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SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS: A Captivating Story about Sisters, Secrets, and Second Chances ~Susan Mallery

Monday, July 31st, 2017

SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS turned out to be one terrific read and I learned lots about how to grow tulips and had no idea it was so difficult and so important for Christmas time.  I just thought tulips were wonderfully beautiful field trip destination in the northern climes of my state.  The stunning beauty of the tulip fields was a delightful location for a story about secrets and romance.  Actually, it is three romances all wrapped up into one family and one good and interesting read.

About Susan Mallery

Susan Mallery is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of books about the relationships that define women’s lives—romance, friendship, family. With compassion and humor, Susan keenly observes how people think and feel, in stories that take readers on an emotional journey. Sometimes heartbreaking, often funny, and always uplifting, Susan’s books have spent more than 200 weeks on the USA Today bestsellers list, thanks to her ever growing legions of fans.

Critics, too, have heaped praise on “the new queen of romantic fiction.” (Walmart) Booklist says, “Romance novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor, and superb storytelling,” and RT Book Reviews puts her “in a class by herself!”

Although Susan majored in Accounting, she never worked as an accountant because she was published straight out of college with two books the same month, January of 1992. Sixteen prolific years and seventy-four books later, she hit the New York Times bestsellers list for the first time with Accidentally Yours in 2008. She made many appearances in the Top 10 before (finally) hitting #1 in 2015 with Thrill Me, the twentieth book in her most popular series, the Fool’s Gold romances, and the fourth of five books released that year.

Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, two ragdoll cats, and a tattletale toy poodle. Her heart for animals has led Susan to become an active supporter of the Seattle Humane Society. Animals play a big role in her books, as well, as she believes they’re an integral component to a happy life. (From TLC Website)

I believe that SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS might be based on a friend’s life story.  The mother in this story truly is just as awful and manipulative as my childhood friend’s mother although that woman kept her family on the move constantly. This mother left her family and stayed on the move herself.

Kelly has stayed at home working with her father on their tulip farm.  She works with fancy blooms and hybrids and she works long and hard.  Her love life is not very exciting and a small, rural town is not very good at supplying partners.  Her father kept the 15 and 12- year – old daughters after their mother left and Kelly just worked her best to keep everything on track.

Olivia went to boarding school and then on to college and followed an old high school boyfriend around for a while and then was invited to join her mother in her real estate business in Arizona.   That idea was not working out so well and Olivia felt a need to keep trying to find what she was good at and what she could do for a career.  She travels north to spend time with her father and sister.  This causes the sisters to rediscover each other and the secrets to fester.

The love of a couple of really good fellows allows the girls to face up to their situations and to free up the secrets; revealing good ol’ dad’s love interest and his desire to move forward with his life too.

My book groups do not read romance books, but I think each one of them would enjoy this story as they travel for the summer and as they relax on the beach.  I enjoyed this story at the ocean and that the story was interesting had substance and was not a huge bodice ripper with no real plot. One very well written sex scene was a good distraction.  A fun read for sure.  I would recommend THE SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS

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The Art Of The Sale: Learning From the Masters About the Business of Life ~Philip Delves Broughton

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

I am very enthusiastic about this book.  THE ART OF THE SALE is about change and success and I am always enthusiastic about those topics.   I picked up this book with the first opportunity that presented itself because I thought it was going to be a difficult read and I had lots of tasks to complete with so much company arriving at my house, I wanted guaranteed focused time.   I could hardly put the book down, it was a great read and so well written.

Mr. Broughton has traveled the globe interviewing the very top salesmen and women.  He believes that we are all sales people and that we all need to be sales people, because this is the basic way we connect to others in our world and it is how we get our needs met.  Here he tells the stories of how these individuals developed their skills and sharpened their talents.  It is fascinating.

At first I thought I should just recommend this book to bloggers and writers, because I think the stories and tools are such valuable lessons, then I slept on that idea and think this book is ideal for everyone.

“Sales is nothing more than the purely human ordeal of rejection and acceptance”

I have taken 2 marketing classes this past year and learned a great deal.  I am still not able to implement good marketing strategies into job interviews or marketing my blogs.   It is not that I do not believe in myself or my words, but marketing is big, big, big picture work; the salesman or saleswoman does the one on one work of promotion.  This is the ART OF THE CLOSE.    After reading this book, I realize that I have lots of knowledge about marketing, I am not fast enough in this environment, and to be truly successful at this business I will need to hire someone and I still have to learn how to be a good sales person because I am not a natural.

My youngest child is a natural and, as she says, #1.  I over talk myself and the customer out of the sale.  I do not know when to stop.  I try to convince folks.   I am not afraid of rejection and I can use it well to learn and grow, but I have to be too “honest” about what I am trying to sell.   I am not a good trickster or promiser and since I am working on selling “change” and releasing “fear”, I have chosen a very difficult market to reach.  I also do not have enough WANTS.   I have to teach my classes at University for a couple of years before I have a waiting list; folks think they know how to think and think ethically because they are not being arrested and the noise in their brains is running all the time.


“…being committed to finding a meaningful purpose in life, the belief that one can influence one’s surroundings and the outcome of events, and the belief that one can learn and grow from both positive and negative life experiences.”
“The folks with the most ‘no s’ made the most money.”
“ …this acceptance of rejection and failure as essential to building the muscle necessary for eventual success.”

The stories are about real people and how they succeeded at selling whether it was at street fairs, door to door, on a showroom floor, through big industries such as IBM, and Boeing right through to how to do Internet sales.   It takes a salesman or a saleswoman to close the deal that the marketing folks have set the stage for – you can only close if you meet the NEED of the other.

Martin Shanker asked the author during his interview this question: “What do you most want for your children? The answer, he told me [Broughton] after I fumbled to find my own, was this: the ability to meet their own needs.” “We want our children not merely to be self-sufficient, but to be able to meet the needs any human has in order to live a fulfilling life.”

Selling is about understanding and using your own needs and emotions to find fulfillment.

This book is very valuable information sharing.   Selling inspires thinking skills and faith, when one stops being told what to believe (formulas) and what to say and can truly think and act .   The Art Of The Sale  is what we will need when we give up playing games and being entertained, it is about the art of living life.

tlclogoI am grateful for TLC online book tours and The Penguin Press for sharing this book with me – It was eye opening and full of great information.

If you order anything from Amazon (including Kindle) or Powell’s or from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

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Code To Joy
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
Walter’s Muse