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Book Review – Wedding At The Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

My Book reviews are coming back

It’s been a while since I have posted any book reviews. I have been so busy working on completing my two series  The Sabela series and The Tammy Mellows Series that my reading time has been limited.  But I wanted to start posting them again and share with you books I have enjoyed and recommend.  I will also be posting my top ten reads for 2020 in December so be sure to look out for that.

Book Review

Wedding At The Lakeside Resort By Susan Schild

The Lakeside Resort Series Book 4

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Bestselling Author Susan Schild writes heartwarming stories about heroines over age 40, 50, and 60 having adventures, falling in love, and finding their happily ever afters. Readers have fallen in love with Jenny and the Lakeside Resort. Wedding at the Lakeside Resort is Susan’s latest release and readers are loving it!

Susan’s Lakeside Resort series features feisty forty-four-year-old rookie innkeeper Jenny, her eight rustic lakeside cabins, a hunky contractor, a beat-up Airstream, a miniature horse, and a second chance for a happily ever after!

The romance in Susan’s stories is clean and wholesome, and all seven of her books are set in small towns in North Carolina.

Susan and her family live in North Carolina.

The Synopsis of the Book

Ready for more love and adventure after forty? Come see why readers have fallen in love with the Lakeside Resort Series.
When it comes to love, forty-four-year-old Jenny Beckett’s track record isn’t great, but she’s finally found Luke Hammond, a kind, down to earth man who adores her. And she’s marrying him!

But Jenny has no time to moon about the big day. With the Lakeside Resort’s busiest season fast approaching, she’s busily preparing for guests coming to stay in her tiny cabins and vintage campers.

When Luke is called away on business, Jenny must singlehandedly manage the resort, oversee the construction of their new cabin, and plan the wedding. But she’s also dealing with more troubling events. A late-night trespasser is destructive, and a developer is intent on building condominiums right next door. Jenny and Luke must scramble to protect the serenity and beauty of their beloved resort.

With love over 40 blooming all around, a plus-sized heroine, and relatable characters, come join your friends for a June wedding and stay awhile at the Lakeside Resort. Our Review

My Review

Book Review The Wife Between Us

This is the 4th book in The Lakeside Resort Series but it can easily be read as a standalone. I have not read the first three books but I had no problem diving in and losing myself at the Lakeside Resort.  I would love to visit this place. It sounds like it’s right up my alley. A beautiful lake, small rustic cabins to spend a peaceful weekend getaway, and a charming little town.

This is a sweet love story with characters you can’t help but fall in love with. By the end of the story, I wanted to take a drive to Lakeside and spend a week there writing my own stories. It sounds like the perfect setting.  I was pulled into the story straight away and felt like I could spend hours hanging out with Jenny. She’s my age, has my sense of humor, and she is not afraid to hold down the fort at the resort while Luke is away on a business trip.  I think we could become best friends.

The story is well written with a beautiful setting and a perfect escape from these crazy times we are currently living in. I plan of reading the other books in the series and looking forward to the next book in the series. Thank you Susan for the enjoyable read.

Our Overall Rating

Book Review The Wife Between Us

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – I love the colors on this cover. they are bright and really pop and grab the reader’s attention.  The picture is inviting and makes you want to be there and perfect for the storyline.  

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – The characters were well written and people I could easily relate to. they were real and I felt that in the author’s writing. 

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – This was an easy read, a heart-warming tale, and concerns arise when a real estate developer is threatening to buy the property next to The Lakeside Resort.

OVERALL RATING – 5 STARS – I loved this book and was sorry to see it end. I enjoyed it immensely and highly recommend it. 

I had The Pleasure of Interviewing Susan Schild on my Cuppa & A Natter Show (Live Chat) which airs twice a month, on a Monday on my Facebook Author page. The show will soon be expanding to YouTube and this website.

Here is the link to our chat

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Barbara Josselsohn Releases 2nd Book of the Lake Summers Series, The Bluebell Girls

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve sent out a blog but I wanted to share this news with you and also have it on my website.

Barbara Josselsohn Releases Second Book of the Lake Summers Series, The Bluebell Girls

SCARSDALE, NY (September 25, 2020) –  Acclaimed author Barbara Josselsohn today released the second book of the Lake Summers series, The Bluebell Girls. Her third novel to-date, Barbara’s newest tale is a story of self-discovery, familial bonding, and the rekindling of a former spark. The novel follows three generations of women retelling personal stories of long-lost loves while uncovering the beautiful history of the town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains.

After a recent divorce, protagonist Jenna returns full time to her native town of Lake Summers from her life outside of Manhattan to help heal her mother, Sweet, whose health is failing, and better support her daughter, Sophie, who is acclimating to major changes in her own life. When she reconnects with Sweet’s next-door neighbor Troy, recognizing him instantly as the boy with whom she shared her first kiss, secrets, and romance resurface. Now, Jenna must determine whether she’s ready to settle down in Lake Summers for good.

Reviews

Readers are already giving The Bluebell Girls high praise. Five-star reviewers on Goodreads rave that the novel is “a charming page-turner” and “a well written, enjoyable story with a blend of heartbreaking and heartwarming moments, of second chances, romance, and finding harmony in complicated family relationships.”

The Bluebell Girls gives readers the chance to return to the small town and characters they fell in love with during The Lilac House, Barbara’s second novel, and first in the Lake Summers Series. Published in March, The Lilac House is an uplifting summer romance that tells the story of Anna Harris’ newly found independence following a personal loss, a devastating disclosure, and a daring new romance that reinvigorates her love for her summer escape, Lilac House.

In addition to publishing two novels during a pandemic, Barbara recently re-signed with her publisher Bookouture and will publish two more heartwarming and feel-good romance novels set in the same charming, fictional town of Lake Summers in 2021.

“I am so thankful to have the opportunity to bring readers The Bluebell Girls and tell stories about powerful women discovering their identity and navigating the next chapter of their lives which I believe is such an important message, especially now,” said Barbara Josselsohn. “I am beyond thrilled to continue the Lake Summers series with two more books in 2021 and can’t wait to share the next adventures that take place in the wonderful town of Lake Summers, which has become a second home to me.”

The Bluebell Girls was published by Bookouture, an imprint of Hachette U.K. Readers can now purchase the novel in three formats in paperback or eBook from Amazon or from select retailers.

About the Author

Barbara Josselsohn is the author of The Bluebell Girls, The Lilac House, and The Last Dreamer. She is also a journalist and magazine writer whose work appears in the New York Times, Consumers Digest, Parents, New York Magazine, and Westchester Magazine, and on numerous websites. She lives in Westchester County, New York, and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College and privately.

To learn more about Barbara Josselsohn and her newest novel, visit barbarasolomonjosselsohn.com, or follow @barbara_josselsohn_author on Instagram.

A Live Chat with Barbara Josselsohn

I can’t wait to dive into this book and talk to Barabra about it when we go live on Monday, October 26th, at 5:00 pm PST / 8:00 pm EST, and you are all invited.

I will be broadcasting from my Facebook Author page and YouTube so be sure to tune in.

My Review to follow

After our live chat, I will be posting my review of The Bluebell Girls here on this page and in my Facebook group.

Final word

My Award-winning book which won Readers’ Favorite Best Fiction Adventure 2020 is available for FREE in Kindle Unlimited or you can buy for $3.99. The Paperback edition is available where ever paperbacks are sold.

Grab your copy today

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Book Review – Educated by Tara Westover

Book Review- Educated

Book Review - Educated by Tara Westover

Educated was my book club’s choice for Dec/Jan read and boy did it create quite the discussion.

About the Author

Tara Westover is an American author living in the UK. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist, and midwife. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom, and after that first taste, she pursued learning for a decade. She graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a Ph.D. in history in 2014.

Click here to visit her website

The Synopsis of the Book

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far if there was still a way home.

Our Review

Book Review - Educated by Tara Westover

 

Well, this book created quite a diverse conversation at our meeting. Half of us absolutely loved it and the rest either finished it but didn’t enjoy it or couldn’t finish it at all. I was one of those that couldn’t finish the book. We had one member who found this book to be an extremely emotional read because she was able to relate to it so much.  Listening to her was heart-wrenching as she revealed to us some personal insights into her childhood.

This story is a raw account of the author’s family and her abusive childhood that at times were hard to read. How she and her siblings survived some of the brutality was amazing. About a third of the way in I had read enough and closed the book feeling hatred toward her father and just too upset for the author to be able to read anymore.

But after listening to our member’s account on how it helped her understand her own childhood on so many levels I can see how this book can be uplifting for many in some way. Note; I did not feel this way prior to our meeting. Only after we had shared our thoughts.  This is why I love book clubs. They show all the sides of a book.

I applaud the author for the courage it took to tell her story and give hope to others. This story will stay with you for a long time.

Our Overall Rating

Book Review - Educated by Tara Westover

COVER DESIGN – 3 STARS – For some of us, we thought it was misleading. Our first impression was that it was about schools.

CHARACTERIZATION – 3 STARS – Many of the characters were unlikeable

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – At times very depressing and hard to read.

OVERALL RATING – 3 STARS – A tough one to swallow that will leave you wondering how many other children are experiencing the same abuse today.

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Tammy Mellows Series

Reckless Beginings
Book 1
Better Endings
Book 2 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sabela Series

Slater
Book 1
Eve sabela series
Book 2 
Traveling Books

The Traveling Books Project has Begun

 

The Traveling Book Project is happening!

Hey everyone, I’m super excited to announce that two of my books are now on a road trip. As many of you know; the goal is to have two of my books, Reckless Beginnings, and Slater, travel to every state and be signed by a reader representing their home state. I hope to have it returned to me with fifty signatures, one from each state.

Follow the books.

I will be posting monthly updates on where the books are and which states they have visited along with pictures sent in by the readers. Oh, this is going to be so much fun!

You will be able to follow the trip on my social media accounts and this blog.

My Facebook Group ( If you are not a member you can request to join) – Read More Books  

My Facebook author page – 

My Instagram account 

Pinterest

Twitter

Where the Road Trip Begins

Each book will be taking a different route.

Slater will be starting off in California with Elaine Ruff Gallo and Reckless Beginnings will be starting on the east coast from Maine with Dawn Mast. Below is the rest of the route. We will be keeping track of the travel route and notify each team member when the book is heading their way. As a reminder to all those participating, please make sure if you have not read the book, to do so as soon as you receive it, sign it, and put the date and state inside the front cover and send it to the next person via media mail. Thank you all for making this happen!

You may notice that a few of the states are blank. We are still searching for people from those states to receive the book. If you have any family or friends that may want to be a part of the team shoot me an email tinahogangrant@gmail.com or have them contact me.

RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

1. ME- Dawn Mast
2. NH – Audrey McGee Griffis
3. VT – SandiCadieux Goldring
4. NY – Pat Shupinski Fayo
5. MA- Linda Morgan
6. RI – Stephann
7. CT- Awilda Melendez
8. PA -Jodena Psycher
9. NJ – Sonnetta Jones
10. DE –
11. MD- Lynette Demskit Trotta
12. WV – Sheila Martin
13. VA – Linda Terreri
14. NC – Karen Agee
15. SC – Erin Kane
16. GA – Sandra Harmon Zimmerman
17. FL – Annamarie Calvino Scott
18. AL – Melanie Stickler Falconer
19. MS – Dede Cook
20. TN – Melodie Bertoli
21. KY – Laura Conway
22. OH – Janet Fetteroff Johnson
23. IN – Renee Bosgraaf
24. MI – Ashley Jessica Evans
25. WI – Donamae Clausen Kutska
26. MN – Liz Deshayes
27. IA – Paula Hess
28. IL – Lisa Quinlivan
29. MO – Linda Sutton
30. AR – Robyn Best Huffman
31. LA – Donisa Pierce Tingle
32. TX – Meredith Thompson
33. OK – Tamara Ward
34. KS – Jean Briggs
35. NB – Jennifer Bryan Vawser
36. SD – Teresa Padgett
37. ND – Daynelle Paulson Blake
38. MT – Carol Deegan
39. WY – Patricia Trumpower
40. CO – Lisa Casey
41. NM – Kris Rubi
42. AZ – June Schmidt
43. UT – Stephanie Williams Peterson
44. NV – Sabrina Kleymann
45. ID – Barb Metcalf Arehart
46. OR – Penny Knowlton
47. WA – Cynthia Novlin
48. AK – Holly Marie
49. HI –
50. CA – Vicki Robinson

SLATER

1. CA – Elaine Ruff Gallo
2. NV – Sabrina Kleymann
3. UT- Courtney Cochley
4. AZ – Eileen Horsman
5. NM –
6. CO – Ruth Brassell
7. KS – Bea Followi
8. OK – Kimberly McCoy Murrie
9. TX – Cheryl Buckley
10. LA – Christy Renee Amond
11. AR – Senia Clark
12. MO – Ruth Benson
13. TN – Sheila Harmon Grant
14. MS – Kimberly Moss
15. AL – Faye Burt
16. GA – Jennifer Kayes
17. FL – Robin Batterson
18. SC – Christine White
19. NC – Shannon Doutt Dolgos
20. KY -Samantha Humphrey-Vershum
21. WV – Jean Shahan
22. VA – Nancy Sheperd
23. MD – Rose Schmitz Marcin
24. DE –
25. NJ – Carole Sigle Doscher
26. CT – Christina Carmon
27. RI
28. MA – Cathy Friedland Yahiaoui
29. ME – Annie Lavoie
30. NH – Clenna Lyons Emery
31. VT –
32. NY – Pam Shear Vogt
33. PA – Christina Close
34. OH – Renne Tucci
35. MI – Teresa Pladgett
36. IN – Kelly Braun
37. IL – Ellie Raymond
38. WI – Sherry Hall Hanson
39. IA –
40. NE – Valerie Bush Stoj
41. MN – Cindy Sargent
42. SD – Delores Hansen
43. ND – Sherie Goff
44. MT – Donna Thomas
45. WY –
46. ID – Kelly Olson
47. OR – Adrianna Ross Downard
48. WA – LuAnn Morgan
49. AK – Dolly K. Gunter
50. HI

After Hawaii….. it will travel home to me!

Thank you, everyone, that has signed up to represent their home state. I can’t wait to hear from you when the books arrive in your mailboxes.

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone xoxox

 

Updates

11-22-19 -Reckless Beginnings has arrived in Maine😍 Thank you, Dawn Mast, for being a part of the team and representing your state. I hope you enjoy the book! #travelingbook

 

 

11-30-19 – Reckless beginning arrived in New Hampshire. Thank you Audrey Mcgee Griffis for being a team member and representing your state. I hope you enjoy the book.

12-11-19 Reckless Beginnings has arrived in Vermont. Thank you Sandi Cadieux Goldring for being a part of the team. I hope you enjoy the book.

12-10-19 Slater has left California and is on its way to Nevada. Thank you  Elaine Ruff Gallo. I hope you liked the book.

 

Continue reading “The Traveling Books Project has Begun”

Everything books

Book Review Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Book Review Small Great Things

Book Review Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult was my book club’s choice last month. We had a brilliant meeting discussing the book and I truly felt we could have talked for hours about this book.

About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Small Great Things, Leaving Time, The Storyteller, and My Sister’s Keeper.

You can find her website here.

The Synopsis of the Book

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years of experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. the parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch her child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family – especially her teenage son, as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see what they’ve taught their whole lives about others – and themselves might be wrong.

 

Our Review

Book Review Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

First of all, I would like to commend the author on writing about a subject that many in this country believe is no longer an issue and that this country is beyond racism and white supremacy. How wrong they are. Jodi Picoult takes us out of the bubble that most of us tend to live in and opens our eyes.

This is a powerful, raw and disturbing story that will stay with you for a long time. We all agreed that reading about Turk, the white supremacists and his beliefs were jaw-dropping and horrifying. None of us could comprehend the hatred he felt to people of color and what is even more horrifying is that these groups still exist today. But we had to take a step back and discuss his terrible childhood and upbringing. He was raised to hate, it was in his blood and it was the only way he knew how to live. We are not making excuses for his beliefs just examing the facts and how beliefs are carried down generation after generation and we saw a lot of it in this book.

We all loved Ruth, the victim of racism whose life was turned upside down simply because of the color of her skin. She’s a brilliant mother, a smart woman, a widow and was doing a fine job raising her son, who was an honor roll student.

We felt only compassion for Ruth who lived in fear every day, by the way, she was treated, spoken to and stared at because she was black, but to her, this was the norm. She was a successful Nurse who studied at Yale, she lived in a good neighborhood and had a well-mannered smart son but no one paid attention to that, they only saw what was on the outside – the color of her skin.

After reading this book I’m sure many will question their own beliefs. I know I did. It will open your eyes and make you realize that we as a human race, not just a country have a long way to go before we can say that we treat everyone as equal. In our perfect world, we might but the rest of the world needs to get on board.

In conclusion, a riveting book that was hard to put down and a rude awakening to the world we live in.

Our Overall Rating

Book Review Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – An eye-catching cover. Simple and easy to read. 

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Brilliant character development. We felt we knew them well. 

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – Some members found some of the facts unbelievable and felt it was rushed toward the end. 

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – We enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it. 

Small Great Things Questions

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Book Review – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Book Review The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Book Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
Buy the book from Amazon

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. This was my book clubs read last month and it was discussed last week. Unforchantly I was sick the night of the meeting and was unable to attend. But I did receive feedback and wanted to share our review with you.

About the Author

Kamkwamba was profiled on the front page of The Wall Street Journal December 8, 2007, as well in major articles in The Malawi Daily Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, La Repubblica, and myriad blog posts such as Boing Boing, and his blog has been featured on the front page of news aggregators such as Digg and Reddit. He is featured in a special Africa issue of L’Uomo Vogue.
Find William’s blog at http://www.williamkamkwamba.com

 

The Synopsis of the Book

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and science was a mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills and he dreamed of building one and it would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala – crazy. But William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks, some scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.

Our Review

Book Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

I’m going to give you mainly my review of this book because I wasn’t at the meeting. First of all, this is not a book that would normally appeal to me if I was browsing in a book store. The subject matter is not a genre I would read. But with that said, I must say the story captivated me from the very beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It was an easy read and I was intrigued right away. I loved how the book put me smack bang in the middle of Africa. I felt like I was right there with William. We’ve all heard about the struggles and the horrific stories of starvation affecting all ages in Africa. Well, this book opens your eyes to just how devastating the conditions are. Every day these people live to survive and will do anything to accomplish it including eating goatskin which really grossed me out but made realize just how little these people have and what desperate measures they are willing to take to simply stay alive.
The book was sad in many ways, reading about the many deaths of children and the sufferings many endured on a daily basis. But it was also very uplifting when William set out on a dream to make his and his family’s life better. He didn’t give up and succeeded and to my surprise and joy, the rest of the world soon learned about his amazing achievements. I love how he now travels the world and gives back to his small town and many of the other struggling communities in his country. He is a great inspiration for many.
 The only time I found my mind wandering was when he went into details about how he made the windmill and what parts he used and what each part did. I learned a little about electricity, but most of it went over my head. I understand why it was included in the book because it’s the root of his story.
The book was well-received by the rest of the group. I believe there was one person who did not enjoy it and gave it a low score.
Since reading the book I’ve watched some clips of him on YouTube and the videos are very uplifting.

The author is currently on tour and will be visiting my part of the world on October 30th in Bakersfield which is only forty-five minutes away so I may attend. Here is a link if any other locals are interested in going.

https://www.facebook.com/events/california-state-university-bakersfield/author-visit-book-signing-the-boy-who-harnessed-the-wind/2231500180473985/

Our Overall Rating

BBook Review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – The choices of colors and font are perfect – easy on the eyes and bold print.

CHARACTERIZATION – 4 STARS – Being a memoir the characters were well developed and described well. 

STORY & PLOT 3 STARS – Parts of the story were drawn out and when he talks about building the windmill, it gets a little too complex for my taste.

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – I absolutely enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. 

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Book Review Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

Book Review Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

Book Review Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci
Buy The Book From Amazon

My book club which is held at our local library recently finished this book and discussed it at our last meeting. As always I like to share our thoughts with you.

About the Author

David Baldacci has been writing since childhood when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, “because every mom needs a break now and then.”)

David published his first novel ABSOLUTE POWER, in 1996. A feature film followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 37 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. David has also published six novels for younger readers.

David received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington D.C.

 

The Synopsis of the Book

It’s seared into Atlee Pine’s memory: the kidnapper’s chilling rhyme as he chose between six-year-old Atlee and her twin sister, Mercy. Mercy was taken, Atlee was spared.

She never saw Mercy again.

Three decades after that terrifying night, Atlee Pine works for the FBI. She’s the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona resident agency, which is responsible for protecting the Grand Canyon.

So, when one of the Grand Canyon’s mules is found stabbed to death at the bottom of the canyon and its rider missing- Pine is called in to investigate. It soon seems clear the lost tourist had something more clandestine than sightseeing in mind. But just as Pine begins to put together clues pointing to a terrifying plot, she’s abruptly called off the case.

If she disobeys direct orders by continuing to search for the missing man, it will mean the end of her career. But unless Pine keeps working the case and discovers the truth, it could spell the very end of democracy in America as we know it…

Our Review

Book Review Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

This was another book that created mixed feelings amongst the group. First of all, I don’t think any of us realized before reading it that it was the first book in a series  (An Atlee Pine Thriller Book 1). The book was pretty much the setting foundation of the main character, Atlee Pine by way of what some of us thought was a very confusing and mixed storyline. Others in the group loved it and even brought more of his books after reading this one.

That’s what I love about book clubs. They will take you away from your comfort zone and the genres you normally read and many times introduce you to new authors that you’d probably never discover if it wasn’t for being a suggestion at the book club

Anyway back to the book. We all agreed, the book pulled us in straight away. It began with Atlee’s interrogation in a high-security prison where only the worst of criminals were housed. She believed the prisoner was the man who took her twin sister over thirty years ago.  The first few chapters of the book gave the impression that this was going to be a story about Atlee trying to get to the bottom of what happened to her sister.  Sounds good, doesn’t it? I was on board and wanted to know too what happened to her.

Suddenly the story switched gears and it’s now all about a dead mule that was found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the missing rider. None of this had anything to do with how we were pulled into the book in the beginning. It was almost like two stories thrown into one book.  I and a few others in the group kept reading hoping it would shift back to the case of the missing sister but it didn’t. A huge disappointment for me and I soon began to lose interest in the book. I almost felt like I had been deceived by the switch and bait method that was used to draw a reader in.

The ending was also a disappointment for some of us because it ended with a cliff hanger. I, in particular, wasn’t pleased with the unfinished ending.  When I invest my time in a book, I expect a complete story and not be forced to buy the next one. I’ve never like this tactic and think it’s highly unfair to the reader. When an author tends to do this, I personally will not read their books.

Overall, some members loved it and are anxious to read the next book in the series which is currently available to pre0ordr on Amazon by the way. Others like myself didn’t care for it.

Our Overall Rating

Book Review Long Road to Mercy by David Baldacci

COVER DESIGN – 3 STARS – The colors choices are bold and bright but the title is deceiving 

CHARACTERIZATION – 4 STARS – The characters were well developed and Atlee had some interesting traits for a woman. She was a tough woman – written almost like a superhero. 

STORY & PLOT 3 STARS – We had mixed feelings about this as explained in the review. A few loved it and others hated the tease and unfinished story.

OVERALL RATING – 3 STARS – I personally would not recommend this book because of the cliff hanger.

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Guest Post – The Catnapped Lover by Rue Allyn

I’m excited to bring you a preview of Rue Allyn’s new book – The Catnapped Lover – A short contemporary romance.

 

Excerpt

Balancing an armload of mail, an overloaded briefcase, and a gym bag with two yogurt cups teetering on top, Dierdre Clancy rushed to her cubicle. For the fourth time this week, and the umpteenth time this month, she was late. Once again, a power outage in the decrepit apartment building where she lived had caused her alarm clock to fail.

Please, Lord, don’t let my chauvinist pig of a boss realize I’ve been missing.

The yogurt cups threatened to topple off the gym bag. Dierdre wasn’t about to let her lunch decorate the linoleum. The mail showered to the floor. The briefcase hit her foot. With her free hand, she plastered the cups to her side. The gym bag slid down her arm. The webbed strap twisted, tourniquet style, around her wrist.

She managed a couple of sideways hops that brought her to the edge of her desk. The gym bag swung wildly. Leaning against the arm weighed down by the bag’s stranglehold, she managed to dump the yogurt cups onto the desk without mishap. She pulled herself upright and reached for the strap at her wrist.

Somehow, during all the hopping, the bag had swung around her legs and gotten wedged in the narrow space between her desk and file cabinet. The same strap that cut off circulation to her hand pressed into the backs of her knees, pinning her neatly to the desk. Only an act of extreme dexterity could save her from her own folly. Imbecile, why didn’t you make two trips?

Because I didn’t want to risk having the boss see me coming in late.

“Clancy! You’re late.”

Dierdre’s heart hit the ceiling. She knew the shout—a cross between an operatic tenor and a pig at slaughter. Still, she hadn’t been prepared to hear her boss’s screeching quite so soon.

Guest Post - The Catnapped Lover by Rue Allyn

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Hero Bio: Adam Talcott was born rich. He went into business with his best friend from college and made even more millions. His methods may be unorthodox, but he nearly always succeeds. Now he’s been challenged to live for two months without any of the privileges and resources he’s known all his life. Adam is confident that he can conquer this challenge as he has all others. But he didn’t count on Dierdre Clancy and that danged cat.

Heroine Bio: Dierdre Clancy grew up in a family of givers. Her parents were missionaries and often too busy saving other, less privileged people to realize how lonely and abandoned Dierdre felt. When she reached her teen years, she was shipped back to the USA to live with her Aunt Shea on Shea’s rundown farm and animal shelter. Finally, she was in a stable environment with an adult she could count on. Dierdre went on to gain a degree in social work and took up the Clancy family tradition of helping others. Most of the time helping others was easy. But Adam Talcott broke that mold and every other box she tried to put him into. How could one man be so difficult to manage?

About the author

Guest Post - The Catnapped Lover by Rue Allyn

Hi, I’m Rue Allyn, I write heart-melting romance novels. Books about characters and adventures in which love triumphs at the darkest moment. The kind of hopeful, steal-your-breath romance that melts a reader’s heart. The type of book I like to read. Hope you will too.

RAmblin’ Notes from the author — Time Travel Possible, No Machine Required

Yes, time travel is possible. How? Read a book. The old-fashioned kind of book, made from paper, isn’t technically a machine, so no Time Machine is required. However, for purists, we have computers, tablets, cell-phones, dedicated reading devices and a whole host of other machines that can transport you back in time via the printed page (or screen if you prefer).
Now some may protest that reading about the past is not traveling there. I won’t argue. For me, reading about the past or stories set in the past is a transportive experience. Lately, I’ve been transported to Wyoming territory in the year 1875. Much was going on at that time. The Lakota nation was fighting for its rights to its holy lands and hunting grounds. Gold had been discovered in the Black Hills–smack in the middle of those holy lands. Settlers were pushing westward at the urging of the Union Pacific railroad.
The railroad needed passengers, and it held rights to land along the path of the railway. Land that the railway owners hoped to sell to settlers at a huge profit. If all of that wasn’t enough fights were brewing not just among the Lakota and the settlers but between cattlemen, sheep owners, and farmers. Stagecoach and railway robberies were commonplace and towns sprang up to provide services to the far-flung ranches, farms, and mines
Use that marvelous time machine, the internet, and drill down a layer or three on any one of these topics and you find time travel gold. Be present at the skirmishes that led to the Battle of Little Big Horn and later to the tragedy at Wounded Knee. Get shaken to the bone on a runaway stagecoach as it flees road agents who to steal everything on board, including your own personal treasures. Follow Ferdinand V. Hayden (surveyor), William Henry Jackson (Photographer), and Thomas Moran (artist) and their party as they survey what is now Yellowstone National Park. They “compiled a comprehensive report, including large-format photographs Guest Post - The Catnapped Lover by Rue Allynby William Henry Jackson and paintings by Thomas Moran. The report helped to convince the U.S. Congress to withdraw this region from public auction,” and by 1872 President U. S. Grant signed The Act of Dedication law that created Yellowstone National Park. Jackson’s photographs were of particular interest to me even though I’d visited the park in person twice.
My most recent time travels took me to the trail from Laramie to Devil’s Tower. I caught a ride with a muleskinner who was making deliveries from the railhead at Laramie to outlying ranches. This particular skinner had a good relationship with the Lakota, respected their lands and would trade with them honestly. No cheating, no shoddy goods, no spoiled stores. The skinner had earned the trust of the Lakota bands that lived in the area of Devil’s Tower. That was a feat few settlers could manage, simply because prejudice and ignorance took precedence over common sense and courtesy.
Guest Post - The Catnapped Lover by Rue AllynSadly my mule skinner didn’t spend long with any one group, so I didn’t learn much about the Lakota other than that they were folks with the same kinds of worries, hopes, and dreams that most folks have. I did learn quite a bit about the low-lives taking advantage of not just the Lakota but every person who gave trust too easily. That’s how I discovered that my mule skinner–a major character in my current work in progress–falls victim to the machinations of a villain who is actually trying to increase tensions between the Lakota and the settlers. That villain figures that he can get land at very cheap prices if the area is deemed unsafe. Then he can have the army clear the Lakota off their lands and lay claim to those too.
All of this, we normally call research, is what I call time travel. The great thing is that anyone can do it. So the next time you go online or pick up a book ask yourself not what you want to know, but instead, when you want to be. Please leave a comment and share some of your time travel experiences.

 

Freebie~~Get a FREE download of Rue Allyn’s May 2019 release Forever Hold My Heart, a Scottish historical novella. Just sign up for her newsletter here https://www.rueallyn.com/ravonsubscribe/.

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Writing Updates

"Better Endings"

Writing updates and the latest news

Updates in my world of writing

Hi everyone its time for some updates and fill you in on what’s going on in my world of writing. As you may have noticed I’m sending out a newsletter less frequently. Instead of being weekly, it will now be monthly. If I have a book released or a sale which I think you can’t resist I will notify you in a bonus newsletter.

Why the cutbacks in my newsletter?

The simplest answer is because it takes away valuable writing time from my books. Currently, I’m working on three different titles, all of which I hope to have released by  November. In order to achieve that goal, I need to use what valuable time I have when I’m not working and use it wisely.

Works in progress

Here is a little insight on each title and what current stage it is in.

BETTER ENDINGS

This is the sequel to RECKLESS BEGINNINGS also know as BOOK TWO IN THE TAMMY MELLOWS SERIES. Let me tell you, I’m super excited about this book. The first draft is finished and I had so much fun writing it. I laughed out loud during some chapters and cried in others.  The synopsis has been written, edited and finalized. I’ll be sharing it with you soon. As  I’m writing this the cover is being designed and I can’t wait to see the first draft.

Beginning the first week of August I will be spending the month cleaning up the manuscript before it goes to the editor sometime in September. I tried to book her sooner but she was booked 3 months out. That’s how good she is. I have no problem waiting for my slot. She worked on RECKLESS BEGINNINGS and did a brilliant job. She knows my characters and my style of writing. Let me tell you, she’s well worth the wait. I’m hoping to have the book released sometime in November. If I can make it happen sooner, trust me I will

SLATER

This is a new series I’ve been working on. It’s a contemporary romance with some sizzle. SLATER is the first book in The SABELA series. I’m excited to announce this book is complete. Editing is done, the cover is finished. It looks amazing by the way and soon I will be doing a cover reveal.

EVE

This is the second book in the SABELA SERIES. In this book, you will discover that some of the characters you met in the first book have some surprising secrets.  The first draft is finished and starting Monday I will spend the next few weeks cleaning it up before it goes off to the editor. The cover design will begin on July 14th. The synopsis still has to be written and I’ll be working with my editor next week on that. For me, this is the hardest part of writing a book.

Other News

I recently started a Facebook group and would love for you to join. I host giveaways, mingle and chat with the readers. Soon I plan on doing monthly video chats where members can ask me anything. Click the banner to request to join.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer and don’t forget for a limited time RECKLESS BEGINNINGS is available for free in Kindle Unlimited or you can buy the ebook edition for just $1.99.

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Book Review – Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison

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Book Review – Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison& Bonus Questions for Your Book Club

My book club read this last month – as always, I like to share our review with you 🙂

About the Author

John Elder Robison grew up in the sixties before the Asperger diagnosis came into common use. After dropping out of high school, John worked in the music business where he created sound effects and electronic devices, including the signature illuminated, smoking, and rocket firing guitars he built for KISS. Later John worked on some of the first video games and talking toys at Milton Bradley. After a ten year career in electronics, John founded Robison Service, a specialty automobile company in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Today in addition to running the car company, John is the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William & Mary, and advisor to the neurodiversity program at Landmark College. He is a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee which makes the Strategic Plan for Autism for the US government.

In addition to his autism advocacy work, John is a lifelong car enthusiast, an avid hiker, a photographer, a music lover, and a world-class champion eater. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The Synopsis of the Book

Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits – an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them) – had earned him the label “social deviant.” It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself – and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account – sometimes alien yet always deeply human.

Our Review

Book Review - Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

This was a well written and at times a funny book that we all enjoyed immensely.  For some, like myself it was an eye-opener. I knew nothing about Aspergers and the author did a fantastic job of bringing me into his world.  For others, it was a book they could relate to because of family members that have Aspergers. They said he was spot on with all the struggles he experienced during his childhood.

The most fascinating part of the book was reading about what he has achieved in his life. He didn’t look at his condition as a failure but as an asset. He has accomplished so much including having a family and this brings hopes to others suffering from Aspergers’ I think it’s a wonderful message that will help many families.

It’s a story that is beautifully written, easy to read with no fluff. The author tells you exactly how it is and you can feel it through his writing.

Our Overall Rating

Our rating Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – Like his writing, his cover is spot on and grabs your attention. 

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Being memoir he did a great job describing all his characteristics from childhood to adulthood.

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – Even though everyone loved this book some felt a five star was too generous

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – Overall we gave this book 4 stars and highly recommend it.

Questions to ask at your book club

Questions-Book Review - Look me in the eye, my life with Asperger's by John Elder Robison

Click on the link below for questions to ask at your book club.

Book club discussion – Look Me In The Eye

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It’s a place where you can interact with other readers that are following me. I host weekly giveaways, do live video chats and talk about on-going projects.

You can join by clicking on the link below.

Read More Books – Tina Hogan Grant – Readers’ Group