“SPLINTERED SILENCE” A Book Review

“Splintered Silence” is a new book by the talented Susan Furlong.  Furlong is a cozy mystery writer, but “Splintered Silence” is a new genre for her.  It’s a thriller, and boy does it thrill! I LOVE the cover…

I couldn’t wait to read “Splintered Silence”, in fact I “preordered” it twice, having forgotten that I had done it when it was first announced.  A quick blurb from Amazon:

Among the Irish Travellers living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, no one forgets and no one forgives. And as former Marine MP Brynn Callahan finds out when she returns home, it’s hard to bury the past when bodies keep turning up . . .
 
After an IED explosion abruptly ends her tour of duty, Brynn arrives stateside with PTSD and her canine partner, Wilco—both of them bearing the scars of battle. With a mix of affection, curiosity, and misgivings, she goes back to Bone Gap, Tennessee, and the insular culture she’d hoped to escape by enlisting in the Marine Corps.
 
Marginalized and wary of outsiders, the Irish Travellers keep to themselves in a secluded mountain community, maintaining an uneasy coexistence with the “settled” townspeople of McCreary. When Wilco’s training as a cadaver dog leads Brynn to discover a body in the woods, the two worlds collide. Soon it’s clear that Brynn and Wilco are in danger – and they’re not the only ones.
 
After the police identify the dead woman, Brynn is shocked to learn she has a personal connection—and everything she’s been told about her past is called into question.
Forming a reluctant alliance with local sheriff Frank Pusser, Brynn must dig up secrets that not only will rattle her close-knit clan to its core, but may forever change her perception of who she is . . . and put her back in the line of fire.

Furlong writes with the gift of always making the reader desirous of reading just “one more page”.  There are never sections you wish to skip.  One never wants to ‘cheat’ and read ahead – you just might miss something.  Her writing flows naturally, all the while keeping you on the edge of your seat.  I shouldn’t confess this, as I have many responsibilities, but I read “Splintered Silence” in one sitting.  Did I loose a little sleep?  Yes…but I’m still young enough that I can muddle through the next day.  I loved this book…and you will too.

Above, the beautiful Susan Furlong

Cozy mysteries more up your alley?  Click on the link below to be directed to a previous blog post where you can read about Furlong’s ‘Georgia Peach Mystery Series’, and how to order, if you’re so inclined!

Furlong also writes another cozy series, ‘The Novel Idea Mystery Series’ under the pen name, ‘Lucy Arlington’.

Click on the link if you’re interested in these charming books. “Off the Books” 

‘The Deep End’ A Book Review

The Deep End by Ellie Hart, is a refreshing find.  I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy, and quite literally couldn’t put it down. “One more page”, I said, which quickly turned into 10, 20 and more.  It’s a different story than I usually read, but was intriguing from beginning to end. And let’s just say, the ending was a shocker.  I take pride in the fact I usually figure out “Who Done It” – but not in this book.  I was caught off guard, and I love that.

It’s available for pre-order now, releasing April 17, 2018.  Here’s a  quick blurb from Amazon:

Local veterinarian Dr. Giselle Cutler’s world revolves around her profession and Marta, the woman she loves. She’s confident both will always be there to support her, until her cell phone rings in the middle of the night and her once-stable world begins to spin out of control. Her sister Tiffani is missing, and all fingers point to fifteen-year-old Leif, Giselle’s nephew. Life as she knows it is fading fast, and with it, the security that family provides. As the true nature of each relationship is revealed, Giselle begins to doubt her ability to keep―and deserve―a lasting partnership. But Marta’s not giving up, and her support is the lifeline that keeps Giselle from toppling over the edge as they confront the dangers and dark secrets behind Tiffani’s disappearance.

Not only did I enjoy the intrigue of the book’s mystery, I appreciated how Hart shows us that love knows no gender.  The two women’s love story is not the central focus, just a matter of fact in the book – much like today’s world.  We are lucky to live in times where this is the case. Both Giselle and Marta are very relatable and I think I’d probably seek out their friendship.  I’d probably bond more with Giselle; she’s not quite the domestic diva Marta is.  🙂

 

‘The Deep End’ by Ellie Hart can be pre-ordered from amazon by clicking the following link – ‘The Deep End’

Or if you are a Barnes and Noble user, click on the following link: The Deep End’.

Below, the lovely Dana King-Esquer, “Ellie Hart”.

King-Esquer also writes another series, “The Proverbial Crime Mystery Series” under the pen name Dane McCaslin.  More delightful reads!  Click on the link to be directed to amazon for this series: You Can Lead A Horse to Water # 3 in the series

I’ve yet to read the “Proverbial Crime Mysteries Series”, but just purchased all three for my kindle.  Can’t wait to dig in!

Five Things A Bride Should Not Do…

Five things a bride should not do…

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We all have heard what a bride SHOULD do…but what about what she should NEVER do?

NUMBER ONE — Never choose your dress BEFORE your venue.  Does this dress look like it is a good fit for a barn wedding?  While it strikes some’s fancy, it neither is the correct style for such a casual wedding, nor would it be easy to navigate.

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NUMBER TWO — Never, never pay for a planning session with a florist.  I know, I was surprised that some florists employed this scam.  I was more than happy with both florists we used for my daughters’ weddings. The subject of payment for a consultation/estimate was NEVER raised.  If a florist suggests such a thing, run.  And don’t look back.

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NUMBER THREE — Same goes for a cake tasting fee.  This is a courtesy. You should never be charged for a cake tasting.  I had a bad experience with my oldest daughter’s cake.  Luckily, I used my credit card for the second payment, and was able to dispute the charge.  Something to consider when you purchase your own cake.

 

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NUMBER FOUR — I think it’s safe to say, we women want to look spectacular on our wedding day. This includes hair and makeup.  But don’t look too different from the woman your fiancé fell in love with.  Put on a little sparkle, but look like yourself.  Your new husband will thank you, and you’ll like your wedding photos more.

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NUMBER FIVE— Don’t allow your toasting sessions to become a “Free For All”.  Have your DJ, Band Leader, or Wedding Coordinator enforce the number of approved toasts.  And about those “Approved Toasts”, be very clear with those presenting speeches how long you wish them to be.  My suggestion, allow two to three minutes per person.  An informal poll shows the toasting session is wedding guests’ least favorite part of the reception.

From Wedding Sari to Western Reception Dress

Here it is!  I promised part two of my last post about bespoke wedding dress designer, Olivia Humphries of the Nova McLaren Label. It was absolutely brilliant how Humphries “Married East and West” in her dress design.  Her ‘Wedding Sari’ design became a ‘Western Reception Dress’.  If you’d like to read part 1, click on the link.  “Update, Wedding Dress Designer Nova McLaren

In Oliva Humphries’ words:

“Alissa’s dress was a dream to work on! As her fiance’s family were originally from India, she wanted this to be a noticable influence in the wedding…which it was from lace sari, gold belt, gold earrings from a crafter in India, asymmetrical lace patterning on the skirt, elephant name holders, henna patterned stationary and bajhi’s and samosa’s for appetizers! Everything was beautiful.

Her family’s traditional midwestern and preppy CT styling was prevalent too in the styling, we used pearls to decorate her reception belt, beautifully delicate french lace for the just off the shoulder style, a beautiful long train and even longer veil – to please her mom!

 

 

 

I thought you might like to see an image of the beautiful designer, Olivia Humphries! Here she is to the left in this photo in blue.

The transformation from the first look where the groom saw her in the off shoulder pearl look to the Indian influenced lace sari and gold jewellry was so cool to see – the groom loved the surprise as did all the guests.  Above is a photo of the bride’s reception look.  This is more of a ‘Western Profile’.

And above, the FABULOUS long veil, (which doubles as a train!), so cherished by the bride’s mother.

Don’t forget to check out Nova McLaren’s website.  Just click on the link!  Nova McLaren

Photos: Olivia Humphries