Month: March 2017

First Line Friday #13

Today’s First Line Friday is yet another on my TBR pile! I love the cover of this book. This sounds like a really good one and one I will be crying at as well. There is also discussion questions in the book.

The place smells of sickness and damp- of tears and misery and shame.

From the author of Summer at Hideaway Key comes a sweeping new Southern women’s fiction novel about forgiving the past one letter at a time…

The truth lies between the lines…

A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancé committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buried, visiting his grave daily, waiting for answers she knows will never come.

Then one day, she sees an old woman whose grief mirrors her own. Fascinated, she watches the woman leave a letter on a nearby grave. Dovie ignores her conscience and reads the letter—a mother’s plea for forgiveness to her dead daughter—and immediately needs to know the rest of the story.

As she delves deeper, a collection of letters from the cemetery’s lost and found begins to unravel a decades-old mystery involving one of Charleston’s wealthiest families. But even as Dovie seeks to answer questions about another woman’s past—questions filled with deception, betrayal, and heartbreaking loss—she starts to discover the keys to love, forgiveness, and finally embracing the future…

I Must Say Review (and Happy Birthday to Martin Short)

Author: Martin Short

Published: November 4, 2014
Dates Read: March 15-25, 2017

My Rating: 4 stars

Book Summary from Goodreads:

In this engaging memoir, written with heart, wisdom, and a huge helping of hilarity, Martin Short shares stories of his life, revealing how a Canadian kid obsessed with American show business became the comedian s comedian (“Vanity Fair”).

Martin Short is one of few celebrities in show business who has continually worked hard, found success, and maintained a normal, happy family life. His memoir is a reflection on his diverse collection of experiences, both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Short takes us through his career, from his early years with Second City Toronto and “Saturday Night Live” to his movie, stage, and television stardom. He recalls how he developed some of his enduring characters manic man-child Ed Grimley, elderly Tin Pan Alley songmith Irving Cohen, slimy lawyer Nathan Thurm, and the blubbery and bizarrely insensitive Jiminy Glick. Here, too, are his movie and television appearances, from the classic ” Three Amigos!” to his Emmy-nominated role in “Damages,” as well as his stage productions, including his Tony Award winning performance in “Little Me.” Throughout, such friends and luminaries as Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, John Candy, Gilda Radner, Lorne Michaels, Nora Ephron, Frank Sinatra, and others share the spotlight.

This deeply private man brings us into the circle of his family life, from raising his children to the legendary parties he and his wife hosted in their Los Angeles home. He recounts the pain of losing a brother and both parents by the time he was twenty and of the devastating death of Nancy, his wife of thirty years, in 2010. Despite the hardships, Short s life has been full of laughter, and he remains perennially upbeat. In this wise and entertaining memoir, he shares his irrepressible joy.”

My Review:

I listened to I Must Say in the audiobook format, which I highly recommend!  Martin Short narrates I Must Say himself. I will go into why I say to listen to it versus reading the memoir later in this review.

I Must Say is Martin Short’s memoir and he has definitely had a life so far!  He was born March 26th, 1950 in Canada (Happy Birthday today Martin Short!). From the beginning of his life you can see that he was always meant to be in the entertainment industry. He would tape record family arguments/ conversations as well as recording himself.  Despite most people believing he is Jewish, Short is actually Catholic, but was surrounded by Jewish friends and neighbors.

Martin suffered a lot of loss in his early life: He lost his older brother to a car accident when he was just twelve and by the time he was twenty he had lost both parents.  These losses greatly affected him.  He became friends with Eugene Levy, who was responsible for Martin getting into Hollywood.  Martin gave himself one year to try out show business. We all know how that turned out!

Martin goes through this career from early days to current as of him writing this memoir.  He goes into abundant details. He becomes friends with many Hollywood A-List celebrities and he mentions them all. At times the constant mentioning did feel like name dropping, but If I knew Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Kurt Russell, and more I would also mention those names!   He talks about his relationship with Gilda Radnor whom he dated for a few years before he dated his wife Nancy Dolman.   You  get a feel of what the Hollywood lifestyle is like as Martin describes with language the sex, drugs, and even rock-and-roll (Yes, he met George Harrison once).

Martin married Nancy on December 22, 1980 and they were married for almost 30 years until her death on August 21, 2010. You get the sense of how much he loved Nancy and still does today. Towards the end of the book when Martin is describing Nancy’s battle with cancer you can hear in his voice the emotion he still feels of this time in his life.  It is very touching and you can’t help but tear up listening to it. You can tell how much he still loves his wife today.

There are many reasons I recommend the audio version of this book. Again, Short himself narrates his memoir.  Who better to read your memoir than yourself?  His characters he is most famous for also make appearances in the audiobook. Hearing those characters’ voices makes the listener laugh as it is very enjoyable. Short does some singing as well and there is a piano accompaniment.  He also does impersonations of his friends very well.

I grew up knowing him best from Innerspace and also Father of the Bride, so I really enjoyed the memoir when he was talking about those movies. I learned a lot about Martin that I did not know.  For me, in some instances in the book he is giving too much detail into his life and some parts were a bit TMI (To Much Information). Some parts of the audiobook tended to drag on and I found myself tuning out at times.

Despite a few issues I had with the memoir, I highly recommend the audio version of I Must Say. It is worth listening to for hearing his characters and impressions alone!


“Love and Resistance” series by Marion Kummerow









Marion Kummerow has written several novels and today her Love and Resistance in WW2 Germany trilogy will be featured. Marion was interviewed on this site in January. You can read her interview here.

Though fictionalized, Love and Resistance is based on her family’s story. To quote Marion from my interview:

“The idea formed after reading the many letters my grandparents and great-grandparents left behind. It gave me an intimate glimpse into their lives and the struggles of ordinary people during the Third Reich.

It took me several years and a lot of courage to dig into their letters and the official documents surrounding their Resistance work. It wasn’t an easy task, and you can’t imagine how much I cried and laughed and frowned in the process. But I wanted to give them – and so many other unnamed heroes – a voice.”

***The final book in the Love and Resistance Trilogy Unwavering will be released this coming Tuesday, March 28th!***

Amazon US

This book is a must-read for everyone wondering how an entire nation could slide from democracy to totalitarian dictatorship ultimately killing millions of “undesirables” whose only crime was having a different faith, skin color or political opinion.

Berlin, Germany 1932. In a time of political unrest and strife, one man finds the courage to fight back…

Dr. Wilhem “Q” Quedlin, chemical engineer and inventor, lives for his science. A woman is not in his plans—nor is it to be accused of industrial espionage.

But things get worse from there.

Watching Hitler’s rise to power spurns his desire to avoid yet another war that will completely destroy his beloved country. Q makes the conscious decision to fight against what he knows is wrong, even if working against the Nazis could mean certain death for him— and anyone he loves.

Hilde Dremmer has vowed to never love again. But after encountering Q, she wants to give love a second chance.

When Q discloses his resistance plan, it’s up to Hilde to choose between her protected life without him or the constant threat of torture if she supports him in his fight against injustice.

She has witnessed enough of the Nazi government’s violent acts to be appalled by the new political power, but will this be enough for an ordinary girl to do the extraordinary and stand beside the man she loves in a time of total desolation?

This World War II spy story is based on the true events of one couple’s struggle for happiness while battling a war against their own leaders.

Amazon US

A pledge of love and hope paves the way for a tale of courage and resilience…

After Wilhelm Quedlin takes Hilde Dremmer as his bride, his heart is content and filled with love but his life becomes much more complicated. As he’s pulled deeper and deeper into his intelligence work, Q feels as if what he is doing, how he is contributing to the espionage of war, isn’t enough.

More than once he’s ready to give up, but Hilde urges him to continue, to stay true to himself. She quietly bears all the hardship that war has brought to ordinary people like them until one day the unimaginable happens and she too wants out.

But fate wanted them to stay and fight…

Suddenly inspiration strikes: Q devises a plan to cause a devastating blow to Hitler’s regime – assassinate a key player in his organization. One life in exchange for millions of lives saved. In Q’s mind it seems simple but war is always complicated.

Q’s plan may have a rippling affect that could potentially end the war and affect change around the world. But can he go through with it? Does Q have the courage to pull it off? Or will the looming fear that it will not only ruin him but also harm his family cause him to abandon the plan altogether?

***To be released Tuesday, March 28, 2017***

Amazon US

From inspiration to heartache, hope is fleeting as freedom becomes a distant memory…

Wilhelm Quedlin’s plan to change the tide of the war is thwarted when he is arrested. And, making matters worse, with the arrest of his wife, Hilde, the fate of their children is thrown into chaos. The situation is desperate and the circumstances become even more dire when Q finds out who was behind his capture and imprisonment.

Yet hope remains…

In the midst of their situation, Q and Hilde are encouraged when they meet like-minded political prisoners in the penitentiary and rumors of reprieval make the rounds.

Despite darkness and despair looming in the distance, their hope never fades.

Will they evade the inevitable and come out unscathed by the claws of the Gestapo?

***Be sure to look into this series to see what happens with Q and Hilde!

Contact Marion:
Twitter @MarionKummerow