Here We Lie

HereWeLie

By Paula Treick DeBoard

Friendships can be complicated. Megan and Lauren are the mirror image of each other. Megan comes from a solid middle-class, upbringing in America’s heartland. Lauren has had a life of privilege as the daughter of a New England senator. Yet, as life would have it, they find themselves navigating college together.

The two women share a room, clothes, and college life. Gradually, they also share advice and eventually secrets. Inseparable, their bond deepens through these important college years. Through highs and lows, the girls are there for each other.

Before their senior year, they come together for fun and sun at the vacation home of Lauren’s family. It is there that their lives are forever altered. Friendship cannot withstand everything, as Megan comes to realize. Somethings are just too heinous. That is when bonds are broken, but secrets are formed.

Many years after that fateful Summer, Megan faces the secrets she kept buried. Thrust into the spotlight of the harsh political arena, she goes back to that Summer of secrets to expose Lauren’s family truths.

Paula Treick DeBoard has done it, again. Her novel is an important read in the climate of today’s world. Her understanding of family dynamics is always clear and accurate. In this book, Ms. DeBoard also addresses deeply human elements often not discussed. In Here We Lie, she delves into women’s relationships, both with each other and with men. She also bravely confronts the taboo issue of male dominance and its lasting effects on the women it rules.

This is the fourth novel of Paula Treick DeBoard. She is an author that I always eagerly anticipate. Reflecting the world around us, her books are timely, well-written and meaningful. I highly recommend Here We Lie, and all of Ms. DeBoard’s fascinating books.

 

Arthur

~The Dog Who Crossed the Jungle to Find a Home
Written by Mikael Lindnord
This tells the true story of not only a dog but of a man, as well. This is their very special story.
Arthur was a pitiful street dog in Ecuador when Mikael Lindnord tossed him a meatball. Mikael was there competing in the Adventure Racing World Championship. Arthur saw a good thing and remained with the team. Mikael and Arthur became a team of their own.
A campaign to get Arthur back to Sweden began. The racing team took to Twitter to help raise funds. The Ecuadorian Social Affairs Ministry Dept. assisted, along with the Swedish Board of Agriculture, in getting Arthur “Home”.
As Arthur was noticed by the media, people came forth to claim him as their dog. However, when his poor health and severe wounds were uncovered, talk turned to prosecution. Claims were retracted. Arthur finally went home to Sweden and Mikael.
Once there, he got the medical and emotional attention that he needed and deserved. Arthur was quarantined for four months as he healed. His health was evaluated and improved greatly.
Arthur finally had a family. But, he also had a purpose. He continued to be part of Mikael’s racing team, accompanying them on more competitions. He also was the inspiration and heart of “Arthur’s Foundation”, to help other street dogs in Arthur’s native Ecuador.

I recommend this book to those who love animals and love happy endings. This story is special. It is about coming from behind and winning. It is also about passing that goodness on to others who need it. And, it’s all true.

God-Shaped Hole: A Novel

By Tiffanie DeBartolo

Living and working in fast-paced LA, Beatrice Jordan is a jewelry designer. Tired of being alone, she responds to a personal ad. On a whim, writer Jacob Grace had posted, “If your intentions are pure, I am seeking a friend for the end of the world”.  She could not resist an ad like that.

Perhaps by fate, these two develop a real relationship. They even help each other come to terms with unresolved feelings from their difficult childhoods. That is quite a feat in itself. But, they also awaken new feelings in each other, some that are even harder to tame.

This is a love story for the lonely, quirky, creative people in the world. It speaks to those who are looking for something, someone, to hold in the middle of their hurricane. They seek someone that is like them, and they believe, deep down, they are out there.

Fifteen years ago, this book was published by Sourcebooks. With a cult-like following, God-Shaped Hole has survived to become a classic in its own right. Come and read the bittersweet novel that helped define and shape a generation. Celebrate the elements of life and love, because these are the things help us become who we were meant to be.

The Mutual Admiration Society

By Lesley Kagen

Precocious eleven-year-old Tessie Finley is the narrator of this heartwarming novel. In addition to her endless lists, she organizes The Mutual Admiration Society. Tessie believes she has witnessed a crime in her local cemetery. With the help of her trustworthy friend, Charlie, and her little sister Birdie, she intends to solve it.

Tessie narrates her story with a straightforward, no-nonsense, wise and witty voice. She does her very best to make sense of the world around her. And, she has a whole lot on her plate. Tessie is dealing with the sudden, tragic death of her father, an emotionally inaccessible mother, judgmental neighbors, and Birdie’s special needs. Yet, Tessie does it all with a very spirited, loving heart.

Author Lesley Kagen has also done it again. She has created a story that is both entertaining and heartwarming. Her attention to time and place is accurate and relevant. Tessie’s world of 1950s Milwaukee took me back to my similar childhood in Chicago. Sometimes, I felt I knew Tessie, other times I felt I was her! I could relate to her way of thinking, her determination, and her world.

As always, Lesley Kagen has created a story filled with characters you can care about. She understands and preserves the innocence of childhood. She respects the trust found in a child’s heart, sharing it in the natural way a child does.

Lesley Kagen is a very special author. She never disappoints. I have read each of her books and loved them all. If you have not read her books, you should. You are missing out on some very special reading. 

The Drowning Girls


Paula Treick DeBoard has written another great psychological suspense novel. This contemporary thriller reminds us that things are not always what we think they are, nor are people the way they present themselves.
Liz’s dreams were coming true. She was happily married to Phil. They would live in a prestigious inclusive community. His new job as the Community Relations liaison for an elite gated community promised them paradise. Liz was also happy that her daughter, Danielle, would be attending a safe high school with good students.  
As a country club community, “The Psalms” had it all. There was a huge, fully equipped center for parties and events, a full golf course, swimming pools, exercise and yoga programs, a walking trail, as well as the picturesque “mini-mansions”. Phil’s job was to keep the community organized and the residents happy.
As Phil and his family settle into their new community, reality also begins to set in. Behind the lovely doors of these gorgeous homes are some ugly secrets. As these secrets come to light, Liz quickly feels that she does not belong here. Her concerns for her family and marriage prove to be founded.

As a high school counselor, Liz never felt she quite fit in with her neighbors. They are always dressed in the newest, trendiest designer clothes. Disposable incomes are very apparent and a way of life. Competition may be silent, but is an obvious element in “The Psalms”.

The children are obvious reflections of their parents. They seem to be always texting on their new phones or using social media to better their own status among their peers. Cyber-bullying becomes a serious problem for Danielle. When a someone she trusts doesn’t get her way, she holds Danielle responsible.

Things become even worse, however, for Phil and Liz when Danielle’s friend, Kelsey, develops a crush on Phil. Bored, over-privileged, and deeply disturbed, the girl-next-door is anything but harmless. Her infatuation quickly turns to obsession. There will be consequences for her rejection, and the entire community will pay.

Paula Treick DeBoard writes stories about families and communities facing many issues of the world today. Her meticulous attention to detail is notable. The author weaves dark elements of the human psyche into her storytelling of these families in crisis. 

I highly recommend The Drowning Girls. However, do not stop there. I strongly recommend that you read The Mourning Hours, and The Fragile World, too. Paula Treick DeBoard never disappoints. She is one of my favourite authors.

The Education of Ivy Blake


By Ellen Airgood
This heartfelt middle-school novel is the companion to Prairie Evers. In the original book, we met Prairie Evers and her wonderful family. They lived on a farm in the country. Ivy was new to Prairie’s school, but they became very close friends. Due to her own family situation, Ivy eventually went to live with the Evers’ family.
Now, Ivy has been reunited with her mother. They have moved back to the city where they hope to start a new life together. Ivy struggles to maintain her friendship with Prairie though long distance phone talks and weekend sleepovers. As she begins to get settled into her new school, she does make new friends, though. Her artwork seems to be taking a new exciting direction, too. 

However, to her shock and disappointment, Ivy realizes that her mother has not changed. In fact, her irrational behavior, impulsiveness, and immaturity present very serious problems for both of them. As things change again for Ivy, she learns lasting lessons about friends, family, love, and above all: herself.

Ivy Blake is a hero for all ages. I think that author Ellen Airgood may be, too.

Let Me Die in His Footsteps


By Lori Roy

It is 1952. Fifteen-year-old Annie Halloran is following an old tradition handed down through generations. At midnight, she sneaks out to go to an old well on the Baines’ neighboring Kentucky farm. She hopes to see the image of her future husband gazing back at her from the water in the old well.  However, the Hallorans’ and Baines’ have a very complicated and violent history. On this night, the past will come back to haunt both families, as well as the town they all share. 

No one writes Southern Gothic better than Lori Roy. Her understanding of family secrets, feuds, history, and folklore is deep and satisfying. Each of her atmospheric novels is beautifully written. Lori Roy never disappoints.

Born Without a Tail


By Cayr Ariel Wulff

For much of her life, C. A. Wulff was involved in animal rescue. In this memoir, she shares her own personal rescue stories. As is the case with animal rescue, some of these tales are funny and others are poignant. However, all of them are true.

From early childhood, Cayr was drawn to animals. She sought connections with each animal that entered her life. She helped those that she could, including ill, injured and difficult to place animals. Many of them found a permanent place in the author’s home. Her heart has always been in the right place. 

At this point in her life, the author spends much of her time in advocacy. In addition to her animal books, C.A. Wulff writes for the National Animal Books Examiner, Cleveland Pets Examiner, and her own blog “Up on the Woof”. She also is an artist, utilizing her “yelodoggie” art to share her love of dogs. You can find Cayr Ariel Wulff at yelodoggie.com.