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Book Club: October

For the month of October I wanted to choose a psychological thriller that took place around an abandoned school, that deals with an unexpected “suicide”, spirits, and a woman named Gloria who brings the past back into her life.

The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson is a riveting novel that will draw you from the very beginning. The story takes place around a school named Eden, that was once known as “An alternative school for happy children”. However, the school had closed its doors due to a suicide that had taken place behind its own walls. Years after it closed it became a care home, with only one neighbor named Gloria Harkness, due to the fact that her son is in the care home and she wishes to be near him.
Everything for Gloria begins to change when an old childhood friend comes back into her life, and tells her that a girl is stalking him, stating that she is from Eden. Gloria begins to unravel the past and uncovers secrets that she had never known about.

With it being October I believe that this book will keep you on the edge of your seat while you are lounging about in your home. So grab a nice hot drink, plop on the couch or bed, and dive into the world of The Child Garden, you won’t regret it.

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Into the Mist with Audiobooks: Running With Audible

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It is a misty morning here in Alaska as I run through the streets and trails, and so far there has been a murder of a young school girl, and I’ve been getting to know Magnus fairly well, in fact, I would say we are becoming friends. Magnus is a man of mystery to most people, partly because he is a hermit and not many people want to get to know him, and partly because they care more about town gossip and make up false stories about him.

Although I am in Alaska, where it rains more than most places in the country, the man, and the murder mystery is happening in my head, actually to be more accurate in my headphones. As I continue to run the novel “Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves keeps my adrenaline thumping, making me more excited as I continue going about my path. The thriller novel set in the Shetland Islands in Scotland makes me wish I was solving each case with Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, chatting with Magnus about ravens, and roaming around Scotland taking in all of the sites. The thought of solving a mystery half way across the world through an audiobook delights me, and even as I run I feel as though I am part of it.

Listening to audiobooks while running isn’t quite new, in fact, loads of people have been listening to audiobooks while they were running, lifting weights, or hiking; just to name a few. For me, when I am running I have found out that I cannot listen to music while I run because the music is more of a distraction than a helpful tool, whereas the audiobooks are more of a helpful tool for me. I can concentrate on the narrator, imagine the scenes playing out before me, and can even concentrate on my pace. While I am concentrating on all of that, I have completely forgotten how many miles I have logged.
The best thing about the audiobooks that I pick I can easily access them on my mobile, having already downloaded the app, making it easier to access them before I suit up for my morning jog. Not only that, I don’t have to listen to the same old boring music that seems to haunt the radio stations over and over again. I can listen to a novel for a couple of weeks in a row (if it is a lengthy one) and will never get bored, because the story is captivating, and keeps me up in the morning as I lace up my running shoes.

Many of you already follow my book club, which I am extremely thankful that you have joined, and so it is with great pleasure to let you all know that I will be hosting an audiobook book club for those who are runners, hikers, weight lifters, or any of the like. I think it will be fun to get people into listening to more audiobooks while they are engaging in activity, to make it more fun.

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Book Club: June

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As a book dragon (I divulge books like a dragon and rather enjoy them), I thoroughly enjoy a novel that is both fiction and historic, to me those novels will take me back to a simpler time that I have always wished for. And the Medici’s Daughter is one of those novels, a novel that will transport you back in time and lets you see through the eyes of Marguerite, daughter of Catherine de Medici, and sister to the future king Francis.

The time is 1564 in the winter, Princess Margot (Marguerite) has been summoned to the court in France, where one word from your mouth could cause travesty to you and your family. Being the daughter of Catherine de Medici, who is highly intimidating and such a powerful player of the courts during the time of a religious war, Princess Margot must learned the game just as well to please her family. Margot being the obedient daughter has accepted her role as a marriage pawn, even though she is in love with Duc de Guise, and agrees to marry Henri of Navarre, a man who is over zealous and wishes to seal a truce between the two countries. However, this promised marriage is all but a mirage concocted by her mother. On the day of her wedding, after the bloodshed has occurred, Princess Margot must choose between her family and soul.

Sophie Perinot has truly done it again with this novel of Princess Marguerite, and quite honestly there is nothing this author cannot do. Run to the nearest place where they sell books, and pick up your copy of this wonderful and colorful novel, it is truly a great way to kick off the summer time.

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Book Club: May

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For the month of May, the novel that was picked out is by the ever so talented Thomas Hardy, who is a well known romanticist novelist from England. Tess of the d’Urbervilles is one of Hardy’s famous novels for several reasons, one of the reasons is due to the original novel being censored for challenging sexual morals of the time, late Victorian era.

Tess of the d’Urbervilles follows a young sixteen year old girl named Tess, who is the oldest child of peasants, John and Joan Durbeyfield. A chance encounter between John and a man named Parson Tringham occur, and it is in that moment that John has been notified that he is a descendant of nobility. John and Joan send their daughter, Tess, to go to a nearby relative and “claim kin”, to alleviate their status and financial problems. While Tess is visiting the relatives, a young man named Alec d’Urbervilles, he becomes very attracted to Tess and decides to hire her to help his mother with her poultry. While in the residence, Alec seduces and rapes Tess, leaving her pregnant. She gives birth when she gets back home, to a young boy named Sorrow. Suddenly, Sorrow falls ill and dies in infancy, leaving Tess wounded and devastated of losing her child. After losing her child, Tess meets a young man named Angel Clare, and after a while of saying no to Angel’s proposal, Tess finally agrees to marry Angel. However, they are not married for long. For they decide to split after they both divulge each other’s past secrets to one another. After they have both gone their own ways, Tess sees Alec (who is now a minister), and tries to stay away from him. However, Alec leaves his post as minister and pursues her, asking her to marry him over and over again, with Tess giving him the same reply, that she will not be his wife. **You need to read the entire book to understand what all Tess goes through, it is impeccable.

This novel is one of the most unique novels out there, because for it to be a novel to challenge the time period that it was released in is truly magnificent and bold. Thomas Hardy is definitely an author that everyone needs to read at some point in their life.

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A True Beauty (Poem)

He had a certain type of beauty to him,
Not the hollywood glitz and glamour,
But a beauty that came through years of torment that resided inside.
Roughed up,
Spit out,
Thrown out on the sidewalks,
With women and men walking by,
Without giving him a shot.
This society we live in is corrupt,
It tells women to be brainless,
Tells men to achieve a hollywood staus.
Who are we kidding,
No amount of twilight sparkle will ever catch my eye.
Give me a man that will speak his mind,
Express raw emotion,
And for God’s sake,
Make sure he doesn’t follow society’s stupid pride.
Photo Model: Henry Rollins 

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White Lace (Poem)

I am here,
Waiting for you to come back,
Come back from the hallow halls,
Dressed in your three piece suit,
That you left in.

Not prepared,
Completely scared,
You left me at the altar,
Dressed in white lace,
With tears streaming down my face
As I waited for you.

Guess I’ll have to wait for you,
But not tonight,
While I’m dressed in white lace,
Certainly not with makeup smeared across,
Leaving the crowd with stunned faces.

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Book Club: February

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The novel that has been chosen for the book club is the elegantly written, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, by Kelli Estes. This story has everything a reader would want in a novel; mystery, romance, history, and tragedy. This novel follows a young lady named Inara, who has traveled to her now deceased aunt’s island estate. While she roams about the estate, she finds herself in a part of the house that contains a hidden piece of fabric that is elegantly stitched together and has intricate details all over it. As Inara begins to take apart the hidden secrets it holds, Inara finds herself in connection with a young girl named Mei Lein, who had been driven away from her home a century before. Suddenly, Inara realizes that Mei has written stories inside the silk, and Inara has come face to face with a tragic truth, this truth shakes everyone in Inara’s family, including herself.

This novel is mesmerizing and captivating on every level, you can truly see through Inara’s eyes as you read the story. Your mind will want to know every answer to every question that will surround your head as you read, and you will keep reading it until you get all of your answers. Kelli Estes is a gifted author and deserves a standing ovation for this novel, for it is written wonderfully and the characters seem to come alive.