Sally Cronin’s What’s In a Name? Vol. 2

I like to read in bed to get drowsy. Short stories are gratifying in this way because they allow me to hold my eyes open long enough to reach the end of the story. However, in reading Sally’s stories I found her endings reeling me in for just one more story as I fought sleep.

What’s In a Name Vol. 2 contains 16 stories.  Sally Cronin writes honest fiction that reaches the depth of real life, yet her stories are like bubble bath in a warm tub.
It was D.J. Kaye’s post that got me to read Sally’s book:

Cronin’s writing has a way of taking us into the character’s emotions, evoking an emotion in us in return, be it angst, fear, passion or grief. 

The characters in these stories – fortune tellers, con artists, arrogant narcissists, lovers – display courage, revenge, disappointments, romance and sacrifice. Some of the stories are bittersweet, some with surprising endings, many imaginative and all with just enough to satisfy.

Like D.G. Kaye, my favourite story was also about two beloved Xenias -a tender love story among three generations set in a lovely Greek garden.

If you feel like a little luxury treat read this book  – maybe while soaking in a bath.

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Available:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Name-Volumes-1-2/dp/1905597797

Visit Sally’ blog at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

 

Annika Perry’s The Storyteller Speaks

 

I have been following Annika’s blog for some time now and am always eager to hear what she has to say. Whether she writes about her reflections on the extraordinary-ness of life; providing tips for writers; reviewing books; or writing about journeys taken, Annika writes with a sense of profoundness mixed in with whimsy. 
Such is also the case in her collection The Storyteller Speaks.

 

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Her descriptions shine. Take as example where, in Biding Her Time a young girl  “…smiled sweetly, shaking her head, her long pigtails waving apologetically, the red bows catching the sunlight.” Or her humorous side in Chillies in My Handbag where she “feel(s) the reassuring caress of soft leather – my red Hermes handbag. Subconsciously I bend over and stroke it, with a final pat on the side. My surrogate pet.”
Then there are her stories of death. In A Bouquet of White: “First when they were young its reality as remote as the planets they gazed upon, with the unflagging belief in their own invincibility.” And her most touching and loving piece in memory of her grandfather in Loss of a Patriarch – “A farewell hug to last a lifetime.”

Perry’s stories are emotional pieces. Moving and honest. Filled with love and beautiful imagination.

The Storyteller Speaks Available at:

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/STORYTELLER-SPEAKS-Powerful-Stories-Heart-ebook/dp/B0789KZVF8/

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/STORYTELLER-SPEAKS-Powerful-Stories-Heart-ebook/dp/B0789KZVF8/

The Longest Nine Months Review

It is always fun to see how readers interpret my work. I like that Anneli placed attention on the issue of mixed marriages.
Thank you Anneli for your perspective on my novel. ❤

Anneli's Place

I first shied away from reading this book because I thought it was going to be all about having babies, not my favourite topic. Luckily for me, I did pick up the book, read it, and enjoyed it. It was not all about babies and pregnancies, although this was a significant factor in the novel. It was more about the relationship between Chand and Campbell.

Chand is of East Indian heritage and Campbell is Caucasian. They are devoted to each other; so much so, that Campbell wears the traditional sari to please her husband, even when other modern East Indian women at their office party are wearing western dress.

No children are planned in their as yet young marriage, so when Campbell finds herself pregnant, major changes loom. Chand is not as thrilled as Campbell had hoped he would be, and the final straw, a possibly flawed baby, threatens…

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Marlie byAnneli Purchase

 In her attempts to escape a past filled with bad memories Marlie moves to Masset where she hopes to find a much better life.

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But hope is not always enough and other problems, some more serious than those she fled from, are tossed her way.

 Anneli Purchase is very talented in writing about unforgettable settings. In reading Marlie I felt that I was visiting this fishing village alongside Marlie witnessing its rich aboriginal culture and beauty.

Masset is a small fishing village located on Graham Island – the largest of the more than 150 islands that comprise the archipelago of Haida Gwaii on the north coast of British Columbia in Canada.

Here, Marlie encounters harsh climate and living conditions that would make almost anyone hop on the next plane. In spite of the obstacles she encounters, she has many reasons to want to stay: her devotion towards her students caught in a web of poverty and neglect; the island’s pristine, untouched beauty which the author so fluidly and exquisitely describes; a man named Brent.

Anneli Purchase is a talented story-teller. Although the novel has a very strong setting, one which could stand on its own as a travel novel, it is also about a crime which the author handles with great skill and sensitivity. And it is a lovely romance. 

 

How To Write A Great Synopsis

Ann Fields’ presence on the blogging community is truly a treasure and I urge you to have a look at her review of my latest book The Longest Nine Months for an example of a great synopsis.   

And while you’re at it check out her writing. 

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Besides THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart Ann, you ought to consider going into the business of writing synopses. You are terrific at it! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twenty Years: After “I Do”

I am always enthusiastic about reading a book by D.G. Kaye. I have read all of her books so far and have enjoyed them all. Her May/December memoir Twenty Years: After “I Do” doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s probably her best, which is normal I guess. We do tend to get better with practice.

Although Twenty Years: After “I Do” focuses on growing old with a partner who is much older than herself, D.G. Kaye’s message is ageless as she tackles the issues of health, finance, mortality and children with clarity, authenticity and her usual grace.

D.G. Kaye is known for her ability to tell it like it is. There’s no sugar coating here although there is a lot of tenderness, affection, kind heartedness and insight drawn from her life experiences – sharing her life experiences to offer a helping hand is D.G. Kaye’s trademark. Much of her blog is about that and this munificence is evident throughout this book.

The book is an easy and enjoyable read. But make no mistake; it is by no means frivolous or meaningless. The book is filled with insights regarding the author’s reflections on keeping the flames of a relationship alive.

Sure, it’s not always easy, as she points out. Her and her husband do have disagreements, as all couples do, but their commitment to each other in sickness and in health, till death do us part and even after is a model for anyone to follow.

One last thing, Gordon (Puppy) her husband is a lucky guy to have such a loving wife.

Twenty Years After I Do

For more on Twenty Years: After “I Do” click here.

 

 

Two Romances

I recently read two very different romance novels in which the authors couldn’t be further apart.  Sisters and Rivals was written by an Australian writer while Second Chance Romance was written by an American Southern writer.

Second Chance Romance is Jill Weatherholt’s debut novel while Sisters and Rivals  is one of thirty or so books published by Margaret Lynette Sharp.

Yet, they have in common their ability to create characters which draw you in, whether they are sweet and kind or selfish and sneaky.

Sisters and Rivals by [Sharp, Margaret Lynette]

It’s the mid nineteen fifties, and the nascent romance of two young Sydneysiders is about to be challenged. The heroine, Linda, is being courted by an ambitious young carpenter named Harry. Seemingly without effort, he passes the scrutiny of her parents and they encourage her alliance with him.

Trouble brews, though, when her sister Tessa lays eyes on him and, despite her engagement to a young accountant, makes her feelings abundantly clear. Will Tessa’s overtures ruin the fledgling love between Harry and Linda?

My Take

Ah, to be young and in love and having to face the heartbreak of betrayal. Anyone who has experienced betrayal will surely find comfort in reading this book.

The setting takes place in fifties Australia but it could easily have been in Canada or the US for its accent on the values and day to day universal details of an era absent of internet or cellphones and sex was well…perhaps more chaste then.

I found the book to be suspenseful enough to keep me reading and found the fifties era to be wonderfully portrayed.

Visit Margaret’s author page here.

 

 

Second Chance Romance

Jackson Daughtry’s jobs as a paramedic and part-owner of a local café keep him busy—but the single dad’s number one priority is raising his little girl with love and small-town values. And when his business partner’s hotshot lawyer niece comes to town planning to disrupt their lives by moving her aunt away, Jackson has to set Melanie Harper straight. When circumstances force them to work side by side in the coffee shop, Jackson slowly discovers what put the sadness in Melanie’s pretty brown eyes. Now it’ll take all his faith—and a hopeful five-year-old—to show the city gal that she’s already home.

 

My Take

Second Chance Romance is one of these feel good books which gives us hope in the goodness of humankind.  An inspiring book for anyone embarking on a relationship with someone who has small children. The relationship between the adorable five year old and her father’s girlfriend is worth paying attention to. 

It was refreshing to read a book where the characters are sweet, honest, good people. Also refreshing that they were middle-aged.

The book warmed my heart with its tenderness and honest abiding characters and its warm and friendly rural setting. 

Definitely a pick me up book.

Visit Jill’s author page here.