Book Review & Giveaway: 25 Days ‘Til Christmas by Poppy Alexander #Christmas #20booksforChristmas #Giveaway

25 Days ‘Til Christmas

by Poppy Alexander

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My thoughts:

25 Days ‘Til Christmas was nothing like what I expected. It’s much more complex than any other Christmas books I’ve read, dealing with some tough issues like depression, death, lonliness, suicide, and learning disorders.

In this story we read about Kate and Daniel, both living in Bristol, England, who are now suffering grief after loss. Kate’s husband (Tom) passed away after leaving for the army and she’s left to care for their young son (Jake) with little support. Daniel lost his sister (Zoe) due to a heart condition that was left untreated.

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Life Update…

Hey, guys. I just wanted to post a quick update to explain some of the things that are going on with me. My oldest son is now in Los Angeles and doing okay–staying very busy in fact. It’s affected me in weird ways; I suppose because I know this is just the beginning. It’s very possible he’ll be moving and because of the distance, it’s making me feel a little negative. On one hand, I’m so very proud, but on the other, I miss him incredibly. It’s weird how just taking one out of the equation changes the family; the children are missing big brother as well.

My youngest son has found ways to get around his broken arm, but he’s very much looking forward to getting his cast off. He can’t write or ride his bike and it’s also affected his Lego building (his favorite activity), so believe it or not, it’s been a big adjustment for him. It’s amazing how strong he is though and how well he’s adapted. Children truly are resilient! The good news is that he should have it off before it’s time for swimming this summer.

My husband broke his hand last week and because he’s a firefighter, he’s now on light duty for six weeks or more, which puts him at work daily versus the every third day shift I’m used to. Not a huge deal, but it switches up our outdoor work plans quite a bit during this ‘go time’ in spring.

I’m laughing as I type…Minor changes, right? My body is still extremely sensitive. It seems that everything over the past three weeks (albeit minor) has caught up with me and it’s thrown me into a whirlwind of on and off depression and anxiety, something I haven’t dealt with in some time. It’s good to think forward, but my mind works in strange ways (intrusive thoughts) and it’s sent me to a strange place. I’m thinking too far into the future–full of the ‘what if’s’ again. A few days ago my husband asked me: “Why can’t you just take life as it comes?” The truth is: I don’t know. What I do know, is that after everything I’ve gone through in repairing my physical health, I still have a long way to go with my mental health as well.

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Throwback Thursday: The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane #ThrowbackThursday #YoungAdult #BookReview

From Goodreads:

According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place—and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head—and her home state—and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens.

Zander does not fit in—or so she thinks. She has only one word for her fellow campers: crazy. In fact, the whole camp population exists somewhere between disaster and diagnosis. There’s her cabinmate Cassie, a self-described manic-depressive-bipolar-anorexic. Grover Cleveland (yes, like the president), a cute but confrontational boy who expects to be schizophrenic someday, odds being what they are. And Bek, a charmingly confounding pathological liar. Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane #ThrowbackThursday #YoungAdult #BookReview”

Q&A with Lew Watts – Author of Marcel Malone – Book Review – SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY

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I’ve had Marcel Malone on my TBR list since the beginning of the year and finally read it this past week. In addition to reviewing below, you can read my Q&A with author Lew Watts and learn a little more about him.

Marcel Malone by Lew Watts

31298354Blurb: Dr Vera Lewis has a difficult but intriguing patient, Marcel, whose symptoms result from multiple levels of rejection—from family, colleagues, relationships, and those journals that receive his poetry submissions. Desperate to achieve a breakthrough, Vera prescribes a very unusual treatment that begins to desensitize Marcel to rejection, albeit with unexpected side-effects. It is only when Vera brings poetry into their therapy sessions that Marcel begins to reveal his deeper problems, and is able to confront the demons of his past. As for Vera, she has her own problems…
Set mostly in Washington, DC, Marcel Malone is a story of how the love of poetry can lead to personal transformation.

 

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Red Mountain Press (October 23, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0997310227
  • ISBN-13: 978-0997310221

 

You can find this book on:

Goodreads | Amazon

 

My review

I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this book. Marcel Malone is a first novel for Lew Watts and one that is definitely unique.

Vera and Raymond are a married couple living in DC. Vera is a psychiatrist who lacks attention from her husband as he places more importance on his job as a lobbyist. Raymond worries about his reputation more than anything and lacks the ability to pick up on Vera’s needs.

The focus in the story is mainly Vera and her life with her patients. A particular patient that she becomes almost dependent on is Marcel. Marcel enjoys reading and writing poetry which is something he and Vera have in common. They share their thoughts with each other and Vera looks forward to these conversations. The result of this relationship and Vera’s own curiosity results in a story with interlaced poetry which I thought was unique, and the poetry just might be what they both need to unleash the past.

“Near this rose, in this grove of sun-parched, wind-warped madronas,
Among the half-dead trees, I came upon the true ease of myself,
As if another man appeared out of the depths of my being,
And I stood outside myself,” lines from The Rose by Theodore Roethke

As Vera learns more about Marcel, she learns that he’s had a hard time with rejection in the past and Vera prescribes a new experiment of paradoxical intervention and journal writing to see if it might help him as a sort of “rejection therapy.” This becomes comical at times, but the outcome she receives from this is unexpected and Vera finds that her own demons and life choices need to be addressed.

The story kept me interested enough to finish it and the ending was quite emotional for me. There were a few times where I became bored with the story as there wasn’t a lot of excitement, but then something would happen or a mystery would be introduced which would yank me right back in again. I’ve always enjoyed poetry, especially Haiku, and I think that anyone who has an appreciation for it will enjoy this book. Even those that don’t particularly care for poetry will more than likely enjoy it. I have a goodly amount of authors and books to add to my list now after reading it and I’d like to thank the author for sharing a complimentary copy of this book with me.

Star_rating_4_of_5

 

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