Author: Barbara Delinsky
Due to be Published: June 2018 by Sphere
Category: Women’s Fiction, Book Review
Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends―and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog.
In order to survive after the death of her five year old daughter in a tragic road traffic accident, Mackenzie Cooper, now known as Maggie Reid, lives a quiet life in the rural town of Devon, Vermont. The trial, her arrest, time in the media spotlight and the breakdown of her marriage left Maggie feeling increasing stress over the lack of privacy and the intense anguish and guilt that never leaves her. All she wants is to live in obscurity and get through the remainder of her probationary period. Devon seems to attract people who, for one reason or another, have a past they need to move on from.
Maggie enjoys working as a make up artist at the local spa, helping to make her clients feel good about themselves, hiding their perceived flaws. She has made some good friends, loves her small cabin and her pets and has settled into Devon life.
Maggie’s close friend, Grace Emory, is a massage therapist at the spa and has been in Devon for the past twelve years. The two of them never speak about their pasts, just accept each other and their friendship for what it is in the present. When Grace’s teenage son Chris, is arrested for hacking the Twitter account of a well known and powerful journalist, it signals the beginning of the end of their peaceful lives.
Maggie is torn between staying anonymous and not violating her parole by associating with someone facing a felony charge, or standing by her friend as the case against Chris escalates, with the FBI becoming involved. Then to complicate matters further, Maggie’s ex-husband, Edward, and her estranged brother turn up in Devon.
I’ve enjoyed several of Barbara Delinsky’s books and this was no exception. Maggie is a sympathetic character from the start. How such a trauma could impact on both parents is dealt with sensitively and realistically. Maggie’s and Edward’s characters develop throughout the story, showing how they work though the healing process, each in their own way. Grace was harder to like initially, seeming quite self-absorbed even when Chris finds himself in trouble, but as her story develops it becomes more apparent why she gives that impression.
There’s a powerful theme of forgiveness and trust running through the character driven narrative – self forgiveness is at the forefront, but also forgiveness for those who perhaps didn’t handle the fallout from their own distressing experiences in the best (although understandable) way. A tale of loss, acceptance and new beginnings.
I chose to read and review Before And Again based on an advance reader copy of the book supplied by NetGalley and the author/publisher.
I was born and raised in suburban Boston. My mother’s death, when I was eight, was the defining event of a childhood that was otherwise ordinary. I took piano lessons and flute lessons. I took ballroom dancing lessons. I went to summer camp through my fifteenth year (in Maine, which explains the setting of so many of my stories), then spent my sixteenth summer learning to type and to drive (two skills that have served me better than all of my other high school courses combined). I earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. The motivation behind the M.A. was sheer greed. My husband was just starting law school. We needed the money.
I became an actual writer by fluke. My twins were four when, by chance, I happened on a newspaper article profiling three female writers. Intrigued, I spent three months researching, plotting, and writing my own book – and it sold.
My niche? I write about the emotional crises that we face in our lives. Readers identify with my characters. They know them. They are them. I’m an everyday woman writing about everyday people facing not-so-everyday challenges.
Today I’m delighted to welcome Helen Parry Jones with an intriguing guest post about her journey to becoming a medium and spiritual healer. First, here’s a little about her book Beyond Boundaries.
Beyond Boundaries – A book of true inspiration!
Helen Parry Jones shares every aspect of her life with absolute honesty and in a refreshingly down-to-earth manner. Her story is a backdrop to enable her spiritual guide Sam, through daily tutoring from her earliest recollection, to offer wisdom and enlightenment in overcoming the abundance of life’s many difficult challenges, not only for Helen, but for the countless people she meets socially and provides treatment for professionally.
Helen reveals how, with Sam’s guidance, she develops a much higher level of consciousness, not only to communicate with another dimension beyond the boundaries of our existence, but whereby she can access the energy that surrounds and connects to our physical form to locate illness and malfunctions within the body with astounding accuracy.
An extraordinary life with an exceptional gift. The story of one woman’s power to heal.
Purchase from Amazon US | Amazon UK
When I was four years old, after using the outside toilet at my Aunty Joan’s house, I noticed a large black-skinned man sitting on the back doorstep blocking my way into the house. I’d had previous sightings of him, but he seemed more like a shadowy figure in the background.
This was the first time I’d come face-to-face with him and experience such a physical presence. Obviously, I now know I could have walked straight through him, but he seemed as solid to me as my own body.
At that meeting he explained he was my Guide, I could call him Sam and I was to consider him like a school teacher. It was on this occasion he first spoke about spirit people and the spirit world. In this moment of revelation I became aware I could see and communicate with dead people, which strangely didn’t frighten me … it made me very inquisitive.
Nevertheless, no matter how often I told my mother about this, she’d tell me not to be so silly, that I was imagining things. In truth, my parents scolded me throughout my childhood each time I mentioned seeing the invisible.
What I needed and craved was having my manifestations validated, not constantly rejected.
My Nan Ada was the only person to accept I could see the invisible. I would often tell her of a big fat ginger cat and an old moggy sleeping on her sofa. She always referred to them as her Tigger and Arthur, and explained they had died long ago. It gave me a sense of peace having someone I loved believing I spoke the truth about what I could see.
Around this time, my mother took me to our doctor to establish if I was suffering from any mental illness. I could sense my mother’s disappointment at not finding any medical reason for my invisible visitors.
Essentially, growing up with this reality was as natural as breathing to me. For my part, it wasn’t a transition into becoming a medium, … I was born one.
Having said that, as I grew up and the amount of visitors steadily increased, it became evident I was an open portal into another dimension which I could open and close at will. The more I accessed this dimension, the more proficient I became in communicating with it and began to realise I was being exposed to a much greater consciousness of wisdom.
During one of our many tutorials together, Sam asked me to study a plain piece of paper. To my astonishment emerged the outline of a skeleton upon which ticks and crosses appeared. He explained soon I would discern illness in people by seeing crosses over parts of the body that were ill. On reflection, this was a huge responsibility for a child to undertake.
Later in my adolescence, Sam explained the ability to link with this greater consciousness of wisdom was the means to bring healing and improved wellbeing into peoples lives. Without doubt, I felt in my heart this was my life purpose, … I had found my destiny.
Once I accepted this was my life-role, I intuitively knew the colourful auras I could see around peoples bodies revealed much information about their physical and emotional health. Not only did the colour and density of this ‘energy overcoat’ constantly change, I could see how it linked to the body by a network of energy paths and chakra points.
The true life-challenge came when I had to face how with a basic education and gender limited opportunities imposed upon me by my parents’ working class values, how I could share my extraordinary abilities to actively benefit others. In desperation, by flicking through the leaves of the ‘Yellow Pages’, I randomly placed a pin to choose a career, … dentistry. So as a sixteen year old school leaver, I trained as a dental nurse – my first steps as a health professional.
Over time, the crosses over peoples disorders faded, but was replaced by an ability to see right through people’s bodies as if like tissue-thin layers of an onion, whereby I began to see broken bones, diseased organs, blood disorders, hormone imbalances, all sorts really, even illness that had been, or that is current, or that is going to happen.
With marriage at nineteen, and children soon-after, my dental career was over. When the opportunity arose for a part time job at my local veterinary practice, I reached out for some independence and the chance to re-connect with promoting good health, albeit with animals. It wasn’t until the school-yard interaction with other young mums did my extraordinary abilities find a willing audience.
However, after I divorced and found my soulmate Richard did I finally overcome the inner shackles that had restrained me from speaking out confidently about who and what I am. With his earthly love and Sam’s metaphysical presence, I changed from a naïve young woman into one of a strong character who understands her own self-worth and life purpose.
… … And thereafter, my reputation spread by word-of-mouth recommendations into a demanding full time profession and the international standing I enjoy today.
Living in Wales with her husband, Helen Parry Jones has been a professional spiritual healer and empathic medium for over thirty years. She has filled theatres and auditoriums across the country and has regularly appeared in national print and broadcast media including; The Daily Mail, Psychic News, RTÉ, BBC Radio 4 and Woman’s Way. Previous titles include, Hands of An Angel (published 2011 by Arrow) which was named The Daily Express’ book of the week.
Author: Margaret Skea
Published: May 2017 by Corazon Books
Category: Historical, Saga, Fiction, Book Review
Eleven years on from the Massacre of Annock, the Cunninghame / Montgomerie truce is fragile.
For the Munro family, living in hiding under assumed names, these are dangerous times.
While Munro risks his life daily in the service of the French King, the spectre of discovery by William Cunninghame haunts his wife Kate. Her fears for their children and her absent husband realized as William’s desire for revenge tears their world apart.
Following on from Turn Of The Tide, A House Divided picks up the story of the Munro family several years after they were forced to fake their own deaths in a fire at their home, in order to escape the machinations of William Cunninghame, heir to the Earl of Glencairn.
Author: Terry Tyler
Category: Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Book Review
The pace steps up in this final instalment of the Project Renova trilogy, as the survivors’ way of life comes under threat.
Two years after the viral outbreak, representatives from UK Central arrive at Lindisfarne to tell the islanders about the shiny new city being created down south. UK2 governor Verlander’s plan is simple: all independent communities are to be dissolved, their inhabitants to reside in approved colonies. Alas, those who relocate soon suspect that the promises of a bright tomorrow are nothing but smoke and mirrors, as great opportunities turn into broken dreams, and dangerous journeys provide the only hope of freedom.
Meanwhile, far away in the southern hemisphere, a new terror is gathering momentum…
UK2, the third full length book in the Project Renova series, indicates a change is coming sooner rather than later with a visit from a UK Central contingent.