Book Review: Cry, Heart, But Never Break – Glenn Ringtved

synopsis 2

Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must. He comes gently, naturally. And he comes with enough time to share a story with the children that helps them to realize the value of loss to life and the importance of being able to say goodbye.

 

My Thoughts 2

`Cry, Heart, But Never Break` by Glenn Ringtved is truly a treasure to have.

cry heart

Unfortunately, I wasn´t the one who purchased this book. I didn´t even know this book existed until my husband brought it home the other day.

The reason for that was: My husband´s work colleague´s brother in-law passed at a young age and he wanted to explain the meaning of death to his own children. To help them understand why their uncle wasn´t with them anymore, but help them understand in a child-like way.

My husband´s colleague googled for books and found this award-winning children´s book.

The only problem was: The book hasn´t been translated in german and his children don´t understand english, yet. He asked if I could translate this book for him so he could help his children understand what had happened.

I didn´t hesitate. Translating 32 pages is a piece of cake, especially when there´s only 2 sentences per page.

First off, I would like to say that this book is, indeed, perfect for children who are confronted with the loss of a beloved family member. I´d even go so far and say that adults should take a look inside this book, too.

The cover image and illustration art might not be overly inviting for children but it fits it´s purpose.

This isn´t a book about how to sugar coat death and make children believe in something we have no proof of knowing…

There is no mention of God or Heaven. No one sits on a cloud and looks down at the people still living. That option is left for a reader to include ( should they feel the need to add that kind of spirituality at the end of the story ).

This book get´s to the point with little words. It breaks your heart and gives you a sense of warmth in a time of sadness.

Wonderful.

“What would life be worth if there were no death? Who would enjoy the sun if it never rained? Who would yearn for day if there were no night?”  – Death

Sometimes adults fail to find the right words to help children understand. But there are books like this one that´ll help in the best way possible.

 

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. For all ages. It´s important for children to deal with certain situations because there are things that can´t be prevented, such as death. I´m not one to shove the issue in a child´s face but when someone beloved passes then I´ll definitely reach out for this book and tackle the topic.

 

Would I re – read this book? Yes and no. Although beautiful, it still is sad.

 

The Cover – 3 stars ( I think the illustration is a tad gloomy but it fits the topic.)

The Story – 5 stars ( It helps small minds and makes larger minds sit back and think. A fantastic read. Perfect.)

The Characters –  ( I don´t think it´s necessary to rate Death and the children who spent time with him. This is not something where character development plays a role.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Teary. I had a hard time swallowing down the lump in my throat. But I also felt completely satisfied and less shattered than I thought I would be.

5 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.com

 

 

Review- Thicker Than Blood (#1) by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley

Book Description

A true friendship never dies. 

Leisel and Evelyn lost everything. Husbands. Families. Friends. Lives that made sense. All they had left was each other, and a friendship that could withstand anything…

Even an apocalypse.

Until one fateful night, the marginal safety they’d come to rely on comes to a vicious and brutal end. With the help of Alex & Jami, both unlikely allies, Leisel and Evelyn are able to escape their shattered sanctuary only to find themselves face-to-face with a much altered, much crueler life where they have to find the way—and the will—to stay alive in a world they no longer recognize.

Traveling across a broken and infection-ridden country; the road-weary group are pitted against endless violence, improbable circumstances, and the ultimate loss.
Everything comes at a price—especially safety, the cost of which could very well strip them of the one thing they’ve tried so hard to cling to: their humanity.

Yet along with all the trials they’re forced to endure, there’s also hope in the form of love. Having loved Leisel from afar, Alex attempts to put the pieces of her fractured heart back together.

But in such a savage world, is there room for love?

In a place of nightmares-made-reality, where the living should be feared far more than the dead, an unbreakable friendship and a love amongst all odds can mean the difference between life and death.

There are friends…

And then there are Leisel and Evelyn.

My Thoughts

It´s super dangerous for my wallet when I visit a book signing. Once I´m in a room packed with awesome authors then there´s no stopping me ( Don´t judge. It´s an illness ). Within an hour I´m broke, yet, at the same time I´m richer than anyone I know.

That´s how I came upon this little treasure. The RARE ´17 Berlin book signing was my undoing.

`Thicker Than Blood` by authors Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley belonged to the many books I purchased that day. I walked up to the author´s table and asked what she would recommend and VOILA!Thicker than blood

I´m always looking for something new in the book universe. Something a topic that hasn´t been told to death over the last 5 years. I want something that will grab my attention. I need a story that´ll do all kinds of things to my emotional household. I need excitement. I need something that´ll blow my mind.

And right now I need to give these authors a high five for writing such an amazing story.

I was hooked the moment I began reading and I felt like someone hit me with a frying pan when I finished the story.

Perfect! That´s exactly what I´m looking for in a book!

So, what are we dealing with in `Thicker Than Blood` ?

  • a zombie apocalypse

  • a friendship like no other

  • survival

And with that we automatically deal with the whole pallet of emotions. And boy, did I go through some nasty up´s and down´s.

The authors created a new world in such a brilliant way and made me suffer along with their characters until the very last page.

The author´s created a world that felt oddly real.

I´ve watched zombie movies / shows and I´ve read my fair share of zombie books before. They´re amusing and entertaining but they hardly feel realistic. Yet, I never ended up sitting on my sofa, thinking about the „what if´s“ like I did after reading this book. There came a point where I had to remind myself that this was just a work of fiction. A brilliantly written, thought-up piece of madness that stunned me.

And the fact that this isn´t a full blown sappy romance just fills my heart with joy. Of course, there´s a bit of lovey-dovey throughout the story…. but nothing you´d imagine. This is a horror / apocalyptic novel with a focus on friendship and survival and a pinch of romance. And the best part- You cannot relate to the characters because no one knows how they´d react in the same situation.

Would I recommend this book?

I most certainly would. Over and over again.

Would I re-read this book?

You can bet your ass I would. But, first, I´m going to read `Beneath Blood and Bone`(#2) before I do anything else. 

The Cover – 5 stars ( The image, the lighting, the blood…. I like it alot. Something I can look at all night long. A total catchy book cover.)

The Story – 5 stars ( When authors create worlds and are good at it then it´s already a winner.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Eve and Leisel aren´t the best characters ever but their friendship is truly something special. )

My emotional state after finishing this read Pooped beyond means. Mentally and physically preparing for a possible zombie apocalypse and. I might even text my bestie so she can get ready as well.

stars15

I´m giving `Thicker Than Blood` by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley 4 out of 5 stars.

This book can be purchased over at Amazon.com 

Instagram: Morgana´s Book Box Feature

https://www.instagram.com/p/BV-9XlfBhzc/?hl=en

Review-Grievous ( Scarlet Scars #2 ) by J. M. Darhower

Book Description

Once upon a time, there was a girl who stopped believing in fairy tales after her innocence was stolen.

Morgan Myers is tired. So damn tired. Most people either push her around or brush her off, and she’s not putting up with it anymore. Determined to reclaim the life that had been stolen from her, she puts her trust in the last person she ever expected to: the notorious they call Scar. Morgan sees a side of him that few people seem to know—the man, not the myth. Lorenzo. And what she sees, she likes, a lot more than she thought she would.

But fairy tales aren’t real, as life likes to remind her. Some dragons, you just can’t slay, no matter how hard you fight them. And when hers comes back around, breathing fire, she’s forced to face some unimaginable horrors. But there’s a white knight in combat boots out there that isn’t afraid of monsters.

You see, it’s impossible to be afraid of something you see every day in the mirror.

My Thoughts

** ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review **

And God said, „ Thou shalt not fall in love with a fictional criminal, especially with one who´s lost all his fucking marbles.“

But, hot damn!! I´m already so truly, madly, deeply in love with Lorenzo „ Scar“. I can´t help myself. He´s probably the worst and deadliest passionate nutcase I´ve ever encountered in a book, yet here I am, a 34 year old woman, desperately wanting to become apart of Lorenzo´s world. * ugly cry* ( I definitely have to think about what went wrong in my life…* cracking up* )

The story of Lorenzo and Morgan continues. * pulling hair * And just why did everything have to end? I mean- it sure as Hell felt like the end. I´m a mess. I don´t want to be a mess. I´m supposed to be happy but I´m not. I feel like the author gave me a gift and ripped it away again with the final words of the story. Damn it. That woman better keep on writing or I´ll turn into an even greater mess, suffering from an odd book hangover for only God knows how long.

( Need to get back to the story )

Where were we? Aah, yes. The story continues with Morgan still trying to get her child back from Kassian, the head of the russian mafia. And much to Lorenzo´s delight he helps Morgan. But one does not simply walk onto russian mafia territory and kidnap the prize. No. Getting back Morgan´s child proves to be a difficult matter and it takes a whole lot of craziness to get the job done.

When two mafia bosses collide… shit´s about to get ugly.

The story was intense, ruthless and so damn awesome.

Lorenzo was his logical / illogical self, doing unpredictable stunts at every turn… all while looking like a sexy, imperfect God. I shit you not- you never knew when he was going to kill someone or not or when he was going to be civilized. The important thing to know was- never fuck with him, especially when he was in his library ( I´m going to miss reading about that room.). So, his previous boredom from the first book ( Menace ) has vanished and he was happily occupied with half blindly swinging his gun at people.

`Grievous` is packed with action, tension, betrayal, sex ( which is mighty fine, if you ask me), death, suspense, forgiveness and above all- love.

The romance between Lorenzo and Morgan is not what you´d expect. No typical knight in shining armor, not damsel in distress story. What we´ve got here is a „ You´re fucking nuts, I´m not that crispy either but we got something good going.“ type of romance. AWESOME! So different from all the other love stories I´ve read so far.

There was one line, one moment in the story where I completely lost it.

„ Morgan,“ he says, his voice quiet as he whispers my name….. „Open your eyes, baby.“

You might think that those few words aren´t really special but when you read the story and get to know these people and read what they went through together you understand the significance of those words. And when you do I dare you not to let out a little noise of disbelief. * sigh * So touching and just….$/()(/%&$%§“§$§%$&%/& Everything after that just clicks into place and you KNOW. You just know.

And the end….Holy Heaven! I loved it. I can´t say anything about it without giving the story away so you´ll just have to take my word for it. It´s so satisfying.

I might be a little over enthusiastic about this story but I don´t care. I´m in love and that might never change. This is my favoite story written by my new favorite author.

I recommend this story to everyone who wants some adventure in their romance.

The Cover – 3 stars ( Meeh, not feeling this cover much.)

The Story – 5+ stars ( I´d need to write an extra review for another round of love gushing. Great read. I´ll have to get myself the paperbacks for my sacred bookshelf )

The Characters – 5+ stars ( I love how crazy these folks acted and how normal they thought their lives were. Lorenzo is a brilliant character. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – I want to high five the author for writing such a brilliant story.

I´m giving `Grievous` ( Scarlet Scars #2 ), by the awesome J. M. Darhower, 5 out of 5 stars

Check out my review for  Menace ( Scarlet Scars #1 )

grievous To purchase this book all you need to do is go on over to Amazon.com ( or just click here ) and buy the book. Seriously. You´ll love it.  Trust me.

Menace ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) – J. M. Darhower

Book Description

Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.

Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So fucking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious menace they call Scar. They say he’s a sociopath. Maybe he’s a psychopath. Whatever path he’s on, people tend to stay far away from it.

Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him–a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something… or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn’t quite sure.

You can bet your ass he’s going to figure it out, though.

** ARC Kindly Provided by The Author In Exchange For An Honest Review **

My Thoughts

Dear readers, I´m in story heaven!

Bless J. M. Darhower, for that woman is one hell of a storyteller. I went through 346 pages of brilliant holy shitballs! Damn, what a story. `Menace` ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) by J. M. Darhower has definitely earned a place on my sacred „Fuck Yeah!“ bookshelf.

This story is even more nail-bite-worthy than the `Monster In His Eyes` series was ( and I LOVED that story / series to bits ). `Menace` is brutal, unforgiving, captivating, unpredictable, dark, sexy as hell and filled with action. Exactly what I want in a book.

Still- I´d like to remind that this story comes with a small warning.

Scarlet Scars contains dark elements that some readers may find disturbing“

The warning is there for a reason. Although none of the dark elements disturbed me, I´m sure they could bother other readers.

Lorenzo „Scar“ Gambini, a twisted, ruthless killer / mafia boss gets bored out of his wits until he finds someone who brings the spark back into his boring world ( That, alone, screams „READ ME“ because which mafia boss ever gets bored?).

We meet Lorenzo in `Targets On Our Backs`, and even then I was 100% convinced that the passionate nutcase needed his own book. Lorenzo was so bat shit crazy and unpredictable, even I was terrified for the other characters lives.

There´s no doubt Lorenzo is one of the most mental Heros I´ve ever come across. He´s impulsive and completely disturbed and he can be scary as hell. On the flip side- Lorenzo is a clever guy with a heart hidden somewhere beneath the many layers of crazyness. He always has a good explanation for his actions ( and the explanations make sense * face palm * ). He´s just a super complex character you have to love ( no matter what crime he commits ) That character is so full of surprises.

Morgan / Scar ( Heroine )was just as out of this world cool. She has her own package to carry but she´s still a wonderful character. I fell in love with her from the start and loved her even more at the end.

I´m in love. There isn´t a thing I can complain about because this book has the whole package.

The writing is as brilliant as I expected it to be. The dialogue is fantastic. Have I forgotten to mention how in love I am? I have? Tough shit. I´ll say it over and over again just so you won´t forget it.

If you´re looking for something dark, something twisted and so full of everything then I highly recommend this intense read.

Totally re-read worthy. 

The Cover – 3 stars ( Yeah, I´m not a huge fan of the cover. )

The Story – 5 stars ( Scratch the 5 stars. I´m going for 20 stars!)

The Characters -5 stars ( * Way cool. Like- out of this world screwed up but still cool )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Still recovering. But I desperately want to become apart of Lorenzo´s gang. ( That sounds weird, I know. )

stars15

I´m giving `Menace` ( Scarlet Scars, Book 1 ) by J. M. Darhower 5 out of 5 stars.

Release date: January 16. 2017.

Make sure to get your copy on Amazon.com menace

Target on Our Backs ( Monster in His Eyes #3 ) – J. M. Darhower

Book Description

The best way to keep your word is never to give it.

Not long ago, in a chapel in Vegas, I swore to love Karissa for the rest of my days. But nobody’s promised an infinite number of tomorrows. Nobody’s promised forever. Sometimes, all we have left is today.

Carpe Diem
Seize the day.

It should’ve been over, we should’ve been happy, but people are making it hard for me to live in peace. I’ve got so much blood on my hands they’ll never be clean, and somebody out there seems to want me to pay for it. Happily Ever After always comes at a cost, one any real man would be willing to pay. But that doesn’t mean I’m just going to roll over and accept these consequences.

Because when it comes to the woman I love? The life I’ve fought for?

Nobody is safe. 

My Thoughts

Oh Ignazio, Ignazio.. How you´ve changed-  A little, or alot. I´m not sure. You´re confusing me.

`Target on Our Backs` by J. M. Darhower is the 3rd and hopefully the last of the `Monster in His Eyes` series. It´s been a while since I read `Monster in His Eyes ( book #1 review) and Torture to Her Soul ( Book #2 review) and my love for J. M. Darhowers character´s has lessened.

I mean- how can a reader unlove perfection?! Ignazio „Naz“ is one of those mind-blowing, unforgettable Heros. Badass and deadly in the finest way possible. Karissa is a strong young lady with good head on her shoulders- Together they´re one hell of a dynamic duo no matter what they go through. How is it possible to find these figures less powerful than they were?

In the beginning of this book the characters acted different.

I started and finished `Target on Our Backs` in one sitting and I was semi-happy with the way the story turned out. I was glad about the happily ever after. The rest was- good. Great. Fine.

What I love most about this series is how dangerous and mysterious the characters are and what they do to survive. We´re talking about the mob here and about 1 person who´s the ultimate killing machine ( or- he once was). Naz. In book 1 & 2  Naz was THE person no one fucked around with. When he wanted someone dead then that was it. There was no running from him. A cool, collected killer with so much love for Karissa.

In this book he made an effort to change. He wanted out of the business, wanted to try to become a better person for Karissa ( the key word is: try). But as it was- events happened and Naz was starting to disappear at night just to get some „ business“ done or taken care of.

I was sort of relieved that Naz started sneaking out because I thought the role fit him better than the role of a normal husband. He´s supposed to be the monster. Monsters don´t retire.

It didn´t take long before Naz realized he was being targeted by someone. But who? And why? Wasn´t Naz on the right track? Didn´t he want to change for Karissa?

`Target on Our Backs` is a rollercoaster ride of wanting to do the right thing but fucking up along the way. A brutal, romantic, sexy, emotional read.

Despite all the above I do have small complaints. The sex in this story- let´s say they´ve had better. I knew from book #1&2 that Naz had a hard edge to his persona and he wasn´t the lovey dovey type… but one scene in particular did nothing for me. It left me questioning the character. Some things aren´t to my liking and that special thing was included in this book.

Plus- I find the term „ submissive“ pretty boring. It´s been used to describe how Karissa is in bed and for some reason I´m just turned off by it.

I mean- is there a story out there that hasn´t gotten rid of the word yet? Everyone is using „submissive“ or some character is „submissive“….. It´s getting old. It´s obvious that a couple can´t function correctly when both are fully dominant. The visual alone is hilarious. Why point it out all the damn time?

Another thing that made me frown was the end. Book #1 and #2 both ended with a big bang. What happened with this one? Where did the spark go? I was thinking „ That´s it?“The end was too quick. Within a blink of an eye it was there and disappeared. POOF!

Anyways- `Target on Our backs` was a cool addition to the first 2 books. Maybe not as eventful, but still a good and exciting read.

The Cover- 3 stars ( Yeah, no. I´m not convinced. The image doesn´t stand out enough and if I wasn´t fully aware of this being the third book of my all time favorite series I wouldn´t have bothered)

The Story- 4 stars ( There were fantastic parts and not so fantastic parts. )

The Characters- 3 stars ( I would have loved to see Naz struggle more with his „ trying to be better“. It seemed like he had less trouble. Karissa, I loved. The sub-characters were okay. )

My emotional state after finishing this story– Happy and a tiny bit disappointed.

stars-16

I´m giving `Target on Our Backs` ( Monster in His Eyes #3) by J. M. Darhower 3 out of 5 stars

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com   target-on-our-backs

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