Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three Lovely New Reviews and Two Freebies!

The Old Mermaid's Tale has been selling very, very well lately which makes me so happy because it is dearer to my heart than almost anything else I've written. Along with The Reluctant Belsnickel of Opelt's Wood and my cookbook/memoir, Fry Bacon. Add Onions, it is the work I poured the most of myself into. So I was thrilled to see 3 new 5-star reviews today.

5.0 out of 5 stars A tale that captures the heartDecember 29, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Old Mermaid's Tale (Kindle Edition)
The Old Mermaid's Tale by Kathleen Valentine is more than just a beautiful story that continues to capture my heart and imagination. After the first reading on Kindle, I was completely drawn into the characters, their time and the locale. I have read it again and again and finally jotted down dates, people's ages to know and understand them better, place names and the names of lost ships as told by the seamen in their tales about the Great Lakes to start web searches. Clair is of my era and could relate to her wanting `more than this' out of life. It is Baptiste though who is truly the unforgettable man but alas he is a fiction - I would still dearly like to know though who his book cover and video images are modeled on! As an aside, I am pretty sure I caught a reference in Each Angel Burns to Baptiste and his mother a scultor often called Madame L'perdue because her son ran away to sea and she never heard from him again. Anyway, the end result was hours spent reading about the Great Lakes, the waterfront towns, the cultural and economic changes over the past fifty-two years, Native American legends, and the very real shipwrecks. Web images of the 1960's through old photos and postcards were a delight to `visit' Lake Erie of a time now past. It is a unique book that generates that much follow-up interest in me. I have `worn out' my Kindle version from re-reading the story so many times and frequently play Ms. Valentine's video on her blog for The Old Mermaid's Tale featuring the song `Parlez-moi d'Amour' sung by Charlelie Couture. I now understand what other reviewers to include authors mean by the many layers to Ms. Valentine's writing. In fact, I have just ordered a printed copy to keep with my very favorite books because this tale has so enthralled me.

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, compelling writingDecember 28, 2011
D. E. Taylor (Walnut Creek, CA United States)

This review is from: The Old Mermaid's Tale (Kindle Edition)
There are two outstanding elements of this novel. The one that makes it most worth your time is the writing. This writer has managed to capture the essence of those quiet moments we all have, the compelling ones when you are sitting somewhere and what feels like a life-altering truth in all its simplicity explodes inside your being so profoundly you suddenly feel as if you have grasped the whole purpose of our existence if only for a moment. There are several of these in this novel, poetically written, and they alone are worth reading it for. The second reason to read this novel is the depth of the human characters which she has drawn so realistically you feel as if you can almost smell their scent in the air around you. One particular character has stayed with me long after reading- that of Baptiste. He is the man Clair falls in love with, the first great love of her life, perhaps the greatest as we don't get to see her whole life here (and something more is alluded to at the end.) Baptiste is a tortured soul, and as such he is compassionate and sensitive- and wise beyond his 42 years. He is generous and respectful, and wants more for Clair than she wants for herself. I was thrilled with how the author dealt with "twenty years later" because I can competely relate to where Clair was and believe I would've wanted the same. The men in this book- every last one- are portrayed with more heart and sensitivity than novels or the media typically portray men, which is a refreshing change. Clair does come across naive and annoying at times but she is young and can be forgiven her ignorance. Really, this book is excellent and anyone looking for a novel with heart should pick it up. It will surprise you! As a writer I read constantly and I only review the books that intrigue me. This one is worth your time.

5.0 out of 5 stars You will not want to put this book downDecember 28, 2011
This review is from: The Old Mermaid's Tale (Kindle Edition)
Having received a gift card for my Kindle as a Christmas gift, I was looking for a good sized novel, not just a short story, that would intrigue me so that I would want to finish the book during my Christmas break. By doing that, the story I read would be part of my Christmas 2011 memories. "The Old Mermaids Tale" exactly fits the bill. Even though I am only half way through the story, I am so engrossed in the story and the characters that I had to write my review while still in suspense of the ending. Due to her youth (the story begins when Clair is finishing high school and leaving home to go to college) there is much that Clair does not understand about herself and the world beyond the Ohio farmland where she was raised. Clair is different from her peers in that she wants to make life choices based on an inner need to explore the unknown rather than make the same choices of her contemporaries;following the expected path of marrying someone from her home area and living the same lives as those around her in the farmlands. She is strangely compelled to experience the lives of those whose lives depend on the sea, and chooses to attend a college located near the northern edge of Lake Erie. Although the college has rules about coeds staying away from the lake front, Clair finds a tourist area coin-operated telescope that allows her to begin her exploration of this forbidden area. One day, during one her telescope travels of the lake front area, she discovers a painted mermaid with an inviting smile on the side of a building. Just as mermaids or lore drive sailors to explore the seas, Clair follows the lure of this painted mermaid and begins her exploration of the people who live under the watchful eye of the mermaid. Reading about Clair's experiences as she begins to to enter this unknown world is fascinating. The book is so well written and the author has the descriptive ability to enable the reader to envision the characters in the story and see them through Clair's eyes. Since my journey through the first half of this book has kept me so intrigued that I wanted to write a review before even finishing, the remainder of this story holds a promise that Clair's experiences as she discoveries hidden mysteries of the people she meets will keep me fascinated until the end, and will be a book that will leave a lasting impression.

So, thanks to Amazon's Kindle Select Program 2 of my books will be free this weekend. Starting tomorrow Fry Bacon, Add Onions will be free for Friday and Saturday and Arthur's Story: A Love Story will be free Saturday and Sunday. I hope that people will download and enjoy them.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!


  1. Kathleen,

    I join you in the joy of good reviews. Good fortune and unlimited success in 2012.

    your pal, Consuelo

  2. Thanks, Consuelo. I'm just eternally stunned by how this book effects people!

    Best wishes to you in 2012 -- you're such a good writer!


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