Blog Tour and #bookreview #Ourstolenchild by #MelissaWiesner #invitro

I grip my husband’s hand tight. The doctor is frowning. “Mr and Mrs Marcello… I’m so sorry.” She tells us there’s been a terrible mistake. Our last embryo—our last chance—was accidentally given to someone else. The child we made four years ago calls another woman “Mommy.”

Quinn cries silent tears as she folds a tiny knitted cardigan, bought in a moment of hope, and packs it away. All she’s ever wanted is to be a mother. Although her husband James brings her comfort, the knowledge they have no embryos left, and that their child is out there being raised by another family, is tearing them both apart.

When the lawyers tell them there’s a chance to get custody, James is unsure. But Quinn knows she has to take it: if only to look her little girl in the eyes, just once. Meeting Emily and the woman who raised her, Quinn’s heart cracks wide open. Emily looks just like Quinn, right down to her curly hair. And when the little girl flings her arms around Quinn’s waist, she can’t shake the feeling this is where Emily is meant to be.

As the two families reckon with an unimaginable decision, a secret from James’ past surfaces… one that forces Quinn to question everything she thought she wanted. But how will they decide what’s right for the little girl they all love so dearly? And where does Emily truly belong?

BOOK REVIEW

Our Stolen Child grabs you right at the beginning and will not let you go. Quinn and her husband James are trying desperately to have a child, but their attempts at invitro fertilization have failed. Quinn is about to embark on their final chance with their one last embryo when she is given the worst possible news. The embryo was accidentally given to someone else and is now an almost four-year-old girl.

Quinn’s reaction and the devastation of both families will rip your heart out. The battles that evolve from this, both legal and emotional, kept me glued to the page. Then secrets emerge that take this book to another level as Quinn tries to decide what is best for Emily. The unimaginable situation, the ethical impact, and the murky secrets revolving around James make this a “must keep reading now” type of book. When I finally set this book down, I had finished it. Gripping, powerful, and compelling, Our Stolen Child will keep you mesmerized until the end.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Thank you to Bookouture for a chance to read this fine novel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Wiesner is a night-owl who began writing novels about five years ago when her early-to-bed family retired for the evening. In 2019, she won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award in the Mainstream Fiction Category for her first novel. Melissa holds two Master’s Degrees in Public Health and Community Agency Counseling. Her day job is in Social Work where she often encounters people knocked down by hard times but who pick themselves up and keep going, just like the characters of her novels. Melissa lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her charming husband and two adorable children.

MELISSA’S WEBSITE

INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

BUY LINKS

Amazon | Amazon UK

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Child I Never Had #Adoption #Family

BOOK DESCRIPTION

If you had to make an impossible choice to save your long-lost daughter, you would… wouldn’t you?

It’s a warm early summer’s evening when Mia’s doorbell rings. She opens the door to see a teenage girl standing in the shadow beyond the porch light—and in an instant she knows who it is. Daisy, the daughter she gave up as a baby. Daisy steps forward, as she says tearfully “I’m sorry I didn’t call first. But something happened. And I really needed… you.”

Seventeen years before, knowing she couldn’t possibly give her beautiful little girl Daisy the future she deserved, Mia made the hardest decision of her life—to give her up. And Suzanne seemed the perfect adoptive mother: calm, stable, and full of love for the daughter she’d always dreamed of having.

The two mothers promised to keep communication open, so Daisy could have Mia’s love and support along with Suzanne’s. But as the years passed, Mia moved away, and their visits happened less. Now Daisy is almost a stranger to Mia—angry, closed and broken—nothing like the tiny girl she once couldn’t bear to say goodbye to.

But now Daisy has arrived on Mia’s doorstep, and she says she has a terrible secret. One she can never tell Suzanne. And she believes the only person who can help her is Mia. Her birth mother.

Mia, however, has secrets of her own. Ones she is afraid to let Daisy or anyone else know. And while Suzanne desperately seeks a way to bring her child home, can Mia overcome her past to help the girl they both call their daughter in her darkest hour before it’s too late?

BOOK REVIEW

This is a really comprehensive look at open adoption through the eyes of the child, Daisy, the adoptive mother, Suzanne, and the birth mother Mia. Different events in their lives are seen from the point of view of each of them. Suzanne holds nagging fear that her daughter will leave her. Mia feels guilt over not staying in touch with Daisy as much as she should. And Daisy is angry at everyone. When Daisy abruptly leaves and goes to find Mia, everything comes to a head.

The story is compelling and keeps you turning the page. The characters are well developed and interesting, and the plot is complex, with a surprise at the end. There were many flashbacks, which I felt were overdone. Other than that, this was a captivating read.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives. 

BUY LINKS

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Apple
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Audio Links:

UK
US

Book Review: Finding Sisters

Rebecca Daniels was adopted by loving parents and had little interest in searching for her biological family until much later in life. When she did begin her search, she used DNA testing and some of the various genealogical sites such as Ancestry.com to make connections with distant relatives and begin her search for the truth.

I found this to be a very interesting story of a quest to find biological connections and most especially the stories behind them. While DNA is incredibly helpful in finding lost family, it does not always provide all the answers, and investigation has to be done. Daniels provides a thorough history of her investigation, what she learned, and the connections she made along the way.

The story is not as full of emotion as I personally may have wanted. It is more analytical and detailed in nature. The author explains the reason for that and her somewhat emotionally detached personality, and it is perfectly understandable. Since I am a very emotional person and thrive on emotional connections, it wasn’t quite as fulfilling for me as it might be for others. But for those who love a good puzzle and want to learn more about genealogical research, this will be an informative and enjoyable read.

I appreciated the section in the back of the book that provides information about available genealogical sites and the many options they offer.

I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Daniels

Rebecca Daniels (MFA, PhD) Rebecca Daniels taught performance, writing, and speaking in liberal arts universities for over 25 years, including St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, from 1992-2015. She was the founding producing director of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, OR, and directed with many professional Portland theatre companies in the 1980s. She is the author of the groundbreaking Women Stage Directors Speak (McFarland, 1996) and has been published in multiple professional theatre journals. In 2015, she retired from teaching and moved to the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts where, in 2018, she completed the manuscript for Keeping the Lights on for Ike, a book based on her father’s letter home from Europe during WWII, which was published in 2019 by Sunbury Press. In 2019, she also served as literary manager and co-producer for Silverthorne Theater Company in Greenfield, MA. Lately, she has been working on two full-length plays and recently completed a memoir called Finding Sisters (published by Sunbury Press in 2021) that explores how DNA testing helped her find her genetic parents and other relatives in spite of being given up for a closed adoption at birth. 

BUY LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book Review and Giveaway: Taken at Birth

GIVEAWAY

The winner of the giveaway was drawn randomly, and I’m pleased to announce it is Nancy B. Klein. Nancy has been contacted and I’ll be sending the book to her soon.

Taken At Birth by Jane Blasio is the story of Blasio’s struggle to find her birth family, as well as the birth families of hundreds of other people after finding out about a baby-selling operation in a small town in Georgia. It all revolved around a hometown doctor, Thomas J Hicks, in the small town of McCaysville, Georgia.

Blasio’s struggle with uncooperative townspeople and her own anger and loss of faith makes for a fascinating read. Her journey to find not just her family, but her faith again is poignant. Her determination to find out the truth from a town that was mostly unwilling to give it up is admirable. She details her anger at her own adoptive parents, who were unwilling to reveal much information until right before their deaths. The book contains stories of some of the birth mothers and their dealings with Dr. Hicks, and shows his heartless, selfish, and creepy personality very well. Overall, this is a compelling read. Anyone interested in true crime stories and stories of family separation will enjoy this book.

There is also a six episode series, Taken at Birth, which aired on TLC in 2019.

I received a free copy of this book from Baker Books. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Blasio

     
(In Her Own Words) My personal birth search, as well as acting as a search facilitator and representative for those sold by Doctor Thomas Hicks, has personalized my expertise and reputation. Today, I continue to assist those who are still bound to the Hicks Clinic and looking for answers. I’ve found most of what I was looking for, but not how I ended up at the clinic in the first place. The search of what happened in the clinic will not end until the deception which has marked everyone it touches, is burned off and truth restored. Truth that is owed to all of us lost and torn from the Hicks Clinic.

BUY TAKEN AT BIRTH

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

TARGET

BAKER PUBLISHING GROUP

Book Giveaway: Taken at Birth (A True Story)

I am giving away a hardback copy of Taken at Birth by Jane Blasio. This is the true story of a small town doctor in Georgia who would tell some of the pregnant mothers who came to his clinic that their babies had died or been aborted, and then sell them to parents who wanted to adopt. He did this for over 20 years. Jane Blasio is one of these babies. She began investigating and managed to find many of the other children affected. Through DNA tests, some of them found their birth parents and some are still looking for answers. This story of Jane’s quest for answers and the town that looked the other way has been on many major news networks.

In order to enter the giveaway, just comment below. I will be doing a random drawing on July 30th after 5 PM. I will post the review and giveaway on July 31st. This is a fascinating story, so be sure and enter the giveaway!

Once Upon a Rhyme

Dylan or “Oskie” has experienced great loss even prior to the recent passing of his father, Hollis, who was also his long-time coach.  This loss has made him hesitate to move forward, especially in love.  While cleaning out his father’s belongings, Oskie finds a book of poems written by his father.  As he begins to read them, memories come flooding back and he truly sees the importance of his father’s words.   Linda, his best friend’s Mom, also figures in the story and gives him a great example to follow. As a remarkable week passes and Dylan studies his father’s words, he learns three lessons that help him make sense of it all.

This is a heart-touching story about memories shared, lives lost, and the love that remains afterwards. It reminds us that memories can be so good that they hurt, and that it’s better to feel the hurt than shut out the memories.  I really connected with the character Linda, who lost her son to suicide.   She makes me think of a woman I personally know who lost her entire family, including her children, and yet she just radiates love, because she knows the secret.  Love is it.  It’s the only thing we take with us and the only thing that keeps growing after we die.

There are also two great adoptions in this story. Dylan’s son “Turbo” has already been adopted, and another adoption story begins to unfold. Coaching and sports figure heavily in this story as well. Dylan has followed in his father’s footsteps as a coach.

My only criticism is, in my opinion, there were too many nicknames for a fairly short story and I wasn’t fond of some of the nicknames.  I would advise readers to check the glossary of nicknames in the front of the book in order to avoid confusion.  However, that being said, this is a heartfelt story of love, loss, and lessons learned.   I would recommend it to all.  You can buy this story on Amazon for only 99 cents.  

I received a free gift copy from the author.  My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.  

BUY ONCE UPON A RHYME ON AMAZON

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CHECK OUT THE AVERAGE MAN’S ADVENTURE PODCAST BY THE AUTHOR TONY SARAGAS

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

The Choice I Made

REVIEW–BONNIE READS AND WRITES

Julie’s mother has had a stroke, and for weeks her father has said she is doing fine, but when Julie arrives for a weekend at their family’s Wisconsin resort, Wood Violet, she finds that her mother is not doing well and is not mobile. Despite the objections of her husband Tristan, Julie decides to stay and help out with her mother and the business for the summer. When she meets teenage Margaret, who is staying in an abandoned cabin and searching for her biological mother, Julie develops a connection with her. She also reconnects with her old friends, including her ex-boyfriend Chase. But secrets and lies come to the surface. Will it break them all apart?

This is was nice family story about supporting each other in the hard times and what happens when you don’t. Margaret’s search for her mother with Julie’s help is interesting. Julie’s connection to the woods, the cabins, and the area are heartfelt and believable, as is her strong desire to protect her family. However, the character Tristan is quite over the top. There were surprises that were not all that hard to figure out, but all in all this was an enjoyable family story with a touch of mystery and romance. Three and a half stars, rounded up to four.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia Ellingsen

Cynthia Ellingsen is an Amazon Charts bestselling author of contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature heartwarming characters and strong family connections, often with a touch of mystery. The Starlight Cove series, her best-known work, is available on audio and has been translated into several languages.

Cynthia began her writing career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles and now lives in Kentucky with her family.

https://www.cynthiaellingsen.com/

https://www.facebook.com/cynthiaellingsen

https://twitter.com/CynEllingsen

BUY THE BOOK



Buy Links:Amazon: https://bit.ly/2PwDulR

Apple: https://apple.co/2IOUVem

Kobo: https://bit.ly/34arE59

Google: http://bit.ly/3qfMHvs

TOUR ARRANGED BY BOOKOUTURE

The Edge of Belonging

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox is a multi-timeline novel set mostly in Tennessee. It shifts from 1994 to 1998-1999, and back to Present Day. 

In 1994, Harvey, homeless and living by the highway, finds an abandoned baby girl. He connects with her immediately, trying to care for her in his lean-to by the side of the road. Abandoned as a boy, he hopes to make a family with this lost little girl.

In the Present Day, Ivy, who is in an abusive relationship with a controlling fiance, returns home to Tennessee to settle her grandmother’s estate. Her grandmother has left her a message and pointed her to a journal which will explain more about her adoption. With the help of her friend Reese, she starts to try and find out more about the first three months of her life.

The beauty of this book lies in the simple message of family and what constitutes a family. Ivy’s family has always been her parents, her grandmother, and her Uncle Vee. But who are they really? 

This book also hits some hard issues. It looks at domestic abuse, sex trafficking, drug abuse, the foster care system, and PTSD. It shows how important it is to love each other, and how love can transform a life. And it shows how God answers prayers, but not always in the way you would expect. 

The Edge of Belonging is well written and hard to put down. The characters are so well developed that they will permanently touch your heart. The message of hope amid sorrow and tragedy abounds through the book. I highly recommend this to anyone who has experienced loss, or anyone who just wants to read a well written novel. 

I received a free copy of this book from Revell via Netgalley. My review is voluntary. 

Link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Belonging-Amanda-Cox-ebook/dp/B087RTNSCY/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+edge+of+belonging&qid=1601807858&sr=8-1

Link to the Author’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Cox/e/B084T7XPS5?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Link to my Goodreads Review (Please like it on Goodreads if you are so inclined):