A Compelling Tale of Loss and Reconciliation #FridayFunReads #Reblogs #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Note: I reviewed this book here in May of last year. I think it’s worth a second look. Happy reading!

 

The Return

by Nicholas Sparks

 

What Amazon Says

 

In the romantic tradition of Dear John, an injured Navy doctor meets two extremely important women whose secrets will change the course of his life in this #1 New York Times bestseller.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved beehives, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can’t ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road. Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues—until a crisis triggers a race to uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have imagined.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

 

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

I’ve enjoyed several of this author’s books, and this one didn’t disappoint me. The myriad plot twists kept me engaged. At the end, I was afraid that one detail might be left to the reader’s imagination, but I was pleasantly surprised and relieved when it was unexpectedly resolved in the epilogue. I like how the prologue gives us an idea of how the book will end. If you like a feel-good story about loss and reconciliation, The Return is for you.

***

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Hope of Reconciliation #Six-SentenceStoryThursdayLinkUp #WritingPrompts #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

 

 

 

In the morning, as I performed all the mundane tasks before heading off to work: showering, dressing, eating breakfast, Peter’s words echoed in my head. “I never get it right, do I?” Now, after a sleepless night following his dramatic exit, I realized how wrong I was to be such a perfectionist and knew what I needed to say in a text that I hoped would change his mind.

“Peter, you always get it right. I’m the one who’s always wrong. Please come home.”

***

Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above work of fiction with her six-sentence prompt for this week, in which the given word is “mundane.” You can click here to participate and read other bloggers’ six-sentence creations.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

A Holiday Story About Reconciliation #FridayFunReads #Book Reviews #Inspiration

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Mountain Laurel Christmas

by Jan Sikes

 

What Amazon Says

 

Orphaned, his family torn apart by tragedy, Cole Knight has come a long way from a ramshackle miner’s cabin on the side of the Cumberland Mountain.

Daring to follow an impossible dream, he’s made it big in the music business. Now, he’s a country music sensation with a huge house, fancy cars, plenty of willing women, money, and adoring fans. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s drowning in a swirling pool of self-contempt and relentless guilt.

It’s easier to lose himself in a bottle than face the hard truth…he hasn’t delivered on a promise he made to his father.

It’s almost Christmas, and the sting of failure drives him back to that tiny cabin in the mountains. But has he waited too late to put the shattered pieces back together—to find himself and restore a lost family?

 

My Thoughts

 

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a singer like Olivia Newton-John and Debbie Boon. So, I always find stories about musicians fascinating, whether they’re fictional or true. Mountain Laurel Christmas didn’t disappoint me.

In fact, I was amazed at how quickly the story moved. Some might say it moves too fast, but for me, it was just right. Instead of being left to wonder about the outcome for days, I found myself finishing the book in about an hour. Jan Sikes drew me into Cole’s story with her first words, and my attention never faltered from that moment on.

Others might say Mountain Laurel Christmas isn’t realistic. If that’s the case, so what? During these uncertain times, I don’t see the harm in escaping to a world where it’s that easy to keep a promise. This is a sweet, feel-good holiday story I recommend to everyone.

***

You’re invited to my state poetry society’s virtual open mic poetry reading on Sunday, December 12th at 5 p.m. mountain time. You can share some poetry or just listen. See below for details.

***

WyoPoets is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

 

This event is open to anyone who wants to share or listen to poetry. You
don’t have to be a member of WyoPoets, you don’t even have to be in Wyoming
to participate. So, feel free to invite your friends!

 

Please sign up to read using this Google Form:
https://forms.gle/aRFLvfXSxJn3FF5F8
The first 20 poets to sign up will get to read, additional poets will be
allowed based on time.

Topic: Poetry Night
Time: Dec 12, 2021 05:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81527317416?pwd=VDZyTENmQ1VZM2pZaWowbUovc21GUT09

Meeting ID: 815 2731 7416
Passcode: 813443
One tap mobile
+12532158782,,81527317416#,,,,*813443# US (Tacoma)
+13462487799,,81527317416#,,,,*813443# US (Houston)

Dial by your location
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 815 2731 7416
Passcode: 813443
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbpMPXDmU0

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

Front cover image contains: elderly woman in red sweater sitting next to a window.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

A Compelling Tale of Loss and Reconciliation #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

The Return

by Nicholas Sparks

 

What Amazon Says

 

In the romantic tradition of Dear John, an injured Navy doctor meets two extremely important women whose secrets will change the course of his life in this #1 New York Times bestseller.

 

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

 

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved beehives, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can’t ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

 

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road. Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues—until a crisis triggers a race to uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have imagined.

 

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

 

My Thoughts

 

I’ve enjoyed several of this author’s books, and this one didn’t disappoint me. The myriad plot twists kept me engaged. At the end, I was afraid that one detail might be left to the reader’s imagination, but I was pleasantly surprised and relieved when it was unexpectedly resolved in the epilogue. I like how the prologue gives us an idea of how the book will end. If you like a feel-good story about loss and reconciliation, The Return is for you.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Writing My Protagonist #Tuesday Tidbit #Open Book Blog Hop #Excerpts

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Fellow blogger Stevie Turner asks this question. “Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?”

Frankly, I don’t want to understand villains. So, I write from my protagonist’s point of view. But I like to have my villain change, to a certain extent.

Take, for example, The Red Dress. After Eve, my protagonist, tells her college roommate, Charlene, about a painful memory associated with a red dress, Charlene bullies her into giving her the dress. Eve gives in, but when her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same. Twenty-five years later, Charlene is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Before she dies, she and Eve are reconciled.

Below are two excerpts. The first shows us Charlene’s villainous side, where she bullies Eve into giving her the dress. In the second scene, near death, Charlene undoes what she did twenty-five years earlier.

***

“You know, I can see why you put this dress off to one side. It’s only hurting you now. Let me take it off your hands. You don’t need it anymore.”

“But my mother made it. She worked long days at her job as director of the public library. There were only two weeks left until the prom when I told her I wanted a new dress, so she stayed up nights and scrambled to get it done.”

“Oh, you poor, homesick baby. Now you miss your mommy, who made this beautiful dress for you. Are you gonna cry now? Go ahead, crybaby. Cry.”

Eve was stunned but shouldn’t have been surprised. Her roommate cared little about others’ feelings. Her sympathy and curiosity were only a ploy, and she would stop at nothing to get what she wanted.

“Fine, take the damn dress. I don’t care,” Eve said before turning away in disgust.

***

Eve stared at Charlene as she lay there sleeping. Her old college roommate hadn’t really changed.

She looked around the room again. Was the red dress in the closet? She looked back at Charlene, who seemed to be sound asleep, and wondered what would happen if she got up, walked over to the closet, and looked inside.

Charlene opened her eyes and said, “It’s still there.”

“What?” asked Eve, leaning forward in her chair.

“The dress I took from you years ago in college. It’s in the closet.”

***

Thanks to Stevie Turner for inspiring the above with her Open Book Blog Hop prompt this week. If you’d like to participate, click here.

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website