By: Lucy A Hill
Publisher: Aspendawn Books
Publication Date: 8/9/14
My Rating: 3 Stars
A special thank you to Aspendawn Books and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
KIDNAPPED FOR AN HOUR by Lucy A. Hill, is a riveting tale of every parent’s nightmare, for the safety of one’s child and secrets which come back to haunt.
An overprotective mother, Melanie married to pediatrician, Jeffrey, lets her guard down at the park for one moment while speaking with a man, and loses her toddler son. Soon after, her husband, and her home, basically her entire life.
Melanie blames herself for her son’s unsolved kidnapping. Unstable in her thinking, guilt ridden, she begins judging every parent, unless they are glued to their child, and justifies in her mind it is a lesson to be taught, by her secret of “borrowing” their child for an hour to scare the parents, (in a God-like act). She returns them safely in an hour unharmed. While in her care, she does not hurt them; however, always dressed in disguise, the police begin looking for this woman.
Her ex-husband Jeffrey has remarried and had twins and all Melanie can think about is only that stranger in park had not swiped away her boy and deleted her future.
Years later she meets Scott, a prosecutor and falls in love, and begins a new life, after realizing her guilt and unhealthy obsession. However, her secrets and past are unraveling, as the truth comes out. As this is happening another shocker surfaces –the truth behind her son’s disappearance, long ago. The cold case of Nicholas Hudson is re-opened, as he was never found, so appears he may still be alive.
A horrifying account of one woman’s perfect life, and sins of her past and others, explode for a complicated, complex, and haunting tale of two people capable of the same act.
The novel reminds me a little of Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson, (a psychological debut thriller), I recently read, but very different in their own way. I think Hudson had a good set up for an intriguing suspense thriller; however, would have liked to have more depth and emotion, for a more gripping psychological thriller type.
Not sure I can put my finger on where the novel is lacking, except it lacks the maturity of a suspense thriller and proper execution. The ending felt a little rushed, as this part could have used more time. In addition, feel if the novel had been told from different POVs, it would have given the reader a little more emotion from each person’s perspective (like the book I have mentioned above), for example, i.e., Scott, Melanie, Jeffrey, Eric, and Nicholas for a more gripping and powerful novel.
By Nan Rossiter
Publish Date: 4/30/2013
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
New York Times bestselling author Nan Rossiter weaves a poignant, empowering novel in which three sisters gather to celebrate their mother’s life—and find new inspiration for living their own…
Losing her father on the night she was born could have torn Beryl Graham’s family apart. Instead, it knitted them together. Under their mother’s steady guidance, Beryl and her older sisters, Isak and Rumer, shared a childhood filled with happiness. But now Mia Graham has passed away after battling Alzheimer’s, and her three daughters return to their New Hampshire home to say goodbye.
Swept up in memories and funeral preparations, the sisters catch up on each other’s lives. Rumer and Isak have both known recent heartache, while Beryl has given up hope of marriage. But surprising revelations abound, especially when they uncover Mia’s handwritten memoir. In it are secrets they never guessed at—clandestine romance, passionate dreams, joy and guilt. And as Beryl, Rumer, and Isak face a future without her, they realize it’s never too late to heed a mother’s lessons—about taking chances, keeping faith, and loving in spite of the risks…
Praise for the novels of Nan Rossiter
"Eloquent and surprising...I love this story of faith, love, and the lasting bonds of family." --Ann Leary, author of Outtakes from a Marriage on The Gin & Chowder Club
“An intimate portrayal of a family in crisis, with good character development and a bucolic setting.” –Publishers Weekly on Words Get in the Way
This was my first book by Nan Rossiter and loved it! As we get older we all are concerned about our parents’ last years; how to handle health care, nursing homes, funerals, and the aftermath. The novel was well written with lovable characters. I hope someday when it is time-- my sister and I will find some family secrets such as this!
The three sisters are all different, with names of famous authors raised by a single mother (her husband dies in a car accident on their 5th wedding anniversary and the same day her last daughter is born. The Mother (Mia) has a great outlook on life and loves life daily and loved by many.
When the mother dies, the three daughters come home to go through the tea house her mother owned and the contents of the house. What they find is a secret and lovely romance with a famous married artist. The romance was going on for years after of course the husband had died. The paintings and the letters to her daughters were bittersweet. Unfortunately by the time his wife dies, she has lost her memory and is in a nursing home.
In the meantime while they are dealing with their mother’s affairs, the three sisters have issues of their own. Beryl (the one who lives in the same town) revisits her an old friend and his daughter (his wife has died), and the other two sisters have marriage and family problems as well.
A beautiful story – I highly recommend to men and women of any age - I look forward to reading more by this author!
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Publication Date: Aug 12 2014
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
SMALL BLESSINGS, speaks for itself in this quirky debut novel, which is quiet entertaining, with its array of colorful and flawed characters. (with some Shakespeare mixed in for added pleasure).
Image, the setting: Tom Putnam, a professor in a small Virginia women's college leading a boring life due to the demands from home and his disturbed and miserable wife. This guy deserves a break!
Between his emotionally disturbed wife, Marjory and his feisty mother in law, Agnes – sure he cannot wait to get to class. However, he feels guilt, so sucks up and resides in misery, as his wife’s condition is partly due to her discovery of his brief affair with a visiting poetess, Retesia. His mother in law warned him not to marry Marjory and why didn’t he listen?.
His luck is about to change. His wife dies in a car accident and he learns he has a son (from this brief affair more than ten years ago)—shocker! He is relieved with the news of his wife’s death, more like a release and a relief. It also meant hope, as his past twenty-three years of marriage--and now it was over. No chance of redemption, or so he thinks.
Blessing come in small packages, when little Henry arrives with only one change of clothes, and fifty thousand dollars in cash, as well as a cashier's check for four hundred and fifty thousand dollars! Confusing, the wrong birth date and the ticket stub from Picayune, MS to Charlottesville, not, New Orleans. Who is this little boy? Taking in a lost boy was one thing, but a boy with a half a million dollars was something else.
Puzzled by more than the cash, is his name on the birth certificate. (His former brief lover, had sent him a note announcing the arrival of his son she is sending to live with him, as she is now an author and will be going on tour). —surprise from New Orleans.
He makes a home for Henry (with the assistance of mother-in-law), and as luck would have it, he falls in love with Rose, the new manager of the college bookstore.
OK, what is missing here?? Secrets? No spoilers here – you will have to read this mysterious, funny, crazy, and lovable story to find the answers. Even when things look bleak, you never know what is around the corner.
SMALL BLESSINGS will make you cry and laugh out loud—with some risks, secrets, dangers, twists, and long deserved happiness along the way.
Excited to connect with this newfound Southern author from Greensboro, NC (having raised my children in Winston-Salem, where they currently reside). The author’s lively personality is reflective throughout the pages of this charming debut novel. Look forward to reading more from Martha Woodroof!
Publisher: Viking Adult
Publication date: 9/17/2013
My Ranking: 5 Stars
Wow! One of the funniest books I have ever read! Her best thus far..
I am sure the print would have been excellent; however, with this type of book, nothing better than a talented writer and excellent performers-- which are made for the character's part. Each of these performers were five star quality, and you could envision each unique character within each setting.
I had purchased the book; however, had to drive from West Palm Beach, FL to Amelia Island, FL (south to north) and from there to North Carolina---could not wait to start so purchased the audio for my road trip. I had to buy the audio, as could not wait--have read all Terry McMillan's books and when I listened to the audio sample - I knew this would be the ideal book to listen to on my iPod for the long trip.
It exceeded all my expectations and more. Turned out, it rained the entire two days of travel and I did not even mind, as I laughed out loud at all the funny characters and it made the time go by faster. I actually finished the entire book about an hour before I reached my destination. I could not even listen to another book, as wanted to just bask in the wonder of this incredible book . . . and smile as I wanted to meet each one of these characters.
I loved all the many different characters! My favorite character was BJ, and of course the banter with her sisters, nurse Kim and sassy neighbor Tammy. Oh, the guys! Loved them Luther, Omar, Ricky and Quinten. It was hard to choose a favorite as each of them had a take away and a story to tell.
If you love humor, wit, family drama- this book is for you. Terry McMillan has a winner and can easily see a movie --can only imagine the cast!
Tyler Perry needs to be all over this on OWN. Would definitely listen to this again! Ideal for the car or road trip – never a dull moment!