You Belong Here Now

A Novel


Dianna Rostad

Synopsis: Montana, 1925: An Irish boy orphaned by the Spanish flu, a tiny girl who won’t speak, and a volatile young man who lies about his age to escape Hell’s Kitchen are paraded on train platforms to work-worn folks across the Midwest. They journey countless miles, racing the sun westward.

Before the children reach the final stop and last rejection, the oldest, Charles, comes up with a daring plan, and the three of them alone set off toward the Yellowstone River and the grassy mountains where the wild horses roam.

Fate guides them to the ranch of a family stricken by loss. Nara, the daughter of a successful cattleman, has grown into a brusque spinster, who refuses the orphans on sight. She’s worked hard to gain her father’s respect and hopes to run their operation, but if the kids stay, she’ll be stuck in the kitchen.

Nara works the children without mercy, hoping they’ll run off, but they buck up and show spirit, and though Nara will never be motherly, she begins to take to them. So when Charles is jailed for freeing wild horses that were rounded up for slaughter, and an abusive mother from New York City shows up to take the youngest, Nara does the unthinkable, risking everything she holds dear to change their lives forever.

Two of the topics in this book that I love is adoption and animal rescue. This book was another I had trouble putting down to get chores done around my house. My favorite line in this book that I say all the time even before reading this book is “love makes a family not blood”.

Lake Roland

A Novel By: C. Roloson Reese

Published: 2021

Synopsis: Some childhood mysteries cast long shadows. Tom O’Malley spent a lifetime trying to escape the one covering his world. His idyllic childhood with his inseparable pal, Mark, is upended when his friend mysteriously disappears one night. Mark’s whereabouts become a decades-long unsolvable question that haunts Tom’s world as he copes with and later overcomes the bitterness of a friendship’s baffling evaporation. The anguish he experiences prepares him well for a world filled with uncertainties, not the least of which includes love and redemption.

I love the mystery aspect of this book and how it shows that love conquers all. This book was a book that was hard for me to put down as it kept my focus the whole way through.

A Bleary – Eyed Stranger By Raven Ruthe

Published: 2021

Synopsis: Raven Ruthe (not her real name) has spent more than two decades helping her daughter to battle a severe drug addiction which made life for both of them a living hell. Only as she approached her forties, with the help of her mother’s unceasing love, courage and faith in God, was her daughter finally able to settle into recovery, but the experience has left scars on the whole family. Raven has written this book to paint a vivid picture of the horrors of addiction and to help fellow suffering families to find the light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Disclaimer: I don’t expect people to agree with my review of this book which is fine cause everyone has different opinions on this subject.

Definition of Disease: A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure or function of all or part of an organism, and that is not due to any immediate external injury. Diseases are often known to be medical conditions that are associated with specific signs and symptoms.

I don’t consider addiction to be a disease because you can choose not to let opioids control your mind and you can choose to say no to drugs and alcohol. Addicts do run in my family but its a mental/behavioral issue not a medical issue. I was actually born with multiple chronic diseases that I didn’t ask to be born with but I did and do choose not to drink and do drugs. I have talked with a recovering/former drug addict and he told me himself that addiction is not a disease its a choice.

No Match For Her By Travis Lee Hicks

Published: 2019

Synopsis: What would you do if your child was diagnosed with a life threatening illness? When his 12-year-old daughter Lili was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia two weeks before Christmas, Travis Hicks was in the worst shape of his life. Overweight and overworked, Hicks watched his daughter Lili fight for her life against an aggressive blood cancer.

Inspired by his daughter’s strength, Travis took up yoga and walking while giving up his sweet tea, a blasphemous adjustment for this Southerner. After wondering, “What’s the worst that could happen if I start running?” Hicks ultimately became a long distance runner, shed over 40 pounds, and restored his health in time to help his daughter through the fight for her life. Read this father’s story of life, health, family, and faith to understand the impact of pediatric cancer on a family and their community.

This book was another book that was hard for me to put down and a great read for those who question if miracles really do exist. As far as I know I don’t have cancer thank god but I do have a tumor and an immunocompromised immune system caused by a genetic disorder…this book taught me more about my immune system disorder than any doctor and online research has taught me. I battle multiple life threatening chronic illnesses and this book has taught me that as long as I keep my faith in God then I can get through anything.

Reading this book also taught me a lot about what my childhood friend Brandon had to go through during his fight with childhood cancer before he passed away sadly at 13 years old. When Brandon was going through his treatments he always had a smile on his face at school and had fun like Lili did instead of letting his cancer control his attitude and mindset.

For those who haven’t lost a child or sibling to childhood cancer I definitely recommend reading this book.

The Sweetest Days By John Hough Jr.

Published: June 2021

Trigger Warning: Abortion, Death, and Incest

Synopsis: Pete and Jackie Hatch have been together for decades; they were high school sweehearts, though they didn’t marry until years after an explosive incident at the end of senior year broke them apart. Now in their sixties, with their only daughter grown, and facing scary news about Jackie’s health, they travel to their Cape Cod hometown for Pete’s first book signing. But a disastrous encounter with an old schoolmate brings their long marriage to the breaking point an forces them to revisit the long – ago event that changed the trajectory of their lives.

Exceptionally moving, and told with richness and delicacy, The Sweetest Days is an insightful portrait of a couple in it for the long haul, and of the deepest feelings, both tender and fierce, that are held in the wake of an enduring marriage.

What I love about this book is that it shows that love really does conquer all problems in relationships and marriages.

Her Mother’s Grave By Lisa Regan

Published: November 2020

When two young boys discover human bones buried beneath a tree in a trailer park, Detective Josie Quinn races to join her team at the scene. She used to play in those woods as a a child, happier outside and away from her abusive mother, Belinda Rose.

Josie’s past crashes into her present when it’s confirmed that the bones belong to a teenage foster child who was murdered thirty years ago. A girl named Belinda Rose…

Josie hasn’t seen her mother in years but, with an undeniable connection between her mother and the dead girl, does she dare track her down?

Just as Josie gets closer to uncovering a secret that will shatter her world forever, another body is uncovered. It’s suddenly clear tat someone very close to Josie will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried forever.

I finished this book in like two days because it was so hard for me to put it down. I absolutely love this book and hope the author makes a sequel to this book.

How The Deer Moon Hungers By Susan Wingate

Published: July 2020

Trigger Warning!!!

Synopsis: Mackenzie Fraser witnesses a drunk driver mow down her seven – year – old sister and her mother blames her. The she ends up in juvie on a trumped – up drug charge. Now she’s in the fight for her life…on the inside! And she’s losing.

I like how despite everything that happened to Mackenzie her dad never quit supporting her and kept his faith in his daughter. This was definitely a hard book to read because of all she went through during her time in juvie.

Cracking The Harmony Code By Camilla Gray – Nelson

Anyone who does not have harmony in their life but would like to yet doesn’t know how then this is a great book for you. Growing up I had to deal with a lot of toxic relatives so experiencing harmony in my life was rare. This book has taught me how to bring harmony into my life and how to handle any future problems life throws my way.

There are steps for marriages, engagements, parent – child/children relationships, and many more types of relationships that cross our paths throughout our lifetime. I definitely recommend reading this book but this book is meant for people sixteen and older as it talks about intimacy in romantic relationships.

Reflections On The Nature Of Friendship

Synopsis: Reflections On The Nature Of Friendship is a rich, nuanced journey that delves deeply into the fascinating and complex world of friendship. Psychologist and world-traveler Dr. Daniel Cantor Yalowitz takes readers on a carefully narrated tour into the heart of what human beings need and bring into their chosen relationships. Reflections examines what makes friendships work, thrive, and connect people with one another. Using quotes across place, time, and culture, this book includes salient and seminal chapters on Identity, Longing, and Belonging, Boundaries, and more, including three case studies that explore primary friendships within the author’s life. Using examples from literature, poetry, film, and music, Dr. Yalowitz brings deeper understanding about building stronger, healthier, and sustainable friendships.

I never knew how much I needed this book till I started reading it as growing up I’ve gained friends and lost friends throughout my life but mostly lost friends as I did not know till now how to keep a healthy friendship going. This book captured and kept my attention by teaching me all about the ins and outs of having a healthy friendship. I wish this book had been written years ago cause growing up in a toxic family I was not taught or shown how healthy friendships are supposed to be.

This is a book I will keep forever as a reference guide to improving my friendships and making new healthy friendships with others. I believe this is a book that everyone needs to get for multiple reasons. I highly recommend this book to anyone who either wants to improve their friendships, make new friendships, or just want to know more in depth about friendships.

To the author, thank you so much for writing this book for people like me who struggle with keeping friendships either close or long term this book has changed my life and mindset about friendships for ever!!! Also thank you for this amazing opportunity to review your book for you.

A Woman Alone By Nina Laurin

Synopsis: A house with the darkest of secrets. A woman who is the only one who knows.

It’s another bright, sunny day in Venture, Illinois, the sort of place where dreams come true and families can get a fresh start. Cecelia Holmes deserves it after the home invasion that shattered her previous life. Now everything seems perfect – her high-security smart home, her doting husband, her sweet daughter.

Until she begins to feel spied on. Her husband doesn’t believe her. Her neighbors ignore her. So when she discovers a shocking secret about the prior occupant of their house, she feels that she has no one to turn to. And now Cecelia must face her fears alone…

Reading this book sorta reminded me of the Disney movie “Smart House.” This book reminded me of why I don’t want a smart house though a few smart electronics are cool to have in your house.

I could relate to the main character Cecelia in the aspect of being stalked and followed. The last four years of living up north in Missouri I was stalked by family members. The ending of this book was a huge shock for me.

If you love mysteries then this is the book for you. I recommend this book for mature readers only. If you have ever been stalked, followed, violated, or harassed in any way than this is a trigger warning for you.

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