Sunday, March 22, 2015

Searching For Summer, by Christine Campbell

Feather's Review:  Searching For Summer, by Christine Campbell

Years ago, I stood in front of a doctor who appeared to be in almost as much pain as I. Holding my breath, I waited for the words, "He's going to be okay." Instead, he softly said, "I'm sorry, but there was nothing I could do,"

In spite of his attempt to be gentle, a burning knife plunged into my heart. I screamed and collapsed. I still recall every searing breath during that horror. Unable to breathe. Not wanting to inhale. My emotions - chaotic and exploding with rage and despair. I was thrown into a hopeless, downward spiral.

Pieces of my life, beautiful memories, treasured moments, fell with me, tumbling and disappearing as if fire consumed them. As if they were merely a figment of my imagination. A dream only I could see and recall. I succumbed to a virtual black hole, a torture that went on and on.

Only his collar and leash, his ashes, and a toy he preferred remain. Photographs, all too few, remind how much he and I loved each other, unconditionally.

When I picked up Christine Campbell's novel, Searching for Summer, I wasn't expecting to read a story that so fully described the pain I suffered - and so much more deeply than I can express. Searching for Summer is primarily character driven. Each loving and caring character touched my heart deeply. The nasty villains would have felt my wrath if I could have slipped into their world. It's a treat to read a book where the author's characters are so well developed, and continue to grow throughout the story.

Searching For Summer is much more than a story of fascinating characters. I loved the plot, a story set in Edinburgh, Scotland. Though it revolves around a single mother's struggle with loss and despair, the story also embraces Mirabelle's courage, tenacity, insane stubbornness, her love for music and dance. The theme of loving family bonds, enduring and frustrating, propel this story in surprising twists. And who doesn't love a man (police officer, Sam) who is shoved repeatedly out the door because he's telling Mirabelle things she doesn't want to hear, but he keeps coming back.

Christine's writing talent is incredible. She puts the reader into the vivid scenes where we can eavesdrop on the painful family arguments and tiptoe inside Mirabelle's messy flat. I see the colorful bangles and warm, soft wraps that was her trademark before her daughter disappeared. She searches for Summer among the shopkeepers, sleeping with the homeless on cold winter nights, digging for the slightest clue. Her wanderings lead her to discover more than she bargained for. She's bold, firing up her woman's sixth sense, or applying risky detective techniques. Mirabelle is relentless, driving her loved ones to the brink of shutting her out and leaving her to suffer deeper abandonment.

Final Important Note: After viewing the superb book trailer, I purchased this novel for my kindle. I'm so impressed with Searching For Summer, I'd like to have a print copy on my physical bookshelf. I could read it again and again. Loved it that much.

Searching For Summer Synopsis

The first novel in The Reluctant Detective Series. Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will. Casting all other concerns aside - food, sleep, work, relationships - in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer. Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer's photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.


Christine CampbellChristine Campbell, Author

Christine Campbell was born in post-war London but has lived most of her life in Scotland. She now lives near Edinburgh with her husband and within an hour's car journey from each of her five married children and ten grandchildren. She began writing novels more than thirty years ago but did not seek publication until 2008 when she published 'Family Matters', then in 2009, ' Making It Home'. Her third novel to be published, 'Flying Free' is now out and also available on Amazon and Christine writes contemporary novels about people who could just as easily be your neighbours or friends...or even you. When she writes about life, you can be sure she knows what she's talking about...having lived plenty herself.

Christine Campbell Blog
  Author Page at Amazon

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Secret Bonus To Reading Novels.

Higher Awareness

Garden at blue house 1994 x-1
Today, I'm sharing with you a wee bit of sage advice. For years I've been receiving inspirational messages from John and Patrice who are the wisdom within their weekly posts at Higher Awareness. Countless times their upbeat and positive advice has steered me away from the hollow darkness or mindless rage.

Today's message is about being in the moment.
This post is an excerpt from Higher Awareness
"Why not concentrate on the now instead of hoping for better times in the future? Why not understand the now instead of forgetting it and hoping for the future? Isn't the future just another trap?"
-- Anthony de Mello
Soul exists only in this moment. Every moment, no matter what the conditions, offers opportunities to touch and experience life in a new way. Our egos, with their fears and desires, easily get trapped in the past and the future, but the power to change exists only in this moment.
We don't need to know more or have more before we can live more deeply. We simply need to pay attention to what’s happening now. To open without judgment to the worlds around and within us.
"Nothing is worth more than this day. You cannot relive yesterday.Tomorrow is still beyond your reach."
-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Feather Stone: Reading is it time well spent in allowing the body to rest and heal. A well written novel will ignite your imagination. As you exercise those mental muscles, the reader becomes more able to create solutions, become open to more options. Reading allows the reader to safely experience gut wrenching emotions of terror and fear, erotic passion and rage, hope and hopelessness.

Most importantly, the reader simply enjoys being in the moment.
Everyone in their unique ways have different strategies to 'be in the moment.' Some meditate, some do crafts. Others, like me, walk in nature. Writing and playing with my sheltie also help me put aside what happened yesterday and free me from useless worry about tomorrow.

I'd like to hear about your strategy for being in the moment.

More wisdom and humor from Anthony de Mello: