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I have been writing contemporary romance for fifteen years. Trends come and go, but I have stayed true to the genre I most enjoy reading – southern romance. I have lived my entire life in East Tennessee and I write about that place because it is the place I know best. A place where we were taught to say "ma'am" and "sir" from the moment we could talk. A place where no one considers it to be a proper Sunday without fried chicken being consumed at some point. A place passionate about football. A place where few of us can make it through an entire day without quoting some wise adage of our grandmother. Of course, people everywhere, including the place where you live, have these same values, but I don't know those other places. I do know East Tennessee and the people who live here, and these are the people I write about.
Dee A Mony
on May 21, 2013 :
I actually just saw the title of this book and downloaded it without even reading the blurb. My premise was that a book with such a unique title had to have something worth reading, I was not disappointed.
(review of free book)
on May 28, 2012 :
In Remember the Shagmeister, Carol Schede explores the concept of “you can’t go home again.” Reluctantly engaged Katherine “Katie” Forrester is returning home to Tennessee for Christmas for the first time in many years, only to face some old hurts incurred by friends and family. During her visit, she is reunited with her former friend Rachel, old boyfriend Bobby, and the “Shagmeister” Troy. Bittersweet memories return for the holidays, as well as old feelings compounded by new events. Schede presents the reader with a fantastic romantic novel about growing up, forgiveness, and moving on.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on May 02, 2012 :
OMG. Every once in a while I read a book that blows me away. I think this is that book for me this year. I cannot even begin to explain how good this book was, but I am sure going to try.
This book starts out as Katherine's story. She's on her way home for Christmas. She tries not to go home very often because 15 years ago, the life that she knew there was blown apart. When she was in high school, she was part of four friends. Troy and Rachel were a couple. Katie (Katherine) and Bobby were a couple. The summer between their senior and college years, Katie was in Mexico for six weeks. While she was gone, Troy made a single awful mistake which ruined everything the four of them had. Everyone was part of the betrayal except for Katie who came home to find Troy married to her sister and Bobby (her boyfriend) marrying her best friend Rachel. Katie left and tried to never look back...very unsuccessfully.
Fifteen years later, Katie's sister has died (three years before) and Troy is raising their four kids by himself. Rachel and Bobby are still happily married. Katie has never forgiven any of them. She's never had to see Rachel and Bobby, but now Troy is family and she's always been very upfront about how much she hates and blames him. Unfortunately, it's two days before Christmas and a blizzard has moved into the south. Katie is snowed in at the Atlanta airport so her mother sends Troy out in the blizzard to bring her home to Tennessee. It's been three years since she's been home. Her mother isn't going to let her spend the holiday in an airport. It takes two days on treacherous roads, but they do make it home and are starting to connect as friends again.
There's a ton to this book, but I think what makes it so incredibly good is the author's writing style. The entire book is written in 1st person POV, but that person changes every other chapter, usually between Troy and Katie...and sometimes there are a few Rachel chapters thrown in. It's incredibly good and these characters are incredibly real. Some of the thoughts they had (especially Troy) are just so surprising...real off the wall things that people actually think, but you rarely see that kind of honesty in a book.
Even though Katie has a wonderful life in NYC, she has never recovered from what happened that summer.. She's in a relationship, but there's no real depth there. She's never allowed herself to become that invested again. Watching her move through and grow through those hurt feelings during these two weeks at Christmas was really wonderful to watch.
Then there's Troy. He's the one who's paid the most for that summer, which he absolutely takes upon himself because he knows that he's the one to blame for everything that happened. Back in high school, he was the party guy...willing to do any girl, anywhere, anytime. The irony here is that he's been completely celibate since his wife (Katie's sister) died and now he's Mr. Mom. His life is consumed by raising his four kids...15 yo son, 14 yo daughter, and 4 yo twins. Out of all of them, he's definitely the most grown-up now and just trying to survive Katie's visit. She's always been incredibly harsh to him. They have these moments that are so incredibly sweet, then fall back into their antagonistic relationship simply out of habit.
I became fully invested in this story. I literally did not want to put it down and when I got to the end, I immediately went back and started re-reading portions. The characters and story are so well-rounded and well-written. It's an incredibly moving story. So heartbreaking and poignant. At times I was laughing and giggling and I spent a good portion at the end sobbing. I loved, and at times even hated, these four friends and I truly cared about the outcome of their story.
There are a few minor issues in the book...a few typos and a couple of times where the internal dialogue of the characters got a bit overwritten in the emotion (to the point where it took me out of the story and I wanted to roll my eyes)...BUT the book is so incredibly good, it's easy to overlook those tiny flaws. I loved this book and this story. It's definitely going into my all-time favorites file. My only wish is that I could get it in print to add to my keeper-shelf because this is definitely a keeper. I plan on re-reading it many, many times in the future.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)