REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES by Lynne Hugo ★ Book Review ★

by Lynne Hugo
Publication Date: April 18, 2016
Publisher: Switchgrass Books
Paperback: 194 pages


Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the remnants of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house, a family is falling apart.

Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, is aged and blind, and his wife, Louetta, is confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Their daughter, Jewel, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job—not to mention her lackluster second husband, Eddie, and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, Jewel is only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until her brother, Cal, shows up again. Jewel already has reason to hate Cal, and when he meets up with Carley, he throws the family into crisis—and gives Jewel reason to pick up a gun.

Every family has heartbreaks, failures, a black sheep or two. And some families end in tatters. But some stumble on the secret of survival: if the leader breaks down, others step up and step in. In this lyrical novel, when the inept, the addict, and the ex-con join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any of them will emerge, shining with hope. Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.

"Lynne Hugo’s writing is beautiful and evocative, earthy and strong. The characters, the setting, and the way she handles tough issues with honesty, grit, and understanding all make for a wonderful read." —Laura Harrington, author of Alice Bliss

*Cove Member Cheryl Reviews*


I received REMEMBER MY BEAUTIES for review. I was expecting a good sized horse-centered novel with family drama, but what I got was a lot of extremely dysfunctional family drama with a very understated inclusion of horses.

Jewel is the second born child to her parents, Hack and Louetta, who live on a once decent breeding farm in the heart of prime Kentucky horse country. Both of Jewel’s parents are disabled and can no longer take care of themselves let alone the four remaining horses they own.

So, Jewel works full-time while taking care of her own family, which includes her drug-addict daughter, her second husband with a daughter who has issues of her own and is about to get custody of his 12-year-old son as well; and then Jewel also runs to her parents’ farm twice a day to take care of them and their horses.

One day Jewel’s mother tells her that her drug-addict/alcoholic brother, Cal, is coming to live with them. Jewel wants nothing to do with him—for what we learn is very good reason. She also has a younger sister who is also like him and doesn’t help out.

With her brother back in the picture, Jewel decides she can no longer continue helping her parents, particularly once she finds her brother continuing his old ways and compromising the well being of Jewel’s own troubled daughter. The only thing Jewel can concentrate on is getting her daughter into rehab and cleaned up. However, she does truly miss the horses, a love she shares with her father.

The story goes on for a few months with Jewel staying away from her parents’ home while many things go on behind her back, involving her husband, daughter and brother. However, when tragedy strikes, the deeply rooted family dysfunction suddenly gets better, which some may find feels a bit hollow and forced.

While I did sense a love and passion for horses at times (one briefly shares his POV in the story), and enjoyed the lyrical prose, some readers may find the narrative very contrived. The painful, dysfunctional themes of sexual abuse and drug addiction in Jewel’s family can feel shallow, needing to be explored in greater dimension than is likely possible in under 200 pages.

I would recommend this story to readers who enjoy reading about extreme and disturbing family dysfunction. Unfortunately, passionate horse-lovers may well be disappointed.


About the Author

Lynne is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship recipient who has also received grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Her memoir, Where The Trail Grows Faint, won the Riverteeth Literary Nonfiction Book Prize and her novel, A Matter of Mercy, received the 2015 Independent Publishers Silver Medal for Best North-East Fiction. She has published seven novels, one of which became a Lifetime Original Movie of the Month. Through the Ohio Arts Council’s renowned Arts in Education program, Lynne has taught creative writing to hundreds of schoolchildren.

Born and educated in New England, Lynne and her husband live in Ohio with a yellow Lab feared by squirrels in a three state area.

★ Blog Tour ★ ACROSS BORDERS by Lee DuCote — Guest Post + $25 Amazon Giveaway!

Across Borders banner

We're happy to share ACROSS BORDERS by Lee DuCote, a standalone romantic suspense touring with Lola's Blog Tours!

Across Borders
by Lee DuCote
Genre: Romance/Crime
Age Category: Adult
Release Date: February 21, 2016

In Across Borders, Lawson Caine, a seasoned Border Patrol agent, is stationed in Presidio Texas with legendary lawman Capt. James Garrett. Lawson, who is from a long linage of lawmen, has gained the respect and reverence from his team, Dale Chanson, Terry Bennet, and the crazy member, Alex Sweeny.

Lawson never expected anything to come between his dedication with the Border Patrol and his brotherhood with Sweeny until he meets local pharmacy owner, Lia Gonzales. Against her father’s wishes Lia continues to see Lawson not realizing the inevitable consequences.

In this story of protecting others on the border and the heartache of relationships you will find yourself in the lives of those who have sworn to uphold the law, no matter the cost.


Across Borders Cast
by Lee DuCote

Lawson — Joel Smallbone 
Lia — Moriah Peters 
Sweeney — Scott Caan 
Cap — Sam Elliot 
Terry — Travis Van Winkle 
Dale — Josh Hutchison  
Sandra — Mary Steenburgen 
Erika – Jasmine Villegas 
Carlos – Gael Garcia 
Mr. Gonzales — Benicio Del Toro


About the Author:
Lee DuCote
Well, I am a husband and father. We always have a house full of teens and college students, mostly Young Life kids. I love the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, stand up paddling, fishing, you know "man stuff" but I'm a sucker for chick flicks.

I wrote Fields of Alicia, Waterproof, Across Borders, and the series Micah and have several other novels finished and in the making. And, yes, I am a raccoon lover, check out Tucker on my social media.