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Monday, April 28, 2014


Title: Midland
Author: Scott Alan Wade
eBook ISBN: 9781615729333
Print ISBN: 9781615729340
Genre: Young Adult Supernatural/Adventure

Fifteen-year-old Sam Grace is practically running her family’s small farm after the death of her father and her mother’s deadly illness. This means making sure her younger siblings get an education, keeping the animals fed, and keeping the guns loaded for when the walking dead show up after dark. It is all in a day’s—and night’s—work for Sam, until her mother’s illness takes a turn for the worse. 

Now she has to saddle up and head from Midland Mesa down to “town” to try to track down Doc Green’s place that she remembers her dad taking her to when she was just a little kid. I was shocked at what she found in town, and won’t give it away, but let’s just say that the hordes of zombies aren't the only thing she has to fight.

The first chapter is a great portrayal of the monotony and hard work of farm life, punctuated by the terror and sadness and desperation of their particular situation. Because I’m a survival geek, I love the details about what she takes with her on her journey, and what she gathers along the way. This includes bringing her little blind dog in a flour sack, at first just for company, but it becomes clear that the dog is probably the most valuable thing she’s brought (well, that and her gun!). The rest of the book is action-packed and scary; a quick read too—it only took me a few days to finish it because it was so exciting. 

But my favorite thing about Midland is its main character, Sam. Sam’s a strong heroine is there ever was one. She was deeply influenced by her father’s training, and by witnessing the strong and mutually-respectful relationship of her parents (before her father’s death and mother’s illness). She takes after them in how she deals with the (very scary) problems that come up. 

"See a problem, solve a problem,” she reminds herself.

I also appreciate that she’s not perfect, and that she struggles with how to put her family first while not letting down others who have sacrificed their safety for hers. Her strength comes from her courage and integrity. It isn’t that she’s not afraid, but she is going to do what needs to be done to protect the innocent.

I highly recommend this book! Five stars!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Find the book:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Evolution of a Stir

Title: Evolution of a Stir
Author: Cindy Cullen Farmer
Genre: Self-Help/ Inner Child/ Memoir
Buy the book here

Back Blurb: "A collection of stories describing a spiritual evolution, Cindy Cullen Farmer writes of her journey…to quit a long time job in pursuit of a purpose filled life. From finances, to spirit, to career; a series of revelations began a process of change. Follow the journey to a stirring of a soul."

My Review: 
As I write this, Evolution of a Stir by Cindy Cullen Farmer is on the Amazon Best Sellers list for the Inner Child section. 

Awesome! :-)

This short, delightful collection of essays traces a season of change in the life of the author. 

Major change. Deliberate change. 

So often, the bends in the road are due to curve balls coming at us. Cindy Cullen Farmer has had plenty of those in her life, but that's not what has left her in the funk she's in when we join her at the start of the book. No, she's adapted as needed and has been for a long time a respectable employee, mother, and citizen. But inside is brewing something dark.

It isn't until an eye-opening road trip that she recognizes the depths of her depression for what it is, and accepts that she needs to make major changes. 

"I came home different and inspired. As my dark cloud lifted, I saw with clarity the purpose for my storm."

The essays move along her journey of discovery-- the decision to quit her long-time job, realizing a passion for writing and volunteerism, a deepening relationship with God, and even just being in a position of staring at the blank space on the canvas before her. 

"Conflicting desires to nest into old age or jump into adventure occupied my thoughts."

You can't read this book and not like the author. She's so emotionally vulnerable, but always keeps her intellect and gorgeous imagery. What is difficult about the book is that, of course, she is still on her path of discovery. As a writer, I know first-hand the path she's starting on and how it can be such a constant struggle: to write, to edit, to get published, to sell copies. She has a long and rough road ahead. I hope she can cling to the joy of writing-- that is what sustains a writer. But because she's still on this path, the book can feel like reading a blog that just stops, leaving you wondering whatever happened. 

I wonder if her story could be fleshed out into a strong, longer work of fiction. Then she could give the full arch of a character and give the character whatever outcome she wants. Alternately, she could use her experiences to build in more self-help-- rather than just her own story, how could a reader in a similar position successfully make a huge change mid-life like she has? 

Either that, or she'd got to keep writing more of these bite-sized memoirs as she continues on her path! Ya can't just leave us hanging, Cindy! Overall, a delightful series of essays that leave the reader cheering for the heroine... I mean, author. 

You can find Evolution of a Stir for Kindle here, or get one of a limited number of print editions at the author's website here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Edge of My Seat

Would you rather be reading YA? Check out this review of Deep Green at Rather Be Reading YA, and then check out the book!

Quote from the review:

"By the time Leah woke up, the group was alone, adrift in the ocean in only the small lifeboat. I was on the edge of my seat as they faced worries of sunburn, a lack of food and fresh water, and disagreement over the decision of whether to continue paddling in hopes of reaching land or staying (relatively) put where they were in the middle of the ocean, with the possibility of rescue. There was also growing concern over the unconscious woman’s fate."
Rather Be Reading YA

Read the full review here!

Or better yet, get the actual book here!