Tag Archives: Debby Mayne

Book Review: Fit to Be Tied

10 Sep

The Bucklin family loves each other too much to stay away. . . but not enough to behave.

Being rich is fine, but when wealth comes from striking oil, it can make a slippery mess for a family who doesn’t know what to do with it. The Bucklin cousins are all together again, and this family reunion is shaping up to be another hot mess.

Coralee falls for the police officer who pulls her over. Sally has finally found a guy, but now she’s not sure a relationship is even worth the bother. No matter how hard Brett tries to avoid trouble, he somehow stumbles right back into the thick of it. And Marybeth and Bucky continue to fumble and bumble as they learn just how to handle being rich.

The Bucklin family is known for drama — and family drama knows no bounds.

 

Debby Mayne is the author of more than 60 novels and novellas that have received the “Top Pick” award from Romantic Times Magazine and been among the “Top 10 Favorites” in the Heartsong Presents book club. She writes family and faith-based romances, cozy mysteries, and women’s fiction. She has also written more than 1,000 short stories and articles as well as dozens of devotions for busy women. She has worked as managing editor of a national health publication, product information writer for a TV retailer, creative writing instructor, and copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. She is currently an etiquette writer for The Spruce, one of the DotDash (formerly About.com) companies.

Debby grew up in a military family, which meant moving every few years throughout her childhood. Debby was born in Alaska, and she has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. Her parents were both from the Deep South, so she enjoys featuring characters with southern drawls, plenty of down-home cooking, and folks with quirky mannerisms.

She and her husband currently live in the Charleston, South Carolina, area. To learn more about Debby:
Website – debbymayne.net
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/DebbyMayneAuthor
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/@debbymayne

 

My Impressions:

The first book in the Bucklin Family Reunion series, High Cotton, introduced readers to the over-the-top family known for its family reunion antics. Now author Debby Mayne is back with book 2, Fit to Be Tied, a novel that continues the family saga while delivering laughs along with familiar situations that all families encounter, even those without seriously quirky family members (are there any families out there without that uncle or aunt? 😉 ). Filled with deep South references this one is a fun read.

Fit to Be Tied is told through the first person perspectives of 5 members of the Bucklin family. The multi-generational points of view provide glimpses into what makes this family tick. I liked how each revealed a different aspect of this rambling family. Perhaps my (and your) family isn’t is as outrageous or contentious as the Bucklins, but I bet there will be plenty of things that you can relate to — how family members bear with each other, protect each other, and ultimately love each other. If you read book one you will recognize many of the characters, but some new family members are introduced as well. But don’t think you will get overwhelmed by all the Bucklin kin that make an appearance. The format of short chapters keep the doings of the family manageable for the reader. The five characters that share their thoughts on life, love, and family are real and relatable, and reveal the struggles that all face. I especially loved Sally who figured prominently in book one as well. Fit to Be Tied is filled with southernisms and mouth-watering food references that add an authentic feel to the novel. As in the first book, the family reunion is the climax of the book, but Fit to Be Tied is certainly not the end of the story. Be prepared for more fun in the third book in the series, Out of Pocket, due out in Spring 2019.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with the Bucklin clan. I recommend you start with book 1 to get the whole family experience. You might find yourself yearning for a family reunion of your own!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Gilead Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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Top 10 Tuesday — I’ve Only Just Begun

26 Jun

While this week’s Top 10 Tuesday theme is all about series readers decided not to finish, I am again bucking the system. It is officially Opposite Day here at By The Book. My list features series that I haven’t finished because, well, they have just begun! Book 1 of each series is read, and I am eagerly awaiting the publication of book 2. For some series the wait is short; others require a bit more patience. All are series that I know I will love, love, love! (The links are to the reviews of book 1 in series.)

To discover what other bloggers think about finishing series, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Series I Began This Year

Blue Justice by Lynette Eason

Called to Protect (release date 7/31/18)

 

Bucklin Family Reunion by Debby Mayne

Fit to Be Tied (release date 8/28/18)

 

Dive Team Investigations by Lynn H. Blackburn

In Too Deep (release date 11/6/18)

 

Lavender Tides by Colleen Coble

The House at Saltwater Point (release date 7/3/18)

 

Music of Hope by Liz Tolsma

When The Heart Sings (release date 10/9/18)

 

Nantucket Legacy by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Minding The Light (release date 7/3/18)

 

Sunrise at Normandy by Sarah Sundin

The Sky Above Us (release date 2/5/19)

 

The Sugar Baron’s Daughters by Lisa T. Bergren

Verity (release date 4/2/19)

What series have you just begun?

 

 

Book Review: High Cotton

5 Apr

Some families are filled with so much love they can’t help but drive each other crazy.

Shay Henke has mixed feelings about going to her family’s next reunion. On the one hand, she’ll get to see everyone in her mama’s family–folks she loves unconditionally. On the other hand, she knows there’ll be more drama than you can shake a stick at.

The days leading up to the event bring one surprise after another. First Shay must deal with her sister-in-law’s deep, dark secret. Then she has to contend with the childish ways of her business-mogul twin cousins. And when her high school crush wants to be her date to the reunions . . . well, it may have been a dream come true for Shay’s teen self, but the woman she’s become doesn’t know what to make of this.

Shay’s contentment is challenged, and she’s determined to shake things up a bit. But will she find the excitement she’s looking for, or will Shay realize she prefers her quiet predictable life? One thing is certain: Life in the Bucklin family is never boring.

Debby Mayne is the author of more than 40 novels and novellas that have received the “Top Pick” award from Romantic Times Magazine and been among the “Top 10 Favorites” in the Heartsong Presents book club. She writes family and faith-based romances, cozy mysteries, and women’s fiction. She has also written more than 1,000 short stories and articles as well as dozens of devotions for busy women. She has worked as managing editor of a national health publication, product information writer for a TV retailer, creative writing instructor, and copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. She is currently an etiquette writer for The Spruce, one of the DotDash (formerly About.com) companies.

Debby grew up in a military family, which meant moving every few years throughout her childhood. Debby was born in Alaska, and she has lived in Mississippi, Tennessee, Oregon, Florida, Hawaii, and Japan. Her parents were both from the Deep South, so she enjoys featuring characters with southern drawls, plenty of down-home cooking, and folks with quirky mannerisms.

She and her husband currently live in the Charleston, South Carolina, area.

To learn more about Debby:
Website – debbymayne.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/DebbyMayneAuthor
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/@debbymayne

My Impressions:

Get ready for some southern sass in Debby Mayne’s novel, High Cotton, the first book in the Bucklin Family Reunion Series. Four women of various ages and life experiences tell their stories and reveal that life in small town Pinewood, Mississippi isn’t that much different than your town or mine. Sure, there may be a different twang in their voice, but women are women all over. If you like women’s fiction with wit and wisdom, then this novel is for you.

High Cotton is told in the first person voice of four Bucklin women — Shay, Puddin’, Missy, and Sally. Alternating chapters follow the days leading up to yet another family reunion. The women have little in common except their family connections. Shay is a successful and single career woman, Puddin’ is a stay at home mom with an oops baby still in the nest, Missy is a discontented housewife, and Sally is a twenty-something with a thriving Etsy business. The women struggle with a variety of issues, but rely on each other and their family for support.

There really is something for everyone in High Cotton, and I wager that you’ll see yourself somewhere in the pages. These women are part sweet, part sassy, and pure Southern in their views. But . . . as they look for independence, love, fulfillment, and connection, they will resonate with those who have never set foot across the Mason-Dixon line. They are also part of a huge and quirky family, a family of definite opinions. I bet you have run across those characters too! 😉 Faith is a big part of the women’s lives and is woven naturally throughout the story.

You’ll laugh (sometimes out loud) at the antics of the Bucklin family as you journey with Shay, Puddin’, Missy, and Sally. And you’ll enjoy every minute!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Gilead Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Spring TBR

20 Mar

It has been spring here in middle Georgia for a while now. The unusually cold winter has given way to a very early spring. Everything is blooming here and the inevitable pollen has tinged all things yellow. But it is beautiful and promises warmer weather to come.

With March comes a new Spring TBR! Check out what other bloggers are reading in the coming months at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Books on The Spring TBR List

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

High Cotton by Debby Mayne

Hurricane Season by Lauren K. Denton

If I Live by Terri Blackstock

The Land Lord by Cheryl Colwell

Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan

A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund

Presumption And Partiality by Rebekah Jones

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West 

What’s on your Spring TBR List?

 

Book Review: Pretty Is As Pretty Does

19 Jul

733581_w185Priscilla Slater goes to her 10-year high school reunion as a successful business woman. Even though she got rid of her mousy brown hair, swapped out her discount store wardrobe for designer clothes, and now has perfectly straight teeth, she can’t get past feeling like the ugly duckling. Her parents’ disapproval for her choice of careers—running a chain of hair salons—deepens her self-doubt. She experiences self-discovery and learns that things aren’t always as they seem.

During the reunion, one woman passes out after starving herself for the event. The class beauty queen appears to have more self-confidence than ever until her ex shows up with his new wife. The reunion organizer has taken her responsibilities to a whole new level that makes the Marines look like Boy Scouts, while her husband drinks too much and makes a fool of himself. The man she always dreamed about being with finally gives her some attention, but when she finds out more about him, she realizes he’s not worth her time. These realizations boost her self-confidence, but now she has to deal with her best friend Tim’s new feelings for her.

Before The Class Reunion: A Prequel to The Class Reunion Series

Debby-Mayne-201x300Debby Mayne has published more than 30 books and novellas, 400 print short stories and articles, more than 1,000 web articles, and a slew of devotions for women. She has also worked as managing editor of a national health magazine, product information writer for HSN, a creative writing instructor for Long Ridge Writers Group, and a copy editor and proofreader for several book publishers. For the past eight years, she has judged the Writers Digest Annual Competition, Short-Short Contest, and Self-Published Book Competition. Three of Debby’s books have been top ten favorites by the Heartsong Presents book club. Love Finds You in Treasure Island, Florida received 4-1/2 stars fromRomantic Times Magazine, and was named a Top Pick for the month of July 2009.

Her latest book is Pretty Is As Pretty Does.

You can visit Debby Mayne’s website at www.debbymayne.com.

My Impressions:

The Class of 2003 of Piney Point High School is having its 10th class reunion. The students have all moved up and on from their high school triumphs and trials. Or have they? Debby Mayne has written a fun and insightful look at the insecurities that haunt us and the perceptions of ourselves and others that shape and form our lives and relationships. Pretty Is As Pretty Does, the first book in the Class Reunion series, brings to life a town and cast of characters you will love and relate to, and maybe identify with.

Priscilla Slater owns three hair salons, the Cut and Curl shops, and has built a lucrative business. She has goals and dreams for her company and life that have survived the negative opinions of her parents and the doubts planted by them. Her main office is in Jackson, Mississippi, but she travels to her home town of Piney Point to join in the reunion planning and to bring a bit of confidence and sanity to her classmates through her beauty skills. But the girl voted Most Likely to Succeed has her own high school demons to confront.  Also introduced are fellow classmates Trudy, Laura and Celeste, who definitely need a makeover in more ways than one. But going home is never easy, and Priscilla still has some growing up to do.

Most of the action of Pretty Is As Pretty Does is set in the fictional town of Piney Point located near the real city of Hattiesburg, and believe me the small town rings true. (My husband is from that area and I recognized many similarities between real locales and the novel’s setting.) The characters are exasperating and incredibly believable, exhibiting real life attitudes and actions. Many of Priscilla’s classmates are making the same assumptions and mistakes they made in high school.  The reunion ends with a big party, but the story doesn’t end there. Some are on the road to growth, and I look forward to seeing more of them in the next two books. (I will be reviewing book 2, Bless Her Heart, next month.)

Pretty Is As Pretty Does is a quick read, but don’t hurry through it or you will miss the deeper truths that run through it. Great for reading on the porch or by the pool, it would also be good for a book discussion at a girlfriends’ getaway.

Recommended. 

Great For Book Clubs.

(I received this book courtesy of Pump Up Your Book in return for a review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

A Taste of Pretty Is As Pretty Does:

P170011412021211_1I am trying something a little different here, so bear with me please. Books bring the reader into a different world, if only temporarily. The sights, sounds and tastes become a part of us. So I thought (when possible) I would add a recipe link to my reviews to help capture the flavor of the book! So as a tribute to Laura’s spur of the moment casserole that her husband Pete found so fancy, here is Easy Mac N Cheese Veggie Chicken Casserole. Enjoy!

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Monday, July 1 – Book Featured at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Tuesday, July 2 – Book Review at The Mary Book Reader

Wednesday, July 3 – Book Review at Splashes of Joy

Friday, July 5 – Book Review at A Peek at My Bookshelf

Monday, July 8 – Book Review & Character Guest Post at Reader Girls

Monday, July 8 – Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Tuesday, July 9 – Book Review at Kaisy Daisy Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 10 – Book Featured at Authors & Readers Book Corner

Thursday, July 11 – Book Review at Popcorn Reads

Friday, July 12 – Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at Darlene’s Book Nook

Saturday, July 13 – Guest Blogging at Books a la Mode

Sunday, July 14 – Book Review at Thoughts in Progress

Monday, July 15 – Book Review at Melissa’s Midnight Musings

Monday, July 15 – Book Review at Steph the Bookworm

Monday, July 15 – Book Review at My Life One Story at a Time

Tuesday, July 16 – Book Feature & Giveaway at Celtic Lady’s Reviews

Tuesday, July 16 – Book Review at Queen of All She Reads

Wednesday, July 17 – Book Review at Community Bookstop

Thursday, July 18 – Interview & Book Giveaway at Janna Shay’s Fair Play

Thursday, July 18 – Book Review at My Devotional Thoughts

Friday, July 19 – Book Review at By the Book

Friday, July 19 – Book Review & Giveaway at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Fictional Candy

Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem

Monday, July 22 – Book Review at Sweet Southern Home

Tuesday, July 23 –  Book Review at My Cozy Corner

Tuesday, July 23 – Book Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 24 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Wednesday, July 24 – Book Review & Giveaway at The Self-Taught Cook

Thursday, July 25 – Book Review at Dr. Pepper Diva

Thursday, July 25 – Book Review at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Friday, July 26 – Book Review at Melina’s Book Blog