Sunday, May 29, 2016

Books In For Review

Wowza!!!  It's gonna be very busy around Feathered Quill!  Check out all the great looking books that have just arrived for review!

Max and Annabel: The First Patrol Max is a big and beautiful Clydesdale horse who lives in New York City's Central Park.He patrols the area with Officer Francis and Officer Michael. Together, they keep the park a safe and happy place. On a cold winter morning, Max meets his new partner. Annabel is a five year old dapple-grey Clydesdale horse with a full main and a long white tail. She comes to live in the barn with Max and to work with the two park officers. They quickly become friends, and soon Annabel is ready for her first day on the job. But when a jogger runs up and lets them know that a nearby building is on fire, her first day becomes very exciting and a little scary!

The Real Mrs. Price by J.D. Mason Lucy Price is living the American dream. She has been married to her successful husband and businessman, Edward Price for a year and couldn’t be happier until she learns that Eddie is a dangerously ruthless man, heavily involved in illegal activities that threaten not only her marriage, but her life. Eddie abruptly disappears, but not before warning Lucy that if she wants to keep breathing she'd better keep her mouth shut. Six months later, word of her husband surfaces when she learns that he is presumed murdered in a small Texas town, apparently killed by his “wife”, Marlowe Price. Marlowe is no stranger to trouble. An outcast in her own community for being one of those "hoodoo women," who can curse you or cast you under her beguiling spell, Marlowe is shunned at every turn. Six months ago, a whirlwind romance in Mexico led Marlowe to marry the man she thought she’d spend the rest of her life with. For Marlowe and Eddie, there is no such thing as trouble in paradise. But late one night, when Marlowe witnesses her husband putting the body of a dead man in the trunk of his car, the illusion comes crashing down around her and she knows she has to move fast before the devil comes calling once again. Now, Lucy and Marlowe must come together to find out where and who Eddie really is, and help each other through the threat he poses. There's nothing more dangerous than a woman scorned...except for two women scorned who are willing to put their pasts behind them and band together to take one bad man down...

The French War Bride by Robin Well At her assisted living center in Wedding Tree, Louisiana, ninety-three-year-old Amélie O’Connor is in the habit of leaving her door open for friends. One day she receives an unexpected visitor—Kat Thompson, the ex-fiancée of her late husband, Jack. Kat and Jack were high school sweethearts who planned to marry when Jack returned from France after World War II. But in a cruel twist of fate, their plans were irrevocably derailed when a desperate French girl overheard an American officer’s confession in a Parisian church. Now Kat wants to know the truth behind a story that’s haunted her whole life. Finding out how Amélie stole Jack’s heart will—she thinks—finally bring her peace. As Amélie recalls the dark days of the Nazi occupation of Paris, The French War Bride reveals how history shapes the courses of our lives. . .for better or for worse.

Sunshine Beach: Ten Beach Road Novel by Wendy Wax After losing their life savings in a Ponzi scheme, Maddie, Avery, and Nikki have banded together to make the most of what they have left, using their determination, ingenuity, guts, and a large dose of elbow grease. It’s Maddie’s daughter Kyra who stumbles across a once glorious beachfront hotel that has fallen into disrepair. The opportunity to renovate this seaside jewel is too good to pass up—especially when they come up with the idea of shooting their own independent television show about the restoration. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. With the cameras rolling, Maddie’s second-chance romance with her all-too-famous new boyfriend gets complicated, Avery struggles with grief over the loss of her mother, and Nikki’s reluctance to commit to the man who loves her could leave her to face the biggest challenge of her life. Even the hotel seems to be against them, when their renovation uncovers a decades-old unsolved murder which just might bring their lives tumbling down all over again...

For the Win by Sara Rider Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge. Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge. The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.

Little Girl Gone by Gerry Schmitt On a frozen night in an affluent neighborhood of Minneapolis, a baby is abducted from her home after her teenage babysitter is violently assaulted. The parents are frantic, the police are baffled, and, with the perpetrator already in the wind, the trail is getting colder by the second. As family liaison officer with the Minneapolis P.D., it’s Afton Tangler’s job to deal with the emotional aftermath of terrible crimes—but she’s never faced a case quite as brutal as this. Each development is more heartbreaking than the last and the only lead is a collection of seemingly unrelated clues. But, most disturbing of all, Afton begins to suspect that this case is not isolated. Whoever did this has taken babies before—and if Afton doesn’t solve this crime soon, more children are sure to go missing...

The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig Claire “Neely” Davis is no ordinary pastry chef. Her flavor combinations aren’t just a product of a well-honed palate: she can “taste” people’s emotions, sensing the ingredients that will touch her customers’ souls. Her gift has never failed her—until she meets a free-spirited bride-to-be and her overbearing society mother. The two are unable to agree on a single wedding detail, and their bickering leaves Neely’s intuition frustratingly silent—right when she needs it most. Between trying to navigate a divorce, explore a new relationship, and handle the reappearance of her long-absent father, Neely is struggling to make sense of her own conflicting emotions, much less those of her hard-to-please bride. But as she embarks on a flavorful quest to craft the perfect wedding celebration, she’ll uncover a family history that sheds light on both the missing ingredients and her own problems—and illustrates how the sweet and sour in life often combine to make the most delicious memories...

Windmill Point by Jim Stemple  Windmill Point is gripping historical fiction that vividly brings to life two desperate weeks during the spring of 1864, when the resolution of the American Civil War was balanced on a razor's edge. At the time, both North and South had legitimate reasons to conclude they were very near victory. Ulysses S. Grant firmly believed that Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was only one great assault away from implosion; Lee knew that the political will in the North to prosecute the war was on the verge of collapse. Stempel masterfully sets the stage for one of the most horrific battles of the Civil War, contrasting the conversations of decision-making generals with chilling accounts of how ordinary soldiers of both armies fared in the mud, the thunder and the bloody fighting on the battlefield.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towels A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carre From his years serving in British Intelligence during the Cold War, to a career as a writer that took him from war-torn Cambodia to Beirut on the cusp of the 1982 Israeli invasion to Russia before and after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, le Carré has always written from the heart of modern times. In this, his first memoir, le Carré is as funny as he is incisive, reading into the events he witnesses the same moral ambiguity with which he imbues his novels. Whether he's writing about the parrot at a Beirut hotel that could perfectly mimic machine gun fire or the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth, visiting Rwanda’s museums of the unburied dead in the aftermath of the genocide, celebrating New Year’s Eve 1982 with Yasser Arafat and his high command, interviewing a German woman terrorist in her desert prison in the Negev, listening to the wisdoms of the great physicist, dissident, and Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov, meeting with two former heads of the KGB, watching Alec Guinness prepare for his role as George Smiley in the legendary BBC TV adaptations, or describing the female aid worker who inspired the main character in The Constant Gardener, le Carré endows each happening with vividness and humor, now making us laugh out loud, now inviting us to think anew about events and people we believed we understood.

The Trespasser by Tana French Being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her—except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before. And that her death won’t stay in its neat by-numbers box. Other detectives are trying to push Antoinette and Steve into arresting Aislinn’s boyfriend, fast. There’s a shadowy figure at the end of Antoinette's road. Aislinn's friend is hinting that she knew Aislinn was in danger. And everything they find out about Aislinn takes her further from the glossy, passive doll she seemed to be. Antoinette knows the harassment has turned her paranoid, but she can’t tell just how far gone she is. Is this case another step in the campaign to force her off the squad, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface?

Carry This Book by Abbi Jacobson With bright, quirky, and colorful line drawings, Jacobson brings to life actual and imagined items found in the pockets and purses, bags and glove compartments of real and fantastical people—whether it’s the contents of Oprah’s favorite purse, Amelia Earhart’s pencil case, or Bernie Madoff’s suitcase. How many self-tanning lotions are in Donald Trump’s weekender? What’s inside Martha Stewart’s hand-knit fanny pack? What kind of protein bars does Michelle Obama hide in her tiny clutch at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Carry This Book provides a humorous and insightful look into how the things we carry around every day can make up who we are.

May Book Giveaway - Time is Running Out!

Time is running out to enter this month's book giveaway.  For May, we have three copies of Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker by Fred Setterberg.

It's quick and easy to enter.  Just follow the link, fill out your name/address/email (and no, we don't collect names/emails - all are deleted after each contest), and poof!  you're entered.  Good luck!
Here's the LINK.

Friday, May 27, 2016

#BookReview - Lawyer for the Cat

Lawyer for the Cat: A Sally Baynard Novel

By: Lee Robinson
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-05242-1
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: May 24, 2016

South Carolina lawyer Sally Baynard is no stranger to interesting cases as she has tackled intense divorces, messy child custody cases, and burglaries. However, nothing prepared her for representing Sherman, a lovable schnauzer that was caught in the middle of a custody case between his two owners who were divorcing. Fortunately, Sherman's owners had a reconciliation and they are all living happily together which was best for everyone. With this unique case behind her Sally is ready to get back to a normal caseload and normal human clients. Her relief is short lived as a judge who is close to retirement gives her a case where she will represent a cat.

The cat's name is Beatrice and after the death of her wealthy owner this cat is named the beneficiary of a large plantation and multi-million dollar trust. Sally's job is to decide between three people who will be the best caregiver of Beatrice and with this choice that person will be allowed to live on the plantation and be given a handsome salary to pay for the care of the cat. So, in order to make a sound decision on which person will be best, Sally will have to visit and interview each of the three contenders and try to figure out the most important questions to ask. As Sally begins her investigation she reads that in the will the plantation is supposed to go to the son of the deceased after the death of the cat. This in turn creates an extremely upset son who feels he is being cheated out of his rightful inheritance.

As Sally gets a chance to meet each of the three people listed, the choice becomes harder and harder to make as each person has some positive but also some negative aspects that makes a solid decision difficult. In addition, Sally receives some threatening notes that she believes are coming from the angry son. It will take all of her skills as a lawyer to get through this unique situation and find the right home for Beatrice.

After reading the first book by Lee Robinson, Lawyer for the Dog, I was ecstatic to see that a sequel had been written and I could not wait to read it. Author Lee Robinson creates such a fun story full of southern charm that I absolutely love. The character of Sally Baynard is so relatable that I felt as if I was sitting down with a beloved friend as I was reading this book. In addition, adding the element of the animals to this relatable story is a beautiful mix. Once I started this book it was hard to put it away as the writing transfixed me in a way that I became lost in the story and time didn't matter.

Quill says: A book that is absolutely perfect to curl up on the couch with that allows for a wonderful reading experience.

#BookReview - From Bags to Riches

From Bags to Riches: A Jessie Stanton Novel

By: Sandra D. Bricker
Publisher: Abington Press Nashville
Publication Date:March 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4267-9323-3
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: May 24, 2016

Sandra Bricker takes the reader on a journey that spans from the glitter of L.A. to the Bayou of Louisiana in the third installment of her Jessie Stanton Series: From Bags to Riches.

Jessie Hart has scruples and work ethic. She's spent a lifetime rising from her humble beginnings in Louisiana and made a success of her Adornments boutique in southern California. Just when she thought she had it all, life began to unravel. The man she thought was her husband and her ever after turned out to be nothing more than a con. Turns out Jack Stanton wasn't even her husband. The law has more than a few issues to resolve with him and through it all, he vies to win her back. Maybe once all the 'misunderstandings' are out of the way, he'll marry Jessie for real this time. However, the one roadblock Jack didn't see coming was Danny. It seems he's won Jesse's heart over for good and if Jack Stanton wants her back, it's going to take more than words to succeed.

After appearing before the magistrate and winning the first round of her battle to get her life back, Jesse walks out of the courtroom a liberated woman with her birth name intact and any reference to Stanton a distant memory. When a celebrity stylist approaches Jessie with the pitch to make a reality show of her life and Adornments success as the backdrop, Jessie's fruit of her labors may very well be paying off. This is to say before she receives word that her beloved grandfather has been diagnosed with cancer and it's time to go back to the Louisiana home she worked so long and hard to escape.

This is the first of this series I've read by Ms. Bricker, and actually, the first novel I've read by her. I found From Bags to Riches to be an engaging and solid read. In my opinion, the sign of an accomplished writer is to demonstrate his or her ability to lay out the basics of the story early on and use the real estate of the pages ahead to solidify plot. Ms. Bricker has done so superbly and does not disappoint. Her characters are believable and while the title is somewhat of a predictable play on words, Bricker's style plays out in a way to provide ample twists and turns to discount predictability. There is intentional pace in how Ms. Bricker feeds the storyline to her audience and the infusion of terrific scenery to support the eventual outcome that provides the reader with a comfortable engagement throughout. After reading From Bags to Riches, Ms. Bricker has convinced me it is time to go back and read more of her work. She is no stranger to pen and paper and has demonstrated hands down, she knows how to spin a good read. Well done Ms. Bricker. I am a fan.

Quill says: From Bags to Riches is the perfect companion for a lazy summer afternoon with nothing more to do than read a good book.

#BookReview - Busy, Busy!

Busy, Busy!

By: Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by: Elina Ellis
Publisher: Worthy Kids/Ideals
Publication: April 2016
ISBN: 978-0-8249-1971-9
Reviewed by: Jennifer Tilley-Voegtle
Review Date: May 2016

Busy, Busy! is a darling board book written by Eileen Spinelli. This sweet little book is about animals who are very busy doing their jobs in their natural environments. Written in rhyme, each page is illustrated with the “occupation” of each busy character. But the animals are not the only ones that are very busy, there is a mommy that is very busy as well.

“Mommy’s busy,
Always busy,
She has lots of work to do”

Mommy might be extremely busy doing her work but she isn’t too busy to spend time with her child. The message that mommy’s not too busy for her child is what makes this book so special. Every animal in the story is busy doing their own specific job. Each job is designated to the type of animal and how it lives or plays in its environment. While each character is busy doing their special job the mom is doing work but also cuddling her child, which is, of course, as important as all of the other jobs being done.

“Frog is very busy leaping,
Beaver has no time to play.
Mama bird is busy teaching
Little bird to fly away”

Lots of questions will be provoked by each page in the story. Busy, Busy! was written for the toddler crowd and the nature of the story is educational with an emotional ending. Children will learn not only the names of animals but also be able to identify them and relate them to objects or habits each animal in the book is associated with. It also reinforces that even though mommy may be very busy all the time part of her job is taking time to show her child attention.

Quill says: A fun book for the inquisitive, cuddly, toddler in your life.

#BookReview - Radio Girls

Radio Girls

By: Sarah-Jane Stratford
Published By: New American Library
Publication Date: June 2016
ISBN: 9780451475565
Reviewed by: Jennifer Tilley-Voegtle
Review date: May 24, 2016

Maisie Musgrave, former WWI nurse and graduate of Miss Jenkins Secretarial College is on her very last pound when she lands a fantastic interview. It’s not just any interview, it’s with the brand new BBC, and she’s about to enter a world of modernity!

Mousie Maisie, with newspaper lining her shoes, gets a letter for an interview at the BBC after applying for a position as a Junior Secretary. While the world is still reeling after the horror of WWI, the BBC is working on making radio history in England. After the war, things have changed drastically in England and women are now working in many varied positions, no longer just as nurses and school teachers. Not all companies are hiring women but the BBC is known for not only hiring women but having female employees in positions of importance.

Radio Girls is about the changing times and one woman’s exciting entrance into a revolutionary era for women. Just before women are allowed the vote in England, Maisie is hired as a Junior Secretary in the Office of the BBC’s Director General. She also spends part of her day typing up notes for the head of the Talks department. She immediately falls in love with the fast-paced, exciting, energy of the BBC and very soon becomes the secretary for the director of the Talks department. The director, also a woman, sees herself in Maisie and gives the young woman opportunities she never could have dreamed of in the past. Maisie excels in this job and begins to find her own voice through writing.

This story is about a time between the two wars in Europe that had rapid and dramatic changes. Leaving the Victorians in the dust, Radio Girls is an excellent story of how women’s roles were becoming radically different. At this time there is less of a distinction between the aristocracy and the middle class. There’s a chance for advancement in life through work and not birthright. It’s a fantastic read, full of interesting and sometimes true history of the BBC. The story covers the struggles of a girl who becomes a woman in almost untested waters and does well at that! While not being so much a coming of age story, it is a book where the heroine finds herself and her purpose. Along with her purpose she finds that there is quite a bit of intrigue and mystery going on behind the scenes as well. She begins to see the world through the eyes of an adult and experiences just how much control men have and what they can do with that power if they go unchecked.

Radio Girls is a fast-paced page-turner. The reader is on an exciting journey from the start to the very finish of this book. Well researched, and written, this is a must read for historical fiction fans! Sarah-Jane Stratford has written a novel that leaves one longing to read more even after the story is done. As you read this book you will grow along with Maisie while the plot moves forward. You will find yourself rooting for her, feeling her excitement, and experiencing the revolutionary changes right alongside her!

Quill says: You don’t want to miss this one! Interesting history, humor, and intrigue, this book has it all!

#BookReview - The House of Dreams

The House of Dreams: A Novel

By: Kate Lord Brown
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Publication Date: May 2016
ISBN: 978-1250084538
Reviewed by: Diana Hettinger
Review Date: May 2016

Sophie Cass is an investigative journalist for the New York Times, freshly graduated and trying to find her place in the world of journalism in New York City. Her story assignment is about artist Gabriel Lambert with whom she has an interwoven past. After going through a rough breakup, struggling financially and trying to make it on her own, she heads out to Long Island to meet the man who could change her life. Gabriel Lambert is a very private man who has been living with a life full of guilt and secrets. He does not want to be interviewed by Sophie, especially not about her great-aunt Vita. In order to “exorcise his ghosts,” he must come clean and talk about his past so that he may live in peace.

Flashback to Marseille in October of 1940. A young Gabriel Lambert is desperate to escape France after speaking out against Naziism. He turns to Varian Fry who heads the American Relief Center (ARC) in Marseille. Fry is an American journalist who is trying to save artists and other great thinkers who are in danger, even if it means risking his own life in the process. By obtaining fake Visas and other documents, he helps refugees flee France so that they can change the world. In order to stay out of the way of the Gestapo and to stay undercover, Fry and his team move to a house called Villa Air-Bel. In this House of Dreams, they all live and work but Gabriel finds something more. He finds Annie. They are not allowed to be together for her own safety and yet they will stop at nothing to be together. Through the novel, we learn more about Gabriel Lambert’s past and the story of Sophie’s great-aunt Vita. We must keep in mind, however, things are never all that they seem to be and just how far we will go for love and justice.

The House of Dreams is a novel that I could not manage to put down. I was instantly drawn in by the flashbacks to the past as well as the focus on the future. Many people would think that this switch from present to past would be confusing, however, it did nothing but pull me in deeper and add more suspense to the story. This was an extremely effective way to tell this story. I could not help but feel connected to the characters and the heroism of Varian Fry. As a reader who gets very emotionally involved in stories such as this, I was not surprised to find myself dealing with quite a few emotions. These emotions ranged from confused, surprised, humored and, later on, tearful. I absolutely, and not shockingly, cried at midnight while snuggling my cat because I was so depressed that the book was finished. What an absolutely beautiful, historical, and touching novel, Kate Lord Brown. I cannot wait to read another.

Quill says: The House of Dreams is a hauntingly well-written novel of art, history, and love that will leave you wanting more.

Monday, May 23, 2016

#BookReview - General Houstons Little Spy @caraskinner

General Houston's Little Spy

By: Cara Skinner
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publication Date: March 2015
ISBN: 978-1-68028-436-2
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 24, 2016

The Texas Revolution is one of those periods in American history that is sometimes overlooked in the classroom. Fortunately, author Cara Skinner has brought this time to life in an exciting way. From the very real characters that made up the state of Texas during the wave of massive battles and frightening moments; to the endless terrain decorated with nothing but scattered cactus and cattle, this author has not only brought this amazing era to life, but has also put together a fictional tale of courage, hope and mystery-with a dash of spies mixed in for good suspense.

Samantha Russell is our main character. A wonderful girl, she isn't a willful child or a "bad egg." She is a simple, kind girl who thinks only of her fiancé and the future they're going to have together. Born in a small community near the Nolichucky River in eastern Tennessee, Samantha lives on a farm with her parents and four siblings. Just five miles south lives Danny Autry. Their early days together were basically spent growing up. Definition? He knocked her down and pulled on her pigtails until she grew up and he realized that she was the girl he loved.

What the couple must do, however, is exit Tennessee in the middle of the night because her parents are opposed to their tying the knot when Samantha is only fourteen. Leaving behind a note, she and Danny end up in the great state of Texas just as political issues begin to take shape. The battle between Texas settlers and the Mexican dictator Santa Anna is stirring, and when the famous fight at the Alamo occurs, Samantha is handed the most heartbreaking loss of her life. With the Alamo's fall and Sam's devastation, her path leads her to be a spy in order to serve justice on the evil man who has taken the future she so wanted away from her.

"Watching" the Mexican Army, "seeing" Burnham's Ferry burn on the Colorado River, "feeling" the anger and the passion of an army wanting nothing more than to destroy Santa Anna and all he stands for, while learning about the Texian Army and what General Houston might have said to change the future of America so that tyrants could never again tread upon U.S. soil - each and every chapter delivers these gems and many more. Drawing the reader in and keeping them riveted until Samantha's final fight, this tale of war, suspense and heartache is a perfect 'square' to add to the American 'quilt' of courage.

Quill Says: Great for many age groups, this book proves that history can come alive if delivered by a writer who knows her subject and loves to research.

For more information on General Houston's Little Spy, please visit the publisher's website at:

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Interview with Author Ann Anovitz

Today, Feathered Quill reviewer Kristi Benedict is talking with Ann Anovitz, author of Charlie's Tale: The Great Questions of Life and Death

FQ: When creating the characters of the different worlds, how did you decide what personalities they should have?

ANOVITZ: I tried for good creatures, striving to do what was right in their world, but who did not see the evil that was also there. Then I wanted to balance that beautiful world with a dark, stark world that was not able to recover from the traumatic occurrence that had destroyed their previous, good world and turned the inhabitants into characters that were constantly fighting to hold on to their own territory.

FQ: What was the process you used to create the characters that are similar enough to humans to be relatable but different enough to learn from?

ANOVITZ: I wanted their thinking to be human, showing both good and bad characteristics and of course, their physical attributes and to go along with their character.

FQ: What was your inspiration for the two different worlds that Charlie visited?

ANOVITZ: My inspiration was the ideas of good and evil in the Bible, in Dante’s work and in other sci-fi material.

FQ: Was there a particular reason you chose the Civil War era to have Charlie visit/experience?

ANOVITZ: I chose the Civil War era because it was such a devastating time for Americans and I was more familiar with American history than that of other nations. The stress of people with different opinions pulling each other and the nation apart, the great killing, the utter destruction of an entire society that we are still fighting to pull back together was very meaningful.

FQ: What research did you do when writing about the Civil War section of the book?

ANOVITZ: I have done a great deal of reading about the Civil War, including novels, history and personal essays of those involved in the war.

FQ: When doing your research on the different religions, what did you find to be the most useful source for your writing?

ANOVITZ: I have been studying the Old Testament for several years. I also read commentaries on the Koran and several books on Buddhism and Hinduism.

FQ: What were your reasons for having the protagonist as a father, as opposed to having the main character be, say a mother, or sister?

ANOVITZ: Interesting question. I find there is a big difference in the way men and women have been brought up in our world society. I also think while women can do many things at one time, men tend to concentrate on doing and finishing one job at a time. They are more involved in their work than in their home, although that has changed somewhat. But that is also why Charlie became a women in China, so that he could see the difference.

FQ: What was your favorite section to write about in this book - the different worlds, Civil War era, China, etc?

ANOVITZ: I loved writing about the other worlds, but I think the Civil War brought so much home to me and pointed out to the reader how alike humanity is. China, the animal kingdom and the entire book were really about showing how our beliefs about life, the universe and the God we each believe in are so totally alike, and yet still we fight to kill each other’s beliefs.

To learn more about Charlie's Tale: The Great Questions of Life and Death please read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#BookReview - Charlie's Tale: The Great Questions of Life and Death

Charlie's Tale: The Great Questions of Life and Death

By: Ann Anovitz
Publisher: Richer Press
Publication Date: November 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9903291-9-0
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: May 17, 2016

The timeless question of what happens after our death is one that has intrigued mankind for thousands of years. Author Ann Anovitz weaves a story that attempts to shed some light on this intriguing question with Charlie's Tale.

Charlie's journey starts as he is enjoying a baseball game, about to eat a hot dog and then unexpectedly everything goes dark except for a few spots of light that he can barely make out. As his vision gets better he realizes that there are hundreds of bright balls of light all around him, each a slightly different color. Suddenly a person appears in the distance and as Charlie comes closer he realizes that he is looking at his own father, but his father passed away a few years ago, so how could this be?

As Charlie begins to pepper his father with a ton of questions, his father explains to him that he had a heart attack while at the baseball game and is on his way to heaven. However, before Charlie can get there he has to learn a few lessons about what it really means to live a good life. As Charlie takes a second to look back on his life, he knows he made mistakes along the way, but he always thought that he was a good person. As his journey progresses, Charlie will realize that there were many things he took for granted in his life, things that he should have known to pay attention to and respect.
The first step is to travel to two different worlds, each very unique in how the planets' inhabitants live their lives. Each world forces Charlie to think back to his life on Earth and see the similarities. Next, Charlie is sent back to Earth but he does not go back as himself. In order for him to realize the important things in life he is sent back to various points in history, each time as a different person. He goes back to the time of the Civil War, as an orphaned young boy taken in by a farming family; sent to China as a young girl, and then spends some time in the woods as a deer. Each lesson pushes the limits of Charlie's ideas about how he lived his own life, and what he would have done differently.

This book started out to be quite intriguing for me. I was drawn into the story and was curious to see the main character of Charlie travel to two very different worlds. The author's creativity in creating these two planets was quite enjoyable. However, for me the story began to take a turn when Charlie journeyed to China. It was at this point that the story shifted from a journey about Charlie to more of a lesson about different cultures. There was an immense amount of information on different religions and I felt I lost touch with the personal journey of the character. While it was interesting, that transition made for an unsatisfactory reading experience as the story, about a man's journey, got sidetracked.

Quill says: A book with an interesting topic, but with a story that fell short for me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

#BookReview - Itchy Pig

Itchy Pig

By: Nicole Bruno Cox
Illustrated by: Jessie Judge
Publisher: Inkshares, Inc
Publication date: March 2016
ISBN: 9781941758571
Reviewed by: Jennifer Tilley-Voegtle
Review Date: May 8, 2016

Itchy Pig is a delightful children’s story about a little pig with big allergies that loves to be outdoors. He enjoys being outdoors rain or shine, beach or mountain. Itchy pig lives in a barn on a farm with his mom and lots of other animals including his good friend, a little mouse, who is always there by his side to watch out for him and help. On a particularly beautiful sunny day Itchy Pig just has to go outside to play! But little Itchy Pig’s mom knows how serious his allergies are and warns Itchy Pig that going outdoors may make him sick. Unfortunately, he just can’t help himself! He must go out and enjoy the day!

While Itchy Pig is outside he revels in the beauty of the day, enjoying nature to the fullest! Unfortunately, while reveling in the beauty and wonder of the great outdoors, he is exposed to all kinds of allergens and soon discovers that despite the joys of being outside, he’s not feeling so well. With runny eyes, itchy skin, and giant sneezes, he heads back to the barn in sorry shape.
When Itchy Pig makes it back to his barn, his mom knows just what to do to make him feel better and gives him a cool oatmeal bath. Itchy Pig’s mom is aware of how much he loves the great outdoors but reminds him why it’s so important to take care while playing outside. All of the animals in the barn are also there to make sure he gets well soon, love him, and make sure he feels better. Itchy Pig’s mom reminds him that while being outside and exploring is quite wonderful he must take precautions and be careful. Itchy pig learns that as much as he loves being out and about in nature, its best to listen to mother and take heed of her advice.

Itchy Pig is a great book for children with allergies but will also be relatable for children who do not suffer from allergies. The lovingly told moral of the story is to listen to your mother or there may be rather unpleasant consequences.

The illustrations in this book are absolutely beautiful and will be very memorable to the child reading it. On each page there is a lovely, vibrant illustration that adds so much more to the written words. Itchy Pig’s little mouse friend is in almost every picture, there to support our poor, allergic, hero. There are also some unexpected images in the illustrations that provide another engaging aspect for a child to discover. Itchy Pig is rich with moral fiber as well as love and understanding. The young reader will learn about the importance of listening to one’s mother while enjoying life responsibly.

Quill says: Itchy Pig is a lovely book that is sure to become one of your child’s favorites!

Monday, May 16, 2016

#BookReview - Flight Patterns

Flight Patterns

By: Karen White
Publisher: New American Library
Publication Date: May 2016
ISBN: 978-0-451-47091-1
Reviewed by: Diana Hettinger
Review Date: May 17, 2016

How happily can you live while running from your past? Apparently, Georgia Chambers thinks she can live very happily on her own in New Orleans. Having left her home ten years ago, Georgia immersed herself in a world of antiques and the stories of others in order to occupy her mind and time. The less she thought about her mistakes and the less she saw her family, the better. Georgia has not seen or spoken to her sister, Maisy, in the ten years she’s been away. Those ten years have been filled with bitterness, resentment, and constant running from a past they used to know and share together. When her job demands that she return home, Georgia is forced to face her past and ends up unearthing a family secret that threatens to unravel them all, even more so than they already are.

Heading home to a place Georgia does not want to go is hard enough on her own. It’s even harder with her client, James, in tow. Not only does she have to face her younger sister and her daughter Becky, but she has to face her estranged mother, Birdie, who does not speak and is prone to random episodes ever since finding an old suitcase in the attic. They all live in one house with her grandfather, a local beekeeper, who has devoted his life to the study of bees and honey. This is reason enough for Georgia to not want to return, however, by going home and bringing James, it means she must confront her past and now someone else will bear witness to it, as well. Flight Patterns puts together a brutal past, an unknown family secret, and a little mystery. What could go wrong?

Having a sister, I found this an extremely relevant book. The rivalries and different personalities present between Georgia and Maisy mimic those of my younger sister and I. This enabled me to place myself in the story and think about what I would do and what I would have done under the same tragedies and circumstances that Georgia and Maisy faced. Would I have run from the past like Georgia because my mistakes were too hard to face? Would I have let anger rule my life because it is easier to blame someone else and the truth is too hard to face like Maisy? Or would I have stayed and fought because as sisters, burdens are shared and it is a connection like no other. White weaves a tale that will force you to place yourself in this family's shoes and will pull you in with the slight mysteries and twists in the plot. Never having read anything by Karen White before, I look forward to going back and reading each one of her books. I can only hope that they are as addictive and well-written as Flight Patterns.

Quill says: Flight Patterns is a light mystery that is well-executed and able to give a sense of perspective and hope to anyone who needs to face a rough past and forgive in order to move on.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Books In For Review

Check out the latest books to arrive for review!

Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars, one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces...Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, along with her graceful athleticism, as her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the fire star. Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the water star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit. But Sawyer knows that if he allows her into his heart, no compass could ever guide him back to solid ground...And in the darkness, their enemy broods. She lost one star to the guardians, but there is still time for blood to be spilled—the mermaid’s in the water and the traveler’s on the land. For she has forged a dangerous new weapon. Something deadly and unpredictable. Something human.

Tabitha Fink On a Mission to Mars by Rick Felty Tabitha Fink is a special cat, a cat with one eye who loves to explore. In this her second book, Tabitha goes on an exciting adventure in space to the planet Mars where she learns how rewarding it can be to try something new. She also meets some new friends along the way and helps them to overcome their fear of things that are different. With cute drawings and wonderful rhymes, Tabitha Fink On a Mission to Mars is a great book for early readers and children of all ages.

The House of Dreams by Kate Lord Brown In 2000, Gabriel Lambert is a celebrated painter who hides a dark secret. Sophie Cass, a journalist struggling to begin her career and with a family connection to Lambert, is determined to find the truth about his past and the little known story of the real Casablanca. In 1940, an international group of rescue workers, refugee intellectuals, and artists gather in the beautiful old Villa Air Bel just outside Marseilles. American journalist Varian Fry and his remarkable team at the American Relief Center are working to help them escape France, but "the greatest man-trap in history" is closing in on them. Despite their peril, true camaraderie and creativity flourishes - while love affairs spring up and secrets are hidden. At the House of Dreams, young refugee artist Gabriel Lambert changed the course of his life - and now, sixty years later at his home in the Hamptons, the truth is finally catching up with him.

Lessons My Father Taught Me: The Strength, Integrity, and Faith of Ronald Reagan by Michael Reagan Noted political commentator Michael Reagan, the son of Ronald Reagan and first wife Jane Wyman, has traveled across America, giving speeches and meeting the public. Time and time again, people tell him how much they love and miss his father, and what his presidency meant to them. In a world where role models are few and far between, Ronald Reagan’s legacy stands strong. In Lessons My Father Taught Me, Michael Reagan looks back over his years with his father and reflects on what he has learned from the greatest man he has ever known—and one of the greatest men the world has known. When Michael was growing up, his father would drive him out to his ranch. There Ronald Reagan taught Michael how to ride a horse, how to shoot a gun, and much more. As they drove together or did chores together, Michael’s father told him stories and taught him about life, love, family, faith, success, and leadership. Michael didn’t fully appreciate those lessons at the time, but years later he remembered—and he understood. Now, Michael Reagan shares his father’s wisdom and experience in this inspiring book.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

#BookReview - #SlothLove

SlothLove: An Inspiring and Intimate Visual Journey into the World of Sloths

By: Sam Trull
Publisher: Inkshares
Publication Date: April 2016
ISBN: 978-1941758496
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: May 11, 2016

Thanks to the movie Zootopia, Sloths are enjoying a spat of unprecedented attention. Are they really that slow? That hairy? That cute? Check out the new book SlothLove to find the answers to these, and many other questions about sloths (and yes, they really are that cute).

In 2007, author/photographer Sam Trull experienced two personal tragedies that would change her life forever. Feeling lost, she traveled, switched careers and basically tried to 'find herself.' After several false starts, she eventually found herself in Costa Rica, where she started working for 'Kids Saving the Rainforest' (KSTR). It's while at KSTR that she discovered sloths and she freely admits that "...sloths saved my life."

Trull's first experience with a sloth was with holding a baby sloth as she learned to feed the fragile creature. There must have been something that connected between that little baby and Trull, for she's been caring for the gentle creatures since that time. With SlothLove, the author uses her abilities as a photographer to share these amazing animals with those of us who have not had the pleasure of meeting these slow-moving, expressive-eyed animals up close. SlothLove, is replete with a wonderful assortment of Trull's photographs of sloths, from the tiny, adorable babies to full-grown adults doing what they do best - sleeping. But do they really sleep as much as we're led to believe? The photographs are accompanied with facts about the mammals, and you'll learn a lot about them as you scroll through the pages.

Along with the wonderful photos and facts, Trull includes six accounts of sloths she has cared for and loved. You'll meet 'Monster' who is anything but a monster, 'Kermie,' the first baby sloth the author cared for, and 'Elvis,' the sloth with "...seriously flexible hips." SlothLove is a very informative and truly enjoyable book that left me with a smile. Your dad would be very proud of you Sam!

Quill says: Love sloths? SlothLove is the perfect book for both the sloth lover as well as the person who simply wants to know more about these amazing animals.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

#BookReview - Sour Grapes @mojitomaven

Sour Grapes (The Blue Plate Series)

By: Rachel Goodman
Publisher: Pocket Star Books
Publication Date: May 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4767-9290-3
Reviewed by: Diana Hettinger
Review Date: May 8, 2016

When it comes to sass and bitterness, Margaret Stokes is a professional. Her mother is controlling and emotionally abusive, her boyfriend left her for a waitress and got married, and her “friends” delight in insulting her and watching her fail. The only one on her side is her father and, even then, he must do what makes her mother happy. After tip-toeing around her condescending mother and doing everything right and in the proper way, yet still pleasing no one, she has had enough. She leaves Dallas and heads to Wilhelmsburg, the place her mother came from and also ran away from after a secret that severely damaged her and her mother's relationship. The place where Margaret’s grandmother still resides.

Upon arrival, Margaret stops at The Tangled Vine where she expects her usual fancy wines and high-class experience. What she has is an attitude paired with a glass of local wine given to her by a man named Ryan. She would never admit that she actually likes the wine but is much too stubborn to let him know. A bottle later, Ryan takes her home to her grandmother’s bed and breakfast where Margaret will take time off from her real life, try to discover a family secret, and do her fair share of work. She got far more than she bargained for but got exactly what she needed: Understanding, compassion, and a renewed self-esteem.

As the story progresses, Margaret learns what real relationships are about and who real friends and family are. She learns that what is considered fancy and worthy according to others, does not mean that it is not fancy or worthy in its own right. She comes to understand and make peace with what life is really about, who she is, and that she is worthy of love. She finds the strength that she never knew she had and for the first time, nothing will stand in the way of her happiness.

Last night I finished reading Sour Grapes and felt as though a part of me was left in the book. I have not been drawn into a book as much as this one in a very long time. Goodman makes the characters relatable and the descriptions vivid and the entire time I was reading I felt as though I was actually there. Where many books start slow and are hard to get into at first, this one drew me in from the very first sentence and kept my attention the entire way through. There are twists that occur and surprise you, wines that make your mouth water with their descriptions, and feelings so raw you actually open your own heart up to feel what these characters are feeling. I could not be more sad that a book is finished and would love to buy each of the wines described. I truly can not wait for another book by Rachel Goodman. Beautifully and wonderfully done.

Quill says: Sour Grapes is a book that will draw you in with the beautifully worded descriptions of wine and scenery that will make you want to run to your nearest local winery.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Books In For Review

Check out the newest books to arrive for review!

Charlie's Tale: The Great Questions of Life and Death by Ann Anovitz Charlie's Tale is more than a wonderfully written short novel. It is a mystery of adventure & learning…skillfully wrapped around an intriguing dialogue on worldly religious beliefs and practices. Charlie's Tale is Ann Anovitz's thinking about the great questions of life and death. Where did we come from? Who or what made us? Are we, over a great time, becoming more civilized? Will we ever lose or overcome our primordial, Neanderthal instincts? What is God teaching us and what kind of future does he have in store for us? Anovitz and a friend studied the Old Testament for over six years and their deep and prolonged discussions give rise to the thoughts delightfully presented in this distinctive and shrewd adventure.

Lawyer for the Cat by Lee Robinson Sally Baynard is one of the best lawyers around. In the years since her divorce from Family Court Judge Joe Baynard, she dedicated herself to representing the worst and craziest Charleston, S.C. had to offer. But none of the murderers, burglars, or angry divorcing clients compared to Sherman, the dog her ex-husband appointed her to represent. Although the miniature Schnauzer found his way into her heart (and brought his handsome vet Tony along too), his case was a thorny one. With that business out of the way, Sally is happy to move back to non-canine clients... until a probate judge asks her about a cat. Agreeing to represent Beatrice, a black cat who's the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar trust and a plantation, Sally must put her wit, charm, and brains to the test, choosing among three colorful potential caregivers while dodging the former owner's angry son. Meanwhile, Sally must juggle the demands of the court with those of her aging mother and make a decision about Tony, who wants to get more serious. Lawyer for the Cat is Southern women's fiction at its most delightful, featuring strong, smart characters, a charming setting, and plenty of adorable critters.

General Houston's Little Spy by Cara Skinner General Houston's Little Spy: A Texas Revolution Story follows Samantha as she embarks on a dangerous mission to assist General Sam Houston and his small fledgling army in their fight against Santa Anna's superior military force.

Tabitha Fink on a Mission to Mars by Rick Felty Tabitha Fink is a special cat, a cat with one eye who loves to explore. In this her second book, Tabitha goes on an exciting adventure in space to the planet Mars where she learns how rewarding it can be to try something new. She also meets some new friends along the way and helps them to overcome their fear of things that are different. With cute drawings and wonderful rhymes, Tabitha Fink On a Mission to Mars is a great book for early readers and children of all ages.

Busy, Busy! by Eileen Spinelli Sometimes, when life gets hectic and schedules get crowded, children may feel a little lost in the shuffle. In this new board book, the animals are all quite occupied. Beaver is busy; squirrel is busy; frog is busy. Mole is digging, bear is fishing, and cat is pouncing. And like many parents, Mama is busy too. But she's not too busy for a hug! Children will love the busy animals and the warm conclusion. This lighthearted, lyrical book will gently reassure children that, in spite of how busy their families are, there is always time to share love. Ages 2-5.

Flight Patterns by Karen White Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit...It’s been ten years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood, but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled. Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep...

Sour Grapes by Rachel Goodman Margaret Stokes is bitter. And not in the robust fine wine or tangy dark chocolate kind of way. She just got dumped, is fed up with her job as a glorified party-planner for the rich, and can’t possibly listen to one more veiled insult from her impossible-to-please mother. So she retreats to the comfort of her grandmother’s ramshackle bed and breakfast, where the wide open vineyards are filled with surprises, from the shockingly delicious wine to the aggravating yet oh-so-tempting man who makes it. Ryan Camden’s easy approach to life encourages Margaret to loosen up and have a little fun, despite her better judgment. She resists the urge to micromanage every detail, embracing the welcome distractions of her surroundings and letting their relationship unfold at a natural rhythm. But when a health scare forces Grammy J to give up the B&B, Margaret begins to wonder if Ryan really is the man he promises—and whether the problems she tried so hard to escape ever really went away.

Itchy Pig by Nicole Bruno Cox Itchy Pig is an adorable, mischievous piglet who loves to play outside. But when he ignores his mother’s warnings about allergies and goes on a fun outdoor adventure, he suffers some itchy consequences. Itchy Pig learns to manage his allergies and still have fun. Most important―he learns to listen to his mother!

SlothLove by Sam Trull Wildlife conservationist and photographer Sam Trull’s world changed forever when she gave up her comfortable life in the United States for the wilds of Costa Rica. After almost twenty years of working with animals, one creature in particular had captured her heart: the sloth. In her stunning photo series, Slothlove, Sam shares intimate portraits of these captivating and endearing animals from her unique perspective as their protector, mother, and friend. Sam not only found her life’s work among her beloved sloths; she also found comfort, friendship, and inspiration after having suffered a devastating loss. Woven in with these images are unforgettable stories of heartbreak and survival, as well as interesting facts about these intelligent and beautiful creatures.

A Home for Abigail by S. Marriott Cook Alone and abandoned on a deserted street, a dog tries her best to tell people she needs help. When she has almost given up--a kind lady stops...Join Abigail on her journey as she becomes a beloved family member in a forever home. Based on a true story, A Home for Abigail is a book to be enjoyed by pet lovers of all ages.

Dark Horses by Cecily Von Ziegesar Merritt Wenner has been self-destructing ever since the tragic deaths of her grandmother and her horse, and after an epic all-night bender she walks out of the SAT and disappears. Her parents, looking for a quick fix, ship her off to a residential equine therapy program. At Good Fences, Merritt meets Red—a failed racehorse and a terror in the barn. Red has never bonded with anyone, but Merritt is not afraid of him, which makes all the difference. Soon they’re sneaking rides after curfew, which catches the attention of Red’s owner. Recognizing their potential, he funds their launch into the competitive hunter/jumper circuit. Against the cutthroat backdrop of competitive riding, Merritt and their groom, Beatrice, develop an attraction. Merritt also finds herself drawn to Carvin, a rival rider. But in Red’s mind, Merritt belongs to him alone. Anyone else poses a threat. And Merritt can’t foresee what he’ll do to keep her to himself.

By the Numbers by Jen Lancaster Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce, she wasn’t too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter’s age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her younger daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she’s trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago...Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny’s emotional—and financial—support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the “sandwich generation,” when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a date...

Sunshine Beach by Wendy Wax After losing their life savings in a Ponzi scheme, Maddie, Avery, and Nikki have banded together to make the most of what they have left, using their determination, ingenuity, guts, and a large dose of elbow grease. It’s Maddie’s daughter Kyra who stumbles across a once glorious beachfront hotel that has fallen into disrepair. The opportunity to renovate this seaside jewel is too good to pass up—especially when they come up with the idea of shooting their own independent television show about the restoration. What could possibly go wrong? Everything. With the cameras rolling, Maddie’s second-chance romance with her all-too-famous new boyfriend gets complicated, Avery struggles with grief over the loss of her mother, and Nikki’s reluctance to commit to the man who loves her could leave her to face the biggest challenge of her life. Even the hotel seems to be against them, when their renovation uncovers a decades-old unsolved murder which just might bring their lives tumbling down all over again…