Blog Tour: Drowning by Steven M Cross (Spotlight/Excerpt)

Drowning
By: Steven M. Cross

Drowning

Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Publication Date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: Liminal Books

SYNOPSIS

Dean knows being different isn’t always a good thing.

Trapped by the voices and visits from the dead, Dean is drowning. His father, allegedly drowned, and the friend who took his own life taunt like the school bullies he can’t seem to get away from.

A sliver of hope breaks through when his mother announces they are moving. A chance for a fresh start for all of them. So why does she move them to the cottage near the river his father drowned in?

The water begins to envelop him, threatening to pull him under, when Dean discovers nothing changes and the bullies find not only him, but his twin sister, Dee, as favorite targets. Dean’s personal struggles worsen as his tentative grasp on reality weakens.

An unexpected hand plunges through the water toward him, bringing with it questions and a family secret that haunts them all.

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EXCERPT

My dad looks up at me, “I’ll catch you.”

I know he probably won’t, but that doesn’t scare me, not today. What scares me is knowing that this day—this perfect day—one of the few my family ever has will end soon, and it will be back to yelling and screaming and being slapped for saying the wrong thing even when I don’t know what is wrong.

I turn to Dee and ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“I don’t ever want to grow up,” she says.

And I realize I don’t want to either. I back away from the cliff.

Dee says, “Finally. Don’t kill yourself.”

“I don’t want to grow up either.”

I run to the edge of the cliff, but this time I don’t jump feet first. I dive. I think as I sail through the air and hit the water that it’s the perfect day to die.

My dad jerks me out of the water. “What the hell are you doing? You could have killed yourself.”

I just look at him and say, “I didn’t.” Then, I swim toward the beach.

Dee yells, “Holy shit, brother! Way to go.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven M Cross

Steven Cross remembers his first literary success, a play about a wolfman that his English class read. His first publication was a Haiku about hearing wolves at sunset one evening as he sat on his back deck with Luke his faithful mutt by his side. He also published a horror story about mutant moles whose taste buds begin to crave human flesh.

Cross, born in Missouri, has published plays, novels, and poetry and done well in some screenwriting competitions, most recently as a quarterfinalist in The Bluecat Screenwriting competition, considered one of the best in the country.

Cross often writes about mental illness. He is an example of how a person can overcome mental illness and succeed. His young adult book Drowning covers bullying and mental illness and is a must-read for teenagers, parents, and teachers.

An educator for over 30 years, he is now semi-retired. Right now he and his wife Jean live in Poplar Bluff, MO, where they spend a lot of time spoiling their grandchildren. Cross is a St. Louis Cardinals fan and has been ever since he was old enough to hold a baseball card. He also enjoys music, reading, and of course writing.

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BLOG SCHEDULE

January 27th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

January 28th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Tranquil Dreams (Spotlight) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) http://www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

January 29th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

January 30th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

January 31st

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com
Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/
Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

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Love Potions and Other Calamities by Charlie Laidlaw

Love Potions and Other Calamities
by: Charlie Laidlaw

love potions and other calamities

Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of local renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.

Rosie sets out to discover if her husband is having an affair, using deductive powers based solely on the careful preparation of plants and herbs. But as her well-laid plans entirely fall apart, the sighting of a large black cat sets off another chain of events.

Rosie now realises that a psychopath is on the loose and that she’s been selected as his next victim. – Goodreads

*Book received in exchange for honest review*

After reading two novels by Charlie Laidlaw, there is no doubt that he is a writer with a lot of creativity as he mixes genres and adds in very unique twists. It is usually those sharp ideas that makes his books such a pleasure to read and also why Love Potions and Other Calamities was one that I wanted to read. Blending mystery, romance and humor is a risky move especially the last third of the equation as humor is such a subjective element. Luckily, the humor does deliver most of the time especially with some of the outrageous things that do happen and the fact that a lot of the doing wrong things with the best intentions actually do backfire a lot and ends up creating some right especially as it highlights some of the elements of mystery.

Let’s start with the positives! Love Potions and Other Calamities is a charming little book. One of the main elements of charms is the characters that truly do come to life through the words. There’s a heavy focus on Rosie, a woman awaiting her 40th birthday like its her death bed and really having a heavy hit of self-esteem issues about her attraction to her husband Jack due to lack of intimacy. Her solution is to make him drinks and food that she believes that he likes to build up the urge and motivation at the very least. However, things go awry when he doesn’t really like those things and it ends up somewhere else and consumed by someone else. As we read these parts, its truly a “Oh no” moment over and over again as things go really awkward and at times bad, creating situations that eventually have more misunderstandings and it all propels to have even more funny and awkward and weird moments.

On the other side, the story also focuses on another couple with Mara being a younger girl and waitress at Rosie and Jack’s pub (I think, its a pub) and the events ends up turning out better for her as her relationship with her cop boyfriend Richie improves. Richie becomes the center of the mystery as he starts working hard to connect the dots of the mysterious events happening. Richie and Mara bring in some elements of intimacy and younger relationships but also bringing forward a character like Richie from outside that helps have that connection to explain some of the beliefs and history that hangs in this town.

While at the same time, there is some political issues with voting around the corner and all kinds of characters that pop in the scene. They all have their own charm and intrigue as it all adds to how the situations are blown up to incredible proportions and Rosie starts to wonder whether what she did is right and the issue with the black cat being a sign towards witches and bad omens. There’s a lot of little bits and pieces that work well together. The little description of different types of herbs at the beginning of each chapter actually did bring a lot of fun elements to this as it was the extra bits of knowledge and gave it a lot of substance.

With that said, one element that wasn’t done was well was the execution. The pacing was a bit odd at times. At the same time, the separation of chapters and the abrupt jumps from one scene to the next sometimes made it slightly hard to follow especially as the situation got more complex in the middle section. Its really the one issue that was a tad annoying but as the characters became more familiar, the issue in the second half becomes less of an issue.

Overall, Love Potions and Other Calamities is a pretty decent novel. The idea of using potions and witches and a little town with their own beliefs and history gave it a lot of character. Not to mention the characters here were also rather charming and had its unique elements that made them a lot of fun to read. Sure, there’s some execution issues but its still a fun book with some unexpected twists to the outcomes of the misdirected potion (or poison?) attempts, misunderstanding and other sudden scenarios. This one is a fun read.

Check out reviews of other books by Charlie Laidlaw:

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead
The Space Between Time

Blog Tour: His to Defend (Spotlight)

Tour Banner (10)

HIS TO DEFEND
BY: RHENNA MORGAN

HIS TO DEFEND

Publication Date: October 14, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Length: 384 pages

Book one of NOLA Knights, the heart-stoppingly sexy spin-off series by Men of Haven author Rhenna Morgan

His world. His rules. Her love.

Though his methods may be rough, when it comes to protecting what’s his, Russian vor Sergei Petrovyh’s heart is always in the right place. That’s never been more true than when the gorgeous Evette Labadie asks him for a job. He knows enough to keep his hands off someone as beloved by the locals as Evie, but there’s something about her that calls to him—no matter how badly he burns to make her his.

Don’t think Evie hasn’t noticed the powerful Russian mafia boss who makes her favorite diner a regular stop. How can she not? He’s as hot as his reputation is dangerous. But everyone in her struggling New Orleans neighborhood knows he’s the man to turn to. And right now she needs money to get her son out of trouble.

Her other needs—needs she knows damn well Sergei can more than satisfy—will have to wait.

Evie soon finds herself playing Cinderella to a man who, despite what people believe, is definitely more prince than villain. She can’t help falling deeper in love with each passing day. But when a turf war between Sergei and a rival brings violence to her doorstep, Evie must come to grips with loving a man who will do anything to defend her…or walk away from her best chance at a happily-ever-after of her very own.

ADD TO GOODREADS

EXCERPT

Evette pinched the business-size check from her former employer a little tighter and glared at the cleaning company’s logo in the top corner. On any other Friday, the money would have meant inching closer to some semblance of security for her and her son, Emerson. A step toward unraveling the mess she’d created for her life. Today, the unexpected termination that had come with her weekly pay felt more like a sucker punch to the gut. Yet another obstacle to overcome after too many damned years running the gauntlet and never even glimpsing the finish line.

Maybe she could get a job cleaning at one of the hotels. God knew the French Quarter was packed with them, and she was pretty sure she could count on regular shift work, like the office cleaning crew she’d been on. Though, how she was going to land one by Monday when it was already close to 4:30 on a Friday afternoon was beyond her. And landing something quick was the only way this latest setback wouldn’t force her into dipping into Emerson’s school fund. Plus, there was the hurdle of what would happen if they called her old company for references and found out she’d been fired for a security breach.

Not. Good.

The commuter bus swung onto Tulane headed toward Mid-City, and Evie’s spirits sunk a little lower. If someone had told her when she was growing up that she’d be a single mom living in one of New Orleans’s rougher parts of town at twenty-eight years old, she’d have laughed in their face. She was going to be a fashion retail buyer—or at least have some kind of career in fashion. She was going to travel the world. See things. Know people. Adventure her way through life and suck it dry.

Then her mom had died, and she’d gone off the rails.

She sighed and slunk a little farther down onto the hard plastic bench, the run-down stores, bars and restaurants along the roadside passing in a blur while the vibrations from the bus’s engine rattled clear to her bones.

Get knocked down seven times, stand up eight.

If she had a dollar for all the times her momma had said it and all the times Evie had echoed it in the last eight years, she’d be driving a Porsche toward the Garden District right now instead of a barely livable apartment.

But her momma had made it.

Mostly.

Raised Evette through her tumultuous preteen years after her daddy’s death and made it look easy. It hadn’t been until a year after Emerson had been born and Evie had found the courage to read some of her mother’s journals that she’d realized just how much of a challenge her mother had really faced. How much she’d given up and how alone she’d felt through every second.

Evie understood it now. Knew to her very marrow the sacrifices that had been made on her behalf.

And she’d thrown it all away nursing her grief.

Resolve and a whole lot of stubbornness revved her energy and forced her taller in her seat. Pity was what had gotten her into this mess to begin with, and she’d be damned if she went that route again.

Labadie women didn’t quit. Didn’t give up. They faced whatever they needed to face, and they smiled doing it. Eventually, she was going to find a way to give her and Emerson the world. She just might have to scrimp a little longer and get more creative to make it happen.

Where to buy His to Defend

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Google Play
Kobo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rhenna Morgan

A native Oklahoman, Rhenna Morgan is a certified romance junkie. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or fantasy you’re after, Rhenna’s stories pack romantic escape full of new, exciting worlds, and strong, intuitive men who fight to keep the women they want. For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at http://RhennaMorgan.com. You’ll also find all of her social links there, along with her smoking hot inspiration boards.

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October 14th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/
Vivianna MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/
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Romance Book Binge (Review) https://romancebookbinge.com/

October 15th

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/
Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

October 16th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/
Jane Hunt Writer (Review) https://www.jolliffe01.com/blog

October 17th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
The Bookish Mrs. Harding (Review) http://thebookishmrsharding.home.blog

October 18th

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com
The Cozy Pages (Review) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

…..

October 21st

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com
Literary Dust (Review) https://literarydust.wordpress.com/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

October 22nd

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
Tranquil Dreams (Spotlight) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

October 23rd

Wrong Side of Forty (Review) https://wrongsideoffortyuk.wordpress.com/
Tsarina Press (Review) https://www.tsarinapress.com

October 24th

Past Midnight (Review) http://pastmidnight.home.blog

October 25th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Book Dragon Girl (Review) https://bookdragongirl.com
Crossroads Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

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Christmas 2018: A Kiss For Christmas by Melody Grace

A Kiss For Christmas: A Holiday Collection
by: Melody Grace

A Kiss For Christmas

In Holiday Kisses… Writer Dash needs peace and quiet to finish his new script, but he wasn’t betting on inn-keeper Ellie and the local Starbright festival to give him a jolt of holiday inspiration.

In Unexpectedly Yours… Sophie has been dreaming of a magical winter holiday in New York City. Can a chance encounter with musician Austin bring her festive dreams to life?

In Unwrapped… When a unlikely couple gets snowed in on the way to the wedding, a flirty game of truth-or-dare sends temperatures soaring. – Goodreads

A Kiss For Christmas are three novellas set during the holidays and bring two unlikely people together in whichever scenario describe above. Technically, that is alright. It is usually how these sort of contemporary fictions work and they can be really predictable. Which don’t get me wrong, these three are very predictable. My deal is that I’ve never seen anything more formulaic in my life. When something falls into formula too much: disagreement or conflict or some sort of mismatch feeling in the beginning, a hidden physical attraction to each other, a situation that brings them together, some fun sexy bed time, a misunderstanding and then happily ever after. I’m serious, each of these three are structured that way just wrapped up in their different world of one of the series that Melody Grace has created. For people who like this sort of thing, I’m sure it works absolutely. For myself, too much structure and formula really does feel insulting to my intelligence and in turn it gets boring.

I’m not going to look at each of these one by one because there really isn’t’ that much difference to it. The only difference is that the level of hotness of each is supposed to increase from one to the next. I don’t argue that Melody Grace has a knack for writing out these fairly drawn out sexy moments. It is one of the better structured ones. I just have grown out of stories like this where you have two incredibly beautiful people who get attracted to each other physically and then spend time together for like one night and feel they are soulmates then after one night of sexy fun, they believe they are meant to be forever. I’m a romantic but even that seems a tad too much to take in.

However, looking past the romance which is about 85% of this novel, it does deliver on a lot of holiday moments. The first story Holiday Kisses sets itself in a town that probably seems to be inspired by Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls and the Starbright Festival and all the little Christmas gestures here are rather sweet. The second Unexpectedly Yours is set in New York and brings in a lot of the Serendipity inspired activities: snow, ice skating, etc. The last one Unwrapped takes a snowed in situation at the airport at a hotel so it has the least Christmas elements here.

Thank goodness I got this one for free. That is all that I have to say. I would be even more frustrated with A Kiss For Christmas if it wasn’t. But I’m cheap and only grab free stuff on wherever I got this one from which I can’t remember. I’m not the audience for something like this It is the official last book of this contemporary romance that I am reading for a good while (at least a year if not more). Next year will be something moving in another direction and might not even have any straight romance stuff and nothing with sex scenes probably. I can’t know those things in advance so I’m done with this genre for a while.

Christmas 2018: Mooseletoe by Tiffinie Helmer

Mooseletoe
by: Tiffinie Helmer

Mooseletoe

Alaska’s matchmaking moose, Bullwinkle, has his sights set on a most unlikely pair. Holly Noelle Snow loves Christmas so much she could be one of Santa’s elves, and Reese Sutton might as well be Scrooge. But there is no way BW will allow these two to ruin his perfect track record. Even if he has to bind them together with Christmas lights. – Goodreads

It is always a struggle to find holiday books and Mooseletoe fits a lot into the movie selections that I have made this holiday season. Its contemporary romance set during Christmas in Alaska in a town with a Christmas-y name and a story revolving a lady with a Christmas-y name. We soon learn why but it couldn’t be more in your face. Suffice to say, there are quite a few holiday elements and that works. The matchmaking moose also works. I realized that this moose is part of other books by Tiffinie Helmer which I haven’t read before or even heard of and responsible for other couple pairings that are in this town. I have nothing against it. Its a decent idea plus I like moose and how it should be used more in winter settings.

My main issue with Mooseletoe is very much the fact that it hits a lot of aspects I find wrong with these contemporary romance books. One of them is the dialogue. Its a tad cringey at times and the ways certain descriptions are written were equally odd. There is this thing about writing contemporary romance that really needs to be read out loud before finalizing because it never feels like I am reading a real couple (or maybe I just don’t talk like that).

Then we have this sped up romance that sometimes works but in this case, it also falls into this frustrating situation and the love at first sight but not embracing it thing and these meaningless arguments. Its a bit too much for me. There are some intimate scenes and it was okay written and I am rather indifferent to it. However, my main issue is the personality characteristics of the main couple, Holly and Reese where it feels very contradicting in parts in what happens before and after.

To be fair, Mooseletoe did bring in a family element. That part was a nice twist and surprise to the story. I enjoyed having those bits because even if you move alone to Alaska, real life is more than romance (no matter how much of a romantic I can be). On that same note, the moral of ths story behind this pairing is a positive message about having courage to push through the bad and see the good to be happier sort of thing. And to not let the bad define you. All very good messages just its not in a very fun read for myself. Overall, a few good ideas, but the writing style is not for me.

***On a side note, I am starting to think contemporary romance is something I need to stay away from for a while. Its the contemporary genre that really gets me very irritated.***

Book Review: Something Great (Something Great #1) by M. Clarke

Something Great (Something Great #1)
By: M. Clarke

Something Great

Fresh out of college, life was predictable and comfortable for Jeanella. She had the strength of her friends, the security of her job, and she was dating a reliable man; it was all smooth sailing. That was until one night, when she met someone who made her feel things she’d never felt before—dangerous, heart pounding, breathless heat.

Never imagining she would see him again, Jeanella has no idea what to do when fate steps in and thrusts Maxwell Knight into her life, just as things were beginning to change around her. When she lands her dream job and travels to New York for Fashion Week, can she focus on her career instead of on Maxwell?

Will she ignore all the danger signs and jump straight into his arms; or would she miss out on the chance of finding something great? – Goodreads

As I work through the books (mostly free deals) on my Kindle to work on some saving habits and spending less habits, the next on the list was this one. To be honest, I haven’t been in much of a contemporary romance mood but then they usually are such easy reads that I couldn’t pass it up with the low energy levels I’ve been doing. Ironically, Something Great was not something great. I mean, look at the tagline up there, “She didn’t know what she was missing..until he found her.” Oh and believe me, the main guy here, Max is a pretentious rich guy. There is a difference in being self-confident and being pretentious and while the girl here, Jeanella seems to view him as self-confident, I couldn’t quite buy into it. With that said, half of Something Great already dropped to Something Good as we got to know this Max fellow more.

However, luckily, while I wasn’t a big fan of Jeanella’s choice in Max and how she changed her views so quickly and such, her character did start off rather on the right track. Her character’s heart is in the right place as she holds onto some of her values. But then, she also has some parts of her that are my absolute pet peeves when it comes to these novels. The main thing being that the moment any girl sees a hot guy, she just burns up and forgets everything and just wants to have sex with them. I’m not sure there is any enjoyment in it. I get the nervousness of seeing someone you are attracted in and Jeanella does have those moments but it is quickly masked by her desire to go to bed with him regardless of in the beginning when he is just a sexy stranger or when they get into a relationship and she get mad at him. Wanting to sleep with someone doesn’t measure love, at least not to me. So you can already see where Something Great falls apart for me.

All in all, I think I’m just not the audience for these books anymore. I sometimes find some that work well within my standards and I don’t know, create a man that I find is desirable within what I would think has those characteristics and makes me feel like its romance. Many times, it just feels like there’s a whole lot of lust in the way any scenario is described and that doesn’t link to what love is. If only authors didn’t confuse these two emotions so much, it would make for great contemporary romance. I guess, I’ll just keep hoping for the next one to hit the target better. Something Great was just something okay.

Blog Tour: The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw (Review & Giveaway)

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead
by: Charlie Laidlaw

Things We Learn When We're Dead

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Humor
Publication Date: January 26, 2017

Synopsis

With elements of The Wizard of Oz, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Lovely Bones, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead shows how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, and how sometimes we can get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home. – Goodreads

Review

Leaning much more towards the contemporary fiction than humorous side for myself, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead works the best in its creative setting. Perhaps the best way to start is that The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is set up in a structure that takes us between the present state of after Lorna’s accident and waking up in a foreign place that she realizes is a spaceship called HVN and is run by a man calling himself God. How can you not stop to think about whether heaven is actually run by some alien life who is stranded in limbo and has the power to live for eternity. The constant question is whether this was the vision of her death or was this all in her head or maybe some other situations will come to mind as we also get Lorna’s significant moments in life that create a connection to the memories that are regenerating as the time passes by in heaven. In many ways, the story here is something of a character study in itself because of the focus pretty much solely on Lorna. Other characters, no matter how close, were simply passing through her life and things that affected or observed her choices. In that way, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead works very well. It actually achieves quite a few moments of where we get to see the little details of her pass sprinkle into the present people and locations that she visits in heaven.

However, where the story that fall a little bit apart is something of the overly descriptive spots or sometimes feeling like the past had way more focus and detail than it needed to have. It is the defining points of her life but sometimes it also failed to really see the importance of some of the people that kept recurring or simply situations that didn’t seem to matter so much. While that is the case, the writing and word choice is something that I haven’t seen in a while using some obscure things in comparison (at least in my opinion) and added that extra bit of detail and creativity that gives it merit. I guess what I’m saying is that the writing overall was very good but the story was a little overly long for its own good and as the book progressed to the end, the past events dominated over the present and it felt like it lingered a little bit too long and the balance of the two was lost on me.

Overall, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is a decent read. Its not exactly a page turner through and through but the creativity here deserves a lot of credit. Life is made up of our choices and how we choose to live our lives and in many ways, Lorna’s life story in all its detail is very honest and realistic. It might have dragged at certain parts but very few stories do hit those personal journeys with so much honesty and it works on that level. At least I was able to relate to some of her sentiments that she went through.

On a side note, the guy characters here have last names related to birds, “Bird, Dove, Crow”, it makes me wonder if there’s something more about freedom or something linked that I can’t find a connection to, or maybe I’m just overthinking it.

Goodreads score: 3/5

Purchase link: Amazon

About the Author

charlie laidlaw

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault.  That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father.  That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist.  I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries.  Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa.  What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then.  However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Twitter: @claidlawauthor
Facebook: charlielaidlawauthor
Website: www.charlielaidlawauthor.com

GIVEAWAY

2 Printed Copies of The Things We Learn When We’re Dead

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f35/?

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