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BBC: ‘The Other Side of Everything’.

Howdy! Did anyone else stay up watching The Oscars last night? I did, and I’m not entirely sure why – I never am good at keeping up with the movies that are nominated. I did enjoy when the celebs visited the moviegoers across the street, though.

I also took a much-needed 3-hour nap yesterday, so when midnight rolled around, I still wasn’t really that tired. This all results in me not wanting to be at work today (shocker), wearing the first thing I could find in my closet, and no makeup. Wamp!

I can’t really explain why, but I’ve been reading SO much lately. It might be offering me a bit of an escape, so I’m just going to take it for now. The latest read from Blanche’s Book Club is a murder mystery: “The Other Side of Everything” by Lauren Doyle Owens.

This book is pretty new (published January 23, 2018) – I always get excited for new books, because I get most of mine from the library (this one included). It is also Owens’ debut novel. Here’s the description of the book from

Laura Lippman meets Megan Abbott in this suspenseful literary debut about three generations of neighbors whose lives intersect in the aftermath of a crime.

Bernard White is a curmudgeonly widower who has lived in Seven Springs, Florida for decades and has kept to himself since his wife passed. When his neighbor is murdered, he emerges from his solitude to reconnect with his fellow octogenarians. These connections become a literal lifeline as a second, and then a third, elderly woman is murdered, and “the originals” as they call themselves, realize that they are being targeted.

Amy Unger is an artist and cancer survivor whose emotional recovery has not been as successful as her physical one. After the woman next door is murdered, she begins to paint imagined scenes from the murder in an effort to cope with her own loss. But when her paintings prove to be too realistic, her neighbors grow suspicious, and she soon finds herself in the crosshairs of the police.

And then there’s Maddie Lowe, a teenage waitress whose mother recently abandoned the family. As Maddie struggles to keep her family together and maintain the appearance of normal teenage life, she finds herself drawn to the man the police say is the killer.

As they navigate their increasingly dangerous and tumultuous worlds, Bernard, Amy, and Maddie begin to uncover the connections between them, and the past and present, in a novel that ultimately proves the power of tragedy to spark renewal.

Although a majority of this book focuses on older characters, there’s one teenage character and I loved reading the chapters that focused on her. The entire book was creepy, very descriptive (which I love), and it felt very much like a true story. There were even a few political digs that made me think this was written in its entirely within the past few years.

I’m recommending this book to true crime lovers and mystery readers! The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Hate List” by Jennifer Brown.


Book #3: Lemon Drops.

My next book, releasing Sept. 22, 2014!

My next book, releasing Sept. 22, 2014!

I’m skipping Fresh Friday this week to make an announcement: MY THIRD BOOK IS COMING YOUR WAY.

That’s right, my third book is on its way — mark your calendars for September 22, 2014, which is EXACTLY one month from today!

At that time, you’ll be able to purchase digital copies through Amazon Kindle (which can also be read on an iPad using the Kindle app), or you can order printed copies, as well.

Between now and then, stay tuned for sneak peeks and giveaways, as I’m really, really excited about this one!

…Or you could read one of my other books, How I fell or How to Make Lemonade… Just saying.

I’m calling this one my third book, because it is my third relationship memoir. However, I do have another book out, that lists and explains 50 blogging tips for beginners (I often use it to teach my blogging class).

Anyway, what is this book, Lemon Drops, all about? Basically, I wanted to release a book that had some of my poetry in it, and I also wanted a chance to be able to explain where (emotionally) the poems came from.

So, there are poems, and some explanations, and there are also short stories. Most of them you’ve never heard before, as I never thought they were monumental enough for a blog, a column, or a book — but they certainly make for good “Lemon Drop” material.

Not only did I work really hard to put this book together, but I am revealing more of myself than ever. I have always found honesty to be the best policy, but at times, some of my experiences are difficult for me to admit, even to myself.

But with this book, I did. I’m putting all of my secrets out there for you to read, and as is my hope with everything that I write — that someone, somewhere can learn from what I’ve been through as I continue on my journey.

September 22 is the first official day of fall, and the special season holds such a big place in my heart that I wanted my book release to kickstart it, and I’ll even share with you the Introduction:

As I kid, I barely noticed the seasons as they changed. There was summer, which meant sleeping in and no school. Spring made way for Spring Break, and with winter, at least there was hope for a few snow days.

But fall, fall has always held a special place in my heart. With the bittersweet closing of summer, fall meant new beginnings — a new school year, with fresh school supplies and new clothes. There were new opportunities around every corner.

I wish though, that as a kid I would have romanticized the falling leaves in Indiana the way I do now. The incredible way they paint the skies and the sidewalks all at once. I remember my parents telling me how people would flock to Brown County just to see the leaves as they changed from green to red, and I thought it was so silly.

But there are no red leaves where I live now, in Louisiana. In fact, there’s not really much of a fall season, but I still add a blanket to my bed, light pumpkin candles, and make cider — call me a dreamer.

But in my 10 years in the South, I’ve romanticized much more than changing leaves. You could say that my imagination has gotten the best of me, often taking flight without my permission.

As you open the pages to my third book, you’ll get a glimpse into my world — it is romantic, but it’s real. And I’m venturing to say that what you’re about to read is my truest self realized; imagination or not.

Once again, thank you for joining me on my continuing journey. Before, I wished for a trail of sunrises, and if I could add another thing to my list, it would be colorful leaves.

Life just isn’t the same without them.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Lemon Drops!