Friday, 19 January 2018

✪ The Last Girl; My Story of Captivity, and my fight against Islamic State ✪ Nadia Murad ✪

In this intimate memoir of survival, a former captive of the Islamic State tells her harrowing and ultimately inspiring story.

Nadia Murad was born and raised in Kocho, a small village of farmers and shepherds in northern Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, she and her brothers and sisters lived a quiet life. Nadia had dreams of becoming a history teacher or opening her own beauty salon.

On August 15th, 2014, when Nadia was just twenty-one years old, this life ended. Islamic State militants massacred the people of her village, executing men who refused to convert to Islam and women too old to become sex slaves. Six of Nadia's brothers were killed, and her mother soon after, their bodies swept into mass graves. Nadia was taken to Mosul and forced, along with thousands of other Yazidi girls, into the ISIS slave trade.

Nadia would be held captive by several militants and repeatedly raped and beaten. Finally, she managed a narrow escape through the streets of Mosul, finding shelter in the home of a Sunni Muslim family whose eldest son risked his life to smuggle her to safety.

Today, Nadia's story--as a witness to the Islamic State's brutality, a survivor of rape, a refugee, a Yazidi--has forced the world to pay attention to the ongoing genocide in Iraq. It is a call to action, a testament to the human will to survive, and a love letter to a lost country, a fragile community, and a family torn apart by war.

Copy received from Hachette Australia for an honest review

This book. Everyone, and I mean everyone needs to read this book.

It is not an easy book to read.  Not because it is bad, but because of the subject matter.  We all know these atrocities occur, as we sit in our air conditioned lounge rooms, watching the news saying "oh how sad", then switching channels.

Nadia's first hand account of what is happening is heartbreaking. It is sickening. It is frightening.  Sitting on the other side of the world, it is easy to think that these things aren't really happening.

Nadia's story of what happened to her, to her family, to her whole village had me bawling like a baby.  I had to put the book aside many times, and pick up something light and frivolous, as it was the only way I could get through the book without it breaking me.

These girls, these women and their families are absolutely amazing.  The strength, the bravery they show to get through the nightmare that is the lives every single day puts me to shame.  I know I like to think that I would do the right thing, that I could be brave like them, but in reality, who knows. 

I had such a visceral reaction to this book.  Even a day after finishing it, I can't stop thinking about it.  We are so lucky to have a voice, a voice that is being heard.

Now Nadia's voice is speaking out for all the girls and women who have been stolen, tortured, raped.  She is letting the world know the truth of what is happening.

She is awe-inspiring.

So now we need to spread her word, feel her pain, use our voices to stop it happening. 

Monday, 15 January 2018

✿ Bayside Passions (Bayside Summer #2) ✿ Melissa Foster ✿ Blog Tour & Giveaway ✿

Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod.

BAYSIDE SUMMERS is a series of standalone steamy romance novels featuring alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They're fun, flirty, flawed, deeply emotional, always passionate, and easy to relate to. And of course, you'll see cameos from the Seaside Summers characters! 

When Emery Andrews's best friend, Desiree, moves away, falls in love, and opens a an inn all in one summer, she feels her absence like a missing limb. Until she visits over the holidays and meets sinfully hot Dean Masters, who's as easy on the eyes as he is to talk to. After returning home, what starts as a flurry of late-night flirtations quickly turns into a deep connection and unexpected friendship. Now, months later, Desiree offers Emery a job teaching yoga at the inn. Adventurous Emery jumps at the chance and heads for Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to reunite with her BFF and her new close friend, Dean.

After months of sharing their lives, and their secrets, over video chats and phone calls, Dean's ready to move things to the next level. The fact that Emery seems oblivious to the sparks between them and has recently put her foot down about dating friends just means he'll have to bide his time.

When Emery finds a naked man in her kitchen the first morning she's there, Dean doesn't hesitate to move her into his guest room. Maybe now Emery will see what's right before her eyes--although that guy she's got a date with might be a problem.

All BAYSIDE SUMMERS books can be read as standalone novels or as part of the series: 
Bayside Desires
Bayside Passions
Bayside Heat
Bayside Escape

Bayside Summers is part of the Love in Bloom romance collection by New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. While each book may be read as a standalone, you might enjoy reading the entire Love in Bloom series.

ARC received for an honest review

I have not read the first book in the Bayside Summer series, however this did not affect my enjoyment of Bayside Passions at all.

I liked that our lovelies already knew each other well when the story starts (I assume it was all set up in the first book in the series).  I liked that they could dive right into their friendship and more.

I freaking adore Dean.  He is all kinds of swoonworthy and I was ready to scream at my kindle that if Emery didn't want him I would have him).

Now Emery - ugh, she frustrated me so much.  I couldn't connect, and even at the end of the book I still didn't like her.  I don't know exactly what it was, but nope, couldn't handle her at all.

Which made it had for me to get right into the story.  And I hated that.

Don't get me wrong, I liked the story line, I liked the main man and I liked the other characters in the book, but my dislike of our leading lady took me out of the story.

And that has never happened to me with a Melissa Foster book.

It is probably just a case of "it's not you, it's me" with this one.

I do look forward to going back and reading the first book, and look forward to what Ms Foster brings us next.


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance and women's fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Readers adore Melissa's fun, flirty, and sinfully sexy, award-winning big family romance collection, LOVE IN BLOOM featuring the Snow Sisters, Bradens, Remingtons, Ryders, Seaside Summer, Harborside Nights, and the Wild Boys After Dark. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented.

Melissa also writes sweet and clean romance under the pen name Addison Cole.

Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on social media or her personal website.

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