Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pink Escape 2017

Welcome to Pink Escape 2017.  This month is dedicated to those who have fought the good fight or currently fighting breast cancer.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  This month I officially end my fight.  I am finishing my reconstruction surgery.  

I am so thankful for all the support that I have had through my battle.  I thank the followers of Writer’s Corner for bearing with me over these past two years.   As I recover more I will go back to sharing some of the posts that I have been unable to do within the last two years.  

This Pink Escape will be abbreviated do to my recovery from my latest surgery.  I plan to start resurfacing around week three of my recovery which is October 23.  

 Please stay informed and help fight the good fight!

Let us not forget others who are still fighting such as Julia Louis Dreyfus.  I wish her all the best in her fight! 

Sincerely,


Jencey Gortney

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Will Ruby Get a Second Chance?

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for a copy of The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel. I was given this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The One That Got Away is a modern retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. I am always interested in a fresh take on a classic.It is also the first Pink Escape book of 2017. The Jane Austen fan that I am I dove into this novel.

Synopsis:

Ruby is an account manager at her job. She stays very busy with work in New York. Her best friend has to persuade her to leave her sanctuary of work to see her, before she leaves to go Scotland. Her sister Piper is getting married to her man of from Ruby’s past. Ethan has changed a great deal, and will also be at the wedding as the best man. The wedding takes place in Scotland in a castle. Ruby seems to continue to run into Ethan regardless of the situation. Will they be able to overcome the past and reconnect? Or will she have to navigate a different path, which includes surviving Piper at the wedding.

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story. Ruby is a protagonist that I could identify with. Ethan’s character is part of the story but he does not play a major role to me. The story is told from Ruby's point of view. The character I found most annoying was Piper. I wanted to applaud Ruby for putting up with her behavior leading up to the wedding.

The plot takes place in two different story lines. The present storyline line is the “Now” which follows the current events leading up to the wedding. The other storyline is the “Then” section which tells the story of Ruby and Ethan’s relationship.

I enjoyed the story but felt that the Then story line should have ended sooner than it did. I would have changed the pacing a little to compensate for the length. I was ready for the story to resolve and the happy ending to begin. Yes, the story was true to Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I look forward to what Melissa Pimentel shares next with her audience!


Rating:


4/5

To purchase a copy of  The One That Got Away here


Melissa is available on these platforms:



Thursday, September 28, 2017

In The Spotlight Steven Arnett Takes Us Back to the 60s

Today would like to introduce you to Steven Arnett, whose new novel The Summer of Robert Byron a recently released novel.   He will take us back in time to the  sixties to share is story of  Robert and Jean.   This story is for the Historical Fiction fans out there!  The story is set in the 1960s. 

Synopsis: 

 Here’s the scoop on it: It’s fall 1966, and Robert Byron has returned to his home town of Blue Spring in Michigan after serving in Vietnam. Everyone there tries to welcome him home, but he’s unsocial and ends up alienating almost everyone. He pretty much keeps to himself through the winter, until the money he’d saved up in Vietnam runs outs, and he has to go back to work. He meets Jean Summers, a teacher at Blue Spring High School who’d just started her teaching career the previous fall herself, when Robert is hired by her landlord to do some work on the house she’s renting. They’re complete opposites in personality, but somehow, they’re attracted to each other anyway. The Summer of Robert Byron is their story: Of how Jean tries to redeem through love Robert’s alienation and the dark secret that he has brought home with him from the war. Can she succeed or is it too late to ever really bring him home again?

The Summer of Robert Byron is available as a paperback and in Kindle format from Amazon. 

About the Author:                                               

Steven Arnett was born in Detroit, Michigan, and enjoys writing fiction and poetry.  He has degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Maine.  He currently lives in Johns Creek, Georgia, with his wife, Delphine, and daughter, Vivienne. He has  published two other novels: Death of Lake Michigan and The Labyrinth chronicles. He learns the hard way that money can’t buy happiness but that it sure can lead to some very funny and bizarre experiences! 

Steven Arnett is available on these platforms: 



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What Is the Ultimate Match?

It is time to share another Elin Hilderbrand novel. This time the title is TheMatchmaker. Like the rest of her novels it is set on Nantucket. I remember Elin discussing this novel when I had my first opportunity to meet her in the spring of 2013. I made a four hour drive on a Sunday to the main library in Charleston for this event. It was worth the journey.

Synopsis:

Dabney Kimball Beech is well known throughout Nantucket. She works as the director of the Chamber of Congress for the city of Nantucket. Dabney is most known for her matches of the perfect couples. She has correctly matched forty two couples. Dabney has not been as successful in her own life. Her true love Clendenin Hughes is returning to the island. Does Dabney want to see him? They also have a daughter who is struggling with her own issues. Will she want to meet the father she never knew?

My Thoughts:

I loved this novel! It was entertaining to the very last page. One of Elin Hilderbrand’s best! I recently attended a writing work shop with two bestselling authors. We discussed characterization of the main characters. They referred to the protagonist as having a superhero power. In other words what is her talent?. Dabney is known for her ability to make matches. This power in the novel is described as being a pink or green aura around the people near Dabney. Readers will also meet some of her matches over the years, in various spots in the novel. I also thought it is interesting that her flaw is her own love life. This flaw indirectly affected her daughter. I did not realize when I heard about this novel that Dabney would be so young. I had pictured an eighty year old woman.

Readers will fly through the pages of this novel!

Rating:

5/5


Preorder a copy of Winter Solstice  here.

Elin is available on these platforms:


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Joy Callaway Shares a Part of Her History

Thank you to Harper Collins for giving me a copy of Secret Sisters in exchange for an honest review.

I had the opportunity to share Joy Callaway’s debut novel The Fifth AvenueArtists Society. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share Secret Sisters. Joy writes historical fiction and once again she takes from a part of her own history. Secret Sisters tells the story of how female fraternities began in the United States.  Many of us now would know the female group as sororities.

Synopsis:

Whitsitt College is one of the few colleges in the Midwest that include women as students. These women are allowed to pick their majors, but not without persecution from the male students and faculty. Most of the women at the college choose the divinity major. These women also have their own social gatherings and are not inclusive of the other women. What happens when a woman chooses a major outside of divinity? This question was asked by a group of women led by Elizabeth Carrington. Shouldn’t they have the right to meet and have a social club of their own?  The women turn to the only fraternity on campus the Iota Gammas for guidance on how to form a fraternity.  They seek help from their leader Grant Richardson, but will he be helpful? Will Whitsitt accept a women’s fraternity?

My Thoughts:

Secret Sisters is a great sophomore effort by author Joy Callaway. I found the characters more engaging and interesting than in her first novel. I loved that the character of Elizabeth Carrington. Readers will love her take charge attitude and her commitment to the cause. Grant and Elizabeth's conflict made for a more interesting read.  It also contributed greatly to the plot to keep readers guessing on whether the women are successful. The pacing worked well in the framework of the novel. It did slow in some spots, but an enjoyable read.


I look forward to Joy Callaway's next novel!  

Purchase a copy of Secret Sisters here.

Rating:

4/5

Joy Callaway is available on these platforms:




Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Visit Wendy Wax's Lake House

This time we are visiting the lake house just outside of New York City. This lake house is located in upstate.  A Week at the Lake   is a stand-alone novel by Wendy Wax.  She shares her same style with three friends that are facing a huge secret.

Synopsis:

Emma has invited her two friends Mackenzie and Serena to the lake house. These friends have spent a week at the lake for years together; until recently when Emma decided to distance herself from her friends. Why? Emma is harboring a secret that includes the three friends and her daughter Zoe. She plans to reveal the secret at the lake house. The plans change when Emma has a disagreement with Zoe. When Emma decides to go after her daughter she is struck by an oncoming vehicle. Will the secret  be revealed? What impact will this have on Serena, Mackenzie, and Zoe?

My Thoughts:

This novel is interesting, but it was not my favorite. The other two titles  shared recently One Good Thing and The Houseat Mermaid Point are definite favorites. The story has a great plot. I loved how she wove the back story of  the character of Emma throughout the story. The character that most resonated with me is Mackenzie.  She is married  but has not children.  All authors love their characters to grow and Mackenzie’s arc is how does she feel not having children?  Could readers identify with a childless marriage?  I too am older and would love to be married with children. I understand this struggle.

Wendy’s next novella is a Bella Flora Christmas and is available for preorder now.

Rating:

3.75/5

Wendy is available on these platforms:




Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ronald H. Balson In The Spotlight "The Trust"

Please welcome Ronald H. Balson back to Writer’s Corner.  He will be sharing his new book The Trust. It is the fourth book in the Liam and Caroline series.  If you loved Karolina’s Twins then you will most certainly want to check out his latest book.  What will happen next?
Synopsis:  

When his uncle dies, Liam Taggart reluctantly returns to his childhood home in Northern Ireland for the funeral―a home he left years ago after a bitter confrontation with his family, never to look back. But when he arrives, Liam learns that not only was his uncle shot to death, but that he’d anticipated his own murder: In an astonishing last will and testament, Uncle Fergus has left his entire estate to a secret trust, directing that no distributions be made to any person until the killer is found. Did Fergus know, but refuse to name, his killer? Was this a crime of revenge, a vendetta leftover from Northern Ireland’s bloody sectarian war? After all, the Taggarts were deeply involved in the IRA. Or is it possible that the killer is a family member seeking Fergus’s estate? Otherwise, why postpone distributions to the heirs? Most menacingly, does the killer now have his sights on other family members?

As his investigation draws Liam farther and farther into the past he has abandoned, he realizes he is forced to reopen doors long ago shut and locked. Now, accepting the appointment as sole trustee of the Fergus Taggart Trust, Liam realizes he has stepped into the center of a firestorm.

About the Author:

RONALD H. BALSON is a Chicago trial attorney, an educator, and writer. His practice has taken him to several international venues. He is also the author of Karolina's Twins, Saving Sophie, and the international bestseller Once We Were Brothers.

He is available  on these platforms:



To purchase a copy of TheTrust please visit these retailers:

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

In the Spotlight: Meet Hanleigh Bradley and She Is All About the Rules

We welcome Hanleigh Bradley and her novel Broken Rules to Writer's Corner.  She joins us from Broken Rules and she has kindly allowed us to feature and excerpt from this novel: 
across the ocean. Hanleigh has other novels available through Amazon.  Today we will focus on

Aurora

Lou is laughing, and it’s kind of infectious. I give her my biggest smile, before glancing down at my empty glass and then up at the bar where my eyes land on a guy. He’s watching me, or maybe not. He might be watching Tallulah. Yeah, he’s probably watching Tallulah. He’s gorgeous. He’s got dark, messy hair. The sort of hair Tallulah would say just screams at you to run your hands through it. His eyes are immense, I feel like they are piercing into my soul from across the room but that’s impossible. He’s not even looking at me. He’s looking at Tallulah or someone behind me, but I can’t help but blush because there is a chance that he’s looking at me.
Historically, if this sort of thing happened, I would ignore it and return to my conversation, completely pretending nothing had happened. But the problem is that I’ve just made that list, and I have to try and change if I’m ever going to break those rules. I glance back at him, and he’s still looking this way. He’s not smiling. He’s looking at me or at least in this general direction with an intense look that makes him look a little cold, intimidating, unapproachable. But underneath that, there is something else. His eyes. They are intent on whatever has his attention; perhaps me. That look is enough to make me silently beg whatever god is listening that he really is looking at me and not some other girl or worse Tallulah. It’s now or never. Do I go for it or not? I want to. I feel like I might need to. I can’t keep being scared to break my rules.
I look back at my empty glass, and in that split-second, I make a decision, “we need more tequila!” I’m on my feet and making my way towards the bar before Lou has time to respond. I’ve never done this before. I’ve never tried chatting a guy up before.
I stop when I’m stood right next to where he’s sat on one of the bar stools. I don’t look at him. I don’t speak. I just wait for the barman. My heart’s racing with excitement. I don’t know what to do next. I wonder if I should introduce myself, or just start up a conversation, or maybe I should just glance his way. Out of the corner of my eye, I can tell his body is leaning towards me, our shoulders touching gently in the crowded space around the bar. I can feel a palpable tension radiating off him, and it affects me in a way I’ve never known before. I need to say something. I can’t let the opportunity pass me by; I won’t waste it. Not this time. Just as I’m about to say something, the barman arrives and asks for my order, “two margaritas and two shots of tequila with lemon and salt.” I’m ridiculously proud of myself when my voice doesn’t screech.
The guy chuckles, “you sure like your tequila.” His laugh is deep and rich, and I like it. It causes me to smile instinctively as if it’s an intrinsic part of me to be happy when he’s happy. But that’s just absurd.
I turn to face him, completely speechless. I didn’t expect him to speak first and I’m nervous, “It's a new preference.” My voice is quiet, timid.
“I see,” he grins, “so before you turned to tequila, what were you?”
“Pardon?” I’m confused, and I’m pretty sure he can see it all over my face, and that embarrasses me.
“A gin girl? A vodka girl?”
“Neither; I’ve never been much of a drinker,” I’m blushing. I can feel it. I can’t decide if it’s from embarrassment or something else, something hotter. It’s most likely both. I’d usually just have a single glass of whatever everyone else was having. I’ve never had a preference.
“Really?” he doesn’t really sound convinced, and in fairness, it is quite unbelievable when I think about the girls that attend my university and even the girls I went to secondary school with.
“Really; this is the first time I’ve ever been drunk.”
“You’re not serious?” his eyebrow raised, a look of barely concealed surprise on his face. I blush as he looks me over thoughtfully. I don’t respond, partly because I don’t know what to say and partly because I think he finds me amusing. I can’t help but be cross that he might be laughing at me.
The barman’s back, “that’s eighteen pounds, love.”
I open my purse, but I’m not quick enough, “put it on my tab.”
I turn towards the guy, “you don’t have to do that.”
“I don’t have to do anything,” he retorts with what I can only describe as barely concealed arrogance, “enjoy your drinks.”
I don’t seem to be able to look away from him, “thanks.” Up close he looks even better than he did from across the room. He’s got broad shoulders, and he’s wearing a white shirt. His shirt sleeves are rolled up to just below the elbow, showing off strong, powerful forearms. His top button is undone. I can see a suit jacket over the back of his bar stool. It looks soft – expensive. His tie is peeking out of the breast pocket of his jacket. It’s a deep, rich emerald green. His eyes are bright with excitement, and they seem to twinkle as he looks me over.
I’m awkward and completely at a loss as to what to do next. I’ve never really known how to flirt. I’ve not ever really tried. I try to think of something, anything to say but nothing comes to mind, so I decide to settle for another slightly over polite thank you but as I open my mouth to speak Tallulah grabs me from behind, taking me by surprise. My eyes are still on the guy beside me as Lou starts nattering about some guy she’s met while I’ve been distracted at the bar with him. I don’t know anything about him. I don’t even know his name. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next. The alcohol in my system is supposed to help with this right? Make me less inhibited or something but no, I’m still just Aurora Stone, the girl who hasn’t got a clue what to do. “I’m going to go dance with him,” Tallulah is saying, “will you be okay for a bit?”
I laugh, “I’m great. Go! Have fun.” For once I was telling the truth. Sort of. Normally I’d have said those words and then proceeded to sit alone bored out of my skull, but this time it was different. I hadn’t told her what I was really thinking, that now I have an excuse to sit here with perhaps the most gorgeous man I have ever met. I just need something to say to him now. If I was a bit more like Tallulah or Aileen starting this conversation would be a lot easier.
Lou looks unsure, but when she sees the guy beside me, she gives me a massive grin and a wink before flouncing off. “Your friend is certainly excitable,” he sounds slightly mocking.
I look up; back into his eyes, “she’s…” it’s hard to describe Lou. I really don’t know what to tell him so instead, I shrug. “She’s Tallulah,” I tell him as if that answers all his questions.
He grins, “and who are you?”
“I’m Aurora. Rory.” I feel like I should be offering my hand for him to shake. That’s what my mother would expect me to do. She always made a fuss about how you should introduce yourself with confidence. I settle for rubbing my neck and giving him a big smile as I lean slightly on the bar before taking a sip from my margarita. It’s delicious. Amazing in fact. I think I’ve found a favourite drink.
“I’m Landon, are you going to drink those shots?” he raises his eyebrow again. I feel like he’s challenging me.
“Well I did get one for Lou, but it doesn’t look like she wants it,” I glance towards where Tallulah is dancing with a blonde man. “Would you like one?” I offer him.
He laughs, “alright.”




Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Someone Knows All My Secrets

Karen White is known for her beach books of the summer. This time the readers are given a more contemporary story line with a little history, in The Night The Lights Went Out. It is a different kind of story. It is one full of gossip, blogging, and the secrets of a small town.

Synopsis:

Merilee Talbot Dunlap has recently divorced her ex-husband and is ready to start her life a new in Sweet Apple Georgia.  She and her kids move into a house on Sugar Prescott’s property. Sugar has lived there forever and is not keen on starting a friendship with Merilee. Yet circumstances seem to throw them together anyway.  Her kids start school at a private school her ex-husband’s parents paid for Merilee begins a friendship with one of the mother’s Heather. She works on her committees and their daughters become friends. There is also this mysterious blog that seems to chronicle closely Merilee’s life since her divorce. It also questions her relationship with Heather. Who is this mysterious blogger? Is Heather the friend that Merilee has hoped for? Or is there more going on?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this story. It is different from the past Karen White summer books. The author does have two story lines going which is the norm. The second storyline is more about Sugar’s past, and not a story that merges with the present. Readers’ hearts will break for Merilee and her circumstances. Karen White creates a lot of tension for readers as they read this story. I found myself flipping pages because I wanted to know how it would end. One part of the story was a little predictable for me was the role of Heather’s character, in the plot. It is a juicy tale with an ending you would not expect, especially when the identity of the anonymous blogger is revealed.

Karen’s next book will be once again with her writing sisters of Beatriz William and Lauren Willig. It has been hilarious listening to them discuss what the title will be. My personal favorite is The Memory of Air! Purchase The Night theLights Went Out here.

Rating:

4/5

Karen is available on these platforms:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

What Are We GoingTo Be Renovating and Where?

The ladies of Do Over were asking, and waiting for the network to answer this very question. We revisit with some of our favorite characters Maddie, Kyra, Dustin, Nikki, and Deirdre; in Wendy Wax’s book The House at Mermaid Point. Get your tools, some sunscreen, and luggage and head to the Isle of Mermaid Point.

Synopsis:

Maddie, Kyra, Dustin, Avery, Nikki, and Deirdre prepare for their next assignment with Do Over.  It is a reality television show they are all under contract to Lifetime network. The head of the network Lisa Hogan enjoys humiliating them in some way during each assignment. The Maddie and the rest of the group thought this would be a home improvement show rather than reality television. William Hightower has just left rehab.  His son informs him that changes will be made to his father Wild William Hightower’s life. The plan is for William’s residence to become a bed and breakfast for him to earn more income.  They sign on with the idea of participating in this Do Over for a discount on the renovations.   Will the network succeed in making it happen? Does William Hightower find more in his future than a bed and breakfast?

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book! Wendy Wax has a way of writing her books that make them such easy reads. I also listened to it, and Amy Rubinate did a fabulous job of bringing all the characters to life. The story is set in Mermaid Point down in the Florida Keys. I loved being back with some of my favorite characters. I felt there was one character that I was most proud of it would be Maddie. Her character really blossomed in this book.

One spoiler I loved how she told off her ex-husband. The next book in the series is Sunshine Beach.

I am always ready for whatever Wendy Wax has coming next!

Rating:


4.25/5


Wendy’s latest novel is another Ten Beach Road Christmas novella Bella Flora Christmas available for preorder.

She is available on these Platforms:



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Where Does Your Heart Lead You to Give?

Thank you to Dutton Publishing for giving me a copy of The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. I was given this copy in exchange for an honest review. I received no financial compensation.

Synopsis:

Sarah and Sylvia and the other Elm Creek Quilters are getting ready for the Quiltsgiving.  This program is where quilters come to make quilts to give to project Linus.  This year’s groups of quilters are Karen, Pauline, Jocelyn, Michaela, Linea, and Mona.  The readers learn why each quilter came to this Quiltsgiving and their circumstances.  What will each of them take away?   Will they be able to finish their quilts in time? 

My Thoughts: 

I enjoyed the book but was also disappointed.   I requested it because I read The Wedding Quilt for a website that I reviewed for at the time.  I thought this was a good way to get into the Elm Creek Quilters series.  The Giving Quilt made the readers feel like they are classmates learning about quilting.  I had hoped that there would be more about the members of Elm Creek Quilt Guild.   I also visited the author’s website and one of the frequently asked questions (FAQ) is what order to read the series.  When I read the Wedding Quilt both of Sarah’s children were grown.  Then this book that followed the children are little again.  I guess you could consider this a positive that the series is non-linear.  Then readers would definitely want to know what the order of this series is.    The book was written well.  The plot was a little predictable after reading about the first one hundred pages.   Readers will l want to know more about these classmates and what will happen next. 

The Giving Quilt features a good cause giving to Project Linus!  I just am unsure that I would read more.

Rating:


4/5

You can preorder a copy of Jennifer’s latest book Enchantress of Numbers:  A Novel of Ada Lovelace here.

She is available on these platforms: