New York ~ 1st Stop in Booksparks PR Summer Reading Challenge, “The Balance Project”! #SRC2015

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Susie Orman Schall writes a provocative novel based on a study she performed, called “The Balance Project”.  This is a great read for woman who are trying to juggle it all, from children, to being a wife, and working….all while keeping it in balance.

Make no mistake that this book is a clear look at what can go awry when you have too many balls in the air.  I found it to be a fun read, reminiscent of the beloved book “The Devil Wears Prada”.

The main characters are Katherine and Lucy.  Katherine is an accomplished business woman, wife, mother, and even author.  How she did all of this was unbelievable!  Yet, when you have as wonderful an Assistant as Lucy, things tend to flow much easier for someone like Katherine.  I really related to Lucy, as I was an Assistant to the owner of a company for many years; and I believe that Lucy was an asset that Katherine could not lose.  Assistants are often taken for granted…the question is…Will Lucy have the same fate?

While I was not “taken away” by this story, I believe it will appeal to a large fan base.  Not being a Mom, or juggling all of the things the main character had to…I felt a bit of a distance.

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Perfect timing for this book!

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This is a great time for everyone to read this book! With Cop shootings are all over the news; this is the perfect time for Sarah Pekkanen to tell this story.  It will open your heart to each side of the events.  I highly recommend this book!

I was amazed at how easily she would add circumstances to the story, yet never leave the heart of the storyline.

At the heart of this story is the marriage between Jamie and Mike Anderson.  They seem to be drifting apart, and Jamie is not sure why.  But, she does not say anything.  That part drove me mad, as I am not able to keep my feelings in.

Mike is a Police Officer and one day his partner was shot in the line of duty, and Mike is left a mess because of it.  This only makes Jamie and Mike’s communication struggle more.  And, if you think that is enough to make a story…it is…but, Sarah Pekkanen has much more to tell!  I don’t like to give out much information on a story, but I will say that this book will keep you thinking about how you may deal with any of these situations.

3 Stars

“The Summer’s End” by Mary Alice Monroe–This story came alive!!

I was given a copy of this book for a fair review by Netgalley.

Mary Alice Monroe not only tells a marvelous tale, but she uses the English language like no one I have read in a long time.  She describes everything in such a way that you feel like you are actually there, experiencing the sights, sounds and conversations, first hand.  Her words weave magically to take you away to Sullivan’s Island, SC where three sisters spend a summer with their Mamaw, Marietta.

Whenever I went to put the book down, I would get caught up in a new paragraph; it was very hard to put down.  Only sleep or chores stopped me until I was finished.

Harper, Carson and Dora, all come to their Mamaw’s home named “Sea Breeze”.  They will learn the importance of family and that making memories is the greatest gift in this life.

I believe there is something in this book for everyone.  Mary Alice Monroe writes of love, both familial and romantic.  Dora is going through a divorce and her son Nate, is a child with special needs.  Carson is pregnant, and trying to figure things out on her own, without Blake the father of her child…at the moment.  Carson also has a connection with an injured Dolphin, named Delphie.  Harper is a writer, and she meets a man named Taylor suffering with a diagnosis he does not want to reveal too hastily.

“Sea Breeze” is where it all happens.  Her book comes alive in your mind so vividly, that you will definitely feel like I took a little vacation.  Gosh, I just love books that do that!  Take a Weekend Getaway with “The Summers End”.  I plan to do that with another one of her stories.

Now, I need to go and add her to my list of “Must Read Authors”.  I suggest you do the same.

“The House we grew up in” by Lisa Jewell is a masterpiece!! It has one of the best covers, if you were to “judge a book by its cover”, this is it! Perfectly Cracked egg! Perfectly Cracked up family!

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http://chicklitplus.com/book-review-the-house-we-grew-up-in-by-lisa-jewell

Wow!  Read this book.  Lisa Jewell is now on my “must-read and collect this authors novels” list.  This is one story that I am not certain I can truly give a proper review without spoiling the book for anyone, so bear with me, please…………………………..(use link to read the rest)

#BookReview: “Stillwater Rising” Struck by how well Steena Holmes tells this heartwrenching story.

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After reading the pre-quell to this story (Before the Storm), I waited for “Stillwater Rising” to be available, like a child waiting for Santa to arrive on Christmas Eve.  Needless to say, when I had the book in my hand, I had to read it in one sitting.  I was surprised to learn that Steena Holmes has even more to tell about the town of Stillwater Bay, Washington, USA.  But, really?  Isn’t that her style?

Steena Holmes has the power to grip her readers, and have them hold on tight, as she always has more to share about a character, an event, or a town.  Stillwater Bay is no different.

Just when you think there cannot be possibly more….she gifts you with another addition to the story.  At the end of this book, we get a little glimpse in to the next story in her Stillwater Bay Series, called “Stillwater Deep”.  So, here I am waiting for “Santa” again. J

Stillwater Bay Elementary had school shooting.  Gabriel Berry was the teenage shooter. He shot and killed ten students and two teachers, before killing himself.  You can only imagine what this town goes through after such an event.  That is exactly what Steena shares in this novel.  And, just as she did in “Before the Storm”, it is told with real ease, heart and dignity.

The characters in this story are all suffering a loss, each in a different way.  This book is about how they get through it, or try to….and, about how a community can Rise again from this tragedy.

Again, like “Before the Storm”, this is a book I will never forget. Steena Holmes delivers another brilliant story.

5 Stars.

You will never forget this story!! The Memory Child by Steena Holmes…

This was psychological thriller I read in one sitting. I had to know the ending!

It has been a long time since a book was so gripping, and the characters were intensely driven with back stories, and I was love-struck instantly with the love that Brian and Diane shared.

Brian and Diane are your typical A-type personalities in business and get caught up in what is more important in life…the perfect money making job, the perfect place to call home, or to have a child and begin a family.

I will leave you with that, because to tell you anymore is too much.

Enjoy the Ride!