It Wouldnt be the 4th of July Without a Mass Shooting

These days, it would appear that not a day would go by without at least one mass shooting.

Not even on our nation’s birthday are we safe.

In Highland Park, Illinois, a man opened fire during a 4th of July parade. By the time he was apprehended, six people were dead, and many more were rushed to area hospitals.

The equation is simple: common-sense gun control laws=saving lives. The purpose of this legislation is not to limit firearm access to those who are only active-duty military or law enforcement. The intention is to protect the rights of the average gun owner while making sure that those who should have access don’t get it.

But until some in this country get their heads out of the proverbial sand, we will continue to ask the same questions and mourn the unnecessary loss of life.

May the memories of those killed be a blessing. Z”L.

Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels Book Review

When life throws shit our way, we often turn to our favorite books or movies. It is the predictability in a sea of chaos that may be the one thing that gets us through the emotional turbulence.

Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels, by Rachel Cohen, was published last year. About a decade ago, Cohen was going through tough times. Her father was on the verge of dying of cancer and she was near the end of her first pregnancy. Needing something to provide a source of comfort, she turned to Jane Austen.

In this memoir, Cohen weaves her story with Austen’s while exploring the emotions and narratives within the novels. She writes about dealing with grief, loss, change, and watching your children grow up.

I really enjoyed this book. While reading it, I was reminded why after more than 200 years, Austen is still beloved as an author. The experiences of the characters are thoroughly human. The feelings are ones we can all relate to. If I were to make a list of books for newbie Austen readers, this one would be on the list. There is just enough detail to hook the reader, without going deep into the nitty-gritty details that only a longtime Janeite would understand.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Austen Years: A Memoir in Five Novels is available wherever books are sold.

I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama Book Review

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Sometimes, it takes a dramatic event to shake us out of that rut.

Sara Downing‘s new supernatural romance novel, I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama was published on June 20th. Eve Chapman has it all: a supportive family, a loving boyfriend, and a job that makes her going into work worth the agita. Everything changes when she wakes up on a hot London night in the hospital. Watching as the doctors remove the bandages from a woman who has had a head injury, Eve is shocked to learn that she is the woman on the operating table.

While she is physically immobilized by the coma, her soul is stuck between life and death. Eve discovers that she is not alone. Luca Diaz is also frozen in this realm. He becomes her guide, instructing her on how to support those who are still alive. As time passes and they spend more time together, Eve begins to reassess her life choices.

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I loved this book. Eve’s story is powerful. It reminded me that life is short, we never know when our turn will come. It is also a reminder that second chances are possible, it is merely a question of taking them or walking away. Though the romance is threaded into the narrative, what made the book for me was Eve’s journey of discovering what (and who) was important to her.

It is an amazing read. Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

I Let You Fall: A Romantic Drama wherever books are sold.

Thank you to TCK Publishing for the ARC.

I Want to Celebrate Independence Day, But I Can’t

Today is the 4th of July and America’s Independence Day. I want to celebrate our freedoms, but I can’t.

I am not free today.

My right to my body and my future was taken away from me. I am no longer equal, I have been reduced to being once again, a second-class citizen. If some people have their way, I will be forced to carry and birth a child, regardless of how it was conceived. I will be nothing more than a walking, talking uterus. My wants, my desires, my abilities, and my flaws, will be meaningless.

I want to celebrate today, but I can’t. Instead, I mourn and I fight.

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