Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chapel Springs Survival by Ane Mulligan

I enjoyed reading this book by Ann Mulligan. It was my first book ever by her and I was quickly caught up in the characters and their small town lives.

One of the main characters, Claire, is usually getting herself into some kind of mess. She owns a pottery shop in town and is a gifted artist. She has apparently (in a previous book) helped expand tourism to the small town of Chapel Springs. And although, the tourism is good for business it is also causing a bit of disturbance in the everyday living conditions of the small town. Traffic is congested and even after the season is over, things don't seem to return to normal. Claire, who is on the city council gets most of the blame. She and her friends are trying hard to come up with a solution without changing the small town feel or bankrupting the city.

Meanwhile, Claire's personal life is struggling a bit also. Her best friend may be moving due to the city issues, and her son is being very secretive and aloof. Claire puts her mind to solving both problems. Little does she expect the surprises coming her way.

I think I would have enjoyed reading the first book, first, to get a good grip on the characters and the story behind what is happening. I also would love to read about Claire's marriage issues, as it seems like there is a back story to that also that is continued in the current book. But the book can be read as a stand alone and understood. I enjoyed Ann's portrayal of Claire's faith and how that played out in her relationship with her new daughter in law and her husband, as well as, members of the city council who quite frequently got on her nerves. She is a very well rounded person with lots of love, humor, and a bit of clumsiness and naivete that can get her into some trouble. I also enjoyed reading about Claire's friends and their lives. There were a couple of things I wasn't sure were quite accurate in the story but the pros definitely outweighed the cons.

I would certainly recommend the book. It was a lighthearted, fun read, with a touch of  mystery. I received this book from the author and bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion.

BOOK SYNOPSIS:
A mail-order bride, a town overrun with tourists, and illegal art ~ How on earth will Claire and Chapel Springs survive? With the success of her Operation Marriage Revival, life is good for Claire Bennett. That is until the mayor's brother blabs a secret: Claire's nineteen-year-old son, Wes, has married a Brazilian mail order bride — one who is eight years older than him. When Claire tries to welcome her new daughter-in-law, she's ridiculed, rebuffed, and rejected. Loving this girl is like hugging a prickly cactus. Will Claire and her family survive her son's marriage?

Lydia Smith is happily living alone and running her spa then the widow on the hill becomes a blushing bride. Along with her new marriage, she has a dream to expand her business by adding guest rooms. Things are going according to plan. That is, until her groom's adult son moves in on everything. Will her dream survive her stepson?

From the first sighting of a country music star in Claire's gallery, The Painted Loon, to the visit of a Hollywood diva, Chapel Springs is inundated with stargazers, causing lifelong residents to flee the area. When her best friends, Patsy and Nathan, put their house on the market, Claire is forced to do something or lose the closest thing to a sister she's got. With her son's future at stake and the town looking to her to solve their problems, it's Claire who needs a guardian angel.

About the Author:
Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She's a novelist, a humor columnist, and a multi-published playwright. President of the award-winning literary site, Novel Rocket, she resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband, their chef son, and two dogs of Biblical proportion.

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