Elevate Difference

Reviews of Grand Central Publishing

Love, Honor, and Betray

Before I started to read it, this book held lots of promise; the cover tells of the author’s previous books being on the New York Times bestseller list. Unfortunately, I had not had the pleasure of reading any other of Kimberla Lawson Roby’s books. Since reading Love, Honor, and Betray, I have come to realize that one of its characters, the Reverend Curtis Black, was at the centre of a series of an eight books by the same author.


Warren Spooner is an underachiever in a remarkable family. As a child, he sneaks around town peeing in people’s shoes and watching things burn in the city incinerator. As an adult, he first becomes a major league baseball player and then a writer, seemingly destined for early demise as he eagerly enters into questionable situations with his boxer pal Stanley Faint. After a string of surgeries, he has enough metal in his body to warrant concern about the weight of his coffin when he eventually dies. There has never been a lovable black sheep quite like Spooner.


Damaged epitomizes a feeling of darkness and reeling loss with an utterly profound yet utterly hopeful ending. Continually faced with ongoing loss and disappointment, protagonist Camille Logan deals with a progression of horrifying moments, save for a small light of a boyfriend who seemingly will do anything for her.

How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly

The title of Connie May Fowler’s novel How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly comes close to saying it all. It is the story of a thirty-five-year-old woman’s inner struggle for independence and self-acceptance, which she slowly succeeds at achieving over the course of one single day—the summer solstice of 2006. The novel takes place in the hot, sticky forests and savannas of northern Florida, and it starts as one imagines the weather might feel.

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is Kathy Cano-Murillo's first foray into the world of novel writing. The author, known to her crafting disciples as "Crafty Chica," already has a well-established fan base because of her popular crafting books, web series, nationally syndicated newspaper column, instructional craft cruise to Mexico, and product line.

Tell Me Something True

Tell Me Something True is about a young woman, Gabriella, who spends a summer visiting family in Colombia and what she learns about her mother, Helena, upon discovering her diary. Helena died when Gabriella was only a baby, so the image Gabriella has of her mother is broken when she is confronted by the secrets her mother kept.

Tall, Dark, and Fangsome (Immortality Bites)

Vampires are a dime a dozen these days. Everywhere you turn, there’s a new one ready to take your blood to prolong his un-life. Soon, there are going to be more vamps than humans, and then where will we be?

The Widow of the South

Though it’s based in reality, Robert Hicks’ work of historical fiction The Widow of the South is an incredibly long, often meandering novel that failed to rouse me in any real way. And that’s something I’m truly sorry to report. A few years ago, I became interested in all things Southern.

On the Line

I love everything about the U.S. Open except the line calls. I experienced this past weekend's U.S. Open upset for Serena Williams with a different perspective than if I hadn't read her memoir On the Line. The book is written in Serena's voice. It's personal, it's conversational, and that's why I like it. I enjoyed her reflection on her life thus far. I have to say that Serena is a spoiled brat, but that observation comes from her directly.

April and Oliver

Tess Callahan’s debut novel, April and Oliver, begins with the death of April’s beloved younger brother, Buddy, in a car accident on a snowy winter afternoon. As Buddy takes his last breaths, he recalls a childhood memory of being lost in the woods with April and her friend, Oliver, and the reassurance of holding both of their hands.

Laura Rider's Masterpiece

Jane Hamilton's latest novel has a delightful premise. Laura and Charlie Rider own a Midwestern landscape business, for which Laura writes a newsletter. Charlie is a fantastic lover, a man whose equal doses of femininity and masculinity make his understanding of women profound. Laura suffers from “sexual fatigue,” and after twelve years of marriage, she has decided to stop sleeping with Charlie. Jenna Faroli, the host of Milwaukee Public Radio's Jenna Faroli Show, has recently moved to Laura and Charlie's town of Hartley. Laura has always greatly admired Jenna.

Little Giant of Aberdeen County

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is Tiffany Baker's debut novel. Wow! How does one follow this work with another novel? The story is set in rural Aberdeen County, where several generations of doctors named Robert Morgans live and practice. Truly Plaice was a baby that stretched her mother to epic proportions. The town watched Mrs. Plaice's pregnancy with relish. Most of the people in town placed bets on the size and weight of the baby.

Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home

Kim Sunée’s Trail of Crumbs is lovely coming of age story about a young woman searching for her identity, love, and place in the world—her home. Sunée writes a beautiful memoir about her passionate love affair, all the while embodying the tastes and sumptuous delicacies of her travels without embellishing her story.

Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me

I have a love/hate relationship with liberal publications, like the New York Times, that discuss progressive issues and at the same time print articles that seem to use stone age mentality to “prove” the differences between women and men.

Houston, We Have a Problema

It’s never a good sign when you have to begin a book review with, “I really wanted to like…” Gwendolyn Zepeda’s completely uninspired first novel Houston, We Have a Problema is disturbingly typical—which is perhaps the worst thing you can be as a writer. I really wanted to like her Latina protagonist Jessica Luna. I was hoping she’d be fiercely smart, funny, and unexpected. Sadly, she stopped being promising about four pages in.

No Control

While Shannon K. Butcher is definitely a good writer, if you’ve read one “Romantic Suspense” novel, you’ve read them all. This genre inspires books that are all basically the same (predictable) except the characters’ names and settings are different. In this particular book, No Control, a woman named Lana Hancock is captured by a terrorist group only to be freed by a large man named Caleb Stone, an army guy who had infiltrated the terrorists’ ranks.