Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Review copy courtesy of Berkley and NetGalley

Description:

On the banks of the North Santee River stands a moss-draped oak that was once entrusted with the dreams of three young girls. Into the tree’s trunk, they placed their greatest hopes, written on ribbons, for safekeeping–including the most important one: Friends forever, come what may.

But life can waylay the best of intentions….

Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place she both loves and dreads–and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home.

Ivy, Larkin’s mother, is discovered badly injured and unconscious in the burned-out wreckage of her ancestral plantation home. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly fifty years–whispers of love, sacrifice, and betrayal–that lead back to three girls on the brink of womanhood who found their friendship tested in the most heartbreaking ways. (publisher)

My take:  Dreams of Falling is told via dual timelines moving from the 1950s to 2010. Karen White’s story is one of friendship and love that changed the lives of all involved – including future generations. The novel has a sultry setting replete with the humid, salty air of coastal Carolina, a town where everyone “knew you when…”, and secrets. Lots of secrets. It’s a time of transition for the three friends who are ready to burst forth on the world having just graduated from high school. They (and the future generations) will discover how strong they can be. They’ll find that in order to survive their mistakes they’ll “have to learn to live with their choices”. Falling isn’t necessarily bad if there’s someone there to catch you. And that someone might not be who you’d expect. I enjoyed this novel but there were times when I was confused about the generational relationships. That took me out of the story at times – but I’m not sure it would for other readers. So I’ll recommend it – especially to fans of southern fiction and Karen White.


 

US Giveaway: The Night The Lights Went Out by Karen White

THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT

Berkley Trade Paperback | March 27, 2018 | ISBN: 9780451488404| $16.00

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About the book:  (provided by the publisher)

In THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, recently divorced Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over. But her new beginning isn’t helped by an anonymous local blog that reveals for the whole town the scandalous affair that caused her marriage to fail. And Merilee’s new landlord, the proud, irascible, Atlanta born-and-bred 93-year-old Sugar Prescott, certainly isn’t helping.

 

But off Sugar’s property, Merilee finds herself swallowed into Sweet Apple’s most elite ranks—its inner circle of wealthy school moms—thanks to her blossoming friendship with the belle of the town, Heather Blackford. But behind the tennis whites, shiny SUVs, and immaculate women, lurk generations of secrets and resentments. And Merilee quickly learns that, in a town where appearance is everything, sins and secrets can be found in equal measure in the dark woods on Sugar’s property, and within the gated mansions of her newfound friends . . .

 

THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT is what would happen if ABC’s Revenge followed the machinations of Southern PTA moms instead of Hamptons elite.  For readers of Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe, and Pat Conroy, this novel delivers everything her readers love and more.


About the author:

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.

photo credit: Marchet Butler

 


Praise for Karen White:

“PLUMBS THE DEPTH OF HUMANITY, OF LIFE AND DEATH AND TRAGEDY AND PERSERVERANCE” The Herald Sun“GOTHIC GOLD” The Atlantan “ULTIMATE VOICE IN WOMEN’S FICTION” Fresh Fiction “EMOTIONALLY SATISFYING” Kirkus Reviews • “HER ICONIC MELLIFLUENT, INNOVATIVE NARRATIVE IS HAUNGTINGLY BEAUTIFUL” RT Book Reviews • “CHARACTERS WITH DEPTH” The Fayetteville Observer “ENGROSSING” Parkersburg News and Sentinel (WV) •

“VIVID” Library Journal “SENSITIVE, PRECISE, AND POWERFUL” RT Book Reviews


US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED


The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White – plus a US Giveaway of Flight Patterns

  • Title:  The Night the Lights Went Out
  • Author:  Karen White
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  416
  • Published:  April 2017 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.
 
Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.
 
Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.
 
In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women….  (publisher)

My take:  The Night the Lights Went Out is the story of two women: Merilee, a divorced mother of two young children, and Sugar, the ninety-three year old woman who rents a cottage on her land to Merilee.

Merilee is recently divorced and has moved to a different area of town so her children are enrolled in a new school – where she is quickly taken under the wing of the queen bee mom. Her new friend will do anything for her in the name of friendship – something Merilee isn’t used to but is grateful. Her life has been in a complete state of upheaval so she’s glad to have a friend.

Sugar comes off as aloof and cranky to most people but Merilee can see through that facade and doesn’t back down when Sugar gives her attitude. The two women form a friendship in spite of themselves. I enjoyed their relationship as it evolved as they discovered how much they had in common. And when things got tough they found they could rely on each other.

The Night the Lights Went Out is a story about love, revenge, and friendship. It’s about realizing who your real friends are and what that means. It made me think about my closest friends and how we would step up for each other – no questions asked. And everyone should be so fortunate to have a Sugar in their life.

Recommended to fans of Karen White and contemporary fiction.


Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.


Note:  Flight Patterns, Karen White’s 2016 novel is now available in paperback (with a new cover). I linked the title to my review. FLIGHT PATTERNS tells the story of Georgia Chambers, a fine china expert who left her family years before and is forced to return home and repair the relationships she’s carefully avoided. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep.

The publisher has made available one copy of FLIGHT PATTERNS to a US reader.

US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Giveaway ends on May 3rd, 2017

Blog Tour – Flight Patterns by Karen White

  • Flight Patterns (6:30 blog tour)Title:  Flight Patterns
  • Author:  Karen White
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  416
  • Published:  May 2016 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit…

It’s been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood, but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled. 

Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep… (publisher)

My take:  Flight Patterns is a novel about a family with secrets, long-held hurts, and an unsolved mystery or two. Two sisters, Georgia and Maisy, have been estranged for over ten years but are brought back together when Georgia is sent by her New Orleans auction gallery to research a china pattern for a man from New York.

I enjoyed all aspects of the Limoges research Georgia did and how it worked into finding her way back home. I also loved the storyline about the beekeeping her grandfather did. Each chapter begins with a short passage from his beekeeping journals and corresponded with what transpired in that chapter.

The setting of Apalachicola, Florida with its humidity and flora and fauna added a lot to the novel. Flight Patterns is full of interesting characters – some quirkier than others, some stranger than others, and some who know just when to impart their quiet wisdom.

Quotes I marked while reading:

“Sometimes all we need to do to forgive our parents is to understand their childhoods.” 

“If you want things to change, you have to stop waiting for someone else to make the first move.”

Flight Patterns is a novel about learning to forgive and how that will impact a person’s life. I really liked it.

Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis (audiobook)

  • sweet little lies - audio (6:28)Title:  Sweet Little Lies
  • Series:  Heartbreaker Bay #1
  • Author:  Jill Shalvis
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Narrator:  Karen White
  • Time:  9 hrs. 35 mins.
  • Published:  June 2016 – Harper Audio
  • Source:  Publisher

Publisher’s description: Choose the one guy you can’t have….

As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas – the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody but Her. 

Fall for him – hard…

Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hardworking hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast. 

And then tell him the truth.

Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story – because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything….

My take:   Sweet Little Lies is book one in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis. It is set in San Francisco, more specifically an apartment building (a renovated warehouse) with a ground floor pub and a courtyard fountain that just might grant wishes. We’re introduced to several characters who live in the building or frequent the pub so it’s easy to imagine possible future books in the series. This book is about Pru, a tour boat captain, and Finn, owner of the pub.

Pru and Finn strike up an instant friendship that escalates quickly. The reader discovers that Pru has a secret – a big one – and the longer she waits, the harder it will be to tell Finn.

Finn gave up a lot several years ago when he was left to raise his little brother. Now the two of them own the pub but it seems Finn does most of the work. Pru is a welcome distraction for Finn.

I enjoyed the story even though the “big secret” trope is not a favorite. Jill Shalvis used humor and her usual fun dialogue along with a dose of drama to form a good start to her new series. It’s a sweet, sexy (you might want to use ear buds for some scenes) and funny novel. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Karen White did a fine job with the narration. I liked how she voiced each character and I had no trouble determining who was speaking. One particular scene involving a character who experienced possible food-poisoning had me laughing – all thanks to White’s delivery and Shalvis’s words, of course.

Recommended to fans of Jill Shalvis, contemporary romance and Karen White.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Forgotten Room

the forgotten room

About THE FORGOTTEN ROOM:

Set in New York City in alternating time periods, THE FORGOTTEN ROOM is a compelling web of secrets waiting to be untangled. This beautifully wrought story is told from the perspectives of three generations of women—Olive Van Alan (1892), Lucy Young (1920), and Dr. Kate Schuyler (1944)—connected to one extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion on Manhattan’s 69th Street.

As the stunning connections between the women unfold, readers will race through the pages to discover the threads that tie them together.  Why does the woman in Captain Ravenel’s portrait miniature from the 1890s look so much like Kate?  And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother?  In her search for answers, Kate finds herself drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alan, driven from riches to rags, working as a servant in the very house her father designed; and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she never knew.


About the Authors:

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between, among other novels.

Beatriz Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and Overseas.

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lure of the MoonflowerThat Summer, and The Other Daughter, among other novels.

All 3 authors photo


US Giveaway

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Please click here and fill out the form

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#FitReaders Weekly Check-in and a review: Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

FitReaders2015

#FitReaders is hosted by  Geeky Bloggers Book Blog  and That’s What I’m Talking About.

IMG_4608

This view is on my neighborhood walk – it was quite foggy a couple of days last week

FitBit Steps:

  • Fri      3656
  • Sat    11843
  • Sun   10967
  • Mon  13027
  • Tue     5674  – I took it easy and celebrated my birthday 🙂
  • Wed  13400
  • Thu   13704

Read on the treadmill:

if you only knew (8:25)


 

  • second chance summer (audio)Title:  Second Chance Summer
  • Series:  Cedar Ridge #1
  • Author:  Jill Shalvis
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Narrator:  Karen White
  • Published:  June 2015 –  Hachette Audio
  • Source:  Publisher

Description: Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . . (publisher)

My take:  In her new series Jill Shalvis introduces the Kincaid family of siblings. Second Chance Summer focuses on Aidan and his chance at reconnecting with Lily Danville – a girl from his past.

Lily is back in town and working at a local hair salon while waiting for a better job opportunity (preferably out-of-town). She left Cedar Ridge with heartbreak several years ago and wants to keep a low profile for the short time she expects to be in town. Not possible in a small Colorado mountain town. She runs into the one guy she wanted to avoid – Aidan. He has his own issues not the least being that he feels completely responsible for his family (mother and siblings). And now he hopes for a second chance with Lily.

I’ve come to expect humor, drama and, of course, romance in a Jill Shalvis novel and they are present throughout Second Chance Summer culminating in an exciting last chapter and enjoyable epilogue.

As always, Karen White’s narration is perfect for this genre and especially books by Jill Shalvis.

The Sound of Glass by Karen White

  • the sound of glass (5:12 NAL)Title:  The Sound of Glass
  • Author:  Karen White
  • Genre:  Contemporary Southern Fiction
  • Published:  May 2015 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  It has been two years since the death of Merritt Heyward’s husband, Cal, when she receives unexpected news—Cal’s family home in Beaufort, South Carolina, bequeathed by Cal’s reclusive grandmother, now belongs to Merritt.

Charting the course of an uncertain life—and feeling guilt from her husband’s tragic death—Merritt travels from her home in Maine to Beaufort, where the secrets of Cal’s unspoken-of past reside among the pluff mud and jasmine of the ancestral Heyward home on the Bluff. This unknown legacy, now Merritt’s, will change and define her as she navigates her new life—a new life complicated by the arrival of her too young stepmother and ten-year-old half-brother.

Soon, in this house of strangers, Merritt is forced into unraveling the Heyward family past as she faces her own fears and finds the healing she needs in the salt air of the Low Country.  (publisher)

My take:  When Merritt inherits her late husband’s ancestral South Carolina home she leaves Maine and moves to Beaufort. It’s the perfect opportunity for the fresh start she seeks. What she finds is a home in need of repair, curious neighbors and family she didn’t know she had.

Merritt and the rest will discover their strengths as they learn some of life’s truths and solve a complicated (I thought unbelievable) mystery along the way. They will also come to appreciate the significance of sea glass. I love sea glass and could almost hear the sound as I read Karen White’s novel.

The Sound of Glass contains so much of what I enjoy in a novel: evocative writing, heartfelt characters, and a gorgeous, hot and humid setting on the water. And it left me wanting to read what happened next in the lives of the main characters. I continued to think about Merritt, Gibbes, Loralee and Owen long after I turned the last page. That’s my sign of a good book.

Recommended to fans of the author and Southern Fiction.

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:

my own miraculous (short story)  the goldfinch  the theory of opposites  the life I now live

Last week on Bookfan: (since I missed posting last Sunday I’m highlighting the past two weeks)

What I’m reading:

  • A Fool’s Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery
  • Redesigning Rose by Lydia Laceby

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Hi-Res_MoreThanWords_Logo-2

I hope you’ll take a minute to vote for Harlequin’s More Than Words program. Read about the nominees at this link  and then cast your vote at this link. You can vote each day through November 21st.

*   *   *

Only a few days left for US audiobook lovers to bid on exciting items in this

online auction benefitting ALS and Bob Deyan.

Auction flyer correct

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:

snowflakes & coffee cakes christmas bliss a lantern in the window

Last week on Bookfan:

What I’m reading:

The Firebird (audiobook) by Susanna Kearsley
Promise Me Texas by Jodi Thomas
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

*   *   *

A special shout-out to Lisa who shared a duplicate of Christmas Bliss. Thanks, Lisa!! I look forward to reading it before Christmas.

I also want to send kudos to the audiobook narrators who are the force behind the Audiobook Marathon LIVE event. I hope you’ll check out the online auction  (open to US bidders) and support this important cause.

Happy reading!

Save the Date: Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event

SAVE THE DATE…

The First Ever!
Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event
25 Hours, 12 Genres, 1 Amazing Causes!

The Victory Theater in Burbank, CA
Saturday, November 9, 2013


WHEN:

Starts Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Continues until Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM

WHAT:

The First Ever Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event

You’ve heard them through your speakers, earbuds, and headphones, now see them perform live!  25 Hours, 12 Genres, 1 Amazing Cause!

The event begins with a one hour Children’s Hour.

The remainder of the event will occur in 90-minute performance blocks.

http://www.audiobooksLIVE.org

WHERE:

The Victory Theatre

3326 W Victory Blvd

Burbank, CA 91505

 

TICKETS:

• General Admission: $15
• Children’s Hour: $10 (6:30pm-7:30pm)
NOTE: after initial hour all tickets apply to 90-minute performance blocks

 

Audible Inc. has donated one free download with the purchase of every ticket.  Attendance required to collect.

 

Tickets can be purchased at http://audiobooks.brownpapertickets.com

 

SCHEDULE:

Audiobook lovers and literature buffs can delight in the rare opportunity to see and hear LA’s top audiobook narrators and celebrity guests come together live to perform selections from time honored classics and contemporary best sellers of every genre.  The marathon will begin with a Children’s Hour followed by twelve 90-minute performance blocks.  In each block a different collection of five fan favorite narrators will read selections in a specific genre of literature.

 

  • Children’s Hour 6:30pm-7:30pm

  • Humor 8:00pm-9:30pm

  • Thriller/Mystery 10:00-11:30pm

  • Science Fiction Midnight-1:30am

  • Erotica 2:00am-3:30am

  • The Undead 4:00am-5:30am

  • Inspiration/Health 6:00am-7:30 am

  • Juvenile Fiction (Ages 6-10) 8:00am-9:30 am

  • Biography/Memoir 10:00am-11:30am

  • Romance Noon-1:30 pm

  • Classics 2:00pm-3:30pm

  • Multi-Cast 4:00pm-5:30pm

  • Humor 6:00pm-7:30pm

Beer, wine, coffee and other refreshments will be available for sale in the Lobby.

FUN & GAMES:

As the late night hours approach, throughout each 90-minute block the narrators and audience will be issued fun challenges to enhance, complicate, or render completely incoherent some of our most treasured stories.  Might we get a priceless opportunity to hear Scott Brick read Fifty Shades of Grey in a Scottish accent with a mouthful of marshmallows?  Anything is possible!

PRIZES:

Alongside the performances there will be raffles with prizes that are sure to excite audiobook and literature fans alike. There will also be an online auction of rare items and once in a lifetime experiences.

Online auction prizes include:

  • Lunch with Henry Winkler
  • A tour of Random House Studios during working hours

  • The Complete Works of Ernest Hemingway from Simon & Schuster Audio, a $400 value

  • Personalized voicemail message recorded by famed narrator Scott Brick

  • Visit George Guidall in a NYC studio and see the master at work

  • Countless bestselling audiobooks from top publishers Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Random House, Scholastic, Blackstone, Recorded Books and more

  • Hunger Games set (Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay)

  • Maggie Stiefvater sets:  Shiver series (Shiver, Linger, and Forever), The Scorpio Races (single title), Raven Cycle series (two titles have been published to date, The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves) all in library packaging with cover inserts signed by Maggie Stiefvater.

  • DVD’s: Scholastic Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics — This is a box set of 100 Weston Woods films on 16 DVD’s

  • Demo recording: For any NY-based voiceover talent willing to come to Weston Woods’ studio in Danbury, CT, three hours of studio time to record and edit an audiobook narration demo

  • Gift cards to Audible.com, High Bridge Audio, eChristian Audiobooks, and many more

  • One-on-one narration classes with a number of established working instructors including Carol Monda, Johnny Heller, Robin Miles, Pat Fraley, and Marc Cashman

  • 90-minute in-house massage

  • Voice Over Talent Listing in Audiofile Magazine, a MUST for new narrators

  • A ticket to the 2014 Audie Awards Ceremony in New York City

  • A one year APA (Audio Publishers Association) membership

New prizes added every week leading up to the show!

To bid on one of these amazing prizes and many more visit:

http://www.32auctions.com/audiobooks

 

Who:

A small sampling of industry-top narrators who will be involved.

  • Simon Vance
  • Scott Brick
  • John Lee
  • Julia Whelan
  • Kirby Heyborne

(and many more)

 

PROCEEDS:

Proceeds from the auction will go to the ALS Association.  Ticket sales will go toward medical expenses and a new wheelchair for beloved audiobook producer Bob Deyan, who has been suffering with ALS disease for several months.

http://www.alsbob.com

www.alsa.org

 

WHY:

The 25 Hour Audiobook Marathon Live was inspired by audiobook producer Bob Deyan’s current fight with ALS.  Bob and his wife, Debra, manage Deyan Audio, a recording and production studio that has produced multiple Grammy and Audie Award winning audiobooks and brought work to hundreds of narrators and audio engineers.

While enjoying the grand opening gala of their new studios in Northridge, CA Bob’s leg began tingling.  That was the beginning.  Bob has been battling ALS for several months now.  He has since lost the ability to walk and can now only speak on occasion.  Friends, family, and professionals in the audiobook industry were stunned and saddened by Bob’s diagnosis.  But ever since discovering he is ill, Bob has made it his mission to battle this disease, which includes raising awareness as well as money for ALS-related charities.  Many in the industry have rallied behind him, uniting an often solitary community of professionals.  His health, however, has been fluctuating and with the escalating cost of hospital visits and home care the audiobook community wants to pick up the torch by continuing to raise money and awareness for research, and help Bob and Debra with their mounting medical expenses.  All donations raised toward Bob’s care will be facilitated by the not-for-profit Help Hope Live.

http://www.helphopelive.org

ABOUT Deyan Audio:

Bob and Debra Deyan LOVE books and especially AUDIOBOOKS! So, when Bob and Debra got married they put their schooling and experience together and dove into the publishing world.  When they got started, audiobooks were recorded to 1/4″ tape. Things have come a long way since then!

Deyan Audio is a multimedia company, which was conceived in 1990 by Bob and Debra Deyan in Van Nuys, CA. Bob Deyan, from Los Angeles, has a B. A. in Radio/Television Broadcasting from the University of California Long Beach. Debra Deyan from Virginia Beach, holds a MBA from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Bob produces, directs, and QCs (Quality Control) audiobooks, as well as manages the company alongside his wife Debra. He has produced over 1,000 audio books. Bob has directed celebrity readers such as Richard Dreyfuss, Craig Ferguson, Raven Simoné, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alice Cooper, Dudley Moore, Juliet Mills, Ed Asner, Patrick MacNee and recorded Milton Berle, Whoopi Goldberg and Joe Mantegna and many more. Bob also works with celebrity authors and famous motivational speakers.

Besides more than 20 years in the audio book business, Bob has had experience as a Television Director, Videographer, Photographer, Voice Over/Radio Talent and Operations Manager for a Los Angeles based radio station. During his college days at UCA-LB, Bob was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to intern on the set of M.A.S. H. for several weeks based on a script he wrote for the show.

Debra manages the editing and engineering team and QCs. Debra is responsible for financials and daily operations. Before Debra started her 20 plus year career in audiobook creation, she used her MBA in the swimming pool supply business as a Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs for 7 years and prior to that she put herself through college as a saleswoman for 6 years in the wholesale fishing tackle industry.
http://deyanaudio.com/main.html

 

About ALS:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive degenerative disease that affects the nerves and spinal cord.  The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.  There is no cure or treatment to reverse the disease.

About The ALS Association:  

The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.  We are a member of the National Health Council and the only national organization solely dedicated to fighting ALS on all fronts while directly serving the ALS community.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

www.alsa.org

 

The Audiobook Marathon Planning Committee:

Mostly comprised of narrators, the committee behind the event includes Tara Sands, Cassandra Campbell,  Deanna Hurst-Levin, Steve Sidawi, MacLeod Andrews, Hillary Wilson, Kimberly Farr, Kathe Mazur, Coleen Marlo, Vikas Adam, Michael Goldstrom, Allyson Ryan, and Jessica Kaye.

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Falling Home by Karen White

Title: Falling Home

Author: Karen White

Genre: Fiction

About: Cassie Madison has been living in New York for fifteen years.  When her estranged sister calls with the news that their father is dying she packs up and goes home to Walton, Georgia.

Descriptive Words: Family relationships, love, acceptance, forgiveness.

Thoughts: I loved the small town Georgia setting of Falling Home.  Karen White’s minor characters (citizens of Walton) are warm and caring.  I could envision the places and the people.  The reason I mention all that is because a subplot of the novel is the wish of a few to modernize the town. Some feel if they don’t update with national chain stores, McMansions, etc. people will leave and the town will die. The local doctor, Sam Parker, is intent on seeing that doesn’t happen.  At least, not like the proposed plan.

Cassie, her sister Harriet, and Sam were classmates while growing up.  Turns out, Sam always had a crush on Cassie.  When she returns he makes his feelings for her known.  Cassie is resistant and constantly reminds people that she is engaged to a man in New York and doesn’t intend to stay after her father’s estate is settled. She’s still upset that her sister married the boy she loved when she was in high school and really doesn’t want to stick around to see them and their five children living happily ever after.  But things don’t go as Cassie planned.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel even though through much of it I was annoyed by Cassie.  At times she seemed to be perfectly happy wallowing in her self-pity which I found tedious. But, that aside, I really liked Falling Home. The strong characters, setting, and plot come together for a satisfying novel. I’ve heard there’s a sequel in the works and I can’t wait to read it!  I think Karen White is a terrific storyteller and I’ve added the rest of her novels to my reading list.

Source: From Joy Strazza of Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting.

Why I Chose: I’ve always meant to read one of Karen White’s novels so when an arc of her updated Falling Home arrived at my house I added it to my reading list. This book was originally published in 2002.

Recommend? Yes, I liked the family drama and the southern setting.

Rating: 4/ 5 stars