Two More Summer Reads: Blogger book reviews

I usually read in bed at night and pass out after one or two chapters. One book can easily take a whole month to read. Not so while on vacation. Here are two more reviews of blogger books that I read during my trip to Colorado. Enjoy.

Eclipse Lake

by Mae Clair

A blend of mystery and romance with strong characters.

Eclipse Lake is one part cozy mystery and one part romance. The story focuses on Dane Carlisle, a teenage lost-cause who grew up and turned his life around to become a multi-millionaire. He returns to his hometown with his adopted son, hoping to make amends with his older brother. But memories of the teenage Dane persist, and the discovery of an old skull raises more suspicions about his past. Set against Dane’s dark history and the current turmoil is his fairytale romance with a spunky photo-journalist who’s in town shooting pictures of the scenic lake.

The conflict between the three male characters – Dane, his teenage son, and his older brother – was what hooked me on the book. All well-rounded characters, they were emotionally genuine and likable, but also flawed. The relationships were convincingly volatile, and the emotional arcs felt authentic. Clair did a nice job with the cast of secondary characters and the quaint setting – a small mountain town where everyone knows everyone’s business. The story moves speedily along during the action and conflict scenes, and slows to a leisurely pace during romantic interludes.

Eclipse Lake is a well-constructed story with clean writing and some unexpected twists. Readers who enjoy mysteries, family secrets, and a strong romantic thread will love this book.

What’s in a Name

My Sally G. Cronin

Twenty stories by a master storyteller

What’s in a Name is a delightful collection of 20 short stories organized alphabetically by the names of the main characters. A few stories are dark, some are magical or humorous, and many close with a sense of poignancy.

Cronin is a marvelous storyteller, and for a reader, spending an afternoon immersed in the lives of the people behind the names is time well-spent. For me, the last story in the collection “Jack” was the icing on the cake, but all the stories are unique and well worth the read. Highly recommended for any reader who enjoys short stories about the human journey.

Happy Reading!

84 thoughts on “Two More Summer Reads: Blogger book reviews

  1. cathum says:

    Sounds like another short stories collection I need to look out for, and an author I haven’t discovered yet. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find stories where the main character returns home (especially if they’re from a small town) really interesting, if poignant. They’re usually quite simple and focus on relationships rather than an actual plot, but they’re awfully intriguing all the the same.
    Amazing review 🙂

    Like

  3. Sally’s book is on my TBR list. This pushes it up a bit. 😉 But…Mae Clair. Well, I don’t have any of her books but have been meaning to read, um, pretty much anything by her. I keep seeing lovely reviews of them. I’m remedying the situation and getting this one you’ve mentioned. Thanks for the kick in the pants. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Both books sound like great reads, Diana. Great reviews. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Claire Duffy says:

    Thanks so much for sharing – I’ve never quite gotten in to short story reading, but sounds as though it might be time to rectify that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to admit that short stories aren’t what I naturally gravitate toward. I love big fat books and series where I can get completely immersed and forget to come up for air. But I like to read the books of fellow bloggers, which expands my reading choices and I’m often glad I did. Sally’s stories are perfect for dipping into between other activities. And she’s a wonderful writer. Thanks so much for the visit and follow. I’ll be over soon to say hi. 😀

      Like

  6. Annika Perry says:

    Two terrific books and thank you for sharing with your excellent reviews, Diana! Both of these interest me, short story collections are increasingly popular genre and congratulations to Sally on this book and Mae’s part cozy mystery, part romance sounds like the perfect holiday read. Yikes, my tbr pile is huge!! 😀❤️

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  7. Thanks for more great book reviews! But how am I supposed to keep up with all these books? HA!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. exciting and interesting! thank you Diana for this review of Eclipse Lake. Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These both look good, so many books, so little time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Both books sound intriguing, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Two wonderful authors featured here, Diana. I am busy reading What’s in a name. I definitely aim to get to Mae’s books soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thanks for the mindful reviews, Diana. Wow, two excellent finds for Fourth of July weekend reading. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Christy B says:

    Oh how wonderful that you’re getting in lots of summer reading, Diana! Sally’s book is on my to-read list but I haven’t heard of Mae’s book. Have a great weekend xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • My vacation is over and the reading has dropped off again, Christy. Boo-hoo. Sally’s book is a quick read or fun for a quick story now and then. I read Mae’s in a day, which is rare for me. Happy weekend to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The Sally Cronin book sounds intriguing! I finished Book 3 of your Dragon Soul series last night. I know I have been taking forever to get them read, but recently I have committed to reading about an hour a night. This one had a lot of heartache in it, but I see lots of hope for the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. rijanjks says:

    I have Eclipse Lake on my Kindle and I can honestly say I’ve NEVER read a book by Mae Clair that I didn’t love. Great reviews. Sally’s book fascinates me too.

    Like

  16. Helen Jones says:

    Oh, I’ve heard good things about both these books, Diana. I’m scared my Kindle might explode if I add any more books, but these both seem worth taking the chance! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean, Helen. I buy the books, and eventually, I do get to them, some quicker than others depending on my time and mood. When I’m writing, I only read in my genre, but between books… it’s really fun to see what my peers are up to. Thanks for the visit and happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen Jones says:

        Thanks Diana, and the same to you 🙂 I find I can’t read much at all when I’m writing, funnily enough. However it’s often just a case of carving out the time…

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  17. Fabulous reviews, Diana! I loved Eclipse Lake by Mae. I became an instant fan and have since read her Point Pleasant series. Highly recommend it. I have Sally’s book on my TBR list, and really looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Excellent reviews, Diana. I can picture you lounging in a hammock perusing a lovely pile of books 😀 Both books sound intriguing. I always like a good collection of short stories. Wonderful covers also, people are just so talented. Happy reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the comment, Lana. I wish I was lounging in a hammock! Today I’m cleaning bathrooms and vacuuming dog hair instead. Ha ha. I live reading the books of fellow bloggers and I have quite a pile to get through. I’d need a year. Have a great long weekend and happy 4th!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would love a hammock too, but it’s too blasted hot to lounge in it here. I’m the Queen of dog hair, plus add in some cat hair too. Real life just isn’t that glamorous for sure. Here’s to piles of good books and happy 4th of July to you!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. dgkaye says:

    Great reviews Diana. I’ve read Sal’s book and have Mae’s on my TBR. I know all about the stolen reading hours. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Need more time to read!!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Great reviews, D! I loved Eclipse Lake, and Mae’s Point Pleasant books, and her others. I haven’t read any of Sally’s books yet–my TBR list is going to get longer 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  22. jjspina says:

    I enjoyed both books by these talented authors! Look forward to more. Love & hugs to you Bette, Mae and Sally! Xx

    Liked by 3 people

  23. arlene says:

    Would love to read these too, if I can find copies here. Thanks Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Reblogged this on Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author and commented:
    I’ve just finished reading Mae Clair’s mystery “Eclipse Lake” and have Sally Cronin’s story collection “What’s in a Name?” on my TBR. You’ll want to heck out these awesome authors and get reading! ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Just finished reading Mae Clair’s Eclipse Lake and have Sally Cronin’s What’s in a Name? on my TBR. Awesome authors and great reviews, Diana. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Both of these sound excellent. I like stories showing what happens to troubled children when they grow up, how they deal with their childhood. And I love story collections. Two winners.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Andrew Joyce says:

    Wonderful reviews, thanks for posting them. I’ve got to start paying attention. I didn’t know Ms. Spicy had a book of short stories out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Thank you so much Diana..it is very much appreciated and What’s in a Name was a bit like a family party for me so very pleased when readers enjoy it too. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    In lovely company with Mae Clair on Diana Wallace Peach’s blog… lovely reviews for our books. Terrific way to end the week.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. lisakunk says:

    Both sound good. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Allie P. says:

    Excellent! I am currently reading one of the books you recommended in a previous update and while I’m not yet done with it, at this point, I am pretty sure you and I have similar tastes. Now noting these too for the TBR list as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a really picky reader, Allie. I just can’t seem to turn off the inner editor and sometimes she’s really annoying. The books I post on the blog are the ones where she sat back and enjoyed the read with me. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Thanks for sharing these excellent reviews, Diana. A great guide for summer reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. balroop2013 says:

    Both the books are attracting me Diana. Thanks for the reviews, they do help when they come from friends like you.
    I can relate to your reading in bed and falling asleep…a very healthy ritual! 🙂 have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Can identify with segmented reading at night. One of the best parts of a vacation is time to read. Thanks for the short story book title recommendation. Short stories fit into my time frame right now

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Thank you for the terrific reviews Diane. I can count you to nail the quality of reads. I look forward to getting my hands and eyes in these two, especially S. Cronin’s What’s in a Name. Sally’s a favorite if mine! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Mae Clair says:

    Thank you for the beautiful review of Eclipse Lake, Diana. That book holds a special place in my heart. I am so glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 3 people

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