Thursday, November 28, 2013

Blog Tour: Review of Shards of My Heart

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When I took the vows for better or worse, I meant them. Then I started to wonder if there was a limit as to how much worse I was supposed to endure. Am I supposed to stay if worse means that me and my daughter are in danger? What if the worse was because of a mental illness? When is enough simply too much?

This is a different kind of love story. Read Nina’s journals for a tale of hope, strength of spirit, and unconditional love.

Elle says...

Shards of My Heart is a gripping story about a woman at a crossroads. Torn between two choices in life – keeping her family intact and working toward restoring the love she once shared with her husband or walking away with her children and seeking a fresh start and clean slate.

Nina Powers is unlike any female lead I’ve read before. Part of her is strong and unstoppable. She puts the well being of her special needs daughter, Kylie, first above her own needs. It’s heart warming to read such devotion. Her husband has developed an addiction to prescription medication, and he is constantly lashing out at her, creating an unsafe environment for their children. Despite the constant tantrums and verbal attacks by Shane, Nina remains unaffected on the outside. She doesn’t play the victim card – in fact she loathes the word – and she doesn’t let herself drown in her sorrow over her dire situation (failing marriage, limited financial resources). Instead she searches for solutions to her problems and takes action. As Shane’s moods wax and wane, it’s compelling to watch Nina’s compassion and sacrifice. It’s beautiful to see such strength in such a heartbreaking situation.

The story is a mix of empowerment and heartache. My heart was shredded for Nina and her children. This isn’t a story where every problem is magically resolved by the end and everyone gets his or her happily ever after. This is a true depiction of real life. Things are messy and left open ended. I think anyone who finds himself or herself in a situation similar to Nina’s will find strength in her story. The plot is realistic and it’s obvious Nicole has done her research regarding this subject matter. It’s a difficult subject to address among a pool of literature where every ending is what fairy tales are made of, but I feel like the author nailed this. She took a chance on darker content and prevailed.

I also loved the unique writing style in Shards of My Heart. It’s written as if the pages have been ripped straight out of Nina’s journal. The narration and dialogue are casual and conversational. It’s a unique take on writing and unlike anything I’ve seen. I think this less traditional style fits the characters and story – Nina is unapologetically bold just like this twist on the typical novel. I tore through this novel in a matter of hours and hear through the grapevine there’s going to be more to Nina and Shane’s story. I can’t wait to see how the story continues!

Stephanie says...

Nina's story is a hard one to read. It's not always pretty, but it's definitely one that needed to be told. It's one that can be inspiring. It can be disheartening. But it's reality and I am definitely glad I got the chance to read it. It's not a love story in the typical sense, but it is a story about love between mother and daughter and friends.

Nina is a real person. She has fallen in love with a difficult man and just wants to see the good in him. She is in some way every woman I have ever known. She is a hard worker. She is an incredible mother. She puts others first. She is stubborn. She is independent. She tries too hard to see the good in people. Reading about her struggles is encouraging and gives hope.

This story is written differently than most. It's written as journal entries and it all takes place over the course of a month. It was hard for me to get into it in the beginning. There were times the details of a certain day were kind of tedious and I felt like I was being told how the narrator felt rather than feeling it myself. But--because this story is so incredibly honest and an account of this month in Nina's life I could relate to so much of it. So in some ways I did not like that it was written as journal entries but in others I think it added to the story.

I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book. On the one hand, the story is an amazing story that needs to be told. On the other, reading it in the journal form was a new thing for me so it was hard to get into in the beginning. I finally settled on four stars. Three for the writing style that was just not my favorite way of writing. And FIVE stars for the amazing story of an amazing woman who was not perfect but did what she thought was best in every situation even if others could never understand.

Nicole has lived in Charlotte, North Carolina for the past twelve years and now...she lives in secrecy in another state.
  Her journey of elf-discovery and recovery has barely begun and she faces it with her head held high, her shoulders back, a smile on her face, and hope in her heart. Every day of her life seems to bring new adventures, some bigger, better, shinier and prettier than others. 

For fun, she spends time with those she cares about, cooks, reads, writes, and especially lives to travel. The current travel goal: visit every Margaritaville. Three down! (Eleven to go?)

In May, Nicki started the blog Stories and Swag to promote authors. Several months later, she started Stories and Swag Tours, a blog tour company offering cover reveals, release blitzes, release parties on Facebook, and blog tours. In addition, she started Dominatrix Publishing, a boutique publishing company, to help other authors achieve publishing success.

Her writing can also be found on Shine, where she is a Shine Parenting Guru and an award winning Yahoo! Contributor on YourWisdom as the relationship and dating expert. In addition, she has been published by McClatchy News in their syndicated papers. 

Her books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords in ebook, paperback, and even some audiobooks.

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