Friday, November 20, 2015

Along the Infinite Sea

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams

Europe 1936 collides with swanky Palm Beach 1966 to set the stage for the final chapter in the lives of the effervescent Schuyler sisters. The focus now is on Pepper, the youngest and most volatile of the three women. This historical fiction novel is filled with romance, unbridled passion, and mystery. If you haven't read the books leading up to Pepper's adventures, no worries. This one can stand alone.

Pepper Schuyler sighs with satisfaction as she examines the sleek, black Mercedes in front of her. What a stroke of luck, finding this abandoned, valuable vehicle in the garage at her family's Cape Cod estate. Some anonymous buyer is willing to pay a great deal of money for this vintage beauty. That will secure Pepper's future, uncertain as it may be. As she stares down at her swollen, distended belly, she feels an overwhelming burst of love for her unborn child. How could a beautiful, self-assured woman like herself from a prominent ( but dysfunctional) family wind up in such a predicament? Maybe falling in love with a married, high-profile politician wasn't a wise thing to do, but with cash in hand, she can put her problems behind her....

For Annabelle Dommerich, the 1936 Mercedes is more than just an engineering masterpiece.  It's a symbol of the astounding events that shaped her life in the 1930's. She is more than willing to pay handsomely for resurrected memories. Feisty, stubborn Pepper Schuyler doesn't know the history behind the car, and Annabelle plans to keep it that way. The two women become comrades over a gleaming automobile.  Annabelle slowly offers guidance and support to this unsuspecting renegade. She takes Pepper on a trip to a small town off the coast of Georgia, surmising that a powerful man is determined to make claims on Pepper's child.  At the same time, Annabelle comes face to face with her own secrets from long ago. Secrets like a clandestine affair with a Jewish lover, and a royal title bestowed upon her from marriage to a high-ranking German officer. Two incredibly strong women, years apart in age, yet with so much in common. Determined to survive.

If you choose to explore the history of the Schuyler sisters, check out Tiny Little Thing and The Secret Life of Violet Grant.  Also recommended is  A Hundred Summers reviewed on this blog in September 2013; it's another engaging historical romance with characters that appear in the author's other novels.

Thoroughly entertaining, the saga of Pepper Schuyler and Annabelle Dommerich is sure to appeal to the hopeless romantic in all of us.

Friday, November 6, 2015

God Whispers Nudges, Fudges, and Butterfly Moments

God Whispers
Nudges, Fudges, and Butterfly Moments
by Liz Thompson

We've all had those moments, that "gut" feeling when it comes to making decisions, whether they be big or small. The subtle whisper, the slight nudge, all could be God's way of leading us in a new direction. Listen and the rewards may be worthwhile.

For those that believe in chance, this may not be the book for you. For those who believe in the power of a Greater Being, I would encourage you to read the words of the many followers who have heard the whispers from Him in their hearts and souls.

This book is a compilation of stories, short essays and poems written by those who have experienced overwhelming peace and joy from recognizing what they believe is an inner voice leading them through both the good and bad times in life. The "butterfly" moments in our lives can occur at any age; times when we break out of our cocoons to finally realize our full potential. They often happen unexpectedly when we think that life has passed us by. The encouraging and moving words of those who have found an inner strength from their faith is uplifting and reassuring. Overcoming obstacles and forgiving ourselves and others are themes reiterated throughout this inspirational book.  

This is the second book written by author Liz Thompson, a columnist featured in 23 suburban newspapers across the Columbus, Ohio area.  I reviewed her first book  Day by Day  in August, 2015, which described her struggles and challenges in overcoming progressive hearing loss. Much like that book, this second one offers spiritual hope and guidance to those who believe in a higher power. Filled with biblical passages and personal testimonials and quotes, I found myself reading a few pages at a a time to contemplate the thought-provoking material.

Listen closely for the "whispers" and savor the "butterfly" moments.