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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Patty Pick is "The Guest Room" by Chris Bohjalian

The Guest Room starts off with a bang, literally. This novel has several character paths to follow and the best action comes when they intersect. When Richard hosts a bachelor party at his quiet suburban home for his younger brother, he does not expect to have sex slaves and murder all in the same night. Phillip and his merry mates are quite the party animals so things quickly gets out of hand. Then Alexandra and her partner show up with their Russian bodyguards and it really gets heated.

When Alexandra and her friend kill their handlers in the Richard's living room, things get even worse. With his house a crime scene, the police accusing them of having sex with underage sex slaves and his wife learning that Richard was "all most" unfaithful, the novel ramps up. Chris Bohjalian tells a haunting tale of sex slaves with Alexandra's back story and the other girls mentioned along the path. You can see how this tragedy could happen and the raw, gritty details will make you sick to your stomach.

At the same time, you are watching one man's life with his prestigious job and happy family go into a nosedive. Richard made a wrong decision, actually several wrong decisions that snowballed into one big live-changing mess. What does his wife and daughter think about this debacle? As we watch and read with horror, Alexandra is running for her life. The ending will be one you will not expect. Chris Bohjalian tells a great, but sad story. 4 Stars!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Celebrating My Dad & My Husband - Fathers Day 2017

I posted parts of this essay on my Dad last year, but I am going to expand and add more of my husband. He's not fond of it when I include him in online posts, but such a good man needs some celebrating too!

My memories of my Dad come stuck together with Gorilla Glue and duct tape. Those two things were the first line of defense in his tool box. My father could fix anything and he proved it many times, especially with my mom. He could have her laughing in an instant. Unfortunately, he could not save her in the end, but he never left her side during her decline. My Dad fixed my hurts, my broken hearts, my broken cars and my furniture in need of repair. He also taught me that kindness goes a long way and to also treat people with respect, as we do not walk in their shoes. He proved this many times over, going beyond the pale to help people he knew and he didn't know. And he always did this without expecting payment or even a thank you. 

My father was a extraordinary storyteller as was my father's father. He and Grandpa had us mesmerized during family events as we gathered around a churning freezer of homemade ice cream and listened to those two tell us stories of their youth and life. My Dad was one of five children and it sounds like they had a raucous time together growing up. Sadly only 2 of my father's sisters are left with us. It is so hard to bury those we love, but this is a celebration, Their lives have touched us and the memories of their love will live in all of us who came in contact with them. 

I could always count on my Dad to be there when I needed him. He encouraged me to go to college and luckily I listened. He helped me become the first one on my side of the family to graduate from college. He was a huge cheerleader in my life and I miss him every single day and I wish we had been lucky enough to have more time with him.  

I have heard that you marry your father and in my case that is true. I married my best friend, my biggest supporter and the right man for me. One thing that will never change is his large supply of integrity and honesty. He will never let you down and he is the first one I turn to for help when I need it. Of course, he is always close to me, as we work together in our small business. We have been doing that for 14 years now. I could not imagine doing it without him and even though we end up being together almost 24/7, we are still married. Ha! Ha!   

My husband is a wonderful father. He always wishes the best for our daughter. He feels her hurts deeply and wants badly to prevent them, while knowing that is not always possible. He will always be there for her and lead by example with respect. I know our daughter is lucky to have him and even though they don't always agree, they know the other one loves them and only wants the best for them. To love and be loved is such a precious value in this world. He always loves us and strives to do the best for his family and those he loves. 


My Father (and my mother) welcomed my husband into the family right away. They were good people who chose to see the best in people and knew I had been lucky enough to find one of the best. When our daughter was born, my parents were right there the next day helping out. One Christmas, we gave our daughter, Ashley, a PowerWheels Barbie Corvette. My dad and husband put it together on Christmas Eve. It took a little while, and when they were finished there were some parts left over. You see, my dad never read the instructions, he just studied the parts and assembled them as best he could. My husband tends to do the same thing. Of course, I sometimes read the instructions for him. That car lasted through our daughter's childhood and we finally gave it away when she turned seven and we were moving to Orlando. It's probably still running somewhere.

When God created kindness in this world, he had to be thinking of my Dad. He was the epitome of kindness and love. He would do anything for the three of us kids, Mom, or anyone else who crossed his path. I was so lucky and blessed to have him as a Father and to have two loving, wonderful parents. God broke the mold when he made my Dad. We talked almost every day after we lost Mom, and he was my connection to that side of my family. I miss those wonderful days of family rollerbat games and homemade ice cream, but mostly I just miss my Dad. But I am one of the lucky ones - I had him for a father. He taught me many things but most of all he taught me to love. They say you end of marrying someone like your father, Lucky for me, my daughter has a Dad that is just a wonderful! I hope she finds one like my Dad and her father. Thanks, Dad...... 



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Patty Pick for June 9, 2017 is "The Choices We Make" by Karma Brown

This book will make you laugh, cry, and question the choices you make and have made. Sometimes it's hard to see them from another person's perspective and sometimes they have unintended consequences. There are quite a few choices in this book, but the main one involves one's couple quest to have a child. When Hannah hit a classmate to protect another girl, Kate, from one boy's terrible behavior, she and Kate became life-long friends. They have always been there to help each other, but now there is nothing that Kate can do to help.  

Hannah and Ben have tried everything. They are at the end of their rope. Hannah wants to try to find a surrogate to carry a child but Ben is not ready to give up on having a child of their own. Kate and her husband, David, are watching their best friends fall apart. Kate and David have the perfect family with two little girls, a perfect house and the life that their friends want desperately.  

Then after struggling for years for their dream of a family, they don't know how they are even going on as a couple. Kate decides she wants to give Hannah and Ben the ultimate gift. It takes David some thought to agree, but he is onboard when he realizes that Kate is making the hardest choice. Kate will become the surrogate mother for their child. As the pregnancy advances, Hannah and Ben become more and more involved in the choices for the baby. But all choices do not turn out the way we think and they all have consequences. Karma Brown writes about this struggle in great detail and accuracy. This book will move you. 4.5 Stars!