MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Mountain Midwife by Laurie Alice Eackes

Title: The Mountain Midwife, Author: Laurie Alice Eakes
ISBN: 9780310333449
Publisher's Synopsis:
For nearly two hundred years, women in Ashley Tolliver’s family have practiced the art of midwifery in their mountain community. Now she wants to take her skills a step further, but attending medical school means abandoning those women to whom she has dedicated her life, the mountains she loves, and the awakening of her heart.

Ashley Tolliver has tended to the women of her small Appalachian community for years. As their midwife, she thinks she has seen it all. Until a young woman gives birth at Ashley’s home and is abducted just as Ashley tries to take the dangerously bleeding mother to the nearest hospital. Now Ashley is on a mission to find the woman and her newborn baby . . . before it’s too late.

Hunter McDermott is on a quest—to track down his birth mother. After receiving more media attention than he could ever want for being in the right place at the right time, he receives a mysterious phone call from a woman claiming to be his mother. Hunter seeks out the aid of the local midwife in the mountain town where the phone call originated—surely she can shed some light on his own family background.

Ashley isn’t prepared for the way Hunter’s entrance into her world affects her heart and her future. He reignites dreams of having her own family that she has long put aside in favor of earning her medical degree and being able to do even more for her community. But is it commitment to her calling or fear of the unknown that keeps her feet firmly planted in the Appalachian soil? Or is it something more—fear of her growing feelings for Hunter—that makes her hesitant to explore the world beyond the mountains?

"The doorbell rang sometime after midnight...
But this was the double-toned chime of the doorbell in the darkness, and that meant trouble."
MrsK's Review:
Answering the door late at night was what Ashley does. Given that generations of midwives coursed through her DNA, Ashley cared for those in need. That's what being a midwife is all about, especially in her Appalachian community and the mountains. Caught between being the community midwife and wanting to be a doctor, Ashley will be driven into decisions that will matter to so many lives.

That night, when so much went wrong was a turning point in Ashley's life. To have the safety of your home, the place where women came to deliver their in children safely, victimized and shrouded in mystery was unnerving. Add in the mysterious Hunter McDemott and his quest in finding his birth mother and sister... life as Ashley knew it was about to change forever.

In the community of Brooksburg, Hunter will discover truths about the type of life his birth mother lived, about the depths of being a son, about the blessings of family, and about trusting a woman to the point of  surrender. For Ashley, love just might be knocking on her door at a time in her life when she was once again accepted into medical school.

"I was just...assaulted..."
It was like that night when the Davis' first showed up. This house was her practice, everyone knew how to find her. For now leaving to become a doctor looked better and better. That is until Hunter needed her guidance up and down the mountain. Locating a mysterious unidentified birth mother needed someone with insight, knowledge of the area, and a way beyond closed doors.

Smoothly written, the life of a midwife in the Appalachian mountains is difficult, fulfilling, maddenly-frustrating, life-threatening, and filled with moments of hope. Reading a story that isn't a normal pick often leads to a discovery beyond prior experiences, yet, linked to a familar journey within...
"I think you'd better call the sheriff. 
My patient and her baby have disappeared."

Worthy read for a lazy afternoon.
Meet the Author:
Laurie Alice EakesEakes has a charming way of making her novels come to life without being over the top,” writes Romantic times of bestselling, award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes. Since she lay in bed as a child telling herself stories, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a published author, with a degree in English and French from Asbury University and a master’s degree in writing fiction from Seton Hill University contributing to her career path. Now she has nearly two dozen books in print.

After enough moves in the past five years to make U-Haul’s stock rise, she now lives in Houston, Texas, where she and her husband are exploring their new neighborhood. Although they haven’t been blessed with children—yet--they have sundry lovable dogs and cats. If the carpet is relatively free of animal fur, then she is either frustrated with the current manuscript, or brainstorming another, the only two times she genuinely enjoys housework.
"I received this book for free from the Fiction Guild for this review."
Thomas Nelson

Brooklyn On Fire by Lawrence H. Levy

Title: Brooklyn on Fire (Mary Handley Series #2), Author: Lawrence H. Levy
ISBN: 9780553418941
Publisher's Synopsis:
Brooklyn’s most witty and daring detective risks everything to solve a dangerous triple-murder case
After closing a case with the Brooklyn Police Department, Mary Handley is determined to become an official detective in her own right. And when Emily Worsham shows up at her new office— convinced her uncle John Worsham was murdered and desperate for answers—Mary’s second assignment begins. 

As she investigates the curious circumstances surrounding John’s death, Mary soon finds herself entangled in a high-stakes family scandal, a series of interconnected murders, political corruption, untrustworthy sources, and an unexpected romance with a central member of New York's elite.

Featuring historic figures like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the Vanderbilt family, Brooklyn on Fire takes Mary on a wild journey from New York City to North Carolina to uncover not only the truth of one man's death, but to unravel the mystery in three murders – with links tied perilously close to her own personal world.

MrsK's Review:
Who is Mary Handley? Well she is as clever as Sherlock. She is quite adorable.  She is inquisitive and wise in discernment's concerning character. Which by the way is why she is a Consulting Detective for the Brooklyn Police Department.  As a salesclerk for Lazlo's Books, she is ready to begin her investigative services in her new office. Mr. Lazlo believes that many customers will enter the bookstore in need of Mary's service, so an agreement was made that she could locate her office in the back of his bookstore since there was a possibility of "elevating someone's intellectual pursuits" as they sought Mary's services and perused the inviting titles upon his shelves (which by the way I fully agree is an excellent business arrangement).

With such outstanding traits, Mary tends to "step" into the craziest... life-threatening situations. Mary's second mystery begins when Miss Emily Worsham requests assistance in proving the murder of her great-uncle John. Solving a murder case entails so many different twists and turns, yet solving a 20 year old murder will not be completely accepted by the Police Department, relatives, nor the "elite" society that may have benefited from the murder.

Even though it is 1890, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle has failed to mention the murder of  Gabrielle Evans. The Huttington's are powerful, rich, and willing to do anything to keep their status. So would murder be out of the question? Has Archer Huttington's quest for the truth about his father's death (John Worsham) set off more cover-ups? Will an attack on Mr. Lazlo quiet Mary? Will Superintendent Campbell help Mary exhume John's body? For Mary, too many strands were getting tangled, including the new attention of one George Vanderbilt!
Events unfold quickly once an actress is stabbed. Now Mary's list of unanswered questions has grown out of control, as well the list of suspects.

Nothing is as it appears, the plot continues to plummet into a depth of corruption that is mind-boggling. The one consistent thread will be found in Mary's character. As a team, George and Mary will get to the truth and untangle all of the threads. What will be revealed is the moment in which the reader realizes how entertained they have been with a read such as this!
Enjoy a mystery in which all are players...
Including the reader,
"When traveling, dining, or really doing anything with a Vanderbilt, 
there was generally only one class--the best and the finest."
An enjoyable and entertaining read!

Title: Second Street Station (Mary Handley Series #1), Author: Lawrence H. Levy

Meet the Author:
 Photo of Lawrence H. Levy

LAWRENCE H. LEVY is a highly regarded film and TV writer who is a Writers Guild Award winner and two-time Emmy nominee. He has written for various hit TV shows such as Family Ties, Saved by the Bell, Roseanne, and SeinfeldBrooklyn on Fire is his second novel.

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." 

Penguin Random House

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