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Orchids and Stone

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They’re trying to take me. Help! Help me, please. Daphne Mayfield sought a moment of quiet in a park—a break from city life, a tense relationship, and chronic overwork—but then an elderly woman makes a desperate plea. Daphne is reluctant to get involved when she’s not sure what’s happening, but she wants to help the stranger. Is the rambling old lady the victim of a crime o They’re trying to take me. Help! Help me, please. Daphne Mayfield sought a moment of quiet in a park—a break from city life, a tense relationship, and chronic overwork—but then an elderly woman makes a desperate plea. Daphne is reluctant to get involved when she’s not sure what’s happening, but she wants to help the stranger. Is the rambling old lady the victim of a crime or a victim of dementia? As her unease grows, Daphne can’t let go of the encounter. No matter what her boyfriend or her friends say. No matter what the retired homicide detective warns. Though she knows she’s meddling in other people’s lives, her instincts scream that the danger is real. With each increasingly bold intervention, Daphne involves herself in someone else’s crisis until she’s in too deep to turn back. She’s not just fighting for a stranger’s life…she’s fighting for her own.


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They’re trying to take me. Help! Help me, please. Daphne Mayfield sought a moment of quiet in a park—a break from city life, a tense relationship, and chronic overwork—but then an elderly woman makes a desperate plea. Daphne is reluctant to get involved when she’s not sure what’s happening, but she wants to help the stranger. Is the rambling old lady the victim of a crime o They’re trying to take me. Help! Help me, please. Daphne Mayfield sought a moment of quiet in a park—a break from city life, a tense relationship, and chronic overwork—but then an elderly woman makes a desperate plea. Daphne is reluctant to get involved when she’s not sure what’s happening, but she wants to help the stranger. Is the rambling old lady the victim of a crime or a victim of dementia? As her unease grows, Daphne can’t let go of the encounter. No matter what her boyfriend or her friends say. No matter what the retired homicide detective warns. Though she knows she’s meddling in other people’s lives, her instincts scream that the danger is real. With each increasingly bold intervention, Daphne involves herself in someone else’s crisis until she’s in too deep to turn back. She’s not just fighting for a stranger’s life…she’s fighting for her own.

30 review for Orchids and Stone

  1. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Carlson

    I'm sorry Lisa Preston. I don't like to tear apart your book. I wanted to like it because the story idea has potential, but the writing style needs a lot of work. The grammar and sentence structure is off in places and made me wonder why the editor missed it. The two story lines, the kidnapping and the sister's murder actually conflicted with each other instead of your obvious intention of trying to make them play off each other. The characters didn't feel real and often had reactions that seeme I'm sorry Lisa Preston. I don't like to tear apart your book. I wanted to like it because the story idea has potential, but the writing style needs a lot of work. The grammar and sentence structure is off in places and made me wonder why the editor missed it. The two story lines, the kidnapping and the sister's murder actually conflicted with each other instead of your obvious intention of trying to make them play off each other. The characters didn't feel real and often had reactions that seemed out of their nature. I think it is set up for a second book to continue the unresolved story line. Honestly, I browsed through half this book because I just wanted to know what happened, but reading each page became painful. There is no way I would pick up another book by this author.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Daphne Mayfield hears an elderly woman calling for Help! She's a bit reluctant to help because she's not sure what's happening. The little old lady says 'they' are stealing from her, but when another woman comes after her, calling her Mother, Daphne backs off. As she later thinks about it she wonders ... is the old lady a victim of a crime .. or suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. Daphne doesn't know what let it go means .. the more she thinks about it, the more she thinks she should have don Daphne Mayfield hears an elderly woman calling for Help! She's a bit reluctant to help because she's not sure what's happening. The little old lady says 'they' are stealing from her, but when another woman comes after her, calling her Mother, Daphne backs off. As she later thinks about it she wonders ... is the old lady a victim of a crime .. or suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. Daphne doesn't know what let it go means .. the more she thinks about it, the more she thinks she should have done something, anything. And as she gets involved in watching her house and trying to rescue her, she puts her own life in danger. PRO: Good premise, a bit suspenseful, a bit of the psychological. CON: She repeats her story to various cops, her family, her best friend. Gets a little boring.. a little irritating. Daphne has had more than enough pain and trauma in her life. When she was a child, her older sister was raped and murdered. Her father never stopped grieving ... he took his own life 10 years after the fact. Her sister's killer was never found. She has a box of her sister's things .. letters, poems, etc. that the police never saw. She tracks down the lead investigator, now retired, to see if there were ever any leads. PRO: Again, good premise. Interesting take on how these events changed her life. CON: It was disjointed, never went anywhere. Daphne is living with her boyfriend, Vic, who is divorced and has two children he shares every other weekend. They've been together 4 years and she's still trying to fit in. PRO: She really does love the children .. and an old dog that needs a new hip. While Vic wants to put him down, Daphne says that everyone deserves a second chance. CON: Relationship between Daphne and the kids are never resolved. The ex-wife is a harpy and does everything she can to keep things stirred up. Personally, I was hoping Daphne would slap the snot out of her. Didn't happen. I wasn't too happy with Vic either .. he was way too passive about the whole thing. This was an okay read, but I felt that story lines never really meshed. It was like reading separate stories with no satisfying endings. With her family background, I wanted to feel sympathy for her and I wanted to be proud of her for making a good life for herself in spite of how things happened. I just didn't get there with her .... I find it frustrating that only one of the stories had any kind of closure.. the rest just hang there. My thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / NetGalley who provided a digital copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renee Butler

    I received a free copy of this title from Amazon Prime. I couldn't get past the third chapter (around 20%). It started off well but it quickly spun into a round robin of themes being introduced repeatedly. The author could have cut out half of it without hurting the story. There is also an issue with the stance of the reader. The re is too much saying what someone is thinking and not demonstrating. The dialogue was clunky as well and so many parts of the story seemed disjointed. Maybe they would I received a free copy of this title from Amazon Prime. I couldn't get past the third chapter (around 20%). It started off well but it quickly spun into a round robin of themes being introduced repeatedly. The author could have cut out half of it without hurting the story. There is also an issue with the stance of the reader. The re is too much saying what someone is thinking and not demonstrating. The dialogue was clunky as well and so many parts of the story seemed disjointed. Maybe they would have come together, but really life is too short for an "okay" book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Ehhh...got a bit better towards the end, but I really struggled with, I'd say, the first 80% of this book. The main character wasn't very likable at times, nor were most of the secondary characters. The idea of the book was a great one, it's just the execution didn't quite work for me. Ehhh...got a bit better towards the end, but I really struggled with, I'd say, the first 80% of this book. The main character wasn't very likable at times, nor were most of the secondary characters. The idea of the book was a great one, it's just the execution didn't quite work for me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    How far will you go to make a difference? If you're fighting apathy, willing to get involved, how involved do you get?These are sticky and very relevant questions. Especially today. It's easy to spit out an answer, But follow through, reality.... that's the hard part. That's the premise of this book. An elderly woman appears to be in trouble. But is she? The protagonist fighting her own demons related to the unsolved murder of her sister a decade ago, is sure then unsure of what she sees before How far will you go to make a difference? If you're fighting apathy, willing to get involved, how involved do you get?These are sticky and very relevant questions. Especially today. It's easy to spit out an answer, But follow through, reality.... that's the hard part. That's the premise of this book. An elderly woman appears to be in trouble. But is she? The protagonist fighting her own demons related to the unsolved murder of her sister a decade ago, is sure then unsure of what she sees before her. Impulsively jumping in has consequences and she finds herself questioning but unable to let it go. This should have been a knock it out of the park book. But there is so much muddle and repetition that I was exasperated beyond belief. I feel like this author's editor let her down. But still, I was engaged enough to wade through to the end. A decent effort.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shilpi Goel

    I wish I liked this book, I really do. I know the book is supposed to tackle a very important question: "How far would you go to help someone?". I know it is supposed to make the reader do some introspection. In real life, it's so difficult to figure out whether people asking for help really do need it or whether they're con artists wanting to bait a bleeding heart. Do I sound cynical? Well then, I'm about to sound much worse. The main thing that kept going on in my head as I read this book was t I wish I liked this book, I really do. I know the book is supposed to tackle a very important question: "How far would you go to help someone?". I know it is supposed to make the reader do some introspection. In real life, it's so difficult to figure out whether people asking for help really do need it or whether they're con artists wanting to bait a bleeding heart. Do I sound cynical? Well then, I'm about to sound much worse. The main thing that kept going on in my head as I read this book was that I would never go as far as Daphne Mayfield did. Why? Because I'm a bad, selfish person? Maybe. But I also have faith in the authorities. I feel weird as I type that --- I root for vigilantes in comic books, I love stories where private detectives make the police look like blundering fools, and I dig thrillers where the protagonist breaks hundred of laws across many countries to do something that's for the betterment of this world. But, all of these things that I love have something in common --- for me, living in my little everyday ordinary bubble, all of that is fantasy, and I feel okay about cheering imaginary characters on that take law in their hands because ultimately, all they want to do is do some good, or right some wrong, and okay, maybe have some fun. But "Orchids and Stone" is one of those books which fits right into my little everyday ordinary bubble. And in that bubble, I trust the authorities. Yes, maybe I'm unbelievably naive and maybe that's to my peril, but that's what it is. What Daphne saw wasn't something that required flouting laws (e.g., it wasn't as though she discovered that a cop/politician/someone-powerful was corrupt and she didn't know how high it went and whom to trust) and making everyone around her, including herself, miserable. She simply wasn't the best person to help out in this case. I believe that armed with information given coherently, the police would have arrived at the truth. But, eh, it's not my story. It's Daphne's. Daphne came across as positively unbalanced and unprepared at times. Yes, I know, I know --- her personal life was going through an upheaval. The deaths of her sister and father were haunting her; her mother needed emotional support; her boyfriend's children, ex-wife, father, and old dog were complicating her life; her boyfriend had put marriage on the table (oh boy, such a lot of baggage with that man, though he did come across as pretty supportive overall); her best friend was at odds with her boyfriend (him again) but was still helping her out, and so on. While all this was going on, she had an encounter with an old lady in a park, who asked for help and said that "they" were robbing her. After not believing her initially, Daphne thought that the old lady did need help after all, and then went all out to help her, because she remembered her dad's refrain when her sister was murdered --- that someone must have seen something and if only more people helped each other, crimes like these can be avoided or the perpetrators can be brought to justice... A sentiment I agree with absolutely, though I would add that good help is hard to find. Added to all this *confusion* was the stilted writing. It was so difficult to be immersed in the book sometimes because the dialogue was unnatural, the descriptions were stiff, and the symbolism (orchids and stones, you see) was, at best, kind of superficial. I felt terribly sorry for Daphne and sometimes her boyfriend. They had had an unbelievably horrible time of it all, and nobody deserves that. But still, I found this book too over the top to swallow. Maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe I'm being too dumb because this is how the book imparts its lesson --- through exaggeration. After all, I did some introspection and I know how far I'm willing to go to help someone --- all the way if I am qualified to help in any way (and without causing collateral damage), else I'd go find those who can help and put my trust in them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    This novel baffled me... such an interesting premise; a main character with conflicts old, current, and brand new; events and experiences that should have driven a tense and emotionally moving story. The moving question of how far we do/should go to get involved in other's problems. So how did it end up like this?? Everything that happens is told (rarely shown) several times over. Literally again and again, either in dialog between characters or just in another paragraph repeating what we'd alrea This novel baffled me... such an interesting premise; a main character with conflicts old, current, and brand new; events and experiences that should have driven a tense and emotionally moving story. The moving question of how far we do/should go to get involved in other's problems. So how did it end up like this?? Everything that happens is told (rarely shown) several times over. Literally again and again, either in dialog between characters or just in another paragraph repeating what we'd already heard. I think the author's history as a non-fiction writer may have been an issue here: I felt her pausing the novel action to teach us about things like Bystander Syndrome way too often. The way it's presented, there really isn't any question as to the relationship between the old lady in the park and the people with her, so we're left just waiting for Daphne to be able to pull herself together enough to get others to pay attention rather than speculating on whether she should be involved or not. The way Daphne is treated by those closest to her was so bizarrely cold, it never made much sense. I kept expecting the story go to in a different direction for the resolution that would have been an eye-roller but at least explained that, but nope. And did she live under a rock?? (VERY minor spoilers: (view spoiler)[A character tells her about the police doing "a welfare check" on a character in trouble, and her response "she's on welfare?" Like over and over, being arrested she can't figure out why they have her put her hands behind her back until something clicks on her wrists, then she realizes a minute later it's handcuffs. (hide spoiler)] ) Whenever she's in a position to explain to someone what's going on, she launches into the middle of a story without any lead-in, leaving everyone assuming she's as loony as she sounds. I guess when it comes down to it, what turned me off this story was that 75% of the "action" was a result of the main character being a raving idiot. This was my Kindle Prime freebie of the month, and I hope I pick a surprise winner next month to even the past two out!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Roberts

    Not What You Expect A couple things about this book make it worth reading...several annoying things make you wish you'd read something else. The book is well written as far as you keep waiting for the next thing to happen to this most irritating main character. While she should illicit sympathy for all the awful things in her past, she is most annoying and kind of...dense. Also, if you like closure to your story lines, you'll be quite annoyed...only one plot line is seen through to completion; on Not What You Expect A couple things about this book make it worth reading...several annoying things make you wish you'd read something else. The book is well written as far as you keep waiting for the next thing to happen to this most irritating main character. While she should illicit sympathy for all the awful things in her past, she is most annoying and kind of...dense. Also, if you like closure to your story lines, you'll be quite annoyed...only one plot line is seen through to completion; one isn't closed at ALL, and another is kind of closed if you feel that you can trust the instinct of the ditzy main character, which I do not.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The best part of this audiobook is the narrator and the premise behind the story itself... Otherwise, I wasn't too impressed with this novel. I didn't like the supporting characters of Thea (best friend to main character and Thea is a bitch) and Vic or his kids (Vic is the main character's boyfriend and he just rubbed me the wrong way... Plus, I think the main character, Daphne, has her heart if the right place, but how she goes about doing things is kind of odd. She does some dumb things that g The best part of this audiobook is the narrator and the premise behind the story itself... Otherwise, I wasn't too impressed with this novel. I didn't like the supporting characters of Thea (best friend to main character and Thea is a bitch) and Vic or his kids (Vic is the main character's boyfriend and he just rubbed me the wrong way... Plus, I think the main character, Daphne, has her heart if the right place, but how she goes about doing things is kind of odd. She does some dumb things that get her into trouble. Plus there's a lot of repetition of the story/plot that keeps being repeated round and around that was annoying. The first couple of chapters of Orchids and Stone are good and the last couple of chapters are good, but the middle chapters didn't mean much to me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    A cluttered mystery with an irritating protagonist I picked this book up as my Kindle First selection for March 2016. The plot itself is interesting enough--the main character Daphne (who has a lot of tragic personal baggage) thinks she's witnessed a kidnapping and decides to do something about it. The mystery and revelations that follow are nothing groundbreaking but written in a jumbled way (not sure if intentional) that seems rather realistic for the situations presented. My reasons for the 3 A cluttered mystery with an irritating protagonist I picked this book up as my Kindle First selection for March 2016. The plot itself is interesting enough--the main character Daphne (who has a lot of tragic personal baggage) thinks she's witnessed a kidnapping and decides to do something about it. The mystery and revelations that follow are nothing groundbreaking but written in a jumbled way (not sure if intentional) that seems rather realistic for the situations presented. My reasons for the 3* ratting are as follows: Daphne is an extremely broken character who is, for 75% of the story, overly demanding, selfish, and uncompromising. I found her personality grating, highly annoying (though realistic for someone who has never really dealt with their pain), and wish that the author would have made Daphne realize her downfalls earlier on, instead of repeating her behavior over and over again. Another issue I had with the novel was Vic. As much as Daphne was irritating, Vic was much too saintly. This guy put up with someone who never listened, who got everything she wanted, and someone who is just so emotionally unable to process love. I didn't really understand it, because that part of the novel was so completely unrealistic that it was a jarring contrast to the realness of Daphne's state of emotional mess. Even though Vic is actually the perfect boyfriend, father, and friend, it just didn't really make sense within the context of the story (except, I venture, to be the voice of reason within Daphne's madness). Other characters in the novel are also not very fleshed out. Besides being a reporter who is good at looking stuff up on the interwebs, we know very little about Thea, the best friend. Daphne's mom, dad, the detectives--they have very little depth, unfortunately. Lastly, I thought the ending was quite rushed. We spent a good part of the book developing the mystery, learning about how Daphne was emotionally damaged, and reading about her constant thoughts about the past. Within the last few chapters, the mystery was solved, Daphne realized she wanted more, and her world is just miraculously significantly better because of love. It's a bit of a mess, even with a pretty happy ending. Maybe the author is planning a sequel, and perhaps I'll read it. If the Daphne at the end of the book is going to be the protagonist, then I would be fine with it. If the Daphne that was present for about 75% of the book is the main character...then probably not.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fictionophile

    Are we as a society too apathetic? Do we not want to become involved – just carry on with our own self-centered lives? This novel asks the question “How far would you go to help a stranger?” Strong on characterization, “Orchids and Stone” introduces the reader to Daphne Mayfield. Her elder sister was murdered years ago, then on her sister’s birthday, having not being able to cope any longer, her father took his own life. No longer able to endure her mother’s sadness and childishly blaming her mot Are we as a society too apathetic? Do we not want to become involved – just carry on with our own self-centered lives? This novel asks the question “How far would you go to help a stranger?” Strong on characterization, “Orchids and Stone” introduces the reader to Daphne Mayfield. Her elder sister was murdered years ago, then on her sister’s birthday, having not being able to cope any longer, her father took his own life. No longer able to endure her mother’s sadness and childishly blaming her mother for her father’s fate, Daphne dropped out of college, moved in with her best friend Thea, and began work as a roofer. She found that the hard physical labor was therapeutic. She had found her niche. Then four years ago she met Vic (divorced with shared custody of his young son and daughter) and his lovely dog, Grazie. Now they are her family. One day, whilst in the park, Daphne encounters an elderly lady who pleads for her help. She says that ‘they’ are trying to kidnap her and take her house and belongings. At first Daphne suspects that this is just the ramblings of an old lady suffering from dementia – then, after reflection, she begins to doubt herself and wonder if the old lady was telling the truth! Daphne believes, as her father did before her, that if only someone had seen something, or done something when her sister disappeared, then the family might have been saved… If someone hadn’t been so reluctant to be ‘involved’. The “Bystander effect“. With the help of her journalist friend Thea, Daphne discovers the old lady’s address. She goes there to hopefully ease her mind about her previous apathy. Once there however, she makes a discovery that will impact her life and the lives of the ones she loves. Despite the disapproval and lack of understanding of her family and friends, Daphne perseveres in her quest to save the elderly woman. Half domestic drama, half crime thriller, “Orchids and Stone” is a well rendered debut novel. The Washington State setting and action-packed scenes ensured that it was a fast read. I admired how the characters interacted and I rooted for Daphne’s altruism. Also, I enjoyed the realistic domestic scenes within the blended family. And, I always appreciate it when the title of the novel ties in brilliantly to the plot. This review was originally published on my blog: https://fictionophile.wordpress.com/

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan Swiderski

    I'm in awe of this writer. She has a boatload of reviews already, and her book hasn't even been released yet! High five!!! Okay, I got this book through the Kindle First program, and it was enjoyable enough. Not great, but engaging for the most part. As some other reviewers have already indicated, there's a lot of repetition in the book, which does slow things down a bit, but not overly so. The book presents two parallel plots, and it's somewhat disappointing that there's no resolution to the mys I'm in awe of this writer. She has a boatload of reviews already, and her book hasn't even been released yet! High five!!! Okay, I got this book through the Kindle First program, and it was enjoyable enough. Not great, but engaging for the most part. As some other reviewers have already indicated, there's a lot of repetition in the book, which does slow things down a bit, but not overly so. The book presents two parallel plots, and it's somewhat disappointing that there's no resolution to the mystery regarding the disappearance and murder of Daphne's sister. Although it occurred twenty years in the past, it's been the defining event in Daphne's life, and has stifled her development in many ways. With her continued obsession with solving the mystery, and the lack of any meaningful answers, it doesn't look like she is ever going to "grow up." In a second book, perhaps? With the other story line, regarding the old lady who begs Daphne for help, saying she's being kidnapped and robbed, there are some moments that are very interesting, and others that merely evoke head-shaking disbelief over the stupid choices Daphne keeps making. I mean, STUPID. Really, really stupid. Not to mention selfish. I mean, she may be emotionally immature and self-involved, but does that mean she'd deliberately speed through a red light while pursuing people who she thinks might be bad guys? Or that she'd show next to no concern for the people hurt in the subsequent accident caused by her actions? Or that she'd continually put herself into needlessly risky situations with total disregard for the consequences? Well, evidently, it does. Anyhow, this was an enjoyable read, even if the main character isn't particularly likable. Granted, her past history is pretty awful, but maybe it's time for her to start living in the present, and to start planning for a better future. In her defense, there are some indications at the end of the book that she may be moving in that direction. Again, I wonder... does this mean a second book is in the works? Could be.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I like the idea of this book and where it was going. However, my problem is that I found it to be kind of boring. At about the 20% mark, I was debating whether to keep reading or drop the book. I decided to keep going and I'm glad I did. I liked the ending. There are two "mysteries" happening at the same time. One from the past and one in the present which got a little confusing at times, but after finishing the book I understand why the author did that. I just never got invested with any of the I like the idea of this book and where it was going. However, my problem is that I found it to be kind of boring. At about the 20% mark, I was debating whether to keep reading or drop the book. I decided to keep going and I'm glad I did. I liked the ending. There are two "mysteries" happening at the same time. One from the past and one in the present which got a little confusing at times, but after finishing the book I understand why the author did that. I just never got invested with any of the characters. In fact, I found them all to be pretty annoying. There was also a lot of frivolous details in the beginning of the book that really annoyed me. It had so much potential, and I just feel like it fell short. Overall, I would say you can take this book or leave it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Really 1.5. This was wonderfully conceived and had a moment or two that was well-written, but other than that, it was a hot mess. So much so that I had to finish it! All over the place, horrible characterization, repetitive. The important scenes were glossed over and written with no skill. Hey, the author wrote a book, which is more than most of us can say ... I just want more from my reads. Beware the Kindle Unlimited free books ... a lesson I have learned time and time again, yet continue to ig Really 1.5. This was wonderfully conceived and had a moment or two that was well-written, but other than that, it was a hot mess. So much so that I had to finish it! All over the place, horrible characterization, repetitive. The important scenes were glossed over and written with no skill. Hey, the author wrote a book, which is more than most of us can say ... I just want more from my reads. Beware the Kindle Unlimited free books ... a lesson I have learned time and time again, yet continue to ignore.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Georgiann Hennelly

    I received a free advance copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.Daphne Mayfield had a tragic Childhood and as a result she has some emotional issues as an adult. As a result she has decided to speak up if she ever sees anything wrong. So when she sees an Elderly Women scared and hiding she decides to help her. But can Daphne convince others that her concern for the elderly lady is legitimate?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    The conversations felt stilted and awkward, but the thrillerish aspects were interesting. I rooted for our heroine Daphne to make herself heard and save the day. She's a bit of a disorganized thinker, and everyone seems to be a disorganized speaker - the whole book would be much better if the conversations were made to be more solid. They didn't flow naturally. However, I had fun with the book in general. The conversations felt stilted and awkward, but the thrillerish aspects were interesting. I rooted for our heroine Daphne to make herself heard and save the day. She's a bit of a disorganized thinker, and everyone seems to be a disorganized speaker - the whole book would be much better if the conversations were made to be more solid. They didn't flow naturally. However, I had fun with the book in general.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    This book had so much potential to be better, but fell short at every turn. It was almost as if the writer got lost in what she was writing and just threw stuff out to move the book along. After the first couple of chapters, I wanted to put the nook down, butt I hate having unfinished books, so I read to the end. I should've put it down. #disappointed This book had so much potential to be better, but fell short at every turn. It was almost as if the writer got lost in what she was writing and just threw stuff out to move the book along. After the first couple of chapters, I wanted to put the nook down, butt I hate having unfinished books, so I read to the end. I should've put it down. #disappointed

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susanne Gulde

    This is an Amazon First Read and the best I've read. A very good first novel for this writer, it kept my interest and was well written. This is an Amazon First Read and the best I've read. A very good first novel for this writer, it kept my interest and was well written.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary Beth

    Not bad for an initial outing Her character's are real and finely drawn. Plot lags just a little. Dialogue is okay. Would love to read her next book. Not bad for an initial outing Her character's are real and finely drawn. Plot lags just a little. Dialogue is okay. Would love to read her next book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Victor

    If you like repetition, this book is for you! But if you don’t, you’ll likely find this book and its main character as annoying as I did. I made it about halfway before I just couldn’t take any more.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Todd Waters

    This has a been an interesting read. While there are parts of it I find believable, things that most books, detail wise don't get into or skip over, the book is very repetitive and often starts tangents that have no direction or end. The lead character, in my opinion, come across as a person close to having a manic break down. Balling up her fist, leaving off with out a clear thought, having tunnel vision in disregard for the environment around them. I continually thought other harm would be don This has a been an interesting read. While there are parts of it I find believable, things that most books, detail wise don't get into or skip over, the book is very repetitive and often starts tangents that have no direction or end. The lead character, in my opinion, come across as a person close to having a manic break down. Balling up her fist, leaving off with out a clear thought, having tunnel vision in disregard for the environment around them. I continually thought other harm would be done as the chapters moved forward. Orchids and Stone is a decent book with decent characters that you don't mind following. The boyfriend whom you expect to snap and yell at any moment, the best friend whom you can't tell if the sarcasm is fun or upset and a character who, like many of us, needed time to asses what's going on. Daphne, the main character is a challenging piece to follow. You get her trauma, you get that she is working on things her own way. But I never believed or understand her 180 turns in conversation and thought. It comes across as a scatterbrains for a character you want to follow, but as the pages turn you become more annoyed. (A side thought, this book may be looked at in different ways in 2020. The way Daphne looks at things around her could, possibly, be looked at the way some people, women in this case, in 2019 - 2020 see things happening around them and interject their thoughts and understanding. Daphne get really involved with no concern for her own actions. A traffic accident, thinking the police have to believe her, wanting people to drop what they are doing to responding, yelling down a street and saying others should have responded sooner. This could play in a few ways) Finally, not sure what they author was trying with the words, with the cadence of events being spoken and written, but I found it confusing and questionable. The first sentence is a roller coaster. " .. first day of Spring break became the night her father killed himself in a hotel room, she drove his car two plus hours back to the university the next morning. " While I get, though I don't like how the character's mind jumps around in thought, why did the point of view of the reader need to do the same? The author had something in mind with this, not sure if I just don't get it or if it was not executed well. Beyond that, too much back and forth to repeat what was learned early on. Very little new information is provide but we are reminded again and again of the events of the twenty years past with little new detail. Decent read but you may find yourself annoyed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    E.H. Nolan

    While I recognize that lots of readers will probably put this book down and sigh, “She’s so annoying!” I absolutely loved this book, so my review will be unashamedly biased. In my world, it’s completely normal to obsess over something and talk out my confusion or conflictions with every friend and family member. If I read a book where the main character was upset about something for a single page, didn’t talk to anyone about it, and then got over it, I’d think it was unrealistic. The protagonist While I recognize that lots of readers will probably put this book down and sigh, “She’s so annoying!” I absolutely loved this book, so my review will be unashamedly biased. In my world, it’s completely normal to obsess over something and talk out my confusion or conflictions with every friend and family member. If I read a book where the main character was upset about something for a single page, didn’t talk to anyone about it, and then got over it, I’d think it was unrealistic. The protagonist in Orchids and Stones is a young woman who as an interaction with an elderly woman in the park that causes her to doubt her actions. The old woman desperately asks for help and says that she’s being kidnapped, but the heroine thinks she’s either crazy or has Alzheimer’s, because another woman approaches the old lady and says she’s her daughter. But, when being led away by her supposed daughter, the old lady turns back and begs for help, insisting she’s being kidnapped. Most of this book is a dialogue between the heroine and those around her as they discuss the old adage, “If you see something, say something.” It’s a fascinating discussion, and the way Lisa Preston writes the dialogue makes it a fresh and unique conversation every time. So, even though the same topic gets hashed out over and over again, it’s with a fresh angle. People talk and think this way in real life, and it’s so refreshing to read a character who comes to life in the first few pages. Speaking of the first few pages, the opening chapter to Orchids and Stones is riveting. The heroine drops out of college and applies for a job in construction simply because she saw the “Help Wanted” sign. She has no experience, no love for the subject, and no hope to survive even the first day of climbing and nailing. At the end of her successful first day, she decides she wants to make a career out of it: “No one understood Daphne’s choice. She’d done it without thinking. But in the succeeding decade—living now with her boyfriend of four years and (sometimes) his kids—owning a pickup truck, her hands calloused and her body built, Daphne understood her choice. For her sister. For her father. For not knowing, Daphne had sentenced herself to a life of hard labor.” After those lines, I knew I was hooked. The interesting character doesn’t disappoint; she’s wonderful from start to finish. http://hottoastyrag.weebly.com/orchid...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kinyorda Sliwiak

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book should be subtitled: When mental illness runs rampant but everything still works out in the end. Daphne is obsessed with her sister's death. She makes bad decisions and justifies it all because she is in mourning. Her father was equally obsessed and passed this sickness on to his daughter. We don't know how the mother dealt with her grief because Daphne cuts her out of her life. She wallows in her grief and every time any asks her to step up and be an adult she falls back on this poor This book should be subtitled: When mental illness runs rampant but everything still works out in the end. Daphne is obsessed with her sister's death. She makes bad decisions and justifies it all because she is in mourning. Her father was equally obsessed and passed this sickness on to his daughter. We don't know how the mother dealt with her grief because Daphne cuts her out of her life. She wallows in her grief and every time any asks her to step up and be an adult she falls back on this poor me, my sister is dead trope. I didn't finish college because my sister didn't. I can't trust people because my sister died. I am suspicious of everyone because my sister died. Ugh. What an awful personality. She isn't able to show love to Vic but she loves his dad and his dog so much that she makes everyone suffer as a result. She has no self confidence but she is strong enough to become a roofer. She can't accept love but she can go on a one woman mission to catch a murdering duo that preys on old women. Give me a break. Of course, everything works out in the end and all of her hysterics were justified. The book is actually interesting and a good fast read with a great premise. Would have loved more about the crime and less about the girl. Completely unlikable characters and unrealistic outcome. Daphne is from the Eat Pray Love and Wild camp of women who can't deal with life and have extreme reactions that they turn into wins (sort of). A good therapist and some friends and relatives who aren't enablers would be key.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    *A Slow Start* - 3.5 Stars This was one of the earlier books I picked a few years ago and I am now seeing why it has taken me a while to read it. Very slow start the lead character Daphne has a family celebration coming up that she dreads. It’s the anniversary that took two members of her family. She tries to avoid it and lives with her boyfriend who shares kids with his ex wife. On an ordinary day she is having some quiet time in a park when an old lady claims the people she is with are trying *A Slow Start* - 3.5 Stars This was one of the earlier books I picked a few years ago and I am now seeing why it has taken me a while to read it. Very slow start the lead character Daphne has a family celebration coming up that she dreads. It’s the anniversary that took two members of her family. She tries to avoid it and lives with her boyfriend who shares kids with his ex wife. On an ordinary day she is having some quiet time in a park when an old lady claims the people she is with are trying to rob her. Daphne is reluctant to get involved. On discussing this with her boyfriend to settle her fears he rings the police. She feels she is not being taken seriously, so she decides to get involved. Then a whole catalogue of drama ensues with Daphne pursuing things and taking matters into her own hands. A very frustrating book the best part for me happened at the end of the book. It just seemed to take a long time to get there.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Charles Mooney

    Very good story This is a story of how involved should we get when we see something suspicious. The main character, Daphne, is confronted by a little old lady that claims people are stealing her money,home, car, etc. Daphne herself has suffered tragedies with the murder, twenty years ago, of her older sister, and the suicide, ten years ago, of her father. Her father committed suicide because the police moved the murder of her sister to the cold case files. Her father always felt that someone must Very good story This is a story of how involved should we get when we see something suspicious. The main character, Daphne, is confronted by a little old lady that claims people are stealing her money,home, car, etc. Daphne herself has suffered tragedies with the murder, twenty years ago, of her older sister, and the suicide, ten years ago, of her father. Her father committed suicide because the police moved the murder of her sister to the cold case files. Her father always felt that someone must have seen something. It is that idea of someone seeing something and getting involved that motivates Daphne to help the little old lady. The story May be a bit of a cliche, but it is still worth reading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Really enjoyed this interesting story I can't believe I've had this good book on my Kindle since 2016. Finally read it and loved the story. Daphne, the main character, seeks a break from life, work, and her relationship and sees a desperate elderly woman asking for help. She doesn't know what is happening but decides to help the woman. The author also tells about Daphne's tragic childhood. There are flashes back and forth between the past and the present and the danger she is putting herself int Really enjoyed this interesting story I can't believe I've had this good book on my Kindle since 2016. Finally read it and loved the story. Daphne, the main character, seeks a break from life, work, and her relationship and sees a desperate elderly woman asking for help. She doesn't know what is happening but decides to help the woman. The author also tells about Daphne's tragic childhood. There are flashes back and forth between the past and the present and the danger she is putting herself into by trying to rescue the old lady. The title of the book is revealed in part by something the lady said about flowers and at the end of the book by a coworker. I highly recommend this book and look forward to more by this author.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan Kitchel

    This was an Amazon Prime monthly free book. I gave it 4 stars. I really liked it. This was an excellent book. A Little bit mystery, a little bit contemporary fiction. I was hooked within the first 2 pages. Daphne struggles with doing the right thing when she sees something in the park that was disturbing. She's not sure if she should get involved or not. When Daphne was much younger, her sister was murdered and the murder remains unsolved. Daphne's father's mantra was always "someone saw somethin This was an Amazon Prime monthly free book. I gave it 4 stars. I really liked it. This was an excellent book. A Little bit mystery, a little bit contemporary fiction. I was hooked within the first 2 pages. Daphne struggles with doing the right thing when she sees something in the park that was disturbing. She's not sure if she should get involved or not. When Daphne was much younger, her sister was murdered and the murder remains unsolved. Daphne's father's mantra was always "someone saw something". This is an excellent book that explores when its the right time to the right thing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Disclaimer: I received a copy from a Goodreads Giveaway. 3.5 stars but I like to round up :) I enjoyed the book! I think it spent a bit too much time on Daphne's career choice, but otherwise it had me interested and waiting to see how it was going to end. It was a bit anti-climactic and predictable (you could see the break-in happening several chapters back), but overall I was pleased with the book. It had a couple nice little side stories to go along with everything and the dog (and I assume the Disclaimer: I received a copy from a Goodreads Giveaway. 3.5 stars but I like to round up :) I enjoyed the book! I think it spent a bit too much time on Daphne's career choice, but otherwise it had me interested and waiting to see how it was going to end. It was a bit anti-climactic and predictable (you could see the break-in happening several chapters back), but overall I was pleased with the book. It had a couple nice little side stories to go along with everything and the dog (and I assume the cat as well!) lives and that always makes for a nice ending (unless we're discussing Cujo...)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Justin Domnitz

    It took me a year or so to get past the first few chapters of this so-so novel. I just kept finding something better to read. I finally finished the book and while it wasn't terrible, it just wasn't that great either. The book hinges a lot on a twenty year old grief (and also a ten year old grief). I just couldn't get that emotionally invested in such stale motivation. The present day action in the novel and the incidents from the past dance around each other, but never coalesce. I'll give the a It took me a year or so to get past the first few chapters of this so-so novel. I just kept finding something better to read. I finally finished the book and while it wasn't terrible, it just wasn't that great either. The book hinges a lot on a twenty year old grief (and also a ten year old grief). I just couldn't get that emotionally invested in such stale motivation. The present day action in the novel and the incidents from the past dance around each other, but never coalesce. I'll give the author credit at least from a somewhat unique story even if not a very interesting one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen Cogan

    In this novel, the heroine, Daphne, fights a constant battle against her tragic past. He sister was murdered and her father committed suicide due to sorrow and the fact that the crime could not be solved. Then, Daphne witnesses an elderly lady being forced into a car against her will. Is it a kidnapping or is the poor woman senile, not knowing her own relatives? The story is intriguing at times. I got a bit bogged down in her personal life, thoughts and feelings. It had a satisfactory ending, so In this novel, the heroine, Daphne, fights a constant battle against her tragic past. He sister was murdered and her father committed suicide due to sorrow and the fact that the crime could not be solved. Then, Daphne witnesses an elderly lady being forced into a car against her will. Is it a kidnapping or is the poor woman senile, not knowing her own relatives? The story is intriguing at times. I got a bit bogged down in her personal life, thoughts and feelings. It had a satisfactory ending, so overall an ok read.

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