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September 16, 2018

2 Excellent Debut Novels You Must Read

by Susan Roberts

Today I have reviews for you of a debut novel by Laura Holtz and the first historical fiction novel by Lauren Speeth.  Both of them were excellent and it was difficult to believe that these were new paths for both authors.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Warm Transfer by Laura Holtz

Warm Transfer
May 2018; Gatekeeper Press;  978-1642371376
ebook, print (414 pages); women's fiction
WARM TRANSFER /warm ˈtrænsfər/ (noun): The act of a customer service representative remaining on the line with their caller until that caller is successfully transferred to another agent.

What do you do when your marriage is all wrong but there are children to consider. When do you start taking care of yourself instead of a spouse who is verbally abusive but is the father of your precious children? When is enough just enough? Tamsen is in a marriage like this. She has a life most people would love to have - a large house, a high place in Chicago society and most importantly two beautiful children who she wants the best for. Add into the equation, a husband, Victor, who verbally and emotionally abuses her and who thinks she is useless in his life but he wants to keep her there. Then her son's new music teacher arrives and he and Tamsen find themselves becoming friends and then more than friends. Will this be the 'warm transfer' who helps her transition from one life to another life and helps her find herself?

This is an intriguing and well-written book about taking the steps to find the person that you want and need to be. The author presents the abuse very clearly and handles the subject very well. Great book.

Ten percent of proceeds from this book will go to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Buy Warm Transfer at Amazon

Thread for Pearls: A Story of Resilient Hope by Lauren Speeth 

Thread for Pearls
April 2018; Elfenworks Productions
ebook (550 pages); coming of age
"I think you need to keep your heart together, wherever you are. You can't leave broken bits of your heart scattered all over the place. "

Fiona had a very different upbringing by today's terms. The novel takes place in the 60s and 70s when her life wouldn't have seemed as unconventional as it would to us today. She and her sister lived with their parents until her parents split up. Her sister stayed with her mother and she went to live with her dad and his new wife. Her parents were major counter-culture people.  Her Dad took her to anti-Vietnam rallies where she got tear-gassed, the family moved to India to find peace plus she lived in a commune - all this before she became a teenager. they basically let her raise herself and she didn't seem to have many rules to follow growing up.  At times she seems at peace with her life even though she is always questioning it and at other times she seems to rebel against all of the changes and the lack of parental guidance. After living such a tumultuous life, will Fiona be able to become a strong young woman? It's an adventure for her but also for the reader who is cheering for her to succeed.

From the Dedication: "As we work to make sense of life, gathering experiences like pearls for a necklace, it becomes clear that the thread on which we choose to hang our pearls of experience is as essential as the pearls themselves."

Even though this was an interesting novel, I think it was way too long.  My opinion is that it would have been a much easier book to read if it didn't get bogged down in places with too many unneeded people and situations.

Buy Thread for Pearls at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads,  or Twitter.

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