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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SPINE-TINGLING SUSPENSEFUL NOVEL - TEGEN HUNT BOOK 4 - BY USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR INGE-LISE GOSS
Can Sara Outwit A Tegen Who Has Vowed To Hunt Her To The Death?A dangerous, cunning Tegen has escaped and is determined to capture Sara and watch her go up in flames. Before the fugitive was taken into custody for a second-level offense, he confessed to Sara that he committed a heinous crime, for which the punishment is death by burning. No one else heard that confession. He’s resolved to prevent her from testifying against him at any cost. Sara is no match for the fugitive’s strength and proficiency in deadly techniques. As the lethal pursuer hunts her, a Tegen enforcer is hunting him.
Despite the risk to her personal safety, Sara can’t ignore a request for help to investigate the suspicious death of an acquaintance’s grandson in New Mexico. Disguised to evade detection, she is making progress in unraveling the jumbled threads of truth when Conner, her crime boss lover, shows up in the same town in the same seedy strip club. He’s there to seal a mysterious business deal with the same nefarious criminals whose misdeeds she is beginning to uncover. Uncertain of whom she can trust, Sara once again turns to Conner.
Will she survive if her deadly immortal enemy tracks her down?
Tegen Hunt reveals more secrets about Sara’s Tegen world as she struggles with the choices that lie ahead while unable to restrain her deep and irresistible attraction to Conner.
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2020
This novel is unlike any that I have read previously. For me, a combination of the occult and fantasy mixed in. The author has written a truly amazing story about the Tegens The first few pages will provide the readers with information on the Tegens...who they are, their diets, and their transformation. If you are like me, and haven't read any of the previous ones, this information is perfect for understanding this group. The fact that they don't age after age 25 is interesting.
The author has managed to weave a tapestry which contains cloths of many fabrics and colors. She has included suspense, spine-tingling scenes, spiders and some romance to mention the highlights...Wow..just wow. A fascinating blend which also contains horror~ Buckle up your seat belts and settle in for this ride. And, be warned that twists and turns will keep you guessing throughout...
The question does arise in the novel about whether or not these Tegans are good or evil. Always love that when it appears in a novel... The descriptions are excellent throughout and the spider portions will leave the readers shaking their heads...Perfectly written scenes, for sure.
The multi-layered plot is excellent, character development is well done and this is an extremely well written novel.
Although this novel is not in a genre I read frequently, I am so glad that I read this one. I will also read other ones that this author writes in the future.
When you meet your match, temporary has the knack of becoming permanent!
Rae set eyes on Phillip and knew she was in danger. But his secretary had warned her that he was off-limits. Rae wasn’t there for love and affection. She was there to do a job. A three-month temporary assignment. In the first week, they hardly spoke. She shadowed his secretary. A woman wearing a tight bun and glasses was not his cup of tea. And her frumpish dress code did not appeal.
Phillip had spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was beauty personified. And he was smitten. The first week that Phillip worked with Rae he felt the chemistry. But he was drawn to the woman at the pub. He made sure to be at the pub so that he could get to talk to her. He was in for such a surprise.
Once Phillip realized who Rae was it was as if he had met his other half. From their first date, his life seemed to change. Rae did what she was good at. Making changes. And Phillip was in for a change
Stand-up comic Dave Feener has a great rapport with his audience, so when his body is found maliciously stabbed a short distance away from The Laff Attak where he's just performed, there seems to be no real motive for the brutal murder. A serial killer who does not think local comics are funny has just begun his rampage.
Constables Mike Borneo and Lissa Cassway along with detective Vince Vetters are racing to find the killer before he claims another victim. Was Feener just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Left with his wedding ring and his wallet, Feener's body isn't even cold when the killer strikes again-this time stabbing Phil Vetters, a comic known for his redneck shtick and the brother of detective Vince Vetters. Just as Vince vows revenge, the killer makes a fateful mistake when he stabs another comic and does not ensure his victim is dead before he leaves the crime scene.
The killer is a sicko, but not an idiot. He's right under everyone's noses and the anticipation of a righteous kill is all just part of the fun. Only time will tell if the killer will have the last laugh.
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughng and Dying
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
After having read Daytona Dead by Karen Vaughan, I knew she had a sense of humor. But this was decidedly different from that novel. Dead Comic Standing was a delightful, five-star read. It was easy to slip into this novel about someone prowling the comedy clubs of Edmonton, killing comedians after they've performed their stand-up routines. Part of the enjoyment for me was reading the comedy elements. I also felt I got an inside view of the way comedy clubs are run. Part police procedural, part whodunit and part thriller, I breezed through this enjoyable novel. It was great fun. I truly enjoyed the killer's motive for doing what he did; it was unusual and humorous in an absurdist way. A wonderful way to spend some time.
M. M. Bishop Award-winning author and poet
5.0 out of 5 stars STARTLING, UNEXPECTED, STUNNINGLY WRITTEN MURDER MYSTERY
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2019Format: Kindle Edition
As I came to the startling and completely unexpected end of Dead Comic Standing, I realized what a marvelous and stunning work of fiction Karen Vaughan had written.
I have read most of her Laura and Gerry Mysteries and know the depth Ms. Vaughan is capable of, in her writing, the sarcastic slant she puts into her books, as well as the fact that there is always something that will shock and surprise you to the core of your being at the end of each of her books.
I was not fully prepared for the brilliance in Dead Comic Standing. If I could ask Ms. Vaughan anything, it would be where in the heck did; she come up with the idea for this book.
I do not like spoilers, so I will not give you many details about the book, other than to say the comedy routines done by the Comedians are a hoot, and if you are not shocked when you discover who the killer is, I would be more than a bit surprised.
Kudos to Karen Vaughan for the delightful, suspense-filled, thrilling-murder mystery. If I could give 50 stars I
HAVE YOU DISCOVERED DARK KNIGHTS OF HEAVEN OR DARK CITY GUARDIANS BY TW KNIGHT? NOW IS YOUR CHANCE ON SALE FOR .99¢
Demons protecting humanity - follow their rules or perish. Four great stories of Demon's who are protecting humanity, and learning about love.
THE OWL AND THE SIPAN LORD - A NOVEL STEEPED IN MYSTERY AND THE PARANORMAL BY AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR VIV DREWA
Martin and Clare Montgomery worked together as an archaeological team until Martin mysteriously died. Fearing the rumors of a curse Clare vowed to never return that was until a rare blue eyes owl began to haunt her dreams. Was this a sign from her beloved Martin or something more sinister?
Book Lover 222
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adventure Story Steeped in Mystery and Danger
Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Having read and loved THE ANGLER AND THE OWL by Viv Drewa, I was drawn to read THE OWL OF THE SIPAN LORD, an adventure story steeped in mystery and danger. The heroine, Clare Montgomery is cut from the Indiana Jones/Allan Quatermain cloth and takes us to Peru on an archaeological dig to find answers to paranormal questions and the death of her husband. The tightly woven tale with multi-faceted, likable characters is fast paced and a perfect balance of demons and sorcery and authentic ancient Peruvian culture and love. This one made me get up in the middle of the night to cover my red-eyed clock. Another outstanding adventure form Viv Drewa.
The nearly three decades that lay between Bev and me made no difference in our friendship, they just didn’t exist except as a number some might look at from the outside. The difference in ages wasn’t there from the moment we met or the ensuing fourteen years. We were two women, and we were friends.
She accepted the quirky side of me, and I, the pragmatic side of her. We were friends and neighbors for most of those years but in the old sense of the word. An acceptance of each other and a finding of common ground. We talked, joked, joy and found comfort in each other. We helped each other where we could, sometimes it was only listening, and sometimes it was watching out for each other and caring.
There were no expectations between us, but there was an abundant joy in having that cup of tea, glass of wine, dinner together, and conversation. I have a love of history and knew a lot about the world that she was born into, it was a world that I found comfortable to listen to stories of, or to share my own that I had learned from my mother and reading. We shared as two women will stories of loss, adventure, love, and we talked about children. Though I didn’t have any, I enjoyed learning of hers and of her youth, her meeting her husband Red, their adventures in Africa and the mischief her children got into in their youth.
You see a woman has many roles, she is a daughter, a child, a young girl, a young woman, a wife, a mother, and as she ages and loses many of those she knew in her youth, few remember her as a woman and a person. Her husband sees her as his wife, her children as their mother, and many as an old woman, even before she has aged enough to be considered old.
Bev and I never expected anything from each other, we only enjoyed what was given freely. She had her passions, and they showed in her paintings, the thesis she wrote and shared with me, in her love of people, life, animals, and her children.
And she loved her children deeply, she was so very proud of each and every one of them and bragged about their accomplishments, and talked of them often. There was never anything hurtful or wrong in what she said. She accepted people for who they were and understood that they were people too.
She was my friend, and I was honored to know her. I was honored to be there for her when she needed me, and I was blessed to call her friend. As I grow older, I understand better how much she gave me of herself and how precious it was and always will be to me. And I know how difficult it can be to lose those that remember you as the young woman that you will forever remain, no matter how old or frail you get.
Her one wish was that her children would love each other and find acceptance of each other after she was gone. I am blessed to have met the Mentzer family, I am blessed she was my friend.
The night Bev passed she came to me in a dream, we were at a pier, her children were a ways off, with many people in between us, and she was wearing a faded floral dress that was too big. It kept falling off her shoulders, and she said to me “The dress doesn’t fit anymore.” And I said “It always happens as we grow doesn’t it?”
Bev said, “my boat is here, I don’t know my new address yet, but I will get it to you.” And I woke up. I knew she was gone, I knew she had given me a final blessing in coming to say goodbye, and I knew that Bev wanted me to tell her children how much she loved them and how proud she had always been of them.
The honeymoon of Laura and Gerry Fitz is off to a fast-paced yet deadly start when they arrive in Florida. There is a maniac behind the wheel who needs to win at all costs. When he wins, life is great but when he loses he is DRIVEN TO KILL!
The first victim off the starting line is Laura's ex-husband Lou, and she is taking it personally. Mix in a creepy cop and some unexpected surprises and you have a race for your life. Who will win and who will wipe out?...
Karen Vaughan spins this entertaining yarn about a honeymoon couple, a psychotic race car driver and crooked cops with wit and humor. The characters are likeable and her attention to the details of police protocol lend plausibility to the plot. There's never a dull moment in Daytona for Laura and Gerry, which is what makes this such a page-turner. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
By Joan P. Ashley
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.