I was provided a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
In the small town of Blessings, Georgia,LilyAnn has been going through the motions of life. She lives by herself, works in a pharmacy, and hasn't really noticed that eleven long years have passed without one thing changing in her life, exept maybe for a little weight gain. Every Friday she gets her hair done at the Curl and Dye and maybe she hangs out with her best friend, Mike.
Mike has loved LilyAnn since the tenth grade. When LilyAnn was younger she was sucessful at everything she did. Homecoming Queen, cheerleader, straight A's , awards , and eventually the star football player.
On September 11th all that changed. LilyAnn's boyfriend, Randy Joe decided to join the military after the attacks and he never came home. LilyAnn never recovered. Her mother re-married a younger man and moved to Florida, and LilyAnn stayed in Blessings and became a shadow of her former self. But Mike never stopped loving her. The trouble is LilyAnn only views Mike as a friend and Mike never has never told her how he feels about her.
A chain of events begins to unfold in Blessings that will snap everyone to attention. LilyAnn sees a guy in the Curl and Dye and all of a sudden her hormones woke up after a long hibernation. Giving herself a hard look, LilyAnn decides it's finally time to start living again. That's a good thing, but her dieting and excercise programs and her attitude also give MIke a wake up call. He knows he has to get LilyAnn's attention before it's too late.
But what if it's already too late?
Sharon Sala is a seasoned author with over 85 books in print. This series is a little different from her previous novels. There is an element of danger and suspense, but mostly the story is about small town life, supportive friends, family, and true love. After eleven years, alot of water has run under the bridge so there are more than a few bums in the road for LillyAnn and MIke. At the end of the day can love really conquer all?
This was a short, easy, heartwarming holiday story. There are some difficult scenes and this is an adult novel that deals with very adult issues and crimes. Mostly though it's about hope and having the courage to step outside your comfort zone again once complacentcy has set it. Thankfully, Lily will not have to go it alone. Her life will be all she is willing to make it.
I love this book and the message in it. We all get a little lazy and we feel safer in our comfort zone. But, if you aren't careful, you will wake up one day and wonder where the time went. Thankfully, people cared enough about LilyAnn and Mike to intervene from time to time and give the two a little friendly nudge.
Oveall this one get an A+
MY INTERVIEW WITH SHARON SALA
1) What inspired you to write this type of women's fiction and you had carved out a niche for yourself in other romance genres'?
I chose it BECAUSE it was different. I’m a storyteller more than a writer. I have many stories to tell and not all publishers want their writers branching out because they aren’t sure it will work, or if the readers will follow the writer to a different genre. That’s a bit maddening to a writer like me, so any time I get a chance to tell a new kind of story, I am elated.
I wanted Mike to speak up, but I also understood his reluctance. He loved her enough that he’d rather keep the connection and love her from afar, than tell her and lose her altogether. So basically, I guess I would have done what Mike did and let life happen.
I thought the reasoning for why she let life get away from her was fairly obvious. She’d lived a life of privilege in that what she wanted she received and fairly easily. Then when it all came crashing down around her, she didn’t know how to move forward. Everyone experiences disappointment in their lives and it’s what we learn from it that helps us move forward. She had too many tragedies at once and no one to help her through them.
I’m sure Rachel and Mike will show up again in future Curl Up & Dye books, but not as main characters again.
It depends on the book and the deadline and I’ll say no more. Everyone writes at a different speed and it’s often daunting to a beginning writer to read that someone can write a book in three months, or six months, or whatever, and it’s taking them a year. So again… deadlines are my guidelines. LOL5) What are your top five favorite books?
I’m assuming you mean of the ones I’ve written? If not, that’s still the answer you’re going to get. In no particular order: THE HEALER, THE WARRIOR, THE BOARDING HOUSE, FIELD OF POPPIES and A THOUSAND LIES.6) What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up a book called THE DOVE. It’s the second book in my Native American paranormal trilogy called The Prophecy Series. It’s a self-pub trilogy under my pen name, Dinah McCall.
I can be contacted via my website at www.sharonsala.net or on Facebook, or by email at email@example.com) What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
At this point in my life, I won’t say no to a good nap, a cold Diet Dr. Pepper and a great movie I’ve been dying to watch.9) coffee or tea?
Oh, Iced Tea for sure.
10) Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?
It’s biblical, but it’s my favorite ever and how I like to live my life.
It’s from Hebrews 13:2
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby ye may have entertained angels unawares.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:It was a job she hated that drove Sharon Sala to put the first page of paper in an old typewriter, but it was the love of the craft that kept her writing. Her first efforts at writing came in 1980 when she began a book that wound up under her bed. A second book followed in 1981 and suffered a similar fate, but she claims the writing bug had bitten hard. However, she let life and the demands of a growing family delay her from continuing until a tragedy struck.Her father died in May of 1985 after a lingering illness and then only two months later her only sister died unexpectedly, leaving her almost blind with grief. She vowed then and there that she was not going to wind up on her deathbed one day with regrets for not following through on her dreams.
She joined writers groups and attended conferences and slowly learned her way around the written page. By 1989, she decided she had come far enough in her writing to attempt another try at book-length fiction and began a book that would later be entitled SARA’S ANGEL. As fate would have it, the first publisher she sent it to, bought it, and she hasn’t looked back.
As a farmer’s daughter and then for many years a farmer’s wife, Sharon escaped the drudgeries of life through the pages of books, and now as a writer, she finds herself often living out her dreams. Through traveling and speaking and the countless thousands of fan letters she has received, Sharon has touched many lives. One faithful reader has crowned her the “Reba of Romance” while others claim she’s a magician with words.
Her stories are often dark, dealing with the realities of this world, and yet she’s able to weave hope and love within the words for the readers who clamor for her latest works.
Always an optimist in the face of bad times, many of the stories she writes come to her in dreams, but there’s nothing fanciful about her work. She puts her faith in God, still trusts in love and the belief that, no matter what, everything comes full circle.
Her books, written under her name and under her pen name, Dinah McCall, repeatedly make the big lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and Waldenbooks Mass market fiction.
A woman with a vision