I recently read two novels that I just had to share with you. Both of them are beautiful and lovely. One is by Kim Wright, a debut author, and one is Sara Gruen (Water for Elephants). I think I initially connected with both of them because of time I spent living in the U.K. when I was young, but as I read each one I fell in love with the books because of the complex and beautifully written stories. I highly recommend both of them for your Summer Reading lists.
Kim Wright’s novel The Canterbury Sisters is a delight to read. I would especially recommend it for book clubs who enjoy the explorations of friendship and the journey of womanhood. It’s refreshing to read about a character in her forties who still has a lot of life to live. Maybe it’s because I’m forty-ish myself, but I don’t think I’m old, and I’m glad that Che doesn’t think she is either, although she has gratefully come to a point in her life when the truth of her own journey, and of the other women in Broads Abroad, can lend perspective on who she has become. I think I enjoyed the story even more since I’ve trekked through England myself a few times, but I was much younger than Che’s character at the time. Reading The Canterbury Sisters made me want to travel again, so “broads” who dream of going “abroad” will love this story for its adventurous quality. Just beware, you might find yourself booking a trip to England after you’ve read it.
At the Water’s Edge is a mesmerizing novel full of rich meaning and the heartfelt struggle of a young woman’s journey to find out who she really is. To make it that much more meaningful, the protagonist’s journey to find self is thrust upon her. She is constantly tossed around by those who surround her. They decide everything for her and she doesn’t seem to have any say about anything. As her husband and their best friend search for the monster of Loch Ness, she is searching for a creature within herself that may just eat her own soul if she doesn’t manage to start living for herself. Personally, I took a trip to Drumnadrochit myself when I was living in the U.K. and I understand the pull of the monster in the Loch. You can’t stand on the banks without imagining if it’s really in there, but Sara Gruen took this universal feeling that many tourists and locals must have felt at times, and she wove a story so deep and real that it makes us as readers think about the monsters that live within ourselves. Lovely.
Before there was Spavinaw Junction, the quirky little Oklahoma town in my recent novel, Waking Up Joy, there was La Rosaleda. La Rosaleda is a fictional town in the Sonoma Valley of California and is where my first two novels are set. While those novels are Women’s Fiction, many of my readers have loved the romantic threads that weave through the lives of the women in Ruby Among Us and Rose House.
Recently Waking Up Joy received the honor of being named a 2015 HOLT Medallion finalist in the “Best Novel With Romantic Elements” category, more evidence that I keep weaving romance into my Women’s Fiction novels. To celebrate my being a 2015 HOLT Finalist, I’m having a contest! I’m giving away a signed copy of each of my first two novels in the La Rosaleda Series: Ruby Among Us and Rose House.
This Giveaway Has Ended. Congratulations to reader Deborah Blanchard!
Thanks for entering! If you don’t want to wait, remember that Ruby Among Us and Rose House are both available to purchase at your favorite online store, or you can order them from your local indie bookstore. Find your store at Indiebound.
Purchase RUBY AMONG US: Amazon Barnes and Noble BooksaMillion Kobo iBook
Purchase ROSE HOUSE: Amazon Barnes and Noble BooksaMillion Kobo iBook
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I recently took over the blog at Tule Publishing, so I invite you to head over and read about how I wrote a good portion of Waking Up Joy in Northeastern Oklahoma where the novel is set. The only thing better than writing by the pool would be reading next to it.
Here is the link to the post –
Writing Waking Up Joy: Front Porches, Swimming Pools, and Flip-Flops
I am thrilled that WAKING UP JOY is a finalist in the HOLT Medallion Award Contest for Published Authors in the Novel With Strong Romantic Elements category. This is the first time one of my books has been a finalist in a contest and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you to the Virginia Romance Writers and the HOLT Medallion Award judges and coordinators.
I am so happy that Publisher/Author Jane Porter and Tule Publishing gave WAKING UP JOY a chance, and that Editor/Author Amy Sue Nathan was there every step of the way as the editor. It takes a team to bring a novel to readers once it is written. I’ve been blessed with an amazing team of people at Tule.
Congratulations to all of the other finalists. Here is a complete list if you would like to take a look: HOLT Medallion Finalists 2015
Please head over to Southern Writer’s Magazine for my new post at their blog, Suite T:
Southern Writer’s Magazine Post: Being True to the Writer Within