MY BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review – The Green Beach Files By K. A. Perry

 

About the Author

K. A. Perry brings a unique perspective to her environmental thrillers. Her ability to utilize nature as the catalyst to keep her plot moving, and drive the character’s pursuit of the truth, stems from her own appreciation and love of nature. Time spent in nature is restorative for many folks, and this tenet is an underlying theme of K.A. Perry’s writing.

Although K.A. Perry grew up in northeastern Pennsylvania, she now lives in Connecticut with her husband and 4 children. Her years spent practicing environmental law combined with her time spent as a math teacher have melded to create stories that at their core raise real legal issues, but on the surface are an engaging, lighthearted read.

The Synopsis of the Book

A funny, engaging legal mystery for all those who love and enjoy nature—and reading at the beach.

First, an amphibian expert is found murdered in the fancy shoreline town of Mayfield, Connecticut. Then, a second, shocking murder of a well-respected community leader occurs. Why are there murders happening in a town as peaceful as Mayfield?

Jenn isn’t the perfect clever attorney. She doesn’t love her job, has no innate ability to solve mysteries, no superpowers, and no awesome legal skills. But she does have her love and respect for nature—which tends to distract her from her legal work, yet still somehow guides her. Along with her entertaining and dysfunctional family, Jenn weaves her way into the midst of a momentous fight over land preservation.

The murders appear to be tied to the development of the largest parcel of pristine beachfront land between Boston and New York. Most folks in Mayfield want the unique beachfront preserved for the public and object to the construction of expensive homes, but are any of these folks extremist enough to murder for the environment and save coastal land? And how much will Jenn stretch the law to solve the mystery?

My Review

This is Perry’s debut novel and for a first book she did really well

I was pulled into the story immediately when the main character, Jenn discovered a body in an ice machine in the back of a bookstore. My first question was, why did the bookstore have an ice machine? It was clear it was a homicide and Jenn is on a mission to solve the case, even though she is an attorney and not a detective. But it humors the story with her interference and when a second body is discovered, the plot thickens.

This is an easy read and what I love about this book is how the author also took me on a nature excursion and described in detail the natural surroundings and environment. I learned so much.

The romance that evolved was sweet and a nice addition to the story. I highly recommend this book.

An interview with the Author.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen on my Cuppa & A Natter (Live Chat)  show a few weeks ago.

You can watch it here.

 

Book Review The Wife Between Us

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – I love the colors of the cover, especially the bright yellow font which really grabs the attention of potential readers.   

CHARACTERIZATION – 4 STARS – I loved Jenn. She was well developed and I thought that I knew her well by the end of the book.  

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – Great storyline and plot that moved along at a good pace. 

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Book Review – Turn Back Time 

The Reunions is live -Read for FREE in KU

Buy The Book

Award-winner author Tina Hogan Grant brings you an emotional tail of family values and the quest of three sisters to fulfill their mother’s one wish.

Divided by divorce and separated by an ocean the sisters wondered if time would be on their side. This book brings the Tammy Mellows series full circle and can also be read as a standalone. A story that will stay with you: long after you have read it.
Review quotes:
“Loved the story and the whole series and will always read a Tina Hogan Grant book.” – GR Reader
“OMG what an absolutely amazing story. Definitely, a must-read.” – GR Reader “
A wonderful storyteller and her writing touches the heart.” – GR Reader
“This is such a great book and hard to put down and you just don’t want it to end.” – GR Reader –

MY BOOK REVIEWS, Reviews

Book Review – Turn Back Time By Annette G. Anders

Turn Back Time (The Full Circle Series Book 1) By Annette G. Anders

 

About the Author

Annette G. Anders grew up in Germany with a love for books, music, and traveling. In 1998, she and her husband moved to New England, where they raised their son.

In 2018, Annette turned her love for books into a freelance editing career, and in 2019, found the inspiration and courage to write her first novel, TURN BACK TIME, which released in October 2020, and is the first in the Full Circle Series.

When Annette isn’t working, she enjoys meeting with friends, traveling, reading, and photography.

The Synopsis of the Book

Three years ago, a book and a song led Stella to the love of her life. Two years later, he shattered her heart. Determined to shake off the memories of the fateful day, Stella promises herself she’ll move forward. Little does she know, when she accepts her best friend’s invitation to a week-long trip to France, that the ghosts of her past will come roaring back.

David has reached the pinnacle of his career, but loneliness is a painful price to pay for being in the spotlight. When he catches a fleeting glimpse of Stella a year after their breakup, David realizes he has one chance to win her back. If he fails to earn Stella’s trust again, he’ll be cursed to follow in the footsteps of one of literature’s most haunted and desolate characters—the one he brings to life night after night.

What will it take for Stella and David to remember their dreams, and to believe in their future?

TURN BACK TIME is a story about forgiveness, second chances—and believing in yourself.

My Review

This is Ander’s debut novel and I was excited to read it. A contemporary second chance romance that doesn’t disappoint.

I was immediately engaged from the first paragraph and rooting for Stella and David throughout the book.  What I loved about this story is that Ander’s takes you on a wonderful trip to Paris. A city I visited a long time ago. The author does a fantastic job of putting the reader in this beautiful city with her detailed descriptive writing. In fact, I would love to revisit Paris and take this book with me and see all the places mentioned in the book.

This book is not just about a sweet romance but also the strong friendship between Stella and her best friend Naomi. I loved everything about Naomi from her cocky attitude and how she always looked out for Stella. The bond between the two girls is clearly defined throughout the story.

This is a wonderful story that does have some steamy parts. I highly recommend this book.

I can’t wait to read In Due Time Book 2 which I recently received from the author. This is Naomi’s Story. Be sure to look for my review in the upcoming months.

An interview with the Author.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Annette on my Cuppa & A Natter (Live Chat)  show a few weeks ago.

You can watch it here.

 

 

Book Review The Wife Between Us

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – I love everything about this cover. From the Eifel Tower in the background which tells you the setting of the book to the way, Stella’s red dress pops off the cover grabbing the reader’s attention.   

CHARACTERIZATION – 4 STARS – The characters were well developed and each one had a well-defined personality. Sometimes I wished Stella had developed more of a backbone.  

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – Wonderful story, line. I had a great trip to Paris.

OVERALL RATING – 5 STARS – I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Book Review – A Shattered Marriage

The Reunions is live -Read for FREE in KU

Buy The Book

Award-winner author Tina Hogan Grant brings you an emotional tail of family values and the quest of three sisters to fulfill their mother’s one wish.

Divided by divorce and separated by an ocean the sisters wondered if time would be on their side. This book brings the Tammy Mellows series full circle and can also be read as a standalone. A story that will stay with you: long after you have read it.
Review quotes:
“Loved the story and the whole series and will always read a Tina Hogan Grant book.” – GR Reader
“OMG what an absolutely amazing story. Definitely, a must-read.” – GR Reader “
A wonderful storyteller and her writing touches the heart.” – GR Reader
“This is such a great book and hard to put down and you just don’t want it to end.” – GR Reader –

MY BOOK REVIEWS, Reviews

Book Review – A Shattered Marriage by C.M Santoro

Book Review

A Shattered Marriage

(His Deadly Betrayal Series Book 1) By C.M Santoro

 

A Shattered Marriage
Buy The Book

 

About the Author

C. M. Santoro is excited to share her writing journey with you. She writes romance, suspense, and thrillers. Her first book, His Deadly Betrayal: A Shattered Marriage, is the first book in its series. Her background includes being a teacher’s assistant, a PCA, and a mentor for middle school students that need academic support. She’s also an advocate for breast cancer awareness. She lives in a rural town in south-central Pennsylvania with her husband, three daughters, and 3 fur babies. When she’s not writing, she’s supporting her special needs daughter–writing, taking walks, and mentoring all her favorite hobbies.

The Synopsis of the Book

Julie desperately fights for her marriage—a marriage her husband Bill treats as a hobby. The less time he spends with his wife, the more time he spends with his assistant, Steffy, who wants him all for herself. She will stop at nothing to make that happen.

While Bill finds an excuse to leave, Julie begins to find herself. An old friend resurfaces after the death of his mother. Julie and James reconnect as they mourn their losses, and memories of the heart draw them closer. But is James’ reinsertion into her life as simple as it seems?

Will the rising suspicion of her husband’s affair give Julie the strength to move on? Can she accept the love she deserves—more importantly, who will have to die if she does?

My Review

This is Santoro’s debut novel and I was excited to read it. Let me tell you the author does not disappoint. I was fully engaged throughout the entire book.  The author did a great job putting the readers in Julie’s head. I felt every emotion Julie was feeling while she desperately tried to save her marriage to Bill.

This book is a quick easy page-turner and the first in a series. The characters are well developed and true to life.  My heart went out to Julie and I felt like I knew her very well by the end of the book and could easily relate to the heartache she suffered.

I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, I’m hooked.

 

Book Review The Wife Between Us

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – This is an eye-catching cover that grabbed my attention. I love the bold red font and the shattered picture frame. Excellent choice.  

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Well-developed characters. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew Julie and her husband Bill really well.

STORY & PLOT 5 STARS – Great storyline and a real page-turner.

OVERALL RATING – 5 STARS – I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Book Review – Sting – By Sandra Brown

The Reunions is live

Buy The Book

Award-winner author Tina Hogan Grant brings you an emotional tail of family values and the quest of three sisters to fulfill their mother’s one wish.

Divided by divorce and separated by an ocean the sisters wondered if time would be on their side. This book brings the Tammy Mellows series full-circle and can also be read as a standalone. A story that will stay with you: long after you have read it.
Review quotes:
“Loved the story and the whole series and will always read a Tina Hogan Grant book.” – GR Reader
“OMG what an absolutely amazing story. Definitely, a must-read.” – GR Reader “
A wonderful storyteller and her writing touches the heart.” – GR Reader
“This is such a great book and hard to put down and you just don’t want it to end.” – GR Reader –

MY BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review – Sting by Sandra Brown

Book Review

Sting by Sandra Brown

About the Author

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including STING (2016), FRICTION (2015), MEAN STREAK (2014), DEADLINE (2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), and the critically acclaimed RAINWATER (2010).

Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-three languages.

The Synopsis of the Book

A savvy businesswoman and an assassin struggle to outwit the FBI — and each other — in this #1 NYT bestselling story of sizzling romance and shocking deception from “a masterful storyteller” (USA Today).

When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something sparks. Shaw is a man who gives off a dangerous vibe that makes other men stand back and women take notice. No one feels this more strongly than Jordie, a woman who doesn’t belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is . . . and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her.

As Shaw takes aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. Instead, Shaw has other plans. He abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen. But he isn’t the only one: Jordie’s brother made a deal with the FBI, but his ruthless boss will stop at nothing to find the money first. Now on the run from the feds and a notorious criminal, Jordie and Shaw must rely on their wits to stay alive.

Miles away from civilization and surrounded by swampland, Jordie and Shaw play each other against their common enemies. Jordie’s only chance of survival is to outwit Shaw, but he suspects her from the start. Was she in on her brother’s scam, or is she an innocent pawn in this deadly vendetta? And just how valuable is her life to Shaw, her remorseless and manipulative captor? Burning for answers — and for each other — this unlikely pair ultimately make a desperate move that could be their last.

With nonstop plot twists and the sizzling sexual tension that has made Sandra Brown one of the world’s most beloved authors, Sting will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages.

My Review

Book Review The Wife Between Us

I have been a huge fan of Sandra Brown’s books for many years and one of the reasons is because she never disappoints. Sting was a fast-paced suspense story with plenty of mystery and surprises. Jordie is my kind of woman. Tough with a lot of grit.

The twist took me totally by surprise and I loved it. This book has all the ingredients for a great book, believable characters, mystery, suspense, a heavy plot, and romance.

Book Review The Wife Between Us

COVER DESIGN – 4 STARS – Nice cover with soft colors. I would have liked it to pop some more with vibrant bright colors.  

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Lived up to my expectations. I loved it.. 

STORY & PLOT 5 STARS – I was pulled in after reading the first page. A fast-paced page-turner.

OVERALL RATING – 5 STARS – I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Book Review – The Bluebell Girls By Barbara Josselsohn Book Review

The Reunions is Available for Preorder (Goes live January 5TH)

Award-winner author Tina Hogan Grant brings you an emotional tail of family values and the quest of three sisters to fulfill their mother’s one wish.
Divided by divorce and separated by an ocean they wondered if time would be on their side. This book brings the Tammy Mellows series full-circle and can also be read as a standalone. A story that will stay with you: long after you have read it.
Available for preorder at the discounted price of $2.99 where all books are sold in ebook, kindle, and paperback- Price will go up on launch day.
Click the link below, which will take you to your preferred store;
Review quotes:
“Loved the story and the whole series and will always read a Tina Hogan Grant book.” – GR Reader
“OMG what an absolutely amazing story. Definitely, a must-read.” – GR Reader “
A wonderful storyteller and her writing touches the heart.” – GR Reader
“This is such a great book and hard to put down and you just don’t want it to end.” – GR Reader –

Suggested Reading

Discover a new author by picking up this book by Farrah Lee

Mail Order Sunset (Hawthorne Billionaire Series Book 4

Buy the book
She’s stressed. He likes his laid-back life. They think they’re opposites, but are they?Sawyer Hawthorne was tired of being another society playboy who was always in the limelight. Then one carefree weekend in the Caribbean, he made the decision to live the island way, so he bought his own island and left it all behind to enjoy a new laid-back life. But even with all that beauty around him, he felt something was still missing…until Jade Campbell burst into his life full of attitude.

Dr. Jade Campbell was happy in her career as a marine biologist, but when the marina her family had owned for over a hundred years was in danger of falling apart, she left behind all she had worked for to help her father. But her struggles went farther than money and she was out of ideas…until the money she so desperately needed to save the business and her father was dangled in front of her like a carrot.

Does she take the money to save her father and the marina, knowing that she could be getting herself into something worse? Does he see her for what she could be?

 

 

MY BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review – The Bluebell Girls By Barbara Josselsohn

Book Review

The Bluebell Girls By Barbara Josselsohn (Lake Summers Book 2)

About the Author

Barbara Josselsohn grew up on Long Island and lived for several years in her beloved New York City before moving to the northern suburbs. She began her career as a business journalist and then turned her attention to her first love, fiction.

The Synopsis of the Book

Returning home to her family’s little lake house is the perfect way for Jenna to escape her heartbreaking divorce. Her mother Sweet has been losing her memory and Jenna is sure that taking her daughter Sophie for a break with Sweet in Lake Summers, tucked under the Adirondack Mountains, is what they all need.

Jenna finds comfort in lazy afternoons along the water, and during long nights overlooking their bluebell garden, she’s relieved to hear Sweet telling stories about her long-lost loves. Surrounded by family, it seems that some of Sweet’s memories have returned and Jenna knows she has made the right decision to come home. But when she meets handsome next-door neighbor Troy, she is reminded of a tragedy in her past she has tried hard to forget.

Troy is the boy with whom Jenna shared her very first kiss—she’s relived that moment under the stars every night since she was seventeen. But though he once swept Jenna off her feet, he also broke her heart, and living next door to him for the summer feels impossible.

But sometimes the only way to heal is with those who know you best, and despite her best efforts, Jenna is drawn to Troy again. With her family reunited at last and happier than ever before, is she finally brave enough to face up to her past, and settle down in Lake Summers forever?

My Review

Book Review The Wife Between Us

This is the second book in the Lake Summer Series but it can easily be read as a standalone. I have not read book one but I had no problem diving into the book and not feeling lost. The author did a great job providing enough of the back story from the first book.

This is a beautiful, well-written story that had me fully engaged throughout the entire book. If I wasn’t busy writing my own book I would have easily finished this in a couple of days.  The story is set in the small resort town, Lake Summer and from the author’s wonderfully descriptive writing, she painted a vivid picture and I felt like I was there. It was a great escape.

A fast easy read with likable characters and a sweet love story that will stay with you for a long time. I would like to know what happens next and I’m hoping there will be a book three.

Book Review The Wife Between Us

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – I have one word for the cover—Brilliant. Its vibrant, eye-catching, and a perfect fit for the book.  

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – I loved the characters and easily related to Jenna – They were well developed and their independent personalties were well defined. 

STORY & PLOT 5 STARS – I was captivated the entire time, wondering what the outcome would be.  I loved the storyline and learning the history of the family.

OVERALL RATING – 5 STARS – This was a great read and I highly recommend it. 

Other Articles You May Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review – Wedding At The Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Book Better Endings Received Readers’ Favorite gold medal award for best Fiction Adventure 2020

Read The Review

Better Endings is a beautiful story that explores a woman’s heart and I enjoyed the way Tina Hogan Grant builds resilience in the protagonist. The journey that Tammy makes is inspirational and will give hope, especially to female readers who have suffered abuse and have experienced unhealthy relationships.
Tammy’s character is well handled and the growth process that happens in her life is well-captured in the story. Tammy grows from someone who is prone to fear to a woman who takes control of her life, creating the kind of life she wants. Themes of family, love, and adventure are deftly handled and it is easy to develop a fondness for the sea after reading Better Endings. Great prose, exciting characters, and themes that evoke the realism of everyday life. -Readers’ Favorite

 

 

MY BOOK REVIEWS

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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Everything books

Book Review Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

Book Review – Daughter of Fortune & Bonus Questions for Your Book Club

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende – Historical Fiction

Book Review Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Buy the Book from Amazon

About the Author

Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of eight novels, including, Zorro, Portrait in Sepia, and Daughter of Fortune. She has also written a collection of stories, three memoirs, including My Invented Country and Paula; and a trilogy of Children’s novels. Her books have been translated into more than twenty-seven languages and have become bestsellers across the continents. In 2004 she was inducted into the American Academy of Aerts and Letters. Isabel Allende lives in California.

The Synopsis of the Book

Orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is raised in the British colony of Valparaiso, Chile, by the well-intentioned Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her more rigid brother Jeremy. Just as she meets and falls in love with the wildly inappropriate Joaquin Andieta, a lowly clerk who works for Jeremy, gold is discovered in the hills of northern California. By 1849, Chileans of every stripe have fallen prey to feverish dreams of wealth. Joaquin takes off for San Francisco to seek his fortune, and Eliza, pregnant with his child, decides to follow him.

So begins Isabel Allende’s enchanting novel, Daughter Of Fortune, her most ambitious work of fiction yet. As we follow her spirited heroine on a perilous journey north in the hold of a ship to the rough-and-tumble world of San-Francisco and northern California, we enter a world whose newly arrived inhabitants are driven mad by gold fever. A society of single men and prostitutes among whom Eliz moves- with the help of her good friend and savior, The Chinese doctor Tao Chien – California opens the door to a new life of freedom and independence for the young Chilean.

Her search for the elusive Joaquin gradually turns into another kind of journey that transforms her over time, and what began as a new search for love ends up as the conquest of personal freedom. By the time she finally hears news of him, Eliza must decide who her true love really is.

Our Review

Book Review Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

This is a wonderful well-written historical fiction that begins in the British community of Chili, a culture I knew nothing about until I read this book. Set in the mid-1800’s we are taken back to a time where women are subjected to disturbing means in order to survive. Our discussion revolved around the strong women characters, the challenges they had to face and the life-threatening diseases they had to overcome.

Eliza, a young woman who was abandoned at birth and raised by a spinster named Rose and her brother Jeremy, enters womanhood and finds what she believes to be her true love. Pregnant with his child, she risks her life to follow him to San Francisco where he hopes to strike it rich by gold mining. But her journey is not easy and death is near.

This book had so many interesting facts about many different cultures which enhanced the story immensely. It was not only a great historical romance but a good history lesson too.

Having lived in the gold rush town of Sonora, I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the book and loved learning many aspects of the gold rush era that took place in California.

There were a lot of facts to process in the book. The chapters were long and the book is almost four hundred pages. For me, it took a while to read, mainly because It was a book I could easily put down and return to at a later time. Others in the group felt the same way. We all felt the ending was abrupt and left some unanswered questions, which was disappointing after investing so much time into the book.

Our Overall Rating

Book Review Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

COVER DESIGN – 4 STARS – The cover is fitting for the book. Immediately from the image of the woman, you know it’s historical fiction.    

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Excellent character development with plenty of backgrounds given.  

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – Not a nail-biting plot, but an interesting one but the ending did fall short.

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – Overall we gave this book 4 stars and would recommend it especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

Questions to ask at your book club

Book Review Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

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

Book Club Discussion – Daughter of Fortune

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Order your copy of Reckless Beginnings

Book Review The Wife Between Us

 

 

Everything books

Book Review THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd

Book Review THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd
Click image to buy from Amazon

Book Review and Bonus Book Club Questions – The Mermaid Chair

As many of you know, I run the book club at our local library. We just finished reading The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. We had quite a discussion about this book. The author is new to all of us and at the end of our review, you will find questions to ask at your own book club.

About The Author

Sue Monk Kidd’s first novel, The Secret Life of Bees, spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list, has sold nearly six million copies, and was chosen as the 2004 BookSense Paperback book of the Year and Good Morning America’s “Read This!” Book Club pick. It was adapted into an award-winning movie in 2008.

Her second novel, The Mermaid Chair, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, won the 2005 Quil Book Award for Best General Fiction and was adapted into a television movie. Her novels have been published in more than thirty countries. She is also the author of several acclaimed memoirs and the recipient of many awards, including a Poets & Writers Award. She lives near Charleston, South Carolina.

The Synopsis of The Mermaid Chair

Inside the church of a Benedictine monastery on Egret Island, just off the coast of South Carolina, resides a beautiful and mysterious chair ornately carved with mermaids and dedicated to a saint who, legend claims, was a mermaid before her conversion.

When Jessie Sullivan is summoned home to the island to cope with her eccentric mother’s seemingly inexplicable behavior, she is living a conventional life with her husband, Hugh, a life “molded tot he smallest space possible.” Jessie loves Hugh, but once on the island, she finds herself drawn to Brother Thomas, a monk about to take his final vows.

Amid a rich community of unforgettable island women and the exotic beauty of marshlands, tidal creeks, and majestic egrets, Jessie grapples with the tension of desire and the struggle to deny it, with a freedom that feels overwhelmingly right and the immutable force of home and marriage.

Is the power of the mermaid chair only a myth? Or will it alter the course of Jessie’s life? What happens will unlock the roots of her mother’s tormented past, but most of all, it will allow Jessie to come to discover selfhood and a place of belongings as she explores the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic.

Our Review

Book Review THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd

Jessie the main character, seems to be going through a mid-life crisis and begins to question her marriage to Huge after twenty years. At the same time her mother Nellie is having mental-health issues. Jessie travels alone to tend to her mother’s needs who has lived alone since the death of Jessie father when Jessie was only six and had always thought it was her fault.

While visiting her mother, Jessie has an affair with a monk called Witt and is ready to leave her husband. The speed at which she came to this decision, seemed unrealistic and was when our dislike for her began. (I believe it was after their first encounter). 

The story then unfolds many truths, some of which are shocking. Surprisingly we all had different opinions about the book. One member absolutely loved everything about the book, from the author’s style of writing, the main character Jessie, whom she related to and in some way, Jessie reminded her of herself.

A couple of us didn’t like Jessie or the way she treated her husband and left us feeling only anger toward her. We asked ourselves,  Why didn’t she talk to her husband about how she was feeling? A big bombshell was dropped in the story about her father’s death that none of us were expecting and also created more feeling of anger with some of the other characters.

We all felt sorry for Jessie’s husband, Huge because of the way he was treated by Jessie. (Well I know I did.) Huge seemed like a really nice guy but toward the end of the book, he disappointed a majority of us.

Overall it was a good story with some unexpected twists. Parts of it dragged on and became too descriptive for some of us, to the point where we had to backtrack because we had forgotten what the author was describing. This happened numerous times throughout the book and prevented us from keeping engaged with the story. 

Our Overall Rating

Book Review THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – It’s an intriguing eye-catching cover that entices you to pick up the book and read more.  

CHARACTERIZATION – 3 STARS – We disliked the main character and was disappointed with Huge. Some of their actions seemed unrealistic and rushed. 

STORY & PLOT 4 STARS – The storyline was good. At times it dragged on and wasn’t engaging.

OVERALL RATING – 4 STARS – Overall we gave this book 4 stars

Questions to ask at your book club

Book Review THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd

1. How does a woman like Jessie become “molded to the smallest space possible”? What signs might appear in her life? What did Jessie mean when she said part of the problem was her chronic inability to astonish herself?

2. Jessie comes to believe that an essential problem in her marriage is not that she and Hugh have grown apart, but that they have grown “too much together.” What do you think she means by that? How important is it for Jessie to find her “solitude of being”? How does a woman balance apartness and togetherness in a relationship?

3. How would you describe Nelle before and after her husband’s death? What is your interpretation of the mysterious factors that led her to cut off her finger? What do her fingers symbolize? How does the myth of Sedna—the Inuit mermaid whose severed fingers became the first sea creatures—shed light on Nelle’s state of mind?

4. Jessie feels that she has found a soul mate in Whit. Do you find this word inviting or repellent? When we speak of looking for a soul mate, what do we mean? Is there really such a thing?

5. Why do you think Whit came to the monastery? Would you describe him as having a crisis of faith? In what ways does he vacillate between falling into life and transcending it? What do you think of his decision at the end about whether to leave or to stay?

6. Islands are often places of personal trial and distillation of self—such as Shakespeare’s The Tempest or Golding’s Lord of the Flies. What are the emotional islands upon which each character is stranded? What is the significance of the Egret Island setting? How does each character finally escape the island of his or her making? What does the trial on the enchanted island reveal about each character?

7. St. Senara only becomes a saint once an abbot hides her fish tail and prohibits her from returning to the sea. On one hand, she has lost her wild nature and freedom to swim away, but on the other hand, she has gained sainthood among the humans she has grown to love.

What is the significance of this tale in Jessie’s life? When she leaves her husband to return to Egret Island, is she the wild mermaid or the stranded saint? How does the duality of the mermaid and the saint play out in women’s lives? Can a woman contain both? Why do you think mystics and poets have drawn comparisons between sensual delight and godly delight?

8. The mermaid chair is a central image in the novel. What does it symbolize? What role does it play in the novel? In Jessie’s life? In her father’s? How does it become a place of death and rebirth for both of them, literally and figuratively?

9. How would you describe Jessie’s relationship with her father? How did having an absent father affect her? How did it affect her relationship with Hugh? What do you think Kidd was suggesting, by the image of the Whirley girl?

10. Jessie breaks away from creating her tiny art boxes and begins to paint, finding her true gift. Why is she unable to take up her authentic creative life before this? What role do her paintings play in her metamorphosis? How does Jessie’s series of paintings of diving women reflect her own experience? What role does the motif of diving play in the novel?

11. The novel celebrates the hallowed bonds of women and suggests how a true community of women can become a maternal circle that nurtures a woman toward self-realization and helps her to give birth to a new life. How do Kat, Hepzibah, and even Benne play a role in Jessie’s transformation? What has been the importance of female communities in your own life?

12. In perhaps the most moving and cathartic moment in the novel, Jessie goes to Bone Yard beach and speaks vows of commitment to herself—“’Jessie. I take you, Jessie…for better or worse…to love and to cherish.’” What does it mean to make a “marriage” to your self? Paradoxically, Jessie discovered that belonging to herself allowed her to belong more truly to Hugh. Does an inviolate commitment to oneself enhance one’s commitment to a relationship?

13. In your mind, was Jessie’s father’s death a sin? Jessie isn’t sure if choosing to end one’s life in order to spare oneself and one’s family extreme suffering was horning in on God’s territory and usurping “the terrifying power to say when,” or whether it was usurping God’s deep heart by laying down one’s life as a sacrifice. What do you think?

14. The Mermaid Chair suggests that a love affair may be a common response to a marriage that has lost its way, but that in the end, it is not a solution. In what way do you think the novel is a cautionary tale? Why do you think Jessie is unable to heed the warnings from Kat and Hepzibah? How could Jessie have found awakening without betraying her marriage?

15. Upon her return home, Jessie says, “There would be no grand absolution, only forgiveness meted out in these precious sips. It would well up from Hugh’s heart in spoonfuls and he would feed it to me. And it would be enough.” Why does Jessie return to Hugh? Why is Hugh able to accept her back into his life? How has their relationship changed since she left for Egret Island? How has Jessie changed?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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New Reviews for Reckless Beginnings  Since My Last Blog

IThis story was easy to read and involved enough to keep my interest. It didn’t take me long to read and I had a hard time putting it down. It’s not deep but it sure isn’t a cozy. It’s a somewhat different storyline with both good and bad characters. Each character has his or her own personalities and even though there are several, I never had one problem keeping them separate. This is a very important aspect for me. Having to turn back to figure out “who is who” is a great irritation to me. I found none of that here.

So, in conclusion…a good storyline, interesting characters, and a very interesting read. Not much more you can ask than that is there? – – Bookaholic

AMAZING STORY. So well written, I could not put it down. I CANNOT WAIT FOR BOOK 2… I sometimes read so fast, I can skim over words.. not this book. I hung on to every single line.. so well written, such good detail, I felt and knew each character and felt each feeling.. was just great.. thank you! Sad I am divine with it! So glad Judy hit him with the poker! – Jennifer Dobos-bubno

 I loved this story, it was amazing!! It totally captured me from page 1. After reading the first few chapters I was addicted and couldn’t put the book down. I did nothing for the rest of the day but read even though I had a long list of stuff to get done. Reckless Beginnings by Tina Hogan Grant is a well-written story based on the author’s life. This is such a touching story about surviving. I personally find her work amazing in every way. Her writing is so good. The book is exceptionally well written and beautiful. The characters are all well developed and relatable. you can feel all their emotions and they grow beautifully as the story progresses.  – Stewart’s Book reviews

Everything books, Uncategorized

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS’ TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

Our book club just finished reading  THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG and as always I like to share our thoughts and review with you.

About the author

Fannie Flagg began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films and the theater. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Daisy Fay and The Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as Fried Green Tomatoes). Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, and Standing in the Rainbow. Flagg’s script for Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for both the Academy and Writer’s Guild of America Awards and won the highly regarded Scripters Award. Flagg lives in California and in Alabama.

The Synopsis of  THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING

Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. The Whole Town’s Talking, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.

Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. “Resting Place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.

With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.

Our Review

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

This is the first time any of us had read anything by this author. No one knew what to expect. We had decided to pick a light-hearted book because the last two were somewhat depressing. This book certainly fit the bill. It’s a quick read and would make a perfect book to take to the beach. We all agreed that it was a cute story and was probably how most people hoped life would be after death.

At times the story was humorous and took us on a trip down memory lane, pointing out certain nostalgic events. The book began well with the founding fathers and we felt like we were getting to know them but as soon as we did, they passed away and the book moved on to the next generation. After that, the book began to go downhill. There was just too much crammed into the story. As soon as we began to get to know a new character, Poof, they died. It was really hard to keep track of them and because of that, we had a hard time connecting with the story. We also felt what happened to the town, in the end, was depressing and quite unexpected. Overall we were somewhat disappointed with this book.

Our Overall Rating

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – We all agreed the cover was great with eye-catching colors and a theme that was fitting for the storyline. 

CHARACTERIZATION – 3 STARS – Too many characters to keep track of and were short-lived in the book, prevented us from connecting with the characters or story.

STORY & PLOT 3 STARS – It was a cute idea for a story but fell short to engage us or get us excited.

OVERALL RATING – 3 STARS – After having high hopes for this book, we left feeling somewhat disappointed. It was just okay. 

Questions to ask at your book club

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

1- Lordor met his wife Katrina by placing an ad for a mail-order bride. Did this surprise you and does it remind you of online dating?

2 – Why do you think Lordor and Katrina’s marriage was so successful? What did they do that many couples overlook?

3 – The book chronicles the history of one small town in America, beginning in 1889 and ending in 2021. Do you see any similarities between Elmwood Springs and the town you or your parents grew up in? If so, what are they?

4 – Do you know of any towns that have simply turned into ghost towns?  Why do you think the towns didn’t make it. Did you live in any of the towns you mentioned?

5 – Do you believe in life after death? How do you vision it?

6 – Were there any particular characters you could relate to? If yes, explain why.

7 – The book spans over many decades. Which is your favorite era and why is it? What do you remember the most about that time?

Buy the Book From Amazon

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More Reviews

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

 

BUY RECKLESS BEGINNINGS HERE

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG

RECKLESS BEGINNINGS is currently available in paperback only. The Kindle/ebook edition will be available in about six weeks.

Ordering the book is easy from any of these fine online retailers.

 

 

BOOK DEPOSITORY

Other News

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by ARTIST FIRST RADIO NETWORK. Listen to the entire interview below.

Book Review THE WHOLE TOWNS' TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG
CLICK IMAGE TO HEAR INTERVIEW.

 

 

 

 

 

"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

RECKLESS BEGINNINGS Virtual Book Tour by Goddess Fish Promotions

Goddess Fish Promotions Virtual Book Tour

I’m pleased to have Goddess Fish Promotions handle the virtual tour for my book Reckless Beginnings. Because of the tour, the book is available NOW! through Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Follow the links at the bottom of the page to order. (Note UK: you can place an order now but the item will not be shipped immediately.

Yes! Reckless Beginnings is available now!  Tell all your friends!

The Tour

RECKLESS BEGINNINGS Virtual Book Tour by Goddess Fish Promotions

The tour will run from October 1st – October 26th, 2018. Making stops at twenty-six websites. Prewritten guest blogs and interviews, along with promo posts, and reviews will be featured on each blog post.

Follow the Tour and Enter the Giveaways

RECKLESS BEGINNINGS Virtual Book Tour by Goddess Fish Promotions

Prizes for the tour are as follows:
• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

You have a chance of winning the $ 50.00. prize by simply following the tour each day and entering the giveaway on each stop. That’s twenty-six chances of winning! Be sure to share with your friends

The Tour Stops

October 1: Long and Short Reviews

October 1: Travel the Ages

October 2: Edgar’s Books

October 3: Andi’s Book Reviews

October 3: A Hippie’s Bookshelf

October 4: Sharing Links and Wisdom

October 5: The Tired Buyer

October 5: Tina Donahue Books – Heat with Heart

October 8: Rogue’s Angels

October 9: BooksChatter

October 9: Straight From the Library

October 10: Fabulous and Brunette

October 11: Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

October 11: Southern Delights Book Blog

October 12: bookish bibliophile – review

October 15: The Reading Addict

October 15: Readeropolis

October 16: Two Ends of the Pen

October 17: Rachel Brimble Romance

October 17: Deal Sharing Aunt

October 18: All the Ups and Downs

October 19: Jazzy Book Reviews

October 19: Bookaholic – review

October 22: The Avid Reader

October 23: T’s Stuff

October 23: So Many Books

October 24: Independent Authors

October 25: Notes from a Romantic’s Heart

October 25: Author C.A.Milson

October 26: Welcome to My World of Dreams

 

FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW TO BUY RECKLESS BEGINNINGS

Amazon U.S.A

RECKLESS BEGINNINGS is here! You can buy it NOW

 

 

Amazon.co.uk