Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man – Mary L. Trump

Title: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man

Author: Mary L. Trump

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre: Biography/Non-fiction

Page Length: 236 pages

Curiosity compelled me and I ventured into the history of Donald Trump. Except this story was more about Fred Trump, Jr. and his toxic relationship with Fred Trump, Senior.

I will admit I now have pity for all the Trump family, including all the players. While this revealing story castigated the entire Trump clan, it also highlighted how they became such a dysfunctional lot.

This story is not told without anger on the writer’s behalf and so with that you must take the revelation with a grain of salt. However, the power dynamics of the cold family would turn anyone to the dark side, and I find myself quite disturbed by the abuse they all have suffered. Some more than others.

The account did not reveal anything about Donald Trump’s character that we didn’t already know, but it did reveal a great deal of history that I personally had not known about.

You can find the story on Amazon in multiple formats.

Synopsis: In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.

Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.

A first-hand witness to countless holiday meals and family interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for re-gifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.

Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.

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Hinterland – L.M. Brown

Title: Hinterland

Author: L.M. Brown

Publisher: Fomite Press

Genre: Fiction

Page Length: 324 pages

I was not sure what to expect from this tale, having never read Brown before. What I discovered was a story full of family drama, mystery and suspicion.

Hinterland takes you on a quiet journey of omissions and guilt. I found myself being drawn deeper into each chapter, wanting to discover the silences that have kept this family apart.

If you enjoy a bit of mystery and drama then I see no reason why you would not find this an enticing and quality read. Give Brown a chance as I did, and you will not be disappointed.

The book is set to release in October 2020. Learn more on Amazon.

Synopsis: Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was while pregnant. Tension start to rise with the return of Ina, Nicholas’ childhood best friend, to the house next door. Kathleen doesn’t trust her or Nicholas. Already unstable, Kathleen’s suspicions culminate in a day of violence, and Kathleen’s disappearance. Kate’s life is shattered by her mother s desertion. No one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina is like a mother to her, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell Kate or Ina the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

THE WOMAN BEHIND THE STORY:

L.M Brown is the author of novels Debris and Hinterland, and the linked short story collections Treading The Uneven Road and Were We Awake. Her award winning stories have been published in over a dozen magazines. She grew up in Ireland but lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters.

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*We received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Midnight Sun – Stephenie Meyer

Title: Midnight Sun (#5)

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance

Page Length: 662 pages

I had no desire to read this, since Bella Swan’s version was enough for me. However, I can be a bit of a completist, so for the sake of finishing the series I did read it.

It helps when you have not read or watched the movies in years. The first couple hundred pages were fun, and then it seemed to become repetitive and boring. However, I pushed through and in the end appreciated the few instances where something new was added. Will I ever read it again? Unlikely. Regardless, I enjoyed going back into the Twilight world for a few hours, as it brought back some nostalgia.

So do I recommend it? Honestly, it does not add anything to the original story, but if you love the world and the characters, it can be a fun trip down memory lane.

Synopsis: When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

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Red Dragon – Thomas Harris

Title: Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter #1)

Author: Thomas Harris

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Horror/Crime/Thriller

Page Length: 464 pages

After watching Hannibal on Netflix, I found myself itching to know more. I decided to delve into the world of Thomas Harris and explore this dark world from the beginning.

I was entertained that this first Hannibal story was the beginning, and yet it was the ending for the TV/streaming show.

The show followed the book closely, with only a few changes that I noticed. I found the story engaging, though the show added an even darker element to the tale. Overall, I was satisfied with the adventure and I am considering continuing the series.

You can find the story on Amazon in multiple formats.

Synopsis: FBI agent Will Graham once risked his sanity to capture Hannibal Lecter, an ingenious killer like no other. Now, he’s following the bloodstained pattern of the Tooth Fairy, a madman who’s already wiped out two families.

To find him, Graham has to understand him. To understand him, Graham has only one place left to go: the mind of Dr. Lecter.

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Decoding Your Dog – American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Title: Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones

Author: American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Reprint: Mariner Books; Reprint edition

Genre: Non-fiction/Dogs/Animals

Page Length: 384 pages

I read this book at the request of an animal behaviorist I saw regarding my own pup who has anxiety.

In truth, I am not the average reader, as I have past experience working in animal environments where I learned many of the elements that are covered in this book.

Regardless, even for someone who is not a newbie to dog behavior, I found nuggets of wisdom within this text. Additionally, I feel this book is a good reminder/guide for all dog owners, especially those who may be seeing some strange behavior from their Fido.

This was an easy to read and understand dog behavior bible that all dog owners would benefit from exploring. It is one of the better texts I have come across regarding this topic.

If you are a dog owner, I feel it is worth your time. While I read the first edition, you can find a reprint on Amazon.

Synopsis: More than ninety percent of dog owners consider their pets to be members of their family. But often, despite our best intentions, we are letting our dogs down by not giving them the guidance and direction they need. Unwanted behavior is the number-one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups.

The key to training dogs effectively is first to understand why our dogs do what they do. And no one can address this more authoritatively than the diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, whose work, the culmination of years of rigorous training, takes them deep into the minds of dogs in an effort to decode how they think, how they communicate, and how they learn.

In Decoding Your Dog, these experts analyze problem behaviors, decipher the latest studies, and correct common misconceptions and outmoded theories. The book includes:

• Effective, veterinary-approved positive training methods
• Expert advice on socialization, housetraining, diet, and exercise
• Remedies for behavior problems such as OCD and aggression

With Decoding Your Dog the experts’ experts deliver a must-have dog behavior guide that ultimately challenge the way we think about our dogs
.

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Bone Crier’s Moon – Kathryn Purdie

Title: Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1)

Author: Kathryn Purdie

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Genre: Fantasy/YA/Romance

Page Length: 480 pages

A unique tale of love and French mythology that strains and captures the heart in one.

I thoroughly enjoyed this reading adventure, as it contains all the important elements of YA fantasy. Purdie captures the essence of wanting a parents approval while balancing the growing need to be independent and self-expressed. A sisterhood story that promotes strong female characterization and the intricacies and drama that can ignite.

The story revealed itself with some surprises and I am left hungry for more.

You can find the story on Amazon in multiple format.

Synopsis: Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

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Winter – Marissa Meyer

Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Science Fiction/Romance
Page Length: 827 pages

Finally, I am getting close to finishing this series. Just two shorter books left! I am not a fan of extended series, but I am glad that Winter kept me engaged and excited to see what would happen on the next page. This is truly a creative take on the Snow White fairytale that will keep you on your toes.

If you like genre mixes that reinvent the old stories of yore, then I think you will enjoy this series and this installment as much as I have.

You can find the story on Amazon in multiple formats.

I have been reading from the 2015 edition box set.

Synopsis: Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She’s said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana…

When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin.

But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter claim their happily ever afters by defeating Levana once and for all?

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Finale – Stephanie Garber

Title: Finale (Caraval series #3)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Romance
Page Length: 478 pages

I rushed to finish the Caraval series, jumping head first into the final installment.

The final chapters split themselves between both Scarlett and Donatella this time, as their stories came to an end. My only gripe is that I started to feel there were perhaps too many love triangles going on.

It was just as magical as the last two books, except this one even ran a bit darker.

You can find the story on Amazon in multiple formats.

Synopsis: A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time—only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

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#Bookstagram Special Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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@km.randall

Back in the day, book covers always had the same power to grab you, but especially today in YA today, there’s a focus on making a cover visually stunning. Cover reveals are nothing short of magic if you’re a book lover. I find that vivid colors make bookstagramming especially fun. Here’s one of the latest in my collection of growing book art.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw was a compelling story that felt original while also pulling in various components from tales of mermaids, witches, and ghost stories. Of course, while the antagonists in this aren’t mermaids, Ernshaw crafted in the power of the siren. I’m a sucker for any stories having to do with the sea, it’s still so unknown and vast that it teems with possibilities. This is a love story, a ghost story, a story about loss, a story about friendship, a story about free will, and how one can remake oneself out of ashes.


“It’s as predictable as the tide and the moon. It ebbs and flows.

Death comes and it goes.”
—The Wicked Deep

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Legendary – Stephanie Garber

Title: Legendary (Caraval series #2)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Romance
Page Length: 451 pages

During this strange time in all of our lives, I came prepared with a slew of books to read. Legendary was in that stack.

This story continued the tale of the Dragna sisters, as they delve deeper into the world of Caraval and all its magical mysteries.

I was thrilled to see a different side of the story, this time told by Donatella, the younger and the feistiest of the two.

Similarly to the first book, the storyline is about exploration of love and finding inner power. It has a tad of family drama and our favorite love triangles to keep us at the edge of our seat.

It was fun, dark, magical, romantic and penetrating. I love this series, and I am thrilled to find another author to add to my list of favourites.

You can find the story on Amazon in multiple formats.

Synopsis: A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice, but now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever…

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.

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