Monday, January 25, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? ~ January 25, 2021#IMWAYR

    

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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I spent the day yesterday watching/listening to football. We are all Chiefs fans so the last few years have been exciting times for us, and the Chiefs. They won the last playoff game last night and are off to another Super Bowl! Go Chiefs!

We has snow all day on Saturday. It really was pretty, no wind to speak of, so just beautiful snow drifting down to the ground. And..... the fact that I don't have to go out in it makes it all that more enjoyable to watch. 😉

In case you weren't aware of it, I post book giveaways every Saturday. I'm looking to shake up the giveaways a bit and would really appreciate any suggestions you might have for me. Check out last Saturday's post here for more information. I'd really love it if you'd leave me your ideas of what you use on your blog or what you like when you are entering giveaways, either here or on the giveaway post. Thank you!

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

What I'm currently reading

The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake 

Obsession in Death
(In Death #40)
by J.D. Robb
Narrated by Susan Ericksen

What I recently finished

The Nature of Fragile Things
by Susan Meissner
Pub date 2/2

Change of Tides
(Palmetto Island #1)
by Ashley Farley
Pub date 2/9

What I am going to read next

The Paris Library
by Janet Skeslien Charles
Pub date 2/9

I really love my reading life!
What are you reading this week?

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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

   

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Book Spotlight #Giveaway! The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh #TheLastWillOfMoiraLeahy


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

I read this book back in 2011 and the story has still stuck with me. The current edition has a different cover, which is beautiful, but the words are the same. 😉

**I want to take a sec right here to announce that I am planning on doing something different for my Book Spotlight Giveaway posts in the near future. I'm still planning on putting up a weekly giveaway, I just want to change it up a little bit. 

My question for you, oh faithful followers, is.... 

What would you like to see as entry options to enter the giveaways? I feel like the usual 6 entries I have every week are getting a little stale.  

And I don't necessarily have to use Rafflecopter. Is there something else out there that you've used?

So tell me, what would you do to win a free book? Leave me a comment! 

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Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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The Last Will of Moira Leahy

The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Broadway Books

This haunting debut novel explores the intense bond of sisterhood as a grieving twin searches for her own identity in the ruins of her sister's past.

A LOST SHADOW

Moira Leahy struggled growing up in her prodigious twin's shadow; Maeve was always more talented, more daring, more fun. In the autumn of the girls' sixteenth year, a secret love tempted Moira, allowing her to have her own taste of adventure, but it also damaged the intimate, intuitive relationship she'd always shared with her sister. Though Moira's adolescent struggles came to a tragic end nearly a decade ago, her brief flirtation with independence will haunt her sister for years to come.

A LONE WOMAN

When Maeve Leahy lost her twin, she left home and buried her fun-loving spirit to become a workaholic professor of languages at a small college in upstate New York. She lives a solitary life now, controlling what she can and ignoring the rest–the recurring nightmares, hallucinations about a child with red hair, the unquiet sounds in her mind, her reflection in the mirror. It doesn't help that her mother avoids her, her best friend questions her sanity, and her not-quite boyfriend has left the country. But at least her life is ordered. Exactly how she wants it.

A SHARED PAST

Until one night at an auction when Maeve wins a keris,a Javanese dagger that reminds her of her lost youth and happier days playing pirates with Moira in their father's boat. Days later, a book on weaponry is nailed to her office door, followed by the arrival of anonymous notes, including one that invites her to Rome to learn more about the blade and its legendary properties. Opening her heart and mind to possibility, Maeve accepts the invitation and, with it, also opens a window into her past.

Ultimately, she will revisit the tragic November night that shaped her and Moira's destinies–and learn that nothing can be taken at face value–as one sister emerges whole and the other's score is finally settled.

The Last Will of Moira Leahy is a mesmerizing and romantic consideration of the bonds of family, the impossibility of forgetting, and the value of forgiveness.


Here's a peek at the current cover of this book. 
Isn't it intriguing?


About the author 


Therese's second novel, The Moon Sisters, was published by Crown (Penguin Random House) in March 2014, received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and was named one of the Best Books of 2014 by Library Journal.

Her debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, was published in 2009 by Shaye Areheart books (Random House), and became a Target Breakout Book.

Therese is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a blog for writers about the craft and business of fiction.

She is also the 'architectural' editor of Author in Progress, the first Writer Unboxed book, published by Writer's Digest in 2016.

Before turning to novels, Therese was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then a freelance writer. She’s had hundreds of articles on nutrition and fitness published in consumer magazines and online.

She has a master's degree in psychology.

Aside from writing, Therese’s favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Whose Line is it Anyway?, dark chocolate, photography, unique movies and novels, people watching, strong Irish tea, and spending time with her husband, two kids and their bouncy Jack Russell.  ~ Goodreads

Connect with Therese


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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!


Monday, January 18, 2021

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 18, 2021

      

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

Change of Tides
(Palmetto Island #1)
by Ashley Farley
Pub date 2/9

Obsession in Death
(In Death #40)
by J.D. Robb
Narrated by Susan Ericksen

What I recently finished

The Library of Legends
by Janie Chang

Back to the Beach Cottage
(Beach Cottage Series #2)
by Joanne DeMaio

The Seacroft
(Paines Creek Beach #2)
by Aaron Paul Lazar
Narrated by Gwendolyn Druyor 

What I am going to read next

The Nature of Fragile Things
by Susan Meissner
Pub date 2/2

I really love my reading life!
What are you reading this week?

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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

   

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Back to the Beach Cottage by Joanne DeMaio ~ My Thoughts #BackToTheBeachCottage


Back to the Beach Cottage by Joanne DeMaio
Print and e-book, 118 pages
Published January 6th 2021 by Joanne DeMaio

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes the much-anticipated sequel to The Beach Cottage.

Winding to the sea is a nearly hidden dirt road. Acres of wooded forest engulf it. Reaching skyward alongside that road are towering trees, their branches gloved in icy white. In the middle of winter, few turn onto this tucked-away Connecticut road. Truthfully, most wouldn't know it leads to a secluded beach community.

Mack Martinelli sure does, though. He fell even more in love with his wife Avery there.

As Mack steers his pickup down the frost-heaved road, night settles in. Salt air presses close. It's been a long time, but he's finally ready to come Back to the Beach Cottage.

 

My thoughts about Back to the Beach Cottage ~~

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

First lines—"A lone pickup truck drives along the main drag. The night is still, and the wispy clouds pass in front of a crescent moon. There's a coldness, too, that settles like a fog on everything."

I loved going back to the beach house and catching up with Mack and Avery. The current pandemic affects everyone, including this young couple. Spending time at the beach cottage is restorative for them, their relationship, and actually for me too. Joanne's books are always so descriptive that I feel that I am there—on the beach, taking in the salt air, and in the case of this book, feeling the cold, enjoying the snow and the fireplace. 

Back to the Beach Cottage was a nice, surprise release that I quickly devoured. Joanne's books are always filled with caring, kind people, and set in beautiful, relaxing places. I always feel like I am taking a mini-vacation when I lose myself in one of her books. 

I received a copy of Back to the Beach Cottage from the author and this is my honest opinion.

The Beach Cottage
Book #1

54974027

You can read my thoughts here

Find the series on Goodreads

About the author

Joanne DeMaio

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea.

Joanne’s books include the New York Times Bestseller Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, the first in her ongoing and groundbreaking Seaside Saga. These eleven (and counting) novels journey with a group of beach friends, much the way a TV series does, continuing with the same cast of characters and their storylines from book-to-book.

Joanne’s winter novels have also received much acclaim. These heartwarming standalones are set in the same snowy New England town. Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes became a USA Today Bestseller, and has been featured in national magazines and Six Flags theme parks.

In addition, Joanne’s debut novel, Whole Latte Life, won first place in a competition at BookExpo America and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. Her other novels have appeared in Redbook, First for Women magazine, Southern Living, USA Today and more. ~ Author's website

Connect with Joanne


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Book Spotlight #Giveaway! To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear #ToDieButOnce

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

I have not read this week's book but I know it is a very popular series. This is book #14 of 16, with #16 due to be published March 2021. Have you read any books in the series? 

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Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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To Die But Once

To Die But Once by Jacqueline Winspear
Series: Maisie Dobbs #14
ARC, 352 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Harper

During the months following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, Maisie Dobbs investigates the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a hush-hush government contract. As news of the plight of thousands of soldiers stranded on the beaches of France is gradually revealed to the general public, and the threat of invasion rises, another young man beloved by Maisie makes a terrible decision that will change his life forever.

Maisie’s investigation leads her from the countryside of rural Hampshire to the web of wartime opportunism exploited by one of the London underworld’s most powerful men, in a case that serves as a reminder of the inextricable link between money and war. Yet when a final confrontation approaches, she must acknowledge the potential cost to her future—and the risk of destroying a dream she wants very much to become reality.

About the author 


Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in the county of Kent, England. Following higher education at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Jacqueline worked in academic publishing, in higher education and in marketing communications in the UK.

She emigrated to the United States in 1990, and while working in business and as a personal / professional coach, Jacqueline embarked upon a life-long dream to be a writer.

A regular contributor to journals covering international education, Jacqueline has published articles in women's magazines and has also recorded her essays for KQED radio in San Francisco. She currently divides her time between Ojai and the San Francisco Bay Area and is a regular visitor to the United Kingdom and Europe.

Jacqueline is the author of the New York Times bestsellers A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, and An Incomplete Revenge, and other nationally bestselling Maisie Dobbs novels. She has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for best novel and was a New York Times Notable Book. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Jacqueline


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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Release Day! The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin ~ My Thoughts #TheChildrensBlizzard #NetGalley

Congrats Melanie
on the release today of
The Children's Blizzard!

The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin
384 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Delacorte Press

The New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife reveals a little-known story of courage on the prairie: the freak blizzard that struck the Great Plains, threatening the lives of hundreds of immigrant homesteaders--especially their children.

The morning of January 12, 1888, was unusually mild, following a long cold spell, warm enough for the homesteaders of the Dakota territory to venture out again, and for their children to return to school without their heavy coats--leaving them unprepared when disaster struck. At just the hour when most prairie schools were letting out for the day, a terrifying, fast-moving blizzard struck without warning. Schoolteachers as young as sixteen were suddenly faced with life and death decisions: keep the children inside, to risk freezing to death when fuel ran out, or send them home, praying they wouldn't get lost in the storm?

Based on actual oral histories of survivors, the novel follows the stories of Raina and Gerda Olsen, two sisters, both schoolteachers--one who becomes a hero of the storm, and one who finds herself ostracized in the aftermath. It's also the story of Anette Pedersen, a servant girl whose miraculous survival serves as a turning point in her life and touches the heart of Gavin Woodson, a newspaperman seeking redemption. It is Woodson and others like him who wrote the embellished news stories that lured immigrants across the sea to settle a pitiless land. Boosters needed immigrants to settle territories into states, and they didn't care what lies they told them to get them there--or whose land it originally was.

At its heart, this is a story of courage, of children forced to grow up too soon, tied to the land because of their parents' choices. It is a story of love taking root in the hard prairie ground, and of families being torn asunder by a ferocious storm that is little remembered today--because so many of its victims were immigrants to this country. 


My thoughts about The Children's Blizzard ~~ 

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

First line—"They came on boats, on trains, great unceasing waves of them—the poor, the disenfranchised, the seekers, the dreamers."

The Children's Blizzard is an amazing story. Growing up in Nebraska and required to study Nebraska history in 4th grade, I was familiar with the story of the blizzard of 1888. Melanie personalized it even more for me by putting names and real lives to the children that I had studied in class. 

Living in the Midwest at that time in history could not have been easy. And then to throw in an unexpected storm that ended up killing a lot of people, children, and livestock, it's a wonder anyone stayed there. This story shows the hard times of life back then, but there were also good times, and good people, and we see that as well. 

Following the experiences of Raina and Gerda, two young teachers who ended up with the lives of so many children in their hands, we get to witness the horror of that freak, unexpected storm that seemingly came out of nowhere. Both of the sisters make decisions that will affect the lives of so many people. I enjoyed how the stories of all of the characters were so intertwined—some stories good, some stories bad—but all of them woven together so beautifully.

At times this was a hard story to read, for the hardships that the teachers and children had to endure. I kept thinking, how can they endure any more? But it's history and it happened. 

The Children's Blizzard is an accurate depiction of that time and it's an interesting, eye-opening story.  I enjoyed it immensely and devoured the book. And remember, I had to study this topic in grade school. 

I loved The Children's Blizzard and highly recommend it! 

I received an ARC of The Children's Blizzard from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author


Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, and The Aviator's Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her latest novel, Mistress of the Ritz, is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

Previous historical novels include the national bestseller Alice I Have Been, about Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland; The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, the story of 32-inch-tall Lavinia Warren Stratton, a star during the Gilded Age; and The Girls in the Picture, about the friendship and creative partnership between two of Hollywood’s earliest female legends—screenwriter Frances Marion and superstar Mary Pickford.

Her novels have been translated in over fifteen languages, featured in national magazines such as Good Housekeeping, People, and Entertainment Weekly, and optioned for film.

Melanie is a native of the Midwest, having grown up in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she pursued her first love, theater. After raising her two sons, Melanie, a life-long reader (including being the proud winner, two years in a row, of her hometown library's summer reading program!), decided to pursue a writing career. After writing her own parenting column for a local magazine, and winning a short story contest, Melanie published two contemporary novels under her real name, Melanie Hauser, before turning to historical fiction.

Melanie lives in Virginia with her husband. In addition to writing, she puts her theatrical training to good use by being a member of the Authors Unbound speakers bureau. When she isn't writing or speaking, she's reading. And always looking for new stories to tell. ~ Author's Website

Connect with Melanie


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