Home Recommended Reading Workshops About RSS

WAIT FOR THE RAIN: A Daphne White Novel ~Maria Murnane

May 15th, 2017

Ready for a fun story about friends who decide to reconnect 20 years after college?  WAIT FOR THE RAIN is a good choice. The friends readjust their priorities, head off to a Caribbean Island, relax and see the future with fresh eyes. One character is recovering from divorce and finds new confidence.  It is a very fun read and it made me think about an island vacation for myself. Good friends are the best.

“Maria Murnane is a former PR Executive who abandoned a successful career to pursue a more fulfilling life.  She is the bestselling author of CASSIDY LANE, KATWALK, PERFECT ON PAPER, IT’S A WAVERLY LIFE, HONEY ON YOUR MIND, and CHOCOLATE FOR TWO, which garnered a stared review in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.  Originally from California, she now lives in Brooklyn. “ (Book cover)

Maria Murnane Web
Maria Murnane Facebook

Skylar, KC, and Daphne were college roommates and the “Three Musketeers” in college and they lost track of each other, as their lives got very busy.  They have decided to spend a week together to celebrate turning 40 and renew their friendship.  Daphne has a 15-year-old daughter and is freshly divorced and concerned about a new stepmom coming into the picture.  KC is just married 5 years ago and is now a stepmom to two nearly 20-year-old sons. KC is very much the athletic member of the gathering.  Skylar moved into a rewarding and lucrative career in marketing and travels a great deal.  Each is working towards shining the best light on becoming 40 and being their optimum best.

The writing is clear and provides good dialogue allowing the reader to join into the events and activities.  I particularly liked the inner dialogue sharing of Daphne’s doubts and worries; it provided insight and demonstrated how she needed to change the old inner dialogue for new thinking to make change happen.

Nice moments of romance and achievement while the trio explored new boundaries and the old ties that bind.  The descriptions of their retreat center and activities just added to the fun – a little luxury is often a good thing to experience.  A nice best friends story and I enjoyed the read very much – WAIT FOR THE RAIN

Related:
A Remarkable Kindness
Another Brooklyn


THE PROMISE OF PIERSON ORCHARD: A Novel ~Kate Brandes

May 8th, 2017

THE PROMISE OF PIERSON ORCHARD is a mix of environmental issues and how small town land owners are coping with their reduced circumstances in Pennsylvania.  The tale is wrapped around two brothers who love the same woman and were abandoned by their mother.  I was hopeful about the story and about the premise.  The descriptions were good and one could feel the trauma that the town was experiencing clearly.

The gas company, ironically called Green Energy (What a fraud – like clean coal! Good choice by the author to point out another deception) and they are purchasing lease agreements to drill for gas, pay the landowners and also do fracking within each field.  With the loss of coal production in the area, the town’s people are desperate for income and futures, many sign up for lease agreements right away.  Then occurs an accident and bad weather.

One brother is trying to save his family orchard and his wife is adopting organic measures for her section of the trees.  They want their water to remain clean.  One brother is trying to sell the gas leases.  The boys’ mother, now an environmental lawyer is called upon to help folks understand and provide a solution and reconnect with her sons.  THE PROMISE OF PIERSON ORCHARD is a warm, sweet story with a bundle of deceptions.  Maybe a good Midwest story but not a very promising educational story for those who have been working on the environment and Greening our world – too wishy, washy.

Several reviewers related the story to Barbara Kingslover’s PRODICAL SUMMER; I can only feel a slight connection.  Whereas SUMMER really did dig deeply into the community feelings and frustrations, it truly added the ballast of how to help minds change and move towards reconciliation of old beliefs, economic frustrations, and the work that needs doing to protect an environmental future that “wins” for everyone – especially the earth.   Then again maybe many readers will enjoy this story because of the “love” story and the infertility issues of the main couple?   Would the story be a helpful teacher towards the environmental issues? I just do not know.

A TLC Book Tours review book.  Definitely in the Women’s Fiction category, a good read – THE PROMISE OF PIERSON ORCHARD

About the Author:

An environmental scientist with 20 years of experience, Kate Brandes is also a watercolor painter and a writer of women’s fiction with an environmental bent. Her short stories have been published in The Binnacle, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Grey Sparrow Journal. Kate is a member of the Arts Community of Easton (ACE), the Lehigh Art Alliance, Artsbridge, the Pennwriters, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Kate lives in a small town along the Delaware River with her husband, David, and their two sons. When she’s not working, she’s outside on the river or chasing wild flowers.

Kate Brandes Facebook
Kate Brandes Web
Kate Brandes Twitter

Related:
Flight Behavior
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Integrity


CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH: A Novel ~Colleen Oakley

May 1st, 2017

CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH is a story with a marvelous and well-detailed main character.  Jubilee Jenkins will just draw the reader in and hold on for ‘dear life’- line by line of her story.  Jubilee has a rare medical problem and has become a recluse in order to cope and survive.   The reader will be touched by Jubilee’s entrance into your world, and then as two more souls enter her story, one will find love actualized.  Each new character grows a more complete experience to enjoy and mull and adds spice to life, fixing perceptions anew like a strong cup of tea.

This story resonated with me and gave me a bit of a sprint in my steps as I have developed food problems over the years, which do not allow me to comfortably eat other people’s food.  This isolates a person from regular routines and many social activities; others think you are weird or strange and don’t try to get to know you or understand.

CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH is both Genre Fiction (Uses plot to tell you a story about someone else’s life) and Classic Fiction (Uses characterizations to tell you a story about yourself.)  It is complete in it’s rendering of this interesting human and in it’s revealing ‘the self’ to the reader.  I can not imagine any one who would not like this story.  A story well told.

TLC Book Tours: Close Enough to Touch

CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH is a 5 Star read.

About Colleen Oakley

Colleen Oakley is an Atlanta-based writer and author of the novel Before I Go. Her articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Before she was a freelance writer, Colleen was editor in chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor at Marie Claire. Close Enough to Touch is her second novel.

Colleen Oakley Facebook
Colleen Oakley Twitter
Colleen Oakley Web

Related:
By the Wayside
The Eagle Tree
The Paper Garden


NOTE TO SELF: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth ~Laurie Buchanan, PhD

April 24th, 2017

NOTE TO SELF is the book I chose to begin the year 2017.  I have a consistent habit for the last 24 years of choosing a book that will facilitate self-realization and change within myself.  I also added the revised edition of THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF by Dr. Bruce Lipton to my studies, and procured a new spiral notebook; setting aside a time each day for this activity.  The timing must have been just right, as though I was one of the three bears or Goldilocks, and this has proven to be a superior combination of study materials and activity for me.  I have successfully made some changes that I have been longing for during the past three months.  I hope my words will be an inspiration for others to find this book for your future self to enjoy.

“The baggage we carry on life’s journey is tied to a specific self, its core characteristic, an associated wellness, and a shadow side.  These include:

  1. Self-preservation, survival, physical wellness, and self-destruction
  2. Self-gratification, pleasure, occupational wellness, and self-denial
  3. Self-definition, personal power, social wellness, and self-importance
  4. Self-acceptance, love, emotional wellness, and self-rejection
  5. Self-expression, creativity, environmental wellness, and self-repression
  6. Self-reflection, intuition, intellectual wellness, and self-absorption
  7. Self-knowledge, divine connection, spiritual wellness, and self-unawareness

“As a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach, I work with a wide range of clients – from young children to seniors and every age in between.  My specific areas of focus are energy medicine, inner alchemy (personal transformation), and spiritual awareness. “  Laurie’s opening words.

Buchanan is a minimalist in her life and in her expressions and writing.  Extremely positive with major portions of reality and optimism; research is surrounded with anecdotal stories which combine to form opportunity to take another step and then another.  The explanations are clear with no mask of poetic confusion.  All this with appropriate quotes found in the right places. There are lots of whimsical moments that are guaranteed to bring release. The end of the book is marked by the inclusion of 365 questions to send you to your journal and pinpoint one’s thinking for a whole year of focus.

“Each ‘key’ chapter includes ten sections:

  • Mind-Body Connection
  • Color Therapy
  • Diet
  • Aromatherapy
  • Affirmations
  • The Business of Being
  • Breathwork
  • Wellness Inventory and Vitality Check
  • Action Steps
  • Personal energy Signature”

After finishing one segment I literally saw orange everywhere I looked and it gave me an insight into the South African woman who previously owed my house who was a gardener at heart.

“Creativity is more than the capacity to be inventive or innovative.  It’s more than the ability to create great works of art, music, or dance.  Creativity is an inherent tool that’s needed for wellness.”

What is your mission?  How do you love yourself?  Have you outgrown the old rules that you adhere to?  Where do you feel powerful?  What is your favorite moment of joy?  What are you holding on and carrying with you?

I have followed Laurie Buchanan on her Blog – Tuesdays With Laurie www.tuesdayswithlaurie.com for a number of years, and Laurie is the most faithful commenter on my blog reviews.  I admire her spunk, guidance, and joy filled attitude.   I highly recommend this book to all – NOTE TO SELF.

Laurie Buchanan Facebook

“While we are all passengers on a planet called Earth, we can choose to enhance the way in which we travel-emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically.  In fact, we can, through the pages of this book, discover new ways to travel that are lighter, more fluid, and life-enhancing.  The author, a wise and dedicated traveler, is also the right kind of guide – caring, inspiring, uplifting, knowledgeable – for your journey of self-discovery.  I recommend this tremendous book to anyone seeking the companionship of good energy and joyful presence.”
-D.A. Hickman, author of THE SILENCE OF MORNING: A Memoir of Time Undone.

Related:
The Silence of Morning
The Myths of Happiness
New: Understanding our need for novelty and change