Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Always There by Carol Ann Albright-Eastman

It is my honor and privilege to be kicking of the Always There Blog Tour. I haven't read a book of this nature since The Memory Thief by Emily Collins. Always There is a powerfully written story of coming to terms with loss, pain and opening your heart to love and second "chances." This is not your typical read that most of us have read lately. This book isn't even in the same genre as what I have read lately but it's a love story in it's truest form. An unconditional love that no matter how young or old most of us can relate to.
A powerfully written deeply emotional story about dealing with the passing of loved ones and the strength it takes to live life to the fullest. To compare this book to anything I've read recently wouldn't be fair to the other books I've read. This book will bring out your purest emotions and strip you bare. This will especially ring true for anyone who has lost a loved one. This book touched my heart in such a way that I doubt it will ever "leave" me. I've experienced the loss of a loved one first hand and it's something I still grapple with from time to time. I've been through the "firsts" already ~ high school graduation, my wedding day, and birth of my children I've experienced the lows each of those days brought when I thought of my father but this book brought me the highest of highs ~ the happiest memories of him, the true unconditional love he gave me and reminded me that not only does he live on in my heart but he continues to live on through his four children.

Always There is set to release on March 13, 2013 ~ Now let's discuss the book

For readers who loved The Five People You Meet in Heaven, For One More Day, or The Shack.

“People walked up the front steps of the funeral home, preparing themselves to see the grieving orphaned children of the woman who passed, but what did they find instead? The youngest orphaned child was snacking on a Quarter Pounder with cheese, drinking a medium Diet Coke, and laughing in a chair with her friends.”

In this fresh, poignant novel, Always There, Shelby Lynn LeeMaster grapples with her recent “orphaned” life and how to let down her guard to fully experience true love, allowing it in to her heart without fear. The mother, Betheny LeeMaster, struggles with dying before she could teach and guide her children into adulthood. The daughter cannot break from her own fears, while the mother cannot forgive herself for leaving her children too soon. The different narrators, the mother in Heaven and the daughter on Earth, tell their stories in alternating chapters. Can the two women reconcile their fears and remorse being worlds and lifetimes apart?

Eastman’s honesty explores the tragic ending to a mother-daughter relationship, revealing the pain a motherless daughter experiences. The two vantage points allow the reader to find a connection with the mother and/or the daughter, personalizing the loss that a dying mother and grieving daughter often face. The novel portrays the truth behind the death of a loved one, while glorifying the mystery of Heaven, proving that love does not die when a person does. The channels of love are still open, going in both directions. Love goes on when life does not. The novel bridges the tragic with the comedic, giving audiences a lighter, more enjoyable, sentimental read. You will laugh while you cry, and cry while you laugh, but in the end, you’ll hug your loved ones for dear life.


Carol Ann Albright-Eastman is a wife and mother of four, crazy, adorable, incorrigible, intelligent, kind, and athletic children.  She’s taught high school English for fifteen years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in English from The Ohio State University, a teaching license and a communications minor from the University of Akron, and holds a Master’s in Education from the University of Akron. 
Eastman spends the majority of her time grading papers, reading, but not as voraciously as other “indie” authors and their devout followers, watching her sons play baseball (or whatever seasonal sport they’re in at the time), negotiating futilely with a toddler, and falling deeper in love with her husband every day.  Eastman is a motherless and fatherless daughter, but a day doesn’t go by that she doesn’t think of them 

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Link to add Always There to TBR:

Now for my review of Always There:

Whew, were do I start? How do I start? That's what's running through my mind right now. How do I pay homage to a such a poignantly written story of loss, pain, love and bracing life? To be honest I hope my review does this book justice cause I'm still kind of............... Always There is the story of Shelby Lynn LeeMaster's the youngest of three "orphaned" children. Now I know what your first thought will be when I say "orphaned" but it's not in the most traditional sense but all the same it's true. No matter what age you may be when both your parents have passed away ~ well you're left orphaned. At 30 years old she is dealing with the recent loss of her Aunt Lila. Her deceased mother's last remaining sister to pass away. Shelby's mother, Betheny, came from a large fun-loving, close-knit Italian family and she was the first sibling to pass away. It's been 10 years since Shelby's mother passed away and since then she has dealt with numerous family members passing's; but has she truly dealt with the grief that her hand in life dealt her? Is Shelby truly allowing herself to "experience" and live the life she was given to the fullest? Well, this was one journey that gripped me from the very start and I was unable to put the book down. I read this book in one sitting. It is remarkably honest look at one young woman's struggle to with taking the chance on love and one Mother's questioning if she did "all" she could for her children. Betheny's feelings are expressed as clearly as Shelby's are and you experience her doubt's, fear, love and ultimate peace. Always There is told in alternating POV going between Shelby's and Betheny's ~ I know what your thinking you're probably going........ Just trust me it works in this book. I can't see any other way for this story to be told without Betheny's POV. It's a journey well worth taking to find out if Shelby is able to set her tears aside? Does Betheny finally get the "peace" she's looking for when it comes to her children? If guarantee you will not walk away from this book without each of your emotions being brought forward. There were part's in this book where I did................................................. and there were times where I felt like........................... doing that to Shelby to just well you'll see. Yes, I admit I did do this..................................... actually quite a lot both happy & sad ....... there where was a point when if I was in the same room as Shelby I would've done this...... When I finished the book I had tears streaming down my face and the biggest.......................................................... and I wiped my eye's and did a.................................. Always There is one of the most powerfully moving stories I have read in a long time. The lesson's one can learn from this book alone are enough to hold on to for a lifetime. If you have personally experienced the loss of a loved one this book will hit very close to home and for me having lost my father at a very young age it reminded me of the happier times, the things I missed most about him, but most importantly it reminded me how much he truly did love me and still does. A beautifully written, heart achingly real story of that anyone can and should read showing us how truly beautiful life is and that without opening oneself up for love we truly will miss out on everything this life has to offer. A beyond 5 star read that I can't even remotely compare to anything I have read recently! Kudos, Carol for this brilliant read and in my opinion hitting it out of the park and a big huge Thank You for bringing back all the wonderful memories of my father that I hold dear to this day!!!!! This was so powerful for me I honestly cried throughout my review ~
Please check be sure to add this one to your list to be read ASAP!!! I will be sure to post purchase links as soon as Always There goes LIVE on March 13,2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GIVEAWAY~ Carol is graciously giving away 2 e-copies of Always There! Comment below with your email address and thoughts on this book to enter. Winners will be chosen March 14, 2013~ 


  1. again...a great review! This one makes me nervous to read (not gonna lie) but then it really peaks my interest too! I am sure I will ball like a baby!

  2. I have heard this book is great! Would love to read it.

  3. Can't wait for this book. I love storys where the main characters struggle through life - it pulls you in and you want so badly for them to become stronger and get their HEA that they deserve. Great review Kim

  4. this looks like a great book. i have heard loads of good things about it but none as good as your pictures! lol

  5. Wow, this book sounds really heart wrenching :'( Thanks for sharing your review and for introducing Always There to me. I'm definitely going to add this to my TBR list! I love a good emotional read and similar to what Missy S said, I have a feeling I'm going to ball like a baby. Thanks for the giveaway!


  6. This sounds like a book I would love. Your review was fabulous! Thanks for the chance.

  7. This sounds unlike anything else I've ever read. I'd love to read it! :) nswick(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Sounds great and I would love to read it!

  9. WOW! That's a really cool and interesting cover! Great review!!!

  10. Looks like a great heart-warming story, I can't wait.

  11. I lost two close loved ones several years ago, so I'm a little afraid to read this. I will definitely have to read it on one of my happier days :)

  12. I have heard amazing things about this book. Can't wait to read it !