Somewhere Along The Way by Jodi Thomas – review and giveaway

Title: Somewhere Along The Way

Author: Jodi Thomas

Genre: Fiction

About: (Book blurb) In the two years since she claimed Harmony, Texas, as her home, eighteen-year-old Reagan Truman has found herself drawn to others who have made their way there, too. Gabe Leary, for instance, whose plan to hide out in Harmony is dashed when he becomes the town hero. Then there’s Liz Matheson: Vulnerable and fresh out of law school, Liz has never been needed by anyone—until an unsettling encounter with Gabe changes everything. And there’s Liz’s brother, volunteer fire chief Hank Matheson, who’s starting to wonder where the town’s sheriff, Alex McAllen, will ever set the date to marry him.

As for Reagan, who’s been shaped by the loneliness she’s know most of her life, she’s finally found a place she belongs—and doesn’t want anything to get in her way. But when her life is put in jeopardy and the whole town comes together to save her, she’ll discover that trusting the love that’s come into our hearts is the greatest gift of all…

Thoughts: Jodi Thomas takes us back to the small Texas town of Harmony. Three families established Harmony in the 1880s: the Trumans, Mathesons and the McAllens.  Jeremiah and his “long lost” niece Reagan are all that’s left of the Trumans.  Uncle Jeremiah is getting on in years and his health is not the best. Reagan is almost 18 and can’t wait to be finished with high school.  She and her beau Noah have decided to just be friends but that’s not as easy as it should be. Rea gets more than she bargained for when she fills in for a downtrodden waitress at the local diner.

Liz Matheson is trying to prove to everyone that she can make it on her own – as a new lawyer and as a young woman.  Gabe Leary just wants to be left alone, to not be found.  For some reason the two of them can’t leave each other alone.

Fire chief Hank Matheson is still waiting for sheriff Alex McAllen to marry him.  She seems happy with the way things are between them until she realizes that things could change.

One of my favorite characters from the first book is Tyler Wright, the funeral home director.  His heartache is palpable as he writes a daily email to the woman he can’t forget but also knows better than to expect a reply.

There are many more characters in this latest Harmony novel.  Some we met in the first book and some are new.  Jodi Thomas fills her books with characters I think about long after turning the last page.  They are well-drawn, regular people with everyday problems (well, most of them anyway).  I love the dialogue which is honest, funny, and emotional but never corny or unbelievable. There is suspense, drama, and romance.  All make for a good story that ended way before I was ready for it to be over.

Source: Jodi Thomas

Recommend: Yes, to fans of Jodi Thomas, the Harmony Series, a good story. Although you could read this novel without reading the first book, I recommend you read Welcome To Harmony and then Somewhere Along The Way.

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Jodi Thomas sent one copy of Somewhere Along The Way

for a giveaway.  Open to US residents.

Click here for more details and to fill out the form.

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

Jodi Thomas guest post – Somewhere Along The Way

Please join me in welcoming author and guest blogger Jodi Thomas.  I’m a fan of the Harmony Series and am happy to tell you that the second book, Somewhere Along The Way, will be in stores on November 2 – that’s next Tuesday!

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Good morning everyone.  Thanks for inviting me to drop by and visit.  I’d like to welcome you to step into my second book in the Harmony Series.  SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY.  This is my 30th book and what I believe will be one you’ll keep and read again and again.

In this book I had a great time writing about love at different ages and how we all fall in love different ways.  Sometime it comes softly after growing up with someone and until you realize there was never a time you didn’t love them and sometimes it slams into you all at once with a kiss.

 

Liz and Gabe’s story from SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY

“I’ll take it in the living room,” she said. Liz walked across the hall, picked up the phone, and waited for the click from the kitchen before speaking.

“Elizabeth Matheson,” she said in her most professional voice.

“I need your help.”

He hadn’t said his name; he hadn’t needed to. She’d know Gabriel’s voice anywhere.

“Where are you?”

“County sheriff’s office,” he said. “They’re about to take me up to a holding cell. Ask for Gabe Leary, Elizabeth, not Smith, and get here as fast as you can.”

She’s already figured out that Smith probably wasn’t his real name. “What did you do?”

“Nothing,” he answered. “But they think I may have killed someone.”

Liz told herself she was a lawyer. Whether he did or didn’t commit the crime, he had a right to counsel. Only she wasn’t sure she could go through with it if he had. She wasn’t sure which bothered her most: that he might be lying, or that if he was, she’d kissed a murderer.

She gripped the phone for a minute, trying to think.

“Elizabeth,” he whispered again. “Are you still there? I’m no good around people. I seem to be causing more trouble for myself than helping.” He was quiet as if listening to her breathe, and then he added, “I need you.”

She straightened. “I’ll be right there.”

She hung up and walked back into the dining room, where everyone was having dessert. “I have to go. I’m needed over at the jail.”

“A client,” Claire said. “Oh, how exciting. Little sister has a real client.”

Liz grabbed her coat and purse. As she walked out the door, she yelled back, “No. A date.”

 

Come along with me on this journey.  I’ll make you laugh and cry and smile at the ending.  I promise you’ll care about the people of Harmony.

Jodi Thomas




Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today best-selling author of 31 novels and 8 short story collections. As of July 2006, she was the 11th woman to be inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame. She is also currently serving as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

 

www.jodithomas.com


The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story by Patti Callahan Henry

Title: The Perfect Love Song

Author: Patti Callahan Henry

Genre: Fiction

About: (book blurb) Jimmy Sullivan has been living on the road with his brother, Jack, and his band The Unknown Souls. Without a place to call home, Jimmy and Jack lead a nomadic life filled with music and anonymous cities. When they return to a place Jimmy never wants to see again —their old hometown of Seaboro, South Carolina —he falls in love with Charlotte Carrington. With his soul now filled with hope, Jimmy writes his first love song. When he performs it at a holiday concert to a standing ovation, the lyrics are dubbed the ““Perfect Love Song,” so much so that Jimmy finds himself going on tour with famous country music stars, catapulted into a world where the trappings of fame and fortune reign supreme. All too soon, the hope that had once inspired Jimmy to write such beautiful, genuine lyrics is overshadowed by what the song can do for him and his career. In his thirst for recognition, he agrees to miss Jack’s wedding in Ireland to sing at a Christmas Eve concert. And his ties to Charlotte seem to be ever so quickly slipping away. Alone in New York City on Christmas Eve, Jimmy finally sees —with the help of a Christmas miracle or two —that his material gains are nothing compared to love, that he is losing all that really matters in his life. Is it too late to find his way to Ireland, to his brother, and to love?

Descriptive Words: A sweet and magical tale of love and forgiveness.

Thoughts: Grab a cup of tea and curl up with this love story.  If you read the author’s novel When Light Breaks you’ll be pleased to know that characters from that book are in The Perfect Love Song. Brothers Jimmy and Jack Sullivan are musicians on the rise to fame.  They also happen to love Charlotte and Kara who are best friends.  One Christmas Jimmy’s gift to Charlotte is a song that he wrote.  That song eventually attracts attention from a concert producer which changes things for the brothers, their band, and most importantly, Jimmy and Charlotte.

This is a light tale of love and forgiveness and the chance that is taken by being open to both.  I enjoyed the magical, almost mythical, tone of the novel. I wasn’t sure who the narrator was until the end but it made sense and made me smile.  I wish the main characters had been a bit more developed.  I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t read When Light Breaks, the fact that it’s a short book (224 pages), or if it’s just me,  but I didn’t connect with them.  That said, if you’re looking for a bit of an escape during the busy holidays, this could be the book for you.

Source: Library

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Why I Chose: I’ve enjoyed other books by the author;  it’s on the Okra Picks challenge list.

Recommend? Maybe, to fans of Patti Callahan Henry and a sweet love story.


A Cedar Key Christmas by Terri DuLong

Title: A Cedar Key Christmas (from Holiday Magic)

Author: Terri DuLong

Genre: Fiction

About: (Goodreads synopsis) Single mom Josie Sullivan is proud of her young daughter, Orli, for helping local fisherman Mr. Al restore his crumbling home. And when Mr. Al’s nephew, Ben, pays a visit, Josie realizes just how much Christmas magic one good deed can bring.

Descriptive Words: Feel good Christmas season story

Thoughts: When one of Cedar Key’s senior citizens faces losing his home and being placed in a nursing home he finds out he has more friends than he realized.  Led by one eleven year old girl (Orli) and her mother, Josie, the good people of the small Florida island community pull together to help Mr. Al.  They need to convince his nephew Ben that Mr. Al is capable of living on his own. First, Josie needs to lose the chip on her shoulder that keeps getting in the way of her relationships – including the one with Ben.

Terri DuLong’s sweet Christmas season novella introduces characters and brings back old friends from previous Cedar Key novels.  I enjoyed them all and hope to read more about Josie and Ben in a future Cedar Key novel.

Source: Kensington Books, Terri DuLong

Recommend? Yes, to fans of the series as well as Christmas/holiday fiction.  It’s part of Holiday Magic which also contains novellas by Fern Michaels, Cathy Lamb and Mary Carter.  I plan to read the rest of the collection in December.


Safe From The Sea by Peter Geye

Title: Safe From The Sea

Author: Peter Geye

Genre: Fiction

About: (from the book blurb) Set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota, Safe from the Sea is a heartfelt novel in which a son returns home to reconnect with his estranged and dying father thirty-five years after the tragic wreck of a Great Lakes ore boat that the father only partially survived and that has divided them emotionally ever since. When his father for the first time finally tells the story of the horrific disaster he has carried with him so long, it leads the two men to reconsider each other. Meanwhile, Noah’s own struggle to make a life with an absent father has found its real reward in his relationship with his sagacious wife, Natalie, whose complications with infertility issues have marked her husband’s life in ways he only fully realizes as the reconciliation with his father takes shape.

Thoughts: Peter Geye’s debut novel is one of the best I’ve read in a long time.   Conflict between father and son is nothing new but the reason behind Geye’s characters’ estrangement is heartbreaking and tragic.  Noah’s understanding of his father is rooted in his childhood version.  He believes that what he knows of his father from growing up with and without him is the truth.  And on the surface it is. But there’s another side to the story – his father’s side.  Noah and his father give each other a last gift of truth and understanding –  the story of before and after the disaster on Lake Superior.  In doing so they are both free to move forward.

Geye’s wonderful description of the Lake Superior shore, the ore boat Ragnarøk, and the family cabin pulled me into the novel.  He tells a riveting story of not only an epic storm but also of people whose lives were forever changed.

Source:  LTER – I also bought a copy at the author’s signing/reading event at my local indie bookshop.

Recommend? Yes.  This is one that I expect to reread and will stay in my personal library.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Author of Safe From The Sea

Peter Geye