Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey

**Review**

Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Confession: I LOVE rom-com movies. Like, love them more than Chris Evans. Okay, maybe not that much. (If I’m being honest, Chris Evans is my Tom Hanks.)

Until this year, I didn’t love reading rom-coms. In fact, I swore them off. Then I read one. And then another. And, well, turns out that I do love them.

Waiting For Tom Hanks was a fun read with characters I adored. I loved Annie and Drew but Chloe stoke my heart, and I cannot wait for @kerrywinfrey’s next book because it’s Chloe’s story!

Another thing I loved about Waiting For Tom Hanks? It wasn’t set in NYC. It was set in Columbus, Ohio and in an area I’ve actually spent time in. Earlier in my career, I worked on the  Max & Erma’s marketing team. That restaurant started in German Village, where this book takes place. I love being able to connect to a book’s setting.

If you love a solid rom-com with lovable characters and Midwestern settings, you’ll enjoy this one. 

If Only I Could Tell You, Hannah Beckerman

**Review**

If Only I Could Tell You, Hannah Beckerman

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Beautiful. Tragic. Beautiful. What an emotionally draining read. It was also impossible to put it down, and I read it in under 4 hours.

The prose was absolutely beautiful. Figurative language that will gut you.

Audrey, Jess and Lily have survived the unthinkable. But, it takes them 28 years to come out on the other side.

I’m such a sucker for tear jerkers. As a mom and as a daughter who lost a parent to cancer, this story reduced me to tears more than once.

A Writer is a Writer

I write, therefore I am a writer.

Can we talk about imposter syndrome for a minute? I struggle with this in nearly ever facet of my life. As a mother. As a wife. As a marketer. As a writer.

Somewhere along the way I decided that I wanted to be a writer. It didn’t matter that I wrote nearly every day. Now that I’ve completed eight manuscripts and birthed three into the self-publishing world, I still say “I want to be a writer.”

I am a writer. I put words on paper. I form sentences. I create stories. Sure it doesn’t pay the bills, nor is it my full-time job. How does that make me any less of a writer? Is it money that solidifies the definition? Awards? Recognition? An agent? Five-star reviews?

Being a writer is more than that. While, yes, I would love to have every single one of those things listed above, they are not what define a writer.

By definition, a writer is a person who uses written words in various styles and techniques to communicate their ideas.

This is what I do. I am a writer. A writer is a writer no matter what your imposter syndrome or the keyboard warriors have to say.

Your words matter.
Your writing maters.
You matter.
You’re a writer.

You can what-of or but your way into any excuse as to why this isn’t true, but it is true. You are a writer. I am a writer.

Love on Lexington Avenue, Lauren Layne

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

**Review**

Love on Lexington Avenue, Lauren Layne

⭐️⭐️⭐️(Out 9/17/19)

Love on Lexington Avenue is a solid romcom read. It follows all the tropes we love. They hate each other. They like each other.

But the one trope I wish we could all put behind us is the one where the woman constantly sells herself short and believes she isn’t worthy of the man she’s admiring. We spend pages upon pages on her listing every reason why she’s not the one for him.

Claire is broken. Her now dead ex-husband was a cheater and a liar, but his adulterous ways led her to her new BFFs (who are highly entertaining and lovable). I do wish we got to see more of Claire’s growth on her own. 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris

**Review**
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The one good thing about reading a lot of WWII historical fiction is I’m always prepared for an emotional and tragic journey. Because Lale and Gita are real people who lived to tell their story, I was able to read The Tattooist Of Auschwitz knowing that there would be at least one small happy ending.

That said, this book was emotionally challenging. The personal view of life in a concentration camp puts you right in the middle of the horrors and abuses. I’ll never understand the sadistic evil and pure hatred some feel towards others, but it is stories like the ones that belong to Lale and Gita that remind me that love wins.

The Reckless Oath We Made, Bryn Greenwood

**Review**

The Reckless Oath We Made, Bryn Greenwood

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is one of those books that grabs you from page one. The writing is flawless. The story is engaging, challenging and unique.

Every single character is worthy of an entire book, but I adored Gentry. Normally multiple POVs can sometimes bog down a storyline, but not this one. The transitions are seamless, and each perspective provides further insight to Zee and Gentry, the main characters.

Zee is flawed. She’s selfish. She’s has a knack for finding trouble. Gentry heard voices and speaks in Middle English verse. Yet somehow, they are exactly what each of them needs.

In summation, read this book. Read it slow and devour the prose and lose yourself in the story.

We Came Here to Forget, Andrea Dunlop

**Review**

We Came Here to Forget, Andrea Dunlop

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Phew. What a ride this book was. From page one, I was intrigued with Katie and Penny. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough… and it’s highly possible that I read ahead to get a few answers I was too impatient to wait for. (I love me some spoilers.)

We Came Here to Forget is a powerful, emotional story. I so want to go deeper into details, but I know not everyone loves spoilers as much as I do. Just know your heart strings will be pulled in a million different directions.

I Don’t Know How You Do It

This year, I’ve completed four manuscripts. Four. This is a record for me.

I also have one that I should be done drafting in a few weeks. So far, I’ve loved every single one of the stories and characters. Okay, I loved them all after a brief cooling off period.

People always want to know how I have time to write this much. The simple truth is that I don’t have time. I make the time. Before work. During my lunch break. After the kids go to bed. In the early morning hours before the rest of the house wakes up. Another truth? I hate this question. I hate the assumption that there is something mystical about my time management. My husband will tell you there is not. He’ll tell you about laundry left unfolded or the dishes I never touch. He’ll probably complain about my nose being buried in Google Docs on my phone while he drives.

This is my dream, and it’s my passion. I owe it to my dreams and craft to keep writing. When I stop, I feel lost. I’m not myself when I’m not writing.

I wrote Happily Ever Never in January and February of 2017. It typically takes me 30-45 days to complete a 80K-90K manuscript draft. I am the type that has to hammer out a draft or the story will die in my Google Drive. It also helps that I am a mad-crazy plotter. Every story I write starts with either character sketches or an outline. Lately, the outline and writing have led to character sketches.

After I wrote Happily Ever Never, I walked away from it. I didn’t write much more than blog posts from February 2017 until late summer 2018. The itch struck me and I started forcing myself to find the time. I did the same thing with reading. I had to do it for myself. I owed it to myself.

If there’s something you want, you have to work for it. You can’t just wish it.

The Mothers, Brit Bennett

**Review**
The Mothers, Brit Bennett
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I came into this book knowing nothing. I didn’t read the jacket. I didn’t look at reviews. I just dove in head first.In the beginning I was confused by the POV. It felt disconnected.

My feeling was wrong. Guys. I was wrong. I felt disconnected, but I was so into the story and characters, that I devoured this book.

About halfway in, I was in love with the storytelling and unique POV. I couldn’t put the book down. Nadia and Aubrey were such robust and engaging characters. The mothers, with their iconic church lady gossip and observations, added another complex layer to this beautiful story.

I did not want it to end.

The Secrets of Lost Stones, Melissa Payne

**Review**

The Secrets Of Lost Stone, Melissa Payne

⭐️⭐️⭐️

While I enjoyed the overall story and the way the characters connected, I could have done without the paranormal elements. They added an unnecessary creep factor that I wasn’t expecting based on the genre. In other words, don’t do what I did. Don’t read this while sitting in the dark in a creaky rocking chair while rocking your toddler to sleep.

Jess, Star, and Ben are Lucy’s “loose ends.” Each character has experienced pain and loss. It didn’t take me long to figure out how they were connected and what role each played.

The writing and storytelling kept me engaged despite the creepy factor and the obvious plot twists.