REVIEW: ONE MOMENT, ONE MORNING, BY SARAH RAYNER

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It was an ordinary Monday morning on the 7:44 commuter train to London. Passengers were engaged in a variety of activities. A young woman named Lou, a people watcher, observes the intricate details of one young woman applying her makeup, while she notices that another is leafing through a glossy magazine. One couple, seemingly having a nice conversation, catches Lou’s eye: they seem nice and compatible.

The train has pulled into the station; it is raining hard outside.

And then, suddenly, the man across the aisle has vomited unexpectedly, and after saying “I’m sorry,” he clutches his chest and his head falls to the table.

Pandemonium ensues; and, while some try to call for help, others simply stare.

Within minutes, it is apparent that the man has died…and everything about that morning is no longer ordinary.

One Moment, One Morning: A Novel is the story of how, in a brief spot of time, everything changes. We follow the characters from the train, see how some of their lives intertwine, and before the ending, others will have connected.

Lou, a counsellor for troubled youth (and the people-watcher on the train) has been keeping a secret from her mother. Anna, a well put-together young woman has a troubled home life. And Karen, the wife of the now deceased man, Simon, is stunned by events and will be struggling as she tries to deal with the aftermath. Her two small children, Luke and Molly, will have to learn about the death of their father and deal with that loss.

I liked the characters and how the author showed us what their lives looked like, before and after. Little flashbacks reveal much about each of them, and I felt sad for Karen, as she recalled happier times and realizes that her dreams are now gone.

New friendships develop, however, and a support network surrounds each of the characters. A memorable story from an author I enjoy. 4.5 stars.

SAYING GOODBYE ONCE AGAIN: ANOTHER BLOG BITES THE DUST

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Yes, it was only a matter of time until this little blog bit the dust.

While I loved the premise and had fun posting about my guilty pleasures, I finally decided that I could do that just fine on another of my blogs:  Potpourri.

So now there will be a regular “guilty pleasures” feature at that site…and I have whittled my blog count down to SEVEN!

As I scrolled through the pages and posts at my now defunct site, I considered moving several of those posts over…but then ruled that one out.  I could recreate some of them.  And I will.

I am probably one of the few bloggers who has “gone wild” with the whole blogging thing, having as many as 20 blogs at one point…for about five minutes.

My steadiest number was eleven blogs, then nine, and now seven.

Taking my example from those who blog regularly, sharing many features, I have decided to take a page from their book.  Up to a point.

I will probably always have more than one.

 

So…join me at Potpourri for more of my guilty pleasures.

 

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REVIEW: THE SUMMER GIRLS, BY MARY ALICE MONROE

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With engaging prose that captured me from the opening lines, The Summer Girls (Lowcountry Summer Book 1) takes the reader on a voyage of discovery. A special wish and invitation from an aging grandmother brings three half-sisters to the lowcountry in South Carolina, and to a beach house that was a wonderful part of their childhoods.

Dora (Eudora), Carson, and Harper, all named after Southern authors by their wannabe-author-father, Parker, have been separated from one another by their life circumstances, and only brought together occasionally at Sea Breeze, their grandmother’s summer home.

Marietta Muir is an intriguing, eighty-year-old character who is used to getting what she wants. And what she especially wants is for her granddaughters, her only living heirs (her son died years before) to cement the bonds they once had together.

She lures them in with promises…and then divulges some secrets.

Carson’s life is in a shambles, her TV series canceled and her money gone. Dora’s husband Calhoun left her when he could no longer handle their autistic son. And Harper has been under her controlling mother’s thumb for too long.

Will the reunion summer on Sullivan’s Island be the answer for each of them? Will they find that special something that will turn their lives around? And how does the presence of a unique dolphin in the cove help Carson find the ability to connect?

A delightful beginning to a trilogy that I am looking forward to, this novel earned 5 stars.

MERGING & DELETING – MY INTERIOR THOUGHTS

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My Blogging Journey has been in a state of flux lately, with changes to the actual sites….and then, today, I am announcing the merger of two “writer’s” sites:  Snow Chronicles has been deleted and merged with Creative Journey, bringing my blog total now to…wait for it!  Eight!

Yes, many of you will still say “TOO MANY!”  But I celebrate my life and my thoughts through blogging.  But who knows what the future holds?

Now I am in the process of changing my link pages on all the other sites, from my Amazon Author’s Page, to my individual blogs.

Luckily, I had no reviews on Snow Chronicles, so it was just a matter of moving some content to Creative Journey.

As I look up at the clock on the wall, I am amazed at how I have fiddled away almost a whole morning…but it’s been fun.

 

 

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What are you up to on a Monday?  Changing anything?  Pondering what to do next?

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CHANGING UP THE BLOG & MY INTERIOR WORLD

 

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Good morning, and welcome to my Interior World. 

For the past few months, I have been so focused on my own “interiors,” and haven’t changed up the blog look.  So….why did I have to do it today?

I don’t know, honestly, as the itch strikes out of the blue…and I can’t stop myself.  An obsession?  Compulsion?  Yes, take your pick.

As I looked around my home today, I couldn’t find anything to change there…and those who read my blogs know that I am constantly rearranging things.

I did find a new frame for one of my Ireland photos…the previous frame fell off the wall and broke a few weeks ago, when I hit it while vacuuming…that’ll teach me to do that!  LOL

Just so I wouldn’t jinx things, I moved the new framed photo to another wall.  The one on the far left, is the reframed picture (shot by my photographer son in Dublin); the one next to it is a shot of old men in an Irish pub, also shot by my son (the Berliner, recently visiting in my hot city).

 

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And across the room, you’ll notice a Red Hat banner, where the photo once lived; and beneath it, to the right, the Coca Cola jukebox, previously residing in my dining area.

 

 

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Just in case you missed the dining room changes, shown in at least three other blog posts (LOL), here’s the new look….minus the jukebox, and with a country cupboard on that wall.  It frees up some space, which I noticed to be lacking when I had house guests trooping through to my coffee pot every morning.

 

 

 

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I did some more changes.  Once I get started, I have a hard time stopping.  I switched the pub table and the loveseat….and rearranged some of the figurines on the bookshelf.

 

 

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Do you like changing up your blog appearance?  Your home interiors?  Your outdoor world?  Come on by and share.

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FROM THE INTERIOR: EXCERPTING “THE LAST SEPTEMBER”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday event, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Every week, we gather around the blogosphere and search out the upcoming book releases, sharing our thoughts and blurbs. 

Today’s feature is a book from an author I have not yet read, but I love the sound of it.  The Last September, by Nina de Gramont, is a riveting emotional puzzle that takes readers inside the psyche of a woman facing the meaning of love and loyalty.  Release Date: September 15, 2015.

 

 

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“When I look back now, it hurtles toward us like a meteor. But at the time we were too wrapped up in our day-to-day life to see it. Charlie and I lived in a borrowed house by the ocean. Our daughter, Sarah, was fifteen months old. September had just arrived, emptying the beaches at the very moment they became most spectacular.”

Brett has been in love with Charlie ever since he took her skiing on a lovely Colorado night fourteen years ago. And now, living in a seaside cottage on Cape Cod with their young daughter, it looks as if they have settled into the life they desired. However, Brett and Charlie’s marriage has been tenuous for quite some time. When Charlie’s unstable younger brother plans to move in with them, the tension simmering under the surface of their marriage boils over.

But what happened to Charlie next was unfathomable. Charlie was the golden boy so charismatic that he charmed everyone who crossed his path; who never shied away from a challenge; who saw life as one big adventure; who could always rescue his troubled brother, no matter how unpredictable the situation.

So who is to blame for the tragic turn of events? And why does Brett feel responsible?  A lovely story set against the desolate autumn beauty of Cape Cod.

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I love family stories, seaside cottages on Cape Cod, and the challenges we all face as we try to manage our lives.  What are you sharing?  Come on by and leave a comment and your link!

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BOOK REVIEW: FRIDAY ON MY MIND, BY NICCI FRENCH

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It was a Friday in London, and the scene unfolds to police activity on the Thames River. A body, and it is clearly a murder, has been found; the victim’s throat has been sliced.

DCI Sarah Hussein and DC Glen Bryant are front and center, meeting up with DC O’Neill, and the action begins.

As with all previous books in this series, Friday on My Mind brings together detectives, the Police Commissioner, and some familiar characters from previous books, like Dr. Frieda Klein, a psychologist, someone known to the department for various reasons. She once served as a consultant to the police, but fell into disfavor with some of them, like the Commissioner and the current psychological consultant, Dr. Hal Bradshaw.

Also on hand: DCI Malcolm Karlsson, who has been an advocate of Frieda Klein’s through all of the bad times with the other detectives and the Commissioner. He believes in her when the others don’t.

The victim, in this case, was one Alexander (Sandy) Holland, and he was wearing an identification bracelet labeled “Frieda Klein.” This, of course, makes those who do not care for Frieda suspicious. Plus, he is her ex-lover. Then some personal items of his show up in Frieda’s dresser drawer…and suddenly she is a suspect.

Instead of turning herself in, as requested, Frieda, who likes doing things her own way, goes on the run. And during her weeks of hiding, she is trying to find the truth. It is fun to follow her in her activities, as it is clear that she is persistent in her efforts to find the killer; her methodical approach to seeking answers leads her down some interesting pathways, following clues that only she can find.

Will Frieda find the answers before the killer catches up with her? How does a former patient, Sasha, and her small child Ethan, figure into the mix? What events in their lives make them key to finding answers? As the danger closes in on Frieda, and as we weed through several red herrings, the unexpected truth stuns everyone, even Frieda herself. I didn’t see this one coming, either, and then, after the final reveal, a tidbit about an ongoing character whom everyone but Frieda believes is dead…makes an appearance. 5 stars.