By Gini Rainey
“Everything We Keep”
By Kerry Lonsdale
Once you pick up this perfect debut novel, don’t plan on doing much else once until you turn the last page. Aimee, the main character in this book, was scheduled to be married to her child-hood sweetheart, but instead, on that date she is attending his funeral. With super character-building skill, Lonsdale hooks the reader into a tale filled with family strife, unrequited love, and inner-fortitude.
With great tale-telling skills, Lonsdale takes the reader back and forth from the present to the past, weaving an intriguing story of a young man who would rather explore his artistic side rather than be molded into the corporate heir that his parents want him to be. With the help of the girl who loves him, and the support of her parents, he develops artistic skills that are stunning, only to die on a fishing trip to Cancun.
Following his funeral, Aimee wallows in grief and self-pity, until she realizes that life goes on and that it’s time for her to follow her dreams. With the support of her family, friends, and a talented (and good-looking) photographer, Aimee rebuilds her life and tries to move forward and leave the past where it belongs.
With a perfect balance of sentiment and reality, Lonsdale has produced a novel that is filled with page-turning suspense. Just about the time you think you’ve got it all figured out, bam! The plot takes a new twist and leaves you wondering exactly what just happened.
5 of 5 – Copyright 2016 – Lake Union Publishing
“Everything We Left Behind”
By Kerry Lonsdale
So, if you didn’t get your fill of intrigue with her first book, Lonsdale second book takes up where the first one left off. Using the same character building skills as in her first novel, she introduces a few new characters and provides a closer look at a couple of the carry-over characters. With the intention of not having to issue a “spoiler alert” in this review, just know that what you think might have happened in “Everything We Keep” gets a whole new perspective in this sequel.
Using the same technique of visiting the past and then the present for plot intrigue, this book takes the reader from Oaxaca to Hawaii to California. With great descriptive phrases, the reader will feel the heat of Mexico and the cool sands of Hawaii, while getting to know Carlos, a painter, and his two sons. With all the passion of a great love story, this book also explores the smarmy drug traffic trade and the evil minds of well-meaning (?) family members.
Undoubtedly as successful as her debut novel, Lonsdale should have a bright future ahead of her, if she continues in the same manner of writing as she has so far. With all the plot twists and turns she employs in her writing, you’ll find both books real page turners. I would suggest that you download or purchase both books at the same time because you will want to continue reading about this family once you finish the first book.
5 of 5 – Copyright 2017 – Lake Union Publishing
“Tell No One”
Tapping into his great wealth of suspense tale skills, Cobin scores a major hit with this novel about Dr. David Beck and the search for his wife who theoretically was murdered 8 years prior. Although released in 2009, this book holds up in its references to modern day technology and medical nuances, making this stand-alone book a real attention grabber.
Unable to move forward following his wife’s murder, Beck works in a clinic for low-income patients in New York. Making friends with a drug lord whose son has hemophilia turns out to be a life-saver for Beck when strange messages begin to turn up on his computer indicating that perhaps his wife is still alive.
Building his characters with his usual finesse, Cobin manages to create such realistic subjects, you’ll feel as if you recognize a few of them. If you’re very familiar with the mystery novel genre, you usually can figure out where a plot line is heading. Not so with “Tell No One,” as Cobin fills this book with more plot twists and turns than a country road, making “Tell No One” a book that will keep you riveted until you turn the last page.
5 of 5 – Copyright 2009 – Dell
Ride ’em Cowboy!
By Gini Rainey
My dad was quite the jokester. It seems like he was either pulling off a prank or thinking up one to do. I remember one time, when I was about 4 or 5, my mom had some of her friends over to play bridge and dad decided it was time to trim my bangs. So, dad takes the trimmings, glues them to my chest and sends me downstairs to say “hi” to my mom’s friends, who were completely taken by surprise at a little girl with hair on her chest. Of course, my mom was mortified and promptly hustled me out of the room. With that in mind, I have often wondered exactly who it was that my dad introduced me to as Hopalong Cassidy when I was around 8 years old.
I was pretty much a tom boy growing up and was madly in love with anything that had to do with cowboys and horses. My favorite TV shows were Fury, Rin Tin Tin, The Rifleman, The Lone Ranger, and of course, Hopalong Cassidy. I remember my dad coming home one day, picking me up and the two of us going to the Moorhead Country Club to meet Hopalong Cassidy (whose real name was William Boyd) and his beautiful white stallion, Topper.
If I remember correctly, dad said that Hoppy had moved to Moorhead and was a friend of his. Now, the internet rabbit hole I have traveled down trying to figure this one out has provided me with only one connection of Hoppie to Moorhead. Seems there was a disc jockey at a local radio station (KVOX) named Arlyn Lang who used the air name of Hopalong Cassidy for the 25 years he was on the air, beginning in 1984 – the math doesn’t work into this quotient. So, the question remains: Did I meet the real Hopalong Cassidy that warm day back when I was a kid? Or was it just another one of dad’s pranks? I guess I’ll never know for sure. Too bad it wasn’t the Lone Ranger, then I could be saying “Just who was that masked man?”
All of that to say, I picked up a really neat cookbook recently, named “The All-American Cowboy Cookbook: Home Cooking on the Range.” Written by Ken Beck and Jim Clark and published in 1994 by Rutledge Hill Press, this book is filled with over 300 recipes from the “World’s Greatest Cowboys,” and one of them just happens to be, you guessed it, Hopalong Cassidy. If you are a lover of anything cowboy, you will definitely enjoy this book that is loaded with a ton of trivia and black and white photos. In fact, it’s so full of fun facts and photos, you might almost skim past the recipes.
Since nature is reminding us today that winter is not done with us east Texans, it just seems like a Chili kind of day, and this book has several versions of that hearty soup. Ernest Borgnine, who was in several westerns before he joined “McHale’s Navy,” shared his “Ernie’s Tex Chili.” In a large pot, brown 3 pounds of ground sirloin or ground round in 1 stick of butter. Pour off ½ cup liquid from the meat and use it to sauté 3 chopped green bell peppers, 3 chopped onions, and 3 minced garlic cloves in a separate skillet until tender. Add to the meat mixture and stir in ¼ cup chili powder, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 ½ teaspoon pepper, 3 teaspoons cumin, and ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper. Add 3 1-pound cans of chopped tomatoes, including liquid. Simmer covered for 1 hour, remove lid and simmer for at least 30 more minutes. Topped with chopped onions and grated cheese, this makes great meal for the wild bunch!
Love to Read!
By Gini Rainey
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
In a New York Times best seller, Rebecca Skloot tells the story of a black American’s struggle with cervical cancer, whose cells were taken from her without her knowledge or permission, were named HeLa, reproduced by the billions in labs, and have been used over the years since her death in 1951 as vital tools for the development of the polio vaccine, cancer research, cloning, gene mapping, and much more.
That being said, Skloot also faithfully recorded how the family of Henrietta Lacks, an indigent recipient of state-of-the-art cancer treatment, believes that Lacks was horribly exploited by the physicians/scientists whose training and skill were able to extract value from her excised tumor. And while Skloot succeeds in establishing that they (the family) are terribly aggrieved, she fails to make sense of the high degree of distress they experienced as a result of the scientists’ having studied and used what otherwise would have been thrown into the hospital’s waste bin.
With so much medical advancement made possible by the “harvesting” of Henrietta Lacks’ it would be fitting to remember that the goal of her treatment was to save her life, not to harvest her cells for experimentation.
3 of 5 – Copyright 2011 – Broadway Books
Cover of Snow
by Jenny Milchman
Put on a sweater and grab a cup/glass of your favorite beverage because, if you’re like me, you won’t be able to put this one down and there’s plenty of snow flying around in this book. Setting her story in the Adirondaks in the fictitious village of Wedeskyull (which I must admit drove me crazy every time I mentally tried to pronounce it!), which must be the coldest, iciest, snowiest place around, Milchman tells a tale full of family and village secrets.
Definitely a page turner, Milchman does such a superior job of character-building you will be able to visualize everyone from the autistic Dugger to the smarmy chief of police Vern to the heroine Nora and everyone in between. Beginning with the inexplicable suicide of Nora’s husband, Brendan, this book is one emotionally suspenseful roller coaster ride right up to the very last page.
With plot twist after plot twist, romantic intrigue, and characters you both love and want to smack up aside the head, what’s not to like about this book! Another nice thing about this book is that by being a member of web sites such as bookbub.com, with daily email offerings, I was able to purchase the ebook version and enjoy it for only $1.99.
5 of 5 – Copyright 2013 – Ballentine Books
Ella Reid Public Library Collection
Library to Host Ella Reid Public Library Collection for Black History Month
Beginning Feb. 1, the Tyler Public Library will display the Ella Reid Public Library collection for Black History Month. Named in honor of a highly respected church and community leader by the African American community in 1961, the compilation contains many books and artifacts unique to the collection.
“The first recorded beginnings of the Negro Public Library date to the World War II era,” said Chris Albertson, retired City librarian. “In July 1941, the Negro Public Library was chartered and located in the basement of Bethlehem Baptist Church.”
The Tyler Public Library is honored to house this compilation, which boasts a charter, correspondence, librarian’s monthly and annual reports, financial reports and budgets, circulation records and registers of borrowers, accession records, property and equipment inventories, minutes of a Board meeting, a field visitor’s report on the library by the Texas State Library and other miscellaneous items. In addition, some of the records are on microfilm in the Local History and Genealogy room of the Tyler Library.
“We are excited to feature the Ella Reid Public Library collection for Black History Month and encourage the public to visit and learn about this wonderful collection of Tyler literary history,” said Connie Greer, reference librarian.
The display will be located on the first and second floors of the Library during the month of February.
For more information about this program and other Library events, please contact the Tyler Public Library at (903)593-READ (7323).
About the Tyler Public Library
The Tyler Public Library is a department of the City of Tyler. The Library helps meet the information, education and recreation needs of Tyler’s diverse and growing community by providing a full range of print, audiovisual and digital resources along with assistance and programming to promote the use of those resources. To learn more, visit www.TylerLibrary.com.