“The Prairies Book Review”
A strong female lead; a fantasy world; and a gripping storyline…A promising debut!
Lizette has spent the past few years dedicated to her legal career which suddenly seems to come at a standstill and a man who has been betraying her from the start. Trying to escape the sudden turmoil in her life, she decides to leave the country and take a break. Prince Feliciano is trapped in a cruel game of destiny which has him separated from his loved ones for more than a century. To return home, he must find his soulmate first: a woman who is pure of heart and has a link to his old world, who will be willing to return home with him leaving her own life behind. When finally, they meet, it is love at first sight. But will love be enough for Lizette to abandon her family, her friends, and her life? Will she follow her heart? La Flor Manor, the first book in series is definitely a brilliant start by Mary Jaimes-Serrano. Serrano’s world is rich in culture and history. Serrano’s vivid description transport you to the La Flor Manor so that you’re standing with Lizette throughout her adventure there. The sprawling eighteenth-century palace is brought alive by detailed imagery of fineries and open gardens. Lizette is a normal young woman, someone easy to relate to. Prince Feliciano’s perceptions of Lizette make you aware how he sees the young woman, and at the same time, the reader gets to know him better in the process. A gentleman at heart, he has this boyish charm. The author has done a brilliant job when it comes to characterization. The characters, all of them, are easy to connect with. Serrano flawlessly blends heartbreaking drama with the daily chit-chat of characters’ lives. The vivid descriptions of open landscapes make the settings come alive. The pace is even and story flows smoothly until the end. La Flor Manor is a promising first instalment to the upcoming series. The book, with its strong characters, intriguing storyline, and stunning setting will leave you want more at the end.Advertisements
Good morning to all of my readers. I am sorry for my absence. I decided to try my hand and the whole NaNoWriMo in November. I am happy to say that I met my goal and because of this I am now working on editing my first book. With this though has come the struggle to balance my work time, personal writing time, and family time. I am happy to say that I think I am bringing it together well. I guess only time will tell. This gave me the idea to write this new post.
We have all heard the saying “time is money” and I have even written it in one of my previous posts. These three words have shaped our lives on so many levels. I have learned that the best way to handle these words is to ignore them. If I let myself get tied behind these words, I find my personal style suffering, which makes my professional style suffer as well. While there will always be a deadline and time restraints for everything we do in our lives, we must learn not to dwell on them. If it is meant to be, you will find a way to make it happen. Allowing myself to adopt this mindset has given me the opportunity to see myself grow. Removing the time clock that was constantly running in my head, gave me room for creative flow. This is not to say that I do not meet deadlines or have a schedule to keep. Only that I let myself worry about the quality of my work, instead of constantly looking at the clock to see how much time I have to complete it. This has not only given me peace of mind, whether I am working on work to be turned in or personal creations, but also improved the quality of both. So my advice to you is to let the clock take the backseat. Know that it is there, but do not let it take the space of your personal thinking.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and an inspired weekend. Find what makes you happy and make it your own.
Lizette Montclaire, a thirty-four-year-old attorney, had left her home in Colorado, to escape her job, cheating boyfriend, and hectic life. She traveled to a small town in Mexico in hopes of hiding away for a month or two, to figure out her life. She had the world, or so she thought, and in one day she lost it all. She was a very successful attorney working at her dream job, she was on the verge of making partner, and engaged to her college sweetheart. She began working at Carmichael’s Law Firm as a bright-eyed intern while she was still in law school. After ten years with the firm, her hard work was finally paying off. The firm had announced a few days earlier, that they were adding a partner and given the impression that Lizette was top in line for the position. She had the clientele, experience, and success rate with the firm. The announcement came, and in a matter of minutes Lizette’s dreams turned into nightmares. Her dream position had been given to her fiance Bradley. Bradley and Lizette had dated through college and both interned at Carmichael’s. Bradley however, had gone to work with another firm after law school, saying he could not work at the same firm as his girlfriend, because it would just cause problems. Four years ago, he had finally proposed, and then decided to go to work at Carmichael’s, to have more time with Lizette. He used the hectic hours of work as an excuse why he needed to work closer to her. He really was a great attorney, but Lizette could not understand why he got the partnership she rightly deserved. After demanding answers from Mr. Carmichael, himself, she found the final shards of her life shattered into sand. She wished now, she could forget the conversation she had that day. The one that destroyed her dreams and changed her life forever.
“But Mr. Carmichael, I do not understand how you could overlook me like this. I will admit Bradley is a wonderful asset to the company and a very competent attorney, but I have a longer history, with more clients, and have been successful and loyal to the firm for the last ten years. I deserve to be partner. I at least deserve an answer as to why with all that you chose Bradley.”
“Lizette, this is nothing personal You are one of our top attorneys and greatest assets. We are very impressed with your work and abilities. You have proved yourself capable of taking on whatever we throw at you. We just decided we wanted to keep the firm in the family.”
She stared at Mr. Carmichael in a confused daze. “Then why Bradley? He is not a Carmichael.”
“Not yet my dear, but very soon. He has finally made it official with a proposal.”
Again, confused Lizette stumbled through her next question. “A proposal…what do you mean?”
“I am sorry dear, I thought everyone knew. Bradley and my granddaughter Christine have been dating for about three years now and last week he finally asked the question. Of course, we had no problem accepting him, he is a great man and has shown a lot of ambition and we know he will go far. Who better could we ask for? So, when we started talking partner, we decided that he would be the perfect person to carry on the family business. My granddaughter has no interest in law, so naturally we turned it to him. Has the husband of my dear Christy, he can carry on the family business and she won’t have to be bothered.”
Lizette stared at him as if he was a ghost that just appeared. Horror and disbelief filling her face. Her knees went weak and she found it hard to stay standing and even harder to move. Then the room went black.
“Lizette….Liz are you okay? No, don’t try to get up. The doctor is on his way.” Mr. Carmichael was looking down on her from the side of what she found to be his office chaise. Her head ached terribly and her vision was a little blurry. She fought hard to wipe away the daze she was in and get up, with no success. “Don’t get up dear. You hit your head pretty hard when you fainted. It is best to wait for the doctor to check you out before trying to move.”
Lizette heard the words, but did not quite process them. She was trying to remember what had happened and brought her to this place. As she began to remember the horror began to fill her again. Again she tried to rise, she managed to pull herself to a sitting position, against the wishes of Mr. Carmichael, who insisted she wait for the doctor. At that moment the door opened to reveal the doctor, followed by Bradley. Panic set in and Lizette knew she had to escape this scene before any more damage was done to her already fragile emotional state. As the doctor accessed her head injury, she kept her eyes closed, hoping nobody would obligate her to talk or look at them. She was unsure of her ability to do so rationally. When the doctor had finished Lizette, rose and left the room, assuring the men that she fine. She half stumbled to her office, quickly gathered her purse and jacket and escaped before the men had finished talking with the doctor. Outside the bright sun shot pain through her head, but she pressed on. Starting her car she pulled out of her spot just in time to see Bradley exiting the building and headed her way. She drove away, avoiding eye contact, knowing she would have to stop if she looked at him. Racing away she drove to her condo. Half running, she took the stairs in twos. Fumbling to unlock the door and re lock it once securely inside. Not taking time to think she entered her room. Opening the closet,, she threw a suitcase on her bed and started filling it with clothes. She was on autopilot, her body was making the moves with no thought from her mind. Her thoughts were still frozen on her conversation with Mr. Carmichael. She went in the bathroom and gathered the essentials, then did the same in the living room and kitchen. Closing the suitcase and grabbing her purse, she headed back to her car. With everything loaded she started it and backed out of her space. The phone rang. By the ringtone she knew it was Bradley. She pulled back in and put the car in park.
“Hello.” Her voice was shaky and she tried to control it.
“Honey, where are you?” His words made her cringe. “I tried to catch you before you left so I could drive you home. Are you alright?”
He obviously didn’t know of the conversation she had with Mr. Carmichael, or he was just playing innocent. Either way, she was not going to tell him she knew. “I am fine. Just have a headache and need to rest. I am outside my house now, getting ready to go in.” She lied.
“I will come over and check on you as soon as I finish up here at the office. Do you need anything?”
“No I am just going to rest, I am fine.”
“Okay get some rest and I will see you in a little while. I love you.”
His words caused a lump to swell in her throat and she knew she was about to cry. “I will” she choked out and hung up the phone, before he could say anything else. As she drove down the road the tears filled her eyes. Reality started to take hold. She went from anger to devastation back to anger and settled into determination. She knew that she had to leave and she was determined to do it before anyone could change her mind. She drove to the airport and asked where the next available flight was going. It was going to Acapulco, Mexico. She paid the ticket, checked her bags and found a quiet seat to await her boarding call. She grabbed her phone and began searching hotels outside of Acapulco. Having been there before, she had no desire to be in the hectic tourist life right now. She found a hotel in a small-town North of Acapulco. Surrounded by mountains and trails it seemed like the perfect place to escape and rethink her life. She made a reservation for thirty days and settled back in her chair to rest.