Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Review: Fire Season by Hollye Dexter


Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for Fire Season.  We received a copy of Hollye Dexter's book for an honest review.







About the book:

Awakened by her husband’s yells of panic, Hollye Dexter found herself in bed with her toddler son asleep next to her, and their home set ablaze. Hollye and her family had no choice but to leap out of a second-story window on to the concrete below and watch as everything they owned burned to the ground. Homeless and jobless, Hollye began to unravel emotionally, struggling to hold on to her identity and her marriage. Determined to save her family from destruction, Hollye decided to pull herself together and focus on starting anew. Hollye Dexter soon realizes that when everything you identify with is gone; you are free to discover who you really are. 

Poignant and breathtaking, Holly Dexter tells a beautifully uplifting story that pulls readers out of the ashes and into the sun. Fire Season is an unforgettable true-life tale that provides hope for people who have lost everything and have no choice but to start again.


Fire Season Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/1EO745R


So as I think back on this book, I am incredibly grateful for my life and everything in it.  I remember thinking while I was reading this book "How could so much bad happen to one family in such a short amount of time?" Not only did the fire destroy their home, but it destroyed their livelihoods since both of them worked from their home.  They lost their feeling of safety and a space for them.  The Dexter family goes through so many struggles in such a short amount of time, that I think I would have handled it a lot worse than they did.  Hollye and her husband struggle with their relationship because they each grieve in a different way and have a hard time understanding that about each other.  They are kicked out of two houses in two years because the owners of the houses do not pay the mortgage on the house.  They pay their rent even though sometimes they cannot pay their water or light bill.  They unfortunately have to declare bankruptcy.  They just keep getting kicked down and lose a lot of their pride and self-esteem.
  
I think one of the things that I was most shocked by was how some of their "friends" treated them through this whole ordeal.  Hollye's husband had a saying that people will tell/show you who they are.  And boy do some people do that!  Right after the fire destroyed their lives they heard things like "You must have some really bad kharma."  Who says that?  Hollye had a business partner make this tragedy about her and stole money from their business that Hollye had borrowed under her own name.  There were friends that helped donate things and money, but wanted to put stipulations on what they could do with that.  (For instance, Hollye and Troy decide to rent a house months after their fire.  They invite their two closest friends over to show them and be happy for them.  Instead, these friends called it a dumb idea and that they shouldn't be renting this house.)  People also seemed to want to have a timetable and end point for the Dexter's grief.  After a few months people expected them to be over it.  They lost their pets, their sources of income and ultimately themselves.  That may be one of the scariest things of all, not losing your things, but you as a person.  

Throughout this memoir Hollye kept wondering why this happened to them.  I wondered the same thing too.  A lot of times we try to figure out the way or what lesson is there in this?  And unfortunately we never find those answers.  It is very easy for me to say as an outsider that we will figure out why such horrific things happen.  However, when we are going through these things it is not the answer we want.  Hollye becomes depressed (and who wouldn't?) and has a suicide attempt.  People kept telling them how lucky they were to be alive, which is true, but the being alive part and living with the aftereffects at times seem so much worse.  Events like this can break you or build you up.  Eventually, the Dexter's become stronger people and stronger together.  They even end up buying their dream home that has an inside sprinkler system and is located a mile from the local fire station! :)

Hollye Dexter recently gave an interview about finding the silver lining in a tragedy.  Watch that interview she did with HuffPost Live.

Buy the book:






About the Author: Hollye Dexter is the author of two memoirs and co-editor of Dancing at the Shame Prom (Seal Press), praised by best-selling author Gloria Feldt (former CEO of Planned Parenthood) as “a brilliant book that just might change your life.” Her essays and articles about women’s issues, activism, and politics have been widely published in anthologies, as well as in Maria Shriver’s Architects of ChangeHuffington PostThe Feminist Wire, and more. She teaches writing workshops internationally and for at-risk youth in LA, where she lives with her husband and a houseful of kids and pets. Learn more about Dexter at www.hollyedexter.net. Connect with Hollye on Twitter at twitter.com/hollyedexter

Having Problems Accessing Databases Off Campus?




We have recently received several questions about trouble accessing databases off campus.  We are working to correct the problem at the moment.  We realize this is highly inconvenient with finals and final papers being due.  While we work with our database's IT department, there is another way to access our online resources.  There are just several steps that you need to follow in order to gain access to all of our databases off campus.  You will not need to follow these steps if you are ON CAMPUS.

In your browser (we recommend Chrome or Firefox), type in the following address: start.students.cumberland.edu



This should take you to the Cumberland University Office of Information Technology page
When you reach this page, click on "students" (an option along the top of the page).



There will be several links listed, including "Remote Student Terminal Access."


Click on Remote Student Terminal Access.  You will be taken to a page with information about types of computers --just ignore this and instead scroll down to the bottom of that page where there is a link to download  "RDP Connection File"  Click on this file to download it.




Once you've downloaded this file, open it; you may be cautioned that it is not a verified site, but connect anyway.



Here you will be asked to log in (use your student user name & password) IF YOU ARE FACULTY OR STAFF THE LIBRARY WILL NEED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A GUEST LOG-IN.  Contact us at library@cumberland.edu in order to receive a guest log-in!



You should be taken to a "virtual desktop" (or student portal).



Click on the internet/browser icon of your choice (again, we recommend Chrome or Firefox)
If you use Chrome the browser search page may ask for login info, but just ignore this and instead type in the search box www.cumberland.edu/library/



This will bring you the library's home page; click on "Articles & Databases" under Research.




Once on the Articles & Databases page, select which database you would like access to.



Once you click on the database you are wanting to use, you should be taken to the log-in screen.  Just use your normal log-in information.  Faculty and staff do not need to use the guest log-in to gain access - your normal faculty/staff Cumberland log-in should work at this point.





This process should work until we are able to resolve the issue with our proxy server.  If you have any questions please contact the library at 615-547-1299 or by email at library@cumberland.edu.

We will send out an update once we are able to correct the problem we are having.  Please make sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter for any future updates.  We apologize for the unfortunate timing and inconvenience.  Good luck with the rest of the semester! (Only 2 1/2 weeks!!! Yay! Eek!)



Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review: The Sound of Glass by Karen White





Members of the Vise Library were selected to review The Sound of Glass.  We received a copy of Karen White's book for an honest review.







About the book:

It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.
Merritt has had a lot of surprises thrown at her lately.  First her husband died (he was a firefighter that didn't make it out of the burning building), second because her husband died she has inherited a big house (that her husband's grandmother owned, but passed away) down south and lastly her step mom and half brother have shown up to live with her.  All of this is hard for her because she is used to being on her own.  Her mother passed away when she was young and became estranged from her father when he married Loralee an now he is gone as well.  Under the pretense of financial woes, Merritt (reluctantly) accepts Loralee and her half brother (Owen) into her new house.  Merritt's husband, Cal, has a brother named Gibbes who isn't happy about Merritt getting the house.  They have a frosty relationship to put it mildly.  Again, Merritt likes to be on her own.

As Merritt learns more about the house and about the Cal she never knew.  You realize that Merritt blames herself for Cal's death and you learn that their relationship may not have been the best.  Loralee has a secret that she isn't willing to tell Merritt yet.  Gibbes and Merritt start to warm up to each other and discover that Gibbes Grandmother Edith had a secret that tore her family apart.  

This book has so much to it: a few mysteries, love, loss, multiple generations of abuse & guilt, coincidences not really bring coincidences, secrets that border on the line of right and wrong and people (re)discovering who they are.  Karen White has been one of my favorite authors for awhile.  I love how she weaves multiple stories with the past and present reflecting each other.  I enjoy how things aren't what they seem on the surface.  Merritt goes through such a dramatic change and it is good to see.  In the beginning she was holding on to so much shame and hurt that she just closed herself off from everyone.  She learns about the brother she never took the time to know and eventually lets Loralee and Gibbes in.  She realizes that it's okay not to do things on her own and is better for it.  The suspense of the underlying mysteries and why Cal sought her out in the first place had me on edge.  This is a great read for anyone really.  Karen White is always an enjoyable read!  Our copy will available for checkout when the book publishes!

PS Karen White will be making an appearance at Parnassus Books in June!  I'll be there!
Buy the book:
     Amazon











About the author:

I grew up being a voracious reader and it was a natural step to turn my interest to writing. I have published 18 award-winning and bestselling novels including my June 2014 release, A LONG TIME GONE, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at number 24.

I write what others have termed "grit-lit"--southern women's fiction, as well as a contemporary paranormal mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. All of my books are set in the US South, and feature a female protagonist at a crossroads in her life. 

I live near Atlanta, Georgia with my husband, two children, and the cutest Havanese dog, Quincy, whom readers may recognize as General Lee in the Tradd Street series.
My upcoming book, THE SOUND OF GLASS, will be released by New American Library, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group, on May 12, 2015. It's set in the beautiful town of Beaufort, deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry. 


Connect with the author:


   Facebook
   Twitter
   Website

Book Review: Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking





Members of the Vise Library were selected to review Ice Kissed.  We received a copy of Amanda Hocking's book for an honest review.










About the book:

In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…

Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It's a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that's been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it's also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss Ridley Dresden is overseeing the mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level--one neither of them is prepared for.

As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it'll change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves.
Bryn goes through a dramatic change in Ice Kissed.  The things that she believed about herself and her life in Frostfire are not necessarily the same anymore.  Bryn goes on several missions in this book and one of them Ridley accompanies her on that has to do with the Skojare people.  Even though the mission ends up being successful, more questions are raised and she has to return to Skojare with Kasper, Tilda's fiance.  While she is helping oversea potential threats in this land, Bryn finds out that there is a threat against her.  She tries to figure out people's lies and when she does everything becomes even more unclear.  Things turn tragic at the end of the book when she thinks she has figured out the threat.  

This book was so action-packed and exciting.  The mix of present time and some of the old ways is refreshing in a fantasy-type novel.  I love that Bryn has to figure out what she really wants and what her heart wants.  I love all of the uncertainty of everything that is happening around her.  She does not know who to trust or what is happening.  She has to choose what is right for her at the cost of her lifelong dreams of being a royal guard.  That's when her transformation happens of realizing that there might be more to life and she could find balance to her life.  I love how tough Bryn is and how even though her actions may not be proper, she does them anyways.  She is strong and even when she gets knocked down (figuratively and literally) she continues to get back up and fight.  Her relationship with Ridley blooms, but that is still not completely sorted out.  I can't wait to find out who is behind everything and where it takes Bryn.  
Buy the book:
     Amazon










About the author:

Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows, taking care of her small menagerie of pets, and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Her New York Times best-selling series the Trylle Trilogy has been optioned for films. She has published fifteen young adult novels, including the Hollows and the Watersong series. Frostfire - the first book in her newest trilogy, the Kanin Chronicles - is out now, and the second book - Ice Kissed - will be out May 5, 2015. 


Connect with the author:


   Facebook
   Twitter
   Website


Book Review: Andrew Jackson and the Rise of the Democrats by Dr. Mark Cheathem


Cumberland University's Dr. Mark Cheathem has written a new book about Andrew Jackson that is geared more towards a book for students.  A member of the Vise Library decided to read and review this book in order to understand the research of one of our own.  It is also intriguing due to the fact that Andrew Jackson was from the mid-state area like we are!  Read on to find out more about the book and to read a brief interview with Dr. Cheathem.  (He has some jokes thrown in, so don't miss those!!)





About the book:

In this chronological examination of the Democratic Party’s origins, award-winning author Mark R. Cheathem traces the development of both the Democratic Party and the second American party system from its roots in the Jeffersonian Republicans in the 1790s to its maturation during Andrew Jackson’s presidency in the 1830s. The book explores the concept of politics and its effects on the national government of the early American republic.

This historical reference is filled with fascinating facts and anecdotes about 19th-century politics in the United States, most notably how Martin Van Buren acted as the architect of the Democratic Party; what factors contributed to the Democrats’ rise to power; and how the Bank War created the second American party system, pitting the Democrats against Whigs. Content features key political writings from the period, portraits and political cartoons of the time, and a helpful chronology detailing influential events.
I will say before I read this book I was very ignorant of Andrew Jackson.  All I remember learning about him in school was that he was tall, had the nickname Old Hickory, and that there was apparently a wild party after he was inaugurated.  (For some reason that last part has always stuck in my mind since the third grade).  This fact is very sad since he is such a prominent figure in this area.  His home is  located here and there streets, places, buildings, restaurants with the name Old Hickory attached to them.  Even though Andrew Jackson is prominently featured in this book, to me it is more about events leading up to and surrounding his presidency and the impact of it on the Democrats.  

You receive a lot of background information about the political foundation and climate of the times before he takes office.  You also read about his life including his military career (which at times was used against him), that he would challenge anyone to a duel (anyone may be an exaggeration, but he does get shot a few times and kills someone), how he earned the nickname Old Hickory, and his marriage (which was a very hot button topic).  The last sixty pages or so of the book includes a look at "The Significance of Jacksonian Democracy" as well as several essays.  These essays outline the "what-ifs", who deserved to be president in 1824 (arguing both sides of the point) and key moments in Jackson's terms in office.  There is also a section of small bios for some of the influential people of the time.  Lastly, you get a peek into history with some of Jackson's important speeches from start to finish.  Those were great to read.

Andrew Jackson did not set out to become president.  According to this book he was quite happy to retire to The Hermitage after he was the governor of Florida.  However, he does garner quite a bit support for the presidency and is the one of the top candidates in the 1824 election. The election that year was wild and I never realized how crazy it was.  Jackson won the most electoral votes but not the required amount to be named the winner of the election.  The President that year is instead decided by the House.  Jackson believed there was some shadiness and plots happening against him (which could be true).  Unfortunately for Jackson, he does not come out victorious.  Instead John Quincy Adams is named the President of the United States by the House.  There is speculation about an underhanded deal to ensure that Adams becomes the President. Jackson could be correct in thinking something was happening to keep him out of Washington.  There is inference that something was plotted between Adams and another candidate, Henry Clay (who was Speaker of the House at the time and was named Secretary of State under Adams).

After his defeat, Jackson sits on this loss and at first decides that he's just fine being in Tennessee.  However, he decides that the common people were not listened to and seeks help to make Adams a one term president.  In this book you read about how Jackson campaigns in some of the key states and who some of the main players in those states are.  You also learn that Martin Van Buren in a way helps Jackson establish the party.  At the time, there were not clear cut party lines, but that changes with Van Buren's help (and ultimately changes certain parties and elections to come).  Jackson runs the following election with a lot of help from newspapers and gains support from key states.  Jackson has a pretty significant margin of victory against Adams (178 electoral votes to Adams' 83).  

Like any President, he has success and he has things that happen to draw divisions between parties and defines them (which this book is about).  There are some key circumstances that happen in his presidency that create turmoil around him.  There is a public shunning of the wife of the Secretary of War.  Since Jackson saw his wife's name dragged through the mud, he was always against this practice.  So naturally when John Eaton's wife, Margaret, had the same experience, he was very adamant about defending her.  This caused a lot of friction between Jackson and his cabinet members and their wives (who refused to socialize with Margaret).   Jackson also signed the Indian Removal Act, which some believed that he was overstepping his power and boundaries.   The treatment of the Native Americans with this act is also called into question.  Jackson also had to deal with South Carolina threatening to nullify, which fueled the debate of state's rights versus the federal government's power.  This issue eventually created turmoil and division within the Democratic party (there are tariffs, military presence, and imprisoned missionaries involved).  One of the major issues that Jackson faced was if the national bank should be rechartered.  Jackson was very against this and distrusted banks.  The recharter was a huge fight and eventually he vetoes a bill that gains him a true nemesis. This book extensively outlines things that are set in motion with this bank fight that cause unrest in some of states.  There is a ton of violence that stems from these actions and fingers are pointed in all directions at the cause.  All of these issues combined define Jackson, his political outlook and a party.  

There are several things I took away from this book.  One is that there is so much history out there that we never really get taught everything.  I know this is not anything new or an earth shattering concept.  When you read something like this book, it really sinks in that you only know such a tiny amount about your own country or people from your own region.  For instance, I had no idea that the Election of 1824 was as crazy as it was.  I don't remember learning about the specifics of Jackson winning in 1824, but ultimately not winning in the end.  I also took away that times have changed but people and the search for power have NOT changed.  It feels that every election season starts happening sooner and sooner every cycle, but that is nothing new.  After Jackson lost his first election, he started strategizing and campaigning in a way to gain support for the next election.  The platform of running for everyday people and dirty campaigning is old news too.  This book mentions an election involving Thomas Jefferson that claimed if he was elected then rape, murder and more would be happening all over the place.  That type of campaigning was prevalent way back then and will probably continue as we gear up for another Presidential election in two years.  A key point that is made in the book that is worth noting is that Andrew Jackson not only made the Democrats emerge, but also the Whig Party.  The author mentions that this party gains notoriety for constantly going against Jackson and his policies.  

Overall, I found this book interesting to read and enjoyed learning about events and people I wasn't aware of before this book.  I like history and I like learning about it.  I unfortunately  do not read enough about history (case and point being how little I knew of Jackson before reading this book).  I found this book had a good flow and you could tell it was highly researched.  I got a big kick out of reading some of the letters that involved insults or requesting duels or about Republicans believing they had the only right to celebrate July 4th (read to find out why).  Lastly, like any piece of history I think it is important to note that you can see the chain of events that set other things in motion.  There is no way to change things that have happened, but it interesting (and important!) to see how those things came about happening.  

A copy of Andrew Jackson and the Rise of the Democrats is available in the Vise Library for checkout.  



Interview

Dr. Cheathem agreed to answer a few questions about writing and about his book.  Below is the interview.  His answers are in bold and italics.


You may have addressed this at another time or book, but why Andrew Jackson?  I know
researchers focus on a topic or area and I am just curious why you chose Jackson and his time.

The late Monty Pope, who was my undergraduate adviser at Cumberland, was a Jackson expert. He convinced me to work at The Hermitage, and the rest is history. #historianjoke

How long does it typically take you research a book and then write it?

It depends. This book built on a lot of research that I had already completed for my Jackson 
biography, but it still took me two years.  

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?

Finding the time. Cumberland is a teaching institution, so classes have to come first. Committee work also consumes a lot of hours. On top of that, I have a family, and I try not to take my work home with me. So, I have to block out time to write at the office and guard it like the gold at Fort Knox. #anotherhistorianjoke

What was the easiest thing?

Having access to the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Whenever I needed to look up
Jackson-related documents that weren’t already in my files, I could take an afternoon research 
trip to Nashville.

Do you have an idea in mind for the covers when you write them?  How does that work?

I usually suggest an image or images. If authors aren’t proactive, publishers may or may not ask them for ideas. For three of my books, including this one, the publisher has followed my
recommendation.

Do you have any advice for future (or current) historians that choose to write?

Develop a research plan, protect your writing time, and get other people’s feedback.

Near the end of the book you write a couple of what-if essays, so I decided to write a few what-
ifs.  (I actually had a few of these before I saw that section.)
What do you think Jackson would think about today’s politics?

He wouldn’t be very happy. Some of the shenanigans that politicians engage in today were 
present during his lifetime, and he didn’t have a lot of patience for them.

In the book you talk about how a peace treaty took two days to reach Washington so how do you think he would handle the 24/7 news cycle?  Also, how do you think he would fare with cameras everywhere?

Jackson could be very charismatic and charming in person, so I think he would be a good 
interview. Again, though, I don’t think he would have the patience for today’s politics.

Would he have been elected for a second term in today’s world?

An adulterer and murderer? He wouldn’t even make it to the primary season, much less win a 
nomination. Jackson would be unelectable today.

How do you think he would have handled being elected in 1824?

Jackson was reluctant to run in 1824, so I’ve always wondered if he would have sleepwalked 
through one term and then retired. What gave him the burning passion to run in 1828 was the 
belief that the 1824 election had been stolen from him. Without that motivation, I don’t think he would have had the drive to serve longer than four years.
Buy the book:








About the author:

A native of Cleveland, Tennessee, Dr. Mark Cheathem earned his B.A. in history from Cumberland University, his M.A. in history from Middle Tennessee State University, and his Ph.D. in history from Mississippi State University. He taught at Mississippi University for Women, Mississippi State University, and Southern New Hampshire University before returning to his undergraduate alma mater in 2008, where he is a professor of history and history program director.

Cheathem is the author or editor of five books, including Andrew Jackson and the Rise of the Democrats and Andrew Jackson, Southerner, which won the 2013 Tennessee History Book Award. He is currently completing a new book entitled The Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaign of 1840: Politics as Entertainment in Antebellum America.


Connect with the author:
   Twitter
   Website

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: Season of Fire by Lisa T Bergren







Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for Season of Fire.  We received a copy of Lisa T. Bergren's book for an honest review.









About the book:

After tackling her first mission and coming to terms with her power of empathy, Andriana discovers her first battles were only a taste of what is to come. She and her knight, Ronan, have admitted their feelings for each other, but their bonds are tested when Dri is captured by their mortal and spiritual enemy—Sethos—and his master, Keallach, emperor of Pacifica. Andriana is certain Keallach can be convinced to follow the Maker's plan and join the other Remnants … but in time, she must decide whether she really can pull him back to the Way, or if Sethos's web of darkness has slowly and thoroughly trapped them both … forever.
This book is the second book in the Remnants series by Lisa T. Bergren.  This book continues right where Season of Wonder left off.  In this book you get the view point of not only Andriana, but also the point of view of Ronan at times.  We are introduced to a lot of new characters (both good and bad) and learn that Dri and her group are helping bring awareness to their cause.  Once what was forbidden to speak of, is no longer the case.  The members start to find many people that are sympathetic to their plan.  However, because of this, the evil is trying to take over more than ever.  

The Ailith have many trials throughout this book.  Andriana (Dri) must learn to not give into the darkness of Sethos and members of his clan.  In this book Dri is held a prisoner of Keallach at one point and she wonders if he is as terrible as everyone thinks.  We also learn what his powers are and how powerful he really is.  Ronan and Dri also must deal with their feelings of each other and think of the journey their Maker has set for them.  There are many trials for Dri to go through.  She must learn patience, how to resist the Dark, keep faith and learn to stay true to herself.  There are a few twists of who is actually good and who is really bad.  There are two huge surprises near the end of this book for Dri.  She learns why Niero is the perfect leader for the group and she also is reunited with two people that she didn't think she would ever see again.  Anyone that enjoys dystopian books, will enjoy this book.  
Buy the book:
     Amazon







About the author:

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the best-selling author of over thirty novels, children's books, and nonfiction books. She's currently working on a teen time travel series called River of Time. Lisa and her husband Tim reside in Colorado with their three children.

Connect with the author:

   Facebook
   Twitter
   Website
   Goodreads


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cover Reveal: Love Abstract by B.L. Berry

Blurb
Things aren't always what they seem.
And in the light, Sleeping Shadows awaken and truths are exposed.
Love...
I love you.
Of all the lies he ever told me, that is my favorite.
Deceit...
Phoenix isn't who he thinks he is.
He is what he hides.
I know that now.
Lies...
His lies became so real he started to believe them,
deceiving even himself.
His silence lies, too.
The truth won't set you free. It will destroy you.
Love is deceptive like that.

Prologue


Phoenix

It all started with a little white lie.

A lie of omission, if you want to be technical.

But somewhere along the way, that little white lie turned into a massive, gaping black hole, mercilessly sucking in every facet of my life bit by fucking bit.

I’ve done everything I can to protect Ivy, to keep her out of my screw up. But one day she’s going to find out. And I know I need to tell her before someone else does. I need her to understand. I need her forgiveness. I need her to hear the sincerity in my words, my apology.

I can only hope that Ivy is open-minded and understanding enough to accept my past transgressions as she’s accepted her own. She has to accept me as I accepted her, fuck ups and all, right?

Ivy knows I’m not myself. I haven’t been myself in what feels like years. She can see the guilt of an unnamed crime written all over my face, but for whatever reason, she chooses not to say anything. Maybe she’s terrified of what the truth will bring?

She should be.

And frankly, so am I.

The demons of my past haunt me every fucking day. I wish things had unfolded differently. I never imagined that one decision could ever bite me in the ass like it has. But I can’t turn back time and rewrite the past without changing the course of my present … my future. The choices I made ultimately led me to her. And she is all that is good in my life …

The one thing going right.

And I won’t give that up without a fight.

The streetlight streaming in through the cracks in the blinds is just enough to illuminate our bedroom. I’ve been awake for hours; my mind racing to all the dark places I hate visiting.

I sit up, careful not to stir Ivy. Her hair cascades across her pillow. She looks so beautiful when she’s asleep. There’s no worry in her face, and she is just at peace with the world. Everything about this woman was created specifically for me. I can watch her for a single moment and easily find one thousand new things I love about her.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve perfected the fine art of quietly escaping our bedroom. I stealthily make my way to the door and slowly turn the handle. I look back over my shoulder and watch her sigh in her sleep. She’s snoring softly, and I just know.

I know that this is it.

She is it.

Most guys would never admit the moment they knew they wanted to marry the love of their life.

Then again, I’m not most guys.

I’m just an asshole. Quite possibly the luckiest asshole in the history of assholes.

And who knows how long my luck will last.

Because today is going to be the day I come clean and tell her what happened.

And this time I mean it.




Add you to your TBR

Love Nouveau on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22912916-love-nouveau

Love Abstract on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25243912-love-abstract


About B.L. Berry

B.L. Berry is many things. A New Adult author. A self-proclaimed music whore. A long-course triathlete. A marketing savant. And a full-time working mom. While there are never enough hours in the day, she does the best she can to get things done and hopes for technological advances in human cloning.
When she’s not hiding behind her computer writing, you can find her spending time with her family or catching up on her favorite TV shows. Rumor has it she’ll sleep when she’s dead.
She is Canadian by birth. Mexican by marriage. Chicagoan by heart. Kansan by choice. Jayhawk purely by common sense.
Residing outside of Kansas City, she lives with her husband, two children and black pug. Each day her family thanks the makers of e-Readers, because without which they would be living amongst stacks and stacks of romance novels. Conversely, each day B.L. Berry thanks the makers of e-Readers for hiding her book-hoarding tendencies.

Blog: http://blberrywrites.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blberryauthor

Twitter: @BLBerryWrites

Instagram: @BLBerryWrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AuthorBLBerry