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Book Scoop November 23- November 30, 2018

November 30, 2018
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Weekly Feature
Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene
Amber & Dusk, Lyra Selene, InToriLex
Amber & Dusk~Amazon~ Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d'Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.

So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.
But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she'll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.
Come with Me by Helen Schulman
Come with Me, Helen Schulman, InToriLex
Come with Me~Amazon~
"What do you want to know?"
Amy Reed works part-time as a PR person for a tech start-up, run by her college roommate’s nineteen-year-old son, in Palo Alto, California. Donny is a baby genius, a junior at Stanford in his spare time. His play for fortune is an algorithm that may allow people access to their "multiverses"—all the planes on which their alternative life choices can be played out simultaneously—to see how the decisions they’ve made have shaped their lives.
Donny wants Amy to be his guinea pig. And even as she questions Donny’s theories and motives, Amy finds herself unable to resist the lure of the road(s) not taken. Who would she be if she had made different choices, loved different people? Where would she be now?
Amy’s husband, Dan—an unemployed, perhaps unemployable, print journalist—accepts a dare of his own, accompanying a seductive, award-winning photographer named Maryam on a trip to Fukushima, the Japanese city devastated by tsunami and meltdown. Collaborating with Maryam, Dan feels a renewed sense of excitement and possibility he hasn’t felt with his wife in a long time. But when crisis hits at home, the extent of Dan’s betrayal is exposed and, as Amy contemplates alternative lives, the couple must confront whether the distances between them in the here and now are irreconcilable.
Taking place over three non-consecutive but vitally important days for Amy, Dan, and their three sons, Come with Me is searing, entertaining, and unexpected—a dark comedy that is ultimately both a deeply romantic love story and a vivid tapestry of modern life.
Neron Rising (Neron Rising Saga #1) by Keary Taylor
Neron Rising,  (Neron Rising Saga #1),  Keary Taylor, InToriLex
Neron Rising (Neron Rising Saga, #1)~Amazon~I…am nothing.” He takes a step forward, shaking his head twice, with absolute conviction. “You’re not nothing, Nova.” 
In the Eon galaxy, Dominion controls any planet with solid Neron deposits, and Nova just found out they’re coming for hers. Korpillion isn’t supposed to have any Neron—the galaxy’s purest form of energy—but Nova Ainsley has been working with the owner of a secret mine for months, building highly illegal weapons that can wield Neron. She wants off Korpillion, and selling these weapons will buy her and her father a ticket to another planet in the galaxy.
Neron is incredible on its own, but there are those who can wield it to their will, granting them the ability to read minds, see the future, and destroy worlds—the Nero. But this is a galaxy where they are ceasing to exist, and Dominion owns the last one in the known universe, using him to take over and destroy billions of lives.
An encounter with the last Nero shows Nova her future: it’s with him. She will stand by his side one day, her fingers laced through his, love and adoration in both their eyes, a dark queen to his evil, pawn king.
Fate or destiny, Nova will do whatever it takes to change their future, and that of the galaxy.
The Adults: A Novel by Caroline Hulse
The Adults: A Novel~Amazon~Meet The Adults.
Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide that it would be best for their daughter, Scarlett, to have a “normal” family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest holiday park, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did—and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick (never Pat), a seemingly sensible, eligible from a distance Ironman in Waiting. Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex, funny, smart, and extremely patient. Scarlett, who is seven, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a giant rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Forced Fun Activities, drink a little too much after Scarlett’s bedtime, overshare classified secrets about their pasts . . . and before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this novel begins—with a tearful, frightened call to the police.
What happened? They said they’d all be adults about this
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below
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Review: Point Blank: Poems by Alan King

Point Blank: Poems, Alan King, InToriLex
Published By: Silver Birch Press on October 18, 2016
Format Read: Paperback Edition (102 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Contemporary/Own Voices
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Author Request
Rating:THREE POINT FIVE STARS
Point Blank: Poems
~Amazon~
"In Point Blank, we are given an intimate look at one man's inner and outer life, but there's no navel-gazing nonsense. There's always an awareness, implied or explicit, of the sociopolitical crucible. With language both tough-minded and celebratory, Alan King ignites the important details of his experience, compelling us to ask what-plus-what added up to our own lives." TIM SEIBLES, author of Fast Animal and One Turn Around the Sun

"Alan King is one of my favorite up-and-coming poets of his generation. His poems are not pop and flash, rather more like a slow dance with someone you're going to love forever. Here you will find poignant slices of life, so bright in a rough age of race killings and hate speech. He reminds us that what matters has always mattered." JOY HARJO, poet, musician, performer, and teacher

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Racism

REVIEW:

I really enjoyed these eclectic poems about coming of age and experiencing adversity and tragedy. The author does a great job of creating imagery and atmosphere throughout his poems. The dialogue used flowed naturally and allowed me to be more immersed with the topics described. I was engaged in this short collection the whole way through, even when I couldn't directly relate to the experiences described.
"Thats when the world becomes scarier, when you discover the darkness that lurks outside your "Happy Meal" life, when you learn danger needs little to combust and consume whatevers's in its way."
I was happy to gain more insight on the authors life.Throughout the poems themes and topics I appreciate the candidness involved. Although there were a few poems I didn't get I understand that poetry is meant for different audiences and reaches people differently. I would recommend this collection to readers who enjoy well thought out reflections on how black men survive tragedy and face our unwelcoming world.
Lawd, this world's too ugly for sober eyes.All those souls outside of paradise, anticipating the other side
Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy poetry that explores important social topics
- want to learn more about the experiences of black men
- appreciate perspectives shared by own voice writers

**I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. **

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan King
Alan King is a Caribbean American, whose parents emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago to the U.S. in the 1970s. He’s a husband, father, and communications professional who blogs about art and social issues at alanwking.com. A Cave Canem graduate fellow, he holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. He’s a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and was also nominated three times for a Best of the Net selection. He lives with his family in Bowie, Maryland.
TWITTER
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Review: Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer by Exo Books, Karina Shor (Illustrator)

November 27, 2018
: Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer, Exo Books, Karina Shor, InToriLex. Book Review
Published By: Exo Books, LLC on September 1, 2018
Format Read: Paperback Edition (60 pages)
Genre: Humor/ Christmas/ Fantasy
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Author Request
Rating: FOUR STARS
Schmuck the Buck: Santa's Jewish Reindeer
~Amazon~ 
Larry was just your regular caribou, who was cruelly excluded from his crew. He and his kin happened to be the sole Jewish reindeer in the North Pole. Larry was bullied and treated the worst way, until his plan saved one Christmas Day.

A contemporary satirical take on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Schmuck the Buck introduces Larry, a young Jewish reindeer. He overcomes his awkward and sometimes painful youth to save Christmas. His tale of acceptance and inclusion is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who loves Christmas, Hanukkah, or both. Sixty pages of vibrant illustrations bring his story to life. A unique modern addition to any holiday library.

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Delicious Grass Entrees and Overworked Elves

REVIEW:

Larry is a memorable caribou who celebrates his beliefs while appreciating others. I was pleasantly surprised how relate-able this tale is for adults and children. He try's hard to fit in while in school and as an adult seeks out ways to discover what he has a passion for. Since Larry is Jewish part of the book details his families Hanukkah celebration at home. The artwork was vivid and included wonderful details to enjoy on your second or third read.

I applaud all of the diversity to be found in this amusing tale. It includes differing religious beliefs, elves, caribou, and humans of all races. While most story's tend to leave out references to our modern technology. The author did a great job of tying in multiple elements in a amusing way. This is a wonderful holiday read that can be enjoyed by everyone.
The humor included references that adults will enjoy. I was pleasantly surprised at how Santa joins in on the action. This unique twist on what we know about Christmas time at the North Pole is amusing, inclusive and fun.

Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy funny holiday stories
- appreciate diversity
- enjoy modern takes on Christmas lore

**I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. **

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Exo Books, InToriLexEXO Books is the pen name and publishing company of a science fiction writer. He is a man from NYC, USA, Earth.
WEBSITE
TWITTER
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Review: Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman

November 7, 2018
Waiting for Eden, Elliot Ackerman, MacLeod Andrews, InToriLex
Published By: Random House Audio on September 25, 2018
Format Read: Audio Book Edition (3hrs 27 mins) MacLeod Andrews (Narrator)
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Adult/ War
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Scribd
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE STARS
Waiting for Eden
~Amazon~ 
Eden Malcom lies in a bed, unable to move or to speak, imprisoned in his own mind. His wife Mary spends every day on the sofa in his hospital room. He has never even met their young daughter. And he will never again see the friend and fellow soldier who didn't make it back home--and who narrates the novel. But on Christmas, the one day Mary is not at his bedside, Eden's re-ordered consciousness comes flickering alive. As he begins to find a way to communicate, some troubling truths about his marriage--and about his life before he went to war--come to the surface. Is Eden the same man he once was: a husband, a friend, a father-to-be? What makes a life worth living?

VERDICT:

Content Warning: Graphic Descriptions of Torture and a Severely Injured Person

REVIEW:

This is a short emotional book that packs a lot of punch. The story is told from a unnamed narrator's perspective who is watching over Eden's family after Eden is injured. Eden lays severely injured and unable to move in the hospital, while his wife Mary refuses to let him pass on. The narrator explains Mary's and Eden's relationship leading up to the present. He suggests that you should know Mary's story before you judge her decisions.

Eden is described as a likeable guy who has been forever changed by war but finds it preferable to family life. The characters lives are interwoven and well developed as unique but flawed personalities. The reality Eden faces after his injury is brutal and the author holds no punches immersing you into that experience. There are descriptions of gore included that have stuck with me.

I paused many times while listening flooded with existential questions. It's a slow burn which leads to twists I didn't expect. This  character driven novel used a number of scenes in Mary and Eden's past to explain their relationship. However the plot itself was slow moving. Despite wanting more to happen, I was engaged and invested in these characters. The narrator kept the intrigue going and I was emotionally moved by this tragic story.

Recommended for Readers who
- enjoy character driven novels
- don't mind extensive descriptions of life after a severe injury
- enjoy philosophical musings with a dash of fantasy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elliot Ackerman, InToriLex
Elliot Ackerman served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. A former White House Fellow, his essays and fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New Republic, and Ecotone, among others. He currently lives in Istanbul and writes on the Syrian Civil War
WEBSITE
TWITTER 

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Book Scoop October 26- November 2, 2018

November 2, 2018
This Cruel Design, (This Mortal Coil #2), Emily Suvada, InToriLex
This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil, #2)
~Amazon~
The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind. 
Family Trust by Kathy Wang
Family Trust, Kathy Wang, InToriLex
Family Trust
~Amazon~
 Meet Stanley Huang: father, husband, ex-husband, man of unpredictable tastes and temper, aficionado of all-inclusive vacations and bargain luxury goods, newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. For years, Stanley has claimed that he’s worth a small fortune. But the time is now coming when the details of his estate will finally be revealed, and Stanley’s family is nervous.

For his son Fred, the inheritance Stanley has long alluded to would soothe the pain caused by years of professional disappointment. By now, the Harvard Business School graduate had expected to be a financial tech god – not a minor investor at a middling corporate firm, where he isn’t even allowed to fly business class.

Stanley’s daughter, Kate, is a middle manager with one of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious tech companies. She manages the capricious demands of her world-famous boss and the needs of her two young children all while supporting her would-be entrepreneur husband (just until his startup gets off the ground, which will surely be soon). But lately, Kate has been sensing something amiss; just because you say you have it all, it doesn’t mean that you actually do.

Stanley’s second wife, Mary Zhu, twenty-eight years his junior, has devoted herself to making her husband comfortable in every way—rubbing his feet, cooking his favorite dishes, massaging his ego. But lately, her commitment has waned; caring for a dying old man is far more difficult than she expected.

Linda Liang, Stanley’s first wife, knows her ex better than anyone. She worked hard for decades to ensure their financial security, and is determined to see her children get their due. Single for nearly a decade, she might finally be ready for some romantic companionship. But where does a seventy-two year old Chinese woman in California go to find an appropriate boyfriend?

As Stanley’s death approaches, the Huangs are faced with unexpected challenges that upend them and eventually lead them to discover what they most value. A compelling tale of cultural expectations, career ambitions and our relationships with the people who know us best, Family Trust skewers the ambition and desires that drive Silicon Valley and draws a sharply loving portrait of modern American family life. 
Elevation by Stephen King
Elevation, Stephen King, InToriLex
Elevation
~Amazon~
Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others. 
The Proposal (The Wedding Date #2) by Jasmine Guillory
The Proposal, (The Wedding Date #2), Jasmine Guillory, InToriLex
The Proposal
~Amazon~
   When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans...

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes... 
Did I miss anything in the book world? Let me know in the comments below
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