by Bette Lee Crosby | Aug 28, 2017 | Blog, Review Spotlights
Family Book Club review of Jubilee's Journey
Every now and then I come across a review or a reading concept that is so wonderful I absolutely have to share it with my readers… This is just such a review.
There are any number of things family members can do to enjoy the fun of togetherness, but most activities such as cooking, sports, board games and the like, all require you to be in the same place at the same time. With today’s hectic schedules that’s not always possible. Our daughter is a busy mom who is on the run all day long. Her reading time is generally in between carpool drop-offs and pick-ups. Our granddaughter is in high school and runs track, so her best reading time is in bed at night. As a grandma I should have lots of reading time, but my days are spent writing books. I am not a big TV watcher, so I enjoy reading in the evening while Grandpa watches TV.
That’s the beauty of a family book club! Everyone can read in the time and place that’s convenient for them. The key to making it a fun event is to pick a book that is both age appropriate for the youngest member and interesting enough for the adults.
When it comes to a generation gap, teenagers can sometimes be difficult to carry on a conversation with. It’s not that they don’t want to talk…it’s simply that you’re not speaking their language and they’re not speaking yours. A family book club closes that gap and allows everyone to open up with their unique thoughts and opinions. My favorite part of the trilogy review on Belle’s Book Review Blog was that each member of the threesome choose their favorite quote…and guess what… none of the quotes were the same and they were from three different characters. Sharing different thoughts and opinions is what makes something like this fun; and trust me; the teen in your group will love expressing their own bold and different viewpoint.
Whether the youngest member of your family book club is fourteen or forty doesn’t matter – there are so many book options to choose from. Two of my novels that are perfect for inter-generational reading are The Twelfth Child and Passing through Perfect, both of which offer a handful of historical insight along with a heartfelt story.
Why not start your own family book club? Take a picture of three generations reading any one of my books and send it to me and you could win a gift card to the book store of your choice and be the next featured trio right here on my blog. And, here’s the good news …you don’t have to all three be together in the picture.
Please stop by and read their wonderful review on A Belle's Tales – CLICK HERE
by Bette Lee Crosby | Aug 10, 2017 | Blog, Review Spotlights
Bette Lee Crosby's
Spare Change Book Review by the Seattle Post Intelligence
Spare Change is a quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life, madcap adventures of a young boy and a late change of heart that made all the difference in the life of an unusually independent woman. More than anything, it is a heartwarming book, which is simultaneously intriguing and just plain fun.
Olivia Ann Westerly has always refused to conform. Instead of marrying and raising a family, as her father expected her to, she left home and found a job, rented a flat and had tons of fun. Oh, did I mention that she did that in 1923, when she was only 25-years-old? While today that would not have been anything extraordinary, she certainly was an exception back then. And then she decided not to marry and to continue her career, living in this manner quite happily all the way until 1956. It was then that she met Charlie Doyle and fell madly in love, agreeing to marry him without any hesitation when he asked her to.
But then Charlie had to go and die while they were on their honeymoon, and Olivia seemed to have lost all her will to do anything. Until Ethan Allen Doyle, Charlie's grandson, showed up on her doorstep. Olivia never wanted children, so why would she change her mind now? And to make matters worse, Ethan Allen was 11-years-old and number 11 has always been a bad omen for Olivia. To top everything else, it was clear that Ethan Allen was hiding something. Was there any chance of a happy ending here?
I truly enjoyed this imaginative and very entertaining story. Told from many different perspectives, it kept my interest from beginning to end. The voices of the characters were very distinct and the good ones were easy to like, just like the bad guys were easy to hate and fear. It does not happen very often that I truly like the more minor characters in any book, since most of them never get the chance to develop enough to be really interesting, but Clara was one of my favorites here – heart of gold and brassy manners, what more could one want in a friend? She was just one in the substantial line-up of supporting characters who kept Ethan Allen's presence in Olivia's building a secret, or at least they thought so. Every one of those characters was well-defined and completely believable.
Furthermore, I enjoyed the storyline and the lively dialogue, as well as the rapidly unraveling mystery of the secret Ethan Allen was trying to keep to himself. And I am going to do my best to keep the beginning of the story, as told by Olivia, in mind for the future. Here's what she had to say..
“I don't suppose there's a person walking the earth who doesn't now and again think if I had the chance to live my life over, I'd sure as hell do it differently. When you get to a certain age and realize how much time you've wasted on pure foolishness, you're bound to smack yourself in the head and ask, what in the world was I thinking? Everybody's got regrets; myself included.
Some people go to their grave without ever getting a chance to climb out of that ditch they've dug for themselves, others get lucky. Of course, the thing about luck is that you've got to recognize it, when it walks up' and says hello, the way Charlie Doyle did.”
Those two paragraphs alone would be enough for me to like this book and recommend it, yet they were truly just the beginning. If you want to know more, you will simply have to read Spare Change yourself, and I am certain you will not regret that.
(Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views)
Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Book-Review-Spare-Change-by-Bette-Lee-Crosby-2269235.php#ixzz1fmLikz9x
by Bette Lee Crosby | Nov 14, 2016 | Blog, Review Spotlights
I would give Passing through Perfect a 10
Cindy on Goodreads says:
I don't read literary fiction or women's fiction. Consequently, I had never heard of this woman until a friend suggested I read one of her books. I trust this friend's judgment so, I picked this book out and read it.
This book should be considered a literary classic. It should be required reading by everyone. This is a book about intolerance, racism, fear and ignorance. It is a book about the pain of love and loss and how to live through it.
It's about people who don't see color or race. They just see what's in a person's heart and soul. It's a book that, sadly, I never would have read had it not been suggested to me.
Thank God for friends with good taste and spectacularly gifted authors!
If I could give this book a 10, I would.
by Bette Lee Crosby | Nov 7, 2016 | Blog, Review Spotlights
I want to shout from the rooftops about Silver Threads
Ann on Goodreads says:
I can't believe this is book 5 of the Memory House series. I'm surprised I've never seen it before because it is wonderful. Obviously you don't need to read the previous books to enjoy this fantastic story. While fate studies the scales of Jennifer's life he doesn't notice the silver thread that connects her with a killer. To make it up to her daughter 7 year old Brooke, fate adds extra happiness to her Daddy's scale. This is such an extraordinary story dealing with life's second chances that I want to shout this title from the roof tops. I've already ordered books 1-4 so I'll be reviewing them soon.
by Bette Lee Crosby | Oct 30, 2016 | Blog, Review Spotlights
Bette's novel Memory House hit the spot
Elyse on Goodreads says:
Bette Lee Crosby has many fans. She writes for women. From time to time, it's a heart warming story written especially with my gender in mind. Bette's short novel hit the spot and the mood I was looking for. This story tapped into my own appreciation for my women friends whom are an invaluable part of my life.
The two main characters are Ophelia Browne, almost 90 years old, who runs the “Memory House Bed and Breakfast” house, and Annie Cross, who after a fight with her boyfriend, Michael, rents a room from Ophelia. Originally, Annie planned to stay just a couple of days but felt a warmth of immediate connection with Ophelia, so she extends her stay for a week.
There is a little mystery going on. We sense this very early into the storytelling, almost minutes after Annie and Ophelia meet. “There is a certain magic here; we both felt it the minute we stepped across the threshold.” That quote was about Ophelia thinking back to when she first met her husband, Edward. I felt it was a ‘duel' purpose sentence in this story. Ophelia thinks “Annie is the one”, soon after they meet as the person who has the qualities to appreciate and understand the value of memories. Ophelia wants to pass on before she dies.
When Annie first arrives, she has an acute awareness of smells (Rosemary, lavender, ginger, etc.). The women share dandelion tea together, biscuits, stew, and share conversations. Annie learns about Ophelia's beloved husband. Things are comforting and peaceful. Then something frightens Annie from her past. Ophelia is afraid too for Annie's future. Ophelia begins to feel protective of her. Worries for her.
This story made me think about how many times in any relationship – in friendships – we may all want the same thing (inner peace, courage, strength, Independence, love in our hearts a feeling of connection with community), even though we may take different paths in finding our own way, our memories together are precious and tie us together.
Thank you Bette for being my friend, for writing a book that brings a little magic to our memories, for celebrating storytelling and women and for cherishing this world we live in.