Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know?
by Marguerite Quantaine
Cantine Kilpatrick Publications, 2019
Relationships are delicate. They take time to cultivate and grow. And when it comes to matters of the heart, it can sometimes seem like navigating through a quagmire or minefield.
Enter Marguerite Quantaine, your guide and confidante.
Seriously, Mom, you didn’t know? is a collection of sad, funny, and warm stories. Based on events and moments from Marguerite’s own life, these relatable narratives reflect on the changing roles of relationships and offer insightful observations on society and how we live and love.
Marguerite writes about the variety of inter-relationships that come in all shapes and sizes, both good and bad, and the upstream battle when your life and love choices pit you against societal mores. Her writing style is engaging and her stories offer unique perspectives.
But the best that this book has to offer are the surprising and hidden gems that each story reveals. For example: The emotions of feeling, losing, and loving that are universal; the discovery that self-confidence and resiliency are the best defense against bullies; and her recipe for good communication: sincerity, levity, and good intentions.
Heart-tugging and thought-provoking, Marguerite’s stories cause us to examine how we grow through our exchanges with others, and to consider what things we place the most value on. The reader must ultimately answer whether life is calculated by what we let go of, or by what we hang onto with our hearts.
See you next time on February 22nd!
I didn’t lose my voice. I just can’t find the heart of my story or the right words to express it.
Like teenagers talking all at once, ideas wave before my eyes vying for attention and making me dizzy. I blink them away because I sense they are distracting me from finding the jewel I seek. I silence them using the voice of my 8th grade teacher. “Empty barrels make the most noise.” They flutter away. It’s silent now.
Silence. What is it they say about silence? Silence is golden. Aha, the treasure I seek. Which reminds me of a line from the 1956 musical film by Rodgers and Hammerstein, The King and I. In a pregnant romantic moment between King Mongkut played by Yul Brynner and Mrs. Anna portrayed by Deborah Kerr, the king says, “When one does not know what to say, it is a time to be silent.”
Sage advice. So I quiet all of my thoughts and emotions. In that silence, I hear a sound of rushing waters. Then music trickles out like a spring, new and refreshing. It is my voice.
My fingers tinkle the keys of my laptop. Like musical notes, I string the letters together to form the right words.
A vision of Disney’s The Little Mermaid appears before me. Ariel has lost her voice and found her prince. I smile for it was in her silence that she touched and won his heart.
See you next time on January 22nd. Happy New Year!
Drakenfall resort in the village of Tippingstock is the place to be for Christmas. Owned and operated by Lord Mark Shiley and his American wife Maisy Potter, gives credence to the belief that magical things happen at Drakenfall. How else could an American girl have become the wife and true love of a Baron?
As the resort prepares for the lavish annual Christmas Ball, hope and expectation fill the air. Employees and guests alike wonder if they too might find a little magic and love this Christmas. But different cultures, social stations, goals and confusion collide and threaten to derail everyone’s chance at happiness.
The house manager Glynis feels that love, like the years, have passed her by. Pippa the maid is convinced that she is not worthy of Kafi’s interest, much less his affection. And when Maisy’s parents arrive on the scene unexpectedly, she fears her secret will ruin her charmed marriage with Mark.
A Drakenfall Christmas is entertaining, sweet and fun. The characters are an assortment of holiday gumdrops: colorful, rich, spicy, sweet, and even a sour one or two.
Geralyn succeeds in making readers believe that Christmas is indeed a magical time. In the words of one of her characters, ‘We enjoy the people who are always with us. We take time to experience the best there is to have right in our very own lives.’
And love is alive and possible more than at any other time of year.
See you next time on December 22nd!
Christmas Once Again by Jina Bacarr
Boldwood Books 2019 ASIN: B07V1QT9Z6
Once in a while you come across a book that makes you believe that impossible and wonderful things can happen, and that restores your hope in the power of love. A book like Christmas Once Again, by Jina Bacarr.
Childhood sweethearts Kate Arden and Jeffrey Rushbrooke pledge to love each other for always and to marry when they grow up. But Jeff’s family is rich and Kate is a mere employee at the family’s mill in Posey Creek. What’s more, Jeff’s mother will never allow Kate to marry into her family and Kate’s not sure how far the woman will go to prevent their union.
Kate and Jeff decide to elope during the magical Christmas season, but it’s 1943 and a new challenge presents itself, World War II. Jeff gets called up for duty so the couple vows to wed upon his return.
Fast-forward to 1955. Kate is a single woman and working as a food editor in New York City. She never saw Jeff again and she hasn’t gone back to Posey Creek in years. Now, it’s Christmas time again and her sister Lucy begs her to come home. Kate gives in deciding that it’s time she let go of the past, and Jeff.
On the train ride back to Posey Creek, Kate reads a special delivery letter she had stuffed in her bag. The writer reveals information about Jeff’s wartime activities and the name of the spy who betrayed him. The discovery sets Kate’s heart racing. She would give anything to go back in time to warn Jeff about the traitor and give him a fighting chance to survive.
Whether it was some kind of magic in the letter, the wonder of Christmas, or the power of her love for Jeff, somehow when the Kate’s train arrives in Posey Creek it’s 1943 all over again. Kate is determined to risk it all to save the man she loves. But what happens when you know the future and tamper with the past?
Christmas Once Again unfolds during the holiday season, but the story is about so much more. It’s about family and hope. Above all, it’s about the power that makes all things possible when you love with all your heart.
See you next time on November 22nd.
We first met the twins in Debra’s debut cozy mystery novel, One Taste Too Many, (reviewed by this writer in the January 22, 2019 post). Emily, a chef, was accused of poisoning her sister Sarah’s ex-husband. The twins combined wits and skill to find the real killer.
In TWO BITES TOO MANY , Sarah’s receptionist job at Harlan’s law office is going well. The town is bustling with activity as the bank, town council, businesses and residents share ideas and lock horns debating rezoning plans. The battle lines are divided between those who want a more upscale Main Street and those who want the town to remain as is. In the midst of this tug of war is Sarah’s sister. Emily’s culinary career is on the rise and she’s awaiting news on the bank loan that will turn her dream of opening a gourmet restaurant into a reality. Her hopes get crushed when the bank officer denies the loan.
The twins’ mother, Maybelle, a formidable woman and a substantial client of the bank, takes it upon herself to champion her daughter’s cause. Unbeknownst to Emily, Maybelle confronts Lance, the bank president and leading town council member. When Lance turns up dead, the prime suspect is . . . Maybelle!
It appears that the killer has used the confusion caused by ambitious bankers, disgruntled relatives and residents, varying town factions, and chefs competing with each other to be the best, to create the perfect recipe for murder.
Sarah and Emily plunge into a frantic investigation and race against time to uncover the truth and save their mother from a murder charge.
A cozy mystery with just the right amount of intrigue, suspense and humor, TWO BITES TOO MANY is engaging and entertaining. Debra will keep you guessing, and reading, to the end.
If mystery is not your genre of choice, not to worry, Two Bites Too Many is a good story that will satisfy every taste. So go ahead, grab the book and take a bite or two!
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