My inspiration for creating this story came from time spent near the ocean, a peaceful setting with such a breathtaking view. It provided total bliss...moreMy inspiration for creating this story came from time spent near the ocean, a peaceful setting with such a breathtaking view. It provided total bliss while I vacationed on the beach. The idea for including four sisters who because of circumstances must be on their own was inspired loosely by the novel Little Women. No means nearly as tragic, but a lighter drama. I strove for a feel good, sweet romance placed in a cheery setting. A real getaway for the mind. I hope you all enjoy. (less)
Martin continues to entertain with this addition to the Blackbird Sisters Mystery series. Her talent to create interesting characters is definitely a...moreMartin continues to entertain with this addition to the Blackbird Sisters Mystery series. Her talent to create interesting characters is definitely a strong point. In fact, she does it so well that it's hard for me to pick out a favorite, but if pressed to do so, I would have to say Emma stands out with her female strength and independence, not to mention some eyebrow-raising choices in job careers :-)
And the plot? Indeed, it has a couple of surprises, which was a relief since there were a couple of predictable parts to the story. I like finding a twist or two in any mystery I read. There was one thing I will say that was a short-coming, although this view might be prompted by my impatient nature. I felt the pacing slow until probably two-thirds of the way into the story. Then it was fireworks and events moved at a much faster, entertaining gate.
All and all, this was worth my time and made me encouraged to read more in the series.
The idea for DYING TO DREAM sprouted several years ago when I was researching about haunted sites situated in Louisiana. I found out about Oak Alley,...moreThe idea for DYING TO DREAM sprouted several years ago when I was researching about haunted sites situated in Louisiana. I found out about Oak Alley, a former plantation with its supposed hauntings. I started with the idea of a woman who painted pictures of people she dreamed about. But these pictures took on a life of their own, changing form and position often, speaking to her, etc. The woman is somehow directed by spirits to find a property for sale in Louisiana and buy it. Then the haunted moments started once she moved there. That is where I left it ... unfinished.
Fast forward to 2009 and I dusted off the story, using some of the original ideas, tossing out others and what you see published here is the finished product. My heroine became a psychic who dreams the dreams of spirits, becoming them, and learning their mysteries. Using this she is able to help solve a couple of murders and find out some puzzling details about the family history. Oak Alley is written into the story, by the way, as the plantation house in Vacherie.
They say write what you know. So, even though I've never lived in Louisiana, I do have a background in the French language and have studied Spanish. I decided a couple of my characters could benefit from the knowledge, and I have a splattering of French and Spanish phrases throughout the story, which I think adds a little authenticity to them as well as giving the setting some southern flavor.
As for the paranormal aspects, I've always been interested in the study and phenomenon of spirits. I've even been on a couple of ghost tours! Most of it is all in fun, but still ... who knows? If you read the book, you will notice how each chapter opens with a line or two from various authors and poets about ghostly topics. (And yes, I checked to make sure they are in the public domain and break no copywright laws!)
Even though I love all my characters, I'd have to say Tante Louise is my favorite one. Her feisty attitude along with the french flare and voodoo mystery adds so much flavor to the story.
And the romance? Ah, yes. There is romance :-) Trent and Marin in the present, as well as a couple in the past. But how that turns out, I will leave it to you to discover when you read my book!(less)
Oh my ... I had no idea what I was in for when I started reading this book. Wonderfully engaging, heart-warming, entertaining and soooooo very good th...moreOh my ... I had no idea what I was in for when I started reading this book. Wonderfully engaging, heart-warming, entertaining and soooooo very good that it had me taking a walk down memory lane with the story's flashbacks to the sixties and Woodstock. (And no, I wasn't a member of the Woodstock Nation, but I can safely claim that my Woodstock album has more grooves and scratch marks than any other album I've owned!)
Honestly, I don't think I've ever read a book where I connected with that many issues personally, all those themes from the heart-breaking loss of a loved one, to coming to terms with all the challenges, both physical and emotional, of growing old, of renewing your purpose in life and living, of reconnecting with old friends and family, of discovering who you really are. As I read, I felt myself riding that emotional rollercoaster, crying, laughing, feeling like my heart would break as I empathized with Sparky, Josh, and Buck and their journey through life, back to the place where it all seems to have started for them.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, highly recommend it. And if you choose to read Goodby Emily, I hope you find it as much of a fullfilling experience as I did. Thank you, Michael Murphy!
Excellent read! Stephen King has done it again. I loved the complexity and originality of the story. Read more about my thoughts on my blog http://kjl...moreExcellent read! Stephen King has done it again. I loved the complexity and originality of the story. Read more about my thoughts on my blog http://kjlong-teacherwriter.blogspot....(less)
I enjoyed this story very much. It was well-developed in plot as well as with the characters. The author kept me guessing as to who the antagonist rea...moreI enjoyed this story very much. It was well-developed in plot as well as with the characters. The author kept me guessing as to who the antagonist really was. I look forward to reading the next Pajaro Bay mystery!(less)
The Beach House is a story that evoked a multitude of emotions in me. I laughed and cried, my heart broke, and yet filled with warmth and happiness. M...moreThe Beach House is a story that evoked a multitude of emotions in me. I laughed and cried, my heart broke, and yet filled with warmth and happiness. Monroe sent me on a roller coaster ride of moods and feelings, leaving me fullfilled at the end. It was truly an experience I wouldn't trade for anything.
I am a mother with two grown daughters. After finishing the book, I told them that even though I don't ask much from them, I am asking them to please read The Beach House. Those who have read it will understand when I say that the relationship between Cara and her mother, Lovie, is both endearing and heartbreaking, but shouldn't be ignored. Monroe manages to artfully interject those moments which can only be described or labeled as "morals to the story", but these never sound preachy.
I started this story thinking it would be a light, summer read, but surprisingly found it deep and meaningful, something to "sink your teeth into". And I am grateful to have shared in the experience Mary Alice Monroe has given me. Simply put, I loved this story.(less)