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FINDING LIBBIE: A Novel ~Deanna Lynn Sletten

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

‘Happily Ever After’ is the start point of this review and my sharing about this author.  It is a good love story nicely written and was a grand rainy weekend read – very much on the sweet side!

Emily Prentice is busy helping her grandmother pack up the farmhouse and move into the city and a new townhouse.  Emily has taken a job as a clerk in a clothing store and put her plans on hold to help her boyfriend Jordan get his schooling completed right through his doctorate and as she helps her grandmother she is pondering where the relationship is heading and if she wants to make “those” changes to her life.  The two women find an old hat box in one of the closets that is full of old photographs of Emily’s father and his first wife!  What a discovery and it leads to a full story of figuring out what happened and how life sometimes does not turn out the way that one expects it.

FINDING LIBBIE is about high school sweethearts from two different sides of the social divides.  Jack and Libbie fall in love during their senior year of High School.  Jack is working a number of jobs because he wishes to go to school to be a certified mechanic.  Libbie is the high school sweetheart; Homecoming Queen and well cared for younger daughter.  Jack’s family lives on a farm, everyone works hard and they are friendly and well liked.  Libbie’s mother has lots of “episodes” and her older sister Gwen takes care of her Mother and her own husband and child.  Libbie is sensitive and no one is expecting her to go to college, have a career or work.  That is okay with Libbie because she just wants to marry Jack.  They celebrate a lovely wedding day with family and friends.

The story turns darker with discoveries about alcoholism, pill addiction, financial concerns and just plain hard work and exhaustion.  Libbie begins to have her own episodes and begins her own regime of self-medication.  Car accidents, hitting and hospitalizations now the secrets begin to fly out of control.  The couple is parted.

Emily just must find out what happened to Libbie after she hears the story and she is persistent, which creates an clever story on it’s own and as Emily pursues her own future begins to take shape and she takes hold of her own life.

Happily Ever After is good in this story and just left this reader pleased to have spent the weekend reading.  I think others will like it very much and particularly those who are ready for Happily Ever After endings.

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“Deanna Lynn Sletten grew up on the sunny coast of Southern California before moving to northern Minnesota as a teenager. Her interest in writing novels was sparked in a college English class, and she has been writing in some form or another ever since. In 2011, Deanna self-published her first novel and has since published several more, both on her own and with Lake Union Publishing.

Deanna enjoys writing heartwarming women’s fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes readers on the adventure of a lifetime. She believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, magic, and happily ever after—all of which are reflected in her novels.
Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian shepherd or relaxing on her boat in the summer.” (TLC)

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THE WHISKEY SEA: A Novel ~Ann Howard Creel

Monday, September 5th, 2016

A fictional story wrapped around a piece of American History taking us to the New Jersey Shore and a young woman’s life during Prohibition.  It is a story of tenacity and perseverance, which brings a future and hope to a newly established family.  I think Young adult readers and possibly some middle school readers will really enjoy this story.

Della Hope a single mother trying to make it by being a prostitute dies from an infection and leaves 2 young girls, Beatrice still a baby and Frieda who might be 4 or 5 years of age.  After the police remove the body of their mother the girls are left on the street and along comes a “clammer” named Silver.  He feeds the children and then when he sees no one else, he takes the children home.  Silver has never visited a prostitute or worked for illegal gain and he cherishes the children keeping them safe and allowing them to grow and thrive.  Frieda remains strongly protective and feels that she must provide for Bea’s future and eventually Silver’s care also.

Frieda has not done well in school and she feels the sharp criticism of her schoolmates.  After graduation, she sets her mind on being a clammer, except Silver sells his boat when he can no longer go to sea.  Frieda decides to learn how to fix the boat engines and her small town finds some acceptance of a woman with her special skills in repair.   It is very hard to earn enough money to pay for all the needs and Frieda wants to send Bea to College so she can become a teacher.   She is enticed to become a rum runner and tend to the boats that go out in the night to supply private clubs and taverns with liquor.  It is very dangerous and the boats are always working on being ahead of the coast guard and pirates.  The New Yorkers in their private clubs can see the rum runners and the ocean resting delivery ships.

Frieda succumbs to the call of the money and soon has enough to hire a caregiver for Silver and purchase a new roof, clothing and schooling for Bea.   Just one more run…

The story is a fast read and although it does not explain a great deal about the history of the law, it does talk a great deal about surviving in difficult circumstances and when all the ways are cut off as an avenue for escaping into a better future.  There is a lovely love story tucked into the plot and lots of questioning and soul searching.   It is a fine read.

TLC Book Tours sent this advance reading copy to me for review and my e-copy was a good weekend read.  Thank you

The Kindle copy of this book is free at Amazon as I am writing this review!

Ann Howard Creel was born in Austin, Texas, and worked as a registered nurse before becoming a full-time writer.  She is the author of numerous children’s and young adult books as well as fiction for adults.  Her children’s books have won several awards, and her novel THE MAGIC OF ORDINARY DAYS was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS.  Creel currently lives and writes in Chicago.”

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ABOUT A GIRL: A novel ~International Bestselling Author Lindsey Kelk

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

“Hilarious and madcap but full of heart for a heroine we can all love,  ABOUT A GIRL is the perfect summer read!”  (cover)


ABOUT A GIRL just unleashes the problems to be resolved right away and never lets up on the action or the reactions that Tess Brookes needs to resolve.  After being downsized from her career making ad agency job, she then sleeps with best male friend she has been hoping to connect with for 10 years only to discover he has already had sex and a weekend away with her incredibly awful flat mate.  Life is just too tough to deal with and to cope with when along comes an impulsive idea which gives Tess her first out of the trauma and into a bigger pressure point and interesting adventure.

Her flat mate’s agent calls with a photography job in Hawaii and she has gone some place else for the week without the camera.  It is actually Tess’ camera, which she scoops up and along with roomies clothing and heads off to Hawaii to do the assignment and complete the fashion shoot.

I think I always wished something wonderful like this adventure would happen to me when I was pink slipped at a job.    The book was a happy escape and would make a great beach read anytime.  Lots of banter between characters, some great comic relief and all served up with the beauty and party atmosphere of the young and wealthy in an island paradise.   Plenty of sexual tension and references to keep everyone interested and lots of fashion advice and assistance for the plainer figure of Tess the creative.   The drinking was a bit over the top and reflected the roommate not the loyal and hardworking, talented Tess, who was having fun playing a different role.

I liked that Tess actually bumped into her next career move by her actions and then was able to save the day when an island storm ruined the shoot.   She took her own ideas and spoke and photographed her concepts and found success.  You will need to read WHAT A GIRL WANTS  to find out what Tess decides to do next Milan and Nick or Charlie and London?

TLC Book Tours sent me an advanced readers edition of ABOUT A GIRL. I enjoyed the book for the great escape it offered me and the whimsical content.  It made me laugh and was not heavy or suspenseful – just great fun.

I believe a number of 30 something’s would really enjoy this read and I recommend it to those young women in a career slump after college.

About Lindsey Kelk

“Lindsey Kelk is a writer and children’s book editor. When she isn’t writing, reading, listening to music, or watching more TV than is healthy, Lindsey likes to wear shoes, shop for shoes, and judge the shoes of others. Born in England, Lindsey loves living in New York but misses Sherbet Fountains, London, and drinking gin and elderflower cocktails with her friends. Not necessarily in that order. Find out more about Lindsey at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram  (from TLC tours page)”

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