Archive for the ‘Contemporary Literature’ Category

Welcome to My Monday Minis where I share short reviews about books I’ve read.

When I was first offered a book to review from Bette Lee Crosby, I was hesitant. Contemporaries aren’t really a genre I read much of. Many years and lots of books later, I’m so happy I accepted.

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Passing Through Perfect

The Wyattsville Series #3

by Bette Lee Crosby

23377843

Genre: Historical / Contemporary / Romance

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My Review

I adored the first two books in this series, Spare Change and Jubilee’s Journey. Once again Bette has us step back to earlier times,  where we meet Delia and Ben as they fall in love and fight to stay together despite what other’s may want.

Bette can write with a southern twang. Her descriptions of settings, how people comport themselves and what the consequences are for defying family seep into you.

This is a story of hope and despair, of fighting against prejudice and finding goodness in the least likely of places. Passing Through Perfect is an excellent choice for the title of this book.

From the first sentence I was hooked and never looked back, turning each page and relishing the saga of two young lovers defying their families to be together and the travesty that befalls their decision.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Benjamin Church came to the grange hall expecting to meet someone else, but then the girl in a red dress looked across the dance floor and smiled…

Passing through Perfect is a heart-wrenching, Southern family saga that starts on the night Benjamin fell madly and completely in love with Delia. Once he tasted the sweetness of her kiss, he envisioned them spending the rest of their life together.

He didn’t stop to consider her daddy was a learned Pastor and her mama a woman with a college degree; he only knew she set his heart to racing. When he touched his mouth to hers, he forgot the hardships of being a sharecropper, forgot what it was like to work from dawn ‘til dark and forgot that nothing in Grinder’s Corner ever really changed.

Benjamin’s only thoughts were about lying together every night, sitting side by side on the front porch, and raising a family. Yes, he knew there’d be heartaches. Every couple had their share of heartaches, it was to be expected; but he never imagined such a tragedy would befall their family.

Winner of the 2016 RONE Award for Inspirational Fiction and the 2016 Readers Favorite Gold Medal.

Amazon

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Memory House

The Memory House Series #1

by Bette Lee Crosby

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Genre: Fantasy / Contemporary / Romance

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My Review

I was spellbound by this moving story about Ophelia and the young guest, Annie, who finds her way to her doorstep and her heart. These two women were a delight to meet and each one holds a special place in my heart.

Ophelia is nearing 90 and time is running out for her. Annie is a young woman with no direction, drifting through life and looking for her place to call home. Was it fate that brought them together? I like to think so.

I loved this story. The excitement to see what would happen, to see if what I wanted to happen would and where these two women wound up kept me flipping the pages. Every time something I wanted to happen did, I looked up, wanting to share what I just read. No one was there.  Probably a good thing as I would have spoiled the book for them.

I can share this with you though. Bette has a way of sprinkling connections to her other books into this story. I recognized characters and events, and even some of the objects that held memories. It endeared this book to me even more.

I finished with a sigh of delight and a twinkle in my eye. Magical.

  5 Stars

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Synopsis

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MEMORY TO OUTLIVE ITS OWNER?

Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.

Amazon

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The Accidental Art Thief
by Joan Scheighardt
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
 
For a quarter of a century forty-five-year-old Zinc has worked as a
caretaker for a wealthy old man, living in a small casita on his
ranch in New Mexico. She doesn’t make much money, but she has the old
man, her dogs, and gorgeous views of the mountains. She is basically
a very content recluse who doesn’t invest much time thinking about
what she might do if her circumstances change. So when the old man
dies suddenly, and his daughter all but throws her off the property,
Zinc is forced to reinvent herself—and quickly. With a touch of
magical realism and a collection of offbeat characters, The
Accidental Art Thief explores the thin line between life and death
and the universal forces that connect all things. 


“Zinc is an engaging, quirky, and utterly unique heroine, instantly
likeable, with a hefty mixture of strong intelligence and
overwhelming naivety…. While the novel is realistic, there is
subtle magic woven in nearly every line, as coincidence and confusion
come together into what might be termed the wisdom of time, spirit,
and love.” ~ Magdelena Ball, CompulsiveReader.com, author of
Sublime Planet, Black Cow, and other titles.
“Schweighardt populates her modern-day odyssey through the southwest with
fascinating, quirky characters thrust into a complex (and hilarious)
web of emotional turmoil, poignant misperceptions, and downright
lies. As laugh-out-loud funny as it is thought provoking.” ~
Julie Mars, author of the memoir A Month of Sundays: Searching for
the Spirit and My Sister, and the novels Rust, Anybody Any Minute,
and The Secret Keepers.
“A sensitive, gripping, artfully rendered novel that kept me reading
from the first page to the last.” ~ Faye Rapoport DesPres,
author of the memoir-in-essays Message from a Blue Jay.
 
 
Joan Schweighardt is the author of five novels, and more on the way. In
addition to her own writing projects, she writes, ghostwrites, and
edits for individuals and corporations. 

 
 
 
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For a list of my reviews go HERE.

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Welcome to The Friday 56 hosted by Freda’s Voice.

 

This is a really fun meme!

The only rules are to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader and find a sentence or a few (no spoilers) that grabs you and post it.

Then go over to Freda’s Voice and leave your link so we can visit your 56!

My 56 for this week is from:

 Silver Threads

The Memory House Series #5

  by Bette Lee Crosby

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Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

 My 56 from the eBook.

…Drew began to see them side by side. Mother and daughter. Alike in a thousand different ways. Until recently.

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Read on if you want to know more.

Synopsis

High above the clouds in a place no mortal has ever seen, there is a Scale of Life that is held in balance with stones of happiness and sorrow. The Keeper of the Scales sees impending disaster for Drew Bishop and heaves a huge sigh. He places a rose-colored stone on the happiness side of Drew’s scale, but it is not enough. The danger is too great. When Drew Bishop’s wife is killed in a random act of violence, he is left with a traumatized daughter and a job teetering on the brink of disaster. He believes this is as bad as it can get, but he is wrong. Now the Keeper must scan the vast landscape of lives to find a silver thread to ease Drew’s pain. That is the only chance Drew has for happiness, and the Keeper knows it. He is powerless to do anything else; instead, he can only wait and hope the thread spools into happiness for Drew and his little girl.

Amazon

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Leave your link and I’ll drop by your 56.

Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew!

You can find a list of my reviews HERE.

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Dreaming Sophia

Because Dreaming Is An Art

by Melissa Muldoon

Genre:Contemporary Women’s Fiction

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Synopsis

Dreaming Sophia is a magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d’Orcia.

​Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities—princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars— who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.

Buy the Book:

Amazon – print

Amazon / Kindle – ebook

Create Space

I-tunes – Apple Store-ebook

Barnes & Noble – ebook

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Author Melissa Muldoon

Dreaming Sophia Melissa Muldoon

Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, “matta” means “crazy” or “impassioned”. Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master’s degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta (studentessamatta.com). Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, “Tutti Matti per l’Italiano” and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa’s first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she’d never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That “thing” was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.

Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

Connect with the Author:

Website  ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Youtube ~ Pinterest

Dreaming Sophia Melissa Muldoon and Sophia Loren

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Follow The Tour

Feb 20 – Essentially Italian – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 20 – Leigh Anderson Romance – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 20 – Teresa Edmond-Sargeant – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 21 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 21 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight

Feb 21 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 22 – BookRoom Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway

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Feb 23 – Paulette’s Papers – book spotlight / giveaway

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Feb 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 24 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 24 – Fabulous and Brunette – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 27 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 27 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 27 – Carole’s Book Corner – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 28 – 100 pages a day – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 28 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – book spotlight

March 1 – Hall Ways – book spotlight / giveaway

March 1 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway

March 2 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / giveaway

March 2 – Suko’s Notebook – book spotlight

March 3 – Haddie’s Haven – book spotlight / giveaway

March 3 – Monica Cesarato – book spotlight / giveaway

March 6 – My Journey Back – book spotlight / giveaway

March 6 – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / giveaway

March 6 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / giveaway

March 7 – The Book Drealms – A Book Addict’s Travelogue – spotlight / giveaway

March 7 – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / giveaway

March 7 – Turning the Pages – book spotlight / giveaway

March 8 – Words And Peace – book spotlight / giveaway

March 9 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway

March 9 – Travelling Through Words – book spotlight

March 10 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway

March 10 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight / giveaway

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40 Something
by Shannon Peel
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Fiction
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Five women navigate life while juggling careers, children, family, and the

men in their lives.

Charlie is bored with the family tradition of Sunday Dinner so she brings a

friend her family won’t approve of to spice things up a bit. Will

this friend go too far and cause too much damage?

Rose only wants to do what is right and keep her family safe. How can she

do that when the world is so dangerous and her teenagers so willful.

Will helping a friend invite trouble into her perfect world?

Lindsay loves to have fun and enjoys the company of men. She is a modern

playgirl who will stop at nothing to get a man’s attention. Will she

find what she’s looking for or something unexpected?

Sophie wants to keep the peace and keep everyone happy, especially her

ex-husband, so her children will live with her full time. Will she

lose the children if she can’t afford to take care of them?

Justine wants to escape her perfect life, she just doesn’t realize it. Will

she find the passion that is missing or will she continue to hide

behind her computer screen?

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Shannon Peel grew up in Enderby, BC where her family’s root run deep. Growing

up where television was either non existent or very limited she

relied on books & imagination to escape into the world

beyond.

She went to UBC to study and earn a general studies BA with a

concentration in Political Science and Economics. Macro analysis of

world events, social justice and human motivations became a passion

of hers. This passion is a driving force in all her stories, which

have political, economic, and social justice undercurrents.

After a career in the financial field she decided to stay home and raise

her two children until school age. In 2007 she return to the

workforce as a sales / marketing / advertising professional. She

currently resides in BC’s Lower Mainland with her two teenage

children.

Shannon Peel is a creative, intelligent professional with a 20 year proven

track record in sales, marketing, customer relations, project

management, presentations, and communication.

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Five eBook copies and a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

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.

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For a list of my reviews go HERE

For a list of free eBooks go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

 



Revelations
T. Marie Alexander
Publication date: January 27th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Have you ever craved something so badly that all reason was just an excuse getting in your way?

Have you needed something so desperately that you didn’t care how you got it or who you hurt in the process?

I have—and not that long ago.

Acceptance.

Acceptance… from family and friends…

Acceptance of the person I am inside and not outright rejection.

It didn’t come easily for me, and now I believe the world needs to know just how ruthless life can be. How that overwhelming yearning for acceptance can mold you into someone you don’t recognize when you look in the mirror. I’m through hiding behind one façade after another—it’s time for the world to meet the real me.

~Antoinette Justice

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

BOOK TRAILER:

 

Author T. Marie Alexander

T. Marie Alexander lives in Arkansas. She can be found sitting at a computer on any given day, usually writing or looking up something to do with fashion. When she is not doing either of those things, she’s reading on her Kindle or binge watching Roswell on Netflix time and time again. She shares her apartment with her husband and some annoying ghost that like to take her belongings. Her dream of becoming an author started around the age of seven when she would glue small pages together and write about her favorite thing at the time, boy band crushes. T. Marie writes Young Adult Science Fiction and Paranormal Fiction.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Warpaint

Warpaint Trilogy Book 1

By Stephanie Smith

Genre: New Adult

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Warpaint is a haunting tale of friendship and rivalry between three women artists, who’ve known each other for years, who must come to terms with imminent mortality and artistic frustration: Liz Moore, born poor in Minnesota, fought her way to New York in the 1920s, but isn’t “discovered” until late in life; C.C. Davis, a well-to-do New Yorker is Moore’s only student, and rival, who, just after WWII achieves some small success, but feels, as she faces cancer in 2002, a failure; and Quiola Kerr, part Ojibwe, once C.C.’s lover, who is caught in the middle, and who, as a painter in the 21st century, has the most doubts about art’s value in an electronic world. In April 2002, all three meet a week before C.C.’s mastectomy at a MOMA retrospective for Liz Moore, but their reunion is tense. Still, they try to cope, until C.C. makes an unexpected and controversial choice, one which nearly breaks the bonds these three took so many decades to forge, and forces Quiola to try to confront Liz, who she believes deliberately sabotaged C.C.’s career.

Warpaint features American women painters, native american or American Indian (Ojibwe) history; it has a lesbian couple at the heart of the story; it’s about trying to survive breast cancer and choosing suicide; it features New York City, Paris, Minnesota and Connecticut. The Indian character, Quiola Kerr, shows up in the next book…

Goodreads * Hardcover on Amazon

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Baby Rocket

Warpaint Trilogy Book 2

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In 1966, a child is found abandoned in a rocket ride on Cape Canaveral. Traumatized, she could not speak when the police found her, only a few yards from her dead mother. So first responders called her “Baby Rocket.” As an adult, this child (Clementine “Lem” Dance) has no memory of this event. She only discovers her past when her adoptive father, James Walter Dance, Jr. has a fatal heart attack. Lem, a women’s historian who is writing a book about the Mercury 9, finds files while cleaning out her father’s apartment that he had been collecting in order to tell her the truth. Without him, she must piece together her story—why was she abandoned? What happened to her parents? How did her mother die? Who is her biological father? Doing so will take her from California back to the Tri-State area, where she now lives; to Florida, where she will find her mother’s roots and her mother’s life-story; and, finally, to Martha’s Vineyard, where she will come to terms with what she can recall and what she has uncovered about the wrenching facts of her early years.

Goodreads * Hardcover on Amazon

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Content Burns

Warpaint Trilogy Book 3

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“Content Burns” chronicles the parallel stories of two women from the same family who bear the same Puritan name, Content Burns, and who are separated by three centuries: One born a Pequot Indian, originally named Ásawanuw (Corn-silk), who converts and marries into the English Burns family in 1637, and one, nicknamed Cabbi, in modern-day New York. They are unknown to each other yet both women must learn how to survive an historical trauma that changed the course of American history, and their lives: the massacre of the Pequot tribe in 1637 and the loss of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Goodreads * Hardcover on Amazon

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stephanie-smith

Stephanie Smith took her PhD from Berkeley (1990), and attended the Haystack Creative Writing Workshop in 1981, with Ursula K. LeGuin. Prior to UF, she worked as a free-lance journalist, an editor for Western Imprints, an assistant at Glamour and Mademoiselle magazines; at Representations and at David Godine Publications, and is presently a consultant for Feminist Studies. A novelist, she is the author of: The Warpaint Trilogy, Warpaint (2012), Baby Rocket (2013) and Content Burns (2014) (Thames River Press); Other Nature (TOR,1995), which was short-listed for the Tiptree Award; The-Boy-Who-Was-Thrown-Away and Snow-Eyes (Atheneum 1985/87), along with a number of short stories, which have appeared in such magazines as New Letters, Asimov’s and SF&F. She has won multiple fiction residencies at the Martha’s Vineyard Writer’s Residency at the Noepe Center for the Arts, Hedgebrook, Norcroft, Provincetown and Dorland, and she has been featured in a number of magazines and online blogs.

Examining the intersection of science, literature, politics, race and gender, her essays appear in such journals as differences, Novel, Criticism, Genders, Genre, American Literature and American Literary History. A 1998 Visiting NEH Scholar at UCLA, she is the author of Conceived By Liberty: Maternal Figures and 19th-Century American Literature (Cornell 1995), nominated for the MLA First Book Award; Household Words (Minnesota, 2006) excerpts from both books have been reprinted in several collections. A creative non-fiction “A Meditation on Brit” appeared in Remaking Moby Dick an international multi-modal story-telling performance, both in print as a special edition of Pea River Journal (2013) and online. Currently, she is finishing a new critical book about aesthetics and the publishing industry in the United States, titled The Muse and The Marketplace, a chapter of which, “Union Blues: Melville’s Poetic In(ter)ventions,” is in the spring 2014 journal Genre; she is also finishing a new novel, Strange Grace.

Goodreads * Website * Amazon * Facebook

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