Thursday, September 29, 2016

Release Day Blitz: In the Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold ~ Guest Post and an Excerpt

Happy Release Day!

In the Line of Duty

In the Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold
Series: Detective Madison Knight
Published by: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.
Release date: September 29, 2016
Approximately 292 pages

He devoted his life to seeking justice. But would she get any for him?

It was an ordinary day for police officer Barry Weir. It was the end of shift, he was tired, and he just wanted to get home to his wife and kids. But someone had other plans for him, shooting him down and forcing him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

When news of Weir’s murder reaches the department, it leaves Detective Madison Knight and every cop in the Stiles PD itching for revenge. It cuts Madison’s boyfriend, colleague, and Weir’s childhood friend, Troy Matthews, deepest of all, driving him away from everyone he loves just when they need one another the most.

With evidence pointing to a gang-related drive-by, Madison and her team investigate the town’s seedy underbelly in search of justice for their fallen brother. But the deeper they dig, the more convoluted the case becomes. Now they need to figure out if this was a random shooting as part of a gang initiation, a straight-up hate crime, or a targeted kill. But with members of the Stiles PD under attack, they have to do it fast…before more officers pay with their lives.

Purchase In the Line of Duty

About the Detective Madison Knight series

Murder. Investigation. The pursuit of justice. Do you love trying to figure out whodunit? How about investigating alongside police detectives from the crime scene to the forensics lab and everywhere in between? Do you love a strong female lead? Then I invite you to meet Detective Madison Knight as she solves murders with her male partner, utilizing good old-fashioned investigative work aided by modern technology.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Law & Order, CSI, Blue Bloods, Rizzoli & Isles, Women’s Murder Club, and Hawaii Five-O.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning: Ties That Bind, Justified, Sacrifice, Found Innocent, Just Cause, Deadly Impulse, In the Line of Duty, Life Sentence (Bonus Prequel).

For the Love of Police

Police officers and departments are especially hot topics right now, whether it be in regards to police brutality or the use of excessive force. It seems there is a clear line between people who respect them and people who despise them. But how does that choice come to be?

We all make decisions based on information that comes our way, but what if everything we read in the media about police taking harsh action isn’t correct? What if these articles are missing key intel? Unless we were in an officer’s shoes, how can we really know what transpired?

All of us have played—or at least are familiar with—the telephone game. In this, it’s easy to see how a message changes as it moves down the line. The same, too, I would suspect, is the case when it comes to reporting. But that’s only one way that information can get garbled, making it uncertain and difficult to claim as truth. Reports are also often colored by the viewpoint of a source. If that source is prejudiced against the police, it will immediately taint his or her reaction to a situation; before knowing any facts, the police will be cast in an unfavorable light.

I’m not saying that police always make the right decisions; they are human, after all. There are even some corrupt cops. However, I feel that people need to appreciate that unless they are there, in the moment, there’s no way of truly knowing why a certain course of action was taken.

As a result of my own respect for law enforcement, I have dedicated In the Line of Duty to all the fine men and women who serve or have served, and in memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. While most of us would run from gunfire, they run toward it. That right there is enough to warrant my respect. Just imagine what the world would be like without police. In two words, utter chaos.

—Carolyn Arnold
Author of In the Line of Duty (Detective Madison Knight series)

Excerpt from Chapter 4:

Madison walked through the station, feeling as though time was moving in slow motion as she first headed to her desk. Once there, she took a seat and opened the bottom drawer, nausea swirling in her gut as she pulled out a clear plastic Baggie. It was where she kept her mourning band. She’d hoped to never need it again…

She pulled it out, and for a few seconds, she held onto it, letting her fingers dip into the thin ribbing in the half-inch-wide black cloth. She unclipped her badge from its holder and slipped the band on, carefully placing it so that it ran horizontally across the center of her badge. As she stared down at the badge, thinking about what that simple band of black meant, a single tear crept down her cheek. But she didn’t have time to dwell on her fallen brother and grieve right now.

She swiped at her eyes and returned the Baggie to the drawer and headed for the briefing.

Even with her detour, she beat Sergeant Winston there. Sovereign and Stanford were already in the room along with about sixty officers. It was standing room only, and Madison scanned the crowd for Troy. But there was no sign of him or of her partner, Terry Grant. She didn’t see the police chief, either.

Andrea Fletcher, Troy’s older sister, had taken over the position almost seven months ago. To say she was a vast improvement over her predecessor was putting it mildly. Patrick McAlexandar was a chauvinist pig who had been in bed with the Russian mafia—the same mafia that almost killed her five months ago. And she was certain there was still a hit out for her. She couldn’t allow the passage of time to lull her into thinking it had gone away. If McAlexandar’s track record wasn’t bad enough, he also had aspirations to be the city’s mayor, but Madison would do whatever she could to sabotage his efforts.

Terry walked into the room then and came over to her. She hugged her partner without hesitation. As much as they teased and rankled each other, he was like the brother she’d never had.

“I didn’t see you at the hospital,” she said as she released him.

“We must have just missed each other. I got there as soon as I could. Dani’s still not sleeping through the night.”

“She is only two months old,” she reminded him.

Spoken like someone who knew kids…which she didn’t.

“That’s what Annabelle tells me, and she’s such a good mother. Besides—” Terry gestured around the room “—complaining about the lack of sleep doesn’t really seem like a big deal in light of everything.” He fell silent for a few seconds and then added, “I can’t believe he’s gone.”

“Me neither.” The nausea that had settled into the pit of her gut didn’t seem like it would be going away anytime soon.

Sergeant Winston entered the room, his mourning band also on his badge. Terry was working on getting his band in place, too.

The sergeant stood at the front of the room. He cleared his throat, and all the chatter stopped. “As you may have heard, Officer Barry Weir was shot and killed this morning.”

About the Author

Carolyn Arnold is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: Police Procedurals Respected by Law Enforcement™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with Carolyn

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On Tour: Night Ringing by Laura Foley and an Excerpt

Visit other stops on the tour here

Night Ringing

Night Ringing by Laura Foley
Published by Headmistress Press on January 11th 2016
Genres: Poetry 

"I revel in the genius of simplicity" Laura Foley writes as she gives us in plain-spoken but deeply lyrical moments, poems that explore a life filled with twists and turns and with many transformations. Through it all is a search for a fulfilling personal and sexual identity, a way to be most fully alive in the world. From multicultural love affairs through marriage with a much older man, through raising a family, through grief, to lesbian love affairs, "Night Ringing" is the portrait of a woman willing to take risks to find her own best way. And she does this with grace and wisdom. As she says: "All my life I've been swimming, not drowning."-Patricia Fargnoli, author of "Winter, Duties of the Spirit, " and "Then, Something

"I love the words and white space of poetry. I love stories even more. In this collection, Laura Foley evokes stories of crystallized moments, of quiet and overpowering emotion, of bathtubs and lemon chicken. The author grows up on the pages, comes of age, and reconciles past with present. Almost. Try to put the book down between poems to savor each experience. Try, but it won't be easy. -Joni B. Cole, author of "Toxic Feedback, Helping Writers Survive and Thrive"

Plain-spoken and spare, Laura Foley's poems in "Night Ringing" trace a life story through a series of brief scenes: separate, intense moments of perception, in which the speaker's focus is arrested, when a moment opens to reveal a glimpse of the larger whole. Memories of a powerful, enigmatic father, a loving but elusive mother, a much older husband, thread Foley's stories of childhood, marriage and motherhood, finally yielding to the pressure of her attention, as she constructs a series of escapes from family expectations, and moves toward a new life. In these lucid, intense poems, Foley's quiet gaze, her concentration, and emotional accuracy of detail, render this collection real as rain. -Cynthia Huntington, author of "Heavenly Bodies"

Foley's voice rings with quiet authority undercut by calamity, examining a life so extraordinary, she seems to have lived several people's lives, setting a high bar for poetic craft she meets, in great mystery perfectly expressed in the tiny, quotidian, "spent matches pressed on wet pavement," to soulful beauty, "as wind lifts/every shining wave"; in wisdom rooted in humor, from the deliciously funny "Flunking Jung," to self-deprecating wit, misreading "poetic" as "pathetic," reminding us wisdom is love, grown from self-compassion. -April Ossmann, author of "Anxious Music"

Purchase Night Ringing


Ode to My Feet

For years I’ve thought them queer,
hiding them
in steamy boots and sneakers,
but recently, I’ve begun to like
their well-worked lines, blue
veins, tapered, skinny elegance.
Funny looking, yes, oddly
protuberant, awkwardly angled,
unlike anyone else’s,
models for a medieval statue’s,
ancient granite feet
on a church facade,
thoroughly unmodern.
Yet, how well they climb steep cliffs,
work my slinky kayak’s rudder,
how they tingle, tapping to music
across a wooden floor,
dangling below me
when I sit on high seats,
and turning pink as we wade
the cool mountain pond,
warming, as they carry me
faithfully home to rest.

About the author

Laura Foley is the author of five poetry collections. The Glass Tree won the Foreword Book of the Year Award, Silver, and was a Finalist for the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Outstanding Book of Poetry. Joy Street won the Bi-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Inquiring Mind, Pulse Magazine, Poetry Nook, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review and in the British Aesthetica Magazine. She won Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Award and the Grand Prize for the Atlanta Review’s International Poetry Contest.

Connect with Laura

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On Tour and Release Day: The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti ~ My Thoughts and a Giveaway!

Happy Release Day!


The Vanishing Year

The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti
Print and ebook, 304 pages
Published: September 27th 2016 by Atria Books

 Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.

What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.

As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely.

My thoughts about The Vanishing Year ~~

(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—'Lately, I've been dreaming about my mother. Not Evelyn, the only mother I've ever known, the woman who raised me and loved me and taught me to swim in the fresh water of Lake Chabot, bake a sticky sweet pecan pie, fly-fish.'

The Vanishing Year is an edge of your seat, you'll never guess what's coming, kind of story. This book blew me away and I was so tense in some parts that I couldn't read fast enough. I just wanted to get everyone through it, safe and sound. Whew! And I loved every minute of it!!

There are so many secrets in this story, so many twists and turns, and so many people who are not who you think they are. Some of the characters do things you wouldn't think they would or could do.

What an intense ride this journey took me on and it kept me guessing up to the very end. I love when that happens and this is a story I won't forget anytime soon. I am definitely going to check out other books by Kate Moretti.

Review copy received from ATRIA BOOKS,
a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc. 
in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Purchase The Vanishing Year

IndieBound | Apple | Blio | Google | Kobo 

About the author
Photo courtsey of Pooja Dhar at PR Photograph

Kate Moretti is the New York Times bestselling author of Thought I Knew You, Binds That Tie, and While You Were Gone. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two kids. Find out more at, or follow her on Twitter (@KateMoretti1) or Facebook (KateMorettiWriter).

Connect with Kate

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Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? September 26, 2016

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!


Well, we survived the wedding. And..... I pretty much slept the whole way back in the car, so I didn't get in the reading time like I had hoped. Oh, well. Later this week is the state library conference so I will get to spend 3 days with librarians and book people. One of the authors I am excited to connect with is April Henry. She is going to be there giving a session. She writes mainly YA mystery, which is a nice change (for me at least) from YA paranormal, romance, and fantasy. It should be a great conference and it is nice to connect with library people from around the state.

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

What I'm currently reading/listening to

by Catherine McKenzie
I love Catherine's stories!

Meanwhile, Back in Deadwood (Deadwood #6)
by Ann Charles

What I recently finished

The Girl I Used to Be
by April Henry
April is going to be at our library conference later this week. It will be great to hear her talk about her book.

The Vanishing Year
by Kate Moretti
My thoughts will be posted tomorrow.

What I am going to read next

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee
by Mary G. Thompson
This cover is so intriguing to me. I can't wait to see what's inside.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop 2016

I want to give a big shout out to the hosting blog of this awesome hop, Bookhounds

Libraries and books have been a huge part of my life ~ my entire life. Growing up, I was a regular patron at our small town library and as an adult, I have worked in libraries for over 24 years now.

Banned Books Week is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country draw attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of challenged books and hosting a variety of events. The 2016 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 25 - October 1.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. There were 275 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2015, and many more go unreported.

Over this recent past decade, 5,099* challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom.
  • 1,577 challenges due to "sexually explicit" material;
  • 1,291 challenges due to "offensive language";
  • 989 challenges due to materials deemed "unsuited to age group";
  • 619 challenged due to "violence"' and
  • 361 challenges due to "homosexuality."
The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. They compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools.

For my giveaway, the winner can select any banned book they want (up to $15) from the list of top 10 books challenged in 2015. (see above) OR.... you know what? Let's go broader. The winner can pick ANY book that made the Top Ten Challenged Books Lists by Year: 2001-2014!

Top Ten Challenged Books of 2015

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).

3. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.

Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).

Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).

Reasons: Religious viewpoint.

7. Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).

8. Habibi by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.

Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.

10. Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

This giveaway is for any challenged book from 2001-2015 ~ up to $15 (INT). The book will be shipped from Amazon or The Book Depository, if they ship to your country. Winners have 48 hours to respond to an email or another winner will be selected. 

And don't forget to hop on over to the rest of the blogs for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Chase by DiAnn Mills

I have sooooo many books! I have a ton of print books and probably even more e-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. 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 a little over 2 years ago 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.


This week's book is another one that I got from my daughter when she moved and had to shrink her book collection. She does love mysteries!

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


 The Chase

The Chase by DiAnn Mills
Series: Crime Scene: Houston
ARC, 368 pages
Published March 31st 2012 by Zondervan

To the FBI it’s a cold case. To Kariss Walker it’s a hot idea that could either reshape or ruin her writing career. And it’s a burning mission to revisit an event she can never forget.

Five years ago, an unidentified little girl was found starved to death in the woods behind a Houston apartment complex. A TV news anchor at the time, Kariss reported on the terrifying case. Today, as a New York Times bestselling author, Kariss intends to turn the unsolved mystery into a suspense novel. Enlisting the help of FBI Special Agent Tigo Harris, Kariss succeeds in getting the case reopened.

But the search for the dead girl’s missing mother yields a discovery that plunges the partners into a witch’s brew of danger. The old crime lives on in more ways than either of them could ever imagine. Will Kariss’s pursuit of her dream as a writer carry a deadly price tag? Drawing from a real-life cold case, bestselling novelist DiAnn Mills presents a taut collage of suspense, faith, and romance in The Chase.

About the author

DiAnn Mills

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at

Connect with DiAnn

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cover Reveal: Come This Way by Michelle Schlicher and a Giveaway!

Come This Way

A hiking and outdoor enthusiast, fifty-year-old Fern Conrad can’t imagine spending her time doing anything else, much to the dismay of her daughter, Colby.

Kara Dawson, a twenty-five-year-old student therapist, has shut life out to focus on her sister’s illness. That is, until a chance meeting pushes her to confront the possibilities—by letting go and moving forward.

Eighty-three-year-old Nettie Campbell heals in the hospital while facing the consequences of her actions. Can she repair relationships and forge new bonds as she comes to terms with the truth?

Come This Way is an emotional, honest look into the lives of women who are discovering their own strength. It is a story about difficult choices and the people around us who help us find our way.

Expected publication date: 
October 21, 2016

Pre-order links

You could win one of two signed copies of 
Come This Way

Check out Michelle's website for more details!

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On Tour: #TheKeptWoman by Karin Slaughter #TLCBookTours ~ My Thoughts


The Kept Woman

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter
Series: Will Trent #8
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published: September 20th 2016 by William Morrow 

Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.

Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them. 

The author of the acclaimed standalone Pretty Girls returns with this long-awaited new novel in her bestselling Will Trent series—an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges the Georgia detective into the darkest depths of a case that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn't belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found.

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city’s most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers—a man who’s already gotten away with rape, despite Will’s exhaustive efforts to put him away.

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will’s troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a searing novel of love, loss, and redemption. A seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller, it marks Karin Slaughter’s triumphant return to her most popular series, sure to please new and diehard fans alike.

Purchase The Kept Woman

My thoughts about The Kept Woman ~~

(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—'For the first time in her life, she cradled her daughter in her arms.'

Wow! Another super intense, didn't want it to stop, story from a fabulous author! I have loved everything I have read by Karin. This is book #8 in the Will Trent series and I have to be honest here, I have only read one other book in this series. But.... I didn't feel like I was missing anything by jumping in where I did. This book was intriguing and exciting, all on it's own.

I love Will and I really want to know more about him. He truly is trying to make a good, happy life for himself, even when the past creeps back into his world. The Kept Woman is full of twists and turns and has plenty of action that had me flying through the pages. Karin is a master storyteller and is one of my 'must-read' authors now. I just love her stories!

I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.

Visit other stops on the tour here

About the author

Karin Slaughter is the #1 internationally bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including the Will Trent and Grant County series and the instant New York Times bestselling standalones, Cop Town and Pretty Girls. There are more than 35 million copies of her books in print around the world.

Connect with Karin

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan ~ My Thoughts, an Excerpt, and a Giveaway!

Happy Release Day! 

The Bookshop on the Corner

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
Paperback and e-book, 368 pages
Published: September 20th 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks

Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? In this valentine to readers, librarians, and book-lovers the world over, the New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Meg Donohue, Sophie Kinsella, and Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

My thoughts about The Bookshop on the Corner ~~

(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 problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things.'

Oh my gosh, as a book lover, how can I not just love this cover and this story? It is all about books, librarians, and book lovers of all kinds.

'After all, it was okay, wasn't it? To love books and love your job and live life like that?'

Nina loses her job in the library and isn't sure what to do with her life. But she loves books and loves helping people find that perfect story, getting the right book into the hands of the people who need them. She takes a huge risk and buys a bus and converts it into a movable bookstore. What an amazing feat! But the fun part of the story is seeing the struggles she goes through, the people she meets, and the places she travels to, all to make her dream come true.

'I always dreamed that one day I might have my own bookshop.'

I loved this story for so many reasons and the book loving is just part of it. There are some really great characters and plenty of side stories that kept me turning the pages. Nina goes through so much, trying to figure out how to be happy. As she settles into her new life, she feels like such an outsider but then she starts to truly care about the people in the community. Relationships develop, grow, and change.

The Bookshop on the Corner is the first book of Jenny's that I have read. I noticed her long list of books in the front of this one and I can't believe I hadn't discovered her before now. I am definitely going to have to check out some of her other titles.

Review copy received from HarperCollinsPublishers
in exchange for my honest thoughts.


The problem with good things that happen is that very often they disguise themselves as awful things. It would be lovely, wouldn’t it, whenever you’re going through something difficult, if someone could just tap you on the shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, it’s completely worth it. It seems like absolutely horrible crap now, but I promise it will all come good in the end,” and you could say, “Thank you, Fairy Godmother.” You might also say, “Will I also lose that seven pounds?” and they would say, “But of course, my child!”

That would be useful, but it isn’t how it is, which is why we sometimes plow on too long with things that aren’t making us happy, or give up too quickly on something that might yet work itself out, and it is often difficult to tell precisely which is which.

A life lived forward can be a really irritating thing. So Nina thought, at any rate. Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, was telling herself not to cry in public. If you have ever tried giving yourself a good talking-to, you’ll know it doesn’t work terribly well. She was at work, for goodness’ sake. You weren’t meant to cry at work.

She wondered if anyone else ever did. Then she wondered if maybe everyone did, even Cathy Neeson, with her stiff too-blond hair, and her thin mouth and her spreadsheets, who was right at this moment standing in a corner, watching the room with folded arms and a grim expression, after delivering to the small team Nina was a member of a speech filled with jargon about how there were cutbacks all over, and Birmingham couldn’t afford to maintain all its libraries, and how austerity was something they just had to get used to.

Nina reckoned probably not. Some people just didn’t have a tear in them.

(What Nina didn’t know was that Cathy Neeson cried on the way to work, on the way home from work—after eight o’clock most nights—every time she laid someone off, every time she was asked to shave another few percent off an already skeleton budget, every time she was ordered to produce some new quality relevant paperwork, and every time her boss dumped a load of administrative work on her at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon on his way to a skiing vacation, of which he took many.

Eventually she ditched the entire thing and went and worked in a National Trust gift shop for a fifth of the salary and half the hours and none of the tears. But this story is not about Cathy Neeson.)

It was just, Nina thought, trying to squash down the lump in her throat . . . it was just that they had been such a little library.

Children’s story time Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Early closing Wednesday afternoon. A shabby old-fashioned building with tatty linoleum floors. A little musty sometimes, it was true. The big dripping radiators could take a while to get going of a morning and then would become instantly too warm, with a bit of a fug, particularly off old Charlie Evans, who came in to keep warm and read the Morning Star cover to cover, very slowly. She wondered where the Charlie Evanses of the world would go now.

Cathy Neeson had explained that they were going to compress the library services into the center of town, where they would become a “hub,” with a “multimedia experience zone” and a coffee shop and an “intersensory experience,” whatever that was, even though town was at least two bus trips too far for most of their elderly or strollered-up clientele.

Their lovely, tatty, old pitched-roof premises were being sold off to become executive apartments that would be well beyond the reach of a librarian’s salary. And Nina Redmond, twenty-nine, bookworm, with her long tangle of auburn hair, her pale skin with freckles dotted here and there, and a shyness that made her blush—or want to burst into tears—at the most inopportune moments, was, she got the feeling, going to be thrown out into the cold winds of a world that was getting a lot of unemployed librarians on the market at the same time.

“So,” Cathy Neeson had concluded, “you can pretty much get started on packing up the ‘books’ right away.”

She said “books” like it was a word she found distasteful in her shiny new vision of Mediatech Services. All those grubby, awkward books.

Nina dragged herself into the back room with a heavy heart and a slight redness around her eyes. Fortunately, everyone else looked more or less the same way. Old Rita O’Leary, who should probably have retired about a decade ago but was so kind to their clientele that everyone overlooked the fact that she couldn’t see the numbers on the Dewey Decimal System anymore and filed more or less at random, had burst into floods, and Nina had been able to cover up her own sadness comforting her.

“You know who else did this?” hissed her colleague Griffin through his straggly beard as she made her way through. Griffin was casting a wary look at Cathy Neeson, still out in the main area as he spoke. “The Nazis. They packed up all the books and threw them onto bonfires.”

“They’re not throwing them onto bonfires!” said Nina. “They’re not actually Nazis.”

“That’s what everyone thinks. Then before you know it, you’ve got Nazis.”

With breathtaking speed, there’d been a sale, of sorts, with most of their clientele leafing through old familiar favorites in the ten pence box and leaving the shinier, newer stock behind.

Now, as the days went on, they were meant to be packing up the rest of the books to ship them to the central library, but Griffin’s normally sullen face was looking even darker than usual. He had a long, unpleasantly scrawny beard, and a scornful attitude toward people who didn’t read the books he liked. As the only books he liked were obscure 1950s out-of-print stories about frustrated young men who drank too much in Fitzrovia, that gave him a lot of time to hone his attitude. He was still talking about book burners.

“They won’t get burned! They’ll go to the big place in town.”

Nina couldn’t bring herself to even say Mediatech.

Griffin snorted. “Have you seen the plans? Coffee, computers, DVDs, plants, admin offices, and people doing cost–benefit analysis and harassing the unemployed—sorry, running ‘mindfulness workshops.’ There isn’t room for a book in the whole damn place.” He gestured at the dozens of boxes. “This will be landfill. They’ll use it to make roads.”

“They won’t!”

“They will! That’s what they do with dead books, didn’t you know? Turn them into underlay for roads. So great big cars can roll over the top of centuries of thought and ideas and scholarship, metaphorically stamping a love of learning into the dust with their stupid big tires and blustering Top Gear idiots killing

the planet.”

“You’re not in the best of moods this morning, are you, Griffin?”

“Could you two hurry it along a bit over there?” said Cathy Neeson, bustling in, sounding anxious. They only had the budget for the collection trucks for one afternoon; if they didn’t manage to load everything up in time, she’d be in serious trouble.

“Yes, Commandant Über-Führer,” said Griffin under his breath as she bustled out again, her blond bob still rigid. “God, that woman is so evil it’s unbelievable.”

But Nina wasn’t listening. She was looking instead in despair at the thousands of volumes around her, so hopeful with their beautiful covers and optimistic blurbs. To condemn any of them to waste disposal seemed heartbreaking: these were books! To Nina it was like closing down an animal shelter. And there was no way they were going to get it all done today, no matter what Cathy Neeson thought.

Which was how, six hours later, when Nina’s Mini Metro pulled up in front of the front door of her tiny shared house, it was completely and utterly stuffed with volumes.

About the author

Jenny Colgan is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including Little Beach Street Bakery, Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop, and Christmas at the Cupcake Café, all international bestsellers. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and Scotland.

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