Tag Archives: loss

Phone Calls from Heaven? | Review of Mitch Albom’s The First Phone Call from Heaven | TLC Book Tours

Image via TLC Book Tours

Image via TLC Book Tours

“The news of life is carried via telephone. A baby’s birth, a couple engaged, a tragic car accident on a late night highway – most milestones of the human journey, good or bad, are foreshadowed by the sound of a ringing.” 

Mitch Albom,
The First Phone Call from Heaven
(Quote via Goodreads)

Source|Disclaimer: I received an ARC from publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.


One autumn day, in a small town on Lake Michigan, the phones begin ringing. The people calling are all deceased. They talk about heaven. They say they are safe and happy. Each call is greeted differently—some with relief, some with love, some with religious zeal, some with fear.

On that same day, Sully Harding is released from jail for a crime he may not have committed. During his time behind bars, his wife, Giselle, passed away, leaving him a single father filled with heartbreak and regret. He returns to his hometown hoping to rebuild his life. Instead, he finds a community increasingly gripped by miracle fever. As the mysterious phone calls become more frequent, outsiders begin flocking from all over the world to be part of the blessing, changing the small town indelibly, and turning local citizens into worshipped heroes.

[Continues on TLC Book Tours . . .]

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My Thoughts:

When I turn the last page and close the cover of a Mitch Albom book, I experience good feelings. I’ve spent time in the company of a good writer, met interesting people through his characters, traveled a journey to its end and discovered answers along the way.

Such is the stuff of Albom’s newest work, The First Phone Call from Heaven. I closed the cover on yet another Albom, and I felt overcome with feelings of joy, hope, love and belief. And I had been in the company of a consummate writer, who had developed real characters living on the pages. Some of these people could live next door to me, be officials in my community, the children playing in the schoolyard around the corner. I traveled an amazing journey with the people of a small town, and I experienced their highs and lows and most of all their loss and grief and an immense amount of hope.

What happened in Coldwater, MI, could happen anywhere. Just a small town near Lake Michigan, Coldwater residents are good, hardworking, honest people. Living fairly simple lives. Some richer than others. Some more secure in life than others. But when folks from all classes begin to receive phone calls from the same place, they become as one.

And what happens next and how their communal mystery unfolds could happen anywhere too. Some are amazed and thrilled, others frightened to say it happened to them, and others highly suspicious. Read the book and see if you don’t agree!

My Recommendation: 

You can’t lose reading a Mitch Albom book. I have loved them all. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a fictional story based in the ordinariness of life. This book is a page-turner and moves quickly thanks to Albom’s writing style. If you have time, it would make your favorite reader a great Christmas gift!

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Meet the Author:

Photo credit: Jenny Risher

Photo credit: Jenny Risher

Mitch Albom is an internationally renowned and best-selling author, journalist, screenwriter, playwright, radio and television broadcaster and musician. His books have collectively sold more than 35 million copies worldwide; have been published in forty-eight territories and in forty-four languages around the world; and have been made into Emmy Award-winning and critically-acclaimed television movies.

Find out more about Mitch at his website, connect with him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and sign up for his newsletter.

(Bio and image via TLC Book Tours)

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Book Details:

Publisher: Harper
Published: November 2012
Hardcover: 336 pages
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 9780062294371

tlc tour host

You’ve read my review. Now, why don’t you follow the link to see what other book bloggers are saying about The First Phone Call from Heaven?

UP NEXT: My review of Paulette Harper’s Living Separate Lives sponsored by Write Now Literary Book Tours. Right here tomorrow!

Friday Favorites | From Blue Nights by Joan Didion

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads 

“I do not know many people who think they have succeeded as parents.
Those who do tend to cite the markers that indicate (their own) status
in the world: the Stanford degree. . . .
Those of us less inclined to compliment ourselves on our parenting skills,
in other words most of us, recite rosaries of our failures,
our neglects, our derelictions and delinquencies.” 

Joan DidionBlue Nights

Mystery and Humor Combined | Review of No Place Like Home (Camilla Randall Mystery Series) by Anne R. Allen

17202674Advance Praise for No Place
Like Home:

“Twisted chick lit noir with a side of funny.” Ruth Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Hooked and Love and Money
“Anne R. Allen is a genius at fast and witty dialogue,” Paul Fahey, author of 16 Podewale Street
“Agatha Christie meets Dorothy Parker”, Saffina Desforges, bestselling author of Sugar and Spice/Paraphilia

Synopsis: Comedy with a conscience: The uber-rich editor of Home decorating magazine loses everything, including her Ponzi-schemer husband, when their luxury wine-country home mysteriously goes up in flames. But that’s just the beginning of Doria’s problems.

Homeless, destitute, presumed dead and branded a criminal, the once-proud Doria has a crash course in how the other half lives.

Meanwhile, reluctant sleuth Camilla Randall is facing homelessness and destitution too, as Doria’s husband’s schemes unravel and take down innocent bystanders along the way.

When the mysterious Mr X. turns up at Camilla’s bookstore expressing concern for the local homeless, Camilla is smitten. By now one might think once smitten, twice shy, but for Camilla, the search for love is a constant triumph of hope over experience.

[Continues on Goodreads . . .]

(Book cover image and synopsis via Goodreads)

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My Thoughts:

Two women, alone and on the run through no fault of their own. Expensive lifestyles now devastated. A Ponzi scheme. A handsome and somewhat mysterious man for whom one of them is falling. A community of homeless living nearby. And two women who thought they’d never be homeless very nearly so.

Sounds sad and depressing, doesn’t it? Put the pen at the fingertips of Anne R. Allen and nothing is farther from the truth. Allen wittingly and with tongue in cheek tells the stories of Doria Windsor Sharkov, once the shining editor of Home Magazine and Camilla Randle’s story, once known worldwide as the Manners Doctor following publication of her book, Good Manners for Bad Times.

Both women’s lives brought down as a result of misdeeds by others, and each of them finds herself living too close to the edge — the edge of homelessness. Here is where Allen’s genius comes through as she opens a window on the world of the homeless showing the reader a sensitivity toward these people who have lost everything, often through no fault of their own as well. The reality of Allen’s fiction is startling and makes one take a step back and realize poverty and homelessness isn’t a respecter of persons in every instance.

A great, fun read with social consciousness mixed in for good measure.

My Recommendation: 

Looking for a book that would make a good beach read? Pick up this one. Or if it’s the end of a long, arduous work week and you’re looking for something to read by the fire while sipping wine or drinking hot cocoa, this is the book for you too. A book for everyone who lives a good mystery, a little romance, and a bit of the world’s truth for today.

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Meet the Author:


Anne R. Allen is the author of six romantic-comedy/mysteries: THE GATSBY GAME, FOOD OF LOVE and the Camilla Randall mysteries: THE BEST REVENGE, GHOSTWRITERS IN THE SKY, SHERWOOD, LTD., and NO PLACE LIKE HOME. Her publisher is Mark Williams international Digital Publishing.

She’s the co-author of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE…AND KEEP YOUR E-SANITY, written with Catherine Ryan Hyde.

Read more here . . .

(Bio and image via Amazon)

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Publisher: Mark Williams International Digital Publishing
Published: December 3, 2012
Genre: Fiction, Boomer Fiction, Mystery
ISBN 9781908961068
Source: Author

I received a copy of this book from Anne R. Allen in exchange for a fair and honest review. No other compensation exchanged hands, and the opinions stated are solely my own.

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 Tomorrow stop by for my interview with Bill Klaber, author of The Rebellion of Lucy Ann Lobdell and a chance to win a copy of this intriguing bookLooking forward to the discussions that follow.

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