Friday, June 10, 2022

Drink In The Story of the Sisters of the Vine

 

Sisters of the Vine
By Linda Rosen


Sometimes your dream comes true, but you find that living your dream is nothing like what you'd hoped for. Can a person who's trapped by disappointment carve out an escape, and dare to dream again? When Liz married Rick she had no idea how murky their future would turn. Liz now faces new challenges, and she doesn't have any idea what to do. She has a lot to learn. Sometimes we get along with a little help from friends, and in the process we help those friends too.

When Liz and Rick are able to move to a large property, they debate what crops to plant. Their decision to plant a vineyard is a test of patience. It takes years for these acres of plants to grow, and then to bear fruit. These tender plants take great care. Liz becomes especially enthusiastic with the land and the vines, learning every step of the way. When the grapes are finally ready for harvest, Liz isn't. She's alone and doesn't know how she can ever accomplish the overwhelming tasks ahead of her.

The neighbors in the surrounding area keep very much to themselves. Now Liz wonders if anyone can be moved to help her. As she reaches out, she's surprised by the response. Liz is captivated by the stories of the ladies' lives, as she learns more about each of them. What lies beneath the surface are hidden secrets and strengths. Now the question is whether these ladies can work together to bring in a harvest, build a wine business, and foster true friendships.

The reader meets fascinating characters skillfully created by author Linda Rosen. First introductions stimulate curiosity about them, much as in meeting people in real life. Personalities and background about each of the Sisters of the Vine are revealed naturally with insightful dialogue. Everyone has difficulties to face. The beautiful revelations of how they all learn how to help each other is an exciting and heartwarming victory the reader shares.

Author Linda Rosen's novels are set in the not-too-distant-past and examine how women reinvent themselves despite obstacles thrown their way. She illustrates the wonder of how family is not dependent on blood relations. Linda Rosen is a contributor to Women in the Literary Landscape: A WNBA Centennial Publication for the Women's National Book Association and has had stories published in online magazines and print anthologies. She is a member of the Women's Fiction Writers Association and the Women’s National Book Association as Selections Coordinator of the Great Group Reads committee which curates a list, published annually, of novels and memoirs perfect for book clubs. Find out more about the author at linda-rosen.com, and hear from the author on YouTube's podcast A Novel Talk with Linda Rosen.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Eves A Story of Storytellers

 The Eves

By Grace Sammon


Jessica Barnet is in the midst of renovating her Washington DC row house, and her shattered life is also in need of rejuvenation. It appears she's hit bottom, devastated by family loss, stalled in her drive and ambition, and seeking solace in glasses of vodka. Wallowing in her misery, Jes tells herself and those around her truths that she wants to believe. Thanks to her dear friend Sonia, Jes is introduced to the ladies of The Eves who each have real life stories that a writer like Jes can absorb, and tell the world. What lessons may she even learn for herself?

These older women are committed to living their final years in community at The Eves, a sustainable farm on the cliffs of Chesapeake Bay. These colorful women can reach back in time over 100 years even as they wrestle with the very real question of what story they will leave to the future. These women are not done living, not at all. There is still more to their stories yet to come. They have much to give, including joy. As Jes researches their stories-in-progress, she begins her own transition. In that journey, she is influenced by an intergenerational group of women and men who give her maps she can use to guide her way out of hiding to a new future.

Clues surface regarding the honest truth of Jes' life. Digging into the depths, surprises that are buried are found. Transitioning within her life, Jes must find a way to reconcile the life she dreamed of, and her life in reality. That is an amazing story, exciting in the telling.

Author Grace Sammon presents a beautiful novel of a group of people thrown together by circumstance, and giving to each other the gift of understanding and compassion, and more. The Eves is truly Jes' story from despair, yet it is also the stories from others that pave a way toward hope, if Jes will listen.

Grace Sammon is an author, entrepreneur, educator, and speaker. She has started and managed two for-profit and two not-for-profit companies, and she has travelled to thirty-five states and eight foreign countries. Grace is utilizing skills built up over decades as she re-invents herself with this award-winning fourth book and debut novel The Eves and with a return to one of her early loves, radio with her new show, The Storytellers. Find out more about the author at gracesammon.net.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

A Fatal First Act Brings Reader Bravos

 

A Fatal First Night
By Kathleen Marple Kalb


It's opening night at the New York City Opera in 1899 and breathless anticipation overflows into the aisles among the chattering audience waiting for the curtain to go up. Backstage all are taking their positions, readying themselves for a memorable performance. When the final curtain falls, so does one of their own as the actors find a murder victim in his dressing room. It looks like the killer has been caught in the act, but opera star Ella Shane is not so certain. She will search for the real killer, determined to solve this mystery despite the danger. Will she go too far and take her final bow?

Ella Shane is herself an intriguing character with a rocky and difficult past. No opera diva, Ella is in the business for the music, the stories, the work, and the theater. Loving a challenge, she plays all parts of interest regardless of society's expectations. Fencing is one of her many talents, and skills. She's also en garde as she romantically parries with a certain English aristocratic man. Their interests grow, but there is a concerning question of trust that has them alternating their lunges, and putting them occasionally en garde. Can they work out their differences? In the meantime Ella pursues her own investigation of the stage mystery. More lives are at stake, possibly her own.

The clues revealed are an exciting trail to an ominous group of suspects. As Ella delves into the mystery, she has a delightful array of friends who support and aid her. In her final acts, she must stop the guilty killer. Despite her drive to solve the murder, and work out her romantic entanglements, still the show must go on for this dynamic protagonist.

Historic New York of 1899 teems with life, the sights and scenes and society of a rollicking city on the verge of a new century. The author's talented writing puts you at this time and place, in the midst of an exciting plot. Her skill at creating characters that are engaging, who you'd like to know and be friends with, creates a captivating story, and series.

Author Katherine Marple Kalb has created a fun, historical mystery series. This book is the first, and the newest in the series is A Fatal Overture. Find out more on the website katherinemarplekalb.com, and hear more from the author herself on YouTube's A Novel Talk with Katherine Marple Kalb.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Read About Love in The Price of Secrets

 The Price of Secrets

                           By Jacquie May Miller


After you finish this touching book, get ready to hug your loved ones, treasure your times together, and celebrate when they are near. Years ago when Jamie was on her way to college in California, she was exiled from her family by her mother. Jamie's grievous insult, as perceived by her mother, was to become pregnant without a husband. Jamie left and isolated from all her family and friends she showed the courage to have her baby. Eventually she found the love of her life and they raised her son together. Now she's tragically lost her husband, and her mother has passed away. Can she go home again? Can she introduce her adult son to his biological father? Can she determine which of the two men is his father?

After her sudden disappearance twenty-five years ago, Jamie knows that her appearance at her high school reunion will be a shock to many friends, and to those she was once so close to. Not everyone is pleased to see her, yet some are thrilled and entranced. What will be the reaction from the two men who may be an unsuspecting father? One of them has no children. The other has a daughter. How will this development impact their families? How will they react to Jamie and will they want to meet her son Justin? Meeting his biological father is a life altering event for Justin. What is ahead now for him and the plans he had?

Author Jacquie May Miller shares a dramatic story of family, love, and fateful destiny. She's talented at revealing in great effect how the ripples from one person's life and decisions impact the lives and actions of other people. Repercussions multiply across this cast of characters. The reader is engaged and enraptured by life's consequences and different characters' reactions. What is The Price of Secrets, and who pays that price? When courage is shown, can Jamie take destiny into her own hands and redirect it?

Author Jacquie May Miller was chosen as the featured writer in a literary journal produced at Washington State University where her short story, Bernie’s Choice, was published in 2013. The Price of Secrets is Jacquie's first published novel, a work of women’s fiction. You'll also want to visit Jacquie's May Daze, a blog exploring the value of friendship, family and life’s little surprises at www.jmaydaze.com.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Readers Flock To When Starlings Fly As One

 

When Starlings Fly As One

By Nancy Blanton


Merel is serving maid to Lady Carey in Ireland, as tensions erupt between the Irish and the English in 1642. Leaders on both sides do all they can to inspire and appeal to followers in this fight. Both countries have so much to gain, and potentially everything to lose. Within the castle of Rathbarry, Merel has made a few dear friendships, and one first love. She's sketched the beauty outside the castle walls, including the massive groups of starlings. Some say the birds represent the devil's desire, some say they represent courage. When Rathbarry feels the affects of war, Merel will discover whether desire or courage can prevail. In a moment of truth Merel will have to decide whether she can wait for someone to rescue her, or if she needs to act for herself and for those she cares about.

Merel is no stranger to tragic events. She lost both her beloved parents ina terrible drowning when the boat the family traveled on sank. Merel was fortunate to be saved, yet her life was changed forever. Now she lived the life of a lady's maid. She did like the lady, until another lady stole her away to Castle Rathbarry. Surrounded by the enemy, cut off from any help, hope is hard to come by. Merel is resilient, but can she find the strength to serve her lady and carve out a life of her own choice? At risk are also her dear new friend Jayne, who also serves the English lady as she keeps quiet about her Irish roots, and her love David who is one of the English fighting men. Merel also strikes up a friendship with Elinor the hardworking castle cook. The castle is led by Sir Arthur Freke, but is he up to the challenge?

Closest to Merel's heart is Tynan, who cares for the animals in the castle stable. Their love for each other is intense, but during these tumultuous times they are torn apart by duty, by orders, and by the enemy. They have so much in common, yet there are also incidents that divide them.

Award winning author Nancy Blanton's intense historical research creates a forceful drama, shedding light on aspects of human nature that transcend any period of time. The author highlights events, military strategies, and the emotions of those caught up in this lifetime. Other books in the series of historical novels are also set in 17th century Ireland. Nancy Blanton's vision is for a literate world that values, shares and learns from the stories of generations that went before, and honors them by living with respect and compassion, refusing to repeat the mistakes of the past so that things like human brutality, greed-driven wars and preventable famines no longer exist. Check out the the website nancyblanton.com for more information about the author. Hear more from the author herself on the YouTube podcast A Novel Talk with Nancy Blanton.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Check Into Murder At The Galvez

 

Murder At The Galvez

A Sydney Lockhart Mystery

By Kathleen Kaska.


Reporter Sydney Lockhart travels back to Galvesto, Texas to cover a story about the conference on the Pelican Island development. It's an emotional topic, but Sydney's biggest concern is avoiding the family drama surrounding her parents who live nearby, as they plan their upcoming wedding. That's a mystery of its own. Sydney checks into the Galvez hotel, an iconic and historic place where Sydney's grandfather worked, and eighteen years ago was murdered. Haunted by the unsolved murder and the family history at the Galvez, Sydney is also unnerved by mysterious phone messages telling her to get out. The reporting assignment takes an unexpected turn when the keynote speaker goes missing, and a surprise is found in the trunk of Sydney's car, a dead body. Sydney has no explanation.

Sydney must act fast to prove her innocence and to defend herself from anonymous threats. She has an assortment of suspects to investigate. Following the clues, is she crazy to think the current mystery is connected to her grandfather's death years ago? Is this intrigue years in the making? When Sydney calls on her cousin for help the results are unpredictable. Fortunately both of them have a great sense of humor, which delights readers as much as their antics discovering clues.

This book, Murder At The Galvez, is author Kathleen Kaska's third in the Sydney Lockhart series. Sydney is a dynamic character with a sarcasm and life outlook that bites and is often revealing. Juggling her extended family's reckless demands, against dire threats, Sydney is a woman of action which makes this book a fast and fascinating, fun read. Her cousin Rachel is one of my favorites in the cast, and all the suspects have their own perspectives and motives, revealed in tantalizing ways. The star of the story is the historic Galvez, and its secrets.

Author Kathleen Kaska says she began writing her Sydney Lockhart Mystery Series—set in historic hotels during the fifties, of course—to say and do things I would “never try at home.” When not writing, she spends much of her time traveling the country’s back roads and byways; bird-watching; and looking for new locales for her mysteries. Learn more about this author and all her books at kathleenkaska.com.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

A Coat Dyed Black - Echoes Through The Soul

 

A Coat Dyed Black

A Novel of the Norwegian Resistance

By Don Pugnetti Jr.


A powerful story. A Coat Dyed Black is a tremendous tribute that doesn't just tug at the heart, it echoes through the soul. What a sensitive and harrowing view of human nature, fighting against the odds in a man made disaster. Bjorn Erliksen is a young man with a peaceful, idyllic life ahead of him, farming land he inherited from his father on Norway's west coast. He didn't know that another World War would erupt all over his beautiful country. As the Nazi's take over every aspect of life and demand support from civilians including taking their farm animals and harvests, fear and force pit neighbor against neighbor and trust puts all life at risk.

Norway fights back, and Bjorn joins up with the untrained, courageous young troops. They quickly lose. Having been part of the Resistance is not something to show, so Bjorn dies his army green military coat black, to hide it and to keep it, just as he hides his continuing resistance. Bjorn and many of those who fought are haunted by the question, why did we survive when others didn't?

His continuing, underground fight is inspired for his loved ones, and also for the many brave, nameless defenders who died fighting the invaders. Bjorn enters the dangerous life of a secret Norwegian commando. Their training is intense, and dangerous. Their assignments are critical, deadly and meant to find any and all ways to hinder or stop the Nazi efforts. Complacency, carelessness, bad decisions result in torture, possibly death for the secret combatant and all associated with them. Bjorn had no idea that would include his high school sweetheart, the love of his life, as the Resistance reunites them now several years later.

Author Don Pugnetti Jr. writes a story of war that brings the reader into the conflict. Not only into the battle, but into the soul's torment for what is lost, and debates over what they know they must do but never imagined they would. The triumphs, and the desperate struggles, these characters are so relatable. They are you, your brother, your sister, your friends, defending themselves against an ultimate force that's ready to destroy anything in their way on their thirst for power. You'll hope for these characters, cry for them, cheer for them.

The true history of these brave Norwegians is well researched. The facts and setting, events and people that inspired this incredible book are expertly and artfully woven throughout this fictional account. It reads as a page turner story, based on the most fascinating historic facts, people, and events. The Coat Dyed Black, carried by a character who sees the best in the human race, and the worst, and impacted by it all for a lifetime.

Don Pugnetti Jr. has had a decades long career in journalism, public relations, and public affairs, including eighteen years as a newspaper reporter and editor. He's served as policy advisor and speechwriter for a statewide elected official and has taught university level news writing and communications.