Murder Lies and Cover UpsTitle: Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana?

Author: David Gardner

Pages: 292 Pages

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

The Blurb

Uncover the real truth behind mass media accounts of how they died, and learn the reason for their murders.

These five deaths stopped the whole world in its tracks. We all famously recall where we were and what we were doing when JFK was assassinated, as well as the moments Elvis, Princess Diana, and Michael Jackson died. As for Marilyn Monroe, the candle flickered out long ago, but only now can the truth be told about how—and why—she died.

After combing through thousands of recently declassified FBI files and interviewing key witnesses, crime analysts, and forensic experts during years of research, investigative writer David Gardner has unearthed new information that will transform the way we look at these iconic tragedies that have long fascinated and intrigued the general public. Murder, Lies, and Cover-Ups reveals that Elvis Presley died not as a self-obsessed caricature but as a genuine hero who may have signed his death warrant going undercover for the FBI; how Marilyn Monroe’s secret affairs with JFK and his brother, Robert, left her in the crosshairs of a lethal conspiracy; why Princess Diana’s death was no accident; who ordered President John F. Kennedy’s assassination; and how on three occasions Michael Jackson “died” of painkiller drug overdoses in the months before his death.

In the wake of new evidence and testimonies, Murder, Lies, and Cover-Ups provides many of the answers that have been elusive for so long, while explaining what it was about these enduring legends that made their legacies burn so bright.

The Review

I would never have considered myself a conspiracy theorist but there are certain events throughout history that I have my doubts about. For me, it has mainly been about the deaths of Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe. Ergo, when a book became available that looks into these events in more detail I knew I had to read it.

David Gardner’s Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana? is a fascinating read which actually corroborated many of my beliefs about these two iconic women; that there is mystery surrounding their deaths.

What is more I got to read interesting cases about three other celebrities that I hadn’t really given much credence to the conspiracy theories surrounding their demise.

Gardner really does give you food for thought. He does it without forcing his opinions upon you. He opens an envelope of clues and invites you to look for yourself and to make your own mind up. If his manner had been demanding then I don’t think his theories would have had the same validity.

I will be interested to read more from David Gardner.

Murder. Lies, and Cover-Ups – Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, and Princess Diana? By David Gardner is available now.

For more information regarding Skyhorse Publishing (@skyhorsepub) please visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

4 Stars

Title: love, and you

Author: Gretchen Gomez

Pages: 143 Pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

one day i met a guy
who stole my heart,
we created a world
for ourselves.
and another day
he broke my heart
and shattered
my soul.

i took the tattered
pieces of this
broken soul and
became anew.

– here lies the hurting, the healing, and the learning

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

So I don’t know a lot about poetry. Besides the GCSE anthology that I work through with my students and some war poetry I have never really delved into the form of writing, always opting for music lyrics instead of written poetry. However, there was something about the cover of Gretchen Gomez’s collection love, and you that intrigued me.

What I can tell you, from my novice perspective is that man Gretchen Gomez felt some pain. Her pain drips out of every poem and she has bared herself for the world to see. It is an incredibly brave and honest collection of poems that invites you to intimately examine her life.

Even if, like me, you don’t feel comfortable enough to assess and understand poetry you can at least appreciate the candour in which Gomez writes.

love, and you by Gretchen Gomez is available now.

For more information regarding Gretchen Gomez (@chicnerdreads) please visit www.chicnerdreads.wordpress.com.

3 Stars

Lunch With HarryTitle: Lunch with Harry

Author: Tony Drury

Pages: 77 Pages

Publisher: City Fiction

The Blurb

Is it possible that Audrey Hepburn was in Regent Street, London in 2016?

Perhaps not. But her memory is recreated in the desirable shape of Dr Ella van Houten who has stood on a man’s foot outside Hamleys, the world’s oldest toy shop. Their differing personalities dominate this fast moving story which takes in London, Europe and lunches with Harry.

Ella was imagining that she was Holly Golightly, the character that Hepburn played in one of the greatest ever romantic films: ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

This riveting novella tells how they begin a relationship which is initially dominated by two features: Ella’s uncanny reprise of Holly’s quirky and insecure nature and Harry’s guilt over the loss of his wife. There is also the impending death of Ella’s brother which bizarrely leads them chasing a figurine of the Mexican general Santa Anna who won the battle for ‘the Alamo’.

The ending produces a moment of pure cinema as Ella and Harry fight against the seemingly insurmountable obstacle which threatens their future together.

Lunch with Harry is the first publication which forms part of the Novella Nostalgia series linking iconic cinema classics with modern stories.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I’ve never really been a fan of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I know people will be giving me some major stink eye over this but it was never a film that captured my heart. Maybe I was too young when I watched it and therefore have never appreciated it the way that it needs to be.

I have however stood in front of Tiffany’s and imagined what it would be like to be Audrey Hepburn. For the record, it felt pretty good.

I decided to give the novella Lunch with Harry a read based on my disconnect from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. If I am totally honest, it didn’t make me like the film any more than I did but it did make me think I should give it another watch just in case.

The story is an interesting one that mirrors Breakfast at Tiffany’s but places it in modern day London. It is sweet and you feel like Harry and Ella might just be able to make things work even though life events have given them lemons.

Lunch with Harry is a nice story that will pass the time on a commute to or from work. You never know, you may meet a handsome/beautiful stranger while you read it.

Lunch with Harry (Novella Nostalgia Book #1) by Tony Drury is available now.

For more information regarding Tony Drury (@TonyDruryAuthor) please visit www.tonydruryauthor.com.

For more information regarding City Fiction (@CityFictionLtd) please visit www.cityfiction.co.uk.

2 Stars

Everybody Needs a BridgeTitle: Everybody Needs a Bridge

Author: Colleen D Scott

Pages: 273 Pages

Publisher: NKD Ventures

The Blurb

High school is a difficult time for every teenager. When Erin enters a large public high school in 1980, she’s more than a little intimidated. Shocked by the realization that the legacy of her southern Alabama town isn’t a thing of the past, Erin struggles to find her way and in the process forms several important relationships.  Brittany, whose genuine friendship and unconditional support help Erin navigate her unfamiliar surroundings. Shelby, whose strength and confidence challenge Erin to make her own decisions. And Emmet, whose magnetism and acceptance inspires her to dream of a different future.

As the years pass, Erin’s new bonds grow stronger. And together, they search for the answer to one important question: How do you define your own path, feel like you belong, and yet resist all of the social pressures and rigid expectations?

Tragically, after their time in high school ends, Erin becomes separated from these important friends. Alone, she struggles to find the courage to continue her journey. Ultimately, she is forced with a life-defining choice. Her decision will catapult Erin into adulthood, will test her faith, love and courage, and inevitably have an impact on the lives of those she loves most.

The Review

Thank you to Annie Wilson who sent me a review copy of Everybody Needs a Bridge for an honest review.

One of the things I love most is when a book will take a contentious topic and look at it from a different (sometimes difficult) angle. Colleen D Scott’s book Everybody Needs a Bridge is one such book. The story takes place in Alabama in the 1980s but with the topics that Scott explores it could be set in modern day America. Scott looks at the subject of race but from the perspective of white privilege and through the innocent eyes of a teenager who is trying to forge her own steps in a world she doesn’t necessarily always understand and certainly doesn’t agree with.

Whilst, at times, Everybody Needs a Bridge can seem a bit too pastoral for my taste it was definitely fitting with the period and topics that were broached. It is strange to read about a time that feels so present in our history but seeing how little has changed.

Scott’s strength is how she explores relationships, whether it be protagonist Erin’s relationship with her parents, best friend, boyfriend or her peers. Scott understands the nuances on each relationship and paints a brilliant multilayered picture.

Everybody Needs a Bridge is a good story that keeps you engaged from the moment you pick it up and is definitely a book to make you question your own way of thinking in comparison to societal morals and rules.

Everybody Needs a Bridge by Colleen D Scott is available now.

35 Stars

Derby GirlTitle: Derby Girl

Author: Shauna Cross

Pages: 244 Pages

Publisher: Henry Holt

The Blurb

Meet Bliss Cavendar, a blue haired, indie-rock loving misfit stuck in the tiny town of Bodeen, Texas.

Her pageant-addicted mother expects her to compete for the coveted Miss Blue Bonnet crown, but Bliss would rather feast on roaches than be subjected to such rhinestone tyranny.

Bliss’ escape? Take up Roller Derby.

When she discovers a league in nearby Austin, Bliss embarks on an epic journey full of hilarious tattooed girls, delicious boys in bands, and a few not-so-awesome realities even the most bad-assed derby chick has to learn.

The Review

Whenever I am asked what is my favourite book I never hesitate to give Derby Girl by Shauna Cross as my answer. I read this book several years ago and usually when I read a book I will pass it on to other people and let them keep the copy. Not Derby Girl though; that was put in the permanent collection.

So when a group of students with whom I work asked me to start a book club I knew exactly what book I wanted to read with them. Derby Girl is not just a book about sports (although I do long for the day that I grow a pair and join the Roller Derby) and it is not just about falling in love (romantic love or in this case a love of something that helps you find yourself). It is a book about just letting yourself be you; that you can bang to the beat of your own drummer, rest of the world be damned. There is no stronger message that I wanted to pass on to my students.

However, on reflection and after a reread of what is still my favourite book of all time ever I decided that I probably shouldn’t read it with my students. Not yet, anyway. See, whilst I love the book I really cannot recommend a book that has near on 60 cuss words and 13 references to sex to a group of 11 year olds. As much as I bang to the beat of my own drummer I am not foolish enough to face the wrath of angry parents.

Therefore, if you are old enough to choose the books you read without parental influence then go and read this book. It is wonderful. Simply wonderful.

Derby Girl by Shauna Cross is available now.

For more information regarding Shauna Cross (@ShaunaCross) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Henry Holt (@HenryHolt) please visit www.us.macmillan.com/HenryHolt.aspx.

5 Stars