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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Where there's fire there's... Smoke by Catherine McKenzie

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

This has been a month of BOOK BIRTHDAY celebrations and we're not stopping yet! Today's selected title is hitting store shelves as we speak (Woo hoo!), so once you've finished being tantalized, you'll not have to wait to get it in your hot little hands any longer than it takes to drive to your local bookstore or patiently await its delivery.  Yeah...I'm not all that patient admittedly.  ^-^  Anyway, the title at the heart of our post comes to us via the PR team of Goldberg McDuffie Communications.  It stars the fifth Fiction work of an author I've featured once before on my site but on the surface, the works couldn't be any more different than each other.  Ladies and gents, be prepared because you know what they say....where there's fire there's....

Catherine McKenzie
Lake Union Publishing

About the book...
From the internationally bestselling author Catherine McKenzie comes an evocative tale of two women navigating the secrets and lies at the heart of a wildfire threatening their town.

After a decadelong career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed.

For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation.

As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved.


See what I mean about on the surface?
When I last picked up this author's work, we were debating the world of prearranged marriages and high caliber match making services.  Was it better to love and possibly lose or be guaranteed a match...maybe in heaven or maybe just in good company?  Ah yes, I remember it like it was yesterday....but it also brings to mind the story beneath the story in today's title.

Here we have Mindy and Elizabeth; two seemingly separate lives following their own threads as we initially set out but by book's end, you wouldn't believe how entwined they truly are.  It was great getting to know them individually.  It presented a side of them both that we may not have seen otherwise, forcing them to discover their inner strengths, recognize weaknesses, and ride the emotional turmoil flowing like much needed rain.  Elizabeth's is more on the surface, having come to a head so to speak over the last few days.  Little did she know that the next five would prove even more life altering.  Mindy is only beginning to understand that although her life seemed for the most part ideal, there were things occuring just beyond her reach that would affect the whole town.  Both ladies have much to learn, but the same could be said for both their other halves as well as the whole town.

Patience, kindness, and understanding...there's certainly a short supply of them in Cooper Basin.  When residents begin losing more than time thanks to the wild fire, fingers are pointed left and right.  'Who did it' is the question on  everyone's lips and with just a little nudge in the right direction, it doesn't take them long to find someone to blame.  Funny thing is...he's  victim of the situation himself.  Having lost it all, Mr. Phillips has nothing left to lose, but did he really do it?  I mean, there are SO many signs to the contrary including his own testimony.  When the truth comes rolling in, you won't believe your eyes and you'll have many a hypothesis blown out of the water thanks to it.  Was it fitting?  Quite actually, though also heartbreaking at the same time.  Before the read is done, many more will have lost things held dear...but sometimes the sweetest things of all are found when our heads are turned the other way.

In conclusion, though not the read I was expecting when I started out, I wasn't truly disappointed.  This is the type of work that allows readers to see how an author can branch out from his or her initial start.  Do I prefer it over the first book I read from her body of work?  That'd be a no, but remember that view will always be slightly jaded seeing as I fell in love with the first work.  To me, this story holds its own with its emotional depth adding heft to the story.  It's not wishy washy or "John...Mary", but something STRONGER, something built to last you might say...

Recommended read for older teens through adult readers of Contemporary and Literary Fiction.


About the author...

A graduate of McGill University in History and Law, Catherine practices law in Montreal, where she was born and raised. An avid skier and runner, Catherine’s novels, SPIN, ARRANGED, FORGOTTEN and HIDDEN, are all international bestsellers and have been translated into numerous languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Turkish, Slovakian and Czech. HIDDEN was also a #1 Amazon bestseller and a Digital Bookworld bestseller. She has also published a novella, SPUN, which is a sequel to SPIN.

Her fifth novel, SMOKE, will be published by Lake Union on October 20, 2015. She is currently at work on her sixth novel, which is expected to be published in 2016.

And if you want to know how she has time to do all that, the answer is: robots



Special thanks to April at Goldberg McDuffie Communications for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, her full body of works, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Lake Union Publishing, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, so be on the lookout for it at a virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time...happy reading!


Tracy Terry said...

Wildfires and the world of prearranged marriages and high caliber match making services - wow! this author sounds nothing if not diverse.

What a wonderful and unique setting for a novel, I really like the sound of Smoke and yet it is the first book that really, really appeals to me.

Karielle Stephanie said...

This book just hit my radar and both the cover and synopsis drew me in immediately. Catherine McKenzie is a new author for me but it seems like she has a broad range of writing talents. Sorry you didn't enjoy this one as much as her other books but it still looks like a good read :) Thanks for your wonderful review!

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