Monday, September 7, 2009

Stray Affections

They're dogging me.

I am so not an animal lover, but there have been a number of books centered around Man's Best Friend that I might not have picked up on my own, but I've read them to review and have really enjoyed them. The latest one is Stray Affections by Charlene Ann Baumbich.

Although her life once revolved around animals, the traumatic experiences of her growing-up years and her broken dreams have resulted in Cassandra relegating critters to curios on a shelf. When her best friend backs out on their annual trip to a collector's convention, Cassandra half-heartedly wanders through the arena alone until a unique snow globe catches her eyes and her heart. Taking it home, she curls up in a chair with it, enchanted by the three dogs surrounding a little girl whose hair matches her own.

When a bizarre and somewhat unsettling "flurrious" experience occurs, altering the snow globe and unlocking memories long buried, Cassandra and her family find their lives affected as well. Will she and her mom ever unpack the decades of baggage that hinder their relationship and make them both miserable? Will Cassandra's boys know the comfort of a grandmother's unconditional love? And will Cassandra ever be able to allow herself to love and care for an animal again?

The messages of forgiveness, grace, acceptance, and second chances entwined throughout this delightful story make this a heartwarming and inspirational read.

Here's a clip of the author introducing and reading a bit of the book:

In Stray Affections, the last thing that Cassandra expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home—even if means wrestling another shopper for it!

The beautiful snowglobe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw, Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange—flurrious, as Cassie deems it—moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.

“As a believer, I know the power of forgiveness and new beginnings, and of a God, and family and friends, who love me the way I am,” Charlene Ann Baumbich says. “The heartbeat of change flows through those wonderful gifts.”

With the quirky, close-knit Midwestern small-town feel that made Charlene Ann Baumbich’s acclaimed Dearest Dorothy novels so popular, Stray Affections invites readers to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.

Charlene Ann Baumbich is a popular author and speaker and an award-winning journalist. In addition to her Dearest Dorothy series of novels, she has written seven nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. A bungee-jumping, once motorcycle-owning grandma and unabashed dog lover, Charlene lives with her husband and rescued dog Kornflake in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She loves telling stories, laughing whenever possible, and considers herself a Wild Child of God. Learn more about her at her website.

You can purchase this book directly from the publisher or from Amazon.

Let Stray Affections find a home with you!


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sara said...

this sounds good. I still don't know how you read so many books, Linda. But I love finding new books here!!

Lisa Spence said...

It's on my TBR pile even as I type!

Quilly said...

This sounds like a good read! We are soon to be moving across the ocean so I have been asked to refrain from buying books. (Not stop, just slow down.) This will have to go on my wishlist.