Category Archives: Amber L. Johnson

SHE DIMS THE STARS by AMBER L JOHNSON

Standalone emotional, real and beautiful story

SHE DIMS THE STARS by AMBER L JOHNSON is available to purchase below
AMAZON US | AMAZON UK

she dims the stars 26th Apr

SYNOPSIS

Who is Audrey Byrd?

Ask her ex-best friend, Cline Somers, and he’ll tell you that she’s the girl who inexplicably stopped talking to him when they were fifteen years old, leaving him with nothing but questions and bitterness for the better part of the next six years.

Ask his roommate, Elliot Clark, and he would say that Audrey is the enigmatic girl who randomly showed up outside a window one day and turned his whole world upside down in a matter of moments.

Ask Audrey herself and she’ll tell you that she has no idea who she is, because her entire life is a lie. However, the older she gets the more she needs answers about who she really is.

What she discovers is a tangled web of secrets better left in the dark.

Some truths do more harm than good. 

She Dims The Stars

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

5 Stars

‘I feel invincible. I am invincible. That’s a terrifying way for someone to feel when they’ve felt like nothing for so long.’

Sometimes a book comes along and it resonates somewhere so deep inside. To a place that you keep hidden and try not to think about unless it demands it and when it does. Reading She Dims the Stars was this book. It was as if Amber L Johnson saw us through her words as we read, felt and understood. She was telling us that she truly saw us.

‘There’s no greater anxiety than wondering exactly why you’re not good enough to be in someone’s life. What you’ve done or said wrong.’

This book was nothing short of beautiful. It was incredibly well written with characters we immediately fell in love with for their quirkiness, big hearts and real issues. There was sadness, inspiration, hope, love and such well-placed humour and banter. We were swept away and became part of this flawless piece of perfection.

‘She can swallow the entire environment around her until she’s the focal point. She could dim even the brightest of stars if she’d just get out of her head.’

Everything centres round our heroine, Audrey who as the Author so perfectly puts, could be any one of us be it some or many aspects of her persona. We loved Audrey and can honestly say she almost felt ethereal at times- like she saw more, felt more and embraced life more. An oxymoron – perhaps under the circumstances, however, when you truly take on the responsibility for it all, it can quite simply be exhausting. When you feel like you cannot hold on to everything you take it upon yourself to feel completely responsible. Be it right or wrong. More often wrong. The size of the heart can sometimes be bigger than that which you can carry. So yes, Audrey’s story is one which many readers will relate to as anxiety, panic attacks and depression lives with many of us, next to us or inside us.

“You’re awkward and I have panic attacks. Did you really think that would go over well?”

Audrey’s journey includes her childhood friend Cline, who has to be one of our favourite best friend characters. Something happened which meant these two best mates found themselves at a cross road. That is until Elliot our gorgeous lovable geek happened – to be the link that perhaps hastened the inevitable reunion of old friends in order to mend the broken fences with the simplicity of truth. We cried and laughed alongside this dynamic trio as they set off on a road trip of discover, healing, friendship and love. Secrets and lies – truths and tragedy.

“We’re going to be the greatest love story never told.”

It was a hot pot of emotion greeted with laughs, tears and pure enjoyment. There is so much to this story and we loved every second of it. The moments of hilarity, sweetness, sorrow and inspiration combined with class writing made it a story that stole our hearts. Audrey, Elliot and Cline stole our hearts. We laughed through tears and smiled through pain alongside these beautiful and real people.

“You see me, and because of that, I don’t want to disappear anymore.”

She Dims the Stars was written with such sensitivity and handled with utmost respect and infinite care. We absolutely loved it and highly recommend it as one of the most poignant stories we’ve read in a long while. So sweet, romantic and funny too – it really had everything we love in a story!

‘I gave her the hero she deserved: herself.’

 ❈ ❈

 

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Filed under 5 Stars, Amber L. Johnson, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK by AMBER L JOHNSON

eight days a week

SYNOPSIS

Gwen Stone has secrets she’s not ready to reveal. After a recent promotion at work, she needs a caretaker for her children. She’s frenzied and in a lurch and pretty much ready to hire the first person who comes along. So she does.

Andrew Lyons needs to get out of his sister’s apartment, and a Craigslist posting may be the answer to his prayers. But what he thought was an ad for a room rental turns into a job offer he can’t refuse. Accepting the nanny position could change his life, if only he had a clue how to be a grownup.

A working mother, a shirtless manny who looks good in a towel, two children who need more than than a babysitter, and hours of kids’ TV can only spell disaster for everyone involved.

Because a manny should always mind his own business.

And he definitely shouldn’t fall in love with his boss. 

 ♥ ♥   ♥ 

8 Days A Week

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

J&G:  ✯✯✯✯  Stars

‘What would Tony Danza Do?’

J&G:  If you’re looking for a heart-warmingly funny book that will give you the warm and fuzzies, then look no further than Eight Days A Week.

‘What was it about this woman that made me want to take her upstairs and run a bath for her? Brush her hair and hum her to sleep?’

Our hearts swelled! We loved this story and found ourselves constantly texting each other funny lines throughout and discussing the story through ahhh’s and giggles after finishing.

Despite a couple of reservations, what really stood out for us at the end was the absolute warmth of the story and how genuine the characters felt. Gwen, Dee and the children; Bree and Brady were absolutely mesmerising and as well as funny moments, there were moments that made us swoon and moments that made us clutch our hearts. Seriously, could Dee and those children –their relationship – get any sweeter and more lovable?

‘I offered what I hoped was a kid-friendly smile, but I was sure I looked like some creepy-ass old guy.’

Amber L Johnson captured it all perfectly. We could really relate to her take on children’s shows…let’s face it, some of those are just out and out weird and she constantly had us exclaiming “that is so true” and giggling like crazy. We’ll also never look at a Hyundai in the same light again!

Tuesday: Watched two hours of Octonauts and Little Einsteins before I remembered the kids were at school.’

Andrew (Dee) is more of a child than the children he is “Mannying” for are and doesn’t this provide some really light and funny moments. He’s on their wavelength and his take on situations is humorous to say the least. We loved hearing his pov.

“You know what? That could be cool. You’d get paid to play with kids all day and go to the park. Hang out with lady nannies. Get some ass.”

We did have some issues with the story though. Starting with Andrew. When we meet this guy he’s emotionally closed off, doesn’t and hasn’t experienced love due to issues with his family and his past. Whatever it was that affected him so must have been pretty severe because the impact on Andrew is quite significant. The problem with this was that we never discovered the reasons for Andrew’s feelings. Not really.  There were many a time it was referred to and we eagerly awaited the revelation we expected to come but sadly it didn’t eventuate.

‘I didn’t want to face my father or his judgmental eyes. I didn’t want to see my mom look at me like she couldn’t figure out where she’d gone so wrong raising me.’

For some readers this might not be an issue, but we need to experience – to feel the emotional damage done to a character in order to experience that significant change in them.  It’s not enough to keep telling us they’re damaged. We need to be shown, not told and this made the difference between this being a 4 star instead of a 5 star read for us. There were a couple of inconsistencies with the story which left us scratching our head and at times it did become a little repetitive. We really wish some time had been spent on back stories for both Gwen and Andrew to enable us to garner a better understanding of the struggles that brought them to this point in their life hence affecting them and the possibility of a relationship. In saying that, although these were issues within the story that marred our read somewhat, at the end of the day, it will be the fun, the light-heartedness and the occasional moving moments that will remain in our book hearts because despite these issues, we really did enjoy Eight Days A Week immensely. It was definitely a feel good read!

‘I’d give all of them what they wanted. What they needed. Because it was what I wanted and needed, too.’

There were quite a lot of highlights that’s for sure. The Manny Log, the Hyundai (aka the Celibacy Wagon) references, the friends, the constant battle between Andrew and his sister, the interaction between Andrew and the children was priceless and a special mention HAS to go to Don! Don….there are no words! H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S!!!!

‘Don was ecstatic with her handshake.’

We have to say, this author is firmly cementing herself as one of our instant 1clicks. We were completely moved by the emotional impact in Puddle Jumping, we enjoyed the humour and warmth of Eight Days A Week and can’t wait to see what Amber L Johnson offers up next.

**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author,  with thanks**

 ♥ ♥   ♥ 

Purchase your copy of EIGHT DAYS A WEEK here
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK || AMAZON AU

eight days a week

 ♥ ♥   ♥ 

Also be sure to check out:
PUDDLE JUMPING
A truly beautiful  and mesmerizing 5 star standalone read and only 99c/77p
(TB Review)
AMAZON US || AMAZON UK || AMAZON AU

puddle jumping

 

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Filed under 4 Stars, Amber L. Johnson, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

PUDDLE JUMPING by AMBER L. JOHNSON

puddle jumping

SYNOPSIS

When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.

Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.

Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.

Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.(

´♥ ´♥ ´♥

Puddle Jumping collage

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte 

✯✯✯ ✯✯ Beautiful and amazing stars

‘It begins with a boy and it ends with a boy, but what story doesn’t? In my eyes, this one is the most amazing person I’ve ever met. ‘

G&J: What is unconventional love, really? Other than the letters ‘u and n’ stuck in front of  the conventional to explain what’s not perceived to be the norm; believed to be usual and ordinary. Pah…sounds boring right! How can anyone call love ordinary? It does not equate with the racing pulse, the butterflies in the belly and the shivers…need we go on?

‘I was in his world now, wrapped up in his passion, making my chest feel so damn full I thought I would stop breathing.

How can you define love? Who defined it as something conventional? Rather, love is extraordinary; there’s nothing conventional about it. Love comes in many forms and guises. What we perceive as love may be entirely different to what others deem as love. Who we love is based on what we personally feel a feeling no other person can define or feel. It’s based on the beating of our own hearts. Who can claim ownership of the decision upon which our love is defined? No one, that’s who.

‘I would do whatever it took to be what he needed me to be. He was worth it even after only on day.’

Puddle Jumping is a story of the purest love. A beautiful and emotional journey where two halves truly make a whole. The arduous journey of the heart – Lilly and Colton, is vividly written affecting every one of the reading senses. We laughed, smiled and cried in equal measures as this Author proved that it’s entirely possible to achieve the wonderful and brilliant in fewer pages than what is accepted amongst readers as the ‘standard’. This story packed a hard emotional punch; harder than any full sized novel we’ve read in a while. We were love swept.

“You’d like to think it’s a choice to love him, but it’s not, Lilly. You’ve already decided. I can see it on your face.”

Lilly became our friend; it was as if she was sat with us at a table in the pub telling us her and Colton’s story over a glass of wine. Lilly stole our hearts as the story unravelled and we became completely captivated by the beauty and evocative writing of Amber L. Johnson.

“I have to ask. Why do you like me?” – Lilly
“I don’t understand the question.”  “You’re my Lilly. You’ve always been my Lilly.” – Colton

Colton was an amazing man. A man stigmatised by society and his peers, yet who possesses such a purity, honesty and innocence, Colton completely stole our hearts. It was easy to see how Lilly was so beguiled by this exceptional man. Inside and out Colton radiated heart and beauty.

‘He’s not special. He’s extraordinary. To me. And I feel like I am, too, when I’m with him.’

We can’t recommend Puddle Jumping highly enough. It is without question one of the most heart wrenching yet hopeful and inspirational reads we’ve had the emotional pleasure of reading in a while. It felt authentic and the reactions of Lilly were not sugar coated nor were they exaggerated. Please read this story and be love swept into a tight hug whilst tears of both hurt and joy stream down your face.

 ´♥´♥´♥

PUDDLE JUMPING by AMBER L JOHNSON
AMAZON US / AMAZON UK ||AMAZON AU 

puddle jumping

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Filed under 5 Stars, Amber L. Johnson, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny