Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Release Day! Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi ~ My Thoughts

Happy Release Day!

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Sweet Lake

Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi
Series: Sweet Lake #1
Print and e-book, 304 pages
Published: February 28th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing

Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. But knowing doesn’t make doing any easier.

Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years…

Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly—and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.

 

My thoughts about Sweet Lake ~~

(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—"Coconuts bouncing down a bowling lane."

How is this not one of the best first lines ever? What on earth does that line have to do with this story and where is the author going to take me from here?

I loved my visit to Sweet Lake and getting to meet all of the wonderful and quirky residents of this beautiful community. This story is filled with an abundance of great character and there are plenty of complicated relationships among the townsfolk that kept it very interesting. Let's see, there's Linnie and Daniel, Linnie and Freddy, Freddy and Francis, just to name a few.

And then there is this elite group of women (this is where the quirky comes in) who call themselves the Sweet Lake Sirens. They are such a hoot! I loved the Sirens! There were plenty of humorous parts throughout the book that made me laugh out loud, especially the parts that involved the Sirens. They loved to freely give their advice to anyone, whether it was asked for or not. I'll just say 'organism' and leave it at that. πŸ˜‰

But there is so much more to this story than the humor and the Sirens. There are interesting characters who are put to the test, who have to learn to grow and stand up for what they want. And there are those who have been there for each other and have been for years, just waiting for things to fall into place. So many great relationships in this beautiful story.

Sweet Lake is truly a wonderful story that grabbed me from the start and held my attention to the very end. I am so excited that Christine is writing Sweet Lake #2 so that I can visit Sweet Lake again and catch up with all the interesting people that I just met. Hopefully I will be able to take many more trips back there.

I received a copy of this book from the author and am voluntarily reviewing it.

About the author



Some writers are gifted with an unusual life and I’m certainly one of those. I’ve lived in Ohio, Virginia, California, Utah and now South Carolina. In college I was featured on the front page of the Houston Post for a lark that erased all my debt. I met my four adopted children for the first time in the sweltering heat of the tropics. I helped build several companies and was lucky enough to earn a living doing what I love best–writing–in a PR firm I owned.

In 2004 I made the wisest and most irrational decision of my life–I began writing fiction full-time. All those years of hard work pay off daily in sweet notes and comments by readers. Please continue the mail, tweets and comments on FaceBook, GoodReads and other sites. I cherish your support and love chatting with readers.

Connect with Christine


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Release Day! Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot

Happy Release Day!

SadPerfect_09d

Sad Perfect

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot
Print and e-book, 320 pages
Published: February 28th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The story of a teen girl's struggle with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and how love helps her on the road to recovery.

Sixteen-year-old Pea looks normal, but she has a secret: she has Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). It is like having a monster inside of her, one that not only dictates what she can eat, but also causes anxiety, depression, and thoughts that she doesn’t want to have.

When she falls crazy-mad in love with Ben, she hides her disorder from him, pretending that she’s fine. At first, everything really does feel like it’s getting better with him around, so she stops taking her anxiety and depression medication. And that's when the monster really takes over her life.

Just as everything seems lost and hopeless, Pea finds in her family, and in Ben, the support and strength she needs to learn that her eating disorder doesn’t have to control her.

  

I admire Stephanie and all that she does for books & authors. I have read all of her books and have loved each one of them. I am so excited to read Sad Perfect!

Congrats on your release today, Stephanie!!

About the author


Stephanie Elliot is the author of the young adult novel Sad Perfect (Margaret Ferguson Books/FSG, Winter, 2017), which was inspired by her own daughter’s journey with ARFID, Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. She has written for a variety of websites and magazines and has been a passionate advocate of other authors by promoting their books on the Internet for years. She has been, or still is, all of the following: a book reviewer, an anonymous parenting columnist, a mommy blogger, an editor, a professional napper, a reformed Diet Coke drinker, a gecko breeder and the author of three self-published novels.

A Florida native, Stephanie has lived near Chicago and Philadelphia and currently calls Scottsdale, Arizona home. She graduated from Northern Illinois University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Stephanie and her husband Scott have three children: AJ, McKaelen and Luke. They are all her favorites.

Connect with Stephanie


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Monday, February 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? February 27, 2017


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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Once again, we talk about the weather. Earlier this week, we had temps in the 60s and then there were blizzard warnings in the area, with predictions of possibly 18 inches of snow. We ended up getting nothing at all but areas just south of us got 12 inches of the white stuff. Yikes! Anyway, nice weather is just around the corner, right?

Other than that, nothing too exciting going on right now - just reading, working, and hanging out with hubby and a few grandkiddos. Life goes on! 

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

What I'm currently reading/listening to

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All Summer Long
by Dorothea Benton Frank
For TLC Book Tours. It's never too early for summer reading, is it?

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Walking Sam 
by Deanna Lynn Sletten
(audio-book)
I loved this when I read it. Read my thoughts here. Now I'm enjoying listening to it.

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Indulgence in Death (In Death #31)
by J.D. Robb 
(audio-book)
I love this series! Playing catch up. 

What I recently finished

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Lucky Bang (Lucky O'Toole #3.5)
Lucky Now and Then (Lucky O'Toole #3.6)
by Deborah Coonts
A couple of novellas to get me caught up in this great series.

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The Hope Chest: A Novel
by Viola Shipman 
Wonderful, touching story. My thoughts will be posted soon.

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Sweet Lake: A Novel (Sweet Lake #1)
by Christine Nolfi
Awesome! My thoughts will be posted later this week.

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Spinning the Moon
by Karen White
(audio-book)
Read my thoughts and enter the giveaway here.

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A Fall of Marigolds
by Susan Meissner
This was a book club pick. Great story!

What I am going to read next

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Silver Screen Kisses: An Echo Ridge Anthology (Echo Ridge Romance Book 3)
by Lucy McConnell, Cami Checketts, Heather Tullis, Janette Rallison, and Rachelle J. Christensen

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Spinning the Moon by Karen White ~ My Thoughts and a Giveaway!

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Spinning the Moon

Spinning the Moon by Karen White
Narrated by Susan Bennett and Pilar Witherspoon
Audio CD
Published September 15th 2016 by Recorded Books

Time and again, New York Times bestselling author Karen White has proven herself to be the “ultimate voice of women’s fiction.”*

Now, you can revisit the beginning of her signature style in two of her earliest novels—completely revised and together in one volume for the first time.


When Laura Truitt first sees the dilapidated plantation house, she’s overcome by a sense of familiarity. Inside, the owner claims to have been waiting for years and offers an old photograph of a woman with Laura’s face. Soon afterwards, when a lunar eclipse inexplicably thrusts Laura back in time to Civil War Georgia, she finds herself fighting not just for her heart, but for her very survival…


Alone and with nothing left to fear, Catherine deClaire Reed answers her sister’s desperate plea and travels to the cold comfort of her home in Reconstruction Louisiana. But Elizabeth is nowhere to be found. No one—including her husband—has seen her for days. Now, Catherine must search for her sister in a place where secrets wait behind every closed door...

   

My thoughts about Spinning the Moon

I received Spinning the Moon from LibraryThing for review. I had previously read White's novel Flight Patterns and loved it. This audiobook is actually her first two books, all spiffed up and republished into one. I really loved the first story, I think because of the time travel element to it. The second story was very interesting but didn't quite grab me like the first one did.

The stories are wonderful historical fiction tales, set in the Civil War time. I also enjoyed the narrators of both stories. Their narrations were enough different from each other so it made it easy to believe I was listening to two different stories. They both did a great job with the different characters and made the stories come alive for me.

I received copy of this audiobook from LibraryThing and am voluntarily reviewing it.

About the author


After playing hooky one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, Karen White knew she wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, Karen pursued a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer and wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year, and has twice won the National Readers’ Choice Award.

Karen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and currently writes what she refers to as ‘grit lit’—Southern women’s fiction—and has also expanded her horizons into writing a mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. Her 22nd novel, The Guests on South Battery, was published January 10, 2017 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

Karen hails from a long line of Southerners but spent most of her growing up years in London, England and is a graduate of the American School in London. When not writing, she spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children, and two spoiled Havanese dogs.

Connect with Karen


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! Spinning the Moon by Karen White


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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I received Spinning the Moon from LibraryThing for review. I had previously read White's novel Flight Patterns and loved it. This audiobook is actually her first two books, all spiffed up and republished into one. It's a long one and being in a small town where I am not in the car very long, it's taken me some time to get through it. I really loved the first story, I think because of the time travel element to it. The second story was interesting but didn't quite grab me like the first one did. Read more of my thoughts here.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

31864006

Spinning the Moon

Spinning the Moon by Karen White 
Audio CD
Published September 15th 2016 by Recorded Books

Time and again, New York Times bestselling author Karen White has proven herself to be the “ultimate voice of women’s fiction.”*

Now, you can revisit the beginning of her signature style in two of her earliest novels—completely revised and together in one volume for the first time.

In the Shadow of the Moon

When Laura Truitt first sees the dilapidated plantation house, she’s overcome by a sense of familiarity. Inside, the owner claims to have been waiting for years and offers an old photograph of a woman with Laura’s face. Soon afterwards, when a lunar eclipse inexplicably thrusts Laura back in time to Civil War Georgia, she finds herself fighting not just for her heart, but for her very survival…

Whispers of Goodbye

Alone and with nothing left to fear, Catherine deClaire Reed answers her sister’s desperate plea and travels to the cold comfort of her home in Reconstruction Louisiana. But Elizabeth is nowhere to be found. No one—including her husband—has seen her for days. Now, Catherine must search for her sister in a place where secrets wait behind every closed door...


About the author


After playing hooky one day in the seventh grade to read Gone With the Wind, Karen White knew she wanted to be a writer—or become Scarlett O'Hara. In spite of these aspirations, Karen pursued a degree in business and graduated cum laude with a BS in Management from Tulane University. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she fulfilled her dream of becoming a writer and wrote her first book. In the Shadow of the Moon was published in August, 2000. Her books have since been nominated for numerous national contests including the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Alliance) Fiction Book of the Year, and has twice won the National Readers’ Choice Award.

Karen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and currently writes what she refers to as ‘grit lit’—Southern women’s fiction—and has also expanded her horizons into writing a mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. Her 22nd novel, The Guests on South Battery, was published January 10, 2017 by Berkley Publishing, a division of Penguin Random House Publishing Group.

Karen hails from a long line of Southerners but spent most of her growing up years in London, England and is a graduate of the American School in London. When not writing, she spends her time reading, scrapbooking, playing piano, and avoiding cooking. She currently lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children, and two spoiled Havanese dogs.

Connect with Karen


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cover Reveal: The Splash of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson and a Giveaway!

Coming August 2017 
from USA Today bestselling author 
Rachael Anderson


The Splash of Lady Harriett

When wills clash and hearts collide, 
who will come away victorious?


Rachael

Author Rachael Anderson

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.



amazon or paypal

$25 Amazon Gift Card or 
Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 3/15/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

On Tour: Where Do Dreams Come From? by Kim Delgado ~ My Thoughts

Where Do Dreams Come From?

Where Do Dreams Come From? by Kim Delgado
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published September 2014 by KD Novelties
Genre: Personalized Children’s Picture Book

A magical story that will satisfy even the most curious child and expand their imagination about Dream Land, the place where dreams are made. After all, what child wouldn’t love to know "Where Do Dreams Come From?”

In this magical adventure, your child’s imagination takes them on a visit to Dream Land where they see how dreams are made. They learn about the "Dream Machine" and the fairies that work very hard to make sure that happy dreams are delivered to children around the world. This is the perfect bedtime story to expand your child’s imagination, encourage reading and instill pleasant dreams!

Voted Mom’s Choice Book of the Year Award and featured at the Book Expo NYC at the Jacob Javits Center.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 


 

My thoughts about Where Do Dreams Come From? ~~

(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—"It was a beautiful sunny morning in Brookings, South Dakota. Oliver Schleicher, woke up with a big smile on his face because he had such a wonderful dream."

This is just the perfect children's book. I was first drawn to the vibrant colors on the cover. And dreams and dreaming have always seemed a bit magical to me so this title fascinated me as much as the cover did.

Where Do Dreams Come From? is a personalized picture book. I read it to my 2½ year old grandson for the first time recently and he was enthralled from the very beginning. He was so excited to hear his name read and loved hearing that Mommy, Daddy, and other loved ones in his life were a part of the story as well.

The adventure of learning all about Dream Land and the Dream Fairies kept his attention as much as the bright, colorful illustrations did. This is a book that will always hold a special place in his heart as well as mine. Each time he comes to Nama's house, we will get out Oliver's Dream book and read it again and again.

I received copy of this book for the tour and am voluntarily reviewing it.


Book Excerpt

It was a beautiful sunny morning in (child’s hometown). (Child’s name) woke up with a big smile on his/her face because he/she had such a wonderful dream. (Child’s Name) had a dream about playing their favorite game, with (friends/relative).

As (child’s name) got ready to begin their day, he/she thought, hmm… I wonder where dreams come from? He/She tried to think of the answer, long and hard, but could not think of where dreams came from. Then (child’s name) got excited – he/she was sure (parents or loved one) would know the answer. (Child’s name) couldn’t wait to see (parents or loved one) so she could ask.

About the author


Kim Delgado is owner of KD Novelties an independent publisher of personalized children's books. She has written several award winning children's books and has gotten featured in several publications.

When she is not busy writing books or running her publishing company, you can find her tutoring children who struggle with reading in her local school district. She is also a board member and serves in her local soup kitchen feeding the homeless and families in need.

Connect with Kim

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Book Blast: The Rise of Miss Notley by Rachael Anderson, an Excerpt and a Giveaway!

the-rise-of-miss-notley-gr

The Rise of Miss Notley 
by Rachael Anderson

When Miss Coralynn Notley’s father barters her off to the first titled gentleman to come along, she realizes she must flee her home or be forced to wed a despicable man. Driven by desperation, she applies for the position of housekeeper at Tanglewood Manor, the home of the handsome Mr. Jonathan Ludlow. The moment Jonathan sees Miss Notley, he is intrigued. She is far too young and inexperienced, yet there is something about her that that inspires a certain hope within him. Does he dare offer her the position of housekeeper or will doing so result in catastrophe?


Excerpt

Cora nodded and followed Mr. Ludlow into the parlor. He closed the doors and stood in front of them with his arms folded, looking far more intimidating than he had during their last meeting. He said nothing, merely lifted an inquiring eyebrow and waited.

Caught unprepared, Cora stared at him, trying to organize her thoughts into words. After a few moments of awkward silence, he lost patience. "What is it you wished to speak with me about, Mrs. Notley? Or are we to stand here staring at each other all afternoon?"

Not knowing how else to begin, Cora blurted, "Why have you hired me, sir?"

He blinked a few times before frowning. "I believe I have made that perfectly clear. You are to be the housekeeper, are you not?"

This was going to be more difficult than she had imagined. "Yes, of course, but there has been some talk about, or rather concerns expressed . . ." How did one put this delicately?

"About . . .?" he prodded, obviously not thrilled that his morning regime had been waylaid.

"About the reasons I have been offered the position," she quickly said, hoping that would be enough to make him understand her meaning.

Unfortunately, his brows drew together in confusion. "What are you saying, Mrs. Notley? I have hired you to do certain duties that will hopefully make my household run more smoothly. What other reason could I possibly have for offering you the position?"

"You have hired me to do a job I am untrained to do," she said. "While I am grateful for the opportunity, I also find it necessary to clarify that I have come here to be a housekeeper and only a housekeeper. Even though I am young and . . ." Her voice drifted off. Had she almost referred to herself as pretty? Goodness, this was proving to be very awkward indeed.

"Beautiful?" he finally guessed, not looking at all pleased with the direction the conversation was taking.

"I was going to say not repulsive," she fibbed.

"Very well," he said. "Even though you are young and not repulsive . . ." He moved his hand in a circular gesture, urging her to finish her thought.

Cora straightened her shoulders and forced herself to continue. "I am not the sort of girl who would ever . . . fraternize with her employer." Her face infused with heat, but she forced her gaze to remain steady.

"I see." He walked slowly towards her, rubbing his chin with his hand. A few steps away, he stopped and eyed her quizzically. "Have I made any improper advances towards you?"

"No, sir."

"Have I spoken to you in an unprofessional manner?"

"No."

"Have I looked at you in a way that has made you feel uncomfortable?"

"No." Cora suddenly wished she had not felt the need to clarify anything. He made her feel as though she had put the cart before the horse when what she had been trying to do was see that the cart and horse simply stayed in their proper places. Was that so wrong?

"Might I ask who, exactly, has led you to believe that I am the sort of man capable of—how did you put it? Fraternizing with my help?"

"I, er, would rather not say, sir." Though Cora felt no loyalty towards Sally, she refused to bring Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd's names into the conversation. "I did not mean to besmirch your name or cause any offense, Mr. Ludlow. I merely wanted to make my feelings on the matter clear."

"And you have."

"Good." Cora dropped into a quick curtsy, anxious to get away. "I shall go and find Watts now."

She was almost to the door when his voice stopped her. "Once again, you are attempting to scuttle away before we have completed our conversation."

Slowly, she turned around and lifted her eyes to his. "I never scuttle, sir."

"What would you call that rapid walk of yours?"

"A rapid walk."



About the author

Rachael

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Connect with Rachael


amazon or paypal

$50 Amazon Gift Card 
or Paypal Cash Giveaway
Ends 3/15/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Monday, February 20, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? February 20, 2017


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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We are having unseasonably warm weather right now. It has me thinking about getting the grill and patio furniture out but I know it's only February and we'll be hit with more snow, for sure. But I am loving the sun and warm temps all the same. 

We had another busy weekend full of grandkiddos. I have Monday off for President's Day but then I offered to babysit the 2½ year old. There goes my day of reading. Oh well, the books will always be there, we have to enjoy the kids when we can. 

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

What I'm currently reading/listening to

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A Fall of Marigolds
by Susan Meissner

34183739
Walking Sam 
by Deanna Lynn Sletten
(audio-book)
I loved this when I read it. Read my thoughts here. Now I get a chance to listen to it.

31864006
Spinning the Moon
by Karen White
(audio-book)
I loved the first story of this set. Struggling with the second one. πŸ˜•

What I recently finished

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One Wrong Turn: A Novel
by Deanna Lynn Sletten
Another wonderful story from this author!

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Where Do Dreams Come From?
by Kim Delgado
Cute! Cute! Cute! My thoughts will be posted Wednesday. 

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I See You
by Clare Mackintosh
Intense! Read my thoughts here.

What I am going to read next

31340913
Sweet Lake: A Novel (Sweet Lake #1)
by Christine Nolfi

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!

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