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 enjoy book reviews. I read reviews of books I might want to purchase, reviews of books I’ve read and loved, reviews on the works of authors I I know and love, reviews of books I’ve just finished, reviews of my client’s work. And I read reviews because, well, I really love listening to fellow bookworms talk about books.
Reviews are important to any author’s success, of course, but they’re especially important to the Indie author. Indie authors can promote any number of ways, but reviews are the crucial fuel for sales. Readers rely on reviews, especially if the author is new to them; Indie authors rely on reviews to find readers. It’s this fact that makes me so crazy when a review is an elaborate retelling of the story, complete with outing all the twists and mysteries as well as the resolution. That isn’t a review; it’s a damn book report.
I can feel my head begin to explode when a reviewer prefaces a sentence with ‘spoiler alert’. That’s not a pass to spill the beans. It’s a glaring neon sign declaring that this reviewer, this self appointed arbiter of storytelling, has kindly read the book for me. Now I can save my money because reviewer person has graciously taken care of that grisly chore of actually reading. (Audacity always makes my blood boil.) I mean, what about the word ‘spoiler’ don’t you understand?
A book review should give me some indication of why and how the book affected the reviewer. Specifics are welcome, the more insightful the better. Perhaps the author’s voice is particularly unique and pleasing, or the plot was a refreshing take on a well-loved genre. Maybe it’s the characters that win the day, or the book presented a world view that made the reviewer thoughtful. And if the reviewer didn’t like the book I want to know why. If the book was terrible, what made it a stinker? If some aspect of the story was off-putting be fair; not all readers like the same thing, which doesn’t necessarily make the work bad.
It’s not about the author. If a reviewer dislikes a book because the F-bomb and it’s numerous cousins were used it does not mean the author is in need of spiritual counseling. If the political bent of the tale does not suit the reviewer it does not mean the author could use time in a re-education camp. A review is about the story.
Being of mostly open mind and generally democratic spirit I’ll take the one or two line reviews of the “If you like fill in the genre then this is a must read” or “I spent a great winter weekend with this book. Highly recommend” variety. I may not have any specifics but there is something wonderfully persuasive about that kind of joyful sharing.
You may say I should just give a pass to the book reports and the spoilers, and you would be right. But I raise my pen-sword in defense of every Indie author I know, and those I’ve yet to meet. Insightful, honest reviews are sustenance to a writer. They impact sales and the writer’s heart. When you review, do it with substance. Please don’t retell the story – it’s the author’s story to tell and the reader’s tale to enjoy, and for the love of the muses, don’t give away the best bits. You’re going to make my head explode and I do not want my heirs to have to clean that up.
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.
I hope you are all finding moments to enjoy this fall. I am looking for some fresh reviews for my 55K Christmas novel A Drakenfall Christmas. If you would like to read the book, here is a Book Funnel link so you may enjoy the book for free. This link to a free ecopy of A Drakenfall Christmas is available thru November 2019.
And if you like the book, I would love a review on Amazon! A word or two, a sentence or two would be fantastic.
Ideally I would like some fresh reviews by November 8, to help with some promotional things I have in the works, but even after that, reviews are surely welcome!
A little about the book:
It’s Mark and Maisy’s first Christmas together at Drakenfall . . .
The magic of Drakenfall is in the air as Lord and Lady Mark and Maisy, along with their madcap staff, welcome guests to the country estate-turned-resort for the season of nutmeg and mistletoe. Get ready for a Drakenfall Christmas . . . topsy-turvy and heartwarming, generously sprinkled with laughter and lavishly frosted with romance!
Thank you for any reviews. I hope you enjoy this book, which I wrote to be a Christmas confection of delight.
I hope that whatever you are reading, it is wonderful! –Geralyn
Editor’s Note: If you like Hallmark Christmas movies, you’ll love A Drakenfall Christmas. It really is a delightful novel, with great characters, and a lot of heart—a whole lot of heart. Grab a copy while it’s free on Book Funnel and leave a review.
Below you will find more books by Geralyn. Hover over the covers for buy links.
The beautiful wife of a senate candidate is dead; his disturbed sister is accused.More info →