Severed: A Novel by VL Towler

Severed: A Novel by VL Towler
Dismembered fingers. Lives cut short. A local investigation will upset the tranquility of a small Louisiana town. Dr. Lula Logan has been asked by her former boyfriend, a detective with whom she had just broken up, to investigate the appearance of severed fingers left at police department headquarters. Then another dismembered finger surfaces at the home of a local producer/writer and his business partner. The writer has been AWOL, and no one knows where he is. As the investigation of the mysterious fingers deepens, we will learn that many people affiliated with the missing writer’s production company, including his wife, have a stake in his disappearance. Notes, emails, and flower deliveries with written threats arrive, received by different individuals who want their involvement in the intrigue to remain undetected.
Set in a contemporary rural pocket of Northwestern Louisiana, [fictional] Nakadee is a university town with a population under 15,000. The citizens of Nakadee, whose ancestors have lived there for several hundred years, while trapped in its relative remoteness, are thankful for its quiet refuge. They purposefully wish to live life in the slow lane. The town is a mix of Creole, Cajun, Black and European inhabitants. Nakadee is a sleepy hollow (near Cane River country), and is likely to grow in leaps and bounds given an anticipated natural gas pipeline construction project which will change its moribund economy.
Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Lula Logan is reluctantly drawn into the forensic investigation concerning a severed finger left at the Nakadee Police Department by her ex-boyfriend, a police detective. She goes through the process of her forensic tasks in her lab:  taking measurements of the amputated fingers, boiling the human tissue [a corpse is found in the woods with a gash in its head], and studying the striae of the bones to identify the type of injuries sustained by the victim. She must also try to identify the weapon or object that might have been used to kill the victim. Dr. Lula works closely with her colleagues, Aggie Sheaf, a Medical Examiner and “Tom-Tom,” a Forensic Entomologist, both of whom become involved in the investigation.
The Entomologist’s information helps uncover the mystery of the warring species of blowfly and black soldier fly maggots that cover the corpse found in the woods. The maggots hold the key to unlocking the mystery of which individual(s) among the small town’s citizenry could be the killer(s). We will learn about the role that flies play in the process of decomposition, their relevance to poultry farm rendering stations used for animal carcass disposal, and which flies are attracted to which type of once-living remains.
Two members of the House of Representatives, Congressmen Matt Killian, who represents a powerful Hollywood constituency, and an up-and-coming Congressman, Ambrose Girabeaux, a black Republican, are trying to negotiate their votes concerning upcoming Markup legislation involving the Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, which Killian chairs. The congressmen are fighting over the entertainment industry which has sought Matt Killian’s assurances that he will protect its interests. At the Markup, the two legislators will debate the practices of the industry.
The investigation will also reveal that power comes in all manifestations, sex being one of the most flagrant in the entertainment industry. Powerful men and women who are straight, gay, and pedophiles figure prominently in the playground of the entertainment gods, and they can also filter into the lives of people in rural outposts like Nakadee, too, as hungry and naïve innocents crave to become a part of Hollywood.
Compelling, Intriguing and Intelligent!
 Severed: A Novel is a well written first novel by VL Towler. It is an extraordinary, multi-layered story about crimes perpetrated in a small, rural, Northwestern Louisiana university town named Nakadee. The residents there have an ancestral lineage that goes back for several hundred years. They have a certain passion for their quiet, peaceful, existence and purposely choose to live their quiet lives in the remote rural area. The cultural makeup of the town is a mixture of Cajun, Creole, Black and European inhabitants.
Dismembered fingers, murder, and an invasive investigation will disrupt the small community and set everyone on edge.
Dr. Lula Logan, a highly educated Forensic Anthropologist, is called in to investigate a dismembered finger. She uses all of her resources to investigate and determine not only the victim, but also the murder weapon. She works closely with several colleagues to get to the bottom of the incident. But there is much more going on than just a murder, and there are many individuals and aspects involved in the horrific crimes.
 Severed: A Novel is an extremely intellectual read. Readers are educated on an abundance of things, such as forensic anthropology, the fascinating, intertwined lives of the Cajuns, Creoles, Blacks and European inhabitants, and also the political complexities of the small town.
Author VL Towler has a way with writing dialogue, and I was very impressed. I felt as if I were right there hearing everything that was being said. She also uses various dialects, which I found unusually interesting and very brilliant.
In Severed: A Novel, the plot is comprehensive and deep. It flows effortlessly and is steady and captivating. The mystery narrative continues on, step by step, adding up clues and intensifying awareness of the entire plot. It’s one of the best mysteries that I have read in a long time. All the while, VL Towler weaves within the storyline, like a fine vivid painting, the emotional difficulties that exist within American culture: individual and societal issues, prejudices, conflicts, and complications.
The eccentric and diverse characters are interesting and intriguing. They are exceedingly well developed, and multifaceted. The characters all have their place in the storyline and are cleverly woven throughout. They have a substantial importance in the ending and are tied up in an orderly and tight method, which displays VL Towler’s exceptional and creative writing skills.
The descriptions of the various scenes, people, and more are vivid and alluring. The story is full of intriguing twists and turns, with intricacy and intensity building on every page. It is a compelling page-turner that I couldn’t put down. The ending was a pleasant, satisfying surprise that I wasn’t expecting. Severed is one book that I would read again. I give Severed: A Novel 5 big stars.
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Unrequited Guilt by Kim Praser

Unrequited Guilt by Kim Praser
Seventeen-year-old Amber Malley’s suicide sparks the depression that has been buried within teacher Kristen Hunter. The single mother of two struggles to cope with the loss of this student while coming to terms with her failed marriage that she denies to acknowledge.
Not only does Kristen work through her depression, Kristen’s father, Paul, deals with the rejection he received from his mother as a child, along with the deaths of his best friend and wife. Amber’s mother, Mary Alice, ignores the truth behind her daughter’s death; instead, she decides to sue Kristen who encourages the composition of Amber’s suicide note. Within weeks of Amber’s death, another student, Brian, commits suicide by walking into a train as a result of rejecting his father’s new marriage.
How will Kristen handle the guilt she feels contributes to these situations? To what degree does she hold herself responsible?
Kristen Hunter is a single mother of two and a high school teacher. Kristen is in denial when it comes to her failed marriage. When one of her students, seventeen year old Amber Malley, commits suicide, it sends Kristen spiraling into depression. Her failed marriage and the horror of her student’s suicide is too much for her to handle.
Kristen must also deal with her own father’s depression and issues due to his own childhood and the deaths of his best friend and his wife.
To top it all off, young Amber Malley’s mother, Mary Alice, refuses to believe the truth behind her daughter’s suicide, and decides to put the blame on Kristen. Mary Alice decides to sue Kristen for Amber’s death because she believes that Kristen encouraged the composition of Amber’s suicide note.
Then if things aren’t bad enough, another student commits suicide. Kristen is overwhelmed with depression and now she is ridden with guilt. Is Kristen somehow responsible for the suicides and deaths of the two young students? That is the question that bombards her mind continually. Will Kristen be able to overcome the depression and come to terms with the guilt that she feels? Will her life continue to spin out of control? Or will she be victorious in the end?
Unrequited Guilt is a phenomenal story of one woman’s unexpected twists and turns in life that result in tragedy and a life filled with depression, guilt and mental torment. How far should Kristen go in holding herself responsible for the deaths of these children? The guilt she feels is unfounded, but she struggles terribly with that and the other issues in her life.
Author, Kim Praser has composed a poignant, compelling and engaging novel that I was unable to put down. I was drawn in right from the beginning and fully occupied throughout. Unrequited Guilt is a real tearjerker filled with raw emotion, hope and inspiration. The storyline is highly imaginative, unique and creative. It is realistic and relatable. Kim Praser encourages the reader to allow themselves to have deep feelings and compassion as she paints the human condition like a portrait. This is a beautiful story that readers will not soon forget. I was touched deeply.
The characters are very well developed and woven into the storyline with meaning and carefulness. Much thought was put into the characters. They grow and evolve beautifully throughout the story. The plot and storyline is like a beautiful tapestry that captivates the reader and won’t let go. Unrequited Guilt is a novel well worth reading and one that readers will relate to on one level or another. The ending does not disappoint. I loved the satisfying finish. This is one that I could and would read again.
Praise for Kim Praser’s Unrequited Guilt a 5 Star Novel.
Reviewed by Chick Lit Cafe
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Best Foot Forward by Bea Stevens

Best Foot Forward (The Liberty Lawrence Series Book 1) by Bea Stevens
Liberty ‘Libby’ Lawrence adores designer labels – even though she can’t afford many. And she especially loves shoes. Her favorites are Christian Louboutin’s – though not those fake ones Bianca Morrison-Wright gets from the market (the red paint rubs off the soles and everything!)
She’s working as a manager (albeit junior manager) at a London hotel, when the boss announces that there has been a theft from his office. Libby couldn’t help noticing some strange marks on his carpet when she was called in for a reprimand recently (not that it was her fault, or anything) which lead her to surmise who the thief is.
Detective Sergeant James Harper, the hunky policemen who is assigned the case, seems interested in her theory – until she names her number one suspect. Libby is devastated, not only because he doesn’t believe her but – more importantly – that this guy knows NOTHING about shoes!
As Libby struggles to convince the sergeant that her hunch is right, her boss that she’s ready for promotion and herself that she’s not really falling for the gorgeous copper, she realizes that maybe she’s wrong about the theft, she’s not suited to the hotel industry and that the handsome hunk is married!
Liberty Lawrence is in love with designer labels, fabulous clothes and shoes especially. She can’t really afford them, as her income as a junior manager at a London hotel, won’t permit. But that doesn’t stop her from loving and wearing the rich looking assembles. One day her boss announces that someone broke into his office and stole from him. Libby had noticed some strange looking marks on his office floor and suspects a certain someone as being the thief. When she tells the hunky and handsome detective James Harper her theory, he seems to be interested until she tells him who she suspects. Liberty is distressed because he doesn’t believe her and more importantly because he doesn’t know anything about designer shoes, which Libby is obsessed with.
While Libby tries to convince the detective of her theory, she is also trying to convince her boss that she deserves a promotion. She is also trying to convince herself that she isn’t attracted to detective-policeman James Harper. She eventually begins to question herself by telling herself that maybe she shouldn’t be working in the hotel business, and maybe she is wrong about her theory regarding the theft and maybe detective James Harper is married. With so many doubts looming, Libby must put her Best Foot Forward.
Best Foot Forward is a laugh out loud romantic comedy. I couldn’t put it down, as it held my attention throughout the entire book. Libby is fun and a bit clumsy too. It is hilarious to read about her antics and her light hearted personality. She loves shoes above all, but is caught off guard with the handsome detective James Harper. She becomes intensely attracted to him. She is a great character that is relatable and intriguing. There is plenty of physical comedy in this story that will keep readers laughing.
The storyline and plot is engaging, interesting and uplifting. There is a lot of emotion, including sadness. For women that love fashion, this is right up their alley. Libby, although clumsy, approaches life and situations in an expensive style with her designer heels. I loved the descriptions of the shoes and clothes and other things, like the settings.
In Best Foot Forward, the characters are very fun and appealing, especially her co-workers. They are well developed and thought out and suited to the storyline. Libby, herself, is a great character and very relatable. Readers will love her funny antics and her spirit. They will also be sad for her at times, Best Foot Forward is a wonderful chick lit read. It has all the important components of a special women’s fiction book. I couldn’t put it down. It is one of the best chick lit novels I have read in a long time.
Bea Stevens has a way with words. I loved the dialog between the characters. She writes in a simplistic, yet smart manner. Readers will be delighted with Best Foot Forward. It is one amusing, entertaining and captivating chick lit read. I loved it and I am sure all women readers of chick lit and beyond will find it very appealing and satisfying. The ending was wonderful, and I am looking forward to the next installment in the Liberty Lawrence series. I want to find out what exciting job Libby finds herself in next and what antics she gets herself into.
Bea Stevens is a great writer and should be noted as so. Pick up a copy of Best Foot Forward by Bea Stevens, you will love it as I did.
Proudly Reviewed by Chick Lit Cafe
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Not Exactly Love: A Memoir by Betty Hafner

Not Exactly Love: A Memoir by Betty Hafner
It was 1969, and all the rules were changing, when Betty, a woefully single French teacher on Long Island, met the handsome but edgy new teacher at her school, a hippie just back from Woodstock. His vitality opened up a new world to her—but when they married, his rages turned against her, and often ended with physical violence. Like millions of women who discover they’ve married an abusive man, Betty was forced to make daily decisions—to suppress her feelings or risk confrontation, to keep it secret or report, and ultimately, to live with it or leave.
Part memoir, part warm-hearted look at the ’70s, and part therapeutic journey, Not Exactly Love: A Memoir is an intense and inspirational story of a woman who grew from her experience
It’s 1969, on Long Island, NY, unmarried and single French teacher, Betty, meets a handsome new science teacher named Jack. He is an edgy hippie type guy and the couple seems to have a lot in common. He is handsome and charismatic, and Betty falls hard for him. His energy and spirit attracted Betty and brought new things and ideas to her. Her life seemed to have opened up and blossomed because of Jack. But Jack also had a bad temper, which was a warning sign that Betty reluctantly ignored.
It wasn’t until after they married that jack’s temper turned to rage and abuse toward Betty. Overtime the mental, emotional and physical abuse escalated to an unbearable intensity for Betty. Betty’s life became a living hell. She was forced to make difficult decisions daily. Should she stay silent, share it with others, confront Jack, report him. It was a daily struggle. A daily nightmare.
How long would she take his abuse? Why does she continue to stay? Will she ever gain the courage to leave him and gain her sanity and freedom back? Will she choose to live with him and his tangents and abusive nature, or will she leave him for good? Betty Hafneranswers all things questions in her wonderful personal account and memoir, Not Exactly Love.
Not Exactly Love is a poignant compelling story of one woman’s life in the face of abuse and how she finally gets the courage to leave. This is the true story of domestic abuse and the strength it takes to face up to it and get the hell out. Just like many women who are in the same situation, it wasn’t that easy for Betty. She had to, little by little, with help and support, gain the courage to leave.
Exceptionally written, Not Exactly Love, is an easy smart read. Betty is a refined, intelligent woman that handles life with grace and class. How she got herself into this situation, how she manages to survive it, and how she gets out is what this story is about. She tells how hard day to day life is with the manipulation and fear that is always looming. She tells of how she evolves and grows in her self-esteem and strength that had been previously stolen from her by her abusive husband. “Why do many, if not most, women stay in an abusive relationship—and how do they overcome the fear in order to leave? Betty Hafner’s memoir is a heroic study of a woman and her strong will, as well as a working guide for women who are also in an abusive marriage or relationship. Betty’s story will help give some women the strength and courage they need, as well as some clear insight and advice. I believe this book should be put into the hands of single young women so they can recognize the warning signs before it’s too late.
Not Exactly Love is set in the 1970’s. Things were very different back then. Women didn’t have the support that they do now. So it was especially difficult for Betty back then. But, what I also loved about it being set in the 1970’s, is that it took me back in time to a more easy simple life. I was able to reminisce with a smile on my face. Don’t get me wrong, this story is definitely filled with emotions such as anger, sadness, distress and ultimately hope, joy and victory. This is an inspirational read that readers can’t miss. It is, hands down, the best memoir I have read in a long time.
It’s a cautionary tale. Betty Hafner shows readers that domestic abuse is the silent tormenter, because she had to keep it to herself at first. Her courage to come out and get help and plan her escape astounded me.
Not Exactly Love is exceptional, heartwarming, engaging and poignant. It is written with eloquence and a beautiful prose that compels the reader to keep turning the pages to find out what will become of Betty. The ending was definitely satisfying and airtight.
I loved Not Exactly Love. It is one women’s horrifying account of domestic abuse, her intimate details of her inner life, and her courageous escape to freedom and a better life.
Chick Lit Cafe Gives Not Exactly Love 5 Big Stars
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Keeping Sam by Joanne Phillips

Keeping Sam by Joanne Phillips
When Kate wakes up from a year-long coma, the first person she asks for is her son. Recovering from a head injury and getting back on her feet takes all of Kate’s energy, but toddler Sam has left a hole in her heart – a hole that isn’t healed by the knowledge that Sam is being cared for by Kate’s mother. Estranged from her parents since she was eighteen, Kate soon discovers they took Sam home to Cornwall months ago, convinced Kate would never wake up … By the time Kate is well enough to reclaim her son she is frantic with worry. Why hasn’t her mother brought Sam to see her? Why haven’t they replied to any of her letters? And why will no one talk to her about the circumstances around her injuries?
Kate is a young mother who gets attacked and ends up in a coma for almost a year. Her parents obtained custody of Kate’s toddler son when they thought that she wasn’t going to ever wake up.
But she did wake up, only to find that she had lost her son to her parents. As she recovers from her head injury and learns to walk again, Kate is only interested in getting her son back. But Kate’s mom, of whom she is estranged from, wants to keep Sam, Kate’s son. Kate is pain-stricken with worry and works hard to fully recover from her head trauma. In the meantime Kate’s mother hasn’t even brought Sam to see his mother. Kate is furious and anxious. She gets caught up in the red tape of the legal system and fights hard to get her son back. And why will no one talk to her about what happened to her and who attacked her?
Keeping Sam is a roller coaster filled with emotion and passion as one mother fights to get her son back from her parents and the legal system. It is an exceptional contemporary read and very interesting. It’s a complex realistic drama about modern day families. It touches on relationships and dysfunctional families. Kate is anxious and frustrated, as any mother would be if they were in her situation. Her relationship with her mother is strained and her mother doesn’t want to give up Sam, Kate’s son.
I found Keeping Sam by Joanne Phillips to be an engaging relatable story that many readers will like. I was caught up in the drama of the family dynamics and Kate’s struggle. I found myself filled with emotions such as, anger, sorrow and hope. The tension between Kate and her parents are revealed in a clever skillful way.
Joanne Phillips has introduced some more lighthearted moments in this story in the form of Kate’s landlady, Marie, and the love of her life Tony. All the characters have their place in this book and are well developed. Kate, and her mother Barbara, are both interesting and multidimensional characters, with strengths and weaknesses that we all have. The rest of the characters are nice additions to the story and help to give it life and interest. . I found the dialog between Kate and her mother, Barbara, to be especially interesting and well composed.
There is a little mystery and romance, but no sex or bad language, which I found refreshing. It’s a well written and narrated story
Overall, Keeping Sam by Joanne Phillips, is a poignant and likable story about one mother’s struggle to keep her child. The storyline is compelling and unique. Readers will be interested in this dysfunctional family. I believe many will relate to the modern day relationships and scenario. The ending was satisfying and conclusive.
This is the first book that I have read by Joanne Phillips and I am delightfully pleased. She is an excellent creative writer. I am going to pick up one her romance or cozy mysteries books that she is better known for. I am anxiously looking forward to reading more by her.
Chick Lit Cafe gives Keeping Sam 5 big stars.
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Hazel's Home by Rosanna Rae - Book Review

Hazel’s Home by Rosanna Rae
Meeting Blake Hennessey in New York changes Hazel Munro’s life forever. He is the charismatic, sophisticated boss of the advertising company she works for. She is immediately smitten and is astonished when she realizes he feels the same way! His friend Zac thinks she is a blatant gold-digger, but when Blake proposes to her, there is a much bigger bone of contention – where the two of them will live. Hazel’s home is in Scotland and she has no intention of moving to Manhattan.
Sparks fly when Hazel realizes exactly what Blake’s “compromise” is on this issue and the future doesn’t look quite so rosy for either of them. A personal shock forces Hazel to deal with a life-changing situation, which alters her point of view. Meanwhile, however, Blake has developed a major problem of his own. He is heading alone down a long, dark tunnel. Can Hazel reach him in time to avert disaster and save him from himself?
Hazel Munro is summoned to New York for business. Afraid of flying, she boards a flight from her home country of Scotland, headed to the United States. She is unsure of why the owner of the Hennessey Company wants to have a personal meeting with her. She has worked for Hennessey advertising agency as a copywriter for five years. But when she does meet with him, he assures her that her work for the company thus far has been exemplary and he wants her to make a presentation to the cosmetic company that they are working to obtain as a client. What she doesn’t expect is to find Blake Hennessey to be a handsome, charismatic gentleman, and she feels an immediate attraction towards him. Hazel is astonished to find that Blake feels the same attraction for her. Sparks fly and after a several dates, they are both sure they are in love. They want to get married.
However, Blake’s best friend, Zac, objects at first, to their relationship. He thinks that Hazel is a gold digger and only in it for the benefit of financial gain.
There is also a bigger problem. Where the couple will actually live is the question. Hazel refuses to leave Scotland and Blake refuses to leave New York. Blake promises that they will work it out. But the solution he comes up with in the end, is not what Hazel was expecting. In the meantime Hazel has a life changing occurrence which changes her whole perspective on her life. Then Blake goes through a tragedy himself and ends up spiraling downward into despair. Will this couple work it out and be together forever despite their complications and difficulties?
Hazel’s Home by Rosanna Rae is an engaging, contemporary emotional read. It is a romantic fiction filled with drama and complex relationship issues. It is a fabulous story that touches on the many issues pertaining to couples and their ups and downs. There is plenty of love, romance and sex always looming in the air. It even touches on the issues of abuse and illness.
Hazel’s Home is realistic in many important ways. Readers will definitely relate to this engrossing love story. It is captivating, absorbing and unputdownable. I read it through in a couple of days, turning the pages quickly, anxiously wanting to find out if Hazel and Blake will end up together and where they will live. There are some surprises along the way which held my interest thoroughly.
Although it deals with the complexities of relationships, it has plenty of fun, humor and good entertaining moments. The romance is thrilling and exciting.
Rosanna Rae has composed a well written story. She introduces different couples with their relationship issues in various chapters. The characters are all well developed and all hold an important place in the plot. The main characters are especially well fleshed out with likable amusing personalities. Hazel is a complex character with strengths and weaknesses that readers will relate to in many ways.
I was very impressed with the descriptions of everything from the food to the clothes to the scenery. A true delight for the imaginary senses. Rosanna Rae illustrates it skillfully and admirably.
The storyline is unique and creative. I loved Hazel’s Home. It held my attention and kept me thoroughly engaged throughout the entire story. I especially loved the ending, it is was very satisfying and conclusive. I’m looking forward to reading more by Rosanna Rae, She is an exceptional writer with a lot of talent.
Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Hazel’s Home by Rosanna Rae
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Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae - Book Review

Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae
Hello everyone, I am Daisy. I am a doctor, a writer – oh and an amateur ballroom dancer! I am just publishing my first novel Dating Daisy which is a romantic fiction novel all about internet dating over 50.
What do you do when you’re a newly divorced 52 year old mother, keen for a second chance of romance? Why internet dating of course! Daisy Mae_224 embarks on the internet dating process with trepidation. Having not been on the dating scene for nearly 30 years, and with fairly rudimentary computer skills, she finds herself embroiled in a series of haphazard and hilarious situations.
Daisy keeps a diary of her internet dating life and reveals detail by detail, the ups and downs of her midlife dating extravaganza. Soon after starting out, Daisy realizes her true mission. With no past experience and no-one/nothing to guide her, she needs to produce – Internet Dating lessons. Read on to find out about PLONKERS, Muppets and MAWDs, and a whole host of amusing anecdotes, tips and ideas. Working by day as a Sexual Health doctor, the story as it unfolds contains accounts of Daisy’s clinical experiences with patients in the Sexual Health clinic.
She also reflects on her past life with Voldemort (the dreadful ex-husband). With advice and encouragement from Imogen, her 17 year old daughter, her surrogate parents known as the Amigos, with a big house and swanky swimming pool, her friend Pinkie and from Jeannie, her nonagenarian friend from the Nursing Home, Daisy resiliently persists in her quest to find a long term partner. This is a heartfelt story that will ring bells with anyone who has ended a long term relationship and now wants to find somebody new. It is humorously written, full of emails, poems, limericks, and even a recipe! Daisy can’t resist her pages of advice on topics like “Kissing” and “Anti-Snoring.” It is a unique and highly amusing book, which will make you laugh out loud! So read on and see. Will Dating Daisy find her “prairie vole?” Or will the whole process end in disaster?
Daisy Mae is newly divorced. She is a young 52 years old. She longs for a new companion, but has no idea how to find one. Then she turns to the internet. She decides to try her hand at online dating.
First, she has to make a profile. A daunting and rather difficult task at hand. What should she say about herself? She can’t over sell herself as many of the online men she encounters have. With basic computer skills she sets off and creates her profile.
She decides to keep a diary and makes up rules for her journey. Daisy is a Sexual Health doctor by profession. She gets advice from her seventeen year old daughter, but midlife internet dating is an intimidating endeavor. Daisy has friends in her life that are amusing and helpful. She forges ahead in her quest to find a lifelong partner even though there is ups and downs and trials and tribulations. Will Daisy find the love of her life?
Dating Daisy is an engaging humorous look at one woman’s search for a new love online.
It is full of funny narratives, tips and ideas on finding a man online, and tales of her job as a Sexual Health doctor. Author, Daisy Mae, brings humor to events that are hard to believe. She tells of the good, the bad and the ugly of the internet dating scenario. She has a great talent for quips and one liners. Daisy thought she was married for life. But that not being the case, she has to bravely enter the world of dating again.
Daisy Mae has a gift for writing. She is hilarious and poignant at times. She has a way with words that keep the reader compelled to read on. She uses amusing anecdotes regarding her daily work as a Sexual Health doctor. I laughed out loud on more than several occasions. These are real events, although it is a fiction story, that are so funny and so touching that I couldn’t put the book down.
Daisy goes through the gamut of online male daters. She quickly learns that they are not all they say they are. Her standards as to the type of man she is looking for are rather high or I should say specific. So I kept wondering if she would truly ever find Mr. Right.
Dating Daisy is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, joy, sadness, disappointment and victory. Daisy’s determination is inspiring. For women that are middle aged looking for a second chance, this is a must read. Especially if they are considering online dating.
Daisy gives us the low down on internet dating. She keeps a diary and writes poems. All very entertaining and mostly amusing. It is a very realistic story, with realistic characters.
The characters are likable and well developed with multilayered personalities.
The storyline and plot is unique and entertaining. I loved Dating Daisy. I think readers of all ages will love it too. I loved the stories of her profession as a Sexual Health doctor. She gives us a glimpse into that area and it is mostly funny. It’s also amusing how she breaks her own rules at times especially when it comes to dating men that don’t post a picture of themselves. Her 26 year marriage to Voldemort is touched on as well.
Overall, Dating Daisy is a fun look at one woman’s quest to find a new love online. It is realistic, humorous and filled with real life advice on internet dating. Readers will be fully entertained by this fabulous book. I’m looking forward to reading more books written by Daisy Mae, a talented writer with a fresh new voice.
Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Dating Daisy by Daisy Mae!
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Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon

Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon
Sally the Crab was a Finalist in the National book Competition, Best Book Awards by American Book Fest.A tale of adventure and fun that delves into the themes of friendship and courage. Sally is a hermit crab with a beautiful shell that is admired by many. However, Molly is her best friend. Unfortunately, though one day Molly has to move away and shortly thereafter Sally outgrows her shell. She then goes on a quest to search for another one, but realizes looking for a new home is not as easy for a crab as one might think. Even when Sally could have been frustrated or upset, this crab stays true to herself and is nice to the other creatures she meets. What kind of encounters will Sally come across along her journey and exactly what kind of home will she end up with? Follow this graceful crab on her marvelous adventure!
5 Big Stars for Sally the Crab – Reading with your Kids Podcast.
Sally the hermit crab is happy, outgoing and popular. She lives in a beautiful colorful shell. Everyone admires her shell. Sally has a best friend named Molly. They have fun together every day. But, then Molly has to move to another reef. They are both sad as they say goodbye forever.
Soon, Sally begins to outgrow her shell, so she goes on a journey to search for a new one. She kindly gives away her beautiful shell to another crab in need.
On her adventure to find a new shell, Sally comes across many different sea creatures. She meets a turtle, a blue crab, a stingray, and some funny clown fish. No matter how she tries, she just can’t find the perfect shell to live in. Some other hermit crabs feel sorry for her because she can’t find a suitable shell. She isn’t looking for a beautiful one, just a comfortable one. But none of the shells that the hermit crabs have are the right fit for Sally.
Then one day her friend Molly arrives with a surprise for Sally. It’s a big shell for Sally to live in. “But, it’s too big,” Sally tells Molly. Molly says that it is for both of them to live in together. No one wants to live alone. So best friends, Sally and Molly, got to live happily together.
Sally the Crab is a fabulous little story for young children and readers. It is full of lessons for children. Sally has to cope with the loss of a best friend and the change and challenge of finding a new home. Which teaches children about change, determination and hard work. It also touches on the importance of friendship and kindness, as the many sea creatures try to help Sally, and when Sally kindly gives away her own beautiful shell, she does it humbly and without regret.
I loved the way our author, Lauren Dragon, portrays Sally. Throughout the entire story, Sally never complains or has a bad attitude. She just keeps on trying to find a new shell for her home and is kind to everyone she meets. Sally could have been upset and overly frustrated but she chose to have a good attitude. Great lesson for children.
In Sally the Crab, children are introduced to various types of colorful sea animals and their own habitats. She even touches on the personalities of the creatures, like the grumpy blue crab.
In the end, children learn that life is good and full of unexpected surprises, when Molly, Sally’s best friend, returns home with a shell made for the two of them. Sally was rewarded for her patience, kindness and hard work.
Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon is a beautiful heartwarming, adventurous children’s book. The illustrations are colorful, whimsical and vivid. I read Sally the Crab to my little granddaughters and they loved it. It held their attention and thrilled them as we turned each page. They loved learning about the sea creatures and they loved Molly.
At the end of the book there are a few special pages where children can color and draw each character – a special added bonus that my grandchildren loved. I just ordered another Sally the Crab book, because they don’t want to share just the one. Also, there is an informative section describing how to own and care for your own little hermit crabs. Those extra added pages make the Sally the Crab book extra special.
Sally the Crab is Lauren Dragon’s first children’s book. It is excellent in every way. We hope to see more books written for children by this exceptional new children’s book author.
Chick Lit Cafe fully recommends Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon to young children and readers.
Purchase Sally the Crab @Amazon Today

The Bridge Monster by Michael J DiPinto

The Bridge Monster Michael J DiPinto
What is living under the bridge? A monster you say? He will not eat you, he is only curious, little mischievous and shy. He is looking for a friend, someone to help put a smile on his face
The bridge monster lives under the bridge. He is a nice monster and would do no harm to anyone.
He is smart, shy, and curious, and just a little bit of a rascal.  No one has seen the bridge monster, but all know he’s there. When the cars drive over, he growls. He sometimes tries to grab the tires of the cars passing over and tries to shake the car. Sometimes he growls loud and shakes the bridge really hard. The boaters look up to see if they can see him when their passing under the bridge. He won’t relent, he’s always trying to get attention. He is smart because he knows when the bridge tender is going to raise the bridge. He is brave and feisty and will ride up as the bridge is rising to sneak a peek at the cars and people. He just wants to make friends and wave at the passersby.
The Bridge Monster by Michael J DiPinto is a sweet short story for young children. It teaches kids not to be afraid of riding over bridges in the car. That the noises are nothing to be afraid of and the rattling is not going to hurt them. Most young children are afraid of things like riding over bridges. The sounds and rattling scares them. Some may literally think there is a monster under the bridge. Their minds are young and they don’t comprehend what is happening.
So, Michael J DiPinto has composed a cute story about a good and kind monster that lives under the bridge. One that is playful and curious about the kids in the cars. The fact that the monster is nice and loving helps kids to realize that they don’t have to worry about such things that shake and rattle loud.
The Bridge Monster is a perfect story for young children who tend to be afraid of such things. It is perfect for all young readers too. The words are short and easy to read. The book isn’t too long, which helps with young children and readers that have short attention spans. The illustrations are charming and simple. I love the pictures. They remind me of yesteryear, being a little old fashioned in appearance. It’s just a charming all around book and story.
I read The Bridge Monster to my granddaughters and they were so intrigued. They are young and are afraid of things like the vacuum cleaner. I could see their little minds ticking away and thinking about the story and plot. “He’s a good monster and the bridge is fun,” my granddaughter said. They were delighted to know that there are good monsters too. This book really had a good influence and meaning to them. They laughed and pointed at the pictures. They loved it!
The Bridge Monster by Michael J DiPinto is a wonderful engaging children’s book. My children loved it and I’m sure yours will too.
Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends The Bridge Monster.
Purchase The Bridge Monster @Amazon Today
Connect with Author Michael J DiPinto


Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster

Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster
New to YA! A warm-hearted, whimsical fantasy tale, with lashings of mystery, magic, and mythology, and prose that ‘flows like water.’ Prepare to fall in love with Esperance!
“A fresh new fantasy, of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song
When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about Ariane, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.
“It’s that kind of book that keeps you furiously carrying on with bated breath while the mystery unfolds, yet ‘wishing’ it would never end.”  – Romi Sharp, Just Write For Kids.
Fifteen year old Esme Silver’s mother has been missing for several years. Everyone around Esme, including her father, say that her mother, Ariane, was lost at sea. But Esme begs to differ. She knows how careful her mother was and what a strong swimmer she was also. Something doesn’t add up. Esme protests her father’s remarriage and she is perceived as being a spoiled, rebellious teenager. But for Esme, it’s because she can’t accept or believe her mother is dead. She knows that there is more to it.
While her father is on his honeymoon Esme sets out to look for her mother. That is when her grand adventure begins. Esme is transported to a beautiful enchanting city where the blue water sparkles and the orange dragons lurk. Esme makes a couple of good friends along the way and together they are determined to find Esme’s mother. Esme’s love for her mother compels her and keeps her determined to be strong and forge ahead to find her.
Esme’s Wish is a true gem. It is an enchanting fantasy story full of adventure, excitement and danger. Author Elizabeth Foster has constructed a beautiful tale for young readers as well as adults. I was caught up from the very beginning and read continuously to the satisfying and conclusive end.
Esme’s Wish is likened unto J.R.R. Tolkien with a dash of Harry Potter. It is written extremely well and the creativity that went into this story is fabulous. The world that Elizabeth Foster has created is a wondrous, captivating and mysterious place filled with magic, creatures and boundless beauty.
In Esme’s Wish, there are countless descriptions that excite and delight the imaginary senses. The theme of familial love flows throughout the storyline. You won’t find any sappy romance in this story, which was a breath of fresh air to me. Only good friends working, surviving and enjoying an enchanted land in search for Esme’s beloved mother.
I have read many fantasy stories but Esme’s Wish is one of the best. The characters are likable and realistic. They are multi layered and well developed. They evolve and are woven within the storyline with creative care. There is plenty of feeling to keep the reader emotionally engaged and plenty of adventure to keep the reader exhilarated and enthralled.
Esme’s Wish is a tender and mesmerizing fantasy that readers of all ages will love. I couldn’t put the book down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would read it again. That’s how good it is. Esme’s Wish is Elizabeth Foster’s first novel. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series by this excellent writer.
Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Esme’s Wish

            Purchase Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster @Amazon Today