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I REGRET EVERYTHING: A Love Story ~Seth Greenland

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

“I don’t know that poets will ever have a public role again but for me poetry is something that must be read closely because the finest work demands a radical empathy.” (Unproofed, uncorrected copy page 91)

I REGRET EVERYTHING is a story I highly recommend to all readers.  Written by a poet and satirist, this novel is compact and complete in expressing it’s theme; the words are silken and clever all at the most wonderful pace.  The vulnerability, which is expressed between these two characters, is heart opening and magical in ways that make the reader empathize and want to know that depth of connection.

Jeremy Best is an estate lawyer in a huge firm in NYC; he wanted to be a writer/poet but his graduate school advisor damaged that possibility. He made poetry his secondary career and had several poems published in notable periodicals.  He had his life all planned out and safe, hoping to make partner in the firm and had not found a life partner at age 33.

Spaulding, the boss’s daughter, is 19 and has been in boarding school in Europe, came home and tried to commit suicide. She needs to be under care and on medications if her divorced parents have their way.  She would like to be a writer and a poet and while working at her father’s law firm she discovers that Mr. Best is a published poet.  She who is quirky and shy begins a friendship with Mr. Best and they text poetic lines to each other as she works on life and figuring out where she needs to be to go forward with her dream.

“By the time he finished the cake he was less vexed.  It’s truly amazing the power of knowing someone, somewhere, is willing to listen to you for free, to know you’re less alone than you think.  Isn’t that what everyone with a beating heart really wants?  To know they’re not alone.  When it started to get dark and I told him he had to go back to Connecticut he was too tired to argue.  We returned to my apartment to get his suitcase.”  Spaulding to younger step brother Marshall (Page 251)

I know that all good poetry needs to be read a number of times, as with this story.  There is so much to enjoy and one reading will not resolve all the dynamics into an evolution of thought or action.  I do not think I would like to see this story made into a movie the words are so crucial for me and the producers would change it into a plain old love story – banal and trite.   The words are so important – wondrous.

What does it mean to be alive?  What is this reference to no regrets at death and yet these evolved characters are having lives full of regrets and control?  The discovery of authentic self is dynamic at any age; toss in humor and WOW.

TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of this book for review and I am thankful.

About Seth Greenland (from TLC page)
Seth Greenland is a novelist, playwright, and a screenwriter. He was a writer-producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO series Big Love, is an award-winning playwright, and the author of the novels The Angry Buddhist, The Bones, and Shining City, which was named a Best Book of 2008 by the Washington Post. Greenland lives in Los Angeles with his family.
Seth Greenland Online
Seth Greenland Wikipedia

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STRINGS AND BONES: a Novel ~Kim Talon

Friday, October 31st, 2014

“You’re getting visits from…people, for lack of a better word, who left this earth.  Spiritually, at least.  I’m assuming bodies were buried or burned or whatever.  So where are they exactly?  And who’s in charge of this other place? And how can they just…you know…talk to you like that?” (Location 2351)


Please tweet and share this review. Thank you

STRINGS AND BONES is just the best Halloween read I could imagine sharing with you.  Kizzie is a 37 year old designer living in Toronto, Canada.  Her father was killed by a drunk driver just a few weeks before she was born into a small rural community not far from her current apartment in the big city.   When as a teenager, several “spirits” awakened her during the night to get messages to people who need to be reassured or make some changes in their lives because of the death of that spirit. These awakenings are very frightening; Kizzie is afraid to pass the messages to the recipients.  The voices quiet and now 17 years later they have begun again.  Kizzie is becoming anxious and suffering from insomnia.

Aggie, an art agent and Kizzie’s best friend since early childhood, begins to question the exhaustion and worry and listens to the situation that is producing these problems.   Aggie persuades Kizzie to deliver the messages and supports her through some angry reactions.  The young women also talk about their “love” lives or lack of and Aggie introduces a successful artist, Marshall, to her friend and life makes a big change.  The “professor” spirit shares some meaningful messages about life which are worthy messages for the living.

I have followed Talon on her blog for a long time and we have written letters and notes to each other in email and snail mail.  Her short stories are compact and amazing reads and her photography is on the cover of the Harvest Potluck free e-cookbook on this blog.  Kim’s recipe for apple crisp is in the cookbook and also mentioned in STRINGS and BONES.

Lovely read, I can highly recommend to my readers.  Some good scary moments and ideas shared, lots of meaningful conversations over a glass of wine; a group of well-developed characters which feel like friends – lots to enjoy in STRINGS AND BONES.

“Kim Talon is a writer, poet, professional photographer, and long-time blogger, residing in Ontario, Canada.  When not at the computer creating, she is found roaming the countryside, camera in hand, with her trusty Labradoodle, Charlie, at her side.”  (cover)

Kim Talon Blog

Kim Talon Twitter  @This_is_Talon
Pleased to announce in her own words 
Please tweet and share this review.  Thank you

I was so excited about STRINGS and BONES that I bought the book myself as an ebook read.   Lovely storytelling and beautiful words.

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ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE: A Novel ~Randy Susan Meyers

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

“There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help and what they cannot.”   (Plato)
“I think you have at least. Twenty-two things.  You shouldn’t be angry about. Everyday.”  (Page 296)


Randy Susan Meyers is a writer and a person who works with folks with domestic violence issues. ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE takes her excellent writing skills into this realm and tells us a story about a family which is developing serious violence issues and problems and how it is affecting the marriage and the children – the future.   The characters are quite well depicted and their responses to the situations and scenes are tremendously portrayed.   I read into the wee hours of the morning, because I could just not put the book down; I have thought about this story often since I finished the read and it just stays with me.

ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE is about a life changing year for the Illica family who live in Boston, MA area.  Maddy is the spirited social worker who is messy and forgetful (I think I might say stressed to the max trying to balance work and family) and vacillates between standing up to Ben’s growing rages and to placating him – always protecting the three children: Emma (14), Gracie (9), and Caleb (7).  The marriage bond did not begin with such anger issues, but as Ben became a more powerful public defender and a recognized warrior in the courtroom, he becomes increasingly belittling and critical of his wife and children; they are becoming truly afraid.  The two styles on a wet and rainy, frantic, fast drive crash into each other and Maddy ends up nearly dead with brain injuries and in a coma.

The characters are just so believable and Emma realistically portrays how a teen and her siblings would increase their anger reactions by acting out and by being scared nearly out of their minds.   ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE is about all the ways that individuals cope with major problems and violence.   The story is a good portrayal of what love is not.

TLC Book Tours   sent me a copy of this book for review and I am planning on sharing this book with several of my counselor friends.  ACCIDENTS OF MARRIAGE was an intense and provocative read.   Good teaching tool, excellent storytelling, excellent read for nearly every reader.

From the book jacket:

“Randy Susan Meyers is the author of THE COMFORT OF LIES and THE MURDER’S DAUGHTERS and a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award.  Her writing is informed by her work with batterers and victims of domestic violence, as well as her experience with youth impacted by street violence.  She lives with her husband in Boston, where she teaches writing seminars at the Grub Street Writers’ Center.”

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RYDER: An Ayesha Ryder Novel ~Nick Pengelley

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

“The conference, timed to coincide with the summit meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders – to be held at the Tower of London for security reasons – was already fully booked.  The attention of the whole world would be on the summit, and on everything to do with the talks in which so much hope was invested.  It would not have mattered what they called her paper.” (Location 77% on my Kindle – uncorrected, unproofed copy )


TLC Book Tours  sent me an uncorrected and unproofed copy of this book for review.   It was released on Amazon on September 30th of this year. A very good read for those who enjoy political suspense.  I will read and review book two in this series in 2015.

RYDER reminds me of THE Da Vinci Code novel with a bigger area of history included, such as the Arc of the Covenant search in the story.

RYDER is quite the read and if you enjoy history lessons with contemporary outcomes this will prove to be one of the best reads you will encounter.  Ayesha Ryder was a Palestinian terrorist when she was 16 and currently she lives in London working at the War History Museum and has her doctorate in Middle Eastern Studies.   She is preparing a speech to give at the Israeli- Palestine Peace Summit in a few days to be held at the Tower of London, when she hears that a very important figure in her life has been tortured and murdered.   He has left clues as to what the murderers hoped to attain and he is an expert on Laurence of Arabia; his life story and spying adventures.  The twists and turns through 1935 to present fictional days and pursuits are an amazing journey and a huge history lesson.  The writing is excellent, tense and not sloppy or over the top localizing.

What if in 1935 Israel and Palestine were made into just one country – Holy Land- and if Laurence’ Peace Treaty had been signed and ratified by Parliament?  It is assumed that there would not be as much conflict and war over all this time, rather a peaceful country.

I was very glad I had read THE LEMON TREE, last year which is a history of the division of the country into two states and why the conflicts continue and how the politicians fuel those disputes and attacks.  How we train violence and hate in the children.   The history was fresh in my mind.   I did not know about possible secret agreements in England with the Nazi regime.  Very interesting and very exciting reading here – RYDER is a good spy story too.

I so enjoyed all the terms I had to look up and understand, not only the British local terms, but also Middle Eastern references.   Do you know about madrigalisms? Now that was a fascinating clue and I even attempted to write one!

“Nick Pengelley is the author of the Political Thrillers RYDER and RYDER: American Treasure.  Australian by birth, he’s had careers in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom as a law professor, legal consultant, and analyst on Middle East politics, which is his passion.  Pengelley lives in Toronto with his wife, Pamela.” (from the author page of the e-book)

www.nicholaspengelley.com
@ NicholasPengell 

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