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Posted January 26, 2014
Don't let the historical prologue fool you. This is a wonderful, heartwarming, magical contemporary romance that I loved from beginning to end. As a matter of fact I've read it more than once.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 17, 2013
This book was written in such an interresting way. Each of four authors told the stories of one of four characters. When the book starts all four characters were together. At the beginning of each story they go back to the start. The authors maintain the parallel stories beautifully. Their individual styles provided a very interresting shift, however their styles were similar enough to maintain the flow of the story. This is an excellent read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 13, 2013
A unique anthology, so read it in order. It's an absolute delight, one of those stories that lingers in your mind for days and days, weeks even.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 8, 2013
Prologue by Annette Blair
Centuries ago, four ladies wash up on a beach in a hidden cove. Though not biologically related, these four consider themselves to be Sisters of Spirit (SOS) and have been there for each other through thick and thin. As the group’s eyes peek through a tide pool, the ladies get a glimpse of other SOS groups.
New View by Lynn Jenssen
Marina Simms and her husband, Cameron, have been wed for seven years. Currently Cam is the only trained Network Engineer for his work place; however, another Engineer has recently been hired. Until Phil DeMeo is fully trained, Cam still has to work long hours, travel with little-to-no notice, and be on-call for emergencies. Marina understands that Cam is under a lot of stress and exhausted by nightfall, yet she is hopeful that once Phil is trained things will get better. When Marina begins having flashes of visions (much like viewing snapshots of the future) she starts to become concerned for the health of her marriage.
An SOS is sent out by one of Marina’s close friends. She and her three Sisters of Spirit drop everything and travel to Munnatawket Island for a gathering. No one admits to sending out the SOS, but it has come at a good time. Each of the ladies needs the comfort and support of her Sisters of Spirit.
**** THREE & A HALF STARS! Of the four friends, Marina’s personal life is the rosiest. (No pun intended toward the rose-colored sunglasses that she found on the beach of Hidden Cove.) This tale introduces the four ladies to the reader and paints the setting. Basically, it sets the foundation upon which all four stories are built. Because the author had to include so many details, Marina’s trouble had to be less complicated than her friends’ problems, but still be bad enough to make readers sweat over the outcome. Lynn Jenssen chose the problem that all couples fear in their relationships – lack of communication and fear of abandonment. Well done! ****
Identity by Christine Mazurk
Bryce Evans runs her own boutique, which thrives, and she has managed to lose one hundred pounds. Her world has changed. Now at her target weight, Bryce works to maintain it. While combing the beach of Hidden Cove, Bryce finds a luggage tag with an Ironman symbol on it and the name John Connery. A little research leads her to John’s Gym where she meets Mike, John’s son. John had recently passed away so the tag means a great deal to Mike. As a thank you, Mike becomes Bryce’s personal trainer and she is soon entering races. Before too long, the pair’s relationship begins to bloom into something more than what is normal between a trainer and athlete.
**** FOUR STARS! Any reader that has struggled with their weight will easily be able to empathize with Bryce. On that same track, anyone who manages to work full times and also exercise daily will feel a connection too. This author writes about what she knows. Christine Mazurk is a business woman and Ironman triathlete. Her experience shows on every page and makes the story believable. ****
Shaman’s Shell by Jeanine Duval Spikes
While beachcombing with her close friends in Hidden Cove, Clara O’Keefe finds a small turtle shell. From its cavity she pulls out a necklace. It looks to be American Indian, with a teardrop oyster shell suspended from a loop of beads. Clara is eager to do some research and leaves Munnatawket Island for the mainland. Shortly thereafter, Clara is hired as a research assistant to Dr. Nathan Kestrel. She cannot shake the feeling that the archeologist wants something from her, but also believes Nathan to be an honorable man. As Clara and Nathan work on a dig together, they find more questions than answers. Each feels drawn to the other, yet neither knows whether the other can be fully trusted or not.
***** FOUR & A HALF STARS! This story has a bit more of a paranormal element in it than the prior ones. Fans of history will be interested too, especially if they also have a yen for magic. Jeanine Duval Spikes has a crisp writing style that is easy to read. The surroundings are vividly painted and the main characters’ feelings are well expressed. This author has major talent. *****
Moving Pictures by Annette Blair
While combing the beach of Hidden Cove with her friends, Anastasia Jones finds an old camera. The broken digital camera is a pre-release model of a (2009) Cannon. The chip within it is a little worse for wear, but not in bad condition. Once accessed, Anastasia views the vacation photos of Max Peabody, but there is one file that she is unable to open. Though Anastasia has recently lost her mother, is jobless, and the bank just took the historical family home, she decides to track down Max Peabody; at least she could give him his missing happy vacation memories.
Max turns out to be the world-class advertiser of Peabody Marketing. The man is a hermit iceman. Mistaking her for being a temp from the agency, he places Anastasia at a computer and puts her to work. By the next day the identity error is known, but Max realizes the lady is uber-talented and hires her as his personal assistant.
To Anastasia, residing in a small section of his huge domicile is better than living out of her broken down truck. The pay is awesome too. But the people in the camera are nowhere to be seen and Max is an unemotional robot who prefers his privacy. If not for his dark aura, Anastasia would not have believed the man to be human. Anastasia makes it her mission to make the robot crack a smile.
***** FIVE STARS! This tale closes the circle and ends as it began – the SOS looking into a tide pool. This story is a little bit longer than any of the others. After all, life as Anastasia has always known it has been taken away. She has been stripped of everything but a few clothes and a vintage sewing machine. As for Max, he has nothing but his work and money.
As this story played out I noticed events from the other stories taking place. Anastasia answers the phone call that Clara made in the first episode and the Shaman’s Shell is mentioned. So the events in all four ladies’ lives are happening simultaneously. Their interactions within this story somehow made them very real to me. Perhaps it is due to the personal touches littered throughout this episode. Annette Blair is selfless when it comes to giving out personality details and inserting wacky humor. (The stolid recluse was defenseless against Anastasia’s crazy hats and balls.) Blair is an amazing author!
To me, the best part of this novel is the ending. As the four friends stand together, I recall the changes each has made. I feel as though I actually know these people. So perhaps, just perhaps, these four authors make up their own SOS group. *****
Reviewed by Dera Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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