Tuesday, October 11, 2016

For Sale By Owner-A Book Review

Who would like a great book to read?  I was recently given a copy of For Sale by Owner by Marleen Bateman to review.

The Book:
Stressed by a year of intense, ongoing problems, McKenzie Forsberg decides to quit her high-powered job and move back to her hometown. Determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie desperately needs the peace and security she is sure will come from buying the home she grew up in. But when she arrives in town, Kenzie discovers that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, has already put an offer on the house.  However, he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve.  

When Kenzie unexpectedly runs into a couple who are considering buying Jared’s house, she unthinkingly gives them information that changes their mind. Jared, who had been more than a little interested in Kenzie, has second thoughts when he begins to believe Kenzie may have deliberately tried to sabotage the sale of his home. Feeling bad, Kenzie apologizes but the damage may be too much for their relationship to overcome.

Despite his misgivings, and Kenzie’s own concerns, sparks of attraction between Jared and Kenzie grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past. In that moment, everything changes. Will the power of love be enough to bring Jared and Kenzie together and allow them to find their happily ever after?

Author Interview:
1. When did you first realize you wanted to write a book? 
 When I was in Jr. High. However, I was already writing stories when I was in elementary school. As I got older, I became more and more interested in writing and began taking classes. In my second year of college, I got married and dropped out of college. (But I went back 12 years ago and graduated). When I started having children, there was no time to write, but as they got a little older, I began writing for magazines because it took much less time to write an article than a book! I couldn’t even think about doing a book with my little ones needing their momma!  Then, as my children grew up more, I was able to start working on writing my first non-fiction book. A few years after that was published, I started writing my first novel, Light on Fire Island, which is a mystery-romance. It took me three years, but I was so excited when it was done, and even more excited when it was published! 

2. I am writing a book myself, and if it has been a while since I last wrote, I find myself spending my time reading it instead of writing more; how do you find time to write and how consistently do you add more to your story? 
About thirteen years ago, I was able to quit my job as a florist and become a full time writer. I try to consider writing as my job and try to have set hours. (Notice how the word “try” is sprinkled here and there liberally!)

In the morning, I work on household chores and yardwork, stopping by 11:00 am, which is when I try to start writing. (notice the “try” word again?)  There is never enough time to do everything so I try to be strong and ignore the hem that needs stitching, the weeds in the flower bed, the bills to pay, the pantry that needs cleaning, and the clothes that need to be washed. This is made easier when I realize that it will all be there for me tomorrow morning. I write for an hour and a half, then have lunch. I then try to take a 15-minute power-nap. Then back to writing. I finish my writing day at 7 p.m.

I have been blessed to have twelve books published and so I have a fairly solid routine down for writing a book—starting with the early days of coming up with an idea for a book, to planning out the characters and setting, to developing the plot and structure, and then sweating out the rough draft. From there, I start editing the first draft, then the second draft, third and so on and on until the manuscript is as polished as possible. Having a set process means I always know what I’m supposed to be doing. Then, all that is necessary is a lot of will power to keep myself focused on the job at hand instead of the floor that needs mopping!

3. What is your favorite go-to snack? 
My favorite is licorice, (but not black-ick). I keep a bowl of all sorts of candy by my computer.  I never dip into it in the morning—only the afternoon.  I keep an assortment of low-calorie candy such as smarties, gummy bears, jolly rancher, lemon drops, licorice, butterscotch disks, etc. I also have gum. Sometimes I’ll have nuts.  My husband likes to dehydrate fruit from our trees so I often have dried apples, peaches, apricots, or plums to snack on, too. If I start getting tired, hit a difficult spot, or just need a reward, I keep a few chocolate treats nearby.  Chocolate raisins and M & M’s are great, and I also have a few snack-size chocolate treats like Snickers, Baby Ruth, etc. 

4. What is your favorite part of For Sale By Owner (without giving away spoilers of course)?  
There are several parts of the book I really enjoyed. One is where Kenzie has a heart-to-heart talk with her father about a serious problem that had damaged their relationship. I like it because it shows where her father is coming from, too. They both have their points and it shows both sides of the situation.

There’s a few other scene’s I love, too, but if I had to pin it down to one, I would say it’s the part toward the end of the book where Kenzie makes a surprising discovery about her past. I can’t say more because I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I love how it changes her and opens her up to the future. I think it shows Kenzie’s character when she acts on this discovery to reach out and do something kind to someone special.  It’s a very tender moment, filled with kindness, love and sacrifice on her part.

5. Do you have plans to write more books in the future?
 Oh yes! I always have plans!  I am so excited that my latest manuscript, Searching for Irene, was just accepted for publication a few weeks ago!  Searching for Irene is an exciting mystery romance, set in 1925.  

Right now, I am working on a mystery-romance, called, Blackwater Lake. Also, I recently decided to write a book on grief, which will be called; Finding Comfort After the Loss of a Loved One. I am religious and this book will come from that perspective. Although I’ve had the idea for this book on the back burner for 15 years, I recently felt prompted that I should start writing it now. 

My Review:
  When life ends up in turmoil we often return to what felt safe and like home for comfort.  For McKenzie this means moving back to the town she grew up in, with memories and hope from the past that she hopes will help her heal and move on.  When she realizes that one person stands in the way of her finding the peace she hopes for, her plans for everything change and she is ready to stop at nothing to get what she wants.   
  I really enjoyed this book, it is fast paced and an easy read.  I like some of the underlying themes of forgiveness and hope that run throughout the book.  The book has those magical moments, it centers a bit around the magic of Christmas, but not so over the top to feel cliche and silly.  This is a clean book free from language and graphic imagery.  

Find the Author:
   Goodreads: https://goo.gl/ksPihN

Buy The Book  
   Amazon//Seagull Book// 

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