Book Review: Conflicting Webs by Darlene Quinn

6 Ways Reading Brings Joy To Our Lives
A Good Book Can Transport Us To Other Worlds, Or Reveal More About This One, Author Says

The options for latching onto a great book – whether a classic by Victor Hugo or the latest bestseller by John Grisham – appear limitless these days.

Printed books remain popular, but e-readers provide additional choices. We can still visit bookstores and libraries, but a seemingly infinite selection of titles is available for ordering online.

And, despite periodic worries about the reading habits of the young, a Pew Research Center study released last year showed that young adults, ages 18-29, were the group most likely to have read a book in the previous 12 months.

It’s not surprising people are still eager to lose themselves in a richly plotted novel, a well-researched biography or any title on a favorite topic, says Darlene Quinn, an author whose latest novel, “Conflicting Webs” ( is the fifth in her standalone Webs Series, which features stories steeped in family issues in today’s rapidly paced world.

“Reading is beneficial for everyone, whether we do it for entertainment, to pass the time or to learn,” Quinn says. “We can grow and change from the first page to the last page, and anywhere in between. A love for reading can open a lot of doors.”

Quinn, a lifelong lover of books, suggests six ways reading brings joy to our lives:

•  Relaxation factor. After a busy day, down time with a book can be a rewarding way to segue into bedtime. “Putting up your feet with a cup of tea and a timeless story can make the stress melt away,” Quinn says. “What better way to unwind?” The beauty of ending the day with a good book is that you can still have mental stimulation even as you seek a distraction from personal issues, work concerns and the unexpected complications of life.

•  Universal appeal, personal experience. People can read the same book, yet come away with an experience that is distinct for them, Quinn says. That puts her in agreement with Edmund Wilson, the American literary and social critic, who observed that “no two persons ever read the same book.”  Quinn says we often alter what is written – or at least our interpretations of it – to reflect our situations, personalities and opinions.

•  Tech savvy welcome, but not required. E-readers are popular these days and it’s not hard to understand why, Quinn says. They bring numerous benefits to the reading experience, such as the ability to instantly download new books or change the type size on the screen. But tried-and-true print versions of books remain strong and it’s nice to be able to grab a book without charging its battery or bringing along a power cord, Quinn says. “And as far as I’m concerned, you just can’t beat the intoxicating aroma of fresh book pages,” she says.

•  To infinity and beyond. Trains, planes and automobiles all have limits on where they can take us. Books don’t. A science fiction novel can whisk us away to an alternate universe. A historical novel can plunk us down in the middle of the Salem witch trials. In the movie “Toy Story,” Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase was “to infinity and beyond.” That aptly describes the reach of books and the power they have to transport us. “Right in our hands we have the passageway to a new world, a new language or a new understanding,” Quinn says. “We can be anywhere and we can be there at any time.”

•  Lessons within the pages. The opportunity to expand our creativity and knowledge is what reading is all about, Quinn says. Name a topic and a book exists that can help you learn more about it. The options are numerous – music, history, art, geography, exploration, science, nature, religion and more. “My goal has always been to be a lifelong learner and books are a fantastic asset for achieving that,” Quinn says.

John Green, author of such works as “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Paper Towns,” has said, “Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.” Quinn says that might be the best reason of all to read.

“The feeling that someone else knows our struggles and relates to our lives can give us a sense of completeness, and help us realize we aren’t the only ones who feel or think the way we do,” she says.

“Reading can make us happy when we are sad. It can make us laugh when we are depressed. And it can excite us when we are disheartened. Those are great accomplishments for such a simple activity.”

About Darlene Quinn

Darlene Quinn ( is an author and journalist from Long Beach, Calif., whose novels about deceit, intrigue and glamour in the retail fashion industry were inspired by her years working in management with Bullocks Wilshire Specialty department stores. Quinn’s novels are steeped in family issues in today’s rapidly paced world. Her latest is “Conflicting Webs,” the fifth book in her epic Web series. Previous titles in the standalone series have been “Webs of Fate,” “Webs of Power,” “Twisted Webs” and “Unpredictable Webs.”

Endorsement for Conflicting Webs

“Darlene Quinn has done it again, writing a tension-filled story that kept my attention from the very first page to the end. Conflicting Webs weaves an intense story full of intrigue, questionable motives, and unforgettable characters. A compelling storyline with a series of twists keeps the reader engaged, wondering if the story will lead to a happy ending. You won’t be disappointed.”

—Dete Meserve
President, Wind Dancer Films
Author of Amazon Bestseller “
Good Sam”

Career Advice from Darlene Quinn

Do You Have to be a Renaissance Person in
Today’s Economy?
Deteriorating Job Conditions Affecting More U.S. Adults;
Professional Woman of Many Hats Offers Perspective

Brushes with poverty, extended periods of joblessness and a reliance on welfare is part of the “new normal” for the average American worker, according to new data reported from The Associated Press. 

Economic security isn’t what it used to be before the economic crash of 2008; survey data points to the loss of manufacturing jobs, the globalized economy and a widening gap between rich and poor as reasons for why 4 in 5 workers in the United States will experience economic hardship in their lifetime.
“I certainly don’t envy what the average worker will likely endure throughout his or her career, but as an ambitious woman coming up through the ranks of corporate culture – the boy’s club – many decades ago, I know the hardship of sustaining the career of your dreams,” says 75-year-old Darlene Quinn, author of Unpredictable Webs, (, the newest in her stand-alone series of suspense-filled dramatic novels which are now in development for a major TV series.

Quinn is a former senior executive with the Bullocks Wilshire department store chain who went on to pursue an award-winning career in fiction writing. She started by earning a bachelor’s at San Jose State University and she became a schoolteacher, later climbing her way up the corporate retail ladder during a time of tremendous upheaval in the fashion industry.

“Change is natural; change is life, and you don’t have to be afraid of it,” she says.

Quinn, a family woman who has also been proactive in managing beauty pageants, volunteering for charity and corporate training, offers the following career advice to struggling professionals:

• Parlay your strengths; experience and education isn’t everything.Unfortunately, many workers are finding this out. Nowadays, even advanced college degrees are no guarantee of job security. It’s not uncommon to find holders of master’s degrees working in low-paying jobs. While a degree is still needed to get your foot in the door of most professional job openings, consider that which you most excel. As a professional, you may not be perfect in every aspect of your career, but there are activities in a job that you probably do regardless of work. Perhaps that’s managing groups of people, writing or designing websites. What is your strength, and how does that translate to a more promising field?

• Shoot for the top! Of course, you don’t have to be in a state of economic hardship to consider switching fields. The Internet is allowing us to be more connected than ever and permanently altering the employment landscape. Perhaps you see an opportunity in online education and, as an administrator on a college campus you know the weaknesses of today’s traditional university system. If you take well to new software, are available beyond the usual 9-to-5 hours and have a stable work history, then why not make more than a lateral move?

• Is it time to trade in that necktie or pantsuit for your passion?After having accomplished so much in the corporate world, Quinn decided it was time for a new direction, so she pursued her passion for writing and has done very well, winning multiple awards. Perhaps it’s time to take what you already love doing so well at home and apply it to a career. If you love cooking, for example, and others love what you create, you may want to consider a new career.

About Darlene Quinn

Darlene Quinn is an author and journalist from Long Beach, Calif., whose novels about deceit, intrigue and glamour in the retail fashion industry were inspired by her years with Bullocks Wilshire specialty department stores and are now in development for a major TV series. Her newest, Unpredictable Webs, is the winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards for Excellence in Fiction and was selected as the number-one President’s choice before publication. The novel continues her series, including Webs of Fate, which won the 2011 Reader’s Favorites Award before it hit bookshelves; Webs of Power, winner of a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award, and Twisted Webs, winner of the 2011 International Book Award for General Fiction and the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards for General Fiction.