Book Review: The Marriage Pact

The Marriage Pact
by Michelle Richmond (Goodreads Author)

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond will have you hooked the minute Jake and Alice sign their contracts. The question is, what did they just sign up for?
This novel has so much important information that pertains to all marriages alongside what the Pact will go through to protect the institution of marriage. Jake and Alice have always been happy so they don’t really think the Pact is what they need. Other members find ways to convince them differently. The rules and regulations compounded with penalties and punishments will have you thinking about whether tying the knot is worth the trouble! Alice is a smart woman and Jake has a background in relationship counseling and Jake begins to wonder if this is some sort of cult.
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars as I felt the ending was weak. The plot was packed with twists, turns and surprises and although I am not disappointed with how the story ends, it is not what I would have expected after reading the rest of the work, seeing the depth the author is able to achieve throughout the writing.

©2021 CBialczak Book Review

Where’s My Joey

By Wendy Monica Winter

I was on Goodreads and this story popped up. It made me smile and feel sadness at the same time. I wrote to the author, Wendy, letting her know why her book title caught my attention and affected me the way it did. She wrote back immediately and told me about why she wrote the book. I let her know that I put my name in for the book Giveaway. She sent me the PDF of her book. It is perfect for me in so many ways that I wanted to share it.

Book Review: Mother Knows Best

Mother Knows Best

A Novel of Suspense

By: Kira Peikoff

Mother Knows Best Audiobook By Kira Peikoff cover art

This is a great story with so many ethical questions that pertain to the advances in medicine and genetic testing. I give this story only three stars for one reason that barely relates to the plot and could be changed so easily; Abigail the young girl who becomes the center of controversy, to me is too knowledgeable for a kid her age.
The story itself is great and there are so many different aspects that are completely realistic. Abigail is a ten year old girl in the story and seems like she would be a bright child, being an only child. The problem is that the “way she talks” and the conclusion she comes to seem too advanced for such a young child. She is “able” to realize certain things that a child her age wouldn’t typically have any reason to know how to deal with.
Besides this aspect the plot is really good and you will not be disappointed at the end of this story!

©2021 CBialczak Book Review

Book Review: Find Us

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Find Us
by Benjamin Stevenson (Goodreads Author), Harriet Gordon-Anderson (Narrator)

Talk about a twisting plot! This story is the one of every parents’ nightmare. Children disappearing on their way home from school, a lack of witnesses, limited evidence…Will a mom be able to help find her kids before it is too late and can she forgive herself for putting them in the position they are in now. Past history, random act, or revenge?

Book Review: Buried Deep

Buried Deep Audiobook By Margot Hunt cover art

Buried Deep
by Margot Hunt (Goodreads Author), Thérèse Plummer (Narrator)

I don’t often read short stories or novellas, for no particular reason, but this felt like a full-length novel, with so many aspects it just dragged you in at the beginning.
Maggie loves her husband and knows he is not capable of murder. His friends seem like they are keeping their own secrets. James is the one who puts the puzzle pieces together.

Book Review: a must read!

I am not a fan of romance novels but this is without a doubt a fantastic read!

The Search: A Dust Bowl Love Story

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The Search: A Dust Bowl Love Story by Tiffani Burnett-Velez

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Search: A Dust Bowl Love Story by Tiffani Burnett-Velez was a beautifully written and crafted love story so well put together you felt as though you were there with the characters.
Melinda is a school teacher whose main goal is to keep the children alive during the dust storm. What she didn’t expect was to also bring in a stranger, putting her and her students at further risk. As the dust storm comes to an end it is up to Melinda and Jacob, the stranger, to deliver the students to homes and families, if there are any left. After that they are heading with the rest of the migrants to California to find a better life with work and food and hope.
Melinda and Jacob must find their way through migrant camps and other obstacles which stand in their way as they travel to California on the one and only Route 66. The states they travel through don’t want anyone from Oklahoma or anyone who is a Jew, so Melinda, an “Okie”, and Jacob, a Jew, must find ways to sidestep some of the locals.
I give this story 5 out of 5 stars because it was both moving and it is written in such a fashion that there are no words that a reader would feel were insignificant. The plot moves quickly and realistically, pulling you into the troubles and the love between Melinda and the stranger who came to her school that day, to see how much true love can hurt, and how it can heal.

View all my reviews

©2021 CBialczak Book Review

Book Review: Beware the Cuckoo

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Beware the Cuckoo by Julie Newman is a mystery like no other. Be prepared to be drawn in to the past and present of two young women as they try to find their way through adolescence, independence, and truths that sometimes hurt.
Karen, Yvonne, and Sandra are best friends but so different than each other in almost every way. In the 70’s they are in school and they spend most of their time together but have found lives outside of school that drive a wedge between them. Karen is the quiet and compliant one, Yvonne the partier, and Sandra, the rich girl with the perfect life. Losing Yvonne helped bring Sandra and Karen closer for a while but the truth might hurt them both and everyone they love.
Now as adults some memories have been forgotten but none of the hurt has lessened. Will 2010 be the year all the truths come out?
I gave this story 4 out of 5 stars for the believable characters and captivating plot line. The plot is dragged out a little too long so as to make the reader want to skip a few chapters and get to the end but overall it is worth sticking to as the author has a way of tying it all together in the end. 

I’m Going to Start Here: Book Review

As a fond admirer of the writings of Dr. Seuss I was contacted and asked to read and review this story. There are many similarities to Oh, The Places You’ll Go but touch on a lot of key elements young people should hear as they are adulting and moving forward in life.

I’m Going to Start Here! Is a rhyming book in the fashion of a Dr. Seuss-type book. It explores some of the obstacles a young person will face when entering the world as an adult as well as giving encouragement for any of the efforts made in moving forward. It sends a positive message and can be a great read for anyone looking to advance on a new or broader path.  

Raye Springield has done a great job continuing the journey into adulthood that Dr. Seuss had begun. As an educator I found that all the points that Springield hits on are key ideas to talk to your son or daughter about as they begin adulting. 

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars for its positive message and encouraging words. Some of the rhyming patterns are inconsistent causing the flow of the reading to falter but this does not take away from the positivity the book is trying to convey. Additionally, the illustrations are like those of Dr. Seuss with their own original spin. I would recommend this book to anyone who might have some fear or resistance to that step forward in life.  


After twenty-five years, I’m Going to Start Here! is the delightful response to the very popular Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  Like that best-seller, this book appeals equally to the young, those in the middle and to the ones who do not accept that a number defines age. With humorous verse and vivid pictures, it encourages kids, and kids at heart, to step out and reach for the stars. I’m Going to Start Here! invites youon a journey that’s fun, upbeat and inspiring. And chances areyou’ll discover that indeed you already have within all you need to succeed in life. Now, everyone, get ready, get started and Come Fly with Me on this great adventure.

I’ll walk across that stage and go out with a bang.

I’ve learned my lesson. I’m ready to spread my wings.

          I have the power to make this life a stupendously, beautiful thing.


Raye Springfield is a writer, lawyer, and author of the children’s book, I’m Going to Start Here! For the young and those in between, it’s a book that encourages, inspires and motivates minds to strive for success. With humor and vivid pictures, this fun book will make kids of all ages eager to step out and reach for the stars. After decades writing legal documents, and opinions as administrative judge, she has now authored five books, pursuing her love of writing full-time. The first edition of her historical non-fictionis in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, in Washington, D.C.

In addition to her children’s book, Raye is the author of The Legacy of Tamar: Courage and Faith in an African American Family, whichdocuments family history as well as Haywood County, Tennessee history,and 2nd edition, both published by The University of Tennessee Press; Treasure in Jars of Clay: 100 Quotes on Joy, Life & Love; and the latest, a novel, Sunday at Six. She lives in Nashville, is the mother of a son and daughter, and somehow inspired both to also become attorneys.


Title: I’m Going to Start Here!
Author: Raye Springfield 
Pub date- November 29, 2017
Publisher- Stonebrook Publishing
Genre: JUVENILE FICTION/Social Themes/Emotions & Feelings
JUVENILE FICTION/ Stories in Verse
Paperback- ISBN 9781532350207
# of Pages- 40
Amazon link

Book Review – Murder: It’s All In Your Head

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MURDER: IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD by Cynthia Hilston will have you wondering who is who and how will 100 years of horror finally be put to rest? This is a ghost story mystery that joins the present and the past in unbelievable ways.   

It is 1918 and Helen is being brutally abused…by her father. This pastor has an un-Godly way of making her life hell. If only she could escape this torture and be free of her father life can be good. But Helen does not realize she can do more to control the situation if she just puts her mind to it. Is killing this evil man the only way to find happiness in her life?   

Now, in the same town of Hurston, Ohio many lives are going to change, as they have been for the past 100 years. Cassie wakes to find herself in Randy Davis’s body staring down at a dead woman in a full bathtub. Must Cassie take the consequences of Randy murdering his own wife?   

The real Randy is locked in a mental hospital accused of murdering his wife, but he does not look like himself and why won’t anyone believe him that his name is NOT Jimmy Williams? Could it be that he is locked in the body of Jimmy Williams and Jimmy is the real murderer? Cassie then finds herself in Randy’s body trying to convince the real Randy that she knows something strange is going on. Will she be able to convince him before more lives are lost?  She is going to try while she learns about the evil which has taken over her body, ready to bring more destruction to the lives Cassie has always loved.   

No one is who they seem to be, or at least not all the time. Supernatural forces take control of some unexpecting citizens who must try to find out who is behind this anomaly and why. Who survives and who is the one that “always finishes what she started”?    

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for its ability to keep me guessing up until the very end. It took a bit of time before I was able understand what was going on, keeping track of who is who and what is happening. It is worth it to stick it out, as the plot comes together, and things start making sense. The author has captured a way to pull you into the story and make you believe this isn’t fiction or just a figment of your imagination. 

©2021 CBialczak Book Reviews

The Wives: Book Review

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher is a twisted mystery leaving you wondering if you, as the reader, or the characters are the ones who cannot keep the story straight! Who is Thursday and how is she intertwined with Monday and Tuesday, or is she Seth’s one and only true love?  

Thursday is the narrator and main character in this perplexing mystery. The author explains the situation very well from the beginning of the story so you can follow who is who, but their roles become muddied as Thursday becomes more curious about her Polygamist husband’s other wives. From the beginning, Thursday was always okay with the arrangement between her and Seth; he had other wives and she would keep her curiosity at bay, knowing she was the one “legal” wife, and the most loved. But as she digs deeper into Seth’s other relationships, she realizes she might not be the most important and she is starting to understand why. Will collaboration with the other wives help answer some of her questions? What will Seth do when he finds out she has contacted the other wives? 

I give this story 4 out of 5 stars for its intricate and intriguing plot. Throughout the story the reader is left rooting for each wife for varied reasons and the author sends you on a twisted journey. There are a few times later in the story that it is hard to differentiate between the real and the imagined and to know whether this perplexity is set up purposely by the author or just the reader being confused. In the end, this book is worth reading and I would read more from Tarryn Fisher.  

©2021 CBialczak Book Review