#BookReview Faraway by R. K. Kline & Daniel D. Maurer #Faraway

Featured imageFeatured imageI thought Faraway by R. K. Kline & Daniel D. Maurer was a great story. Kline & Maurer offer a glimpse into the life of Kevin, a teenage male prostitute. The story takes place near St. Louis, Missouri in the seventies and tells how Kevin got into prostitution, his friendships and his experiences.

From the very beginning Faraway was hard to put down. R. K. Kline & Daniel D. Maurer have done a good job telling this story. I have always been curious how people get into prostitution and human trafficking. The way Kevin got into it was he was more or less looking for love in the wrong place and was tricked. Being a gay teenager in the seventies was harder than it is today. When people hear “human trafficking” they think people from other countries being kidnapped and forced to prostitute themselves. People do not realize that “human trafficking” is closer to home and happening in just about every major city in America. I wanted to jump in the story and save Kevin and his friends. He could have escaped the prostitution but I understand why he stayed. His friends Squirrel and Stevie did not have that option to escape and go back to a loving family. It is amazing that after all that, that Kevin turned out as well as he did.

In case you missed it, R. K. Kline is Kevin and this story is true. This story was obviously painful for Kevin to tell. If I could I would give Kevin a big hug and tell him I am proud that he is trying to help others with his story. I will definitely be recommending Faraway to people.Featured image

*I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite

I gave this book 5 stars and have posted my review on Reader’s Favorite, Goodreads and The Reading Room.


#BookReview The Herd from 93rd by William Scalin

Featured imageFeatured imageThe Herd from 93rd by William Scalin is a book filled with captivating memories and humorous moments from Scalin’s own life. Upon turning fifty, Scalin is thrown a surprise birthday party. Attending this party are many of his lifelong friends or otherwise known as “The Herd from 93rd”. Seeing all his friends in one place causes memories of growing up with them to overflow, resulting in a book that makes me wish that I too could belong to the Herd from 93rd.

In The Herd from 93rd Scalin shares his love for his friends, beer and cars. Scalin grew up in a time when friendship and loyalty still meant something. I find it amazing that Scalin has so many good friends. Today it is so hard to find just one loyal friend. This shows me that Scalin is a pretty cool person to know. This book also taught me a couple of things. The first is a new way to look for a job. Reading the obituaries is a pretty genius idea. The second is how to teach my child to appreciate her things more, by getting her to clean them each time she uses them. The story I found the funniest in The Herd from 93rd is when Harold bought the bar. Personally I think Harold knew what he was doing the whole time and was not crazy. Reading this book also made me realize how times have changed. Now days if a member of a school staff puts their hands on you in any way it is a lawsuit. What the vice principal did to Scalin was uncalled for.

I really enjoyed reading about Scalin’s and his friends’ lives in The Herd from 93rd. It reminded me of the stories my dad told me about his life growing up. I do wish I grew up then when things seemed to be easier. I recommend this book to anyone who needs a glimpse of the past.

I gave this book 5 stars and have posted my review on Goodreads,story-e-books.com and Amazon.

#BookReview Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad by Ann K. Howley

Featured imageFeatured imageI thought Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone Bad by Ann K. Howley was hilarious. Howley tells tales of her upbringing with her deeply religious parents. Then later explains how all her good deeds seem to go bad.

After reading Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone I believe that Howley’s motto in life should be “No good deed goes unpunished”. Overall Confessions of a Do-Gooder Gone is a pretty quick read. The chapters in the book are divided into funny events that occurred in Howley’s life.  My favorite story was the Frisbee incident. The story actually made me spit out my coffee because I could not help but to laugh. I also think that Howley is a very brave person because a loose snake in the house would cause me to burn the house down. I am curious to know where the snake was eventually found. I found all her stories funny and unique. A few I could even relate to myself such as living with strict parents. I was amazed that her parents let her travel to a different country alone at a young age. Of course the world was a little safer back then.

I think Howley has lead a very interesting life. I admire her for having such a good heart and attempting to do good deeds. Her story about what happened at the bus station surprised me. I would never have done that. I enjoyed reading about her life and recommend this book to anyone who has had a good deed backfire on them.Featured image

I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite. I have posted my Reader’s Favorite, Goodreads and The Reading Room.

#BookReview Brookwood Road: Memories of a Home by Scott Douglas Vaughan

Featured imageFeatured imageBrookwood Road: Memories of a Home by Scott Douglas Vaughan is a collection of thirty-nine short stories inspired by Vaughan’s memories of growing up. Each story takes place on or around Brookwood Home, which is located in Georgia. As Vaughan states in the beginning of the book “Some stories are true. Some of these stories are based on truth. Some of these stories should have been true.” Each story is told through Frank’s eyes, and is unique and obviously told with a love and fondness for the area and people in it.

I chose Brookwood Road because I love to read about memoirs that occur in the South. Vaughan does not disappoint. Some of his stories are humorous and tell of easier times. Other stories just make you wish that you could have lived in those times and experience the same things that Frank did. The very first story in “Brookwood Road” was hilarious. When R.C. Wilcox, the grandfather, forced the hired help to sing upon his newborn grandson’s, named Frank, arrival home. My personal favorite story was “Tallywackers” which also happens to be my new favorite word.  The story was hilarious and occurred when it was still innocent to go skinny-dipping. The story “The Pink Store” had a good message in it that I wish more people would listen to. The story also loved Papa Paul’s advice, “Anytime you are stumped for an answer or find yourself worried about something, I recommend a Hershey chocolate bar.”

I am glad the promise was kept to Vaughan’s father and this book was named “Memories of a Home”.  I recommend this book to anyone who likes memoirs or stories from the South. Reading these stories made me long for my own small town that used to be and the days when a Coca-Cola used to be ten cents.

I gave this book 5 stars and have posted my review on Goodreads, Reader’s Favorite and Amazon.

Featured image* I reviewed this book for Reader’s Favorite.

#BookReview Two Years of Heaven: Rekindled Stories of Happiness by JoAnn Fastoff

“Happy is fishing, boating, running, volleyball, cooking, dancing, playing the piano, gardening…as long as you remember it is.”

Featured imageFeatured imageTwo Years of Heaven: Rekindled Stories of Happiness by JoAnn Fastoff is a different kind of memoir. Instead of just one person’s story the book is filled with short stories of many people’s happiest memories from the best two years of their lives.

Two Years of Heaven made me think. If I had the choice of reliving the best two years of my life over and over again, I would take it in a heartbeat. I really liked that Fastoff created this unique book. The story that I connected with the most was the story that Glenda told about traveling with her mother and stopping everywhere they wanted to. This story brought back my own happy memories of taking a road trip with my mother and also stopping everywhere we wanted to. One other thing I liked was that the book included pictures of places with a short explanation of the history. Many of the pictures are from the area I live in or have visited. I liked seeing the places through the eyes of another and knowing they too have memories there.

There are few books that can leave a reader with the feeling of peace and happiness once finished. Two Years of Heaven does just this. It also makes the reader member their own happy memories. Fastoff has done a great job with this book. The world needs less negativity and more happiness in it. I recommend this quick read for anyone who needs their spirit lifted or needs to be reminded what happiness is.Featured imageI gave this book 5 stars because it actually made me feel happy and put me in a good mood. Reviews are posted on Goodreads, Reader’s Favorite and Amazon.

*I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview Hush Hush by Laura Lippman

Featured imageFeatured imageI love a book that is filled with secrets and Hush Hush by Laura Lippman is exactly that! I received this book as an ARC and was pleasantly surprised by how good it is. The story focuses around Melisandre Harris Dawes, who was acquitted for killing her baby. When she decides to film a documentary years later about her case, someone starts sending her weird notes. She hires Tess Monaghan to investigate.

Hush Hush is the twelfth book in Lippman’s Tess Monaghan series. It also happens to be the first one I have read. Lippman’s character Tess Monaghan is a loveable “accidental detective”. I loved Tess’s sense of humor and the way she dealt with working while taking care of her daughter. I related to her and her problems trying to always set a good example for her daughter and wondering if she was a good mother. I was not sure what to feel for Melisandre. I went back and forth from sorrow, understanding and disdain. Those mixed feelings is exactly what Lippman was going for in this book and she achieved it. Like with every mystery book, I try to solve it before the end. This book had me second and third guessing myself. The ending was a little surprising and left me wanting to read the whole series just to see everything I have missed from the first books.

Laura Lippman has gained a fan in me. This is a good book for murder mystery lovers. My only regret is not discovering Lippman and her work sooner. I cannot wait to see what Tess will deal with next.

I have given this book 5 stars and have posted reviews on Goodreads, Amazon and The Reading Room.

#BookReview Wounds of the Father: A True Story of Child Abuse, Betrayal, and Redemption by Elizabeth Garrison

Featured imageFeatured imageWounds of the Father: A True Story of Child Abuse, Betrayal, and Redemption by Elizabeth Garrison is a brutally honest memoir. Garrison tells about her life of drugs and abuse as a teenager and how she finally overcame it.

I made the mistake of starting to read Wounds of the Father right before going to bed. Once I began it I did not want to put it down. Garrison does not sugar coat her feelings. What she writes is extremely honest and straight from the heart. Garrison was abused by her father and the abuse was ignored by her mother. I do not know how she is able to still have a relationship with her mother after this, but I have respect for her for doing so. Although Garrison’s story is more about her trying to destroy herself with drugs than the actual abuse she suffered, once you begin reading it you will know and understand why. For Garrison to finally get her life together was amazing and I can see her being an inspiration for others. I hope she has finally found the happiness that she truly deserves.

Wounds of the Father is a book that I will not forget. Garrison’s story touched my heart and has given me a better understanding of people in my own family. This is a book for anyone who is even remotely curious about drugs or has been abused. It is also a book that shows that change in one’s life is possible. I will definitely be recommending this book to people.

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads and on Amazon. This is a very good read!