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WHISKEY LOVE—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

September 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Who doesn’t love a good romance? Especially when you start wishing the story was your own.

It’s the 1800s, in Tennessee. Folks don’t take kindly to outsiders, especially highfalutin northeasterners. Men reject women meddling in business affairs, particularly the whiskey business. And the temperance movement is in full swing, trying to do away with intoxicating spirits altogether.

Meet Chloe Tanner, a high-born lady from Boston, who has inherited her family’s famous distillery, which she is determined to keep and run against all the odds.

Bold and brash, Chloe can hold her own against societal mores and conventions and inept managers. But she’s thrown off balance by her attraction to the very handsome Penland Kittrell, her main business rival.

When a suspicious fire burns the cornfield that supplies Chloe’s business, the bottling company claims to be out of stock, her office is blown up, and someone takes a shot at her, Chloe braces herself for the fight of her life.

Is it the temperance movement? A disgruntled worker she fired? Men who don’t want to work for a woman? Or her rival, Penland Kittrell, the man she’s fallen in love with, trying to shut her down or force her to sell out?

As Chloe discovers. “Sometimes you can’t help who your heart falls for, you just have to deal with it. Somehow.”

But with so many threats against her business and now her life, how will she deal with it? And can she trust the love of her life, Penland Kittrell?

If you like danger, mystery, romance, and strong heroines, Whiskey Love by Joy Allyson is the book for you.

You might also find yourself reaching for a bit of Tennessee history and whiskey.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on October 22nd!

WHISKEY LOVE

JOY ALLYSON

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

2022   

ISBN: 978-1-5092-4191-0

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Distant Relations: A Finn O’Brien Crime Thriller Reviewed by Veronica Jorge

August 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

DISTANT RELATIONS
A Finn O’Brien Crime Thriller
Book 5

REBECCA FORSTER

August 2022   

ASIN: BOB4194WX8

ISBN:  978-1005643881

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It started out as just another day. Finn O’Brien waited at the airport to greet his uncle. What he saw was the plane exploding, bursting into flames, and taking his uncle and the other passengers with him.

Fans of the Finn O’Brien series know that nothing’s ever ordinary in the life of this detective. Forced to kill a fellow officer who had been trying to kill him, he had been vilified in the press and ostracized by his peers. Personally, it gnawed at him that he had never been able to solve his younger brother’s murder. And his wife’s divorce still tortured him. A man of purpose and faith, he had endured it all, and then some.

Finding the airline uncooperative as he tries to get answers, and stonewalled by the investigative agents gets Finn’s Irish up. His gut tells him that this explosion was no accident. What are they trying to cover up?

With no help or back-up from his department, it’s up to Finn and his faithful partner Cori to follow the money trail and challenge the powers in charge in order to discover the truth and hopefully prevent more deaths.

Mystery, murder, danger, suspense, and a hint of romance, Distant Relations has it all. Readers of Finn O’Brien will fall in love with him all over again.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on September 22nd!

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FIVE BELLES TOO MANY: A Sarah Blair Mystery  BY DEBRA H. GOLDSTEIN—REVIEWED BY VERONICA JORGE

June 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

FIVE BELLS TOO MANY

Debra H. Goldstein

Kensington Publishing Corp.  2022   ISBN 978-1-4967-3223-1

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She’s done it again! In her new cozy mystery, Five Belles Too Many, Debra H. Goldstein once again shows her mastery at creating a tangle of secret lives and ambitious hearts where she hides the killer in plain sight within the story. And though we meticulously follow the clues she scatters for us, we’re always thrown for a loop because the killer is never who we think.

If you have been following these reviews, as I hope you have, and reading her previous books, you’ll be familiar with the twins, Emily the chef of Southwind restaurant in Wheaton, Alabama, and her sister Sarah, who works for a lawyer.

Trouble and murder seem to follow the twins in every project and venture and their joint ownership of the restaurant has found murder as the main course one too many times. Working in concert, they’ve always helped the police catch the culprit.

In Five Belles Too Many, Sarah takes center stage. The city of Wheaton hosts a Southern Belles reality show where five couples compete to win a perfect wedding and dream honeymoon. Excitement. Nerves on edge. Egos and tempers flaring. The tension ramps up when someone turns up dead. Sarah’s investigative instincts kick in as she attempts to identify the killer and prevent another death. The stakes are high because her mother is one of the show’s contestants and possibly the next victim.

Available July 2022, a perfect cozy mystery to add to your summer reading collection.

Remember to try the recipes at the end of the book.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on July 22nd!

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BOOK REVIEW: THE HIDING GAME by Gwen Strauss

March 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as ,

THE HIDING GAME

Gwen Strauss

illustrated by Herb Leonhard

Pelican Publishing Co.

 2017  

ISBN 978-1-455622658

A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

Picture books, that welcoming world of imagery and words that capture the heart and the imagination. And most wonderful of all, when the story is true and reveals a hidden gem.

The Hiding Game, a work of creative nonfiction, is a moving account of the author’s great-uncle Daniel Benedite and Varian Fry, brave men who were instrumental in saving the lives of some of the most important scientists, artists, writers and thinkers of the day such as; Vlady Serge who fled to Mexico and became one of the country’s leading muralist, Max Ernst, a German painter, and artists Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp, among others.

Little Aube, daughter of the famous poet, Andre Breton,( known as the Pope of Surrealism), is forced to move from place to place with her family during the 1940s in Nazi-occupied France. They eventually find shelter in Villa Air-Bel, a hidden villa where Varian, with funds from the New York American Rescue Committee, works with Daniel to arrange passage for them, and others, out of war-torn Europe.

Sundays are Aube’s favorite day because, together with all of the “guests” in the house, she spends the day drawing, singing, and playing games. “Papa said that by singing, playing and laughing with the greatest joy, they would fight against fear.”

But most of the time, things remain secret, like the radio for listening to the war news, and the cow in the yard for giving milk. Aube also has her own secret hiding place; the old armoire in the kitchen, just in case “they” come.

Illustrations by Herb Leonhard draw the reader into the lives of the characters, turning a factual account into a personal encounter with time and history. Strauss also provides actual photos of the individuals, a brief history of the account, and links for further study and reading.

I leave you with a quote listed in the book’s endnotes attributed to Rosemary Sullivan’s book, Villa Air-Bel. “Andre Breton believed that surrealism and art must keep the playful child inside us alive. He believed that laughter was fundamentally the opposite of fascism.”

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on April 22nd!

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The Librarian of Auschwitz: A Book Review by Veronica Jorge

February 22, 2022 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

by

Antonio Iturbe

translated by

Lilit Thwaites.

A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

Henry Holt & Co., 2012,

First American Edition, 2017   

ISBN 978-1-62779-618-7

Recently, I replaced my worn copy of Hard Times by Charles Dickens, a novel about the political and economic woes of the 19th century. Hmm. Sound familiar? He prefaces one of the themes of the novel by quoting the biblical phrase, ‘what a man sows, that he will also reap.’ The story unfolds with the ‘seeds’ that each character sows, and the consequences of what they reap.

But that’s a sermon for the pulpit.

My topic addresses the need for books. Replacing this book, and several others, required a long search to obtain the copies in the editions and hard covers I desired. Did I really need to go through so much trouble for a book? Were they worth that much to me? Yes!

Which reminded me of…you guessed it…a book; The Librarian of Auschwitz by the Spanish journalist and author Antonio Iturbe, and based on the true story of Dita Kraus, the little girl who risked her life for the sake of books.

Block 31 in the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camp houses about five hundred children and several adults named counselors. Secretly they run a school and hide a library that consists of eight books which include, A Short History of the World by H.G. Wells, a Russian grammar, and a book on analytical geometry. Not exactly essential reading or something to risk your life for, yet that is exactly what they do. Dita is entrusted to hide the books in a different place each night because these books fill their greatest need: the survival of their minds and souls.

The story examines bravery, the causes people risk their lives for, and questions the importance of books. As the author examines on page 408 of his postscript, “Books can’t be used as weapons. They can’t fill a hungry stomach or quench thirst. They can’t cure illnesses, loneliness or prejudice.”

 Or can they?

The Librarian of Auschwitz, together with Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953), The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (2007), ( the narrator in Zuzak’s book is Death, wow!), and the non-fiction book by historian of education Diane Ravitch, The Language Police (2003), to name a few, deserve our attention for they remind us of the importance of freedom of thought and expression. In addition, books can indeed satisfy our hunger and thirst for knowledge; they make good companions to ease loneliness; they open our minds to empathize with other cultures and curb prejudice.

Books are also weapons. To quote an often used phrase: ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’ So, let’s keep on writing.

Iturbe concludes that humans can survive with just the basic necessities, but it is culture and books that make a complete person. Without them humanity dies.

Veronica Jorge

See you next time on March 22nd!

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