Monday, October 30, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? October 30, 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!


October is almost over. Where did the month go? Sigh. Tomorrow is Halloween. We don't get many trick-or treaters where we live. In the 3 years since we moved to our townhouse, the only kids who have visited us are our grandkiddos. But they are entertaining so it's all good. I think more parents are taking their kids to organized activities rather than going door-to-door nowadays. How about you? Do you get many trick-or-treaters. 

This past week was full of grandparent duties with both sets of parents going out of town on fun trips. Our week was filled with sleepovers, daycare drop offs, homework, and all sorts of activities. And very little reading time. It got me thinking that it's about time for hubby and me to get away and take a fun trip of our own. 

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

What I'm currently reading

Something Like Family
by Heather Burch

Ghost Gifts (Ghost Gifts #1)
by Laura Spinella, narrated by Nicol Zanzarella

What I recently finished

The Whistling Season
The Whistling Season (Morrie Morgan #1)
by Ivan Doig

What I am going to read next

Breaking and Holding
by Judy Fogarty
I am so excited to start this book! Check out my post here to find out why and enter the giveaway for 2 copies.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr ~ My Thoughts


The Boyfriend Swap

The Boyfriend Swap
by Meredith Schorr

Print and e-book, 293 pages
Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Henery Press

Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flakey actor beau.

It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.


My thoughts about The Boyfriend Swap ~~

(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—"If asked to choose between a world without music and one without my mother, the choice would be a no-brainer—I'd give up music. I might feel dead inside, without a song to sing or a beat to dance to, but at least my mom would be there to comfort me. The decision was easy, but sometimes, like now, when she put on her matchmaking cap, I was tempted to change my answer."

The Boyfriend Swap is full of scenarios that we have all found ourselves in at one time or another—awkward family Christmases, parents who typically don't approve of our current mate, boyfriends who just don't seem to fit into the family dynamics. Robyn and Sydney are dreading their upcoming Christmas trips back home with their boyfriends and all the family drama that will ensue. Why not just swap boyfriends for the holiday? Sounds like a great plan. Until it's not.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Boyfriend Swap and loved every bit of it! I have read quite a few of Meredith's books already and this one really stood out for me as just a bit different from her previous ones. The characters are very likable and real, the storyline felt unique to me, and I found myself very wrapped up in the lives of Robyn and Sydney.

Not that all those things hadn't happened in her other books. It just seemed to me that Meredith took her writing to a new level with this story. I really loved reading this book and I'm excited for what will come next from this author.

And it's a Christmas story! How can you not love that?

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

About the author

Meredith Schorr

A born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to. After trying her hand penning children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing chick lit and contemporary women’s fiction. She secures much inspiration from her day job as a hard-working trademark paralegal and her still single (but looking) status.

Meredith is also the co-founder of BookBuzz, a live author/reader event held annually. She is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner. Novelista Girl is her fifth novel.

Connect with Meredith

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon


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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Dead Don't Dance by Charles Martin

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.


This week I am offering a book that has been on my bookshelves for a long time. It's time to let someone else have a chance to read it. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


The Dead Don't Dance

The Dead Don't Dance by Charles Martin
Series: Awakening #1
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 28th 2006 by Thomas Nelson

A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he's lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever—or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?

The Dead Don't Dance is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man's spiritual journey through the darkness of despair and into the light of hope. 

About the author

Christy and I married in 1993. If you include dating, I’ve known and loved her for more than half my life. She is and always will be the home for my heart. We have three boys. Charlie, John T. and Rives. Folks often ask me, which of my books do I like the best. You might as well line up my sons and ask me who I love the most.

My hobbies are bow hunting, working out (a blend of old school stuff and martial arts, called Fight Fit) and Tae Kwon Do. In October 2012 I earned my black belt but I’m still the least flexible person you’ve ever met. The guy that trains me, laughs everytime I start warming up. My boys are far better at Tae Kwon Do than I but I doubt they have as much fun – I get to do and watch. They just do.

I also like to write, but that’s another story. ~ Author's website

Connect with Charles


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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty: Voices, an Excerpt, and a #Giveaway!


Breaking and Holding

Breaking and Holding by Judy Fogarty 
Paperback and e-book, 366 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Lake Union Publishing

For Patricia Curren, the summer of 1978 begins with a devastating discovery: an unfamiliar black pearl button in the bed she shares with her controlling husband, Jack. Seeking the courage to end her desolate marriage, Patricia spends a quiet summer alone on beautiful Kiawah Island. But when she meets Terry Sloan, a collegiate tennis player trying to go pro, their physical attraction sparks a slow burn toward obsession.

Once Patricia and Terry share closely guarded secrets from their pasts, they want more than a summer together. But their love soon fractures, as a potential sponsor takes an unusually keen interest in Terry—both on court and off. And when single, career-driven Lynn Hewitt arrives, other secrets must surface, including the one Patricia has kept from Terry all summer.

An intimate portrait of the folly of the human heart, Breaking and Holding explores buried truths that are startlingly unveiled. What’s left in their wake has the power not only to shatter lives…but to redeem them.

Ok, this book "had me at hello!" Well, there really wasn't a 'hello' but seriously, it had me hooked from the very first chapter. I read that first chapter, it grabbed me, and then I was blown away by the last sentence. I wanted more! I immediately clicked over to Amazon and bought it. Breaking and Holding just moved to the top of my TBR list.  

I am so excited to have Judy here today, answering my 'Voices' question and..... she is allowing me to give you all a peek at that captivating Chapter 1. This is a long post today but believe me, you will want to read all of it. After you're done reading all that goodness, head on down to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway for not just one, but two copies of Breaking and Holding!! 

And can I just say that this cover is stunning?!



Welcome to The Book Bag today, Judy! I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books: the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories?

I do hear my characters talking and I see them too. It's movie-like! And often they behave on their own, going places, taking actions, or saying things I never expected. Writer Anne Lamott explains it this way in her book on writing, Bird by Bird: "It's teatime and all the dolls are at the table. Listen. It's that simple." She also refers to herself as the typist who is merely transcribing what her characters are saying. 

My stories spring from things I know and love. In Breaking and Holding, those things are literature (Patricia reads), tennis (Terry plays), and advertising (Jack and Lynn's profession, and one that I worked in for many years). I also find the late 70s an interesting era.

My second novel, which I am close to finishing, is also a product of things I know and love. Darcy, a Marine widow and struggling single mom with a four-year-old son, is a classical singer and teachers voice at a college. (I have a Masters degree in Vocal Performance.) Tom Montana is an enigmatic swim coach and former Olympian. (My son swam competitively, and I came to love the sport). The novel is set on the Isle of Hope, a historic neighborhood in Savannah (where I live and which I dearly love). And finally, you may remember that in 2014 and 2015, we had four "blood moons", which was quite unusual and I found interesting. This novel takes place over 31 days, between a full moon in June and a blood moon in July. As you might expect, it has chilling aspects in addition to romantic ones. The nature of family is its theme.

And now, here's that first chapter I was raving about! Read it and see what I mean. Let me know what you think, I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me. It will make you want more. 


This isn't my story. It's Patricia and Terry's. But in the summer of 1978, their lives were wound around mine like strands of twine around a spool. Twine. Rope. Barbed wire by August.

I still have the notes I took out of habit that summer, not knowing what else to do. I have Patricia's journal too, which she left at the beach house on Kiawah Island in the aftermath. I find it too painful to read.

I have the moist heat of the Carolina coast, even here in New York. I see the rivers and smell the salt marsh, sweet with life and bitingly sour. I hear the perpetual respiration of the ocean, rolling us toward what I called date-certain—Labor Day, September 4, 1978.

I have me, interloper turned housemate. A his-and-hers confidante, counselor, friend. Speaking truth to love. Lying to power. A fascinated witness, in the middle of it all, the place I hate most to be.

On the first of June, I took in everything at once and made sense of nothing. Patricia was sitting on the side of the bed. The sheets had been stripped and lay on the floor beside a haphazard pile of her husband's suits. The arms and legs of coats and trousers were at odd angles, as if limbs inside were broken or dislocated. Dress shirts were in another pile. Pockets monogrammed JC. She hadn't answered the door, hadn't responded when I stepped inside and called her name. She'd ignored the click of my heels on the heart pine floor.

"Dear God," I said, "what's wrong?"

Her eyes were downcast, her shoulders, round. "Where is my husband, Lynn?" she said, without looking up.

"He's finalizing the presentation. He's changed the ad campaign so many times, the art director may walk." Silence. "He said you were upset when you called. He asked me to come."

He'd asked me, his personal assistant, to assist his wife. He asked often when short on patience or time. Or when baffled, like today. When he couldn't intuit the problem. When, unarmed with strategy and tactics, he was afraid his temper would flare.

I sat down beside her, and she looked at me at last, blue eyes brimming, tears threatening a mudslide from her lashes. "I want to leave Jack," she said. "I want you to help me."

I looked away. The golf wear I'd purchased for her was in a box on her dresser. I'd purchased lessons for her too, at Jack's direction. A shopping bag of books sat at her feet. On the bedside table were more books, a pink compact of birth control pills, and her contact lens case.

"I want to show you something," she said. "Something you may know about." She picked up her contact case. "And I don't mean my lens. I'm sure you know about that."

I wasn't supposed to. No one was, but in The Curren Company everyone did. Custom tinted, the lens was Jack's solution to the problem of her mismatched eyes, for making the gray of her left match the cornflower blue of her right. He had no solution for their mismatched ages—her twenty-six years, his forty-nine. None for their mismatched lives.

She twisted the R cap open. In the white well, a black pearl button was another eye. Omniscient, unsympathetic, unblinking.

"It isn't mine, Lynn. I found it." She patted the mattress. "Here."

I took in a choppy breath, whitecaps of air. "You can't possibly think Jack would do that."

"Be unfaithful? Or be unfaithful in our bed?" She laid the button in her palm, made a fist, and passed her other hand over it. She uncurled her fingers, and like a failed magician, stared at what now looked like the head of a nail hammered into her palm. "Do you know who, Lynn? A client? Someone at the office?"

"That's a question for Jack," I said.

"I've wondered who all week." Tears rimming, clinging. "And I've wondered about this button. Was it on a skirt? A dress? A blouse? What color? Black on black? White, pink, yellow? Was it alone on a sleeve or in a long row of buttons? Front or back? V-neckline or mandarin?" She dropped the button back in the case. "How did this button come to be lost? Was it loose? Were they hurrying? Afraid I'd come home? Was she resisting? Was he rough?" Now the mudslide. "I look at this button and see my husband's hands."

She returned the case to the table and said, "I found something else." She took a black pinstripe coat from the floor, slid her hand into a pocket. "I don't know what I was looking for. A note. A phone number." She removed a one-inch square package, which I imagined felt cold to her touch. I sighed, knowing too much about their marriage, knowing she'd never touched a condom before. She removed the wrapper. She pulled the condom over her finger. "A covering," she said, "like my lens." She turned to me. "He wants to take care of me. And he does. But by controlling me." She dropped the condom in her lap. "He is standing in the way of everything I want in my life."

In one swift motion, she removed the contact lens I had never seen her without. The difference in color was so dramatic that the gray eye appeared much larger than the blue and almost off-center. I managed not to shudder, but I stared. It was chilling. It was also telling. Two people inside her stared back at me. One docile, one determined. My helpless friend, my boss's new foe.

She laid her head on my shoulder. "I could leave him, if I were you, but I'm not. And I'm not sure I can."

She went into the bathroom, dropped the condom in the trash, and stared at the mirror. I wanted to go to her but knew if I hugged her she'd sob. I scanned the room until my eyes met Raggedy Ann's.

The goddamn doll, Jack called her. A gift for Patricia's third birthday, handmade by her mother, Raggedy Ann wore the traditional white apron over her dress, but the yarn stitched luxuriantly into her head was yellow instead of red and her big-button eyes were mismatched. Over the years her painted smile had faded, but those eyes shone as if new.

"I disobeyed him this morning," Patricia said, stepping back into the bedroom. She straightened the doll's apron and went on in a sunny half whisper. "I went to Harlem, to the public library, which he told me not to do. I volunteered for a program called Read and Reach for the Stars. I sat on the floor and read to children for hours. I can't remember the last time I was that happy."

"You're exaggerating. Every time you open a novel you're happy, or go to a reading or a concert or a play."

"Don't tell Jack," she said. "About Harlem. Or the button. Especially the button."

"You tell him," I stood to go. "I have to get back. He needs me. He wants the Kiawah account badly."

"Wait, Lynn. I went to the Book Mart today. The Gotham." She dug through the shopping bag of books, found the one she wanted to show me.

My eyebrows arched at the title. I'd bought the book the day it was published, read it in one rainy Saturday sitting. "This is 1978, Patricia. You're five years late."

"No, three. Three years married and three years late in doing something other than what my husband tells me to." She returned the book to the bag. "Do you think I'll like it?"

I hesitated. "Yes."

At The Curren Company, the clucking of typewriters had ceased. The workday had stolen the crisp starch of morning. Jack had rolled his shirtsleeves and loosened his tie.

"She's fine," I said, and he nodded, a thank-you in his eyes. "Or she's better at least."

I switched off the overhead projector, sure he'd rehearsed the presentation in my absence. I turned off the fluorescents, hoping the soft light of the tall brass lamps on his credenza would persuade him to wrap things up and go home. Instead he asked about the executives, twelve hours and a handshake away.

"What should I know about them professionally, Lynn?"

I handed him my report on the management team. "The CEO thinks an oceanfront golf resort in South Carolina doesn't need an advertising agency in New York."

He looked at me over his reading glasses. The challenge in his eyes was as bright as the lights of the city, framed by the floor-to-ceiling windows of his corner office, thirty-fourth floor. The squeaking of his leather chair as he rocked and skimmed my work became the only sound in the room.

He leaned forward, forearms on his desk. "What should I know about them personally?"

"Golf. The sales director is a member of Pine Valley. The CEO, of Augusta."

"That's good," he said, "though I haven't played golf in a year."

"The vice president of marketing and his wife play tennis," I said.


"Careful, Jack. Your scorn is showing."

"I don't know one damn thing—"

"The current rivalry is Connors-Borg—the American bad boy versus the stoic European. The 'Ice Borg' or 'Ice Man,' whose mere presence on court causes women to 'Borgasm.'"

He laughed for the first time all day. "All women? You?"

I went on. "The new wunderkind is John McEnroe. He's eighteen, just turned pro. Wimbledon begins on the twenty-eighth. You might suggest Mr. and Mrs. Marketing VP fly up for the U.S. Open in August. You might offer them The Curren Company box."

"Since when does my company have a box?"

"I have one reserved," I said, and he smiled. "I need to let them know. Do you want—"

"Go with it. And thank you, Lynn. I hope my sincerity is showing."

With his chair tilted back to the maximum angle, he took a moment to relax. When he rocked forward again, he lit a cigarette and studied me. "What is it?"

Smoke curled between us. "Patricia."

"You said she was fine."

I tried to decide whether husband or wife deserved my loyalty. "Jack."

He clamped the Viceroy between his lips and began scribbling tactics on a yellow legal pad, leaving me to wonder if he'd heard and ignored me or tuned me—and Patricia—out completely. On this night, at least, I chose Patricia. I told him only, "She bought Fear of Flying." I had to say it twice before his eyes met mine.

"Patricia has never been afraid to fly," he said.

"It's a novel, Jack. It's a feminist novel. I wouldn't call it militant feminism—"

"Is there another brand?"

His smile was a familiar invitation to banter, but I was tired. I stayed on task. "It's not self-help. It's fiction, but not what she usually reads. I think she's trying—" I braked as he raised his hand. "You can't fix my wife, Lynn. Please." He let out a smoky sigh. "I can’t get her beyond when I was seven. She can't finish the sentence even for me. If I can't help her—" He crushed out the thought with the cigarette. "Children are orphaned," he said. "Children are broken and they recover. For whatever reason, Patricia did not."

He swiveled his chair, and we looked at her photograph together. I saw an inmate in a sterling frame.

He cleared his throat. "Mail the May P&Ls when you get them. To Kiawah. To the beach house."

He gave me a meeting-is-over nod. He picked up the portfolio with one hand and his briefcase with the other. Scuffed with twenty-two years of accomplishment, leather cracking around the handles, it was the only thing he was sentimental about. Patricia had given him a new one for Christmas. He'd had me return it the following day.

We crossed the room and paused ceremoniously at the large framed collection of ads on the wall beside the door—newspaper and magazine ads, some color, some black and white. They comprised the award-winning print campaign that had taken an Iowa dairy farm, its failing product, and The Curren Company from regional obscurity to national renown—a print campaign built around seven-year-old Patricia. Her hysteria at the initial photo shoot was the only reason Jack had impulsively changed the shot, headline, and strategy. Without knowing it, he had also changed his life.

He set his briefcase on the floor and I watched the ritual. He touched the frame as he did at the beginning and end of each day, as if dipping his fingers into a font of holy success or brushing them against a corporate mezuzah.

He said for the first time, "Thank God she was broken."

In the elevator, I thought of the rules I'd learned from coworkers on my first day at the office.

Never say: The agency wouldn't be where it is today without that campaign.

Or: The little girl made the man, made him a success.

Never in any context say: Trophy wife.

Never say: Jack is superstitious.

Or: He married Patricia sixteen years after the ad campaign, when he needed another bit of luck.

As for the last one, I knew better. Beautiful, virginal, helpless, she was an intriguing challenge he couldn't resist. I tried again. "About Patricia."

"She's my dependent, and I don't mean on a tax return."

"You say that like you're proud."

"She's my dependent. You're my assistant. Don't analyze. Just assist." He gave me the disarming smile he used with tough clients.

"That doesn't work with me," I said, and when he chuckled, I persisted. "It's not only the novel. It's something I can't quite grasp, but it's there. Something is stirring. It's atypical."

"Is it problematic?"

I met his gaze head-on. "I don't know, Jack. I really don't."

"Noted," he said. But it wasn't. I could tell.

Often that summer I wondered if I should have given him a stronger warning that night. I might have, if I'd known what Patricia would do. I imagined her taking a job, a trip, too many sleeping pills, even divorcing him. I imagined many things. I knew only one: If the self-worth she sought led her to the fault line of infidelity, if it fractured and she crossed it, I would not tell her husband. I owed her that much.

The black pearl button was mine.

Judy has graciously offered 2 copies of Breaking and Holding—1 paperback copy and 1 Kindle e-book. The first name drawn will get their choice and the second name drawn will get the remaining copy. 

Thank you so much, Judy and good luck everyone! 


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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Return to Christmas Falls ~ Seven Heartwarming Stories and a Giveaway!

Return to Christmas Falls

Homecoming in Christmas Falls 
by Ciara Knight

Eight years after fleeing Christmas Falls because of a high school prank gone wrong, Ashley Brooks receives a mysterious letter from her mentor asking her to come home. She arrives to face all she left behind—her family, her friends, and the rich boy she’d loved who would never date the girl from the wrong side of town.

Brent Donnelly, high school jock, brainiac, and dutiful son did everything right until the day Ashley returns to ChristmasFalls. With one look at the girl who got away he questions all his life choices, including following in his father’s footsteps in the family business.

Faced with a potentially devastating decline of tourism in their hometown, Brent and Ashley must work together to save the magic of their town, but when Ashley discovers he still has feelings for her best friend she must finally face the real reason she left Christmas Falls—to try to heal her broken heart.

Honeymoon for One in Christmas Falls
by Jennifer Peel

Is there room for two on this honeymoon for one?

Piper Wyatt’s Christmas wish is to get promoted to manager at Blackstock Hotel and Resort. Not only does the promotion mean more money, but it means more time with her son and proof that she’s not such a disappointment after all.

Jace Petersen, successful owner of a national chain of sporting goods stores, finds himself alone and miserable on what should have been his honeymoon. That is until he literally falls onto the lovely Piper Wyatt. He’s intrigued with this woman who can fix a car in high heels. Too bad for him, he makes a horrible first impression, and Piper’s not allowed to mingle with the guests.

While Piper tries her best to steer clear of Jace during his stay, she can’t help but notice he’s not the man from their first meeting. But is he worth risking her promotion? Or is Jace right, Piper deserves more than she ever thought possible for herself?

Find out in this charming Christmas tale about finding love in the most unexpected place, a honeymoon.

Once Again in Christmas Falls
by Becky Monson

In one day, London Walsh finds out her ex is going to be her boss and that her parents are getting a divorce—and they want her to referee the situation. So when she’s offered the chance to spend the holidays in her old hometown of ChristmasFalls, far away from all the drama, she jumps on it.

But the quaint town doesn’t feel quite like the home it once was. London shed the goth image that defined her in high school long ago, but no one recognizes the woman she's become.

Except for Andy Broll, London’s childhood next door neighbor. He recognizes her immediately, which sends London’s heart fluttering as she starts to see Andy in a whole different light. But when her time in Christmas Falls doesn’t go as planned, will London face it head on? Or will she find a reason to run?

Rumor Has It in Christmas Falls
by Melinda Curtis

As a political strategist at Dunlop Bennet & Associates, Lexi Townsend's career is going nowhere. She's a cubical dweller writing speeches for freshmen senators in DC. But if she can hitch her career wagon to a rising political star, she’ll be on her way to a corner office in no time. When she’s offered a plum holiday assignment–an ideal candidate with deep pockets, someone who could make the leap from local to national politics–she starts to dream about that corner office.

Until she realizes her candidate is Kevin O’Malley, aka Kevin the Hottie, Kevin the Snob, Kevin the Liar, the same guy who shattered her high school reputation back home in Christmas Falls with a rumor. Assignment in hand, Lexi braces herself for the most difficult political race of her career--because this time it’s personal.

Forever Yours in Christmas Falls
by Susan Hatler

Morgan Reed is excited to return to her hometown of Christmas Falls and open her beauty salon, but when she arrives to her rented business space she’s shocked to find it already occupied by Dallas Parker—her brother’s best friend, the guy she had a childhood crush on, and the one her mom blames for their family’s greatest tragedy.

With their landlord out of the country and unreachable, Morgan and Dallas must open their businesses together. But, no worries, all small towns need a combo furniture store/beauty salon, right? Ugh. As they work together, Morgan tries to keep her emotional distance but time and off-the-charts chemistry soon turn a childhood friendship into a blossoming romance.

Unfortunately, just when their relationship develops into something deeper, an unexpected crisis re-opens her family’s old wounds and the blame is on Dallas once again. Will Morgan’s sadness and fear pull them apart, or make her realize Dallas has always been her heart’s true safe harbor?

Love Notes in Christmas Falls
by Beth Labonte

When Caitlin Cook left the small town of Christmas Falls, Tennessee to attend Harvard University, she left behind the burden of her parents’ slowly increasing hoard of antiques, a much younger brother, and Shane Mitchell—the boy who blindsided her with the news that he loved her on the night before she left.

Shane Mitchell spent his high school years fascinated by Caitlin Cook. The quiet flute player with her nose always in a book, he wanted desperately to find out what made her tick.

Eight years later, Caitlin returns to Christmas Falls—unemployed and newly single—after receiving a devastating letter from her beloved high school mentor. Caitlin is shocked to find her childhood home in disarray, and her little brother in desperate need of his sister. With Shane’s help—now a pillar of the community rather than the carefree teenager Caitlin once knew—she begins to rediscover her love for music, antiques, and possibly even Shane. When faced with the choice of rebuilding her life in Boston, or giving love a second chance in Christmas Falls, will Caitlin be able to decide on the true meaning of home?

Finding The Truth in Christmas Falls
by Danielle Stewart

Olivia Mackey spent her whole life hearing how she was destined for bigger and better places than Christmas Falls, Tennessee. A regular on the beauty queen scene from a very young age, she learned from her stage mom, that appearances mean everything. Having spent the years after high school traveling the world and failing at the dream everyone told her she should have, she's back home and wondering what she's to do next.
Nothing is where she left it. Friends have scattered, her mentor is ill, and Olivia is fumbling her way through a big life in a small town.

Tim Avondale and his young daughter showed up in Christmas Falls one evening looking for a fresh start. Buying the Sleepy Hound Bookstore seemed the perfect opportunity. Life had gone so wrong and now here in this quiet town he could keep anything bad from happening to his daughter again.

When the two cross paths Olivia and Tim find an instant connection. A tug toward each other they don't want to ignore. The problem is, in the process they are being tugged away from all the things they thought were important in their lives. He can't hide out from real life forever. She is more than just what people see on the surface. But when they're forced to decide will they choose to be better together or safer apart?

amazon or paypal

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 11/5/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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, October 23, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? October 23, 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!


I had a very busy week at work and then spent the weekend at my daughter's. Got home Sunday afternoon and took it easy as today we start grandkiddo duty for about a week. Yikes!

Fall is here with a vengeance! It was really windy on Friday and it took most of the leaves off of the trees. I'm getting the feeling that winter is right around the corner. Double yikes!!

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

What I'm currently reading

The Whistling Season
The Whistling Season (Morrie Morgan #1)
by Ivan Doig
This is my book club read for this week.

Ghost Gifts (Ghost Gifts #1)
by Laura Spinella, narrated by Nicol Zanzarella
Book #2, Foretold, comes out tomorrow!

What I recently finished

The Boyfriend Swap
by Meredith Schorr
Loved it! My thoughts will be posted later this week. 

What I am going to read next

Something Like Family
by Heather Burch

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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.


The book this week has been a very popular book among those who love a twists and turns, edge of your seat type of read. We read it for one of my book clubs but I ended up not being there when we discussed it. It would have been interesting to hear what other people thought of it. I really enjoyed it and I know one of you will too. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published July 19th 2016 by Gallery/Scout Press 

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read. 

About the author

Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer, and is the internationally bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and the forthcoming The Lying Game (July 2017). She is married with two small children. ~ Amazon

Connect with Ruth


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Monday, October 16, 2017

Cover Reveal! 25 Days of Christmas, An Author Friends with Benefits Anthology

25 Days of Christmas; a Holiday Romance Anthology

In the run up to Christmas, instead of opening your advent calendar each day, why not read a short holiday themed story?

25 short romances from a variety of romance authors, all set on making your holiday season sassy, sweet and saucy.

Authors included:

Hanleigh Bradley
Anna Edwards
Serena Kearney
Aleisha Maree
Skye McKinnon
Shelly Strickler
Ines Vieira
Grace Risata
Lisette Kristensen
Sheritta Bitikofer
Sarah Stein
Gloria Herrmann
Meg Anne
Chrissy Shafanda
Lashanta Charles
Cathy Johns
Janet Mota
Jeannette Keats
Amy Allen Hallmark
Rae B. Lake

Coming soon!! 


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