Summer Reading Challenge 2017: June Books and a Giveaway!

 

Every Last Lie
written by Mary Kubica
published by Park Row Books, 2017

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

I’m reading this one now. It starts off with a heartbreaking car crash. What a way to start a book!

About the book – from Goodreads: New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche.

“The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us.” 

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

 

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
written by Taylor Jenkins Reid
published by Atria Books, 2017

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

You can read my review here!

About the book – from Goodreads: From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

 

 

The Rules of Half 
written by Jenna Patrick
published by SparkPress, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: If Will Fletcher’s severe bipolar disorder isn’t proof he shouldn’t be a parent, his infant daughter’s grave is. Once a happily married, successful veterinarian, he now lives with his sister and thrives as the small-town crazy of Half Moon Hollow. But when a fifteen-year-old orphan claims she’s his daughter, Will is forced back into the role he fears most: fatherhood. Her biological dad isn’t the hero Regan Whitmer hoped for, but he’s better than her abusive stepfather back in Chicago. Still haunted by her mother’s suicide and the rebellious past she fears led to it, Regan is desperate for a stable home and a normal family–things Will can’t offer. Can she ride the highs and lows of his illness to find a new definition of family? The Rules of Halfexplores what it is to be an atypical family in a small town and to be mentally ill in the wake of a tragedy–and who has the right to determine both.

 

 

The Half-Life of Remorse
written by Grant Jarrett
published by SparkPress, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: When two vagrants meet on the streets of Muncie, Indiana, they are both unaware that their paths crossed years before. Chic, crude and uneducated, is convinced that Sam is nothing more than a harmless lunatic, and Sam, emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized by events long past, regards Chic as just another denizen of the street. But Chic has spent his adult life trying to purge his soul of the brutal crime he committed as a teenager―the same botched burglary that resulted in the deaths of Sam’s wife and son. Meanwhile, Sam’s daughter Claire is still unable to give up hope that her father might someday reappear. When these three lives converge, the puzzle of the past gradually falls together, but redemption commands a high price, and what is revealed will test the limits of love and challenge the human capacity for forgiveness.

 

 

Proof
written by C.E. Tobisman
published by Thomas & Mercer, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: In this gripping sequel to C.E. Tobisman’s legal thriller Doubt, techie turned attorney Caroline Auden struggles to move on with her life after her last case nearly destroyed her career.

Still haunted by the betrayal that forced her to leave a prestigious law firm, Caroline Auden struggles to keep her fledgling practice afloat—and her paranoia in check. When her grandmother dies, she mourns losing the only constant in her life. But grief soon turns to suspicion when she discovers her grandmother left her entire estate—including a valuable antique watch, the family’s sole heirloom—to a charity called Oasis Care. On the surface, Oasis helps society’s outcasts, like Caroline’s alcoholic, homeless uncle. But as she digs deeper, Caroline uncovers a sinister plot that sends her running for her life on the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.

Plunged into a world of addicts and broken souls and operating without a phone or a computer, Caroline finds sanctuary with her uncle and a ragtag group of outcasts while building evidence for her case. As she sifts through the shadowy world of the Goliath nonprofit, Caroline is also forced to confront her own dark shadows, casting doubt on her ability—and her sanity.

 

 

Last Seen (Dr. Pepper Hunt #1)
written by J.L. Doucette
published by She Writes Press, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Psychologist and police consultant Dr. Pepper Hunt, struggling to deal with the murder of her husband, leaves the private practice they shared and relocates to Wyoming. There, in the stark landscape of the high desert, there is nothing to remind her of everything she lost and left behind. Then her new patient, Kimi Benally, goes missing in a Wyoming blizzard after her last therapy session — making Pepper the last person to see her.

She knows the secrets Kimi shared in therapy hold clues to her mysterious disappearance, and she joins forces with Detective Beau Antelope to try to discover what’s happened to her. But as she follows the trail of Kimi’s obsession with the past, Pepper begins to fear the worst for her missing patient–and her own haunted memories surface.

 

 

The People We Hate at the Wedding
written by Grant Cinder
published by Flatiron Books, 2017

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

I can’t wait to read this one!

About the book – from Goodreads: Relationships are awful. They’ll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life.

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

 

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Spotlight: Quiet Until the Thaw by Alexandra Fuller

Quiet Until the Thaw
written by Alexandra Fuller
published by Penguin Press, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: From bestselling memoirist Alexandra Fuller, a debut novel.

Lakota Oglala Sioux Nation, South Dakota. Two Native American cousins, Rick Overlooking Horse and You Choose Watson, though bound by blood and by land, find themselves at odds as they grapple with the implications of their shared heritage. When escalating anger towards the injustices, historical and current, inflicted upon the Lakota people by the federal government leads to tribal divisions and infighting, the cousins go in separate directions: Rick chooses the path of peace; You Choose, violence.

Years pass, and as You Choose serves time in prison, Rick finds himself raising twin baby boys, orphaned at birth, in his meadow. As the twins mature from infants to young men, Rick immerses the boys within their ancestry, telling wonderful and terrible tales of how the whole world came to be, and affirming their place in the universe as the result of all who have come before and will come behind. But when You Choose returns to the reservation after three decades behind bars, his anger manifests, forever disrupting the lives of Rick and the boys.

A complex tale that spans generations and geography, Quiet Until the Thaw conjures with the implications of an oppressed history, how we are bound not just to immediate family but to all who have come before and will come after us, and, most of all, to the notion that everything was always, and is always, connected. As Fuller writes, “The belief that we can be done with our past is a myth. The past is nudging at us constantly.”

 

 

About the author: ALEXANDRA FULLER was born in England in 1969. In 1972, she moved with her family to a farm in southern Africa. She lived in Africa until her midtwenties. In 1994, she moved to Wyoming.

Find Ms. Fuller here: web, Amazon, Goodreads

 

 

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Blog Tour: Whatever After by E.M. Tippetts (spotlight)

 

Whatever After (Someone Else’s Fairytale, #5)
written by E.M. Tippetts
published by E.M. Tippetts, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Chloe’s got it all: a happy marriage to Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt, her first child on the way, and the chance to be the maid-of-honor in her best friend, Lori’s, upcoming wedding. The stresses of the past year are behind her… almost.

Chris Winters, Chloe’s half-brother, still isn’t in jail, even though he’s the main suspect in a double homicide. The police don’t have enough hard evidence to charge him with the crime, but Chloe is certain it was him. After all, he tried to kill her when she was a child.

When Chris begins to stalk Lori, Chloe is furious and decides it is past time he was locked up for good. She has the best security team money can buy, yet she knows they’re missing something, and mistakes in this business can be deadly. The deeper she digs, though, the less the facts add up.

Chloe’s got mere weeks to figure out how to keep her best friend safe, save the wedding from disaster, and get Chris back in jail where he belongs. That is, if she can gather enough evidence before he strikes again.

 

 

 

About the author: Emily Mah Tippetts writes science fiction as Emily Mah and sweet romance as E.M. Tippetts. A lifelong New Mexican, she lives with her family in Santa Fe, though she’s been known to spend years at a time in the UK, her second home. Aside from being a writer, she’s been a lawyer and jeweler, and is currently a stay at home mother, polymer clay artist, book designer/formatter, and owner of E.M. Tippetts Book Designs.

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

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017: More May Books and A Giveaway

 

Here are the last two fabulous boxes of books for May. In This Moment by Karma Brown is up next for me!

 

 
 

Woman No. 17
written by Edun Lepucki
published by Hogarth, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California.

High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. She’s going to need a hand with her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In comes S., a magnetic young artist, who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s young toddler son, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage, one. S. performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady. But as the summer wears on, S.’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. Lady and S. will move closer to one another as they both threaten to harm the things they hold most dear.

Darkly comic, twisty and tense, this mesmerizing new novel defies expectation and proves Edan Lepucki to be one of the most talented and exciting voices of her generation.

 

 

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3)
written by Kevin Kwan
published by Doubleday, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia’s greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance.

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife–a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan’s gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia’s most privileged families.

 

In This Moment
written by Karma Brown
published by Park Row Books, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Bestselling author Karma Brown is back with a morally infused and emotionally riveting exploration of one woman’s guilt over an unexpected—yet avoidable—tragedy.

Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she’s able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.

After school pickup one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him.

Meg can’t help but blame herself for her role in this horrific disaster. Full of remorse, she throws herself into helping the boy’s family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more Meg tries to absolve herself, the more she alienates her own family—and the more she finds herself being drawn to the boy’s father, Andrew.

Soon Meg’s picture-perfect life is unravelling before her eyes. As the painful secrets she’s been burying bubble dangerously close to the surface, she will have to decide: Can she forgive herself, or will she risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart?

Goodnight from London
written by Jennifer Robson
published by William Morrow Paperbacks, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: From USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—author of Moonlight Over Paris and Somewhere in France—comes a lush historical novel that tells the fascinating story of Ruby Sutton, an ambitious American journalist who moves to London in 1940 to report on the Second World War, and to start a new life an ocean away from her past.

In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly newsmagazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it’s an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined.

Although most of Ruby’s new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence, not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet, to feel at home in a country that is so familiar yet so foreign, when the bombs begin to fall.

As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches unbroken into weeks and months, Ruby must set aside her determination to remain an objective observer. When she loses everything but her life, and must depend upon the kindness of strangers, she learns for the first time the depth and measure of true friendship—and what it is to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren’t his to share.

Goodnight from London, inspired in part by the wartime experiences of the author’s own grandmother, is a captivating, heartfelt, and historically immersive story that readers are sure to embrace.

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017: Books and a Giveaway!

 

The Summer Reading Challenge from BookSparks has begun! I’ve already received two fabulous boxes of books. I can’t wait to read the books BookSparks has selected for the summer!

 

 

Into the Water
written by Paula Hawkins
published by Riverhead Books, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

 

 

It’s Always the Husband
written by Michele Campbell
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?

 

 

The Best of Adam Sharp
written by Graeme Simsion
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT.

But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?

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It’s Raining Books: The Absence of Evelyn by Jackie Townsend (spotlight, giveaway)

 

The Absence of EvelynThe Absence of Evelyn
written by Jackie Townsend
published by Sparkpress, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: Newly divorced Rhonda, haunted by her sister Evelyn’s ghost, travels to an old palazzo in Rome to confront Marco, the man who stole her sister’s heart–only to find out he’s vanished in the wake of Evelyn’s death. Meanwhile, Rhonda’s nineteen-year-old daughter Olivia, adopted by Rhonda at birth, travels to the mysterious and lush waters of northern Vietnam, where she’s been summoned by the missing Marco–a man she only knows from her parents’ whispers, a man she has never met or seen. Soon, truths are exposed and lives unraveled, and the real journey begins. Four lives in all, spanning three continents, are now bound together in an unfathomable way–and they tell a powerful story about love in all its incarnations, filial and amorous, healing and destructive.

AboJackie Townsendut the author: Jackie received her MBA from U.C. Berkeley and spent eight years on the fast track with a financial services consulting company before burning out. After coming to terms with what is important in life (being married to an Italian didn’t hurt!), she began writing and hasn’t stopped since.

A native of Southern California, she spends a lot of her time in places not her own. As the youngest of four children, she carries with her a strong sense of family to these places, often foreign, and writes about belonging (or not belonging), loss, and love. She lives in New York with her husband.

Find Ms. Townsend here: webblogFacebookTwitterGoodreads


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It’s Raining Books: Jumping Over Shadows by Annette Gendler (spotlight)

 

Jumping Over Shadows: A MemoirJumping Over Shadows
written by Annette Gendler
published by expected publication April 2017, She Writes Press

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

About the book – from Goodreads: History was repeating itself when Annette Gendler fell in love with a Jewish man in Germany in 1985. Her Great-Aunt Resi had been married to a Jew in Czechoslovakia before World War II–a marriage that, while happy, created tremendous difficulties for the extended family once the Nazis took over their hometown in 1938, and ultimately did not survive the pressures of the time. Annette and Harry’s love, meanwhile, was the ultimate nightmare for Harry’s family of Holocaust survivors.
Weighed down by the burdens of their family histories, Annette and Harry kept their relationship secret for three years, until they could forge a path into the future and create a new life in Chicago. As time went on, however, Annette found a spiritual home in Judaism–a choice that paved the way toward acceptance by Harry’s family, and redemption for some of the wounds of her own family’s past.

 

 

Annette GendlerAbout the author: I am a writer, photographer and blogger. I write literary nonfiction and focus on the photography of place. In 2014-15 I had the privilege of serving as writer-in-residence at the Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois.

My memoir Jumping Over Shadows, the story of a German-Jewish love that overcame the baggage of the past, is forthcoming in spring 2017 from She Writes Press. One essay excerpted from the manuscript, ‘Thrown Out’ of the Family Home, was published in the Wall Street Journal; another, Giving Up Christmas, was published in Tablet Magazine.

My essays have appeared in many literary journals, and links can be found under Writing. I regularly write for the Washington Independent Review of Books and the Jewish Book Council. My photography has been featured in Bella Grace Magazine and is forthcoming in the November 2016 issue of Artful Blogging.

I hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. After 15 years of working in consulting, I left the corporate world a few years ago. I teach memoir writing at StoryStudio Chicago and handle communications for my children’s former school. I live in Chicago with my husband and three children.

Find Ms. Gendler here: web, blogGoodreads, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

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Winter Reading Challenge: Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi (spotlight, giveaway)

 

 

Sweet Lake: A Novel (Sweet Lake, #1)Sweet Lake
written by Christine Nolfi
published by Lake Union Publishing, 2017

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

About the book – from Goodreads: 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.

 

 

 

About the author: Christine NolfiSome 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.

Find Ms. Nolfi here: webFacebookTwitterGoodreads

 

 

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Winter Reading Challenge: Navigating Life by Margaux Bergen (spotlight)

Navigating Life: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told MeNavigating Life
written by Margaux Bergen
published by Penguin Press, 2016

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

About the book – from Amazon: An inspiring, piercingly honest user’s guide to life, written for the author’s daughter and given to her on her first day of college, reflecting tough lessons about family, work, and marriage.

You learn a few useful things at school–the three Rs come in handy, and it’s good to know how to perform under pressure and wait your turn–but most of what matters, what makes you into a functioning human being, able to hold your own in conversation, find your path, know what to avoid in relationships and secure a meaningful job, no teacher will ever tell you. This diamond-sharp, gut-punchingly honest book of hard-earned wisdom is one mother’s effort to equip her daughter for survival in the real world.

Margaux Bergen began writing this book when her daughter Charlotte turned nine and gave it to her right after graduation from high school, when she was setting off for her first day of college. “I am not writing this to groom or guide you to professional or academic success,” she writes. “My goal is rather to give you tools that might help you engage with the world and flourish. . . . Think of this as a kind of developing bath-time wisdom.”

Wise, heartbreakingly funny, and resonantly true, Navigating Life has invaluable lessons for students of life of all ages. It will challenge you to lead a more meaningful life and to tackle the bumps along the way with grace, grit, style, and ingenuity. What The Blessings of a Skinned Knee did for the early years of parenting, Navigating Life does for the next, far more perilous chapter, when new graduates are cast out on the high seas and have to learn to swim and find their way by themselves.

 

Margaux Bergen

About the author: Born in Paris and raised in London, educated at Edinburgh University and living in Washington D.C., Margaux Bergen is the mother of three Millennials. She has worked in international development and women’s leadership. And is still learning the extreme sports of raising three children.

Find Ms. Bergen here: webFacebookTwitterGoodreads

 

 

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Blog Tour: Playing House by Laura Chapman (spotlight, guest post, giveaway)


Playing House

written by Laura Chapman
published by Laura Chapman, 2017

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

About the book – from the author: She’s a work in progress . . .

Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.

He’s a fixer upper . . .

Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.

With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about are either of them willing to risk it all for love?

 

Guest Post
Music plays an important part in my writing process.

Before and during the writing process, I tend to create a playlist of songs that fit the story, a character, or a particular scene. While I don’t always listen when I write (sometimes I need total silence or light background noise), I tend to listen to the same songs over and over and over when I’m in my car, on the treadmill, at my day job. The music helps keep the story in my mind even when I am not working on it. The songs also help me get back into the story when I return for revisions.

My playlist for Playing House is a little out of control. I typically go back and revise it, along with the story, but I just can’t bring myself to remove any of the songs.

But because I don’t want to make you sit down and listen to each of those songs right now (though you’re welcome to follow my playlist on Spotify), I thought I’d share the five songs I played most while writing this story.

1. Out of the Woods by Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams dropped his cover album of Taylor Swift’s 1989 while I was planning and plotting out Playing House. I kind of became obsessed with it, and as a result, pretty much the whole album is on my playlist. This song was my favorite, though. With the beautiful instrumentals blending with Ryan’s sad, whimsical voice, this song really spoke to me when writing some of the more serious scenes. Plus, the line “We were built to fall apart, then fall back together” really seemed to ring true for the story I was telling.

2. Beautiful Disaster by Jon McLaughlin
Winning the prize for artist with the second-most amount of songs on the playlist . . . If Bailey Madison, the heroine of Playing House, had to pick a song to describe herself, I think this would be it. I have been a big fan of listening to Jon McLaughlin while writing since my friend and fellow author Brea Brown introduced me to his music a few years ago. I also had the chance to hear him perform—and meet him after the concert—the month before I started writing this story. Here’s a super dark photo of us:

3. Something by The Beatles
If our hero Wilder Aldrich was to pick a song to describe Bailey, this would be it. (Notice how different they are??) Because when it comes to Bailey, for Wilder, there’s just something about her.

4. Love Should Be A Crime by O-Town
So, I unapologetically love and celebrate the boy bands of the ‘90s and ‘00s, including O-Town. This was one of my favorites back in my high school days, but I admit, I’d kind of forgotten about it. Until I created Bailey. She’s someone who really doesn’t want to fall in love, because she doesn’t want to deal with heartache. I was more than halfway through my first draft when this song popped into my head and I had to add it.

5. Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson
I think if you read the book, this one becomes pretty clear. But as a quick shout-out to my girl Kelly, she’s one of my favorite artists to listen to while writing. I was actually listening to Breakaway in the car when I came up with the idea for the first book I wrote to completion. She’s amazing.

And okay, I know I said I was only going to do five, but I just remember a sixth one I listened to on repeat, so consider this a bonus track . . .

Bonus: Perfect – Stripped by One Direction
See my previous note about boy bands and amend it to include the bands of the ‘10s. If Wilder Aldrich was to pick a song that could best summarize himself, this would probably be it. I actually pretty much summarized a line of this song in a bit of dialogue I wrote for Wilder. :/ Thanks, boys. Plus, with the reality TV/celebrity element and the “together for now” themes of the story, this seemed to fit.

What are your favorite songs to listen to right now? Feel free to leave it in the comments below.

And if you’re curious, here’s the playlist:

 

About the author: Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, The Marrying Type, and Playing House. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. She loves talking to readers. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also get the latest news from her website, blog, and monthly newsletter.

 

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This month, during the Playing House blog tour, you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 1 free Audible copy each of The Marrying Type, First & Goal, Going for Two or 1 $20 Amazon gift card.

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