MHM: Little Black Rain Cloud…

It finally happened. I cried for the first time in 3 years. I don’t mean a few tears that escaped without permission only to be wiped away before anyone else could detect them. No. I cried, on the floor, with such force behind each sob that eventually I found myself unable to breathe. As I gasped for air, I had a sudden push to call my mom. The one person who can spread peace throughout my rattled and tortured mind and body. Today was no different except this time I had my dad in the background voicing his love and support for me to hear.

When I ended the call with my mom, I could breathe, the tightness in my chest was gone and I felt like I could be human enough for a few minutes to take a shower. I turned to get up and glanced at my Winnie the Pooh plush. I thought about how Mom had just helped me to lift the little black rain cloud that was taking up residence in my brain. Pooh has a song about a little black rain cloud, hence the association.

What brought on today’s episode? I can’t put my finger on it, so it must be a lovely concoction of past and future worries, with a little bit of psychosis present who clearly let himself in through the front door without invitation. I began feeling like poo around 4pm. Seemingly out of nowhere, I started thinking about how Van would be so much happier, more successful, more fulfilled if he were married to someone else. I picked out ex-girlfriends who seemed leaps and bounds better and of course, there are the women out there I am not aware of who would probably be great, too. They would be normal, without mental illness, successful, make a great salary, treat him well, impress his family and coworkers, so on and so on.  He wouldn’t have to constantly live in a state of mild fear that his wife might, at any moment, kill herself, or make a seemingly feeble attempt. No Schizoaffective Disorder, no Mania, no PTSD, no multiple manifestations of anxiety. He could have the perfect woman and live a beautiful life.

But now that I am a little more lucid I realize that Van has been with me for 18 years. He could have left at any time, but he is still here with me. I cannot talk circles around that fact, I cannot debunk it. It is truth…a truth I need and want to let into my little dark heart.

I’m hitting a point where I feel some babbling coming on. If you have read this, thank you. When I was in the shower it seemed like the best thing ever – write a blog about my episode! Now I am in that foggy, cloudy place where utter exhaustion meets the effects of my nighttime meds.

I would like to share that you are enough. You are beautiful. You are valued, loved, unique and above all, you matter. Now, Brooke, some may say, can’t you say those things to yourself. How can you tell other people these things when you don’t even believe them about yourself? I’ll tell you. It’s so much easier, almost effortless, for me to love and care for others, but it’s very difficult to show that same care for myself.


Book Review: Howling at the Moon (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, Book 1) by Karen MacInerney

Screen Shot 2017-10-01 at 9.59.41 PM

Book Blurb:

Sophie Garou seems to have it all: a great job at a prestigious accounting firm, a closet that rivals a Nordstrom showroom, and a terrific boyfriend who isn’t afraid to use the “M” word. There’s just one little itty-bitty problem: Sophie is a werewolf – and HER time of the month has a whole new meaning.

Needless to say, life among yummy flesh-and-blood humans is no piece of steak… er, cake! , but regular doses of wolfsbane tea and a mother who runs a magic shop have helped Sophie keep her paranormal pedigree under wraps.

Still, when a sexy, golden-eyed werewolf prowls into town, Sophie finds herself struggling to keep her animal impulses in check – not to mention trying to keep things on track with her super hot (and super HUMAN) lawyer boyfriend. What’s more, someone is threatening to expose Sophie for what she really is. And when her mother is accused of selling a poison-laced potion, Sophie must sniff out a culprit before the fur hits the fan.

My Thoughts:

Thank you to Karen MacInerney for a complimentary copy of this book. In return, here is my honest review.

Rating: 5 doughnuts out of 5🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩

Howling at the Moon took me back to my childhood when I would get lost in a book so deeply, it took away my worries, calmed my mind, and pulled me right into the story so that I felt I was a part of it. 


Every chance I had, I found myself reaching for my kindle to read more about Sophie. The characters came alive for me so quickly, so early on in the novel that it felt wrong to leave them there waiting for me. I love Sophie and I cannot wait to read more about her. She is spunky, intelligent, thoughtful, and she loves Kate Spade. I think she could be my fictional best friend! Plus I do love wolves quite a bit. This was a fun read that kept me guessing and thinking. Not once did I become bored and I did not skim the pages, which is something I do with just about every book.

Would I Recommend this Book?

Absolutely, 100%!

To Whom Would I Recommend this Book?

Readers who enjoy attention to detail, strong female characters who are well-rounded and interesting, and a storyline that is at once serious, fun, and thought-provoking. I would also recommend this to those who are interested in the paranormal, seeing as how the main character, Sophie, is half-werewolf, half-human (her mother is a witch).

Thank you for reading my review!

Blog Tour Book Review: Wicked for Hire (Book #1 in the Paranormal in Manhattan Series) by Lotta Smith

About the Book
Sometimes, the
opportunity of a lifetime busts your door instead of gently knocking at it…
on Kindle Unlimited!
Medical student Amanda Meyers thought she had her life all
planned out until people started dying the moment they touched her. Being
cleared of any wrongdoing didn’t stop the medical school from expelling her,
and it didn’t rid her of the unfortunate nickname Grim Reaper. 

Luckily, having a rep as the harbinger of death isn’t a total
resume killer. Rick Rowling, Special Agent for the FBI’s Paranormal Cases
Division recruits her to work for the Bureau. But the sexy, brilliant,
outrageous loose cannon proves to be just as untouchable as the mysterious
creature or creatures that may be responsible for the seemingly unsolvable
murder that becomes their first case together. 

Instead of treating patients, Amanda’s life becomes a test of
her patience and a wild ride into the wicked paranormal world where her new
boss runs the show. Together they face a ghoulish force that could destroy the
entire city and a grueling family dinner that could leave Amanda contemplating

It’s a battle of life and debt [student debt, that is] and
saving the world has never been so funny.

for Hire
 is part of the Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery series.
If you like fast-paced mysteries full of quirky characters and unexpected
twists, you’re gonna love this book.

Buy Wicked for Hire and start solving your next mystery today!

My Thoughts:
Thank you to Lotta Smith and CLP Blog Tours for a complimentary copy of this book. In return, here is my honest review.
Rating: 4 doughnuts out of 5🍩🍩🍩🍩
A fun read that held my attention the entire time!
So many aspects of this novel are some of my favorites to learn about, read about, and watch subject specific programming and movies. I love true crime and shows about the paranormal, so before I opened my kindle, I knew I would enjoy Wicked for Wire.
Amanda Meyer is likable and intriguing, but FBI Special Agent Rick Rowling really made this book for me . He is funny, quirky, handsome, intelligent…I had an easy time seeing him in my mind, picturing what he looked like, his mannerisms, and how he would dress.
This book moved so quickly and as I wrote in my blurb, it held my attention the entire time I was reading. During the day I would find myself thinking about the book and I definitely read some at my desk at work. Wicked for Hire actually drew me in so completely that I was quite disappointed when the book ended. I actually thought my kindle messed up somehow because there was no way it could be over! I spent about ten minutes playing around with my kindle and doing some research just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Now that I know this was the first book in a series, I am beyond excited to keep reading!
Would I Recommend this Book?
Yes, definitely!
To Whom Would I Recommend this Book?
Readers who enjoy reading for pleasure, reading to give your brain a break and just have fun and maybe have a laugh or two, or three, would enjoy this book. Those who enjoy a good mystery mixed with some humor and the possibility of a romantic relationship between main characters would enjoy this novel. Readers of cozy mysteries will also enjoy Lotta’s writing.
Thank you for reading my review! Please keep reading for some fun and exciting opportunities!
Tour Schedule
September 11 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
September 15 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A &
September 18 – Suzy Turner – Review
September 20 – Jackie’s Bookbytes – Review &
September 21 – Beauty, Books and Cats
With Brooke
– Review
September 22 – Book Lover in Florida – Review &
September 22 – Authors and Readers Book Corner
– Excerpt
September 22 – Turning Another Page
Review, Q&A & Excerpt
September 25 – T’s Stuff – Excerpt


Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card below! Everyone who enters will also receive a free download (via InstaFreebie) for Whoever Finds The Wicked: Rick Rowling’s Secret File, which is the prequel in the Manhattan series. Download links for free books will be sent out by the end of the tour. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Gone without a Trace

Screen Shot 2017-08-31 at 6.27.48 PM

Gone Without a Trace
By Mary Torjussen
Published: November, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 doughnuts 🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩

Such an excellent book to break my reading and blogging slump!

About the Book:

Hannah Monroe’s boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It’s as though their last four years together never happened.

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she’ll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. But as soon as her search starts, she realizes she is being led into a maze of madness and obsession. Step by suspenseful step, Hannah discovers her only way out is to come face to face with the shocking truth… (from Google Books)

My Thoughts:

Gone Without a Trace grabbed my attention immediately and did not let go until the very end. Mary Torjussen writes in a way that drew me to Hannah and made me like her. I felt invested in her life, in this puzzle she came home to and the way she handled her day to day life and the events each day held.

I usually like to skim most of the books I read, but I was afraid to skim this book. What if I missed an integral part of the story, that one missing piece that would allow me to figure out what had really happened. Never once, in my reading of this book, did I feel like I knew what was happening, what was going to happen, or what kind of surprises lie ahead of me waiting to be discovered. I was kept in suspense the entire time I read and I love that! I love not having a clue as to what is happening, I love not being able to solve the mystery.

Would I recommend this book?

Yes! Absolutely!

To whom would I recommend this book?

I would recommend Gone Without a Trace to readers who enjoy excellent character development. The characters in this story do not remain stagnant, they do not become predictable. The author has a gift for developing characters in an entertaining, yet realistic way. Hannah starts out as a put together, intelligent, business woman and to see how she evolves is like watching magic take place on the pages. The supporting cast also evolves, changes, becomes more interesting, confusing, and complex.

I recommend this book to those who enjoy suspense and feeling confused-in the best way possible. Once you begin reading, it is going to be very difficult to put down.

If you have found yourself in a bit of a reading slump, try this book on for size. It helped me and I feel confident recommending this title to others who are struggling as well. Let me know what you think!









It’s Been a Long Time

Well, it seems as though my brain has really kicked me in the gut during the last few months. I’ve experienced decompensation, relapses, confusion, not enough sleep, too much sleep, and paranoia just to name a few of my closest friends. Friends? Well, perhaps not. We know each other well, but I’m not sure if friend is the right descriptor. Nemeses? 🙂

I’m getting my feet wet with social media. I’ve been away because of the paranoia that has become my shadow. Overthinking, confusion, and dissociation are also constant companions.

back to social media. I have been blabbering on snapchat (brooke.erin22) and when I say blabbering I mean blabbering. I want to blog, to write, to tweet, to post on Instagram and enjoy all of it. And I want to begin my book!

I still need to take it slow. I just wanted to say hi and I have not forgotten about this blog or anything else. I’ve been busy fighting a battle you see. An invisible battle where my very ill brain has been victorious. Until now.

baby steps.

Sending you love, positive thoughts, and soon, a review!


Book Review: Never Let You Go

Never Let You Go, by Chevy Stevens
Publication date: March 14, 2017


Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail and Lindsey started over with a new life.

Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with her own business and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When Andrew is finally released from prison, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties and left the past behind her. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But has he really changed? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

With Never Let You Go, Chevy Stevens delivers a chilling, twisting thriller that crackles with suspense as it explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.


Never Let You Go had so many plot twists…and I loved it. Action after action, creepy happening after creepy happening, I tried my best to figure out what was happening and who the perpetrator was. I failed every time! This was a fast paced book that had me skimming a little bit because I had to know what happened, I had to see if I was right. The only time I was disappointed in the book was at the very end. I was hoping there would be one more twist because I was hoping for a different ending, a different “bad guy,” if you will.

If you love animals, there is a dog in the book and he plays a substantial role in the story! I loved reading about the dynamic between Lindsey and her daughter, and the two women and how they bonded with their dog, who became protector, best friend, and clown.

This family based thriller will have you turning the pages quickly and if you have never skimmed before, you might just begin with this book because it is that suspenseful. Chevy Stevens is a talented writer who knows how to develop and describe characters in such a complete and detail-oriented way…it is impressive. Even the most minor of characters are described so thoroughly.

I highly recommend this book to readers who like mysteries, reading about family dynamics, and strong female characters. Pick up a copy, a glass of lemonade (or coffee!) and get ready to become confused, impressed, sad, glad, moved, and everything in between.

I was given a free Kindle copy of this book by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for a review. It was my pleasure to read this book and provide an honest review.

Blog Tour! Defining Her by Samantha March

About the Book


Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.
Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne.

Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming.

My Review

Prue and Nellie could not be more different, but their lives somehow become intertwined.

I have read Defining Her twice and I’m so glad I did because I picked up on subtle nuances I did not give proper attention to the first time around and it gave me a chance to get to know the characters on a deeper level.

I have to bring this up first because it’s all I can think about while writing this review. The character development in this novel is out of this world. Character development is one of the top things I look for whilst reading a book. In Defining Her, it is very apparent that Samantha March spent a lot of time developing her characters, giving them unique personalities, quirks, and making them unlikable at times. When an author takes a chance and presents characters that might come across as unlikable, I feel impressed, I want to read more, and I am on the edge of my seat, waiting to become privy to the development of those characters. In a book titled, Defining Her, one might assume there will be growth, epiphanies, and scenes that give the reader little glimpses into the characters’ thought processes and also those thoughts that they keep to themselves that secretly change their own stories and even the stories of other characters. March does not disappoint.

As mentioned briefly, I found it difficult to like most of the characters in the book, but I liked Nellie almost from the beginning. I’ll expand upon my thought in the next paragraph, but this character was developed so nicely and I felt like she was so…real and relatable. I did not grow up under the same circumstances and I did not experience the horrors that she did, but I had my own scary times and that shared trauma helped link me to Nellie and allowed my heart to open up to her.

There are a few scenes in this book that are mature, upsetting, and difficult to fathom. Defining Her is raw, it is genuine. It will tug at your heartstrings and certain parts may make you uncomfortable. But the rawness, the difficult scenes are not put in the book for the sake of being shocking and sensational or to upset readers. Every move, every detail was carefully crafted by the author. The raw and unsettling parts of the story are there to give readers a better idea of a character’s background, to evoke compassion, and as hard as it might be to read about uncomfortable things, Defining Her shows us real life. Horrible things happen to people and this book delicately touches on topics that are real and sadly happen every day, evokes emotions from readers that are genuine, and connects the dots as to why someone might behave the way they do.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a compelling story that is not easy to figure out, readers who love excellent character development, and anyone who is looking for a book whose characters make you think, turn the pages at a heightened pace, share with your friends, but most of all feel.

🍩🍩🍩🍩🍩 5 doughnuts out of 5

*I received a complimentary ARC from the author in exchange for an honest, authentic review. It has been a privilege to be a part of this book tour for Samantha and to be able to share my thoughts on this book. It should also be noted that this is one of the best books I have read in a very long time, which made this even more of an honor.*

Tour Schedule

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 9.42.36 AM

March 20 – ChickLit Goddess – Review & Excerpt

March 20 – Dandelion Inspired – Review

March 21 – Spunky N Sassy – Excerpt

March 24 – Beauty Books and Cats With Brooke – Review

March 24 – T’s Stuff – Excerpt & Q&A

March 27 – Karan Eleni – Review, Q&A & Excerpt

March 28 – Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt

March 29  – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

March 30 – Hey Said Renee– Review

March 31 – Granny Loves to Read – Review & Excerpt

March 31 – Novel Escapes – Interview

April 3 – Book Lover in Florida – Review & Excerpt

April 3- Rainy Day Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Get your copy!


Barnes & Noble:



Samantha March on Amazon:

About the Author

Screen Shot 2017-03-15 at 12.02.27 PM

Samantha March is an author, editor, publisher, blogger, and all around book lover. She runs the popular book/women’s lifestyle blog ChickLitPlus, which keeps her bookshelf stocked with the latest reads and up to date on all things beauty, fashion and fitness. In 2011 she launched her independent publishing company Marching Ink and has five published novels – Destined to Fail, The Green Ticket, A Questionable Friendship, Up To I Do and Defining Her, and one holiday novella, The Christmas Surprise. You can also find her on Youtube sharing beauty reviews and creating makeup tutorials. When she isn’t reading, writing, or vlogging, you can find her cheering for the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs. Samantha lives in Iowa with her husband and Vizsla puppy.

Find Samantha




Snapchat: Samantha.March





Giveaway Link: