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Wishing all Moms a Very Happy Mother’s Day!

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Writing Tips for Authors by Margaret Atwood

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Maggie's Turn ebook cover final

I eagerly anticipated Maggie’s Turn and it did not disappoint me. I became a Deanna Lynn Sletten fan months ago when I read Widow, Virgin, Whore; it was book based on a difficult subject, with a story line that has stayed in my mind as one of the most memorable books I have read. Sletten writes thought provoking stories, with characters so real that her readers relate to them and feel their emotions as they deal with difficult situations.

The underlying theme in Maggie’s Turn touches on the reality of many marriages. For generations men have felt that their main role is to provide a good home and the necessities of life. The bigger the pay check and the higher their position in the community, the more successful they feel. They justify their actions with the premise that all the hard work and long hours they spend gives their family the material things they want. Even when the wife works, she is often still responsible for the “women’s work.” These women become the glue that holds the family together, but in the process they sacrifice their individuality and end up feeling unappreciated.

Maggie and Andrew Harrison were happy and very in love when they’d married twenty three years earlier, but their relationship had changed greatly as the years passed. Their worlds had slipped apart.

Andrew became consumed by his job and his public image. He didn’t communicate with his two teenage children and he had no idea or interest in what Maggie’s everyday world entailed. In his mind it was insignificant in the big scheme of things. As a husband and a father he was a dropout.

Maggie became the one who handled all the demands of keeping their household running smoothly with little or no appreciation expressed by her family. She didn’t complain a lot; in fact she didn’t consciously intend to change things but one day after she had taken her daughter to school, instead of going home, she spontaneously drove through the intersection and headed out of town.

She wasn’t planning to leave, she just wanted to indulge a few hours for herself. The miles sped by and the hours passed. Suddenly she realised that she had driven to far to return home, so she got a room intending to return the next day. But the next day she continued on, enjoying the freedom she’d missed for so long. She started on a journey of self-discovery.

It was Maggie’s Turn. After years of catering to everyone else’s needs, Maggie took time for herself; time to reassess her life and discover what she wanted.

At first Andrew was more angered by the fact that she wasn’t there to keep the household running smoothly, than the fact that she was gone, because he simply didn’t believe that she would leave. Why would she?

When forced to deal with them as a parent, he finds that Kaia, their teenage daughter and Kyle, their nineteen year old son are virtually strangers who have little respect for him. He wants to blame Maggie, but gradually he has to face up to the things he has done and realise that those choices have created his families problems.

As Maggie continues on her journey she has opportunity to reflect on the emptiness of the marriage and regain her sense of self. She meets people who see her for the beautiful person she is. Does she actually want to go back to her old life?

Andrew is forced to look at what his self centered arrogance and the neglect of his family have cost him. Can he repair the damage or does he offer too little too late?

Both Maggie and Andrew have to re-evaluate their relationship. Can it be restored? Are they both willing to try? Or have they drifted too far apart?

Don’t miss this great read. For me this was a journey that both of them took and at times it was very painful and soul searching. It has depth and there are life lessons to learn in it. Deanna Lynn Sletten has done it again!

You can purchase Maggies turn on Amazon

Married or ...merry by Kate Papas
“Greek Humour Editions…To all women of the world!”I chuckled when I read this book.Papas says that as the years flew by and life kept changing she had to find something to keep her sane and ultimately the remedy was to “only focus on the hilarious, the comic, the pleasant, the agreeable, the anodyne, the-what-ever-you want-to-call it aspect of situations.”

In this book she chose to take a tongue-in-cheek look at the universal institution of marriage. Yes, around the world WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT!! Admittedly, some of our conjugal lives are a yatch, others a warrior’s canoe, but we all have much in common, especially as far as our problems go.

Papas put a lot of research into this book of 40+1 reasons not to get married. She quotes Greek proverbs, Latin proverbs, Hindu proverbs, George Bernard Shaw, Virginie des Rieux (a French novelist) Francess Rodman (an American politician), the ceremony of marriage, Isadora Duncan, Mosaic Law, Benjamin Disraeli (British PM and Novelist), Greek sayings, Socrates, English proverbs, ZsaZsa Gabor, the bible, and oh yes, Bill Cosby! The list goes on (I don’t recall any American proverbs, but I may have missed them?? Are there any?)

To me this was a lighthearted spoof, filled with elements of truth about marriage but not a serious tome to convince people to choose to be merry, instead of married. (Note: Papas is still married to her original husband and has two sons.)

Though I don’t know her, I’d say Kate Papas is a woman of admirable character. From her biography I see she works with a drama group composed of blind people and in 2007 she won the second National Award conferred by the Ministry of culture on writers of Children’s theatrical plays, but I think she could (even may) do stand-up comedy!

I enjoyed the read. It depends on how you take it, but for me it was a lighthearted romp and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys humor with a glimpse of reality.

To purchase Married or…merry by Kate Papas click here on Amazon

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(Click on the map above to bring it up to a full page view)

A week ago my husband lined up a trip to Bella Coola to market his books.  I usually go with him on all these trips because I do not want to see him make long trips by himself anymore. Lately I have been overwhelmed with computer work, dealing with his publisher and the publishing process for three of his manuscripts, as well as trying to catch up on my accounting and book keeping for 2013, so I was grateful when he found someone else to go along with him.  Then at the last minute his companion for the trip couldn’t go so I put aside my work and said I would go with him.  And it turned out to be a spectacularly beautiful journey and I was so happy things had turned out the way they did!

The trip is about 1000 km round trip from our home at Horsefly to Bella Coola. 

We’d had cloudy, showery weather but Tuesday morning when we left home it was a sunny spectacular day.  I’d been watching the weather network from Alexis Creek, to Anahim and on to Bella Coola and the forecast looked good for the days we would be travelling.  The weatherman didn’t change his mind–we had sunshine and clear sky all the way there and back.  Fall is my favorite time of the year  and the colors were a feast for the eyes.  It was a fabulous trip!

When I looked through my posts, I realized that a visitor might wonder if I just give every book 4 or 5 stars.  I DO NOT DO THAT!  I read many, many books, and I have a personal policy.

I always read the book, no matter how good or bad I think it is.  I never give bad or derogatory reviews:  no matter what I think of the book, the author has put their time and energy into it…and someone else might like it, so I simply don’t write a review if I don’t like it.

If a book has a lot of positive reviews (over 100) I don’t write a review unless I’m really impressed, because the author is well supported and I feel my time and energy are better spent helping a less known author or book.

I only write reviews for books that I feel I can honestly give 5, 4 or 3 stars.

I just wanted my readers to know that my reviews are written with sincerity and a purpose to give readers my impression of the book.

Enjoy a great read!

Gloria

Product Details
Lorne Oliver uses words to paint pictures so raw and intense that there were times when I found them hard to read, but the characters and the story line compelled me to continue on.Sergeant Reid is a man with a troubled mind. After dealing with a gruesome, haunting case that involved a serial killer in British Columbia, he and his family are emotionally scarred. He transferred to Prince Edward Island, on the opposite end of Canada. Life was quiet there and he thought his family could leave behind the horror of the past and concentrate on healing. But Reid cannot truly bury the past that still haunts him. Both his career and his relationship with his wife have been strained, and he is not on solid ground emotionally.The peace of the island is shattered when a beautiful young woman is found brutally murdered, hanging naked in a tree in an isolated area. The people in the area are traumatized; Reid’s wife is totally freaked and begs him to stay out of the investigation. But Reid’s unresolved feelings of guilt fuel the personal, relentless drive that make it impossible for him stay on the sidelines. His determination to find the murderer becomes an obsession and he works nonstop to solve it. Temptation simmers just beneath the surface as he spends so much time with his partner on the job, a beautiful woman who has relationship issues of her own and understands his compulsion. She is a balm to the anger and fear his wife heaps on him.

Oliver gradually reveals the killers mind, portraying the life and the events that led to his instability, turning him into a murderous, psychopathic serial killer, whose arrogance leads him to a point where he taunts Sergeant Reid and puts him and his family at risk.

The book is filled with suspense, and the plot twists and turns, keeping the reader holding his breath, wondering how many more young women will die before the killer is apprehended.

Red Island was a great read: I’ll certainly watch for Lorne Oliver’s next book!


You can purchase Red Island on Amazon 

5 stars for The Gay Mardi Gras Murders (A Mia Ferrari Mystery) by Sylvia Massara’s

Product Details

I became a fan of Sylvia Massara’s writing when I read The Soul Bearers.  Since then, I have read all of her books, including Playing with the Bad Boys, the first book in the Mia Ferrari series.

This second book in the series did not disappoint me. The Gay Mardi Gras Murders convincingly portrays the world of the Mardi Gras,  transsexuals, drag queens and violent family vengeance.   I enjoy Mia Ferrari’s smartars attitude and her unflagging determination and ability to solve the problems she encounters.   She exhibits skills that help her deal with people on a sensitive, personal level, earning their confidence and getting them to open up to her.  She also has an irrational dislike for Phil Smythe from the police department, and wilfully defies him,working behind his back to gleefully prove that  she can achieve what his department can not.  In the end she tacks down the murderer, but finds she is not invincible and cannot do everything on her own.  Friends can be enemies, and enemies may turn out to be friends.

I liked Mia’s personal growth in this book; while she is still bitter about her ex, she is comes to realize how important friends are, and understand that she does not need a romantic relationship to be complete.

I am waiting for the next book in the series.  This book shines a glimmer of light on new possibilities.  I’m sure Mia will never lose her fire and determination, but will we see changes in her?

Don’t miss a great read.  To purchase The Gay Mardi Gras Murders go to Amazon.

Once you’ve enjoyed this great read, it would be appreciated by the author if you went to Amazon and left a review!

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