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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

Related:
Paris Time Capsule
Songs of Willow Frost
Lift and Separate

THE REINVENTION OF ALBERT PAUGH: A Novel Story about retirement ~Jean Davies Okimoto

Monday, August 17th, 2015

I can hardly wait to tell you about this delightful story, the third in Okimoto’s trilogy about Vashon Island and its special landmarks and the culture of living on an island close to a huge and popular city.   The book came into my computer as a digital file and I needed to make a list of 10 things I was going to accomplish before I read the first page because I knew I would just be hooked right away and unable to do anything else.   The author is a great story telling wizard with just the most remarkable humor, she must have a twinkle in her eye at all times.  She certainly has caught island life and the foibles and emotions of the folks who inhabit and live within it’s confines.

TLC Book Tours has now sent me each of the books Okimoto has written for review.  I am just so lucky.  THE LOVE CEILING   was the start and then we moved onto WALTER’S MUSE.    The wise philosopher has turned 90 and is included into this new story, along with Maggie and Walter and Howie and Mark but the cast has expanded to include more of the folks who are a part of Albert Paugh’s life and veterinary practice.

The characters are so believable and may just remind you of someone you know and enjoy.  I felt a need to call one of my neighbors and also to entice my husband into reading this story as he is looking forward to retirement with no major plans except to paint and walk our dog.  He may just find himself confused also.

Dr. Paugh has had a heart attack and his wife persuaded him to sell his practice and retire.  It was just in time, as she needed help to heal from a lung cancer, which changed her life and what she wanted for her future.  Albert was not included in that future and after 24 years he is about to become divorced.  His wife never did like Bert, his chocolate lab, and now the two must find a new place to live and what to do with their time.

The single women, of a certain age and dog owners are quite interested in Dr. Paugh’s new status and this is becoming a problem that sends Al and Bert to the beach for long walks.

I was able to persuade my large book group to read WALTER’s MUSE  and I think I will have luck again with THE REINVENTION OF ALBERT PAUGH.  What will we all do at retirement? And how will we feel useful and of service to others and what will capture our energies in a good way and in a concerning way?
It was delightful to see how Dr. Paugh and the folks on Vashon Island were taking hold and making a difference to so many.

From the Book:

“Jean Davis Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, German, Korean, Danish and Hebrew.  She is the recipient of numerous awards including Smithsonian Notable Book, The American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor’s Award, the Green Earth Book Award, and the International Reading Association Readers Choice Award.  Her picture book, Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat was adapted by Shelly Duvall for the HBO and Showtime television series BEDTIME STORIES.  Jeanie, who is also a retired psychotherapist, began writing for adults when she and her husband Joe retired to Vashon Island in 2004 where they (and their dogs Bert and Willie) are visited by deer families and their six grandchildren.”

This book is for anyone who likes a good story, has retired, is failing retirement, and enjoys a fun read.  One does not need to read all three stories but they are so fun, Why not? THE REINVENTION OF ALBERT PAUGH

Related:
The Love Ceiling
Walter’s Muse

THE RED HOT FIX: a Justice Novel ~T.E. Woods

Monday, October 13th, 2014

“’ It’s no secret we’re looking for a prostitute.’ Mort didn’t share the DNA evidence. ‘Help me understand what kind of woman she might be.’
“’Do you mean what kind of woman becomes a prostitute? Or what kind of prostitute becomes a killer?’ Charlotte leaned back against the booth.” (at  8% into the uncorrected proof on my Kindle)


THE FIXER comes to life again in THE RED HOT FIX, book two in the Justice Series by Woods.  I so liked the first book TLC Online Tours gave me an e-copy to read and then put Book 3 on my schedule for reading and review also in October.  Am I lucky or what?  If someone had said I would enjoy murder mysteries a few years ago I would have said, “no way”.   Fooled myself!

I believe it is because the women are smart and capable in the books I have been reading recently and many of the stories are about changing perceptions about people and changing violent reactions in people.  The author does not treat the reader as an escape artist needing entertainment, but actually someone who likes to exercise her/his curiosity and think it through; enough plot twists to keep the mind guessing and stamping on assumptions.

The story only has moments in Olympia in the FIXER’S home and touching base with her coffee shop friend Oliver.  She is healing after her brush with death and she is remaking her life in one of those limbo moments before big change.  She does help her Detective friend Mort Grant in Seattle who is coping with a serial killer.  We learn a few lessons about kids on the streets, drugs and revenge.

The novel also includes the wealthy family who owns the local basketball team and the huge outdoor sport’s store.  There are the stars and the up and coming stars vying for the playoffs and dealing with racial tensions and competition and a controlling boss who doesn’t hesitate to make other’s lives miserable.  This book also takes us into the world of Whidbey Island, Mercer Island, libraries and junk dealers.  If that were not enough there is the stealth of uncovering a child pornography ring.    I dare you to put this story down before the last page.  Double Dare!

The FIXER started the progress on the bestseller’s lists and now THE RED HOT FIX is moving up the ladder to even greater heights and at a faster pace.   It held my attention and was a pleasing diversion, entertaining and relaxing.  I admire writing that just fits together and treats women with respect and honesty.

Thanks again to TLC online tours   for the gift of this book and to T.E. Woods for the great story.

T.E. Woods on Twitter
TE Woods on Facebook 

“T. E. Woods is as eager as her fans to return to the thrilling world of the Justice series. She’s busy writing the next installment and is developing a new series set in Madison, Wisconsin.” (from TLC On Line Tours)

Related:
The Fixer 
Supreme Justice 
The Beautiful Heist
The Garden Plot

ON THE MOUNTAIN: The Blue Child Series, A Novel ~June O’Brien

Monday, December 16th, 2013


Have you ever been on a dream journey?  You know the kind of journey where your legs grow weary and you feel the cold and heat of the exertion; caught up in a mission which needs answers.  Are you relieved when you awaken or just exhausted and left wondering about the experience?

ON THE MOUNTAIN is a dream-mission story which takes place on the mountains just outside of my window.  The Heavens have sent a spirit child to protect the earth and her people from the greedy, controlling, European invaders who have released powerful evil on the earth. The writing is vivid and poetic and yet as the reader my legs ached with the climb and the cold, I was on the journey every step of the way.

Ruby is an older, reclusive Native American woman who resides on the west coast line of the Olympic Mountains.  She is the keeper of her Grandfather’s drum and gear, she is the wisdom of her Grandmother’s lessons in survival; she wanders in the forest and beaches a free spirit.  Ruby is a medicine woman and knows the wisdom of Owl.  She can hear the voices of the spirits of the plants and animals; knowing just when to use the right herb at the right time.   Ruby is called by the Old Ones for a journey onto the Mountains.  It is a mission to assist and heal her people.  She has been told never to spend the night on the mountain and in order to survive she much hear the spirit guides, trust herself and the voices, and follow the Old Ones on a journey of many days onto the mountains.

June O’Brien is a member of the Nansemond Tribe and knows plants and medicine. She knows the mountains and writes poetry about her life journey and her roots and dreams.  She has degrees in psychology and counseling and has written two books of poetry.  O’Brien is a dream consultant and knows how to capture a story from a spirit guide.  The mission which Ruby is on is just such a story and the words and descriptions of her trust journey are compelling – flowing like the Glacier Rivers and streams of icy cold water wandering off the cliffs to the sand below.  I found myself hungry, cold, exhausted and concerned that such an old woman might not be able to complete this arduous task; then the snow began to fall.

ON THE MOUNTAIN is beautiful storytelling and I am highly recommending this first story to everyone.  You will be on the trail and wandering the forest trusting the elders all the way.  As I set this story down, I will move forward to the next book THE NORTH ROAD   just recently released and the continuation of the dream.  This book can also stand alone.

ON THE MOUNTAIN is from my own library and June O’Brien and Amazon provided me with a KINDLE copy to read and review upon request.

June O’Brien on Facebook 
The Blue Chile Series Online

“If you were called by a dream would you go?”

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Related Reading:
The Most Important Day of Your Life 
Rejoice Beloved Woman
My Stroke of Insight
Psalms for Troubled Times