Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WWW Wednesdays February 27, 2013


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Clicking on the book covers will take you to Goodreads
for more information about the books listed below.

What are you currently reading?

The Truth about Love and Lightning by Susan McBride

The Next Always by Nora Roberts
(Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #1)
(audio book)

What did you recently finish reading?


Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
Book group met last night. Mixed thoughts among the group on this one. I liked it but didn't love it. 


Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
My book group will be meeting tomorrow to discuss this one. I liked the story but it didn't blow me away.

What do you think you will read next?

When I See You by Katherine Owen 
I just love this cover and I can't wait to get started on this one.

What's on your WWW this week?

Leave me a comment and
I'll stop by to check out your reads.

And be sure to check out the sidebar
for my current giveaways!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Tour and a Giveaway: Stardust Summer by Lauren Clark


Single mom Grace Mason doesn’t believe in miracles, magic, or love at first sight. She likes the quiet life, complete with her eight-year-old son, their tiny house, and her teaching job. For Grace, happiness means that nothing much ever changes in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Then, one thousand miles away, tragedy strikes. A massive heart attack leaves Grace’s estranged father comatose in an Upstate New York hospital. While a team of doctors fight to keep Henry Mason alive, Grace and Evan rush to his bedside to say their final goodbyes.

Henry’s passing brings little closure for Grace, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to her new surroundings. What begins as a short trip results in an entire summer spent with Henry’s second wife, Kathleen, and her next-door neighbor, Ryan Gordon, the town doctor. When a series of unlikely events lead to Evan’s disappearance, Grace must face her worst fears to find her son and bring him back home.

Stardust Summer explores the complexities of forgiveness, what it means to be a family, and the fabulous possibility of falling in love—again. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts about Stardust Summer ~~

First off, let me say that I think Lauren Clark is an awesome person and I love her books. She is such a gracious author who really shows her appreciation of her readers. She is just so nice! There is no better way to describe her. I have never met her but feel like we could be friends.

I read her book, Dancing Naked in Dixie, awhile ago and loved it. My thoughts are here. When I saw that this book of hers, Stardust Summer, was going on tour I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

This was another very enjoyable read and I loved the setting, a small community with a house on a lake. Doesn't that sounds lovely? Grace and her son have to go back to Grace's hometown when her father dies unexpectedly. Grace just wants to go there, bury her father and get out of town. But can things every be that simple? Does Grace really have the life she wants in Mississippi?

Lauren is a wonderful writer who takes you, the reader, away to the nice, beautiful setting that she creates, filled with likable characters that you really come to love. Lauren has become one of my favorite authors and I definitely plan to read every book she writes.

About the author


The Deep South is the perfect setting for Lauren Clark’s novels; contemporary fiction sprinkled with secrets, sunshine, and surprises. Her heroines are real women with real obstacles in their lives; challenges that require strength, sacrifice, and personal growth. And while it’s convenient to have a prince charming on standby, Lauren’s heroines are capable of creating their own happily-ever afters–with brains, not beauty, saving the day.

A former TV anchor, Lauren is a reformed news junkie, non-reformed coffee drinker, and certified library geek. She loves the color pink, her Electra Townie bike, and any place she can see the ocean and stick her toes in the sand. Lauren adores her family, paying it forward, eight hours of sleep a night, homemade macaroni and cheese, and true-blue friends.

Connect with Lauren


Buy Stardust Summer e-book only $2.99!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cover Reveal: Beneath by Cambria Hebert


Isn't that cover just beautiful? 
Title: Beneath (Heven and Hell #3.5)
Author: Cambria Hebert
Genre: Young Adult paranormal/fantasy
Release Date: March 29, 2013
Format: Ebook only
Cover designer: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design
Order of the Heven and Hell series: 
Before
Masquerade
Between
Charade
Bewitched
Tirade
Beneath
Here's a little blurb for ya ~~ 

Beneath
Heven and Hell #3.5

Where I came from everything is perfect. Everything is beautiful and predictable. Life isn’t measured by days, but by infinite joy that never ends.

But it did.

When I fell in love with a man who was perfectly imperfect. 

The price for forbidden affection was steep and my beautiful white wings withered and died around me. 

I was fallen. I am fallen.

Years have passed, and I’ve learned the true meaning of time. I’ve learned to build a wall around myself and exist alone. Yet, when he looks at me… the heart beneath my armor trembles.

But I must remember.

I must remember that I might not have anything left to lose, but he certainly does. And risking him is something I won’t do. So I lock my feelings where they belong.

Beneath.

About the author


Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series and the Death Escorts series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. 

You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com

Connect with Cambria






Thursday, February 21, 2013

On Tour and Voices: The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers


“Happiness at someone else’s expense came at a price. Tia had imagined judgment from the first kiss that she and Nathan shared. All year, she’d waited to be punished for being in love, and in truth, she believed that whatever consequences came her way would be deserved.” Five years ago, Tia fell into obsessive love with a man she could never have. Married, and the father of two boys, Nathan was unavailable in every way. When she became pregnant, he disappeared, and she gave up her baby for adoption.

Five years ago, Caroline, a dedicated pathologist, reluctantly adopted a baby to please her husband. She prayed her misgivings would disappear; instead, she’s questioning whether she’s cut out for the role of wife and mother.

Five years ago, Juliette considered her life ideal: she had a solid marriage, two beautiful young sons, and a thriving business. Then she discovered Nathan’s affair. He promised he’d never stray again, and she trusted him.

But when Juliette intercepts a letter to her husband from Tia that contains pictures of a child with a deep resemblance to her husband, her world crumbles once more. How could Nathan deny his daughter? And if he’s kept this a secret from her, what else is he hiding? Desperate for the truth, Juliette goes in search of the little girl. And before long, the three women and Nathan are on a collision course with consequences that none of them could have predicted.

Riveting and arresting, The Comfort of Lies explores the collateral damage of infidelity and the dark, private struggles many of us experience but rarely reveal. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts about The Comfort of Lies ~~

I read Randy's first book, The Murderer's Daughters when it first came out. AND LOVED IT! I immediately added her to my list of authors that 'I have to read everything they write'. I actually read this book twice, once on my own and then again when one of my book groups picked it to read. I was so excited when it was suggested! My thoughts about The Murderer's Daughters are posted here. I saw back then that she was working on her second novel so I have been keeping my eyes pealed for it. Now here it is! And it did not disappoint me!

Randy is a wonderful writer who can spin such a great story that you just get lost in. She is one of the most creative storytellers I have read. She takes a very emotional story, a story of adoption, and presents to the readers all the points of view of that story. This is the story of the three women involved; the woman who gave up the baby, the wife of the father of the baby and the family who adopts the little girl.

The Comfort of Lies will grab you and not let go until you read the last page. You will wish that there was more. I highly recommend this to all readers of women's contemporary fiction. The Comfort of Lies will be another great book club read.

Voices

I asked Randy to respond to my usual question about voices in her head ~

I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books: the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me.

When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, others end up becoming writers. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories?

Here is what she has to say about that ~

My characters inhabit me -- they actually live inside before, during, and after the novel. I don't feel as though they talk to me so much as I see the world through their eyes along with my own. My stories come mainly form a huge "what if" -- I think about things that have happened to me or others, and what would happen if these stories were blown up to the most dramatic of proportions I can imagine.

And then, I enter that world. It's when I'm at my most complete.


About the author


The drama of Randy Susan Meyers' novels is informed by her years spent bartending, her work with violent offenders, and too many years being enamored by bad boys. Raised in Brooklyn New York, Randy now lives in Boston with her husband and is the mother of two grown daughters. She teaches writing seminars at Boston’s Grub Street Writers’ Center.

Her debut novel The Murderer’s Daughters was a finalist for the Mass Book Awards and was included as a “Must Read Book” by the Massachusetts Council of the Book. Chosen by Target as the February-March 2011 “Club Pick,” it was also a best book pick by Elle France, Daily Candy, Goodreads, The Boston Herald, The Winnipeg Free Press, and Book Reporter. The Murderer’s Daughters has been published in sixteen foreign editions and was a top title for the Book of the Month Club, Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club.

Her new novel, The Comfort of Lies will release from Atria/Simon & Schuster in February 2013. It is a story of three mothers, one child born of an affair, and the year their lives collide.

Connect with Randy


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WWW Wednesdays February 20, 2013


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Clicking on the book covers will take you to Goodreads
for more information about the books listed below.

What are you currently reading?

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
This is the book selection for February's book group. It's good but kind of a slow read so I set is aside until it's closer to our meeting date.

The Next Always by Nora Roberts
(Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #1)
(audio book)
I haven't read a Nora Roberts book in quite awhile. I think this one will be a good one to listen to in the car.

What did you recently finish reading?

Stardust Summer by Lauren Clark
I love Lauren's books and am so excited to be on this book tour.


What do you think you will read next?

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
This is another one for one of my book groups. I always wonder if I am going to like other people's suggestions or not.

What's on your WWW this week?

Leave me a comment and
I'll stop by to check out your reads.

And be sure to check out the sidebar
for my current giveaways!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Home Front by Kristin Hannah


In her bestselling novels Kristin Hannah has plumbed the depths of friendship, the loyalty of sisters, and the secrets mothers keep. Now, in her most emotionally powerful story yet, she explores the intimate landscape of a troubled marriage with this provocative and timely portrait of a husband and wife, in love and at war.

All marriages have a breaking point. All families have wounds. All wars have a cost. . . .

Like many couples, Michael and Jolene Zarkades have to face the pressures of everyday life---children, careers, bills, chores---even as their twelve-year marriage is falling apart. Then an unexpected deployment sends Jolene deep into harm’s way and leaves defense attorney Michael at home, unaccustomed to being a single parent to their two girls. As a mother, it agonizes Jolene to leave her family, but as a solider she has always understood the true meaning of duty. In her letters home, she paints a rose-colored version of her life on the front lines, shielding her family from the truth. But war will change Jolene in ways that none of them could have foreseen. When tragedy strikes, Michael must face his darkest fear and fight a battle of his own---for everything that matters to his family.

At once a profoundly honest look at modern marriage and a dramatic exploration of the toll war takes on an ordinary American family, Home Front is a story of love, loss, heroism, honor, and ultimately, hope. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

Our thoughts about Home Front ~~

My book group, The Book Bags, won copies of Home Front and we read it for our January meeting. A year ago, we all read Night Road by Hannah also. We enjoyed both of these books, they both deal with situations that are of the times right now and are very emotional. I personally, found myself having to stop after reading some of the chapters, just to catch my breath and compose myself. Wonderful writing, Kristin!

Home Front deals with a soldier wife and mom who gets deployed and has to leave her family for a year. All of the family members have to deal with a lot of changes while Jolene is gone. And then even more when she comes home. And this whole process is definitely not an easy thing to go through, for anyone. As one of our members remarked, 'This book should be required reading for every family who has to go through this.'

We talked about all the various names for the condition that soldiers suffer that have been used in the past: PTSD, shell shock, battle fatigue, shell shock and soldier's heart. Another member shared with us that this story made her think of her dad and what he went through when he came home. All soldiers suffer immensely after witnessing war, no matter which war it is.

A wonderful line that we talked about a lot went something like this ~ we get trained to go to war, but not how to come home. This is so true and this book gives us just a small glimpse of how much devastation can happen to families when one member does come back from war; they are definitely changed.

Another comment made was the fact that this story had the wife/mom going off to war as opposed to the husband/dad. This story gives us a very different point of view from what we usually think about when we hear that someone has been deployed.

The most likable characters in the story, for us anyway, were Conny, the physical therapist who lays it on the line for Jolene and Mila, Jolene's mother-in-law. We loved them both! And the least favorite was Michael, who really needed to 'figure it out'.

Overall, we all really loved the story and love Kristin's writing. Some did feel that the story line was sort of predictable but that it did not take away from the enjoyment and emotions of the story.

Thanks to ReadingGroupGuides.com for sending us copies of this wonderful book!

The Book Bags Book Group

There are usually 8 of us but there were some conflicts the night we met and not everyone could attend. It happens. We had a great discussion though.


The Book Bags with our wonderful waiter,
who takes very good care of us when we meet at Perkins.


About the author


Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the blockbuster Firefly Lane and Night Road. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her husband.

Connect with Kristin



Friday, February 15, 2013

Recalled Release Day Blitz!


Love or Death? A simple question really. The choice seems obvious. But. What if you never knew love, what if your life was spent just trying to survive? What if you knew your fate before you were fully grown?

And then you died.

And you were given another chance. A better chance.

This new life depended upon one thing: your job. And so you agreed. You thought it would be simple. You thought it would be cut and dry.

It never is.

And now you are left holding the fate of someone else in the palm of your hand and you have to make the ultimate choice.

Love or Death?


Here's an excerpt for you ~~


“Proposition - An offer of a private bargain. A plan suggested for acceptance; a proposal.”

“Opportunity would be abundant and you could create a whole new identity for yourself.”

I was tempted sure, but still something kept me from accepting right away. “What’s the catch?”

There was always a catch.

“In return for your life, your new and improved life, you would come and work for me.”

“Doing what?”

“You will be an Escort.”

On the streets another name for Escort was a prostitute. “I don’t think I would look good in a dress and heels.”

“You joke. You’re funny.” Mr. Burns said, smiling. “Not that kind of Escort. This is more exclusive. More important.”

“So what exactly will I be Escorting?” I asked more confused than before.

Mr. Burns looked at me, his little beady eyes gleamed with excitement and he smiled, causing his cheekbones to jut outward.

“Death. You will be a Death Escort.”


About the author


Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series and the upcoming Death Escorts series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book.

You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com


Connect with Cambria



And remember, you can go get a copy of Recalled
for only 99 cents ~ for a limited time!


Winners @ The Book Bag!!

I had several giveaways ending all about the same time so I waited until they were all done so I could announce the winners in one post. 

First up is the Follower Love Giveaway Hop


Let me tell you, this was one amazing hop! I gained over 150 new followers on this hop and went over 1100. UN-Believable!! I asked for some love and man, I got it! I really wish I could make everyone a winner. I guess the only thing to do would be to have more giveaways! 

Next up was the giveaway for 2 Kindle copies of the amazing story, The Life We Dream donated by the author. 

Thank you, J.H. Glaze!

You can read my thoughts here



And last but not least, I had the giveaway for the fabulous book, Joy for Beginners


Another book I loved and you can ready my thoughts here

I have a couple other giveaways going on right now so go check them out too. 

And I will be participating in the No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop in March ~ I love that hop! 

Okay, so do you want to know who the winners are, as drawn by Rafflecopter? 

Right now? 

Really? 

Ready?

Joy for Beginners winner is ....

Shelly Hammond

The Life We Dream winners are ....

Fiery Na and Bidisha Banerjee
(one of the winners didn't respond within 48 hours so another winner was drawn and has been notified)

And the winner of the Followers Love Hop is .......

Diah Didi

Congrats to all of these winners. Emails will be sent soon and you have 48 hours to respond. 

Be sure to check out the sidebar for my current giveaways! 


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Fall in love with a good book this Valentine's Day weekend!


I LOVE this graphic!

And I LOVE Valentine's Day!

I'm not really sure why I love V-Day. I have the most unromantic husband ever but I just really love everything about this time of the year. I don't know if it's the hearts or the red everywhere or just what it is. It all just makes me happy!

Love is in the air . . . and it can be on your Kindle, too!

Do you want to fall in love with a good book this Valentine's Day weekend? How about 9? Then don't miss this special promotion.

For four days only (February 14th - February 17th), 9 popular Chick Lit authors will be lowering the prices on their favorite rom-coms to 99 cents on Amazon.com! At that price, (a bottle of wine costs more!) why not sample them all? Some delicious literary treats await you, and unlike chocolates these goodies are calorie-free!

And guys: If your sweetie is a book-lover, you'll make her Valentine's Day by gifting her with one (or more) of our fun, romantic stories!

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey

Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind?


In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister

Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself?


Rita Hayworth’s Shoes by Francine LaSala

Jilted bride Amy's down on everything until she convinces herself to purchase a cute, ridiculously expensive pair of second-hand shoes. Once she does, life starts looking up, and she falls into an unexpected new romance with the last man she'd ever expect to love. But can a pair of shoes really be magic? And is her new prince really just a frog?


Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie

When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancĂ© who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure?


The Green Ticket by Samantha March

College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty, but her good fortune quickly turns disastrous when she realizes her job is filled with lies, betrayal, and cover-ups. Keeping up with classes, her girlfriends and a budding romance, Alex feels the pressure – but will she overcome the challenges?


Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer

Disgraced New York fashionista, Maya Kirkwood, is fashioning herself a new life as an artist in San Francisco when she's hired to do an installation of her work by dorky, yet dashing dotcom executive, Derek. The sparks soon start to fly... But is this a good thing?


A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr

Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables!


True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano

When her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris, Marlo Spencer travels to her hometown to try to rekindle their relationship. But when dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and betrayals are revealed, can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart?


Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone

Lauren Tate’s perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart goes missing.




Happy Valentine's Day everyone!


On Tour: News From Heaven and a Giveaway!


The bestselling author of Faith and The Condition returns with a collection of unforgettable short stories inspired by a Pennsylvania coal-mining town and the people who call it home.

When her iconic novel Baker Towers was published in 2005, it was hailed as a modern classic--"compassionate and powerful . . . a song of praise for a too-little-praised part of America, for the working families whose toils and constancy have done so much to make the country great" (Chicago Tribune). Its young author, Jennifer Haigh, was "an expert natural storyteller with an acute sense of her characters' humanity" (New York Times).

Now, in this collection of interconnected short stories, Jennifer Haigh returns to the vividly imagined world of Bakerton, Pennsylvania, a coal-mining town rocked by decades of painful transition. From its heyday during two world wars through its slow decline, Bakerton is a town that refuses to give up gracefully, binding--sometimes cruelly--succeeding generations to the place that made them. A young woman glimpses a world both strange and familiar when she becomes a live-in maid for a Jewish family in New York City. A long-absent brother makes a sudden and tragic homecoming. A solitary middle-aged woman tastes unexpected love when a young man returns to town. With a revolving cast of characters--many familiar to fans of Baker Towers--these stories explore how our roots, the families and places in which we are raised, shape the people we eventually become.

News from Heaven looks unflinchingly at the conflicting human desires for escape and for connection, and explores the enduring hold of home. ~~ from Goodreads

My thoughts about News from Heaven ~~

News from Heaven is a collection of short stories featuring some of the characters from Haigh's previous novel, Baker Towers. I really enjoyed reading Baker Towers and posted my thoughts about it here.

Bakerton is a struggling coal mining town full of rich characters. We come to know these characters in Baker Towers and get to watch them grow up and grow old. News from Heaven digs a little deeper into some of the character's back stories and we get to understand them a little more. It also gives us a peek into the lives of some of the other people of Bakerton who played minor roles in Baker Towers but did actually have their own full and exciting lives too.

Jennifer has written two, wonderful character rich stories about a important time in our history. I spent an amazing time in Bakerton, getting to know all these people and their neighbors. I highly recommend both of these books if you like reading character-driven, generational stories of times past.

Earlier this month, Jennifer was on Book Club Girl
talking about her book, News from Heaven.
You can listen to that interview here.

About the author

Jennifer Haigh is an American novelist and short story writer. Her most recent novel, FAITH (HarperCollins, 2010), tells the story of a beloved Boston priest accused of a molesting a child. Her previous novels include the New York Times bestsellers THE CONDITION and BAKER TOWERS, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author. Her critically acclaimed debut novel MRS. KIMBLE won the 2004 PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction.

Jennifer Haigh's next book, a collection of short stories entitled NEWS FROM HEAVEN, will be published in February 2013. In it she returns to the landscape of Bakerton, the western Pennsylvania coal town that is the setting for BAKER TOWERS. Characters from that novel -- indomitable Joyce Novak, her eccentric sister Dorothy and mysterious younger brother Sandy -- will return for encore performances.

Haigh was raised in Pennsylvania and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2002. Her short stories have been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, Ploughshares and many other places, including the forthcoming Best American Short Stories 2012. She lives in the Boston area.


Connect with Jennifer


I have Baker Towers and News from Heaven to giveaway!
Both books are set in in Bakerton and I want one lucky person to have them both.

Be sure to check out the sidebar for my other giveaways!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WWW Wednesdays February 13, 2013


WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Clicking on the book covers will take you to Goodreads
for more information about the books listed below.

What are you currently reading?

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
This is the book selection for February's book group. I had never heard of it before. Have you? I hope I like it. 

The Next Always by Nora Roberts
(Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #1)
(audio book)
I haven't read a Nora Roberts book in quite awhile. I think this one will be a good one to listen to in the car. 

What did you recently finish reading?

The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
I read Randy's first book The Murderer's Daughters and loved it! This one is just as good! My thoughts will be posted later this month. 

What do you think you will read next?

Touch by Alexi Zentner
I met this author at our book festival a year or so ago and got the book signed. I love this cover and I am not sure what they did, but the cover feels awesome too. This will be book #2 for my TBR Pile Challenge.
What's on your WWW this week?

Leave me a comment and
I'll stop by to check out your reads.

And be sure to check out the sidebar
for my current giveaways!


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh


Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens -- and the five children of the Novak family -- the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change. Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past, and to the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. It is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts about Baker Towers ~~

Jennifer Haigh is such a wonderful story teller. She is able to weave the lives of all these people who live in the small community of Bakerton, set in the 1940s. It was amazing to be taken back to that time period and live life along with all of them. Times were hard, living in a mining town but the people persevered and got through it.

I read one person's comment about Baker Towers who said she really didn't care for the book because there wasn't much of a plot. Life is the plot in this book. This is a story centered around the characters and Jennifer does an amazing job of character development. There are so many people in this story and the reader gets to know all of them and gets to understand how their lives are all connected.

This would be a wonderful book for a book group to read and discuss. There would be so much to talk about. I loved Baker Towers and I love Jennifer's stories. I will definitely be reading more of her books!

On Thursday, I will be posting my thoughts about Jennifer's newest book, News from Heaven, so you will want to come back for that.

And .... I am going to be holding a giveaway for one lucky person to win both Baker Towers and News from Heaven from me. Since the two books are both about Bakerton, I want them to go together to the same person. My thoughts about News from Heaven will be posted on the 14th, so come back then to see what I have to say about it and to enter the giveaway.

About the author


Jennifer Haigh is an American novelist and short story writer. Her most recent novel, FAITH (HarperCollins, 2010), tells the story of a beloved Boston priest accused of a molesting a child. Her previous novels include the New York Times bestsellers THE CONDITION and BAKER TOWERS, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author. Her critically acclaimed debut novel MRS. KIMBLE won the 2004 PEN/Hemingway Award for first fiction.

Jennifer Haigh's next book, a collection of short stories entitled NEWS FROM HEAVEN, will be published in February 2013. In it she returns to the landscape of Bakerton, the western Pennsylvania coal town that is the setting for BAKER TOWERS. Characters from that novel -- indomitable Joyce Novak, her eccentric sister Dorothy and mysterious younger brother Sandy -- will return for encore performances.

Haigh was raised in Pennsylvania and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2002. Her short stories have been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, Ploughshares and many other places, including the forthcoming Best American Short Stories 2012. She lives in the Boston area.

Connect with Jennifer



Monday, February 11, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and a Giveaway!


It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery....

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.

With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts about The Book Thief ~~

I 'had' to read this book for one of my book groups a while back. I will be honest. I was not looking forward to reading it and actually was dreading it. Why do some women pick such horrible books when it is their turn to select one? But I sucked it up and read it. I really do try to read all the books selected before we meet, broaden my horizons, right? Step out of my comfort zone?

Well, let me tell you! I loved this book! Surprise! Surprise! The story really drew me in and I found myself flying through the book.

And then guess what? My other book group selected it to read just recently. I was running short on time and was not able to re-read it but the night before we met, I did skim through it to refresh my memory. I found myself really wishing I would have taken the time to read it again. It's that great of a story.

I rarely read a book more than once, there are so many books out there waiting to be discovered. But The Book Thief is going on my list of books to visit again, someday.

About the author


Markus Zusak is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which has topped bestseller lists ranging from the New York Times in America, the Sunday Times in the UK, as well as countries in Europe, South America and Asia.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry, released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally and garnered a number of awards in Australia.

The Messenger, published in 2002, won the 2003 CBC Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize), as well as receiving a Printz Honour in America.

In 2005, The Book Thief was released and is now translated into over thirty languages. As well as receiving awards in Australia and overseas, The Book Thief has held the number one position at Amazon.com, the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in Brazil, Ireland and Taiwan. It has been in the top five in the UK, Spain, Israel and Korea, and is still set to be released in many other territories.

The Age calls it ‘an original, moving, beautifully written book’. The Guardian: ‘A novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told’. The New York Times: ‘Brilliant and hugely ambitious...the kind of book that can be life-changing’.

Markus lives in Sydney, Australia.

Connect with Markus

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win this amazing book!
And be sure to check out the sidebar for my other giveaways!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Dragon Empire by Heather McCorkle Blog Tour


Today we're celebrating the release of Heather McCorkle's fantasy novel, The Dragon Empire! For today's stop, Heather is answering the following questions:

Is this novel the beginning of a new series? 
And what can we expect next from you?

Heather: In the traditional sense that most people think of, no. But in a way it is. There are several more novels coming that are set in this world and involve these characters. The next novel will be about Torin, one of the people that Grendar meets in The Dragon Empire and it will be a New Adult fantasy novel.


Here is a little bit about it ~~

On Yacrana dragons are the advanced species. But advanced doesn't always mean civilized...

There's trouble in the Dragon Empire, the kind that could start a war between dragons and the races of people. Hidden factions of dragons believe they should rule the lesser races, not simply stand aside and allow them to develop as they will. Having lived so long in peace, the Emperors turn a blind eye, many oblivious that such attitudes even exist.

Despite being only an architect class, emerald dragon, Grendar is willing to risk banishment and death to stop that which his rulers refuse to see. The hope of peace lies not within the scaled breast of a dragon however, but within the hands of a group of people. But if the hidden factions have their way, these people won’t live to fulfill such a destiny. With a reluctant seer at his side, Grendar must leave his precious Empire for the outside world to save those that will one day save his kind.

While The Dragon Empire is for ages young adult and up, it does contain mild violence and some difficult subject matter. 




Friday, February 8, 2013

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin and a Giveaway!


The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty and love that binds them together

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever. ~~ from Goodreads

My thoughts about Where We Belong ~~

I won this audio book from another blogger's giveaway. I have never read any books by Emily Giffin before but I know she is a very popular author. And has had movies made from her books. I don't really listen to a lot of audio books and when I do, they go kind of slow for me because I live in a rather small town and don't need to drive very long to go from place to place. So this book was just perfect! It was easy to pick up where I left off and I wasn't lost when I got back to it.

The story deals with some very current and emotional topics and I don't want to give away any spoilers so I am going to stop there. I do want to say that the story is very well written and very enjoyable. The book is read by Orlagh Cassidy and she does an amazing job. All of the characters have different 'voices' and it was very easy to realize who was taking. Most of us have certain authors we love and we always want to get their books ~ I am going to be paying attention to the reader in future audio books I might pick up and if it's read by Orlagh, I know it will be an enjoyable listen.

I am going to pass this audio book along to one of you
and I hope you enjoy it too.

About the Author


Emily Giffin, a Chicago native, graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After law school, she moved to Manhattan and practiced litigation at a large firm for several years while she paid back her school loans, wrote a novel in her very limited spare time, and dreamed of becoming a writer.

Despite the rejection of her first manuscript, Giffin persisted, retiring from the legal profession and moving to London to pursue her dreams fulltime. It was there that she began writing Something Borrowed (2004), a story of a young woman who, upon turning thirty, finally learned to take a risk and follow her heart. One year later, Giffin's own gamble paid off, as she completed her manuscript, landed an agent and signed a two-book deal on both sides of the Atlantic. The following summer, Something Borrowed, hailed as a "heartbreakingly honest debut" with "dead-on dialogue, real-life complexity and genuine warmth," became a surprise sensation, and Giffin vowed never to practice law again.

Dubbed a "modern day Jane Austen" and a "dependably down-to-earth storyteller," Giffin has since penned four more New York Times bestsellers, Something Blue (2005), Baby Proof (2006), Love the One You're With (2008) and Heart of the Matter (2010). Her five novels, all filled with her endearingly flawed characters and emotional complexity, have been translated into twenty-nine languages, with five million copies in print worldwide. In addition, three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen, and Something Borrowed has been fast-tracked for an early 2010 shoot by the production companies of Hilary Swank and Edward Burns.

Giffin now resides with her husband and three young children in Atlanta, where she received the Georgia Debut Author of the Year Award. She is currently at work on her sixth novel and a screenplay for Baby Proof.
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