Red Velvet and Anemones by M.M. Ward


Red Velvet and Anemones are part of the Pagoga Cliffs Collection.

 I have received this book as an ARC (an unpublished copy) from Editingle Indie House in exchange for an honest review.

I faced a choice; Be Bitter about my circumstances or overcome and Be Better. As a family, we chose better.

Create Space Word Templates (Kindle Locations 4545-4546). Kindle Edition.
Book Cover Red Velvet and Anemones by MM Ward

Mama MagieWard is a farm mom who started to write as part of her stroke recovery. She writes stories for all those who have to choose between overcoming or succumbing.

Some of her stories may hold triggers for survivors. But, unfortunately, this is the reality that many have to overcome.

The author is a survivor of a lacunar stroke and wrote to relearn language. She then read it aloud to improve her speech. A friend challenged her to write a book. That was the beginning of a town called Pagosa Cliffs. She writes about broken characters who have to make a choice between becoming better or bitter!

Red Velvet and Anemones -Summary

Marni & Mili

Mili Vanilli Velvet. A big name for a small little girl. Mili’s mother murder her sister Roxie, and her husband. And at age six, she escapes her mother’s wrath, but her baby brother Duran dies in her arms. Mili’s testimony sends her mother to prison. Dr Emily Haywood adopts her, and she gains herself a sister, Marnianne (Marni). They grow up together and they form a powerful bond as if they are really sisters.

Marni is the wild one, attracting attention from all the men. Some pretended to care about Mili, but just use her to get to know Marni.

When Marni has her license suspended, Marni drives her to and back to work. One day when she arrives to pick Marni up, she saved a stranger from being hijacked. Edgar dates Mili, while his cousin Heath goes out with Marni. They have a double wedding and all of them move in together in Mili’s house.

Disaster strikes

When the cousin’s grandfather passed away, Edar and Heath leave to assist with the funeral arrangements. Mili and Marni are frantic as time passes and they do not return. Their husbands ignore their calls and messages. Mili receives an itinerary from Edgar. Both sisters are pregnant. They plan to tell the two men when they pick them up at the airport. But Jean Lasater shows up. She works for the Rowlings family and serves them with divorce papers.

Marni dies while giving birth to Emily. The baby is two weeks premature and must stay in the NICU. Mili realises the dates don’t add up and that Marni must have fallen pregnant before her marriage to Keith. Mili looked through the pictures on Marni’s phone, and realise that the father of Marni’s baby is Edgar, her husband.

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A new home for Mili

Jean convinces her to sign the divorce papers for her and her sister. Otherwise, the Rowlings might come after her and take Emily away. She adopts Emily and Jean helps Mili to disappear. She moves to the small town of Pagosa, staying with her Aunt Elizabeth in her Wild Anemone Bed & Breakfast.

“Listen to me, Milli. You need to sign these papers for yourself and for Marnianne. They don’t have to know she died before she signed, I’ll give you her money too. You need to take it and her baby and get away from Las Vegas. Start over somewhere, it’s a half-million dollars total. But you can never tell the Rowling family that Marni had Heith Rowling’s baby. I know how Edgar’s mother will react. I have worked for that vicious woman for almost two decades. This is the lowest thing Colleen has ever made me do. If she, or any of them, find out about Marni’s baby, they will take her from you. They will also take the child you are carrying, and you will never see either of them again. Let me help you get away from them.”

Create Space Word Templates (Kindle Locations 786-791). Kindle Edition.

When Mili visits an obstetrician, she finds out that her baby has a genetic disease called Jacobsen’s Syndrome. She refuses an abortion and wears a foetal monitor to monitor its heartbeat. Baby Charlie is born and dies in his mother’s arms on 26 December…

Better, not bitter

Mili is a professional baker, and her dream is to one day own her own bakery. When Mili stresses, she bakes.

Mili struggles to deal with her sister’s betrayal and losing Charlie.

“She loved you, Milli, I have no doubt of that. I know she is gone now, but you need to forgive her. This is eating up your soul. If you stay like this, like you are now, you won’t be doing anyone any good, least of all yourself. Dr Marguaex is doing her best, but you have to meet her halfway. Elizabeth pushed herself up and ​placed a hand on Milli’s shoulder. It will twist you up inside and you will find yourself pushing Emily away. You don’t want to hurt her, do you? That question left Milli speechless, and Elizabeth knew she had gotten through to Milli. Think about it, my sweet, and with that Elizabeth hobbled back to her room.”

Create Space Word Templates (Kindle Locations 4377-4382). Kindle Edition.

Trying to deal with her hurt and her battle to forgive, she bakes and donates many cakes to the people of Pagosa. Slowly, Mili settles in and becomes part of the community. But she doesn’t back down when attacked in unusual ways by Tonia, who believes she is dating LLoyd, her ex-husband.

This book follows Mili’s journey through hurt and betrayal and her struggle to become better, not bitter!

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What did I love?

I loved little Mily. Small and feisty, she doesn’t back down for anyone. But her hurt and struggle are real. But even while she battles to heal and forgive, she keeps on baking and donating. Doing good and helping others.

I also loved how Jean brought the Rowlings down. She exposes all their illegal dealings and gets justice for so many people hurt by them.

And not so much?

The author paints the two cousins Edward and Heith as true villains. Through all their heartlessness and selfishness, we just must hate them for what they did to Mili. Even when Edgar realizes his mother has arranged the divorce papers, and he discovers his genuine feelings for Mili, we feel little compassion for him.

Should you read Red Velvet and Anemones ?

Definitely. I’ve really enjoyed this book. We follow brave Mili on her journey. We can feel her pain of losing Charlie, but she still carries on daily- facing her demons every day and diligently working to become better.

I recommend this book for people who like to read about genuine struggles and who always roots for the underdog. Also, check out my review of Fractured, not broken, the true story of a courageous women building a new live after becoming a quadraplegic after a car accident.

We are all faced with challenging situations in our lives. In the book, Mili bakes as a way to cope deal with her challenges. How do you cope with the harsh realities of your life? We would love to hear from you. Please share with ut in the comments?

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Book Info



Print Length:

308 pages

Publication Date:

6 May 2017

Text-to-Speech | Screen Reader | Enhanced Typesetting | Word Wise

Categories: Medical Thrillers

Trigger Warnings: Euthanasia | Marital Violence | Sexual References | Profanity

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Hi! I am Susan

Welcome to my adventure

Why Read or Rot?

I have started reading at the age of four. I can remember how I often read under the covers with a flashlight when I was supposed to sleep.

During my early school years, we visited the library once a week. I couldn’t pick out my new book fast enough! By the end of the period, I would have finished it already, leaving me with nothing to read for the rest of the week!

Growing up, Fridays was the highlight of my week. Dad would pack the whole family into the car, and off we go! You guessed right – to the library! We were a family of readers.

In my adult years, I’ve developed a variety of interests like technology, photography, gardening and even writing. But reading was and will always be a part of my life!

Reading for me is like breathing. If I cannot read, my soul will quietly rot away

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. M.M. Ward

    Thank you for reading my scribbles. I am so happy you enjoyed them.
    Be Better, not bitter,
    Mama Magie

    1. Susan

      I’ve enjoyed reading about Milly. I hope there are more coming soon!

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