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The Only Road: A Review by Veronica Jorge

January 22, 2022 by in category Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

THE ONLY ROAD

by

Alexandra Diaz

A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

2016   

ISBN 9781481457507

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When you’re a kid, the most you should have to stress over is doing your homework, and the biggest fear should be a zit in the middle of your forehead just before your birthday party. Not so for 12-year-old Jaime and his 15-year-old cousin Angela.

The Alpha Gang has targeted them to become new members–an order, not a choice. The death of Jaime’s cousin and Angela’s brother Miguel remains engraved in their memories, fresh and tangible proof of what will happen to them too if they refuse to join.

Alexandra Diaz’s realistic and tense drama takes us into the heart of Guatemala and the depths of despair as one close-knit family makes the gut-wrenching decision to send the two children away–in order to save their lives.

The money for the “fees” to travel to El Norte, sewn into the waistband of Jaime’s pants, weighs heavily upon him, along with the realization that his family has plunged deeper into debt for his sake. Now their future–and his–depends upon his making it to the United States.

Jaime and his cousin dodge rogue border guards and endure hunger, thirst, fear, prejudice and hostility as they travel illegally from Guatemala into Mexico and then, hopefully, into the United States.

In an age of peoples displaced due to wars and catastrophes, and controversy over immigration issues, this title serves as a reminder of the reasons why many leave their countries for the dream and promise of America. The Only Road, a Pura Belpre Honor Book, reminds the reader that sometimes flight is the only option, and that love, at times, demands great sacrifices.

(My review originally published by the Christian Library Journal; used with permission.)

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on February 22nd!

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THE LAST GOODNIGHT by Kat Martin—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

October 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , ,

The Last Goodnight

Kat Martin

Kensington Publishing Corp.

October 26, 2021  

ISBN 978-1-4967-3679-6

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The weather’s getting cooler. Falling leaves and changing colors begin the transition into a new season. Nature can be blustery, wild, destructive, regenerative, and unexpected. Like life, and the lives of the characters in Kat Martin’s new romantic thriller, The Last Goodnight.

Kade Logan never saw his wife, Heather, again after their divorce. Her disappearance always puzzled him. Until the day her murdered body had been found in the hills of Denver. Shoving aside his hurt feelings of betrayal from Heather’s unfaithfulness, he hires a private investigator to find her killer. But he never expected the P.I. would be Ellie Bowman; petite and gorgeous.

Ellie moves in to Kade’s Diamond Bar ranch in Coffee Springs, Colorado and works undercover as a cook, trying to narrow down the list of possible killers. At this point every friend, ranch hand, and town shopkeeper are suspects; including the sheriff, Glen Carver!

Kade and Ellie work the case while also trying to tame the growing attraction between them. Both divorced and victims of unfaithful spouses, they find trust and love elusive and frightening. But when Heather’s killer resurfaces and hones in on Ellie, they both realize the choice they must each make. Hopefully, before it’s too late.

So, grab a hot cup of brew and a throw and nestle into your cozy chair. The Last Goodnight will have you loving and rooting for handsome, powerful Kade and beautiful feisty Ellie where you’ll find that it’s not just murder and caffeine pounding through the town of Coffee Springs, Colorado.

Oh, and just so y’all know, I got dibs on Kade Logan.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on November 22nd!


Other Books by Kat Martin

(Hover over the covers for buy links. Click on the cover for more information.)

BEYOND CONTROL

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BEYOND CONTROL

BEYOND DANGER

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BEYOND DANGER

BEYOND REASON

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BEYOND REASON

COME MIDNIGHT

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COME MIDNIGHT

PIVOT

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PIVOT

SHADOWS AT DAWN

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SHADOWS AT DAWN

THE CONSPIRACY

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THE CONSPIRACY

THE DECEPTION

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THE DECEPTION

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

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THE LAST GOODNIGHT

THE LAST MILE

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THE LAST MILE

THE PERFECT MURDER

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THE PERFECT MURDER

THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

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THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL

WAIT UNTIL DARK

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WAIT UNTIL DARK

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BOOK REVIEW: MIGUEL’s BRAVE KNIGHT: YOUNG CERVANTES and HIS DREAM of Don Quixote

September 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

MIGUEL’s BRAVE KNIGHT: YOUNG CERVANTES and HIS DREAM of Don Quixote

by Margarita Engle

illustrated by Raul Colon

Peachtree Publishers, 2017  

ISBN 978-1561458561

A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

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I don’t know about you, but I could sure use a little good news; a happily-ever-after ending to a long tumultuous never-ending season. It’s not likely I’ll see the dust cloud of a hero riding in, or hear the sound of a trumpet blasting in victory.

Enter the picture book to the rescue to soothe, cheer and calm the heart with its hopeful words and uplifting illustrations. Which reminded me of a book I once reviewed and which I find to be pertinent to our times, all times; Miguel’s Brave Knight: Young Cervantes and His Dream of Don Quixote by Margarita Engle; illustrated by Raul Colon.

Fairytales make us believe that dreams can and do come true. But it was Don Quixote who dared brave the dragons, (that is windmills and obstacles), that imprison the treasures and beauty of life, in order to set them free.

In Miguel’s Brave Knight, the reader meets the boy Miguel de Cervantes. Born in 1547, and a contemporary of the English playwright William Shakespeare, Cervantes would become one of Spain and Latin America’s most important literary figures. Today the world knows him best as the creator of the idealistic, and sometimes foolish, Don Quixote, the Man of La Mancha. His character’s name has even become part of the English language; quixotic, which Webster’s dictionary defines as: foolishly impractical, especially in the pursuit of ideals.

Well-known for her strong and descriptive verses, Margarita Engle, winner of numerous awards, enchants the reader with a series of poems that reveal the personal sorrows, as well as the social and political events of the day, that shaped Miguel’s life and formed his thoughts. “Hunger”, “Waiting”, “Daydreams”, “Disaster”, “Learning to Write” and, “Imagination”, are some of the poem titles that portray the young author in the making. (Also sounds like a day in the life of a writer).

Full-page pen and ink watercolor illustrations by Raul Colon, an award-winning illustrator of more than thirty books for children, complement Engle’s moving verses. The muted brown, grey, and blue tones create dream-like visions that help the reader experience Miguel’s life.

The end pages include interesting author and illustrator notes, and important historical and biographical information.

A book that awakens dormant aspirations and provokes action, Miguel’s Brave Knight is a timeless tale of the power of the imagination to create hope out of despair, turn dreams into reality, and bring into existence the light from within that dispels the darkness. In this way one can, as Miguel says, “right all the wrongs of this wonderful but terribly mixed-up world.” (From the last line of Engle’s poem, Imagination).

Which proves what we as readers and writers already know: words have power. So let’s saddle up, pen, or laptop, in hand and join our brave and idealistic knight in his marvelous quest for that unreachable star.

(My Review Originally published by the Christian Library Journal; used with permission.)

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on October 22nd!


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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY: A Sarah Blair Mystery by DEBRA H. GOLDSTEIN—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

May 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Four Cuts Too Many: A Sarah Blair Mystery By Debra H. Goldstein

Kensington Publishing Corp.  2021   ISBN 978-1-4967-3221-7

It started out as a regular day. Sarah Blair sat outside of the Carleton Junior Community College waiting for her friend Grace Winston, a cutlery teacher in the culinary arts department. And if you’ve read the previous Sarah Blair mysteries, you know that nothing is ever ordinary in Sarah’s life.

In Four Cuts Too Many, Debra H. Goldstein’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery, Dr. Douglas Martin, the chairman of the culinary arts program gets stabbed in the back…literally. Sarah dons her sleuthing cap once again to find the real killer, but she finds herself hard pressed to figure out who had the best motive because the entire staff referred to Dr. Martin as the ‘Malevolent Monster.’

When the police target Grace as the prime suspect, even Sarah cannot explain away her friend’s argument with the chairman and her bloody apron. Or the fact that the knife in his back belonged to Grace!

Like searching for a hidden object embedded in a painting, Debra is a master at hiding the true killer in plain sight within the story. Filled with a motley crew of characters and a tangle of secret lives, and ambitious hearts where no one is exactly what they seem, Four Cuts Too Many is an engaging page turner and a delightful read.

I can’t wait to read what Debra cooks up in her next mystery.  Five __ Too Many?  Whatever it is, I am certain that with her creativity and story skills she will create another recipe for success.

And if you want to ramp up your kitchen skills, the recipes at the end of the book are a tasty ending to a great story so make sure to treat yourself. 

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on June 22nd!

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The Sarah Blair Mystery Series

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

TWO BITES TOO MANY

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TWO BITES TOO MANY

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

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THREE TREATS TOO MANY

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

FIVE BELLES TOO MANY

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FIVE BELLES TOO MANY
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Veronica Jorge Reviews: Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know? by Marguerite Quantaine

January 22, 2020 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , ,

Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know?

by Marguerite Quantaine

Cantine Kilpatrick Publications, 2019

ISBN-13: 978-0940548053

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Relationships are delicate. They take time to cultivate and grow. And when it comes to matters of the heart, it can sometimes seem like navigating through a quagmire or minefield.

Enter Marguerite Quantaine, your guide and confidante.

Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know? is a collection of sad, funny, and warm stories. Based on events and moments from Marguerite’s own life, these relatable narratives reflect on the changing roles of relationships and offer insightful observations on society and how we live and love.

Marguerite writes about the variety of inter-relationships that come in all shapes and sizes, both good and bad, and the upstream battle when your life and love choices pit you against societal mores. Her writing style is engaging and her stories offer unique perspectives.

But the best that this book has to offer are the surprising and hidden gems that each story reveals. For example: The emotions of feeling, losing, and loving that are universal; the discovery that self-confidence and resiliency are the best defense against bullies; and her recipe for good communication: sincerity, levity, and good intentions.

Heart-tugging and thought-provoking, Marguerite’s stories cause us to examine how we grow through our exchanges with others, and to consider what things we place the most value on. The reader must ultimately answer whether life is calculated by what we let go of, or by what we hang onto with our hearts.

Veronica Jorge
See you next time on February 22nd!


Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know?

SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?
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