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Trees and Minds

Girl from the Tree House Book Cover Girl from the Tree House
Women of our time Book 1
Gudrun Frerichs
psychological, thriller
Gudrun Frerichs
(21 May 2019)

It all unraveled at the funeral...

Horace Reid's death opened the door to our freedom. His widow, Elizabeth, exists only on paper. She disappeared thirty years ago. It's us, the Tribe, who live in her body now. But nobody knows that. Us are Elise, the reluctant host, Lilly the closer, Ama, the proverbial mother, Sky, our wise guide, Amadeus, the warrior, and Luke, the man around the house. There are others, but we make sure they stay hidden and away from harm.

After Horace's funeral, they tried to lock us in a mental hospital. Our sister-in-law had it all carefully planned. Thanks to quick thinking—yes, being a multiple has its advantages—we escaped to New Zealand's South Island. Tucked away in the West Coast wilderness we... well, the plan was to continue our healing. We didn't expect that monsters from our past still had us on their radar. When the police accuse us of murder we have to run again. Where to go, which way to turn? Our neighbor Scott appears helpful, but can we trust him? Can we trust ourselves? Can we trust anyone?

The GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE is the first of a series of psychological thrillers set in current day New Zealand. It describes how Elizabeth, a thirty-two-year-old woman with multiple personalities (Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID), fights for her sanity and freedom. Four core personalities tell the story from the inside out, giving a touching insight into the workings of the dissociated mind. There are no graphic descriptions of abuse.

Gudrun Frerichs is a retired psychotherapist and trauma specialist in the field of (sexual) abuse recovery. She successfully worked with many clients who had a DID diagnosis. Recovery from trauma and dissociation has been the focus of her Master's dissertation (2000) and Ph.D. thesis (2008) and is also the topic of her blog Multiple Voices. THE GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE is a spectacular departure from her romance series THE GOLDEN GIRLS.

Whilst written by a psychotherapist she failed to completely proofread the book for terms spelt incorrectly. Which is a shame as this will confuse those readers who are not of her community.

Multiple personalities do exist in the DID world but it is rarer than most fiction writers would have us believe. Nevertheless, as this book is written by a psychotherapist, what we get here, is an amalgam of her true experiences with such patients. 
For someone like me, who is not an expert, this is fascinating. And yes, ECT is still used occasionally it seems. But childhood trauma is so often a cause of dissociating as Miss Marple says- it is a normal response, to any trauma in fact. 
And our narrator says she belongs to a Tribe, not all of whom are female. And only 1 got married.

This is not light reading, but it is thought provoking, especially in relation to our own internal worlds. We all have them. And, in the right circumstances, we can hold two contradictions as equally true and valid. Do we have more
than one personality? It often seems so. There is the way we interact with strangers, which is different from our interactions within family, and which may be different from how we interact with rich or poor or famous people.
So 5 stars for tackling a difficult issue- and think on- there are a very high percentage of prisoners with trauma related mental health problems which cause them to have difficulty operating in 'normal' society.

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Steeley?

Seduced By A Steele (Mills & Boon Desire) (Forged of Steele, Book 12) Book Cover Seduced By A Steele (Mills & Boon Desire) (Forged of Steele, Book 12)
Brenda Jackson
Fiction, Romance, Womens' Fiction
HarperCollins UK
March 5, 2020
192

A notorious heartbreaker is about to meet his match... When the “thief” caught driving his stolen vintage car turns out to be a stunning runaway heiress, Mercury Steele is conflicted. On the one hand, Sloane Donahue triggers the billionaire playboy’s protective instincts. But she also triggers red-hot desire

Well I thought that these weren’t the first in the series about the Steele family, and checking on Amazon I find that they are books 12 and 13 in the series...
But that in the Kimani imprint (African American novels only) there is a number 89 in the series! So the story goes on...
These 2 novels take on the romances of the 2 youngest of the 6 sons of the family.
Whilst I thought these 2 books were reasonable for their genre, with gentle humour and nice story-telling, I found them rather short. But then if Brenda is turning out the numbers of books she is, she can’t write a longer length novel each time. And it may also be the norm for this imprint.
This left me wanting more depth from the characters and the stories.
Adequate but not exceptional.

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An Ex-wife to come?

Dear Future Ex-wife Book Cover Dear Future Ex-wife
Jillian Quinn
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Independently published
(15 April 2020)

I, Harley McQueen, do not take Nathan King to be my husband…

I wish I could say no to this wedding. But to save our fathers’ company, my ex-best friend needs a fake bride to bail him out of his latest scandal.

Nate has a reputation with women.

I want the promotion my father has denied me for years.

Together, maybe we can make this fake marriage work.

As long as I don’t fall in love with him…

Again.

   

EXCERPT:  

 “Hey there, Queen,” Nate says as he approaches me with a wicked smile on his handsome face. “You look happy to see me,” he jokes, wiggling his eyebrows.

 My throat closes up at the sight of him. His dark, wavy hair is gelled and styled to perfection. Tall and muscular, he fills out every inch of the navy suit that molds to his body. Women drool over him now, but I know the nerdy boy who had hair that would never stay put. His teeth were such a mess, he wore braces until our sophomore year of high school. And for a few years, I was several inches taller than Nate. But now, when he leans in to hug me, he has to dip down to meet my height.

 He towers over me, his masculine scent filling my nostrils as he kisses my cheek. My skin tingles from the unexpected contact. Heat rushes to my face, which is now on fire from his delicate touch. He’s only doing this because he knows I won’t make a scene in front of our families. Nate takes every opportunity he gets to irritate me.

 For as much as I hate him, I still miss him. So, when I hug him back it’s a real one. I don’t want to let him go, and the feeling seems to be mutual.

 Nate clutches me, his fingers digging into my back. “You look good,” he whispers against the shell of my ear, sending chills down my arms. “I can see the Pilates paid off.”

 I gasp at his comment.

 Nate laughs in response.

  Damn him .

 I hate showing that he has any effect on me. More than anything I wish he didn’t have a single ounce of control over me. But he does.

 Nate tugs on a strand of my hair, twirling it around his finger. He did this when we were kids because he thought it was funny when I slapped him. My former best friend was an oddball. And now, he’s doing it to torment me. Men like Nate can smell desire on women. He damn well knows I think he’s hot. Nate looks like a walking orgasm in his expensive, silky suit that was tailor-made for him. Everything about him screams sex and money.

 “Let’s get started,” my dad says, snapping me back to reality.

 I flick Nate’s finger, and he drops his hand to his side. He stares me down with his hauntingly beautiful eyes. When I turn my back to Nate, Stefan is still standing behind the chair he rolled out from the table for me.

 Nate sits across from me, though no amount of space is enough because I can practically feel the heat from his gaze rolling down my arms. Our parents get comfortable at the heads of the table, my dad to my left and Richard on the right. Nate’s wingtip hits my heel under the table. I ignore him as he taps me again. A few seconds later, his silky dress sock slides up my calf. I stare across the table at him, and he challenges me with one look.

  Do it , his eyes demand.  Fight me, Queen .

 I hold my breath when his foot grazes my inner thigh. His gaze is pointed down the table at my dad, but I don’t miss the corner of Nate’s mouth lifting slightly into a satisfied smirk. He wants to play with me.

  Game on, King .

Author Bio:

 Jillian Quinn is an international bestselling author of contemporary romance. Her books are light and funny but also on the steamy side. So, don’t be surprised if you have to fan yourself with your Kindle.

 As a lover of coffee and a collector of book boyfriends, you can find Jillian most days, thinking about her next romance novel as she pours another cup.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16088454.Jillian_Quinn

https://www.facebook.com/jquinnbooks

https://www.instagram.com/jquinnbooks

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Pixie Pie

PIXIELAND DIARIES | Book Cover PIXIELAND DIARIES |
Pixieland Diaries Book 1
by Christina Bauer
Sci Fi & Fantasy Teens & YA
Monster House Books
31 Mar 2020

If you don’t like pixies, don’t read this diary. If you don’t like loud-mouthed pixies who are really cool but sometimes get told they’re immature (for no reason), then definitely stop reading. Oh, and if you’re His Awfulness The Elf Prince ‘Dare’ Darius, then you can kiss my butt. My hatred for you burns with the fire of a thousand suns. Thanks for getting me kicked out of Pixieland and exiled to attend some rando human high school on Earth. You’re the worst, even if you have a cute smile. And nice eyes. Your hair looks okay sometimes, too. But you’re still a creep and I loathe you. And to everyone else: if you’ve read this far, then you better finish my entire diary. My story is supernatural, whacked-out, and overall awesome.

Such a cute (not) Pixie growing up with 2 extremely elderly parents inside an acorn – but she has change her size dramatically to fit in. Yes, this Pixie can be multiple sizes. And she is caught up in the usual wars between Fairy Courts, PixieLand and and others of the Fae persuasion.

She is now coming into her majority – which is quite young, but she has been training for more time than others realise and has some very interesting abilities – including being able to manipulate Ley lines. And she proves to have a lot of power and oomph when needed. Not as sweet as her enemies believed.

It seems, according to the Lore, that if you live near Ley Lines – as her village does – humans can have Changeling children, and that is what she believes she is.

This is a rather cute YA story. Well told with lots of magic and suitable storytelling for this age group. Written as a journal with self-reflection.

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‘Gone Away: Call back sometime’.

Gone Gods Book Cover Gone Gods
Gone Gods World
Ramy Vance (RE Vance)
Fantasy FairyTales Folklore Humour Urban
Keep Evolving Studios

The gods are gone. All of them.

Their last message to humanity was: "Thank you for believing in us, but it is not enough. We're leaving. Good luck." At first, no one took them seriously. Until, that is, all the denizens of all the heavens and hells started showing up on people's doorsteps.

Creatures once thought of as myth are now refugees striving to adapt to life on Earth. Trouble is, after eons of living forever they're not very good at being mortal.

The following are just a few of their stories ...

LADY GAGA MUST DIE
The one who calls herself Lady Gaga must die.

Lady Gaga must be destroyed, killed—erased. Her insult is too great, her proclamation too inordinate, her aplomb too brazen to be ignored.

Lady Gaga must die because of the claim that she—a mere mortal—is to marry the Night! She proclaims this in song and poetry—just as any houri would do when preparing for battle.

This obscenity cannot go unpunished!

MIC THE LEPRECHAUN
Murtagh the Leprechaun hates his mortality.

Death, in his modest opinion, is just no fun.

Then again, so much about living in the GoneGod world isn’t fun. But such is Murtagh’s lot—not much you can do when the god Manannnan Mic Lir boots you to Earth and closes Mag Mell on a whim.

Who would have thought of such a thing? Heaven closing? Well, not Heaven Heaven, but the earthly paradise that was Murtagh’s home. That place was supposed to be forever, just like Murtagh was supposed to live forever.

Now forever has an expiration date, and for Murtagh … well, the life that’s left in his bones may expand centuries yet, but it, too, has an expiration date swiftly approaching its shelf life.

So Murtagh does his best to live healthy, not get into fights, look both ways before he crosses any street and generally doesn’t do anything that could cause an early demise.

In other words, Murtagh is bored, bored, bored.

This is no life for a leprechaun.
Set in the same universe as Mortality Bites & Keep EvolvingHouse of the GoneGod Damned! follows the lives of the Others as they struggle with their mortality. If you like Linsey Hall, Shannon Mayer, CN Crawford, Ilona Andrews, AL Knorr, or Patricia Briggs, you will LOVE House of the GoneGod Damned!

The Gods have taken a hike! Yes, all the Gods.
Except it turns out- the God of all Insects - and that causes trouble later.
This series, new to me, by Ramy Vance AKA RE Vance_ who sometimes write together- don't ask- posits a new Apocalyptic world. All those mythologies were accurate. But as soon as the Gods decide they've got bored and have moved on, magical creatures all become mortal. And appear on Earth. Often in a rather unexpected manner. And all at the exact same time. Angels fallout of Heaven. Demons fall out of Hell. Of all religions. Fairies, elves, pixies, dwarves appear. The Monster under the Bed is real, every mythological creature; from every culture becomes mortal, and has to find somewhere to live, and away to pay for food and lodging.
This multibook series of series about the GoneGodworld is rich in mythical creatures trying to adapt to a Human and mortal world.
There are heroes and Heroes. Heroines, villains and villainesses. Evil Doers to be vanquished. Great Deeds to be Done. And set in a modern world across different, but mostly north American, scenes, expectations and situations.
I have binged read these books and cannot wait for more to be written_ of all series. Kat. Jean-luc Ela or Dragon Girl. And I rather suspect that Marc will have a series too in the future. Each main character brings something new to the story, and can be read as standalone series or combined. Your choice.
5 stars for originality. Humour.Tristesse. Empathy.Snark. And sheer addictive fun.

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