The Next Chapter
Author: Melanie Young
In a flash of a second or even a nanosecond, your life can take on a different direction. Each day brings with it many unexpected events that can alter the way we think, act or live the rest of our lives. As we turn the pages of a book and begin each new chapter, the author introduces more information about the characters, develops the plot and excites the reader to continue reading using vivid descriptions of the scenery, the actions of the characters and enveloping the reader and wrapping them so tightly within the pages of the book until the very last word on the last page. This brings me to my review of The Next Chapter by author Melanie Young.
Carol Davidson, wife, mother and wedding photographer’s life is shattered in one brief moment. After speaking with her husband, Jim, not one hour before about their upcoming cruise for their 26th anniversary, the excitement, the happiness and the anticipation of spending this momentous occasion together will forever fade in her mind as the doorbell rings and an officer tells her of her husband’s fate in a deadly car accident. Like many people who lose their spouse, Carol created her own envelope or bubble that completely surrounded her and withdrew into her own world leaving many outside to fend for themselves. With a thriving business, a great next door neighbor and wonderful assistant, she devoted her time to Enchantments, her business and left her daughter and son-in-law outside the parameters of this bubble keeping others just within the walls but not too close.
After four years of mourning Jim, her daughter Andrea and husband Jason visit her with exciting news and want her to come and live with them in Florida. Debating her choices and whether she wanted to give up her home, her tangible memories of Jim and her business, Carol faces some really hard choices and must decide whether a house and material things matter more than her daughter who wants to know her mother and lost the chance with her father due to the accident. What choice does she make? What does her daughter say to her when confronted that finally pushes her to decide?
Visiting Andrea and Jason she meets Andrew a divorced father who Andrea and Jason buy their home and auto insurance from. Immediately taken with Carol he becomes an ardent fan of her moving to Florida. But, that decision is hers and although they seem to bond, Carol is still not ready for a real relationship and Andrew hopes to change that.
As Carol is sorting through and cleaning Jim’s office she comes across a letter that he wrote to her that will forever change her life, her mindset and cement her decision. A sincere, heartfelt, and beautiful letter from Jim to Carol, allows the reader to enter their lives, even for a moment to help understand the strength of their relationship and how strong that bubble that envelopes her formed as a shield to prevent anyone from getting too close and breaking the barriers for fear of being disloyal to Jim. But, after reading his words in his own hand, things will change for Carol, Andrea and her soon to be business partner in Enchantments, Sarah
Andrew the auto and home insurance salesman soon encounters his competition in Eddie the car salesman who definitely resembles Jim. The author takes us on a journey along with Carol with a woman who makes many life changing decisions, including where she will live, whether to have Sarah her assistant buy into her business as a partner, and learning to live life to its fullest. What does happen between Carol and Andrew remains to be seen. Will she prefer the man who looks like Jim? Andrea, Jason, Carol, Andrew, and her new granddaughter Jamie Grace will spend their lives on this exciting journey called life. With her best friend Joan’s sage and wise dating advice, which sounds like what my mother told me, and the support of her family, only time will tell when and if the next chapter in Carol’s life will be written. Dating does mean getting to know someone better to see if you really want to know them, as Joan states so brilliantly. My mother would add, the only thing a man is entitled to is the pleasure of your company and no fringe benefits. A date means going out and having conversation and that’s all. Relationships form over time and require trust, respect and understanding as you learn through Carol and Andrew. Good old fashion values definitely come through in this novel.
Author Melanie Young brings to light the many issues that women deal with when they lose a spouse. Understanding how Carol reacted and feels reminds me of my mom after losing my Dad. She enveloped herself and isolated herself too and did not want to break the walls of that bubble and let the world and the sun back in. But, she did in her own way and now will Carol pop some holes in that bubble and allow it to burst, or will she forever not write the Next Chapter. Well written, with characters whose personalities are clearly defined and the many journeys that Carol takes, the reader hopes that her future will have many Next Chapters with happy endings. Let’s hope she lets the sun shine and back into her life.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Author of the Bertha Series of Books and Memories are Precious
I give this book a beautifully photographed picture of
Five People: Carol, Andrea, Jason, Jamie Grace and you decide who gets the final spot.
Up and coming Port St Lucie author Melanie Young has just released her newest book, The Next Chapter, a novel about lost love and new beginnings.
The Next Chapter is the story of a solid marriage of love, happiness and fulfillment; until that fateful day when it is ripped apart by a terrible automobile accident. Carol Davison is left torn apart, grieving that for that which will never be again. How will she survive? How does she move forward? How does she turn the page in “The Next Chapter” of her life?
Read The Next Chapter and see how Carol Davison learns life’s lessons, heals, and finds love again.
Port St Lucie author Melanie Young moved from Spokane, Washington a year ago and promptly settled into her passion for writing. She and her husband, Dean, enjoy the small town atmosphere of the bedroom community of Port St Lucie, along with their two dogs, Ginger and Tommy.
Melanie also leads a local writers group, which meets at Barnes and Noble on US1 in Jensen Beach on the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 pm. Feel free to join her there along with other local writers for meet and greet, or just to hang out.
The Next Chapter is her first release, but certainly not her last. It can be purchased at lulu.com, amazonkindle.com, amazon.com and her online bookstore at http://auntmel.ecrater.com. If ordered from her online bookstore, you will receive your copy signed. Melanie is also doing a drawing for a tote bag filled with goodies from the book, The Next Chapter, as well as a copy of her next book, Read My Shorts. Contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Good luck to all who enter.
Synopsis: Lori is only ten years old when she and her heavily pregnant mother flee an abusive husband and father. Alone in the Everglades, Lori promises her dying mother she will care for her newborn brother, Michael. Over the months and years that follow she will strive to keep her promise. Not even being unwittingly caught up in a drug smuggling ring between Cuba and London, or the love of two men at the same time, will distract her from the promise she gave to her mother alongside a steaming Fakahatchee swamp. Born into the violence and chaos of Northern Ireland, and after the fatal shooting of his sister Kelly by a British paratrooper, a teenaged Shaun O’Brien is recruited by the Irish Republican Army. Under the expert tutelage of Hugh Devlin, a veteran terrorist, Shaun will excel in his ability to spread death and destruction. Returning from intense insurgency training in the middle east, his talent for organization will bring together rogue governments and terrorist groups from all over the northern hemisphere. While proliferating his destructive creed, Shaun will cross paths with both Lori and Michael, but neither will be aware of their true kinship. Pursued by The Royal Ulster Constabulary in the form of Inspector Pete Doyle, the two men will eventually come face to face in a confrontation that only one can survive. After leaving Lori in Queensland, Australia, Michael, searching for a cause to champion, travels to Santiago, Chile, where he meets, and falls deeply in love with, Rosa, a fourteen-year-old shanty dweller. The two teenagers, after pledging themselves to each other before the Madonna on San Cristobal Hill, are caught up in an anti government rally. Unable to save Rosa’s life, Michael returns to Florida, grief stricken and consumed by guilt. He takes solace in his faith, and after ordination as a Roman Catholic priest, his first posting is to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Charged with membership of the I.R.A., Michael is incarcerated in the notorious Maze prison alongside Ireland’s most desperate terrorists. After the widely publicized, martyred death of Bobby Sands, Michael becomes a willing participant in the hunger strikes. For the love of her brother, and to keep faith with the promise she made to their mother, Lori solicits the help of the I.R.A. to free Michael. The one man that can help her is Shaun O’Brien, but the price of his help is to kidnap a prominent Protestant church leader and hold the British Government to ransom. Michael is dying! Will the plan work, and will it work in time to save Michaels life? The story culminates in Geneva Switzerland, but will Lori, Michael, and Shaun ever find out that they are, in fact, siblings?
Malcolm J. Croan
St Joseph’s College, Dumfriese, Scotland. Boarding school, absconded when I was twelve.
Born: Edinburgh Scotland. Son of a wholesale fish merchant and kipper curer. Hell of a job getting my first girlfriend?
” Gun Law By Hotel Chief ” This was the headline in a national newspaper in Scotland when as a victim of car vandalism I took an empty rifle and perused six drunken young men who were destroying my car. I did not physically harm anyone, only threatened. As a hotelier and local businessman, the court said I should have known better. I was finned one hundred pounds sterling, and none of them were even charged. ‘No I do not suffer fools gladly.’
Silent Scream has made the best seller list for Amazon Kindle in two catagories. Catagory number one is Georgia. It is listed at number 66. The second catagory is Mayhem and Madness. It listed at number 79 this morning and has dropped to number 80. The amazing thing is this book is listed with the likes of Dave Cullen at number one who wrote Columbine and well known true crim Author Ann Rule. Her books are listed both in from of Silent Scream and behind it.
This book is a must read as the ratings show. It is the true crime of Flordia’s first serial killer and his victims. It is the voice of these victims that are being heard in this book. It is a must read. It can be purchased on Amazon in book form and kindle as well as lulu.com and my online store at http://thebookattic.ecrater.com
“Alva has lost her memory after a car accident. She cannot remember her husband, the Conte Luca, nor the Palazzo on Santa Caterina Island.
Returning to the island she is apprehensive, yet it is only when someone tries to kill her that she realizes she knows something. Can it be that someone is afraid of her remembering…”
A Poisoned Legacy
Belinda soon realizes the legacy is poisoned. By rights the house and land should have gone to Jesse Crane, or at least be shared between him and Carl Nash.
Does someone want her dead…can she trust Jesse Crane. Carl Nash is a charismatic pastor he at least has to be honest…or is he?
How can she fight her growing attraction to Jesse, knowing he might wish her harm?
Set in rural Florida – light years away from the smart hotels and theme parks this is the story of a young woman who is confused but brave. Uncertain of who she can trust, still she leans towards Jesse…never guessing at the terrible secrets that Nash House holds to itself.
Breaking the Clouds
The move to New Zealand has suited Bronwen for she has a good job and a beautiful home. The only downside is her lawyer husband Jack, who is drinking too much and is obviously unhappy with the move.
What she doesn’t need is a visit from her enigmatic cousin, Marged, a woman with whom she has little in common. However, it is with Marged’s visit that Bronwen’s life starts to spin out of control. She learns Jack was fired months ago from his firm, that he has abandoned his apartment in the city, and most of her money is missing from her bank account.
The only person who might know something is Job Tepi but Bronwen is not sure she can trust him…
The latest romantic suspense from Margaret Blake – available from -www.halebooks.com
libraries and book stores.
I was always writing stories, even as a little girl, however it was not until I was married and my husband encouraged me that I began to take myself seriously.
It was probably being an only child that drew me to writing. As an only child you tend to spend a lot of time on your own. I was either reading or writing and when I was doing neither, I was at the cinema, another passion of mine.
A love of history drew me to writing historical novels and I published seven novels with Robert Hale Limited. I then turned to contemporary romantic fiction and had five novels with the same publisher. These I wrote under my Grandmother’s maiden name – Ellen Noone. Some years on I started to be published by Whiskey Creek Press, my first novel for them being Fortune’s Folly.
May 2008 saw my return to my original British Publisher, Robert Hale Limited, for my new venture into romantic suspense. “Breaking the Clouds” is a brand new genre for me, and I have also published A Poisoned Legacy, a romantic suspense set in Florida. A place I love – especially as my son and his family live there! My latest novel with Robert Hale is another romantic suspense this time set on an island in Italy, “Shadows of the Past” which is published on the 29th May 2009.
Late last year and early this year I had three novels out with Whiskey Creek Press – His Other Wife, The Substitute Bride which is a medieval historical romantic suspense and Spanish Lies.
I was thrilled when The Substitute Bride was the best selling novel at Whiskey Creek for March.
Also in April I published “Bitter Betrayal with Wings Press.com. All my American novels are available in e book and print format.
Well, about me, I am married to John and we live in the North West of England, on the coast, although we are both city born originally and I came from Hulme, Manchester. We both lived in the States for some time. I have one son, the best daughter in law in the world and three fantastic grandchildren.
A lot of my inspiration and plots come to me while I am walking the hills. I live not too far from The Lake District and go walking there twice a month. It is amazing how good it is for my mind. Sometimes I wonder what a character would do and where they would go, being in the peace of magnificent scenery on a perfect day, always helps to show me the way to go.
Travel is a bonus for me. I love to visit Italy and France. I backpacked around Australia and New Zealand, all these countries have been an inspiration for me. Of course I visit Florida as often as I can. My son and his family are there – trips to Florida inspired A Poisoned Legacy., but I do like to think it is the “real” Florida rather than just the theme parks. Not that I am knocking the theme parks, my grandkids and I have had wonderful visits there.
I have a lot of fun with my writing. I love to go to new places and usually allow my characters lead me. Usually a situation will come into my head first of all, then the character, of course first I ask what would I do if…then I look around for a character and let me them decide the way to go. Writing about men is no problem – all my male characters are romantic and sexy – they can be macho and alpha but usually they are tamed by my heroines. So Happy reading!
You can read more about me at my website – www.margaretblake.co.uk – find me at