I just finished “The Gift Counselor” & thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is thought-provoking and the characters are interesting. In spite of the fact that romance novels are not my cup of tea, I was pulled into the storyline and was compelled to follow it to the end. -Amazon Review
Meet Jonquil Bloom who helps people choose good gifts, her ten-year-old son who wants a dog she won’t let him have, and the man who enters and changes their lives.
A timeless mix of family drama, romance, spiritual and psychological insights ~ wrapped up in humor. Set in Southern California in the late 90’s, this story will warm your heart all year long. Suitable for young adult readers. Book club recommended.
If you’ve ever given a gift or received a gift, you need to read this book! No etiquette book ever comes close to helping you understand the meaning of gifts. The Gift Counselor demonstrates how to pick the appropriate gift, as well as how to graciously receive … all wrapped up in a beautiful love story. I bought 25 books and have given The Gift Counselor to all my friends. This story teaches you how to truly connect with those you love. Elegantly written, The Gift Counselor unlocks how to give the perfect gift every time. So, to understand all the gifts you’ve ever received … and for all the gifts you’ll give for the rest of your life … read The Gift Counselor now. This book is the gift of a lifetime. – Amazon Review
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The book read like a modern version of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman fused with an advent calendar. It takes place in 1990s Los Angeles during the holiday season. Ms. Cronin inserted awesome local and historic references. Felt like I was there.
I expect stories to offer messages on how to lead a better life, and The Gift Counselor didn’t disappoint. The protagonist is a single parent psychologist who moved to Southern California and reinvented her life after suffering a series of losses. At first I was thrown off by a couple of typos and an oddly spelled word in the Kindle edition. Ubiquitous in today’s environment yet disrupting nonetheless. That minor criticism aside, the author incorporated well placed threads that made the story gallop toward a surprising ending.
Akin to Michaela Quinn, we get to watch the main character nurture her career, ponder a potential love interest, and struggle to raise a socially responsible kid. I also liked the nod to community service. One of my favorite interpersonal conflicts revolves around a psycho co-worker. Who hasn’t had a job soured by one of those people? This is an authentic and human story peppered with humor. From the perspective of a former single parent with sole responsibility who managed child-rearing plus a career, I wish I could have read this story earlier in life. I can’t wait for the main character to return. – Amazon Review
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Couldn’t put this down. Ms. Cronin has a knack for making the reader use his or her full senses. Whether you are imagining a scent, the ocean breeze, the smell of a fire, one is alert and engrossed in this novel. Jonquil suffers and we feel it with her, Her losses are the cause of her being in denial for so long about how hurt she was when her father disappeared on her birthday, the decline of her mother and the sense of betrayal from her husband leaving her to rescue their dog. It’s a masterfully woven story full of hope despair, faith and deep love. Also noteworthy is the ability to share the author’s feelings of tenderness toward children and psychological observations. Sometimes a gift is just a gift. – Amazon Review
About the Author
Sheila M. Cronin, author of the Gift Counselor novels, is currently at work on the third installment. During her stint at Princess Cruises, when it was owned by P&O, she traveled to Tahiti twice in one month. “Airport Romance,” her first published story, can be found in The WritersNet Anthology of Prose. Heart Shaped II, a collection of short stories and more, affirms that love can begin and begin again anywhere. Cronin also penned the original “raisin sayings” found on the flaps of Sun Maid lunch size raisin boxes sold worldwide.
AWARD NEWS: Winner, Beverly Hills International Book Award ~ Holiday category. Finalist, Wishing Shelf Awards.