Tag Archive | Social Issues

Review & Giveaway: Out From the Underworld by Heather Siegel


•Publisher: Greenpoint Press
•Release date: April 30, 2015
•220 pages

Heather Siegel was six years old when her mother disappeared, sending her father into a tailspin that took Heather and her siblings down with him— from a comfortable suburban home to a barely habitable basement apartment, a dark world they soon found themselves fighting to return to from the exile of foster care, then fighting even harder to escape.

Forty years later, Heather Siegel tells the remarkable story of how she and her siblings, Jaz and Greg, banded together to find out what happened to their mother and fight their way Out From the Underworld with nothing but their wits, determination, unbreakable bonds and gifts for humor and compassion to sustain them. A wrenching, inspiring story filled with heartbreak, hope and love, Out From The Underworld will move you to laughter and tears.

Wow!!! I have to say this story left me shredded. How could a parent voluntarily place their children in foster care? How could a mother walk out on her children, tearing the family apart? How would the children fare from the abuses suffered from foster care as well as from family? Yes, you read correctly, Heather Siegel shares her heartbreaking story of an unimaginable childhood.

A story of resilience, inspiring through utterly tragic circumstances. I shed plenty of tears as I tore through this book. I was left with completely empathy for Heather, admiration as well, she pulled through surviving what very well could have destroyed her. Enduring what no child should.

Heather Siegel clearly shares her story in a solid and compelling fashion as she revisits childhood through adulthood. Her descriptive style leaves you feeling as if you are a helpless fly on the wall observing all the chaos, unable to shelter and help these innocents, your hands bound. Painfully heartbreaking story. Heather Siegel possesses strength and resilience. Quite a moving and memorable story.

Buy the Book:

Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author:2552501

Heather Siegel holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from The New School. Her work has appeared on Salon.com and in The Mother Magazine and Author Magazine, as well as in various trade publications. She was a finalist for the 2010 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Award in Nonfiction Writing, the 2011 San Francisco Writers Conference Nonfiction Writing Award, the Carolina Wren Press 2012 Doris Bakwin Award and the 2012 Kore Press First Book Award. A multi-creative person with interests in the arts, nutrition, health and beauty, she has founded several independent businesses, including a coffeehouse, a café, an organic juice bar and a natural beauty bar. She currently lives with her husband, Jon, and daughter, Julia, in the woods of Long Island in a house filled with light.

Connect with Heather: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter


Enter to win one of five print copies of Out from the Underworld and a music CD from Greg Fine (Open to USA & Canada). Thanks so much to iRead Book Tours for organizing this great tour. Don’t forget to visit the other stops on this tour by clicking on the iRead Book Tours banner.



Review: Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother by Hollie Adams w/ Giveaway

Things You've Inherited From Your Mother

• Paperback: 172 pages
• Publisher: NeWest Press (May 2015)

Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother is a riotous assemblage of found objects, Choose Your Own Adventure-style in jokes and useful facts about mice. In her startlingly funny first novel, Hollie Adams takes the conventional wisdom about likeable literary heroines and shoves it down an elevator shaft.

Following the passing of her mother, Carrie, a thirty something year old tries to salve her loss but somewhat spirals out of control in a rather hilarious manner.

“Inevitably, there will be only one black item in the box: a figure-flattering skirt that falls just above the knee. Funeral perfect. It is a little tight going on but zips up almost all the way. Your shirt will cover the exposed bit of back flab you’ve been calling your lumbar loaf. If only that flap of skin had a zipper, you’d never have to carry a purse.”

Coping is proving to be a challenge for Carrie as she provides the reader with plenty of laugh out loud well timed moments. We all handle grief differently and you will discover Carrie’s method is questionable while providing chuckles. One could refer to her grieving process as somewhat destructive, however, anyone suffering a loss will empathize and understand Carrie’s unconventional acceptance to a degree.

Quick read, more than a few laugh out loud moments, but I’m confident readers will be on board or jumping ship with this love it or hate it novella.

Adams possesses a comedic gift, memorable debut.

Hollie AdamsAbout Hollie Adams

Hollie Adams is a Windsorite living in Alberta, where she teaches writing and literature. She has studied creative writing at the University of Windsor and has a PhD in English from the University of Calgary. Her writing has been published in several Canadian periodicals including Prairie Fire, The Antigonish Review,Carousel, The Windsor Review, and Filling Station, and online at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother is her first novel.


Two winners will have the opportunity to enter to win a copy of Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US/CA residents only. Ends 5/12/15

Excited to be included in the tour for Hollie Adam’s Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother. Be sure to click on the TLC banner to check out the entire tour schedule. Thank you TLC!

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An Uncomplicated Life by Paul Daugherty w/ Giveaway

An Uncomplicated Life・Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (March 17, 2015)

Such an uplifting and inspirational story. Paul Daugherty shares an intimate reminiscing of his daughter Jillian from birth to present. A story of a father’s love as he navigates parenting and life with a daughter with Down syndrome.

Paul’s tribute to Jillian isn’t limited to Down syndrome it reads more of a love story – a love of father-daughter and their unbreakable bond, his wife Kerry’s dedication and determination to raise an independent young woman, their son Kelly who through the eyes and love of his sister Jillian, discovered himself deep within. An entire family playing a vital role in raising Jillian and offering opportunities capable of allowing her independence while in a positive loving environment.

Paul shares Jillian’s comedic side, her crazy antics, her achievements, she is such an amazing young woman. He introduces us to the prominent players adding to Jillian’s life.

Paul is brutally honest, admitting it wasn’t always a piece of cake, he also shares his frustrations, concerns while addressing a few thought provoking topics such as education and ethics.

Wonderful read all will enjoy, Jillian is a memorable young woman along with the entire Daugherty clan. A gem exploring parenting and life in general, with a variety of messages, a story encompassing much.

|  Goodreads  |

Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Paul DaughertyAbout Paul Daugherty

Paul Daugherty has been a sports columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer since 1994. He has covered nearly every major American sporting event, as well as five Summer Olympic Games. He is the author of Fair Game, a collection of his sports columns, and coauthor of books with Chad Johnson and Johnny Bench. He blogs daily at The Morning Line on Cincinnati.com. He lives in Loveland, Ohio, with his wife, Kerry.

Connect with Paul on Facebook†and Twitter.

To enter to win a copy of An Uncomplicated Life please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 3/31/15

Thrilled to be participating in the tour for Paul Daugherty’s An Uncomplicated Life, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 31 March. Thank you TLC!


The Boy Who Loved Rain by Gerard Kelly *Giveaway*

image• Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: Lion Fiction (January 27, 2015)

| Goodreads |

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Colom had the perfect childhood, the much-loved only child of a church pastor. Yet he wakes screaming from dreams in which his sister is drowning and he can’t save her.

Instigative narrative along with pestilent and disarming characters. Quite an intense read leaving you emotionally spent. Kelly creates a novel engaging the reader, bringing on numerous questions as you place yourself in the position of the characters and their delicate circumstances. Impassioned, the secrets dark and deep, very well done.

Kelly certainly succeeded in frustrating this reader to no end. It was challenging being a spectator, so many times I wanted to crawl through the pages and shake sense into a few people as well as wrap my arms around them providing comfort, taking on their many burdens and acute pain. David – his presence is felt even though his appearance is infrequent. He frustrates you as well as begs empathy for his behavior good and bad. Fiona, my goodness I felt her pain, her joy, she touched my heart. As a mother I related to all the bittersweet moments this woman, wife, mother dealt with. Colum, fragile yet a sturdy young man entering your heart and burying himself there. His journey is stalled and you hope he finds his way through the rough terrain.

The narrative slowly gains momentum, secrets revealed, decisions questioned and finally all is exposed and the plot hits its apex head on. The secrets are plenty, catching you off guard.

A story exploring the danger of secrets and their affect on the family. Emotionally gripping, undoubtedly profound. Complex piece of literature, looking forward to reading more of Gerard Kelly. Highly recommend, excellent selection for reading groups – loads to discuss.

About Gerard Kellyimage
Gerard Kelly is a well-known speaker and author of fourteen books. He and his wife live and work in France and co-founded the Blessed Network, a movement of young leaders committed to God’s mission on mainland Europe.

To enter to win a copy of The Boy Who Loved Rain please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US residents only. Ends 2/25/15

– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Ends 2/25/15

Excited to be participating in the tour for Gerard Kelly’s The Boy Who Loved Rain, be sure to check out the entire tour schedule here, it runs through 19 March. Thank you TLC!