Flashback Friday: Sweet Cider by Barbara Morgenroth – Review by Layna

556537335Title: Sweet Cider

Bad Apple #1

Author: Barabara Morgenroth

Publisher: DashingBooks

Published: October 7th, 2010



When 15 year old Neal Marchal finds her neighbor murdered, she knows who did it. The why is the secret the family has been keeping forever. While Paul took an interest in Neal’s musical education and taught her how to play the fiddle, he took her fatherless stepbrother, Joe, under his wing and all that implies. Joe’s rage has always been barely beneath the surface and years ago, he pushed Neal under a tractor as a warning. The reminder to never reveal the secret is her limp.

While Joe was gone for five years, Neal made music a private and central part of her life. Now she has an opportunity to sing and perform but the threat remains even if Joe is a thousand miles away. Neal finds refuge in the family of the young man who wants her to join his band. It’s like a dream to live with people who love each other. Neal blossoms. She has everything to live for—music, performing and a growing affection for the young man who pulled her to safety.

Then Joe comes home. Neal knows it’s just a matter of time because she told. Joe’s going to finish what he started 8 years ago. But this time Neal vows the outcome will be different.



Disclaimer: This review was previously posted on Lunar Havens Reviews & Designs



Bad Apple starts off with Neal walking in to find Paul’s corpse lying in a pool of blood. Neal’s reaction seems kind of detached, as if the reality of her friend’s murder hadn’t struck her yet. Paul had taught Neal how to play the fiddle, which she used as an escape from her awful home life with the Kents. Steve Lambert is the cop who interviews Neal about the murder and she doesn’t reveal much of anything to him, afraid that is she tells what she knows, she will find herself in the same position as Paul.

A while after the interview, Truly, Steve’s son meets Neal and asks her to sing for him. Steve told Truly that Neal had a beautiful voice and he just had to hear it for himself. He asks Neal to be the lead singer of his band and she was hesitant at first, mainly because he was not used to being the center of attention. The Kents had always treated her like she was unimportant and didn’t exist. Eventually she accepts Truly and the practice together, along with the other band mates.

One night after practice Neal comes home to find Joe drinking with Toby, Neal’s stepsister and Joe’s actual sister. At that moment, fear rushes through Neal and she knows she is in danger. After what happened to Neal years ago, she knows she needs to get away from Joe. She calls Truly and end up living with him and his parents. The Lambert’s take in Neal with no problem at all and they consider her family. While living with them, Truly and Neal perform with their band and the feedback they receive is much beyond their expectations. During the show, Shannon, Neal’s stepsister finds her and is glad that she got away from Kent mountain. Shannon is also trying to escape from the Kent house and it is then that tragedy strikes again.

I don’t want to give away too much, but the ending is filled with excitement and danger. This book starts off really strong and you can’t help but continue to read it. During the middle it is more building up the band and the murder mystery part of the book kind of dulls down. Then it picks back up again, around chapter 11, I believe is when Joe shows up again. Once Joe showed up, there wasn’t a dull moment and I kept reading until, suddenly, the book ended.

Luckily, I got a little preview into the second book and I can’t wait to continue to see what happens next. Thank you Barbara Morgenroth for giving me the opportunity to read and review your book. I look forward to continuing the series! I hope I get the pleasure of reviewing your other works.



Buy on Amazon!

About the Author:

Barbara was born in New York City but now lives at Black Cat Farm.
Envisioning a career as a globe-hopping photojournalist, upon graduating from college she determined her hop muscles weren’t global strength. After having a stable for several years, Barbara turned to writing. One of her traditionally published books was turned into a television movie (Will the Real Renie Lake Please Stand up, now available as Unheard), and another opened the door to writing for television (In Real Life I’m Just Kate now available as Just Kate). She has written fiction and nonfiction and loves the freedom of ebooks where she has become Queen of All She Surveys, as long as it’s on her desktop.

**Follow Barbara on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bittersweetfarmbooks or https://www.facebook.com/barbara.morgenroth.5 She loves hearing from readers and sharing photos. You’ll hear about the latest releases first!


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