Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

Shoveling SnowFrom Goodreads: Ben and Caroline barely recognize each other any more. Their once solid relationship now broken and beaten by unfathomable events, leaving only a shell of past promise. When pressure cracks the last vestiges of their bond, Ben hastily leaves their Southern California home, pointing the car east to what he hopes is the edge of the Earth. After driving until he can no further, he settles in the small, coastal town of Swintonport, Maine to lose himself in quiet and anonymity, renting the quaint guesthouse of Maggie and her ten-year-old daughter, Smoof. But when tragedy strikes his landlord’s family, Ben is confronted with a sobering truth reminiscent of the one he left behind.


This is an intriguing novel in which our three dysfunctional main characters must learn to lean on one another in order to heal. A man, Ben, running from a relationship, a teacher, Rose, wishing for a connection with her estranged son, and a young girl, Smoof, wishing for her mother’s recovery all tie unlikely bonds to one another as the novel unfolds.

Initially, readers are only given the overview of each character, but as the novel progresses, we are given deeper insight, and as the truth comes out concerning the Ben’s reason’s for running, the Rose’s reasons for estrangement, and the Smoof’s heartbreaking family circumstances, the puzzle pieces begin to click and it leaves readers with feelings of hope for the future.

It’s a very well written piece, more so for those who enjoy adult fiction (not because of anything sexual–that’s just the genre) as the novel truly focuses on the adults in the story as they attempt to overcome their past in order to help young Smoof have a brighter future. It’s a story that will make you think, and while the end is a bit abrupt, leaving me with a yearning to know more/read more, based on the characters and all they’ve been through, it is indeed perfect. Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.





DesolateFrom Goodreads: A wedding massacre. An innocence stolen. Mortality stripped away.

In a single night, everyone Roseline Dragomir has ever loved is slaughtered before her eyes. Alone in the world and bound by a solemn marriage vow to a vicious murderer, she must find a strength buried deep within her to keep going or risk completely losing herself.

When a mysterious stranger crosses her path, Roseline will discover that not all immortals are evil. Some even bear emotional scars that run just as deep as her own.

Will she uncover a will not just to survive…but to fight back?

***DESOLATE is the first book of the prequel trilogy to my YA paranormal romance AROTAS trilogy. This book contains elements that may be sensitive for some YA readers. Please download a sample before purchasing this book to ensure it is suitable for your teen***

Desolate is book I of the Immortal Rose trilogy, prequel to the Arotas series.


This is my first novel by Amy Miles, but it certainly won’t be my last! Desolate, the first in a prequel series to the bestselling Arotas trilogy, is indeed a beautiful novel, and though dealing with difficult topics such as abuse, rape, and attempted suicide, Miles eloquently addresses these issues, breaking Roseline down before building her back up again. I can’t say I didn’t cringe as the story unfolded, but I will say that it is a beautiful portrayal of resilience and self-worth.

As Desolate deals with incredibly sensitive issues, I was thankful that Miles didn’t flaunt the events, or give the gritty details. She glosses over many, instead giving the reader just enough information to make the peril and torture Rose is experiencing obvious for readers, but also leaving much to the imagination. But even so, it is enough to cause my heart to bleed for Rose. Miles has put herself in the shoes of an abuse victim and shown the inner depths of hatred, fear, and loss of innocence.

The characterization of this novel was superb, and though I absolutely hate Rose’s husband, a forced union knit together through sociopathic tendencies on his part, Miles portrays a true sociopath vividly, putting the reader right in the midst of events. And while I truly don’t want to experience anything Rose goes through in this novel, Miles makes it impossible not to feel as the novel unfolds. Rose in my hero.

I will admit that some of the events in the novel proved to be a bit much for me; I can’t fathom anyone reading this novel and walking away unscathed, but Miles has done a superb job expressing Rose’s experiences, and I can’t wait for the next novel in the series, and to read the Arotas trilogy itself, as I know Rose becomes stronger for all her suffering. Four stars.

4 stars

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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amyAbout Amy Miles:

Amy Miles has been a carbaholic since birth and is hopelessly addicted to Frozen Cokes. When she’s not chatting with fans on Facebook she can be found goofing off with family, traveling or stomping her husband at golf. She is an obsessive writer and an avid reader who loves to chat about all things books.

She is the author of the Forbidden, Reckoning, Redemption and Evermore of the Arotas Series. Also Defiance Rising and Relinquish of the Rising Trilogy. She has a stand alone romance, Captivate and has just begun releasing books in her Immortal Rose prequel trilogy.

Want to know what she is currently working on? Check out her website:
Follow on Twitter: @AmyMilesBooks


And don’t miss out on this deal: Get all three books in the Arotas series for just $4.99

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks

Arotas Trilogy____________________________________________________________________________


17262236From Goodreads: While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.


This novel started off a little slow for me as Wein begins to create the background for her story, allowing readers to connect with Rose and her life prior to her capture. For me, this part really wasn’t interesting… information about piloting, friendships, and betrothals wasn’t what I was expecting and it’s not really my style, but in the end, it was actually vital information to further along the plot near the end, and I’m glad that Wein chose to include it, even though I initially wasn’t interested.

This is a gut wrenching read as we learn of the experiments carried out on the Rabbits (a group of women who created the nickname for themselves due to the experimentation) and their insistence on caring for one another, even to the point of volunteering to die in another Rabbits’ place. Much time is dedicated to the fleshing out of these strong-willed, powerful characters within the novel, and it is their determination that really pushes the story along and allows the reader to finish the novel.  Without their outlook on life and their perseverance, I don’t think I would have been able to complete this novel because the atrocities within are quite difficult to handle, and yet these women bear it in stride.
I teach a Holocaust unit to my students, and we focus on the novel Night, by Elie Wiesel, so we don’t see the entire travesty of the war in what happened to the women and children as it focuses on a male concentration camp.  Thus, I think Rose Under Fire, though extremely sad and difficult to stomach at times, is the perfect novel to show what life in the women’s camps were like. I feel like this is a topic that is not taught enough—all the novels I read in school as a student, and that I now teach, deal with the perspective of a male in a male concentration camp, and I think it is incredibly important that there is a focus on the women and children’s camps as well.  This is a very powerful novel, and I highly suggest it, but beware, it is difficult to read at times. Four stars.

4 stars

Disney Book Group has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release tomorrow, September 10, 2013.

et cetera
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