Welcome to the Friday Cafe and Bookstore update with more recent reviews to share for the authors on the shelves.
The first author is Claire Fullerton, whose book Mourning Dove, I reviewed last week. I am not the only one who is enjoying the story set in the rich and inclusive Memphis.
About the book
“An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” Kirkus Book Reviews
The heart has a home when it has an ally.
If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, eighteen months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s tenth birthday.
Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold. Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world as they find their way to belonging.
But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?
One of the recent reviews for the book.
Mourning Dove isn’t just a book about family in the South. It’s about the reality of a family in the South. There are many dramatizations of what people believe life is like here in the Southern part of the US, but unless you lived it, you don’t know it. Claire Fullerton lived it. The author and I have had exchanges in the past about commonalities in our lives to the point that I know she is the real deal. She grew up a Memphis girl while I lived just 2 hours away in Tupelo, MS.
One thing about Southern life is there are layers. Depending on who you are socializing with will determine which layer you allow to show. That’s for your own protection. You learn this quickly to survive, not only in Southern society but in your own family. If you aren’t like your blood then you in more trouble than you would be at any other point in time. This is just an observation I’m throwing in here.
Mourning Dove finds Posey, moving back to Memphis, the city of her birth with her two children. The story is told through the voice of Millie, the youngest child. She’s the quiet one who looks up to her charismatic brother, Finley. The children are thrown into a world totally alien to their Minnesota home when they set foot in Memphis, a city where old society still looks to generational lines to help determine societal prestige.
Posey, sets out to find a new husband and ends up catching the Colonel, a totally inappropriate match for a husband only because of his place in society in the hopes it will continue to help her and assure her children will not fall from grace. The problem is, this leaves her children without true parents. Posey mothers occasionally but it doesn’t really help her children.
The star of the show is Finley, the big brother that has been given almost god like qualities by Millie in his perfection. His talent, his intellect, his abilities to move people. The things she cannot do. But just as a god, he is just out of reach in his kinetic life of always pushing higher and higher to next level of his creativity. His time in Charlottesville to attend university and expanding his music lies perfectly with the music scene of the day for a certain element that continued in university towns on into the 80s.
But without Finley, Millie has to fend for herself in the aristocratic society of her mother’s upbringing. He was her navigator of Memphis, her protector of sorts.
If you want to know the real South of the 1970s, read Mourning Dove. Much like Claire Fullerton’s masterpiece, Dancing to an Irish Reel, you get atmosphere, emotions, characters, not only the main but a wonderful supporting cast, which very much matches what you find in the South. You also find yourself pulled in to the landscape and forget you exist in a present. You are present in the past.
Read the other reviews and buy the book in Kindle, print and audio: https://www.amazon.com/Mourning-Dove-Claire-Fullerton/dp/1946016527
Also by Claire Fullerton
Buy the books and audio editions: https://www.amazon.com/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Claire-Fullerton/e/B00HRJEUJ4
Read other reviews and follow Claire on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7388895.Claire_Fullerton
Connect to Claire via her website: https://www.clairefullerton.com/
The next author with a recent review for her latest book is Judy Penz Sheluk for Hole in One: A Glass Dolphin Mystery
About the book
Hoping to promote the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland agree to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament. The publicity turns out to be anything but positive, however, when Arabella’s errant tee shot lands in the woods next to a corpse.
They soon learn that the victim is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, who had been acting as the Course Marshal. With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, he soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name—even if they’re not entirely convinced of his innocence.
Dogged by incriminating online posts from an anonymous blogger, they track down leads from Emily’s ex-fiancé (and the woman he left Emily for), an Elvis impersonator, and a retired antiques mall vendor with a secret of her own.
All trails lead to a mysterious cult that may have something to do with the murder. Can Arabella and Emily identify the killer before the murderer comes after them?
One of the recent reviews for the book
I enjoyed this book, the second in the Glass Dolphin Mystery series. Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland once again find themselves in the middle of a murder when they agree to sponsor a hole-in-one prize at a charity golf tournament. But things are not what they seem.
Shortly after the tournament begins, Arabella shoots into the woods on the third hole, and while she tries to retrieve her ball, she stumbles over a dead body. Even worse, it turns out to be the father of her ex-husband, Levon Larruquette, who is still carrying a torch for his her. Levon becomes the number one suspect, and Emily and Arabella must dig through layers of blackmail, fraud, and murder to try to prove him innocent.
I really like the characters in Penz Sheluk’s books, and this one has enough unique and funny characters–like an Elvis impersonator–to keep the plot moving along.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hole-One-Dolphin-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B079VJLVQ4/
Also by Judy Penz Sheluk
Read the reviews and buy all the books: http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Judy-Penz-Sheluk/e/B00O74NX04/
Read more reviews and follow Judy on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8602696.Judy_Penz_Sheluk
Connect to Judy via her website: http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/
The next author is Darlene Foster with a recent review for her children’s book Amanda In New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind.
About the book
Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind finds student Amanda Ross on a school trip in Taos, New Mexico. While there, her classmate Cleo thinks she sees ghosts. Amanda feels anxious too, sensing that something or someone is watching her. An engaging adventure ensues during their visit to the Land of Enchantment in this sixth book in the fun and educational series for early middle grade readers. 5/5
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-New-Mexico-Ghosts-Travels-ebook/dp/B01MT8LXAR/
A selection of other books by Darlene Foster
Read the reviews and buy all of Darlene’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA
and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA
Read more reviews and follow Darlene on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster
Connect to Darlene via her website: www.darlenefoster.ca
Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share these authors and their reviews. Thanks Sally