Friday, August 26, 2016

Summer Reading Challenge: The Lucidity Project by Abbey Campbell Cook

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!  This week's book is The Lucidity Project by Abbey Campbell Cook!

About the book:

"The Lucidity Project stirs readers to look at life and their abilities in an exhilarating new way.” ― POPSUGAR

Depression has haunted twenty-five-year-old Max Dorigan her entire life. After years of unsuccessful treatment and a failed suicide attempt, Max agrees to join “The Lucidity Project,” a program at a mysterious health and wellness resort in the Caribbean―where, she soon finds, the people are just as troubled as she is, only in a different way. They claim to have psychic powers. They claim they can see ghosts. They claim Max is one of them. 

Max refuses to pay much attention until Dr. Micah McMoneagle, the charismatic head of the project, reveals he’s found a way to allow people to enter each other’s dreams. Now, instead of discussing their issues in talk therapy, Max and her new gifted friends can symbolically work through their problems on the astral plane. Together they embark on a magical, transformational journey through dreamtime to reveal the causes of the things that are holding them back―an adventure that ultimately awakens them to who they really are, and what they came to earth to do.

Max is on a journey to find out who she really is.  She suffers from depression and reaches a low point when she tries to (unsuccessfully) commit suicide.  She embarks on a new "alternative" treatment program (The Lucidity Project) that sends her to the Caribbean for help.  She discovers that there are other people hurting like she is, but not in a similar fashion.  Some of the people that Max meets are other patients, staff and some of them may not even be real at all.  

This books shows depression in an unique light.  There are some things that happen that are in the fantasy-type realm, but it makes such a hard subject (depression, suicide) not seem as heavy.  It is an interesting concept to read and some of the characters are a lot of fun.  Overall, this is a very entertaining read while tackling some very hard issues!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Abbey Campbell Cook studied creative writing at UC Berkeley. She now writes (and sometimes sings and dances) about her ongoing quest for spiritual and physical wellness on her blog, Adventures in Woo Woo Land, which often includes pictures of Channing Tatum in his underwear (Ryan Gosling too, if you’re lucky). The Lucidity Project is her first novel.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Reading Challenge: A Happy House for Mothers by Amulya Malladi

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!  This week's book is A Happy House for Mothers by Amulya Malladi!

About the book:

A stunning new novel—full of wit and warmth—from the bestselling author of The Mango Season.
In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.
Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.

A House for Happy Mothers sheds light on the world of surrogacy and infertility.  Priya and Asha come from different parts of the world, but become connected when Asha (living in a very poor area in India) becomes a surrogate for Priya (living in California) at the Happy Mothers House in India.   Priya desperately wants to be a mother and Asha is desperate to get her gifted son into a good school.  Each woman offers something that the other women really needs.  This book was great in showing that both of these women were struggling but come from such contrasting worlds.  It is heartfelt and makes you really think about poverty, privilege and some of the things most of us take for granted, like family.  Readers will enjoy what a journey these two women face, together and how this journey affects them both.  

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

I am the author of six novels, including The Mango Season and Serving Crazy with Curry. My books have been translated into several languages, including Dutch, German, Spanish, Danish, Romanian, Serbian, and Tamil.

My latest and sixth novel, A House for Happy Mothers will be released by Amazon Lake Union in June 2016. 

I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in journalism. When I'm not writing, I work as a marketing executive for a global medical device company. And when I'm not working, I paint for the sheer pleasure of it. I live in Copenhagen with my husband and two children and lament the weather nine months a year. You can connect with me at

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Blog Tour: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

The Cumberland University Library has been given the opportunity to participate in a blog tour (hosted by Knights of Whitechapel, which one of our library ladies is a member of group!) for the upcoming book Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.  This blog tour is active from August 1 to September 19.  Make sure to look for the other posts!

About the book:

Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion...

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story's shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.


Audrey is anything but ordinary.  Audrey wants to be more than someone's wife and fights the typical norm for women in her era.  She is a girl of high society but has an interest in forensic sciences (which is a big no-no in the Victorian time period).  However, she just can't help the curiosity that stems from dissecting dead bodies.  If anyone found out about this, she would be the black sheep of society.  Good thing she is willing to dress like a boy in order to be her uncle's apprentice.  Her uncle is approached by the police to help in the investigation of some pretty nasty murders.  This is where the story takes off and Audrey "helps" with the investigation.  She is accompanied by the wonderfully arrogant Thomas.  The two of them have pretty much a love-hate relationship (or is it hate-love).

This story takes you through a great mystery and Maniscalco is able to draw an amazing landscape of the time period.  The author gives you such great descriptions that you will feel like you are in Audrey's world (thank goodness we are not, haha!)  Even though Audrey had "different" interests, she still appreciates all things girly which was a nice treat.  All the characters were great (then ones that survived anyways, ha!) and I loved how wonderfully complex this novel was.  It definitely keeps you guessing and you will love it with every page turn.  If you are into dark, intriguing reads, then this is the book for you!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble | Goodreads |

About the author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a small town just outside of New York City where her love of the arts was fostered from an early age. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food for her family, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life's finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel.

Connect with the author:
Website | Twitter |Facebook 

Kerri is hitting the road for a book tour and will be in the Nashville area for the Southern Festival of Books.  I know I am super excited to meet her at the festival.  Below is the list of her tour dates if you are interested!  

Summer Reading Challenge: Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!  This week's book is Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino!

About the book:

From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

Swear on This Life is Renée Carlino at her finest. Raw, real and gripping; I read it in one sitting.” —Colleen Hoover, #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends With Us

“Carlino fans will love this one, and so will readers who have not yet made her acquaintance. The tale is engaging and paced to keep the pages turning long after the lights should be out.” —Kirkus Reviews

Emiline has just had the shock of a lifetime: the latest bestselling book has been written by her ex (Jase) and it is all about Emi's life.  Her life has not been easy so she finds it very hard to read about her painful past with Jase.  Emiline is finding it hard to be an author herself so this puts even more salt in the wound.  This book of Jase's  forces Emi to think about things that she has wanted to forget and to put it all behind her.  Emi decides to confront Jase and this sends her on a journey to remember.  Emi is not only forced to forgive and forget, but she also must reevaluate her current life situation.  Emi has to find strength in herself and realize that her past does not define her.  This is a story of heartbreak and moving on from the past.  Readers will enjoy reading about young Emi and Jase and seeing how their paths cross again.  

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. 

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Reading Challenge: Clear to Lift by Anne A. Wilson

This summer, members of the Vise Library are participating in a Summer Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!  This week's book is Clear to Lift by Anne A. Wilson!

About the book:

Navy helicopter pilot Lt. Alison Malone has been assigned to a search and rescue team based at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, near the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada, and far from her former elite H-60 squadron. A rule follower by nature, Alison is exasperated and outraged every time she flies with her mission commander, "Boomer" Marks, for whom military procedures are merely a suggestion. Alison is desperate to be transferred out of the boonies, where careers stagnate, and back to her life and fiancé in San Diego.
Alison's defenses start to slip when she meets mountain guide Will Cavanaugh during a particularly dicey mission. Will introduces her to a wild, beautiful world of adventure that she has never known before. Stranded on a mountain during a sudden dangerous blizzard, Alison questions every truth she thought she knew about herself. When Will braves the storm to save her life, she must confront the fact that she has been living a lie. But is it too late to change course?
Full of action and adventure, dangerous and heart-stopping rescues, blizzards and floods, family secrets and second chances, Clear to Lift by Anne A. Wilson is a thrilling woman's journey as she finds confidence, truth, love, and herself against the majestic backdrop of the Sierra Nevada.

Clear to Lift is an amazing story about self discovery, love and adventure.  Alison is used to playing it safe, even in her profession of as a helicopter pilot.  A lot of her reservations are due to her past, but when she is assigned to a search and rescue team those boundaries are tested.  This is where she meets Will.  He is a well renowned mountain guide and Alison discovers a chemistry with him that she has never experienced (even with her fiance).  Alison questions what she believes and what it really means to be "safe." This book is full of adventure and intense rescue missions.  I loved the emotional journey Alison faces as well as the rescue journeys she encounters.  There is one scene near the end that will leave your heart pounding and feeling like you were on the rescue mission yourself.  A truly wonderful book with wonderful characters and scenery!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Anne A. Wilson is the author of Hover and Clear to Lift. She was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in ocean engineering. She served nine years active duty as a navy helicopter pilot, including three years flying search and rescue, where she specialized in high altitude, technical mountain rescue. Following her military service, she worked for four years in the semiconductor industry. Currently, she and her husband own a triathlon coaching company, Camelback Coaching, and she specializes in teaching adults how to swim. Anne lives in Fountain Hills, Arizona, with her husband and two sons.

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Book Review: The Regulars by Georgia Clark

We were given the opportunity to review The Regulars by Georgia Clark.  Read below to find out what this book is about and to see what the Vise Library thought about it!

About the book:

A fierce, feisty, and “wonderfully entertaining” (Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies) debut with a magical twist about three ordinary, regular girls who suddenly have their fantasies come true…or do they?

Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent.

Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well...gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them.

But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left:

What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?

Wildly irreverent, blatantly sexy, and observed with pitch-perfect wit, The Regulars is fresh “compulsive reading from a bright new voice” (Brenda Bowen, author of Enchanted August) in fiction, perfect for fans of Jennifer Close and Kevin Kwan.
What would you do in order to transfer from a regular looking woman to a stunning beauty?  Would you take a potion (called Pretty) that transformed you and your life for seven days?  That's what The Regulars explores as a group of friends notices that their appearances not only change, but also their lives.  Doors (easily) open for them as they are transformed.  However, as Evie, Krista and Willow discover, there is no potion that automatically changes the inside of the person like Pretty does their outward appearance.  They also find that they become addicted to the potion and suffer the consequences for it.  

This book is very funny but it also explores different parameters put on women by themselves and by society.  It also looks into why we as a society are so obsessed with beauty and striving for perfection.  Even though this is something thought provoking, this book approaches it with humor.  This is a fun adventure to explore while experiencing a dose of pop culture.  

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble | 

About the author:

Georgia Clark is widely published in women’s and lifestyle magazines, has written for TV, and performs improv. She’s the author of fiction novel The Regulars, and the YA novels She’s With The Band and Parched. A native Australian, Georgia lives in Brooklyn with her girlfriend and a fridge full of cheese.
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