WAF’s Summer Reading Series: Lysterium

Editor’s Note: This week’s book selection, Lysterium, is written by Bethany Shelhorn and tells the story of a successful newspaper editor, a mysterious stranger and a long-held family secret. It’s reviewed by WAF community member and creator of WhereWomenConnect.com, Jeanette Harrietha. In her review Jeanette shares how she, as a woman on her own journey towards 40, connected with the novel’s protagonist, Liv Worthington…

Lysterium – Reviewed by Jeanette Harrietha

If you’re looking to escape real life for a few hours this summer, Bethany Shehorn’s fast-paced debut novel Lysterium offers just the place. While the plot moves almost too quickly at times, Shehorn weaves an interesting and intricately detailed story with the potential for a series of books with well developed characters and storytelling.

After a brief encounter with a handsome and mysterious stranger, Liv Worthington unwittingly sets out on an adventure that challenges reality as she knows it. Liv quickly discovers that the fairytales told to her by her grandmother were in fact true accounts of a magical land called Lysterium, a land Liv must defend against evil. Full of fantasy, intrigue, romance and action, Shehorn takes her reader along for the ride as we follow Liv through the complexities of Lysterium and her own journey of self-discovery.

What I found most interesting about Liv’s character was the fact that she had to first know her truth and face her fears before she could evolve into the woman she was destined to become. This created a point of connection for me, as a woman on my own journey – a journey towards 40.

Now I’m not suggesting that turning 40 provokes the same sort of fear as fighting off evil creatures in a bid to save a magical world (in fact, I’m quite looking forward to turning 40); rather, knowing that I’m turning 40 has motivated me to get better acquainted with myself and more importantly, to not let my fears stand in the way of embracing new opportunities and challenges. Liv’s character provided me with a gentle reminder that as women we don’t have to necessarily be fearless, but rather, by facing our fears we open ourselves up to the possibility of revealing our own inner heroine at any age.

Jeanette Harrietha is an educator and the founder of WhereWomenConnect.com, an online social network that connects women for friendship. She loves to read, travel, create, and make life happen by embracing new experiences! You can pick up a copy of Lysterium on Amazon.


Our summer reading series begins with…Annie Begins

AnnieBeginsEditor’s Note: Annie Begins, a novel by Michelle Toth, kicks off our summer reading series, and WAF reader Traci Delisser reviews the book and shares how she relates to a certain character who lives life, without apologies, on her own terms…

Annie Begins – Reviewed by Traci Delisser

I read a lot and usually I am dying for my lunch breaks and daily train rides to pull out my book of the day and find out what happens next. With this book, not so much! It was highly predictable with the typical girl (Annie) who likes an “unavailable” guy, who in turn likes her only as a friend; while his not so refined friend becomes her rock. There were no surprises.

That said; Annie was very relatable: a giver who is always taking care of others, a bit embarrassed by her working class family, unsuccessful in love, crushing on the wrong guy and a smart professional doing great work for little and inadequate compensation. Annie could easily be me. You cannot help but cheer when she stands up for herself, turns a rejected idea into a business and finally recognizes the jewel under the mullet hair.

Annie’s young sick cousin, April, however is why I like this book. She is a strong, wise old soul who reminded me throughout that there is nothing greater than family, embracing love and being open and available to the possibilities.

The other star of the book is Anne’s roommate, Elk with her strong sense of self, confidence and candor. She embodies the lesson I am now learning in my life – Live your life on your terms and don’t apologize for doing so.

Traci Delisser is a proud Jamaican now living in the City of Brotherly Love. An attorney in a previous life, Traci now works in real estate finance and is now searching for her next career for her 40s. Her favorite quote is “People treat you how you allow them to treat you”.

You can pick up a copy of Michelle Toth’s Annie Begins on Amazon.

Embarrassing Confessions: I like Twilight

Twilight Saga Collection I’m not talking about the time of day immediately following sunset – although I’m a fan of that too. I’m talking about the hugely popular teen-vampire-werewolf romance novel series that’s taken over the world. There’s more. I’ve read all 4 books in the series, seen all 3 movies, and enjoyed them all. There. I said it. Yes, I really am 40 years old. No, I don’t have any teenagers in the house. And you know what, as long as I’m confessing, I should also let you know that I’m keeping a close eye on the 2-part movie finale that’s currently in production. Too far? Trust me, my head is hung low and I am sufficiently ashamed. And even though I understand that Stephenie Meyer is no Tolstoy, I’m way “too old” for this, and vampires are not supposed to sparkle – ever – none of that tempers my enthusiasm for the books and the movies. (Image: Twilight Book Series)

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