The Fault Between Us

By Bette Lee Crosby

Book Blurb

Cover Photo from Goodreads

April 18, 1906 – A devastating earthquake rocks San Francisco and Templeton Morehouse fears her husband is lost forever. A powerful and compelling story from USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.

Chances were a million to one that a girl born and raised in Philadelphia would encounter a stranger from California on the trolley and fall madly in love, but that’s what happened. Templeton was not only taken with John Morehouse, but also with his tales of life in San Francisco. As an aspiring fashion designer, the dazzle of a city called the Paris of the West, with its towering department stores and European couture was too much to resist.
Despite her family’s objections, she and John are married and, on their way back to California, before the month is out. To ease the heartbreak of such a move, Templeton promises to return for a visit every summer. She intends to keep that promise, but when her design business grows more demanding, the trips back to Philadelphia become less frequent and she makes foolish choices she will come to regret.
Now, when she is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted, a devastating earthquake tears across San Francisco and she discovers the father of her baby is missing.

Book Blurb from Goodreads

My Review

Though the story starts in 1903, when we meet Templeton, who is an aspiring clothing designer in her hometown Philadelphia and whose dream is to own her own business when it wasn’t yet acceptable for a woman to run a business.  She is determined to be successful even if it means she never marries.  But then, John Morehouse walks into her life. She and John marry, and he whisks her off to San Francisco where he lives.  With his blessings, Templeton starts her own business.

As with anyone’s life, things don’t always go as planned, and life for John and Templeton was no exception. They dealt with family issues, job stress, sorrow, and loss, and so many other issues we still face today.  It’s a story filled with love and tenderness, hope, and the strength of family bonds. 

Bette Lee Crosby is one of my favorite authors!  Her books never disappoint me.  The stories are beautifully written, and her characters are well drawn with thought to how the character fits the story.  What I love most is that she is a storyteller.  As I read Ms. Crosby’s books, her voice comes through with great consistency.  I always feel as though she is sitting in the room with me and telling me the story.  The Fault Between Us is no exception.

I give it a solid five stars.  If we were on a scale of one to ten stars, it would be a ten-star book.

This ARC was given to me by the author through BookFunnel in exchange for an honest review. 

About the Author

Author Photo from Goodreads

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby’s books are “Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby’s writing is, “A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures.”

Samantha from Reader’s Favorite raves, “Crosby writes the type of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down.”

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win twenty awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Author Bio from Goodreads

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B & N

The Legend of the Taken Ones: Gateskin Chronicles Book 1 – by Janice Spina

Book Blurb

This is Book 1 of a fantasy series that will have six books in all. In this book learn about the three children of King Gateskin and his wife, Queen Solinara. The children have had powers since they were quite young..

Serena was three years old when she learned of her power to move objects with her mind. Her brother, Simon, can fly and their sister, Catalina, can become invisible or blend into her surroundings. They live with their parents in Sovorotskina, the Land of Light.

With these powers comes responsibility. The children must try to use their powers for the common good and responsibly to help others. The three children befriend a Sprite named Spindle who accompanies them on their adventure. Along the way they meet up with their aunt and uncle, their mother’s brother and his wife, Wizard Hotenfaran and Fairy Procelina. The group must travel into the evil land of Parotovina, Land of Darkness, to save King Gateskin, who was kidnapped, and also rescue some of the descendants of their friends and fellow Sovorotskinans who were captured and taken by the Evil Ones. These descendants have been waiting a long time to be free to return to the villages of their ancestors.

The children have many trials and adventures along the way. Will they be able to rescue their father and fellow Sovorotskinans without endangering their own lives? Will the evil King Kaposkaran and his Queen Beregina stop Serena and her siblings from being successful or will they turn Serena and her siblings to their dark ways?

Book Blurb from Amazon

My Review

The Taken are the children of the Provence of Noella who have been missing from their homes for many, many years.  They were captured by the Parotovinans to be raised under the evil king wizard.  Now, King Gateskin of Sovorotskina, Land of Goodness and Light, through his wizardry learns that the Evil Ones are planning to capture the children of the Provence of Noella once again.  With the help of his children, a tree sprite named Spindle, wizards, and fairies, King Gateskin goes to Parotovina to gain release of the Taken Ones. Along the way they will encounter dangerous situations. 

Those who enjoy stories of wizards, fairies, sprites, and adventure will find this un-put-downable! This is not my normal genre, but I was mesmerized. The characters are beautifully detailed, and the plot is captivating.  The Legend of the Taken Ones: Gateskin Chronicles, Book 1 is a five-star book!

The author gifted me an ARC and I have given my honest review.

Meet the Author

Janice Spina is an award-winning author with 15 children’s books, Louey the Lazy Elephant, Ricky the Rambunctious Raccoon, (Louey and Rick both won Silver Medal from Mom’s Choice Awards), Jerry the Crabby Crayfish (won Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), Lamby the Lonely Lamb (won the Silver Medal from MOM’S Choice Awards), and Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose (won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), and Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey, and Colby the Courageous Cat (Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), Jeffrey the Jittery Giraffe (Pinnacle Book Achievement Award), Clarence Henry the Hermit Crab, Lucy the Talented Toy Terrier, The First Star, Drystan the Dragon and Friends Series, Book 1 – 3, Davey & Derek Junior Detectives Series (Book 1-6) is a middle-grade/preteen series and Abby & Holly Series Books 1-6 (Books 1, 2, 3, 4, won Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, Book 1 won a Bronze Medal from Readers’ Favorite Book Awards). Book 1, The Case of the Missing Cell Phone (won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and an Honorable Mention from Readers’ Favorite Awards). Book 2, The Case of the Mysterious Black Cat, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and Book 3, The Case of the Magical Ivory Elephant, also won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and a Silver Medal from Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, and Book 5 won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and a Silver Medal from Authorsdb Cover Contest, Book 6 won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and a Finalist Award with Book Excellence Awards and A Finalist in Reader’s Favorite Book Awards. Janice’s other books have also been Finalists in Red City Review Book Awards and Authorsdb First Lines Contest and received 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite Book Awards.

Janice has published three novels under J. E. Spina, Hunting Mariah, a thriller/mystery, (Finalist in Authorsdb First Lines Contest), Mariah’s Revenge (Sequel to Hunting Mariah), also a Finalist in Authorsdb First Lines Contest), a paranormal/mystery/romance novel, How Far Is Heaven, and a short story collection, An Angel Among Us, all available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is working on more dragon books, and Book 6 of Abby & Holly, a mystery series for MG/PT/YA girls to be published in 2020. She needs to edit a YA fantasy series which will be published in 2021 and beyond. Her husband is her illustrator and cover creator. He’s working on book 3 of six books of Drystan the Dragon series for children which be coming over the next few years.

She has written over a hundred poems and two other novels. The two novels need editing before publishing. Janice says, “There is always another story swimming around in my head. If I don’t write them down they are lost forever.”

Her logo is JEMSBOOKS for all ages on which is her motto:
“Reading Gives You Wings To Fly! Soar with Jemsbooks!”

Janice’s and John’s joint goal is: To encourage children of all ages to read and to instill this love of reading in them to carry them throughout their lives and thus giving them ‘wings to fly!’

She loves to hear from readers and appreciates reviews. She says, “It’s like Christmas each time I receive a review!”

Author Biography from Goodreads

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Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

 

 

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.

Bijou front only 2

Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise. I asked friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device. The purchase links are below. But first, here’s a snippet.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer
In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily. The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses. My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away. I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas? I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar.

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter: https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Pale carpets

Lovely words and photos about the surprises of nature from Sue Vincent.

France & Vincent

north 054

The wind roars through the branches; the sound seeming to echo of a far–off sea. The trees are all clothed in green and ochre, though some have yet to unfurl their leaves. The joyous abandon of the cherry blossom floats on the wind like pastel snow and just as ephemeral. The earth at their feet is strewn with petals, a carpet of pink and white, a bright fantasy against the wet tarmac and vivid green of rain-washed grass. I wish I had the camera, but it isn’t really a morning for photography. The rain hammers down and the trees bend and bow in the wind that robs them of their fading glory, making way for the playful majesty of the chestnut flowers.

chestnut

The weather here is a wonderful thing, constantly changing. It is something of a national preoccupation, largely because it is almost completely unpredictable. We complain about it all…

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New Novel – LUBELIA ALYCEA is now here!

Introducing Janice Spina’s new novel, Lubelia Alycea: One Hundred Years, a historical romance.

JEMSBOOKS

I am excited to announce my newest novel – a historical/romance is now available on Kindle and soon in paperback on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The beautiful cover was designed by my husband, John. It is a photo from a trip we took to Madeira, Portugal in 2018. It is a gorgeous island, lush and green.

Blurb:

Lubelia Alycea leaves her native country of Madeira, Portugal to travel to her new home – America.

This is the story of how a strong, resilient young girl grows into a formidable woman. She must survive many tragedies in her lifetime, separation from family, sickness, death, betrayal, and a lost love. Will she find happiness and a new love in her life?

Will she be strong enough to face the storms ahead and still keep her family together? Will the secrets in her life destroy her and all that she holds…

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Introducing… Word Weaving—A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse

Colleen Chesebro and Jules Paige have introduced a new and exciting project – the Word Weaving Poetry Journal!

🎃Word Craft: Prose & Poetry🎃

For the last month, I’ve teased you on the Tanka Tuesday challenges with some big news coming! Happy May Day!

Word Weaving began as a creative experiment between two poetic friends, Colleen Chesebro and JulesPaige, birthed from our combined love for writing syllabic poetry on Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com. Those Tanka Tuesday poetry challenges got us thinking. What if we published a yearly poetry journal of syllabic verse to encourage emerging poets?

Announcing a new Poetry Journal: Word Weaving—A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic of Syllabic verse. Submissions open May 15, 2021. Learn more on wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. Click on “submissions.”

Jules and I are excited to contribute to the writing community. Our aim is to be a small, online, and print poetry journal that shares thoughtful syllabic poetry with uplifting fresh voices while supporting established ones. There are no submission fees. Read our submissions page to…

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Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room – #Paranormal Ghosts in Trouble and #Mystery Felix Finds Out by Elizabeth Merry

Sally Cronin shares Elizabeth Merry’s children’s books – a fascinating collection.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of not one but two new children’s books by Elizabeth Merry, who is already in the Cafe and Bookstore with her books. Ghosts in Trouble and Felix Finds Out.

About Ghosts in Trouble

Lizzie blamed Cormac. Stealing the silver tea-set was all his idea, and now they can’t get into heaven until it’s returned to Old Whelan. They need help, but who can they turn to?

“I’ve just thought, Cormac. That awful cousin of yours, Imelda. The house is hers now. Hers and poor Dermot’s and those noisy twins, David and Dora.”

Might it be possible for them to make friends with the twins?

“Lizzie stopped short as the front door was suddenly thrown open and in rushed the cold, night air, followed by two large children who tripped over the boxes in the hall and fell down laughing.”

Things get even more complicated when…

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The Gift

I’ve read this over and over. I hope you enjoy this beautiful poem by Lauren Scott as much as I do.

Baydreamer

Tranquility embraces –
the sun’s exit advances.
Listening to whispers
among the trees,
our time here is a gift,

and when we depart,
the gift will belong

to someone else.

Lauren Scott (c)

Photo: Loon Lake, CA

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A Walk Along the Beach

By Debbie Macomber

Book Blurb

Two sisters must learn from each other’s strengths and trust in the redeeming power of love in a touching new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

The Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. After their mother died and their father was lost in grief, Willa had no choice but to raise her sister, Harper, and their brother, Lucas. Then, as an adult, she put her own life on hold to nurse Harper through a terrifying illness. Now that Harper is better and the sisters are living as roommates, Willa has realized her dream of running her own bakery and coffee shop, bringing her special brand of caretaking to the whole Oceanside community.

Harper, on the other hand, is always on the go. Overcoming a terrible illness has given her a new lease on life, and she does not intend to waste it. When Harper announces her plan to summit Mount Rainier, Willa fears she may be pushing herself too far. Harper, for her part, urges Willa to stop worrying and do something outside of her comfort zone—like taking a chance on love with a handsome new customer. 

Sean O’Malley is as charming as he is intriguing—a freelance photographer whose assignments take him to the ends of the earth. Soon Willa’s falling for him in a way that is both exciting and terrifying. But life has taught Willa to hedge her bets, and she wonders whether the potential heartache is worth the risk. 

Life has more challenges in store for them all. But both sisters will discover that even in the darkest moments, family is everything.

Blurb taken from Goodreads

Book Cover photo from https://debbiemacomber.com/

My Review

Debbie Macomber’s A Walk Along the Beach is a poignant story of family, love, friendship, and heartache.  Willa Lakey, at the young age of thirteen, became the caretaker of her younger brother Lucas and sister Harper after their mother’s untimely death.  Their grieving father couldn’t handle the loss and sank into alcoholism. Harper is a cancer survivor having contracted leukemia a few years earlier.  The two sisters are close and share an apartment. Willa is quiet and serious, while her sister is happy-go-lucky and lives life as if there were no tomorrow. Harper works as a yoga instructor when she isn’t preparing to climb Mount Rainier and Willa owns Bean There, a local coffeeshop, in the small town of Oceanside, Washington. But when Harper’s cancer returns, the whole family pulls together to face whatever may come.

Sean O’Malley has become a regular at the coffee shop, even though he doesn’t care for coffee. Harper believes that Sean and Willa belong together and convinces Willa to go talk to her customer. When Willa realizes she has feelings for Sean, her love is threatened by his job as a photojournalist, which takes him to far off, remote places, often so remote there is no way to contact him.

A Walk Along the Beach has wonderful and rich characters, as well as, a plot that will make you laugh and then bring you to tears.  My only complaint is it ended too soon. This is my favorite Macomber novel by far. I read it in one sitting. Books that have sisters among the main characters are high on my “to read” list. This one certainly did not disappoint me. 

I received an arc of this book from Net Galley in return for my honest review.

About the Author

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Thirteen of these novels hit the number one spot.

In 2020, Macomber’s all-new hardcover publications include A Walk Along the Beach (July) and Jingle All the Way (October). In addition to fiction, Macomber has also published three bestselling cookbooks, an adult coloring book, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works, and two acclaimed children’s books.

Celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas”, Macomber’s annual Christmas books are beloved and five have been crafted into original Hallmark Channel movies. Macomber is also the author of the bestselling Cedar Cove Series which the Hallmark Channel chose as the basis for its first dramatic scripted television series. Debuting in 2013, Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove was a ratings favorite for three seasons.

She serves on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, is a YFC National Ambassador, and is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. A devoted grandmother, Debbie and Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington, the town which inspired the Cedar Cove series.

Author photo and biographical information taken from https://debbiemacomber.com/.

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Ms. Autumn Speaks Her Mind

Lauren Scott’s “Ms. Autumn Speaks Her Mind” is both lovely and timely. Please enjoy reading and hop on over to her blog to read some of her stunning poetry.

Baydreamer

I am aware that Mr. Raging Fire stole my thunder, and honestly, it boils my insides, but certainly not selfishly. I reminisce on the good times when the people expressed their love as I made my entrance. How I gracefully entered into their lives wearing pomegranate reds, cinnamon browns, and squash yellows. The energy buzzed like a walk on the red carpet – a highly anticipated moment. My sweet fragrance beautified a stroll around the neighborhood. My cool touch refreshed, replacing summer’s harsh existence.

I worked with patience and diligence, brush and paint in hand to create my vibrant landscape. Lovely memories as vivid as the colors of my wardrobe…
memories of yesteryear before Mr. Raging Fire barged in, interrupting the balance of the nature of seasons.

Now, a sense of dread has crushed that sought-after anticipation of my arrival. And yet, defeat has not prevailed. This new reality only…

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