, tries to teach her the ways of a vampire, but Jane is a bumbling and reluctant student. Their dialogue and interaction made me laugh out loud.Using the name Jane Fairfax, she runs a bookstore and writes romance novels. In love with a mortal, Walter, Jane struggles with the choice of divulging her undead status. Jane's world turns even crazier when Walter announces his mother is coming to meet her. Adding to the insanity, Jane is abandoned by her editor, stalked by a camera crew, a vampire hunter, and someone from her past who wants to end her life forever. The romance convention in her town, in period costume no less, brings everything to a head—proving to be a very batty situation indeed. I highly recommend this book. Michael Thomas Ford proves the vampire romance genre is not dead.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir

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I found this book hard to put down. Each chapter delved deeper into the life of the author, and I had to keep reminding myself it is a true story. My interest was piqued from the first sentence and help fast through to the end. I have a new respect for this journalist, and love the way she depicted her life through the eyes of an innocent child, then again as an adult. This memoir is very well written. I highly recommended it.
The Beach Trees

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The Beach Trees is written with emotion, polished with amazing descriptive scenes, and takes the reader into a world of survival. Julie struggles with her guilt over her sister's disappearance, but continues her search while starting a new life as guardian of, Beau, a child belonging to her dead best friend, Monica. Julie packs up her life, straps little Beau into his car seat and moves to Monica's hometown of New Orleans. The descriptive landscape of life after hurricane Katrina is so vivid, I could nearly smell the earthy smell of the town. The characters throughout the story are well developed. I love the way this story carries the reader onward, always rooting for Julie to discover her inner demons, and finally settle down. The way the author delves into two different people's past-- Beau's newly discovered great-grandmother, Aimee Guidry and the main character Julie--the transitions are seamless. Though the story goes from present day to the past several times, I was able to travel with the characters. This talented author tied all the lives together in imaginative ways. Secrets unfold throughout the story, but only enough to peak my interest and pull me deeper into the plot. I was a bit sad at the last page. I found myself missing the characters when I closed the book. I highly recommend The Beach Trees. If I could rate it with ten stars, I would.
What Karla Wants (Wings from Ashes, #1)

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I received FRIENDS OF CHOICE in exchange for a review. Though I admire the writer for trying to reach out to young adult readers about how choices are not without consequences, I think this book is in need of a re-write. I forced myself not to take out a red pencil and begin editing. The first chapter lacked depth, and failed to draw me in. Each chapter thereafter lacked a hook to keep me reading. Other than the major editing issues, the story is too preachy, and unfortunately a turn-off for YA readers. The first half of the book dragged, the characters lacked development, and for the most part, unlikable. If I had not promised a review, I would not have finished reading the book. The ending disappointed me even more. I found it inconceivable that an officer of the law would tell a teenager she would not notify a minor's parents of what happened, (i.e. rape, drug use). The ending also seemed to cut short, leaving the reader hanging for the sole purpose of a series. Each book in a series should be a complete story on its own.As a writer myself, it pains me to leave a negative review. For the sake of this author, I give my honest critique in hopes it will help her to improve. Perhaps by reading material on self-editing, plot and character development, she will improve her craft. I encourage this writer to continue with her writing, because only through practice and feedback can one improve. I know from my own experience how hard it is to see my own mistakes, and only through honest critiques was able to learn.
Highland Knight

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The exquisite way this writer conveys the era is amazing. The dialect is done well without putting off a reader. Plot, conflict and character development are all so well done it takes the reader right into the world this author created. I highly recommend this book. Not only does it have romance, intrigue and action, the main protagonist is full of witty and spunky attitude. I loved it.
The Rescue

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Well, Nicholas Sparks always makes me cry—in a good way. This is a great tale. The human nature of people shows through in his writing. Nicholas Sparks has certain trademarks that always keep his readers coming back for his next creation: love, tragedy, a heart-tugging middle and an ending that leaves you satisfied. Denise, the main character, has a young son, Kyle. I instantly fell in love with this speaking impaired child, and loved the way Denise communicated with him. She is a single mom, who is in a car accident. When Taylor, a handsome firefighter happens by the accident site, the story really takes off. Taylor searches for Denise’s missing son, and refuses to give up until he is found. You think this is the ”rescue” the title implies, and it is—but then later you discover who is really the one who needs rescuing.A romance develops between Denise and Taylor, however, both are fighting demons of their pasts and struggle to make their relationship work. This story was one of those hard to put down books. When you think things are going to calm down...something unexpected happens—which is why I spent the wee hours of the morning reading it. It was well worth the lost sleep. I highly recommend this book. If I could give it 10 stars I would
School Success for Kids With Autism

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I have an autistic son and though I was familiar with most of the information in this book, it still made me aware of other alternatives for teachers. It is geared more for the classroom, or schools of autistic children than parents. The information is clear and concise and a great guide for those who deal with those with autism.I highly recommend this book for teachers and other staff.
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