Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby and a Giveaway!

What Matters Most

What Matters Most by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Memory House Collection
Published April 10th 2013 by Bent Pine Publishing
Paperback, 287 pages

Louise Palmer is a settled-down person. A woman who wants nothing more than to remain in the same house until the day she dies. When her husband, Clay, announces an intention to quit his job and move to Florida, her life is thrown into a turmoil of mixed emotions and strained loyalties. Torn between Clay’s desire for “the good life” and the lifelong friendships of her quilting club, Louise struggles with what to do…until her best friend hatches a scheme to thwart the move.

Before she discovers the truth of what matters most, a marriage will be tested, family relationships will fall apart and the friendships Louise tried to hold onto will change dramatically.

My thoughts about What Matters Most ~~ 

I always know when I sit down to read one of Bette's novels that I am going to love the people and the places she takes me to. What Matters Most is another sweet, wonderful story filled with characters who become my friends. I think about them long after I close the book. 

Louise loves her life and the predictability of it. She has her routine and her friends and that's enough for her. But her husband, Clay is feeling burnt out and restless in his life. 
'I'm beginning to wonder if not-happy is the same as happy.'
When Clay's uncle dies and leaves his property in Florida to Clay, he figures this is the perfect time to make some changes. Louise goes along with Clay's plan, figuring he'll come to his senses eventually. But she is uprooted and off they go on the adventure of their lives. 
'Louise tried to remember exactly when she lost control of her life.'
Can Louise adjust to this new life? Or should she just go back to the place where everything is familiar and safe? And does she really want this life in Florida, does she really still want Clay? 
'The truth is I'm afraid of change. Afraid of what it will bring and what it will take.'
What Matters Most gives us a look at life changes and how some people react to those changes. Some reactions are positive and others, not so much.
'Everything that mattered in her life was gone.'
Bette's stories are always filled with such great words of wisdom and gentle thoughts. I just love reading them and I think each book of Bette's that I read is my new favorite one. 

About the author

Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby shares the storytelling charm of her Southern Mama in tales that are both heartrending and heartwarming. She is best known for her creation of characters that readers find unforgettable.

Passing through Perfect is Crosby’s tenth novel and the third book in the Wyattsville Series that began with the USA Today Bestseller Spare Change. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. Since then, she has gone on to win another twenty literary awards, including the Royal Palm Literary Award, the Reviewer’s Choice Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal and the 2014 Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal.

Connect with Bette

I have an e-book of What Matters Most from Amazon that I will gift the winner of this giveaway. Good luck! 

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Christmas in Snow Valley - On Sale for Only $.99 for a Limited Time!

Summer in Snow Valley is available for pre-order for only $.99. Release date is June 1st and the $.99 special will last until June 6th. 

If you haven't read Christmas in Snow Valley, now is your chance to buy it May 24th through the 31st for only $.99.

Buy Christmas in Snow ValleyAmazon

#1 Bestselling Authors of Christmas in Snow Valley, have teamed up again with six wonderful summer novellas that are sure to make your summer sweet and sassy!

Buy Summer in Snow Valley

Catching Caytie 
by Amazon Top Seller, Cindy Roland Anderson

On the night Caytie Holbrook intends to break up with her cheating boyfriend, he blindsides her by announcing their engagement at a dinner party. When Caytie discovers her father is in on the scheme, she runs away from her home in Beverly Hills to hide out at her uncle’s ranch in Snow Valley, Montana. While Snow Valley is a beautiful place, Caytie only plans to stay until her twenty-fifth birthday when she’ll inherit a trust fund her grandmother left her, allowing her to pursue her dream to move to Italy. That is until she meets Jace McAllister, an incredibly sexy—although somewhat grumpy—cowboy who threatens to disrupt her plans.

Tin Foil Tiaras
by Amazon Top Seller, Jeanette Lewis

Cameron Elliott has come to Snow Valley to coach Annalisa Drake in the Miss Snow Valley pageant, and prove to her demanding boss that she deserves a place at the prestigious Westbrooke Agency. But Annalisa’s handsome and protective big brother, Kyle, is determined to keep his sister from becoming a reluctant beauty queen. As Cameron tries to win Kyle over, Kyle insists some things are more valuable than a title and as crazy as it sounds, Cameron might just believe him.

A Touch of Love
by Amazon Top Seller, Cami Checketts

Annie Stirland has endured a lifetime of teasing, embarrassment, and isolation due to her speech impediment. When irresistible cowboy, Luke Wilson, seems to be falling for her, she’s certain he’s too good to be true. A tragedy involving his ex-girlfriend proves she’s right. What man can resist sheltering someone they once loved? Annie knows she should walk away, but Luke isn’t ready to give her up.

First Love
by Amazon Top Seller, Taylor Hart 

Janet Snow doesn’t expect to get caught in a full-blown make out session at her brother’s wedding. Especially not with Michael Hamilton, the boy she’d written off ten years ago. Even though they both agree to no complications, Janet's not sure they can stick to it given their past. After a trip to the hot springs, a helicopter ride, and a proposal, even the most cautious single mother would start to wonder if true love really is just about the timing. Now Janet has to make a choice—play it safe or trust that her first love could also be her last. 

Romancing Rebecca
by Amazon Top Seller, Kimberley Montpetit

Rebecca Dash loved spending her teen summers swooning over Jane Austen and helping her aunt at the Starry Skies Bed & Breakfast in Snow Valley. But as a recent college grad, she’d rather write sappy romance novels than go out with guys that make her a nervous wreck. When a team of fire-fighters set up camp on the lawns of the B&B and Captain Wade catches her eye, Becca soon learns that there’s more to a happily-ever-after than a flirty fireman with muscles the size of the Montana hills.

Love in Light and Shadow
by Amazon Top Seller, Lucy McConnell

Mercedes O'Shay has sworn off gorgeous men because they have a tendency to break her heart. When she meets her new neighbor, Chet Bauer, she immediately puts him in the Do Not Date category based on his well-defined muscles and stunning blue eyes. But the more Mercedes learns about the cowboy who reads classics and forges iron, the more she realizes the heart doesn't see in black and white; it sees light and shadows.

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Monday, May 25, 2015

On Tour: Heavy Weather (A Carolina Coast Novel) by Normandie Fischer

Heavy Weather

Heavy Weather by Normandie Fischer
A Carolina Coast Novel
Paperback, 408 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Sleepy Creek Press

Death, life, family, domestic abuse--Heavy Weather explores all these themes in a memorable and compelling narrative. When Annie Mac's life explodes like a storm at sea, she is helpless to fight back. Left for dead, her two children targeted by her abuser, her life appears to be over. The people who help her show her how to weather a storm that she cannot control.

It takes a town to save a child. That town is Beaufort, North Carolina. 

Annie Mac’s estranged husband vows that nothing will stop him from getting his baby girl. Not Annie Mac and certainly not that boy of hers. 

Only four blocks away, Hannah Morgan lives in comfort with her husband and dog, making pottery and waiting for her best friend to come home. When she discovers the two children cowering in the bushes and their mama left for dead, it doesn’t take her long to set her coterie of do-gooders to some extra-strength do-gooding. Add in Clay, a lonely police lieutenant yanked out of his comfort zone and into the heart of this small family, and who knows what will happen? 

From the author of Becalmed comes this latest tale of the Carolina coast, introducing some new characters to love--and to loathe. 

Purchase Heavy Weather

My thoughts about Heavy Weather ~~ 

I have kind of been on a Southern fiction reading binge lately so this one caught my eye. I knew I would enjoy it as I have all of the other Southern fiction I have read lately but I didn't realize that I would love it as much as I did. 

The stories starts off with a very intense scene which drew me into the story and made me want to keep reading. Annie Mac has suffered horrible things at the hands of her estranged husband and is left for dead. 
'Evil existed. Real evil, the black-and-white kind without any gray, where a man lost his humanity and acted as if he'd signed on the devil's dotted line. It seemed that Royce Bingham was one of those.'
The community comes together to support Annie and her children while the authorities are trying to track down Roy. I was so engrossed in the story and by the characters that I felt like I was right there along with them. I experienced the joys and sorrow that the characters did. I also felt the anxiety and fear that they felt when that evil person showed his hand. 

I was sometimes so wrapped up in the intensity of the story that I couldn't allow my eyes to wander ahead on the page because I didn't want to know what was going to happen. I had to let the story unfold naturally the way is was supposed to. So ... wow! That was amazing to feel that way and to be so into the story that I was nervous right along with the characters. 

This is the second book that the author has written in her Carolina Coast series. I didn't feel at all confused by not having read the first book but I now want to go back and read the first book, Becalmed, so I can visit this world again and learn more about the wonderful characters. I really hope there will be more stories after this one. 

About the author

A life-long sailor, Normandie has been writing and editing professionally since the seventies. She studied sculpture for several years in Perugia, Italy, before returning stateside to complete her degree with special honors in English. When they’re not visiting grown children who have scattered elsewhere, Normandie and her husband divide their time between their waterfront home in NC (where she takes care of her mama) and their waterborne sailing home, Sea Venture, lately returned from Pacific Mexico. 

She has three women's fiction books now: Becalmed, which was the first Carolina Coast novel; Sailing out of Darkness; and now the second Carolina Coast story, Heavy Weather.

Connect with Normandie

Visit other stops on the tour here

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? May 25, 2015

Hello! Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? This weekly meme, hosted by Book Journey, is where we share what we have read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week. It’s a great way to see what others are reading and to discover books to add to your own To Be Read list. You never know where that next great read may come from!

Click on the book image to read more on Goodreads. 

What I'm currently reading/listening to

The Buddha in the Attic
by Julie Otsuka
This is for my book club. The Japanese culture has always facinated me so I think this should be a good read. 

Nearly Departed in Deadwood (Deadwood #1)
by Ann Charles (audio-book)
 I love Ann Charles and I am loving listening to this series.

What I recently finished reading

Heavy Weather (A Carolina Coast Novel)
by Normandie Fischer
My thoughts will be posted later today.

House Broken
by Sonja Yoerg
This was a re-read for me for my book club. You can read my thoughts here. We Skyped with the author last week and that was fantastic! 

What I am going to read next

Summer in Snow Valley (Snow Valley Romance Anthologies Book 2)
by Cindy Roland Anderson, Lucy McConnell, Taylor Hart, Kimberley Montpetit, Cami Checketts, and Jeanette Lewis
I love Cami's stories and I loved Christmas in Snow Valley, which is on sale right now for only $.99. Grab it before the price goes back up!  

I love my reading world!
What's going on in your reading world this week?

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekkanen

Things You Won't Say

Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekkanen 
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 26th 2015 by Washington Square Press 

In this timely and provocative novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen takes us inside a family in crisis and a marriage on the brink after a tragic shooting.

How far would you go to save your family?

Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There's been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn't hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband's insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting but this time Mike has pulled the trigger.

But the shooting does more than just alter Jamie's world. It's about to change everything for two other women. Christie Simmons, Mike's flamboyant ex, sees the tragedy as an opportunity for a second chance with Mike. And Jamie's younger sister, Lou, must face her own losses to help the big sister who raised her. As the press descends and public cries of police brutality swell, Jamie tries desperately to hold together her family, no matter what it takes.

In her characteristic exploration of true-to-life relationships, Sarah Pekkanen has written a complex, compelling, and openhearted novel her best yet. 

My thoughts about Things You Won't Say ~~

This was my first Sarah Pekkanen book and it won't be my last! I love the way she writes and how she takes a very timely issue and shows us the personal side of it. 

Does this sound familiar to you? 
'"How many times does young man of color need to be murdered by police before we as a country demand that it stop? Police are there to protect all of our citizens, especially the vulnerable. Especially the young. Tonight a family is grieving for no reason other than the actions of a trigger-happy police officer who decided to be the judge, jury, and executioner when he saw a brown face,'"
We get to see all sides of this controversial topic, from the victim's loved ones and what they are going through to the officer's family and how this tragedy is affecting them. This is a story that shows us what everyone goes through when something horrible like this happens. It is not easy on anyone. 
'She wanted her life back so desperately. She wanted her biggest worry to be about the electricity bill, or the fact that she couldn't button her favorite jeans, or the state of the kitchen floor. She wanted to be annoyed with Mike because he'd gone out with the guys after work and had lost forty bucks in a poker game.' 
I was totally engrossed in this story and got caught up in the emotions and drama of the families. Sarah writes wonderfully and I am excited to read more of her books. 
'... normal life wasn't normal any longer. Maybe it never would be again.'

About the author

"Fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin will strongly appreciate this rising star in women's fiction." - Library Journal.

Internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen's newest book is Things You Won't Say (May 2015, Atria/Simon & Schuster). She is also the author of Catching Air, The Best of Us, The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, and These Girls. Sarah's linked free short estories, published by Simon & Schuster exclusively for ereaders, are titled "All is Bright," and "Love, Accidentally." The third story in the series is just 99 cents and is titled "Beginning Again." 

Sarah is the mother of three young boys, which explains why she writes part of her novels at Chuck E. Cheese. 

Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. At least some dreams - Brad Pitt has yet to show up on her doorstep wearing nothing but a toolbelt and asking if she needs anything fixed. So maybe it's only G-rated dreams that come true. 

Connect with Sarah

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers

I have sooooo many books! I have a ton of print books and probably even more e-books. The Book Spotlight feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the books I have. There are a lot of different reasons that I might be letting some of my books go, the biggest one is that when we moved I discovered how many books I really do have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy them.

The book that I am featuring this week is one that I have read several times. I live in South Dakota and this author is a SD native. The Work of Wolves was selected as the One Book South Dakota book in 2005. I had the pleasure of attending several of his talks throughout the state. And I ended up with 2 copies of this fabulous book. One of you could win it! 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

The Work of Wolves

The Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers
Paperback, 407 pages
Published July 11th 2005 by Mariner Books 

When fourteen-year-old Carson Fielding bought his first horse from Magnus Yarborough, it became clear that the teenager was a better judge of horses than the rich landowner was of humans. Years later, Carson, now a skilled and respected horse trainer, grudgingly agrees to train Magnus's horses and teach his wife to ride. But as Carson becomes disaffected with the power-hungry Magnus, he also grows more and more attracted to the rancher's wife, and their relationship sets off a violent chain of events that unsettles their quiet reservation border town in South Dakota. Thrown into the drama are Earl Walks Alone, an Indian trying to study his way out of the reservation and into college, and Willi, a German exchange student confronting his family's troubled history. 

In this unforgettable story of horses, love, and life, Carson and the entire ensemble of characters learn, in very different ways, about the strong bonds that connect people to each other and to the land on which they live.

About the author

Kent Meyers, associate professor of humanities and writer-in-residence at Black Hills State University, received the Best Fiction award for his novel Twisted Tree at the High Plains Book Awards in Billings, Mont.

This is the second major literary award Twisted Tree has won. In May it won The Society of Midland Authors award in fiction, which covers a twelve-state region in the Midwest. Twisted Tree has received rave reviews from New York Times, the Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly.

A previous novel of Meyers, The Work of Wolves, was selected for the One Book South Dakota in 2005.

The High Plains Book Awards recognize regional authors and/or literary works that examine and reflect on life on the High Plains, including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Be sure to check the sidebar for my current giveaways!

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