Book Review · FIction · Women's Fiction

The Ruby of the Sea

For this book I partnered with Suzy Approved Tours and Peggy Lampman. Thank you Suzy for the invitation to join this tour and thank you Peggy Lampman for the gifted copy of The Ruby of the Sea. All opinions in this review are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Linnea Chandler. For the last 15 years she has been aimlessly traveling the country, trying to find happiness, while running from her fear of the sea. Linnea returns to her hometown of Key West, Florida and although this is home, this is where the heart of her phobia of the sea lives. While she has kept this secret for years, she comes to find out that maybe keeping it a secret was not the best idea. After all, kept secrets sometimes come back to bite you when you least expect them to and can put wedges between loved ones.

Back home, Linnea reunites with her sisters, her parents, and the 19th century lighthouse that her family has called home since she was little. The lighthouse carries a troubled past and a frightening myth…a myth that if Linnea is honest with herself, eerily mirrors the mystery that is her younger sister.

The three sisters must decide to what extremes they are willing to protect the secrets that they carry. Can they ignore the lighthouse’s history and the fatal shipwreck in 1857 that caused so much pain? Can they defy a hurricane that is threatening to pummel their town? And when their world is upended, do the women have the strength to move forward?

Review

While this book was slow to start for me, once I got into the book I really enjoyed the story. While I thought that this was just going to be another story about three sisters coming together to clear the air of all that they have been through and are going through, I am glad to say that I was wrong. Peggy Lampman’s writing was full of wonderful and not so wonderful surprises! While I am not a huge fan of books that have multiple narrators, Peggy Lampman did a wonderful job of keeping each of the sister’s stories separate, while at the same time weaving them all together. While I was not sure I was going to like this book with how slow it started for me, I am glad that I stuck it out or I would have not learned of the sister’s tales and all that it takes to keep a family together during hard times.

Of note, Peggy Lampman writes of mental health troubles in this book. Since I am a social worker and work with people with mental health troubles, I am always interested in how people portray them. Will they give the issue the attention that it deserves while not overwhelming the reader? Without giving the story away, I think that Peggy Lampman did a great job of describing what one goes through with a mental illness. She did a great job of showing the severity of what those affected go through, while at the same time telling a beautiful story of the person affected and how the family is affected as well. I can only hope that other authors would take the same care with the subject of mental illness as Peggy Lampman did.

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About the Author

Peggy Lampman’s passion is writing women’s fiction, which provokes the mind and touches the heart. She uses contemporary themes as a means to break down relationship, familial and cultural barriers. Her novels, THE PROMISE KITCHEN, THE WELCOME HOME DINER and THE RUBY OF THE SEA, reflect this fascination. Of particular pleasure to her is developing flawed characters-living in and reconciling with-the shadows cast by their equally flawed parents.

She grew up in Alabama and planted roots in her college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan where she owned a specialty food store and wrote a food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive

After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public relations firm. After moving back to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, Peggy sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com. She is currently writing her fourth book.

Adult Fiction · Book Spotlight · Contemporary · FIction · Mystery · Thriller

Book Spotlight: Little Lovely Things

Check out Little Lovely Things written by Maureen Joyce Connolly!!

Published April 2, 2019!!

Synopsis

Meet Claire Rawlings. She chose the wrong time to get sick. While on the highway, on her way to drop off the kids at daycare so she can get to work as a medical resident, Claire does not have time for the nausea that is beginning to overtake her. Getting more nauseated by the minute, Claire’s world suddenly turns sideways causing her to stop at a gas station, run to the bathroom and pass out. While this is alarming in itself, Claire’s two young daughters are sleeping in the back seat of the car when Claire passes out. Claire wakes up just a few minutes later, but her car and THE KIDS are gone!!!

The police are called, but they have no leads as to who took Claire’s daughters let alone where they could be. As each hour, then day passes with no word on the girls, guilt presses down on Claire. While feeling guilty about her missing children, Claire tries to hold onto her strained marriage.

But then, a witness comes forward…a potentially unreliable witness. But Claire clings to the hope that her daughters are out there somewhere and this man may know where.

Taken from the book jacket itself: “Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by unthinkable tragedy, and the unexpected intersection of heartbreak and hope.”

Where to Buy…

You can buy the book now at these following places…

Amazon

Barnes and Nobel

Books-A-Million

Indiebound

Or purchase an audio version to listen to in the car…

Audible

Google Play

audiobooks.com

I really hope you enjoy this read (or listen)!!!

Adult Fiction · Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction

Don’t Put the Boats Away

This month I was chosen to be part of a Suzy Approved Book Tour for Don’t Put the Boats Away by Ames Sheldon.

Synopsis

World War II has just ended and the world is beginning to put itself back together. In the Sutton Family, they are reeling at the sudden loss of their son/brother Eddie. This book follows the family for the next 25 years as they deal with the sudden loss of Eddie. Daughter Harriet goes to school to become a chemist. Son Nat wants nothing more to be a jazz musician. Father George is stuck in his ways and struggles to accept the choices that his son and daughter are making. Mother Eleanor blames herself for her son’s death because she never told him the horrors that she saw while serving during the Great War. She thinks if she had told him maybe he would not have enlisted and now he would not be dead. Watch as each member of the family struggles, succeeds, and begins to put their lives together one year at a time.

Review

I have said it before on this blog, but I tend to stay away from historical fiction. I often struggle to completely understand what the book is talking about as history was never my strong suit in school. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed learning about the history of the United States, its just that all the details didn’t stick and I often confuse one war with another. Thank being said, this book was wonderful! Ames Sheldon has a way of writing that brings you into the story and makes you feel like you are really there. The writing wraps you in the warmth of the story and makes you fall “in like” with each of the characters and the story of their life.

In addition, imagine my surprise upon starting the story and finding out Harriett was attending school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I live in Wisconsin and have also lived in Madison. All the details that Ames Sheldon provided of the city I could imagine and have been to many of them. This detail really made the story connect to my heart.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed all the details of post-war times that were provided and woven into the story. Theses details made you feel like you were part of the story and that you were going through what each of the characters were going through. Ames Sheldon has a way of pulling you in on page one and keeps you turning each page until the very end. I will definitely be picking up Ames Sheldon’s other book, Eleanor’s War!!!

I think I have to stop saying that I don’t read historical fiction!!! 🙂

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Book Review · Self-Help

Life Is A Four Letter Word

I had the pleasure this month of partnering with Suzy Approved Book Tours, Mango Publishing and David Levy to read the book “Life is A Four Letter Word.” When I read the description of this book, I had this feeling that it was going to offer life lessons as well as true life and humor and so I quickly signed up for this tour. SPOILER ALLERT: This book did not disappoint.

Synopsis

In this book, David Levy takes a look back at his life through 40 different essays about events that happened throughout his life that taught him life lessons. Written in chronological order, the reader is able to follow David’s life from a young child and through adulthood and learn those valuable lessons through the reflections he has about his life as well as wisdom that he can provide from those experiences.

Review

As I stated above, when I chose to be part of this tour, I had this feeling that this self-help books was going to be different and let me tell you I was totally right!!! David Levy presents a fantastic sequence of short essays about his life that provided me with valuable life lessons to thinks about. This book did not lecture me or give me advice at every turn, but made me relate to and think about the story David told as well as the life lesson being presented. Some of the life lessons hit home closer than others, but all of the life lessons really made me think. I must admit that some of them were so good that I committed the ultimate sin while reading a book of folding down the page corner!!! I know, I am terrible and should probably go to book jail, however the lessons were so good that I know I will go back to them for years to come. David’s writing style and stories about his life have a way of capturing you and making you think about things in a quiet manner, which I really enjoyed. There was no pointing fingers or “yelling” through the pages of a book…it was just quiet, wise advice. I really hope David Levy comes out with more books like this in the future, because I would definitely pick them up and get lost in those books, just as I did in this book!

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