Friday, July 1, 2011

SUNSET BRIDGE: REVIEW AND BONUS ENTRIES

 GIVEAWAY ENDED
SUNSET BRIDGE
A Happiness Key Novel
BY EMILIE RICHARDS

MORE ABOUT SUNSET BRIDGE - INSPIRATION FOR THE NOVEL:
....from Emilie Richards Website
How does an author tie up a series she's loved writing? How does she know when it's time?

Happiness Key was originally a stand-alone novel, but after I wrote it, I suggested to my publisher that we do two more and make the books a trilogy. They happily agreed, and I set out to make that happen.

Happiness Key was a sprawling novel, which introduced four very different women whose unlikely friendship develops slowly, along with the stories of their individual lives. By the end I'd left enough untied threads that a second novel, Fortunate Harbor, was easy. There was an empty house, a scheming ex-husband, a new career, two romances blossoming. How fun was this?

By the time I moved on to Sunset Bridge, however, I knew we'd been wise to call this a trilogy. Much had happened, and there were still new developments to explore and old stories to complete, but unless I began untying the knots I'd so carefully pulled tight in past books, this had to be the final novel. I wanted happily-ever-afters to stay that way, and the lessons the characters had learned from each other to carry each of them forward into a future my readers and I could imagine together.

As I often do, I came up with the title before I came up with the plot. This was the end of a trilogy, so "sunset" a highlight of Gulf Coast life, seemed appropriate. So did "bridge" which suggests transitions, and moving from one phase of life to another.

With that in mind, I took the words and wove my story around them. My characters were moving on with their lives, and so was I. This was the time to bid them a fond farewell and wish them the best.

But darn, I'll miss them, every one.
The above information is taken from Emilie Richards' Website HERE.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
People often ask if my books, particularly the Ministry is Murder series, are autobiographical. Think how much easier and shorter this bio would be if they were, and how much more interesting? I could be one of three sisters running an Irish-American bar, recently divorced from a man who came into our marriage with dark secrets and newly married to a minister in a town with a surprisingly high murder rate. For fun I could dive for perfect Australian pearls, make spectacular quilts, ride to the hounds, and outwit hurricanes while stirring gumbo with the hand not holding a needle and thread.
T's Family in Maryland In reality very little of that sounds familiar. I have a charming older brother but no sisters. My mother told me stories of her Irish father who wielded his beautiful tenor in many a bar in the Bronx, but never, to my knowledge, managed one. I've been happily married for many years, and if my husband has dark secrets, I have yet to discover them. He is a minister, but I have never found a dead body on our porch or been asked to solve a murder. For this I'm particularly grateful.

And hobbies? I'll confess to the quilts and the gumbo, although in all the years I lived on Florida's Gulf Coast or a stone's throw from Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, I never experienced a hurricane.
To finish this wonderful biographical piece by Emilie Richards, please visit her website where this came from HERE.
CHECK OUT MY AUTHOR INTERVIEW AND ENTRIES FOR THIS GIVEAWAY ON THE FIRST POST HERE.

MY REVIEW:
It is said that all good things must come to an end and so it is that Emilie Richards has completed the Happiness Key trilogy this week with the launch of SUNSET BRIDGE.  Richards once again gives readers a multi-layered tale of friendship complete with mystery, romance, humor, and PIES! If this is your first visit, don’t despair because SUNSET BRIDGE stands on its own quite well thanks to Emilie’s excellent character driven story that includes a setting that is as much a part of the story as any character. If you haven’t read FORTUNATE HARBOR and HAPPINESS KEY, you might want to treat yourself and REALLY celebrate for the 4th of July and pick up those titles as well and luxuriate in the trilogy from the start!

SUNSET BRIDGE does find central figure Tracy Deloche still the owner of the five beach cottages on Happiness Key since her divorce brought her to the west coast of Florida. One might say that the former socialite went through a period of thinking she had lost everything except for these five rickety beach cottages but soon discovered how rich she was when the tenants became her friends. All cut from different cloth, these characters somehow come together much like a patchwork quilt as they cohesively are a delightful and supportive group for each other.

Tracy is dating a lawyer/good old boy and is conflicted because she is so happy with Marsh but also unsure of where things are heading.  Marsh is so good to her but as close as they are, he hasn’t made any move toward commitment of any kind. When Tracy finds out she is pregnant, she now has to decide if she is ready for a child before she even mentions it to Marsh. What if he walks out, or she doesn’t want a child? What decision she makes will shape the rest of her life as well as others.

The other pieces that make up this "quilt" are Janya Kapur, who is an artist and young Indian wife who longs to be a mother and still marvels at how her arranged marriage turned out. Determined to make it work and not once again disappoint her family, she surprises herself the most when she sees how very happy she is but for that one missing part. In SUNSET BRIDGE, Janya is minding the young children of a friend and they fill that void for now. When the friend doesn’t return for the children, the mystery begins. Janya loves and cares for them but along with Tracy, realizes they must find out what happened to the friend.

Alice Brooks is a widow but is raising her granddaughter Olivia who is of that middle school/high school “HELP!” age. Alice is still recovering from her stoke but loves Olivia so much that she is her priority. When someone very unlikely comes along and threatens this relationship, Alice, like the others, turns to her friends on the Key for help!  Will she lose Olivia and if she does, how will it affect poor Alice?

Wanda Gray, once a wise cracking waitress, is now the wise owner of the very popular pie shop in town. Wanda’s Wonderful Pies is thriving and a boon to the whole area as well as the character I voted "Most likely to make me want to get up and snack on something" as I read about her pies! Wanda never expected, however, to have another ingredient added into her mix.

The newest addition to the Happiness Key gang is Wanda’s daughter, Maggie, a former police officer in Miami, who leaves her job after involvement in a case that literally ended her marriage as well as her career. She comes home to Wanda to try and figure out what she needs to do next with her life. Maggie doesn’t want a free ride and helps out at the bakery but when two strong willed women are in such a small place, things heat up. Is this kitchen big enough for both of these willful women? Although Maggie is useful in trying to help solve the mystery confronting Janya, she also brings along a new problem as the relationship between Maggie and Wanda, as you can imagine, is a hard one to work out.

With a storm brewing between all of these characters and what is going on in their lives, Mother Nature steps in to add to the suspense. A tropical storm has developed literally and with these ill winds blowing in more ways than one, things at Happiness Key come to a head. With all this swirling around, the five feisty and loyal women realize once again how much they need each other for a myriad of reasons, none the least is the hurricane that is heading their way. When all things settle from the storm, who or what will be left standing? From relationships to romance, and mystery to murder, Emilie Richards has written the finest in her trilogy with SUNSET BRIDGE. I highly recommend this whole series but especially SUNSET BRIDGE. It would not only make a great book club choice but also will bring you a few hours of delight and entertainment. A few hours, because once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down until you find out what is to become of the   marvelous characters on Happiness Key and where SUNSET BRIDGE might lead them next. 

GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO SARAH AND FRIENDS AT
PLANNED TELEVISION ARTS/A DIVISION OF
RUDER-FINN, I HAVE ONE COPY OF THIS
FABULOUS BOOK TO GIVE AWAY
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOU READ ABOVE IN MY REVIEW OF SUNSET BRIDGE AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING OR ONE OF HER BOOKS YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ  BY VISITING EMILIE RICHARDS' WEBSITE HERE


+1 MORE ENTRY:
BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK
 

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY THAT YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, COMMENT ON EACH WAY SEPARATELY.

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, JULY 16

88 comments:

lag123 said...

Wow! I love the review and now I have to get the first two books as well. I can't wait to find out what happens to these characters lives, especially after the hurricane. I have been through several of those and your life can definitely be changed. Thanks for the giveaway!

lag110 at mchsi dot com

lag123 said...

I would like to read her book Iron Lace.
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Karen B said...

Great review! I love reading a book that I can't put down until it's finished.

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Karen B said...

I want to read the first 2 books in this series.

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debbie said...

I really enjoy reading trilogies, because it seems you really get to know the characters. I would love to see how they evolve, plus the addition of pies is always a great bonus to me.
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debbie said...

I think another one of her books that sound good is fox river.
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Pat L. said...

patoct at yahoo dot com

I havent read any of the author's books, and they all look good.

Pat L. said...

patoct at yahoo dot com

I love series books (trilogies or more) and if there are desserts in them, better.

Pat L. said...

patoct at yahoo dot com

I see the author likes quilting.

Pat L. said...

patoct at yahoo dot com

I always enjoy a story about friendships.

mamabunny13 said...

I loved your review and I plan on finding the first two books. I like books involving friendships. I lived in Miami during a hurricane and I was so scared! Thant's the one thing I don't miss about living there.
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holdenj said...

I like a good character driven story and am glad to know Sunset Bridge can stand alone. Although you may be right and we should all treat ourselves to the whole series!
Thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I like mysteries too and I think I'd like to try one of Emilie's Ministry is Murder books.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

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ann said...

I love how the reviews explains each person as a piece of the quilt.
A multi-tale of friendship complete with mystery, romance, humor what more could you want in a book

ann said...

Ah now I know why she specified people in the her book as pieces of a quilt. She had a quilt studio on her page. I love reading and I also love quilting to.

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ann said...

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the blog

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Connie said...

Hi! I always enjoy reading her books. I haven't read this series yet but would love to. I like the character Wanda which I would consider a little bit wacky. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

aliasgirl1976@yahoo.com

Connie said...

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Happy 4th of July to you and your family! :)

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Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a wonderful story. I'd love to read it.

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Blessed is the Busybody looks interesting.

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Becky said...

I've read many Emilie Richards books. They are fabulous reads. It was fun reading Emilie's autobiographical remarks. I've read the first two books in this series. Definitely want to read Sunset Bridge. Thanks for the great review and info!

Becky said...

Looking at her list of books, there is only one that I haven't read. Maybe it is available as an e-book. It would be fun to read it on my Nook. Now I'm hungry for pie:) It's the fourth of July weekend. Apple pie here we come.

bookladye@gmail.com

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I also follow your blog on Facebook:)

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bison61 said...

mystery, romance, & humor sounds great

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Colleen Turner said...

Wow, I didn't originally know this was a trilogy. I am excited now to read the whole series! Thanks for the info!
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Nancye said...

This sounds like a very intriguing book with interesting characters and unexpected turns and twists. I definitely want to read this book now!!

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Nancye said...

I learned that Emilie Richards has written "Sixty plus novels: (from her website).
WOW!

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