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THE SILENT FOUNTAIN: A Mystery Novel ~Victoria Fox

Monday, November 6th, 2017

THE SILENT FOUNTAIN tells its tale during two time periods and surrounding one main character through the unraveling of secrets to come to the final resolution of all the mysteries.   There is a darkness to the story.

Hollywood, 1978
Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanni Moretti—and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister and learns that her new husband’s past holds dark secrets…

Tuscany, Present day
Lucy Whittaker needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Strange sounds come from the attic. The owner of the house will never meet her in person.

The fountain in the courtyard is silent—but has never run dry. Across the decades, Vivien and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian villa. And if they are ever to truly escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets…

Each of the two women’s stories begins with confusion about what is happening in their lives and how this problem came into being.   The reader then needs to read the interspersed backstories to finally figure out how the tragedies of their lives were played out into the contemporary situation.  They each had tough lives and hard luck experiences to get them to their current contact with each other.  The reader learns a lot about love, abuse and death to work up to the ending release and the complete overview of the story and the resolutions.

Most of my book group loves this kind of wound up formal mystery, but we have 2 members who will not read them after the first 25 pages if the confusion remains.  So this book will not be for everyone.   I had much of the story figured out and found reading the Hollywood sections of the story as though it was a segment on The Carol Burnett Show gave me more interest in the read.   There is a lot of darkness in the story and mental illness is exposed and exploited in the plot.

The story is almost more a puzzle to be pieced together and explored as to which piece fits where to bring together the whole.  There is not a great deal of great Italian Cooking in the novel either nor is the countryside expounded upon.  There is intensity.

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Victoria Fox is a bestselling author in the UK. She used to work in publishing and is now the author of six novels. The Silent Fountain is her breakout novel in North America. She divides her time between Bristol and London.

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The Gods of Heavenly Punishment

I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING: How Nora Ephron’s Three Iconic Films Saved The Romantic Comedy ~Erin Carlson

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Delightful!  Is the best adjective I can use to describe I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING.  It is light fair and fun fare to read, as it is written like a Hollywood gossip column with lots and lots of details.  It is a biography that goes into the creation of how WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, and YOU’VE GOT MAIL were written and directed by Nora Ephron and how the director, writers, and actors change the rom-com world in the most delightful manner.

A backstage look at the making of Nora Ephron’s revered trilogy–When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle–which brought romantic comedies back to the fore, and an intimate portrait of the beloved writer/director who inspired a generation of Hollywood women, from Mindy Kaling to Lena Dunham. (From the cover)

Nora Ephron was from a family of screenwriters and lots of sisters.  She personally had a struggle with finding love and it took her several tries to gain the right match.  She was a perfectionist and a satirist who learned to share her emotions on the big screen and assist all the other poor folks in doing the same.  Ephron’s writing was dynamic and bold and formulated stories into other than the usual norm.  She knew which actors she wanted to play different parts and exactly what clothing and shoes they would wear in each scene.  She opened up the world of writing and directing to more women.  She created a trilogy of success.

I had no idea what the book was about when it arrived for review.  I just said, “yes” to a biography.   But about a week before the book arrived, I just needed something positive in my life and I rented YOU’VE GOT MAIL to take my mind off the news – It was the perfect respite to my worry

I actually rented WHEN HARRY MET SALLY and SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE after I finished the book and found it so fun to know the back-stories and the little details.  And yes indeed, there was the sailboat covered in twinkle lights crossing the bay!!!   The observation deck of the Empire State Building was actually filmed on a sound stage in Seattle!  Success in the details.

The movie I have watched probably a hundred times is JULIE AND JULIA  also a Nora Ephron film and it just pulls me right out of any funk I am in at the time and wow, it is about Julia Child and a blogger who actually has success blogging.

What I did not know when the book arrived was that Nora Ephron had died of leukemia, and was no longer writing and making more movies for us to love and enjoy.  This created sadness and yet I still have her movies to enjoy again and again and again.   I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING is part of a great legacy.

I’LL HAVE WHAT SHE’S HAVING is a TLC Book Tours review book

About Erin Carlson

Erin Carlson has covered the entertainment industry for The Hollywood Reporter and AP. Her work has appeared in Glamour, Fortune, and the LA Times. She compiled and wrote an oral history of You’ve Got Mail for Vanity Fair. She holds a master’s in magazine journalism from Northwestern, and has been profiled in the New York Times.

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CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH: A Novel ~Colleen Oakley

Monday, 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

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THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN: A Novel ~Ellen Herrick

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Ellen Herrick, the author of THE SPARROW SISTERS has written another delightful tale, which is as lovely a read as a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon.  THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN is filled with beautiful descriptions that include character’s thoughts as well as the magnificence of flowers, insects, birds and trees.   The English word expressions brought me right to home and I could relate to the things my Mother and Grandmother used to say. A cozy read.

Sorrel Sparrow, the garden whisperer, has been invited to England to restore a walled Shakespearean Garden that the estate owners believe to have been cursed by the darkness of a 16th Century ancestor.  As the young woman feels the hurt and toxic vibrations of the garden she presses the family to look further and reveal the tapestries, which spell out the dark enchantments and free the current family to find a new future and release the old expectations.

THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN does bloom again and love grows.

How are we each held captive by family expectations and ancient history?  How is history freed and the door opened to new options?  What change is rendered when family secrets are exposed to sunlight and new life takes root?

Reminds me of Brunonia Barry’s THE FIFTH PETAL.  A very good read – THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN

“Ellen Herrick was a publishing professional in New York City.  After nearly 20 years in London, Ellen now divides her time between her gardens in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a small Cape Cod town.” (Book cover)

Ellen Herrick Website
Ellen Herrick Facebook
Ellen Herrick Twitter
Ellen Herrick TLC Book Tours

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Whistling Women