Milestones

Over 17 years ago I began recording milestones for my first-born. As a proud new mum I made certain no feat went unrecorded. As time passed the milestones became fewer and farther between. No longer do I have a cute baby book to journal in, yet today marks a new milestone for my oldest son, today he is officially visiting his first University campus. During the next few months we will be visiting many College and University campuses, however, today marks the very first campus we will officially tour for consideration. It is a big day and while my son is excited, I sit here with my coffee over 17 years later, still sleep deprived, wondering where the time went.

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Book Tour & Review: Small Change by Sheila Roberts

Title: Small Change
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: March 30, 2010
Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN: 978-0312594473
Genre: Fiction

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About the Book:

Rachel, Jessica, and Tiffany all share a difficult secret: they’re all struggling with major financial problems. A sudden divorce has turned Rachel from a stay-at-home mom to a strapped-for-cash divorcee about to enter the workforce for the first time. Tiffany’s spending has been out of control for years, and her mounting credit card bills have put a major strain on her marriage. And Jessica just had the rug pulled out from under her. After struggling her entire life to make ends meet, she’s just gotten engaged to a man with a big bank account…and now he’s asked her to sign a pre-nup.

When the women share their problems at their weekly crafting group, they decide to band together to take control of their finances. As they struggle to bring balance back to their checkbooks and their lives, they learn that some things in life, like good friends, are truly priceless.

My Review:

Small Change by Sheila Roberts is a novel which tackles serious issues faced by three families while maintaining an upbeat, often witty and wonderful look into these very realistic situations, families and believable characters. Tiffany is the youngest of the three friends at 25 years and married to Brian, whose job is on the line due to cutbacks. Tiffany works as a manicurist and shops to fill a deep and personal void in her life; she is of her account, a world-class bargain hunter. Rachel is a 40-year old divorcee who is struggling to raise her two children, David and Claire, and she recently found out she would not be teaching full-time in the fall and her ex-husband Brian is not quick to offer financial help. Last but not least is Jessica Sharp, a 44-year old stay at home mom, married to Michael whose bank has been sold and it looks as though he may soon be out of a job. To further complicate things, their youngest son, Mikey has moved back home after losing his job. Jessica is forced to re-enter the workforce after decades of caring for family. Roberts has created a delightful novel, which is not only educational and enlightening, but also exceedingly enjoyable. I do not want to give too much away in my review, so I shall try to keep this brief, although brevity is not my strong suit. Tiffany, Rachel and Jessica are each facing serious financial complications and are doing their best to head them off. Each of the three friends are in different stages of their lives, yet have a common bond. Soon their Friday night crafting session turns into The Small Change Club, where they work together to find ways to cut corners and save money, a do-it-yourself through library books financial class as well as a support group for each other, since each woman spends in different ways and for different reasons. Roberts does an excellent job at creating a cast of delightful women that I personally would enjoy being around and while I identified most with Jessica’s character, all three personalities intertwined create an overall picture that I believe most women will be able to relate to on some level. Small Change is not only helpful, but also insightful, a delight to read and filled with the complex dynamics that make up each character’s family life to keep the reader fully engaged. I highly recommend Small Change to anyone.

About the Author:

Sheila Roberts lives in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. She has had twenty-five books published, both in fiction and nonfiction under different names and in different languages. Her novels have been optioned for book clubs and film. Her book Angel Lane was an Amazon Top Ten Romance pick for 2009. When she’s not hanging out with her girlfriends or hitting the dance floor with her husband, she can be found writing about those things dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

You can visit Sheila at her website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Sheila Roberts’ SMALL CHANGE VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR ‘10 officially began on March 22 and will end on April 23 2010. Follow the tour www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com during the month of April to find out more about this great book and talented author!

I received a complimentary copy of Small Change by Sheila Roberts from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.

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Book Tour & Review: South of Broad by Pat Conroy

Title: South of Broad
Author: Pat Conroy
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Publication Date: April 11, 2009
Hardcover: 528 pages
ISBN: 978-0385413053
Genre: Fiction/Literature

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About the Book:


Leopold Bloom King has been raised in a family shattered—and shadowed—by tragedy. Lonely and adrift, he searches for something to sustain him and finds it among a tightly knit group of high school outsiders. Surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, as well as Charleston, South Carolina’s dark legacy of racism and class divisions, these friends will endure until a final test forces them to face something none of them are prepared for.

Spanning two turbulent decades, South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest: a masterpiece from a great American writer whose passion for life and language knows no bounds.

My Review:

South of Broad by Pat Conroy is filled with beautiful and effusive prose, a deep sense of love and pride in South Carolina, and an extremely likeable main character. The novel begins in 1969, the year Leo King turns 18 and decides changes need to be made in his life. Leo is well liked by those older than him, but lacks friends his own age; this he decides will be the year things turn around for him. Conroy brings about the metamorphosis of Leo King in a commanding manner and the reader meets with an almost dizzying array of characters that are both vibrant and realistic. South of Broad takes the reader through twenty years of Leo’s life and the lives of his friends, as one can imagine there is a lot of ground to cover and not all of it is pleasant considering the many years over which the novel takes place. However, what may be a near Herculean task for some writers, Conroy pulls off brilliantly for he has a style of writing that captures the readers attention, makes the reader care about the characters and keeps the reader engaged to the very end. I would highly recommend South of Broad to anyone, and even though it is a lengthy novel, I do believe it would make an excellent discussion group pick.


About the Author
:

Pat Conroy is the bestselling author of nine books: The Boo, The Water is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season, The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life and South of Broad. He lives in Fripp Island, South Carolina.
Visit Pat Conroy’s website for more info about his work.
Please visit the other tour stops here.

I received a complimentary copy of South of Broad by Pat Conroy to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the novel. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.

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Peeking Peonies-Wordful and Wordless Wednesday

(Click to enlarge.)

The peonies are peeking through.

To view other Wordful Wednesday blogs head over to:


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Clear Out The Clutter Read-A-Thon Activity #2: Review-A-Thon


The Clear Away The Clutter Read-A-Thon is in full swing. The second activity comes from WilowRaven at Red House Books.

The review-a-thon is all about getting one’s reviews in order. How will I or do I keep my reviews organised?

As I stated yesterday, I am quite anal-retentive in my reading and reviewing of books. Each book is tagged with a coloured Post-It note and logged into my planner upon its arrival. All my reviews are done immediately upon completing the novel. I do not even contemplate beginning another novel until I review the novel I have recently completed. This works for me, it may take a little longer to get to my next book, however, all my reviews are finished in a timely manner.

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