~*Krissys Bookshelf Reviews*~

 

 

 

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Bedchamber Games (The Rakes of Cavendish Square #3) by Tracy Anne Warren

 

 

 

Author: Tracy Anne Warren

Title: Bedchamber Games

Series: The Rakes of Cavendish Square

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In this irresistible romance from the New York Times bestselling author of Happily Bedded Bliss, appearances can deceive, but the heart is not so easy to fool... — — Rosamund Carrow has spent years learning the law by assisting her barrister father, despite the frustrating truth that the profession is closed to women. When he dies unexpectedly, necessity compels her to disguise herself as a man so she can step into the courtroom to finish his cases. She's willing to put her reputation at risk, but she never expects that the greatest peril will be to her heart...

Lord Lawrence Byron is a rising star in London's legal circles, despite his reputation as an unrepentant rakehell. When an upstart young barrister defeats him in court, he's determined to discover everything he can about his rival. He's stunned when he uncovers the shocking secret that his new opponent is actually a beguiling, brilliant woman, one he can't help but want in his bed. Passion draws them together as they break all the rules, but it may lead to something more lasting like love..

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Beware this review contains spoilers but then again so does the blurb so don't blame me just don't read if you don't want to hear it.*

 

 

As the final book in the Cavendish series I really wasn't that enthused over the entire thing. The sad thing is, its written very well and its a great series but the whole fact that Lawrence has this attraction to Rosa the entire time not knowing that she's actually a woman while disguised as a man then he goes balls deep into la la land the second he finds out that she's a woman despite all the dead giveaway's that she actually is a woman yet its insta-love the moment he realizes it?

Okay, so that totally didn't make sense, I know. But that's how it is in the book.

Rosa dresses as a man to finish up some last minute business her now deceased father left behind. Lawrence comes in all haughty as you please snob and a half walking about as if his shit don't stink fights this constant pull toward Rosa while dressed as a man is a ten ton jerk and half most the time he's around her then the moment its revealed that Rosa is really a she  or rather she's the one who has been dressing as a man in court Lawrence goes haywire and can't way to get to happy land the second he finds out about it.

Seriously its like he can't wait to rip off their clothes just to pound into her how angry/happy he is about being deceived and it being revealed but can't fight the pull of love the moment he has her. Talk about leading with the wrong brain.

Yet, despite the whole love thing the minor I'm going to punish you for lying deal was total BS... I call BS!!

Why should she have to apologize to him for what he did to her? How is that right?

I'm not calling the sexism reverse roll thing but he's the one who was a complete dick. She should have sent his ass packing not fall all over him in weepy dismay begging for his forgiveness! No! She should have had him crawling on his knees for her.

But that's what irks me about these period girls because they are just so quick to be someones doormat that it makes me want to shred the book to pieces.

In the end Bedchamber Games wasn't one of my favorites in this series I just hope we don't get any repeat stories like this in the future.

 

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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Movie Night: Somewhere I'll Find You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two brother, rival correspondents, find themselves fighting their conservative editor over stories and each other of over the affections of a pretty blonde journalist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                    

 

                 

Somewhere I'll Find You is one of my favorites. It manages to be relevant, funny, sweet and serious... The acting was some of the best, the size of the movie both in time, the sets and the plot were some of the larger investments that totally pay off story and entertainment wise.

Gable films are always some of the best in my opinion but Somewhere I'll Find You reaches beyond just surface kisses and witty banter. It captures the viewers into Paula's conflicted heart and the brothers competition for professional favoritism and love as well as the rising tensions during the Pearl Harbor days.

If you haven't seen this film I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids Corner - Story Time: Disney's The Lion King

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A richly illustrated retelling of Disney's new animated film follows the adventures of Simba, a young lion, as he grows to maturity, matches wits with the evil Scar, finds courage, and discovers true love.

 

 

 

Don Ferguson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek of: It's Not Like It's a Secret by Misa Sugiura!

It's Not Like It's a Secret  

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, some are big, and then there's the one that she can barely even admit to herself.

When Sana and her family move to California, she begins to wonder if it's finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana's ever known.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy...what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.
 
LEARN MORE
 

1


“SANA, CHOTTO. . . HANASHI GA ARUN-YA-KEDO.”

Uh-oh.

Something big is about to go down.

It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re almost ready to leave the beach at Lake Michigan, where I’ve begged Mom to take me for my birthday. It’s just the two of us because Dad is away on business—he’s always away on business—and I’m crouched at the edge of the water, collecting sea glass. I’ve decided I’m not leaving the beach until I’ve found sixteen pieces, one for each year. Sweet sixteen and never been kissed, but at least I’ll have a handful of magic in my pocket. Sixteen surprises. Sixteen secret treasures I’ve found in the sand.

And now this: hanashi ga arun’.

Mom never asks if I want to “chat” unless she’s actually gearing up for a Serious Discussion. She walks over and stands next to me, but I’m too anxious to look up, so I continue picking through the sand as possible Serious Discussion Topics scroll through my head:

She’s pregnant.

She has cancer.

She’s making me go to Japan for the summer.

“It’s about Dad,” she says.

Dad’s leaving us.

He’s dying.

He—

“Dad got a new job with start-up company in California.”

—what?

“It’s the company called GoBotX,” she says. “They make the robots for hospital surgery.”

I don’t care what the company makes.

“Did you say California?”

When I say Serious Discussion, I suppose I should really say Big Announcement Followed by Brief and Unhelpful Q&A Before Mom Closes Topic:

“How long have you known?”

“Dad applied last month. He signed contract today.”

“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

“No need.”

“What do you mean, no need?”

She shrugs. “No need. Not your decision.”

“But that’s not fair!”

“‘Fair’ doesn’t matter.”

“But—”

“Complaining doesn’t do any good.”

“Are we all moving? When?”

“Dad will go in two weeks, at end of May. He will find a house to live, and we will go at end of June.”

She doesn’t know the answers to the rest of my questions: Where will we live, where will I go to school, what am I supposed to do all summer all by myself. Then she says, “No more questions. It is decided, so nothing we can do. Clean the sand off your feet before we get in the car.”

We don’t talk on the way home. Mom’s not the type to apologize or ask questions like, “How does that make you feel?” My own unanswered questions swim in circles around the silence like giant schools of fish, chased by the most important question of all—the only one I can’t ask.

When we get home, I go to my room to finish some homework. But before I start, I take out a lacquer box that Mom and Dad bought for me when we visited Japan seven years ago. It’s a deep, rich orange red, and it has three cherry blossoms painted on it in real gold. Inside, I keep my pearl earrings, a picture of me with my best friend, Trish Campbell, when we were six, all the sea glass I’ve collected from trips to Lake Michigan, and a slip of paper with a phone number on it.

I pour in my new sea glass, take out the piece of paper, and stare at the numbers. They start with a San Francisco area code. Could this be the real reason we’re moving?

The paper is small and narrow, almost like something I might pull out of a fortune cookie. Like if I turn it over, I’ll find my fortune—my family’s fortune—on the other side: Yes, these numbers are important. No, these numbers are meaningless. But of course the back of the paper is as blank as ever. I bury the phone number under the other things, put the box away, and lie down on my bed to think.

A few minutes later, Mom comes in and frowns when she sees me lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling. Mom is the most practical person I know. She doesn’t sugarcoat things, and she doesn’t look for a bright side. Which is okay right now, because a fake spiel about exciting new experiences, great weather, and new friends would just piss me off.

“I am sorry that you have to leave your friends,” she says, not looking one bit sorry, “ but the pouting doesn’t make your life better. It just prevents you from doing your homeworks.”

Then again, it probably wouldn’t kill her to show a little sympathy. Also, she’s totally off base about what’s upsetting me. But since correcting her is out of the question, I just turn and face the wall.

“Jibun no koto bakkari kangaen’no yame-nasai. Chanto henji shina-sai.”

I don’t think I’m being selfish. But since “AAAGGGGH-HHH! I’M NOT BEING SELFISH!” is probably not the “proper reply” she’s looking for, I just say, “I’m not pouting. I’m thinking.”

“There is nothing to think about. If you want to think, you can think of being grateful for a father who works so hard to get the good job.”

“It’s not that I’m not grateful—”

“Ever since he was teenager,” she continues, “Dad dreamed of working for the Silicon Valley start-up. That’s why he came to United States.”

“But what about me? Don’t my dreams count?” Okay, maybe now I’m being a little selfish. Especially since the truth is that I don’t actually have what might be called dreams. What I have are more like hopes: Straight As. A love life. A crowd of real friends to hang out with. But it’s also true that if I did have dreams, they wouldn’t count anyway. Not to Mom.

“You are too young for the dream,” she says. (See?)

I want to remind her that she just said Dad’s start-up job was a teenage dream. But she has a conveniently short memory about things she’s just said that contradict other things she’s just said, so instead, I switch tracks. “What about your dreams?”

“My dream is not important.”

“Ugh. Come on, Mom.”

She crosses her arms. “My dream is to make the good family. I can do that in Wisconsin or California.”

“Mom, why do you say stuff like that? Like, ‘Oh, our lives are just going to change forever, no big deal.’ It is a big deal! It’s a huge deal!” I can hear myself getting screechy, but I can’t help it. Dad changes our lives around without consulting anyone— well, without consulting me—and Mom just . . . lets it happen. It would make anyone screechy. “

Shikkari shinasai,” she snaps.

But I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do that: gather myself into a tight little bundle with everything in its place— shikkari—like she wants. I put my head under my pillow.

She’s quiet for so long that I begin to wonder if she’s left the room. When I peek out from under the pillow, she’s waiting for me, her face softer, even a little sad. “Gaman shinasai,” she says, and walks away. Gaman. Endure. Bear it without complaining.

Her life’s motto and my life’s bane.

Free Ebooks (5/24/17)

 

 

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE FREE PRICING IS ONLY A SPECIAL FOR THE DIGITAL FORMAT OF THE BOOK THAT IS LISTED AND IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME, SO BE SURE TO PURCHASE THE E-BOOKS BEFORE THE PRICE RETURNS TO ITS NORMAL LISTING. (Unless you want to buy them at full price:)

 

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Ephemeral on Kindle

Ephemeral by Addison Moore: *A Paranormal Alice in Wonderland!* Laken Stewart burst through a windshield and died one sunny afternoon. The next thing she remembers is waking up two months later in another state with another name. Laken finds her long dead boyfriend in this alternate world and is determined to find out what’s going on. Unfortunately, the truth proves to be truly deadly.

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Chasing Eva on Kindle

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Mister Black on Kindle

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Hacked by Love (Part 1) on Kindle

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Summer Lake Romance Boxed Set (Books 1-3) on Kindle

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Worth the Wait: A Burn With Me Novella by Rachael Tonks: To the outside world, Josh Larson has it all. With a thriving business and more than enough attention from the ladies, what more could a guy want? Depth. Colliding with Quinn Tate was never part of his plans, but when he meets the sinfully hot stripper, Josh realizes there is more to her than meets the eye. On a mission to fill the void in his life, the mystery surrounding Quinn’s secrets leaves him craving the truth behind her guarded exterior.

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Tainted Love: A Totally '80s Romance on Kindle

Tainted Love: A Totally ’80s Romance by Addison Moore: It’s September 1985 and Heather Knowles’ senior year is really shaping up to be something. As if being falsely accused of shoplifting in front of her high school crush wasn’t mortifying enough, how about finding out your mother is his family’s new maid? If you love the ’80s you’ll enjoy each book in the Totally ’80s Romance series. Each book can be enjoyed as a standalone. They’re like, totally awesome!

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Girl With No Fingerprints on Kindle

Girl With No Fingerprints by Mark Bailey: Milly is smart; she has a doctorate in Psychology. She stands at the gate of her life’s troubled path. The gate is her limit; it will define her. She must not pass through it — there will be no return. She will decide, but her personality, her intuition can’t guide her. She must obey her intelligence. She must listen to Rosie.

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Second Sight on Kindle

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Keys of Life: Sword of Fire on Kindle

Keys of Life: Sword of Fire by Carolyn Schield & Thomas Vorbeck: Sword of Fire is the second book in the Keys of Life trilogy, a historical thriller and fantasy. Set sail with the Pure of Heart as they try to save not only their legacy, but also the earth as we know it.

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The Eyes of Abel on Kindle

The Eyes of Abel by Daniel Jacobs: A thriller about journalism. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Roger Charlin and Israeli Airlines security agent Maya Cohen become entwined in a top-secret race against time and powerful international interests.

This book is Free on May 24, 2017

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Conceit on Kindle

Conceit by Alana Albertson: SEALs, scandals, and sins—so wicked, they’re deadly. Mia Cruz goes undercover to exonerate her brother who is accused of murder. In order to learn the truth, she must work with her ex, gorgeous SEAL Grant, a SEAL with secrets of his own.

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Wanted! Wanted Posters of the Old West: Stories Behind the Crimes by Barbara Fifer

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Barbara Fifer 

Title: Wanted! Wanted Posters of the Old West: Stories Behind the Crimes

Series:

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This rare collection of wanted posters from the American West is an historical treasure. In addition to the more than 150 reward notices and wanted posters collected by Sheriff Moe during his tenure as a law enforcement officer are information on the history of wanted posters and the fascinating stories behind the crimes, which include horse theft, safe blowing train robbery, seduction, white slavery, and murder. Posters for notorious bandits such as Jesse James and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are also featured.

 

 

 

 

 

So for those of you who don't know the title is slightly deceiving. Yes, there are a couple posters that actually include a "background story" with it but for the most part the book is just an accumulation of clippings and cut outs from that period.

Some posters were simple vague descriptions of the person that was wanted from said area, others included entire stories behind the crime, while few were simply wanted because they stole a horse, stole someones wife, or were just bad tempered, foul mouthed, and low in luck. Its quite surprising what you could actually be arrested for in some places.

Bad day? Its a good time to avoid your neighbors because you don't want to be locked up or hung for having a bad disposition. Some of the warrants make you raise your brows, some will make you laugh, most will make you wonder what ever came of it.

I would have happily rated this book five stars however it did feel as if something was  missing.

As much as there was in the book there were too many times there weren't any more details beyond the inclusion of the wanted poster and that itself doesn't always give any details. It would have been nice to know more beyond the extraordinary wanted posters of the celebrities where the author added a couple paragraphs about the warrants "story" besides the two sentences or less that was included on the original poster itself.

All in all worth the read and I enjoy books like this so it was a winner for me.

 

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews purchased a print copy for personal collection. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews

 

 
 
 

 
 
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At First Light (Exclusive Romance #3) by Mari Madison

 

 

 

 

Author: Mari Madison

Title: At First Light

Series: Exclusive Romance

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After five years of reporting in war-torn Syria, Troy Young is back in his hometown of San Diego. Readjusting to life back home is proving difficult. He keeps having panic attacks during live shots. But he s given one more chance as an entertainment reporter doing a He Said, She Said review segment. It s not what Troy had in mind especially when he discovers who his new partner is.

Movie-obsessed Sarah Martin loves her new gig at News 9...until the man who broke her heart enters the studio. Still, the desire between Sarah and Troy has not subsided even if he did pick his career over her. She doesn't want to trust him again but they ll need to overcome their off screen tension if they hope to handle the drama that s about to unfold...

 

 

 

 

 

There's a lot I really loved about At First Light, there's a lot that kept me from liking as much as I was wanting to however I still thought it was really great.

The idea was good but the added mystery spin on it all could have been done without because we (the reader) already had so much going on with the ptsd angle and the added backstory that I don't really think the extra adventure was really necessary.

It didn't really provide good flow with the organic feel of the over all story.

That aside I did like our h/h, I thought they were great together, I enjoyed the way they played off one another which kind of had An Ugly Truth kind of feel to it which is always fun. 

Overall I pretty much enjoyed At First Light from beginning to end.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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Behind the Curtain by Beth Kery

Behind the Curtain - Beth Kery

 

 

 

Author: Beth Kery

Title: Behind the Curtain

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There’s something about this woman…

On a break between overseas jobs, journalist Asher Gaites returns to his hometown of Chicago—and allows his friends to persuade him to check out a hot new singer. At a downtown jazz club, he’s soon transfixed by the lyrical voice and sensuous body of a woman who performs behind a thin, shimmering veil...

…That could bring a man to his knees.

The veil gives Moroccan American Laila Barek the anonymity she needs since she has never been able to reconcile her family’s values with her passion for music. But one man is inexplicably drawn to her. And when Asher confronts her on a subway platform after a gig, he’s shocked to recognize the woman who walked away from him nine years ago...

Laila has never been able to forget the touch, the feel, the taste of Asher. And despite the doubt and fear that wind their way into their lives, they must trust the heat of their desire to burn down the walls the world has placed between them…

 

 

 

 

 

I felt it a little odd that there was so much emphasis on the fact that Laila and Asher were of different races, I understood they were different and that it was an issue for them personally but there is so much opposites and tension in our characters just on their own that it spills over into their relationship which kept me from really investing in them as a couple. 

Same thing can be said for everything in this story for me is that there is a lot of push and pull of the environments being described one way but then being another the characters being one way but doing another. 

Another thing that didn't quite feel organic for me was why so much time was spent on certain details that in the end wound up not really mattering at all.

Behind the Curtain was a good read and the whole sort of romeo/ juliet feel to the whole thing was okay but the natural even flow of the story and the romance between our h/h felt a little disjointed and out of place which made it a little difficult to enjoy it as much as I wanted to. 

 

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Penguin Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate by Sue Scheff

 

 

 

 

Author: Sue Scheff

Title: Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate

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Drawing from real-life stories and research from top experts, Shame Nation gives an in-depth look at how the rise in online shaming is affecting our way of life, and stripping society of both compassion and privacy.

A rogue tweet can bring down a business; an army of trolls can run a celebrity down; and for many, harassment leads to isolation, depression, and even suicide. By peeling back the different forms and consequences of digital habits, this book offers real discussion on how to prevent and protect against our culture’s growing lack of empathy and common sense.

 

 

Shame Nation will be available for retail purchase October 1st, 2017

 

 

Shame Nations is one of those Non Fiction heed my warning reads about a topic that everyone already knows all about but refuses to admit or confess exists.

America has a serious issue with both denial and ignorance and blending in that problem when it comes to online/ cyber bullying is even worse.

Cyber Bullying is a taboo topic that hits many people where it hurts and does damage to more people than they would care to admit. People all day long post their most private intimate life details online trusting that they will get no less than the royal treatment about everything they say or part take in but that couldn't be further from the truth.

The internet can be harsh, it can be cruel and very emotionally devastating for some. Its a place where anyone can be who they aren't, lie about who they are, and treat anyone regardless of who it is like dirt under their shoe all because its an anonymous face that doesn't come with consequences when you decide to shred their soul in half. If you took those same people who love to decimate everyone else on the internet and placed them in the real world then told them to say the same thing to a complete stranger they'd balk at you because they're under the assumption that what they say online doesn't matter and what they do doesn't have true to life consequences.

Some that can cost another person their life.

A person can shrug off the responsibility of their words but the truth is words have power in this place people call the internet.

Its rather sad how this instrument that was meant to connect us all to eachother and the outside world, meant to bring us closer together as a race has done nothing but make us more separate and alone than ever and sadly less human than ever.

While parts of this book get rather long in detail its a good read that should be passed along to those who haven't yet experienced the dark side of the online social world as a warning to those who would take things much too far.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Sourcebooks Publishing via Netgalley. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

 

 

 

Author: Amanda Quick

TitleThe Girl Who Knew Too Much

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When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

 

 

 

I enjoyed The Girl Who Knew Too Much for its slow pace and light character building. Although I wish I'd gotten more out of our cast and the world itself which I had been hoping would have been more detailed and more explored was interesting, it just wasn't as exciting as I was anticipating.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much was still a decent story as one of those girlie type Dick Tracy kind of reads without the rhyme or reason his usually includes I would like more stories from this time period with more time and development.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Penguin Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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The Ghosts We Leave Behind by Al Barrera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Al Barrera

Title: The Ghosts We Leave Behind

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Some call them killers--hard men from the other side of the planet sent to collect the heads of their enemies and make peace with a gun.

Freedom follows, along with all of its problems. Choice, and a lack of it. A world without the easy answers that come from being in a uniform.

And the space where the two worlds collide. Where a man tries to reconcile the person he’s become with the one he was. A new kind of battlefield, where the ghosts of his past change everything he’s ever known.

 

 

 

 

It breaks my heart to think that little by little every single day there is another person who has forgotten or is forgetting about the war in Iraq. Some forget that its even still going on as we speak, or that there are soldiers - real living beings going over there to fight in it.

I think that's the thing that shocks me most is the fact that I believe a lot of people don't take into account that these are real people who go where they are told to fight those battles. Society doesn't always take into account how young they were, how they were a part of our society one day then thrown into war the next.

Some soldiers were recruited, some volunteered but you can't look at the men and women who fought and say that they asked for what they got. The realities of war and the consequences that follow after experiencing it are something that no one should have to go through.

Sadly for many that have they are left forever changed by it.

You won't always be able to strip their sleeves and see their scars because not all wounds are on the outside but on the inside. Even when their time to return home comes due their fights aren't always over. The battle continues in the echoes of the mind and in the heart, in the memories forever seared into their very souls.

I think its hard for a lot of people to understand that because there are just too many people who would rather turn their heads and pretend the war in Iraq never took place. From your neighbor next door to the people who run this country.

We are a country who have failed its soldiers, failed to do right by them, failed to properly care of those who will be forever changed by what happened to them.

They don't want pity or sympathy, they want normalcy that they'll never be able to reclaim because so much of what they went through didn't even touch the realm of what used to be considered normal.

Its interesting to see the honest inside look and the internal debate from a soldiers perspective the questions of what is justified and what isn't and the questions that always seem to cause an influx of yet more questions even years afterward that aren't so easily answered. 

Worse yet is the fact that the death and dying doesn't end when our soldiers return home. Suicide which is also topic in this book has been at an all time high for veterans who have returned home from Iraq. The thousands who have died by suicide, the dozens who take their own lives every day..

The honest view of what its like to be in your early twenties, to do the things they have, see the things they have and have to come home dealing with the things they have just to fall between the emotional cracks of pride, shame, confusion, betrayal, anger, and sadness aren't always easily said and done. You aren't who you used to be, you don't fit into the world the way you used to and nothing quite feels the same anymore.

Things aren't all fine in the neighborhood. We need to do right by our soldiers who have been left behind, and society needs to remember that.

The Ghosts We Leave Behind is a punch to the gut inspiring honest look at the internal battle our soldiers face from day one to what they continue to battle today. This book should be on the best sellers list, everyone should read it. I couldn't put it down.

 

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from the author via Netgalley. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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Free Ebooks (5/17/17)

 

 

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE FREE PRICING IS ONLY A SPECIAL FOR THE DIGITAL FORMAT OF THE BOOK THAT IS LISTED AND IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME, SO BE SURE TO PURCHASE THE E-BOOKS BEFORE THE PRICE RETURNS TO ITS NORMAL LISTING. (Unless you want to buy them at full price:)

 

Don't forget to check my Free Ebook page on Pinterest for more Free Ebook titles and genres not listed below!

 

 

 

 

 

Two Cats on Kindle

Two Cats by Sigal Adler: On a lovely fine day, with sun filling the sky, two neighbor cats met in a garden nearby. In lovely warm weather, well past winter’s gloom, they soaked up spring with its flowers in bloom.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Who Ate My Sandwich? on Kindle

Who Ate My Sandwich? by Sigal Adler: Uncle Jake thought that quiet days were the best. He’d relax at home with a book and time to rest. Though parties were no pleasure for Uncle Jake, on his birthday, the whole family came with a cake. This year on his birthday there was a football game, and watching a re-run just wouldn’t be quite the same.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Buzzy and Thomas Move into the President's House on Kindle

Buzzy and Thomas Move into the President’s House by Vicki Tashman: It’s 1801 and life is good for Buzzy, or so she thinks. Buzzy lives with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, but her life turns upside down when Thomas tells her that they’re moving to the President’s House. Buzzy doesn’t want to move. What will she do? This enjoyable early chapter reader for ages 4–8 teaches kids about President Jefferson, the new breed of dog he brought home from France, and confronting issues about moving.

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Don't Call Me Kit Kat on Kindle

Don’t Call Me Kit Kat by K. J. Farnham: In this hard-hitting YA novel, a teenage girl wrestles with low self-esteem, body image issues, and an eating disorder after she is unable to ingratiate herself into the popular clique at school. An important, difficult book that will appeal to girls who feel lost in the world.

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Wraith on Kindle

Wraith by Angel Lawson: From the USA Today Best Selling Author, Angel Lawson, Wraith is a novel that explores the darker side of high school for Jane Watts as she struggles with her unique abilities to see the dead while existing with the living. Love, romance, and friendship play a key part in Jane’s search for happiness.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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The Divinity Within on Kindle

The Divinity Within by Batool Merali, Z.Light Miller: This journal is designed to teach you to follow your heart and gain insights into a greater life. The motivational stories, the mantras, and the mudras will help you go deeper into a greater life in service and love to yourself, your family, your community, your nation, and the planet. Let’s make a difference!

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Herbal Natural Remedies: Box Set on Kindle

Herbal Natural Remedies: Box Set by Donna Mcgrathson: Herbal Natural Remedies provide numerous health benefits. They are a great alternative to modern medicine. Learn all about natural remedies inside this box set!

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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The Sheeple on Kindle

The Sheeple by Gus Flory: Gus Flory’s THE SHEEPLE is an epic tale of adventure about a young sheep named Bucky who learns that all is not as it seems with the flock. The flock lives peacefully on the idyllic hills of California’s Central Coast, but Bucky knows that the shepherd and dog who watch over them have ulterior motives. Bucky tries to convince the flock to escape with him, but to no avail. If you liked “Call of the Wild” or “Animal Farm,” you are sure to love Gus Flory’s “The Sheeple.”

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Polk, Harper & Who on Kindle

Polk, Harper & Who by Panayotis Cacoyannis: A tender but thorny and frequently hilarious contemporary story of complex family relationships, of friendships being put to the test, and ultimately of the triumph of imperfect London love within imperfect London lives.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Bird (Book 1) on Kindle

Bird (Book 1) by Tami Egonu: In 19th century England, young Emily Sanderson is headstrong and idealistic. Resistant to her family’s expectation of an arranged marriage, her future security is nonetheless assured. That is until a fateful encounter in a London bookshop, where she falls instantly in love with a sophisticated black playwright, Josiah Equiano.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Prelude To Insurrection on Kindle

Prelude To Insurrection by JC Kang: An orphan half-elf spy must infiltrate a treacherous lord’s castle, or else the realm will fall into rebellion.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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The Noru: Blue Rose on Kindle

The Noru: Blue Rose by Lola StVil: As the demon takes her into his arms and away from the flames, he begins to understand he isn’t rescuing her; she’s saving him….

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Inhuman on Kindle

Inhuman by David Simpson: Inhuman is to the Post-Human science fiction series as The Empire Strikes Back was to Star Wars — the middle act when revelations emerge, old sins come back to haunt, and the mysterious journey of the heroes that readers have fallen in love with deepens, darkens, and entertains to a whole new level.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Western Star: Welcome to Two Moon on Kindle

Western Star: Welcome to Two Moon by P.S. Witte: Lyria Grant, a spitfire scientist, arrives in Two Moon, Texas and is immediately drawn to its progressive landscape. Situated near ore-rich mountains, the citizens take advantage of the metals and materials (some not yet discovered by the rest of the country) to create a steampunk-inspired town second to none. However, even progressive towns have their issues with crime, and Lyria uses her inventions along with a noir alter ego to dispense her unique brand of vigilante justice.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Koinobi on Kindle

Koinobi by Reid Minnich: She has been hiding on Earth for thousands of years, taking one host every century and nudging human civilization and technology forward from the shadows. Unaware of the war in the stars above it, Earth is not sending signals into space, putting itself in the cross-hairs of both sides. To save her adopted home, she must reveal herself to a small band of humans and reach out to her ancient enemy.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Whispers of the Damned on Kindle

Whispers of the Damned by Jamie Magee: Every word Magee lays down is unpredictable, absorbing, and addicting. The SEE Series has it all. Rock stars? Hot angels? Check and check. Ghosts? Definitely. Magic, mystery, suspense and danger? Yes! Buckle up — this is the start of a romantically haunting thrill ride that will literally leave you pleading for more. Fans of Suzanne Collins or Veronica Roth, this book series is one you do not want to miss.

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Talon: Rose of the Pride (Book 1) on Kindle

Talon: Rose of the Pride (Book 1) by Theresa Hissong: My name is Talon Shaw and I am the alpha of a pride of black panthers. My cat finds his mate in a human female and she wants a date! But panthers don’t date…we mate. Before my plans fall into place to court the woman who is destined to be my mate, one of my pride is taken and held for ransom. That ransom is me. I will do anything for my pride, but my little human mate puts herself in my place. When I find out that she has been taken, along with a young girl from my pride, I vow to bring them both home.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Magic in the Desert on Kindle

Magic in the Desert by Christine Pope: Three complete first-in-series paranormal romance novels from USA Today bestselling author Christine Pope. Darkangel: Ancient curses…family feuds…finding the man of your dreams can be a real nightmare for the modern witch. Bad Vibrations: Alien conspiracies…government cover-ups…what’s a psychic on the run to do? Chosen: Sometimes the end of the world is just the beginning….

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Antihero on Kindle

Antihero by C.J. Pinard: He’s dealing with a haunted past of crime and war. She’s trying to stay clean and walk a straight path. Is the chemistry storming between them enough to keep them together? Ellis Anderson is out of the Marine Corps after having served eight years for his country instead of a prison sentence for his crimes as a youth. He’s a bit lost until he meets Talia, a college student dealing with her own issues.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Love So Hot on Kindle

Love So Hot by Marquita Valentine: Tired of being the girl all the guys want to be friends with, Sydney McKnight is ready to unleash her inner vixen. Who better to help her than Fire Captain Brody Lawson—her best friend… and secret crush.

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Unforgettable on Kindle

Unforgettable by Nelle L’Amour: The unputdownable #1 bestseller! Be prepared to laugh, cry, and swoon! BRANDON: I’ve just woken up from a month-long coma. And learned I’m engaged to America’s It-Girl, Katrina Moore. She might be a blond goddess, but my mind can’t remember a thing. And I don’t feel a thing for her anywhere. Because my heart started beating for another the minute she came through the door.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Chasing Beautiful on Kindle

Chasing Beautiful by Pamela Ann: This roller coaster read pulls at your heartstrings as the main character goes through all sorts of emotions, transitioning from her first love to a new one, from friends to lovers, and from being a naive girl to becoming a woman. It also deals with insecurities rooted in childhood, the struggles of being alone, and dealing with a common college problems.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Snow White Espionage on Kindle

Snow White Espionage by Maggie Dallen: The reigning ice queen of the courtroom, Jenna only agrees to help her ailing father figure out who’s spying on his law firm for a price. But Jenna discovers that her wicked ex-stepmother hired an undercover investigator of her own to find the culprit and the former detective seems to think that Jenna is the spy. Now all bets are off as Jenna and the retired cop engage in a game of cat and mouse to figure out who’s behind the subterfuge. The only problem is, can she win the game without losing her heart?

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Every Little Kiss on Kindle

Every Little Kiss by Susan Hatler: Wendy Watts must sell the coastal inn she inherited, but when she spontaneously kisses hot stranger Max Huntington, she wonders if the local legend might actually be true—that being kissed by the bay under a blue moon will lead to love that lasts forever.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Margaritas & Murder on Kindle

Margaritas & Murder by CeCe Osgood: Margaritas & Murder is a twisty, entertaining cozy mystery with funny, likable characters and an intriguing plot. When her childhood friend, Joyce, is found dangling in a tree with a dead man in her apartment, apprentice P.I. Sunny Truly is hired to prove Joyce innocent. To do so, Sunny goes undercover as a glam-girl in a Texas nightclub where she meets a sly bartender, corporate cowboys and, perhaps, a murderer.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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A Frothy Fiasco on Kindle

A Frothy Fiasco by Constance Barker: When the body of a dead beauty queen is discovered, everyone is on edge. Burglaries and restless teens don’t help stress levels in Sweet Home.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Raveled on Kindle

Raveled by Anne McAneny: From the bestselling “Crime After Time” Collection! When New York bartender Allison delves into her father’s 16-year-old murder conviction, she peels back the lies and upsets the apple cart in Lavitte, a sweet North Carolina town with a wormy core. Action and intrigue combine to delightful, warped effect in this highly rated, twist-filled mystery.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Hushabye: A Kate Redman Mystery (Book 1) on Kindle

Hushabye: A Kate Redman Mystery (Book 1) by Celina Grace: When rookie police officer Kate Redman starts her new job in Abbeyford, she is thrown in the deep end with a case involving the kidnapping of a newborn baby and the murder of his nanny. Can Kate solve the case in time to save his life – or will her own unhappy history get in the way?

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Mac Walker's 40,000 Feet on Kindle

Mac Walker’s 40,000 Feet by D.W. Ulsterman: A riveting thrill ride that has former Navy SEAL Mac Walker taking on a 40,000 miles high terror plot to kill tens of thousands. “The Mac Walker series is the real deal. Great action with a story that takes readers on one thrilling adventure after another.” -MOBLEY REVIEWS

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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The Lafayette Campaign on Kindle

The Lafayette Campaign by Andrew Updegrove: America is rushing headlong into another election year – but someone is hacking the voting. It’s up to cybersecurity super sleuth Frank Adversego to find the Black Hats who are trying to steal the presidential election and stop them before they do.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Iced Malice on Kindle

Iced Malice by Marla Madison: During the worst winter since 1890, Detective Kendall Halsrud investigates when the body of a man is found frozen on a neighbor’s porch and, soon after, the brutal murder of a teenage couple, which could be linked to the ten-year-old disappearances of three other young couples.

This book is Free on May 17, 2017

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Thirsty for Payback on Kindle

Thirsty for Payback by Marie Astor: A Romantic mystery about revenge, broken hearts, and new beginnings. In the blink of an eye, Allyson Roberts loses her fiance, her job, and her fortune. Just when she seems to have hit rock bottom, Ally is recruited by an undercover agency that is interested in her skills. She takes the job with only one goal in mind: payback. Getting even is the only thought on her mind as she convinces herself that her heart has no room for love — or does it?

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Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek of: Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr!

Gem & Dixie Gem has never known an adult she can rely on, the one constant in her life has been her sister, Dixie.

Gem grew up taking care of her sister when no one else could. Even as Gem and Dixie have grown apart, they've always had each other.

When their dad returns home for the first time in years, Gem finds herself with an unexpected opportunity: three days with Dixie—on their own in Seattle and beyond.

But this short trip soon becomes something more, as Gem discovers that that to save herself, she may have to sever the one bond she's tried so hard to keep.

 
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WHERE ARE we going? Dixie would ask.

The forest, I’d say. Or, Space.

She never questioned me.

We need to pack survival rations, I’d tell her.

What’s that?

Food and water and gum and stuff.

She’d help me make butter-and-jelly sandwiches on soft, white bread. If we had chocolate chips, we’d sprinkle those in, too, and mash the bread down hard so they wouldn’t fall out. I’d lift her to the kitchen sink so she could fill a bottle with water, and I’d roll up a beach towel; then we’d put it all into the picnic basket that was really just a paper grocery bag on which I’d drawn a basket weave pattern with a green marker—badly, crookedly.

We would put on our jackets and shoes, and I’d make her close her eyes and I’d lead her around the apartment and spin her in circles and then say:

We’re here. Open your eyes.

I knew, and she knew, we weren’t in space or the forest or Narnia or anywhere other than our shitty apartment. Still, when she opened her eyes, they’d go big and bright. She was good at make-believe. My favorite thing was how she always skipped into whatever fantasy place we’d gone to. As soon as her eyes were open, she’d start skipping all around the living room and up and down the hall.

We’re in space, I might say. You can’t skip in space.

I can.

Okay, but you can only skip really slow in space because there’s no gravity.

Mid-skip she’d switch to slow motion and try to make her arms and legs more floaty. Then she’d get tired of it and get hot in her jacket and say it was time to go home.

No, we’re not going home. We’re never going home. I don’t remember when I started saying that part.

She’d stop squirming. What about Mom? And Daddy?

We’ll leave a note.

Then we’d spread the beach towel on the living room floor and if I forgot to bring crayons or markers to space I’d run into our room and get them, and we’d draw a good-bye note, our stick figures flying up to the moon and holding hands as we waved good-bye forever to our parents. Dixie liked to draw stars behind our heads like halos.

She used to play along. She used to believe everything I told her, and do anything I said.

She used to need me to take care of her, and I liked doing it. I liked doing it because, then, I thought I was the one who could. Even though nobody was taking care of me.


1.


NINE QUARTERS.

They were the last of what had been left in the jar of laundry money that Dixie and I kept in our room, the jar that had never quite lost the smell of pickle relish. I counted and recounted the quarters in my pocket with my fingertips as the lunch line moved forward, as I’d counted and recounted them through English, physiology, and government. I counted because things in my life had a way of disappearing on me, and I’d learned not to trust what I thought was there.

What was there wasn’t enough—three quarters short of the cost of lunch—but I stayed in the line anyway as it moved me toward the food. Lunch roulette. Luca, the cafeteria worker on the register, might find seventy-five cents for me in his pocket. Or someone else in line might cover it, out of impatience or pity, which were just as good as kindness on a day that hungry. I hadn’t eaten more than a candy bar since the potluck in my fourth-period Spanish class the day before.

Denny Miller and Adam Johnson—freshmen—stood right in front of me in the line; Tremaine Alvarado and Katy Plant, juniors like me, stood behind. Tremaine was on my PE volleyball team. She’d stare through me on the court, or jostle me while we rotated to the serve, without saying sorry or excuse me or anything else that showed she thought of me as an actual person with a name. Katy Plant thought it was funny to call me “Jim” and got other people to do it, too. I don’t know what’s worse—people acting like you don’t have a name, or them saying it wrong on purpose. The point is I wouldn’t be asking Katy or Tremaine for a handout.

Not that I wanted to ask anyone for a handout. But being hungry—I mean really hungry—had a way of erasing a lot of the embarrassment. And Denny and Adam were easy, being the kind of undersized freshmen who still looked more like seventh graders.

“Denny,” I said.

Both Denny and Adam turned around. I could see them wondering how I knew his name. I knew it because they were both listed on a program from the last band concert, and it was posted in one of the display cases outside the counseling office, under a picture of the band. I spent a lot of time there. I knew not only their names, but that Adam played clarinet and Denny played trumpet and had a solo in “Stars and Stripes Forever.” They both had floppy hair and bad skin. Adam was taller, which helped me tell them apart.

“Can I borrow seventy-five cents?” I asked quietly.

“Me?” Denny pointed to himself.

“Either of you.”

The line moved and the smell of ravioli and garlic bread got stronger. My stomach seemed to fold in on itself.

“I use a lunch card,” Denny said.

“Yeah,” Adam said. “Me too.”

They turned their backs to me. Just because their parents loaded up cafeteria cards with money didn’t mean they didn’t also have some cash. I checked on Katy and Tremaine behind me; Katy was busy showing Tremaine something on her phone. I leaned closer to Denny. “But maybe you have some change or something?”

He drew back and shook his head. I wondered whether I’d tell Mr. Bergstrom about this in our appointment later and if I did, how I would describe it in a way that made me not look too bad.

I tried Adam. “Do you know Dixie True?”

That got his attention. “Um, yeah.”

“She’s in our social studies class,” Denny added, facing me again. “And English.”

“That’s my sister.” Maybe if they knew that, I would seem more interesting than weird.

They exchanged a glance.

“Really?” Denny’s voice cracked on the end of the word. Adam laughed through his nose.

“Ask her next time you see her.”

They wouldn’t, not boys like this, zit-faced and probably still playing with action figures in secret. They might sneak looks at Dixie but they wouldn’t dare say a word to her.

Denny pulled a wrinkled dollar bill from his pocket. “You can pay me back tomorrow, though, right?”

“I’ll look for you,” I promised, taking the money.

A couple of minutes later I had my tray of ravioli and garlic bread, a sad iceberg salad with two croutons, and a carton of milk. When I got to Luca at the register, he shook his head. “I saw that.”

I handed him the bill plus eight of the quarters. He shifted on his stool, the sleeves of his green school jacket swishing against his sides while he rang me up. “If you don’t have money,” he said, “you should get your parents to fill out the form online so you can get free lunch. How many times I gotta tell you?”

I stared at the peeling yellow school logo over his heart. Half of a lion’s mane, a third of its face. “Okay.”

“‘Okay,’” he said, imitating me. “You say ‘okay,’ then you’ll be back here hustling quarters in line tomorrow, these poor little freshmen.” He wasn’t talking loud but not quiet, either, and I imagined Katy hearing every word.

“Those are my sister’s friends,” I said, and decided that’s what I’d tell Mr. Bergstrom if it came up. “I’m going to pay him back.”

 “You always had money in the fall. What happened?”

 “I saved from my job last summer. That’s all gone.”

Since January.

His hands hovered around the register drawer for a second. Then he said, “Here’s your change.”

“But—” I was sure I’d given him three dollars exactly.

“Here’s your change, Gem,” he said again, putting four quarters in my palm.

“Thank you.”

He waved me away, and I took my ravioli to a quiet corner to eat.


“Is that supposed to be me?”

Mr. Bergstrom had gotten a new whiteboard. He’d drawn a stick figure, falling. I knew it was falling from the way the stick arms and stick legs pointed slightly upward, like gravity was pulling on its stick middle.

“I’m not a great artist but, yes, it’s meant to represent you. Here . . .” Bergstrom added some strands of hair that flew up, then capped his dry-erase marker and sat back down. “Is it at least close? Is this how you feel?”

“I don’t know.” In the way that she was alone, maybe, but even falling she looked more free than I felt. I got up and held my hand out for the marker. I drew a box around the falling girl. That didn’t look right, either. “This is dumb.” I picked up the eraser and wiped it all away.

“Maybe.” He smiled. He had a good smile and a good face, and a way of looking right at me without making me feel like I was being studied in some lab. He was way better than old Mr. Skaarsgard, the school psychologist he’d replaced at the beginning of the school year. Skaarsgard would always furrow his white eyebrows at me and make me feel like nothing I said made sense. Maybe it didn’t, but at least Mr. Bergstrom tried.

Normally I saw him a couple of times a week, not always on the same days, sometimes after school and sometimes during it, depending what was going on. I know it was a lot. Some kids at school could go a whole semester, even all of high school, without seeing him once. But right at the beginning of freshman year I sort of had this incident in pre-algebra, and my teacher referred me and then I was on the permanent rotation, first with Skaarsgard, now Bergstrom.

“What’s the box?” he asked. “That’s what it was, right?”

I shrugged.

“You feel . . .” He trailed off and I knew I was supposed to complete the sentence.

“I mean, you can’t put me on there with nothing else,” I said, pointing at the blank whiteboard. “You have to draw Dixie and my mom, and our apartment and school.”

“Earlier, you said you felt alone.”

“I do.” My hands curled up on my knees, my nails pressed into my palms. This office was always hot and small. I shook my head, not knowing how to explain feeling alone but also trapped in the middle of people and places that didn’t let me move or breathe.

Mr. Bergstrom had plain brown eyes, a little bit small for his face, but I could almost always see sympathy in them, like now. “It’s okay, Gem,” he said. “I know it’s hard to put into words.”

I opened my hands and took a breath.

“Do you want to update me on things with your mom?” he asked.

“They’re fine.”

“Fine? Last time we talked you seemed pretty worried about her. And Dixie.”

Sometimes, at our appointments, I’d tell him a lot, and it felt good in the moment, finally saying the things I’d had stuck in my head all that week. But then I’d be in bed those nights, and a smothering kind of panic would settle on me that I’d said too much. Like I’d given away something I needed and couldn’t get back.

“You said not to worry, so I stopped.”

“Well. I think I said it wasn’t your job to worry about your mom, it’s her job to worry about you. But I know it’s not that simple. Especially with Dixie.” He smiled again. “And I know you didn’t just stop worrying, Gem.”

I looked at the clock. “I have to go to detention. My bus was late this morning.”

He nodded. “Okay.” He wheeled his chair back. “We’re not scheduled again until next week, but come say hi anytime.” That’s how he always ended our meetings. Come say hi anytime. I liked knowing I could.


By the time I got home, it was twilight. Detention had made me miss my bus connection, so I’d walked, the chill and damp of Seattle a force I pressed against with every step. It was March, and things would get better and lighter soon, just not yet. Having to walk meant I missed my afternoon cigarette, too, on my bench in my park. The smoking time, which no one but me knew about, was when I didn’t feel the cage or the box or whatever it was. It made space for me and my thoughts. Without it I felt like part of me was left behind, trying to catch up.

The security gate at the front of our apartment building stood ajar despite the signs all over the entryway reminding residents in capital letters to MAKE SURE the gate stayed LOCKED SECURELY because there had been CRIMINAL INCIDENTS. The dark corridor between the gate and our stairwell always scared me, especially when the gate was left open.

I pulled it closed behind me, then checked the lock. Then I checked the lock again and told myself I could stop checking. But halfway down the corridor I went back to check it again. Then, grasping the pepper spray on my key chain, I went up the three flights of stairs—past all the handwriten notes old Mrs. Wu left everywhere about noise, garbage, pets, smoking—and into our apartment.

Dixie was home. She had the TV on and a sandwich in one hand, her phone in the other, homework all over the floor where she sat. She’d changed clothes since I’d seen her at school that morning—from jeans and a hoodie to shorts over tights and a green V-neck T-shirt that showed a lot. I had on baggy jeans and a plain blue sweater that would have hidden everything if there’d been anything to hide. As usual, she looked like the older sister.

She looked up. “I heard you stole money from some freshman today.”

Dixie had ways of knowing nearly everything that happened to me at school.

“Borrowed money,” I clarified.

“Why’d you have to tell them I was your sister?”

“You are my sister.”

“Thanks for embarrassing me.”

“You’re welcome.”

In our bedroom I put my backpack on my pillow with the straps toward the wall. My keys went on top of the cardboard box on its side that I used as a sort of nightstand. My shoes went inside the box, laces hanging out. I hung my jacket on the closet doorknob and put on the thick socks I always wore around our apartment. Whenever Dixie saw me doing this stuff, or checking the gate lock more than twice, she’d tease me and say I had OCD. But Mr. Bergstrom asked me a bunch of questions about it and said I didn’t fit the diagnosis, that it was more like I had a few rituals that helped me feel in control, and they didn’t interfere with my life, and it wasn’t the same thing. “Plus, from what you’ve told me about where you live,” he’d said, “checking the gate lock sounds like plain common sense.”

I confirmed one more thing—that my stash of cigarettes was still under the bed—then went back to the living room. The onion smell of Dixie’s sandwich made me salivate.

“Did you get that from Napoleon?” I asked.

She chewed and stared at me like, Obviously. Napoleon was the older guy who worked at the deli down the block and had a crush on Dixie—like a hundred other guys.

“Can I have some?” The ravioli from lunch seemed forever ago.

“No,” she said, but held it out anyway. I sat on the floor next to her and took a bite. Then another. Roast beef. Avocado. Cheddar cheese. Thin-sliced red onion and a hard sourdough roll. It was perfect, as if all of Napoleon’s craving for Dixie had been slathered onto that sandwich. I swallowed huge pieces of it, half chewed and sharp with mustard.

Dixie watched me eat. “You can finish that if you’ll go down and get the laundry from the dryer.”

“You did laundry? With what money?”

“Money I had.”

“I’m not going down there at night,” I said.

“It’s not night.”

She tried to take the sandwich away from me; I held it out of her reach. “It’s dark, though.”

“I washed some of your clothes, too, Gem. Do you want them to get stolen?” She lunged again for the sandwich.

“O-kay,” I said. I finished it and went the five steps to the kitchenette to throw away the white paper it had been wrapped in.

“Did you see your shrink today?”

“He’s not a shrink. He’s just a school psychologist.” I opened the fridge. There were a few stale corn tortillas, an opened bag of green beans, ketchup, and a white plastic butter dish with maybe a teaspoon of butter left, crumbs stuck all over it. Same as that morning.

“You should get him to send you to a real shrink. Say you need Adderall. You could sell it at school and then you’d have some money.” I’d heard that Dixie helped some seniors sell their prescriptions at school. I didn’t want to know. “I can tell you what symptoms to have,” she said.

“No thanks.”

I imagined going down to the laundry room. The lights could have burned out again. Sometimes there were noises that might be a zipper clanging against the dryer door, or might be rats or a creepy neighbor.

“Let’s go get the laundry together,” I said to Dixie.

She looked up from her homework. “You always do that.”

“What?”

“‘What?’” she repeated, in a bad imitation of my voice. “I already took my shoes off.”

“So did I. Put them back on.”

I went to the bedroom to get mine. When I came out, Dixie stood by the door forcing her flip-flops over her tights.

“You’re going to fall down the stairs and die,” I said as she shuffle-walked to me.

She shrugged.

I knelt to tie my laces. “Where’s Mom?”

“Out.”

“I know. Out where?”

“Work, I guess?”

I straightened up and we faced each other.

“Do you think Napoleon would give me a sandwich?”

She laughed. “Well, you might have to flash your boobs.”

“Is that what you do?”

“No! I’m joking, Gem, obviously. Do you really—” She shook her head. “You never get my jokes.”

It didn’t matter. I knew exactly why Dixie got sandwiches and why I wouldn’t.

Dixie is pretty. No one in our family is beautiful the way movie stars are beautiful, but she’s the type of girl who gets second, third, fourth looks—as many looks as people can get away with before she stares them down. She’s soft in the sense of being curvy, and hard in the sense of not taking any shit. She’s cute—her hair, her clothes, the faces she makes when she’s surprised or mad or thinks something is funny. And intimidating. She exudes a sexuality, but in a way where it’s like it’s for her, not for anyone else. It started in junior high, and by the time she got to high school, people couldn’t spend five minutes with Dixie before they wanted to give her things, feed her, touch her, get her to smile, be her friend, be her boyfriend. She got sandwiches, she got her cell phone bill paid, she got attention when she wanted and deflected it when she didn’t.

Whereas I still hadn’t figured out how to make and keep a friend.

I stared, she stared back. For her it was a game. She thought I was trying to get her to look away first. But really it was me trying to see who I was through Dixie’s eyes, me wondering if she evaluated me and my face and clothes and body, the ways I made it through the world, like I evaluated hers.

Did she look for herself in me, the way I looked for myself in her?

Finally she broke, and laughed. “You’re such a weirdo, Gem,” she said. “You probably scared that freshman with your creepy eyes.”

I didn’t want her to see I couldn’t take a joke, so I bugged my eyes at her to make them even creepier.

“Ew,” she said with an exaggerated shudder. “Let’s go downstairs before the rats come out.”

 

Movie Night: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                    

 

                 

It amuses me with as awful as this movie is that I enjoy it so damn much.

The acting was phenomenal for its day, and its a classic despite the fact that its a bad movie. 

The funny thing is, you don't really think a sibling could be so cruel to another and yet you look at some of the ways siblings treat eachother and it makes you wonder if someones sister would go off the deep end enough to do the same thing to you.

Watch out or you might end up in a wheel chair locked in a room being served dead animals by your psycho sister too. HA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Night: Wife vs Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                    

 

                 

Sometimes you just need one of those movies that really makes your whole day worth it. I've always loved Clark Gable and I've always been a big fan of Jean Harlow, so when I saw that they were together in this film I couldn't resist.

Its funny to see how the smallest of things can turn into one major one that has the ability to completely turns your life upside down. Talk about snowball effect.

Love this movie from beginning to end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Next Flame (Fall Away #4 & 4.5) by Penelope Douglas

 

 

 

 

Author: Penelope Douglas

Title: The Next Flame

Series: Fall Away

Cover Rating:

Book Rating:

Buy This Book:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next to Never
Under the close watch of the men in her family, Quinn Caruthers has found it nearly impossible to spread her wings—or even date—without her three older brothers, Jared, Madoc, and Jaxon, jumping in to hover. And when a family friend—several years older—from her childhood still holds her heart, she knows they’re going to be a problem. Lucas Morrow is a man, and knowing her brothers, he may as well be forbidden.

But years ago, Lucas left town and shows no signs of returning. Quinn knows she shouldn’t wait for him anymore.

Until a package turns up on her doorstep with no return address and its contents reveal family secrets that threaten to turn her world upside down. She’s never asked about the path of her parents’ romantic history, but she soon learns their happy marriage had a very rocky and passionate start.

As she starts to see things around her with new eyes, Quinn will have to make tough choices about whether she’ll keep waiting…or finally go after what she really wants.

Aflame
Tatum Brandt finally has everything she wants. Acceptance to medical school, a circle of friends she would never replace, and contentment that every day is now hers.

All through high school, Jared Trent called the shots. He decided if she would be happy or sad, fearful or free. He owned her heart, and he played with it like one of his cars.

Never again.

Two years ago, Jared left town, and Tate’s life is exactly where she wants it to be. Or that’s what she tells herself…

Because two years ago, her heart also stopped beating, and no matter the success in school or the support of her friends, there’s only one time every week she can feel that same rush in her blood. Friday nights on the track.

That’s hers, not his, and to hell with anyone that gets in her way again.

Especially him.

 

 

The Douglas step-cest series continues or rather gives readers the novellas that ran between the installments so that readers of this series could have the "full series" in one whole physical set.

The Next Flame is actually just Aflame and Next to Never in one book its not really a new book. Its essentially a gathering of a story the same as she did for Until You, which fell between Bully and Rival when it was released in print. Same thing here.

If you haven't read this series yet I highly suggest not starting here. Fall Away is definitely a series you need to read from beginning to end to understand and even then it gets quite confusing on who is who. The whole parent marriage sibling marriage who is the other persons sister or brother and parent and friend gets even more interwoven until it kind of begins to feel like a giant family orgy of who is doing who without much why aside from how they shouldn't but do anyway.

Fall Away has never made a whole lot of sense to me as a reader but then again I've never been a big fan of the whole sibling sex craze that's going around but its well written and is actually a decent read when you take the non-cest/cest part out of it.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print  copy in exchange for an honest review from Penguin Publishing. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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Krissy's bookshelf: read

Reaper's Stand
Archangel's Shadows
To Love a King
Touch a Dark Wolf
Gray Bishop
The Viscount's Christmas Temptation
The Second Chance Hero
Loving Him Off the Field
Only Enchanting
Final Lap
Hunt the Jackal
Linger
Before You Break
Priestess Dreaming
Scandal And The Duchess
Hunters
Rival
Sci-Fi Nights: Alpha Bad Boys & Wild Girls of Futuristic Romance
Frayed
Love Bites


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