Silver Threads

Memory House Collection #5

By Bette Lee Crosby

 

 

Book Blurb

On the day Jennifer Green was born a pile of stones was placed alongside her scale of life. A few were the dark gray of sorrow, but most were a pale blush color. The largest stone was the rose hue of a sunrise. That one would be placed on the scale the day she married Drew Bishop. Even more brilliant but a wee bit smaller was the pink stone glistening with specs of silver. That one would bring Jennifer a baby girl named Brooke. The Keeper of the Scale smiled. Seeing such happiness laid out before him was pleasing to his eye.
Since the beginning of time, he and he alone has been challenged with the task of keeping each person’s scale in balance. A bit of happiness and then a small stone of sorrow, until the lives he has in his charge are measured evenly.
You might think such power is universal, but it is not. There are silver threads that crisscross the landscape of scales and connect strangers to one another. Not even the Keeper of the Scale can control the events traveling through those threads; the only thing he can do is try to equalize the balance once it has been thrown off. There is nothing more he can do for Jennifer; now he must find the thread that leads to Drew if he is to have the love he deserves.  (Blurb from Goodreads)

 

My Review

The Keeper of the Scale balances the scales of life for each person under his care, but sometimes a stray silver thread linking people and events can alter the outcome of events.  That is what happened one day in the lives of the main characters of this story.

Drew Bishop was out of town on business when his wife, Jennifer, woke up with a migraine. She got up and took their young daughter, Brooke, to school and planned to stop at the drugstore on the way home to get something to help her headache.  This is where everything went wrong and life for Brooke and her father would never be the same.

Tom Coggan needed money for drugs and decided to rob a liquor store that morning.  He believed in non-violence but carried a gun none-the-less.  His twin, Eddie, was serving time for a violent crime and he didn’t want to follow in his footsteps.  When he got to the liquor store it was closed but saw there was a drugstore nearby.  This is when things went terribly bad. Tom shot and killed Jennifer, an innocent bystander, and he, in turn, was shot by the store owner.

Drew and Brooke each bore their own guilt and sorrow.  Could they ever put these feelings aside and function as a happy family again?  My heart ached for both as they struggled to move beyond their grief and find happiness.  I felt a lot of empathy for this family in their struggle to return to normalcy.

Often, I can find something good in the unlovable characters, but the Coogan twins were of such ugly temperament and evil purpose that I could not find it in them.  They had no redeeming qualities.

I was so happy with the return of Annie at the Memory House.  I knew when Drew and Brooke ended up there, that they would be able to find their turning point with the help of Annie.

Once again, I cannot say anything bad about the author’s writing style.  I love the easy voice that permeates all of Bette Lee Crosby’s books. I always feel as though I am sitting in a chair by the fireplace with the author seated across from me, spinning a story.  Her books draw me in from line one to the last.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction and family sagas.

I received this book from the author for my honest review.  I did not receive any remuneration for giving this review.

About the Author

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’s Links

Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

BookBub

Buy the Books

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Waking Amy

By Julieann Dove

Waking AmySynopsis

Amy Whitfield is blindsided when she comes home and finds a note on the fridge from her husband, Wesley, stating that after four years of marriage, he’s leaving her. Amy was in the midst of trying to spice things up, to bring life back to their boring marriage. It seems now that she was too late.

As Amy sits with her head between her knees, trying to figure out what to do next, a call comes from Mercer General Hospital. The ER nurse is telling Amy’s answering machine that Wesley has been in a car accident.

When Amy arrives at the hospital, she finds her husband in a coma. The doctors say there is no sign of brain damage, and Wesley will eventually wake up. Relieved, Amy sees this as her second chance: the chance to get it right this time. To channel the girl Wesley won’t leave when he regains consciousness… She just needs some help to pull it off. After all, she was voted girl most likely to die a virgin in high school.

Amy would never figure on getting that help from Mark Reilly…Wesley’s doctor! He’s a non-committer, too-cute-for-his-own-good bachelor, and completely the guy Amy begins falling for. It’s a race against time to see who wakes up first—Amy or her husband.

Publication date – February 23, 2016

My Review

Amy is walking through life accepting her marriage for what it seems until she finds a note from her husband on the refrigerator door – he’s leaving her.  She can’t envision not being married to him or to living alone and is confident she can make Wesley fall in love her again.  While she is still reeling from the reality of Wesley’s note, she receives a call from the hospital. Wesley was in a terrible accident and is in a coma.

Though the book deals with the reality of Amy’s situation and Wesley’s accident that occurred as he was driving away from her, there is a lot of laugh out loud humor, and it all begins when she meets Wesley’s doctor Mark.

Amy enlists Mark’s help to teach her how to be attractive and sexy so that Wesley will wake up from his coma and realize the mistake he made in leaving her.  When Mark agrees, the fun begins.

In this character-driven story, the author paints Amy as someone who is searching for her own identity. She has always been there doing Wesley’s bidding and accepting their marriage as it was – virtually platonic. Wesley’s departure and his accident, force Amy to take stock of herself.

From the first, I despised Wesley, but because he’s in a coma your knowledge of him is second hand until much later in the book.  However, you will learn enough upfront to dislike him instantly.

Mark is definitely swoon-worthy but has his own problems to overcome.  As the handsome doctor who sleeps with someone different every night, can he convince Amy he’s the one for her?

Dove did a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters. Amy was complex. She was sheltered and unsure of herself, but with the help of other characters, she became strong and self-assured.  The storyline was believable and filled with fresh humor.  A fast-paced story, I read it in one sitting.  Waking Amy is one of those books you can’t put down.  It is contemporary romance, chick-lit, and comedy rolled into one.  If you enjoy any of these genre’s you will enjoy reading Waking Amy.

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

About the AuthorJulieann Dove

Julieann lives in Virginia, yet longs to live everywhere else. It doesn’t come as a surprise that along with her gypsy soul, comes an active imagination. That’s why she loves to write and invent worlds and people, so that she can formulate their happily ever after. Hobbies include cooking new recipes, sewing, and spending time with her cute boyfriend/husband and five fabulous children. Vacations happen in Nantucket or the Carolina beaches—anywhere there is inspiration for her next book. One day she hopes to travel to Italy, drive one of those little cars around the countryside, and speak the language fluently!

Connect with the Author

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter

Buy Waking AmyAmazon

Thanks for reading! To return to the FICTION WRITERS BLOG HOP on Julie Valerie’s website, click here: http://www.julievalerie.com/fiction-writers-blog-hop-may-2016

 

Alexander Pig Goes Camping (Volume 1)

By Eva B. Kids

Alexander Pig Goes CampingMy Review

Alexander Pig Goes Camping is the story of three friends from the Little Green Forest who decide to go off on an adventure to Dog-Rose Camp.  Alexander Pig, Mycroft Zebra, and Pim Hedgehog set off.  They all agree to meet at the train station after going home to pack.  Alexander, who thinks he is the bravest pig of all and exceptionally clever, packs nearly everything he owns and is late, almost missing the train.  Alexander likes to talk in singing rhymes. So he makes up a song about going camping.  Pim is afraid of m-m-monsters. He is actually very timid and doesn’t like traveling, nor does he like anything scary. Mycroft always has the answer to everything.

According to Mycroft, an adventure is “when you experience something new and different or go somewhere you have never been before. Some place that is perhaps just a bit scary.”  What adventure will these three friends find at Dog-Rose camp? 

This enchanting story of friends sticking together is perfect for children ages 4-6.  The beautiful illustrations are beautifully done in watercolor and include maps of the Little Green Forest. Character and story development are written as though through the eyes of a child, ensuring that children will love Alexander Pig Goes Camping. I know I did.

Alexander Pig Goes Camping is an enjoyable book for parents to read to young children.

My Ratingfivestarts

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

About the AuthorEva B. Kids

Eva B. Kids resides in a bohemian paradise with her wonderful husband, adventure-loving son and an eccentric dog.

Connect with the author on

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon

 

Buy Alexander Pig Goes Camping on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

What Jennifer Knows

By Wendy Janes

What Jennifer KnowsBook Blurb

A vital member of her Surrey community, Jennifer Jacobs is dedicated to her job as a dance therapist, helping children with special needs to express themselves through movement. Wife of a successful though reclusive sculptor, Gerald, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, she is known for having a deep sense of empathy, making her a trusted confidante. So when two very different friends, Freya and Abi, both share information with her that at first seems to be an awkward coincidence, she doesn’t tell them. But as the weeks roll by, the link revealed between the two women begins to escalate into a full-blown moral dilemma – and also brings to the surface a painful memory Jennifer believed she had long since forgotten. What is the right thing to do? Should she speak out or is the truth better left unsaid?

My Review

Jennifer is the friend everyone should have. Do you have a secret?  Jennifer can be trusted to keep a confidence.  She divides her time among the things most important to her – her grandchildren, husband, friends, and her part-time job as a dance therapist teaching children with special needs.  But her relationship with her daughter Blythe is strained. They both have a lot to work out before they can have the easy relationship Jennifer longs to have with her daughter.

When Jennifer meets Freya at the grocery store, she soon is listening to Freya’s plan to propose to her boyfriend, Oliver. Jennifer and Freya soon fall into an easy friendship, and Jennifer wonders why she and Blythe can’t have the same kind of relationship.

Jennifer’s longtime friend Abi can’t make up her mind whether or not to ask her boyfriend Ed to move in with her. Jennifer supports Abi in her decision.

But when Jennifer discovers what Freya and Abi don’t know, can she tell them?

Will Jennifer and Blythe ever find common ground? What role does Jennifer’s grandson Tim play in keeping Jennifer and Blythe at odds or helping them reconcile whatever differences are keeping their relationship on rocky ground?

I relished reading What Jennifer Knows. Wendy Janes did an excellent job crafting the story and developing the characters.  It is a quick read but contained all the necessary details needed to keep my interest.  Jennifer must deal with the issues of morality and loyalty and leaves the reader wondering, “what would I do?”  I recommend this to all readers of women’s fiction.  I look forward to reading more from this author.

I was given a copy of What Jennifer Knows by author Wendy Janes in exchange for an honest review.

Format: Available as an e-book.

Publisher: Self-published

Publication Date:  October 11, 2015

Page count: 223

Genre: Women’s Fiction

About the AuthorWendy Janes

Wendy Janes lives in London with her husband and youngest son. A number of her short stories have recently appeared in anthologies, and 2015 sees the launch of her first solo novel, What Jennifer Knows. Her writing is inspired by family, friends, and everyday events that only need a little twist to become entertaining fiction.

As well as writing contemporary fiction, she loves to read and review it.

Wendy is also a freelance proofreader, and a caseworker for the National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service.

Connect with Wendy Janes on social media and her website

Website

Twitter

Google+

Facebook profile

Facebook author page

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

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
G+
Pinterest
Instagram

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

CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS By Susan Wiggs

Candlelight Christmas

Logan O’Donnell owned a successful insurance business that he started to be near his son Charlie in a small town in upstate New York. However, when his ex-wife’s husband was transferred Oklahoma, he only gets to see Charlie during the summer and holidays. Logan sold his insurance business and bought a ski resort in Avalon, a town on the shores of Willow Lake. Though Logan has had his share of dates since the divorce, he is not ready for a serious relationship.

Darcy Fitzgerald is still reeling in the aftershock of her divorce from her unfaithful husband, Huntley Collins.  She is not ready for involvement with another man, especially one with a child, but when her best friend India introduces her to her brother Logan, Darcy cannot deny she is attracted to him.

The Fitzgerald’s and the Collins’ families go way back and they vacation and do holidays together. Darcy’s sister is married to her ex’s brother, and Darcy cannot bring herself to celebrating the holidays with her family since Huntley will be there. When India invites her to spend the holidays with her family, she accepts.

Will their pasts drive Logan and Darcy apart, or can the romantic backdrop of the wintry ski resort and the spirit of creating a Christmas to remember for Charlie and his cousins allow them to drop their guard?

This is a delightful read. Susan Wiggs is a master storyteller, and CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS is no exception.  Her characters are very believable and the plot has enough detail to keep interest high without overwhelming the reader. It is a quick read, just right for the busy holidays.

Susan-Wiggs-photo-by-Susan-Doupe You can read more about Susan and her books on her website Susan Wiggs, her Goodreads author page, FaceBook author page, her blog The View from Here, or on Twitter.

To buy CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS or any of her other books, you can visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM, Powell’s, or your favorite indie bookstore.

NEST By Esther Ehrlich

NestNaomi Orenstein (known as Chirp because she loves watching birds and can tell you just about anything about them) and Joey Morell live across the street from each other.  Joey has two older brothers who have bad reputations, and Naomi is afraid of them and a bit afraid of Joey, even though they are in the same grade. They are as different as night and day, or so they think. But as the story unfolds, they have a lot in common.   They are very bright students, and they both live under difficult circumstances.

This is a story of tragedy, hardship, love, and friendship.  It is about a camaraderie born of trust and a need to connect with someone who understands.  The plot and characters are both well crafted. The characters are true to life. Chirp and Joey could easily be the kids down the street.

When I first started reading Nest, I wasn’t sure it was going to be a book I would enjoy. As I got to know Chirp, I found I wanted to know more about her, why she and Joey seemed to have a connection, and how Chirp, with Joey’s friendship, learned to come to terms with the way life had changed for all in the Orenstein household. It was a book I couldn’t put down.

Nest is for ages 8-12, but I would recommend it to anyone age 8 – adult. It deals with some tough subjects such as illness, death, and abuse, and the unlikely bond of friendship that was formed by two children living under different circumstances. It is a heartwarming and unforgettable story.

I was given this ARC by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more about the author visit

Web page – Esther Ehrlich Author

Facebook – Esther Ehrlich, Author page

Twitter – @EstherEhrlich

Goodreads – Esther Ehrlich page

 

Buy the book on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, iBookstore, Random House

Spare Change By Bette Lee Crosby

Spare Change
Ethan Allen Doyle had a tough life. His mother was so wrapped up in herself, and his father had a mean streak. He had more on his plate than any eleven-year-old should ever have, and then, he witnessed a brutal murder. Fearing for his life, he takes off in search of his grandfather, known only to him by the Christmas cards he received.
Olivia Westerly is settled into her single life when she meets Charlie Doyle, who sweeps her off her feet. Her married life quickly takes a turn to the unexpected, and Olivia was forced into a situation that causes her to re-evaluate her life. Through various events, the most important of which is having the care of Ethan Allen forced upon her, she finds all of her preconceived notions of the kind of person she is, are no longer applicable.
SPARE CHANGE is a murder mystery. The storyline drew me in quickly with its superstitions, mystery, romance, friendship, humor, and its flawed characters that are so realistic that every reader can find them believable. The story moves quickly and is told from several different points of view. It’s about how we deal with life’s challenges and the power of love in changing who we are.
When I first started reading SPARE CHANGE, I thought I wouldn’t like it very much, but once into a few pages, I was captivated by the story, the writing style, the author’s voice, and the characters. I am amazed that so much emotion, mystery, and story is found in just 280 pages. It is a book I heartily recommend to all readers in every genre. I look forward to reading more of Bette Lee Crosby’s work.
According to Amazon, SPARE CHANGE is their number one bestselling historical mystery and the winner of five literary awards.
You can find out more about Bette Lee Crosby on these websites:

 

Her website – Bette Lee Crosby Words, Wit & Wisdom

Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Buy SPARE CHANGE and Bette’s other books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powells, BooksAMillion, or your favorite Indie bookstore.

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