“The Female of the Species” by Mindy McGinnis

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“The Female of the Species”

Genre: YA/Social & Family Issues/Sexual Abuse/Violence

Release Date: September 20, 2016

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2017 Tayshas List Selection * YALSA Top 10 Best YA Fiction of 2017 * School Library Journal Best of 2016 * Junior Library Guild Selection * The Globe and Mail Best Books of 2016 * Bustle’s Best Young Adult Books of 2016 * Mashable’s 8 Best YA Books of 2016 * Seventeen‘s 10 Best YA Books of 2016 * CCBC Choices 2017

Edgar Award-winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a relentless and riveting contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives. A stunning, unforgettable page-turner.

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.

Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

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“Saving Babe Ruth (Prequel to the Lawyer David Thompson Series)” by Tom Swyers

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“Saving Babe Ruth (Prequel to the Lawyer David Thompson Series)

Genre: Literature & Fiction/Social & Family Issues/Bullying

Release Date: June 27, 2014

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Going down swinging is not an option . . .

Survival is the name of the game when two obsessed men teeter on the cusp of madness in a war over a kids’ baseball field in this thriller based on a true story.

Travel baseball promoter Rob Barkus has a full bench. He’s backed by a corrupt board of directors, a sports-fixated high school administration, and a mob of crazy travel baseball parents. He’ll stop at nothing to kill the town’s sandlot baseball league so that his elite travel teams can take over its beautiful Babe Ruth baseball field.

The only obstacle between Barkus and his field of dreams is David Thompson, a Civil War buff, and burned-out lawyer. When Thompson steps up to save the crumbling league for his son and the rest of the sandlot players in town, Barkus unleashes a cunning and ruthless attack against David, his family, and his teenaged league of misfit players.

Thompson is outnumbered and surrounded. He’s like a man who walked into quicksand. The harder he struggles to save the league, the deeper he sinks. On top of it all, Thompson is stuck in a family Catch-22. If he surrenders, he might lose his son’s love along with his own self-respect, not to mention losing the game of summer for the sandlot kids in town. Yet if he doesn’t back down, it threatens his marriage and deprives his son of any chance to play on the high school team.

Thompson is on an emotional roller coaster and he can’t get off. He is fighting his own civil war as he struggles to make a difference in the town he cherishes without harming the family he loves.

Standing alone and pushed to his breaking point, he needs to figure out when to fold and when to fight. One thing is for sure: if he finally snaps, he won’t take any prisoners.

Captivating characters lead double lives and keep secrets in this award-winning page-turner, laced with humor, about a man who takes a stand and risks it all to make a difference in a world gone mad.

New York Times bestselling author Margot Livesey says Swyers “has created a man for all seasons” in David Thompson and calls Saving Babe Ruth “an absorbing and compulsively readable novel.”

In a foreword, Babe Ruth’s grandson, Tom Stevens, calls Saving Babe Ruth a “great story.”

Read Saving Babe Ruth as the prequel to the Lawyer David Thompson Series which starts with The Killdeer Connection as the first book. The Killdeer Connection was selected as a 2017 winner in Amazon’s international Kindle Scout writing competition.

Saving Babe Ruth is an Amazon multiple category bestseller.

Gold Winner,  Benjamin Franklin Award, 2015 “Best First Book: Fiction.”
Silver Winner, Benjamin Franklin Award, 2015 “Best Popular Fiction.”
Readers Views, “Best Regional Fiction 2014/2015: Northeast.”
Finalist, “Best New Fiction,” 2014 USA Best Book Awards.

“I See London, I See France” by Sarah Mlynowski


I See London cover

“I See London, I See France

Release Date: July 11, 2017

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“This endlessly fun and hugely entertaining romp through Europe had me laughing out loud and reaching for my passport.” —Jennifer E. Smith, author of Windfall

A POPSUGAR Best Young Adult Novel of 2017

Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and a half weeks traveling through Europe with her childhood best friend Leela. Their plans include Eiffel Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers.

Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend’s très hot friend, monitoring her mother’s spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug of war.

In this hilarious and unforgettable adventure, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski tells the story of a girl learning to navigate secret romances, thorny relationships, and the London Tube. As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving, and when to jump into the Riviera…wearing only her polka dot underpants.


Sarah Mlynowski is the author of Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have), Don’t Even Think About It, Bras & Broomsticks, the New York Times bestselling Whatever After books, and more. Her books have been translated into 29 languages and optioned to Hollywood. Sarah has taken many road trips and gotten lost on every one of them.

” Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry and Getting on the Road to Recovery” by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin #Spotlight

by Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

Genre: Nonfiction/Medical

Release Date: May 9, 2017

The acclaimed author of Carved in Sand—a veteran investigative journalist who endured persistent back pain for decades—delivers the definitive book on the subject: an essential examination of all facets of the back pain industry, exploring what works, what doesn’t, what may cause harm, and how to get on the road to recovery.

In her effort to manage her chronic back pain, investigative reporter Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent years and a small fortune on a panoply of treatments. But her discomfort only intensified, leaving her feeling frustrated and perplexed. As she searched for better solutions, she exposed a much bigger problem. Costing roughly $100 billion a year, spine medicine—often ineffective and sometimes harmful —exemplified the worst aspects of the U.S. health care system.

The result of six years of intensive investigation, Crooked offers a startling look at the poorly identified risks of spine medicine, and provides practical advice and solutions. Ramin interviewed scores of spine surgeons, pain management doctors, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists, chiropractors, specialized bodywork practitioners. She met with many patients whose pain and desperation led them to make life-altering decisions, and with others who triumphed over their limitations.

The result is a brilliant and comprehensive book that is not only important but essential to millions of back pain sufferers, and all types of health care professionals. Ramin shatters assumptions about surgery, chiropractic methods, physical therapy, spinal injections and painkillers, and addresses evidence-based rehabilitation options—showing, in detail, how to avoid therapeutic dead ends, while saving money, time, and considerable anguish. With Crooked, she reveals what it takes to outwit the back pain industry and get on the road to recovery.

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“Tight Rope” by Sahar Abdulaziz #CoverReveal

“Tight Rope”

Author: Sahar Abdulaziz

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Suspense

Release Date: June 1, 2017

In a socially and politically divided country after the presidential election, activist and American Muslim Nour Ibrahim prepares to deliver a speech at an anti-hate rally condemning the surge of attacks against people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and anyone else deemed different or disposable. As her inbox overflows with racist, xenophobic threats, she struggles to remain focused, refusing to give in to the fear. Concerns for her safety during the speech mount as one ruthless stalker escalates his terror campaign. Bitter and blinded by hate, he’s not satisfied with merely keeping Nour from speaking out: he threatens to silence her for good.

Stressed by the impending rally, a stabbing pain in her gut, and an Internet psycho who has her in his crosshairs, Nour begins to wonder—which one will kill her first?

Available soon on Amazon and Fofky’s Online Book Café

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“Self-Serve Murder (Death by Cupcake #3)” by D.E. Haggerty #Review

Death by Cupcake #3

“Self-Serve Murder (Death by Cupcake #3)”

by D.E. Haggerty

Genre: Cozy/Mystery/Humor

Release Date: December 5, 2016

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4/5 Stars!

#TeamKristie

Though little more than a supporting character in the first two Death by Cupcake books, Kristie Larson is a standout in Self-Serve Murder, the third book in the series.

The youngest of the daring trio (which includes Callie and Anna) from Callie’s Cakes, Kristie is, IMHO, the most mature…or at least she doesn’t act on impulse…much. And while she seems timid, you already know there’s more to Kristie than meets the eye considering her ‘job’ and commitment to an inner-city youth center.

These ladies seem to have a knack for finding dead bodies, and in Kristie’s case, she wakes up next to one!

(Totally appropriate to freak out at this point.)

A frazzled Kristie is soon ruled out of any involvement in the murder when test results show she was drugged. However, she did know the deceased, and wonders if his death is related to something sinister Kristie was looking into – the drugging and sexual assaults of young women who all happen to be in the Social Work program…like Kristie. So, who’s responsible?

Enter Callie and Anna to help solve the case! *Overly dramatic eye roll* I like these two, honestly, but they’re just a bit too over-the-top for me some of the time.

But, Kristie…she’s not (quite) from the same ilk. She’s more focused, and keeps things closer to the breast – the proof being the major secret she’s kept from everyone, including her best buds/workmates.

While Kristie needs to know what happened to her and Dick (the dead guy) and find out if it’s all related to the sexual assaults, she’d rather keep Lucy and Ethel, er, Callie and Anna…and everyone else away from the case…lest her secret comes out.

Of course, Kristie doesn’t get what she wants.

At the risk of angering their police detective significant others, Callie and Anna commence with the investigation plans. Kristie is more thoughtful…and tactful. Finding and gaining access to a private online forum for sexual assault victims, Kristie attempts to build a friendship with another member. She doesn’t necessarily get the information she’s after, but this connection will bring a big reveal Kristie never saw coming.

A couple of suspicious characters keep popping up at the unlikeliest of times, but when the villain is revealed, it’s #TeamKristie all the way. She’s shocked…and caught off guard, but when she realizes who’s standing before her…I wanted to stand up and cheer. I may have screamed, “YOU GO, GIRL!” It was awesome, and I subconsciously apologized to Kristie over and over again for underestimating her in previous reads.

Self-Serve Murder is a good read. Kudos and much respect to the author for tackling such a sensitive, yet timely issue.

Two things kept this from being a five-star for me – 1) the passive/aggressive relationships of Callie/Ben and Anna/Logan. One minute they’re all “We do what we want”, and the next they’re being chastised and plopped on their men’s laps with threats of spankings, and 2) Tyler’s aggressive behavior with Kristie. For me, it was too much too soon considering what happened to his sister, and for not only what Kristie went through, but the fact she was still an ‘innocent.’ It’s okay to be concerned, protective, and interested, but being so ‘hands-on’ right from the start isn’t.

It’s still Kristie’s show, though. Her internal thoughts were quite telling as to who she is. While she may have been falling victim to a case of insta-love, and hesitant to speak, she did eventually say the words, “I belong to no one.”

And that brings the story full circle and cements the vileness of the villain because he took away women’s right to choose. Good stuff!

You could read this as a standalone, but I don’t recommend you do. Reading books one and two will help you to understand more of the conversations, how the other two couples got together…and see just how awesome Kristie Larson truly is!

Enjoy!