I don't know where I had heard of this book or who recommended it, but I'm glad that I was able to find them fairly cheap on Amazon last week. I downloaded all four of the books that were available for the Kindle and started reading. :-)
I just finished the first book of a series called A Modern Witch by Deborah Geary. The writing style and story type very much reminded me of Debbie Macomber with some paranormal twists, and the book was all very sweet and happy. I read two of Debbie Macomber's series, and they all were pretty much the same - what I call the rainbow and puppy dog type of style. It's not the usual kind of book that I like to read, but I'll read the rest of the books I downloaded for two reasons: I paid a buck 99 for each one, plus I'm curious to see how she takes the rest of this story. Is she going to continue with the focus on the same characters, or will she jump around like in the Macomber books?
I had a little bit of trouble really getting into this book for a few reasons. The characters were really shallow - I hardly knew anything about them and I had a hard time wanting to read this book. As the story went on the characters started to come alive a little bit, but it's hard to read a book that has a bunch of puppets for the first 1/3 of the story. Okay, I'm being mean here and I know it. But as I get older, I guess I get meaner, and in my old age, I have no problem telling it like it is - at least in my own warped mind. :-)
There is one specific part that I found myself rolling my eyes because it lacked so much... our main character in this book, Lauren, meets her trainer who also happens to be a world known photographer - Jennie. Jennie is showing off pictures of her three newborn grand babies and all I know about these pictures is that the babies are 'adorable'. Okay, so what made them adorable? What were they doing? What did they look like? Even a couple extra lines of description could have made this almost insignificant part of the book a little more interesting. She certainly took the time to describe one of the photos that was on the book on the coffee table that Jennie had taken. Why couldn't this be applied a little more to this part of the book or the rest?
I think this has become one of my issues with some of the books that I've been reading lately. I want to know the characters and like them. When I don't know anything about them, but the books progression has them going through a fun and cute story, it's not enough for me to really want to read more by this author. I want to know what makes some of these characters tick. I got to know Lauren's best friend, Nat, a little more in this manner than we did for many of the other characters. I know that Nat grew up as an only child with parents that were a bit cold. I also know that Nat had a secret longing to have a large and loving family - something that she didn't feel that she had with her own parents. I find out later in the book that her parents are indeed the cold hearted jerks who had never taken the time to look at the business that their daughter built or see the life that she made for herself with much success.
I know that Lauren also grew up as an only child and her parents had moved away from Chicago to retire in Florida. But other than being a bit lonely and having the dream of having siblings, I really don't find out much more about her. Maybe this is one of those feel good stories that I need to give a bit of time in order to have the characters really come out. I've read plenty of books that are like this - and i really haven't written about them much in the past because there isn't much I could have said. Well, I know what to say now and I think I'm saying it right... if not, just blame it on my mindless rambling. :-) I'm not a writer, so half of the stuff I ramble on about may be total rubbish to a more educated reader than me. But I know know what I like to read... :-)
Okay, enough about the characters and how this part of this writer's talents needs a little more help (only in my own, uneducated, humble opinion), but story was pretty good. This writer has an amazing skill to keep the story going nice and smooth. I don't like jumpy stories very much, and this didn't really have any of that. The progression was logical with nice transitions. I liked how the ending of each chapter had that perfect "i can put the book down for the night" transition, then the beginning of the next picked up right where I needed it. I don't know how else to word this... but it made sense to me at the time i was writing it. :-)
I also liked how the conflict in the story was so minimal compared so some of the books that I tend to read. I'm trying to expand my reading 'horizons' where death and destruction are not the normal course of the story, so give a girl a break if I can't embrace this type of style that easily or quickly. :-) One of the little things that really stood out in this story that I am looking forward to in the next books is the playful banter between the characters. I liked now Nell lost multiple bets for who knows how much dark chocolate and ice cream on how Lauren and Net were going to make Jamie do certain things (sorry, you'll have to read the book to find out what they were). The connection that Lauren and Aervyn was really cute and I liked how poor Jamie was the victim of their practical jokes as well. Jamie, being the good sport that he was, took it all in stride but played his own little jokes as well. I don't see this kind of playfulness in some of the books I usually read - well, there is playfulness, but not in this same manner. This kind of playfulness can only be written this this genre of book. :-) I'm not being specific here on purpose... You'll just have to read the book to know what I mean. :-)
Overall, I can understand why the popularity of this book series has grown and is passed along - through blogs like this one, or on social media networks like I'm about to do when I post the link on my Facebook page. Even though I do not think Debbie Macomber is the best writer, and I'm pretty sure I'm done with that author for now, she has a huge following that keeps growing. I have a feeling that this writer is going to have the same - if she doesn't already. I looked up to see how many other books she has under her belt and she is a pretty established writer - and because this is not one of my usual types of books, I'm not surprised that I had never heard of her before. Well, I've heard of her now, so the next step for me is to get started on book number two and see how well that one turns out. :-)