Beyond the Carousel

Beyond the CarouselBeyond the Carousel (Wyattsville, #5) by Bette Lee Crosby
Published by Bent Pine Publishing on January 10th 2017
Pages: 243
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three-half-stars

A 25 year old Murder and an investigator determined to solve the case.

Laura Wilkes had a very happy life. She had loving parents, a wonderful husband and a young daughter. A daughter she took to ride a carousel one day and as she took pictures she captured images of a happy time – a time that would come to an abrupt end. Her husband, Franklin Wilkes is killed following the stock market crash. The police, as well as the reader, know who the killer is, but the killer has disappeared. This is the great depression and men are living in various locations: freight trains, alleys, etc. As time goes on, Laura never gives up hope that her husband’s killer will be brought to justice.

Fast forward 25 years and Laura and Franklin’s daughter has fallen in love with a police officer named Jack Mahoney. He is hopeful that he can find Franklin’s killer.

This book is #5 in the Wyattsville series but can easily be read as a stand alone book. Like other books by Crosby, the characters feel extremely real and one feels for their plight. The research that went into this book is very evident. Her books have warmth and the characters have strong family ties. Her books tend to be fast reads for me. The pacing of her novels is neither too slow nor too fast. I never feel like her stories are rushed. On the other hand, I also never feel like her stories drag on either. I have read books that I really enjoyed but will comment that 50 or so pages needed to be edited out. I never feel this way with Bette Lee Crosby’s books.

I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

Memory House

Memory HouseMemory House (Memory House, #1) by Bette Lee Crosby
Published by Bent Pine Publishing on April 14th 2015
Pages: 178
ISBN: 0996080392
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four-stars

Ophelia Browne has lived in her home for a long, long time. She has found that over the years, memories to come to her. Not only her own, but the memories of others as well. She is almost 90 years old and makes note that most women in her family, do not live past 90. She is hopeful that she will find someone to take over for her. Someone who will be able to keep the memories alive and run her bed and breakfast knows as Memory House.

Annie lives in Philadelphia and recently had a painful breakup with her long time boyfriend. She feels that weekend away is just what she needs to get back on track. She happens to stay at Memory House and immediately is drawn to Ophelia and her wonderful home. The women forge a friendship over the weekend that will impact both tremendously. As the sip their dandelion tea and unfold the stories of both of their lives, they will intertwine and impact both of their lives.

This story is a very sweet story of love, friendship, loss, discovery, moving on, living life fully, and perhaps even believing in magic. The real magic is in the storytelling. Bette Lee Crosby writes stories that have heart and are a pleasure to read. Be warned she may turn you into a tea drinker! All the tea drinking that goes in this book, made me want some as well. Her books are full of southern charm, and tales of love and friendship. Perfect for reading over a weekend! This is a great book for anyone but especially for readers who do not want to deal with heavy subject matter or graphic scenes. This book is charming and engaging.

This book is part of a series and I would recommend reading it first, although I read it out of order and did not mid it one bit!

four-stars

Passing through Perfect

Passing through PerfectPassing through Perfect (Wyattsville, #3) by Bette Lee Crosby
Published by Bent Pine Publishing on January 14th 2015
Pages: 244
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three-half-stars

Received form the Author in exchange for an honest review.

The book begins in 1946, when Benjamin Church is returning home to Alabama, after serving in the war. He had dreams of being a pilot but worked as a mechanic instead. While he was serving, his beloved Mother passes away and he returns home to his father and begins to help his father farm the land that they lease in Grinders Corners.

At his father’s insistence he attends a dance where he is captivated by a beautiful young woman in a red dress. He falls in love with Delia and in the beginning of their romance tells her that she is the one he is going to marry.

They marry sooner than planned when Delia becomes pregnant. Thrown out of her family home for disgracing her family, Delia marries Benjamin and moves in with him and his father. The farm is not what she expected, but she makes the best of it and forms relationships with Otis (Benjamin’s father) and those in the community.

Life seems good for them in their community but when they go into other towns they see the signs telling them that they are not wanted or that they need to use a separate entrance. Racism and segregation is real and it affects their lives.

Their life is not always easy. They suffer heartbreak early in their marriage but have a happy life until one night everything changes. It was heartbreaking to see how prejudice and racism marred the handling of the police investigation and no justice was found.

As Benjamin attempts to find a better life for he and his son, he travels north. Hoping for acceptance and a brighter future. Along the way he meets people who show him kindness and give him assistance. But they also experience more ignorance, racism and prejudice.

This book is the 3rd in the Wyattsville series but read as stand alone book for me.

The Author did a great job of bringing the characters to life. I loved how they spoke. Her use of the Southern drawl was fantastic. It is amazing how just the use of language can enhance a story. For me it really helped to bring this book to life.

I teetered between a 3 and 3.5 star rating for this book but finally settled on a 3.5. Although, I enjoyed this book, I find I did not enjoy it as much as the Authors other books.

three-half-stars

Silver Threads

Silver ThreadsSilver Threads: Memory House Collection by Bette Lee Crosby
on January 1st 1970
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three-half-stars

Bette Lee Crosby writes heartwarming books about families, relationships and life in general. This book is slight different from the other books of hers that I have read. This one has a mystical component where there is a Keeper of the Scales who places rocks on each person’s scales. Some rocks are for happiness, some are for sorrow, some for children, etc. People are connected to one another through the silver threads that intertwine their lives.

Jennifer Green wakes up with a headache and by the end of the day, everyone in her life has suffered a loss. Call if being at the wrong place at the wrong time or destiny, characters lives in this book are changed forever.

Trying not to give away the plot, I can say that we see Drew and his daughter Brook attempting to navigate their lives. Through, a desire to move and a promotion/change in work situation, Drew and Brook move and come to stay at Memory House. Both are reading for healing and new beginnings.

Elizabeth also comes to Memory House and is in need or healing and a chance to begin a new life as well. Brooke and Elizabeth meet and instantly they form a sweet friendship. Drew hears about Miss Elizabeth but keeps missing chances to meet his daughter’s friend. Finally they meet on their own but let Brook think she has introduced them.

This book deals with tragedy, loss, family and second chances. It does has some mysticism and at heart feels like a romance novel. I found the romance to be a little rushed at the end. That would be my only complaint about the book. This Author does not go into graphic details in her books which make her appeal to a broader reader base IMO. Her romances are light and sweet. She writes characters that are likable, relatable and down to earth.

Overall, this is a heartwarming book about love, loss, tragedy, hope, family and second chances.

three-half-stars

What Matters Most

What Matters MostWhat Matters Most (Memory House Collection) by Bette Lee Crosby
Published by Bent Pine Publishing on April 10th 2013
Pages: 287
ISBN: 0989128903
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three-half-stars

*Received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Clay and Louise are living in New Jersey when Clay learns that a relative has left him a home in Florida. Eager to retire and enjoy the rest of his life, Clay is eager to sell their home and begin a new life. Louise is very against the move and tries to sabotage the sale of their home so she can stay in New Jersey. Eventually they make it to Florida and come to learn “What Matters Most”

This is the type of book that is easy to read. It had some very funny moments where I laughed out loud, some cute moments and some sad moments. I especially liked the parts where the author let us see what both Clay and Louise were thinking. Louise, being a main character, was not a very likeable character to me. She came off as self centered, childish/immature, impulsive and unrealistic in her expectations. But the author does a good job of supplying her back story to explain why change is difficult for her. Even though I did not particularly care for the main character, I did like this book. I also liked how the story unfolded and Louise began to flourish in her new life. By the end of the book, I did begin to like Louise more. This book was well written, very nicely paced and quite an enjoyable read. I would definitely read more books by this author

three-half-stars

The Regrets of Cyrus Dodd

The Regrets of Cyrus DoddThe Regrets of Cyrus Dodd (Wyattsville, #4) by Bette Lee Crosby
Published by Bent Pine Publishing on June 15th 2016
Pages: 244
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four-stars

Received from the Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

This book is part of a series but worked very well for me as a stand alone book as I have not read the other books in this series.

The book begins with an Older Cyrus Dodd looking back on his life and his many regrets. His main regret stems from a fight/pissing contest he had with his neighbor Virgil. Both men had Sow’s that had piglets, one’s pig gave birth to more, etc. One night during a storm the piglets get out and thus begins the battle between the two men. Where jealousy, pride, saving face and being right get in the way of reason for the two men. Unfortunately for Cyrus, Virgil controlled the water to his land and in a dispute, Cyrus lost his ability to water his crops.

Cyrus and his wife Ruth suffer many hardships before leaving town and starting over. Virgil and his wife stay and their hardships continue. Although, the book is mainly about Cyrus Dodd and his family, we also get to see the effects of the argument on Virgil’s family as well.

The book is about Cyrus but the wives were my favorite characters in this book. I especially liked how Ruth was the voice of reason for Cyrus and helped him to see how his pride often got in the way of his happiness.

I like how each chapter began with a character’s thoughts. Through these thoughts we get to learn more about the characters and their relationships with other. I thought this was a very nice touch. I also like how the Author showed how both families were affected by the men’s pride. How a series of actions can have life changing repercussions.

The book was a very fast read for me. Overall, the book was heartwarming although it does have moments of great sadness. There are some life lessons thrown in there with some Southern Charm.
Engaging characters, characters that felt real, characters you wanted to shake, characters you root for,etc.

four-stars