#SPOTLIGHT & #BOOKREVIEW: “The Other Wife” by Kathleen Irene Paterka

This is a MUST-READ Novel…Check back Friday for Kathleen’s interview and Giveaway…The winner will be able to choose ONE Of her books to be sent to them 🙂 GREAT GIVEAWAY…I highly recommend this one:

The Other WifeSUMMARY:

Till death do us part…

Eleanor Anderson has a beautiful home, a loving husband, a tranquil life. After thirty-eight years of marriage and her children now grown, she finally has time for herself. She’s not expecting any surprises; certainly not to wake up one morning and find her husband dead in bed beside her from a massive heart attack. It’s a devastating discovery… but not as much as the shock awaiting Eleanor when she learns the truth about her husband’s secret life. And then there’s the damaging document he signed before his death, which threatens to destroy her life.

Claire Anderson isn’t your average thirtysomething. A professor of psychology at a prestigious university, Claire has a successful career, a handsome husband, and two young children at home. But nothing in her background, including her academic accomplishments, prepares Claire for the horrendous reality of discovering that the life she’d led was all a lie… fostered by a husband who’d promised to love and cherish her forever.

Two women from two generations, bound together by denial, anger, and grief. How far will their misery and fear push them? Does compassion rule the day, or will a husband’s betrayal lead to a woman’s revenge?

What happens when each of these women comes face-to-face with the other wife?

This Women’s Fiction Family Life novel deals with women’s fiction romance, as well as women’s fiction adult issues.

My Review:

Kathleen Irene Paterka is a brilliant writer.  Her use of the English language is brilliant.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, not only because of the storyline, but because Paterka told it so beautifully.
I don’t know which is worse, finding your husband has died of a massive heart attack next to you in bed, finding out that your husband left all of his Life Insurance money to another woman, OR that the woman is also his wife.
Eleanor was married to Richard Anderson for 38 years, they have two adult children together, a home….a life.  Richard let on that his work took him overseas to the Middle East, when in fact he was just going a few towns over to be with his other wife and family.  Four years before his death, he married Claire Anderson, and they had two toddler age children together.
This is the story of them finding out about one another and how they deal with the fall out of this information about the man they both loved.
Brilliant!!!!  You will not be able to choose a side.

5 Stars.

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#BookReview: “Little Woman in Blue” by Jeannine Atkins

Little Woman in BlueSummary:

May Alcott spends her days sewing blue shirts for Union soldiers, but she dreams of painting a masterpiece—which many say is impossible for a woman—and of finding love, too. When she reads her sister’s wildly popular novel, Little Women, she is stung by Louisa’s portrayal of her as “Amy,” the youngest of four sisters who trades her desire to succeed as an artist for the joys of hearth and home. Determined to prove her talent, May makes plans to move far from Massachusetts and make a life for herself with room for both watercolors and a wedding dress. Can she succeed? And if she does, what price will she have to pay?

Based on May Alcott’s letters and diaries, as well as memoirs written by her neighbors, Little Woman in Blue puts May at the center of the story she might have told about sisterhood and rivalry in an extraordinary family.

Review:

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

Jeannine Atkins brought back to life a wonderful memories, and I learned so much!  I am glad I had the chance to learn more about the Alcott’s lives.  This book is one I will always treasure.  It is already up on my bookshelf next to Louisa May Alcott’s books.  Jeannine was a genius to write this book!

I devoured this book from beginning to end.  It was like reliving my youth.  I was meeting new characters, but, they already felt like “home”.  I never knew that “Little Women” was loosely based on Louisa May Alcott’s family.  Needless to say, I will be going back to read that book again!

I have so much to learn about Louisa May Alcott.  Her book, “Little Women” is one of my all-time favorite novels.  It was the first book I read as a young lady that made me realize that I really wanted to read, and possibly write.  As influential as this book was to me, I knew I had to read, “Little Woman in Blue” once I laid my eyes on it.

Jeannine Atkins brought us back to the same family referenced in Louisa May Alcott’s book and it was such a joy to read.  Her writing is nothing short of brilliant.

Amy March was not the most likable character in “Little Women”, but this book will help you see that was just an embellished story, by an older sister…..that may have been a little jealous of her youngest sister.  Louisa May Alcott based Amy on her real sister, May Alcott.

This story is all about May Alcott and her love of life.  She had goals of being an Artist.  One that would be featured in Museums, and sought after. She wanted to be married, and she wanted to be a mother.  The question is: Is this too much to ask for?

I highly recommend this book, as I am off to do research on the Alcott’s and see if Jeannine Atkins has any other books…because I will certainly be more than pleased to read them.

Fantastic. Inspiring. Brilliant.

5 Stars.

#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

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

stillwater risingReview:

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.