Monday, June 9, 2014

BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Chokecherry by Sheri Meshal

NEWLY RELEASED Forty-one year old Dana Quinn, a closet writer, career waitress and three-time psych ward patient has just lost her last family member. For Dana to go on, she must create a life meaningful enough to answer her eternal question: why did she alone survive the accident that killed her family? That's a tall order for someone who's barely managed to exist. Never married, in and out of an institution where only her writing saved her, Dana works a dismal job with a few friends she's managed to keep at a safe distance. Lost and hopeless in the weeks following Aunt Irma's unexpected death, Dana discovers a letter and takes her aunt's advice to walk away from her life in Queens and return to her family farm to write herself well one more time. For over thirty years Dana's believed the farm was sold and did her best to forget it. But what if everything in the house is frozen in time exactly the way they left it? Nothing can stop her from walking through that door. On the road she adopts a one-eared dog and finds a new best friend in Iowan-turned-New Yorker, Stu, who's given up designing off-Broadway sets to care for his ailing mother back in his tiny hometown. Chokecherry, her father's beloved farm, is not at all what Dana expects and far more than she bargains for. By firelight, Malcolm reveals the cryptic history buried in the tunnel, and why the big barn strikes fear in the hearts of those who enter it. Despite its tragic past, the farm also possesses an undeniable capacity to heal the broken. In fact, it seems to be a magnet for broken hearts. Just as Dana and her friends form a tight bond and rise to the challenge of helping Chokecherry realize its true potential, a supernatural ability she's failed to repress for years, nearly kills her. Dana's forced to fight for a life she wants--a life that finally answers her eternal question in ways she never could've imagined.
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My Review:

In “Chokecherry” by Sheri Meshal you get an inside view of a woman whose life has fallen apart around her, but somehow she still found the strength to put it back together, somewhat. Dana has been through more tragedy than anyone should have to deal with in one lifetime. She lost her entire family at a young age, and then her only remaining family member at 41. It would take a person of stone not to fall apart in her circumstances. She struggles with survivor’s guilt, and wonders why she was spared, when all she has seemed to do was waste her chance, when her family had no chance. Moving back to Chokecherry, her family’s farm, seems to be the only way she can truly heal.
Dana’s personality is a little off putting to me. I think it’s because she is just so unstable that it’s hard to connect with her or relate to her. I really liked Stu’s character though. He brings a lightness to the novel that it really needs, and he helps to balance Dana out. I was confused throughout a lot of the novel. Things like Malcom’s super strong connection to Dana’s dead family, her rapid BFF relationship with Stud, and her up and down emotions were a little overwhelming to read at times. Sometimes it just seemed really disjointed, like it didn’t flow smoothly for me. I felt like I was constantly missing things, and would go back to look to see if I had skipped something, but I hadn’t. The whole book is a little bizarre, and the ‘touch messages’ were really confusing, because I just didn’t get where they were coming from.
Over all, I didn’t dislike the book, it kept me interested and wanting to know more about the characters and their stories. However, it was just a little confusing for me, and I felt like the story was all over the place at times.

I give “Chokecherry” a 4 out of 5 stars.

About the Author Sheri Meshal spent most of her childhood on an old farm in Iowa. She is an author by day and chauffeur by night... for a tad bit longer. She inherited her lifelong love of books from her father, who sensed she was a writer long before she did, and changed the course of her life by telling her so. Her debut novel, Swallowtail, took over six years to write and was inspired by bizarre events which occurred shortly after her father's passing in 1998. Best friends, they'd engaged in countless conversations regarding the possibility of life after death. A minimalist, Sheri currently lives in Chicago sans furniture with her dog, Kylee and her roommate and fellow writer, Mack Oliver. When she isn't writing, she's traveling and spending time with her nieces and nephews every chance she gets.

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Sheri's Debut Book - Swallowtail Chicago wife, mother and finance executive Claire Cummings, arrives at work one morning to discover her friend Julia has embezzled millions and vanished. Blindsided and devastated by the betrayal, she’s sent home pending further investigation. Claire’s bizarre death the following day sends everyone reeling, guessing and looking for her in all the wrong places. In no time she's addicted to an enchanting menagerie of tricks and techniques for getting the living's attention, but most people are harder to reach than she'd ever dreamed and even harder to set free. She was still a mother, a wife, a daughter and a friend... she'd move heaven and earth to keep it that way. Sheri Meshal’s Swallowtail is a haunting story about life, love, loss and just how far we’ll go to control it all. This debut from a thought-provoking new voice in fiction begs the question… what would you do if all the rules changed, and you were suddenly bestowed powers beyond your greatest imagination?

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

chokecherry giveaway

ONE LUCKY WINNER will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 6th July at 11.59pm EST
Enter Below and Good Luck !!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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