Thursday, April 15, 2021

Beautiful Horseflesh By Karen Bennett


Avarice, deceit, and fleeing the law are the bedrock of Beautiful Horseflesh, a literary fiction, set in 1999. When a Thoroughbred filly arrives at the Smitt family's boarding and water walk farm, she is hailed by teen, Luis Smitt as, "a beautiful piece of horseflesh." Black as satin, she is speedy and shrouded in calamity. Her handsome trainer, Bud, insists on strict privacy in preparing the horse for Tampa's upcoming stakes race, yet finds time to flirt with both the mother and her sixteen-year-old daughter. As Luis unwraps the layers of the horse's mysteries, his family's life is irrevocably shattered. The race's starting bell pulls the Smitt's family forever impacted by deception, to its denouement. Readers of dramatic fiction, with a nod to young adult readers, will enjoy watching racehorses scorch the track. 

Pick up your copy here...

Karen S. Bennett-nee Klebe, was born in Pennsylvania to a PA. Dutch family. You've seen the art representing our heritage: the profile of a distelfink, a goldfinch, along with red hearts and little turquoise flowers decorating items for sale: on cards, towels, and plates. A short description of my idyllic life was that in the 1950's my dad was bent over shallow creeks hunting for bass, and my mother was bent over the open oven seeing to the cakes and pies-a-plenty she provided. Pork chops with sauerkraut, and potatoes in any form were big players.

The first wrinkle was in third grade when my teacher wrote "Dishonesty" on my report card, when all I'd done was to report wishful dreaming and presented the stories as fact. As an adult I learned that written lies were called FICTION. Pow! I was in.

I had many interests as a young person and started life by attending a NYC art school. Although I was well suited to be an artist I was also starving. Then, on to many non-art jobs, a husband and three kids. In the interest in having food money, I attended nursing school and wound up many years later as a retired nurse practitioner with time to write. From Fibs to Fiction. No truth-telling for me.

I've lived in PA., NY., GA., and MD, and have traveled to the usual places across the pond with my most recent travel to Russia, Vietnam, and South Africa. My last six cars have been hybrids which allow me to drive away without worry about the cost.

In 2006, I won first place for my first novel, through The Maryland Writer's Assn., and have four other books behind that one with semi-finalist or finalist. My books go from Horseracing to Ballet, to Choir, to Prison, and to The Farewell Tour. It's fiction, but I'm in there.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The Gravedigger's Guild By Susan Farris


Alice Matins is dead. With the passing of this Mississippi matriarch, estranged sisters Maggy and Quinn collide over the course of Alice's wake and funeral amidst a motley band of gossiping church ladies and feuding gravediggers.As storm clouds gather, the two women unbury secrets from their past involving Quinn's husband that could resurrect their once-strong sisterly bond. But he has secrets of his own.The Gravedigger's Guild examines the indelible ties of sisterhood and the complicated legacy we leave behind.With a style similar to Andrea Bobotis (The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt), this novel will appeal to readers who enjoy stories of strong sibling relationships like Tara Conklin's The Last Romantics and fans of picturesque Southern tales like Sweet Magnolias. 

Pick up your copy here...

Susan Farris is a former marketing manager with her MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University and a background in editing and tutoring other writers.

The Gravedigger’s Guild is her debut novel and she has a collection of poetry coming out soon called Flooding the Delta that experiments with the Thai Nirat form of poetry.

When she is not wrangling words on the page, she can be found gardening, playing board games, or snuggled up with her three cats and two dogs appreciating her husband’s amazing cooking skills. 

My Thoughts...
Fans of Sweet Magnolias and Southern Fiction are sure to enjoy this drama filled read.
So grab your sweet tea and cuddle up in your favorite reading spot and enjoy this 4 star read.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Everyone Worth Knowing By Jeff Richards


A remarried man dreams of his dead wife. A widowed preacher seeks out guilt and inspiration in a brothel. A man who refuses to wear a mask in the spring of 2020 faces the consequences of his choice. Through the eyes of these and other flawed men, Jeff Richards explores childhood, parenthood, love, life, and toxic masculinity.

The men in these stories struggle in relationships and mourn the loves of their past as they search for meaning. Often hoping to find clarity through work, they are instead left questioning their preconceived ideas of what being a man truly means.

Approaching his flawed characters without judgment in these tightly written stories, Richards shows men who have brief violent urges against themselves and others. They drink too much. They have crushes and get divorced and watch their lives fall apart. And, finally, they attempt to overcome their directionless yearning and shame to understand their place in society. 

Pick up your copy here...

Jeff Richards is the author of Open Country: A Civil War Novel in Stories and the domestic noir novel Lady Killer. His fiction, essays, and cowboy poetry have appeared in over twenty-seven publications, including Prick of the Spindle, Pinch, New South, and Southern Humanities Review, and in five anthologies, including Tales Out of School; Letters to J.D. Salinger; and Higher Education, a college composition reader. A fan of blues music, he lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife and two dogs and travels often to Colorado, where his kids live.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Truth About Unspeakable Things By Emily Myers GIVEAWAY!

In an emotional, thought-provoking journey filled with secrets and regret, a young woman has a second chance at love after abuse.

Emma Marshall is haunted by the trauma of her past. The night she ended her engagement to cheating fiancĂ©, Beaux, was meant to be the night she took back control even though it meant losing everything else. But it was only the beginning of his true hold over her. Nine months after suffering an intimate assault by the man who pledged his life to her, Emma is doing – okay. At least, that’s what everyone thinks.

No one knows the unspeakable truth of what happened between Emma and Beaux. It’s a secret Emma plans to carry to the grave, until Julian Cole moves in next door and reopens Emma’s mind and heart to the possibility of love after betrayal. As the reporter and music executive grow closer in the music-filled city of New Orleans, Emma knows she must face her past to have the future she wants. But, with Beaux’s wealth and connections, breaking free won’t be an easy task.

Will Emma speak her truth and have her second chance at love? Or, will her past destroy her and her future? 
Pick up your copy here...                                                                                                                                    The Truth About Unspeakable Things: Myers, Emily A.: 9781948604963: Books

Emily A. Myers is a fiction author based in Louisiana. Her debut novel, The Truth About Unspeakable Things, sets the tone for Emily’s future works as it follows a young woman’s journey through the dangerous pitfalls of adult relationships and the complexities of growing up. If you'd like to know more about Emily, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram @emilymyersauthor. Emily will also be offering a Book Club Discussion Guide for The Truth About Unspeakable Things through her newsletter after its April 6th launch.
My Thoughts...
I opened the box when the mail currier handed it to me. I sat down outside and read this book from cover to cover. Wow, what did I just read. Myers out did herself and this was her debut book. The unthinkable happened and I was thinking the whole time is no way would I forgive this monster. This was such a great read very well written and the plot oh my so worth the read. I HIGHLY recommend this 5 star book. I can not wait for Myers next book. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, April 9, 2021

The Hunt for Fang By Amanda Cleary Eastep


Adventures, friendships, and faith-testers . . . all under the watchful eye of a great big God.

The Tree Street Kids live on Cherry, Oak, Maple, and Pine, but their 1990s suburban neighborhood is more than just quiet, tree-lined streets. Jack, Ellison, Roger, and Ruthie face challenges and find adventures in every creek and cul-de-sac—as well as God’s great love in one small neighborhood.

In Book 2 of the Tree Street Kids series, Jack and his friends learn some survival skills at the church’s summer camp. They’ll need them! Determined to find Ruthie’s lost cat and protect Jack’s new puppy from Fang, the local wildlife, the kids head deep into the woods. Just when they think they’ve cornered the “enemy,” the kids realize someone has gone missing. Is Fang up to no good? Or will faith and friendship be enough to see the kids make it out alive?

Pick up your copy here... The Hunt for Fang: Tree Street Kids (Book 2) (9780802421036): Cleary Eastep, Amanda: Books

Amanda Cleary Eastep is not related to Beverly Cleary but wishes she were. She is, however, a children’s writer, and the Tree Street Kids is her debut series. Amanda knows kids because she’s still one at heart. When she is forced to act like an adult, she edits nonfiction books by grownup authors.

My Thoughts...

Book 2 in the Tree street kids was just as entertaining as book one was.

Life lessons in a fun to read and easy to understand book.

The illustrations are done so well. 8 to 12 year old kids will really enjoy this next book in the series.

I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.  

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Faith's Locket Karen Young


Faith Braydan, the only child of Dr. James and Betty Braydan, had a seemingly perfect life with a bright future ahead of her, at least that’s what everyone thought. But one day her world was turned upside down and her life was never going to be the same; tragedy struck in the most unimaginable way. Her once unshakable faith, was shaken to the core. Now she didn’t know if she’d be able to hang on to the shred of faith she had left, or if it would be completely destroyed.Every person holds deep, unknown secrets, hopes, dreams, and beliefs in their heart; but during times of tragedy, trials, or temptation, is when those things and one's faith in God are put to the test. How will Faith handle the situation she’s faced with? Will she give up, or come out victorious? Find out the answers as you read about Faith’s story.Get your copy of “Faith’s Locket” today!

Pick up your copy here...

Karen Young is an author, wife, mother, and grandmother. She works diligently in the ministry alongside her husband Danny, who is the Pastor of their church.
Karen has a deep love for Jesus and it is evident in her willingness to serve others. Her heart’s desire is that this book will touch the hearts of many and that those who do not already have a relationship with Jesus, will find their way to Him, open their heart, and let Him in.

My Thoughts...
You are sure to enjoy this faith based book. It was an inspiring and fast read. Its more of a novella then a novel so you can read it in one sitting.
4 stars for this new  author. You might want to check it out and be sure to share it with your friends,
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Dust By Eva Marie Everson

 Can an ordinary life leave an extraordinary legacy? 

In 1977, when nineteen-year-old Allison Middleton receives a proposal of marriage from Westley Houser, she eagerly accepts, having no idea the secret Westley carries—a secret that will change Allison’s life forever. But Allison rises to the challenge of raising Westley’s toddling daughter as though she were her own. 

Over the course of their lifetime together, Allison, Westley, and Michelle form the strong bond of family. As Allison struggles with infertility and finding her way during a time of great change for women, others—some she knows and others whom she never meets—brush and weave against the fabric of her life, leaving her with more questions than answers. 

From teen bride to grandmother, Allison’s life chronicles the ups and downs of an ordinary woman’s life to examine the value of what we all leave behind.

Pick up your copy here... Dust (9781645263098): Everson, Eva Marie: Books

First, allow me to clarify that my website is com is a domain squat.

Now. About me: I was born and reared just outside of Savannah, Georgia in a charming small town, Sylvania, Georgia. Yeah, I have a southern accent. It gets a little more southern every time I cross the Florida/Georgia state line. I believe one must go North to get South of here.

If I had all the time in the world, I'd probably lay on the sofa all day and watch old movies. I usually have to get sick for something even close to that happening. But time or not, I love hiking in the great outdoors and I enjoy pushing myself to new heights, both physically and spiritually.

I quote lines from movies and songs so often that most people are unaware of what I'm doing. I may or may not have offended some folks. If I have...I'm sorry.

I'm an ex-nurse and a seminary graduate. I wasn't that crazy about nursing, but love God with a passion and can hardly get through a conversation without talking about our relationship! I think the Old Testament is totally FUN to read (I mean, HOW much stuff can one clan of people get in to?) and the New Testament draws me closer to Heaven. Yeah!

My husband and I have been married since 1979 (and they said it wouldn't last ...). We have three of the greatest kids ever and the most amazing grandkids.

I'm pretty much owned by my dog.

When I'm not writing, I'm editing. When I'm not editing, I'm running Word Weavers International, an international membership group of writers who, using the art of critique, become iron sharpening iron. I am also one of the two directors of Florida Christian Writers Conference. I speak at writers conferences across America and to women's groups as well as to congregations.

I'm rarely still and I sleep very little.

Life is good.

My Thoughts...

This was such a powerful story. Everyone one of Everson's books are written with so much heart. 
You become attached to the characters from the very beginning. I have to say that I flew through this book and did ever realize that I  finished in just a few hours.
I was so engrossed in the story  it just flowed so well.
I gave this book 4 stars and I recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.