Tag Archives: friendship

Burger Queen

They sat in a booth in a fifties diner after a long drive from Sacramento. It was a locally owned joint with charming black and white checkered linoleum floors and red leather bar stools and framed photographs of the Rat Pack and James Dean on the walls.

“How do you like the food?” the cook asked.

She stared at her hamburger. “It’s not what I thought I ordered,” she said, feeling ashamed.

The cook checked her tab and confirmed she had ordered the hamburger with barbecue sauce and onion rings. “I can make you another one,” the cook said.

“I only need a half,” she said, pointing to her half eaten burger.

“I’ll make you another one,” the cook insisted.

When the cook returned to the kitchen, she sat up straighter. “Mikey would be proud of me,” she said. “I stood up for myself when I usually don’t say anything.”

Her boyfriend frowned. “What’s going on with you and Mikey?”

She sat back, as if pressed against a wall. Her eyes widened with fear and confusion. “He’s coaching me on how to be more confident,” she said.

Her boyfriend stared at her, his frown deepening.

She continued. “He could tell I was unhappy. He had a heart-to-heart with me. He said I was worth being someone’s wife and that if that’s not what you wanted it was okay but that I needed to leave you because I’m not getting any younger.”

His face darkened.

“He was just trying to build up my confidence.”

He glanced away.

“I shouldn’t have told you,” she said.

He turned back to her, his eyes flashing. “No, I asked you to tell me,” he said.

“But you’re angry.”

“I’m not angry.”

The cook returned with her hamburger. She took a bite and smiled. “It’s perfect,” she said. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” the cook said.

It felt good to be heard. It felt even better to have received exactly what she had asked for, even if it was only a hamburger.

A Modern Fairy Tale of True Friendship

The Pet WasherThe Pet Washer by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An amazing story told with benevolence and grace, The Pet Washer is a timeless tale of true friendship for the young and the young-at-heart.

Alvarez weaves a modern fairy tale of grit and determination of an unlikely heroine whose tender heart will capture readers and hold their attention long after The End.

Cianna is a renowned pet washer, known for her ability to clean pets with her homemade soaps and grains. Although she is blind and an orphan, she lives each day with optimism. Her love for each animal she tends is infectious.

When Princess Polly cannot find another princess to replace the sick Princess Mirabel in the Spring Festival dance, she chooses Cianna because her dark red hair matches the color scheme of the dance. But when Mirabel recovers before the big day, Cianna is no longer needed.

Will Cianna be able to forgive the princesses who have befriended her for selfish reasons? And will she still be able to attend the Spring Festival? Read The Pet Washer to find out.

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Visit the Official Website of the Pet Washer

Visit Jennifer Lynn Alvarez’s Website for information on future projects.

More than Ugly Modeling

The Daughters (The Daughters, #1)The Daughters by Joanna Philbin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Are you a gawky teen trying to fit in? Or a quirky-looking girl wondering if she has any natural beauty? Are you struggling to differentiate yourself from your parents who seem to be perfect? Or are you just trying to find your place in the world?

Fourteen-year-old Lizzie Summers is the daughter of supermodel Katia Summers and best friends with Hudson Jones, the daughter of a pop star, and Carina Jurgensen, daughter of the multi-media mogul. Lizzie looks more like her father—a short, frizzy redhead freak with bushy eyebrows—than her mother with her tall, blond, lithesome grace. Lizzie hates being part of her mother’s glamorous modeling world until she is discovered by a talented photographer who specializes in showcasing ordinary people for their extraordinary uniqueness.

Plunged into an alternative world of “ugly modeling” where freaks are fabulous, Lizzie’s success catapults her into becoming the face of New Beauty. But with her sudden success comes a price: the relationship with her mother with its fragile understanding, the love of the boy she has always known although only recently loved, and the respect of her English teacher.

The Daughters is the first book in a four book series by Joanna Philbin, daughter of television host Regis Philbin. Joanna knows first-hand what it means to be a daughter of a mega-star and the friendships needed to survive in that peculiar world.

But Joanna also remembers the universality of what it is like to be a teenager. It’s her deep understanding of the issues important to teens: discovering yourself while also trying to fit in, speaking your truth while also respecting the rules and wisdom of your parents, and making mistakes along the way and learning the power of love and forgiveness that makes her story resonate with a deeper, more lasting truth than the latest fashion trends.

Although not The Great Gatsby, The Daughters is a great story about individuality, family relationships, career choices, crushes, and best friends set against the backdrop of a glamorous world.

My twelve-year-old daughter has challenged me to read all four books in the series, so look for my reviews on the other three as I finish them.

Happy reading!

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