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Forever Friday: A Novel by Timothy Lewis Published September 3rd 2013 by WaterBrook Press
In a gripping love story that  transcends time, author Timothy Lewis new title, Forever Fridays,  is the narrative of the intense fire between a man and wife, and the fervent devotion crucial to fanning its flames. 

Set within duel timelines, smooth transitions take us from present day Texas, where estate-sale specialist, Adam Coby, unearths a collection of sixty years of postcards hidden inside several photo albums. Not having recovered from the devastating heartbreak of a divorce two years ago, his brokenness stems not only from the loss of his future with his wife, but in what he sees as the staggering futility of love.  As he casually reads through them, he experiences a flicker of hope that hidden in these postcards is the secret to maintaining a rich and long lasting love. 

Falling into easy nostalgia with imperceptible seams and a graceful entry into a bygone era we learn the story of Gabe and Pearl Alexander beginning at the genesis and the birthplace of their love, 1920's Texas Coastal Bend. Tenderly chronicled within each missive is the story of a lifetime of a love not taken for granted, but nurtured and cultivated with the meticulousness that can only come from mutual devotion, unchanging and reaffirmed throughout the decades. Forever Friday is truly a beautiful and inspiring read,  and resplendent in its telling, making this title one you'll want to read and re-read as you invest in your own love story. 

A physical copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author for purposes of review.
 
 
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Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement Expected publication: February 11th 2014 by Hogarth
Having access to pre-release books for review, I often find myself in the untenable position of having to force myself through tortuous, mediocre, crudely written books. There's a lot of appallingly bad writing out there, cleverly disguised by misleading cover art; their publication based largely on overused cliches. I feel resentful for the time I spend choking down uninspired, poorly researched titles, when there are authors who invest themselves, literally for years, in the development of a well-written book. Jennifer Clement;s new title, Prayers for the Stolen, falls into the second category of higher achievement.


 
 
PictureThe Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne.

Ho-LY Sh*t. 

I LOVE it. 
I love it I love it I love it.

Reading The Girl in the Road, I had not yet made it halfway through, its fast became one of my favorite books. Truthfully, just after reading the first few lines, I was hooked, with no possible way of escape. This title's publication date isn't set until May 2014, and even though I'm reading it in ebook format, I'm desperate to get my hands on a physical copy. I could EAT this book.

The Girl in the Road is a book about death and dying, giving birth and new life.

The story begins with subtle themes of spirituality born of a traumatic event. A snake bite. Blood, pumping from the shallow between Meena's breasts. White bandaging applied in the shape of a cross. All the foundational elements required for the building of a religion are accounted for. 


 
 
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Swingland: Between the Sheets of the Secretive, Sometimes Messy, but Always Adventurous Swinging Lifestyle by Daniel Stern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a former mystical Golden Unicorn, I am mildly disappointed that Swingland was not written for me (an embarrassing product of my Unicorn entitlement), but for an audience of men who may be interested in the Lifestyle. The writer's tone, though, is accessible to all and user-friendly, making it easy to overstep societal boundaries to safely experiment as a voyeur in the realm of the taboo.

In his book, Daniel Stern offers up his own unabashed experiences and practical insights as to the private counter-culture of the swinger's lifestyle. Filled with etiquette cues needful for avoiding swingers' faux pas, Swingland can accurately be described as a manual for no-strings-attached, group sexual activity. Filled with practical advice built from anecdotal evidence, Stern puts potential newbies in the know regarding situation specific topics such as setting up profiles on swinger's websites that get noticed, the Photoshop conundrum, and Lifestyle lingo that will have you talking the talk like a pro. After contacts are made, Stern offers guidance regarding meet-and-greets, courteous and successful house party hosting, and respecting both hard and soft-limit boundaries of new playmates. Particularly impressive is his ability to create a clear dialog explaining common snares and pitfalls for the single man to avoid when seeking playpartners, be they single women, married couples, or groups.

Swingland opens the door to a growing society previously hidden to mainstream America, filled with warmth, humor, and the ever present, neatly folded stack of hand-towels. Condoms not optional.

 
 
 
 
The Wishing Hill: A NovelThe Wishing Hill: A Novel by Holly Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Bathed in the lush, golden hues of Puerto Vallarta, Juliet Clark spends each sitting on the beaches of Mexico's Pacific Coast, painting landscapes and vaguely feigning a Mexican heritage to the tourists who come to buy her work as the waves lap at the shoreline. When faced with unexpected desertion of her husband, Juliet Clark is at a loss; her tranquil bliss comes to an abrupt halt. Like the native Huichol Indians performing breathtaking ritual, the dance of the flyer, her life has taken on the feel of a free fall ballet.

Furthering her sense of loss of gravity, a phone call, explaining that under no uncertain terms, she must leave her idyllic life and return home to care for her aging mother, a woman who, during Juliet's childhood, was constantly preoccupied with creating a grandiose public facade, while covering her personal inadequacies in a garnered sense of entitlement and self importance, drawn from the admiration of others. Her preoccupation with success in her career as an actress overshadowed the authenticity of her relationship with her childen, who were often neglected while Desiree, her mother, pursued her own interests and romantic relationships that would both serve as fuel for her narcissistic need to be constantly adored and who would supplement her personal income.

In the The Wishing Hill: A Novel, author Holly Robinson takes us to a place of hidden intimacy between mothers and daughters, exposing the pain of their choices and the fears that lay behind them. Written with tender honesty, she holds out her hand, offering her characters with a vulnerability that is, at times, unsettling. The fragile nature of generations of women is beautified in their heartbreaks and their uncertainties, even as they are made strong through the power of their convictions.

 
 
The Temptation of Lila and Ethan (The Secret, #3)The Temptation of Lila and Ethan by Jessica Sorensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pub. date: May 6, 2014

Can true love ever survive in the brackish absence of light?

While superficially, The Temptation of Lila and Ethan is set in the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas, its true landscape lays within the treacherous darkness secreted within the title characters' separate pasts.

In the same meaningless way describing an ocean as being deep is factually correct, yet misses the point entirely, it would be simplistic and lacking to the point of irrelevance to limit Jessica Sorenson's work of fiction by depicting it as merely a romance novel.