Tuesday, August 13, 2013

*Welcome to Last Chance*

  Welcome to Last Chance

From the really good beginning to the really *sweet* ending, Welcome to Last Chance is an excellent read!

I have a hard time believing this is a debut novel-but I'm really glad about that, because now, Lord willing, I can follow Cathleen Armstrong's future writing career, hopefully through many more novels!

So what makes Welcome to Last Chance so special?
Well, first I'm going to talk about The Characters. Let's meet a few of them.
Lainie, a woman a woman on the run, whose sharp, hard demeanor is a shield over a heart that longs to stop running, but's she's been forced to run all her life.

Elizabeth, the elderly lady who takes Lainie in. Elizabeth is "soft, like pillows" and loves watching cop shows. She lets Lainie right into her house, giving her a neat little room with a quilt on the bed, and she also lets Lainie right into her heart... a place Lainie isn't sure she should go with anyone.

Then there's Ray, the steady, solid grandson of sweet Elizabeth. A man who doesn't drink and is stuck tending a bar that he can't wait to be done with, all because of a promise to his dying father.

Then you need to hear about The Setting. I love small towns, and Last Chance is a great example of why.

And then, of course, The Plot is what places the characters in the setting.

The plot here had everything I like: Sheriff's deputies, moral choices that must be made, redemption, regeneration, and real people coming to care for each other.

Really, it is all three (Characters, Setting and Plot) that come together like bacon, eggs and biscuits fresh from the oven that make this story so delicious.

As Cathleen's tag-line says, It's Grace, served with a side of green chile.

Thank you Revell for my copy of Welcome to Last Chance

*Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.*

Cathleen Armstrong I grew up in New Mexico knowing two things were true:  Any time you could spend reading was time well spent, and that one day I, too, wanted to write books. Both certainties presented problems. In the first instance, my parents and teachers felt that while reading was good, even wonderful, time must also be allotted to chores, homework, and even social interaction. Psssh. They never did convince me on that one.

The second difficulty was harder to get around. I knew I was supposed to write what I was familiar with, but my family had not cooperated in placing us someplace interesting. I thought if they had tried just a little harder, if my granddad had homesteaded in, oh, New York City, or my parents had taught school in, say, China, I would be loaded with fascinating things to write about. But as it was, we all lived in ordinary New Mexico, with its ordinary hundred mile vistas, ordinary thunderstorms boiling up on a hot summer afternoon and pounding the earth before they rumbled away at sunset. And ordinary people with names like Baca and Begay whose roots reached from hundreds to thousands of years into the pale, gravely soil. You can see my predicament.
The reading never stopped, but the writing was put on hold as I married my high school sweetheart, and moved with him first to Arizona and then to California. Our three children came, grew up, married and began families of their own with a speed that still makes my head spin.
Finally it is time to write, and I have long since realized that the last word that describes my home state is ordinary. Long ago it began to be known as The Land of Enchantment.  I can’t wait to show you why.

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