About Tiffany Schmidt
Tiffany Schmidt lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. She's not at all superstitious... at least that's what she tells herself every Friday the thirteenth.
Send Me a Sign is her first novel. Bright Before Sunrise will follow in Winter, 2014. The Once Upon a Crime Family series begins with Hold Me Like a Breath in 2015. You can find out more about her and her books at: TiffanySchmidt.com, TiffanySchmidtWrites.Tumblr.com or by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.
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Review by Suze
Penelope lives in a beautiful big home, she can buy everything she likes and there are many people who love her very much. She's the daughter of one of the crime families that are dominating the black market for organ transplants. Her father is a man of honor who wants to help people, but his profession has also made him rich. Penelope lives a protected life. She has a disease that causes excessive bruising and her parents think she's too delicate to leave the mansion. She's often getting infusions to increase the number of platelets in her blood. Penelope wants to experience life. She wants to go to school and she'd love to do normal things that everyone else is taking for granted.
When things go terribly wrong at home Penelope suddenly has some freedom, only it comes at a terrible price. Her life will never be the same again. She proves that the person who was thought to be too weak to contribute anything is now resourceful, brave and strong. Only will it be enough, can she save herself and the people she cares about?
Hold Me Like a Breath is an original story. What I loved most about it is that Tiffany Schmidt writes about ill people in a wonderfully sensitive way. She shows her readers that their illness does not define them, that they are more than just a condition and that they are just as valuable as the people who are healthy. She focuses on all the wonderful character traits they have while she never ignores their medical problems at the same time. I can't praise that enough. Because of that alone I would recommend this book. It also offers a strong story with plenty of action and many surprising twists and turns. I admired Penelope's attitude, she never lets anyone defeat her, she keeps going and she fights for what she believes in. She's a fantastic main character and I immediately loved reading about her.
Hold Me Like a Breath is a book about a criminal family. Penelope's father makes it possible for people whose name won't be added to the legal transplant list to have a donor organ anyway. What they do is against the law, but it's admirable at the same time. I liked that idea very much. It's a creative theme for a story and one that works. The families are fascinating and I loved reading about the relations between the people who are involved. There's a lovely romantic aspect as well and I really liked the ending. Hold Me Like a Breath is an amazing gripping story.
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Review by Suze
Magnolia wants nothing more than to be the head of her family's organ transplant organization. She's doing everything she can to be a worthy successor of her father. She didn't expect to be facing her future alone though. Carter was the love of her life. They were childhood sweethearts and spent every possible moment together. Now that he's gone she misses him terribly and nobody seems to understand what she's going through. Together with the new rules the government wants to accept for organ donations she's under a lot of pressure. She doesn't want things to change, but unfortunately she doesn't have much of a choice.
Magnolia meets Alex because she badly needs something and he's the only one who can help her. He blackmails her as he knows about the family business and they can give him what he can't get anywhere else. At first they don't get along and Magnolia is still mourning, but in her heart there might be a place for something new, someone who's still alive. She doesn't want to have her heart broken again and she fights with everything she has to prevent that from happening.
Break Me Like a Promise is a beautiful emotional love story. Magnolia is sad and depressed because she's lost the person who mattered to her the most. She doesn't expect to be able to love again, but she slowly opens her heart and I enjoyed witnessing that process. Tiffany Schmidt describes Magnolia's feelings in such a great detailed way, which makes her very approachable. Magnolia has her dark moments, but she also learns to see some light again. I loved that about this book, there's so much hope. Not only for Magnolia to be happy again, but also for people to get the organs they need.
Alex is ill and Tiffany Schmidt writes about it in a brilliantly sympathetic way. His health problem is something that's very present, but she doesn't forget that he's a regular guy with a wonderful personality and an abundance of talent. Illness and organ donations is something that Break Me Like a Promise and Hold Me Like a Breath have in common. Break Me Like a Promise is more sensitive and there's less action. Both stories are fantastic and I love that they are very different while there's still an obvious connection.
I really liked Break Me Like a Promise. The main characters are going through so many different emotions and they have to face plenty of difficulties. They don't run away and deal with whatever comes their way. They make mistakes and are willing to take responsibility. The story is layered and it has quite a bit of depth. I loved everything about this book, it's original and fascinating.
Amazon paperback: http://tinyurl.com/oqkv7rf
Barnes & Noble (B&N): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hold-me-like-a-breath-tiffany-schmidt/1120160523?ean=9780802737823
Readers from the US can enter for a chance to win a personalized/signed copy of Break Me Like a Promise and Hold Me Like a Breath together with a big Frog Prince prize pack.