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The Way to Remember Book Review

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Set in New England at the time of the American Bicentennial, The Way to Remember is the poignant story of a displaced young woman struggling to figure out who she is within the context of her hometown and the carefully masked dysfunction of her family.

About The Way to Remember

Set in New England at the time of the American Bicentennial, The Way to Remember is the poignant story of a displaced young woman struggling to figure out who she is within the context of her hometown and the carefully masked dysfunction of her family.

“Everything can be fixed by writing a check.” Words to live by for Robin Fortune’s wealthy father, until he can’t buy her way back into college after she’s expelled for dealing pot. Now he chooses not to speak to her anymore, but that’s just one of the out-of-whack situations Robin’s facing. At nineteen, she feels rudderless, working in a diner by day and sleeping with a buddy from high school by night – all so strange for her because she was always the one with the plan. While her college friends plotted how to ensnare husbands, she plotted a novel, which she scratched out into a series of spiral-bound notebooks she hides in the closet. But now, there’s nothing. No vision, no future, no point. In fact, the only thing she feels she has to look forward to is that her favorite author, Maryana Capture, is paying a visit to the local Thousand Words bookstore. Robin surmises that if she can convince Maryana to help her get her novel published, she’ll finally get herself back on track. Except that life never takes a straight path in this intensely satisfying coming-of-age novel.

My Thoughts

Robin, who has led a very privileged life, is very much like any other young woman (and man) in their early adult years. She craves freedom, and not the type of freedom that sees her friends moving from their family home into marriage but the type of freedom that sees her on her own, independent and self-reliant. One bad decision (or multiple bad decisions but only caught once), sees her expelled from college despite her Father attempting to use his own influence and wealth to see her remain there.

She returns to her hometown a bit battered but fighting. I loved how she refuses to return to the family home (although she still has a bit of her Father’s help) and instead decides to work as a waitress to support herself. She does this while dreaming of one day being a successful author as she continues to work on her very first novel. What follows is a whirlwind of events and people entering her life – some of whom are helpful, some of whom take advantage of her youth and trusting nature and a slew of life lessons for Robin (and those around her).

I loved watching Robin develop during this story. She is very much your typical young adult who is incredibly trusting and kind. She makes rash decisions and puts her trust in her others, who do not always have her best interests at heart. It was the ultimate betrayal by someone she respected, that really helped Robin open her eyes to the world around her and force her to take a stand. Robin learns so much about life, judging others, relationships and independence in this novel.

The Way to Remember was an excellent novel from start to finish. I loved the tone, the way it was written and the well developed characters. You will love reading this novel cuddled up under the covers with a hot cup of coffee this fall.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4/5

About the Author

Martha Reynolds was raised in Rhode Island, spent a year of college in Switzerland, and is always planning a return visit. She completed an accomplished career as a fraud investigator and decided it was time to do something she really liked.

She now writes full-time and has set a personal goal of releasing a book a year until she dies. Her writing has appeared in Magnificat magazine and her very short poem was read by journalist Connie Schultz during NPR’s Tell Me More poetry challenge.

Her novel VILLA DEL SOL won the 2018 Book Award in Literary Fiction by the Independent Publishers of New England.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Moon is Missing Spotlight Tour

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From Jenni Ogden, author of multiple-award-winning A DROP IN THE OCEAN, comes a page-turning tale of family secrets and mother–daughter conflict set in London, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and on a remote and spectacular island off the coast of New Zealand.

About The Moon is Missing

A daughter who cries “Who am I?”
A mother who can’t tell her…
A hurricane called Katrina…
A family secret exposed…
An island at the bottom of the world.

From Jenni Ogden, author of multiple-award-winning A DROP IN THE OCEAN, comes a page-turning tale of family secrets and mother–daughter conflict set in London, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and on a remote and spectacular island off the coast of New Zealand.

Georgia Grayson has perfected the art of being two people: a neurosurgeon on track to becoming the first female Director of Neurosurgery at a large London hospital, and a wife and mother. Home is her haven where, with husband Adam’s support, she copes with her occasional anxiety attacks. That is until her daughter, 15-year-old Lara, demands to know more about Danny, her mysterious biological father from New Orleans who died before she was born. “Who was he? Why did he die? WHO AM I?” Trouble is, Georgia can’t tell her. As escalating panic attacks prevent her from operating, and therapy fails to bring back the memories she has repressed, fractures rip through her once happy family. Georgia sees only one way forward; to return to New Orleans where Danny first sang his way into her heart, and then to the rugged island where he fell to his death. Somehow she must uncover the truth Lara deserves, whatever the cost.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BAM and Indiebound.

You can purchase an audiobook on GooglePlay, Chirp, Scribd, Kobo, Walmart, hibooks, Audiobooks and Apple.

About the Author

Jenni Ogden and her husband live off-grid on spectacular Great Barrier Island, 100 kms off the coast of New Zealand, a perfect place to write and for grandchildren to spend their holidays. Winters are spent near a beach in Far North Tropical Queensland. Jenni’s debut novel, ‘A Drop in the Ocean’, won multiple awards and has sold over 80,000 copies. As a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist, she is well-known for her books featuring her patients’ moving stories:’Fractured Minds: A Case-Study Approach to Clinical Neuropsychology’, and ‘Trouble In Mind: Stories from a Neuropsychologist’s Casebook’. Please visit her author website, sign up for her e-newsletter, and friend and follow her everywhere.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

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Minute Zero (Stronghold Book 1) Spotlight Tour

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When the world ends in a heartbeat, suddenly old secrets don’t matter anymore. But new ones still do, and protecting the ones you love is the only thing that still remains.

About Minute Zero

Two sisters, one a trendy caterer on the run from a vicious killer, the other a country midwife. Because of a simple mistake, Lori Dovner must flee from the vicious mafioso Raoul Saldata, and her life goes from routine day to terrifying journey in a single moment. On the road with her two children, her only goal is to get to her sister’s Montana farm alive. But both Lori and Louise have been hiding a devastating secret for years.

Two brothers, one a Navy Seal on leave, the other a good man who wants to do right by his family. Captain Deacon Hale is taking two weeks to help his brother Roger and his wife Louise on their remote Montana farm. He loved Lori once, but has finally put her behind him. Roger Hale just wants to give his pregnant wife and two young children a good life. He has no idea about the betrayals that have been hidden from him.

Dangerous Identity.

Angela Jones is an FBI agent with a terrible debt that she knows she will someday have to pay. And when Raoul Saldata calls in that marker she has no choice but to comply.

Evil Incarnate.

Raoul Saldata as a child in Albania, would pretend he was a dhampir, the offspring resulting from the mating between a human female and a vampire. A myth of course, but the evil Saldata practices is anything but. And when he finds Lori Dovner, he intends to do a lot more than just kill her.

MINUTE ZERO (Stronghold: Book One) is an apocalyptic EMP thriller (with a touch of romance) about an ordinary family struggling to stay safe and find each other in the face of insurmountable odds, an abysmal loss of life and the dawn of a new, post-apocalyptic dark age.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

About the Author

Could it happen?  Would you survive?

Chris Jayne is author of the apocalyptic EMP series “Stronghold.” 

Jayne is also the penname of a USA Today bestselling romance and thriller author who is has started asking “what if?”  What if the lights go off?  What if the food supply chain just… stops?   The world could become an unfriendly place in a hurry.

Three years ago, Chris began exploring the “prepper” lifestyle, and hopes that if TEOTWAWKI would actually happen, she would be in a position to protect her family and loved ones. 

She now spends her days splitting her time between her romance writing and her apocalyptic and dystopian fiction novels. Because what’s more fun than imagining the end of the world from the comfort of your couch?  And if the end of the world has a few sexy Navy Seals in it?  All the better!

She loves writing stories exploring how ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances, especially situations where the normal comforts, conveniences, and rules are stripped away.

You can connect with her on her website.

The Giveaway!

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Queen of the Owls Spotlight

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A chance meeting with a charismatic photographer will forever change Elizabeth’s life.

About Queen of the Owls

A chance meeting with a charismatic photographer will forever change Elizabeth’s life. Until she met Richard, Elizabeth’s relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe and her little-known Hawaii paintings was purely academic. Now it’s personal. Richard tells Elizabeth that the only way she can truly understand O’Keeffe isn’t with her mind―it’s by getting into O’Keeffe’s skin and reenacting her famous nude photos. In the intimacy of Richard’s studio, Elizabeth experiences a new, intoxicating abandon and fullness. It never occurs to her that the photographs might be made public, especially without her consent. Desperate to avoid exposure―she’s a rising star in the academic world and the mother of young children―Elizabeth demands that Richard dismantle the exhibit. But he refuses. The pictures are his art. His property, not hers. As word of the photos spreads, Elizabeth unwittingly becomes a feminist heroine to her students, who misunderstand her motives in posing. To the university, however, her actions are a public scandal. To her husband, they’re a public humiliation. Yet Richard has reawakened an awareness that’s haunted Elizabeth since she was a child―the truth that cerebral knowledge will never be enough. Now she must face the question: How much is she willing to risk to be truly seen and known?

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Indiebound.

About the Author

BARBARA LINN PROBST is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, living on an historic dirt road in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her debut novel QUEEN OF THE OWLS (April 2020) is the powerful story of a woman’s search for wholeness, framed around the art and life of iconic American painter Georgia O’Keeffe. Endorsed by best-selling authors including Christina Baker Kline and Caroline Leavitt, QUEEN OF THE OWLS was selected as one of the twenty most anticipated books of 2020 by Working Mother, a debut novel “too good to ignore” by Bustle, and “one of the best new novels to read during the quarantine” by Parade Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. It won the bronze medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publishers Association, placed first runner-up in general fiction for the Eric Hoffer Award, and was short-listed for the $2500 Grand Prize. Barbara has a PhD in clinical social work and blogs for several award-winning sites for writers.

You can connect with her on her website, Instagram and Facebook.

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Disclosure: This is a spotlight post, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure

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Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure is what Doreen Cumberford, a Scottish author, calls her learnoire! It is a combination of her story and the stories of other expats learned while living in Saudi Arabia for 15 years as expat employees or spouses.

About Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure

Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure is what Doreen Cumberford, a Scottish author, calls her learnoire! It is a combination of her story and the stories of other expats learned while living in Saudi Arabia for 15 years as expat employees or spouses. The book takes the reader through the four stages of culture shock: arrival, honeymoon, frustration and adjustment stages to final acceptance followed by the return journey back to their home country – mostly the USA. From Saudi weddings, to falconry, to the inability of women to drive at that time, the book seeks to familiarize us with the Saudi culture, lifestyle, and deep traditions of hospitality, generosity and tolerance from an insider’s perspective. There are also chapters on the experiences of 9/11 in the terrorists’ home country and the “Terror Years” of internal terror tactics from inside Saudi Arabia designed to drive the expats out of the country and destroy the Saudi government. Full of examples, stories and compelling honesty the author describes their most challenging journey and many of the lessons learned in the process together. Designed to provide useful insights and inspiration to anyone considering living abroad, Life in the Camel Lane shines the light on the subject of building a new identity and home while abroad, and the difficulties of the journey home.

My Thoughts

Life in the Camel Lane shares Doreen’s (and many other women just like her) story about life abroad in the Middle East – adjusting to a new environment, culture, way of life while still trying to maintain a little bit of their own culture and sense of ‘home’.

Doreen embraced change and adventure (not for the first time) when she decided to move with her husband to Saudi Arabia. I love how she breaks down her choice and how she tackled it head on. I can’t even begin to imagine the preparation and planning that went in to this move (the items to move with them, to stay in the US, etc..). I found it really interesting how she broke up the different stages of this type of life event: arrival, honeymoon, frustration, adjustment. She also includes many stories of other women in the same position as her which gives an even greater appreciation of the culture, the experience and what these families go through. I always pictured in my mind this glamorous experience but many times throughout the book you realized this was not so (the trailers leaking, shared phones, booking phone times!). I have such great respect for the families that work abroad, I always thought I could do this but now reading this, I am not sure I am quite brave enough! These moments spent abroad would definitely give you a greater appreciation of family, life and culture.

I loved the way she wrote the most – she shared her experiences for what they were. There was no judgement, nor criticism of any part of the culture, people or experiences she had in Saudi Arabia. She shared them exactly as they happened and what she and others experienced. Some of the scariest parts were just after 9/11 and still she approached them with respect and compassion.

This is a well written book that covers Doreen’s time spent in Saudi Arabia, sharing not only her story but the stories of many women just like her who chose adventure. It is full of appreciation, understanding and bravery. I enjoyed every moment reading about her experiences.

You can purchase a copy of this book here.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Doreen Cumberford is a Scottish expat author who has been global traveler for more than four decades. In her 20s Doreen left her home in Scotland and drove down to London to become a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Her first posting was as the youngest and most junior British Embassy staffer in Cameroon, West Africa. Later she moved back to London and took a position with an American oil-field construction company based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. After moving to America, living in Louisiana then California, two extremely different cultures in the USofA, Doreen and family moved overseas to Japan then spent the following 15 years in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With 13 major moves under her belt, she understands the value of moving, building a new life and handling inter-cultural hurdles. One constant has been her ability to explore through the lens of adventure. Her stories are full of multi-cultural intelligence, messy multilingual communications and multi-global perspectives. Doreen is currently based on Denver, Colorado although spends most of the year living adventurously in the Housesitting Lane, which takes her around the globe. Currently she is doing her best to install Spanish in her brain which previously had French and smatterings of Japanese and Arabic. She is passionate about cultural intelligence, global heartedness and life on the road. Featured in the Anthology: Empowering Women, and a co-author in 2018 of Arriving Well: Stories About Identity, Belonging and Rediscovering Home After Living Abroad. 2020 sees the publication of Life in the Camel Lane: Embrace the Adventure. Honest, compassionate, full of wisdom and inspiration, Life in the Camel Lane comprises stories mostly from women and men who lived in Saudi Arabia from 1950s onward. This memoir contains expert advice sage wisdom and stories that all globally mobile families can use to navigate their international journey. The principles in this book will also encourage anyone who is embracing a more adventurous life, or considering taking the leap to move overseas.

You can connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

The Giveaway!

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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