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Reviews on my book – loving these!

Word cloud built around some of the key words and phrases in reviews written about The Gray Lady of Long Branch novel.
Word cloud built around some of the key words and phrases in reviews written about The Gray Lady of Long Branch novel.

I’ve got to confess… I find it weird — but very gratifying of course — to read enthusiastic reviews of The Gray Lady of Long Branch. I mean. I loved writing this book. I felt the emotions in it. I cried at the sad parts, laughed and chuckled at the humorous areas, and felt the elation and sorrow and everything in between that was depicted in this book.

So it’s with great pleasure that I’ve read reviews of others who felt those too.  Here are some of them. But one commercial announcement first: If you haven’t read the book, and these reviews compel you, feel free to purchase from the publisher at 30% off using the discount code MSBlog for whichever format you choose (and remember, it makes a great gift!).  So now, without further delay, some lovely, favorable book reviews:

“Satchell excels at drawing readers into the lives of her characters and making you care about them. The characters, and their experiences, are all easily relatable to our own stories, our own personal triumphs, challenges, and tragedies.” —  G. Robert Frazier’s Adventures in Writing

 “In these pages, you’ll meet several owners and renters who come, stay a while, and leave. … The multiple stories of the various visitors – families and renters – all narrated by the house, is the glue that holds the truly remarkable history of the house together. The people celebrate the good times, and support each other through the bad times. …I cried at the sad ending, but at the same time, was happy with the surprise circumstances of the ending. It is my pleasure to give ‘The Gray Lady of Long Branch’ 5-stars. It is a book I’d read again, and recommend to others.” — Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author

“The Gray Lady of Long Branch is a house set on the New Jersey shore in the town of Long Branch. Inside its walls, life happens – life, death, and everything in between. The house here tells its story through the stories of its inhabitants from World War II to almost the present time… The book is sweet. The simple approach to the story telling does not make these moments more or less than what they are. It simply describes them. The different scenes cycle back to some of the same characters such that you see them at different points in their lives. The book is about the small and the big moments of everyday life.  I enjoy the story for its simplicity and for its unvarnished sense of real life.” —  Memories from Books Blog

“Recommended, a nice, light, relaxing read. I read Sci-fi often enough, so I was comfortable suspending belief and listening to a house as narrator. I never saw the twist at the end coming…Bravo.” JohnChic / Library Thing

“With interesting characters and their interactions, a plotline that proceeds nicely through the years with visits to local New Jersey shore restaurants and other attractions, “The Gray Lady of Long Branch will delight New Jersey residents and former residents and those readers who love fiction of 20th century life.”Alice D. / Goodreads

“Her tone is conversational, candid and often humorous. She is proud of her appearance. She describes her observations and expresses opinions. The plot is engaging. The novel is so well written that only the Gray Lady could be the narrator. From the very beginning, it was easy to feel affection for the Gray Lady. The author takes on heavy issues, some of which are love, honesty, respect and loss. The characters are well developed and their stories easy to relate to. As for the ending: I didn’t see it coming!!! A total surprise.  I loved reading this unique and very special book. Highly recommended.” — Evie / Library Thing

“What a glorious beach read or story to read in the midst of any season when one is heartsick for the simple and timeless joys of summer vacations by the ocean’s shoreline. The sub-title of “If Walls Could Talk” is so appropriate as “The Gray Lady” shares her perspective of the history of her memories. There are stories within the overall history of the beach house and together they share not only the genealogical story of the families but are also shared within the chronological history with an American perspective. For anyone that has a history of memories at the beach with their families, this story will be a very endearing read and will also make a lovely gift to remind one of cherished times with sun, sand, and surf shared with family and friends.” — Corduroy / Library Thing

“What a beautiful read. … The gray lady saw families through their good time right along with the grief that they experienced. I really enjoyed this story and could relate to many of the events.” Joanie / Goodreads

“This was a lovely read with a chick lit feel to it… The author writes well and puts a lot into her characters and story. I enjoyed the concept of key American dates being referred to. A recommended read.” Jane / Goodreads

“I loved the book. Having an outside source telling about a family is a nice way to tell their story. Having the old Victorian home tell it is a nice alternative.  I will recommend this book to friends.”SandraCeltic / LibraryThing

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Mother’s Day

I feel compelled to use this title since this past Mother’s Day, May 11, 2008 was a day that bowled me over with emotions, both good and bad. It was, without a doubt the most extraordinary Mother’s Day of my life and I felt validated as the mother of these two fine young sons of mine like never before. Validated and loved.

David, my husband and I went up north to visit them before my elder son returns to duty with the Marines. He will return to Iraq later this summer with a Marine Reserve Unit out of New York. On the one hand, I am destroyed that he has to go back and tears are always close to the surface when I think about it. On the other hand, I take solace in the fact he’s going there with fellow Marines he already knows and trust.

The weekend’s lows were the thoughts that crept in unasked into my mind like “Will he come back alive?” and “Will this be the last time I get a hug from my son? … the last time I hear his laugh, the last time I see his beautiful face?” I know I can’t allow these thoughts in; can’t permit these feelings to invade and take over my life, but I can’t help it, and I have to wonder: “Is it healthier to completely deny them?”

I take my role as Kris’s and Pete’s Mom very seriously. Always have. I left their dad when they were 5 and 2 and I never looked back, raising the boys alone for several years, even using food stamps and accepting a church charity basket one Easter to get us through. I endured the self-pity, humiliation, resentment, and misery at times, but it was always replaced by the onset of brother-love that I witnessed more often than not which made me happier than anything on earth. Knowing these two young souls were mine to raise and nurture was an awesome responsibility. And I took it very seriously.

I hope I have fostered in them the ability to always love one another and share confidences, look out for and support one another.  Despite the occasional bickering, competition, and finger-pointing, I do see evidence that I succeeded. I consider them my greatest accomplishment in life.

They aren’t always angels. At times, they can be a source of eyerolls and heartaches, but they are mine. Sons, with giant-sized charismatic personalities and beautiful, generous spirits, both. And, yeah, they’ve validated my life like nothing else. David, my husband, who I married when the boys were 8 and 5, is my partner in life and my best friend. I wouldn’t want to live without him, and half the time couldn’t function without him…But the boys? They validate me.