The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

I hope everyone’s summer is going well. I’m deep into edits on my fantasy series and a new romance story. Plus we decided to renovate. Just one room, but boy, does that list grow when you start a simple thing like painting the ceiling. But I did managed to find some time to pick up a book or two, and I thought I’d share one of my recent reads with you.the-great-alone-kristin-hannah

Kristin Hannah did it to me again. I always know I’m going to be up late and crying my eyes out when I pick up one of her books. The Great Alone didn’t stray from that pattern. Leni is a formidable kid tossed into a swirling vortex of survival from all different angles. Ms. Hannah shows us the gritty side of life on the Alaskan frontier, giving us an in depth look at life at it’s very basic: the need for food, heat, shelter.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t ready to stare the horror of PTSD in the face. Ernt is not a man I could like. But the resilience of the women kept me reading. Especially Leni, who at thirteen, is tossed into the wild, so to speak. She learns the hard way that the only person she can count on is herself. Well, maybe there’s one other person. 🙂

I cried for about the last 150 pages of this story. It was a cathartic cry, and I was so glad I kept reading all the way to the end. As with every single Kristin Hannah story I’ve read, it was worth it. So yes, this story is a highly recommend from me. It’s not an easy read, but it’s a fulfilling one.

Here’s what the story is all about:

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

Click here for Kristin’s website.

 

 

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Mt. Rushmore – Bucket List Item – CHECK!

Check out where my newest story is set…thought I’d share my blog from Over The Backyard Fence.

Over The Backyard Fence

I had the awesome privilege of visiting Mt. Rushmore in May. I have wanted to take a road trip for the longest time, and this stop was top of my list.

Late last year, I started writing a young adult fantasy series and I set it around Mt. Rushmore. My husband swears I used that setting to get him to go there with me. Personally, I thought it was a great place to set a post-apocalyptic fantasy. It had nothing to do with how much I wanted to visit and now had a reason to. Really. Well, sort of.

Hubby, who doesn’t like road trips, gave me the greatest gift this year. Nine days on the road. Different sights every day. We combined a couple things. First, he spent 3 years in the Air Force stationed in Glasgow (Northwest Montana). So we went there first and I finally got to…

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Indie Author Fringe

For any authors or writers who don’t know about Author Fringe, my friend Lavada Dee posted about it. I’ll be listening in tomorrow. Have gotten some great tips and information from past Fringes. Thanks, Lavada, for reminding me. 🙂

I know those of you who follow this blog are both writers and readers and I try to do posts that speak to both. However this one is for authors or those who might be entertaining the idea of writing.

ALLi-LogoIndie Author Fringe is an online workshop put on by the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLI). They are putting on the next event this coming Saturday, June 3. It starts at 10:00am Eastern time. But the good thing about Fringe is that you can view the workshop sessions anytime. And you can pick which ones you want to do. I usually try to do one session a day sometimes skipping a day.

There is a wealth of information in the Fringe sessions and on the ALLI website itself. I can’t say enough about the value to Indie authors this group provides.

I will look forward to hearing from anyone…

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Family Memories

When Mom had to move out of her house, we siblings worked hard to make it a positive experience. We also got lucky, and it was. You can read more about it on the other blog I participate in at Over The Backyard Fence.

Over The Backyard Fence

Happy day after Mother’s Day! I hope all the mother’s who read this had a day full of smiles and pampering.

Most of you know that my mother moved in with us in January. It didn’t take long for us to realize it was time for her to not live on her own anymore. So, with her blessing around the first of February, we began sorting through items in her house. We were lucky because our niece wanted to move in, which meant we didn’t have to talk about selling it. Everyone in the family knows how hard that would have been for Mom.

So the process of sorting through and clearing out 40 years of accumulation began. It quickly became a reason to gather. Mom loved being in the center of things as work progressed, loved the camaraderie as we found beloved items from our childhood. This may seem…

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Bahama Christmas

Need a heart and cold-weather warming quick read? Check out this story by Lavada Dee!

After being pretty quiet on the news front, Bahama Christmas is giving me something to blog about. Jillian Chantal is featuring Bahama Christmas over on her blog today. It’s an interview and I love Jillian’s questions. They make me want to pull out my luggage and book a cruise.   So for a bit of cruise ambiance pop over it’s at http://jillianchantal.com/2014/11/20/lavada-dee-and-bahamas-christmas/

And, Bahama Christmas is also featured on Snowglobes Festive & Fun mini contest. This contest runs from today through Nov. 26th. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with the Title and Name of the author of the cover your voting for and your email address. Snowglobe is at http://snowglobeawardcontest.vpweb.ca/mini-contests wishing you all luck.

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Squeeing about a new series by Kate Davies

Hi, everyone! I hope your Winter was survivable and your Spring is shaping up to be sunny and fun. I thought I’d kick the season off by giving you a fun, sexy, new series to check out from my friend, Kate Davies. Imagine returning to your high school after ten years. What will your classmates be like now? Successful or not? What are you like? And what would you do if you had one more chance at happiness?

DaviesI’m excited for this series to be kicking off with Kate Davies’ newest story, Most Likely To Succeed, which releases TODAY!

Here’s the specs:

The blurb:

Book one in the Girls Most Likely to…

Ten years after being voted Most Likely to Succeed, Kelsey Moore is still living in her hometown, still working in her family’s flower shop, and too embarrassed to attend her high school reunion. Only the chance to reconnect with her study buddy–and secret crush–Nathan Barrow tempts her to go.

Nathan isn’t sure why he came back for the reunion after spending the past decade working abroad. But when he runs into his former lab partner, Kelsey, he’s sure glad he did. The chemistry between them is as potent as ever, and when she offers him a weekend of wild, no-strings-attached sex, Nathan knows he’d be a fool to say no.

Nathan can’t be tied to one place for long. But the more time they spend together–in and out of bed–the more Kelsey wonders if their reunion could become something more permanent. That is, if Nathan is still interested when he finds out she’s been less than honest with him about her life since graduation…

21,000 words

Available at Carina Press,
Barnes and Noble and Amazon

And coming in April:

Davies1