Book reviews for 2018

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My original reading challenge for 2018 was to read 60 books. Well, I read 60 books and upped my challenge to 80, then 100. By the end of New Year’s Eve, I had read 106 books for the year. This number does not include the children’s books I read with my daughter.

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In 2018, I read many novels written by independent authors, such as myself. These stories are just as good as (and many times better than) traditionally published work The top five were:

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  1. When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann. This novel pulled me in fast, made me cry, made me see hope, and made me cry again before a satisfying ending. I stumbled upon the novel and have now read several others by the author but none I have loved as much as this one.
  2. Fiendish by Meka James. Wow. This book was probably the scariest I’ve ever read, and I grew up on Stephen King. A modern-day take on Beauty and the Beast with an emphasis on “beast.” Trigger warning: This novel contains graphic depictions of male on female domestic abuse.
  3. Waiting for Wyatt by S.D. Hendrickson. I am a sucker for contemporary romance. A guy in pain who uses all his energy to care for dogs no one else wants and a girl desperate to save the guy and a dog, what’s not to love?
  4. 6 in the Styx by Brad Carl. Six off-the-wall stories, each one crazier and more demented than the next. A perfect quick-read from a talented indie author. Not for the faint of heart.
  5. Broken Tomorrows by KT Daxon. Although this novel is no longer available, it is the child of a new author who took a chance on her dream and then needed to reset and reevaluate her goals for a while. This was a well-written first novel about love and loss. The love the author had for her characters bled from each page. I hope the author decides to write again in the future.

Of course, I read many traditionally published novels last year as well. My top-ten are below:

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Day 7: Countdown of my favorite love songs (message to new lover)

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Welcome to day seven of my ten-day series of Valentine’s Day inspired blog posts. Yesterday, I wrote about my favorite pour your heart out songs. Today’s songs are all messages to a new love, as in don’t give up on me, help me heal, let me help you heal, etc.

These are songs for when you’re in love again after heartache, when someone’s in love with you after heartache, or when you love someone who’s had their heart broken. Half the heart is ready to love again, but the other half is still in a dark shadow, stuck in the past hurt.

The first song perfectly describes how I felt when I was falling in love with my then-boyfriend, now husband, Jonathan.
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Day 3: Countdown of my favorite love songs (for the brokenhearted)

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Welcome to day three of my ten-day series of Valentine’s Day inspired blog posts. Yesterday, I shared my favorite bittersweet breakup songs. Today’s feature is songs for the brokenhearted. These are songs for people who are heartbroken because they wanted the relationship to last forever but their partner had other plans. Songs for when you miss someone. Songs for when your love is unrequited.

Unrequited love was the worst pain I ever experienced in my young adult life from 18-21. Desperately loving someone who doesn’t love you back causes a myriad of emotions and debilitating pain in your soul that never goes away, even if it lessens over time. Below is a list of my top three broken heart songs.

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