Book Review: “The Orphan Mother” by Robert Hicks

the orphan mother

“The Orphan Mother” by Robert Hicks (2016)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Length: 320 pages (electronic review copy)


In the years following the Civil War, Mariah Reddick, former slave to Carrie McGavock–the “Widow of the South”–has quietly built a new life for herself as a midwife to the women of Franklin, Tennessee. But when her ambitious, politically minded grown son, Theopolis, is murdered, Mariah–no stranger to loss–finds her world once more breaking apart. How could this happen? Who wanted him dead?
Mariah’s journey to uncover the truth leads her to unexpected people–including George Tole, a recent arrival to town, fleeing a difficult past of his own–and forces her to confront the truths of her own past.


*Note: I had no idea there was a prior novel to this story while reading The Orphan Mother. That being said, I also can feel it can also be read as a standalone.

The Orphan Mother is a historical novel set in the time of the civil war. The main protagonist, Mariah, goes on a journey of truth after her son is brutally murdered.What I appreciated most about the novel is that Hicks keeps the book realistic and accurate to the historical period. He doesn’t sugarcoat the high racial tensions after the Civil War and throughout the book there is a lot of animosity and tension in the air. Even though slavery is over African-Americans are still expected to be unseen, and the cities are highly segregated.

Mariah is quiet, skillful, and is set in her ways. She is a widowed midwife and has to deal with the death of her son after he perishes in a violent mob. As she slowly recovers from her son’s death, she feels as if she has lost everything because she is now all alone. Seeking the truth behind her son’s death and trying to put together the pieces of the mystery fills her life with a purpose once again. While Mariah is independent she is equally stubborn and doesn’t know how to break free from her old life. This inner turmoil is played out throughout the entire novel.

The other leading character named Tole is a free man from New York who is trying run away from his past. He chases down his demons down with alcohol while trying to make a better life for himself in Franklin. When he is drug into a job as a hit man, things start to spiral out of control, and soon after he ends up taking on the role of a vigilante because of his overwhelming guilt.

There’s not too much I can say about this book without giving much of the plot away. I will say that I loved the suspense that builds up as the mysteries unfold. Overall, I enjoyed the story’s pacing, smooth writing, and the character development.

Final Verdict:

4 star rating

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Booktube Bites: When Someone Ruins Your Book

booktube bites

Booktube Bites is a weekly segment in which I spotlight cool bookish videos on the internet. I will discuss some entertaining videos and Booktubers which you can check out. Feel free to participate as well, and send in your own recommendations of videos you would like spotlighted.

Found At: The Perks of Books

Today’s Video: When Someone Ruins Your Book

This week’s viral pick is a video about something every reader dreads; lending a book to a friend or family member then having it ruined. The Perks of Books perfectly sums up the feelings of how this situation could play out and I had to laugh at this video because it was so relatable.

I remember back in high school I lent my friend a copy of Twilight (when the series was a phenomenon and I was a huge fan) and she returned back to me with a bent cover. Let’s just say I was not a happy camper. Because of that I rarely lend out books anymore, with the exception of a few people I trust. And this problem is not only limited to books, but I had cd’s, dvd’s, etc. ruined over the years.😦

Question of the week: Have you ever loaned a book to your friend or family member and they ruined it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Have a great weekend!🙂

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Book Tag Thursday: Stranger Things Book Tag


As always for this segment I will find awesome book tags throughout the vast, wide inter-webs and complete mini-challenges. I’ll hope you’ll have fun and participate with me as well! Leave your own answers in the comments or write your post and link it back to me. (You are also free to use the picture if you’d like, just credit me.)

Today’s Topic: Stranger Things Book Tag

Created BySarah Sunbeemz

EPIC INTRO: The opening sequence of Stranger Things is amazing and really grabs your attention. Name a book that grabbed your attention from the first page.


Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan

I was initially intrigued by the overall fantasy aspects, but I love the characters and how the plot progressed in this novel. Witches come in all different forms with various powers and it was interesting to see how the battle between magic and society plays out.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: Name a fantasy world you would like to experience yourself.


Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Though the world of Graceling is super dangerous, but it would be a great adventure to experience a world of sword fighting and mystical creatures. Plus being able to see a real live dragon would be cool!

SQUAD GOALS: When Eleven met Mike, Dustin and Lucas it was a *mostly* perfect team. Name your favorite bookish group of friends.


Gabi,  A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

I love the relationship between Gabi and her friends Cindy and Sebastian. Though they run into some circumstances that possibly could have ruined their friendship, they were able to work through their problems and stick it out. They are honest, down to earth, and always have each other’s backs.

ABC’s & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Joyce Byers goes mad with grief after Will goes missing. Name your favorite mentally unhinged character.

midnight bites

Midnight Bites by Rachel Caine

Myrnin from the Morganville Vampire series! Though he is part genius and part mad hatter, he’s a very charming character. Though I’m not always sure if he’s all-together trustworthy, I love the way his character is written and how he develops over the course of the story.

THE UPSIDE DOWN: Name a book that was the opposite of what you expected.


The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong

This novel was one of my favorite suspenseful books that I’ve read this year!  Not only was it a book that explored mental illness, but it’s an intense fast-paced psychological thriller that puts you on edge. The twists that occurred throughout the book were so unexpected to me.

MAD SCIENTISTS: Dr. Brenner likes to get freaky with humanity. Name the freakiest dystopian government you can think of.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I can’t think of any other book/series that tops The Hunger Games 

DEMOGORGON: Name a scary bookish creature that you would not want to come through your walls.


Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine

There a ton of bookish creatures out there that terrify me, but one that comes to mind is Slappy the ventriloquist dummy from Night of the Living Dummy. To this very day, dolls and ventriloquist dummies terrify me! They are so creepy!

CLIFFHANGER ENDING: name a book that left you wanting more.


The Wicked + The Divine Vol.1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen

The concept and artwork for this series is amazing! I like how the story is revolve around younger people become gods for a limited time and how they have to (somewhat) abide by society’s rules. After I finished the first book, I wanted to read more!

Tag! You’re it! Comment with your answers below or participate by writing your own post and link back to me. :)

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Spooktastic Giveaway!


Hello everyone! I’m back to host a spooktacular giveaway with books filled with things that go “bump in the night”! I’ll be giving away a bundle of books and goodies for you to enjoy during this Halloween season.

Here is the book bundle prize up for grabs!

Halloween Book Bundle:

The contents of this prize bundle are:

Bay of Fires by Poppy Gee: An intense thriller that surrounds a murder investigation.

Whispers in the Night by Various Authors: An anthology of horror stories by notable authors.

A bonus surprise book! (Not pictured)

Surprise bookish and Halloween themed goodies! (Not pictured)

*Note some of these books might have a small marking on them because they are overstock book buys.


  • You must be 16 or older to enter
  • Only one winner per package
  • Only one entry per person
  • Winners will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter
  • Contest open to US residents only

Good luck to everyone that enters!

The giveaway will run from October 19th till the 26th at midnight!

Winners will be announced on October 27th through my Facebook and Twitter accounts and will be contacted directly through email.

Enter the Giveaway Here!

Disclaimer: Open to Residents of the US only. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. Products offered through the giveaway do not constitute an endorsement or sponsorship of said products. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.  Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.  By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone. I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.”

Favorite Halloween Films!


Since Halloween season is here I thought I would put together a compilation of some of my all-time favorite Halloween themed films I’ve watched over the years. Some are funny, others are a bit spooky, and a couple are downright scary. I also  previously did another Halloween movie compilation list of scary movies a few years back, so if you’re exclusively interested in a list of horror films, click here.

I hope you enjoy these spooky picks!😀

Hocus Pocus


This cult classic film starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker follows the villainous trio of witches, who are inadvertently resurrected by a male teenager as a virgin in Salem, Massachusetts.

This is one of the those Halloween films I can watch over and over again, while never getting tired of it. It’s funny, the dialogue is clever/witty, and the acting is A+! I grew up with this film and it will always hold a special place in my heart.



Halloween follows the story of Michael Myers who murders his older sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Fifteen years later, he escapes from a psychiatric hospital, returns home, and stalks teenager, Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), and her friends.

This is a classic horror film that really defines the horror genre! It’s a film that doesn’t rely on cheap jumpscares but rather focuses on building the heavy tension in order to order to grab the audience’s attention. Michael Myers is so creepy!



One of my favorite Disney channel movies growing up was Halloweentown. The film follows three siblings who can’t understand why they can never go out for Halloween. When their grandmother who is an expert witch, shows up for her annual visit they follow her onto a magical bus as she leaves, and they arrive in Halloweentown.

This film is lively, family friendly, and has lots of Halloween fun! Although it is a bit cheesy at times, it’s still one of my favorites because I loved the characters and the awesome set designs. I think the first film is the best out of the entire film franchise.

Fun Size


This teen comedy film  follows two girls (Wren and April) who are surprised when they find they are invited to a Halloween party by a local popular boy. On the day she is supposed to go to the party, she is also ordered by her mother to take Albert trick-or-treating so she can go to a party with her boyfriend. Wren decides to take her brother along to the party and chaos ensues.

Despite this being a Nickelodeon film, it’s definitely not for young kids. Even though the story line is predictable, the film’s crazy antics and (somewhat raunchy) humor make the movie entertaining. It will have you laughing out loud!

The Nightmare Before Christmas


This popular film tells the tale of  Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king from “Halloween Town” who stumbles through a portal to “Christmas Town” and decides to celebrate the holiday, in his own special way.

There are no words to describe just how much I love this movie! I pretty much live and breathe NBC and I know the songs and (a lot of) the dialogue by heart. I’ve had my own friends get annoyed at me while watching this movie since I tend to quote it out loud. I wholeheartedly enjoy stop-motion animation films and this one is at the top of my list!

Trick’r Treat


Trick r’Treat is centered around four Halloween-related horror stories. One common element that ties the stories together is the presence of Sam, a mysterious child trick-or-treater (see movie poster), that makes an appearance in all the stories whenever someone breaks Halloween traditions.

This isn’t the most scariest Halloween horror-esque film, but it’s tales will definitely get under your skin. Though it’s gained a greater cult following, I still feel like it’s a film that is under the radar and more people should definitely watch it. I liked how each story is woven together in the end. Be advised though if you don’t like gore though, because this movie has quite a bit of it.

Monster House


In this film, adults won’t believe three kids claims that a neighboring residence is a living creature that means them harm. With Halloween approaching, the trio must find a way to destroy the structure before innocent trick-or-treaters meet ghastly ends.

This movie is fantastic! Not only is the animation well done, but the voice acting is great too! The story is well-written, the plot moves smoothly, it’s full of action and I like how their was more than what meets the eye to this “evil house”. Highly recommended!

And that concludes my list! I wanted to add a lot more, but here is just of small selection of the Halloween films I enjoy. What are some of your favorite Halloween films? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!😀

Monthly Comic Corner: October Edition

Monthly Comic Corner

“Monthly Comic Corner” is a segment that compiles mini-reviews of comics, graphic novels, and manga that I’ve read for the month. Here are my reviews for the month of October which features dystopian worlds, wars on libraries, and otherworldly gods!


Orchid Vol.1  by Tom Morello, Dan Jackson (Illustrator), Scott Hepburn (Illustrator)

Genre: Dystopian, Fiction, Post-Apocalyptic, Fantasy

Synopsis: When the seas rose, genetic codes were smashed. Human settlements are ringed by a dense wilderness from which ferocious new animal species prey on the helpless. The high ground belongs to the rich and powerful that overlook swampland shantytowns from their fortress-like cities. Iron-fisted rule ensures order and allows the wealthy to harvest the poor as slaves. Delve into the first chapter of Orchid, the tale of a teenage prostitute who learns that she is more than the role society has imposed upon her, from the mind of musician Tom Morello. (description from Goodreads)

Review: I picked this book up on a random whim looking for a new fantasy comic. Orchid presents its readers with a post-apocalyptic/ fantasy world where monsters roam, dictators reign, and anarchy is on the rise. I’ll admit the first quarter of the volume had me all over the place while the writer was trying to set up the world building for the story. Some concepts were a bit confusing to grasp and I felt like a lot of information was being thrown at me in a short amount of time. Halfway through volume one, the story really picked up and piqued my interest. Orchid is a interesting character and I really felt for her because of all the hardships she goes through. I’m kind iffy about whether I’ll continue with this series.

Final Verdict:

3 star rating

Library Wars Vol.1-2 by Kiiro Yumi (Story & Art), Hiro Arikawa (Original concept)

Genre: YA,Romance, Fiction

Synopsis: In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves–the Library Forces!

Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her! (description from Goodreads)

Review: Library Wars is a interesting manga that tackles the issue of books and censorship. The main character Iku, joins the Library Defense Force only to find out it’s way more difficult than she thought it would be and tries her hardest to preserve and prove her worth. I like the overall concept and that the series for the most part, is very lighthearted and lots of fun. The story is a bit predictable and falls into some of the all too familiar shojo manga tropes such as a klutzy female protagonist and love triangles, but nonetheless it’s still entertaining. Iku is a bit of an irritating main character because she always gets herself into conflicting situations, but I like the story well enough so I’ll keep reading this series.

Final Verdict:

4 star rating


The Wicked + The Divine Vol.1: The Faust Act Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie (Illustrations), Matt Wilson (Colorist),Clayton Cowles

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology

Synopsis: Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever. (description from Goodreads)

Review: I’ve been wanting to read this series for the longest time and I’m so glad I finally picked it up. I love mythology/fantasy stories and The Wicked + The Divine is right up my alley! The main character Laura, is entertaining and her intense quest to become one of/close with the gods is what keeps the readers dawn into the story. I appreciated that she is biracial which I haven’t seen from many characters in graphic novels/comics. On top of that some of the gods come from different ethnic backgrounds and sexual identities too. The writers do a fantastic job of setting up the story, creating these vibrant characters, and the illustrator does a fantastic job of making the artwork come to live. It was interesting to read about the various gods, learn about their powers, and see how they interact with society. After that cliffhanger, I’m eager to see how Laura’s story will continue in the next volume!

Final Verdict:

5 star rating

What fun or interesting comics, graphic novels, or manga have you read lately? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and if you have any recommendations feel free to share those as well.:)

Booktube Bites: Can’t Put a Good Book Down

booktube bites

Booktube Bites is a weekly segment in which I spotlight cool bookish videos on the internet. I will discuss some entertaining videos and Booktubers which you can check out. Feel free to participate as well, and send in your own recommendations of videos you would like spotlighted.

Found At: Rachel Hollis

Today’s Video: Can’t Put a Good Book Down

This week’s Booktube Bites is sure to make you smile. Youtuber, Rachel Hollis, shows us all too easily how readers can get so attached to good book that you can’t put down. From hiding in the bathroom for some quiet reading time away from her kids, to pretending to cook dinner, Rachel has only one goal in mind: finish that book!

This video made me laugh so hard! I’ve definitely been guilty of some the things Rachel does in this video. One time I was so engrossed in a book, I read it while going down the stairs! Let’s just say it was super dangerous and I’ll never do it again.

Question of the week: What was the last good book you couldn’t put down?

Have a great weekend!🙂

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

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