Mmmrrh … pull up a chair and settle in to make jewelry as you chat and bond, lick wounds and discover new doors, break up and fall in love … and unravel a mystery with the women of The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club by Holly Tierney-Bedord.
From the Amazon Description:
It’s been five years since the idyllic oceanside town of Port Elspeth was rocked by tragedy. Shortly after their high school graduation, Evangeline Maddingly, daughter of one of the town’s wealthiest old-money families, and Oliver Prescott, son of one of the town’s wealthiest new-money families, were found dead in an isolated cabin in the woods outside of town. The circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths are murky at best, thanks in large part to a coroner with connections to the town’s founding families and a sweeping effort from those in power to shut down any negative publicity that could harm the reputation of their pristine community.
~Five years later~
A small group of strangers gather to create jewelry for one of Port Elspeth’s many fundraisers. Before long, friendships are forming and old secrets are being revealed. Along with solving the mystery of how to make a perfect pair of chandelier earrings or cabochon necklace, these unlikely friends find themselves at the heart of solving the murders that took place half a decade earlier.
This book sweeps you away with shades of The Jane Austen Book Club and piques your interest in ways reminiscent of The Bletchley Circle. As the women meet, ostensibly to make jewelry, they learn about their own lives and loves and make decisions that change everything. And one of those decisions is to solve an unsolved murder in the community.
The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club follows the lives of six women – one teenager, one woman in her twenties, two women in their thirties, one woman in her fifties, and one woman in her seventies. We become immersed in their relationships with lovers and family members in all their glory and ignominy. This comfortably intimate novel makes you feel as if you are a part of the club as you piece together dangly earrings, smile at a new friend you feel like you’ve known forever, cringe at flashes of boorishness, and feel chills slide down your neck as you realize a killer is on the loose from a murder that no one ever tried to solve. After all, to delve into the crime, in a place such as Port Elspeth, involving such renowned families, just would have been too, too gauche. But Cadence, the founder of the club, is new to town. And all the other club members have quirks in their lives that allow these craft club meetings to turn into stealthy investigations.
What begins as a compelling voyage into the lives of six very different women escalates into an edge-of-your seat hunt for a killer! Because whether it is fashioning bracelets or making justice happen, these women get the job done. In The Port Elspeth Jewelry Making Club, jewelry, and life, is what you make of it, with your own talent and instinct, but more importantly, with the love and support of others.
Holly Tierney-Bedord, a gifted story-teller, has given us yet another gem!
Be Careful what you read. You might get carried away.
Time travel, suspense, history, political intrigue, murder and romance; The Scribe of Siena has something for every reader.
Transported back to the past and trapped in the Middle Ages, New York surgeon, Beatrice Trovato, is hard pressed to navigate the arteries of Siena, Italy…on the verge of the plague.
But more than that, The Scribe of Siena is a search for identity and belonging.
So many people are searching for their roots via DNA, Ancestry, and Genealogy sites, and are thrilled when they discover a part of themselves that they never knew. Visiting an ancestral country and wearing ethnic clothing often follow.
Like the true surgeon she is, Melodie Winawer takes her character further and deeper. Beatrice’s real journey is out of the brain and into her heart, where she discovers that love is a power that transcends time and space. Now she must decide whether she belongs in the uncertainty and danger of Middle Age Siena, or back with her friends and lucrative medical practice in New York City.
Beatrice’s last name, Trovato, which means “found” should give you a clue of how things turn out. But the actual story, you’ll have to read for yourself.
And for those of you who prefer to travel light; The Scribe of Siena is also available in paperback.
When Victoria Bradford got engaged, she told herself to give love a chance. Six months later, she’s on the run from her angry, abusive ex-fiancé with her four-year-old daughter and nowhere to go.
Seventy miles north of Dallas, the Iron River Ranch is pretty much nowhere. That’s what its new owner, Josh Cain, wanted when he came back from Afghanistan. Big skies, quiet nights, no trouble.
One look tells Josh the pretty redhead with the adorable little girl will give him trouble of the most personal kind. But he’s seen trouble before, and he doesn’t scare easy. Not when “accidents” start happening around the ranch. Not when Tory’s best friend back in Phoenix is abducted and brutalized. Not even when it looks like their current problems are only the tip of the iceberg.
But if he gets too close to fierce, determined Tory, Josh knows his nights are going to be anything but quiet. And that’s one possibility no amount of training can prepare him for . . .
In this book, Kat Martin weaves together compelling characters and well-crafted plots, all to culminate in a thrilling, immensely satisfying ending.
When Josh Cain meets Tory Ford (aka Victoria Bradford), he quite likes her fiery red hair and cute behind. But that’s after we’ve already seen Tory’s true worth: her strength and courage shine through in the opening scene when she stands up to her monster of a fiancé Damon, a man who believes he owns Tory lock, stock, and barrel. Tory survives his nearly fatal beating, escapes, and keeps on surviving.
Once she gets to the Iron River Ranch, the attraction between Tory and Josh simmers and sizzles. We get heart-wrenching and thought-provoking glimpses into Josh’s heroic military career, a career that haunts him… in more ways than one. We meet the tough and charming Clara Thompson, the baby-sitting neighbor who can be trusted to the hills and back. We get to know the eminently likable Cole and Noah, former marines who work on Josh’s ranch. And we are introduced to Satan’s Star, a troubled stallion who has suffered, like Tory, at the hands of an abusive man.
But this warm, romantic, and exciting story becomes chilling as chapters from Damon’s POV begin creeping in as he hunts for Tory. He beats women, rapes women, and kills with abandon. When Damon gleefully and arrogantly kidnaps and rapes one of his victims, this scene is intercut with the sexual culmination of the flirtation between Tory and Josh. While the juxtaposition of sickening brutality with incandescent romance is viscerally disturbing, it is also ingenious in how it undercuts the romance, shifting the focus of the book away from the relationship between Tory and Josh and onto the battles both are facing as they try to elude and conquer the bad guys in their lives. The lovers must stop the villains and the story kicks into hyper-drive.
Josh’s friends and family circle around Josh and Tory, helping them both ward off and fight the evil blasting at them from all directions. The camaraderie is heartwarming; the suspense is so compelling it will have you flipping pages with the speed of a stallion.
And the ending? It is breath-taking, comprised of brilliance and absolute perfection in the narrative. And even to hint at it would be to do this tightly woven story a disservice.
Beyond Control is available in two days, on May 29. Happy reading! Pre-Order here.
Hispanola, which means the “Spanish island,” became the first Spanish settlement in America. It is my mother’s native country and today we know the eastern section of the island as the Dominican Republic; a fertile land abundant in mines and minerals and rich in a great variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and flowers, where the sun shines brightly year round.
The merengue, the country’s traditional music, embraces you throughout the island for dancing is an entirely social activity independent of holidays or festivals. Any gathering includes dancing because Dominican’s don’t just listen to music, they live it. Emotionally, the merengue celebrates life wherein you partake of the rhythms of love, family and friendship. The most skilled dancer moves in unity with their partner, as one.
My mother, Celina Antonia Luna de Jorge, (isn’t that lovely? Like a song in itself), left her beautiful, beloved island, and part of her heart, when she came to America at the age of seventeen. Like most of our ancestors, her family traveled to America in the hope of a better future. I’m happy to say that she found it. (She had me!).
Mom is most fully herself, most fully alive when she is surrounded by her family and cooking us all of the traditional delicious foods of her country. She fills and satisfies us with her peace and joy. And like the savory aromas that waft through the air, she makes our hearts swirl to the rhythms of her warmth and love.
And that’s what I want my writing to be like; a dance of words wherein writer and reader move in sync and taste the flavors of love, friendship, loss and new found purpose, joy and laughter. Writing that, in spite of sorrowful events or hardships, celebrates life and fills the reader with hope that today is indeed worth living.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! I love you!
See you next time on June 22nd.
The painter stares at the canvas waiting for an image to appear. Patiently, he waits until a faint imprint of a landscape or a face emerges. He then grabs a brush and dabs it into the paint on his palette, making haste to reach the canvas with his brush to capture the image. The artist contrasts shade and light. He tightens or increases space. His brush moves rhythmically or scratches across the linen to make the colors and texture warm or cool. The work he renders leaves the viewer feeling airy or heavy.
That’s how I feel when I write. I stare at a blank page as though something secret lay hidden deep within the fibers and emptiness, that by patiently waiting will reveal itself to me. So I wait…until a word, a phrase, or a picture appears.
Could it be that the blank screen or journal page is a powerful mirror able to enlighten my own ideas and thoughts? Is it I who write on the paper; or does the paper draw out what is inside of me?
My words pour out and my hand races across the page. My mind tries to keep up with both for they seem to move of their own volition depicting moments dark and light. Paragraphs heavy laden with emotion yield and give way to joy and humor, while spacing slows or hurries the reader along.
Finished, I sit back exhausted and, ignoring my headache, I read what I wrote. Awestruck, I ask, “Where did this come from?”
My trembling fingers turn the leaf to uncover a new blank page and my sweaty palm smooths the journal sheet flat. Pen in hand, I sit ready to capture another treasure. My eyes dilate seeking and waiting for new wonders to behold.
See you next time on May 22nd.
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