No New Book Review! Sorry!

Heya!

So, I know I haven’t posted a new book review lately but it’s because of a good reason…I’m reading a really, really, really big book. Well, it’s sort of big but mostly it’s really interesting!

If you’ve watched my instagram or Twitter you’ll know what book I’m reading! It’s nearly 600 pages long! I’m actually liking it a ton so I haven’t been able to read any other books. I usually read 4-5 at the same time but I’m sort of stuck on this one.

I am trying to write the blog posts that are in my queue and finish revising my own book, Phoenix! Gotta get all this stuff out! July is a busy month!

Jade
P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still reading the book club book but that is more out of necessity for the meeting.

Book Review: Wh3n by Laurie

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client’s young son. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. 

 

 

Heya,

So I’m pretty sure I’ve read this book before. About halfway through I started thinking ‘I know this part!’. This book was pretty great! I love this idea. I’m not sure what it is but I’m seriously obsessed with death and the idea of death. Anything that is about someone seeing death, seeing death dates, being a Reaper makes me happy inside.

81r0YhSj4jL

I really liked the main character in this book. As someone who struggled dealing with the shortcomings of a mother, I could really relate to her. I could relate to someone who wanted to be strong, believes that people could change, and yet know their innocence had been taken a long time ago.

I would recommend this YA book! I enjoyed it! I also really liked the way this ended.

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Readdance,

Jade

Link to Book 

College Essay on Life Experience: Miscarriage, Infant Loss and Post Traumatic Grief

Hi all! So I wrote this essay for my Psychology course called Miscarriage, Infant Loss and Post Traumatic Grief for my Psychology class and I thought I would share it with you all. Uncorrected.

In 2015 I got pregnant for the first time. I was due in May 2016. I was so scared but very excited. My guy and I barely knew each other. We were both torn on how we would be parents. I’d always wanted a family of my own I just didn’t know it would happen so soon. In the beginning, I felt great. I was healthy, everything was in the right place; I didn’t have a worry in the world. We decided to stick it through and on Chase and Charlie for boy and girl names. I remember how happy we were, young and exuberant. That was until things began to go wrong. According to the doctors, it would be a waiting game. There was nothing we could do. There was nothing they could do. We had to wait and see what my body, what the baby, wanted to do. I’ve never been good with patience. I tried. I called myself strong. I called myself a warrior. I tried to get through everything with a positive outlook. It didn’t work. My optimism did me no good. Everything began to fall apart. I officially lost my baby on October 23, 2015 at 12 weeks. The pain brought Tony and I closer together. He stayed in the hospital with me, took care of me, and watched over me while I cried my heart out.

In January, 2017, I found out I was pregnant again. My due date was October 23, 2017. The same exact date I’d lost two years before. This couldn’t be a coincidence! We were overjoyed. By this time, we were deeply in love. We’d moved in together, had great jobs and could afford to take care of a child. We already had money saved and we were ready to take on this new adventure. My doctors told me that it was very common for women to lose their first pregnancy and that I really had nothing to worry about. Everything, again, looked great, healthy and in the right place. At 11 weeks, we now know, I lost my mucus plug. At 15 weeks my water broke. I rushed to the hospital and they confirmed it. Our little happy, healthy baby was without fluid. They suggested I terminate. I couldn’t believe they wanted me to get rid of my baby when I could see her there on the screen. She had a great heartbeat, was moving just as much as she should and seemed fine. They told me that if I stayed pregnant I could get an infection and that the baby would die anyway. The doctors said the infection could get so bad that they would have to do a hysterectomy. I knew that couldn’t be my only option and pressed for something else. Something that could help us, help her. The doctors said that there was one thing we could do only if we make it to 24 weeks, which she strongly said I wouldn’t. If I made it to 24 weeks I would get antibiotics and shots, then I would live at the hospital, on bed rest, for the rest of my pregnancy. That would be 4 months. She did say that my body could take the choice out of my hands. That I could delivery naturally and they wouldn’t be able to stop it but if I didn’t, she might have a chance to live.

I jumped on it. I could do it! I had an office job and so I was determined to stay as still as possible, drink as much water as possible, to replenish her fluid faster than it was leaking, and to war against infection. I made it to 19 weeks. I went into labor naturally, just like they warned. I was on my way to work when the contractions started. At first, I thought they were just false contractions and I clocked in and started working. It’s silly to think about now but I really sat at my desk and tried to rock through the pain. I’d never been through labor before! Finally an older coworker told me to rush to the hospital because I was about to have the baby. I cried my eyes out. I called my guy and told him to meet me at Winnie Palmer and left. Iris Giana was born at 3:15pm that day. It was the most beautiful, terrifying, amazingly traumatic moment I’ve ever had in my life. Seeing her there, on my chest, with her tiny feet, moving her tiny hands. I couldn’t believe that I’d actually given birth to a human and that I couldn’t keep her. She was perfect in every way and yet, she wasn’t big enough to survive on her own.

One of the most disheartening things about it all is that I couldn’t even be with her in her last moments. I almost died from blood loss, the placenta got stuck, and they had to rush me to surgery. I held her for as long as I could but the pain was just too much. They had to take her from me. Knowing that the next time I saw her she would be dead made my physical pain so much worse. I could deal with the fire in my belly, with the sharp stabbing going down my sides but I couldn’t deal with seeing them take her away and knowing I couldn’t say goodbye. I remember telling her I loved her so many times. Wanting her to know it wasn’t in vain. That she meant something to me. To us.

In the beginning, it was hard for me to see my guy being happy or experiencing life without being as sad or distraught as I was. American Pregnancystates “Generally, women are more expressive about their loss and more likely to seek support from others.” This was very true for us. He was very quiet about everything. I didn’t really see the grief from him until a few months later. “I was only a dad for 30 minutes” he randomly said to me one night. It hurt my heart and I cried for days. I couldn’t handle being a source of pain for him and knowing there was nothing I could physically do to make it better.

In 2018 I found out I was pregnant, again. Again, we were excited. This will be the time! We have a plan. My doctors have a plan. Just get to 12 weeks, they said, then we can put in a cerclage and start you on shots to protect the baby. It would finally work. It was another miracle. This definitely can’t be a coincidence, I remember saying. I was due October 23, 2018. The same exact date as the pregnancy from the year before and the loss from 2015. This is a sign from the gods. I got to 9 weeks and then the bleeding started. I rushed to the hospital. “Save my baby, please!” I remember telling them, but there was nothing they could do. She was already gone. No heartbeat. They had no reasoning, couldn’t see anything wrong with her or with me. She was just gone.

I’ve had so many experiences with grief in my life. I’m a foster kid with mom issues, twice over, and at one point I had no hope. I had no direction but I kept going. I pushed forward. I graduated high school. I got a job, sometimes two or three at a time. I took care of myself despite feeling helpless and unwanted and unloved. I beat the odds and the statistics. I did it! I thought the pain and anger and disappointment was finally over. Despite all of this ‘achieving’ I’d done, nothing, nothing could prepare me for this. I wanted to give up. I wanted to float away and not deal with the pain of my losses. The love in my soul that I feel for them every day. The tug that is telling me this will never work. Still, months after my most recent loss, I don’t know if I’m healed. I don’t know if I ever will be.

In Krosch’s study, they asked questions of women who have lost babies at varying stages of pregnancy, women who have had multiple miscarriages and also talked to women who had living children outside of their losses. “The “other children” comparisons indicated that women who did not have living children tended to experience moderately higher grief scores than those who had children after the loss.“ (Krosch) I can attest to this because I am one. For me, I believe the added fear, the added stress, is that I might not ever be able to have children. I believe that I would be distraught, after my losses, if I had children as well but the simple fact that I’ve had three very different losses and none of them give us any indication as to what is wrong or how we might be able to prevent it from happening in the future makes this a stressful situation. I don’t want to think of the possibility that I do all the tests, all the exams, spend all the money for the expensive health insurance and I will find that I can never carry. So I can definitely see how not having other children would give me a higher score on the grief scale.

Another thing that I found interesting about Krosch’s study is the factor they believed religion, or spiritual beliefs, took in growth, post traumatic grief and life after loss. “The greatest PTG was reported in appreciation of life, personal strength, and relating to others domains, and least in spiritual growth. The findings of limited spiritual growth are consistent with previous research in non-North American populations (e.g., T. Weiss & Berger, 2010), but may also be influenced by pregnancy loss-specific factors. Although some people tend toward spiritual understandings following perinatal loss, others report a marked departure (Cowchock, Lasker, Toedter, Skumanich, & Koenig, 2010). This suggests that some people’s spiritual beliefs may provide a framework for understanding the loss, while others’ beliefs may be rendered inadequate.” (Krosch) For me, I believe I was more on the side that says it made a huge impact in my recovering but not in the way it did for most of the women. The ones who ‘gained’ more faith in god or in religion may have said it impacted them greatly or that they felt closer. I, however, felt the exact opposite. There has never been a bigger divide between myself and god than there is now, after he has captured my joy and crushed it beneath his foot.
As a young child, growing up in foster care, I was impressionable in the sense that if something was strongly explained and sounded ‘amazing’ I might be keen to believe it. Christianity was that for me. My adopted parents were both pastors during my youth. They taught and they preached and they took us to church every single week. Some weeks we went to church three and four times. I was very autonomous as a kid and wanted to find my own relationship with god, not one forced on me. Once I did, I loved it. I loved the atmosphere, I loved the support, I loved the fact that I had consistent people in my life who seemed to actually care about my well-being; I also loved the drama. Of course. I grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong but also the importance of the grey area. I often playfully say, that back when I was 12, I was a Jesus freak. I wanted everyone to give their souls and live peaceful lives. That’s just to show how the dynamic role of religion played in my life as a kid and how it’s changed. I am no longer that way. After my first loss I was very angry. I was mad at everyone; my guy for not understanding, my mom for not helping me, my friends for never reaching out, my god for not delivering me from my pain. I still loved him, I still trusted him with my soul. I knew my heart was in safe hands. After my second loss I screamed at the heavens; “How could you do this to me? How could you cause me this much pain? What have I done to deserve this? Am I that evil of a human being?” (I will never forget the words my biological mother said to me after my water broke and I was terrified my little girl would die; “god will always take your babies because you are evil on the inside. Your soul is evil. I hope you lose your baby.”) After my third loss, March 2018, I screamed again but this time in resignation. I screamed inside with self-doubt, pity and resolution. That follows in line with Lin’s explanation of chronic grief. “These symptoms can be excessive anger, guilt and self-blame, or persistent depression, and they make resolution and adaptation difficult. With chronic grief, there is little or no sign of diminution of intense reaction a year or more after the loss.” (Lin)

So yes, I screamed out with a shaking fist. I screamed outin silence of my own mind. I said “I get it, god! You don’t want me to have children! What? Do you think I will be a bad mother? Have I not proved that I have so much love to give? Have I not proved that I will not take on the sins of my adopted mother and my mother’s mother and my mother’s mother beyond that?” That is the difference between those women and me. They found a deeper faith, something they could hold on to, and I wish I could say the same. For me, I had lost all trust in god. I believe in him, I don’t think that will ever stop. My foundation is just too strong. I just no longer believe that I can trust him. I can no longer trust him with my heart, my soul, my dreams and my future. As someone who always used god as the answer or someone who will help propel me into the future even thinking that feels as dark as midnight.

This topic is always hard for me but I love to share it with others. I am no longer ashamed of what I’ve been through. I am no longer scared to think other people, other women, will look down on me and think I am less of a woman. I am strong, I always will be. I want to help other women who are going through what I’ve been through to be as strong as I. That’s why I’m writing a book about miscarriage awareness, loss and grief from an angel mom’s perspective. I have complied submissions from women all around the world and I plan to use their stories, their soul specific paths to draw in those who feel alone. My heart goes out to anyone who has experienced this and even those who are dealing with infertility but maybe haven’t experienced an actual loss. I just want to pour out compassion, awareness, love, understanding and, in the end, hope.
Thank you for reading my uncorrected essay!

Jade

References

Krosch, D. J., & Shakespeare-Finch, J. (2017). Grief, traumatic stress, and posttraumatic growth in women who have experienced pregnancy loss. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, And Policy, 9(4), 425-433. doi:10.1037/tra0000183

Lin, S. X., & Lasker, J. N. (1996). Patterns of grief reaction after pregnancy loss. American Journal Of Orthopsychiatry, 66(2), 262-271. doi:10.1037/h0080177

“After A Miscarriage: Surviving Emotionally.” American Pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association. 29 December 2017. Web. 2 July 2018.

Link to Miscarriage: Surviving Emotionally

African American Literacy and the “A.A. Community” Page

Heya,

As an African American writer I’ve realized just how much I need to portray ‘us’ as we want to be seen, need to be seen, in all of my books. I am dedicating a category to Black Authors because I want to lift up my community and support them in anyway that I can. Awareness is a great way to do so.

One of the first things I plan to highlight in this tab are black owned bookstores. It is important for black people to be given the gift of reading. Historically, it’s not something we are supposed to do. It’s a different day and age now. We have a chance to rise up and become better than we were. Catering to communities without reading and writing materials should be a priority. We should have every opportunity available to enhance our minds, souls and to educate ourselves. This isn’t something we can expect to be given to us. As current standards show, we must do it in our own communities.

That being said, we also have to use the resources given to us. Them being there for us to take is not enough! If we are given a bookstore but we never go in…how does that help us? If we are given a safe place to read and to enjoy the company of other scholars but we defile it, trash it and destroy its sanctuary…how does that inspire other would-be black business owners? Please share your thoughts on this. Comment what you think is the best way to help with literacy in the African American Community.

So keep watch of the “African American Community” page! If you want to support a black author or find a black owned bookstore follow the blog and hit this tab! I’ll be updating soon!

If you’ve read any books by black authors lately that you really enjoyed, feel free to write them in the comments below! Send me a link! Share the love! I’m always looking for great suggestions and plan to keep this tab up to date with new posts.
Happy Readdance,
Jade

Discouraging Doubts of Editing

I am a Writer…not an editor. I don’t pretend to be one. I don’t allude to being one.

I spend a lot of my time writing from the heart and getting the creative juices flowing. I’m a conversational writer and that structure doesn’t sit well with everyone. That’s fine! I’ve found my voice and I will use it. Unfortunately, that means mistakes will be made and therefore will need to be corrected.

They say to not worry about the editing or the grammar, initially.
JUST GET THE WORDS OUT! They say.

YOU CAN’T EDIT A BLANK PAGE! They yell.

See?

Yes, that’s all fine and dandy until you finally finish your WIP and you start the editing process and BAM! It’s riddled with creative run on sentences and misplaced commas.

People often think that being a writer is synonymous with having perfect grammar. It is not.

Honore De Balzac was an amazing storyteller. He was a French playwright and novelist. He spun relationships so well you thought these people were apart of your own family. As it stands, he was horrible at grammar and sentence structure. That was even after it’d been edited and translated to English.

That’s just one example.

Enter…procrastination. I finished Phoenix a few weeks ago. I wanted to give it a breather even though I knew I need to start editing and revising. I haven’t started either.

I know that apart of it is fear. As a writer who has been crafting stories since I was a young child, I always knew I would eventually publish. It was never a matter of if but when. That being said, writing a book knowing it would be published, for the entire world to see, is completely different than writing something because I’m obsessed with the story and it wouldn’t let me go.

I’ve written several books. Finished several books. However, Phoenix will be the first book, other than a previous college endeavor, that I will be officially publishing. Phoenix will be under J.B. Jemison. It will be the start of a very long and healthy career as an Author and that is daunting. Very. I can almost taste the fear and anticipate the heat of embarrassment. Not that it will happen, not that I want it to happen…that’s just what my brain does. So, my mind has translated it to heavy procrastination.

Fortunately, I am more than my fear. I am more than failure. I will succeed. The only way I can do that is to revise and edit Phoenix so it is ready to pitch. That is what I will be doing with my weekend, to start.

 

Happy Readdance,

Jade

Book Review: The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Three years ago Madison Culver went missing at the age of five while looking for a Christmas tree with her family. Private investigator Naomi Cottle continues the investigation and believes that Madison’s disappearance can only be the result of an abduction. Naomi’s personal journey from foster child to adulthood parallels her search for Madison, and as her fears and sources of determination come to light, the narrative also dips into Madison’s mind, allowing readers to experience her terrifying ordeal at the hands of her captor.

This was a book that I randomly picked up at the library and I’m so glad I did. I will not lie and say I don’t ‘judge books by their cover’ but I do. Most of us do. Usually, the title and cover draw me in and then the synopsis makes me take it home. That was the case with this one. I started reading it at 11:30pm, which any self respecting nerd knows they SHOULD NOT do. I finished it the same night. 3:40am and I closed the book with a sense of peace and completion.

I usually don’t like books that have any form of child abuse in them. I experienced abuse, neglect and other poisonous happenings as a kid and it’s not something I want to read about. I enjoy reading and often times, I am doing it because it makes me feel better. I also do it because I used it as a coping mechanism as a kid. It keeps me safe. It hides me until I’m ready to fight. Why read about something that I’ve been trying to escape my entire life…and all that jazz.

That being said, I had no idea this book would have any mention of that. Yes, I read the synopsis but I definitely thought this was going down a different path. I believe that the fact that I read it, that I continued to push forward, speaks for itself.

The Child Finder
The way Denfeld writes is so beautiful that I couldn’t put the book down. The way she spins each touch and each look as subtle metaphors, from the woods, will surprise you. At first, you will say, “Is she talking about…?”

I wanted to read more, wanted to see what happened to this small child. I wanted to find out if Naomi would find the child or if there would only be bones or worse…nothing at all? I asked myself if I was ok with it ending either way. I asked myself if Naomi could really do this without any super powers. If this was going to have some sort of paranormal or supernatural element. I wanted to know if she was the kid whisperer.

I wanted Madison to be found. I wanted her to be lost. I wanted to see how her parents grieved and, after all these years, how they coped. At 330am, I was coming upon the end of the book and I had to sit up. I had to prepare myself for the end. It was just amazing.

I would recommend this to any and everyone. Trust me, this one is worth reading. I will say, I also plan to look at other books by her. I love her writing style and I want to know more!

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Happy Readdance,

Jade

Link to Book

Cherchez La Vie: June 2018

 

Cherchez la Vie
Look for Life

 

This June’s Cherchez La Vie went amazingly. I actually celebrated on Sunday, which is crazy that I’ve never done that before with, you know…Sunday being my favorite day of the week. I’m glad I did because I’ve never had a Cherchez turn out better than this one.

Itinerary:
I woke up early, a new occurrence for me, and I got out my notecards. It was time to take stock of the last 6 months. A moment of introspection and reflection; see what really happened, what I’ve gone through and where my head is at now. I thought of the things I accomplished from the last Cherchez, in December 2017. I thought of what goals I didn’t meet, what I didn’t even try to do and what was very easy for me to do. Then I thought of the next 6 months, what I want to do, what I think I can do and what I know is life changing.
(The important thing about goal making is being realistic. Yes, it’s important to make goals that push you but it’s also important to know there are steps to everything. Sometimes you have to slowly take each…step…at…a…time instead of expecting to jump right to the top; of weight loss, a finished book or hair growth goals.)

Then I wrote my list of ‘June 2018 Cherchez La Vie’ goals. Your list can be big or small, important things or just a simple To-Do list, anything. I choose to do both and some I roll over from the last list. I have life goals, relationship goals, randomly jotted down goals and also house goals. I have big dreams and I know that every Cherchez I need to be doing SOMETHING that gets me closer to my aspirations.

  1. Completely pack up everything for the move.
  2. Edit and Revise Phoenix.
  3. Prep pitch for PitchWars in August.
  4. Consistently go to gym (roll over)
  5. Find new apt and move
  6. Get rid of unwanted clothes, minimize
  7. Paint at least 1 canvas
  8. Get 401k set up! (Done)
  9. Set new weekly hair routine
  10. Clean apt for move
  11. Buy more book shelves!
  12. Buy a writing desk!
  13. Go to Yoga in the park for the first time (Done!)
  14. Cook steak and potatoes- fancy
  15. Meditate daily for 1 week (Initially)
  16. Write FF Anthology Piece
  17. Consistently write ASR Posts
  18. Officially set up and promote ASR Newsletter
  19. More Photos with Tony
  20. Experience more of the city
  21. Wake up earlier- more often (eek!)
  22. Make female friends- consistent friends (roll over)
  23. Read more (roll over)

After making my list of goals I ate breakfast and then got ready to leave. I attended the Yoga in the park class for the first time! So I can mark that off my list! I was so excited because I loved yoga in college. I was definitely more fit back in college; I ate healthier and worked out more. I didn’t have a car, at first, so I was always moving. Since getting a car, and moving here, I realized that I live a very sedentary life and I don’t eat nearly as healthy as I could. I’ve just recently been trying to do things that can work out my body and my mind simultaneously so this was a great start.

Yoga in park

 

After Yoga I talked about society, culture, and life as a black woman with a new friend. I’ve been looking for ways to enhance my life and having a female friend is definitely a way to do so. I love my guy and all but having someone to chat with, laugh with, hell…giggle with, is very important. I have been missing that since I moved here and I knew creating a book club is one of the best ways to do that.

Once we parted ways I took my time walking through downtown and taking in the weather. I stopped at the library to pick up more books. Even though I read a ton, I could always read MORE and so that’s on the list, of course. So…I sat in the park downtown and read for hours. It was amazing.

Then I got rained on.

So I ran to get food, bagged up my books and walked back to the car. Having curly hair is a great thing in this case. My books were tightly protected so I could really take my time, breathing in the rain, the scent of moisture and peace.

After I got home I relaxed with my guy, read, wrote and reflected over how the day had passed. I couldn’t help the sense of true peace that seemed to heal all my worry and strife for the day. I could truly sit and not feel like I should be up working more, fighting more, getting more strength, breathing more…I could just stop.

And that is what this holiday does for me. That is what Cherchez La Vie can do for you. It’s looking for life, searching for life, searching for THE life. Creating this holiday in high school was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life.

So participate! Go head, it’s not too late to make your list of goals for the next 6 months. The next Cherchez is December 30, 2018. You can change your life in that time. I’ve done it! Just think, on my goal list for December 2017 I wrote “Start school to finish bachelors degree” and now I’m finishing my second semester. I also had “Write and pitch a book” on that list and I’m actually pitching Phoenix next month! Trust me…it works!

 

Cherchez la Vie
Look for Life

Happy Readdance,

Jade

First Rule of Book Club Is…

Heya,
I’m so excited!!! There goes that word again.

So I need more friends. More friends that read, more friends of common interests, more female friends. My guy is great but there is just something about a genuine female friend that you can call your own. Not like a pet, but something akin to family. Something stronger than family.

So obviously…I created a book club. I posted in a few of the book groups I’m apart of on Facebook and several women answered. I’m so happy. I’m going to be reading books anyway so why not make a few friends while I’m at it?

Anyway, so…ever the planner (which, I’m not really but am I about this sort of stuff? idk, IDK!), I created a google folder with documents in it for rules and guidelines and book club stuffs. I love it! So our first official meeting is in August. We used a choosing method, where it rotates every month, and the first book and Chooser have already been selected!

For our first book, we are reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It sounds really interesting and is apparently very famous, but I hadn’t heard of it before now. The cover and synopsis are below.

I am adding a category to the books tab so that I can write posts about our club and all things book discussion! This will be great!

Good Readdance,
Jade

 

Little Fires Everywhere

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides.  Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Link to Book