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Monday, March 20th, 2017

MERMAIDS OF LAKE MICHIGAN is one of the most beautiful coming of age stories I have ever read.  Perfect for young adult readers and people who have lived a full life.  The writing is like a lovely tea party and the characters are so full and well imaged.  The problems were real and inviting even though there was sadness, which rested in the heart.

Who are you like in your family tree?  Will you manifest a life like that or will you be the mystery person on the tree; always doing your very own “thing”?  Or do you have no family and must truly make your way in many situations and are you invested or maybe indifferent?  What does you lifeline say?

MERMAIDS OF LAKE MICHIGAN is about a family who is with the Coast Guard attached to the Lake.   Mom was the Coast Guard Princess of the parade and now has two daughters, one traditional and one wondering about what will come next.  Elise is fascinated by the water, her town and reading all she can.  She is not a social butterfly but does find a friend in the young woman who comes to live with Grandmother a few doors down.   They have adventures and fall into love and ride the merry-go-round at the Carnival.   Music draws them together.

Elise has a Great Grandmother too who seems to be apart of her that wants to share in her adventures.   Great Grandmother was a wreck diver on Lake Michigan, she saw a mermaid, and truly her own spirit.

The story unwraps the mysteries of growing in a smooth language that draws one into the situation until you can feel as embarrassed as Elise or as concerned.  The characters questioning brings us right to the “Aha” moment and then lets us in without saying a word.  There is hope for the joy, which might just come with the realization. Secrets are exposed, are intimated, and revealed without saying a word.

There is definitely magic.

There is the tension found in the teenage life and tension of road trips that might now answer the questions.  There is love, lots of love and not true abandonment.

This story is a lovely capsule of life and living and tells a story that might just lead you there-you know to see a mermaid!    I just enjoyed every page.

TLC Book Tours sent me MERMAIDS OF LAKE MICHIGAN for review.


Suzanne Kamata was born and raised in Grand Haven, Michigan. She is most recently from Lexington, South Carolina, and now lives in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan with her husband and two children. Her short stories, essays, articles and book reviews have appeared in over 100 publications including Real Simple, Brain, Child, Crab Orchard Review, and The Japan Times. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and received a Special Mention in 2006. She is also a two-time winner of the All Nippon Airways/ Wingspan Fiction Contest, winner of the Paris Book Festival Award, and winner of the Half the World Global Literati Award for the novel.

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THE SENSE OF TOUCH: Stories by Ron Parsons

Monday, February 24th, 2014

THE SENSE OF TOUCH is a collection of eight short stories and if you like the short story genre this is one you will truly enjoy.  These days I often find the short story to be a real workout, often filled with extreme problems only slightly resolved.  As a reader, I am often left with an unpleasant taste in my mouth and heaviness in my heart; hoping that at least one character between the covers will be able to find a resolution of sorts that does not leave me puzzling.

THE SENSE OF TOUCH throws a number of problems at people and some are fairly horrendous and yet there is a touch of whimsy, humor and inventive plot twists that can really touch the reader and lighten the burdens or the sadness within the story.  I found myself compelled to read the next story, though I disciplined the read to one per day.  The characters were interesting and certainly demonstrated how we all wish to be in touch and how often we are not.

Although I received a print copy of this book, I found it interesting that I could check out a free copy on my Kindle, which I think I will the next time I am on a trip and need to find a short story collection to take a long for the ride.

The gifted Bangladeshi student story was almost theater of the absurd and yet I could understand the disconnect which could be experienced by an immigrant to the Midwestern regions of the USA.  Midnight Bowling certainly peeled to the obvious the need for connection and finding one’s direction.  The stories connect the icy, snowy cold and the pleasures of spring emergence like a fresh new sunrise and the fatigue at day’s end.   There is a touch of love as sometimes words connect and reveal.  There is the slow, deliberate pacing of the stories and the reader has to wait for IT; yes wait for IT!

Michael Martone on the cover says:

“These tales are the winsome hissing of busy signals lisping in the icy nicely nice neighborhoods of the missing Midwest at the intersection of polite delight and absolute zero at the bone? “

I am insisting my partner read this book, I think he will enjoy reading THE SENSE OF TOUCH and you will too!

Ron Parsons Online
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tlc logo I received a copy of this book from TLC online books tours and the author Ron Parsons.  This book was a lovely read and I thank them for the opportunity.  THE SENSE OF TOUCH.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Thank you

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