A captivating novel about five characters’ fateful decisions that should leave readers feeling inspired to make positive...

Beyond the Last Horizon

The lives of five friends intersect on their respective journeys toward happiness and success.

In this part motivational, part self-improvement debut novel, five friends obsessed with wealth and success try to turn their lives around for the better. Carrie Kendall is the granddaughter of a prosperous businessman who reassures her, “Whatever you can imagine can come true.…You have the power inside you.” Upon his death, he entrusts her with the family’s corporation, Kendall Innovations Incorporated, and she’ll do anything to ensure that she will someday become its president. Gina Stevens is her only friend, a model who has been able to skate by just on her looks. After a near-death experience, Gina remembers a card she received from a stranger after running away from home that read, “I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?,” resulting in a resolution to “make some changes in her life.” David Hendricks, a corporate businessman, gets caught up in a life of drugs and partying. He cheats on his wife and ignores his children. His drug dealer, Hank Johns, grew up on the streets of Las Vegas, hustling and hoping for a better situation. After a traumatic encounter with David, Hank dedicates his life to his young son, but David faces more trouble getting his act together—until he meets Sara Collins. After enduring three marriages and getting fired from her dream job, Sara follows her mother’s advice that “thoughts are powerfully creative” by starting her own event planning company called Dare to Dream. Though filled with complex characters, this novel’s plot is often summarized, giving the story a rushed quality, and the major events that become catalysts for changes in the characters’ lives rely too much on melodrama. But to De Groat’s credit, the protagonists’ odysseys toward finding stable family relationships and healthy romances are inspirational, and her message is ultimately positive. Through Sara, she reminds readers that “Love equals happiness; happiness comes from sharing with people I love.”

A captivating novel about five characters’ fateful decisions that should leave readers feeling inspired to make positive changes in their own lives.

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-941478-19-6

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Windy City Publisher

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2016

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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