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Review: Montana Cherries – Kim Law — READ This Book!!!!!

Montana Cherries“Triangulation: a tactic used by narcissistic parents to change the balance of power in a family system. For example, rather than allowing two siblings to work together, the Narcissistic Parent insists that he or she be the go-between. This controls the way the information flows, the way it is interpreted, and adds nuances to the conversation.”Band Back Together, adult children of narcissistic parents resources

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” — Walter Anderson

What do we naturally forget, and what do we force from our minds, wipe the slate clean, when it comes to our childhood? Where in our minds is the blackness and pain packed away, hidden? Behind locked doors? Or in solid chests, pushed to the back of the mind, covered in dust and ashes, only to crack open, leaking out poisons that eat away at body, mind and soul, tiny currents, lapping away at the foundations of life until it is simply not worth living any longer. Crippled lives, crippled relationships. And the pain. The pain, constant and unyielding, thrumming in the background, dark drums in the night, throbbing … throbbing … throbbing …

But the guilt? The guilt is, in a way, can be even more debilitating. You are never enough. Never good enough, never sane enough, never pretty enough or smart enough or or or. . .

The thing is, Dani Wilde doesn’t even know she is damaged. You see, she doesn’t remember. She thinks things are fine. Her life is finally opening up. The four younger brothers she raised are taken care of, all grown up, have good positions, and even the youngest is graduating from college. Finally, finally she can reach for her own dreams. She can take her skills at marketing and accept the position at a New York firm that has been following her through her career as a freelance marketing specialist in Montana. Dani is responsible for keeping the cherry farm her family owns financially stable. She cooks and cleans for a family of six, runs a store featuring local products, runs an online business selling the stores wares, and has a separate business as a marketing specialist for local businesses. She never stops working, never stops caring for others. Just. Never. Stops. But now? Now she can have the life she gave up when her mother died in a car accident, a death that brought Dani back from her full ride at Columbia to take over the household on their cherry farm and raise the four brothers that her mother left behind. These are good time, wonderful times. Dani can finally have a life which doesn’t include having to be everything to everyone else.

But.

Something is happening inside her. Flashes of memory, scenes in her mind that can’t possibly be real.

Can they?

The door is opening, the chest creaking as the top rises. The dust is blowing away. And what crawls out of the darkness, pale and ephemeral, could very well destroy Dani. And the larger that shadowy presence grows in her mind, the wider the opening, the darker the memories . . . Memories that will literally rip her life to shreds, destroying everything she ever thought about herself, her family, her very life.

The pain . .   .

I am not ashamed to say that I cried like a baby over this book. It took me a couple of days to even write this review. Looking back, this almost sounds like a horror story, doesn’t it? And in a way, it is. But it is also a story of incredible inner strength, a story of just how devastating the actions of one member of a family can be upon the lives of all around them. Especially the lives of their own children. This book hurt on a level that is hard for me to even explain.

But that isn’t a bad thing. You see, it is nearly impossible for anyone who hasn’t been there to understand just how Narcissistic Personality Disorder in a parent can shatter the very soul of a child. And that is what this family has suffered, though Dani doesn’t even remember it. And when she does, when her memories finally return, here it becomes not just Dani’s story, but the story of a family so deeply damaged that they may never be completely healed. But it is also a story of a family finding their way towards that healing, towards understanding and relearning how to love one another.

This is, on the surface, a ‘sweet, home town romance.’ And yes, there is romance here. But what makes it SO much better than a ‘boy meets girl’ romance is the cast of characters. Armed with a sharp and unrelenting pen, Kim Law draws a picture of family life that is far from perfect. And it isn’t just Dani’s family that is far from Norman Rockwellesque. Ben was Dani’s first love, first lover, and best friend ten years ago. But one single night separated them. Now Ben, who had his own issues with the coldness and disregard of his famous actress mother finds himself the single father of a four-year-old little girl who is dropped off on his doorstep one day like a load of laundry by a mother who never looks back. Bringing her back to Montana where he spent as much time as possible at one time with the Wilde family, he is looking for some way to connect with the child.

Yes, all of these people are heartbreaking. And all of them – all of them – even the ones I wanted to hit over the head with a very large rock, are worth spending time with. Worth coming to know, coming to understand – if for no other reason than to understand your own heart, your own pain. And some of them? Some of them are worth loving so very much simply for their ability to continue to survive, continue to love, to even know how to love under the crushing weight of betrayals beyond comprehension. This is what makes this book so very heartbreaking – and so very, very worth reading.

This is a six tissue read, and I have to say, when I finished it? I felt, well, cleaner. Like one of the many wounds in my soul had been lanced and bled, and can now heal. Not all, but you know what? As Ms. Law says in her postscript, “You’re not alone. You’re a survivor. You got dealt a rotten hand in life. But you can move on.” Watching her characters do just that? Well, that is the very definition of cathartic.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. Here is the skinny. If you are looking for a ‘simple’ romance story, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a well written book with a strong story, wonderful characters, a realistic look at the damage a serious but under acknowledged disorder can cause, well, you are in for a true treat. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Click the link above or pick up a copy of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough” by Karyl McBride, Ph.D. for further on NPD.

If you like my review, I would really appreciate it if you would click “Like” for my review on Amazon when this book comes out on July 28th. It helps draw attention to my reviews, which helps the authors I review garner more readers. Thank you!

About Kim Law

6473776 As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and worked for years as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

Visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kimlawauthor or find her on twitter @kim_law.

Review: More Than Magic (Books Of The Kindling #1) By Donna June Cooper

Indubitably, magic is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgment and practice than in any other branch of physics. – Aleister Crowley

Processed sugar is poison. – Sandra Tennison (Ben’s mom) – Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
More Than MagicDoctor Grace Woodruff is special. A newly-minted doctor, she works hard and cares for her patients. Especially Isabella, better known as Tink, or Tinker Bell, the young cancer victim who wraps her tiny hands around Grace’s heart. Tink, whose time is so very, very short. Grace wants desperately to do something, anything, to help. And she does.

Now, terrified by what she has done, and suffering the agony of losing her beloved grandfather, Grace returns to her mountain home to take over the family’s herb business, the business they have run since the time of her great-great-great grandmother Lily, the famous Woodruff Herb Farm. But peace is not to be found.

There’s something wrong with our mountain, Gracie-girl. You’re the only one who’ll hear it too.”

Frightened and confused, Grace has no time or patience for the author who shows up on her doorstep, unannounced, with a reservation to stay for a week at the Woodruff cabins – a reservation that should have been cancelled when Grace sent her workers away for a two week vacation so she can get her life, and her blooming powers, under control. Nick Crowe is supposed to be writing a book on how the meth trade affects families – but it soon becomes apparent that he is a lot more than he claims.

More Than Magic is AWESOME magical urban fantasy. Donna June Cooper grew up the granddaughter of a coal miner in the Appalachian Mountains, and her knowledge of and great love for the mountains shines through in her work. Poverty and the misery, grief and destructive nature of the meth trade is a strong theme. But the beauty of the land, the magic and history, the Appalachian Granny Women who heal all those who are in need, all these things play a part in creating this marvelous first book in the Books of the Kindling series.

And, there are the stars. The vast expanses of the universe, spinning above the mountains, the immeasurable depths and brilliant lights.

Pops had told her the new name (Star Crossing) was much more descriptive than the old Woodruff Meadow, since he often had to stop on the road to the house to let a few stars cross.

This is a magical tale, a tale of wonder and joy, of loss and heartbreak, and the ties of the miraculous nature of the Earth. Make a cup of cocoa, gather up a quilt and a soft pillow, and turn on your favorite soft music. Then curl up in your favorite chair and simply immerse yourself in a world of beauty and magic. It is well worth it.

Review: Meridian Qigong by Tevia Feng

meridianHarmony makes small things grow, lack of it makes great things decay. – Sallust

 We have finally started to notice that there is real curative value in local herbs and remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware that there are little or no side effects to most natural remedies, and that they are often more effective than Western medicine. – Anne Wilson Schaef

Qi (chee) is Chinese for air, or energy, while Gong is “work.” One moves and harmonizes life energy, moving through universal energies, balancing and healing the mind, soul and body. Through meditation, exercise and harmony of mind and body, Qigong applies the energies of the mind and body to ensure health and wellness.

While Western Medicine claims perfection using chemicals and invasive treatments, Chinese medicine is a much older, wiser style of medicine, going back millennia, through the Daoist and Buddist traditions and further. This is not to say that Western medicine doesn’t have it’s place. As a Stage IIIb cancer survivor I was not adverse to using every bit of Western medicine I could in order to overcome the horrors of cancer. Of course, the Western medicine was horrible in and of itself. But it did the job, for which I am eternally grateful. But meditation, massage, acupuncture and other, older forms of healing also played a big part in my healing. And honestly, though Qigong was not part of my healing, if I had found this book sooner, I feel very much that this too would have helped immensely to provide balance and help me to manage my pain and weakness during my chemotherapy.

I spent quite some time reading though Meridian Qigong and was very comfortable with the practice. Now, honestly, I intend to keep this book on my Nook and start actually practicing Qigong, with the help of Tevia Feng’s lovely little book. Only 120 pages long, the book is a wonderful introduction to Qigong. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Check it out – the practice of Qigong may be perfect to help you to balance your mind and body.

I received this book form the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

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Review: THE Vixen AND THE VET By Katy Regnery

THE Vixen AND THE VET By Katy Regnery

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Click to purchase The Vixen and the Vet – do your part for our Veterans!

As Independence Day approaches, it is wonderfully easy to look forward to taking a day to wave our flags and shake the hands of those who have served our country overseas in order to assure our freedom. We dress up, walk in parades, shoot firecrackers and eat barbecue, drink gallons of beer, then return to our homes and our jobs feeling self-satisfied that we have done our bit to “honor our soldiers.” But is that even close to being enough?

Katy Regnery has created something wonderful with “The Vixen and the Vet.” With what is ostensibly romance novel, she has brought front and center a dark side of the human psyche – the ability of the American government, and the American populace, to ignore the real costs to the soldiers who often give not only their lives, but their bodies, minds and souls to the machines of war.

After an IED explosion in Afghanistan took Asher Lee’s hand and destroyed his face, the former football star and small town hero returned to Danvers, VA a broken man. Scorned and vilified by the populace due to his destroyed visage, he retreats to his house on the hill and immerses himself in his library. Never leaving his house, he relies on Miss Potts, his retired second-grade teacher, to act as his interface with the outside world.

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They give us their lives. Give them something back – the right to hold their heads up. When you click through THE PHOTOS AREN’T PRETTY – THEY AREN’T MEANT TO BE – But THESE are just some of the soldiers you are helping!

Eight years later, Savannah Carmichael appears on the scene. An up-and-coming journalist for the New York Sentinel, Savannah has committed the ultimate journalistic sin for a “hard news” reporter. She allowed her libido to cloud her judgment, relying upon a highly unreliable source for a career-making article. Fired and disgraced, Savannah has returned to her family in Danvers to try to rebuild her life. When an opportunity appears, seemingly out of the blue, to write a human interest story for the Phoenix Times, Savannah sees it as her first step to regaining her reputation and her life. And approaching Asher Lee for an interview, just in time for the Fourth of July, seems just the story to save her. The problem is, it isn’t just the townsfolk who are culpable when it comes to betrayal, deceit and viciousness.

As stated before, this is a romance novel, but it is so much more than that. Katy has written a book which, though it doesn’t hit you over the head with it, it still strongly points out how badly we let down our soldiers. Especially those who return with physical, mental and emotional damage.

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Click to learn more about Operation Mend!

In order to help, Katy has written this novel as a fundraiser, with 50% of her profits in June and July going directly to Operation Mend at the UCLA Medical Center. UCLA Operation Mend is a groundbreaking program that provides returning military personnel access to the nation’s top plastic and reconstructive surgeons, as well as comprehensive medical and mental-health support for the wounded and their families. By offering cutting edge reconstructive facial surgery, prosthetics and intensive therapy to those heroes with calamitous injuries, Operation Mend helps our returning warriors live fuller and more comfortable lives once home.

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No soldier should have to hide his face from his family.

And now, a personal plea. A Starbucks® Mocha Frappuccino Grande is normally $3.75. This book is $3.99, and it is for an amazing cause. So, grab your wallet and let a wounded veteran know, if only in this small way, how much you appreciate them. They suffer, fight and die for YOU so you can remain safe. This is so little to ask to ascertain that when they return they may continue to live happy, productive lives among their friends and family members without suffering the pain of the scorn and fear of those whom they protect.

THANK YOU

operation-mend Katy Regnery’s newest contemporary romance, THE VIXEN AND THE VET, is available TODAY!!  Not only is this incredibly moving love story receiving unanimous praise from reviewers and early readers, but it was written as a fundraiser to help the returning wounded in our armed forces. 50% of Katy’s profits will benefit Operation Mend at the UCLA Medical Center. Pick up a copy today!

Amazon (US): http://ow.ly/y5yBt
Amazon (UK): http://ow.ly/y5yxa
Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/y5yER
Apple: http://ow.ly/y5yI6
Smashwords: http://ow.ly/y5yLa
Paperback (Amazon US): http://ow.ly/y5yO5

katy
Click to go to Katy’s Website!

KATY REGNERY, award-winning romance novelist, has always loved telling a good story and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own.
As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of five Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings, their friends and family. Katy is also the author of the Enchanted Places series, launching in January 2014 with Playing for Love at Deep Haven, which will be followed by an additional seven books throughout 2014-2016.

Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods. And she’s delighted to share that her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones.

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