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MIND OF HER OWN
By DIANA LESIRE BRANDMEYER
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2013 Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
All right reserved.
Chapter OneRain pelted the ceiling-to-floor windows of the family room. The grayness of the evening invaded Louisa Copeland's mind and home. The oversize chair she snuggled in helped hide her surroundings. The thick romance in her hand further darkened her mood as she read how the hero whisked away the heroine for a surprise dinner on some pier. Were there relationships like that? She didn't know of any.
"Give it to him!" Joey, her five-year-old son, joined the fray as Madison, her twelve-year-old daughter, dangled a plastic horse over the head of Tim, her youngest son, just out of his reach.
Jolted from the fantasy world into the real one, where rainy days turned children into caged animals, Louisa gripped the book tight and took five deep breaths. "Madison, if you don't give it back to Tim now, I will take your phone away for the rest of the day."
Madison's eyes narrowed. "Daddy won't let you."
"He isn't here at the moment. He is working but will be home for dinner, and you can discuss it with him then. But for now give it to Tim."
"Baby." Madison sneered at Tim. "Take your stupid horse."
Problem solved, Louisa retreated into the book to finish the chapter. Done, she sighed and laid the book face up on the side table next to her reading chair. The love-struck characters standing in front of a houseboat mocked her from the cover and filled her with jealousy. She longed to be the woman between those pages. She closed her eyes, pursed her lips against her hand, and tried to imagine the feel of Collin's lips on hers.
She couldn't. Her hand didn't smell woodsy like Collin. Why would it? They hadn't slept together in over a week. Not since that hurtful night when he'd accused her of not loving him enough. And until he apologized, he wouldn't be back in her bed. She wasn't going to give in this time, even if she did toss and turn all night in that enormous bed because she missed him. But letting him back in her bed without a true "I'm sorry" would mean he'd won, and she couldn't accept that. He would have to come to her first, and sending her those two dozen roses didn't count either. She knew he had his secretary call the florist, and Louisa didn't want a quick-fix apology. No, she wanted a heartfelt, grand gesture of some kind. She hadn't quite figured out what it would take for Collin to make the sting of his words dissolve, but she knew it would have to come from him, not his office staff.
"Mom? Are you kissing your hand?"
Startled by her son, Louisa felt her face flush. Her thoughts twirled around themselves as she tried to come up with a reason for her action. "I was pretending to be a jellyfish. See?" She put the back of her hand against her lips and wiggled her fingers like tentacles.
"Why?" His serious face moved closer to hers to inspect the gesture.
"Because I was reading a book that has the ocean and jellyfish in it." She could tell Tim believed her the minute his hand went to his own face. He walked away with his own pretend jellyfish flailing its tentacles.
She considered the morality of lying to her child but dismissed it. Her children didn't need to know she couldn't remember how their father's kisses felt. She and Collin had lost the spark, the excitement and joy. Even their communication had dwindled to no more than a few small phrases—"Where's the paper?" and "Have you seen my phone?" Did his commitment to her exist any longer? Had he found someone else?
Her head started to pound again from a migraine that had first made its appearance when a save-the-date for her family reunion had arrived in the morning mail. She still couldn't believe it. A save-the-date? When did my family get so fancy? A phone call from her mother had followed minutes later. She demanded that Louisa tell her whether or not she and Collin would be there. An argument had started about Louisa being a snob and not wanting to know her own family, not wanting to spend time with her mother, which then led into why Louisa and Collin weren't taking the children to church. The call ended with the usual rebuttal of "We will when we find a church we like."
Her mother always brought out Louisa's obstinate side. Louisa knew she had that effect on her own daughter, but she wasn't sure how to fix either problem. She rubbed a thumb knuckle into the center of her forehead the way the neurologist had shown her to ease the pain. She wouldn't be scratching cleaning the van off her list today. Bending over made the pounding worse.
This morning, Collin had promised he would be home for dinner—for the first time since he'd announced he wanted to make partner this year at his firm. He'd informed her that he would be working extra hours and expected her to take care of the family. So she did her part and his. Then, less than a month later, he'd accused her of loving the children more than she loved him. How could he make that judgment since he was never home? The roses his secretary sent the next day didn't even make it to a vase. She'd trotted out to the curb and stuffed them in the trash, where he'd see them when he came home that night. Since then, the two of them had lived like oil and vinegar unshaken in a jar.
Thunder rolled and lighting sparked in the distance. Maybe Collin wanted to make amends tonight, and that was why he was making an effort to be home early. Or maybe he wanted to tell her something else, something she might not want to hear. Would she listen? What if he wanted to tell her she wasn't the kind of wife a partner at his firm would need? She did complain about having to attend office functions. They made her feel small—just a stay-at-home mom. She couldn't compete with the woman lawyers, especially Emmie, the tall, stick-thin beauty who had an office next to Collin. Louisa could share a recipe or where the best dog park was located, but nothing brilliant or witty crossed her lips anymore. She rose from her chair and walked to the glass door. The waves on the lake had increased in height. Cleo, their dog, was out there somewhere.
Did Collin love someone else? Like a virus, the image of Emmie with her cute clothes and bright smile at the Fourth of July party threaded from Louisa's mind and invaded her spirit. She swallowed back the fear that rose from her heart and lodged in her throat. That just couldn't happen. Collin was hers and only hers. He didn't belong to the firm or anyone else. She had to find a way to make him understand that she did love him, that he came first in her life. She wished she could open up and tell him everything. Maybe then he would ... no, he would never love her if he knew her secret. No, that story could never be told. She would have to find another way.
The first thing she'd do was prepare a meal so delicious he wouldn't want to miss another one. She knew it was foolish to put such expectations on her cooking but held out that there might be a fraction of hope, a glimmer of a possibility.
Behind her, Madison shrieked at her brother, lurching Louisa back to her own reality show. "Give me back the remote!"
"It's my turn!" Joey tried to outshout his sister.
"Yeah, it's our turn!" four-year-old Tim echoed.
The noise brought fresh, sharp spears of pain to Louisa's head. With a sigh, she ignored the opportunity to jump into the fray and yell herself. In her stocking feet she crossed the great expanse of the golden oak floor to the kitchen, which was located to the side of the family room. When they first moved in, it had seemed like a great floor plan, all open, but now she regretted having chosen it. It made her always available to the children, and if one room wasn't picked up, the whole house looked like a mess.
The clock in the entryway chimed five times. The hour had come! If only she could cook like Emeril, she might have a chance to win back her husband's love—or at least his presence at the table. Then again, Collin might break his promise to her and the kids again and not even come home for dinner.
She flipped through the cookbook that rested on top of a cobalt-blue stand, where it usually sat for looks.
"Mom?" Tim ran circles around the kitchen island. "Joey and me want a snack."
"Not now." The page in front of her held a beautiful prospect for a meal, just not one made by her. Who cooks dinner like this? She flipped the page. Why had she bought this book? Surely she didn't think she would ever have time to prepare a dish from it or be able to get her children to eat it.... She read the ingredient list. What is jicama?
"Mom, can we have Crunch Squares for dinner?" Tim interrupted her thoughts, tugging on the bottom of her shirt.
Louisa turned her attention from the cookbook pages. She placed her hands on her hips in her don't-mess-with-me stance and stared down at two small, pleading faces. Her sons craved anything coated or sprinkled with sugar. "Sorry, boys, you cannot have cereal for dinner. You need protein and vegetables so you grow big and strong like your daddy." She pried Joey's fingers from the bright orange and red cardboard box.
"The commercial says it has all the vitamins and nutrients we need." Madison bellowed her opinion from the family room.
"Don't believe everything you see on TV, Madison." Making dinner night after night for three kids and Collin had never entered her mind when she said "I do" at the church thirteen years ago. She closed the book, weary of its glossy pictures. She couldn't pull off a gourmet meal tonight, not with this roaring headache. She'd be better prepared this weekend. Possibly Collin would eat with them Sunday night if she gave him enough notice.
"We're having grilled chicken." She looked down at the two waifs standing in front of her. Joey and Tim both frowned in unison. She blinked at their action and shrugged it off. Some days she thought those two had to be twins, even though that was physically impossible since she had given birth to them twelve months apart. "You two, pick up the fort you've assembled in the other room. I don't want to see or step on even one plastic block tonight."
"It's not a fort. It's a space station." Tim scrunched his face in disgust. "I told you a hundred times, Mom."
"It's a grand space station, but you still need to put it away." She watched them leave the room, thinking a sloth could move faster than those two when it came to cleaning.
Chicken—that's what she was doing, wasn't it? What else should she put on the table? Maybe a salad and mac and cheese, she thought. Yes, that would be best. It would cause less tension around the table if everyone had something they liked.
Cleo whimpered at the back door. Her nails scratching against the glass felt like tiny needles pushing into Louisa's optic nerves. It ratcheted her headache higher on the pain-management scale. She had never wanted a big dog, but Collin wouldn't settle for anything small. Not even medium size. It had to be a brindled Great Dane, the gentle beast, to make him happy. It didn't matter to him that she would be the one hauling the dog to the vet and puppy day care for socialization and training classes. She tried to ignore the pathetic whining coming through the door. Maybe the kids would let the dog inside.
Peering through the open archway, Louisa checked to see if anyone was moving. She could hear a satisfying plunk of plastic hitting plastic—the boys were picking up like she'd asked. Slow, but at least the rug had begun to appear. She had been cleaning for most of the day and wanted to enjoy an orderly space after dinner. Madison lay on the couch with her head hanging over the end. Her blonde hair almost touched the floor as it moved in time to a music video.
"Madison, let Cleo in before she chews through the door."
"But, Mom, this is my favorite song," Madison whined from the couch. "Can't Joey let her in?"
"No. I told you to do it." Louisa squatted down in front of the cabinet and grabbed a pot for the macaroni. As it filled with water, she rubbed her temples with her fingers. Cleo scratched against the door again.
Louisa felt herself stiffen as she prepared to go into battle with Madison. She turned to see what her daughter was doing. Madison had stood but had not moved in the direction of the door. Instead she watched the television screen and swayed to the beat of the music.
"Madison, step away from the TV."
"I'm going. You don't have to tell me everything twice. I'm not stupid." She glared at her mother.
This is what the counselor they were seeing called a standoff. She and Collin were supposed to be stern in their commands and follow through with them. Well, she didn't have any problem with following through, but Collin did. All Madison had to do was turn her lower lip down into a pout and Collin backed off, afraid to upset his little girl. There was a time when Collin would do anything for me, too, she thought. Those days disappeared the minute Madison said "Daddy."
Louisa removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes. The intensity of the headache rose. "Thank you, Madison, for promptly doing what I asked."
Madison clenched her lips tight, straightened her back, and stomped over to the door and yanked it open. Cleo came bounding through, her nails clicking over the wooden floor like fingers on a keyboard. Madison turned, whipping her long hair around like a weapon, and stared at Louisa as if to say, "I did it. Don't ask me to do anything else ever again."
"Thank you." Louisa slid her glasses back on and smoothed her hair behind her ears. She checked to make sure the boys were still doing as she'd asked. They were making progress.
The clock in the entryway weakly imitated England's Big Ben at the half-hour mark. It wouldn't be long before Collin came home. Maybe he would relieve her tonight. A hot bath—no, a long, hot bath, she corrected herself—sounded wonderful if not dreamlike. Please, God, let him be in a good mood and willing to play with the kids tonight, she offered in silent prayer. She loved these kids; she really did. It was just that today, with all their requests, they had drained her of the will to live. School had begun less than a month ago. Why the school board felt the teachers needed to take off already for a two-day conference escaped her tonight.
Back in the kitchen, Louisa picked up a glass from the counter, a dribble of milk left in the bottom. A quick rinse under the faucet, and then she placed it in the dishwasher. All the small chores were done. The counter no longer held books, toys, or dirty dishes. Louisa opened the pantry door and caught a cereal box as it fell. She shook it. Almost empty. Someone had been snacking in secret, probably Madison. She reached for the indoor grill on the top shelf. The cord dripped over the edge and dangled in her way. She wrapped it around her hand to keep it out of her face. Standing on tiptoes, she used her fingertips to work the grill out.
Barking, Cleo burst through the kitchen, chased by Joey.
"Stop running in the house!" They wouldn't; she knew from past experience. Once Cleo began a game, she wouldn't quit until she wanted to. Louisa almost had the grill in her hands. If she were just a little taller ... there! She balanced it on her fingers.
"Look out!" Joey screamed.
Louisa jerked her head around and saw the tiger-striped 120-pound dog skidding across the floor, straight for her. The "gentle giant" rammed into her leg. She felt her sock-clad feet give way and slide out from under her. The grill slipped from her grasp as she fell to the floor. Her last thought was that dinner would be late.
* * *
Salt water burned her lips as she floated onto a white, sandy beach. Piccolo notes from seagulls called to her as they landed in an uneven line onshore. They hunted for forgotten corn curls and abandoned sandwich crusts, their tiny claws etching the sand behind them. A flash of white danced into her view. She glanced at the gauzy skirt grazing her ankles and wondered when she'd changed clothes. Then she noticed her hand held a bundle of calla lilies tied with a dark-green satin ribbon that trailed to her knees.
Next to her, the ocean increased its crescendo. Froth swirled around her bare feet, and the small white bubbles tickled her toes. Like a child, she wove up and down the shore, playing a game of tag with the swash marks on the sandy shoreline. She slowed her steps as a man ahead of her grew larger and larger until she finally stood next to him. He didn't have a name, but she knew she would marry him this day. Her lips began to form the words "I do" when a voice crashed her wedding.
"Come on, baby, wake up." Warm fingers brushed across her cheek. Startled, she tried to open her eyelids, but they felt weighted as if someone had stacked pennies on them. Peeking through her lashes, she discovered a pair of chocolate-brown eyes gazing into hers. And not the milk-chocolate kind but the dark, eat-me-now-and-I'll-solve-your-problems kind. She tried to sit, but the onslaught of pain in her head stilled her like Atlanta traffic in a snow shower. Bright light lit the room around her, but it wasn't a room she knew.
Excerpted from MIND OF HER OWN by DIANA LESIRE BRANDMEYER Copyright © 2013 by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful, funny, touching, heartwarming! Mind of Her Own, a new book by author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, is definitely not to be missed. I was recently asked to read and review it for Diana. Agreeing to read and review books is sometimes a little scary. I often think, what if I don’t like it or it’s just not my cup of tea? Then how will I review it? That was definitely not a problem with this book! It hit my favorites list faster than you can say Five Star Review! From the very first page, I just knew I was going to love Mind of Her Own. Immediately, I recognized a kindred spirit in Louisa, our main character. Her everyday life of household chores, kids, and marital bumps is something that many of us can identify with. As she contemplates the greener grass on the other side of the fence, a household mishap causes her to lose her memory. Next thing Louisa knows, she is waking up in the hospital believing she is “Jazz”, a single writer living it up “somewhere” in Florida. But a strange man is by her side insisting that he is her husband, “And you live with us in Hazel, Illinois.” She then utters one of my favorite lines, “Us? How many people make an us?” A husband? Children? No, no, no! We follow Louisa/Jazz as she and her family try to find their way back to their “normal” life. Along the way she finds out that maybe the grass isn’t always greener, and maybe this strange man and his children, and her real life, aren’t so bad after all. Diana tackles a sensitive subject at the end of the story, a vital part of helping Louisa find her way back, and I thought she handled it beautifully. My only disappointment with Louisa/Jazz’s story is simply that I wanted to keep reading, wanted to keep getting to know our character and her family. But, “all good things must come to an end”, they say. If you like fun, touching stories that show that sometimes life, in all its ordinariness, is not so ordinary after all, then you will absolutely love Mind of Her Own. Don’t dally. Go get it today!
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer’s book Mind of Her Own grabbed me from the first pages. Louisa Copeland is a tired mother of three and lonely wife who is looking for something to make for dinner. When her heavy George Foreman grill falls out of the pantry and lands on her head, she is suddenly struck with a case of amnesia that leaves her wondering whose life she has walked into. Husband Collin, an overworked and over-zealous lawyer who is trying to make partner, isn’t too thrilled that his wife no longer remembers him or their children, and that she seems to have picked up an alternate personality. He only wants life to get back to “normal” so he can have clean laundry, a tidy home and focus on his job. But Louisa’s alternate personally is making that difficult. Louisa thinks she’s Jazz Sweet, a famous, best-selling romance writer. She’s not interested in this man who calls himself her husband and she can’t believe how dull her wardrobe is (or the wardrobe of the woman they claim she really is.) What on earth kind of life was she living? As Louisa and Collin struggle to live together through this change, Louisa starts to wonder if maybe there isn’t a deeper, darker secret that is keeping her memory from returning. What is it she’s really hiding from? Brandmeyer’s characters are rich and full of life, and the story sparks a bit of yearning in us all. What woman doesn’t fantasize about walking away from her current life to be somebody else once in awhile? The secondary characters are interesting as well, as we get to see how Louisa’s friends, and even her children, react to this “new woman” in their lives. What if Jazz Sweet is so fun that nobody wants the real Louisa to return? Packed with inner searching, family values and faith, this is a story that will stick with you long after you put it down. While it’s a light-hearted and easy read, it also resonates with something deep within ourselves, with the “us” that wonders if we are living the life we should be, and, if not, how to let our real self come out and play.
"A Mind of her Own" by author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is a 349 page Christian novel published by Tyndale House Publishers. On the cover is the picture of a frazzled female, sitting on a sofa, head in her hand with paper flying around as if she has just thrown them in the air. This contemporary novel is the tale of Louisa Copeland who suffers a head injury. She wakes up in the hospital not knowing who or where she is. It is the story of her husband and children learning to live with this person who now thinks she is Jazz Sweet, a Christian romance novelist. It is a story of second chances, hope forgiveness, and love. Even though it is a contemporary Christian romance novel, I personally did not find much Christian inspiration in it. It is definitely not a preachy, in your face inspiring story. "Mind of Her Own" is the first thing I have read by this author. She used enough humor and mystery in her tale to make it enjoyable. Her storyline was well thought and I liked her writing style. Her characters were well rounded and relatable. The dialogue between them flowed smoothly. She added humor in places and briefly touched on deeper, more serious issues. I would recommend these book for any adult contemporary romance lover. It was a little slow at the beginning but then took off at full speed. I rated it a 4 out of 5 stars. A copy was provided by the Book Club Network for my honest review.
A Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is a very delightful, original, and creative novel. It captures the reader’s attention from the first page and is hard to put down. Wife and mom, Louisa Copeland, is an organized and seemingly perfect woman. One minute she is immersed in a romance novel, comparing the fictional couple’s exciting life to her own disappointing existence and wondering how it had gone so wrong. Her husband Collin had accused her of not loving him enough, and she had banned him to the couch until he apologized. It had been over a week since. That morning her workaholic attorney husband had said that he would be home early for dinner—a rarity--so she planned to prepare a delicious dinner meant to lure him home earlier more often. After all, she had the main responsibility of their three children, not to mention their giant dog, even on Saturdays when Collin had to have time to himself since he worked so hard the rest of the week. Louisa decided on grilled chicken for dinner and balanced precariously, trying to reach the indoor grill on a shelf. When she fell to the floor, the grill toppled onto her head, knocking her unconscious. When she awakened from dreamy thoughts of the ocean and a wedding on the beach, a strange man was telling her that she was in the hospital, that she was his wife, and that they had three children, none of which sounded right to her. She knew that she was Jazz Sweet, a successful and single romance author. Having no memory of where she (Jazz) lived, she had no other option except to go home with Collin Copeland until her memory returned and her migraine headaches disappeared. As she explores the life of Louisa Copeland, wife to Collin and mother of three children, she discovers that their personalities and taste could not be any more different. She cannot imagine how Louisa tolerates her routine, uneventful existence. It is so far from what Jazz desires. And Collin’s eyes are opened to the longings of Louisa’s heart, hidden away from him and buried deep inside her. I highly recommend this book which is so well-crafted. It does not disappoint. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
After waking from a collision with a George Foreman grill and a Great Dane, Louisa Copeland insists that she is Jazz Sweet. She also insists that she has no idea who this Lousia Copeland person is that everyone keeps insisting is she. While the man that claims to be her husband is kind of cute, Jazz isn’t too sure he is trustworthy. And three kids? Surely she would remember if she had three children! Wouldn’t she? Diana Lesire Brandmeyer has written a marvelous story with Mind of Her Own. It is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching while at the same time it is hilarious and fun. I laughed out loud and I shed some tears while following Jazz/Louisa’s journey through retrograde amnesia. I highly recommend this book. It is delightful!
Okay, so I have to admit that the only reason I got this book is because I was getting it for review. I really didn't expect to like it. However, I was quite surprised how much I liked it. It had quite a bit of humor mixed in with some heavy issues. I think this book is probably one of my favorite reads of the year. Fabulous read! 5 plus stars. I received this book from bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion, which was given.
A Mind of Her Own” by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is a very easy-to-read and entertaining novel. This book had a very different theme to it than most novels. It caught my attention from the first page! Louisa Copeland is your typical stay-at-home mom. She keeps the house tidy, making sure everything is in tip-top order. She takes care of her three children. She’s always striving to be the best wife/mother she can be. Everything is normal in her little world, except when she drops her George Foreman grill on her head. She wakes up and doesn’t know who Louisa is. She claims she is instead Jazz Sweet, who is a romance writer. No one can figure out where this Jazz Sweet came from. As her and her family try to uncover where Jazz came from and where Louisa is, they uncover some secrets that no one knew! I would recommend this book to anyone enjoying a good, clean, entertaining read. Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is a very interesting author, and I look forward to reading more books by her. I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.
Many circumstances can challenge a family, but when the mom suffers from amnesia, the family is thrown into a tailspin! Who is this new person, Jazz Sweet, who looks like Collin’s wife and the three children’s mom, Louisa Copeland, but is an entirely different woman - one they have never experienced before. Louisa was the model middle class stay-at-home mom who seemed to have life under control, yet a bit too serious and uptight. Collin, her husband, an attorney, worked many very long hours fighting his way up the ladder to partnership at the expense of his family time. The three children each participated in their share of typical sibling rivalry and bickering which Louisa had to referee. One bump on the head changed everything. The mom that came home from the hospital was Jazz Sweet, who claimed she’d never been married and definitely did not have any kids! Her outlook on life was more carefree and spontaneous which got her into many interesting predicaments! Collin soon realized that this “new wife” was not dependable to care for the family. She could not even cook! This story will touch your heart, the reader, as you feel the many emotions of the entire family. The author has developed the characters as if they were your best friends and you have an invested interest in their lives. It was hard to put this book down until the last page.
This is definitely not your typical romance novel. This one focus's on a family, where amnesia, kids, hidden secrets, learning your not perfect and trying to see what is best for you all rolled into one. Louisa Copeland seems to have life all figured out, yet is she really happy? When her world is turned upside down and she can't even remember who she is, she still agrees to go home with this handsome man that thinks she is his wife. Jazz (aka Louisa) is trying to figure out why she can't remember anything. Yet she is not sure she really want to be this plan Louisa everyone claims she is. Will she ever be able to combine the two personalities or will one win out. Collin Copeland only wants his life back to normal, yet the more time he spends with this 'new' wife Jazz, he is falling in love with her too. While trying to help her find her way home he must face reality as to the husband and father he is as well. This is a well written story, there is a lot of confusion for the characters, yet it is completely understandable. I was given a copy of this book from bookfun.org for my honest opinion.
Oh. My. Goodness! What a fun book! “If only she could cook like Emeril, she might have a chance to win back her husband’s love – or at least his presence at the table.” Louisa Copeland has the perfect house and a “perfect” life with a loving husband, a daughter and two sons. “She loved these kids; she really did. It was just that today, with all their requests, they had drained her of the will to live.” When a kitchen accident – the George Foreman grill crashes down on her head – causes her to lose her memory and wake up thinking she is an unmarried, childless novel writer who lives on a beach in Florida, she begins to really discover herself. I have to confess I did not like the first couple of pages of this book. But then! Oh, how I enjoyed reading it as it captivated my imagination. I want to say it was just a fun book – but then there were very serious parts to it also. Needless to say though, I could not put it down. I thought it was one of the best books I have read this summer. I highly recommend it! I received this book from bookfun.org in return for my honest opinion.
Nutshell: Louisa's life looks picture perfect from the outside. Three kids, husband, big house, everything anyone would ever want. But on the inside she is falling apart. Her marriage is falling apart. Her kids are going crazy. She goes through the motions of living without actually living fully. All that changes in the blink of an eye...or the hit on the head by the George Foreman grill she was taking out of the cupboard. Now she can't remember who she was. But she does know who she is: a famous writer that lives on the beach. She's sure she's not married, and kids? No way. Follow Louisa's journey as she learns who she was, who she is and how her past splits her heart open in ways she didn't expect. Pro's: What a great story line! I loved the angle this book took the minute the grill fell on her head. Laced with a touch of humor, but overflowing with love, it was a great story line that kept you turning the pages to see if her memory does return. Con's: None. Only that it ended sooner than I would have liked!
_______________________________________________ *My Thoughts* This was one interesting read! I can honestly admit, I have never read a book involving amnesia before. Scratch that. I have read ONE. The difference? That one didn't include a family with three young kids, a spotless house, and a mid-western mom thinking she's a renowned romance writer! I think this was very well written. The confusion, anger, and emotional roller coaster Louisa was on, was completely believable. I felt like it was happening to me throughout the story and the turmoil she was going through felt very real. The husband angered me but his change throughout the story was evident and that inspired me. The sense that something underlying went on with Louisa hit me about mid-way through the book. I felt like I was caught in a web with them. Confusion. Chaos. Confliction. And an air of mystery that left my head spinning. Such an awesome book!! A family that may or may not be brought together. A mystery to be solved. And a Christian novel to bring a smile to any reader's face! ____________________________________________________ *My overall thoughts* Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is an unbelievable scenario with some pretty unbelievable characters! With twists, turns,and questions, will they get the answer they need...and want? __________________________________________ *My Rating* I give Mind of her own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer... 5 stars!! *I received this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given. All thoughts were my own and I was not compensated in any other way. http://bookreviewsforchristians.blogspot.com/2015/07/random-reviews-mind-of-her-own-by-diana.html
I thoroughly enjoyed this one by this author. Diana has told the story of Louisa, a housewife that isn't sure where her marriage is going, has her have an accident that leaves her with amnesia and a new quirky personality and written a story that was a delight to read and was one that I couldn't put down after I had started it. It is also a heartwarming story of Collin, her husband, as he works to reclaim their love and their marriage I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review, and it is one that I definitely recommend.
I just finished a great book called Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. Louisa Copeland is a wife to Collin and mother to three kids (brave woman). Madison is twelve years old and a typical teenage girl, Joey is five, and Tim is four. Louisa is getting ready to make dinner and goes to get the indoor grill out of the pantry. Their dog, Cleo comes running through the house and runs into Louisa just as she starts pulling on the grill (you just know this is not going to be good). The next thing Louisa knows is she is waking up in a hospital with a stranger. The man states he is her husband, Collin, but she does not know him. And he keeps calling her Louisa! Her name is Jazz Sweet and she is an inspirational romance writer who lives in Florida (somewhere). She cannot remember the name of her agent or where she lived in Florida. The doctor tells Collin to take her home and she will maybe get back her memories. Jazz does not want to go home with Collin who is a stranger to her especially when she hears there are kids in the house. But it seems she has little choice in the matter. The doctor believes that there is something that happened in Louisa’s childhood that is the trigger (what could have happened to Louisa that she wants to forget). The Copeland family is in for some difficult weeks. The children are not sure of this new mom. She is very different. Jazz is more vibrant (hates Louisa’s boring clothes) and carefree, but she is not used to taking care of children. Jazz is used to spending her days writing and tends to forget what is going on around her when she is working (which can lead to missing children and dogs). Jazz does not do laundry, cook, or like cleaning (she hires a cleaning service). Collin had been spending a lot of time at work trying to make partner. Now he is having to spend more time at home and he finds out that he likes it (as well as his new wife). He also discovers his wife’s journals that give him insight into Louisa (as well as himself). With faith, love, and patience this family will come back together again better than before. All thanks to an indoor grill! Mind of Her Own was an insightful and engaging novel. I read this novel straight through (I did not want to put it down). There is a very delicate subject in the novel that the author handles beautifully. I give Mind of Her Own 5 out of 5 stars. This is a Christian or inspirational novel, but it is in no way preachy or in your face (very subtle). I received a complimentary copy of Mind of Her Own from the author in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Louisa Copeland tries hard to be the perfect wife and mother but feels that it isn't enough. After a kitchen accident leaves her unconscious, she awakens as Jazz Sweet, an unmarried author with no cares in the world. Her husband, Collin, is concerned that her new 'personality' may be permanent. He reads her journals to help discover the 'why' after the physician indicates that a past trauma may be causing the amnesia. Jazz is having her own identity issues when she realizes that she doesn't really exist and is not a published author. She doesn't recognize her husband, kids, friends or house. While everyone wants Louisa back, they also begin to love Jazz and her unique personality. When the trauma is revealed, Louisa remembers all to the surprise of her family. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more of her novels.Note: I did receive a copy of the book for review purposes which did not influence my review or opinions.
Outspoken romance author Jazz Sweet surveys Louisa Copeland’s bland, colorless wardrobe, spotless home, and her perfectly ordered world and is aghast that everyone--Louisa’s husband, Collin, his three kids, and all their neighbors -- insist that Jazz is Louisa. Jazz is horrified. But since she can’t figure out how to get back to her own life, she’s forced live Louisa’s, temporarily, at least. As Jazz faces the fact that she really is the boring, straitlaced Louisa, long repressed memories surface to meld Jazz/Louisa into a new, better woman…the woman she was destined to be all along, and the woman that her husband falls in love with all over again.
Christian fiction just the way I like it! ~ I L-O-V-E-D the book, Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. This book was funny, relevant, serious, and touching in so many ways. “Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t. But when the George Foreman grill fell out of the pantry onto her head, resulting in a bump and a mighty case of amnesia, Louisa’s life takes a turn for the unexpected. Who was this Collin fellow, claiming she was his wife? And whose kids are those? Her name couldn’t be Louisa. Why, she was the renowned romance writer Jazz Sweet, not a Midwestern mom of three. Struggling to put the pieces together of the life she’s told she had, Louisa/Jazz may realize that some memories are better left alone.” – Tyndale House Publishers What makes this book so unique is the way that it deals with the hard knocks that come with marriage. It does it with flair and humor, touching on everything from communication (or lack thereof) to predictability to dissatisfaction with the mundane. It offers romance without raunchiness. It also touches on several emotionally charged subject matters, such as repressed memories, sexual abuse, and pedophilia. With that said, it was not so dark that it was without light. The ending was both sweet and hope-filled. I would definitely recommend this book.
I got a copy of this book this morning, a few hours later I had not put it down. I loved the story line. Jazz Sweet was the person Louisa Copeland longed to be, full of life and hope. Hurts from her past kept her from being the person God created her to be. In the blink of an eye Louisa's life and the life of her family were forever changed. These changes brought new life, new love and new beginnings to the ordinary, dull everyday life the family lead. Jazz brought fun and spontaneous into their world. This book is an awesome read.
Welcoming the alter ego. What if you had an alter ego that was everything you felt you could never be? I’m not talking about a split personality, or an evil twin. Still you, but different. Messy where you’re neat, colorful where you’re drab, happy where you’re sad, inept where you’re skilled, skilled where you’re inept, playful where you’re stoic. What if you woke up to find the alter ego had taken over your life? A Mind of Her Own is a delightful story about finding yourself. Louisa is the perfect wife. The house is neat, her clothes are stylish but drab, she’s skilled in cooking and child care, she faces adversity with patience and endurance, and she’s unhappy with her life. A bump to the head sends her to the hospital, and when her eyes pop open, Louisa is gone and Jazz has taken her place. Colorful, playful, messy, happy, without-a-housewifely- clue Jazz. Diana has painted us a wonderful picture of learning to treasure what you have, exploring what you always wanted to be, and leaning on your faith to get it all done. It’s also a story about forgiveness and faithfulness. I give A Mind of Her Own five stars.