Literature Book Review: Cracks in the Sidewalk – The Blogger Salute

Literature Book Review: Cracks in the Sidewalk – The Blogger Salute

It’s amazing what you can stumble across. I was on YouTube and saw this Literature Book Review with a video review of Cracks in the Sidewalk which led me to the site Literature Book Mix. I searched under my name and saw they’d done this with two of my other books. Neat!

Here’s a little more about Book Mix:

Literature Book Mix is a website devoted to literature books. It helps thousands of people every month to find new and existing literature books. A recent survey that we ran shows that 35% of the people who visit Literature Book Mix don’t have a particular book in mind. They just surf around until they find something that catches their attention. And that’s our goal.

Our goal is to help finding new books super easy!

Unlike all other online book stores and websites, we focus on just one book category. This improves the overall experience of our visitors and makes it easier to find relevant books.

Our website allows you to find the best selling literature books, browse books by categories, find the most popular book authors, find books by topics, find books by reviews, find books by ISBN numbers, find books by covers, and many more.

Our team is obsessed with making searching for books easy and we’re innovating how the book searches happen. We’re particularly proud that we can provide book reviews in audio format. It especially helps people with accessibility issues to find new books. We’ve received thousands of emails thanking us for it.

Literature Book Mix is part of the book mix network. The book mix network contains over 50 websites and the whole network helps millions of people to find new books!

Well, they certainly got my attention. Have you used Book Mix? What do you think of the site?

Are you a vblogger (video blogger)? Share one of your reviews below!

Amazon Top 100 for Spare Change, Twelfth Child, Cracks in the Sidewalk

Amazon Top 100 for Spare Change, Twelfth Child, Cracks in the Sidewalk

TheTwelfthChildShadedIt’s hard to believe it was a little less than two years ago that Bent Pine launched my publishing platform and today when I checked the Amazon rankings, three of my books were in the Amazon Top 100 Kindle Books for their Category.






CRACKS IN THE SIDEWALK is in the top 100 FAMILY SAGAcracksitsidewalk3d

Thank you readers and reviewers!

There are not enough words to adequately thank the hundreds and hundreds of people who took time to post a comment on Goodreads or Amazon. Without the kindness of those people word of mouth would have never spread as rapidly as it has.

I try to send a short note of thanks to everyone on Goodreads who has reviewed one of my books, but the list is now so long that I sometimes miss a few. So if I have not personally thanked you for your review, please know that I read every one and treasure tham all.

Listen Up!

GirlChild_Cvr2.pmdIt is so exciting to have The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Select Cracks in the Sidewalk as their book of the month for January – but of course few things ever run smoothly. Apparently there was a problem with the Sisterhood Group and it was shut down for a day or two…but smile…it’s back again.  If you were a member of the Goodreads Group  Sisterhood of the Traveling Book and were planning on participating in the group read, please rejoin the group. The door is open and you’ll be welcomed back.

In the unlikely event, you’re not planning to read Cracks in the Sidewalk, the alternative Book of the Month read is Slammed by Coleen Hoover.

This promises to be a fun and exciting discussion…especially since I’m going to let the participating readers in on my secrets of what is true and what parts of Cracks in the Sidewalk are purely a figment of my imagination. Hmmmm…about that son-in-law…. rejoin the group and stop by to be part of the discussion. I promise you won’t be sorry!


Cracks in the Sidewalk Book Discussion Questions

Cracks in the Sidewalk is a story of family relationships – Mother/Daughter, Wife/Husband, Parent-Grandparent/Child – which of those relationships could you most relate to?

What aspect of that relationship touched you most?

In this book each character tells their side of the story in their own voice – do you think that enriched the story and helped you to better understand the character’s behavior?

Claire is the protagonist in this story, if you were faced with the same set of circumstances, what would you have done differently?

In the early part of the story when Elizabeth married Jeffrey – do you think he was genuinely in love with her or did you see it as a marriage of opportunity?

When Elizabeth was diagnosed with the brain tumor, did you find the medical descriptions of what was occurring believable?

Jeffrey seemed uninvolved when it came to Elizabeth’s pregnancies, what do you think was the reason for his behavior?

When Jeffrey’s business was failing and his father-in-law refused to lend him any more money, do you think that refusal was justified? Or should Charlie have given him the money for Elizabeth’s sake? Do you think if Charlie gave him the money it would have changed the outcome of events?

Once Elizabeth was diagnosed as terminal, did you see Jeffrey’s refusal to allow her to return to their house as a spiteful way of getting back at Charlie? Or did you think he simply couldn’t deal with the reality of her dying?

Given Jeffrey’s contemptible behavior, do you think Claire was justified in hitting the door with a sledgehammer? What would you have done?

Was Claire right in spending her time at the hospital with Elizabeth, or should she have made more of an effort to convince Jeffrey to have her babysit the children? Had she done this, do you think he would have allowed her to be the children’s caregiver?

Why do think Elizabeth continued to hope that she and Jeffrey would get back together again?

After Elizabeth’s death, Claire withdrew into a world of misery that not even Charlie could penetrate, how would you have reacted in this situation?

After Claire began helping out in the Sunday School, she found a piece of herself that she had lost – did you understand what that piece was?

During the years when Claire saved the returned cards and presents she had for the children, do you think she did so because she believed she would see the children again, or was it simply her way of filling the void of their absence?

In some states Grandparents still do not have a legal right to see their grandchildren- decisions regarding visitation are left up to the child/children’s parent or guardian. Do you think grandparents should have the right to visit their grandchildren regardless of parental preference?

After Charlie’s death, Claire discovered the children she had tended and loved during those lost years were more than passing through, they were the family she never realized she had – do you think that people caught up in grief often fail to see their many blessings?

When the children were reunited with their Grandmother, why do you think only the oldest boy had feeling of anger toward Claire?

If you could change the ending of this story, how would you written it?

Cracks in the Sidewalk was based on a true story, what parts of the book do you believe to be true and what parts fictionalized?

After reading the book did you see this as an inspirational story of how Claire found her way through life by helping others, or did you see it as a sad story of the years she lost being with her own grandchildren?


Me with the “Needs-a-Name” Book Club

The absolute most fun an author can have is to visit with a book club comprised of more than a  dozen fun-loving gals who are brimming over with comments and conversation. The book club I visited with on Wednesday, February 8th was at Evergreen Country Club and hosted by Joyce Humboldt. I can hardly find words enough to tell of the wonderful time I had.

I have to start off with a big shout out to Ann Rogak who introduced the ladies to my books, and then add another shout out for Holly Duquette, who suggested “Cracks in the Sidewalk” as the monthly read. A few of the gals brought their copy of the book for me to autograph, but many of them had downloaded the book to their Kindle or Nook and could take advantage of the bargain price the e-book format makes possible.

When Ann and I arrived at Joyce’s home, the fragrant aroma of coffee was wafting through the room and the ladies were already gathering. After a few minutes of conversation, they quickly settled into a meeting mode, took attendance and proceeded with a brief discussion of upcoming reads. A few minutes latter, we began the discussion of “Cracks in the Sidewalk” – which I am pleased to say, all of the women enjoyed reading.  They commented that the story was unbelievably tragic and were interested to learn the core truths behind the book. After explaining that I didn’t have the heart to write the story until the woman, who is Claire in the book, was reunited with her grandchildren, the gals became interested in knowing what prompted me to write other novels.

Once that door was opened, we talked about so many aspects of writing and of an author’s life. One of the questions was – who is my favorite author? Truthfully speaking, I don’t have a favorite author – I have dozens of ‘favorite books’ but I quite often love one book by an author, but not necessarily the next one. I suppose for me, it’s all about the story. The conversation meandered down many pathways during the meeting and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun book clubs I’ve been to. When all was said and done, I did a brief reading from “Spare Change” and then Joyce served a lunch that was memorable. Were I to have a Tupperware tub in my handbag, I would have been sorely tempted to smuggle out a bit of that wonderful chicken salad peppered with chunks of pineapple.

As for the title of this story “Needs-a-Name” Book Club – well, when I asked the gals what the name of their club was, they said they had no name for it and asked if I’d make a suggestion. Here are a few that I sent to Joyce for their consideration – but stay tuned and I’ll let you know if they choose one of these or came up with something much more unique…

PAGETURNERS, WORDBIRDS, FICTION FRIENDS, COVER GALS, LIT LADIES, WEDNESDAY’S WORDS, STORYBOOK SISTERS, and the inevitable BOOK BABES. There were a few more, but we’ll save those for next time.