#BookReview: “Once Lost” by Ber Carroll

Once LostI was given a copy of this book from Chick Lit Plus in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Are some things better left unfound?

Best friends Louise and Emma grew up next door to each other in a grim inner-city suburb of Dublin.

Now Louise, an art conservator, is thousands of miles away in Sydney, restoring a beautiful old painting. She meets Dan, whose family welcome her as one of their own, but she will always feel lost until she finds her mother who walked out when she was just eight years old.

Back in Dublin, Emma is stuck in a job where she is under-appreciated and underpaid, but her biggest worry is her ex-partner, Jamie. Emma has lost so much because of Jamie: her innocence, her reputation, almost her life. Now she is at risk of losing Isla, her young daughter.

So where is Louise’s mother? Will Emma ever be free of her ex? Both women frantically search for answers, but when the truth finally emerges it is more shattering than they had ever expected.

Review:

“Once Lost” had me at hello!  Now, I need to read all of Ber Carroll’s books!!!

Ber delivers a wonderful literary menu: Best Friends. Dublin, Ireland. Women’s Fiction. Women’s Dilemma’s. Turmoil from the past. Friendships. Motherhood. Romance. Travel.

It had everything I love and more.  An intricately written story that will have you flipping the pages until you are finished.

Louise moves from her home; Dublin, Ireland and travels the world for her business, which is conserving art work.  As a Conservator she can spend months, even years working on one piece of art work.  Louise has to “go to the art”, so she has spent time in places like New York and London, to name a few.  At the beginning of this story she is searching for a place to call home in Sydney, Australia…thousands of miles from her home in Dublin, Ireland…and her Best Friend, Emma.

I loved getting to know Louise. She was just an awesome character.  Her mother abandoned her when she was 8 years old.  All she had was her Step-Father, and her best friend, Emma next door.

Emma is still in Dublin and she is missing Louise something fierce. Emma has a daughter named Isla, from a previous relationship with a man named Jamie.   He is a terrible father figure, but the courts say that Isla must see her father.  Emma spends most of her time worrying about Jamie, and trying to take proper care of her child.  She now lives with Eddie, and he is a fabulous character in this book, as well.

I loved bouncing back between characters and countries.  I loved being in Dublin most, but I am biased as I lived there when I was younger.

This is a marvelous work of woman’s fiction.  Ber Carroll’s books are going to be added to the bookshelves in my Library. (My version of my husband’s Man Cave)

5 Stars.

You can purchase “Once Lost” here:

http://www.amazon.com/Once-Lost-Ber-Carroll-ebook/dp/B00VSIRCI6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442562548&sr=1-1&keywords=once+lost+ber+carroll

#BookRelease: “The Loft” by Bette Lee Crosby

The LoftGET THIS eBOOK TODAY FOR JUST .99cents!!

Help me celebrate this amazing author!!!  I just interviewed her this past Friday, so be sure to check that out!  Feel free to chat below if you are reading it…I will be reading along with you!

http://www.amazon.com/Loft-Memory-House-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B0139IB0M6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442335367&sr=1-1&keywords=the+loft+bette+lee+crosby

CONGRATULATIONS BETTE LEE CROSBY!!

#BookReview: “Things Unsaid” by Diane Y. Paul

Things UnsaidSummary:

Jules, her sister Joanne, and her brother Andrew all grew up in the same household―but their varying views of and reactions to their experiences growing up have made them all very different people. Now, as adults with children of their own, they are all faced with the question of what to do to help their parents, who insist on maintaining the upscale lifestyle they’re accustomed to despite their mounting debts. A deft exploration of the ever-shifting covenants between parents and children, Things Unsaid is a ferocious tale of family love, dysfunction, and sense of duty over forty years.

Review:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story was almost hard to digest, because it speaks of a family in such dysfunction that it is painstaking to read.  But, that is exactly what makes this story so wonderful and different.

To tell a tale of a family that is always at its breaking point must have been hard to do; but, Diane Y. Paul gives them a very loud voice.  While uncomfortable at times, I did enjoy this book.  I almost had to put it down at the beginning because of the sheer amount of pain on each page, but I am glad I didn’t. I ended up reading the entire book, in just one sitting.  I was completely enraptured with the story.

This is the story of Bob and Aida Whitman and their three children, and grandchildren.  We learn how Bob and Aida meet, and how they raise their two daughters, Jules and Joanne and son, Andrew. And, then years later, we learn how these children figure out how to take care of their ailing parents.

Their eldest daughter, Jules was a hero to me.  She tried to do everything right by her parents, even if they had not done the same for her.  She was the entire family’s safety net.  Losing herself along the way may have been enevitable.

Diane Y. Paul writes of a time in life that we will all encounter.

No matter what, losing our parents is never easy.  Not even for the Whitman family.  Even when walking away may have been the easiest thing to do.

This is a wonderfully engrossing read.

4.5 Stars.

Releasing on October 13th, 2015, you can grab it right here:

http://www.amazon.com/Things-Unsaid-Diana-Y-Paul/dp/1631528122/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442333356&sr=8-1&keywords=things+unsaid

#BookReview: Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson

Speak now or forever hold your peaceBecky Monson delivers a delightful chick lit novel.  “Speak Now: or Forever Hold Your Peace” was definitely fun to read, and I am sure I would enjoy her other books.  (going to add them to my Good Reads to-read shelf right after I post this review)

I was in love with the main character, Bridgette Reynolds!  I would have been friends with her.  I love a book where you feel that much for a character.  It takes a great writer for you to make that connection.

This story began at a runners pace, and took you right into the sheer madness of Bridgette’s love life.  I was laughing out loud within the first few pages.  And, this pace lasted throughout the entire book.  I would have been happier if the ending was a bit longer, I wanted to revel in it a bit.

The array of characters in this story are marvelous…Bridgette’s best friends, Ashley and Justin are a wonderful addition to the drama that unfolds in Bridgette’s life.  To quote Becky Monson. “I do love that even if she hates my choices, Ashley has my back. That is a true best friend right there”.  This book is about friendship just as much as it is about Bridgette’s love life…or lack thereof.

Bridgette’s love interests, Adam and Ian are the ideal relationships to give this story a great back bone.  I bet a lot of us have “the one that got away” story…

Even Adam’s mother, Carla is hysterical. She really is awesome!!  If you have ever broken up with someone and felt the loss of losing their family, as well…this book will really hit home for you.

I need to add:  Bridgette’s grandmother’s (Gram’s) and her Bridge Club needs their own book.  Her Grams was so hysterical, and perfect.  She reminded me of my grandmother, only instead of watching “Young and the Restless” together, we watched “Jeopardy” and “Wheel of Fortune”.  My grandmother was also in her 80’s and just as funny, and spry!  Everything that involved Grams always made me smile.

This book was very reminiscent of Helen Fielding’s, “Bridget Jones’s Diary”…so much, that I can see this as a movie.  I would really like to know what these characters look like. 🙂  I imagine Ryan Gosling playing Ian….ok, yes, that did make this book even better!!!

5 Stars

You can grab the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Speak-Now-Forever-Hold-Peace-ebook/dp/B00VWJ72OK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442065421&sr=1-1&keywords=speak+now+or+forever+hold+your+peace

#INTERVIEW & #GIVEAWAY ~ Award Winning Author, Bette Lee Crosby answers a few questions, and she is offering an eBook copy of “The Memory House” to one lucky winner!! You must enter, this is one of my favorite stories!

For a chance to win an eCopy of “The Memory House”, please leave a comment below.  Winner to be announced on Monday, September 14th, 2015, after 5pm. 

I can honestly say that most of my friends and family will ADORE this book, and get on board with all of Bette Lee Crosby’s writing after reading this! She is stunning!

DSCN0145 (3)

DIRECTLY FROM THE DESK OF BETTE LEE CROSBY!!  AN INSIDERS LOOK!!

Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist?

About a year after I finished 4 years of college studying to be an artist. Haha. I started out as a packaging designer and when one of the salesmen asked me to make up some copy to fill the empty space on the back of a pantyhose package I got hooked on words. It is a form of painting – but instead of a brush you use letters.

red brushstroke

Annie: This explains why your writing is so “fluid”, like a brushstroke.  I love getting to ask these questions.  I learn so much about the author, and it explains a lot.

Q:  With “The Loft” being released on September 15th, 2015, have you started your next big story?

I am getting very close to completing Book 3 in the Memory House Series – which will be called “Flawed Memories” – and I must say I am loving this series. It is sort of a mix of mystery, magic and a bit of romance. A bit different than some of my other books – more contemporary and with a magical realism sort of twist.

Annie:  So excited for your next book! I was drawn in by “The Memory House”, I need to catch up! As a book reviewer, it is hard to find the time to read all of the books that you want to…but, I have purchase ALL of your books, and plan to read them while on vacation next month.  I get a lot of books in exchange for an honest review, but I have to say that I just had to have your books in my library!!!!

Q:  As you gear up for a Book Release, what is the most exciting part(s) for you?

By far it is hearing the comments from early readers and reviewers.  I spend all this time writing a book and worry right up to the very last minute of release day wondering whether or not readers will like it. When someone writes to me and says something like “I fell in love with this look, Annie is so like me…etc.” My heart melts. Reader acceptance, this is what it is all about. When readers enjoy my books, I do a happy dance.Happy Dance

Annie:  I did a happy dance too! As a reviewer, it is always great to read a book that you love, and I surely devoured yours!    My tagline is “Devour Books”, so that is awesome!!

Here is a Link to my review of “The Memory House” THE GIVEAWAY BOOK:

https://thewritereview.com/2015/06/02/may-book-club-choice-memory-house-by-bette-lee-crosby/

 

Q:  I always enjoy your book covers, especially the one for your new book!  Are they hard to choose, design? The Loft

Some are very difficult, some are easier. The key is finding the right image to portray what you want people to see in the story. It is always a bit more difficult when you have a story set in the 1940’s or 50’s because a lot of the images are too contemporary for that time frame.  I was extremely pleased with the job the designer did on Passing through Perfect.  That cover is perfect for the story and it was one of the first ones he did.  However on The Loft, the final cover was the 12th design submitted.  Having come from an art background I am probably way too nit-picky, but I want my readers to feel the same magic I feel when I finally see the right cover.

Annie: I love a great cover, and you certainly offer several!  I love looking at your authors page on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write? Set the scene for us….

I am by nature a night owl, but the funny thing is my best writing time is in the early part of the day. That is mostly because I think about my story before I go to sleep, often include it in my dreams and wake up anxious to get back to it.  I try not to get online until late afternoon because once I start that, I go back to being me and lose the personality of the character I am writing about. I have an office in the front of our house. It is a very serene spot that looks out onto the lawn and a HUGE oak tree. My office has double doors and when they are closed hubby knows not to disturb me.  My writing buddy is Sugar. She sits in my lap a good part of the day and when she isn’t in my lap she is under my desk. Her toy basket is in my office and if she gets bored, she rummages through the basket and hauls out a toy for me to throw. We play for five minutes, then it is back to work.

Annie: Sounds like me with my dog, Simon!! Aren’t they the best!  He is always with me when I read and write the reviews.



HERE IS BETTE WITH HER DOG, SUGAR!

IMG_3381

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Or, Books?

Favorite books more than authors, and my taste is somewhat eclectic. To kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time favorites; s fairly new favorite is The Night Circus and an even more recent favorite is The Nightingale. All of these are very different. I loved Mockingbird for the strength and authenticity of the characters, I loved Night Circus for the beauty of its prose and I loved The Nightingale for the way it captured the heartache of a war-torn country.

Annie:  Ok, Now I know I must check out Nightingale, are you speaking of the book by Kristin Hannah? I have heard great things about this book! 

Let me add, “You are one of my favorite authors, Bette Lee Crosby!” I can see how you have earned so many awards and being on best sellers lists!

I am lucky to know you!  You are not only a great author, but a wonderful person!

Lastly, Book or eBook?

E-books. I love the instant gratification of hearing someone talk about a great book or seeing it online and then having it in my hot little hands in less than a minute. Also, as an author I am very appreciative of the fact that e-readers enable me to offer my books to readers for far less than I would pay if I had to pay for paper, printing, storage, and distribution. Is it sad to see less print books in circulation? Yes, perhaps it is, but I believe the good far outweighs the bad.

Annie: Great take on this.  I love having the book in hand and being able to share the book with others.  But, while traveling, eBooks are certainly wonderful.

Thank you for taking the time to let me interview you…My mission is to inspire others to read, and your books are definitely inspiring!  I love spreading the word!!

To purchase Bette Lee Crosby Books, please go here:

http://www.amazon.com/Bette-Lee-Crosby/e/B005TLT1PK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1441912463&sr=1-2-ent

#SPOTLIGHT: Award-Winning Novel, Passing Through Perfect by Bette Lee Crosby

Recent winner of the “Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal for Southern Fiction”, I highly recommend not only this book, but all books by the amazingly talented Bette Lee Crosby.

Please join us tomorrow for her Interview and Giveaway!!

FROM A USA TODAY BEST SELLING AUTHOR COMES A STORY RIFE WITH THE INJUSTICES OF THE SOUTH AND RICH WITH THE COMPASSION OF STRANGERS…Book 3 in the Award-Winning Wyattsville Series.
It’s 1946 The war is over. Millions of American soldiers are coming home and Benjamin Church is one of them. After four years of being away he thought things in Alabama would have changed, but they haven’t. Grinder’s Corner is as it’s always been–a hardscrabble burp in the road. It’s not much, but it’s home.

When Benjamin attends a harvest festival in Twin Pines, he catches sight of Delia. Before their first dance ends, he knows for certain she’s the one. They fall madly in love; happily, impatiently, imprudently, in love. It doesn’t matter that her daddy is staunchly opposed to the thought of his daughter marrying a cotton farmer, never mind a poor one.

It’s true Benjamin has little to offer; he’s a sharecropper who will spend his whole life sweating and slaving to do little more than put food on the table. But that’s how things are in Alabama. Benjamin is better off than most; he has a wife, a boy he adores, and a house that doesn’t leak rain. Yes, Benjamin considers himself a lucky man until the fateful night that changes everything.

#SHOUTOUT – Proud to announce a new book, First & Goal by Laura Chapman!!

Yesterday was Release Day for First & Goal by Laura Chapman! Marching Ink is proud to announce the latest addition to the family is now for sale! Happy Reading!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FxCvkn
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/first-goal-1

First and GoalWhen Harper Duquaine’s no-nonsense approach to work unintentionally ruffles the wrong feathers at her new job, she joins her co-workers’ fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way).

Embroiled in a world of lineups, stats, and trades, Harper’s quest to make nice topples when her competitive streak emerges. And her promise to herself that she’ll be a strong, independent woman and leave the drama and heartache behind is seriously tested when she catches the attention of her two biggest competitors: J.J., a local celebrity determined to win a fantasy championship, and Brook, the mild-mannered coach who seems too good to be true. Both threaten her resolve to remain single… and, more importantly, her chances at winning the prize pool.

With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.

#Spotlight: Award Winning book, Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby

Stay Tuned for my Interview with Bette Lee Crosby and Giveaway on Friday!!

A Memory House Collection Novel and five-time literary award winner. Awards include the Reviewer’s Choice Award, The Royal Palm Literary Award, The FPA President’s Book Award Silver Medal.

Spare ChangeFROM A USA TODAY AUTHOR OF WOMEN’S FICTION BEST SELLERS comes an Award-Winning 20th Century Historical Mystery!

In a family saga now available on Kindle, Spare Change has been compared to John Grisham’s The Client. Eleven year-old Ethan Allen Doyle has witnessed a brutal murder and now the boy is running for his life. In the time-tested tradition of Southern Fiction novels, Crosby unveils the darkest side of human nature and then rewards her readers with this beautiful tale of love, loss and unexpected gifts.

Olivia Westerly is the only person Ethan Allen can trust, and he’s not too sure he can trust her. She’s got no love of children and a truckload of superstitions—one of them is the belief that eleven is the unluckiest number on earth.

Psychological fiction that will keep you turning the pages.

#SPOTLIGHT: “The Loft” By Bette Lee Crosby (A Favorite Author of mine)

The Loft50 YEARS OF MEMORIES ARE HIDDEN IN THE WALLS OF THE LOFT…

Annie only needs to find one… the one that will save Oliver’s life.

On the day of their wedding, Annie saw nothing but happiness ahead, but when an accident calls her back to Memory House, her world is changed forever. Ophelia Browne, the woman who taught Annie to find the memories in a forgotten object, is leaving the house and she’s leaving all those powerful memories behind.

After only three nights in the loft, Annie must now find the single most meaningful memory in Oliver’s mind. If she finds it in time, she can save his life, if she doesn’t…well that’s something she can’t afford to think about.

Readers will welcome back the much-loved characters from Memory House and enjoy a few new friends!