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North of Happenstance by Amber Laura


This serial tale will chronicle the lives of three women who form an unlikely, but certainly unforgettable, bond of friendship, love, and forgiveness. Lost, alone, or starting-over, their paths cross—and the story actually begins—in the small (made-up) town of Whestleigh, Connecticut. Here, together, they find themselves . . . by finding one another.

In essence, North of Happenstance can best be summed up like the set-up to a joke: A pastor, a psychic and a stranger sit down to dinner . . . .

Note: North of Happenstance contains some harsh language.

A serialized novel

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Listed: Nov 4, 2014


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New in Town

By Tartra, author of The Other Kind of Roommate

Dec 2, 2014: While I wouldn’t call it a comedy, NoH has a friendly and light tone to it. The good news: it’s got a steady pace that carries the story along well enough to keep your finger scrolling. The bad: scenes can drag and feel a little like filler, and the writing is weakened by its need for another round proofreading.

Welcome to Whestleigh (which I think is pronounced like ‘Westley’), a quiet town where Kate has moved for a fresh start. We get a well detailed description of her new home as a realtor leads her – and is as equally led – through the floors. NoH is great for interacting with other characters, to the point that when it withdraws into pure narrative, the most you think is how much you liked those other scenes better. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of neat developments.

Kate’s a complicated character to pin down. Another good and bad opinion is that on one hand, she’s quite nice and willing to explore and makes for a great third-person POV. On the other, she’s passive. She can’t say’ no’. The one time she does, it seems to be brought on by underlying issues that only apply to that particular case. While it helps to get her into different situations, it’s a bit frustrating to see her go through an entire process of prepping her house for a guest while actively lamenting that she’s going to have a guest at all.

But oh, her guest. Madame Penny. That’ll be the psychic in NoH’s summary. She’s that woman you’ll love to grind your teeth over; annoying as anything, but a trip to read! The scenes with her brighten the entire page, and as passive as Kate is, the ‘goof and straight man’ routine work well. Kate’s pulled in, umm-ing and ahh-ing, and soon finds herself a seemingly steadfast ally. So far, it’s a wild dynamic.

Kate’s got her own past she’s running from that’s teased with noted care. It’s enough to promise more to come later without dominating the current plotline: settling in. So long as the author makes sure we don’t forget about it (again, without dominating what else is on the page), I’ll be happy to wait for the pay off.

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