CHRISTMAS IN JULY SPECIAL SALE - A RICHLY HUMAN NOVEL THAT YOU WILL FALL IN LOVE WITH - AWARD-WINNING LIKE I USED TO DANCE BY BARBARA FRANCES WILL TAKE YOU ON THE ROLLER COASTER OF LIFE
“Our kids, my, my, Gracie” laughed Bud. “Where did we go wrong? One marries God, another a Jew and the last one, the devil!”
Texas, 1951. The Wolanskys—Grace, Bud and their three grown children—are a close-knit clan, deeply rooted in their rural community and traditional faith. On their orderly farm, life seems good and tomorrow always holds promise.
But under the surface, it’s a different story. Grace is beset by dark memories and unnamed fears, calmed only by practicing a secret obsession. Their son Andy has said no to becoming a farmer like his dad and, worse, has fallen in love with a big-city Jewish girl. Youngest child Regina is trapped in a loveless marriage to an abusive, alcoholic husband. Even “perfect” daughter Angela’s decision to become a nun unleashes consequences no one could foresee.
And then Ceil Dollard breezes into town.
Ceil—wealthy, sophisticated, irrepressible—is like a visitor from Mars. She’s a modern woman. She drives a car and wears pants. She blows away tradition and certainty, forcing Grace to face her fears and brave a changing world. Through Ceil, Grace learns about courage and pleasure—but at the risk of losing Bud.
Barbara Frances’ sparkling, richly human novel takes you back to a time when Ike was president and life was slower, but people were the same as now. You’ll encounter a cast of characters storm-tossed by change, held together by love. Written with compassion, humor and suspense, Like I Used to Dance will charm you, warm you and even squeeze a few tears, from its opening number to the last waltz.
You'll Be Hooked on This Book
After only a few pages I was hooked by Like I Used to Dance and Barbara Frances' gifts as a storyteller. She creates multidimensional characters who are so real that I found myself thinking about them in between sessions with the book, and she weaves a plot that is by turns suspenseful, funny, touching and gripping. Set in a rural Texas community more than sixty years ago, the book explores social, racial and family themes -- many of which continue to resonate today. But above all, it's a great read! It will take you places where you've never been, from a KKK meeting that is both sinister and pathetic, to a heartbroken man's encounter with a mystical fox. Barbara Frances writes with insight, compassion, full knowledge of the human heart, and lots of twists, turns and surprises. Highly recommended
M. M. Bishop Award-winning author and poet
5.0 out of 5 stars WILL SURELY BECOME ONE OF THE CLASSICS IN LITERATURE
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020It is easy to see how Like I Used To Dance by Barbara Frances won awards. It is a novel that should easily find its way into classic literature. It is not just the story of the Wolanskys, who live in a small farming town in the nineteen-fifty’s, but the story of life, and how even generations of family issues can affect each new generation unless something happens to break the cycle.
Ms. Frances paints a picture of each character, their weaknesses, as well as the strength in their character. From Grace, and Bud, their three grown children, to neighbors, and friends, each is drawn with a fine pencil, fully formed, and genuine, some are people you wish you knew, and others you would like to string up. Yet, each is so well crafted as to be able to see them in your life, or town.
Whether she is painting the generous nature of Bud, to the horror of Billy Ray, Ms. Frances brings us a full picture of life as it was, and life as it still is. Many things may have changed in our world, underneath there is still an underbelly of both the beauty and ugliness of human nature.
Like I Used To Dance was not a book that I could easily put down, but sat up till the wee hours of the morning reading.
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A TOUCHING, INFORMATIVE STORY: THE NURSE MARE'S TALE BY MARTA MORAN BISHOP - NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK, AUDIO, AND KINDLE
The Nurse Mare's Foal, as it tells the story of Dinky's mother. This lovely story is told from the viewpoint of two aging nurse mares about to give birth, and the trials they go through. It tells us of Sadie and her friend Nellie and is accompanied with charming dialogue (both speaking and thinking). The plight of these animals is described in empathetic detail.
After enduring years of breeding and loss, the older nurse mares must face the auction with the promise of being slaughtered, as they have become too old for breeding and thus unable to be mares.
Do they accept their fate, or will there be another ending for the nurse mares that have given everything and received little in return?
The ending may surprise you. It is a poignant story that will rip your heart out and put you back together again.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Touching, Informative Story Inspiring Change
The Nurse Mare's Tale is told from the perspective of a horse named Sadie, who is placed in servitude to feed other mare's horses with her milk. Like many of Marta Moran Bishop's stories, this book takes an unflinching look at the problematic things we sometimes do in society in pursuit of profits. In this case, it's the equine industry and the practice of using nurse mares.
Nurse mares are bred for the sole purpose of providing milk to more "desirable" foals, such as racehorse foals. Their own foals are often treated as throwaways in the industry. The industry maintains that the practice is necessary, while equine rights activists condemn the practice. Throwaway foals are sometimes slaughtered, and the mares themselves are often repeatedly re-bred with little opportunity to properly heal. There is a huge profit incentive for thoroughbred farmers to use nurse mares in raising their foals.
Before reading The Nurse Mare's Tale, I knew a little about the industry and the lengths it goes to in order to maximize profitability, pushing the boundaries of humane animal treatment. Mares are sometimes kept under artificial light 24/7 early in the spring to influence their reproductive cycle, for example. Bishop's book raised my awareness of issues to a new level, and at times, it was difficult to continue reading for that reason. Horses are sentient beings and treating them as if they aren't is disturbing.
It's important reading, however, because it raises awareness of the treatment of these beautiful creatures on whose backs fortunes are made. Awareness of the issues is the first step in cultivating positive change.
Bishop's book is beautifully written, and she weaves in factual information in such a way that it comes across as a natural narrative. The lessons she presents are artfully delivered through Sadie's eyes.
Readers who are sensitive to the plight of animals or who want to know more about the horse industry will find this book deeply moving. At times, it is touching, and at other times, it's sad. Regardless, its message is an important one.
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A HEIST THAT HER BROTHER'S LIFE DEPENDS ON - USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR INGE-LISE GOSS BRINGS US ANOTHER DYNAMITE THRILLER IN DIAMONDS AND LIES.
Sparkling rocks, family secrets, and seductive liesMia’s advertising career masks a side job in the family business―the business is thievery and the competition kills. Partnering with her brother, Andy, Mia is drawn into a short timeline to plan a diamond heist to make good on Andy’s double-cross of the crime boss who hired him for the prior job.
A Heist That Her Brother’s Life Depends OnOpenly teasing the mark, Mia plays with the jeweler’s attraction to her, insinuating herself into his life, gaining his confidence. When Andy’s past threatens them both, Mia abandons the heist and disappears. The mark, under Mia’s spell, hides and protects her from danger. They are both in peril as her brother’s stalker closes in on them. Alternating between ecstasy and fear, she has to make a fateful decision.
Is she placing her trust in the wrong man? Can a relationship built on lies become real?
HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER
5.0 out of 5 stars ‘The missing diamonds need to be replaced, or I’m toast.’
Nevada author Inge-Lise Goss was born in Denmark, raised in Utah and graduated from the University of Utah, magna cum laude. She and her husband live in the majesty of Red Rock Canyon and after a career as a certified public accountant, she drinks in the scenery and turns it into her novels.
Inge-Lise steps away from her very popular series – THE TEGEN SERIES, THE GWYNN REZNICK MYSTERIES – and offers a stand-alone novel that is one of her finest action adventure tales to date! Before getting to the story it is worth noting that for many readers and fans of thriller novels (and this is most decidedly a Thriller!), the opening pages of the book are key as to whether or not a novel is going to produce. Inge-Lise offers a prologue that will likely have you holding your breath - not really giving away the story to come, but setting a chilling mood that is stunning. She adds the aspect that she happens to be a very fine wordsmith in the way she incorporate natural atmosphere in lush prose. ‘Mia Sloan checked her watch, trepidation mounting as if she were checking a bomb’s timepiece while trying to defuse the explosive device. Andy’s call had awakened her early, wanting to meet for breakfast with his favorite sister. As his only sibling, Mia knew his modus operandi when he needed her help…’ Tension level established and the story progresses with finesse.
But on to the story, as offered by the author’s synopsis: ‘: Sparkling rocks, family secrets, and seductive lies. Mia’s advertising career masks a side job in the family business - the business is thievery and the competition kills. Partnering with her brother, Andy, Mia is drawn into a short timeline to plan a diamond heist to make good on Andy’s double-cross of the crime boss who hired him for the prior job. Openly teasing the mark, Mia plays with the jeweler’s attraction to her, insinuating herself into his life, gaining his confidence. When Andy’s past threatens them both, Mia abandons the heist and disappears. The mark, under Mia’s spell, hides and protects her from danger. They are both in peril as her brother’s stalker closes in on them. Alternating between ecstasy and fear, she has to make a fateful decision. Is she placing her trust in the wrong man? Can a relationship built on lies become real?’
For those fortunate enough to have read her other books the suspense ahead may not surprise, but for those for whom this is the first outing with Inge-Lise Goss beware. You are in for a terrifying adventure with more twists and turns than you can imagine, Highly Recommended. Grady Harp
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Whether I am reading, or writing I am taken out of myself and will return more enlightened. From the magic of the places I have been, the people I have met, and the story that captured me for a while.