River Road by Carol Goodman:Book Review


river roadDisclaimer: I received this Kindle book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

I had never read of this authors other works but this book’s plot sounded interesting. The plot was interesting and that is about it. I know the author teaches creative writing classes and that is well established in her book as the main character Nan Lewis has the same profession. Nan is a college professor who suffered the tragic loss of her daughter by a drunken driver on River Road After attending a Christmas faculty party with lots of drinking and a discovery that she is not getting tenure Nan heads home by way of River Road. She thinks she hits a deer. She however cannot find any traces of a deer. However the next morning police visit her to inform her that one of her students, Leia, ( a student with a promising writing career) has been killed in a hit and run on River Road.The mystery takes off from there. A mystery that had so much promise but failed to deliver in my opinion. First of all the characters were not very well developed and it was hard to like them. The book began to ramble. I felt like it needed a lot of editing. For example we get a glimpse of her ex husband at the beginning of the book but his character is never developed and than all of a sudden he appears at the end. Am not really sure how much mystery there was to this book. I had my suspicions long before it ended. While the plot had such potential all in all I have to say that this was a disappointing read.

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50 word story:Assignment 13

      Ever Vigilant

It is Thursday. Is he there?

Despite the darkened sky,I see him.

He is a black man sitting in a white plastic chair.

He is surrounded by six white plastic chairs.

Despite the darkness I see the red glow from his cigarette.

I wave.

He smiles and  waves


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Tribute to Veterans


The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Lieutenant Colonel John McCraeIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
hat mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw

 The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields


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Writing 101:Assignment Five

Because I knew you I have been changed for good                                            Stephen Schwartz

Because I knew youI happen to love quotes and there are so many to chose from.Choosing just one quote for this assignment was difficult. I settled on this one as not only do I like the song but I believe these words. In one day so many people can touch our lives and leave their mark on us.  Sometimes a simple gesture or word can change and brighten our way.  There are good friends that always change us for the better. But sometimes an acquaintance or blogger can light the way. Whoever it is I am grateful as they pass and shine their light on me.

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Writing 101:Assignment Four

train station He snapped the picture from the second floor balcony. He had a strange looking smile on his face. He was not happy with the blurred picture but he knew he had to exit the station.

The train patrons were not happy.There was the constant checking and rechecking of cell phones. As if that was going to change the situation. Some were running to see if   their train was on the track. It didn’t matter but the running helped them stay warm. The stations was frigid as if someone deliberately cut the heat.

The rumors were flying. Something on the track. But if that was true,why weren’t the other trains running? Was it a union strike? They were always threatening to strike.Someone said it was a baby carriage on the track. Another was positive there was an adult body on the track.

And he was outside delightfully imagining  the frustration they were feeling. He knew what was going to happen and he was patiently waiting for the big moment..the moment when their lives would change forever….

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Book Review: Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour Book Store

Mr Penumbra Cover

My book club selected this book. Since it had been on my TBR shelf I was anxious to read this one Loved the title alone and the storyline seemed irresistible. An out of work California web designer(Clay) lands a job at a 24 hour independent book store. He agrees to work the over night shift but must record in exact detail everything the customer purchases and even what the customer is wearing. Tracking…sounds like what the internet does today.
But there are not many customers and the ones that come are special and strange. There is a waybacklist room and Mr Penumbra explains that Clay and friends can read these books as long as he signs a contract promising to read deeply.Clay has plenty of time at night to think and play on his computer.
Enter the love interest Kat. She is a Google employee. This is where I believe the plot went wrong. We have to read a lot of jargon and techy stuff. The plot leaves California and heads to New York where we meet a secret society including clocked hooded men(shades of Dan Brown and The DaVinci Code) The society is looking for the key to immortality. Then there is a whole issue of the make believe font called Gerritszoon. It was all too much.
I think Mr Sloan would have served us better if he had developed his characters especially Kat rather then explaining about the bells and whistles at Google.
All is wrapped up very quickly at the end of the story..perhaps too quickly like the author just wanted to be finished with this book.We did have a lively discussion at our book club and there were those that loved the book. I am told the paper back book glows in the dark but since I had the Kindle edition I of course was not privy to this. Maybe the techies can find a way so that the eBook readers can experience this. LOL

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Book Review: Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen

Twain's End CoverDisclaimer: I received this free Kindle book from the publisher through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Took me awhile to get through this book despite it being a good read. It was actually a great read but I was reading other books at the same time. I liked that I could keep returning to this one and pick up right where I left off.
If you are a Mark Twain fan and don’t want to hear any NEGATIVES about Samuel Clemens then DO NOT read this book. The genre is historical fiction and the author has certainly done a lot of research.
The story focuses on Samuel Clemens, his alter ego Mark Twain(the sweetheart of America),his secretary Isabel Lyon and their complicated relationship.Clemens’ daughters and wife Livy also play important roles in the story, especially daughter Clara.Clara is spoiled and petty and is not a likeable character.
My impression was that Samuel Clemens had many faults and was not at all like the folksy Mark Twain. He was moody and mean spirited. Isabel loved him despite his faults. She was interviewed by Hal Holbrook when he was doing his one man Broadway show on Twain. She would not say an unkind word against Clemens although she would have had plenty of reasons to set the record straight and redeem her good name.
We find out immediately in the story that Isabel married Clemens’ business manager Ralph Ashcroft with Sam’s blessing and then a month he was slandering both of them. Then the back story begins. It is well written and the story is easy to follow. Helen Keller even makes an appearance with Anne Sullivan.
My takeaway was the Samuel Clemens wanted to preserve the Mark Twain image at all costs including the fact that he did not want his autobiography published until 100 years after his death. This November it is being released in three volumes.It is 5000 pages.
Lynn Cullen does a great job in telling this story.She also wrote Mrs Poe which will now be on my TBR list.

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