Review: What the Heart Remembers by Bette Lee Crosby

Happy Friday!  Today I am bringing to you the third installment of Bette Lee Crosby’s Memory House series.  In this story we follow, Max to Paris to find the love she’s never been able to let go.  What she finds will change her life forever.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.  Have a great weekend!

27068381Book Blurb:

CAN YOU TRULY TRUST THE MEMORIES OF YOUR HEART?

Max Martinelli spent her junior year of college in Paris, and fell in love. Julien was a wickedly handsome young man who was crazy in love with her, or so she thought. He was a free-spirited artist and she an aspiring architect—impressionable, young, and standing on the brink of womanhood.

That was over three years ago but the memory of him still haunts her. Max’s life is stuck on hold because she can’t stop wondering what would have happened if she had gone back. Was Julien simply part of the magic of Paris? Or was he meant to be her destiny?

After a New Year’s Eve party that ends in disaster and bad dreams, Max decides to find out once and for all. She is going to return to Paris and search for Julien. But will her search bring forever after happiness or a truth so ugly it will change her life forever?

Review:

Max’s memory of Julien has haunted her for the past three years.  She’s unable to move forward while questions about Julien circle her mind.  Max decides to go back to Paris to see if she can find Julien.  What she finds will both break and heal her heart.  What happens when reality and memory clash in the present?  Will Max survive and move on or will she drown in her memories?

I really enjoyed this book.  This is a series that has really sucked me in.  Max is a fantastic character.  She is incredibly relatable.  The memories that plague her are ones that most people have had.  The what if or why when looking back on memories can haunt any person.  This story has so many good points that to tell them all would spoil the story.  That being said this story had me believing in love and the benefit of closure.  Bette Lee Crosby truly has become a master at telling love stories that will have the characters and their stories burrowing deep in your heart.  I can’t wait for her next book.

Review: Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby

Happy Sunday!  I hope all of you have had a great weekend.  Today I am bringing to you another great by Bette Lee Crosby.  Memory House is a unique story that takes you to a place where memories attach themselves to objects and there are those out there that can find them.  This was a truly great book that incorporated a lot of elements from her previous books.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

25064835Book Blurb:

Is it possible for a memory to outlive its owner?

Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.

Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.

When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.

Review:

Annie is still heart-broken from her recent break-up.  She just wanders through her nights and weekends alone.  That is until she discovers Memory House and the old woman who runs the bed and breakfast, Ophelia Browne.  As soon as Ophelia sees Annie she knows that she is the one.  Annie is drawn toward the house and the mysterious woman who runs it.  Soon, Annie learns Ophelia’s secret and that she has the same ability.  This consumes Annie and allows her to move forward in her life.  Annie soon learns that even with her ability comes danger that Ophelia never knew about.  Will Annie be able to move forward or will her past come back to haunt her?

This was a really unique book.  The story and its characters captivate the mind and the senses.  You truly begin to believe that what Ophelia and Annie can do is possible.  I think this story illustrates both hope and sadness.  Annie’s character develops so well over time through her ability, but Ophelia you see has been held back by it.  The two takes on the same ability and the moral conundrum that it places them in is well written and woven into this fantastic story.  I have enjoyed all of the novels I have read by Bette Lee Crosby and this was no exception.  I can’t wait until I can read another of her fantastic stories.

Review: Blueberry Hill by Bette Lee Crosby

Today I am reviewing a brilliantly written story that will leave you broken-hearted.  Bette Lee Crosby gives us a story that illustrates the turbulent life of a middle sister and how that life ended in a way that left a hole is everyone she touched.  This is definitely a story that will stay with you for a few days after reading.  For my full review keep reading after the book blurb.

22606804Book Blurb:

Based on the realities of her own family, Crosby calls this a memoir of sorts. Traveling back to a time when the sisters were young enough to feel invincible and foolish enough to believe it would last forever, Crosby has bared her soul in a story of regrettable decisions and inevitable outcomes.

Blueberry Hill is a tale of family relationships, love and tragedy. It is a story that will touch your heart and stay with you long after you have closed the book.

Review:

Donna is Bette’s younger rebellious sister.  She is the sister that isn’t afraid to do or say anything.  With this confidence came an inner freedom that Bette envied but as time went by saw how destructive that freedom can be.  Donna’s wild ways go from running away to marrying a man whom she loved but he was incapable of loving her back the way she deserved to finding out the hard way what cigarettes and alcohol can really do to a body.  As strong as Donna was she couldn’t fight her addiction even with her zest for life.  In the end Donna’s strong life withered away to a sad fate that if she had only chosen one different path would have allowed her to continue on with her exuberant life instead of leaving an emptiness with all those she touched.

This is an almost devastating story.  As Donna’s life is painted in front of you your able to see the wonder that she was.  Clearly she left a mark on all those she was around.  But, with many who have similar personalities comes addiction.  With Donna her addiction was cigarettes and alcohol.  It is eventually what extinguished a bright life.  It is a sad yet funny at times novel that shows how powerful love is and how devastating losing that love can be.  Overall, this is a short novel but one that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Promo: Cupid’s Christmas by Bette Lee Crosby

Today I am hosting a promo today for Cupid’s Christmas by Bette Lee Crosby.  This is cute Christmas story that will let you bring in the season just as you’d like…with a heart full of love.

Book Blurb:

Romance, Women’s Fiction
Title:  Cupid’s Christmas
Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Date to be published – early October 2012
In a fun Christmas Romance, Cupid is charged with making certain an older couple gets the love they’ve been waiting for and a young woman who’s far too attracted to handsome men with sexy eyes finds her perfect match. And, he has to make it happen by Christmas.
In a spot somewhere between Heaven and Earth, Cupid tries to maneuver around the complications that threaten to wreck this romance as he struggles to overcome the forces of lust, jealousy and the events brought on by his nemeses—Life Management. He matched John and Eleanor some thirty years ago, but Life Management stepped in and fouled things up. Now they’re both single and back together again. But before Cupid can give them the happiness they deserve, he’s got to come up with some magic, a few miracles and a dog for John’s daughter.
If you’re a Debbie Macomber fan, you’re gonna love Cupid’s Christmas!
Excerpt:
Cupid

The problem with humans is they’re in love with love. Even worse, they’re determined to find it themselves. They stumble in and out of relationships that simply were never meant to be and then wonder why it didn’t work. Females are infinitely more complicated than males. Lindsay Gray for example, she’s dead-set on doing this her way and four times she’s ended up with the wrong male. She’s the kind of female who makes my job a nightmare.

Contrary to popular belief, love isn’t a result of me shooting an arrow into some human’s heart—that whole bit is a lot of hooey. I get my orders from Upstairs. The Boss gives me a rundown of matches then it’s my job to make sure the male and female get together. When things go wrong I’ve got to come up with a Plan B. Unfortunately Lindsay Gray has already used up B through E, I’m now working on Plan F and she’s dangerously close to being reclassified as Love-Challenged.

Her problem is she can’t tell love from lust. She sees a pair of heavy-lidded dark eyes, or a rippling muscle and thinks she’s in love. This started when she was only ten years old and caught sight of the boy who lived two doors down. The lad was twelve and wanted nothing to do with her, but that didn’t stop Lindsay from developing a preadolescent case of lovesickness. She followed that poor boy around like a faithful puppy until she saw him kissing Sara McLachlan. Once that happened she swore she’d never love again and she didn’t, until she was eleven.

Lindsay’s mistaken love more times than I can count, and every time it ended in a disaster. She can’t understand why this keeps happening to her, but the answer is obvious—humans with do-it-yourself determination are not equipped to identify true love. They inevitably mistake passion for love. Elizabeth Taylor is a perfect example. She refused to let me handle things, so eight times she got married and seven times she got divorced. One poor chap was killed in a plane crash before she had a chance to divorce him—that was not my doing, that unfortunate  event came from Life Management. Not one of those gents was included in Elizabeth’s plan which goes to prove what I’ve been saying.

But I’m digressing, so let me get back to the subject at hand.

One of the advantages of this job is my ability to see the future and I can tell you Lindsay’s got a lot of problems ahead of her. Problems far worse than her bad boyfriend choices. Most of those problems are coming from the guy over in Life Management. Me, I’m a lovable fellow. But Life Management—well suffice it to say he handles things like car crashes, bankruptcies and heart attacks.

Right now my primary assignment isn’t Lindsay—it’s her father and Eleanor Barrow. But if I don’t step in and take control of Lindsay’s life, she’ll ruin theirs. Eleanor and John deserve better, they’ve been waiting a long time.

This isn’t the first time for Eleanor and John Gray, they were a perfect match back in high school. If Eleanor had gone to Penn State instead of Kentucky, she and John would have had four daughters and a lifetime of happiness. I set up that first match, but once she left the North East, she was out of my region. Raymond, the fellow she married was from Seattle—North West region—and they met at the University of Kentucky—Central region. You probably know where this is going, right? She was out of my region, Raymond was out of his and my counterpart in Kentucky was busy fending off the nineteen girls who thought they were in love with the same basketball player, so Eleanor and Raymond got married and became what we call an MM. (Migratory Mistake)

Despite the fact that I’d let her down, Eleanor made the best of it. If you were standing on the outside looking in, you’d actually think she was happy. Of course I knew the truth because I go to the inside of a person’s heart—I have to, it’s my job. Eleanor was a good wife and a good mother—a bit overindulgent with Ray Junior maybe, but still a good mother. Papa Raymond was another story. It was bad enough that he had an eye for the ladies, but he also had a great fondness for beer and the business sense of a turnip. An insurance salesman who sold life insurance to everybody but himself, how crazy is that?

When Life Management stepped in and did their dirty work, Raymond got an illness nobody wants and it was two years before they finally gave the okay for him to die. Eleanor took care of him that whole time and once he was gone, she worked two jobs so Ray Junior could go on to college.

Eleanor’s a woman with a big heart, lots of grit and steadfast determination, which is fortunate because when it comes to dealing with Lindsay Gray, she’s gonna need all of it. If Eleanor’s got a flaw it’s that she’s blind to the faults of those she loves, which is why Ray Junior is such a problem.

Author Bio

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby brings the wit and wisdom of her Southern Mama to works of fiction—the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away.

Born in Detroit and raised in a plethora of states scattered across the South and Northeast, Crosby originally studied art and began her career as a packaging designer. When asked to write a few lines of copy for the back of a pantyhose package, she discovered a love for words that was irrepressible. After years of writing for business, she turned to works of fiction and never looked back. “Storytelling is in my blood,” Crosby laughingly admits, “My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write.”

Crosby’s work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since that, she has gone on to win several more awards, including another NLAPW award, three Royal Palm Literary Awards, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and most recently the 2011 Reviewer’s Choice Award and Reader’s View Southeast Fiction Literary Award.

Her published works to date are: Cracks in the Sidewalk (2009), Spare Change (2011), The Twelfth Child (2012), and Life in the Land of IS (2012).  Life in the Land of IS is a memoir written for Lani Deauville, a woman the Guinness Book of Records lists as the world’s longest living quadriplegic.

Crosby newest novel Cupid’s Christmas is scheduled for release in early October and following that, What Matters Most will be released in early 2013.

CONTACT

Twitter – @betteleecrosby

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