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Honestly Austin Review of Yellow River Pledge

Thanks to Honestly Austin for this great review. You can read the whole review at

Right from the get go I felt a strength of character which belonged to the protagonist Jordan. As the events unfolded within the story, like a slow burn, I felt as though I was watching a television series. From beginning to end, I was intrigued to know what was going to happen to the characters the author described with such vivacity. Her characterizations made them feel like friends I would have loved to have in my life.

I did feel as though there were some chaotic moments between scene breaks at the beginning of the novel, which appeared to be smoothed out as the story progressed. I do want to chalk them up to the formatting of the version I had, as they seemed to be corrected as I went along and no longer felt like a hindrance to my reading process.

I always love when a piece of art is central to the story, and within this novel, the art lends itself to the name of the book: Yellow River Pledge. The main character, Jordan, has a painting of The Yellow River in China given to her by a professor during her university days. The Yellow River in China is known for its dangerous shores, and if a body fell into these treacherous waters, they were thought to be lost forever. But there was a man,

‘“Chen Wei brought closure to so many families in ancient China by navigating the dangerous and deadly Yellow River,” Janis recited from memory. “On his homemade boat, he collected the bodies claimed by the river and returned them to the families for burial so they could have closure.”’

It was on this painting that the main characters (as medical examiners) made a pledge to return the bodies of those in their care to their families. It was such a great concept and made my love for finding out the origins of novel titles even more fulfilled when I read it.

Before I bring this review to a close, I would like to mention that there was some sexual portions to the novel which brought quite a blush to my cheeks. If that is something that you dear readers are not huge fans of, this book might not be for you. Also there is some sexual violence integral to the storyline and character development, which I would also like to let you literary lovelies know about.

I definitely enjoyed reading this novel and liked the medical examiner’s as main characters. It reminded me a lot of Tess Gerritsen’s novels which feature the duo Rizzoli and Isles with a lot more grit and realism.

“Five Days, Five Kisses” by Angela Carling

Hi everyone! Angela Carling here, writer of sweet romance and award-winning paranormal suspense.

Thanks for dropping in. I’m so excited to tell you about my latest book, Five Days, Five Kisses and three best friends that you’ll want to hang out with long after you’ve finished the book. Their names are Nikola, Maya, and Liberty. Eventually each girl will have their own book, but Five Days Five Kisses is Nikola’s story and it’s all about the awkwardness of a bad breakup. If you read on, you’ll learn about my worst break up.

Do you like the cover? It was custom made by a very talented cover artist that I will definitely use again for the other two books! I love how it captures the vibe of this fun feel-good romance!

Here’s a teaser:)
Where can you pick up your copy? Here’s the links to grab your copy for .99 only until Valentines Day then the price goes up!
If you want to keep with my new releases and books that go on sale or are FREE, join my newsletter.
Here’s me…
Now about my break up story….
When Nikola’s boyfriend dumped her in such public way it was easy for me to relate to her confusion and embarrassment. Fresh out of high school, I stood in her shoes, minus that microphone and the entire graduating class. My sweetheart of two years had gone on vacation  with his family. I usually went with them, but had to work. They were camping(and it was the late 80’s with no cell phones, so I didn’t worry when my boyfriend Mickey didn’t call for a couple of days), but after five days of silence, I worried that something had happened to him. The following morning I got in my car and drove three and a half hours San Diego, California. It was a gorgeous day and I found their beach campsite with no problem. Sitting on the sand, I waited for Mickey to come out of his tent. Forty five minutes, then two hours and finally three hours went by. Ah, the patience of young, stupid love. Finally, his mom came out and told me that the relationship was over! Yep, it was that brutal, dissed by your boyfriend’s mother. Hold on, it actually gets more awkward.
The next night I didn’t sleep. How could I? The love of my life had changed overnight. Surely he was having a moment of insanity and had just forgotten his undying love for me.  I was such a teenager, full of drama! So I did what any love struck teen would do who was full of optimism and longing, I drove to San Diego again and waited on the same beach. Now looking back, my boyfriend who hated conflict must’ve struggled for hours watching me, knowing he had to face me! Haha, it kind of makes me laugh. Finally, he showed up. Looking hung over and very uncomfortable he came to me and confirmed that he was breaking up with me. No warning signs, no fight. It was just over.
To me, the funny part of this story came later when I arrived home to my Dad. I was raised by a single father who had to be both mom and dad. He is a good man, but at that moment, he was very uncomfortable with his role. As he watched an endless trail of tears stream down my face, he said, “I’m sorry honey. I know you….’ He paused struggling to say the word that no father wants to think about let alone say to his daughter. Then he said, “Llloved” him sounding like the word itself might choke him to speak aloud. It was kind of wretched, but somehow made me smile through my sorrow. After a couple of months of playing the field, Mickey came to me wanting to get back together. Fool me once…and all that. So there it is, my oh-so embarassing break up story and maybe somewhere in the back of my mind, the inspiration for Nikola’s gut-wrenching day that led her straight into the arms of five strangers…or so she thought.
What’s the most awkward romantic moment that you’ve ever experienced?  Tell us about it!
 And I hope you love Five Days Five Kisses!

“October” by J. Grace Pennington

For Emily Baxter, life is simple. Her world is made up completely of school, church, and the community in the small farming town she calls home. All that changes one fateful Sunday, when a new girl shows up at Pleasanton Baptist—a girl unlike anyone Emily has ever seen. A girl with long red hair, crystal green eyes, and style and posture like royalty.

A girl named October.

 The months that follow are filled with magic—the magic of ordinary things, of finding pictures in the stars, of imagination and a new sense of beauty. But as time goes by, Emily begins to sense that her enchanting new friend may have secrets that could break the spell. Is October really all she seems to be?

About the Author

Grace Pennington has been telling stories since she could talk and writing them down since age five. Now she lives in the great state of Texas, where she writes as much as adult life permits. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading good books, having adventures with her husband, and looking up at the stars.


Grace has generously offered a paperback book of her new book as her giveaway prize. You can enter at this link or the widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post

What do you think of when you think of Stephen King?


How about Nicolas Sparks?

Romance, right?

And Harlan Coban?

Thrillers, of course.

So how would you feel if Stephen King came out with a sweet romance or Nicolas Sparks waded into the pool of science fiction, or Harlan Coban brought forth a straight-up comedy?

Yeah.  Most authors don’t do that.

To be fair, that isn’t always true.  Stephen King is actually a good example.  He usually writes horror, sure, but he has written some dramas without horror or supernatural elements as well.  C. S. Lewis is one of the best examples I know.  He wrote a little of everything, from science-fiction to fantasy to scholarly works to Christian theology for the common man to poetry.

But authors tend to stick to one particular genre.  For a couple reasons:

  1. They usually picked the genre because there’s something about it they especially like.
  2. People are used to it, and might not buy something they wrote if it was different.

Me, my primary genre is science-fiction.  I’d say eighty-five percent of my work probably falls into that category.  But there are plenty of exceptions.  My western mystery novel, Never.  Numerous short stories and poetry.

And my latest novel, October.

October is my first novel to leave the realm of so-called “genre fiction” and venture into the much more murky territory of “literary/general/contemporary/drama” fiction.  There’s no crime.  No technological advances.  Nothing supernatural, at least, no more so than in our own everyday lives.  Just people.  Living.  Loving.  Learning.  Heartbreak, joy, wonder.  Relationships.  Trouble.  Feelings.


Personally, I just don’t start out thinking along the lines of genre.  I think of a story—usually relationship-based—and once I have that I ask myself what setting lends itself best to this story.  Usually, there’s a clear answer.  Some stories are just begging to be science-fiction or historical or what-not.  But not October.  October, by its very nature, demanded general fiction status.

Ultimately, I try to ensure that every choice I make in writing is in service to the story, to the theme, to what I want to tell the world.  If that ends up being sci-fi, I’m happy.  It is still my favorite genre.

But sometimes a story wants to be something simpler.  Something closer to home.  Something more true-to-life.

Guest Post by Author Felicia Rogers

Please join Britbear’s Book Reviews in welcoming author of The Key, Secret Defenders Book 1, Felicia Rogers with a guest blog post.

The Key, Secret Defenders, Book One

A contemporary YA paranormal romance.The Key small

Everyone else has fun in high school, but not Maddie Clevenger, the senior year’s dork. Orphaned and living with her grandmother in the nowhere town of Coal Creek, she keeps her head down, her hair over her eyes, and herself as far away from the cheerleaders as possible… until she bumps into the cute new guy and he literally sends an electrical shock up her arm. Is it possible for a dork to fall in love at first jolt?

Air Force brat Chase Donovan has moved from town to town forever, but now Dad’s retired and promising they’ll stay put for a while, so maybe he can get to know some of the Coal Creek girls. He couldn’t care less about the cheerleaders, but there’s something so vulnerable about Maddie, the shy girl with the beautiful jade eyes. Chase just knows taking care of her is his calling in life… but when bizarre, murderous flying monsters begin stalking her, he wonders if he is the key to solving her problem, and what it will cost him to protect her.

Buy The Secret Defenders Book 1: The Key on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Guest Post by Felicia Rogers

How should I begin? The Key is a novel with multiple layers. Everything from the names to the descriptions, to the umm, creatures, have double meanings. Some are easy to catch, some are not. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I should probably start at the beginning.

The Key is a Young Adult paranormal romance that was conceived of at my kitchen table over a span of two weeks. Like most novels it started with one thought — a girl who refused to date a guy with an ugly truck. The thought has little to do with the actual plot of the novel, but we all need a spring board, right?

Maddie Clevenger is alone. Her parents have died and she doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. Coal Creek High is no different. Two months into school and she still doesn’t have a locker. She is basically invisible, at least until two new kids show up. Dougal and Chase are as different as night and day. They are like two sides of the same coin. One dark, handsome, and mysterious and the other light, handsome, and well, mysterious.

But you have to understand, Maddie Clevenger isn’t just some random girl without a purpose. She isn’t the class dork as she believes. No, she has a purpose. A purpose that has been passed down. A burden she must bear. The question is, how will she handle it?

Read an Excerpt of The Key, Secret Defenders, Book One:

“What’s wrong with you?” asked Stephanie.

Marley lifted her shaky finger. “Th-that ain’t natural.”

Maddie gritted her teeth. It wasn’t natural that someone would want to walk with her? Oh, one of these days Stephanie and her crew would go too far. Stephanie stared at Chase and Maddie as they passed by. “What’s happening this week? Is it the coming of the apocalypse or something?”

That’s him,” whispered Marley, loud enough for everyone in the room to hear.

“Him, who?”

“The other new guy.” Stephanie groaned.

Maddie would’ve smiled if she hadn’t been distracted, but Dougal sat in her seat again. She stiffened as she prepared to approach.

Maybe Chase sensed her discomfort, because he leaned down and whispered in her ear, his cool breath tickling her neck and sending shivers along her spine. “Is that your seat?” She nodded. “Do you want me to say something?”

Grateful, she shook her head.

About the Author:

authors photoFelicia Rogers is an author of multiple novels and novellas. When she’s not writing, Felicia volunteers with the Girl Scouts of America, teaches at a local homeschooling group, hikes, and spends time with her family.

To find out more information about Felicia Rogers visit the sites below. She loves hearing from her readers.

Here’s where you can learn more about Felicia Rogers and her books:

| Website | Facebook | Goodreads |


Beyond Still Alice: 5 Alzheimer’s Books You May Have Missed

Britbear’s Book Reviews welcomes author Marianne Sciucco, author of today’s guest post (originally published at on 1 Jun 15.

What do you know about Alzheimer’s? Anything? What should you know about Alzheimer’s? Something.

This is not just our parents’ disease. It’s a problem that has far-reaching complications, not only wreaking havoc in the life of the one afflicted, but in the lives of all those surrounding him or her: spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, friends, caregivers, and the greater community. Its impact is exponential: For each one of the 5.3 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are another 5.3 million (at the very least) affected (see These people are our families, neighbors, co-workers, friends, and acquaintances. As our lives intersect and intertwine, this disease affects all of us.

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Take some time to learn more about this illness, to understand what it means to those who love someone afflicted, to those who dedicate themselves to see that they are cared for, and ensure that their lives continue to have meaning and dignity.

There are many ways to become educated about a condition or disease. With Alzheimer’s, there are hundreds of books available to explain it, advise what to do about it, how to handle it, and offer solutions and support for caregivers. These are excellent resources.

However, stories that enlighten through the careful balance of useful facts and a cast of relatable and realistic characters may be a better way to shed light on this and many other medical issues. This type of presentation enables the reader to get inside the head of the Alzheimer’s patient, their caregivers, spouse, children, and other loved ones. It’s up close and personal, not clinical and removed.

Here are five titles to get you started. Three are memoirs, two are novels. Two are written by women who did double duty at the same time, caring for both mother and father as they suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Another is the story of a woman healing her relationship with her mother after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. One is written by a novelist wanting to pay tribute to those who rise to the difficult challenge of serving as caregiver to a loved one with this disease. One is written by a nurse who worked with hundreds of Alzheimer’s patient and their families.

Alzheimer’s is a frightening possibility, but to meet it without knowledge or an understanding of its implications increases despair and hopelessness and strips one of the power to make competent decisions and access necessary supports and resources. Knowledge gained through literature can be as practical and useful as any self-help or how-to manual.

Alz Daughter coverJean Lee, Alzheimer’s Daughter, a memoir

“I wrote what I needed to read as I traveled through the caregiving journey.”

What would you do if both parents were diagnosed?

At the time of their diagnosis, Ed Church struggles to his feet, yelling, “How dare you use the A. word with me,” while Ibby wags her finger at the doctor scolding, “Shame on you.”

They defend each other, Ibby by asserting, “We’renot leaving our home,” and Ed reassuring, “We’re just fine.

About his driving Ed states, “I’m an excellent driver, I’ve never had an accident.”

After Rosie moves them to assisted living, convinced they are on a second honeymoon, they break the news, “We’ve decided not to have more children.”

In the late stages, they politely shake Rosie’s hand, inquiring, “Now, who are you?”

In Alzheimer’s Daughter readers journey with the author from her first suspicions that something is awry to a decade later as she is honored to hold Ed and Ibby’s hands as they draw their last breaths.

Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle

Visit Jean’s Author Page and blog

somebodystolemyironVicki Tapia, Somebody Stole My Iron, A Family Memoir of Dementia

“I wrote my story to offer hope to others whose lives have been intimately affected by this dreadful disease, to reassure them that they’re not alone.”

How would you cope if your loved one’s mind gradually slipped away?

Navigating the waters of dementia can be frightening, unleashing a myriad of emotions for everyone involved, precipitating anxiety and grief, anger and frustration, extreme sadness and feelings of hopelessness.  After Vicki Tapia’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, followed closely by her father with Parkinson’s disease-related dementia, she struggled to find practical, helpful information to light her way. Somebody Stole My Iron began as a diary to help her cope but emerged as a road map for others.  It offers a glimpse into her family’s life as they rode the waves of dementia, sometimes sailing, other times capsizing.  This engaging memoir offers useful information from experts in the field of Alzheimer’s research, personal lessons the author learned along the way, and ideas/tips for managing the day-to-day ups and downs of dementia.

Somebody Stole My Iron chronicles the tenacity of Vicki’s mother as she fought her way through the tangled and bewildering labyrinth called dementia.  Above all, it is a story of holding on and ultimately learning to let go, transcending the pain and turmoil to discover both an abiding love and a tender compassion.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Praeclarus Press

Visit Vicki’s Author Pagewebsite, and blog

Still Time Front 2GBMaria Hoagland, Still Time, a novel

“Medical and family drama are intriguing to me, but it wasn’t the unusual that grabbed my attention for this book. I wanted to spotlight the stalwart courage and strong character that are revealed when someone has to rise to a difficult challenge. I believe we all have it in us to confront our trials, face them head-on, and gracefully endure, and what better way to show that than a mother and caregiver who sacrifices her all for someone she loves?”

Thrust into the chaos of her mother-in-law’s hoarding and forgetfulness, LDS church member Alyssa Johnston wishes she could retreat to a simpler time when her kids were small and almost anything could be fixed with a hug. But reassurance and a quick distraction no longer erase the pain of a missionary son who is struggling, a young teen who is bullied, or a daughter who is distant. As Aly’s own life and relationship with her husband plunge out of control, she wonders if her faith will be enough to keep her family—or herself—from falling apart. Still Time is a deeply moving story about a woman’s faithful journey into the next phase of her life. You will laugh with Aly, feel her sorrow, and see yourself in Maria Hoagland’s realistic, heartfelt portrayal of a woman’s struggle to keep her family safe and hold back time as long as she can.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo

Visit Maria’s Author Page and blog

Hirsch_cover_9_webLisa Hirsch, My Mom My Hero, a memoir

“My mother touched me greatly after she showed signs of Alzheimer’s. As a long distance caregiver, speaking to her every day, I found myself falling in love with her. I wrote down everything she said so I would never forget it. This is now my book, My Mom My Hero.”

When Lisa found out her mother, Ruth, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her love, appreciation, and caring for her mother was transformed. My Mom My Hero tells the story of this loving mother-daughter relationship. This is an uplifting and inspirational book for anyone going through the difficult and often lonely ordeal of caring for a loved one who suffers from this devastating illness.

Available on Amazon

Visit Lisa’s Author Page and blog

Blue Hydrangeas coverMarianne Sciucco, Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, a novel

“This is a story I wrote from the heart after witnessing the pain and heartbreak of many couples and families struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.  The characters are loosely based on one couple I met in my work as a registered nurse. Blue Hydrangeas is my attempt to bring consolation and understanding to all who encounter Alzheimer’s.”

What if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn’t remember your name?

A nursing facility is everyone’s solution for what to do about Sara, but her husband, Jack, can’t bear to live without her. He is committed to saving his marriage, his wife, and their life together from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. He and Sara retired years ago to the house of their dreams and operated it as a Cape Cod bed and breakfast named Blue Hydrangeas.

Jack has made an impossible promise: He and Sara will stay together in their beautiful home no matter what the disease brings. However, after nine years of selfless caregiving, complicated by her progressing Alzheimer’s and his own failing heart, he finally admits he can no longer care for her at home.  With reluctance, he arranges to admit her to an assisted living facility. But, on the day of admission, Sara is having one of her few good days, and he is unable to follow through. Instead, he takes them on an impulsive journey to confront their past and reclaim their future. In the end, he realizes that staying together at any cost is what truly matters.

Available on Audible, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo,Smashwords

Visit Marianne’s Author Page and website