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review 2017-03-28 05:18
Beach Breeze
Beach Breeze - Joanne DeMaio

By: Joanne Demaio 


Publisher: Joanne Demaio 

Publication Date:  3/7/2017 

Format: Kindle 

My Rating: 5 Stars 


Blog Tour, Coming March 28.

A long time favorite New England author, Joanne DeMaio returns following Wishing on Snowflakes and Beach Blues (2016) 2016 Best New England Summer & Holiday Reads with her latest BEACH BREEZE, as we continue the journey with the memorable characters of charming Stony Point, a beach town on the coast of Connecticut.

Having read all DeMaio’s books, was anxious to catch up with the characters we have come to love and care about, as family and close friends. There has been a lot of tragedy and some of the characters (more than others), are having a very difficult time with their grief and loss.

An entire community has been shaken to the core, with the loss of a dear friend, Salvatore Deluca. He came into their lives and brought second chances to many. He made a huge impact (larger than life attitude, touching many), and his presence will not soon be forgotten.

Jason is having a particularly hard time. He had a second chance to live when his brother Neil died nine years earlier in an accident. He was able, to walk away after the wreck with the help of a prosthetic leg, below the knee. He also was given a chance at love two years earlier when Maris unexpectedly returned to Stony Point and his life. They married a year earlier.

Then Sal came into their lives like a breath of fresh air. Someone for Jason to fish with. Someone to talk with about construction, design, his father’s Vietnam war stories, and his brother. It felt as though Neil had returned in the guise of Sal. He had just given the eulogy and left shortly afterward.


He was asking himself if he had run out of chances. Everyone was concerned about him but he was not ready to face everyone and his grief. He is not sure he will be anytime soon. He did not get to say good-bye to his friend. He feels cheated. Jason feels as though he has lost his brother all over again.

. . . “In his happiness, he’d been foolish enough to forget one important lesson: On any given day, hour, or minute, life can spin out from under you. It happened nine years ago, when he lost his brother, and Jason nearly didn’t survive the day. So it’s important to be wary and not trust happiness, not too much.”

In addition, Sal’s mom Elsa is also making some drastic decisions, since the passing of her son. She had planned to renovate the Bed and Breakfast Inn (the old Foley’s cottage) and Jason was the architect. However, now she is putting a stop to the project and putting it up for sale; ready to return to Italy.

Celia is also filled with sadness over the life she and Sal will never have. She is also considering going back to Addison. Their engagement only last two days before Sal’s heart surgery. Sal, age 36, would be dearly missed by everyone. Even though his visit to their town this past summer was brief.

Maris is also making changes in her life. She had returned to Stony Point from a Chicago fashion career to settle her father’s estate and reunited with her sister Eva. Now Maris is considering quitting her job since it appears the people in town need her more now than ever.

Everyone was supposed to make a pack not to make any sudden grief-motivated decision that they would regret in time. Not until at least six months had passed. There were many who wanted to pack up and leave their paradise to escape their loss and pain.

Michael, Sal’s friend from New York is back in town to deliver all of Sal’s messages and letters, as well as few surprises for those he left behind. Emotions run high. Jason is out of control and pushing everyone away.

Cliff and the entire community hold an inn-intervention. The entire family is in crisis. They try and stop the tag sale. Elsa does not want to think about the business team: Jason, Celia, and Lauren. It was to be the future Ocean Star Inn, and now Sal was gone, Celia has left, and her dream had evaporated into the sea’s midst.

Jason is also upset thinking he no longer hears his brother for inspiration. Now Elsa DeLuca no longer needs his service. He had been so excited about the plans.

Everyone is concerned about the Inn and their loss. A place that holds all their friend’s history. However, will Jason and Elsa be able to bond and carry on with their dreams in Sal’s loving memory as well as the rest of their friends and community?

“It’s never the end, even when we really believe it is.”

Just when Jason thinks he has reached his lowest, Sal has a surprise for him to honor his brother. He had written special notes for everyone. Where second chances happen in the most unexpected ways. New beginnings.

From sadness, love, loss, friends, and special memories of the sea, we get a sneak peak (excerpt) from Joanne’s upcoming book, THE BEACH INN, coming May 16. Where we continue with the special friends of this charming seaside community. Coming up is "Operation, Heal Jason’s heart."


Appears there are some big changes coming. The toughest challenge―learning to heal, love and trust again. Looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.

"A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn."

If you have not read Joanne Demaio’s books, you are missing a rare treat. Full of emotion, heart, and soul, with vivid descriptions and settings, memorable characters and sea breezes which transport you.

Highly recommend reading in order, to enhance your overall reading experience. Still hoping for a Hallmark TV series.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/01/Beach-Breeze
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review 2016-12-14 10:11
The Marriage Lie
The Marriage Lie - Kimberly Belle
ISBN: 0778319768
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 12/27/2016
Format: Other
My Rating: 5 Stars

Top Books of 2016
Talented author, Kimberly S. Belle returns following The Ones We Trust (2015) and The Last Breath (2014), with a deliciously domestic psychological suspense thriller, THE MARRIAGE LIE.

“A page-turning” grip-lit. An exploration of the complex lies, betrayal, and dark secrets of a marriage. Do you really know your partner?

A happy husband and wife living in Atlanta, GA. Iris and Will Griffith, are approaching their seventh anniversary. They have their dream Victorian home on a quiet street in Inman Park with the porch and working on a baby to complete their family.

Will is headed out of town for a three- day business trip to Orlando, FL and gives Iris a beautiful anniversary ring, the night before. He is a Sr. Software Engineer with a consulting firm and has a conference to attend.

Iris is a school counselor at the exclusive K-12 Lake Forrest Academy in a leafy suburb of Atlanta. They are a privileged and elite tribe of troubled kids with wealthy parents of surgeons, news anchors, socialites, and professional athletes.

Soon the horrific news comes that Liberty Airlines Flight 23 has crashed, shortly after taking off from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to Seattle Washington. All 179 passengers are presumed dead. However, it was not Will’s plane. He was on his way to Orlando. Safe, correct? However, he is not answering his phone.

Iris soon learns William Matthew Griffith was on that plane. How could this be? This has to be a mix-up. However, as Iris begins investigating, frantic with worry and fear over this unsettling news, she learns there was no conference for Cyber Security for Critical assets: An Intelligence Summit.

He cannot be dead. It was not possible.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. The stages of grief. How could a man headed to Orlando end up on a westward-bound plane? How could he have died? Could the conference have been moved to a different location? Was there another woman? Had he been cheating? Was he leading a secret life on the west coast?

Iris finds he booked a one-way trip. He booked two tickets in opposite directions. Why? Iris goes from heartbroken to being furious. He lied. How could he do this to her? To them? Terror overwhelms her.

With the help of her twin brother, Dave she begins digging into Will’s past. However, the question is, "does this lie override their seven years of marriage?" Does it erase their love?

Will said he grew up in Memphis and moved to Atlanta straight out of grad school at the University of Tennessee. His entire life had been on the east coast, not west. His parents were dead, and he had no siblings. He never talked of friends or family. Besides his colleagues and acquaintances his only high school friend residing in Costa Rica.


They had eloped when they married, with only her brother and his partner, James, and her parents, as witnesses. She knew his childhood wasn’t pleasant, but nothing something he talked about.

How well did she know her husband? Iris is determined to get answers. A pilot error. What if Will is not dead? How could he leave her here all alone unarmed and clueless to fight this battle? She wants to defend him; however, she is unsure.

She and her husband shared a home, a life, and the past. Their relationship had been built on trust and honesty. There had never been any reason for either of them to be jealous or suspicious. Until now.

Who is this Corban Hayes showing up from Will’s gym? She does not even know this guy. How could she mourn a guy she longer is certain she knows?

Could her husband be a wanted criminal, a serial killer, or a rapist, or a murderer? Nothing is as is appears. His job, his past, their life. Has it all been a lie? Money missing. Crazy messages. Something is not right. Does she want him to be dead, or face the fact he is not the person she married?

Things start getting weird, and she and her brother Dave begin to uncover more about Will’s dark past, leading us to more twists and turns, and the explosive conclusion! (great ending!)

From money, lies, deceit, blackmail, and betrayal. Innocent lives, justice, revenge. A twisty gripping ride and with each turn, you do not know whom to truth. Reliable? The author does an outstanding job of weaving the mystery and suspense with the deep dark secrets for a wild adventurous ride.

Psychological suspense and family drama with a perfect marriage on the exterior, yet beneath the façade; a marriage with dark secrets and lies with fatal repercussions. A chilling and haunting tale. Also a nice tie in with the student Eva. Those with money and those without--when money does not always provide happiness.

An ideal choice for book clubs and group discussions (as always, Belle includes an extensive guide). A thought-provoking question: To what extent does a person’s past influence or define one’s future.? There are many emotional complex decisions and moral dilemmas sprinkled throughout the novel. The what ifs; if faced with similar circumstances?

As always I enjoy re-visiting with the cool parts of Atlanta which I lived for many years, the Historic neighborhoods, landmarks, restaurants, and the wonderful Beltline. I could imagine myself back there! Belle's descriptions are so vivid.

I loved Dave, Iris’s twin brother. Kimberly adds just the amount of wit and humor with the psychological suspense and mystery, for a nice balance. I knew the first book I read by Belle, she would be an author to follow. Each book is unique, crossing several genres- love her writing style!

For fans of domestic suspense: Sandra Brown, Paula Treick DeBoard, Kate Moretti, Susan Crawford, Laura McNeill, and Paula Daly will enjoy this twisty look "behind closed doors" of a marriage.

A special thank you to the author, MIRA, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Cover love- The paperback is stunning!


Three years in a row! My Top Book List for each year.


2014 The Last Breath
2015 The Ones We Trust
2016 The Marriage Lie




Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/05/01/The-Marriage-Lie
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review 2016-10-31 23:32
Mr. Waldorf Travels to the Mysterious China
The Spectacular World of Waldorf: Mr. Waldorf Travels to the Mysterious China - Beth Ann Stifflemire,Barbara Terry

The Spectacular World of Waldorf: Mr. Waldorf Travels to the Mysterious China  

By:  Beth Ann Stifflemire

ISBN: 194327763X

Publisher: Waldorf

Publication Date: 11/1/2016 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating: 5 Stars


A special thank you to Waldorf Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A comical Labrador is the latest hit in the new children's book travel series, THE SPECTACULAR WORLD OF WALDORF-- Mr. Waldorf Travels to the Mysterious China,featured in the third installment by Beth Ann Stifflemire and Barbara Terry.

Mr. Waldorf is a lovable and adventurous canine on a voyage to see the United States and the world.

His first stop was the State of Texas, the second Alaska, and now his is on his journey outside of the US on the other side of the world to China! Join him as he discovers this new adventure.

Waldorf discovers this beautiful and ancient place, so colorful and bright. His first stop is the capital of Beijing, one of the most populated cities in the entire world. He also visits the Forbidden City, and on to the Great Wall of China. He learns lots of exciting details. The structure has been around for over 2000 years.

Next, he heads to the Yangtze River, one of the longest rivers and watches the animals swim and makes new friends. Moving along he sees a giant mountain peak and a large panda bear. Mount Everest is the highest mountain peak in the entire world and has snow all year! Can you imagine? He gets on his gear and enjoys all the fun outdoor sports.

He makes his way back to Beijing and enjoys the beautiful sites and some nighttime fireworks. He takes a little rest and gets ready for his next adventure.


With bold colorful illustrations, ideal for kids ages seven-nine. From second-third grade reading level. In addition, younger children will enjoy the images while parents or older siblings read to them.

My granddaughter, Avery is in AIG classes (3rd grade) and she gives the series her “thumbs up, a seal of approval!” My grandson, Brady, (1st grade) loved the adventure with lots of fun along the way. Educational, informative, adventurous, and entertaining!

Well-crafted, a great way to help children learn about different cultures, diversity, languages, geographical areas while assisting them with reading, and social studies, as well as introducing them to new things.

A clever fun way to help kids explore other parts of the country in the privacy of their own home or school. Parents, grandparents, educators, teachers and kids will love Mr. Waldorf and will want to follow him to the many cities, and parts of the country where he explores. creative learning experience!

Mr. Waldorf loves to read and needs his specs. He tends to lose them along the way. Readers will need to help him find them. This comical Labrador draws children into his whimsical adventures in search of his lost reading spectacles for a bit of mystery.

The strong visual narrative makes this an appealing choice for a wide range of ages. By the turn of the last page, children will immediately begin imagining the next adventure. (Hi-res glossy images pop with color)!

Get onboard. Join Waldorf, as he travels to his next stop. Coming up next: Russia, the largest country in the world! Join him as he discovers interesting and fun places. Collect them all- Idea for gift giving!


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/02/The-Spectacular-World-of-Waldorf-Mr-Waldorf-Travels-to-the-Mysterious-China
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review 2016-08-01 04:25
Everything We Keep
Everything We Keep: A Novel - Kerry Lonsdale

By: Kerry Lonsdale


Publisher: Lake Union 

Publication Date:  8/1/2016

Format: Other

My Rating:  4.5 Stars


A very special thank you to the author, NetGallery and Lake Union for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.. Also my July "Kindle First" Pick (e-book).


Kerry Lonsdale delivers a riveting debut EVERYTHING WE KEEP, a woman who attends her fiancé’s funeral instead of her wedding. From intrigue, mystery, secrets, and betrayal; being true to oneself.

Aspiring Dreams. Second Chances. From letting go, to healing, forgiveness, and love.

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has been planning a perfect wedding and perfect life with her childhood sweetheart James Donato (Donato Enterprises -import/export business). James had made promises- they would grow old together. They had been together since they were eight years old as best friends; inseparable.

They each had their own dreams. Aimee’s to open her own restaurant. James' passion was art. However, his family would not hear of this career from an early age. Aimee helped him hide in her own house as a child, to find solace, offering a place for painting without his parent’s approval.

Claire the mother had wanted James and Thomas working at the dad’s company, when they grew up, and James painting pictures was not part of her plan.

However, James disappears while on a trip to Mexico, right before the big wedding day. A tragic boating accident. She never saw the actual body. When he returned they had decided he would quit Donato Enterprises and pursue art. Painting was his passion. If she had insisted he stay home, they would be married and on their honeymoon in Saint Bart’s.

Aimee is devastated and many answers still unsettled. In addition, she receives more bad news when her parents sell their restaurant (The Goat) due to financial reasons, and she had planned on buying it. She had worked with them for years, and had envisioned buying it when they retired. They owed too much money on the business.

Over the years, while she helped her mom craft new recipes for the restaurant, James painted, and his talent and their friendship flourished turning into much more. Sous chef and restaurant manager, Aimee is at odds with her life and cannot figure out why her husband was taking off at the last minute; and the events leading to the death. She had so many memories connected to both.

Things become even more complex , when a psychic named Lucy (Lacy) shows up at the funeral and says James is alive.An enigma, she remains a mystery to the very end. Readers cannot imagine how she is connected.

Thomas, James brother (his beneficiary) shows up with money saying she was entitled. The check was dated the same date as James’ funeral. With no job and no restaurant, she is tempted to take the money. Are these two connected?

Should she use the money to start her own restaurant? Something was drawing her to Joe’s, a special place she and James frequented, to find it for lease. Joe’s Coffee house was closed. The café was empty. Gone forever. Just like everything else in her life.

Five months later, Aimee’s designer friend, Nadie wants her to attend a gallery opening for Wendy V Yee Gallery (international photography). The photographer was Ian Collins. Nadie had created a beautiful space for the artistic talent. They soon become friends.

She also starts thinking about turning Joe’s into "Aimee’s Café." James had even suggested the name. A place where they spent their Sunday mornings. Her friend, Nadie had told her she needed to move forward. Now at age twenty-seven could she be the proud owner of a business with no plan, no employees, or no product? A boutique coffee shop and gourmet eatery.

Aimee receives many clues through paintings that leaves her wondering if James may still be alive. She does not want to tell anyone-they would think she was crazy. She has to find out. She had buried her fiancé and mourned him. She missed him something fierce, and that longing only fueled the seeds of doubt Lacy had planted. Until those went away, it wouldn’t be fair to let Ian assume she wanted anything more than friendship.

After fourteen months since James left for Mexico and one year since she buried him, Aimee’s search leads her to Mexico, with clues from the mysterious psychic, and the art gallery post card from Mexico.

Ian Collins whose wife died five years earlier, comes along- he too has suffered a painful past. Aimee’s heart reached out to him, as she knew exactly how he felt. Hollow and incomplete. Loss left an empty cavity in the chest.

If James were alive, it meant something bigger and more sinister had been going on around her and she had been too naïve to see it. However, when Ian’s sister opens up to Aimee, she learns he too has suffered a great loss and this journey with Aimee may be what he needs, and at the same time capturing his photography.

Lonsdale takes readers on a suspenseful and emotional journey, to an intense mystery of the past about James’ childhood, his accident, and how each character is a connecting puzzle piece.

Part Two takes us to The Emerald Coast to Puerto Escondido, Mexico, to a boutique beachfront resort, and a gallery to meet the artist, Carlos at this mysterious gallery. Did the postcard and painting prove James was alive, or was she wasting her time, looking for answers for the last nineteen months.

As the Belize Sunrise, true artists elicit an emotional response through their work, whether art or cooking –could Ian be the man for her, to catch her, or can she give up James’ ghost? Aimee’s heart was divided from James to Ian.

“The worst feeling in the world is never to be remembered by the one person I can’t forget.”

Does Aimee know whom she can trust? Was she losing her grip on sanity? From James, Imelda, Thomas, Lacy, James missing paintings, a death, and now Ian; opening her heart to him. It was all to to much. Who were the victims? Can perfection be an illusion?

A splendid debut, complex, multi-layered mystery and suspense, keeping readers glued to the pages to learn the dark family secrets, and the whereabouts of James’ missing paintings.

“The pain of rejection, the pain of betrayal, and the pain of everything that had been lost to us.”

When you reach the halfway mark, there are many unexpected twists, 75% intense, and the best part is the Epilogue- Twisty and surprising (Loved it)! Contemporary fiction, mixed with suspense, romance, and intrigue. Not only a physical journey traveling thousands of miles, also an internal journey.

From mental illness, DID dissociative identity disorder, fugue, emotional trauma, assault, and forgotten memories—being true to oneself. When life cannot be forced upon someone, against their will. Discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear, and the lengths they will go to protect.Would make for an entertaining movie.

Can’t wait for the next two books: All the Breaking Waves, Dec, 2016 and What We Leave Behind June, 2017! An author to follow.

Amazon Kindle First (Prime) readers, you can read this title early, before, August 1 release date. BTW, it is 3:06 am just finishing. After reading, dying for a delectable scone and an espresso! When reading, you will relate.

For all you fans of (2015) James Hankins The Prettiest One,you are going to love this smashing new name in contemporary domestic suspense!

A very special thank you to the author and Lake Union for an ARC (paperback). Also my July "Kindle First" Pick (e-book).


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Everything-We-Keep/cmoa/56fc8d4d0cf2e1f8bbc2f7cb
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review 2016-06-15 23:47
The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd
The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd (The Wyattsville Series Book 4) - Bette Lee Crosby

By: Bette Lee Crosby 

Wyattsville Series #4


Publisher: Bent Pine

Publication Date: 6/15/2016

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars  


A special thank you to the publisher and author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. What a great read for a rainy Friday (read in one sitting) Love this series!

Southern, much loved storyteller, Bette Lee Crosby returns following Passing Through Perfect (2015), landing on myTop 50 Books of 2015 - Best Southern Fiction” and “Best Southern Storyteller of 2015”, continuing with heart-warming #4 Wyattsville Series, with THE REGRETS OF CYRUS DODD.

A complex life of one man. A story worthy of telling. But to appreciate the end you have to go back to the beginning. A long dark road of misery.

“Love and sorrow come into your life hand in hand. I’m an old man now and over these many years I have seen more than my share of sorrows, some so great they brought me to my knees. But I have also loved with such passion that it set my soul afire. Were you to ask me would I give up one to avoid the other, I would turn away.”

Elk Bend, West Virginia 1930, Cyrus Dodd’s life in the rural country on a farm. He and his wife Ruth own land, a home, and a farm. Everything a man wants in this era. He takes pride in protecting his family. They may not have riches; however, live comfortable.

However, Virgil Jackson, a neighbor (not friends), has them over a barrel. Virgil of course took every opportunity to remind Cyrus of this, daily. An evil man with greed and hate in his heart and soul.

The Dodd’s source of water was from the pond on Virgil’s land. It had an underground spring that offered an endless stream of fresh water, and fed the brooks running across three different farms. One being Dodd’s cornfield. It enabled Cyrus to irrigate the bottomland and water the livestock as well as their crops. Unfortunately, Cyrus had no alternative other than to remain neighborly with Virgil.

Until . . . .

The spring they each had piglets. Virgil seven and one stillborn, and Cyrus nine (all alive and well). A week later a tornado, and his pig wound up at Virgil’s farm. Cyrus knew where his missing pig was and tried to attain it from him. It was branded, so he knew. Virgil said it was his. Refused to return it. Cyrus goes back later and takes his pig.

This started the feud of a lifetime.

Virgil goes to the sheriff, they go to court, and ultimately case dismissed. However, worried about the water, his wife wants him to make peace. Virgil would not accept pigs, animals or apologies. Soon he built a dam, and Cyrus' water supply was cut off.

Virgil was not a forgiving man. Virgil desired nothing more than to see Cyrus fail.

Pretty soon, tragedy hits the Dodd’s household. From his crops, animals, and his livelihood. Cyrus is stubborn and will not leave his land. Ruth knows he cannot make a living on a farm without water. What kind of life would they have if they stayed? When they think matters cannot get any worse, they lose their baby. Almost as bad as "Job from the Bible", everything is taken away. They buried their baby boy and planted a small elderberry bush.

Who is to blame? The anger Cyrus feels toward Virgil is hatred. Ruth saw it coming; however, he did not listen. He will make it up to her. He cannot change the past, but he will not let Ruth pay for his mistakes.

A feud is not forgotten, regardless of how well-intentioned a man is, once hatred settles in his heart, it remains there forever. With every hardship he suffered the hatred grew stronger, until eventually it became so powerful, not even his prayers could overcome it.

More tragedy and sorrow. Even rain flooded his cornfield. Day after day, Cyrus' anger swelled. Ruth wants them to sell the farm. Cyrus is proud and says it is his home and he will never leave. Ruth reminded him it was "their" home. A man's pride. Another cold winter, and no money, and once again another sorrow. This time, a loss so painful, Ruth may never recover.

Cyrus, is at his lowest when he sees the light go out in Ruth’s eyes. She is bedridden and has lost her will, to even get out of bed with her sadness. She has lost her will to live. It is his fault.

In the meantime, Cyrus does not know, Virgil has problems, of his own. His wife cannot handle his anger. Their oldest son is holly terror. He is bullying his younger brother and baby sister. Things get so bad his wife takes their daughter to live with her sister in fear of their lives. She has to guard her younger son and carries a gun to protect for their own son. The oldest son is out of control. Virgil cannot see he is following in his path. Bad things start happening to Virgil.Karma is a bitch…

“A man’s pride will cause him to do things you never dreamed possible. When being right was most important, and all other things were blocked out.”

Cyrus was a strong man who could deal with many things—from flooded land, failed crops, hard winters, even humbling himself to a man like Virgil. But the one thing he couldn’t deal with was seeing Ruth so weary. He thinks of killing Virgil, he is so angry. Will his hatred get the better of him?

However, he thinks about what Ruth said.

He learns of a job in Virginia outside a small town of Wyattsville, working for a railroad. A man loves his land, but he loves his wife more. She gets a flicker of light back in her eyes. They make plans to leave; however, they have not been able to sell the land, due to Virgil, cutting off the water supply. No one could afford to get on the bad side of Virgil.

They are afraid of staying, and equally frightened of going. They begin selling off everything they con to get enough money to make the trip. Cyrus will never stop trying. Ruth deserved better. With little money they leave and take a train.

From here to the end of the book, things start changing for them. When all seemed gloom and stuck on the side of the road, with nowhere to go, they meet a stranger. Fate steps in.A right decision.

A woman, (angel) Prudence Greenly all alone and her husband, Arnold is deceased. She offers them a room for a few days, and they wind up staying. They love the town, and Ruth soon gets her strength back, and she and Prudence become best friends. Life is good.

“Having regrets ain’t good for the soul.” Some are irreversible.

Cyrus is doing well on the job and now they are saving money. However, Cyrus is a proud man and wants a place of their own; however, he helps out Prudence and they wind up staying until Prudence’s death years later. Even a healthy daughter.

“The thing about regrets is that no matter how many you’ve got, you just keep adding more.”

Cyrus still has regrets and thinks of his land and everything in his life. However, they begin to start taking trips and vacations (one to the Greenbrier Hotel, VA). Been there many times. They try to appreciate one another, their time, and good fortune. They try enjoy life without the worries of money-with new neighbors and friends.

Cyrus never forgets Virgil – he stole his life, but decides he has all he can get. He is giving him too much power over his life.

As they get older, their daughter Joy goes off to school and starts her own life; they become empty nesters. Another tragedy. Another storm. This time the neighbors rally around to help them. This is when we get to revisit with Olivia, and some of the folks from previous books at the Wyattsville Apartment. (love it)

“I keep thinking surely to God, I have already done everything there is to regret, but every time I’ve thought that I discover another regret waiting on the horizon.”

In the meantime, little does Cyrus know, Virgil has lost almost everything important in his life. There was a murder, and his family is gone. He was a hateful evil man.

Cyrus has a long list of regrets. The problem is you never know exactly what it is you’re going to regret until it’s too late to change what you’ve already done.

“A man cannot change who he is. He can only hope that with age comes the wisdom to see his folly.”

Flashing back and forth from Ruth and Cyrus, and get the updates happening back at Elk Bend from Virgil Jackson.

From the house on Harrison Street. Young Married to Empty Nesters. Retirement. Wyattsville Arms Apartments. Full circle. The cycles of life. The regrets. The memories.

A former life. They revisit their land they lost, and their home they loved years ago . . and the man who took it away. Landing where they are today. Sometimes we have to reach our lowest in order to receive what awaits around the corner. One flicker of fate can change your whole life. Memories:Some sweet. Some painful.

“As I grow ever closer to the end of my time, I look back at this life and tell you that the only thing I would wish to give up is the regret I’ve carried in my heart for all these years. At long last I have come to realize the things I once counted as regrets were indeed blessings that I was too blind to see.”

What a heart-warming series!


Bette is a master designer with her quirky gritty southern storytelling. She bridges the gap from young to old, so eloquently.  

Reading her stories is like sitting in a cozy kitchen- with some homemade goodies, a fire, and a cup of tea or coffee with a wise grandmother, telling tales to her grandchildren. (Southern Comfort) Glued to the fascinating history with eyes dazzling. It is amazing how stories of our grandparents relate to today’s top headlines.

When we think of regrets, I recently read an article in Forbes: The 25 Biggest Regrets In Life. What Are Yours? 5 Choices You'll Regret Forever.

We are all busy. Life happens. There’s always something to distract us from getting around to certain things we know we should do. We regret our decisions and second guess our past parenting, financial, career, education, friends and family choices we have made. Things we did, or did not do with our time here on earth. Sometimes life passes us by, while dwelling on things we cannot change.

With today’s social media and smartphones, we are neglecting some stuff we should do. But we never get around to it. Then, something happens. We begin to think about what our biggest regrets would be, if we were suddenly sitting on our death bed.

In light of the recent Orlando’s tragic shootings, we see firsthand what hatred does. From terrorists, evil, greed, jealousy, lies, shootings, bullying, and more. The lives it destroys. Not so different in the thirties, when people used their own weapons in different ways to drive others out of their lives. From the early Bible days of Cain and Abel. Man's hatred.

As always, Bette delivers a wise message, metaphors of life storms, and plenty of life’s essential lessons. A cautionary tale.

"Sometimes regrets are not mistakes. The difference is some keep hanging on to the memory of them. Some regrets Cyrus carried around, weren’t really regrets after all. Just life’s heartaches. It is imperative we learn to discover the differences."

Some decisions have repercussions that can last a lifetime. Most of these decisions are made daily, and they require focus and perspective to keep them from haunting you.

Highly Recommend The Wyattsville Series (All 5 Starred)!

Passing Through Perfect (Wyattsville, #3)
Jubilee's Journey (Wyattsville, #2)
Spare Change (Wyattsville, #1)

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” –Stephen Covey

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-Regrets-of-Cyrus-Dodd/cmoa/574f9d360cf2c85df84d663c
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