Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Caramel and Magnolias by Tess Thompson

Caramel and Magnolias by Tess Thompson
Series: The Legley Bay Collection 
Paperback, 246 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Booktrope Editions

Crushed by a broken heart ten years ago, Cleo Tanner walked away from her acting dreams and now leads a quiet, secluded life in Seattle. Sylvia, her best friend from college, is trapped in a loveless marriage, distraught by her inability to conceive a child – until an adoption agency owner in relentless pursuit of Cleo offers to help.

Just as Sylvia begins to experience a profound love that only a mother can feel, a detective approaches Cleo with disturbing questions about the adoption agency. Determined to protect her friend, Cleo jumps into a dangerous investigation that forces her to confront the ghosts of her past.

Bestselling author Tess Thompson, whose debut novel Riversong touched the hearts of readers worldwide, delivers a captivating and suspenseful tale of the possibilities that await us in life and in love – if we can find the courage to get off the sidelines.

A toast to friendship, motherhood, mended hearts and new beginnings, Caramel and Magnolias reminds us it’s never too late to reawaken the heart.

My thoughts about Caramel and Magnolias ~~ 

I loved this book and loved my glimpse into the lives of Cleo and Sylvia. It was so easy to become their 'friend'. When I had to walk away from their world (say, to do things like go to work) I very easily was able to pick up right where I left off, just as if I had never left. 

Cleo and Sylvia are best friends. But sometimes best friends don't know everything.  
'There wasn't a thing they didn't know about one another. Except for one thing - Sylvia's one secret - too big for even Cleo to know.'
And poor Cleo. She had her heart broken and has lived a lonely life for 10 years. Can she finally get over the heart break and get on with her life? 
'Lastly, she picked up the slip of paper. The last words he'd ever written to her. Gone for donuts. Gone. Never to return.'
There is friendship, romance, heartbreak, and action. All rolled up in a wonderful, easy to get lost in story. 
'If someone took their photo today, what would they see? Cleo knew the lens would not lie. It would capture two women living on the edges of life, waiting and yearning for that which they could not have.'
And I loved the references to the smells of caramel and magnolias throughout the book. I have such a strong sense of memory smells and I loved how that kept coming up.

My favorite passage of the whole book are these lines about the magic of friendship. I like the idea of souls waiting to meet in the physical world to become friends.  
'But Cleo was her best friend, no matter all the rest of it. Who understood the magic of friendship? It was not possible to explain how some people made their way into your life as if they'd been there, their soul lurking with yours until bodies met in the physical world. Their friendship was the unraveling of fate.'
About the author

Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright. She has a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California. 

After some success as a playwright she decided to write a novel, a dream she’d held since childhood. She began working on her first novel, Riversong while her second daughter was eight months old, writing during naptimes and weekends. She considers it a small miracle and the good-nature of her second child (read: a good napper) that it was ever finished. Riversong was released in April 2011 by Booktrope, a Seattle publisher and subsequently became a #1 Nook book and Kindle best seller. Learn more about Booktrope at www.booktrope.com

Like her main character in Riversong, Tess is from a small town in Southern Oregon. She currently lives in Snoqualmie, Washington with her two small daughters where she is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window. 

She was an active member of the theatre community in Seattle as an actor and director during the late nineties. In 2000 she wrote her first full-length play, My Lady’s Hand which subsequently won the 2001 first place prize for new work at the Burien Theatre. 

A voracious reader, Tess’s favorite thing to do is to curl up on a rainy afternoon and read a novel. She also enjoys movies, theatre, wine and food. She is fed emotionally by her friends and family and cherishes relationships above all else. 

Tess will be releasing her second novel, Caramel and Magnolias, in February 2013. She is busy working a historical fiction set in 1930’s Alabama that is based on a short story of her great-great grandmother’s.

Connect with Tess

Come back on Friday when I will be featuring book #2 in this series, Tea and Primroses, for my stop on it's tour. There will be a giveaway too!! 

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!


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