Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Secrets, Regrets, and Redemption, Book Review: Shadow Sister


Secrets, Regrets, and Redemption

Book Review: Shadow Sister 

by Katherine Scott Jones

Genre: Woman’s Fiction  
Release date: August 28, 2018

Synopsis

Working on her father’s vineyard allows Sarah Lanning to bury memories of a lost love and a career that might have been. But then her fractured family receives word that her estranged sister, Jenna, is dead, leaving behind an unexpected request: that Sarah travel to Bolivia to scatter her ashes. Accompanied by pilot Chase Maddox, Sarah embarks on an Andean journey that tests her devotion to home and exposes Jenna’s secret life. Each staggering discovery creates new mysteries—until the last, which leaves Sarah questioning everything she understood about family loyalty. At a crossroads, she must decide whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness—and whether she can lay claim to a future of happiness without it. Bittersweet and bold, Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love.

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My Review

Shadow Sister is full of secrets and regrets that divide a family.  These secrets cast long shadows over the family and keep two sisters apart.  With Jenna's sudden death, Sarah is left to pick up the pieces and come to terms with her feelings for her sister.  The story is told in the alternating perspectives of Jenna and Sarah and is set in Bolivia and in a vineyard in Washington state.  Sarah's journey to pick up her sister's ashes soon becomes something more meaningful and she is forced to deal with her grief and her personal ambitions in ways she has avoided.  Can she overcome their secrets? This is a story about regrets and facing the possibility of not having a second chance.  It's about what it means to love someone deeply, even after their death.  This is a powerful, life-changing story, one not to be missed!  Its message will resonate with readers from many backgrounds.  I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations.  These opinions are entirely my own.






About the Author


Katherine Scott Jones grew up in cities on every U.S. coast and overseas as her family moved with her father’s Navy career. Seattle became home when she married her husband twenty-eight years ago. After graduating Whitworth University with a degree in communications, she established herself as a freelance writer before turning her hand to fiction. She blogs about books that celebrate beauty at www.katherinescottjones.com. Katherine and her husband have two teenage children. Shadow Sister is her second novel.


Guest Post from Katherine Scott Jones

Shadow Sister: Outtake Reel By Katherine Scott Jones

Much as I love a good movie, my favorite part often comes at the end when the director includes outtakes—those false starts and bits from the making of the movie that wind up on the cutting room floor. In a similar vein, I’m going to let you in on some of what went into the creation of my novel, Shadow Sister, but did not make the final cut. Shadow Sister is a work of inspirational women’s fiction with a global accent—written for women with a heart for complex relational issues as well as a passion for biblical justice. It is the story of a vintner’s daughter who travels to Bolivia to scatter her estranged sister’s ashes. There, she unravels secrets that test her devotion to home and make her question whether truth is worth the cost of forgiveness. Shadow Sister explores the mysteries of the human heart and the bond of unquenchable love. Now that you know a bit about what it is, come along as I pull back the curtain and share an exclusive peek at what Shadow Sister is not.

Working Titles
It took me a while to finally land on the right title. Early contenders:
 – The Sweetness of Light
– Variations on Shadows and Light.

Characters
It also took a bit of experimenting before I found the right combination of people and places: – Sarah, the main character, was originally a marine biologist. I first imagined the story set in Seattle before moving it to the fertile plains of Eastern Washington wine country.
– Sarah was originally engaged; and Chase and Rachael were involved.
– The gender of Matilde’s baby changed from what I first plotted. That simple switch got me unstuck from a perplexing snag of writer’s block.
– Names:
o Nicole, Stasi, Rees, and Stephen were all main-character names I considered and rejected.
o Little sister Sarah and big sister Jenna began as litter sister Jenna and big sister Kate. Then Jenna became Somer and finally Sarah, while Kate became Jenna.
o Sassy Britches is named after an actual racehorse by the same name.

Unused research Of course, story exploration turned up far more tidbits of interesting info than I could possibly fit into the pages of a novel! Some of what I wished I could have used…

– Bolivian fun facts o Customs.
  • Bolivians tend to eat outdoors when it is not raining. Many men do not feel comfortable eating in front of strangers, so they will often face a wall or sit hunched over their food when they are eating in public.
  • Cha’lla is a ritual blessing drawn from Catholic tradition, indigenous religious ceremony, or—typically—a combination of both. Performed by a yatiri (spiritual leader) or Catholic priest, a cha’lla ceremony is performed whenever a new building is finished to ensure future peace in that building.
  • Many Bolivians believe in karisirus, or night phantoms. These harmful spirits catch people out after dark or when they’re sleeping. Legend says that they split their victim’s stomach and extract some of the fat.
o Drinks. While the traditional Bolivian beverages api and mate de coca are featured in Shadow Sister, several others are not:
  • refresco (fruit juice with a dried peach at the bottom of the glass)
  • tostada (a mixture of barley, honey, cloves in water)
  • chicha (homemade corn beer)
  • singani (made from grapes, a cross between wine and whiskey)
o Language. Spanish, Aymara, and Quechua are Bolivia’s three national languages, and they differ from each other greatly. For example, the number one in Spanish = uno, Aymara = ma, Quechua = hoq. – Quotes: o On wine: “Wine is sunlight held together by water.” ~ Galileo o On art: “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ~ Thomas Merton I hope this glimpse into what didn’t make it onto the pages of Shadow Sister piques your interest for discovering what finally did!


Blog Stops




Carpe Diem, September 4


The Power of Words, September 5

Among the Reads, September 5

Fiction Aficionado, September 6

The Becca Files, September 6

RebekahsQuill, September 7


Bigreadersite, September 7

Just the Write Escape, September 8


Bibliophile Reviews, September 9




Texas Book-aholic, September 11

Livin Lit, September 11

Janices book reviews, September 12

Remembrancy, September 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 13

Inklings and notions, September 13


Pause for Tales, September 14

The Mimosa Blossom, September 14

Kelly Harrel, September 15

Two Points of Interest, September 15



Godly Book Reviews, September 17

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Katherine is giving away a grand prize that includes a personalized signed print copy of the book, a Shadow Sister bookmark, a Frame-able print, Book-lover’s tea, 6 Handcrafted notecards, and a set of vineyard-themed playing cards!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click link here to enter.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Book Review: Tides of Deception by Christy Barritt

Tides of Deception by Christy Barritt is book 1 in the Lantern Beach Romantic Suspense series.  I am a longtime fan of this author and I was delighted to read the beginning of a new series of books.  This series is set in Lantern Beach and includes some of the same characters from a previous series.  This is the story of Austin and Skye.  Both characters are hiding secrets that they will have to deal with if they are to trust each other in their current circumstance.  Ms Barritt is a master storyteller and she writes the most interesting plots.  I highly recommend this book and cannot wait to read the rest of the series. I received a digital copy of this book from the author with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.



Book Review: Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks is a standalone novel by a talented author.  I have really enjoyed this author's other books in the Gwen Marcey series and I expected to meet the same characters in this novel.  Instead, I discovered a completely different protagonist and a fascinating setting deep in Alaska.  Murphy is a flawed character and her own personal issues add a great deal to the main plot.  I read a lot of suspense/thrillers and I'm not easily frightened by plots.  This one-- it literally had me on the edge of my seat.  Ms Parks is a brilliant storyteller and this story is not predictable in any way.  I highly recommend this book!  I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.


Book Review: 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting by Eryn Lynum

936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting by Eryn Lynum is a book about investing wisely in our children.  I was interested in reading this book and expected just another parenting book. What I discovered was a powerful call to make every moment count and not succumb to the lie that time passes too quickly to make it count.  The book examines the ways we invest in our children and the things that hinder us.  I love the questions to reflect on that are inserted throughout the book.  Pick up this book!  Read it, reflect on it, and revisit it again.  Our children are the most important investment of our lives and this book is a great reminder of this truth. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

Saturday, August 25, 2018



Book Review: Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

Go Back in Time to Boston of the 1930's



Murder at the Flamingo by Rachel McMillan is book 1 in the Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery series.  Written with a definite sense of time and place, it is obvious that the author is a student of history and researched this novel well.  The setting is so well developed that Boston can be considered a character in its own right.  Reading this book is like being transported back in time, and it is a bustling adventure!  Having lived in Boston, I really enjoyed the setting and figuring out how it has changed over time.  I particularly loved the author's two main characters.  Hamish and his very real anxieties bring this book a realism that is missing from much historical fiction.  Reggie's attempt to make her own life also brings much to the plot.  These characters with very different backgrounds come together to solve a murder mystery.  Pick up this book!  It is a fabulous read and would be enjoyed by those who love historical fiction, cozy mysteries, and well written stories. I can't wait for book 2! I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Review: The Daily Question for You and Your Child: A 3-Year Spiritual Journey by Waterbrook


I was excited to see The Daily Question for You and Your Child: A Three Year Spiritual Journal.  But when I finally held it in my hands, I was amazed at its brilliance.  This lovely bound book is beautifully designed and just the right size to keep around.  It has 365 questions to ask your child, one for every day of the year, with a space to write your child's answer 3 different times over 3 different years.  While I can see why some would feel that this is too ambitious of a task to take on, I think the benefits definitely are worth it.  I have used this journal with my son numerous times.  Each time, we answer a few questions at a time.  It is a wonderful journal to help you connect with your child.  I have been amazed at some of my son's answers and I think that using this journal has helped me listen to my son's heart in ways I never have before.  With school starting again, I have cherished these moments listening to his heart even more.  I highly recommend this journal to any parent that wants time connecting with their child.  I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook with no obligations.  These opinions are entirely my own.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Book Review: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond



The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright is a book full of long held secrets and people who seek retribution for sins committed.   It is actually two stories told from the past and the present that converge as one.  It is a story of wrongs and secrets and the weight of guilt.  It is a story of hope and the undeserved grace of God that covers any sin.

I highly recommend that you visit Gossamer Pond and read this book.  It may be fiction but it is full of truths that can change your life.  The two heroines of this book are strong and brave.  They bear scars from their lives but persevere anyway and live their lives to help others.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves great storytelling and to lovers of mystery.  This book is definitely a thriller.  It will keep you up too late, like it did for me!  I received a copy of this book from the author.  These opinions are entirely my own.

Secrets, Regrets, and Redemption, Book Review: Shadow Sister

Secrets, Regrets, and Redemption Book Review: Shadow Sister   by Katherine Scott Jones Genre: Woman’s Fiction   Release date...