Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ghellow Road by T.H. Waters

Hi everyone!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
A quick reminder to all my readers that today is the LAST DAY to enter for your chance to win a copy of The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain!  For more information (like a review and how to enter), just check out the 'Current Contests' link in the right hand side bar.  Moving on....

For those that stopped by the blog yesterday, you already know that this week is all about memories and today's title features them in a rather unique way.  How so?  It blurs the line between reality and fiction leaving this insatiable reader to ask a question not often pondered when reading a "novel", but I'll get to that in a moment. Today's featured title is....

A Literary Diary of a Young Girl's Journey
by
T.H. Waters

From the publisher....

Based on a true story, Ghellow Road is a literary diary of a young girl's journey through the tangled labyrinth that is her life. Theresa's story begins in a large Midwestern city where she is born to loving parents in 1965. For a brief moment in time, her life is full, as is her heart, and the world is hers to receive without consequence. As time passes and Theresa grows, supernatural forces begin to shape her existence, no matter how carefully her father colors the empty spaces of her world. After a series of tragic events, Theresa and her family seek refuge in a small Minnesota town nestled near the shores of Rainy Lake. She creates a new life for herself there, sharing adventures with friends and riding the ups and downs of adolescence. Yet through it all, her mother remains forever lost in the prison of her own mind and forever lost to Theresa. The young girl feels as though she is leading a double life, one that no one else could possibly understand. She begins to peer at the world as if looking through a thick, black veil, never certain which pieces are illusion and which are not. Through the kindness and support of the townspeople, She eventually summons the strength to survive. This is a story of tragedy and triumph. This is the story of my life.



Though listed as a "novel", it reads true to life....prompting this reader to ask the question "was there truth mingled within the pages?".  Yes, I literally asked that of the author when she contacted me in regards to a review.  What can I say?  I was curious.  I mean the voice of the main character, though young was so strong.  The emotions coming off of her in waves from the troubles her mother was going through.  It was boggling her young mind and there was no sufficient answer to be handed back on a silver platter in order to placate the situation.  You felt for her, it couldn't be helped. 

So, in asking, I received an answer....a resounding YES (the fiction pieces are found in some of the connecting pieces of events that may have faded from memory over time...the rest, is pure life) a fact which not only confirmed the emotional tone but also pulled at your heartstrings.  These children, this child went through so much at such a young age.  When the only care in your world should be the fun and fantastical while mommy and daddy take care of the surrounding world, Theresa and her brother had to deal with losses unimaginable and life changing.  Losing one parent in death and another to their mind, they were shuttled back and forth between extended family, childcare homes, and friends houses until things came to a head and yet another piece of the family broke away. 

Though growing up in the same house and facing the severity of the situations side by side, each was affected in their own way.  Both were deeply hurt creating unwelcome scars and while they both ran when their limits had been reached, her brother ran the farthest and for good both physically and emotionally leaving her to handle the situation at home on her own.  But how can a mere child cope with a parent who is unaware of their own flights of fancy and extreme behaviour?  Even when revealed to extended family members, they were slow in responding with a change that would affect things permanently.  Luckily she was (is) strong and while things weren't ideal, she learned she could count on her friends as well as herself and in the end, that is what carried her to where she is today.

myspace layouts imagesThere is one brief passage I wanted to share with you from her early childhood days.  It's one of the times that their Grandma had taken her and her brother for a holiday excursion.  This trip saw them visiting a local auditorium for a special showing of Cinderella.  Now this wasn't an ordinary play, but a multi-stage show depicting the various key points of the story with little mechanical mannequins carrying out the characters roles.  The way the scene is described (the story itself) is a great example of the emotion of the story as well as the unexpected beauty that can be found in something that is familiar yet new.

Unfolding before us was the tale of a young girl hopelessly trapped by circumstance in a world that cared nothing for her song.  Aimlessly she drifted through a life full of thunder and shadows, fearing Sorrow would remain her master forever.  But somehow, by luck or by destiny, Fortune kissed her brow and led her to the one who could instinctively play all the chords of her heart. -- pg 87


In short, a moving story that will take your breath away not merely by the beauty found in the the strangest of places, but the events that transpired creating the remarkable person who penned this work.  Would I recommend this book?  Certainly....for mid to older teens through adults though due to content.  Life gets messy and this is a prime example, however it doesn't have to stay that way.  Things can change if only one has the fortitude to see it through; extend a hand of friendship and a hug of reassurance to someone that did.

Signed and personalized review copy courtesy of author T.H. Waters.  (THANKS!)  To find out more about this work of factual fiction, feel free to visit the publisher's site.  While you're there, take a few moments to peruse the chapter excerpts for a glimpse of the memorable story within, the other reader reviews and even an interview or two with the author herself.

Until next time....happy reading!
 

Monday, May 30, 2011

M is for...Memorial Day, Memories, and MUST Reads

Hello there insatiable readers!
Welcome back to the site made just for you (and me)...Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  Today we celebrate an important "holiday" in the US of A, namely Memorial Day.


This is the day (the last Monday of May) that we come together with friends, family, and acquaintances to cherish our time together and give thanks to those that serve our country both today and yesterday.  It is a time of remembrance for all that has happened and is happening still, and a time for realization of the fact that without those sacrifices we wouldn't be the country we are today.  So whether you agree with everyone going on in that politically tinged arena or not, STOP and GIVE THANKS to all the men and women who serve our country each and every day in the hopes of achieving a brighter tomorrow.

With that said, this week we will be featuring a few titles that are all about memories.  Those lost, those gained, those never meant to be and those that we simply can't let go; they all play a role in shaping our everyday lives.  Today's featured title in particular deals with lost memories as well as those that take a hold of our hearts without warning.  It is an upcoming release to the print world of Urban Fantasy (or Young Adult fiction...could easily fit there too) though its "e" counter part is currently available that well, suffice it to say will take your breath away.  Today's book of choice is....

by

From the author...

What if you knew you were about to be torn from your body and replaced by an imposter in a seamless switch forever separating you and the one you love? Would you do whatever it took to stay? Even if YOU happened to be the imposter?



Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies. When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she breaks the rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached. Lane Riley has no idea he’s fallen for Abithica, wearing Sydney Turner’s body and that a future with her is impossible. Desperate to stay with him, Abithica uncovers the mystery of what she is, only to learn she’s a pawn in a battle over souls, and that she’s probably one of the “bad guys.” What will happen if she refuses to leave Sydney’s body?



So, how to begin.  *think*think*think*  To me, the storyline was relatively new as I haven't really read a book along the "soul switching" persuasion to date but it did remind me a bit of something when I was reading....and that something was The Host by Stephenie Meyer.  Now grant it, I've never read that book in full, just merely the beginning chapter or two when it first came out as my curiosity got the better of me.  It's not a dead ringer for it, but the way the switch occurs and the similar pushing aside of the original spirit still dwelling within were setting off a moment or two of deja vu; not enough to inhibit, but enough to give pause.  It's funny what the brain remembers sometimes.  Anywho, speaking of memories....

How this book ties into this week's theme is purely to do with Abithica.  You see, when she switches bodies or "hosts", she can't remember a thing from her previous switches nor usually from her current "connection" leaving her with amnesia of sorts.  As she struggles to piece the pictures together, she ends up uncovering what was broken in their lives and how it might be mended despite the fact that she views herself as a parasite.  Whether or not she is one is beside the point, but her actions are tainted by those thoughts so she's ever so careful not to form attachments to those she is working within....or at least until now (but who could blame her?  Lane sounds like a dream!) adding a new complication to the matters at hand.

But that's not the only interesting aspect about the book, especially if you're asking my opinion and let's face it, you are or you wouldn't be here, right?  (hehe)  As Abithica (as Sydney) goes about the town, she receives some rather strange reactions from the area children AND wildlife.  It seems that she is something of a wonder to behold as far as the kiddos are concerned and the wildlife, well let's just say calling her 'Snow White' wouldn't be far off the track if one had a mind to open up that can of worms.  Another key point....the letter that Sydney, I mean Abithica, writes to Shae (Lane's little sister whom he is caring for at this time).  The mystery it held was unexpected and the final reveal was more than anticipated; certainly helped explain a lot by book's end. 

Lastly, but certainly not least, we have the character connections.  The author did a great job telling the story but a fabulous job on bringing the characters to life.  Faith's (Shayne's Mother) with her theory on what your footwear says about you, let's call it "the Secret...Shoe-point-oh".  Little Shae and all her wide eyed innocence despite everything that has happened in her young life.  Lane the dream boat dejour who happens to be most decent and family oriented even in light of his families past tragedies.  Need I go on?  Seriously, the whole cast is one to look out for as they make their appearances known.

Now along with all that is good must fall a little bad sometimes, but I promise not to keep you too long.  First is a general warning regarding the appropriate reading age group.    My own recomendation would be mid-to-late teens through adults due to a few bits of content here and there; nothing too startling, but better to be safe than sorry.  Secondly, there is a bit of the storyline that just sort of disappears by book's end.  It deals with some folks from "past-Syndney's" life as well as a warning from the Leganas group.  The Legnas group is bad news from the start, and the creep factor around them is well deserved but while we learn a bit about them, their location, and connections, we lose the final outcome leaving the second hand storyline untethered to a resolution (or at least one that you have to guess at if your curiosity requires it.  As the book was drawing to a close, I was hoping against hope for a happy ending; though I wasn't certain it was possible.  Did it happen?  Well, let's just say that SOMETIMES wishes do come true....in the stories we read and in regards to the books we give a chance to shine.



About the author

Susan Goldsmith earned her Bachelors Degree in Journalism from the University of Arizona. She was selected to serve as Rep. Morris K. Udall's Assistant Press Secretary and was honored by handing his resignation to the Senate Press. Later she became an Undercover Private Investigator at Pinkerton, worked as an outside Sales Rep at Dun and Bradstreet and spent five years in pharmaceutical sales.
She met husband, Bryan, in Mr. Ledezma's biology class, at age 13, setting off fireworks that still light the sky over Madera Canyon, AZ, to this day! Those presently enjoying the show include her daughters Riley and Reagan, 3 1/2 dogs, 3 cats and a parrot who she's trying to teach Shakespeare and failing. Note: Her 210 pound English Mastiff, Teddy Bear, counts as 1 1/2 dogs.
Presently a stay-at-home mom, Susan stumbled across a pondering personal question after reading Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul, that being her own worst fear. Losing her husband and children was the answer, arriving while she vacuumed the living room. What if she were to be taken from them without their knowledge? What if another soul was inserted in her place? She'd look the same, but oh, what would happen then?

The question soon became an obsession, the idea of 'soul switching' was born, and the result was her first novel, Abithica

 -------------------------------------------------

Ebook copy for review courtesy of author Susan Goldsmith.  (THANKS!)  For more information regarding her current work and so much more, be sure to stop by her website, visit the book's Facebook page, or friend her on Goodreads!  She also has a contest going on right now to win a signed copy of her book, so be sure to check it out. This book is published via Twilight Times Books and a visit to their website not only provides you access to purchasing options, but also a chapter excerpt to get you started.  

Until next time...happy reading!




Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Roving Reader

In keeping with the semi-animal theme this weekend, check out this little..."beauty".  Really though, I'm not a snake fan but the colors on this cover in person are BEAUTIFUL.  (I blame the quality here on my cell phone...sorry!)


Verdi
by
Janell Cannon



What caught your eye when out and about this weekend?
Do tell!


** The Roving Reader is a MEME type feature created by yours truly to share those book covers spotted when out and about that catch your eye for one reason or another. Want to get in on the fun? You're welcome to use the MEME, just give a little credit love. Simply snap a picture of your recent find and post away! Happy reading! **



Friday, May 27, 2011

The Roving Reader

 

A two for one today perfect for the pet lover in you.  Just look at all that cute adorableness to go around.  Altogether now.....awwwww!


Lawless Labs:
Good Labs Gone Bad

and

Kitty Therapy:
Getting by with a Little Help from Your Friends





What caught your eye when out and about?
Do tell!


** The Roving Reader is a MEME type feature created by yours truly to share those book covers spotted when out and about that catch your eye for one reason or another. Want to get in on the fun? You're welcome to use the MEME, just give a little credit love. Simply snap a picture of your recent find and post away! Happy reading! **



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bullying: Only Right If It's Done by a Bull

Hi there readers!
Welcome back to another day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Before we jump into the featured title, just a quick reminder that there are three contests still active here on the site.  One ends tomorrow and is open internationally....the second is US/CD only but it ends Monday...and the third is open to one and all seeking a break from that pesky writer's block.  So, be sure to get those entries in!  Just check out the 'Current Contests' section on the right hand sidebar for all the links.  Now, on with the show!

Today's featured title came to me a month or so ago.  I was trying to wait for the perfect time to get a review posted for it but as obscure holidays came and went I thought, self...ANY day is the perfect day to discuss this title... so here we are!  It's a book that addresses a topic near and dear to many readers hearts, that of bullying and how it is NEVER effective unless being done by an actual bull (in which case, please capture a video of the event and share it with yours truly).  What makes this one special however is the approach through which it is dealt with.  You'll see.  Today's featured title is....

The Juice Box Bully:
Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others
by
Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy
illustrated by

From the author's site:

Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it?  Instead of being bystanders, the kids at Pete's new school get involved.  When the juice box mess becomes more than just a dirty shirt, Pete's classmates teach him about "The Promise".  Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make "The Promise"?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The children portrayed in this story are part of a unique school group that opted to participate in the challenge to create a more open and secure learning experience for all.  By learning that each and every one of them has something to contribute to the overall whole, they learn to cherish the connections they make with everyone.  By refusing to allow themselves or their classmates to be bullied in any way, they gain even more momentum in eventually achieving an environment  where learning is top priority and ridicule is a thing of the past.

To put this one simply without revealing the entire story, it addresses bullying in school with an interesting new way to handle those perpetrating the offense.  The school presented has proactively in lieu of reactively addressed the bad influence bullying has on everyone and everything through something referred to as 'The Promise'.  It's a guide to what children (and adults) can do in order to not merely be bystanders but to be those that make sure the voices of others are heard.  Through making better choices and wiser decisions, by including others whenever possible and accepting each other for who we are "flaws" and all, there is a great lesson to be learned and carried out into the real world by readers of all ages.  Combine all of that with the colorful illustrations and you have a winning combination indeed. 

Tolerance and acceptance.  Both words command power, but when wielded appropriately, they can help us bring the world that lives in our dreams forward to our reality and just think what a wonderful place that would be.  Curious about the writer behind the work?  Here's a small glimpse at the author herself revealing a relateable person bursting with personality and drive.  Don't believe me?  Take a look....



Born and Raised: In a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, I grew up with red shag carpet, The Smurfs and Cabbage Patch Dolls. In my past time, I played flashlight tag with the neighborhood kids and listened to NKOTB aka The New Kids on The Block.

Family: I am lucky to have a large family. I have an older sister, Angela, who also ate spaghetti in a hot dog bun (among other crazy concoctions my mom created for us) growing up. I am married to the coolest guy ever and together, we are raising our baby girl Ruby.

Favorite book as a child: Frances Books by Russell Hoban and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

Favorite book as an adult: The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (I’m a fan for the love stories).



Review copy courtesy of author Maria Dismondy.  (THANKS!)  For more information about this author's inspiring works, please visit her site.  Be sure to check out the 'Resources' section of the site for the down loadable reader's guide that goes with this title as well as your very own copy of "the Promise" to be put to use in your local school's to help build a better, brighter, and bully-free tomorrow. 
 
Until next time...happy reading!
 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Roving Reader

Wow...how Can you not like this fun cover? Cow lover or not...it's got appeal.
Amazing Cows by Sandra Boynton

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Roving Reader

This one as FUN written all over it.
From the multiple sub-titles to the illustration, even the back cover blurb is a hoot!


Horton Halfpot
OR the Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor
 OR The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset
by
Tom Angleberger



What caught your eye when out and about this weekend?
Do tell!


** The Roving Reader is a MEME type feature created by yours truly to share those book covers spotted when out and about that catch your eye for one reason or another. Want to get in on the fun? You're welcome to use the MEME, just give a little credit love. Simply snap a picture of your recent find and post away! Happy reading! **



This just in: BEA, Armchair BEA, and Copia

Hi there readers!
Betcha didn't think you'd hear a THIRD time from me today, right?
Well, normally I'd say...you're right, BUT this news needs to be shared right away.



We all know BEA is this week.
*le SIGH*
For those of you reading this whilst there, enjoy!


For those left behind (so to speak) like me, we are stronger in numbers my friend...and we always have the Armchair BEA event to check out; BUT...if you are looking for even more bookish fun, check out this news flash from Seth over at Copia Interactive, LLC about two titles FREE to download for a limited time!
Ready?  Here comes the news....


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



FIRST...

To celebrate Bob Dylan's 70th Birthday, we are giving away Clinton Heylin's Revolution in the Air, a massive 446 page song-by-song look at Dylan's work from 1957 to 1973! It is awesome, whether you are a fanatic or a fan. Available now for approximately TWO WEEKS:








...SECOND....

We are also giving away Copia's first-ever Author-Annotated Edition. I am very proud to have worked with George Rabasa on his charming, funny, and horribly haunting twisted teen romance, Miss Entropia and the Adam Bomb from Unbridled Books, a house that puts out great fiction. George has added about 25 contextual annotations that find him discussing everything from his character's character to Don Quixote to the history of Malls. This is, I think, a taste of what the eBook of the future can bring to readers. Added insight, added interaction, added value. This giveaway lasts ONE WEEK starting today!
 
 
 
 
 
(PLEASE NOTE:  If you follow the links, be sure to click the "Buy This Book" button on the page that appears.  You should see the cost listed as ZERO, but that's the only way to finish the "transaction".)


---------------------------------

Now that you have the "goody" information, I bet you're wondering exactly what Copia is?  (I know I was when I got the email....)  Here's the scoop on this interactive ebook site build to create connections reader to reader and ebook to ebook.


What is Copia?
Built in social features make reading and studying a shared experience. Follow professors and classmates who take great notes. Join discussions and study groups, all centered around the books you love as well as your required reading. Join online or from the pages of an open e-book.

Join the conversation inside every book.  - When you write notes, highlight text and bookmark important pages, your friends can follow along and respond back. This makes Copia the only social platform that allows you to discuss your books while you read.

Shop one of the biggest online eBook catalogs.  - Welcome to the next-generation bookstore. Where you go, it goes. Shop new releases, bestsellers and old favorites. There are hundreds of thousands of titles you can download instantly.

Read the way that suits you best. - There are many convenient ways to stay connected with Copia. Like the Desktop Reader and Copia for the iPad. But you don’t have to choose just one. Your online account, apps and devices will sync automatically. So you’ll always be up to date, no matter how you’re connected.


------------------------------------------

So there you have it.
Another bookish site to check out when you are in the mood for a little ebook reading.
The more the merrier, right?


Until next time...happy reading!


 

Taste Testing Tuesdays (79)


Good morning (or whatever time it is where you are), everyone!
Welcome to another installment of Taste Testing Tuesdays here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers!  Taste Testing Tuesdays was inspired by 'Teaser Tuesdays', a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading
 
On the menu this week...one ebook title I've picked back up after a quick marathon read took over the remaining portion of last week...and a "coming soon" title that is going down really smooth.
Ready for a taste?
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
 
 
This boy wished it to be over quickly, but he would wait. He’d wait and suffer while he considered his fate. A shame that, just days earlier, another male human about his age had been destroyed in this very room.
-- pg 87, Abithica by Susan Goldsmith
Quite a different teaser than last week's little gem, no?  There is a darker side to this story, but just how deep it runs and what our lead character (or characters) have to do with it....remains to be seen.  *curious*
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If Mary Kay hadn't said that, Beth might never have left the floor, might still be there.  'This had been Lynne's choice.'  Even if Beth disagreed with it, even if this choice robbed them of precious weeks or days they might have had together, in the end, all that mattered was that Lynne got her way at last.
-- pg 42, Kindred Spirits by Sarah Strohmeyer (ARC)
This scene occurs not too long after some disturbing news is learned about their friend...and they are trying to come to grips with it.  So far, this book is proving to be another great venture into the women's fiction genre.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
*Open to a random page
*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
*Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR.* 

 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Until next time....happy reading!
 
 

In My Shopping Bag (79)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
Through her guidelines, your post does not actually have to be named the same and thus my post shall be..."In My Shopping Bag".  (just fits with the "foodie" theme a bit better in my humble opinion)
Let's take a peek inside my shopping bag this week....
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Review
 
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
(1) bag of Balanchine chocolate covered espresso beans
(ARC + treat courtesy of Ksenia at Macmillan Children's Publishing)
A world where chocolate and caffeine are both outlawed?  O_O -faints-
This came highly recommended from a trusted contact at this publishing help that has yet to steer me wrong....so my hopes are fairly high.  Scheduled release from Farrar Straus Giroux set for September 27th at this time.




My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
(ARC courtesy of Ksenia at MacMillan Children's Publishing)
I've been seeing this one around the blogosphere so of course the moment I had the opportunity to read it, I snagged it.  Can't wait....curious to see how letting others direct her life choices works out....not that I'd actually try it or anything. ~whistles~ Scheduled release date is June 6th.



-------------------------------

Received

Evernight
Stargazer
by Claudia Gray

...AND...
 
 
Viola in Reel Life by Adrina Trigiani
Eclipse (collector's edition) by Stephanie Meyers

All thanks to my good bloggy friend Nayuleska.
(Be sure to check out her site, Nayu's Reading Corner!  It's definitely worth the click... ^_^)

 
 
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


 
That's it for this week.

What did you get?
Do tell!


Until next time...happy reading!




Monday, May 23, 2011

BLOG TOUR: The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain + Giveaway!

Welcome back readers!
Thanks for tuning in for post number two of the day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.  Yes, yes...I know.  Two posts in one day?  What is the world coming too!  Well, in fact....it's busy; busy as ever and while the winners needed announcing earlier, we have a special guest today that definitely needs a bit of a spotlight.

Today we play host to a special blog tour courtesy of Tricia at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.  (THANKS!)  The featured title falls under the Fiction category quite well but could certainly be fit into the Women's Fiction sub category with its cast of strong female leads, mystifying secrets and ultimate conclusion.  If you've yet to experience this author's remarkable writing, I'd say this is the perfect time to correct that situation...just as I did.  Today's book of choice is.... 

by

From Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc:

When Noelle Downie is found dead of an apparent overdose, her best friends Tara and Emerson are left blindsided by her death and struggling with burning questions. Everything they knew about their longtime friend—her natural calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—portrayed a woman who completely embraced life, not someone suicidal.


Clearing out Noelle’s small home, Tara and Emerson encounter old photos, handwritten birth records, and sincere thank you notes from Noelle’s former patients—no hint that Noelle had been unstable during the years leading to her suicide. But among Noelle’s belongings, an unfinished letter is discovered—a clue to a disturbing past and an unbearable secret. With just one piece to the puzzle, Tara and Emerson commit to digging deeper for clues, slowly peeling back years of hidden deception that had been silently tearing apart their best friend.


Bestselling author of The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes and The Lies We Told, Diane Chamberlain returns with her twentieth and most gripping novel to date, THE MIDWIFE’S CONFESSION (Mira Books; May 2011...), about two women who embark on a investigation of their best friend’s untimely death, ultimately revealing a powerful secret that threatens to destroy everything they thought they knew about her.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sounds good, right?  Oh you have NO IDEA.  My reading adventure with this title was long and sordid.  How so?  Well, let's just say that I was doing great on my reading list versus obligations until "the-event-that-shall-not-be-named" occurred.  After that....chaosis has been my traveling companion and BOY do I wish I could send it packing like yesterday's garbage.  *shakes head*  Anywho, my point, my point, what tis my point.....basically my reading of this book was complete as of about an hour ago.  Yup, just finished and while my eyelids are threatening to reach each other and put me into a nice deep sleep, I simply HAD to tell you about this book.  Some of you may not be as surprised as I was regarding the quality of this story.  The author has in fact been around the block a time or two, this being her 20th novel and all.  That's right....20TH.  How I've missed her work up until this point, I can only fathom but rest assured my eyes are now open and eager for more. 

As the synopsis alludes to, this is the story of three women.  Their lives are explored through ups and downs, happiness and sadness, truths and lies.  Friendships are strained (though unknowingly to the other party), bonds broken (secrets kept from friends and family, never a good idea) and boundaries crossed (naughty behavior now and then) and yet in each case the actions taken were done with the utmost love for those they felt they were protecting.  It was amazing to watch the story unfold.  The author has a unique way of writing the characters to life and despite the close knit nature of their relationships, you're treated as a member of the family.  You feel for them; their pain is your pain, their confusion your confusion. 

As the story progresses secrets are revealed little by little, never too much at once; just enough to allow you to piece together a vague idea of what may have happened or what might be uncovered next.  It was refreshing not to have it laid out point blank for you.  It added a bit of mystery to it all without taking away from the emotional side of the story.  The slow reveal is aided in part by the variety of voices through which the story is shared.  A change in narrator can be hard for some readers (myself included) to absorb.  You get use to one voice only to have to adjust to another and sometimes that change can interupt the stories progression in your mind.  Here...it works, and rather well. 

You get to know each of the characters on a more personal level thus creating that reader/character bond and what's more you get to see the situation through another set of eyes without repeating it all again.  Noelle, though one of the main characters to some aspect, reaches out to us from her journals and memories as her present state no longer leaves her able to participate more actively.  Her life was a kaleidoscope of sorts, twisting and turning this way and that all with the purpose of reaching one final pattern of beauty but with those unfortunate combinations of brokeness reached in-between.  Tara and Emerson, friends for life since their days in college and pillars of strength much needed for supporting one another through the coming times.  Sam, Ted, and Ian....the male voices leaving their mark in a more subtle way yet still equally important to the overall story.  The shifts between there narration are subtle and to keep you from having to guess who is whom, they are marked by a new chapter each time they change, but they are distinctive nonetheless  I for one appreciated that because keeping track of the connections throughout the story was occupying my mind more greatly.  Note to readers, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a pen and paper handy to jot a note or two....just in case. 

In short, it's a novel about women.  How we live.  How we love.  How we connect with one another and how we will protect our loved ones til the end.  From the quiet strength yet to be uncovered to the voice that is raised to help the multitudes, we are all different and yet share a common bond.  Here, the range of those bonds are shown with a moving story that is sure to leave you contemplating life and all its mysterious ways.  If you are a fan of women's fiction, or simply stories about friends, family, and the secrets they keep for better or worse, this is definitely one book you don't want to miss.

This book was released earlier this month so it should be available at a retail store near you from MIRA Books.  For more information on this title including an excerpt from this book, be sure to check out the publisher's site.  To connect with the author, check out her website...which happens to include a contest of its own (pretty cool one too if I do say so myself.)  No back to "not wanting to miss this", here's your chance to ensure just that!

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Thanks to the great folks at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc, you have the opportunity to win a copy of this book for your own reading pleasure.  Here's how....

The prize....


(1) copy of The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain




 

How to enter...
...just fill ot the form below!




 
The rules....
*Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only! No P. O. Boxes please.
* Entries will be accepted from Monday, May 23rd, 2011 through Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 at midnight CST. The entries will be tallied and entered into the random.org randomizer, after which a random number will be picked by their number generator. (This way all the entries are mixed up nicely.)
* All entries must be submitted using the form accessible through this post. You MUST include your email address in order to be counted as well as contacted should you be chosen as the winner!
* The winner will be announced and contacted via email by Thurday, June 2nd, 2011 and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. Should they fail to respond in the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen. If you choose to include your full name and mailing address in your contest entry, no worries....the time frame issue is erased.
*Winner's name and address will be forwarded for prize send out only and then discarded.


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Until next time...happy reading!



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