Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Book Review and GIVEAWAY - The Fortune Teller's Prophecy: A Memoir of an Unlikely Doctor, by Dr. Lally Pia

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

“Flight attendants, prepare yourselves. Ladies and gentlemen, we will shortly be landing at San Francisco International Airport. Welcome to California.”

As the pilot’s jovial announcement crackled on the intercom, my legs trembled in anxious anticipation. A sharp, stabbing jolt of excitement hit my chest so hard that I doubled over and grasped both knees for a few seconds. I pulled out my immigration and naturalization paperwork from my handbag for the tenth time, to assure myself that it had not disintegrated in transit, and caressed the shiny stamp at the top of the precious document that symbolized my passport into this new culture.

Squashing my face against the window, I tried to capture every image and sensation of this descent into my new home, America! I’d imagined tons of skyscrapers, not this blue crescent of ocean glimmering next to golden sand. A towering bridge came into view. I wondered which one it was. It looked magnificent. We got so close to the water that I could see sunlight glinting on bright blue waves.

Lally encountered many obstacles, but she always held on to the prediction to her father from the fortune teller when she was just a baby.

Official synopsis:

When a military coup in Ghana leads to the abrupt closure of Lally Pia’s medical school, she is left stranded there, thousands of miles away from her family in California, with no educational prospects or money. Adding to her turmoil is her discovery that her American Green Card has been botched, which means she has no country to call home. But a Sri Lankan priest told Lally that she would one day become a “Doctor of Doctors” —and she is intent on proving him right.

This sizzling multicultural roller coaster illustrates the power of self-determination as Lally, a young immigrant with a drive to succeed, takes on obstacle after obstacle—an abusive relationship, the welfare state, and a gruesome job where she has to dismember human bodies—in order to fulfill her dreams. A story that will resonate with anyone who has faced cultural and immigration hardships, The Fortune Teller’s Prophecy is a nail-biting journey across continents, through hardships, and into ultimate triumph.

The cards seemed to be stacked against Lally. The reader is brought into the story of a twenty-year-old woman left behind by her family. Her parents and siblings moved to California while Lally stayed to finish up medical school in Ghana. But when the medical school closes and Lally’s green card doesn’t get her a clear exit strategy to join her family in California, she’s left to rely on the kindness of family friends for months waiting for either the medical school to reopen, or her green card status to grant her admittance to California. 

Through it all, Lally’s positive spirit remains unstoppable, and the fortune teller’s prediction to her father remains a voice whispering to her through all her struggles. She’s supposed to be a medical doctor, and she isn’t sure who she is if this basic belief held by her and her family doesn’t end up to be true. 

Lally’s story is a compelling and well-written memoir of her journey through young adulthood and some tough choices. The book earned 5 out of 5 stars and would be great for those who like female success stories and stories of life in other countries and cultures. Lally’s life could have gone in so many different directions, and she appreciates this and tells it well.

{click here to purchase via Amazon affiliate link - only $8.99 on Kindle right now!}

Becki Bayley is a wife and mother who enjoys taking care of her family, reading, and doing things to surprise her kids. Check out other books she’s read lately at her blog,


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Fortune Teller's Prophecy!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Wednesday, March 27th, at 11:59pm ET, and winner will be contacted via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

The Fortune Teller's Prophecy: A Memoir of an Unlikely Doctor, by Dr. Lally Pia

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Resort, by Sarah Ochs {ends 3/26}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

“I don’t know, it’s just…” Neil looks behind him, checking to make sure no one’s listening in on our conversation. But other than the two of us and a bored waiter lounging on the front counter and playing on his phone we’re alone. “There are rumors that it could be a group of locals. People who are resentful of the farangs who come in and act like they own the place. Others think it’s the Thai Mafia, like Doug mentioned last night. They sell drugs on the island – they bribe the police to look the other way – and I know that they own at least one or two of the bars on Pho Tau beach."

“But the moral of the story is that you need to stop looking into this. Whoever’s involved, they’re dangerous. And I’m worried that if you try to get in the way, they’ll come after you.” 

I nod, but I’m not fully convinced. Neil must see it, too, because he wraps his hands around my forearms. I feel my breath catch as he gently pulls me toward him across the table, so that our faces are mere inches from one another.

When Brooke arrives at the resort island, she seems to fit in okay with some of the permanents, but especially starts to get close with Cassie. Is Brooke just another traveler seeking out a quiet, private life, or is she there for something more?

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Resort, by Sarah Ochs {ends 3/26}
There are three rules to follow during a vacation at the famous Koh Sang Resort

1 – Leave the past behind.

When Cass sets foot on the coast of Thailand's world-famous party island, she's searching for an escape. With dark secrets following her every move, Koh Sang becomes the perfect place to hide.

2 - Always be careful of who you trust.

Now, years later, Cass is a local dive instructor alongside the Permanents, a group of expats who have claimed the island as their own. The Permanents don't linger on who they were before the island. Simply because, like Cass, they all have something to outrun.

3 – If someone discovers who you really are, run.

But suddenly, a dive student is found dead and paradise comes crashing down. Because this isn't the first mysterious death on the island, and it won't be the last. Someone knows who Cass is and they're ready to make sure justice is finally served.

Everyone at the Resort is happy to live in the present. They all seem to assume that their secret is worth protecting, and they really don’t spend much time worrying about anyone else’s secrets. This works out fine, until it doesn’t.

Brooke thinks she is drawn to the Resort because of someone else’s secrets, and she hopes to finally get revenge. But perhaps time and perspective has changed them all, and maybe the enemy is no longer who they each originally thought it was.

This was an ever-changing thriller and mystery. Different facets of each character made the reader wonder about all of the characters, and the possible villain changed from chapter to chapter. It was a great read that earned 4 out of 5 stars. The depictions of living at the resort island were fun and intriguing, and untangling each character’s backstory and mystery was fun. This would be an excellent vacation read for those who enjoy dreaming about island locales.

{click here to purchase via Amazon affiliate link}

Becki Bayley is a Gemini who enjoys reading and writing. Check out some of her free time on TikTok or Instagram, where she posts as SweetlyBSquared.


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Resort!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Tuesday, March 26th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

The Resort, by Sarah Ochs

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