Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Recent Read - A Classic

Morning GloryMorning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I was reminded the other day that it’s been a while since the last time – but by far not the first time – that I read this wonderful and amazing book.  So of course I had to fix that and read it again.  It has really stood the test of time since the very first time I read in 1990.  It needs to be read by everyone who loves romance.  Here’s the review I wrote ages ago and everything I said then.

******~~~~~*****


There are classics in literature, Moby Dick, War and Peace, Oliver Twist and many, many more. I think the romances of yesteryear have their classics too, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and more. Modern day romance – not so sure if they have what would be considered classics yet or not, it may be too soon, but if they did, I’m sure they would have a book or two by Georgette Heyer, Kathleen Woodiwiss.

And then we come to another author who has written some of what I consider modern day romance classics and that’s LaVryle Spencer. I’ve read most of her books except for perhaps her last couple before she retired and of all that I’ve read, I truly believe Morning Glory needs to be added to the classics of romance. I first read this book more years ago than I can remember and I’ve reread it every year or two since then. I can’t quite remember the last time but I have it on my Ipad and I know I’ve read it since I bought it but when I saw a friend recently post a review on GoodReads, it got the need to reread it again stirring. And heaven knows when a book starts calling, there is no relief until you answer it.

This is a beautiful moving story of two very sad and lonely people, how they come together in an enduring gentle love and heal each other with that love. Will Parker and Elly Dinsmore are characters that have stayed with me since the first time I read this book probably more than 20 years ago. It’s almost like I’ve absorbed them.

The book opens with Will Parker working at a lumber mill. He’s only been there 3 days and he’s literally starving. The book opens just before the second World War and Will has just been released from prison for murdering a prostitute. We find out details later in the story. His bully boss finds out this info and dismisses Will on the spot. Will has just been wandering around the countryside trying to find work and now he’s out of yet another job. The men laughingly tell him that maybe crazy Elly Dunsmore will take him in. She has an add up advertising for a husband to help work her farm. She is known as the local crazy widow woman and her story is just as sad as Will’s. She was the bastard granddaughter of the town’s religious zealots and was practically locked into the family home with the blinds drawn. Only after the truant officer found out about her was she allowed out but only to go to school, then back to her prison. She somehow managed to escape long enough to meet and marry. But her husband was died in an accident and she has two young boys and is pregnant with her third child and is in desperate circumstances. Her only option was to look for a husband. After some thought and due to his own desperate circumstances, Will does go see Elly to check things out. It’s an awkward meeting, neither one of them real comfortable in dealing with others, Elly because of the isolated way she was raised and Will because of his prison record. But they manage to come to an agreement and thus starts the most poignant, tender, beautiful, tear inducing books I’ve ever read.

Seriously, I mean it. If I only had one word – the story is beautiful.
Will has never known love and he sees all he’s ever wanted in the mother that Ellie is. He falls in love with her partly because of that. He was an orphan who never knew parents, doesn’t even know his own birthday. His only friend betrayed him, resulting in his prison sentence. I think he’s the loneliest, saddest hero I’ve read at the beginning of the book.
Elly is also sad and lonely but not so much. She has her children and she had a good husband. Despite or maybe because of her lonely upbringing, Elly has quite a streak of whimsy to her. She’s actually rather upbeat all things considered and this is just what someone in such a dark place as Will is needs.

Throughout the story, they heal each other. While she had loved her husband, Will is different. He’s young, and strong and determined and handsome and he has beautiful eyes. He loves her two sons and is a wonderful father figure to them. He is loving and very appreciative of everything Elly does both for him and her children. He never takes anything for granted. Who wouldn’t fall in love with someone like Will?
And for Will, Elly is everything he couldn’t even have imagined he wanted. She meets the mothering role he has needed filled all his life. There is a scene where she cuts his hair and one is almost in tears reading just that scene alone.

Slowly, Will gains a sense of pride. When he first comes to Elly, he’s a broken man. But with Elly’s help along with Ms. Beasley gets self-respect. Ms Beasley is the local librarian who helps him when he wants to learn more on different things he fixes around the farm, plumbing, bees, a number of different things. Ms Beasley is another wonderful character. She’s starchy and she’s tough and she’s opinionated and she has such a soft heart for Will. He’s like the son she’s never had and she is a lion in defense of him and when she offers him a job as library custodian, he gains a pride he’s never had before.

And of course there is conflict that comes along in this book. It takes place in 1941 and the threat of war hangs in the air. Will knows he is a prime candidate to be called up and wants it to be on his terms. But Elly is terrified and would rather keep her head in the sand. Finally the inevitable happens and Will must leave and he joins the Marines. It turns out that he completely becomes the person he was meant to be.

This part of the book, told through letters, is as wonderful and poignant as the rest of the book and it marks a turning point. Will comes back but not quite the same person he left. But now there is another block. He is being stalked by a woman who refuses to accept the fact he’s not interested.
I really don’t have the words or confidence to completely explain how truly wonderful this book is and how I think it needs to be read at least once by every reader who loves this genre. Ms. Spencer makes us feel every emotion that Elly and Will in particular experience. We feel the betrayal that Will feels when his best friend testifies against him during the trial that sends him to jail. We feel his despair and shame when he brings up the green apples he ate because that was the only thing he could find. We feel his wonderment over his growing relationship with Ellie’s two boys. We feel his panic when Ellie insists he be the one to help her give birth and we feel his pride when Ellie gives her new-born daughter his last name.
This is a book that shows, not tells the story and because of that she makes us feel like we are right there with them during their journey to healing and love. If you check reviews for this book on GoodReads and or Amazon, many reviewers give this higher than 5 stars even though that’s the highest grade allowed.

Having just recently read this book again, it’s timeless, it’s a classic and it only gets better with each telling.

They don't have anything higher than 5 so all I can do is give this a 5+++

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Advice for Authors .

oh my but Twitter is a great source of inspiration for blog subjects.  I was just following a thread started by an author unhappy with a negative review for one of her books.  She screen captured a one star review posted on Amazon.

Bad, bad, bad idea.  She seemed to have many positive reviews but focused on one negative one and bitched out the reviewer.  She totally ignored one of the primary facts of being an author; there isn’t a book written that’s going to be loved by all. Not. One. Single. Book. I’ve read books I’ve loved to the enth degree as have the vast majority of other readers but there is ALWAYS going to be someone who thinks it’s garbage, always.

So authors, accept this.  If you are tempted to argue, justify, explain, whatever, Sit On Your Hands Until the Urge Passes. Make this your number one rule.  Of sure there are going to be fans who agree with you if you do respond but more likely is that you will lose potential readers.  I’ve never read this author but she guaranteed that now I never will.  For the most part, readers who write up reviews do it for fellow readers and not to give the author good feels.  If I were an author, to be honest I wouldn’t want this.  I’d rather a reader, if they are going to do a review, be honest.

I’m easily pleased and happy with books I read so I don’t write many negative reviews, but I do on occasion.  I try to explain why I didn’t care for the book but it’s not a given every reader who does reviews will. Sometimes it might just be one or two sentences, with no real reason why.  This is the case I’m referencing because author tweeted it for all to see.

But authors, resist.  Accept this happens to all authors and just move on.  If reasons are listed why the book didn’t work, think on it, and then move on if you don’t buy the reasons or incorporate if they do have a point.

But whatever, do not whiner complain where others ca see.  Big mistake.

‘TIL later

Friday, May 31, 2019

It’s also the ironies

Remember my last post, the one I did less than 24 hours ago, somewhere around 3:30 am?  Yep that one.  Why is it for every step forward, you seem to take one back?

I was looking forward to work today.  I was wearing new shoes and a new jumper I was waiting for the right shoes to wear.  I was rockin’ the look, good hair day and was feelin’ fine.  I was walking into the back door, stepping up a small slip when it seems I didn’t lift my right leg high enough, tripped, couldn’t recover and landed face first on the cement.

Of course the first words out of my mouth was FUCK! Fuck, fuck, fuck.  Then the pain started and the blood started to rush out and I started to cry.  Since it was the start of the second shift there were a number of people around, nurses included.  It was déjà voux all over again and for the second time in a couple of months an ambulance was called for me at work.  That is so freaking embarrassing, it really, really is.  The ambulance came and checked me out and recommended they take me to the hospital but this time I declined.  Rather than getting priority head of the line treatment I got when I had the heart attack, I’d have to wait my turn just like everyone else and the EMT’s would have to wait with me.

By this time I was feeling much better other than that rattled feeling one has after a nasty fall.  They were really only concerned because I’d hit my head and I’m on blood thinners.  The compromise that work really wanted was a visit to urgent care which I agreed t, no ambulance this time.  My manager took me and stayed with me the three hours it took for a doctor to check me out.  He let me leave after getting a tetanus shot.  For some reason that amuses me.

So I’m home and good except for a sore face, a slightly swollen nose and a booboo on my nose and a fair sized lump on my forehead. And I called my sister to see if she can call me a couple of times tonight and in the morning.

But dang it all I hesitated again going up the stairs to the house again.  Not too bad but still.  I’m not liking these backward steps.  And I’m thinking I might wake up with black eyes tomorrow.

See, irony.

‘Til later.

It begins with baby steps

My health had deteriorated the past number of years.  It began I think about 8 or so years ago when I fell on my basement stairs and broke my left leg, the tibia and fibula both.  I still have the X-ray around somewhere around and it is pretty cool.  I recovered though Left Leg as I call her was weakened.  Then about 5or 6 years ago, time being more of a relative thing, I slipped and did major damage to tendons and ligaments on Right Leg.  Recovering from the broken leg was nothing compared to trying to recover from the damage to Right.

 I used a walker (White Walker) and a cane, (Kandi and yep, I named them just like I have to Legs). Off and on for a number of years.  In fact they even went on vacation with me, to RWA conferences and my yearly cottage trips.  In fact they are both still in my car,mostly because I’m too lazy to bring them in but also as ‘just in case’.  I had a lot of falls mostly because Right and Left refused to work together, each thinking the other leg should take the lead, what with their injuries and all.

I’m just clueing lately that that’s been a contributing factor in the depression I’ve had.  As a result I didn’t walk nearly enough.  Both legs hurt, Right in particular would ache at night.

But then came the heart attack and as a result I’ve taken up walking.  I stager quite a bit still and anyone walking behind me I’m sure thinks that woman ahead of me’s been hitting the bottle.

But today!! Ahh, celebrating baby steps, for the first time in 5 or 6 years(!) I walked around the mall I live near.  And not only that but I climbed a few stairs alternately instead of stepping up one step on
Left, then bringing Right up to meet before moving on. Right is stubborn and refuses to go first.  It didn’t click in until I was driving home what I just done for the first time in ever so long.

See, baby steps.  They can be amazing.

‘TIL later.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Ponderings




Our computers are down at work and as most know, when the computer is down, you can’t work.  It’s most frustrating.  It’s been down two and a half hours now.

In an effort to keep looking busy I did a bad, bad thing.  I went on Twitter.  There was a bit of a brouhaha when some self-righteous woman tweeted that romance is ‘porn for women’.  Them there is fighting words for me.  The single most core function of romance is love.  In most porn, love isn’t even a factor.  But in romance the main characters love the other person more than themselves.  Porn is much more self-satisfaction.  Sex – in romance – is for the most part, a physical expression of that love.  And for those self-righteous who think sex between those who love each other, check out some of the verses in Song of Solomon.  In my opinion, God approves of physical love.

I also see some books on Amazon labeled “clean”.  This also raises my temperature as it sure does imply that sex is somehow dirty.  It’s NOT.  It’s a gift.

There are a number of things that get me steamed and self-righteousness is one of the biggies.
.......

And now of course our system is back up and running which means I have to start working again.  *heavy sigh*

'til later

Saturday, May 18, 2019

OK, I’m Here again.

I’ve been going through a whole lot the past while.  I’ve been wanting to keep blogging but one of the “things” was my wifi didn’t work for a long time.  I had someone over to do a bunch of handyman type stuff and getting my wifi up and running was the greatest of all the things he fixed.  I didn’t realize how much emptier my life had become until I got it back.  I was cut off from the romance community and the “community, from readers to authors have been such a rich and vital part of my life for years.  I was starving but didn’t know it.

But now it’s almost like I’m experiencing a rebirth of sorts. I’ve long known I have deep seated issues but again I didn’t know how deeply broken I’ve been until I’ve started healing.  I’ve been going for counseling regularly and shit is coming out that I didn’t even know was there.  But I found myself laughing at work a week or so again and it was a meaningful laugh like I haven’t had for a few years now and it felt WONDERFUL.  That’s when it truly dawned on me I’ve been almost just existing for a long while; going through the motions but skimming through a lot of things.

Oddly enough it was a heart attack I had a couple of months ago that was the awakening I needed.  Before that I wasn’t actively suicidle (crap, can’t figure out how to spell that) but a part of me didn’t care if I died.  I know, it was a horrible existence.  I didn’t WANT to, but didn’t care if I did.

But now, having lived in that black tunnel for a while, I discovered I wasn’t ready to “go” yet.  I’m walking and eating ever so much better and realizing I can do something.  I’ve started buying much better quality clothes and using a very good moisturizer- sounds silly and shallow but it’s a sign that things are starting to matter again.

I don’t have a relationship with either of my sons and haven’t for a couple of years now and it’s one of the things that has kept me broken but now that I’m healing I’ll soon be well enough I think, to handle the pain that’s going to come and handle the rejection there’s a good chance I’ll face.

But this is a thank you to the romance community.  Although I didn’t reach out for help, I was too broken, I know it’s always been there just waiting for me to reach out.

Obviously it isn’t perfect, there are as many opinions as there are members, and some very strong women, which we need.  But still we have something very precious and when things look grim, we do have something stronger which can hold us together if we allow it.  Love.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

2019

Wowzers where has the time gone?  I still don’t have wifi working at home and thus the pitiful excuse for posting so seldom and even though I barely do posts for quite some time now with any kind of regularity doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten this blog.

So I’ll say what I always seem to say and hopefully it won’t be as long between posts.


‘TIL later