My (Underground) American Dream by Julissa Arce

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

My (Underground) American Dream by Julissa Arce was an amazing book. When I saw that this book was available for me to review I knew I had to pick it up because I have always wondered about the children that grow up like this. I really enjoyed this book because it was a true story and I love books that really happened. I found it easier for me to get into this book because it was true and I knew that everything really happened. I also loved getting a different view of what it is like to live in the United States. I had a rough childhood but I know I had it better than most people do in this country. I loved everything about this book because it was written well enough that I understood and felt like I was there with the author. If you love memoirs than I know you will love this book as much as I did.

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About The Book

For an undocumented immigrant, what is the true cost of the American Dream? Julissa Arce shares her story in a riveting memoir.

When she was 11 years old, Julissa Arce left Mexico and came to the United States on a tourist visa to be reunited with her parents, who dreamed the journey would secure her a better life. When her visa expired at the age of 15, she became an undocumented immigrant. Thus began her underground existence, a decade’s long game of cat and mouse, tremendous family sacrifice, and fear of exposure. After the Texas Dream Act had made a college degree possible, Julissa’s top grades and leadership positions landed her an internship at Goldman Sachs, which led to a full-time position–one of the most coveted jobs on Wall Street. Soon she was a Vice President, a rare Hispanic woman in a sea of suits and ties, yet still guarding her “underground” secret. In telling her personal story of separation, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce shifts the immigrant conversation and changes the perception of what it means to be an undocumented immigrant.

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About The Author

Julissa Arce is the author of “My (Underground) American Dream.” She is an emerging and leading voice in the fight for immigrant rights and education equality. She is the chairman and co-founder of the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status. She made national and international headlines when she revealed that she had achieved the American Dream of wealth and status at Goldman Sachs while undocumented. Julissa will use her inspirational story to change the conversation around immigration in MY (UNDERGROUND) AMERICAN DREAM. The book explores the polarizing question: for an undocumented immigrant, what is the true cost of the American dream?

In the heady days of the most astronomical stock-market rise in Wall Street history, Julissa Arce climbed the corporate ladder—a rare Hispanic woman in a sea of suits and ties. In 2005, against all the odds, she landed one of the most coveted jobs as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Over the course of the next six years, even while the financial markets crashed, she continued to climb the corporate ladder—riding a series of promotions to become a Vice President, complete with a high six-figure salary and all of the perks that come with living the Goldman Sachs life. What none of her colleagues knew was that she wasn’t just a young woman who broke through ceilings in a cutthroat male-dominated field: she was also an undocumented American from Mexico.

Arce now uses her success and platform to help shift the conversation around immigration and other social justice issues. Arce often gives talks at events such as TEDx and the Forbes Reinventing America Summit (alongside Nancy Pelosi, Jessica Alba, and Gayle King), and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Al Jazeera America, Telemundo, Bloomberg TV and Univision. Her writing has been published on Huffington Post, Fusion, CNN en Español, The Hill, and Univision. She serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center and CollegeSpring. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014 and will vote in a presidential election for the first time in 2016.

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There’s Been A Change Of Plans by Amy Koko

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from iRead Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

There’s Been A Change Of Plans by Amy Koko was a fun book to read. I did find myself smiling through most of the book. Even though I am younger than the author is in this book I understood what she was going through and how hard it can be dealing with the things that she had to deal with. I loved this book because she shared the humor she saw in such a bad situation. It also reminded me that even if life is hard, I need to take the time to find the humor in the situation because that is the best way I have found cope with things that are causing me so much stress. If you or someone you know has gone through a divorce later in life, I know you will enjoy and understand this book even more than I did.

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About The Book

Blogger Amy Koko bears her soul in her witty, bittersweet memoir, There’s Been A Change of Plans: Divorce, Dating & Delinquents in Mid-life. Expecting a trip to Italy, Koko is blind-sided by her husband’s confession that he’s been putting his shoes under a much younger and prettier woman’s bed. After twenty-seven years of marriage and four children, she faces the unimaginable: her life as she knows it is unraveling around her and her family’s future is anything but certain.

In the literary tradition of Nora Ephron’s Heartburn and Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Koko’s memoir details her journey from hearing the news that her husband is in love with a blonde, thirty-something Swiss pastry chef to trying everything from thong underwear to a mini-facelift to save her marriage, only to see it die in the parking lot of gas station.

With incredible honesty and humor, Koko takes the reader on a wild ride through the tough, emotional times of starting over through divorce, mid-life, finding a job, and Internet dating, all the while trying to keep her four teenagers out of jail.

There’s been a change of plans, and that’s just the beginning.

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About The Author

After 27 years of marriage, Amy Koko went into divorce, kicking, screaming, stalking and drunk texting but lived to tell about it. She is the creator of the popular blog Exwifenewlife and a contributor to Huffington Post Divorce as well as Huffington Post Women. Amy lives in St. Petersburg, Florida where she begins each day with a freshly ground cup of good coffee and ends it with a good glass of pinot noir. Or chardonnay. Or a dirty martini. Whatever’s handy.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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Oh Ship! Tales Of A Cruising Chick & Other Travel Adventures by Lori A. Moore

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Oh Ship! Tales of A Cruising Chick & Other Travel Adventures by Lori A. Moore was a fun book to read. This is a super short book, so I don’t have tons to say about it, but I did enjoy the book. I have never been on a cruise, but my grandparents are going on one in a few weeks so I am going to send this book with them so they can pass it on to someone who would enjoy it. I loved that the author included travel tips after each of the stories because some of them were super ingenious and things that if I ever travel I will use myself. I was left smiling after the stories, and I did enjoy the book. I think this would be a great gift for someone who likes to read and travel.

Oh Ship! Tales Of A Cruising Chick & Other Travel Adventures by Lori A. Moore

About The Book

Ship happens. Cruises can be quite the adventure within an adventure if you keep your eyes open and watch the little dramas that are going on among the several thousand passengers and crew members aboard the ship. Reading author Lori A. Moore’s true tales of things that happen on the high seas will have you saying, “Oh Ship!” From stories of passengers pepper-spraying other passengers to grown men fighting over glass figurines of penguins, you’ll laugh until your ribs hurt.

Lori A. Moore

About The Author

Lori A. Moore is an award-winning author and professor who doesn’t take herself too seriously and believes her greatest gift to be silliness. A public speaker and consultant, Lori has four graduate degrees in business. Lori, her husband, and their cat, Grady, live in Louisville, KY. An avid traveler, she has explored much of the globe, finding and bringing silliness to all places.

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The Painting and The Piano by John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Book Publicity Services  in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

The Painting and The Piano by John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo was a hard book to read at times. I say that it was hard to read because of some of the things that the characters went through in this book. I know that this book could be triggering to some people as well because of the topics talked about. With that being said I did enjoy this book and found myself wanting to read it until the end because I wanted to know how it all played out in the end. I liked this book so much because it is a true story and I always find myself loving books that are true stories. There are parts of this book that reminded me of my childhood, so I know also helped me understand what the characters felt at certain points throughout the book. I enjoyed this book even though it was hard at times to read it. I loved that the characters made it through and wrote this book to help other people learn from the things they went through as children. If you love autobiography types books than I know you will love this book just as much as I do. This is one that I am going to be adding to my personal collection of books because I would like to read it again in the future.

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About The Book

The Painting and The Piano, by John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo, is an improbable story of survival and love.

Genres: Literary Nonfiction / Romance / Memoir / Addiction and Recovery

Growing up more than a thousand miles apart and worlds away from each other, Johnny and Adrianne seemed to have all that a child could ask for. However, the demons of their respective mothers would tear their young, fragile lives apart.

Eventually, destiny would bring Johnny and Adrianne together, but first they had to endure the painful toll that alcohol, drugs, and a negligent court system would take on them. With parts of Adrianne’s story ripped from national news headlines, their story takes them from the depths of despair and near death, to their first serendipitous introduction and the moment each knew they were finally safe.

Filled with hope, inspiration and humor, The Painting and the Piano is an unforgettable story of pain, loss and the undying human quest for happiness. Told as a tandem narrative, Adrianne and Johnny’s stories are unique, but share parallels that create a taut and emotionally compelling narrative.

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About The Author’s

Johnny and Adrianne reside in South Florida with their Yorkie, Holly.  Both are involved in the AA/Recovery community. Adrianne currently works at a recovery house and Johnny continues speaking, sponsoring and helping others in recovery.

Readers can connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to http://www.paintingpiano.com/

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Hunting Hope by Nika Maples

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Hunting Hope by Nika Maples was such a great book and one I was glad that I got to review.  When I first saw this book being offered to review, I didn’t sign up for it because I am not always a huge fan of books like this one.  After I got a second email asking to review the book I figured what the hell it won’t hurt me to read it.  In the end, I am so glad that I read the book because it gave me a new way to look at some of the hard things I have dealt with in my life.  This book is a smaller book but right from the first page it made me think and made me want to look at my life differently.  I also liked that this book was an easy read, and the author did a great job of making me understand what she was saying and things like that.  I think this is one book that everyone should read at some point because it can teach everyone something.

Hunting Hope by Nika Maples

About The Book

Hunting Hope: Dig Through the Darkness to Find the Light (April 2016, Worthy Inspired)

Hope is not an accident. Sometimes it has to be hunted, and hunting it takes courage.

Hope hunters know how to excavate hope from hardship. There is dirt underneath their fingernails and sweat on their shirts. They rake through the rubble of an unwanted situation, digging into difficult circumstances because they have come to expect that adversity will produce good. They believe that light always triumphs over darkness. They have learned to walk through winter with their eyes on spring.

Nika Maples became a hope hunter after suffering a massive brainstem stroke that left her quadriplegic in her twenties. Doctors warned that she had as little as 48 hours to live, and—if she lived at all—she would never walk or talk again. There was no hope on the horizon. So Nika started to hunt for it. Today, she not only walks, but she speaks to audiences everywhere about the power of hunting hope when a situation appears hopeless. She says hope remains camouflaged in the daily mundane. If we are not looking for it, we will miss it, though it is right before our eyes.

Whether you or someone you know is going through a situation that feels hopeless, you will find encouragement in Hunting Hope. Whether you are experiencing a medical trauma, a financial hardship, or a relational crisis, you will find empowerment in Hunting Hope. As you read, you will cling to 20 truths about God’s character and practice 5 daily disciplines that will develop your own character in crisis.

You will become a hope hunter.

Maybe it doesn’t matter what causes suffering in our lives as much as it matters what suffering causes in our lives. Maybe we were all meant to be hope hunters.

Nika Maples

About The Author

Nika Maples is the author of Twelve Clean Pages, the memoir of her survival of lupus and a stroke that left her quadriplegic at age 20. After learning to walk and talk again, she became a public school teacher, winning 2007 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year. She holds an MA in English Education from Columbia University and currently is pursuing an MDIV from The King’s University. When she is not traveling to speak, she lives, writes, and laughs as much as possible in Fort Worth, Texas.

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