Book Review: Loose Ends by Caroline Taylor

Price: $13.99

In the midst of Bicentennial celebrations, Carson Mahoney narrowly escapes a home invasion that reduces her house to rubble. In a West Virginia commune, her sister Cam kills the commune leader. Now both sisters must flee. Already a suspect in her secretive husband’s murder, Carson fears the police will suspect her of arson and put her in jail. It happened before, back when the two sisters were teenagers, imprisoned in a foreign country. It cannot happen again. But running away is also not an option. Cam needs to find the innocent whose life she has saved. Carson must find the thugs who destroyed her home and her livelihood. All too soon, the sisters learn how impossible it is to hide and how difficult it is to trust those who offer help. Will they survive long enough to clear their names?

This story is a fun ride through the life of a woman with a history she’s afraid will catch up with her and a present that’s after her too. Carson and Cameron are likable characters. We get a good feel for who they are, why they behave the way we do. More importantly we see how they grew differently after a shared tragedy. Once reunited, Carson develops personally, which I like. I can’t stand when a character has no development.

Carson is a little quirky and the author conveys it well without just throwing a description at us. There is nothing worse than slogging through an author’s description of a character.

The flashbacks to El Salvador are a little jarring at first, but you quickly see that the tense switch signifies their capture and torture in their teens.

It’s a fairly fast-paced story. I wouldn’t call it white knuckle, it’s not serious enough for that. But, Carson has no time to rest as she tries to clear her name and figure out whether her past is catching up to her.

The supporting character Rusty was a trip. I really dug him and wish the author would write a book just about him. He had depth, an interesting character, and the most heart of all the characters.

I very much loved that there was no romantic subplot to the main character’s story. It would have been out of place and just thrown in to appease some people. The story wasn’t about that

The plot was a little thin in places, but I don’t generally expect much for a book in this genre. What did bother me were some loose ends in the story. A big deal is made about where Carson’s husband was getting his “trust fund” from. They figure out the name of the alleged law firm is really someone’s name backwards, but nothing comes of it.I don’t know if it was just forgotten or if it was never intended to be anything. We also don’t hear much about what happened to the religious commune. The wrap-up after the climax is quick, but I don’t see any reason for it to be drawn out.

I don’t see this hitting bestseller lists, but I don’t believe that’s what it was written to do. I think this is meant as a fun book with some serious detours. If given the opportunity to read another of Caroline Taylor’s books, I would probably do so.

I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


All the gifts I do not have

Be prepared for something amazing but creepy.

This is amazing artistry. My grandmother used to create ceramic dolls and I thought hers were so realistic, but these take it to a completely different level.

Not even 2 minutes into the video I thought, “Man, I wish I could do things like this. I’m just not an artist.”

You may have had a similar thought when you saw it.

I’m going to stop you before that train of thought gets too far out of the station. These thoughts are the kind that get us into trouble and make us feel poorly about ourselves. Instead of being able to just appreciate Michael Zajkov’s amazing skills, we turn his skill against us. We focus on what we can’t do.

I am confident that we have skills that Mr. Zajkov doesn’t. That’s not a slight against him in any way. No one person is gifted to do all the things. That’s why we all matter so much. Each of us brings something different to the table. The world needs all of us with our own individual gifts to become a more amazing place.

The video should remind us not of the things we don’t or feel we “can’t” do, but push us to excel at the things we do well. It should give us pause to examine our lives to find our own greatness. Once we see it, we can reach deep inside to surpass limits we’ve imposed on ourselves.

But the first step is to stop comparing ourselves to others.


Is this just a SQUIRREL?

I lack discipline. My randomness in posting here is a pretty shining example. I know I’ve even blogged about it before.

I often go from one thing to another when something fun and new and shiny shows up. Right now it’s graphic design and editing, but tomorrow will it be something else? If I’m going to try to earn a living doing these things, I have to be committed to them.

I don’t know if that’s my hesitation in moving forward or if I’m just so stuck in impostor syndrome that I can’t move forward.

I’m not even sure I know what a work life looks like anymore. I’ve been working from home since 2014. I woke up late in the day and worked for a while. When Mr. Lyndsy got home, I played with him. With the exception of organizational meetings, I haven’t had any structure for quite some time.

I enjoy learning and I like applying what I’ve learned. However, learning things without actually having a concrete application for them is a letdown. I don’t exactly *have* to do it. There’s no one who will be breathing down my neck if a website I’m putting together isn’t done. No one is asking for me to make pretty graphics. It’s just me playing on my own. And when it comes to me doing something for myself, I am terrible at following through. A friend took a look at my birth chart recently and told me that I struggle with feeling like I’m important enough to warrant acting for me. I’m not even sure how I can overcome that.

I suppose the best way is to do it one day at a time. It would probably also help if I had a defined list of what it is I would like to accomplish. I’ve been moving through ideas haphazardly, picking and choosing what seems interesting, but not necessarily what will help me move forward.

Blargh. Maybe my next stop is to hit up a video course on how to get my shit organized.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s a mandala I created.

mandala created in adobe illustrator