Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Release Day: Love, Alice by Barbara Davis ~ My Thoughts

Happy Release Day! 

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Love, Alice

Love, Alice by Barbara Davis
Print and e-book, 416 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Berkley

From the author of Summer at Hideaway Key comes a sweeping new Southern women’s fiction novel about forgiving the past one letter at a time...

The truth lies between the lines... 

A year ago, Dovie Larkin’s life was shattered when her fiancĂ© committed suicide just weeks before their wedding. Now, plagued by guilt, she has become a fixture at the cemetery where William is buried, visiting his grave daily, waiting for answers she knows will never come.

Then one day, she sees an old woman whose grief mirrors her own. Fascinated, she watches the woman leave a letter on a nearby grave. Dovie ignores her conscience and reads the letter—a mother’s plea for forgiveness to her dead daughter—and immediately needs to know the rest of the story.

As she delves deeper, a collection of letters from the cemetery’s lost and found  begins to unravel a decades-old mystery involving one of Charleston’s wealthiest families. But even as Dovie seeks to answer questions about another woman’s past—questions filled with deception, betrayal, and heartbreaking loss—she starts to discover the keys to love, forgiveness, and finally embracing the future…


My thoughts about Love, Alice ~~

(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 place smelled of sickness and damp—of tears and misery and shame."

This author is new to me but I had been seeing this book everywhere and everyone was talking about it. I knew I had to read it! This is an amazing story with a gripping storyline that kept drawing me back to it. I couldn't stop reading because I just had to find out if Alice was ever going to find her child. And would Dovie ever find peace and be able to move on with her life?

The story goes back and forth between 1962 when Alice is sent away as an unwed mother in England and the year 2005. Oh my goodness, what Alice had to endure at the Blackhurst Asylum for Unwed Mothers. And then to have her baby snatched away from her without even so much as a peek at the child. The year 2005 seems just as bleak as Dovie mourns her fiance who took his own life two weeks before their wedding. It's been a year and she still doesn't have any answers.

The characters become so intertwined in the story but they all have their own pain and secrets. The collection of letters, even though they are wrought with sadness, help to heal those that they touch. The letters are what kept me going, I hoped the letters would give me the answers I was looking for as well.

I just loved this whole story and the way that the author wove it all together. I wasn't sure how it was all going to end and it kept me guessing. What a sad but beautiful tale.    

About the author


Author of The Secrets She Carried (Penguin/NAL) The Wishing Tide, (Penguin NAL) Summer at Hideaway Key (Penguin.NAL) Love, Alice. (Penguin/Berkley) December, 2016. And coming in October 2017, When Never Comes (Lake Union)

Connect with Barbara


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Monday, December 5, 2016

Twilight Christmas: A Carolina Coast Novella by Normandie Fischer ~ My Thoughts

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Twilight Christmas

Twilight Christmas: A Carolina Coast Novella by Normandie Fischer
Series: Carolina Coast Novels Book 3
Kindle Edition
Published November 27th 2016 by Sleepy Creek Press

Two orphans. One barn. And a community in need of miracles.

Linney needs protecting, and Louis is the only one left to save her. She may be his big sister, but her Down Syndrome will get her put in an institution if he doesn’t hide her well. Only, it’s getting harder and harder to pretend he’s older than ten and to keep her safe and warm in this old storage barn. Especially at Christmas, when all his sister wants is a tree with lights, like the one at the church next door.

Pageant preparations are in full swing, and Annie Mac and her crew are involved in the excitement. So is Lieutenant Clay Dougherty, her kids' faux-father and the man who still makes her yearn for a whole lot more than she’s comfortable offering, especially when she's plagued by crazy-making nightmares.

In this heartwarming tale of magic and miracles, the Beaufort, North Carolina, folk return to rescue more than themselves.


My thoughts about Twilight Christmas ~~

(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 lines—'Louis drew his hand back from his mama's cheek. No matter how many times he shook her, cried out to her, begged her, she stayed cold and gray, No breathe, not tears, no nothing.'

I love Christmas stories and I am absolutely in love with Normandie Fischer's Carolina Coast series so to have one of her stories taking place at Christmas time is a dream come true.

In Twilight Christmas, we meet Linney and Louis, two young children who lose their mother. Louis knows they have to stay out of sight or the authorities will find them and separate the two of them. Linny will not survive without her little brother. Louis is such a sweet, responsible young man who realizes what he needs to do for them to stick together. This is all so much for him when really he should be enjoying just being a carefree little boy. You can't help but love and admire him for all that he does for his special sister, Linney.

I also got a chance to reconnect with the other kind and caring residents of Beaufort, people I met in the previous books of this wonderful series. I got to catch up with what has been going on in their lives since I last visited. The community now comes together to celebrate the holiday. We get to witness the magic of Christmas as they all pull together to make sure that everyone has what they need to be happy and safe.

I loved revisiting Beaufort and catching up with my old 'friends' and well as meeting new members of this caring community. I just love this series!

Other titles in the Carolina Coast series. 

Read my thoughts about Becalmed here.

Read my thoughts about Heavy Weather here.

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


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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? December 5, 2106


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!

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Another busy week has come and gone with this month and year just flying by. We spent the weekend full of kids and grandkiddos. After everyone left, I spent most of Sunday afternoon doing nothing but resting and reading. Heaven!

We've got another couple of busy weeks coming up. The most exciting time will be the middle of the month. We should be saying hello to our newest granddaughter. She is scheduled to make her appearance on December 16th and I can't wait to meet her. We are going to take care of her older brother who is 7 while mom and dad concentrate on the delivery, etc. It will be a busy and exciting time for all of us. This darling little one will put us a 8 grandkiddos. See why my life is so crazy busy? But I love every minute of it!  

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

What I'm currently reading/listening to

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Love, Alice
by Barbara Davis
Love this one. My thoughts will be posted later this week.

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The You I've Never Known
by Ellen Hopkins

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Spinning the Moon
by Karen White
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

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Good Sam
by Dete Meserve
(audiobook)
Great listen. My thoughts will be posted later this week.

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A Thousand Acres
by Jane Smiley

What I am going to read next

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My Name is Mary Sutter
by Robin Oliveira
This is a book club pick for next week. Love the cover, hope I like what's between the covers.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs


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. And sometimes, I find great books on Amazon that I just love to share with you.

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The book I have for the giveaway this week is one that I read several years ago for my book club. We all enjoyed the relationships of the women in the knitting club and some of us went on and read book #2. It doesn't look like Kate has published a new book in several years so I am not sure what she is up to but this book is one to enjoy. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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The Friday Night Knitting Club

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
Series: Friday Night Knitting Club #1
Paperback, 372 pages
Published January 2nd 2008 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

Once a week, an eclectic group of women comes together at a New York City yarn shop to work on their latest projects—and share the stories of their lives...

At the center of Walker and Daughter is the shop's owner, Georgia, who is overwhelmed with juggling the store and single-handedly raising her teenage daughter. Happy to escape the demands of her life, she looks forward to her Friday Night Knitting Club, where she and her friends—Anita, Peri, Darwin, Lucie, and K.C.—exchange knitting tips, jokes, and their deepest secrets. But when the man who once broke Georgia's heart suddenly shows up, demanding a role in their daughter's life, her world is shattered.

Luckily, Georgia's friends are there for encouragement, sharing their own tales of intimacy, heartbreak, and miracle making. And when the unthinkable happens, these women will discover that what they've created isn't just a knitting club: it's a sisterhood.

   

About the author



Kate Jacobs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit Two, Knit the Season, and Comfort Food. She telephones hundreds of book clubs each year to discuss her novels with readers and can be reached via her website at http://www.katejacobs.com.

Born in Canada, Kate now lives in Southern California with her husband Jon and their dog Baxter.

Connect with Kate



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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Beyond the Carousel by Bette Lee Crosby ~~ My Thoughts

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Beyond the Carousel

Beyond the Carousel by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Wyattsville #5
Kindle Edition, 243 pages
Expected publication: January 10th 2017 by Bent Pine Publishing

A FAMILY TRAGEDY, A 25 YEAR OLD MURDER, AND A DETECTIVE DETERMINED TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT...

Laura Wilkes has everything a woman could want when she snaps the carousel picture. Her daughter, a happy little five-year-old, is holding the brass ring and smiling at a daddy who adores her. Each time the carousel circles around Laura snaps another picture, seven in all. This is a day of unforgettable happiness; one of the few Laura has left.

In the months following the stock market crash, Franklin Wilkes is killed; gunned down in senseless act of vengeance. The police know who did it, but the man has disappeared. It’s the height of the depression and there are hoards of nameless, faceless men living in freight train yards and back alleys. The murderer is never caught, but Laura and Emory, her father, never give up hope of finding him.

Now, twenty-five years later, Laura’s daughter has fallen in love with Jack Mahoney a policeman working crowd control with the strikers at the Telephone Company.

Right now Mahoney is a rookie, he has little or no power, but Emory is hopeful he is the one person who can ultimately find Franklin’s killer and deliver the justice the family has long awaited.

Readers of the other Wyattsville books will welcome the chance to get to know the kind-hearted Spare Change detective as a young man about to fall in love.


Preorder from Amazon 
right now for only $2.99!

My thoughts about Beyond the Carousel ~~

(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—'They say that every man has a story to tell, and I believe this to be true. My story is one of a terrible happening, something that will send you scurrying to give your children one last kiss before you sleep. It is a tale of murder and heartbreak. Only now, after it has come full circle, can I find the strength to give it voice.'

And so starts another wonderful story by the wise and talented storyteller, Bette Lee Crosby. I love her books and I especially love the Wyattsville series. One of my favorites characters in the earlier books in this series is Jack Mahoney. Jack shows up in this book as a young man and we learn his backstory and how he got to where he is today.

As always, Bette writes memorable characters that the reader just falls in love with. She weaves her characters and story-lines together with her wonderful words. Each sentence is so beautifully written and and her paragraphs contain so much wisdom. The words just flow off the page and into my heart every time.

You really need to take a trip to Wyattsville to meet all of these wonderful characters.

And... isn't this cover just amazing?

About the author 


"Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write."

It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky characters who will steal

your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.

Connect with Bette


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reflected in Her Eyes by Deanna Lynn Sletten ~ FREE!!

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Reflected in Her Eyes

Reflected in Her Eyes: A Short Story Plus Chapter Sampler by Deanna Lynn Sletten 
Kindle Edition, 138 pages
Published November 16th 2016 by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Reflected in Her Eyes ~ A Short Story

Marissa loved her husband so much that she was willing to risk everything to give him the one thing they both wanted most: a child. Four years later, her past comes back to haunt her and now all she holds dear may be taken away from her.

My thoughts about Reflected in Her Eyes ~~ 

It's really hard to say much about a short story without giving too much away. What I can say is that another one of Deanna's works has touched my heart. This is a story with so much love and emotion in it. It brought tears to my eyes to witness such love. 

Deanna is one of my most favorite authors and she is definitely one of my must-read authors. I drop everything when I get my hands on one of her books! She is such a wonderful storyteller and she has recently published this wonderful short story along with samples of seven of her other novels.

You can get a taste of her work by checking out Reflected in Her Eyes and then you can move on through the first three chapters of some of her other stories. Trust me, you will not be disappointed! And did I mention? It's all for FREE!! 

Deanna Lynn Sletten ~ Chapter Sampler

This book also contains the first three chapters of the following novels by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Memories

Memories


Michael and Dani fell in love years before when Michael was still recovering from his tour of duty in the Vietnam War and was single-handedly raising his young daughter. Dani was only eighteen, but she was deeply in love. Then, without a word, Michael left Dani without a word of explanation. Her heartache was increased when she made a fateful decision that would alter her future and she blamed Michael for her loss. Years later, the two meet again. Michael believes they can find love together again, but Dani hates him and he doesn’t understand why. 

Dani and Michael share a journey of heartache, loss, and painful memories that threatens to keep them apart. Can they break free of the past and finally find love again?

Sara’s Promise

Sara's Promise


Do you believe in soul mates? William wife, Sara, promised him she would always be there for him and the children no matter what happened. She believed she was his soul mate and they'd be connected forever. Five years after Sara’s sudden death, William meets Annie, and is surprised by how much she reminds him of his deceased wife. Has Sara come back in the form of Annie to watch over him?

Destination Wedding

Destination Wedding


Claire Martin is excited to go on a tropical island vacation for her daughter's destination wedding except for one small detail—her ex, Jim, will be there, too. But Claire believes she can ignore Jim throughout the vacation, until a strange twist of fate thrusts them together for the entire week. Even worse, Claire soon finds she is still attracted to him. But forgiving and forgetting the past may be too difficult for Claire.

Summer of the Loon

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After the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Ali Jenson leaves California to live with the grandfather she has never met in the deep woods of Northern Minnesota. She tries and fails to connect with her grandfather, Ben, who clearly isn’t pleased about having the young teen in his home. The past and present collide as Ali tries to break through the old man’s cold exterior and find a way into his heart. Can Ben find it in his heart to accept Ali and leave the past behind?

Walking Sam

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Ryan is attracted to his new neighbor, Kristen, but she's dating someone. Kristen likes Ryan, but she thinks he’s the neighborhood playboy. Can Sam's furry charm bring these two together? A heartfelt story of two people who have to let go of the past in order to see what’s right in front of them.

Kiss a Cowboy (Book One)

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Andi is heading toward her future. Luke is hiding from his past. When the two collide, sparks fly. Can the city girl and the cowboy ignore their growing feelings for each other or are they destined to be together? A heartwarming romance.

Widow, Virgin, Whore: A Novel

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A heartwarming story of three very different women who are all at crossroads in their lives. They decide to share a home together along with their children. When one of them learns the devastating news that she is infected with HIV/AIDS, the household is turned upside down as they all learn to cope with this tragedy. It's a story about friendship, sisters, family, rebuilding broken relationships, and tolerance. 

for all of these fabulous books!


About the author

Deanna Lynn Sletten

Deanna Lynn Sletten grew up on the sunny coast of southern California before moving to northern Minnesota as a teenager. Her interest in writing novels was sparked in a college English class and she has been writing in some form or another ever since. In 2011, Deanna discovered the world of self-publishing and published three novels she'd written over the years. After that, she was hooked. Deanna has written ten novels and is currently working on her next novel due to be published by Lake Union Publishing in 2016.

Deanna enjoys writing heartwarming women's fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime. She believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, and happily ever after, and her novels reflect that.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.

Connect with Deanna

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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