Beyond the Carousel (Wyattsville 5) by @BetteLeeCrosby #BookReview #FridayReads Family #Saga

  • 32951455Author: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: January 2017 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Family Saga, Romance
  • five-stars

A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT…

Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left.

When Emory Hawthorne came into money bequeathed to him from his long absent father, he moved his family from their cold water flat into a dream house. For all her inherent frugality, Emory’s wife, Rose, and eleven year old Laura, loved the house. As the years passed and Emory’s salary increased, Rose learned to adapt and became more accustomed to being able to buy what she wanted. Laura secured a secretarial job at the bank working for the vice president. And it was there she met Franklin Wilkes. Continue reading

Wishing For Wonderful (Serendipity #3) by @BetteLeeCrosby #Contemporary #Fantasy

  • 23435149Author: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: September 2012 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
  • four-half-stars

A Magical and Heartwarming Romance…from a USA Today Bestselling Author of Women’s Fiction

Eleanor has loved John Gray since she was seven years old. She grew up believing they would one day get married. They didn’t. They married other people. Now they’re both single again and they’ve got a second chance at love…or do they?

This wonderfully charming and fun romance is narrated by Cupid himself, interspersed by passages from Eleanor and John. This Christmas themed story has several threads woven together, including that of a little dog in need of a home, making Cupid’s job of matching perfect partners more difficult that he would have liked.  Continue reading

Silver Threads (Memory House #5) by @BetteLeeCrosby #Contemporary Fiction #SundayBlogShare

  • 515W1hOlysLAuthor: Bette Lee Crosby 
  • Due to be released on 14th September
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Saga
  • four-half-stars

On the day Jennifer Green was born a pile of stones was placed alongside her scale of life. A few were the dark gray of sorrow, but most were a pale blush color. The largest stone was the rose hue of a sunrise. That one would be placed on the scale the day she married Drew Bishop. Even more brilliant but a wee bit smaller was the pink stone glistening with specs of silver. That one would bring Jennifer a baby girl named Brooke. The Keeper of the Scale smiled. Seeing such happiness laid out before him was pleasing to his eye.

Since the beginning of time The Keeper of the Scale has kept happiness balanced against sorrow for the lives under his protection. But even the Keeper has no control over the outcome of events from the intertwining silver threads linking strangers and events to one another, so there was nothing he could do to alter the consequences of a random thread.  Continue reading

The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd ~ The Wyattsville Series Book 4 by @BetteLeeCrosby ~ Family #Saga

  • 29983645-2Author: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: June 2016 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary, Family Saga
  • four-half-stars

Revenge, death, deception… These are the things Cyrus Dodd has to overcome if he is to give Ruth the life he’s promised her. The problem is he’s got a prideful nature and when a seemingly innocuous argument leads to a bitter feud with his neighbor, his life changes forever. The plans he has falls by the wayside and before he finds a way to fix it, he comes to understand the meaning of regret.

As Cyrus Dodd looks back over a long life, threaded through with what he considered regrets, he realises those regrets he was holding onto were actually challenges, which eventually developed into blessings in disguise. ‘Mine has been a complicated life, a story worthy of telling, but to appreciate the end you have to go back to the beginning.’

In 1930 Cyrus Dodd and his wife, Ruth lived and farmed in Elk Bend, West Virginia. Cyrus’ neighbour, Virgil Jackson, controlled the water supply to the adjoining farms. When Cyrus and Virgil had a falling out, neither would back down and it escalated until Virgil dammed the spring on his land and cut of Cyrus’ water supply, causing his crops to fail. Unsuccessful attempts to end the feud only seemed to make matters worse. Both men were stubborn and strong-willed. Continue reading

Baby Girl (Memory House Collection #4) by @BetteLeeCrosby ~ Contemporary #Fiction

  • 28498856Author: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: March 2016 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction
  • four-half-stars

Baby Girl is a mother’s story. It’s about the greatest sacrifice a mother can make when she wants only the best for her child. It’s about falling in and out of love, of losing and finding one’s self. It’s about the perilous journey from passionate young love to happy true love and understanding the differences between the two.

The day Ryan Carter and his mother moved into the old Ballinger place on Spruce Street was the day Cheryl Ann Ferguson’s life began to change. She and Ryan became firm friends. Apart from the father who loved her dearly, he was her only ally. Her mother was a cold, unloving woman, who only seemed capable of negativity, complaining about anything and everything and putting people down. The year her father died changed everything for Cheryl Ann. She felt so alone and the final straw was her mother’s refusal to let her go to college. She left home with Ryan after the graduation her mother failed to attend. Continue reading

Esther’s Gift ~ The Lei Crime Series: (Kindle Worlds Novella) @BetteLeeCrosby #TuesdayBookBlog

  • EsthersGiftAuthor: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: November 2015 by Kindle Worlds
  • Category: Contemporary, Romance
  • four-half-stars

In the days before hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai the forecasters predicted it would stay south of Hilo. But Esther Ka’awai, a psychic and gifted wise woman of the ancient culture has seen the future. She knows of the devastation that will come to the island. She has warned those she loves; now all she can do is pray.

Esther describes her gift as ‘a knowing’. She doesn’t have visions or tell fortunes, it’s more the certain knowledge that something will happen. She can’t explain it but she always listens and pays attention to the warnings, although she never knows the outcome. The story is set on beautiful Kauai, one of the Hawaiian Islands where Esther lives with her husband of more thhawaii-500285_640an twenty years, Keoki. 

When she dreams of the terrible storm heading their way Esther warns as many people as she can, although few heed her warning as the weathermen forecast that the storm is far to the south and no threat to the island. So Esther and Keoki are the only ones prepared when the devastating storm lands. Continue reading

What The Heart Remembers ~ Memory House Collection #3

  • 27395266Author: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: November 2015 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction
  • four-half-stars

TWO LOVERS. ONE CHANCE AT HAPPINESS….When Max Martinelli returns to Paris in search of her lost love, what she finds will change her life forever. 
For three years the memory of Julien Marceau has haunted Max. Her life is stuck on hold simply because she can’t stop wondering what would have happened if she had gone back. Was Julien simply part of the magic of Paris? Or was he meant to be her destiny?

It’s New Year and Max Martinelli, who was introduced in The Loft, is visiting Annie and Oliver. Annie knows Max has something on her mind and she is right. Max is remembering the New Year she spent in Paris with Julien three years ago when they were in love. She never really got over him even though he hasn’t contacted her as he promised. After a disappointing New Year’s Eve party, when she realises she and her old friends have little left in common, she decides to return to Paris and try to find Julien. Annie is against the trip but Max is adamant. She needs to know if she can recapture how they were and if Julien still has feelings for her. Continue reading

The Loft ~ Memory House Collection #2

  • TheLoftAuthor: Bette Lee Crosby
  • Published: September 2015 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction
  • five-stars

50 YEARS OF MEMORIES ARE HIDDEN IN THE WALLS OF THE LOFT…
Annie only needs to find one… the one that will save Oliver’s life.
On the day of their wedding, Annie saw nothing but happiness ahead, but when an accident calls her back to Memory House, her world is changed forever. Ophelia Browne, the woman who taught Annie to find the memories in a forgotten object, is leaving the house and she’s leaving all those powerful memories behind.
After only three nights in the loft, Annie must now find the single most meaningful memory in Oliver’s mind. If she finds it in time, she can save his life, if she doesn’t…well that’s something she can’t afford to think about.

Annie Cross’s life changed completely a year ago. The change began the day she found Memory House Bed and Breakfast and met Ophelia Browne. Annie thought Ophelia was just a sweet old lady who had a way with herbs and wonderfully scented and seemingly magical potpourri. But Ophelia taught Annie things she never would have believed. And now she was marrying Oliver, in the same church where Ophelia married her late husband, Edward, as a direct result of finding memories in forgotten objects. The minute Annie touched the old bicycle, and began working on sprucing it up, the memories started with an echo of a boy’s laughter. That’s what lead her to Ethan Allen Doyle and from there to his son, Oliver. 

You can tell me seven ways from Sunday there’s no such thing as magic, and you might be right. But since I’ve allowed my heart to believe in the things Ophelia taught me, my life is filled with the magic of love and happiness.

Alone again in Memory House after Annie and Oliver’s marriage, Ophelia decides to drive to church. What happens next changes her life and her outlook. Annie loves Ophelia as if she were her own mother. She and Oliver move back into Memory House in order to look after Ophelia when she’s well enough to come home. While spending time in a rehabilitation centre Ophelia comes to a decision after making new friends and seeing the promise of a new life. A life lived in the present instead of the past. Continue reading

Upcoming Reads ~ On My Bookshelf/Kindle

There are many books in my review list and I’m looking forward to these forthcoming reads.

TheLoft’50 YEARS OF MEMORIES ARE HIDDEN IN THE WALLS OF THE LOFT…
Annie only needs to find one… the one that will save Oliver’s life.
On the day of their wedding, Annie saw nothing but happiness ahead, but when an accident calls her back to Memory House, her world is changed forever. Ophelia Browne, the woman who taught Annie to find the memories in a forgotten object, is leaving the house and she’s leaving all those powerful memories behind.
After only three nights in the loft, Annie must now find the single most meaningful memory in Oliver’s mind. If she finds it in time, she can save his life, if she doesn’t…well that’s something she can’t afford to think about.
Readers will welcome back the much-loved characters from Memory House and enjoy a few new friends!’

TheAmericanPoliceman‘After everything, there is peace. The Collective took London away from the gangs that terrorised the city after the plague and the slow terror of the Breakdown. The blood on the streets has dried. There is food, water and good housing. Everyone has work. But the meek have not inherited the earth. On a bitterly cold night a woman is brutalised and murdered, shattering the fragile calm of the city. The investigation of London’s first murder in two years falls to Inspector Timothy Conlan and the District team of the New Metropolitan Police. Tim ‘Con’ Conlan serenely navigates the harsh new London. He is dedicated, conscientious and smiling. Around him society is broken. People are traumatised, fearful and wracked with guilt. Now the dark, empty spaces of the city are being stalked by a monster. Con must find and catch a killer who seems to know his every move. At the same time, there is something rotten at the core of the new government. In the very heart of the Collective, massive lies are being spun. There are rumours of war, whispers of betrayal. The Collective is harsh, relentless and utterly unforgiving. The problem for Con is simple: find the killer; stay alive.’ Continue reading

Memory House ~ Memory House Collection #1 (Advance Review)

  • MemoryHouseAuthor: Bette Lee Crosby
  • To be Published: 14th April 2015 by Bent Pine Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary Fiction
  • five-stars

IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MEMORY TO OUTLIVE ITS OWNER? 
Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety. 
Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

Needing to get away, if only for a short time, from her life and failed relationship with her boyfriend Michael in Philadelphia, Annie Cross finds herself at Memory House Bed and Breakfast. She almost misses the sign and yet, as she approaches the pretty cottage, it feels vaguely familiar. Her visit to Memory House proves to be the turning point in her life. Ophelia Browne’s cottage in Burnsville, Virginia, is where she’s lived for most of her life. Memory House is just that; a house filled with memories. Ophelia’s own and the ones she feels when she touches the treasures she’s collected over the years.

Ophelia has a gift and is waiting for a special someone to keep the memories from fading away and disappearing. She thinks Annie may just be that person. From their first meeting they feel an almost immediate liking for each other and bond over pots of dandelion tea. Ophelia is skilled in the use of herbs and flowers, their magical and healing qualities and grows them for her own use as well as selling them in her apothecary shop.

Ophelia Browne remembers everything. She remembers things from her own life and from the lives of those who came before her. She has only to touch her hand to an object and she can feel the special memory clinging to it. But now she is getting on in years. In eleven months she’ll turn ninety. Few women in the Browne family live beyond such an age. If death comes before she finds a replacement, the memories might be lost forever.

Annie was only planning to stay a night or two but spends a week helping in the garden and listening to Ophelia’s stories. The peace and tranquility Annie feels at Memory House is like a balm to her soul and she doesn’t want to leave.

Ophelia tells Annie about her dearly loved husband, Edward, and how he fixed up the attic for their bedroom, putting in a skylight so she could lay in bed and watch the stars. Her happiness in those memories shines through and makes Annie question the foundation of her relationship with Michael when he decides he wants her back. Ophelia shows Annie an old bible and talks about who it belonged to. Then a rusty, twisted bike and a rubber ball and when Annie has flashes of a small boy laughing Ophelia knows Annie has the gift. But as Annie discovers more memories, some that have a sense of violence, Ophelia is alarmed and has cause to wonder if she’s doing the right thing.

I love the passages in between chapters written from Ophelia and Annie’s points of view, giving insights into their lives and thoughts. It’s a charming story, full of imagination and incorporating some characters from previous books who it was a pleasure to meet again. And the connection between their treasures and Ophelia’s memories is delightful. Annie and Ophelia’s personalities and the way they relate to one another is explored wonderfully. Ms Crosby’s books have a magical quality and are filled with colourful and unconventional characters who are touching, likeable and easy to relate to. Memory House is no exception and the underlying message as always, gives pause for thought. Oh, and I love the idyllic cover image, such a gorgeous cottage.

‘A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen ~ Edward de Bono’

My thanks to Bette Lee Crosby for an ARC in return for my honest review.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

About the author

3222582USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby’s books are “Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances.” – Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby’s writing is, “A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures.”

Samantha from Reader’s Favorite raves, “Crosby writes the type of book you can’t stop thinking about long after you put it down.”

“Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky characters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.

Author links ~ Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads