Fall Reading Challenge 2017 – Midterm Memoirs (spotlight, giveaway)

 

Love Warrior
written by Glennon Doyle
published by Flatiron Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: #1 New York Times Bestseller

Oprah’s Book Club 2016 Selection

A memoir of marriage and self-discovery by bestselling author Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior is a gorgeous and inspiring account of how we are all born to be warriors: strong, powerful, and brave; able to confront the pain and claim the love that exists for us all. This chronicle of a beautiful, brutal journey speaks to anyone who yearns for deeper, truer relationships and a more abundant, authentic life.

 

I’m The One Who Got Away
written by Andrea Jarrell
published by She Writes Press,

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: When Andrea Jarrell was a girl, her mother often told her of their escape from Jarrell’s dangerous, cunning father as if it was a bedtime story. In this real-life Gilmore Girls story, mother and daughter develop an unusual bond, complicated by a cautionary tale of sexual desire and betrayal. Once grown, Jarrell thinks she’s put that chapter of her life behind her–until a woman she knows is murdered, and she suddenly sees how her mother’s captivating story has also held her captive, influencing her choices in lovers and friends. Set in motion by this murder, Jarrell’s compact memoir is about the difficulty that daughters have separating from–while still honoring–their mothers, and about the perils of breaking the hereditary cycle of addiction. It’s also about Jarrell’s quest to make a successful marriage and family of her own–a journey first chronicled in her “Modern Love” essay for The New York Times. Without preaching or prescribing, I’m the One Who Got Away is a life-affirming story of having the courage to become both safe enough and vulnerable enough to love and be loved.

 

But My Brain Had Other Ideas
written by Deb Brandon
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: When Deb Brandon discovered that cavernous angiomas–tangles of malformed blood vessels in her brain–were behind the terrifying symptoms she’d been experiencing, she underwent one brain surgery. And then another. And then another. And that was just the beginning. 

The book also includes an introduction by Connie Lee, founder and president of the Angioma Alliance. Unlike other memoirs that focus on injury crisis and acute recovery, But My Brain Had Other Ideas follows Brandon’s story all the way through to long-term recovery, revealing without sugarcoating or sentimentality Brandon’s struggles–and ultimate triumph.

Lost in the Reflecting Pool
written by Diane Pomerantz
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: When Diane, a psychologist, falls in love with Charles, a charming and brilliant psychiatrist, there is laughter and flowers–and also darkness. After moving through infertility treatments and the trials of the adoption process as a united front, the couple is ultimately successful in creating a family. As time goes on, however, Charles becomes increasingly critical and controlling, and Diane begins to feel barraged and battered. When she is diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, Charles is initially there for her, but his attentiveness quickly vanishes and is replaced by withdrawal, anger, and unfathomable sadism. What Diane previously thought were just Charles’ controlling ways are replaced by clear pathologic narcissism and emotional abuse that turns venomous at the very hour of her greatest need. A memoir and a psychological love story that is at times tender and at times horrifying, Lost in the Reflecting Pool is a chronicle of one woman’s struggle to survive within–and ultimately break free of–a relationship with a man incapable of caring about anyone beyond himself.

 

 

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Fall Reading Challenge 2017 – September Courses (spotlight, giveaway)

 

Emma in the Night
written by Wendy Walker
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links)  Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksTargetWalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

You can read my 4-star review here.

About the book – from Goodreads: From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

 

 

The Cottingley Secret
written by Hazel Gaynor
published by WIlliam Morrow Paperbacks, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: The author of The Girl Who Came Home turns the clock back one hundred years to a time when two young girls from Cottingley, Yorkshire, convinced the world that they had done the impossible and photographed fairies in their garden. Now, in her newest novel, international bestseller Hazel Gaynor reimagines their story.

1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true—didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished. But when one of the great novelists of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, becomes convinced of the photographs’ authenticity, the girls become a national sensation, their discovery offering hope to those longing for something to believe in amid a world ravaged by war. Frances and Elsie will hide their secret for many decades. But Frances longs for the truth to be told.

One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world. But it is the discovery of an old photograph that leads her to realize how the fairy girls’ lives intertwine with hers, connecting past to present, and blurring her understanding of what is real and what is imagined. As she begins to understand why a nation once believed in fairies, can Olivia find a way to believe in herself?

 

Good Me Bad Me
written by Ali Land
published by Flatiron Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Good Me Bad Me is dark, compelling, voice-driven psychological suspense by debut author Ali Land.

How far does the apple really fall from the tree?

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.

 

The Bad Dream Notebook
written by Linda Dahl
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: John and Erica Mason-Grey are hard-working artists and loving parents–but when John dies, their teenage daughter Mona’s casual drug use spirals into heroin addiction. She and her mother soon begin an anguished game of hide-and-seek leading to countless arguments, arrests, thefts, rehabs, and relapse, a recurring nightmare that seems to have no end. Ultimately, it’s only when each of them finds a way to accept their new reality–Mona by taking charge of her own recovery, and Erica by focusing on her own vitality–that each experiences the unexpected joy and renewal that await those who decide to stop living in the bad dream of addiction. Unflinching about the ways the disease of addiction can torpedo a family yet leavened with dollops of humor, The Bad Dream Notebook will resonate with anyone who has lived through the agony of a loved one’s drug dependency.

 

 

 

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EFC Promotions Blog Tour Wrap-Up: Back to December by Heather McCoubrey

Back to DecemberBack to December
written by Heather McCoubrey
published by Heather McCoubrey

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooksGoodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Thanks to an abusive mother and an absent father, Anna Blackhurst has only known the love of two people: her Gram and her best friend, Niki.

When Anna meets Cooper Reed in a smoky club, she’s immediately drawn to his good looks but isn’t prepared to open herself up to a relationship. As time passes, Anna finds herself falling in love with Cooper and she begins to rethink her future. Maybe, despite her childhood, she can have a happy-ever-after.

But when her mother is in a terrible accident, she again sinks her claws into Anna and Anna’s world is thrown upside down. Despite Cooper’s unwavering support, Anna walks away only to regret it immediately. In order to heal, not only herself, but her broken relationship, Anna must stand up for herself and accept that the only way she’s going to be happy is if she grabs ahold of it herself.

 

heather mccoubreyAbout the author: Heather McCoubrey is a native of Maine, but having moved all over the U.S. as a child, she doesn’t sound like one. She’s been writing since middle school when a teacher taught her she could create her own stories instead of just reading them. That year she had some of her first poems published in the school magazine and from there she graduated to writing a full-length novel in high school.

Heather is the self-published author of To Love TwiceBack to December, and Emily’s Choice. She also contributed a short story for A Kind of Mad Courage: Short Stories about Mothers (S)mothers and Others anthology. All proceeds go to the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation for AI disorders.
Heather resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, T. Rex the chihuahua, and Psycho Killer the outside cat. When she’s not being super-mom and wife, she ekes out time to write, watch football and MMA, practice her British accent, and dream of living on an island where it’s seventy-five degrees year-round.

Find Ms. McCoubrey here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the blog tour! You can see the bloggers’ posts below.

 

Oct. 23: EFC Kickoff Post

Oct. 24: Twinkle Varshney

Oct. 25: Bound 2 Escape

Oct. 27: Books, Dream, Life

Oct. 27: Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview

Oct. 27: Always a Book to Read

Oct. 28: The Book Corner Buzz – Review

Oct. 29: CBY Book Club

Oct. 30: The Book Drealms

Oct. 30: The Desert Bibliophile – Guest Post

Oct. 31: Girl With Book Lungs

Nov. 1: Carol’s Notebook – Guest Post

Nov. 2: Leels Loves Books – Review

Nov. 3: Cover 2 Cover

Nov. 6: EFC Wrap-Up Post

Congratulations to Vicky at Deal Sharing Aunt for winning our Host Incentive Reward!

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Magic of Memoir Blog Tour: While They’re Still Here by Patricia Williams (spotlight, giveaway)

 

While They’re Still Here
written by Patricia Williams
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: After a lifetime of strained bonds with her aging parents, Patricia Williams finds herself in the unexpected position of being their caregiver and neighbor. As they all begin to navigate this murky battleground, the long-buried issues that have divided their family for decades–alcoholism, infidelity, opposing politics–rear up and demand to be addressed head-on. 

Williams answers the call of duty with trepidation at first, confronting the lines between service and servant, guardian and warden, while her parents alternately resist her help and wear her out. But by facing each new struggle with determination, grace, and courage, they ultimately emerge into a dynamic of greater transparency, mutual support, and teachable moments for all. Honest and humorous, graceful and grumbling, While They’re Still Here is a poignant story about a family that waves the white flag and begins to heal old wounds as they guide each other through the most vulnerable chapter of their lives.

 

 

 

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Magic of Memoir Blog Tour: Our Grand Finale by Laraine Denny Burrell (spotlight, giveaway)

 

Our Grand Finale
written by Laraine Denny Burrell
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Laraine Burrell gets the call to come back to England from the United States just in time to visit briefly with her father before he passes away. Following his death, she is overcome with grief, feeling that she has squandered the time she had with her father. Instead of staying close, she chose to travel the world and seek her own goals as a young woman, always thinking there would be time later on to tell her dad all the things she wanted to tell him–how much she loved him, and how he was her hero. Now, she realizes, it’s too late.

Wanting to do something significant for her father to make up for her neglect, Burrell reflects on the fascinating life her father, a Royal Yachtsman, led–and decides that the one thing she can do for him is to tell his exceptional life story and make sure he is not forgotten. Our Grand Finale is the culmination of that effort–an exploration of both the author’s and her father’s unusual life experiences, and a reminder that “later” doesn’t always come.

 

 

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Magic of Memoir Blog Tour: Motherhood Reimagined by Sarah Kowalski (spotlight, giveaway)

 

Motherhood Reimagined
written by Sarah Kowalski
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, TargetBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: At the age of thirty-nine, Sarah Kowalski began to realize time was running out to have a baby. After grappling with what it meant to have a baby alone, she eventually realized that she’d always wanted a baby more than anything and decided to use a sperm donor–only to find out she was infertile. Thus began a year of hope and despair in which she fought the diagnosis, refusing to accept her doctor’s suggestion that she move on to donor eggs. In the months that followed, Kowalski catapulted herself into a diligent regime of herbs, Qigong, meditation, acupuncture, and more in a futile attempt to improve her egg quality. It was only after facing the dormant self-doubt and self-hatred fueled by her body’s inability to conceive that she was able to surrender her previous notions of what it meant to be a mother and embrace a path to motherhood that involved both egg and sperm donation. A story of personal triumph and unconditional love, Motherhood Reimagined reveals what’s possible when we are willing to put down the version of motherhood we expected and embrace the unconventional.

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Magic of Memoir Blog Tour: Lost in the Reflecting Pool by Diane Pomerantz (spotlight, giveaway)

 

Lost in the Reflecting Pool
written by Diane Pomerantz
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: When Diane, a psychologist, falls in love with Charles, a charming and brilliant psychiatrist, there is laughter and flowers–and also darkness. After moving through infertility treatments and the trials of the adoption process as a united front, the couple is ultimately successful in creating a family. As time goes on, however, Charles becomes increasingly critical and controlling, and Diane begins to feel barraged and battered. When she is diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, Charles is initially there for her, but his attentiveness quickly vanishes and is replaced by withdrawal, anger, and unfathomable sadism. What Diane previously thought were just Charles’ controlling ways are replaced by clear pathologic narcissism and emotional abuse that turns venomous at the very hour of her greatest need. A memoir and a psychological love story that is at times tender and at times horrifying, Lost in the Reflecting Pool is a chronicle of one woman’s struggle to survive within–and ultimately break free of–a relationship with a man incapable of caring about anyone beyond himself.

 

 

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Magic of Memoir Blog Tour: You Can’t Buy Love Like That by Carol E. Anderson (spotlight, giveaway)

 

You Can’t Buy Love Like That
written by Carol E. Anderson
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Carol Anderson grows up in a fundamentalist Christian home in the ’60s, a time when being gay was in opposition to all social and religious mores and against the law in most states. Fearing the rejection of her parents, she hides the truth about her love orientation, creating emotional distance from them for years, as she desperately struggles to harness her powerful attractions to women while pursuing false efforts to be with men.

The watershed point in Carol’s journey comes when she returns to graduate school and discovers the feminist movement, which emboldens her sense of personal power and the freedom to love whom she chooses. But this sense of self-possession comes too late for honesty with her father. His unexpected death before she can tell him the truth brings the full cost of Carol’s secret crashing in–compelling her to come out to her mother before it is too late. Candid and poignant, You Can’t Buy Love Like Thatreveals the complex invisible dynamics that arise for gay people who are forced to hide their true selves in order to survive–and celebrates the hard-won rewards of finding one’s courageous heart and achieving self-acceptance and self-love.

 

 

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Magic of Memoir Blog Tour: But My Brain Had Other Ideas by Deb Brandon (spotlight, giveaway)

 

But My Brain Had Other Ideas
written by Deb Brandon
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: When Deb Brandon discovered that cavernous angiomas–tangles of malformed blood vessels in her brain–were behind the terrifying symptoms she’d been experiencing, she underwent one brain surgery. And then another. And then another. And that was just the beginning. 

The book also includes an introduction by Connie Lee, founder and president of the Angioma Alliance. Unlike other memoirs that focus on injury crisis and acute recovery, But My Brain Had Other Ideas follows Brandon’s story all the way through to long-term recovery, revealing without sugarcoating or sentimentality Brandon’s struggles–and ultimate triumph.

 

 

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Happy 2

 

EFC Promotions Blog Tour Kickoff: Back to December by Heather McCoubrey

Back to DecemberBack to December
written by Heather McCoubrey
published by Heather McCoubrey

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, iBooksGoodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Thanks to an abusive mother and an absent father, Anna Blackhurst has only known the love of two people: her Gram and her best friend, Niki.

When Anna meets Cooper Reed in a smoky club, she’s immediately drawn to his good looks but isn’t prepared to open herself up to a relationship. As time passes, Anna finds herself falling in love with Cooper and she begins to rethink her future. Maybe, despite her childhood, she can have a happy-ever-after.

But when her mother is in a terrible accident, she again sinks her claws into Anna and Anna’s world is thrown upside down. Despite Cooper’s unwavering support, Anna walks away only to regret it immediately. In order to heal, not only herself, but her broken relationship, Anna must stand up for herself and accept that the only way she’s going to be happy is if she grabs ahold of it herself.

 

heather mccoubreyAbout the author: Heather McCoubrey is a native of Maine, but having moved all over the U.S. as a child, she doesn’t sound like one. She’s been writing since middle school when a teacher taught her she could create her own stories instead of just reading them. That year she had some of her first poems published in the school magazine and from there she graduated to writing a full-length novel in high school.

Heather is the self-published author of To Love TwiceBack to December, and Emily’s Choice. She also contributed a short story for A Kind of Mad Courage: Short Stories about Mothers (S)mothers and Others anthology. All proceeds go to the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation for AI disorders.

 

Heather resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, T. Rex the chihuahua, and Psycho Killer the outside cat. When she’s not being super-mom and wife, she ekes out time to write, watch football and MMA, practice her British accent, and dream of living on an island where it’s seventy-five degrees year-round.

Find Ms. McCoubrey here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

Oct. 23: EFC Kickoff Post

Oct. 24: Twinkle Varshney

Oct. 25: Bound 2 Escape

Oct. 27: Books, Dream, Life

Oct. 27: Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview

Oct. 27: Always a Book to Read

Oct. 28: The Book Corner Buzz – Review

Oct. 29: CBY Book Club

Oct. 30: The Book Drealms

Oct. 30: The Desert Bibliophile – Guest Post

Oct. 31: Girl With Book Lungs

Nov. 1: Carol’s Notebook – Guest Post

Nov. 2: Leels Loves Books – Review

Nov. 3: Cover 2 Cover

 

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