Saturday, August 17, 2019

Book Spotlight Giveaway! White Sand, Blue Sea by Anita Hughes #WhiteSandBlueSea


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.

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This week I have an ARC of a wonderful book that I read when it came out. Read my thoughts here. I felt like I was on vacation the whole time I was reading it. Now it's someone else's turn to vacation in St. Barts. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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White Sand, Blue Sea

White Sand, Blue Sea: A St. Barts Love Story by Anita Hughes
ARC, 288 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by St. Martin's Griffin

Olivia Miller is standing on the porch of her mother and stepfather's plantation style villa in St. Barts. They have been coming here every April for years but she is always thrilled to see the horseshoe-shaped bay of Gustavia and white sand of Gouverneur's Beach. This trip should be particularly exciting because she is celebrating her twenty-fifth birthday and hoping that Finn, her boyfriend of four years, will propose.

The only person who won't be here is her father, Sebastian, who she hasn’t seen in twenty years. He’s a well-known artist and crisscrosses the globe, painting and living in exotic locations like Kenya and China. When Sebastian walks unexpectedly walks through the door and floats back into Olivia’s life like a piece of bad driftwood she never knew she wanted, she starts to wondering if her world is too narrow. She questions the dreams and the relationship she’s always thought she wanted. But there seems to be more to the story than an innocent fatherly visit, and Olivia must decide if love is more important than truth.

Set on St. Barts, the jewel of the Caribbean, White Sand, Blue Sea is a heartwarming story about romance and adventure, and most importantly, about knowing yourself, and what makes you happy.


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About the Author


Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia. She attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program. She is the author of MONARCH BEACH, MARKET STREET, LAKE COMO, FRENCH COAST, ROME IN LOVE, ISLAND IN THE SEA, SANTORINI SUNSETS, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA, EMERALD COAST, CHRISTMAS IN LONDON and CALIFORNIA SUMMER, and CHRISTMAS IN VERMONT published by St. Martin's Press. ROME IN LOVE is coming to the HALLMARK channel in July, 2019! ~ Goodreads

Connect with Anita

Website | Facebook | TwitterGoodreads


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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Book Blitz: The Year I Left by Christine Brae, an Excerpt and a #Giveaway! #TheYearILeft


The Year I Left

The Year I Left by Christine Brae
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction


“A thousand half loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

Carin Frost doesn’t understand what’s happening to her. A confident businesswoman, wife, and mother, she begins to resent everything about her life. Nothing makes sense. Nothing makes her feel. Maybe it’s the recent loss of her mother in a tragic accident. Or maybe she’s just losing her mind.

Enter Matias Torres. As their new business partnership thrives, so does their friendship—and his interest in her. Carin is determined to keep her distance, until a work assignment sends them to Southeast Asia where a storm is brewing on the island. In the midst of the chaos, Matias asks her to do something unimaginable, exhilarating, BOLD. Carin knows the consequences could be dire, but it may be the only way to save herself.

An honest look at love and marriage and the frailties of the human heart, this is a story of a woman’s loss of self and purpose and the journey she takes to find her way back.


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Excerpt

Sometime in the late summer when the air began to tingle and the leaves started to fall, I opened my eyes one morning and my view of the world had changed.

Just like that. I can still see it in my head. The way I let it all unfold. It was a train wreck waiting to happen, and I let it.

I left for a business trip that morning with my house in total disarray. I had no good reason for refusing to take Charlie to his school bus, and despite having some time to change our dog’s water bowl, I chose not to do it. There it lay, next to the unwashed food dish, crusted with the remains of last night’s dinner. I figured Jack would get home from the gym and handle it all.

Piles of paper gathering dust on the floor and debit card receipts busting out of a little white box screamed for my attention. I ignored them. My home office, the place where I used to hide all day, was like a war zone.

And it wasn’t like we had money issues. Paying our bills was the least of my worries. Jack had made a killing when his startup was bought out, and I was the head of client services at a global real-estate company.

I just stopped giving a damn. Nothing interested me. I was beset by indifference. I just couldn’t keep up anymore. The sleepless nights, the exhaustion, the constant streaming in my head. Everything seemed so insignificant, so mundane. My successes, my accomplishments, they had lost all meaning.

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About the author


Christine Brae is a senior executive with a full time career, who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Christine has written six books since her first release in 2013. She is the author of The Light in the Wound and His Wounded Light (2013), Insipid (2014), In This Life (2016) and Eight Goodbyes (2018).

Her latest book, The Year I Left is scheduled for release in August, 2019.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management.

Connect with Christine





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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Release Day! All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio ~ My Thoughts #AllTheFlowersInParis #NetGalley

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Congrats Sarah
on the release today of
All the Flowers in Paris!

All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio

Print & e-book, 240 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Ballantine Books

Two women are connected across time by the city of Paris, a mysterious journal, and shocking secrets, sweeping from World War II to the present--for readers of Sarah's Key.

When Caroline wakes up in a Paris hospital with no memory of her past, she's confused to learn that she's lived a sad, reclusive life for years in a sprawling apartment on the Seine. Slowly regaining vague memories of a man and young child, she vows to piece her life back together--though she can't help but feel she may be in danger. A budding friendship with the chef of a charming nearby restaurant takes her mind off of her foggy past, as does a startling mystery from decades prior...

In Nazi-occupied Paris, young widow Celine lives a quiet life with her father, the local florist, and her daughter, Cosi. When a ruthless German officer discovers the family's Jewish ancestry, he blackmails Celine, forcing her to become his mistress in exchange for the others' safety. The trio plans an escape, but their mission goes horribly awry and Celine's beloved father and daughter are sent away to a cruel fate. Initially distraught, Celine fears the worst. Yet she soon discovers that Cosi has snuck away and followed her into captivity. More motivated than ever, Celine must now fight to hide and protect the person she loves most.

Parallel timelines intersect when Caroline discovers Celine's diary tucked away in a closet, and it is revealed that the walls of her apartment harbor dark secrets. With the help of a local student from the Sorbonne, she realizes that she may have more in common with Celine than she could ever imagine.


My thoughts about All the Flowers in Paris ~~

(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—"How could he?" 

I have been a huge fan of Sarah Jio's stories since the day I read her very first novel. Her words weave together such beautiful, heartwarming tales and this book did not disappoint.

Her stories always seem to have a magical feel to them and leave me with such good feelings. I loved the dual story-line in All the Flowers in Paris and I loved it when the two women's connection was revealed—because come on, you knew that was going to happen, right? 

Caroline and Celine both had troubled pasts and have hardships to get through in their present lives. Traveling back and forth between the two time periods gave me a rich understanding of the two women and demonstrated the strength of these two amazing women. 

I love opening a book by this amazing author and getting lost in one of her worlds. I get so excited when I learn that she has a new book out and I can't wait! If you have not read any of her books yet, I highly recommend that you pick one up. All the Flowers in Paris would be the perfect one to start with. 

I received a copy of All the Flowers in Paris via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion of the book.

About the author

Sarah Jio

Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of ALWAYS, published by Random House (Ballantine), as well as seven other novels from Penguin Books, including, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE.

Sarah is also a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Her novels are translated into more than 25 languages. Sarah lives in Seattle with her three young boys. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Sarah


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Release Day! Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center ~ My Thoughts #ThingsYouSaveInTheFire #NetGalley

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Congrats Katherine
on the release today of
Things You Save in a Fire!

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Print & e-book, 320 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by St. Martin's Press

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she's seen her fair share of them, and she's a total pro at other people's tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie's old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren't exactly thrilled to have a "lady" on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn't seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can't think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping...and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center's Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.


My thoughts about Things You Save in a Fire ~~

(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 night I became the youngest person—and the only female ever—to win the Austin Fire Department's Valor Award, I got propositioned by my partner."

Cassie pretty much had her life planned out. Everything was going according to plan, everything was in a nice neat box, everything was good. Until it wasn't anymore. Suddenly everything was coming undone.

I was immediately taken by Cassie's strength and resolve to be strong, no matter the cost. She'd shut down all of her emotions many years ago, the night her whole life changed. As she struggles with the changes that are happening in her life now, will she be able to open her heart and accept the feelings that she has kept suppressed for years?

Cassie is a strong and compassionate person, someone who is able to work through the myriad of issues with a number of people in her life, a person who should be able to forge ahead. The relationships in this story are complicated. Those complicated relationships are what drive this wonderful story and kept me reading.

Things You Save in the Fire, and Cassie, captured my heart from the very beginning. I could understand why she was the way she was—how her past had closed her off to others. It was heartwarming to see her finally forgive and to be able to move on. This is a story that I devoured. I found myself engrossed in the story-line and the character's lives. This is definitely a book that should be high on your TBR list.

I received a copy of Things You Save in a Fire from the publisher and NetGalley. This is my honest opinion of the book.

About the author

Katherine Center

Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away, the upcoming Things You Save in a Fire (August 2019), and five other bittersweet comic novels. Six Foot Pictures is currently adapting her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, into a feature film starring Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb, and Nora Dunn.

Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach us empathy, and her work has appeared in USA Today, InStyle, Redbook, People, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Southern Living, and InTouch, among others.

Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her fun husband, two sweet kids, and fluffy-but-fierce dog. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Katherine


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Monday, August 12, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? August 12, 2019


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

What I'm currently reading

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Shut Up and Dance With Me
(Oceanic Dreams #7)
by Monique McDonell 
Pub date today!! Congrats Monique!
I love this fun series. Check it out here.

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Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage
by Kay Bratt
Narrated by Shannon McManus

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Delusion In Death
(In Death #35)
by J.D. Robb
Narrated by Susan Ericksen

What I recently finished

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Things You Save in a Fire
by Katherine Center
Pub date 8/13
My thoughts will be posted tomorrow.

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All The Flowers in Paris
by Sarah Jio
Pub date 8/13
My thoughts will be posted tomorrow.

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For Better or For Worse
(The Vows #2)
by Heidi Renee Mason
Read my thoughts here and enter the giveaway!

What I am going to read next

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The Women of Great Heron Lake
by Deanna Lynn Sletten
Pub date 9/10
I'm so excited to start this one! Check out my giveaway for another one of Deanna's books, Finding Libbie. I loved that story!

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Release Day! For Better or For Worse by Heidi Renee Mason ~ My Thoughts, an Excerpt, and a Giveaway! #ForBetterOrForWorse


For Better or For Worse by Heidi Renee Mason
Series: The Vows Trilogy Book 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 10, 2019
Cover Design: Soxsational Cover Art
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing



Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

Emma survived a madman's attack, and now she is ready to put the pieces of her life back together. After the horror she has endured, that is easier said than done. Just as she begins to feel in control once again, Fate steps in with a plan of its own. Emma must find the strength inside of herself to protect those she loves before everything is stolen by forces who wish to destroy her.

Book 2 of 3 in Heidi Renee Mason’s romantic suspense trilogy, The Vows. This is not a stand-alone romance.

My thoughts about For Better or For Worse ~~

(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—"Panic rose inside of her. Her stomach churned with dread."

I thoroughly enjoyed book #1 in this series and was excited to read more. This one starts off with the intense scene from the previous one and then ramps up from there. Just when Emma thinks her life is back to normal—whatever that is—in walks a stranger to shake things up again. 

For Better or For Worse is a wonderful book 2 in that there was not a lot of rehashing of past events but just enough to remind me of what happened before. And there was plenty of drama, suspense, and character development to keep the story going forward and to hold my interest. 

I'm excited for book 3 to see where this story-line is going. I can't imagine what Heidi has in store for Emma and her loved ones but I know it's going to be good! 

Book #1

Read my thoughts here.






Panic rose inside of her. Her stomach churned with dread. Xavier had Emma securely tethered to the kitchen chair. The zip ties cut into her flesh, and the blood dripped from the cut on her lip and pooled onto her chest. 
He paced back and forth wildly, like a tiger in a cage. With her hands and feet bound, she was helpless. He came to a stop and stood in front of her, his face only inches away from her own. The insanity was obvious behind his steel-grey eyes.
 “Where are the jewels, Emma?” Xavier raised his voice in anger. “Don’t tell me that you don’t know where they are.”

“The jewels?” She did her best to focus on what she needed to do to get out of the situation. She tried to slow her pounding heart, but her attempts were futile. She was in full-blown panic mode.

Without warning, Xavier punched her in the face. Her head snapped back from the force. Blood ran down her chin. He hit her again, singularly focused on hurting her. The kindness she’d observed earlier was gone. There was nothing human behind his vacant eyes. The man was gone and in his place was a monster.

Her time was running out if she didn’t do something, so she used the only tool at her disposal. She opened her mouth and screamed loudly, a blood-curdling scream that she hoped someone would hear. She yelled until her lungs were on fire, as she prayed that someone would come to her rescue.

Suddenly, the shattering sound of glass echoed in the quiet of the house. The last thing she saw before she lost consciousness was Liam…
 “Emma, honey, wake up. You’re dreaming, baby. I’m right here. You’re okay,” Liam wrapped his strong arms around his wife and whispered soothing words that eventually brought her back to the present. She opened her eyes and tried to push down the terror. She was okay. She was in her bed, with her husband.









Heidi Renee Mason is an Ohio girl transplanted into the Pacific Northwest. She is a homeschooling mom of three daughters, wife of one mail man, and a people-watching introvert who can be found hiding in the nearest corner. She is an Amazon best-selling author, and writer of your next happily ever after.

Visit my publishers at www.solsticepublishing.com and www.hottreepublishing.com!




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