Tag archive

tall poppies review

Tall Poppies Review: Tina Ann Forkner Wakes Up Emotions

in Fiction by

My oh my but I have a thing for the Talleys. I must—I just finished reading Tina Ann Forkner’s Waking Up Joy  (Tule Publishing) for the second time. Joy Talley is the 40-something who has tasked herself with preserving her parents’ rural Oklahoma homestead as well as their large, rambunctious, and often complicated family. As one of five creative and opinionated siblings myself, I can relate to their brand of crazy. They may be bossy, hot-to-trot, or off their rockers, but the Talleys are fiercely loyal and never less than entertaining. As the book opens, Joy is in a bit of a spot. After falling from her roof while trying to pull an evil charm from the chimney, and then…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: “The Feathered Bone” Brings Light to the Darkness

in Fiction by

Sometimes we open a book of fiction hoping to escape to another place and time. While we read, we can imagine living in a world of wizards and gentle giants; diving 20,000 leagues under the sea; or flying in a hot air balloon over rainbows and yellow brick roads. At other times, fiction pulls us into the dreams and fears of those who live through hardships that most of us can hardly imagine. These are the stories that make news headlines, that cause us to shudder, and that move us to hold onto our loved ones a little bit tighter. They’re the stories that open our eyes to dire struggles in the world – and they’re the stories that inspired…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: Perfectly Timed, Socially Relevant, “What Happened That Night” Is a Must-Read

in Fiction by

Perfectly-timed and socially-relevant, What Happened That Night by Sandra Block is a page-turning thriller that will satisfy readers of Lisa Scottaline and Jessica Knoll. This story is an emotional and twisting ride that follows Dahlia and her new friend James on a journey of payback and justice for an unquestionably terrible act of violence. Dahlia is a student at Harvard when she is drugged and brutally raped by a string of attackers during a night out partying with her best friend. Five years later in what seems like a surprising twist of circumstances, someone leaks the video of the assault on-line, and Dahlia discovers what really happened on that awful night, getting a shocking look at her attackers and what they did…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: “Promised to the Crown” is Embroidered with Love

in Fiction by

Lovers of historical fiction will be swept away by Amie Runyan’s Promised to the Crown. I was! This book follows three young women as they leave their homes to travel across an ocean towards a future each has chosen but none can quite imagine. Rose, Elizabeth and Nicole come from different backgrounds, and undertake their journeys for vastly different reasons. But in Canada, their fates intertwine and they become fast friends, sharing heartache and happiness as wives and mothers who forge their own paths in the northern towns and teaming wilderness. In the 17thcentury, a girl without a dowry had little hopes to make a happy match and secure a future in France. Meanwhile, the colony of New France needed…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: Sonja Yoerg’s “House Broken” Tackles Tough Issues With Wit and Layers

in Fiction by

Veterinarian Geneva Novak relates better to animals than humans. Maybe not that surprising once we meet her dysfunctional family. When her mother is injured in an alcohol-fueled accident, Geneva’s husband convinces her that taking mom in, is the opportunity to repair their relationship. Toss in two teenagers with their own set of issues, a slew of family secrets and complicated sibling relationships and you have the ingredients for a perfect familial explosion. Sonja Yoerg tackles tough issues in this book with an unsentimental and unapologetic honesty. Her wicked wit and effortless writing lift this fractured family from the pages and into your heart. Told from the point-of-view of three characters and three generations, we’re drawn into the complexities of families…

Keep Reading

Kristy Woodson Harvey Sprinkles a Dash More ‘Southern Charm’ in ‘Slightly South of Simple’ Sequel

in Fiction by

In The Secret to Southern Charm, Kristy Woodson Harvey returns to beloved Peachtree Bluff and the cast of delightful characters readers fell in love with in Slightly South of Simple. It’s no surprise that readers and critics alike have been clamoring for Harvey to revisit Peachtree Bluff to continue the story of Ansley and her daughters Caroline, Sloane, and Emerson. Harvey gripped our hearts and captured our imaginations in the first installment of the series, and The Secret to Southern Charm is the perfect continuation. When Sloane discovers that her military husband is missing in action, her world is shattered. Unable to care for herself or her children, Sloane must rely on her own mother to hold what’s left of…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: ‘I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around’ is Witty and Heartfelt

in Fiction by

I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around by Ann Garvin is a witty, heartfelt novel that deals with life’s beautiful imperfections as well as the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s. Writing with both honesty and levity, Garvin draws back the curtain and shows readers a family that is faced with this heartbreaking disease that slowly robs them of their loved ones. The story takes place in Madison, Wisconsin, where psychologist Tig Monahan is committed to taking care of others – the couples who attend her therapy sessions, her family, and her mother, Hallie, whose dementia has progressed to the point where she must now live in an assisted living facility. As a person who prides herself on maintaining control and…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: ‘The Widow Waltz’ Sparkles With Wit and Wonder

in Fiction by

When the wealthy, charming lawyer, Benjamin Silver, suddenly dies at a marathon, he leaves behind a gorgeous wife Georgia, a soul mate for many years, two daughters, Nicola and Louisa, and an empty bank account. The latter turns out to be as shocking as Ben’s untimely death, maybe even more. How on earth did this wealthy man who owned a law practice, an apartment on Central Park South, a house at the beach, many club memberships, and an envious wardrobe of suits and electronics end up penurious? Georgia, the stunning wife with a sculpted nose that inspires many surgeons, is only a little perplexed until she finds out her sizable inheritance, the trust funds for her daughters and her house…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: ‘Family Trees’ Captivates with Story of Love, Family and Heartbreak

in Fiction by

Family Trees by Kerstin March is a beautifully written story that captivates the reader with a cast of interesting characters and stunning landscape. The story unfolds against the gorgeous backdrop of Lake Superior with Shelby Meyers, a young local woman who lives and works with her grandparents at their family owned orchard in Bayfield, Wisconsin. I at once fell in love with not only Shelby’s intelligence and independence, but also her salt of the earth grandparents and her spunky best friend. The community of Bayfield and its residents come to life in a way that invites readers to feel like we are a part of it. One of the things I love most about this novel is how March brings Lake…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: A Beloved Character, Zoe Goldman, Returns in Sandra Block’s ‘The Secret Room’

in Fiction by

I’ve been a fan of the Zoe Goldman books since she made her first appearance several years ago in Sandra Block’s debut, Little Black Lies. Smart, tenacious, and more than a bit sarcastic, Zoe casually stepped off the page and became so much more than just a character in a book. I jumped at the chance to read and review The Secret Room, Block’s third in the series, eager to reconnect with Dr. Zoe Goldman and her often dark, always dangerous world of criminal psychology. I wasn’t disappointed! In The Secret Room, Zoe is a new psychiatry fellow at a correctional facility in Buffalo, New York. It just so happens this is the same prison where her deranged, homicidal biological…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: Kimberly Brock’s ‘The River Witch’ is a Modern Day Classic with a Southern Accent

in Fiction by

When Roslyn Byrne’s life implodes through miscarriage and job loss, she escapes to a remote island in Georgia, hoping for peace and healing. Instead, she discovers a broken family and Damascus, an unforgettable ten-year-old girl — the real star of this debut novel — whose life can be changed by nothing short of magic. If you yearn for escape yourself — and these days, who doesn’t? — The River Witch is a book that embraces you as only warm-hearted Southern literature can. Don’t expect the quick clip of a thriller. This charming novel by Kimberly Brock unwinds with calm assurance, and takes you along for a compelling ride that calls for a tissue or two as it tugs at your heart. The…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: ‘Daughters of the Night Sky’ Pays Homage to WWII Female Pilots

in Fiction by

When I sat down with this book, I knew nothing about the Night Bomber Regiment in the Red Army—a group of all-female Russian pilots that bombed Germany during WWII. I quickly found myself captivated by this band of determined women, who not only wanted to save their country from invasion and protect their sweethearts at the front, but longed to shatter the age-old expectations surrounding their sex. Katya Ivanova is a sympathetic protagonist with a fiery spirit to match her fiery hair. Her young girl’s dream of escaping the poverty shaping her existence takes root in the airplanes that she sees flying over her mountain home. In school—and later during her intensive military training—she quickly rises in the ranks, becoming…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: ‘Entanglement’: A Story of Friendship, Loyalty, and Struggles

in Romance by

Entanglement by Katie Rose Guest Pryal is an evocative story of enduring friendship and the ties that bind. Charismatic Daphne, and her more reserved best friend Greta, both have troubled pasts so they are anxious to start an exciting new chapter in Los Angeles near the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. No matter what happens, they know they have each other. The girls quickly find work and a cute, quirky apartment. When they can’t immediately afford furniture they make the best of things and sleep on the floor where they muse together about their ambitions and dreams. With care and tenderness, Daphne guides Greta through the painstaking death of her mother, who had been suffering with a terminal illness. Steadfast…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: Laura Drake Takes Sibling Devotion to a New Level in ‘Days Made of Glass’

in Fiction by

“Shared blood defines a family, but spilled blood can too…” ~ Days Made of Glass Buckle up readers, because your emotions are in for a roller coaster ride in Laura Drake’s Days Made of Glass – A gripping story of sibling devotion, mental illness and having to face hard truths about oneself. The symbolism in this story hits from every angle. Shattered glass is the splintering of the illusion of reality. In Drake’s novel the smashed mirrors are a sign of both enlightenment and madness. Shards of glass are everywhere, representing broken dreams, broken promises, broken relationships and broken people. Two sisters—tough-as-nails Harlie (the protector) and her younger sister Angel (the lost soul), have had a rough life. So far Harlie…

Keep Reading

Tall Poppies Review: Kate Moretti’s ‘Season’ Of Secrets and Suspense

in Fiction by

At BookTrib, we are constantly searching for the best ways to connect readers with writers, opening their eyes and worlds to fresh ideas! This is how we came across a wonderful group known as the Tall Poppies, who are not only avid readers, but extremely talented writers as well! This week Sandra Block reviews the latest by Kate Moretti, The Blackbird Season. “The smaller the town, the bigger the secrets.” So reads the tag-line of Kate Moretti’s haunting and gorgeous The Blackbird Season. Some taglines may be misleading or grandiose, but this one is right on target. After the paper mill closes, the small town embarks on a slow, ignominious death. Even shut down, the factory is still killing the town, expelling…

Keep Reading

Underneath A “Perfect” Marriage In Psychological Thriller ‘Best Day Ever’

in Fiction by

At BookTrib, we are constantly searching for the best ways to connect readers with writers, opening their eyes and worlds to fresh ideas! This is how we came across a wonderful group known as the Tall Poppies, who are not only avid readers, but extremely talented writers as well! On a weekly basis, we introduce many wonderful books to you straight from the Tall Poppies. Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys, and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And…

Keep Reading

Go to Top