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Original Essays | Today, 10:42am

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
  1. $16.77 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

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When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt
When We Were Strangers

TheReadingReviewer, January 21, 2011

WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS written by Pamela Schonwewaldt
January 2011 - HarperCollins Publishers – Trade Paperback, 336 pages

Where we came from makes us who we are and what we become.

Irma Vitale started life out in the poor, desolate town of Opi, Italy. She dreamed of better things and a more advanced life than the one she was leading. He journey took her alone to America in the times of Lincoln’s reformation. Irma like the country she now lived in would venture forward and Irma believed she too could become someone else but still be true to her roots and upbringing. She missed her family and longed at times for what she had but never regretted her decision despite the agony she had to endure.

She started out in Cleveland looking for her brother who left before her but soon moved on to Chicago. Irma had a skill as a seamstress and the talent she possessed to create intricate works of art from pieces of cloth earned her an income and a living enough to move on to San Francisco to start yet again in the field of medicine. Irma was a believer who never stopped to wallow in self-pity and always said thank you for the good this new life brought.

Her life was never easy; the times were difficult on good days and despondent on others. She worked hard, never complained and suffered such atrocities no one should endure but still she moved on. But the Opi girl became an American Woman and showed everyone what determination looks like and how to be something when everyone tells you that you are nothing.

Irma is an accumulation of each of our ancestries who did not start out but came to America and made a great life for the generations that followed. Poverty was a way of life and Ms. Schonwewaldt writes this with such clarity you stomach starts to grumble with the hunger these people felt. In this time of immigration critiquing it might be nice to have someone read this book and remember that everyone has a dream to live a better life and shouldn’t we be proud they believe all this is possible in the United States of America.
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Deadly Heat by Cynthia Eden
Deadly Heat

TheReadingReviewer, January 16, 2011

DEADLY HEAT by Cynthia Eden
Book #2 in the Deadly Series
02/11 – Grand Central Publishing – Mass Market Paperback, 388 pages

This book will light up the night with romance and scary suspense

Kenton Lake is a very Special Agent with the FBI and he gave the orders and directed the crime scene. But when he collides with Firefighter Lora Spade the tables are turned and she is the one pulling him from the burning building with no respect for his authority or federal status. That was alright because she is the one that called the FBI in because she is the only one who believes they have a serial arsonist at work here in her town of Charlottesville. Lora doesn’t let anyone mess with her people especially when one of the firefighters she loved had been a casualty of this crazy person.

The more time Kenton spends with Lora the more he sees the depth of her passion for the job and that is something they share along with an overwhelming desire to kiss her. This started from the moment he laid eyes on her and she feels the same way regardless of her denials. He moves in quick knowing she is going to run and when he does lock lips with her Lora surrenders to fears from the past and moves on to the future.

This is not an easy accomplishment since the arsonist known as the Phoenix keeps lighting up the night with fires that are designed to kill in a specific pattern but with no real consistency to his pattern which is unlike any other serial killer. This should be easy to solve but even when all the elite agents of the SSD Division of the FBI are called in no one can find the connection and there has to be a connection. They determine the profile but even after extensive interviews of potential suspects there is not one person that completely fits the description which allows this nightmare to go on.

With time running out and the Phoenix escalating his desire for destruction Lora and Kenton utilize every item at their disposal to find him and stop this. Before long they figure out what this crazy person is about and who in fact all this is targeted at which is even worse than either of them could imagine. Drawing them into his web of madness was the idea but can Kenton and Lora win the game when they are the ones with the targets on their back? But whatever happens at the end of this ordeal Kenton is determined to drive away the ghosts of the past that haunt Lora and be the man in her life today and for all the days that follow. They have both been lost and wandering around with ghosts of what happened before it is time to shed those and move on.

Lora and Kenton fight together from the beginning of this story and that is one of the many delights I discovered about this book. I don’t mind the wait for a couple to get together but when the attraction is this strong from page one it is nice to have the story built around them as a couple and dealing with everything united but still trying to work out the details of the relationship. Ms. Eden knows how to write a book that keeps you guessing and not know until the end who is up to what and she is also very good at scaring you during the process. I am anxious for book that comes next.
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Deadly Fear (Deadly) by Cynthia Eden
Deadly Fear (Deadly)

TheReadingReviewer, January 16, 2011

DEADLY FEAR by Cynthia Eden
Book #1 in the Deadly Series
08/10 - Grand Central Publishing - Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
I
This terrific book will scare you into nonstop reading

What becomes of a person when we have been through the worst of times and pushed further than you ever could have anticipated while still a child? In the case of Monica Davenport you become a Special Agent with the FBI and show all the doubters that you truly do know how to profile and help capture serial killers and she had a gift for closing the case. The downside of Monica’s expertise is that she has walls built up so high and thick around her heart that it has turned her to ice. But leave it to Luke Dante, one handsome; alpha male to knock those walls down and step right over them showing that he is as determined to be with Monica and she is to keep him out. Game On!

Luke is a Special Agent with the FBI as well who already knows how amazing Monica is from when they met during their academy days. He has experienced her on an intimate level and now they are reunited to work on with an elite team of agents who do nothing but hunt down serial killers until the murderer is caught. Being back together with her Luke has both his head and body screaming for him to use any means available to get her back in his life on a personal level as much as a professional one.

Their first assignment together is horrific and has all the signs of an out of control serial killer who is torturing and brutalizing young women. Both Luke and Monica have to fight off their demons that still lurk in the night to scare them and for Monica déjà vu sets in as this case mirrors another that she was personally involved in and may interfere with her ability to keep her head clear. Luke knows that he can work with Monica and hopes that he is finally able to break down her barriers and warm her heart and help her turn the lights off when the night has come.

Luke is also determined to protect Monica regardless of her protesting when the killer marks her as a target and preys on her fear. All bets are off on what Luke will do to find this maniac and make sure one way or another the perp is gone forever.

The discovery of love not just lust and passion between Luke and Monica is a hard traveled road but one worth the ride as they realize that together they are a formidable team in and out of bed. But there is so much past that each of them has lived through and both are working out the demons and making sure that what scares them they are able to conquer and ensure that it does not kill them.

The most pleasurable yet difficult journey a reader takes is one where you actually feel the emotions and pain the characters are experiencing along with her fear. It is great authors that can have the reader feel as if they are literally walking in the character’s footsteps and taste the same terror as the character. Ms. Eden has done just that with this book and knows that the scary parts are offset with the tenderness and emotion from Luke and Monica. Great book and this series is off to an amazing start.
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Once Upon a Scandal (Scandal) by Delilah Marvelle
Once Upon a Scandal (Scandal)

TheReadingReviewer, January 11, 2011

ONCE UPON A SCANDAL by Delilah Marvelle
Book #2 in the Scandal Series
01/11 – Harlequin – Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages

A bit of scandal, a touch of history and a huge cup of love make for a fabulous book!

What happens when you wear your heart on your sleeve and the sleeve not only gets torn but the whole shirt is shredded? Well you get a needle and thread and put it all back together or so Jonathan Pierce Thatcher, Viscount Remington thought so. He believed love and a little magic conquered all and could fix everything. Remington was a romantic with a poetic soul who fell in love at 19 to the beautiful Lady Victoria Jane Emerson. Remington believed regardless of their tender age that his strong affection for her could make anything possible and he would win Victoria. Remington confessed his love and had her swear to wait for his return from his quick trip to Venice to straighten out his affairs. She would go through her coming out but still hold the love and the ring he gifted her until he returned and they could marry. All these ifs, hopes and wishes can they come true?

If dreams and wishes could be reality this would have all played out so well for Remington but he found himself once in Venice making bad decisions which led to his being indentured in a way no one in proper London could imagine. He was unable to return to Victoria in the time promised, which became the reality of five years and decided to not even return her letters begging him to come home to her. Remington had to pay off his debts and the punishment for his bad decision was worse than the crime itself which was made so much more painful by his separation from Victoria, the love of his life.

Once he is able to return he finds the loving girl with an open heart has grown to a jaded woman that has turned her heart to stone. Remington still fights for her and commits his entire existence to winning her over, but is it too late and does Victoria ever see a way to forgive him for what has kept them apart? The truth is so hurtful and scandalous but Remington believes in the love he has for Victoria and the ability to get a second chance with her, everyone makes mistakes he just has to convince her that this chance is the best one she can take and make that leap of faith.

You have to believe in the destiny of love because what else is there at the end of the day but the touch of your hand over mine. I will forever love these characters because their story remind you of how much love can overcome, how deep love runs between soul mates who will forever be together. Delilah Marvelle definitely knows how to write scandal, but absolutely knows how to write a love story that makes you believe in all that love can be. She has always been able to show the true worth of her characters even when they are embroiled in one scandal or another. Plus as it turns out Victoria has the same birthday as I do – that can’t be a coincidence now can it?
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Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky
Not My Daughter

TheReadingReviewer, January 2, 2011

NOT MY DAUGHTER
Barbara Delinsky
January 2010 - Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 352 pages

A thought provoking story with a touch of warmth for the heart

As parents we have dreams of how we want to raise our children and who they will become, what they will do with their lives and we expend so much energy helping to mold them into responsible adults. But when the reality of our dreams and aspirations collide head on with the reality of what our children decide to do on their own the results from these decisions can be catastrophic and life altering for both parent and child.

This is played out when three 17-year old girls who are lifelong friends decide that instead of the amazing future that their parents have planned for them another idea makes more sense – having a baby. The girls decide to get pregnant at the same time and raise their children to be a new generation of friends. While each of them comes from a different home life the intricacies of this has always drawn them closer together to shelter each other and provide encouragement. But once they become pregnant and begin to tell their families the fall out that ensues is nothing that they expected or are prepared to deal with. While the anticipation of school friends and teachers perhaps looking poorly upon them was expected what erupts is not against the girls themselves but their mothers and the sacred institution of motherhood and how these women as mothers failed their children. In particular for Lily whose mother, Susan, is the principal of the high school they all attend is singularly called out in large part not only because Susan is the high school principal. Not only is the backlash at her for setting a poor mother role model to the community but also as an ineffective principal based solely on the fact that she herself was a single mother that had a child at 17. Susan fights for her right to remain as principal but the friends she has always relied upon for moral support are also the mothers of the other girls involved and are struggling with their own inner demons and home issues. While preparing for every possible obstacle that comes up and trying to fight off the nay sayers what Susan never anticipated was that this chaos would cause old ghosts from her experience at 17 to reappear as she thought they were gone if not completely forgotten.

Even after Susan worked hard to build a life for Lily and spent so much time on trying to show her what she could have Lily thought she knew exactly what she wanted and that want was a baby of her own. The anger Susan feels at all of her dreams erupting in the blink of an eye fades away as the town erupts with anger and the school board is asking for Susan’s resignation. However, as the story unfolds you see how strong women are as not only mother’s but as a person in the household and the community because when pushed they will shove back regardless of how much stronger the opponent appears.

When it is then discovered that there was yet another girl involved who it turns out was the master mind behind the pact to become pregnant new conflicts with the friends and the girls erupt. But everything comes to a screeching halt when Lily’s baby has a serious health issue that must be contended with and all the inner battles being fought come to a halt as everyone rallies around the one person that needs the most love and attention right now – Lily’s baby.

You can never use enough positive words to describe a Barbara Delinsky book because they are such an amazing read. Perfection does not even come close, wonderful is an understatement and enjoyable is never strong enough. Ms. Delinsky’s books tell a story yes, but her books draw you into lives that are complicated, situations that are intense and relationships that are imperfect. This book shows that while we are judged the accuser is usually the one with something to hide while you are airing out the laundry for all the neighbors to see. This book in particular show you how regardless of what is thrown at a woman when she is in mother mode there is nothing that will stop her from tackling down anyone who dare besmirch that child. No one is the perfect parent, we each have our demons to battle and baggage to hand off but we do the best we can and this book clearly shows that living in a brick house is much better than a glass one!
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