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Shadow Sister by Katherine Scott Jones

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About the Book

 

Book Title: Shadow Sister

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Author: Katherine Scott Jones

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release date: August 28, 2018

Working on her father’s vineyard allows Sarah Lanning to bury memories of a lost love and a career that might have been. But then her fractured family receives word that her estranged sister, Jenna, is dead, leaving behind an unexpected request: that Sarah travel to Bolivia to scatter her ashes.

Accompanied by pilot Chase Maddox, Sarah embarks on an Andean journey that tests her devotion to home and exposes Jenna’s secret life. Each staggering discovery creates new mysteries—until the last, which leaves Sarah questioning everything she understood about family loyalty. At a crossroads, she must decide whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness—and whether she can lay claim to a future of happiness without it.

Bittersweet and bold, Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.

 

MY REVIEW:

“Blood is blood.” This favorite saying of Sarah and Jenna’s father is both a promise and a curse in Katherine Scott Jones’s novel, Shadow Sister.

Family means everything to the Lanning family, until two tragic accidents begin to tear the remains of the family apart. When a third tragedy occurs, Sarah is left reeling and wondering what had ever come between her and Jenna.

Divided between the two sisters, the narrative starts at different points in the family’s history, one in the present tense and one in the past. At first, I wasn’t sure there was enough action to hold my attention. Shadow Sisters is an exploration of relationships and emotions, and what a deep and lovely book it turned out to be.

The characters are very fluid and realistic. It is this dichotomy of the human nature that allows for the puzzle in the relationships. Even those who know Jesus personally in the story struggle with handing over their foibles. Isn’t that so true of real life!

Quotables:
“Remember, Sarah, shadow is as important as light. We need them both or we’re left with something flat and two-dimensional. Dull. But when we bring them together, shadow and light add depth. Interest. Life!”

“When the things that hurt God’s heart hurt ours too, that keeps us close to Him. And that’s always a good thing.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the author and Celebrate Lit. This is no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

Katherine-Jones-295x300Katherine Scott Jones grew up in cities on every U.S. coast and overseas as her family moved with her father’s Navy career. Seattle became home when she married her husband twenty-eight years ago. After graduating Whitworth University with a degree in communications, she established herself as a freelance writer before turning her hand to fiction. She blogs about books that celebrate beauty at www.katherinescottjones.com. Katherine and her husband have two teenage children. Shadow Sister is her second novel.

Guest Post from Katherine Scott Jones

Shadow Sister: Outtake Reel

By Katherine Scott Jones

Much as I love a good movie, my favorite part often comes at the end when the director includes outtakes—those false starts and bits from the making of the movie that wind up on the cutting room floor.

In a similar vein, I’m going to let you in on some of what went into the creation of my novel, Shadow Sister,but did not make the final cut.

Shadow Sister is a work of inspirational women’s fiction with a global accent—written for women with a heart for complex relational issues as well as a passion for biblical justice. It is the story of a vintner’s daughter who travels to Bolivia to scatter her estranged sister’s ashes. There, she unravels secrets that test her devotion to home and make her question whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness. Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.

Now that you know a bit about what it is, come along as I pull back the curtain and share an exclusive peek at what Shadow Sister is not.

Working Titles

It took me a while to finally land on the right title. Early contenders:

– The Sweetness of Light

– Variations on Shadows and Light.

Characters

It also took a bit of experimenting before I found the right combination of people and places:

– Sarah, the main character, was originally a marine biologist. I first imagined the story set in Seattle before moving it to the fertile plains of Eastern Washington wine country.

– Sarah was originally engaged; and Chase and Rachael were involved.

– The gender of Matilde’s baby changed from what I first plotted. That simple switch got me unstuck from a perplexing snag of writer’s block.

– Names:

o Nicole, Stasi, Rees, and Stephen were all main-character names I considered and rejected.

o Little sister Sarah and big sister Jenna began as litter sister Jenna and big sister Kate. Then Jenna became Somer and finally Sarah, while Kate became Jenna.

o Sassy Britches is named after an actual racehorse by the same name.

Unused research

Of course, story exploration turned up far more tidbits of interesting info than I could possibly fit into the pages of a novel! Some of what I wished I could have used…

– Bolivian fun facts

o Customs.

  • Bolivians tend to eat outdoors when it is not raining. Many men do not feel comfortable eating in front of strangers, so they will often face a wall or sit hunched over their food when they are eating in public.
  • Cha’lla is a ritual blessing drawn from Catholic tradition, indigenous religious ceremony, or—typically—a combination of both. Performed by a yatiri (spiritual leader) or Catholic priest, a cha’lla ceremony is performed whenever a new building is finished to ensure future peace in that building.
  • Many Bolivians believe in karisirus, or night phantoms. These harmful spirits catch people out after dark or when they’re sleeping. Legend says that they split their victim’s stomach and extract some of the fat.

o Drinks. While the traditional Bolivian beverages api and mate de coca are featured in Shadow Sister, several others are not:

  • refresco (fruit juice with a dried peach at the bottom of the glass)
  • tostada (a mixture of barley, honey, cloves in water)
  • chicha (homemade corn beer)
  • singani (made from grapes, a cross between wine and whiskey)

o Language. Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua are Bolivia’s three national languages, and they differ from each other greatly. For example, the number one in Spanish = uno, Aymara = ma, Quechua = hoq.

– Quotes:

o On wine: “Wine is sunlight held together by water.” ~ Galileo

o On art: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton

I hope this glimpse into what didn’t make it onto the pages of Shadow Sister piques your interest for discovering what finally did!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 4

Carpe Diem, September 4

Reflections From My Bookshelves, September 5

The Power of Words, September 5

Among the Reads, September 5

Fiction Aficionado, September 6

The Becca Files, September 6

RebekahsQuill, September 7

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Bigreadersite, September 7

Just the Write Escape, September 8

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, September 8

Bibliophile Reviews, September 9

Living Life Free in Christ, September 9

Inspirationally Ever After, September 10

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 10

Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Livin Lit, September 11

Janices book reviews, September 12

Remembrancy, September 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 13

The Midnight Bookaholic, September 14

Pause for Tales, September 14

The Mimosa Blossom, September 14

Kelly Harrel, September 15

Two Points of Interest, September 15

A Baker’s Perspective, September 16

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Godly Book Reviews, September 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 17

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a grand prize that includes a personalized signed print copy of the book, a Shadow Sister bookmark, a Frame-able print, Book-lover’s tea, 6 Handcrafted notecards, and a set of vineyard-themed playing cards!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/d25f/shadow-sister-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Caffeine Conundrum, #1The CafFUNated Mysteries by Angela Ruth Strong

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About the Book:

Title: A Caffeine Conundrum,

#1 The CafFUNated Mysteries

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Expected publication: September 1st,2018 by Mountain Brook Ink
ASIN
B07FRXWSVM
Solving a murder mystery is harder when you don’t trust your partner…or their taste in beverages.

Sassy city girl Tandy Brandt moves to the small town of Grace Springs to start a coffee shop, never imagining she’ll be competing with local beauty queen Marissa Alexander and her dream of running a tea house. Unfortunately, the current store owner dies before selling the location to either of them, and they both become murder suspects.

The unlikely pair team up in an attempt to discover the real killer, though with the secrets in Tandy’s past and Marissa’s infamous clumsiness, they could be their own worst enemies. Despite their differences, they follow clues to question a sweet, apple pie baking antique store owner, a GQ Santa in the retirement center, and a hipster millionaire with no social skills. Will they be able to figure out whodunit and prove their innocence before one of them goes to jail…or worse?

MY REVIEW:

Warning: laughter will come easily as you read this Christmas-themed cozy by Angela Ruth Strong. When paired with coffee or tea, there may be some liquid spouting or spewing as you work to hold the mirth in.

Indeed, the trouble begins with both coffee and tea. Marissa, a bumbling, almost-beauty queen who loves tea, can’t decide whether Tandy, a grunge-wearing, toy dog lover and coffee aficionado should be her enemy or her friend.

This novel is more than just a barrel of laughs, however. While I laughed my way through the whole thing, howling out loud at the ridiculousness of the characters’ situations, they also presented with very real problems: jumping to conclusions prematurely, taking others for granted, and needing to put up façades of perfection.

I love Angela Ruth Strong’s humor, her word pictures(ex: “blizzard of thoughts”), similes(ex:”as subtle as a snow scraper”), and references to pop culture. But most of all, she points to the answer that every soul needs-grace in Christ.

Quotables:

“She needed to work on being kind rather than being nice.”

“We all need grace. Even if it’s for harm caused accidentally.”

“If people could change, then it was ok to make mistakes and grow from them. It was ok not to be perfect.”

“By accepting that she needed grace, her shame had been wiped away.”

I gratefully received an e-copy of this book from the author. This in no way affects my opinions, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.

About the Author:

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Angela Ruth Strong
Angela sold her first story to a national magazine while still in high school and went on to study journalism at the University of Oregon. Her debut novel LOVE FINDS YOU IN SUN VALLEY, IDAHO released in 2010 to a four-star review from Romantic Times. Angela loves connecting with fans and mentoring aspiring authors, which led her to start IDAhope Writers. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and three kids.

 

 

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Killer Green Tomatoes,#2 Farm-to-Fork Mysteries by Lynn Cahoon

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About the Book:

Kindle Edition, 182 pages
Published July 3rd, 2018 by Lyrical Underground
ASIN
B078LJPT23
  • Killer Green TomatoesKiller Green Tomatoes
    Genre: Mystery, Cozy, Contemporary

The time seems ripe for success as Angie Turner opens her farm-to-table restaurant in her Idaho hometown—until her new tomato supplier is accused of murder and Angie has to pick the real killer . . .

To Angie, nothing tastes more like summer than her Nona’s fried green tomatoes. Eager to add the recipe to the menu at the County Seat, she’s found the perfect produce supplier—her sous chef Estebe’s cousin, Javier. Just one problem: ladies’ man Javier’s current hot tomato Heather has turned up dead, and he’s the prime suspect. Somehow, between managing her restaurant and navigating a romantic triangle between Estebe and Ian, the owner/manager of the farmer’s market, Angie needs to produce evidence to clear Javier—before this green tomato farmer gets fried . . .

MY REVIEW:

In Lynn Cahoon’s second book of the Farm-to-Fork series, titled Killer Green Tomatoes, Angie and Felicia are beginning to hit their groove with the rest of the restaurant staff. The County Seat is a popular place to eat, with reservations needing to be secured well in advance. 

Angie soon finds she has more than she can chew, though, when she has her elderly neighbor for a house guest and Estebe, her sous chef, has family involved in a murder and disappearance.

I really enjoyed the difficulties between Angie and Mrs. Potter. (Sorry, Angie!) They made for very realistic, yet hilarious times.

The portrayal of the Basque people was very tasteful and sensitive to a group very proud of their heritage. 

In this book, we start to see the inner connectivity of people in the town. Several attitudes and actions are based upon someone’s protectiveness or love for another. This is actually true for multiple characters. Small town living, as Angie rediscovers, has both its joys and its jinxes.

Things one may not like: some may figure out the murderer, but there were enough twists that I was ultimately surprised. Sex was mentioned quite a bit. However, true to cozy form, there were no bedroom scenes.

Bottom line, I enjoyed this book, as Angie and Felicia and their crew really start to become their own “work family.” 

I gratefully received a copy of this book from the author and NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinions, for which I am responsible. I was not required to leave a positive review.

About the Author:

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Lynn Cahoon
Website
Twitter
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER, book 1 of the series, won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. This year, she’s released WHO MOVED MY GOAT CHEESE in March as part of the new Farm to Fork series. She also writes romance under Lynn Collins. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com