Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Book Spotlight: The Sum of our Sorrows by Lisette Brodey

I recently read a new release by author Lisette Brodey, The Sum of our Sorrows. It was an incredible book in so many ways. As the title suggests, it was an emotional read.

Before I share my review for this story, here is the blurb:

In an idyllic suburb in Northern California, tragedy strikes the Sheppard family when Abby, the mother of three daughters and wife to Dalton, is killed in a car accident. Charlotte, the middle daughter, is in the car with her mother and survives without physical injury but remains scarred on the inside.

Dalton tells Lily, his eldest daughter, that she must sacrifice long-awaited college plans and put her life on hold to take care of her sisters. Lily is torn between her devotion to family and an increasing need to find her place in the world -- but how can she leave, knowing her family may crumble? Will her presence eventually cause more problems than it solves?

The Sum of our Sorrows reveals how the aftermath of a family tragedy can precipitate sorrows never imagined. It is a tale of grief, hope, healing, coming-of-age, friendship, and survival. It is also a love story of two broken souls living through pain in search of better days and the renewal of one's spirit.

Now for my review:

Grief is a powerful emotion that grips your heart and won't let go. When you add adult responsibility to a teenage girl that has just lost her mother, that's where Lily's story begins. With no time to process her pain, Lily is thrown into the role of 'mum' in all ways to her two younger siblings and she's expected to do all the cleaning, cooking, etc., plus console her sisters through 'their' pain. Lily takes charge, but she verbally and mentally fights the responsibility since she will soon graduate and had plans to attend fashion design school in L.A. Life is horrendous as she tries to move forward. Anything that could happen, did. Thank goodness for her mum's best friend, Kady who understands and listens to Lily. Tragedies continue to pile up though and Lily has had enough. That's where this story takes a sharp turn. Without giving too much away, something wonderful happens for Lily, yet it's not the end of her troubles. You'll have to read this amazing book to find out all that she has to face. The author put her characters through the emotional ringer; everything from mind-numbing loss to extreme joy - and everything in between. This story is so well-written that when Lily was torn between loyalty to her family and wanting to break out on her own, I felt those same emotions. I also experienced joy when it finally came. As the story evolved, all of the characters' strengths and flaws were revealed, not just Lily's. There are some recurring themes in this story, but one powerful one jumped out at me from the beginning - how life can change in a blink and the only thing you can do is follow your gut to survive. Sometimes you make the right decisions due to the change, but sometimes you don't. All you can do is try your best and hope it's enough.

** You can find The Sum of our Sorrows on Amazon. It's available in e-book and paperback, and can be read for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. 

Check out Lisette Brodey at:



Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Like that barn...

On a lonely stretch of asphalt, I walked, past weathered barns and emerging crops. My thoughts and mood were a muddled mess today as I struggled to make sense of a virus that was a sneak attack on the world. With a large sigh, I determined there wasn't any way to emotionally come to grips with that horrible monster. I gritted my teeth and shoved it out of my mind.

Taking a deep breath, I was determined not to allow negative thoughts to take me over. As if that was some kind of challenge, mental pictures of the civil unrest shaking our nation tried to do exactly that. 

I wanted to shout, "No!" Instead, I wondered aloud, "How will I survive all this chaos?" My hand instantly went to my wrist and to the cross on my bracelet. A sudden calm came over me. I glanced back at the second barn I'd passed and received a powerful message from above. Like that barn, I was strong. Like that barn, I'd weathered more than a few storms. Like that barn, I was a bit broken, but I'd get through this and probably so much more.

Things may change because of the turbulent times, but I know I'm like that barn and I'll remain standing. 


Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Welcome C. B. Clark!

Today I have romantic suspense author Christine Clark (writing as C. B. Clark) on my blog with her latest book, Healing Hearts.

Welcome, Christine!  

"Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today, Jan. I'm thrilled to be here. My sixth romantic suspense, Healing Hearts, is set in the beautiful Chilcotin Plateau area in Northern British Columbia. The Chilcotin is a vast wilderness area with few roads, hundreds of acres of dense coniferous forests, grassy ranch lands, and the towering, snow-covered peaks of the Coast Mountains. The people who call this area home are rugged and independent and possess a deep love of the land." 

Christine, could you tell us a little about your story by sharing the blurb and an excerpt? 

"I'd be happy to." 


Reeling from loss and heartbreak, Stella King is desperate to escape painful memories. The position of nanny on an isolated ranch in British Columbia's rugged Chilcotin Plateau seems the answer to her prayers.

Cattle rancher, Dawson Wheeler, has worked hard to overcome grief and build a predictable world for his young daughter. The last thing he needs is the all-too-attractive Stella disrupting the smooth running of his ranch, especially now that disturbing incidents are happening on his property. Defending his land against those who want to gut it will be a challenge, but the biggest threat of all may be to his heart.


The back of his neck itched. "You're Stella King?" Of course she was. Who else would be waiting here at this time of night? Once again he glanced at the photograph clenched in his hand -- gray curls, thick glasses, sixty years old. This was the Stella King he'd hired. The itching amped up to a full-out assault.

She stood and held out her hand. "Nice to meet you, Dawson."

He stumbled back a step, his worst fears confirmed. This gorgeous woman was the nanny he'd hired to look after Deirdre. 

Her light blue wool sweater did nothing to hide the rounded mounds of her breasts. Her legs looked a mile long in the white denim, skin tight, designer jeans tucked into a pair of knee-high, high-heeled, black leather boots. Her perfume wafted on the evening breeze, a heady mix of spring flowers and something subtle but decidedly feminine.

He struggled to swallow, but his throat was parched, his tongue as dry as old leather against the roof of his mouth.

Silence stretched between them. An owl hooted from a nearby tree, crickets chirped in the tall grass lining the ditch, and still he didn't move as the ramifications of what he'd agreed to engulfed him.

My comments:

Christine, you've set the stage for a lot of trouble for Dawson. I'm excited to find out just exactly how Stella King will fit - or not fit - into his life. Add in the incidents happening on his ranch. Dawson's world is about to be turned upside down. I'm intrigued.

Chilcotin Plateau looks beautiful from the way you describe it and in the pictures you've sent. 

Thank you so much for sharing your hard work with us, Christine! I have Healing Hearts on my Kindle and I look forward to learning more about Stella King and Dawson Wheeler, and about the wonderful setting you've placed them in.

Wishing you much success with this amazing book!

Here's a little more about Christine...

Christine is an award winning, romantic author who writes under the pen name C. B. Clark. She's always loved reading, especially romances, but it wasn't until she lost her voice for a year that she considered writing her own romantic suspense stories. She grew up in Canada's Northwest Territories and Yukon. She has worked as an archaeologist and an educator. She enjoys hiking, canoeing, and snowshoeing with her husband and dog near her home in the wilderness of central British Columbia.

* If you'd like to check out Healing Hearts you can find it here...

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** You can follow Christine here... 






Amazon Author Page

It's been a joy having you on my blog, Christine! I hope you'll come back again.