Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rene Gutteridge's Misery Loves Company ~ Reviewed

By Rene Gutteridge
Published by Tyndall
368 Pages

Back Cover: 

Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me.
Filled with grief, Jules Belleno rarely leaves the house since her husband’s death while on duty as a police officer. Other than the reviews Jules writes on her blog, she has little contact with the outside world.

But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.

And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith.

Review: I was thrilled to receive a review copy of a Rene Gutteridge book that blew me away! OhMyGosh! This story is well crafter, multilayered and fascinating!

This novel gives readers a peek into a writer’s world. It’s a glimpse into how some do their musing thru a famous author named Patrick Reagan. I loved Rene’s wit, her rich plot and characters I instantly cared for!

In order to cope with the death of her Police Officer husband, Jules Belleno turns to blogging. She writes her feelings and thoughts down daily. She gives her weekly views on books too! Rene Gutteridge has some interesting things to say about blogging, book reviews and the publishing business in this novel. All this is strategically intermingled in a serious police drama as they try to solve a murder mystery. This author had me at the edge of my seat as I quickly flipped the pages to find out who done it.

Jules’s father is retired Lt. Colonel who reads his daughters blog and reviews. It’s the only way he can connect with her and get an insight into why she does the things she does. He sees she’s talented and pushes her to get paid for the work she does. Jules blows it off. That’s not why she writes! Will her father ever get her?

When the Lt. Colonel knocks on the door no one answers! Her car is in the garage. That’s odd she’s always home. Jules father visits her the same time and day every week. He calls a police friend to come over and check the place out. He knew something wasn’t right - his daughter was missing.

Chris Downey stops by. The Lt. lets him in. He checks out Jules blog, her facebook page and email.  Jule’s father had warned her about writing personal things on social media sites. But it was her passion to write. Lt. said, “Sometimes I don’t know my daughter unless I read all that blog junk. I try, but there’s always this wall between us…I think all this technology is ruining everything about our society. But don’t get me started.”

Chris replies, “I was able to get on her facebook page and her blog. If someone was following her posts, they could pretty easily figure out the pattern. And she is definitely a pattern girl.”

This author brings up very serious concerns about blogging, social media and writing reviews that got my attention. Rene takes readers on a surprising journey with much to think about along the way. Loved it!

Jules says to someone she meets, “You read my blog?”

Stranger says, “Isn’t that the point? That people read it? Don’t you hope they get to know you?...If you’d known I’d been reading it, would you have perhaps chosen your words more carefully?” This will make you think about your next media post!

I loved when Jules, who is a book person, says, “While we’re reading words, they’re making magic happen and that magic lands right in your heart, were it’s there forever.” I’ve felt that way about many of Rene’s books. It’s one of the reasons I read Christian Fiction.

I whole heartedly agree with Rene when her character said this about books. These characters and the message of this novel landed in my heart, mind and soul. This novel is an important read for those who blog, write reviews and use social media. I highly recommend this as a great summer read. and a book club pick. There is so much to talk about. It’s a must read! Just saying!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

Bonus Review:

Rene Gutteridge's tale of a blogger finding herself in a twisted nightmare had me turning pages at warp speed and holding my breath wondering what was coming next.

Intense, fascinating and full of twists, this novel is definitely a recent favorite. The ending left me wanting more and cheering on characters.

Gutteridge is a talented writer and handles all aspects of storytelling well.

A satisfying and tense read.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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