Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Would You Rather with Laura Chapman

Please welcome Laura Chapman, author of The Marrying Type.

Laura Chapman is the author of The Marrying Type, Hard Hats and Doormats and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.

Connect with Laura:
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Would You Rather with Laura Chapman

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Oh, man. Can I have all three? Hear me out. I need chocolate to counteract all of the chips I might sit down to eat (and vice-versa). And cheese is practically its own food group where I’m concerned. Still, if you told me I had to pick one of those foods forever I’d say chocolate. No chips. No cheese. No...

Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

While I wish I was a Carrie or Becky (who I seriously want to hang out with some time so she can help me with my wardrobe) I’m probably a Bridget at heart. I’m also fretting about my weight, making ridiculous mistakes, and pretending to the world I’m okay with ending a spinster. Thank God my mother has herself way more together than Bridget’s mom.

Wine, beer or vodka?

See answer to question one. :) Actually, I’m pretty seasonal with my beverages. I like beer in the fall, because it pairs so nicely with football. I like vodka in the winter, because it keeps me warm, and in the summer with fruity mix-ins. I drink wine year-round, but after a recent night of too much consumption (total amateur hour) I’m thinking wine and I should see other people.

Camping or spa vacation?

I want to be the cool girl who says camping, but… I’m usually over the whole thing within a day. So put me down for a spa vacation, but if I can choose the location, let’s go someplace with gorgeous camping-like views. I’m thinking Vancouver or Rio.

Water or mountains?

I love the water, but I am in love with the mountains. Most of the locations on my list of places I’d like to live are mountain heavy: Denver, Portland, and Seattle.

Zombies or vampires?

Vampires, because as I learned from True Blood and Twilight, if a vampire is really, really into you, he can control his urges and won’t turn or kill you. I saw Warm Bodies, which gave pretty convincing evidence a zombie can be tamed, too, but after watching three episodes of The Walking Dead, my confidence in a happily ever after with zombies is gone.

Dogs or cats?

I really love both, but since I’m writing this with two cats curled up next to me, I’ll say cats. Hanging out with my cats, Jane and Bingley, is the highlight of my day. They’ve also been my best supporters (and distractors) while working on my books.

Coke or Pepsi?

I work for the University of Nebraska, so I may be contractually obligated to say Pepsi. But if you’re running to the store, I’d like a Diet Dr. Pepper, which is a Coke product.

Coffee or tea?

Definitely coffee. While I like to drink tea (both hot and iced) I have a deep, spiritual connection with coffee.

Dine out or take away?

Take away. There are few things I love more than picking up some Chinese food, pizza, or a burrito and taking it home to enjoy with my Roku.

High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

Flip flops. They’re as close as I can get to being barefoot in social settings.

Physical Book or ebook?

I’ve been on a big ebook buying kick, but I will still probably never love curling up with my Nook or Kindle quite as much as I like pulling out a well-loved paperback and reading. If I really love a book that I’ve read on my Nook or Kindle, I’ll buy a print copy. Plus, I still dream of one day having a ‘Beauty and the Beast’ library, and I’ll need books to stock those shelves.

Paperback or Hardcover?

Paperback. While hardcover might look a little classy, they’re not as easy to tuck into my purse.  

Pen or pencil?

Pen. I love the way writing with a pen on paper feels. It’s smooth.

Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Until a year or two ago I would have said ‘Downton Abbey,’ but while that show has lost some of its excitement for me (pity), I’m pretty excited to watch this last season of ‘Mad Men.’

Drama or comedy?

Comedy. Even my favorite dramas have some humor. Most of my favorite shows and books are pretty funny.

Twilight or Hunger Games?

‘Hunger Games.’ While I really enjoyed the Twilight franchise, reading the Hunger Games trilogy as a life-changing experience. At least it felt that way.

Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

I used to be all about the lip gloss, but lately I wear more lipstick. I favor dark reds.

Facebook or Twitter?

I spend more time on Facebook, and it’s my number one news source, but I have more fun writing tweets than Facebook posts. I like to joke that Twitter is my random thoughts journal while Facebook is a little more controlled.  

Plot your entire novel or fly by the seat of your pants?

I’m a plotter. I create fairly detailed character sketches and a scene by scene outline for my books. That said, I like to keep myself open to changes as I write, and I don’t fully plan out each scene. Some of my bullet points are really loose and open for interpretation while I write, for example, “Elliot works on a proposal to attract new business, and it stirs up some old emotions.”

The Marrying Type

Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).
With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

Available at:

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Creature Comforts by Trisha Ashley

2 Star

Izzy has broken off her engagement to her feckless fiancée Kieran and returned to her childhood home – the sleepy village of Halfhidden.

She soon realizes that life in the village is anything but peaceful – for one thing she’s living with her mad aunt Debo and her pack of dogs, and for another, Izzy has a lot of unanswered questions.

When she was a teenager, Izzy was involved in a terrible accident, involving various inhabitants of Halfhidden. As she sets out to discover what actually happened on the night of the accident, she realizes that her painful past is actually standing in the way of her future happiness. So when a handsome stranger comes to Halfhidden will she let love back into her life?

Kathryn- 2 Star

Creature Comforts was such a simple title but I found the novel to be very complicated. There were, unfortunately, a vast number of characters and almost every one of them was starting their own business or changing jobs/romantic partners and they all had a parent/aunt/guardian/mad uncle that was mixed up in our protagonist’s search or one of her friends’ lives.  At the end of the novel I still didn’t know who everyone was and had no clue which business title belonged to which character. I felt almost as if I’d been dropped into an episode of something already in progress and I was struggling to catch up.

Because of the confusing nature of the narrative I struggled to get into the story and had a hard time connecting with Izzy.  I understood that she had returned to her village of Halfhidden to get the whole story about an accident she had been involved in in her teens.  It seemed really peculiar to me that, now in her mid-thirties, was the first time she was attempting to put the pieces together of that night.  It was explained that she had spent the intervening years putting her life together but I never really got the feeling that the accident was interfering in her current life-plan?  It was almost as if there were two stories in Creature Comforts and neither one was focussed on properly.  One about Izzy’s search for the truth- which could have made a great story and the other about Izzy returning to her home town- having left her fiancée, to start a new business. 

Having said all that, there were several interesting villagers that kept me entertained (Debo and Cam for instance) and I liked the village of Halfhidden quite a lot also!

I am obviously in the minority in my feelings about this book- most people seemed to enjoy it immensely and weren’t nearly as befuddled as I was.  I’ve also read novels by Trisha Ashley before and loved them so I’m going to put this in the “huh?” pile and move on!

Thank you to Harper Collins UK for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Trisha Ashley:
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Friday, April 24, 2015

Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon

5 Star

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn't. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school. 

Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

Finding Jake is definitely one of my favorite reads of this year and I think it may even be my absolute favorite read of the year. Considering just how much I really really loved this book, I think it will be hard to beat. I always really enjoy a book that keeps me up late at night (even though I am exhausted) and have things to do the next day and I was up super late the night I read this book. (Until 4 am) And the fact that I was hurting the next day but didn't mind at all, ok maybe a little bit, just indicates to me the power of this story.

The story focuses around the Connolly family and their involvement in a fatal school shooting. The story is told by the father, Simon, and is a heart wrenching, suspenseful and somewhat agonizing account of the day that changed their lives forever. A school shooting happens and questions abound, especially since their son, Jake, is seemingly nowhere to be found and therefore somewhat suspect in the situation.

As a parent, I found myself contemplating what I would do and how I would feel if this was my story and if my child was involved. It brought up some very interesting thoughts and was a real eye opener in some ways. I hope to never have to be part of or even have anyone close to me be part of such a horrible event, yet I do know that terrible things happen in this world. This story was so realistic and written in such a way that it just brought those ideas to life and impressed just how possible something like this could be.

I could not put this story down because I wanted, even needed, to find out exactly what was going on and just how everything came to pass or worked out. The story was entirely consuming and time flew by as I was drawn ever deeper into the Connolly family drama.

Written as a suspenseful and emotionally riveting dramatic tale of what we really believe about those we love and think we know most, this is a MUST read for anyone who loves a great story with a powerful message.

Thank you to William Morrow for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Bryan Reardon:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Would You Rather with Kathleen Irene Paterka

Please welcome Kathleen Irene Paterka, author of The Other Wife.

Kathleen Irene Paterka:


Kathleen Irene Paterka is an Amazon Bestselling Author of smart women’s fiction. Her newest novel, The Other Wife, was published in February to critical acclaim. Kathleen’s popular James Bay series, set in Northern Michigan, includes: Fatty Patty, Home Fires, Lotto Lucy, and For I Have Sinned. Love weddings? Pick up a copy of her novel Royal Secrets for a fascinating glimpse into the world of royalty, romance and brides. Kathleen is the resident staff writer for a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book For the Love of a Castle. Kathleen and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, where she is busy working on her next James Bay novel.

Connect with Kathleen Irene Paterka:
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Would You Rather... 
with Kathleen Irene Paterka

Chips, chocolate or cheese?

Cheese. I’m a former fatty and gave up sugar years ago (my novel FattyPatty is semi-autobiographical). And since chips are loaded with fat, they’re no good for me either.

Bridget Jones, Becky Bloomwood or Carrie Bradshaw?

Carrie Bradshaw… not because of the clothes, shoes, or the city (though I’m a big fan of NYC!). Rather, it’s the close personal relationships Carrie maintains with her three best friends, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda, that made the series a winner in my heart.

Wine, beer or vodka?

None of the above. I quit drinking years ago. I have an addictive personality. When I realized I was beginning to like the ‘buzz’ from a glass (or 2 or 3) of wine much too much, I decided to put the cork in the bottle forever.

Camping or spa vacation?

I’ve never done either, but since I hate dirt, bugs and anything to do with nature, I suppose I’d pick Door #2 (the spa vacation). Then again, if that involves mud packs, count me out.

Water or mountains?

If by ‘water’ you mean ‘beach’, I’m in! I love lounging on the sand under a beach umbrella with a good book in hand.

Zombies or vampires?

Vampires. I’m a big fan of the Twilight series (‘Team Edward’, for those of you who might want to know). Author Stephenie Meyer did a brilliant job in her handling of the characters and their storylines. Edward was actually the ‘female’ lead (the tortured virginal character) while Bella’s character was the strong alpha male, taking charge and saving the family from utter destruction.

Dogs or cats?

Cats. They’re selfish, vain creatures, but I love them anyway.

Coke or Pepsi?

Neither. I don’t like fizzy drinks.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. Black. And don’t put anything fancy in it, either.

Dine out or take away?

Dine out! I love restaurants, especially ones that offer soft music, great service, and delicious food.

High heels, sneakers or flip flops?

None of the above. Since breaking my right heel and my left foot, I’m now reduced to wearing flats. I abhor sneakers (refuse to wear them under any circumstances), and flip flops hurt my toes. But does that mean I hate shoes? Au contraire! While some people relax by playing computer games, I surf the net on sites like 6pm.com, Zappos, and dsw.com.

Physical Book or ebook?

Both! I’m a big fan of our town’s public library, which has plenty of hard cover books to enjoy. Then again, eBooks are great too. I especially love using my Kindle when I’m reading in bed. The backlit screen, plus one flick of a finger, and I’m on the next page.

Paperback or Hardcover?

It doesn’t matter. The most important factor will always be a great story that keeps my interest.

Pen or pencil?

Pen (though I don’t like ballpoint ‘click’ pens). There’s something immensely satisfying about the feel of a hefty ink pen in hand. I’m also a fan of gel pens, and own a few fountain pens too

Mad Men, Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad?

Downton Abbey (though to be honest, I’ve never watched an episode of the other two shows). The Dowager Countess is my favorite character on Downtown Abbey. The writers have given her such great lines and she delivers with such aplomb. One of my favorite Dowager quotes: “The problem with nature is there’s so much of it.” (see question #4 above)

Drama or comedy?

Definitely drama. I love anything dealing with emotions, highly-charged scenes and situations, and how people deal with them.

Twilight or Hunger Games?

Twilight (see the zombies or vampires question above).

Lipstick, lipgloss or chapstick?

I start my day with lipstick; but when without a mirror, I resort to cherry-flavored chapstick.

Facebook or Twiter?

144 characters? Seriously? How does Twitter expect me to write a meaningful blurb in only 144 characters? Plus the feed moves too fast. And what’s with all these followers? Justin Bieber (with 62 million followers) actually follows 196,000 people himself? Do you think he actually reads every one of their tweets? Somehow I doubt it. I’m a Facebook fan myself. Facebook allows me to write what I want, when I want, and post when I want… and people see it (at least I hope they do).

Plot your entire novel or fly by the seat of your pants?

I’ve seen those author storyboards some writers use. Nothing against them; they work for lots of authors. But if I was forced to plot my novel on sticky notes and post them on a storyboard, I’d never write a word. Why bother? For me, the story magic happens when I’m in front of my computer, allowing the characters to ‘show’ me their story.

The Other Wife

Till death do us part…

Eleanor Anderson has a beautiful home, a loving husband, a tranquil life. After thirty-eight years of marriage and her children now grown, she finally has time for herself. She’s not expecting any surprises; certainly not to wake up one morning and find her husband dead in bed beside her from a massive heart attack. It’s a devastating discovery… but not as much as the shock awaiting Eleanor when she learns the truth about her husband’s secret life. And then there’s the damaging document he signed before his death, which threatens to destroy her life.

Claire Anderson isn’t your average thirtysomething. A professor of psychology at a prestigious university, Claire has a successful career, a handsome husband, and two young children at home. But nothing in her background, including her academic accomplishments, prepares Claire for the horrendous reality of discovering that the life she’d led was all a lie… fostered by a husband who’d promised to love and cherish her forever.

Two women from two generations, bound together by denial, anger, and grief. How far will their misery and fear push them? Does compassion rule the day, or will a husband’s betrayal lead to a woman’s revenge?

What happens when each of these women comes face-to-face with the other wife?

Available at:
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

5 Star

She stood at a crossroads, half-aware that her choice would send her down a path from which there could be no turning back. But instead of two choices, she saw only one—because it was all she really wanted to see… 

Current day, Oxford, England. Young American scholar Kendra Van Zant, eager to pursue her vision of a perfect life, interviews Isabel McFarland just when the elderly woman is ready to give up secrets about the war that she has kept for decades...beginning with who she really is. What Kendra receives from Isabel is both a gift and a burden--one that will test her convictions and her heart.

1940s, England. As Hitler wages an unprecedented war against London’s civilian population, one million children are evacuated to foster homes in the rural countryside. But even as fifteen-year-old Emmy Downtree and her much younger sister Julia find refuge in a charming Cotswold cottage, Emmy’s burning ambition to return to the city and apprentice with a fashion designer pits her against Julia’s profound need for her sister’s presence. Acting at cross purposes just as the Luftwaffe rains down its terrible destruction, the sisters are cruelly separated, and their lives are transformed…

Kathryn- 5 Star

I was completely caught up Susan Meissner’s novel from about page 15. I read the novel obsessively and partially ignored my very understanding children to keep reading!  I felt that the author took a commonly “understood” moment in history and dug into the reality of the London blitz with as much knowledge as anyone could undertake.

Emmy’s story never felt unrealistic and I was drawn into her world of fear much more than I expected to be- her pain and guilt was certainly felt across the pages.   Her little sister Julia was clear also clear a bell to me and you could see her desperately trying to remain with her big sister when everything else around her had changed.  The love they felt for each other was honest and true.  I could understand why Emmy tried to leave her behind and I was so engrossed in their story that I forgot they weren’t real people. I wished so much Emmy had stayed behind to protect her sister- I don’t think I would ever have left her myself.  The trouble really was that Emmy didn’t understand the magnitude of the danger in going back to the city. I loved this one line of Meissner’s towards the end of the book “there is the simple truth that you must forgive yourself for only being able to make your own choices, and no one else’s”.  This little snippet of the novel is a truth many of us must learn to live with, to be able to live our lives fully for our futures.

Each new disappointment weighed on me until I knew how things had worked out for Emmy and Julia in the end. To imagine that hers would be one of thousands upon thousands of stories during the horrific wars that plague our global history is gut-wrenchingly painful. Much as I find some novels difficult to read I think it’s important to remind ourselves how lucky some of us are.

Thank you to Penguin Random House for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Susan Meissner:
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Nicole Lane... Stranded on a Desert Island

Please welcome Nicole Lane, author of Playing all the Angles as she tackles our Desert Island Interview!

About Nicole:

Nicole Lane is a graduate of the Danielle Steel and Judith Krantz school of romance. The grander the drama, the higher the stakes, the better! This balances out the fact that her everyday life with her little family in North Texas is extremely mundane and quite contented. She blogs intermittently at www.nicolelaneromance.com

Connect with Nicole:

Nicole Lane Stranded on a Desert Island

If you could only have one book with you, what would it be? 

Tam Lin, by Pamela Dean

What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with? 

A fully stocked yacht.

What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use? 

   A working cell phone.

Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy? 

I'm an adapter by nature.  I'd talk to myself.
If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be? 

I wouldn't wish being stranded on anyone, but if we've got my yacht and my working cell phone, I'll take my husband and we'll call it a vacation.

What modern technology would you miss the most? 

   My laptop.

What food or beverage would you miss the most? 


How many days do you think you would cope without rescue? 

 Oh, I've read Island of the Blue Dolphins, so I think I'd do all right--maybe that's the book I should take.

What is the first thing you would do when rescued? 

    Call my mom.

What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return? 

 A selfie because I would be super skinny!

Playing all the Angles

Dominic Phillips is an enjoyable distraction from fashion designer Eve D’Amico’s loneliness, but there’s never been anything more between them than hot sex. Since he desires no commitment from her either, it’s pretty much the perfect arrangement…except for the fact that he’s dating her sister Isabelle.Eve’s grown used to being the promiscuous black sheep of her family ever since an unplanned pregnancy at age fourteen, and Isabelle is the only one in the D’Amico clan who doesn’t treat her like a second class citizen. Eve doesn’t exactly revel in the idea of hurting her sister if the truth ever comes out.Just when she starts hitting it off with the sexy new neighbor next door, her world is turned upside-down when Dominic reveals his plans to marry Isabelle. As if things weren’t complicated enough, life decides to throw another surprise her way, and Eve is suddenly trapped with another secret to add to a much more shocking one from her past, both of which threaten to destroy every relationship she’s ever hoped to have. She must soon decide whether to reveal the truth and save her sister from a man who’s incapable of commitment, or to keep her lips sealed and secure her own place in the family. For now, though, she will dance around that decision for as long as she can, keeping everyone in check by Playing All the Angles.

Available at:
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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof

4 Star

Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing the oddball faculty in his department and caring, alongside his formidable mother-in-law, for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier.

Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop's charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner, out of the blue, her first social interaction since her breakdown. Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon, a feeling confirmed upon his return home, where he opens a letter from his former paramour, informing him he'd fathered a son who is heading Tom's way on a train.  His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom’s ready or not.

Sabrina-Kate - 4 Star

Small Blessings is a quirky story with a unique cast of characters who quickly endeared themselves to me. Told as a simple story about simple people with hopes and dreams and fears like all of us, it was a classic tale of honest to goodness life.

The characters were all unique but bonded together to help each other out. It was like a quaint small town story but with only good intentions. The story felt like it might be predictable at first but it ended up taking quite a few unexpected turns that only made it that much sweeter of a story.

Interspersed with great dialogue and wry humor, I really enjoyed this author's writing style. Each character went on their own personal journeys and had life changing choices to make. They changed and evolved, adding their own important parts.

This story was a breath of fresh air with its lovable characters who portray the important things in life which are a hallmark of a great story. The only minus was the fact that the story wrapped up in a not so tidy way but all in all, a read worth it for anyone who loves those Americana type style reads.

Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Martha Woodroof:
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Save Me by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

4 Star

Daphne Mitchell has always believed in cause and effect, right and wrong, good and bad. The good: her dream job as a doctor; Owen, her childhood sweetheart and now husband; the beautiful farmhouse they're restoring together. In fact, most of her life has been good--until the day Owen comes home early from work to tell her he's fallen head over heels for someone else.

Unable to hate him, but also equally incapable of moving forward, Daphne's life hangs in limbo until the day Owen's new girlfriend sustains near-fatal injuries in a car accident. As Daphne becomes a pillar of support for the devastated Owen, and realizes that reconciliation may lie within her grasp, she has to find out whether forgiveness is possible and decide which path is the right one for her.

Kathryn- 4 Star

While I was reading Save Me I was surprised by the intensity of emotions that came off the page despite the easiness of the language.  I half-felt that some of the feelings came from an personal place or experience in some way and while I’ve no idea if this is true I have respect for the author’s ability to put across on paper these feelings without dragging the story down.

Much as I wanted Daphne to move on I also found myself empathising with her actions and reactions to her husband’s choices.  The honest truth is that despite what he’d done to their marriage it would be have been very hard to turn off the love she had for him and walk away completely. Her friends and family’s opinions were likely what one would expect but I respected that Daphne chose her own path through the grief.  I wonder how many people are stuck in the same sense of expectancy about their marriages as Daphne and Owen?  Lewis had one line which struck me “there is nothing pulling us forward and there hasn’t been for years, it’s like our feet are cemented in this fable of what we were supposed to be”.

The ending took me by surprise and once I got over being annoyed I actually think the author took the ending in the right direction.  It also surprised me that there was so much covered in a short period of time, I think the novel occurred over just a few weeks and a lot happened in that time in terms of personal discovery.

Despite the easy read this is a novel that made me ponder and I finished it with a sense of relief of sorts. Relief perhaps is not the right word, perhaps respect for Daphne’s decisions is a better description.

Thank you to Hachette Book Group for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Kristyn Kusek Lewis:
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Susan M Boyer Stranded on a Desert Island

Please welcome Susan M Boyer, author of Lowcountry Boneyard, as she tackles our Desert Island Interview!

About Susan:

Susan M. Boyer has been making up stories her whole life. She tags along with her husband on business trips whenever she can because hotels are great places to write: fresh coffee all day and cookies at 4 p.m. They have a home in Greenville, SC, which they occasionally visit.

Susan’s debut novel, LOWCOUNTRY BOIL (a Liz Talbot Mystery) is an Agatha Award winner for Best First Novel, a 2012 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense recipient, a Macavity nominee, and a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist. Lowcountry Bombshell (Liz Talbot Mystery #2) was released September 3, 2013. LOWCOUNTRY BONEYARD will be released in April 2015.

Susan’s short fiction has appeared in moonShine Review, Spinetingler Magazine, and Relief Journal, among others.

Connect with Susan:

Susan M Boyer Stranded on a Desert Island

If you could only have one book with you, what would it be? 

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. No, wait…One Door Away From Heaven, by Dean Koontz. Or Georgia Bottoms, by Mark Childress. This is a big decision. Probably if I were stranded for any length of time I’d want my Bible with me.

What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with? 

 Well, now see, that depends on your definition of “luxury item.” I consider pinot noir a necessity, so I’ll say my memory foam bed, with all my pillows and lots of mosquito netting.

What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use? 

   A corkscrew.

Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy? 

I don’t think I would enjoy it, as I would be too concerned about being rescued. I love natural beauty, but best enjoy it from a patio or deck overlooking said natural beauty. I’m not a camper unless we’re in an Airstream trailer. To enjoy solitude, I’d love a cottage on a remote stretch of beach with no internet access, but with a town an hour away, and a car with a full tank of gas.
If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be? 

 No doubts on this one—my husband, Jim. Him I couldn’t do without.

What modern technology would you miss the most? 

   My iTunes library and something to listen to it on.

What food or beverage would you miss the most? 

  Provided we had fresh, clean water, definitely pinot noir.

How many days do you think you would cope without rescue? 

  Maybe two.

What is the first thing you would do when rescued? 

    Take a long bubble bath.

What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return? 

  God Bless the U.S. Coast Guard!

Lowcountry Boneyard

Where is Kent Heyward? The twenty-three-year-old heiress from one of Charleston’s oldest families vanished a month ago. When her father hires private investigator Liz Talbot, Liz suspects the most difficult part of her job will be convincing the patriarch his daughter tired of his overbearing nature and left town. That’s what the Charleston Police Department believes.
But behind the garden walls South of Broad, family secrets pop up like weeds in the azaleas. The neighbors recollect violent arguments between Rivers and her parents. Eccentric twin uncles and a gaggle of cousins covet the family fortune. And the lingering spirit of a Civil-War-era debutante may know something if Colleen, Liz’s dead best friend, can get her to talk.
Liz juggles her case, the partner she’s in love with, and the family she adores. But the closer she gets to what has become of Rivers, the closer Liz dances to her own grave.

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