Tag Archives: marriage

What’s Not True by Valerie Taylor (Book Spotlight and Author Interview)

 

Picture

PG-13 + M What’s Not True has several sex scenes and some bad language.

 
 
With her court date set for her divorce and her plans with the younger man in the rearview mirror, Kassie O’Callaghan shifts attention to reviving her stalled career. But things get complicated when she unexpectedly rendezvous with her former lover in Paris. After a chance meeting there with a colleague and a stroll along Pont Neuf, Kassie receives two compelling proposals. Can she accept them both?

But Kassie’s decision process screeches to a halt when her soon-to-be ex-husband has a heart attack, forcing her to fly home to Boston. There, she confronts his conniving and deceitful fiancée—a woman who wants not just a ring on her finger but everything that belongs to Kassie. In the ensuing battle to protect what’s legally and rightfully hers, Kassie discovers that sometimes it’s what’s not true that can set you free.

Though a standalone novel, What’s Not True is the sequel to What’s Not Said (September 15, 2020).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Picture

 
Bio
 
Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. Valerie is a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.
 
 
 
 

Tell us about the WHAT’S NOT Series.

 
Currently, the series consists of two books—What’s Not Said (September 2020) and the recently-released sequel, What’s Not True. The series takes the reader on a journey with a middle-aged couple whose marriage has gone well beyond its expiration date. When Kassie, the wife, decides to escape with a younger gent she met in Venice, her husband’s unexpected illness derails her plans. Thus, she must decide whose life to save: her husband’s or her own. Once that decision is made, Kassie switches her focus away from the two men in her life to her career, embracing a dream that she can have it all. Not so fast. A woman from her husband’s past has other ideas, forcing Kassie to fight for what is legally and rightfully hers.

I have made a commitment with my publisher for the third and final book in the series. Release date to be determined. But it’s coming!
 

 

 

What challenges did you face in writing a series?

 
I created What’s Not Said as a standalone novel. It was only after several early readers asked what was going to happen next in the story and to the characters was I motivated and inspired to write What’s Not True. Because I hadn’t planned to write the series originally, I had to go back to What’s Not Said and check some of the details, especially when describing the characters. I also read the first book again to be sure I maintained the character’s voices.
 
Needless to say, I was all in on the series by the time I was writing What’s Not True, and thus, I was able to lay some groundwork for book three.
 
On reflection now, I wonder what would’ve changed in What’s Not Said had I had the forethought to plan a series from the very start? We’ll never know!

 

 

 

What reactions/feedback are you receiving from readers?

 
One thing I’ve learned as a writer is that not everyone loves our books. But there are 85 million mature women in America who are looking to read characters they can relate to. So there is an immense audience out there even if the book isn’t for a handful of readers!
 
I’m gratified, though, that both What’s Not Said and What’s Not True are being well-received. As a series, conventional advice from readers is that people read What’s Not Said first, so they get to know the twist and turns of the plot and the motivations of the very flawed characters. Then, I’ve heard a number say that when they read What’s Not True, it’s like sitting down with your best friends and having coffee or a martini!
 
Most recently, I’ve discovered readers buy both books at the same time, especially because they’ve developed a reputation for being a fast read. Readers want the whole experience in a short period of time! I’m thrilled to have been able to give it to them!

 

 

 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

 
Between writing sessions, the story is always on my mind. I play out different scenarios of what comes next, so by the time I sit down to write, I’m off and running. So, I’d say writing energizes me and excites me. If you’ve seen Diane Keaton in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give, where she’s a screenwriter, the scenes where she’s jumping up with glee in her chair? That’s me.

 

 

 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

 
One writing quirk I have is that I truly have conversations with my characters as their deeds flow through my mind and fingers onto the computer screen. I constantly ask, “What If?” In that way, they can take me down multiple paths until I, as the author, choose which is best for the story.
The other quirk I have surrounds jewelry. When I write, I can’t wear a watch, rings, or bracelets; but I must wear earrings. Now that’s a real quirk if I ever heard one!
 

 

 

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Here’s how you can reach and follow me:

 
 

And please do subscribe to my newsletter, Behind and Ahead, which I write with readers in mind:

www.valerietaylorauthor.com/subscribe

 

 
 
 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

‘What’s Not Said’ and ‘What’s Not True’ by Valerie Taylor (2 Book Spotlight)

Picture
2021 International Book Awards Finalist in Fiction: Women’s Fiction
2020 Canadian Book Club Awards Finalist in Fiction
Chosen as an August 2021 Pulpwood Queens Book Club selection
Featured by the international NoMo Book Club in May 2021
 
 

What’s Not Said is a story about Kassie O’Callaghan, a middle-aged woman on a mission to divorce her emotionally abusive husband and start a new life with a younger man she met while on a solo vacation in Venice. When she learns her husband has chronic kidney disease, her plans collapse until she pokes around his pajama drawer and discovers his illness is the least of his deceits.

Then again, Kassie is no angel. The separate lives they lead collide head-on into a tangled web of sex, lies, and DNA. As she helps her husband find an organ donor, Kassie uncovers a secret, forcing her to decide whose life to save: her husband’s or her own.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Picture

With her court date set for her divorce and her plans with the younger man in the rearview mirror, Kassie O’Callaghan shifts attention to reviving her stalled career. But things get complicated when she unexpectedly rendezvous with her former lover in Paris. After a chance meeting there with a colleague and a stroll along Pont Neuf, Kassie receives two compelling proposals. Can she accept them both?

But Kassie’s decision process screeches to a halt when her soon-to-be ex-husband has a heart attack, forcing her to fly home to Boston. There, she confronts his conniving and deceitful fiancée—a woman who wants not just a ring on her finger but everything that belongs to Kassie. In the ensuing battle to protect what’s legally and rightfully hers, Kassie discovers that sometimes it’s what’s not true that can set you free.

 

Buy the Book
Amazon Purchase Link ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Indie Bound
Book Depository

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Picture

 
Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. Valerie is a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.

connect with the author: 
website twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

 
 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Flying Against the Odds: One Man’s Journey to New Ways of Healing by Jean-Jacques Trochon with Heather Whitehall-Trochon (Book Review)

FLYING AGAINST THE ODDS by Jean-Jacques Trochon

Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  249 pages

“IT TAKES A DIFFERENT KIND OF THINKING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM THAN THE KIND OF THINKING THAT PRODUCED THE PROBLEM.” —Albert Einstein


JJ had a devastating problem. At age fifty-one, he was diagnosed with stage four cancer and given three years to live. Rather than accept that outcome, JJ did what he always does: he set out to find a solution. Desiring to look beyond traditional treatments and their often harmful side effects, he put his unconventionally wired mind to work. JJ was relentless as he investigated alternative therapies and pursued global trailblazers in cancer research. Moving from the role of patient to patient-researcher, he became a trailblazer in his own right, being sought after for his latest findings.

 
Ultimately, JJ brought together the most innovative international minds at the Rethinking Cancer 2017 conference in Paris. Together, they found common ground, and they continue to create integrative, synergistic approaches to treatment.
 
Today, almost a decade after his diagnosis, JJ has defied the odds and is cancer-free. Recently retired from his career as a commercial airline captain on the Airbus A380, he now devotes himself to sharing his ongoing research with scientists and patients.
 
JJ’s story illustrates how looking at things differently often enables us to see them in a whole new light.
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Flying Against the Odds: One Man’s Journey to New Ways of Healing by Jean-Jacques Trochon with Heather Whitehall-Trochon was an inspirational story about a man’s journey to combat stage 4 kidney cancer. This book also talked in-depth about those who inspired, assisted, and supported his efforts. 


Jean-Jacques has led quite an adventurous life before and after the dreaded cancer diagnosis. With his father being a pilot and then him himself, Jean-Jacques has visited many wondrous places. His travels have taken him to South Africa, the USA, and Europe. He’s also known in the rugby world and an accomplished surfer. 


He’s a man always on the go, and he wasn’t going to allow a cancer diagnosis to stop him from living. He took charge of his treatments, put in the time in cancer research, and spoke to many highly respected individuals in their field of study. He defied the odds and inspired others. 


The road to remission was not easy for him or his family. Heather, his wife, was his rock. She altered her life, her diet in support of him. I’m not a huge fan of sugary treats, but I do like to partake in a donut here and there. It must’ve been a hard adjustment to give certain foods up. Most spouses/life partners probably wouldn’t have done it. I applaud them both. (section on Keto Diet)


Jean-Jacques Trochon proved he’s do anything to starve his cancer cells. His strength and determination, his cancer-beating story, inspired a conference — a movement. (Rethinking Cancer 2017) 


He has also given researchers a new path to study in the fight against cancer. More than anything, he has given hope to those who had none. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
Meet the Authors: 
 
Jean-Jacques Trochon (or JJ as he is more commonly known) spent thirty-two years as a commercial airline pilot for Air France. A French national, he enjoyed an early childhood in Tahiti before finishing his schooling in France and the USA. In 2003, JJ was diagnosed with aggressive kidney cancer and subsequently underwent the removal of his left kidney. In 2012 and 2014, he underwent further surgeries following the discovery of multiple metastases in both lungs. Despite being given a slim chance of survival, JJ again returned to work in 2016. He captained the world’s largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380, until his retirement in spring 2020. Today, Jean-Jacques devotes his spare time to helping other cancer sufferers and spreading the word about his revolutionary approach to the disease. He was the initiator of Rethinking Cancer 2017, a groundbreaking conference held in Paris on September 21, 2017, at Institut Gustave Roussy, the leading cancer center in Europe.

Heather Whitehall-Trochon is a lover of languages and translator of French and German into English. A British national, she completed studies in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion before moving to Munich, Germany, where she worked in public relations for fashion and film. After relocating to Vienna, Austria, she had a brief stint as an editor at the Associated Press, prior to becoming a freelance translator and seasoned backpacker. Heather met JJ in Paris in 2007, marrying him the following year. The couple, together with their cat, Zulu, have now settled in Biarritz, France.

Connect with the author:
 Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Goodreads

 
 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Other Shore by Tracy A. Ball (Book Review)

 

Sometimes two wrongs are the only way to make it right.

Power-couple Angela and Mitchell Point wanted to build a family. Instead, they got torn apart and pieced together separately. Without warning, their old and new lives collide in a Castaway meets Hope Floats tale of love lost and life recovered.

When every choice breaks a heart, doing the right thing is impossible.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

The drama that unfolded in The Other Shore by Tracy A. Ball reminded me of storylines that you’d see on a soap opera, and I loved it! 

Yacht destroyed. 

Crew members dead.

Lives in peril. 

Passengers lost, presumed dead. 

Miraculous rescues. 

And then the real drama kicks in! 

Five adults, multiple love triangles —forget daytime tv, I want more of Tracy’s written soap opera. It’s fantastic, and the cover was sensational as well. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

Made entirely of rum and snacks—International Bestselling Author, Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and veteran West Virginian, whose family is a mashup of cultures. She writes real and raw interracial romance with an intensity that burns because she has been busting stereotypes while teaching interracial/generational healing for more than a quarter of a century.

Tracy engages with folks from every twist of fate and all manner of experience. She has hung out with murderers and dined with people who have dined with the Pope, which is why she needs the rum…and a nap.

Facebook / Goodreads

Website / Twitter

Amazon Author Page / Ball Books

BookBub

 

Sign up for Tracy’s (quarterly) Newsletter today by clicking HERE!

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Other Shore by Tracy A. Ball (Book Showcase)


Sometimes two wrongs are the only way to make it right.

Power-couple Angela and Mitchell Point wanted to build a family. Instead, they got torn apart and pieced together separately. Without warning, their old and new lives collide in a Castaway meets Hope Floats tale of love lost and life recovered.

When every choice breaks a heart, doing the right thing is impossible.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

He gave her a tour of his brother’s estate. They raided the refrigerator and hung out in his game room playing table football. 

“You’re good at this,” Nolan said after her second straight win.

“Every single group home Deidra and I lived in had at least one.”

From the interviews after the rescue, Nolan knew she had no other relatives, but she hadn’t spoken about it before now. “How many homes did you live in?”

“Six or seven. I don’t remember.” She moved over to Rob’s ping pong table. 

He followed her over and served first. “May I ask about your family?”

“You may.” She slammed the ball hard enough to make him stretch. “No clue about our dad, or dads. One day, our mother took us to social service. She sat us in a chair and said she was going to the restroom.” The ball bounced back and forth between them. “Or so we’ve been told. I wasn’t quite a year yet and Deidra was two. We were lucky. They kept us together. We don’t have any hard feelings or psychopathic tendencies I’m aware of. Just one of those unpleasant happenings in life.”

“You seem healthy. Not a psychopathic tendency in sight.” His serve whooshed past her.

She gave a girlish squeal that made him chuckle. “Healthy lungs too.”

“I’ll get you for that!”

The game ended when the last ping pong ball rolled under the sofa. “Do you want to move the couch, or move on to the next game?”

It was a three-piece reclining sectional. “No, thanks.” She laid her paddle down and pointed to the pool table. I have no clue how to play this game, but I’m going to brutalize you.”

“Brutalize me?” The idea wasn’t at all unpleasant to him.

“Oh yeah. I’m dangerous.”

It wasn’t long before he discovered how dangerous. She repeatedly knocked the balls off the table and once lost her grip on the pool stick.

“You’re not dangerous. You’re a menace.”

She laughed, agreeing with his assessment. “Mitch tried to teach me once. You can see how that turned out. That was before we stopped having fun.” She paused. Her wood-brown eyes, glossed over with unshed tears, took on a smoky hue. “I’m sorry. That was ungracious of me.” She laid her pool stick down and turned her back to him. “I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.”

Likewise, Nolan set his stick aside. He joined Angela on her side of the table, leaning against the rail. “You’re not ungracious. It’s all right to speak the truth.” He touched her shoulder. “Even about the dead.”

Angela glanced at him and then away.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

 She sighed. “I shouldn’t think negatively about him.”

“You can’t feel guilty about that. He was human and so are you.”

His compelling tone drew her in. “I had a great marriage. That can’t be denied but… but sometimes, it wasn’t good. I don’t remember precisely how I felt at the time, but I…I recall not liking some of it. We had money and jobs and freedom. We bought stuff and did stuff and people were always envious. Mitch loved that. People envying the illusion we created. When I let myself dwell on it, I can see that’s what it was: an illusion. He never forgot my birthday, but he couldn’t remember to stop at the dry cleaners. The big deal things that everyone talked about—no problem. The little things… hanging out in the kitchen while I put away the dishes, teaching me to shoot pool or keeping a dumb promise—that was always missing. Part of me feels stupid and selfish. He did so many great things, why should I care about doing the dishes together? If I wanted one, he’d have gotten me a housekeeper.” She shut up then. 

Her rigid stance, the way she hugged herself, and her too-tight control told him she needed to talk. He let her.

“We wanted a baby. I’m not sure why Mitchell did—probably because it fit our success story image. No. I’m being petty. Sorry.”

“Why did you want a baby?”

“Because I love children.”

Nolan sensed there was more. He waited.

“Because a baby would need me and love me for all the little reasons nobody can see. But I’m out of luck there too.” Now, the tears came. A soft trickle, rolling across her cheek. “I have what they call unexplained infertility. There’s no medical reason why I can’t conceive. No one can tell me how to fix it.” She hunched her shoulders. “Mitchell tried to fix it. We redecorated our condo. We bought a new Mercedes. He took me to Cancun. He booked the cruise home to extend our vacation because he was fixing it. But he couldn’t fix me. Half of the time he didn’t recognize me. And now, I can’t recall the few precious moments I did have.” She turned around again, agitated and sad. Very sad.

Nolan digested the information. She was as complicated as she was beautiful. He didn’t have any words of comfort to give her. She wouldn’t receive them anyway. He picked up the pool stick and offered it to her.

She took it on reflex. 

Positioning himself behind her, Nolan adjusted the stick properly in her hands. “You put your fingers like this…  Hold the back a little higher.”

“Like this?”

“Yes. You want to slide it through easy. Like this…” 

His arms were around her, their fingers entwined as he guided her movements. Her tension ebbed away as she relaxed into him. 

This was the comfort she needed.  

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

 

Made entirely of rum and snacks—International Bestselling Author, Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and veteran West Virginian, whose family is a mashup of cultures. She writes real and raw interracial romance with an intensity that burns because she has been busting stereotypes while teaching interracial/generational healing for more than a quarter of a century.

Tracy engages with folks from every twist of fate and all manner of experience. She has hung out with murderers and dined with people who have dined with the Pope, which is why she needs the rum…and a nap.

Facebook / Goodreads

Website / Twitter

Amazon Author Page / Ball Books

BookBub

 

Sign up for Tracy’s (quarterly) Newsletter today by clicking HERE!

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized