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October 31, 2013





Laurel Dewey

Published by The Story Plant, (2012)

(from Goodreads)
Betty Craven is the epitome of elegance, class, and perfection. Her prize-winning garden is the envy of her neighbors; her impeccable manners and epicurean skills have made her the �hostess with the most-est.”

But all is not what it seems.

The truth is that this fifty-eight year old’s seemingly idyllic world is quickly disintegrating. Widowed and left with a modest income, Betty’s Colorado gourmet chocolate shop has gone belly up, leaving her floundering for purpose and meaning. Tied to a house in disrepair that she can’t sell, and mired in unrelenting grief for her dead son, this patriotic former Texas pageant queen comes to the shocking and debilitating conclusion that her entire life has been wasted. As that realization hits her hard between her well-manicured brow, the rebellious spirit that Betty has silently kept under lock and key, explodes to the surface.

When that happens, her staunch conservative world changes drastically, causing Betty to question every belief and opinion she’s ever had. The path she chooses is paved with secrecy, eccentric characters, toe-curling love, life-changing events, and a connection to her unconventional garden that she never could have imagined. No matter how hard she tries, Betty Craven will never be the same again.

Author Laurel Dewey — known for her gritty crime thriller series featuring Detective Jane Perry — has created a dynamic, funny, romantic, heartbreaking and controversial novel that will both enlighten readers and challenge them with its unique and timely subject matter.

Laurel Dewey’s writing career has been anything but predictable. Born in Glendale, California, Dewey began her career working in public relations. Her writing talents quickly took her into other entertainment avenues. As an assistant editor at BOP Magazine in the late 1980's, Dewey helped launch the blockbuster career of teen pop groups, including The New Kids on The Block. During this time, she wrote a string of successful mystery radio plays for Los Angeles public radio networks.

Not satisfied to write in only one genre, Dewey went on to pen a western novella “In the Name of the Land” which was nominated for a Silver Spur Fiction Award. A collection of short stories followed, as did a successful stint writing and producing radio ads and promos.

In the early 1990’s, Dewey relocated to rural Colorado. But her eclectic writing forte continued as she pursued work as a freelance investigative journalist, advertising/marketing promoter and newspaper columnist. In the mid and late 1990’s, two of her books on plant medicine were published, along with 10 booklets and hundreds of articles on alternative health. During this time, she appeared as a featured guest on hundreds of national radio and television programs and lectured extensively across the United States and Canada.

But then the pages turned...literally. In 2007, Dewey released her first fiction novel, PROTECTOR, a gritty, mystical crime thriller that follows the rocky life of damaged Denver homicide detective Jane Perry. In preparation for writing the book, Dewey immersed herself in detailed research, interviewing Colorado homicide detectives and traveling on "ride-a-longs" with street cops. The intricate research helped Dewey create a debut novel that is powerful, compelling, controversial and utterly original.

The sequel to PROTECTOR, REDEMPTION, was released in June of 2009. The third book, REVELATIONS, released in June, 2011. A series of short stories and novellas featuring Detective Jane Perry were published throughout 2011, starting with "An Unfinished Death" which is a prequel to PROTECTOR.

The fourth Jane Perry novel will be published in late 2012.

In keeping with Dewey's ability to push the envelope, she's written a standalone novel, "Betty's (Little Basement) Garden," that is set for release on June 12, 2012. This controversial book will certainly spark many conversations and hopefully enlighten readers at the same time.

Dewey lives with her husband and two orange cats in rural Colorado.


(quote from the book)

.I enjoyed watching Betty as she grew her adored plants.  You just wanted to reach out in her garden and try one of those delicious chocolates.  Betty is like a lot of us, always doing for others, always concerned about what others will think and never thinking about what we need.  She was the perfect wife, housekeeper, and she focused so on her garden. Betty was such a proper, happy lady  On the outside but that wasn't the case.  She was so very unhappy.  She'd not only lost her son but now her husband.  She is having financial problems and begins to sell off her household items. She still puts on the brave, no problems here front to her friends.The truth is her marriage wasn't a happy one.  Her son was an addict and died of an overdose.  She was in a living hell.
Things changed.  A friend was passing a petition around to stop the selling of  legal marijuana .This is bothering Betty since her son's problem. She doesn't want to upset her friend so she just gives up and signs the petition, but she doesn't use her own name. Betty meets a man, Peyton who works at a health food store. He is a licensed caregiver and gives "the herb" as he calls it, to  ill and dying patients. Thus begins Betty's journey with cannabis.  She adds "the herb" to some delicious chocolates and then starts to cultivate her own little garden of "herbs".  After a while she becomes a licensed caregiver. Betty starts to let her hair down a little and starts to emerge from the old Betty.This book was quite interesting and informative. The author must have done an extreme amount of research on cannabis and the medical issues about using or not using  it.  There is a lot of information, pro and con on cannabis and whether it should be legalized.  Maybe we should look a little farther into exactly what we are talking about before we start saying "NO" to something that may give relief to the sick and dying.  There is so much stigma out there about cannabis being bad and it leads to other drugs. In this book Ms. Dewey gives us a lot of powerful information to consider.  Maybe we should wake up and stop following the crowd and think for ourselves. Do what you believe in, what you think is right. Stop following the crowd and be an individual, be yourself. Stop worrying about what others think. 
No matter what side you are on, this book is interesting and will have you shedding a few tears and smiling a few smiles.  It is a controversial matter. Even though the book is fiction, there is information to take in and decide for yourself whether marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes.  Decide how you think, not how someone else thinks.

I would give this book 4 STARS.

I was given a complimentary copy of BETTY"S LITTLE BASEMENT GARDEN by Laurel Dewey  from the publisher THE STORY PLANT for my unbiased view.[Paperback]-[2012]-

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