Wednesday, May 29, 2024

The Girl with Three Birthdays by Patti Eddington ~ My Thoughts #TheGirlWithThreeBirthdays @shewritespress

The Girl with Three Birthdays: An Adopted Daughter’s Memoir of Tiaras, Tough Truths, and Tall Tales by Patti Eddington
Memoir, Nonfiction, 240 pages
Published May 7, 2024 by She Writes Press

Patti Eddington always knew she was adopted, and her beloved parents seemed amenable enough to questions—but she never wanted to hurt them by expressing curiosity, so she didn’t. The story of her mother cutting off and dying her hair when she was a toddler? She thought it was eccentric and funny, nothing more. When she discovered at fifteen that her birthday wasn’t actually her birthday? She believed it when her mother said she’d changed it to protect her from the “nosy old biddies” who might try to discover her identity.

It wasn’t until decades later, when a genealogy test led Patti to her biological family (including an aunt with a shocking story) and the discovery of yet another birthday, that she really began to integrate what she thought she knew about her origins. Determined to know the truth, she finally petitioned a court to unseal records that had been locked up for almost sixty years—and began to put the pieces of her past together, bit by painstaking bit.

Framed by a brief but poignant 1963 “Report of Investigation” based on a caseworker’s one-day visit to Patti’s childhood home, The Girl With Three Birthdays tells the story of an adoptee who always believed she was the answer to a couple’s seventeen-year journey to become parents, until a manila envelope from a rural county court arrived and caused her to question . . . everything.


My thoughts about The Girl with Three Birthdays ~~

(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—"For more than fifteen years, I believed the tale I was told by an older half-sister I didn't meet until I was in my forties."

I used to read a lot of biographies and autobiographies but have not really read them for quite a few years. I think I'm going to have to start again. It's always interesting to me to read and understand what other people have lived through and how they are able to process their trauma, drama, and love. 

The Girl with Three Birthdays is the true story of Patti as we watch her discover her true adoption story. I couldn't help but feel that a lot of adoptees would find themselves on the same roller coaster that Patti found herself on as she uncovered each little bit of her truth. 

This is a well written, enjoyable memoir that I became very invested in. I was right there along with Patti as she unraveled her family tree and began to understand her past. I love the title of this story—it drew me in and had me wanting to know the answer. How does a person end up with three birthdays? 

I received a copy of The Girl with Three Birthdays from the publisher and this is my honest opinion of the book.

About the author

Patti Eddington is a newspaper and magazine journalist whose favorite job ever was interviewing the famous authors who came through town on book tours. She never dreamed of writing about her life because she was too busy helping build her husband’s veterinary practice, caring for her animal obsessed daughter—whose favorite childhood toy was an inflatable tick—and learning to tap dance. 

Then fate, and a DNA test, led her to a story she felt compelled to tell. Today, the mid-century modern design enthusiast and Jazzercise instructor enjoys being dragged on walks by her ridiculous three-legged dog, David, and watching the egrets and bald eagles from her deck on a beautiful bayou in Spring Lake, Michigan. ~ Amazon

Connect with Patti


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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Release Day! The Last Lady of the Silver Screen by Deanna Lynn Sletten ~ My Thoughts #TheLastLadyOfTheSilverScreen @DeannaLSletten

Happy Release Day!

Congratulations Deanna
on the release today of
The Last Lady of the Silver Screen!

The Last Lady of the Silver Screen by Deanna Lynn Sletten
Historical Fiction, 261 pages
Published May 28, 2024 by Deanna Lynn Sletten

The streets of old Hollywood are paved with glitter and gold, secrets and lies. What’s real, and what’s imagined? Only those who lived it know the truth.

1934 – Young Kathleen Carver dreams of becoming a movie star despite her father’s warnings that she wouldn't want that life. As she grows, she becomes more determined and her strong personality and independent soul won’t let her give up. After college, she stays out east and works in the theater. Then her big break comes—Hollywood is calling—and she goes home to California to become the star she always knew she’d be. But there are bumps along the highway to stardom, heartbreak, losses, and scandals. And secrets—so many secrets to keep.

Today – Kathleen Carver hates publicity. Despite having been an actress of both stage and screen since the mid-1940s, she’s always despised the way newspapers and tabloids distorted stories about her private life. Her life had been unconventional for a single woman of her generation, making her an easy target for rumors. But now, at ninety-eight years old, she’s published her autobiography for personal reasons, and she hates that she had to do it. Additionally, she’s agreed to do several interviews for a documentary on a streaming channel, and it feels like torture sharing bits and pieces of her life with the world. But she has her reasons, and the public will never learn from her the true secrets she’s kept locked inside no matter how hard they try. Because old Hollywood had big secrets, and she refuses to betray her friends, or herself.

My thoughts about The Last Lady of the Silver Screen~~

(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—"Kathleen Carver stood on the sidelines studying the studio with disdain. It was set up to look like a living room with fake walls, an imitation fireplace, cheap carpet, and strategically placed furniture." 

Two facts. I love historical fiction and Deanna Lynn Sletten is at the top of my must-read authors, it doesn't matter what she writes. I absolutely love it when she releases a new historical fiction story. I just know it's going to be interesting and educational. The Last Lady of the Silver Screen did not disappoint!

Kathleen Carver lived the beautiful life of the movie world, but also lived with secrets. The story is told is dual timelines, the past when she was young and in demand in the movie world, and the present when she is near the end of her life, sharing her story in her upcoming autobiography, as well as holding an in-depth interview. She has her reasons for sharing her private life now but no one will learn all of the secrets. Some things cannot be shared. 

I was dropped into the magical days of the movie world of the 1940's with this story, where all the actors and actresses were beautiful, glamourous people and huge stars in the entertainment world. It was a glorious time to be alive. I absolutely loved reading about the movie world of the 40's and loved seeing all the movie star's names mentioned in the story. I love old movies and this story was a reminder to me of all of those great people from the past. 

The Last Lady of the Silver Screen is a beautifully written story about an amazing time, with an interesting character who lived through a lot. I devoured this story when I started it and loved every second I was in that world. I came to care deeply about Kathleen and admired everything she lived though. I loved all the references to the old movies and movie stars. I think I'll go watch an old movie now. 

Seriously though, if you are an old movie buff, you are going to love this story. And even is you aren't into that thing, you'll still love it for the fabulous storyline and characters. I highly recommend The Last Lady of the Silver Screen. Don't miss it!

I received The Last Lady of the Silver Screen from the author and this is my honest opinion of the book.

About the author

Deanna Lynn Sletten is the author of Mrs. Winchester's Biographer, The Ones We Leave Behind, The Women of Great Heron Lake, Maggie's Turn, The Lake Harriet Series, and several other titles. She writes compelling historical fiction, heartwarming women's fiction, romance novels, and murder mysteries. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime

Deanna has recently begun a new murder mystery series, The Rachel Emery Series which includes The Truth About Rachel and Death Becomes You.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing on the lake in the summer. ~ Goodreads

Deanna loves hearing from her readers.
Connect with her here—


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Monday, May 27, 2024

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? May 27, 2024 #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! 


This week, my post covers my reading for the last two weeks because I wasn't on my computer on Monday. Hubs and I recently purchased a motor home and we had taken it out for the weekend. One day was beautiful, the next day was totally rainy. That seems par for the course for us. Oh well, hopefully there will be more beautiful days in our camping future. 

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

What I'm currently reading

Find Me in California
by Kerry Lonsdale
eARC from author
Pub date ~ June 11

God Bless the Child
by Anne Shaw Heinrich
print ARC from publisher
Pub date ~ June 7

Behind Closed Doors
by B.A. Paris
audiobook from my collection
Published August 2016

What I recently finished

The Mistake
by Joanne DeMaio
e-book from author
Published May 13

Anna Bright Is Hiding Something
by Susie Orman Schnall
print ARC from publisher
Pub date ~ June 4

The Last Lady of the Silver Screen
by Deanna Lynn Sletten
eARC from author
Pub date ~ May 28

Sunday Money
by Maggie Hill
print ARC from publisher
Published May 14

Amelia's Shadow
by Marie Benedict
audiobook from my collection
Published February 2024

What I am going to read next

The Rom-Commers
by Katherine Center
eARC from NetGalley
Pub date ~ June 11

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Saturday, May 25, 2024

This OR That Giveaway № 150 ~ Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier OR The Winters in Bloom by Lisa Tucker #ThingsWeDoInTheDark #TheWintersInBloom


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


Things We Do in the Dark
by Jennifer Hillier
ARC - Published July 2022

Things We Do in the Dark is a brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.

When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom—covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her—she knows she'll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it's not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it's only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she's worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.

Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she's unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris's secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.

Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.


The Winters in Bloom
by Lisa Tucker
ARC ~ Published September 2011

In bestselling author Lisa Tucker’s latest, a family discovers that it’s only when the walls between the present and past crumble that the future can bloom.  

Together for over a decade, Kyra and David Winter are happier than they ever thought they could be.  They have a comfortable home, stable careers, and a young son, Michael, who they love more than anything.  Yet because of their complicated histories, Kyra and David have always feared that this domestic bliss couldn’t last - that the life they created was destined to be disrupted.  And on one perfectly average summer day, it is: Michael disappears from his own backyard.

The only question is whose past has finally caught up with them: David feels sure that Michael was taken by his troubled ex-wife, while Kyra believes the kidnapper must be someone from her estranged family, someone she betrayed years ago.

As the Winters embark on a journey of time and memory to find Michael, they will be forced to admit these suspicions, revealing secrets about themselves they’ve always kept hidden.  But they will also have a chance to discover that it’s not too late to have the family they’ve dreamed of; that even if the world is full of risks, as long as they have hope, the future can bloom.

Lyrical, wise, and witty, The Winters in Bloom is Lisa Tucker’s most optimistic work to date.  This enchanting, life-affirming story will charm readers and leave them full of wonder at the stubborn strength of the human heart.



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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Book Blitz! Pity Parade by Whitney Dineen ~ Excerpt and #Giveaway! #PityParade @WhitneyDineen @XpressoTours


Pity Parade by Whitney Dineen
(Pity Series, #4)
Publication date: May 23rd 2024
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

Trina Rockwell here. You know, your favorite TV host from Midwestern Matchmaker?I have a I am without a doubt, the unluckiest dater in the history of the entire world. I’m not even embellishing. I’ve inadvertently dated a mobster, a dead-beat dad, and a guy who puts salt on watermelon. What’s next, pineapple on pizza?As my past relationships reads like the who’s who of court jesters, it’s no wonder I’ve refused my producers desire to spotlight me as one of the singles on a new show they’re putting together.

The problem is that Midwestern Matchmaker just got canceled and unless I agree to their terms, I’m out of a job.

In order to keep doing what I love doing—matching midwestern singles, I either need to suck it up and parade my dating life on national television or I need to get married—STAT.

Guess which one I’m putting my money on?

Goodreads | Amazon



I sit down on the deck and take my shoes off. The warm boards feel wonderful on my bare feet. I can visualize myself drinking my morning coffee here every day at sunrise and sitting out and enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day. If I weren’t so desperate to get out of doing another show with Tom, I’d forget everything to do with men and simply enjoy the summer for myself.

I’m suddenly eager to put my feet into the water, so I stand up and walk down to the end of the pier. Within moments, I’m lost in my reverie and I don’t hear anyone approach before a deeply masculine voice announces, “Hi there, you must be my neighbor.”

I spin around so quickly I almost tip over. Oh. My. Heavens. I’m staring at the glorious-looking Heath Fox. My mouth suddenly goes so dry I can barely ask, “You’re my neighbor?”

His green eyes pop open in recognition as he answers, “Trina Rockwell. Imagine meeting you here.”

Heath and I met at a charity event last year. He was one of the bachelors being auctioned off for the cause—childhood diabetes. One look at him kicked my libido into overdrive and I bid more on him than the next three men received combined—for charity, of course.

“What are you doing here?” I ask this as though inquiring why he’s sunbathing on the moon or why he has fourteen toes on each foot.

“I’m taking the summer off to enjoy myself. How about you?”

“Me? Oh … um … same.” Heath’s and my charity date went spectacularly well, or so I thought, until he kissed me goodnight. After that, he assured me in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t looking to get involved with anyone.

I was offended to the extreme. It’s not like I thought I was buying a relationship with the man, but to end the night by giving me the kiss off—literally—was a bit much.

“Dating anyone?” he wants to know.

“I’m not exactly sure why would you care?” Yeah, I’m still mad, but better keep it passive-aggressive. I’m not a shrew or anything.

He shrugs nonchalantly. “I don’t know. I thought I might have heard from you again after our evening out, but I didn’t.”

You thought you’d hear from me?”

“I thought we had a nice time,” he says.

“Then maybe you should have called.” So I could tell him to take a long walk off a short pier.

“According to the paperwork we signed for the auction, I wasn’t allowed to make first contact after our date. They didn’t want any of the ladies to feel unsafe.” I don’t remember reading that, but it sounds plausible.

“Huh.” I mean, what else can I say? Oh wait, I know. “You made it perfectly clear you weren’t looking for a relationship. I can’t imagine you thought I was clueless enough not to take the hint.”

“I wasn’t looking for a relationship,” he confirms. Then with a smirk that nearly melts my butter, he adds, “Nothing long lasting, anyway.”


About the author

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries -- not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Connect with Whitney

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Release Day! Liar's Point by Laura Griffin ~ Excerpt #LiarsPoint @Laura_Griff @BerkleyPub

Happy Release Day!

Congrats Laura
on the release today of
Liar's Point!

Liar's Point by Laura Griffin
Romantic Suspense, 368 pages
Published May 21, 2024 by Berkley

Two homicide detectives must separate the puzzling truth from a growing web of lies while investigating a murder victim’s friends and lovers in Lost Beach, Texas.

Detective Nicole Lawson is fed up with her job and nonexistent love life. Her first date in months gets cut short by an urgent call from the chief of police. A body has been discovered at Lighthouse Point, and the medical examiner finds an array of strange clues. When the death is ruled a homicide, the news quickly reverberates through Nicole’s beachside hometown.

The Lost Beach police department swings into high gear. Leading the investigation is Emmet Davis, a veteran detective who is Nicole’s fiercest rival at work and also the man she has secretly harbored feelings toward for years. With Emmet calling the shots, Nicole sets out to search for leads, starting with the enigmatic yoga instructor who first discovered the body. Nicole is certain the witness knows more than she’s revealing and may even hold the key to unlocking the case.

When another person turns up dead under suspicious circumstances, Nicole sees a bizarre pattern, but no one believes her theory. Under the gun to solve the case, Nicole must put aside her tumultuous feelings and work closely with Emmet to figure out who is targeting her beloved hometown . . . before she becomes a target herself.


Nicole Lawson felt naked.

It wasn't the minidress or the strappy sandals. It wasn't even the weird slit that left the entire side of her thigh on display.

It was the Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol-or absence of it-that was making her feel exposed. She was so accustomed to those twenty-nine ounces riding on her hip, and the lack of weight was making her antsy as hell.

She checked her phone, then flipped it over.

Nicole glanced around the restaurant, which was wall-to-wall couples, of course. She'd never been in here before, and the decorations grated on her nerves. They were going for elegant, she knew-this was the Nautilus, after all-and it wasn't like the place was covered in pink balloons. The bloodred rosebuds on every table looked nice, actually. Ditto for the votive candles that emitted a soft glow. Really, it was the glitter that was giving her hives, all those tiny gold hearts sprinkled across her table like pixie dust. Just the sight was making her feel even stupider than she already did in this ridiculous dress.

She checked her phone again.

For the first time ever she had a date on Valentine's, and not just any date. Tonight was the date. She and David had gone out three times already. The last time had ended with intense kissing in his car, which definitely would have continued if he hadn't been called into work. Nothing like being summoned to an autopsy to kill the mood.

He wanted to make it up to her, though. Those were his exact words when he'd invited her to this expensive restaurant. And so Nicole had squeezed herself into a low-cut black dress that gave her the illusion of boobs, borrowed her sister's stilettos, and come here to meet him for dinner.

"Are we still waiting?"

Her server was back again with that pitying look that was almost as annoying as the glitter.

She smiled up at him. "We are."

"And would you like some wine, perhaps? Maybe a cocktail?"

"I'm good." She nodded at her half-finished water. "Thanks."

He walked off, leaving her to her silent phone. No text, no voice message. She'd even checked her email, but zip.

Nicole looked around, sure people were staring at her. God, the white-haired couple behind her was already paying their bill.

Her phone vibrated on the table, and she snatched it up.


"Where the hell are you?"

Not David. She closed her eyes.

"I'm out. Why?"

"Didn't you get the call?" Emmet asked her, and she pictured him at the police station surrounded by the typical Saturday-night chaos.

"I'm off tonight."

"Not anymore."

Her phone beeped with an incoming call, and she checked the screen.

"Listen, that's Denise. I have to go." Nicole got off with Emmet and took the call.

"Hey, what's up?"

"The chief asked me to reach you. He needs you at a scene."

Damn it.

Nicole pushed her chair back and grabbed her purse. "Does he know I'm off tonight?"


She unzipped her little black clutch and left a ten on the table. They were going to have to bus it, even though she hadn't ordered anything.

"Well, what's going on?"

"One sec," Denise said, and cut over to another call. When things were busy, the Lost Beach PD receptionist doubled as a dispatcher. She was also the chief's right hand, doing everything from managing his calendar to deflecting reporters who called in from time to time.

The front of the restaurant was packed with waiting couples. Nicole scanned the bar and the area around the hostess stand but didn't see any tall, handsome doctors looking around for their date. It was 7:32. She'd officially been stood up.


"I'm here." She squeezed past the people and pushed open the door. A cold gust hit her, and she stepped back.

"He needs you at Lighthouse Point right away. And keep it off the radio."

"What's going on?" she asked again.

"I'm not sure."

"Well, what did he say?"

"He said, 'I need Lawson at Lighthouse Point ASAP. Keep it off the radio.' That's all I have."

Nicole hunched her head down, wishing for her leather jacket as she strode across the parking lot. It had filled in since she'd arrived.

"What's your ETA?" Denise asked.

"I'll be there in five."

"Roger that."

Excerpted from Liar's Point by Laura Griffin Copyright © 2024 by Laura Griffin. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. 

About the author

Laura Griffin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty-five books and novellas. She is a two-time RITA Award winner as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award.

Connect with Laura


Saturday, May 18, 2024

This OR That #Giveaway № 149 ~ Blood Ties by Lori G. Armstrong OR The Merchant of Menace by Jill Churchill #BloodTies #TheMerchantOfMenace


I have sooooo many books!

The This or That Giveaway! feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to cull my collection and to share some of the many books I have. I get to clear off some of my shelves to make room for more books and give someone else the chance to enjoy these treasures.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


Blood Ties
by Lori G. Armstrong
Mass Market Paperback

Julie Collins is stuck in a dead-end secretarial job with the Bear Butte County Sheriff’s office, and still grieving over the unsolved murder of her Lakota half-brother. Lack of public interest in finding his murderer, or the killer of several other transient Native American men, has left Julie with a bone-deep cynicism she counters with tequila, cigarettes, and dangerous men. The one bright spot in her mundane life is the time she spends working part-time as a PI with her childhood friend, Kevin Wells. 

When the body of a sixteen-year old white girl is discovered in nearby Rapid Creek, Julie believes this victim will receive the attention others were denied. Then she learns Kevin has been hired, mysteriously, to find out where the murdered girl spent her last few days. Julie finds herself drawn into the case against her better judgment, and discovers not only the ugly reality of the young girl’s tragic life and brutal death, but ties to her and Kevin’s past that she is increasingly reluctant to revisit. 

On the surface the situation is eerily familiar. But the parallels end when Julie realizes some family secrets are best kept buried deep. Especially those serious enough to kill for.


The Merchant of Menace
by Jill Churchill
Mass Market Paperback

It's beginning to look a lot like murder.

Tis the season to jolly and suburban mom Jane Jeffry's in a mad scramble to finish her cookie baking and household chores before her teenage kids arrive home. Also expected are two moms-both the late husband's mother and the disapproving mater of Det. Mel VanDyne, Jane's significant other. The kitchen is a disaster zone, the dog has decorated the house with hair, and the earsplitting racket coming from the neighbors tacky, music-making Christmas display is driving Jane crazy. Now she has to get the green icing out of her hair and be ready to host her post-caroling dinner party.

One thing Jane isn't ready for is a surprise visit from a muckraking TV "action reporter," disguised as Santa Claus. The nasty old St. Nick is out to wrap a happy holiday caroling into a package marked "scandal," but before he has a chance to color the event with yellow journalism, his red-suited body slides off the neighbor's roof to land, silenced forever, on the horns of a plastic reindeer. It looks like Santa's mishap is no accident and, with the help of her friend Shelley, Jane finds plenty of suspects. The phony Santa has an ex-wife and a female assistant who both hate him, and plenty of nice people ruined by tales of naughtiness. Now Jane has to find the Grinch who thought murder was a way to save Christmas before the holiday turns into the unhappiest day of the year.



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