Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#FRC2016: Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge (it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title: Sex and the City 101
Department: Women’s Fiction Studies
About the book:

As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy, and the two share an instant connection she can’t quite understand. Inez tries to resist Jimmy, but there’s no denying the feelings growing between them. Her mind and heart are at odds—will she stay with the man she thinks she loves, or surrender to a more precarious yet alluring fate? When Inez is pulled away from New York, the balance of her life shifts yet again. Soon she is caught in a web of confusion and heartache while trying to do the right thing. Could the love Inez never set out to find cost her everything she cares about?
Unexpected Love follows Inez as she is living a full life in New York.  She has a great career as a beauty writer, a great apartment and great friends.  She also does not have any relationship complications...well, until she meets Jason.  He is very handsome and she is attracted to him.  However, she meets his brother Jimmy and that is where the complication comes into play.  She is instantly attracted to Jimmy and they have a really great connection.  She has to figure out if she should be listening to her mind or following her heart when it comes to her love situation.  She has to figure out where are feelings are and if her feelings for Jimmy are just an infatuation.  

This was a very enjoyable, short read.  I don't want to give anything away but you will be dying to know how things turn out for Inez.  Inez has some tough decisions to make and it is great to see her growth throughout the book.  This book was a lot of fun and I can't wait to see what is next from this author!

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Kristy Kryszczak is the author of Unexpected Love, a debut novel about one woman’s journey navigating through life in her thirties and the complicated romances she gets pulled into along the way.

A former actor and beauty publicist in New York City, Kristy relocated to Naples, Florida, to enjoy all that the Gulf Coast has to offer. When she isn’t creating captivating fictional love triangles, Kristy is busy working as a director of special events and communications. She also blogs about her adventures living on Florida’s Paradise Coast, the writing life, marathon training, and always aspiring to live with gumption. She is a dog mom to her cockapoo, Maisy Mae, and enjoys cooking and hosting get-togethers for family and friends.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#FRC2016: The Next by Stephanie Gangi

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge (it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title: Ghost Stories 101
Department: Paranormal Studies
About the book:

Is there a right way to die? If so, Joanna DeAngelis has it all wrong. She’s consumed by betrayal, spending her numbered days obsessing over Ned McGowan, her much younger ex, and watching him thrive in the spotlight with someone new, while she wastes away. She’s every woman scorned, fantasizing about revenge … except she’s out of time.
Joanna falls from her life, from the love of her daughters and devoted dog, into an otherworldly landscape, a bleak infinity she can’t escape until she rises up and returns and sets it right―makes Ned pay―so she can truly move on.
From the other side into right this minute, Jo embarks on a sexy, spiritual odyssey. As she travels beyond memory, beyond desire, she is transformed into a fierce female force of life, determined to know how to die, happily ever after.
In The Next, Joanna is near the end of her life due to a hard fight with breast cancer.  Her daughters and her dog are by her side until the very end.  As her life comes to a close, she thinks back on her long lost love Ned.  Ned disappeared from her life without a word one day on his way to pick up groceries and Joanna finds out that Ned left her for a younger woman (and the younger woman is carrying his child)!  After Joanna passes away she becomes a ghost (instead of heading toward that shiny bright light).  She's not just any ghost though; she is a ghost hellbent on revenge against Ned.  She haunts Ned and makes his life miserable!  The torment that Ned receives from Joanna makes him feel like he is losing his mind, and I guess that is Joanna's point.

I enjoyed every bit of this book and I loved Joanna's dog Tom.  He may have been my favorite character from the book.  This is a very unique and quirky story and really gives new meaning to "hell hath no fury..."

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

Stephanie Gangi lives and works in New York City. She is a lifelong New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, raised on Long Island, a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, and raised her own kids in Tribeca, Rockland County and on the Upper West Side.

Gangi’s first publishing credit, many years ago, was a children’s book, Lumpy: A Baseball Fable, co-written with pitching great (and New York Met) Tug McGraw. She ghostwrote a tell-all about Liberace in 1984 but left the only copy in a taxicab. She has written jacket copy, pitch letters, business plans, speeches, mortgage checks, absence excuse notes, letters to editors, hundreds of poems, dozens of story starts, dating profiles, countless email, texts, sexts and random tweets. She once chalked a love note on the wall of a Paris alley in the rain.

She is an award-winning poet at work on a chapbook, and her second novel.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Book Review: Low Over High by J.A. DeRouen

Low Over High (The Over Duet #1)
Cover Design: DCP Designs
Release Date: November 14, 2016
I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole. Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do. While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile. But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch. I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years. And still we meet again. But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past. Or who… My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.    
Low Over High is a story about Marlo "Low" and Everett "Ever." We have seen Marlo in past Over installments, but she gets to shine in her own book. This book is actually set primarily in her high school days. She grew up on a farm in Texas with her dad and brother. Her mother ran away when she is younger, but is trying to repair the relationship with Marlo. She asks Marlo to move to New Orleans to attend a private school for her last year of high school. Her mother and stepfather agree to pay for the expense and build on that relationship. Marlo is one of the happiest people you will ever meet and always sees the glass as half full. She meets a great group of friends at her school and has a not-so-nice run-in with Ever. They can't tolerate each other in the beginning and have a love/hate relationship. That eventually grows into more as they coincidentally work at the same place together. They realize that they have something special, but Ever has is own demons that he is dealing with. Ever's worst nightmare affects Marlo in return. Something happens that makes Marlo not as happy or as positive about love and life in general. Their lives are forever changed and in a very gut-wrenching way. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger that has us to the current lives of both of these characters. 

I absolutely loved this book. I have enjoyed all of the Over books, but this one just got to me. I loved Ever and Low and how their relationship evolved. The events near the end just gutted me and I can't believe we have to wait until January 2017 to see how their lives move forward. I think they may be my favorite Over couple and they aren't even together. I can't wait to see what happens next! 
 Purchase Links

$25 Amazon Gift Card
Kissing Ever is like breaking the surface of the ocean. Legs kicking, arms flailing, and then that precious moment when air rushes into your lungs, giving you the one thing you need the most. Yeah, kissing Ever is just like that.   When his teeth lightly tug on my bottom lip, he owns me. I swear, my shirt almost flies off of its own accord.   Of course, I keep my cool despite his lovely lips … sort of. His tongue slides gently against mine, and I inch closer to him. He pulls away to taste my upper lip, and I grip his shirt with both hands. Maybe my hands slide under the shirt to touch his hot skin, but only an inch or two. When he lets out a long sigh, and his fingers brush the sides of my cheeks just so, I slide my legs between his. I want to pull his ribs loose and burrow deep inside of him, and even then, I’m not sure if it’s close enough.   He slows the kiss, still tasting me, sucking my lips, teasing me with his tongue. When I open my eyes, he’s right there with me, hazy eyes and parted lips. I run a hesitant finger over the freckles on his nose, and he runs his thumb across my swollen mouth. I finger his hair, tugging playfully, and he kisses my dimple, poking me with his tongue.   We explore each other slowly, thoroughly, and my thumb runs over his stomach to the thin line of hair trailing below his belly button. He shivers, and I swear the bulge pushing into the back of my thigh isn’t a banana in his pocket. It makes me feel powerful—that I can turn him on that way. This is the first time I can remember wanting that power. Boy’s erections were always a nuisance to me in the past.   He doesn’t expect me to do something with that, does he? Nuh-uh.   Let me be clear, those are not the thoughts running through my mind as I bend my knee and push my thigh more firmly into Ever’s hard-on. Not even close.   His hips raise to my pressure, and he drops his forehead to mine with a long sigh.   “I knew kissing you would be good, Low, but that was … I don’t know what that was,” he says with a chuckle, stealing another kiss.   “We should try it again. You know, figure it out.”   And we do.    

About the Author
J.A. DeRouen lives in South Louisiana with her husband, son (aptly named "The Professor), and her furry friend, Scout. She holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and nursing.
When she's not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women's health nurse. She's been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she's never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.
Connect with J.A.
Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2c3Y2O0
Facebook Reader Group: http://bit.ly/2eFOJ6m
Goodreads Author Page: http://bit.ly/2e78EZu
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2eNra9f
BookBub Author Page: http://bit.ly/2eNrncx

Thursday, November 3, 2016

#FRC2016: The Witch House of Persimmon Point by Suzanne Palmieri

This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge (it's our Junior Year!)  We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!

Course Title: Southern Witchcraft 401
Department: Gothic Literature
About the book:

“It's rare to find a novel that sends shivers up your spine. The Witch of Persimmon Point not only leaves you spooked, it'll give you chills whenever you see it on your bookshelf.” – Redbook
This house is a whole other ball of wax. I’m sure its feelings are hurt as I write this. It fancies itself a horror house. Home of witches and murderesses. Of death and decay and destruction. And here I am calling it comforting…
When Byrd Whalen returns to her family’s ancestral home to uncover secrets threatening to destroy a legacy she holds dear, she gets more than she bargained for. Over the course of one harrowing weekend, the dark haunted histories of the Amore women reveal themselves, leading Byrd to question everything she's ever believed about herself.
In 1890, Nan, the Amore family matriarch, was sent away to America with little more than a baby and a rocking chair, quickly finding work on the sprawling estate of the wildly eccentric Green family. This new life is one she wanted: loving and free with a family that understands and shares in her magic. But when tragedy strikes, destroying the mansion and the precious lives inside, Nan is left alone and pregnant with Reginald Green’s child. With nothing more than the deed to the property, she builds a house from the rubble and a new, pragmatic life. It would become a haunted life that would lead to other haunted lives. It would become a house both terrible and wonderful. It would become known as “The Witch House.”
An unforgettable family saga in the Gothic tradition, Suzanne Palmieri’s The Witch House of Persimmon Point is her most powerful novel yet.
The Witch House of Persimmon Point is a story about secrets hidden over several generations.  Byrd is forced to uncover family secrets that are threatening to harm her reputation (with the whole world watching).  In order do this, she needs to travel to her old family home.  Because this book offers multiple viewpoints, we find out about Nan.  She is the matriarch of the family and we learn that she was banished to live in American in 1890.  She is able to find work with the Green family and learns that they understand the magic that she has.  However, Nan's happiness does not last for long when some disturbing events take place in the house.

This book has some very dark experiences and are sometimes difficult to read.  However, the understanding of the past is very essential to this story.  Every person has a purpose in this book and it was entertaining to see this family's story unfold.  Once you start this book, you will not be able to stop!                                                 

Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

About the author:

I've always wanted to be a writer, but life got in the way. At 22, I was a struggling, unwed mother on welfare who moonlighted as a cocktail waitress. My daughter and I collected food stamps and other social entitlements for several years. There never seemed to be enough money, and knowing I had to finish college I hustled to make ends meet. Education, and writing whatever I could, saved me.

I wrote everywhere: in journals, on napkins, on the inside of matchbook covers. After graduating from college, (walking across the stage with my baby on my hip!), I was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to Fordham; this scholarship allowed me to exit the welfare system for good. Also, being a single mother living alone in the Bronx would become the impetus for my debut novel THE WITCH OF LITTLE ITALY, which hit shelves in March 2013. I am also the co-author of I'LL BE SEEING YOU (writing as Suzanne Hayes). THE WITCH OF BELLADONNA BAY and EMPIRE GIRLS will be released in May, 2014. I have another contract for two more novels with St. Martin's Press and am currently hard at work meeting deadlines!

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