Saturday, March 17, 2018

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Dearly Departed by Elinor Lipman

I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.


The book this week is one I got from a friend's collection. Elinor was one of her favorite authors. I haven't read this one but our book club did read The Inn at Lake Devine at one time. It was great and I'm sure this one is too. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


The Dearly Departed

The Dearly Departed by Elinor Lipman
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 17th 2001 by Random House

Everyone in King George, New Hampshire, loved Margaret Batten, part-time amateur actress, full-time wallflower, and single mother to a now-distant daughter, Sunny. But accidents happen. The death of Margaret, side by side with her putative fiance, brings Sunny back to the scene of her unhappy adolescence, to the community that remembers her solely, nervously, as "the girl who golfed." Reentry is to be dreaded; there's no hiding in a town with one diner, one doctor, one stop sign, one motel.

Yet allies surface: The country club opens its doors to its former Orphan Annie caddie. High school classmates, even the tormentors, have grown up nicely, matured in unforeseen and gratifying ways. Maybe, Sunny begins to think, she wasn't as beleaguered as she felt she was; maybe her mother's life was richer than anyone suspected; and maybe the man at the funeral-the one with her face, her flyaway hair, her golf swing-is the halfbrother she doesn't know she needs.

Elinor Lipman writes with the wry authority of a latter-day Jane Austen. The Dearly Departed is another perfect blend of social comedy, pointed wit, and precise pacing from our last urbane romantic. 


About the author

Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman is the author of 11 humorous novels about contemporary American society; essay and short story collections, and a book of rhyming political tweets.. Born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, she graduated from Simmons College where she studied journalism. She lives in Manhattan, and received the New England Book award for fiction in 2001.

Her first novel, Then She Found Me, was adapted for the screen, starring Helen Hunt, Bette Midler, Colin Firth and Matthew Broderick. Her fourth novel, The Inn at Lake Devine was adapted for the off-off Broadway stage by Tongue in Cheek Theater. In 2011-2012, she held the Elizabeth Drew chair in creative writing at Smith College. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Elinor


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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James ~ My Thoughts #TheBrokenGirls #NetGallley


The Broken Girls

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: March 20th 2018 by Berkley

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . . 


My thoughts about The Broken Girls ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"The sun vanished below the horizon as the girl crested the rise of Old Barrons Road. Night, and she still had three miles to go."

Wow! Just wow! This is an amazing story. It starts of with a very intense first chapter and just keeps going from there. And it has it all. It's a ghost story. It's a mystery. There are twists. There's a bit of historical fiction. And there are relationships to work through. Like I said, there's a little bit of everything so it should appeal to a lot of people.

And once I started reading, I didn't want to put it down. This is definitely a book you will want to block off time for because it will draw you in and it won't let go. I'm going to be adding this author to my must-read author list.

I received an ARC of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.

About the author

Simone St. James

Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.

Connect with Simone

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman ~ My Thoughts

The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman
Print and e-book, 336 pages
Expected publication: March 20th 2018 by Thomas Dunne Books

Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha "Sam" Mullins felt trapped on her family's orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star's New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family's orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life--including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family's history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.


My thoughts about The Recipe Box ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"Alice washed her hands in the kitchen sink, looked out the window, and smiled. The last of the day's light filtered through the brightly colored leaves of the sugar maples and sassafras, basking the kitchen in an otherworldly glow."

I love the way this author takes something that is ordinary and makes a beautiful story out of it. In this case, it's an old recipe box that is filled with time honored recipes, recipes of foods that were made with love by those who are now gone.

The recipes, the love, and the stories that go along with them are handed down from generation to generation. The stories from the past stay alive by the people who are making and sharing the food. You can just feel the love that is captured on those cards and the wisdom that is passed down from one family member to the next.

Sam comes home to lick her wounds after she quits her job in New York. The last place she wants to be is back at the family orchard. She has her sights on more than that. But being home is just what she needs as she learns all about the recipes, stories, and love that are contained in the family recipe boxes. 

The Recipe Box is such an amazing and beautiful story. And the author shares some delicious recipes as well! 

I also loved both of this author's previous books, 

The Charm Bracelet The Hope Chest
Read my thoughts here and here.

I received an ARC of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it.

About the author

Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.  To date, The Charm Bracelet has been translated into nine languages. He is at work on his second “heirloom novel,” which will be published in 2017.


The Charm Bracelet is a tribute to my Ozarks grandmother, Viola Shipman, who I grew up alongside, the jangling of her charm bracelet as ever-present as the moan of the bullfrogs, the call of the whippoorwill and the hum of the cicadas.

It was through the charms on my grandmother’s bracelet that I got to know her. I found that each charm held a story, a key that unlocked a secret part of her life.

Through these charms, I got to know my grandmother not just as a grandmother but also as an incredible woman who had lived an extraordinary life filled with beauty, hope and tragedy.

My grandmother’s story and life jangled in my head for years, and I felt compelled to write a novel based on her charms and the lessons she taught me: That the simplest things in life – family, friends, faith, fun, love, and a passion for what you do – truly are the grandest gifts.

I couldn’t be prouder of this novel, which not only honors my grandmother, with the pen name Viola Shipman, but also all of our elders.

For more about the author, please visit Wade Rouse’s official website

Connect with Viola

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The Protective Warrior by Cami Checketts ~ 99¢ Sale, an Excerpt and a Giveaway!


The Protective Warrior 
by Cami Checketts

A daughter escaping, a Navy SEAL sent to protect her, and the beautiful island that might prove more dangerous than her father. Ally, daughter of the Duke of Gunthry, has spent her life terrified of her father and dreams of the day when she can escape his tyrannical rule. When her mum helps her escape to the beautiful island of Kauai, Ally thinks she’s found paradise and maybe more with the handsome River who keeps crossing her path.
But there are unexpected enemies lurking in the shadows. And no matter how tough River seems, no one can withstand the army her father will send when he discovers her location. River Duncan is part of an elite security task force of ex-Navy SEALS. Little does he know his first assignment might prove irresistible to resist and protect. When he finds himself falling for the fun-loving Ally he plans to resign his position so they can join forces in their common goal of fighting human trafficking. 

River has never underestimated the enemy before, but is he fully prepared to protect and love Alexandria Gunthry? Will River’s protection and Ally’s love be enough to conquer a lifetime of fear and responsibilities? Or will they be forced to give up on their dreams in the face of her sadistic and powerful father?

Praise for The Protective Warrior

I've read pretty much every Cami Checketts book, and I think this is my favorite of all time ever! I absolutely love the way Cami Checketts is able to sweep me away to an exotic location, completely immersing me in the story. She always adds an element of suspense that keeps me on my toes and I was almost looking over my shoulder while hiking the lush trails of Kauai this afternoon.

It doesn't get any better than this! An excellent read from start to finish! I love this book! Outstanding! One of my all-time favorites! The Protective Warrior is the perfect balance of sweet romance and on-your-toes suspense. I loved it!


“This seat taken?” a nicely timbered voice asked. 

Ally glanced up and took her time looking over him before she answered. 

He arched an eyebrow and smiled. “Did I pass muster?” 

“How do you do?” 

He cocked his head to the side. “I’m good. You?” 

Ally laughed. “I’m glad you’re good, but ‘how do you do’ is more like ‘hello.’” 

“Hello.” He smiled, and ooh, he was cute. 

“So I do pass muster?” He moved to sit down. 

Ally held out a hand. “Not so quick, chump.”

His dark hair was short, military or missionary short, but it was nice—clean and thick and would probably feel good beneath her fingertips. His face was lean and proportioned with a firm jaw, a straight nose, and smooth, tanned skin. She liked the crinkles next to his eyes and mouth as he smiled at her, awaiting her perusal. He’d had some experiences in life, good and bad, if those crinkles told her anything. He was a big guy—broad and at least six-three with lots of lovely muscles peeking out from underneath his T-shirt and board shorts. It was his eyes that finally convinced her to accept his request. Their deep brown sparkled at her, though she could tell he could be very serious. 

He tapped the edge of his tray. “How about now?” 

“Okay, no harm in sharing a table.” She winked at him and picked a bite of rib off the bone, savoring the tang of the barbecue sauce and the heartiness of the meat. No, she never took men home, only selectively dated those who passed her intuition test. She trusted her intuition completely and she could have fun with this hot, tough-looking guy. 

He smiled and dug into his brisket. “Mm. This place is good.” 

“One of my favorites.” 

“Have you been on the island long?” 

She wished. “A few days.” 

“Oh. You act like a local.” He ate a bite of beans and took a drink of water before asking, “Which part of England are you from?” 

“London. Kensington, to be exact. You?” 

“Long Island originally. I like your accent a lot.” 

“I’ve been in the States for over six years, so it’s faded.” 

“Don’t let it fade.”



Author Cami Checketts

Cami Checketts is married and the proud mother of four future WWF champions. Sometimes between being a human horse, cleaning up magic potions, and reading Bernstein Bears, she gets the chance to write fiction. Cami graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Exercise Science. She and her family live in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. During the two months of the year it isn’t snowing, she enjoys swimming, biking, running, and water-skiing.


  Nani Swimsuit Giveaway 

 To celebrate the release of The Protective One we are giving away an adorable Nani Swimsuit of your choice ($80 value).

Enter to win below.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Release Day! Night Music by Deanna Lynn Sletten and a Giveaway!

Happy Release Day!!


Night Music

Night Music: A Novel by Deanna Lynn Sletten
Print and e-book, 251 pages 
Published: March 13th 2018 by Deanna Lynn Sletten

Charlotte Parsons is devastated over losing her brother in the Vietnam War. Desperate to learn more about the war, she joins a group of college women who send letters to soldiers and befriends Joseph Russo, a young soldier. But a few months after they begin corresponding, his letters stop coming, and Char moves on, still confused as to why so many young lives are being lost so far away from home.

Two years later, Char begins college in her small Illinois town of Grand Falls. She’s been dating her brother’s long-time best friend, Deke Masterson, who is a senior in college and is deep into the anti-war movement. Char isn’t sure how she feels about the war. Then a stranger comes to town and changes everything.

Joseph Russo served in the Vietnam War, earning a Purple Heart for his injury as well as a life-long limp. He’s ready to put the war behind him. While in Vietnam, he’d corresponded with a girl from Grand Falls and he enjoyed reading about her idyllic life. When he’s discharged, he moves there to attend college. And when he meets Charlotte in person, he’s taken with her sweetness, intelligence, and beauty.

The battle lines are drawn as Deke resents Joe’s presence around Char. What started out as a well-deserved escape to a small town for Joe soon turns into a battle of wills between him and the idealistic Deke. And there stands Charlotte, right in the middle.

Night Music is a story about a moment in time when the world was chaotic and nothing was completely clear. In the midst of all the chaos, can Char and Joe find enough middle ground to fall in love?


Congratulations Deanna
 on the release today of
Night Music!

I've already read Night Music and I loved it! It's a excellent glimpse of a turbulent time in our history. Through her characters, Deanna shares several different viewpoints of the time and helps us see all sides of the issue.

You can read my thoughts about Night Music HERE

Be sure to enter the giveaway 
for a $20 Amazon Gift Card! 

About the author

Deanna Lynn Sletten writes heartwarming women's fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime. She began her writing career self-publishing in 2012 and has since published several novels. Her next novel will be published in June 2017 by Lake Union Publishing. Deanna believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, and happily ever after, and her novels reflect that.

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

Connect with Deanna

Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Deanna is offering a $20 Amazon Gift Card to celebrate the release of her newest book, Night Music

Thanks so much, Deanna!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Release Day: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh ~ My Thoughts #LetMeLie #NetGalley

Happy Release Day!


Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
Print and e-book, 384 pages
Published March 13th 2018 by Berkley

In the newest psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go and I See You, Clare Mackintosh brings us a gripping story about how those who love us never really leave us…

Two years ago, Tom and Caroline Johnson committed suicide, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their adult daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unable to comprehend why they chose to end their lives. Now with a young baby herself, she feels her mother’s presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as Anna digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. She soon learns that nothing is as it seemed.


My thoughts about Let Me Lie ~~ 

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"Death does not suit me. I wear it like a borrowed coat; it slips off my shoulders and trails in the dirt. It is ill fitting. Uncomfortable."

Oh my, so many lies. So many. A whole story full of lies. I was never sure what to believe. But Clare's books are like that, full of twists and turns and truths and lies. And once again, I was totally taken in by this story, continuously trying to figure it all out.

Let Me Lie will keep you guessing and it will keep you turning the pages, as you work to find out what are the real lies and what is the truth. It is definitely a page-turner and a wonderful read!

I received an ARC of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.

About the author

Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant and is the founder of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival. She now writes full time and lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and their three children.

Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, is a Sunday Times bestseller and was the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club, and was the winning title of the readers' vote for the summer 2015 selection, and ITV’s Loose Women’s Loose Books. Her second novel, I See You, is a number 1 Sunday Times bestseller. Clare's books are translated into more than 30 languages.

Clare is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity which supports the work carried out in the John Radcliffe Hospital's Silver Star unit, providing special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy.

Connect with Clare

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads


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