Friday, June 29, 2012

Book of the Day - The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

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Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria
Rating: Highly Recommended
Purchase: and
Jen's Cupcake Tour:

About the Book

For the first time since Good in Bed, Jennifer Weiner returns to a single girl narrative with THE NEXT BEST THING (Atria Books; $26.99; July 3, 2012). Told from the perspective of twenty-eight-year-old Ruth Saunders, THE NEXT BEST THING is the unforgettable story of one woman’s quest to make it as a writer in the glittering world of Hollywood.

But not all that glitters is gold. In THE NEXT BEST THING, Ruth finds herself among countless other young writers who have set their sights on Los Angeles, where she and her grandmother travel to make Ruth’s dreams come true. And Jennifer Weiner knows what she is writing about — she was the co-creator and executive producer of the ABC Family sitcom State of Georgia, which ran during the summer of 2011.

Ruth and her grandmother have been a family of two ever since a car accident killed Ruth’s parents when she was just three years old and left her with permanent facial scars. Now Ruth dreams of creating and casting the perfect sitcom, “The Next Best Thing,” based on her adventures with her grandmother, who is meanwhile building a name for herself as a television extra and finding a new husband along the way. When her sitcom is greenlit, with Ruth as showrunner, she is ecstatic, but nothing is ever easy in entertainment, and difficult actors and number-crunching network executives soon dash her aspirations. 

Set against the fascinating backdrop of LA’s television culture, with an insider’s look into writers’ rooms and on-set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s THE NEXT BEST THING is a joyride through Hollywood’s studios, a moving  story about what it’s like for a young woman to survive loss — and find love — in modern-day Los Angeles.

My Thoughts

I love Jennifer's books.  I always have.  Each new release excites me, and this one was no different.  I love the originality of the book's subject matter.  It goes hand-in-hand with Weiner's recent endeavor, the series "State of Georgia."  The novel has an even pace in the beginning, but quickly picks up, leaving the reader to soak every word in as quick as possible.  I loved the characters, the premise and the reality behind this story.  The life of a show runner-cit-com writer-is not one that is written about often.  While this book didn't take first place in my heart for Jennifer's books, it is great!  Congratulations to Ms. Weiner on her 10th book! It would be difficult for me to make a list in order of my favorite to least favorite because all of them are dazzling. If your a fan of Jen or you enjoy a good comedy or piece of women's fiction, you'll love this book.  It's a great read.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Book News of the Day: Susan Mallery Speaks to Librarians

Susan Mallery Speaks to Librarians about the Appeal of Romance

New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery was asked to speak this summer at the American Library Association national conference in Anaheim, California, on a panel called “Isn’t It Romantic?” Mallery’s latest book, SUMMER NIGHTS (Fool’s Gold book 8) is dedicated to librarians who have done so much to introduce readers to her books. This is the speech she prepared.

The appeal in romance is that our books offer readers a celebration of community. Romances are all about connecting. Sure the boy-meets-girl part is fun and exciting, but often what really brings a reader back again and again are the connections made within the novel.

Most romances happen in a larger context of relationships. Families and friends play an important role. We want to experience falling in love with a hunky guy, but we also want a sense of belonging. The most popular books feature a cast of usually likeable, sometimes annoying, generally realistic characters who are amazingly like people we know. Or people we get on an emotional level.

These other characters, sometimes seemingly unimportant, can be the glue that holds our books together. Our hero and heroine are revealed through their relationships with secondary characters. The gruff solitary man who unexpectedly cares for a wounded puppy wins our heart forever. The exhausted single mother staying up until midnight to frost cupcakes for her son's first grade class reminds us of ourselves. While the romance is central to the story and the reason we think we read "those kind of books" I believe the real truth is we love the sense of community a romance brings to the table. The sexy guy on the cover draws us in, but the heroine's relationship with her sarcastic best friend turns out to be just as satisfying and meaningful.

The majority of romance readers are women. Women are usually the keepers of relationships in their lives and the lives of those around them. We are the ones who maintain the friendships, remember birthdays, make sure each of our children has a moment to feel special. We can spend a weekend with our girlfriends and when we get home, still think of something we could have told them. When I travel to a writers’ conference and hang out with my writer friends for days, then return home and get a call from one of them, my husband can't believe there's anything left to say. I've tried to explain there's always more to talk about but he just shakes his head.

In our lives we want friends and family. We want connection. Romances offer that in our fiction. We can meet women we want to have lunch with and men we want to fall in love with. Romance isn't man against nature or man against himself. It's man and woman falling in love in a much bigger context. One or both of them have a family, there are friends, coworkers, pets. It's a real world populated by the funny and the strange and if done well, it's a world we want to return to again and again.

For years now, romances have been written in groups. Trilogies, sisters, brothers, a band of warriors. Sherrilyn Kenyon gives us her immortal warriors. Debbie Macomber gives us Cedar Cove. In between lie stories only limited by the imaginations of the writers who create them. It is the combination of the familiar and the unknown that draws us back.

I started writing in category romance. I wrote about 80 books for Silhouette. I wrote about sisters and cousins and brothers and even neighboring sheik kingdoms. The longer a series went on, the more readers responded. When I moved into writing single title, I continued with families. One day a very successful writer friend sat me down and said, "Write about a town. It's limitless."

From that very intelligent advice, my Fool's Gold series was born. It's a small town set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I started with the idea of a town suffering a man shortage, which gave me the chance to put women in non-traditional jobs. I decided to write the books in trilogies, with the idea each trilogy would stand on its own, allowing readers to join at any point. By the second Fool's Gold trilogy I'd realized the man shortage wasn't that interesting, but the non-traditional jobs were, so modifications were made.

Reader response has been terrific. They love the town. Mayor Marsha, California's longest serving mayor, is a fan favorite. I keep track of previous heroes and heroines using a data base and often feature births in subsequent books. I use social media to increase the level of connection with my readers. We have the usual interactions, but there is another level on my Facebook page, Readers help me name characters, pick careers and suggest new businesses for the towns. When a former heroine is due to give birth, readers usually vote on the gender of the baby and offer name suggestions. Next year three new businesses will open in Fool's Gold and each one of them is the result of something a reader said to me.

A romance can take place nearly anywhere, in any time. We have smart ass heroines who rescue themselves, timid virgins and librarians who dance on bars in our books. Every romance writer has a specific vision for what she wants to write, but what we all have in common is connection. Sisters who are drawn together because of a dying parent. Vampires fighting enemies while protecting the women they love. Handsome dukes who marry the most unlikely of spinsters, drawn to her against all odds, in part because she takes care of her younger siblings.

In romances we find the relationships that matter most to us personally. Those who adore babies in books can be endless entertained by the antics of newborns. If you prefer sexy, sassy heroines, there are dozens of writers to give you exactly that. The appeal of romance is how the stories speak to us so personally. They show us women who are brave, who overcome odds, who always have a snappy comeback and in the end find not just love, but also a place to belong. Romances celebrate the very best of us, and that ideal state is often illustrated in the connections our characters make with each other.

Romances are a reading escape that also touches the heart. Romances affirm what is most important to each of us—the people we love, who love us back.

Posted with permission from Susan Mallery

Monday, June 25, 2012

Beautiful Ruins

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Author: Jess Walter
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Recommended

About the Book:
The story begins in 1962. Somewhere on a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea—blue as his eyes—and sees a vision: a slender blonde woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And it begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel fifty years before.

What unfolds from there is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, peopled by Jess Walter’s trademark unforgettable characters: the Italian innkeeper and his mysterious beauty; the heroically cynical film producer who once brought them together, and his idealistic young assistant; and the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers who populate their world in the decades that follow. Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is pure Jess Walter—a novel full of flawed yet utterly relatable people, all of them reaching toward some impossible goal, leading us up a rocky shoreline path toward a future both distant and utterly familiar.

My Thoughts:
I'm not quite done reading this book, as I have been sick.  I had a very random virus hit me and while I'm thankful no one else around me had it or caught it, I am still trying to bounce back.  It knocked me out for a bit.  Anyhow... I am enjoying this wonderful book and will update my review soon!  If you liked Under the Tuscan Sun or any book where someone searches for someone they've barley met, but could never forget, you'll enjoy this book!  It has quite the story to tell and characters to portray.  It won't be long before I'm finished and I'll be able to update you!

Jess WalterAbout the Author:
Jess Walter is the author of five novels, including The Zero, a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award, and Citizen Vince, winner of the 2005 Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel. He has been a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the PEN USA Literary Prize in both fiction and nonfiction. His books have been New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR best books of the year and have been translated into twenty languages. He lives in Spokane, Washington

Friday, June 22, 2012

So Far Away

So Far Away: A Novel

About So Far Away - Released May 29, 2012

Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is trying to escape: from her parents' ugly divorce, and from the vicious cyber-bullying of her former best friend. Adrift, confused, she is a girl trying to find her way in a world that seems to either neglect or despise her. Her salvation arrives in an unlikely form: Bridget O'Connell, an Irish maid working for a wealthy Boston family. The catch? Bridget lives only in the pages of a dusty old 1920s diary Natalie unearthed in her mother's basement. But the life she describes is as troubling - and mysterious - as the one Natalie is trying to navigate herself, almost a century later. 

I am writing this down because this is my story. There were only ever two people who knew my secret, and both are gone before me.

Who was Bridget, and what became of her? 

Natalie escapes into the diary, eager to unlock its secrets, and reluctantly accepts the help of library archivist Kathleen Lynch, a widow with her own painful secret: she's estranged from her only daughter. Kathleen sees in Natalie traces of the daughter she has lost, and in Bridget, another spirited young woman at risk. 

What could an Irish immigrant domestic servant from the 1920s teach them both? As the troubles of a very modern world close in around them, and Natalie's torments at school escalate, the faded pages of Bridget's journal unite the lonely girl and the unhappy widow - and might even change their lives forever.

The Arrivals

About The Arrivals - Out in paperback May 8, 2012

It's early summer when Ginny and William's peaceful life in Vermont comes to an abrupt halt.

First, their daughter Lillian arrives, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage. Next, their son Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane show up for a weekend visit, which extends indefinitely when Jane ends up on bed rest. When their youngest daughter Rachel appears, fleeing her difficult life in New York, Ginny and William find themselves consumed again by the chaos of parenthood - only this time around, their children are facing adult problems. 

By summer's end, the family gains new ideas of loyalty and responsibility, exposing the challenges of surviving the modern family - and the old adage, once a parent, always a parent, has never rung so true.

My Thoughts

Meg Mitchell Moore is a talented writer who creates characters you'll love and situations you won't be able to stop reading about.  Both her new release, So Far Away and her charming novel, the Arrivals, which is now out in paperback, are great reads!  You'll find yourself immersed in the story and you won't want to put the book down.

Highly Recommended

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book of the Day - The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

The Next Best Thing

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Author: Jennifer Weiner
ISBN: 9781451617757
Publisher: Atria
Status: Currently Reading
Purchase: Pre-order It!

About the Book:

Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.
Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.
I love Jen's novels!  Since I am currently reading this one, the review will come soon!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Book of the Day - Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank

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Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
ISBN: 9780061961298
Publisher: Harper Collins
Status: Wish List, Must Read
Purchase: Porch Lights

About the Book:

When Jimmy McMullen, a fireman, is killed in the line of duty, his wife, Jackie, and ten-year-old son, Charlie, are devastated. Charlie idolized his dad, and now the outgoing, curious boy has become quiet and reserved. Trusting in the healing power of family, Jackie decides to return to her childhood home on Sullivans Island.

Awaiting them is Annie Britt, the family matriarch who has kept the porch lights on to welcome them home. Thrilled to have her family back, Annie promises to make their visit perfect—even though relations between mother and daughter have never been what you'd call smooth. Over the years, Jackie and Annie have been known to have frequent differences of opinion. But her estranged and wise husband, Buster, and her flamboyant and funny best friend Deb are sure to keep Annie in line. She's also got Steven Plofker—the flirtatious and tasty widowed physician next door, to keep her distracted.

I am hoping to secure a review copy of this book, but if not, I will purchase it.  I LOVE Dorothea Benton Frank.  She is a wonderful author with great talent and intrguing stories and characters.  There isn't anything by her that I won't read, she has become a must read for me.  If you love Dorothea, your probably just as excited as me, but if you haven't read her, why wait?  Start now!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Safe Within

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Author: Jean Reynolds Page
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Recommended

About The Book

Elaine and Carson Forsyth have returned to the tree house—Elaine’s childhood home, a cabin nestled high in the branches of two oaks beside a North Carolina lake—where forty-nine-year-old Carson has chosen to spend the waning days of his life. As Elaine prepares for a future without her beloved husband, their solace is interrupted. Carson’s mother, Greta, has set loose a neighbor’s herd of alpacas and landed herself in police custody. While Carson, remarkably, sees humor in the situation, Elaine can only question what her obligations are—and will be—to a woman who hasn’t spoken to her in more than twenty years.
In the wake of Carson’s death, Elaine and their grown son, Mick, are thrust into the maelstrom of Greta, the mother-in-law and grandmother who never accepted either of them. Just as they are trying to figure out their new roles in the family, Mick uncovers unexpected questions of his own. A long-ago teenage relationship with a local girl may have left him with more than just memories, and he must get to the bottom of Greta’s surprising accusations that he’s not Carson’s son at all.

My Thoughts:

Safe Within is the perfect book club read, for those clubs not looking for a light weight beach read.  The characters are detailed, their lives examined, the story a study of how life in a small town can effect a person.  The close relationships between the characters shows the impact that small town life has, both in a positive and negative manner, pointing out the affects in the aftermath of tragedy .  The story is told in the past and present tense, alternating between them. Just as you would in know a little bit about everyone by growing up in a small town, as the reader the same holds true with the characters in this novel.  Each characters is touched upon and detailed, though it makes the characters difficult to connect with.

The format of switching between character voices or past to present is quite enjoyable in a novel but can be difficult to navigate without confusing a reader.  I struggled a little with this book.  It was not always clear to me that the novel was switching time frames, which made me have to pause or re-read some sections.  Aside from this, the novel is quite enjoyable.  The characters are interesting and well developed.  The town is quaint and individualistic, proving not all small towns are the same though their qualities can mirror one another.  The novel does a great job digging into small town life and the issues and situations that arise within it.  I loved the setting of this book and found myself wishing I was reading this with my book club so we could discuss the topics within.  I won't be surprised if Safe Within sparks conversations for many book clubs this year.

About The Author

Jean Reynolds Page lives with her husband and three children in Wisconsin.
Website | Facebook

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Cottage at Glass Beach

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Author: Heather Barbieri
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: Highly Recommended

About the Book:

Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm.
Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters—Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve—and takes refuge on Burke's Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place where superstition and magic are carried on the ocean winds, and wishes and dreams wash ashore with the changing tides.

Nora spent her first five years on the island but has not been back to the remote community for decades—not since that long ago summer when her mother disappeared at sea. One night while sitting alone on Glass Beach below the cottage where she spent her childhood, Nora succumbs to grief, her tears flowing into the ocean. Days later she finds an enigmatic fisherman named Owen Kavanagh shipwrecked on the rocks nearby. Is he, as her aunt's friend Polly suggests, a selkie—a mythical being of island legend—summoned by her heartbreak, or simply someone who, like Nora, is trying to find his way in the wake of his own personal struggles?

Just as she begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own—a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course and finally face the truth about her marriage, her mother, and her long-buried past.

My Thoughts:

I love books with deep secrets, the beach, emotional struggles and discovery of self.  This book has it all. I love the story line in this novel.  Nora's mom disappearing at sea was enticing.  Nora, who never really dealt with her grief after the incident, finds herself back at the cottage she spent her childhood summers in.  This time she has a whole new grief to overcome.  The story revolves around Nora and the mythical legends of the island.  The characters are deeply rooted in their surroundings and are an intriguing set.  The story embraces the journey to self discovery, a path that is deeply emotional, sometimes heartbreaking and promises fulfillment.  Nora discovers her courage, her lineage and herself in this summer title.

About the Author:
The author of two previous novels, The Lace Makers of Glenmara, and Snow in July, Heather Barbieri has won international prizes for her short fiction. She lives in Seattle with her family.

Highly Recommended

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book of the Day - An Heir of Deception by Beverley Kendall

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Author: Beverley Kendall
ISBN: 9780983800606
Publisher: Season Publishing
Status: Owned
Buy: An Heir of Deception

About the Book: 

A man devastated by love
After three years of carousing and debauchery, Alex Cartwright, heir to the Duke of Hastings, has put his life back in order. Having embraced sobriety for two years, he has no intention of revisiting the past or risking his heart again. But the return of the very woman who introduced him to the darkest side of hell brings not only the painful, haunting memories of bittersweet love and abandonment, but the son he never knew he had...

A woman silenced by secrets
Threatened by the revelation of a secret that could destroy her family’s place in society and forever tarnish a dukedom, Charlotte fled England on her wedding day five years ago. Now, although it appears that secret is safe, when Alex discovers her other secret—their son—Charlotte has an altogether different battle ahead. She must now fight one love to hold onto the other—the man whose touch still makes her burn, for the child who is her very world.

Beverley's Exclusive Lord's Series is a wonderful trilogy with a novella as an added bonus to the series. In addition to a great cover, great characters and great writing, readers are given four wonderfully entertaining reads through this series and its bonus content. If you love romance you won't want to miss out on these!  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book of the Day - When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak

When Lightning StrikesPin It
Author: Brenda Novak
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1351-9
Publisher: Harlequin - Mira Books
Status: In my "to review" pile
Pre-Order: When Lightning Strikes

About the Book:
Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has accumulated a roster of A-list clients, including the biggest box office hit of all — sexy and unpredictable Simon O'Neal. But Simon, who's just been through a turbulent divorce, is so busy self-destructing he won't listen to anything she says. She drops him from her list — and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him.

Desperate to save her company, Gail has to humble herself by making a deal with Simon. The one thing he wants is custody of his son, but that's going to require a whole new image. He needs to marry some squeaky-clean girl who'll drag him off to some small, obscure place like Whiskey Creek. . .

Gail's the only one he can trust. She agrees to become his wife — reluctantly. But she isn't reluctant because he's too hard to like. It's because he's too hard not to love!

An ARC copy of this book is in my review line up, anxiously awaiting its turn!  Brenda is a talented author who gives back to her community.  Recently, Brenda held her annual online auction in support of Diabetes research.  It's an amazing fundraiser that takes time, effort, coordination and generosity.  I love supporting those who help others.  More will come on this book once my review is complete, until then check out her huge back list of titles!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Book of the Day: Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax

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Author: Wendy Wax
ISBN: 978-0-425-24541-5
Publisher: Berkley
Status: Currently Reading
Buy it: Ocean Beach

About the Book:
Wendy Wax, author of Ten Beach Road, returns with a novel of three women in need of a second chance…or is it a third?

Unlikely friends Madeline, Avery and Nicole have hit some speed bumps in their lives, but when they arrive in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, they are all hoping for a do-over. Literally. They’ve been hired to bring a once-grand historic house back to its former glory on a new television show called Do-Over. If they can just get this show off the ground, Nikki would get back on her feet financially, Avery could restart her ruined career, and Maddie would have a shot at keeping her family together.

At least, that’s the plan – until the women realize that having their work broadcast is one thing, having their personal lives play out on TV is another thing entirely. Soon they are struggling to hold themselves, and the project, together. With a decades-old mystery—and the hurricane season—looming, the women are forced to figure out just how they’ll weather life’s storms…
My Thoughts:
If you haven't read Ten Beach Road, you need too!  It was a great read, my review can be found here.  Ocean Beach is the sequel to Ten Beach Road.  Madeline, Avery and Nicole are back and this time they plan to finish what they started!  Of course life has other plans.  I love Wendy Wax's writing.  She has an amazing back list of novels that should be explored, if you haven't done so yet.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Couldn't Love You More

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by Jillian Medoff
ISBN: 9780446584623
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Rating: Highly Recommended

Win It!: Comment Below for your chance to win a copy of I Couldn't Love You More.  1 copy available, US/CAN only.


Which child would you save? A decision no parent can even fathom.
Eliot Gordon would do anything for her family. A 38-year-old working mother, she lives an ordinary but fulfilling life in suburban Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The two older girls are actually Eliot's stepdaughters, a distinction she is reluctant to make as she valiantly attempts to maintain a safe, happy household . . .
Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot's long-lost first love, appears, triggering a shocking chain of events that culminates in a split-second decision that will haunt her beloved family forever. How Eliot survives-and what she loses in the process-is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child. With hilarious honesty, wrenching depth, and a knockout twist, I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE illuminates the unbreakable bonds of family and reveals the lengths we'll go to save each other, even as we can't save ourselves.

Quick Thoughts:
How can you make the decision to save one child or the other?  The synopsis of this book drew me to it!  I couldn't fathom the thought but had to know the story.  I was, of course, prepared for a dramatic and gut wrenching book. What I got was a poignant and yes, heart wrenching, but shocking with moments of comic relief.  The story sticks with you and isn't for the faint of heart.  Eliot's deep inward struggle was haunting and realistic.  The characters are well developed, the story is multi-layered.  It's quite the novel.  I Couldn't Love You More made me appreciate my children and nephews and those I love, even more.  It's definitely worth the read!

Guest Post from the Author:
I asked about her perfect day...enjoy the response!

My Perfect Day
Believe it or not, I actually had a perfect day very recently: Tuesday, May 15, 2012. For many people, May 15th was just a regular random Tuesday, but for me, it was the day my third novel, I Couldn’t Love You More, was published, thus ending a long, painful ten-year period.

I’ve written an essay about these ten years, and the evolution of I Couldn’t Love You More, which is available in both the eBook and print versions of the book. But the gist of the essay is this: after ten years of rejection, I never thought I’d see another novel published. Despite the success of my first novel, Hunger Point, my second novel, Good Girls Gone Bad tanked, and I spent the next decade writing and submitting and getting rejected. But after years of working and waiting and working and working and waiting and working some more, I finally sold another book, which came out, as I said, on May 15th. Here’s how I spent my day.

I dropped my nine-year-old daughter at school, and had the very surreal experience of having her kiss me goodbye and say, “Happy Pub Day, Mommy,” before racing off to her friends. Mollie wasn’t born when my previous novel came out, so this was our first shared pub day. The moment just killed me, and I basked in it as I waved to her from the sidewalk. Then I took the train from Brooklyn to Manhattan to drop off gifts (cupcakes) at two offices—my agent, Jennifer Gates at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary who saved me from failure, and my publisher, Grand Central Publishing (Hachette Book Group). Normally, I would’ve had the gifts delivered, but the Sunday before was Mother’s Day, and it was easier logistically to do it myself. I didn’t mind because I love walking around the city in shorts and a T-shirt when everyone else is wearing suits and rushing to their offices. Then I went to the gym, where I ran on the treadmill for forty minutes and then swam for fifteen. After working out, I sat in the steam room, which I never have the time to do.

I’ve had a corporate job—a career, actually—since graduating from college. I work a four-day week, but I’d taken the day off. Still, I checked my messages, and followed up on a few calls. Then I went home. Now this is where what actually happened diverges from what I would’ve liked to have happen. Had this been a perfect non-pub day, I would’ve spent six hours working on my new novel, but this was a perfect pub-day, so I didn’t work on my book at all. I just sat in front of the computer and checked e-mail and talked on the phone for the next few hours. I spoke to so many people—by phone, email, text, Facebook, Twitter—all of whom wished me a Happy Pub Day. My agent sent champagne, my publisher flowers, my parents called, my best friend sent me cards—it was like getting a promotion, having a birthday, and giving birth all at once.

By early evening, everyone was home from work and school, and the day became mundane—homework, dinner, baths—but on this particular night, I loved every second of it. After the kids went to bed, I did my usual routine—emails, crime shows, reading—until around Midnight. I didn’t want the day to end, but I had to get up early for an early meeting the next day, and my middle daughter had a play the next night. I also had to call Aetna because they’d screwed up an insurance claim, and my husband had forgotten to fill out our two younger girls’ camp forms, so I had to do that or else we’d lose our spot. I had also promised my mother that I’d help her figure out how to create a spreadsheet in Excel (over the phone). So, Wednesday, May 16th would be back to business as usual—but I didn’t care. Ten long, punishing years of working and waiting and hoping had finally ended: my third novel, I Couldn’t Love You More was on the shelf.

Highly recommended

Book of the Day - Summer Breeze by Nancy Thayer

Author: Nancy Thayer
Status: Wish List -- Must Read
Thought Snippet:  I love Nancy Thayer's books.  I have had my eye on Summer Breeze for a while now and it is on my must read wish list, which makes it a priority over my regular wish list.  Enjoy the introduction!
Buy it Now: Summer Breeze - BN

Summer Breeze tells the wonderfully moving story of three women who forge a unique bond one sun-drenched summer on New England’s Dragonfly Lake.
Morgan O’Keefe feels trapped in a gilded cage. True, the thirty-year-old mother agreed to put her science career on hold to raise her young son while her husband  pursued his high-powered job. But though Morgan loves many things about staying home with her child, she misses the thrill of working with her colleagues in the lab. She’s restless and in dire need of a change.
Fed up with New York City’s hectic pace, Natalie Reynolds takes up her aunt’s offer to move to the Berkshires and house-sit her fabulous lakeside house for a year. Passionate about applying brush to canvas, Natalie is poised to become the artist she has forever longed to be. But life on Dragonfly Lake is never without surprises, and for a novice swimmer like Natalie, the most welcome surprise proves to be the arms of a handsome neighbor pulling her up from the water for a gulp of air.
When her mother breaks her leg, Bella Barnaby quits her job in Austin and returns home to help out her large, boisterous family. Among her new duties: manning the counter at the family business, Barnaby’s Barn, an outdated shop sorely in need of a makeover. While attractive architect Aaron has designs on her, Bella harbors long held secret dreams of her own. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Day's Giveaway

Celebrating Summer Day's, Summer Nights and All Summer Long!  This giveaway last throughout the summer as each book releases!  Everyone wins!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 4, 2012

After All

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After All
Author: Deborah Raney
ISBN: 978-1416599951
Publisher: Howard Books
Pages: 386
Source: Review Copy /Publisher
Rating: Highly Recommended

After All is the third book in this Hanover Falls series and Ms. Raney sure has plenty of stories left to surprise and entrance the reader when Susan Marlowe finally begins to heal, after losing her husband in a fire, she discovers a secret that threatens to unravel her again.  It’s a secret her husband, David, took to his grave.  In the wake of his betrayal, Susan realizes her marriage was not all she thought it was and must try to forgive for the sake of her children.

As one woman grieves in silence over the loss of her closest friend, another mourns openly in the discovery of her husband’s betrayal.  In the meantime, Fire Chief Peter Brennan carries tremendous guilt over the death spurred by the flames that tragic night.  While he attempts to re-build, and put the guilt aside, he finds comfort in the person he least expected.

Deborah Raney is a great author! She constantly brings captivating characters with endearing personalities to her stories.  This one is full of suspense, mixed with love and betrayal and sprinkled with forgiveness.  Once I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down.  The books in this series just get better and better as Raney builds on the previous story.  It is truly a series, in the sense that you should read them in order.  The characters follow through the three books instead of switching characters sets and beginning anew.  I highly recommended the Hanover Falls books; they are fantastic and interesting reads.

Upcoming Release & News You Won't Want to Miss.

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Jen gave the Keynote speech at Today’s BEA Bloggers Conference:  
Earlier today, #1 New York Times Bestselling author Jennifer Weiner delivered the opening keynote ay BEA’s 2012 Bloggers Conference. I am thrilled to be able to share this event with you. The following are links to the keynote as well as the Q&A that followed:

 THE NEXT BEST THING releases July 3: 
 The Next Best Thing, will be hitting bookshelves on July 3rd, this is one of the most highly anticipated books of the summer and the perfect beach read.  The book is now available for pre order on and Join me in reading it and let me know what you think!

Jen’s BOOK TOUR-- Don't miss it!  Coming this July: 
Have you ever met Jen?  Don't miss your chance to meet her and get your copy of The Next Best Thing signed!!  The following is a link to Jen’s upcoming book tour schedule, celebrating the launch of The Next Best Thing:  If you plan to attend in St. Louis, or any other city, let comment below!

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Contented Mind

About the Book:
Without realizing it, bestselling author Meg Scott, stepped into the life of her dreams. A new beachfront home on the West Coast; a far cry from her secluded home shared only with her faithful Irish setter on Martha's Vineyard. A gig playing violin with a world renowned rock band about to depart on a European acoustic tour; friends that easily became the family she lost when young. And upon shaking hands with the band's drummer, Jadon Hastings, love and desire she'd never known beyond the stories she wrote.

All too often, shadow figures arrive camouflaged as friends, and those who profess love are worse than those that once haunted our childhood nights.

Under a hazy California sun, Meg's dream sits in clear view. To make it her own, she'll have to confront not only her past, but her future. In doing so, she discovers - those you trust - can't always be trusted.
My Thoughts:
A Contented Mind is a love story mixed with rational fear, music and the career of an author.  After Meg is attacked in her own home, she moves to a beachfront property in California and keeps a low profile.  Meg is an author who writes under a wraps, keeping her identity a secret and with due reason.  When Meg meets the band next door, she can't help but fall for the piano man.  For most of the novel Meg and Jadon don't realize they live next door to each other.  They both have an intense connection through music.  Meg who is a talented violinist as well as an author, connects with Jadon and his piano playing.  Jadon is pretty much in love with Meg but won't admit it.  The story is one of love, fear, hopes and dreams.  It analyzes Meg's discomfort after her attack and her path to recovery from the incident as she finds a connection that means more.  Overall this was a good debut though parts didn't keep my attention as well as I would have liked.  The novel can't really be characterized as a romance because the romance was not always evident.  In fact, at times it was surprising that the characters were drawn to each other at all.   I chose to rate this one as a recommended read.  There are definitely parts that draw you in and the characters are well developed.  I would read another book by Samantha Hofman.
About the Author:
Samantha started writing books as a child. Although those roughly hewed works are kept under lock and key, they possess the same need to understand life as her current novels. In the past, Samantha has written numerous columns on health and spirituality for a local newspaper. Currently, she writes the popular blog: Insanity - A Writer’s Commentary On All Things, as well as two novels: A Contented Mind, it’s sequel, Chasing Nirvana, and the children’s chapter book series: Dainty Delaney. Currently she is at work on her third novel. On May 18th, 2012 Samantha will be featured in Art & Entertainment section of The Traverse City Record Eagle newspaper.
Life can get rough at times, loving oneself shouldn’t be. That, in a nutshell, is the message that is imbued within the books Samantha writes.

Great gifts for Dad

(Family Features)

Whether he's the household handy man or the king of the lawn, the family chef or the best piggy-back ride giver ever, Dad deserves something special this Father's Day. Here are some gift ideas that will tell him just how special he is.

Motorcycle: The Definitive Visual History, $40.00
Every dad will want to hit the open road after receiving "Motorcycle" this Father's Day. The ultimate guide for bike lovers and riders, this book traces the history and allure of these two-wheeled machines, cataloging the diverse spectrum of bikes from the first prototypes to the superbikes of today. This beautifully illustrated book not only covers the technological developments of motorcycles, but also the cultural backdrop against which the various models arose and their impact on society.

Pennington 1-Step Complete, Approximately $16.00 for 6.25 pounds
Does he take pride in his lawn? Make it easy on him this year with an all-in-one solution that saves him time and back-breaking work. This combination product includes mulch, seed and fertilizer so he can fill patches, protect and fertilize the seed all at the same time. He'll get grass that's 80 percent thicker with half the water required for ordinary seed. It's a gift he'll enjoy for years to come.

Large Big Green Egg, Starting from $799.00
From appetizers and entrees to desserts, the Big Green Egg will exceed all dad's expectations for culinary perfection. With the most versatile barbecue and outdoor cooking product available, dad can do it all - from grilling and cooking low and slow, to baking, smoking and roasting. The Big Green Egg has more capabilities than all other conventional cookers combined. And with five convenient sizes to choose from, there's one to fit any lifestyle.

Omaha Steaks "Thrill the Grill," $49.99
Gathering the family for a Father's Day cookout is one of the best ways to show your dad just how much you love him. Treat him to all his favorite foods by ordering one of Omaha Steaks' gift packages, such as the "Thrill the Grill," which includes filet mignons, top sirloins, chicken, pork chops, burgers, and stuffed baked potatoes. Call 1-800-228-9055 to order.

RYOBI 18V ONE+ Lithium Ion Compact Drill Kit, $149.00
Perfect for handy dads, the RYOBI 18V ONE+ Lithium Ion Compact Drill Kit features variable speed control, a MagTray magnetic holder to keep extra bits and screws within easy reach, a two-speed gearbox and 24 position clutch for high torque applications, and a bubble level for accuracy. The battery holds a charge four times longer than NiCad batteries, and is compatible with more than 50 RYOBI ONE+ products.
Main photo courtesy Getty Images
SOURCE:Family Features