Until I Find You by Rea Frey Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Length: 320 pages Genre: Thriller Release Date: August 11, 2020
2 floors. 55 steps to go up. 40 more to the crib.
Since Rebecca Gray was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, everything in her life consists of numbers. Each day her world grows a little darker and each step becomes a little more dangerous.
Following days of feeling like someone’s watching her, Bec awakes at home to the cries of her son in his nursery. When it’s clear he’s not going to settle, Bec goes to check on him. She reaches in. Picks him up. But he’s not her son. And no one believes her.
One woman’s desperate search for her son . . .
In a world where seeing is believing, Bec must rely on her own conviction and a mother’s instinct to uncover the truth about what happened to her baby and bring him home for good.
**I received ‘Until I Find You’ through NetGalley and St. Martins Press, in exchange for an honest review**
‘Until I Find You’ follows the story of Rebecca Gray as she fights to recover her son after vanishing without warning.
As a single mother living with a degenerative eye condition, Rebecca already has the odds stacked against her. In addition to her health, Rebecca is also grieving the death of her husband. This makes for a daunting challenge to fight through! We are given a detailed account of everything Rebecca endures as she rebuilds a sustainable life for both herself and Jackson, her son.
Although Rebecca’s diminishing sight threatens to steal Rebecca’s independence, this never stops her from doing everything possible in searching for Jackson. Her story is an uphill climb from start to finish, and it constantly left me wondering what obstacle might roll into her path next!
This is Rea Frey’s third book, in which she writes about the lengths people would take in order to establish safety for their children. ‘Until I Find You’ not only focuses on a mother’s love, but the strong will a mother holds in her heart that deflects challenge. A mother will fight for her children, no matter how many times doubt tries to creep into her soul. This story certainly left a lasting impression in my heart!
I recommend ‘Until I Find You’ for those who enjoy stories with strong characters fighting change, when insurmountable odds are stacked against them. You will enjoy this story!
What are your thoughts about Until i Find You? Would you add this amazing book to your TBR?
Tank’s Forever Home by Carol Kim, Illustrated by Courtney Godbey Genre: Children’s Fiction Length: 48 pages Publisher: Jolly Fish Press Release Date: September 1, 2020
Tank is a bullmastiff named for his great size. At least, that was the name Shawn and Kat gave the gentle giant after they found him behind the bookstore. The kids convince their parents to let them foster the stray while animal rescue looks for his owner. Meanwhile, Shawn and Kat try to figure out how such a loving dog could come to be lost. What will happen to Tank if Shawn and Kat can’t help him find his forever home? Doggie Daycare is open for business. Join siblings Shawn (9) and Kat (7) Choi as they start their own pet-sitting service out of their San Francisco home. Every dog they meet has its own special personality sending them on fun (and furry) adventures all over the city!
*I received ‘Tank’s Forever Home’ through NetGalley and Jolly Fish Press, in exchange for an honest review*
I really needed this adorable book in my life!
Tank’s Forever Home follows siblings Kat and Shawn find a loving home for a bull mastiff. They help out in a Doggy Daycare center in their community, and it takes little time in discovering a safe place for Tank to spend while waiting for a loving owner to enter his life.
This book gave me warm, fuzzy feelings from beginning to end! This story teaches the value of community helpers doing good for animal safety. It also has rich images, providing children with accurate visual cues to accompany the text. This tale also has Reading Comprehension questions at the back, providing more learning opportunities for young children at home.
Whether you are reading Tanks’s Forever Home with your children for enjoyment, or using it as a Community Helpers activity, this book is very valuable for children of all ages!
Do you think you’ll put Tank’s Forever Home in your TBR? Feel free to share in the comments!
Lobizona by Romina Garber Publisher: Wednesday Books Length: 400 pages Genre: YA Urban Fantasy Release Date: August 4, 2020
**I received ‘Lobizona’ by Romina Garberthrough NetGalley and Wednesday Books, in exchange for an honest review**
When I first read the synopsis for ‘Lobizona’, I was immediately intrigued. An urban fantasy story, with a Latinx undocumented main character! Romina Garber brings attention to the plight of immigration and family separation beautifully. She paints Manuela (Manu) as a girl who longs to be part of society, yet her undocumented status forces her into hiding. The fact that Manu has an added mark to her identity only heightens the anxiety of being discovered. As Manu enters the world of El Labriento, she learns that her status brings her an additional level of fear, and she evaluates what it truly means to belong in society.
The world of El Labriento (the Labyrinth) introduces valuable connections to Manu. Her ‘undocumented’ status bends the rules of gender and societal norms, and Manu is faced with the reality of risking her life for the sake of discovering her roots. Her lineage delves deeper into the Argentinian folklore that the community of El Labriento abide by within their daily lives. Manu’s presence as an outsider tests everyone what it means to truly belong in this world.
The characters in Lobizona keeps the momentum going in Manu’s quest. They subtly fall in the typical categories of friendship: (Saysa is the close friend, Catalina is the rival, Tiago the love interest), yet they all have an extra layer to their stories that places all having an ulterior motive to their actions. Each interaction places an added piece to the puzzle to Manu’s journey, and it certainly kept me reading!
As I mentioned earlier, Lobizona also speaks on the subject of family separation resulting from immigration status. The story isn’t bombarded with commentary, but Garber covers the situation clearly enough that the reader understands the plight of anxiety dwelling among Manu’s community in hiding. Manu and her mother live with the fear of their social existence getting erased at a moment’s notice. It touches on family separation just enough to share with the reader that this reality happens every day in many communities, and it’s heartbreaking. Lobizona has a perfect blend of current events and the folklore, taking you to a portal of awareness.
I highly recommend Lobizona as a story that you can’t put down. It’s a perfect mix of supernatural lore and the urban plight of a girl struggling to come of age while learning to discover her roots. You will be certainly be swept away!
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
I’m very happy to post my review for ‘Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares’, a horror anthology by Laura Seeber! Thank you very much to Blackthorn Book Tours for allowing me to take part! Click on the banner above for more details.
Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares: an Anthology Compiled and Edited by Laura Seeber Genre: Horror Publisher: Antimony and ELder Lace Press Release Date: April 19, 2020
The moon has always been with us — tempting us, enticing us, and enthralling us through the ages. Here you’ll find thirteen stories involving this heavenly body — sometimes tragic, magical, and other times mysterious, or horrific, but always, memorable.
Contributors include both veteran and first time authors alike, and hail from around the world, including the United States, India, United Kingdom, and Greece. The collection was compiled and edited by Laura Seeber.
*I received a complimentary copy of ‘Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares’ from Blackthorn Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
I’m always drawn to the moon’s power. It carries wisdom dating back centuries. I love how Laura Seeber’s Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares carries that respect toward’s the moon’s magical abilities. In this book of 13 tales, we explore the worlds of those influenced by the moon. I really appreciated the stories that centered on bad omens (A Visitation) and dream symbolism (When the Moon is Full). The moon is a catalyst for significant change, and these stories highlighted the prominence of these journeys. Dreams also serve as the bridge to learn about restless souls, such as Receiving Room. This anthology does great work in exploring the delicate parts of the human condition. Sometimes we don’t love approaching the dark topics of humanity, yet it’s quite an interesting domain to explore!
I recommend Moonlit Dreams, Moonlit Nightmares to those who enjoy spooky thrillers and unsettling arrangements. This is an exceptional collection of stories!
Editor: Laura Seeber
Laura Seeber actually performed double duty on this anthology, acting both as a contributor and editor (so any typo complaints- send her way!). When she’s not writing horror, mystery, or dark science fiction, she spends her time divided between her young son and husband, her freelance writing business, and Antimony and Elder Lace Press
Todd Taylor (“The Experiment”) Todd Taylor teaches high school ELA, Creative Writing, and Theater in an inner-city Memphis-area School. His short story, “The Experiment,” was published by Laura Seeber in the summer of 2019 in an anthology called, Moonlit Dreams / Moonlit Nightmares. He has also written a play for his theater class that is being performed at 3 different high schools, and has 2 completed novels he is looking to publish. When Todd is not writing, he spends his time coaching track and field, playing guitar in a local band, woodworking, performing weddings / funerals, or relaxing with Sudoku.
Shaun Avery (“The First Victims Club”) Shaun Avery writes fiction in a number of different mediums, normally with a dark or satirical slant, and often both at once. “The First Victims Club” comes from questions raised by watching horror movies. A LOT of horror movies. He also loves comics, and has co-created a self-published one, more details of which can be found here: https://www.comicsy.co.uk/dbroughton/store/products/spectre-show/ Unsurprisingly, this is also a horror.
A.P. Sessler (“The Sound of Stars”) A resident of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, A.P. frequents an alternate universe not too different from your own, searching for that unique element that twists the everyday commonplace into the weird. When he’s not writing fiction, he composes music, makes art, and spends too much time trying to connect with his inner genius. His first novel House of the Goat came out in January. It’s an homage to the Satanic Panic genre of the ’70s-’80s. https://www.amazon.com/House-Goat-P-Sessler/dp/1945940735
Lori Tiron-Pandit (“Receiving Room”) Lori Tiron-Pandit is a writer, editor, and Web communication professional. Her work celebrates women’s lives and work, of both mystical and mundane significance, as well as their ancestral and contemporary imprint on the world. Growing up with the “great” “classics” of literature, all men, only very late did she realize that the male perspective was not all there was, that it was skewed and small, and it ignored women’s views. Her work is rooted in the worlds of women she’s been lucky to cross paths with. https://www.loritironpandit.com
Thomas Vaughn (“A Consultation by Moonlight”) Thomas Vaughn is an author of literary horror and dark magical realism. He came from the debris field of rural Arkansas where he persists in uncertainty. When he is not writing fiction, he poses as a college professor whose research focuses on apocalyptic rhetoric. For him fiction serves as a tool to mediate the terrible reality that encompasses all humanity. These works represent his clumsy efforts to seek awareness in the face of a stillborn universe. And so he pulses, waiting for a reply in the void. https://www.brokentransmitter.com/about
Cara Fox (“Anamnesis”) Cara Fox is an English author trying to write her way out of the dark. She favors steampunk, horror and Gothic romance, but you can find her anywhere that the stories sink their claws into you and the wine flows freely. Her work has been published by Tales To Terrify, Empyreome, Broadswords & Blasters and Horror Addicts, amongst others, and she is working on her debut novel, The Strange Case of Doctor Magorian.
Parineeta Singh (“A Visitation”) Parineeta Singh currently lives in Delhi, India, and has earned a Ph.D in Creative Writing from the University of Surrey, as well as a Master’s Degree in the same field from the University of Newcastle- upon-Tyne. Her work has appeared in many international magazines and anthologies, and we’re thrilled to have her talent showcased here as well.
Dawn J. Stevens (“When the Moon is Full”) Dawn Juniper Stevens is the fiction pen name for Kara Kelso. She has been writing short stories and poetry for nearly 30 years, with the past 20 years spent writing an assortment of business, hobby, and nonfiction articles for a variety of businesses, websites, and projects. There aren’t too many types of writing she hasn’t dabbled in at least once, but fiction remains her favorite. “Kira’s Tale: Descend into Darkness” was released in 2013 and is currently available on Amazon. In her spare time, she enjoys mostly non-fiction books for their source of education and learning from another’s beautiful experience, as well as spending time with family and children. She also enjoys sustainable gardening, music with soul, real life magic, and simply being surrounded by nature. She lives in the Midwest. For news and updates, find Dawn J. Stevens on both Facebook and Twitter. https://dawnstevensfiction.wordpress.com/about/
Jesse Moak (“One Stormy Night”) Jesse Moak is a lifetime writer and dreamer who has been perfecting his craft and pursuing the dream of becoming a professional writer for some time. When he isn’t actively searching for an agent or writing other stories, he spends his time exploring his other passion of retro gaming at his blog: https://retrorevelations.blogspot.com
Jamie Ryder (“Eleventh Hour”) Jamie Ryder is a short story writer and pop culture content creator from Manchester, England. His short stories and poetry have been published by Hyperion and Theia, Colp, EastLit Magazine, AEL Press and more. You can find his other work on The Comic Vault, Yamato Magazine and The Rum Ration.
Sarah Walker (“Phosphene”) Sarah Walker is an author and mixed media artist who currently lives in Lebanon Oregon. When she isn’t busy writing, she spends her time creating art that explores the boundaries of reality.
Dimitris Psomadellis (“The Magic Circle”) Dimitris is a life-long writer that has been perfecting his craft in Mytiline, Greece for a number of years. “The Magic Circle” is his first published story with a professional publisher, and we have no doubt it will be the first of many.
Feel free to check out the other fabulous contributors on this tour!
First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:
Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
Finally… reveal the book!
“I am going to tell you a story you already know. But listen carefully, because within it is one you have never heard before.”
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
I received The Kingdom of Back through OwlCrate a couple months ago. I can’t wait to read about the ‘forgotten Mozart’. Also, the cover is very beautiful!
Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.
And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.
In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.
What are your thoughts on The Kingdom of Back? Feel free to share in the comments!
Inconvenient Daughter by Lauren J. Sharkey Fiction (5 Stars)
I received a digital ARC from NetGalley & Kaylie Jones Books, and I loved it! It’s such a powerful story about a transracial adoptee searching to belong in every aspect of her life. Definitely pick up this book when it comes out! (Release date is June 23!)
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo YA Contemporary (5 Stars)
Elizabeth Acevedo’s third novel is such a beautiful story of two sisters (living in different countries) learning about their father’s deepest secrets after his death. This is a wonderful novel written in verse!
A Woman’s Place: Inside the Fight for a Feminist Future by Kylie Cheung Non-Fiction (5 Stars)
I received A Woman’s Place through Edelweiss and North Atlantic Books. Kylie Cheung discusses the state of feminism as it navigates the fourth wave. It was like a breath of fresh air!
Until I Find You by Rea Frey Thriller (5 Stars)
I received a digital copy of Until I Find You from NetGalley and St. Martins Press. It’s such an amazing story of the steadfast testament of a mother’s love in the search for her son.
111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh Children’s Non-Fiction (5 Stars)
I received 111 Trees through Edelweiss and Kids Can Press. This is the true story of a small Indian village that went to great lengths to nurture young women and better the environment!
Maddy McGuire, CEO: Bring Back the Bees by Emma Bland Smith Children’s Fiction (5 Stars)
I loved reading Maddy McGuire! This was part of a read aloud activity I read for students. Such an informational and diverse read!
Beach Read by Emily Henry Contemporary Romance (4.5 Stars)
I purchased ‘Beach Read’ through Book of the Month. I really appreciated the playful banter between both characters! The personal journey January endured was also very intense!
Love, Art, and Other Obstacles by Sadira Stone Contemporary Romance (4 Stars)
I received a copy of Love, Art, and Other Obstacles from the author. This was a fun story about two competing artists in a complicated relationship!
Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon Contemporary Romance (3.5 Stars)
I received a copy of Starfish Pier from Revell Reads Blogger Program. I think this is the first book I received from them that I wasn’t too crazy about! Idid, however, love the ocean backdrop, and the close knit community!
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson YA Fantasy (3.5 Stars)
I really wanted to love this book! While I loved Elisabeth’s character, I felt that a lot was lacking in her development.
What books did you read this month? Feel free to share!
Update: Turns out that I left out some titles! I’m adding three books to this list, bringing my total to 13 books read this month!
Obit: Poems by Victoria Chang Poetry (5 Stars)
A moving poetry collection centering around the loss of a parent.
Kiss and ‘Telle? by Nadine C. Keels Contemporary Romance (4.5 Stars)
An upbeat novella with playful banter!
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi YA Contemporary Romance
I just finished reading this book, and I have so many thoughts about it! I will have my review & rating in a few days!