Friday, January 31, 2014

"A Girl By Any Other Name" Review


Everyone tells him he needs to move on, but how can a man function without his heart?
Ten-year-old Caleb Tanner wants nothing to do with Sylvie Cranston, the annoying weird girl who moves next door to him and gets him in trouble for swearing. But at twelve, they become friends when he teaches her how to hook a fishing line and she shows him the value of a selfless act. At fourteen, he falls in love with her.
At sixteen, she dies.
Or so he’s told. But Cal never believes it. Sylvie has become part of his soul. He knows her like the steady beating of his own heart. He’d know if she was dead. Cal looks for her, prays for her and finally he just waits for her.
Nine years later, she walks into the community college English class Cal is teaching. Only this girl claims her name is Sophie Becker and she doesn’t know him. Cal knows better. He’s determined to get the girl he loves back—and protect her from the danger that took her away all those years ago.

Genre: Romantic suspense
Publication Date: 12th January 2014
Book Links:

My Review

"A Girl By Any Other Name" is a love story, a memoir, a suspense-thriller and what's more, a worthy read. 

The premise had me intrigued, partly because it was a love story being told from a man's P.O.V. It presents itself as being potentially anything and promises an epic romance. 

While I normally shy away from more heavy handed adult romance, "A Girl By Any Other Name" delivered more. Rather than dwell on passion, M.K. Schiller chooses to rely on the heart. At first it threw me a bit, jumping from the past memoir chapters to the current plot. But I quickly saw that the past stories, taking our characters from childhood to young adulthood, were what anchors and inevitably transcends this novel over its genre. It's a realistic budding friendship that blossoms between the childhood best friends. The setting, in a small East Texas town, adds to the charm and innocence. 

In the present day, a grown up Cal is haunted by the girl he never forgot, his "Raven." He teeters between borderline insanity and a cathartic heart, much like the literary artists he admires. He's living a semblance of a life while waiting for Sylvie to return to him. And it's her love that brings him back to life. This is not a story for the light of heart. There are twists and turns and many heartaches. But at the core of Schiller's story is a delicately painted depiction of true love, how deeply it moves and how far it can drive us.

Author Bio – MK Schiller

I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but by night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.
I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that my best friend asked me to make up stories featuring her as the heroine and the boy she currently liked as the hero. We'd spend hours on the phone while I came up with a series of unrealistic, yet tender events led the object of her desire to finally profess his love. You've heard of fan fiction... this was friend fiction.
Even with that, it took many years to realize I could produce an actual full length book that readers would enjoy. I try to make my stories humorous, realistic, with characters who are flawed but redeeming. I hope you enjoy my stories and never stop searching for your happily ever after.
Author Links:
Author Links:

Also by MK Schiller:
The Other C-Word:
The Do-Over:


She put her hand on my arm. Her voice wavered, shifting into a soft whisper. “I can’t sleep at night and it helps me. Sometimes I get so scared that it actually hurts. I feel it in my bones, like they might crack open any minute, breaking my insides apart.”
I shifted my pole and reached for her hand. I hadn’t quite comprehended the value of hugging. “Maybe you should pray on it. Pastor Morrison says that prayer can solve a lot of problems.”
“You really think that will work?” she asked dubiously.
I shrugged. “I wouldn’t know for sure. I don’t pray right myself.”
She frowned, wrinkling her nose. “How can you pray wrong?”
“Momma says I do it wrong all the time.”
“I don’t get it.”
I sighed, staring up at the blue sky. “She always asks me what I prayed for. The first time she asked, I told her it was for a new bike and football cleats. She got real mad and said ‘Son, you are praying to God, not Santa Claus’.” I used my best Amelia Tanner impression, and the edges of Sylvie’s mouth curved upward.
“That sounds like your momma.”
“Yeah, but I guess I didn’t learn my lesson because I asked her what I should pray for then. She said I should pray to be a better person.”
“That’s a good idea.”
“That’s what I thought too. I started praying that I could throw the football longer and run faster so I could make the team in high school.”
Sylvie cupped her hand to her mouth to cover her laugh. I didn’t care. I wanted to make her laugh, even if it was at my expense. “What did she say?”
“She got pretty mad and said that’s not what she meant. She told me I was being selfish and since I couldn’t pray for myself correctly, I should pray for someone else.”
“Who did you pray for?”
I stared down at the lake. “I prayed for Mandy.”
“That’s so sweet.”
“Yeah, I asked God to make her less annoying.”
Sylvie cracked up so much I was sure she’d run all the fish away, but I didn’t care. It was one of the best feelings in the world to make this girl laugh. “You didn’t.”
“I did, but at least now I know what I need to pray on.”
“What’s that, Cal?”
I squeezed her hand, noticing how hypnotic her eyes were. “I’ll pray that you’re not scared anymore, Sylvie.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Goodbye Doctor :(

Finally finished the fourth series and said goodbye to the 
lovely David Tennant A.K.A 10th Doctor. Much like him,
I wasn't ready for him to go, or say goodbye to the love he
had with Rose. Now I need a good fanfic... ;p

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Sticks and Strings" Review

Casting Spells (Sugar Maple, #1)Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Sticks and Strings" is awash with quaint New England charm, with all the necessary components for some kick ace chick lit. A headstrong, albeit bumbling heroine in search of love, a poignant love triangle and plenty of colorful characters to bring the star-crossed lovers together. But, quite like Sugar Maple, your expectations will barely scratch the surface of this quirky paranormal comedy. Rife with nostalgia, 21st Century American cynicism and hilarity, "Sticks and Strings" keeps you on your toes. Chloe Hobbs is the reluctant heroine with a veiled past and a killer penchant for knitting needles. Bretton spins her web brilliantly as she introduces you to the last earthly haven for magical outcasts. There is plenty of intrigue, romance and magic to keep you believing in the bonds of friendship and the power of true love. A must-read for the avid knitter, cat person and reader.

View all my reviews