The Heart Stone Chronicles

Book 1: The Swamp Fairy

By Colleen M. Chesebro



Fourteen-year-old Abigail Forester, recently orphaned and a Ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative.

Aunt Magnolia becomes Abby’s Guardian and together they claim an ancient inheritance of land that has been in Abby’s mother’s family for generations.

Abby wears her mother’s most sacred possession – a stone pendant in the shape of a heart forged from a giant mystical stone found on the very swamp land that Abby now owns.

However, Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, has other ideas. He wants Abby’s land for himself and he is willing to stop at nothing to own that land.

All Abby wants is to be part of a family again and to learn to ride horses with her two new friends, Savanna, Blake, and Cash.

The swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets and Abby is summoned by a primeval nymph who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the primeval nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.

Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?

(Synopsis from Colleen Chesebro – Fairy Whisperer)

My Review

The reader is introduced to fourteen-year-old Abby Forrester at her birthday party.  With her mother deceased and her father missing, Abby is under the supervision of Mrs. Burger from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and lives with her mother’s best friend, Maxine, in Chicago.  But Abby is about to move to Blackberry Ridge near Pensacola, Florida to live with her Aunt Magnolia. Before she leaves, Maxine gives Abby two of Abby’s mother’s possessions – a heartstone necklace of green calcite and the deed to a tract of land in Florida. But Abby, herself, has another gift which we discover when she meets Beauregard Louviere and his dog Sam on the bus to Pensacola.

The story is filled with well-developed, believable characters and lots of action to keep the reader turning the pages.  Abby’s Aunt Magnolia who welcomes Abby into her home with open arms is a favorite. Savannah, who lives next door to Aunt Magnolia, becomes Abby’s best friend, the kind of friend every teen needs to have.  Abby’s antagonist, Rafe Cobb, has evil for his middle name.  Of course, there are swamp fairies, as the title suggests, but I won’t give anything away about them. Abby is a strong character, but even so, sometimes doubts crept in. I loved the way she managed to combat her fears with positive thinking.  Abby is a kind and thoughtful girl who will work her way into your heart.

The plot is coherent and, though a lot was going on, I had no difficulty keeping track of the who, what when, or where of the story.  With excellent pacing, I felt no lag in interest.

Don’t forget to read the beautiful haiku written by the author that precede each chapter.

I would recommend The Heart Stone Chronicles – Book 1: The Swamp Fairy to teens and young adults and anyone who enjoys a book with a bit of fantasy, fairies, and heartwarming characters.  I am looking forward to the second book in The Heart Stone Chronicles series.

About the Author

Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017. The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.
Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative.
When she is not writing, Colleen enjoys spending time with her husband, dogs, children, and grandchildren. When time permits, she also loves gardening, cooking, and crocheting old fashioned doilies into works of artistry. She lives in the United States with her husband and her two Pomeranians, Sugar, and Spice. You can learn more about Colleen and her writing on her website (Biography from Goodreads)

Connect with the Author

Facebook  (Fairy Whisperer)
Colleen Chesebro ~Fairy Whisperer (author’s blog)
A Mindful Journey (author’s mindful journey blog)

Buy the Book

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback

What Matters Most

Memory House Collection

By Bette Lee Crosby



What-Matters-Most-MHC-Ebook-188x300My Review

Louise and Clay Palmer have the perfect life, or so Louise thought, until Clay tells her his health is in jeopardy because of the stress of his job. He wants to pack up and move to the house in Florida that his uncle bequeathed to him.  He’s tired of his job, and he’s tired of shoveling snow. Clay wants to enjoy life.

Louise doesn’t want to move.  Why would anyone want to leave their family, the perfect home they’ve lived in all these years, and their friends and move to a place where they don’t know anyone?

Louise tries to sabotage the sale of their home so that they have no choice but to stay.  However, her efforts are in vain, and she and Clay pack up their belongings and move to Florida.  The story follows their adjustments to a new life and the friendships they make.

Will Louise and Clay discover what matters most?

WHAT MATTERS MOST is a story of love, friendships and new beginnings.

.I read WHAT MATTERS MOST some time ago.  It was the first of Crosby’s books I’ve read. Since then I’ve read several more, and like this one, I enjoyed all of them immensely.  Crosby has a talent for telling a story in a way that you feel part of the cast of characters.  It’s her gift for spinning a yarn that makes her characters and story come to life.

I recommend WHAT MATTERS MOST to all readers of fiction.  No matter what genre a reader prefers, Crosby’s story will resonate with everyone.  Like all of her books, I couldn’t put this one down.

About the AuthorBetteMedals_3309-150x150

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 nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Crosby’s published works to date are: Memory House (2015), Passing through Perfect (2015), Wishing for Wonderful (2014), Blueberry Hill (2014), Previously Loved Treasures (2014), Jubilee’s Journey (2013), What Matters Most (2013), The Twelfth Child (2012), Life in the Land of IS (2012), Cracks in the Sidewalk (2011), Spare Change (2011).

Social Media Links


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Ten Days in Paradise

By Linda Abbott


Ten Days in ParadiseBook Blurb

Vacationing on beautiful Sanibel Island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, Ellen Bennett has never felt so guilty—or more alive.

This wasn’t the way things were supposed to turn out. The 45-year-old successful career woman, wife and mother traveled to the island paradise for solitude and a much-needed break from her family. But a chance encounter with a fellow traveler sparks a powerful attraction, forcing Ellen to make a decision that could change her life forever.

Against an idyllic backdrop of white sand beaches, azure waters and lush palms, Ellen struggles to subdue a firestorm of emotions. David, the father of three young children, confronts the fault lines in his own marriage that lead to a stunning revelation.

Their relationship unfolds as David’s family gathers on Sanibel to celebrate his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Tensions are running high. David’s mother is worried about her husband’s strange behavior and inexplicable memory lapses. His sisters, Julia, an over-achieving corporate exec, and Maggie, a hard-partying renegade who just announced she’s gay and leaving her husband, haven’t spoken for months.

On the island, a small congregation battles to save a beloved seaside chapel to make room for a lavish oceanfront mansion. Ellen takes up the cause when she meets 76-year-old Liz Taylor, a vivacious widow with a sparkling wit and a secret passion of her own.

Linda Abbott’s love for Sanibel Island shines throughout Ten Days in Paradise, a compelling and heartfelt novel that masterfully explores the inner landscapes of marriage and family relationships.

My Review

TEN DAYS IN PARADISE is Linda Abbott’s debut novel.  Uncharacteristically for me, I found it difficult to “get into” the book. It took about until about chapter 39 (half way through the book) before I felt connected to the story.  However, I am happy I stayed with it, because the second half was a very enjoyable read.

What I liked – The story centered on David’s family gathering to celebrate his parents’ 50th anniversary on Florida’s Sanibel Island. Even though there were differences between David’s sisters Julia and Maggie, David played mediator all the while he and his wife Marianne were at odds over how to raise their children. There was also a huge amount of personal time given by Ellen using her resources and knowledge to help save the chapel.  When the story came together, I found that the characters had found a way to resolve their challenges, though you may be surprised at the outcome.

What I didn’t like – I felt there were too many characters and subplots, and I would have preferred to concentrate on fewer people and fewer issues.  With so much going on, it would have been better for me, if the author had concentrated on just a few of the subplots, and saved the rest for development in another book.

Since my likes outweigh dislikes, I am giving this book three and a half stars.

White Birch Publishing (indie published)

Publication Date: December 3, 2014

344 pages, available as a paperback, Kindle eBook, audio book

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

To read a sample chapter, click on the following link:

About the AuthorLinda Abbott, author, Ten Days In Paradise

Linda Abbott’s love for Sanibel Island shines through her debut novel, Ten Days In Paradise. Though she worked for many years as a professional writer–first as an award-winning journalist and then in public relations–Linda is a late bloomer to fiction. She found the muse while vacationing on Sanibel, where she wrote the opening chapters of her novel. Linda’s writing career took another turn last year when she founded Never Forget Legacies & Tributes to write life storybooks for individuals and families. She feels blessed to have two new careers and can’t wait to get started on her next novel. A Chicago native, she lives in Middleton, Wisconsin with her husband.

Author Links

Website: www.TenDaysInParadise.comTwitterLinkedIn

To purchase the book: Amazon