Tag Archives: Women’s Fiction

FIVE GREAT READS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!

FIVE READS
FIVE AUTHORS
FIVE GENRES

99p/99c

FIVE DAYS ONLY

Discover a new author? Try something different? All of the authors below are offering readers the chance to download one of their ebooks that has received great reviews and has a high star rating. For the next five days you can download and enjoy any of these titles for just 99p or 99c  (from 10th–15th June). Just click on the links to view any book on Amazon!

 

What Jennifer Knows
Contemporary women’s fiction

what-jennifer-knows-cover

 

 

“I started off liking What Jennifer Knows…I finished the novel loving it.” ~ Judith Barrow, author and creative writing tutor.

Sensitively drawn characters charm us… The shifting nature of loyalty and love is portrayed through searingly honest glimpses into the characters lives, both past and present.” ~ Jenny Worstall, author and musician.

Jennifer Jacobs unwittingly discovers a link between two of her friends. Should she speak out or stay silent?

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What I Did Not Say
Mystery/thriller

What I did not say cover

 

 

“Outstanding mystery/thriller. I was blown away by this novel…” ~ Babus Ahmed,  Amazon Top 1000 reviewer and prolific book blogger.

 “Part 2 was the trial, where the pace and tension were excellent. The pages seemed to  turn themselves.” ~ Amazon reviewer. 

Jessica Morley is on her way to meet with a man she has not seen for fifteen years. In her bag  there is a package she must deliver.

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The Sickness
Supernatural horror

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“If you like your supernatural horror to be dark, gruesome and unequivocally gory, then  this is the book for you. It is explosive, expertly written and riveting.” ~
Shelley Wilson, author of The Guardians, YA fiction novels.

“This book is subtly rather than in-your-face     creepy, and the story unfolds at a steady pace, building up to an explosive end; this is a  writer who totally ‘gets’ suspense.” ~
Terry Tyler, author of nine highly rated novels, including The House of York.

Forced home to attend his parents’ funeral, James Harris returns to a place of childhood  torment and gruesome horror.

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Death Times Three
Cozy mystery

Death_Times_Three_Cover_for_Kindle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Elinor (Gray) is a wonderful amateur sleuth—shes whip-smart and determined without coming across as nosy or arrogant.” ~ Elizabeth Maria  Naranjo. 

“I’m a sucker for stories involving a female who can’t resist sticking her nose into a  curious puzzle and the attractive man who can’t stop her.” ~ Terri Case.

A Las Vegas librarian trips over a murdered artist and an amateur sleuth is born. Two short  stories and a novella.

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The House of York
Contemporary family drama

House of York

 

 

 

“The ending to the story kept me thinking for days.” ~ Shaz Goodwin, book blogger and  Amazon Top 100 reviewer.

“Best book I’ve read this year.” ~ Joanne Phillips, top selling women’s fiction author.

Love, loss, jealousy, abduction and murderous intent form the basis of this highly acclaimed,  complex family saga spanning the years 1993 – 2014.

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Review: A Little Ray of Sunshine

The alienated daughter of a has-been child star is “tricked” into going home and facing her past.

A Little Ray of Sunshine

A Little Ray of Sunshine

I loved this book. Loved it. Wish I could give it more than five stars.

EJ is hard to like at first. She’s jaded and sarcastic, but she’s also funny and compassionate and (one senses) is in her heart of hearts looking for the tiniest opening to go back and recover the unrecoverable. For the past six years, she’s been living a nomadic life out of her Airstream RV, hopping from one minimum wage job to another in a quest to outrun her self-broken heart. She’s working at a gas station/convenience store in New Jersey when the book opens. One night a woman named Jess breaks down. EJ doesn’t usually like to get involved. She’s sort of shamed into helping by another (rather mysterious) customer. EJ isn’t thrilled when Jess claims to be an angel sent to help her. When EJ learns that her estranged mother is planning to marry for the eighth time–and that the groom is EJ’s substitute dad (and the father of the love of her life), she’s flabbergasted but still doesn’t plan on going home to Oregon for the occasion. So, Jess basically hijacks the Airstream while EJ’s asleep.

Of course, EJ doesn’t really have to go along with Jess scheme, but she does. Not because of her mom, with whom she has major issues, but because of Luke. He and EJ grew up together, fell in love, and got engaged. Then, for reasons I never did quite grasp, though her mom’s bad behavior is in the mix somewhere, EJ abandoned him. She tells herself that going back home will give Luke closure, but the reader knows she wants Luke back. That said, the book isn’t a romance. It’s character driven and focuses on EJ’s relationship with her mother and with her own battered self-image.

All of the characters in A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE are hysterical and so imperfect you could strangle them–if you weren’t laughing so hard.
Each one of them grows in important ways, yet they all remain flawed. There are no huge epiphanies. Just human beings struggling to do better and make amends. And when the truth about Jess comes out, all the drama and personal nonsense falls by the wayside as EJ and her entire patchwork family rally around the would-be angel. I would love to know more about what happens to Jess. I got so attached to her.

As I said, the EJ-Luke romance is not central to the novel. It is, however, pivotal. It isn’t a matter of love. But instead, is love enough without trust? And, once lost, can trust ever truly be rebuilt? The final answer to that question kept me on the edge of my seat until almost the last scene.

A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE is a warm, funny, emotional book. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Understated and Elegant: A Review of Water’s Edge by Jane Riddell

Family life is not for the fainthearted. Just ask siblings Portia, Vienne, Annie and Lawrence, all of whom have returned to Brunnen, Switzerland to help their widowed mother Madalena celebrate the fortieth anniversary of her lakeside hotel. These adult children, all within waving distance of middle age, share a lifetime of love, rivalry, attachment and betrayal. Add the complications of their individual situations–failed or troubled marriages, resentful children, career confusion–and the reunion is fraught with tension before it even begins.

Water's Edge

Water’s Edge

Author Jane Riddell’s prose is precise and beautiful. She creates complex, flawed characters who believe they know themselves and those around them better than they actually do. Nowhere is this lack of knowledge more apparent than in the children’s view of Madalena. They see their mother as a confident, self-sufficient woman who was strong enough to take the helm of the hotel after her husband’s early death. They have no idea of the debilitating grief she suffered and still suffers to some degree. Madelena’s regret and self-doubt provides the bass note against which all the other characters play.

While all of Riddell’s characters fascinate, they are not equally likable. There’s a grating, selfish quality about Portia in particular. She’s behaved badly towards Vienne and goes to great lengths during the course of the story to keep her secret from being revealed. Despite all of her angst and plotting, I never got the sense that she actually regrets what she’s done. Quite the opposite. It’s almost as if she blames Vienne and believes her sister is the one complicating HER life. Michael, Vienne’s husband, is even worse. In the end, he reveals something of the truth behind his cold, almost cruel behavior towards his wife, whom he professes to actually love, but it’s difficult to accept given what we’ve seen of him. I think my biggest criticism of Riddell is that she does not play fair with Vienne. All of the characters learn something about themselves over the course of their stay in Brunnen. These revelations lead them to make conscious choices about the paths they’ll take. This isn’t true for Vienne. She never really “knows” the truth, and so true choice is denied her. She’s living in hope, which is okay, I suppose. But it left a bitter taste in my mouth.

On the other hand, I have rarely read a book where the setting is so well done it becomes almost a character in its own right. Riddell does a fabulous job transporting her readers to Switzerland. We get to experience its amazing physical beauty and its unexpectedly gritty underside. Also, there’s wonderful insight into Swiss culture. Switzerland was never a country I particularly yearned to visit, now it’s near the top of my must-see list.

I enjoyed WATER’S EDGE and would recommend it to anyone interested in thoughtful, character-driven women’s fiction.

Sensitive and Full of Heart: A Review of TWELVE HOUSES by Olga Soaje

Amelia Weiss is in her late fifties when she loses her husband of many years to an unexpected heart attack. Her grief is profound, and she’s unsure how to move forward–or even if it is possible to do so. She has support from friends and from her two children, though they live in different cities. But Amelia’s grief gets in the way of her creativity–she’s a famous sculptor. This is a problem because her agent, a difficult and complicated woman, has arranged a show in a renown NY venue. Amelia has no idea how she’ll keep this commitment. Adding to sadness is her troubled relationship with her daughter. Her husband, while he was alive, used to act as a buffer between the two. With him gone, Amelia feels her fragile boned with Chloe will deteriorate even more.

Twelve Houses

Twelve Houses

I enjoyed the book a great deal. Amelia is a well-drawn, realistic character. I like how imperfect she is. Her stubbornness in her grief adds a lot of tension to a plot which could have easily become too sentimental. The integration of Astrology–as a means for Amelia to connect with her pre-married self and gain a little perspective on her current situation–was well done and believable. It made me want to have my own Natal chart done. The various settings–Seattle, San Francisco, Napa–were realistic and enhanced the larger narrative.

If there was one aspect of the book that distracted me a bit, it was the across-the-board upper class economic situations of ALL of the characters. On one hand it added a fairy tale quality to the book which was pleasant to dally in for a while. Also, it highlighted the fact that, for all the material riches at Amelia’s fingertips, her heart and soul were as vulnerable to suffering as anyone else’s. But it did get to be a tad too much. The zipping around the country. The buying of wineries and penthouses. Out-of-state interior designers for a baby’s nursery. Toning it down a little would have emphasized the genuine emotion which makes the book such a pleasure.

Overall, I loved the book. The writing is thoughtful and accomplished. The plot touches the heart yet avoids melodrama. Also, in a literary landscape populated with heroines of eighteen-to-thirty, it’s refreshing to explore the hopes and desires of a woman in late middle age.