May 072015

23130126 Love, Lucas

Author: Chantele Sedgwick

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Published: May 5th, 2015

ISBN13: 9781632204172

Hardcover: 288 pages

FTC FYI: I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy


When Oakley Nelson loses her older brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend a few months in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.

In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.

If only it were that easy.

But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and that’s when things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?

With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley knows she must learn to listen and trust again. But will she have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future?

My Review

Love, Lucas is sweet story about Oakley, trying to move on with her life after a tragedy and life changing events.  After the death of her brother, Lucas, Oakley and her mom move to California for the spring to try to distance themselves from the pain of losing him.  Oakley’s mom gives her a notebook of letters written by Lucas that he wrote before he died, in hopes of helping her move on.  I absolutely loved this book.  I’ve told Chantele that I think she and I are kindred spirits, and I felt this way even more so reading this book.  The story flows nicely, and I enjoyed Oakley’s journey of growth.  Carson was a ray of sunshine.  He lit up the pages.  Once Oakley got over her fears of self doubt and she let him in, it was fun to see their relationship progress.  When a tragedy strikes him, it was interesting to see how she would handle it.  My favorite thing about the book were the letters from Lucas.  They were sweet, funny, and a perfect way for Oakley to heal.  Be brave and try new things, what a perfect motto for us all.

4 out of 5 stars.  A clean book with great characters and enjoyable story.  I will read anything from this author.

Author Links

Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Purchase Links

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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Dec 192012

Third Time’s the Charm (An Aliso Creek Novella)

Author: Heather B. Moore

Publisher: Mirror Press, LLC

Published: December 7th, 2012

ebook: 60 pages

FTC FYI: Received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by Mindy

Goodreads Summary

Welcome to the Aliso Creek Novella Series

Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating the “Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone . . . if perfect is even possible.

In fact, Liz Carlson will settle for a normal man. A normal man with a job, that is. Married twice, then divorced twice, Liz’s rose-colored glasses fell off and shattered on the ground a long time ago. Her main focus now is raising her six-year-old daughter and surviving long days at work on her feet as a hairdresser. When Sloane Branden answers her call for help, quite literally, Liz doesn’t even give him a second glance. She’s sworn off dating for as many years as it takes, and it seems that Sloane has done the same after his own tumultuous marriage. But when Liz discovers that Sloane defies every stereotypical deadbeat she’s dated, she might just find room in her heart and discover the third time’s the charm.

My Review

This novella is very close to perfect. It has great characters that you care about quickly, and an all around fantastic story. Liz is an adorable character that had me smiling with her funny quirks. I laughed when she would text Gemma (part of the Five) for pep talks. I loved Sloane instantly. I really liked how he was with Paisley, Liz’s daughter.  This fun short story has a surprising twist that I really enjoyed. I hope there are updates on these great characters in future novellas (hint hint).

5 out of 5 stars. Third Time’s the Charm is a quick, fun read that had me wanting more. Gemma’s story, Picture Perfect, is next up and it will be in A Timeless Romance Anthology — Spring Vacation Anthology coming in February 2013. This anthology will feature short stories from Heather, Josi S. Kilpack, Annette Lyon, Heather Justesen, Aubrey Mace, and Sarah M. Eden. I can’t wait! All of the “Five” friends will have their own story in the Aliso Creek Novella series coming in 2013.

Author Links

Fan Facebook Page / Twitter / Goodreads / Website

Purchase Links

Amazon / Smashwords

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Sep 112012


Author: Annette Lyon

Publisher: Covenant

Published: August 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1-60861-946-7

Genre: general fiction

Paperback: 238 pages

FTC FYI: Review copy, which did not affect my review

Reviewed by Mindy

Backcover Summary: After a bitter divorce from her unfaithful husband, Paige moves from Utah to California with her two little boys and vows to make a fresh start.  She finds a job at a dental practice that helps her get back on her feet, but it’s the friends she makes at her new book club who help her realize how strong she is and who give her support to carry on as she faces the challenges of being a single mom.  She also meets Derryl, a wonderful, kind, attentive man who treats her right–something her ex never did.  Yet, Paige struggles to figure out who she is a s woman rather than a wife, how to help  her boys adjust to a broken home, and whether she can ever trust a man or love again.  As Paige leans on the book club ladies and Derryl’s ever present care, one thing becomes clear:  healing from the past requires more than a change of address.

My Review

Paige is another strong offering from Annette Lyon and for The Newport Ladies Book Club.  From Olivia, and Daisy I was able to catch a glimpse of the woman that Paige was, and I really liked her then.  Reading her own story made me appreciate her even more, and also the other ladies through Paige’s eyes.  At the first book club meeting there is always the first impressions of each character.  I love going back to those meetings through a different character’s view point, to see what she thought of someone that first night, and after that.  It shows each of their journeys, and it helps me appreciate each character more.

Paige was hesitant to go to book club.  One of my favorite quotes from her is on page 20:

For years, I’d pretty much lived in the bubble of being Doug’s wife.  I hadn’t met any new friend in–I couldn’t remember how long.  Since the divorce, I’d turned that bubble into a cocoon.  And here I was, forcing myself out of it.  Meeting new people would be good for me.  I knew this on an intellectual level;  however, emotionally, the idea made me want to drive right back home.

Each of the ladies from the book club came to book club for different reasons, but they seem to have one in common, to find a friend.

There are some fun things that happen to Paige, some sad, and heart wrenching.  Christmas was hard for her.  I was able to really see what a loving character she was during the times with her sons.  She’s a great mom, and Paige finds she may need to make some difficult choices.

4 out of 5 stars.  Annette is an amazing writer.  She recently wrote a blog post about the series, and how each author would write their characters, or how the others gals would write it for them.  I laughed a lot.  Check it out.  Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, her blog, and The Newport Ladies Book Club.  The next book in the series is Athena by Heather Moore.  It comes out in November.


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Mar 312010

Hello dear friends- Hillary here-

Today my post may have more serious overtures as I read a more seriously overtured book this week:) If you haven’t read “I’ll know you by Heart”, you really should take some time out and read it.

I was fortunate enough to be at the Valor Publishing debut a few weeks ago, and was able to meet and chat a bit with Kimberly Job, the author (you can soon, if not already, listen to our podcast interviews with the authors there). At any rate, I spoke with Kimberly and I opted to buy her book because a) I like romances and b) I hadn’t read anything from her and was curious about the book.

If you have ever read anything by Tristi Pinkston, you will recognize her hand in editing this book because it begins with an INTENSE and dramatic gut-wrenching first chapter and doesn’t really slow down. Kimberly took a very tender, terrible subject- one that I think instills anger, frustration and maybe even a bit of fear in every woman- that being the subject of abuse. Though I’ve never being the victim of any type of abuse, physical or verbal,I was so drawn in to Stephanie, the main character, that I felt like I was her, experiencing that type of violence first hand and whenever I put the book down (which wasn’t often) I had to basically put myself back in reality and remember that my husband isn’t an abuser.

The story tells of Stephanie, a 40 something semi-overweight housewife, married to Mark, a physically abusive (when it suits him, which is frequent) husband. After she endures a particularly violent beating that her oldest son, Tyson unfortunatley becomes a part of, Stephanie decides late into the night to pack up her 3 children and leave him. What follows is a tale of pain, anger, growth and love. The love in this book tales of the loss of love, almost a mourning, and the newness of a new love and what it is supposed to feel like.

The love story I liked because it felt very realistic. She wasn’t this perfect woman. She was insecure, scared and dependant upon others to help her. With the help of her extended family, the church and Heavenly Father, she was able to slowly get over her husband, and make room for love worthy of her. The only part that didn’t feel totally authentic to me was how she felt her heart had known Jared (the new interest) all along. I guess that seemed a bit fairy tale to me, but then again, a little fairy tale never hurt anyone either, and it wasn’t constantly mentioned or over done, so overall, not a bad thing.

I would have to say that I made a good purchase. The story is unique and authentic. It has a way of drawing you in and making you forget that it is a story. Though it is her freshman novel, I would say that Kimberly does a fabulous job!

FTC-FYI- purchased

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