For this blog tour, we’re looking at a tale that will make nearly anyone want to jump in their car and drive to Michigan. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Famous In A Small Town by Viola Shipman.
Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:
All Michigan Tourism Boards Should Hire “Ms. Shipman”. Seriously, this book in particular is basically one giant love letter to rural Michigan, in prose form for around 350 pages. The history – for better and worse. The current – for better and worse. The land. The culture. The lakes you can never get far from.
And the cherries. Always the cherries.
Oh yes, there are humans here too. And some mysticism/ “magical realism”. And their story is both linked and compelling, as they always are in a Viola Shipman book.
But really, you’re reading this book to feel like you’re travelling to Michigan – and that is not a bad thing at all. It really is described so beautifully that even this hardened Southerner who has been north of the Mason-Dixon just three times in his lifetime… want to consider going to Michigan at some point. Maybe.
Very much recommended.
After the jump, the “publisher details” – including an excerpt from the book, the book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Famous In A Small Town by Viola Shipman”
Heart And Magic In A Short, Quick Read. This is a perfect Christmas story for anyone who has ever wanted to spend just “one more day” (as Diamond Rio once sang) with a lost loved one at Christmas. Through some scifi/ magical time travel, our lead here gets to do just that – going back to one pivotal night when her grandmother was just a young girl that would change her grandmother – and her entire family – for generations to come. As someone who has been very vocal about wondering about just such tragedies in his own grandparents’ lives, this was particularly moving. But even more generally, this is a great tale that somehow manages to mashup both The Family Man (one of my all time favorite Christmas movies) and Balto (a movie my youngest brother was *obsessed* with as a kid). While lighthearted overall, there is a very real, very visceral threat of imminent danger – and even death – hanging throughout the middle 80% ish of the tale, and this really drives how quick of a read this is – you won’t want to put it down for fear that on the next page someone might die. And yet, the Christmas magic – complete with family and snow (meaning Yankee Christmas, as it rarely snows at that time in the South ;)) and plenty of warmth and surprise – is also present throughout the tale. Very much recommended.
This review of A Time Travel Christmas by Karen McQuestion was originally written on December 2, 2022.
Another Maddie Miracle. When I read my first Maddie Dawson book last year as an ARC, I knew I had found an author that will be able to give me a satisfying tale in a way I might not think at first is satisfying, but who can make it work and make it be truly magical. Thus, I was waiting for her 2021 release to hit my ARC channels… when suddenly it showed up out of the blue as a Kindle First Read instead. So I didn’t even look at the others, I automatically picked up this book. Then when Amazon began their Kindle Summer Rewards beta program and included me in it, it turned out I needed to read an actual book – rather than my “normal” (these days) ARCs, which come into the Kindle as “personal documents” – and thus I automatically turned to this book to read.
And again, Dawson crafts a quirky, off beat tale unlike any I’ve ever encountered, essentially a coming-of-age tale… at damn near the time most people are beginning to have their mid-life crises. Not quite a true dual-timeline book, and with quite a bit of time elapsing “off screen” both in the remembered history of our main character and in her current life we’re following, this book manages to explain where she is right now emotionally and how she got there. For those readers, like me, who often straddle the line between two worlds, Dawson does an excellent job of showing at least one version of how our lives look and the dichotomies we face, and she does it remarkably well. The finale, featuring our primary character despairingly trying to resolve both halves of herself, is something we all face at some point, and Dawson plays it with the sincerity, sweetness, and cathartic laughter that such moments tend to so desperately need. Yes, this tale is absolutely off-beat, and yes, it may arguably be better presented as women’s fiction rather than romance, but it *does* serve well to highlight the real-world romantic realities of being single in your mid-30s (not that I’ve experienced this directly) and does quite well in showing both how jaded it can make you… and how oblivious. Very much recommended.
This review of The Magic Of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson was originally written on July 23, 2021.
Jude And Cope Face Their Toughest Case Yet. Particularly with this “spinoff” of Pine’s long running Cold Case Psychic series, she is doing a *great* job of making the cases and battles ever harder with every outing, and if they can get tougher than this particular one… well, Jude and Cope won’t like it one bit. 😉 Continuing her excellent work of showing the professional and personal dramas, this particular book isn’t a good place to start with even this spinoff series… but it could well be a good place to end it…
This review of Ghost Of A Chance by Pandora Pine was originally written on September 8, 2019