Tuesday, June 23, 2015

July and the Single Heart

July and the Single Heart by Vi Zetterwall, © 2015, CC Productions

Many books make their way to my TBR pile. Some are irresistible classics and others are monthly picks from my book club. I can't resist used book stores or garage sales either. Of course, I'm lucky to have promoters and publishers send me books to review on occasion as well. The last was how Vi Zetterwall's book made its way into my hands. The coin that came with it was a special perk which I am waiting to see do its magic...

July Harris is the youngest of six sisters in a wealthy family. All her siblings have gotten married and as she rapidly nears her thirtieth birthday, they are anxiously waiting for her to follow in their footsteps. The trick is that most of them don't care a heartbeat about her happiness. If July, the last of the sisters, marries by her thirtieth birthday, they are all set to inherit millions as set out by their grandfather's will. July's problem is that she doesn't have a boyfriend, let alone had a date in years. So as the clock ticks down, her father steps in.

July and the Single Heart is a quick read. It is one of twelve books/novellas which Zetterwall wrote over the course of a year. While the story isn't exactly spellbinding—Daddy forces her to choose between the five suitors he has selected, for a price—I do recognize the talent and dedication it takes to produce that many books in such a short time. Writing them is one thing, but then promoting them afterwards is another herculean task that is almost more work than the writing itself. So if the simple romance plot—girl is duped by many suitors and almost lets the right one get away—it can be excused by the fact that Zetterwall churned out 12 reasonable books in short order. That in itself is a laudable effort.

All of the books are stand-alone, but for the coin that materializes in all of them to magically help the main heroine along in life and love. Once the coin's task is met, it is then passed along into other needy hands.

And now I have one of my own. Could I use help in life or love? Maybe a pinch, so I'll keep rubbing mine. Hopefully soon enough it will pass into another's hands who needs a leg up in that department though. In the interim, I give a nod to Vi for sharing her 235-page novella with me. Good luck with your own life and love. ❤

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Anger Meridian

The Anger Meridian by Kaylie Jones, © 2015, Akashic Books

Akashic Books has sent me several books, including a few from their Kaylie Jones Books imprint. When The Anger Meridian arrived in the mail, I was excited to read a novel by the woman who inspired this offset; Kaylie Jones herself. Knowing she already has several books under her belt, one of which was adapted for a Merchant Ivory film (A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries - 1998), I dove right in.

At 3:35am Merryn Huntley is awakened by the doorbell. Assuming her husband is drunk again and not able to manage the lock, she steels herself and casually opens the door. What she finds is two police officers there to tell her her husband has died in a car accident. A much younger woman was in the car with him and it looks like his pre-occupation led him to slam headlong into a tree, killing them both instantly. While this frees Merryn from a loveless marriage, the circumstances around the death will be scandalous and she doesn't want her 9-year-old daughter Tenney to suffer through the indignity.

At least that's what Merryn tells herself as she hastily packs a bag and flees to her mother's home in San Miguel, Mexico. The truth is far more complicated.

Anxiety attack after anxiety attack plague Merryn as she braces herself for her mother's disapproving stare. Despite being a grown woman, and mother herself, Merryn falls back into being kowtowed by overbearing Bibi. But a life spent ignoring the truth and walking the fine line of stability unravels as the FBI arrives at her mother's doorstep in Mexico examining her husband's questionable business dealings. Fearing even more disapproval from her mother, she desperately tries to please everyone around her, but is spiralling out of control. And now it is finally time to face the truth she has never let herself see, or lose the respect of her daughter and herself forever.

The Anger Meridian moves along at a good clip and entices the reader to keep pace. Hemmed in at every turn, Merryn can no longer rely on old coping methods to get by, but finally learns to stand up for herself. Along the way, her daughter is there to give her the strength it takes to break free from old habits that don't serve her. Tenney is really the shining star of the novel, with wisdom beyond her years and a maturity her mother is hard-pressed to match. I have to admit that Merryn's weak will makes her not exactly the most compelling leading lady, but once she finally faces her fear of the truth and accepts it, she can finally breathe for the first time in her life. With a loveless mother, weak-willed father and philandering husband, it's amazing she gets there at all, but Jones gave me just enough hope to read through to the end.

This novel has a nice mix of drama, romance, and mystery that will keep you turning the pages through to the end. Thanks for the read Akashic Press!

Monday, June 15, 2015


You know it's going to be a good day when you get this in the mail—a good luck coin. It came with a book too. Next up on the TBR pile is July and the Single Heart by Vi Zetterwall.

rub for luck
in life and love
soon great riches
will fall from above

I've got my fingers crossed and will keep my new talisman close by,
just in case...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sepia Memories

no matter 
the words, deeds 
or other valiant efforts
yesterday will always be 
this old tattered snapshot
that keeps fading into sepia memories
which only I can see


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