Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Dream Keeper's Daughter: A Novel by Emily Colin ~ My Thoughts


The Dream Keeper's Daughter

The Dream Keeper's Daughter by Emily Colin
Print and e-book, 482 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Ballantine Books

An archaeologist discovers her presumed-missing boyfriend is trapped more than a hundred years in the past—a love story that transcends time and place, from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Memory Thief.

Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her.

She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams.

My thoughts about The Dream Keeper's Daughter ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"I am on my knees, the sun beating on my back and dirt from long-dead bones sifting through my gloved fingers, when my cellphone rings. Focused as I am on the dig, the phone's shrill summons startles me."

The Dream Keeper's Daughter is a captivating story that crosses so many different genres types. There is something for everyone here: time travel, historical fiction, women's fiction, and a bit of romance. I have to admit that I felt a little daunted by this book after seeing the number of pages. It is usually more than I tackle but once I read the first few pages, I was totally hooked.

I have always been intrigued by the idea of time travel and this author does a wonderful job making it work. I was kept guessing as to how it would all come together. Would Max be able to get back to his loved ones? And how would what he did in the past, affect those in the future.

Max lands in an extremely tough time, when men and women are being slaved and beaten. It was so hard for him to witness the pain and suffering that humans caused other humans. It really is hard for me to comprehend too.

I am always amazed at the amount of research that an author does when writing their books. For one, they have to get the history part right. And then, especially in the case of time traveling, they have to make sure all the pieces end up fitting together.

The Dream Keeper's Daughter really is an amazing story. I was totally engrossed in both the past and the present storylines. It was wonderful to see how the stories came together in the end.

I received a copy of The Dream Keeper's Daughter from JKS Communications in exchange for my honest opinion.


About the author

Emily Colin

Emily Colin’s debut novel, The Memory Thief, has been a New York Times bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors Pick. Her diverse life experience includes organizing a Coney Island tattoo and piercing show, hauling fish at the Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys, roaming New York City as an itinerant teenage violinist, helping launch two small publishing companies, and serving as the associate director of DREAMS of Wilmington, a nonprofit dedicated to immersing youth in need in the arts. Originally from Brooklyn, she lives in Wilmington, NC with her family.

Emily is excited to share that she has a second novel, The Dream Keeper’s Daughter, upcoming from Ballantine Books in July 2017. She loves chocolate, is addicted to tiramisu, and dislikes anything containing beans.

Connect with Emily


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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian

I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.


I've got a another great book for you today! Somehow I ended up with two copies of this book. I have not read it yet (darn that ever growing TBR pile) but I have read this author before and I know his stories are wonderful. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
by Chris Bohjalian

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Doubleday

A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the best-selling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless teen living in an igloo made of ice and trash bags filled with frozen leaves. Half a year earlier, a nuclear plant in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom had experienced a cataclysmic meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault. Was he drunk when it happened?

Thousands of people are forced to flee their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that, as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's apartment, and inventing a new identity for herself - an identity inspired by her favorite poet, Emily Dickinson.

When Emily befriends a young homeless boy named Cameron, she protects him with a ferocity she didn't know she had. But she still can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever - and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.

A story of loss, adventure, and the search for friendship in the wake of catastrophe, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is one of Chris Bohjalian's finest novels to date - breathtaking, wise, and utterly transporting.


About the author

Chris Bohjalian

Chris is the New York Times bestselling author of 20 books. Chris's work has been translated into over 30 languages and three times become movies (Midwives, Secrets of Eden, and Past the Bleachers.) The paperback of The Sleepwalker arrives this autumn. The Flight Attendant lands March 13, 2018. 

Chris's books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon.

Awards include the ANCA Freedom Award for educating Americans about the Armenian Genocide; the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, as well as the Saint Mesrob Mashdots Medal; the New England Society Book Award for The Night Strangers; the New England Book Award; Russia's Soglasie (Concord) Award for The Sandcastle Girls; a Boston Public Library Literary Light; a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Trans-Sister Radio; and the Anahid Literary Award. Midwives was a number one New York Times bestseller, a selection of Oprah's Book Club, and a New England Booksellers Association Discovery pick. 

Chris graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude from Amherst College, and lives in Vermont with his wife, the photographer Victoria Blewer. Their daughter, Grace Experience, is a young actor in New York City. Among the audiobooks she has narrated are Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands and The Guest Room.

Connect with Chris


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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Me & Milo the Great by Michelle Schlicher ~ My Thoughts


Me & Milo the Great

Me & Milo the Great by Michelle Schlicher
Print and e-book
Expected publication: September 14th 2017

My name is Holiday Sanchez. I carry a heavy burden.

But I'm not the only one.

There are others who know what it feels like to remember. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe we can help each other. Maybe I'll finally get past it.

Maybe it just takes time—and a little bit of magic.

Pre-order from Amazon for only $3.99!

My thoughts about Me & Milo the Great ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"I didn't call him my father. Even when he still lived in our house, slept in the room next to mine, ate at the same kitchen table. I wasn't something I planned. I can't tell you why. I was too young."

Me & Milo the Great is a wonderful, thought provoking, emotional story which I found to be very different from most of the books I have been reading lately. And this one is a bit different from Michelle's previous books, all of which I thoroughly loved. This one deals with the aftermath of a tragic event and how it affected the life of a young woman. It has a more serious tone than her other books, but it is also filled with hope.

Holiday lives a complicated, secluded life for something that wasn't her fault. But the guilt and feeling of responsibility that she is living with causes her to withdraw from everyone and everything around her. That is until she meets Milo. Something magical sparks between them and Holiday starts to feel differently about herself. I loved the relationship between Holiday and Milo, both of them misfits in their own worlds, but they're just strange enough to be perfect for each other.

This story made me stop and think about how people react, and how they must feel, after going through a tragic event like Holiday did. The guilt that survivors feel and the responsibility that Holiday felt, for something someone else did, has got to be crippling. Me & Milo the Great took me to a sad, tragic world with some quirky characters but at the same time it was filled with beauty, love, and forgiveness.

Thank you, Michelle, for this wonderful story that opened my eyes and made me think about other people and what they might be going through. You just never know, do you?

I received a copy of Me & Milo the Great from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


I have loved all of Michelle's books.
Click on the covers to find them on Goodreads.
Click on the links below to read my thoughts.

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About the author

Michelle Schlicher

Michelle Schlicher is the author of the novels The Blue Jay, Gracie’s Song and Come This Way. She lives outside of Des Moines with her husband, two children, two fluffy dogs and a cat that followed her home to become a prince. You can follow her on Instagram @michelleschlicher.

Connect with Michelle


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Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? August 14, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!


A rather slow reading week for me this week. The book I just finished was rather long so it took me a bit to get through it. It was very engrossing though. The weather has turned cool here, which is odd for August in South Dakota but I'll take it. It almost feels like fall—I can't believe how fast the summer flew by. College classes start next Monday with the public schools starting the day after, on Tuesday. You can just feel the increase of activity all over town. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading/listening to

Cracked Open (Mindjack #5)
by Susan Kaye Quinn
I love this series!

Possession in Death (In Death #31.5)
by J.D. Robb
This series is great on audio.

What I recently finished

The Dream Keeper's Daughter
by Emily Colin
My thoughts will be posted later this weelk.

The Quiet Child
by John Burley
Read my thoughts here.

A Wild Fright in Deadwood (Deadwood #7)
by Ann Charles
I just love this series!

What I am going to read next

The Art of Hiding
by Amanda Prowse
This is my first book by this author. Have you read her?

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen ~ My Thoughts


Lost Lake

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Series: Lost Lake #1 
Paperback, 352 pageg
Published May 30th 2017 by St. Martin's Paperbacks 

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.

That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby's past. Her husband, George, is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that's left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires. It's not quite enough to keep Eby from calling this her final summer at the lake, and relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand.

Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness and heartbreak and loss. Now she's all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope, too, thanks to her resilient daughter, Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren't sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it's too late?

My thoughts about Lost Lake ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"The wet night air bounced against the electric streetlamps, giving off tiny sparks like flint. Almost tripping again, Eby Pim laughed and looped her arm through George's."

I have loved every Sarah Addison Allen book I have ever read. And Lost Lake can be added to that list as well.

Lost Lake is filled with wonderful characters who all love that lake and are drawn to it for their various reasons. Returning to Lost Lake is coming home for most of those people. They experience a feeling of acceptance, happiness, and love when they set foot on the grounds.

And like most of SAA's book, this one has her touch of magic intertwined in the story which makes reading it such a great escape.

I received a copy of Lost Lake from Goodreads in exchange for my honest opinion.

Waking Kate (Lost Lake 0.5) 
 is FREE on Amazon, 
to get you started on this great series! 

Waking Kate (Lost Lake, #0.5)


About the author

Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times Bestselling author of Garden Spells (2007) The Sugar Queen (2008) The Girl Who Chased the Moon (2010) The Peach Keeper (2011) and Lost Lake (2014). Her new novel First Frost is now on sale. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.

Connect with Sarah

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.


I've got a great book for you today! It's a gently used copy of a fabulous read. This is a book that everyone seems to be talking about right now. I read it for one of my book clubs and we all loved the story and especially loved Ove. I ended up with two copies so I am letting one go. One option in the giveaway is to comment about this book or other books by this author. I am hoping you can help me pick which one of his books to read next. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

Paperback, 337 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by Washington Square Press 

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. 


About the author

Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is Britt-Marie Was Here. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children.

Connect with Fredrik


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