Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Beginnings - 6/30/2017

*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page. 
My book beginnings is taken from THE COTTINGLEY SECRET by Hazel Gaynor:

"Olivia Kavanagh didn't believe in happy endings.  Life hadn't worked out that way for her so far.  At thirty-five, she had almost stopped believing it ever would.  Almost, but not entirely, because there were moments - flashes - when she remembered who she used to be:  someone who thought anything was possible, someone who believed in everything."
Books Finished:


Review will be on July 26.
THE SUMMER HOUSE by Hannah McKinnon

Review is in the book's title.
EVERY LAST LIE by Mary Kubica: 

Review will be on July 5.

THE CHILD by Fiona Barton

Review will be on July 20.

COCOA BEACH by Beatriz Williams

Review is in the book's title.

Book Blogger Hop - 6/30 - 7/6

 Question of the Week:

Name a book that changed your life. (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)
My Answer:

Wow...a fantastic, but very difficult question.

I can't think of a book that changed my life, but any book about WWII definitely makes me appreciate what I have in my life comfort wise.

I am always amazed at how the European people endured the daily hardships of little or no food or shelter as well as the specific horrors of this particular war for all involved. 

I will be looking forward to seeing what book others name or if like me they give a different yet similar answer.

Friendly Fill-Ins - 6/30/2017
Friendly Fill-Ins
1. My next ___ will be ___.

2. Fireworks___.

3. Freedom           .

4. This week, I am thankful      .

My Answers:

1.  My next trip will be to visit my sisters.

2.  Fireworks are spectacular.

3.  Freedom is everything.

4.  This week, I am thankful that I had good test results.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


We finally are getting rid of all these awful shrubs in the front of my house.  I am so excited.

You can now see my front door again, the beautiful railing my father built for me, and my house.  :)

Here are the BEFORE and AFTER photos.

I will add a final photo when the landscape is done.

Landscape done - so happy!!

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon

Flossy Merrill's children, her husband, and The Summer House have always been her first loves.

Nothing mattered to her as much as her family.  The family wasn’t together for a few summers in a row because of commitments, but this summer Flossy managed to get everyone together to celebrate their father's 75th birthday party.

Flossy also had another reason to get the family together, but she and Richard couldn't bring themselves to tell their children even though they knew they had to sooner than later.

Getting together was easy this year, but wasn't easy once everyone arrived.  Sibling rivalry still continued into adulthood, and each of Flossy and Richard's children had some issue with each other and in their lives.

Paige still seemed bossy, Sam still liked to pick on Clem, and Clem was still mourning the loss of her husband.

The characters will grow on you and bring you into their problems and their heartaches as well as their joys.  I enjoyed the sibling and parental interactions with some being comical, some being emotional, and some being serious.

THE SUMMER HOUSE is a perfect read for anyone who has a tradition of spending family vacations together.  We never did that, but it would be fun to compare what your family vacations were like and how they might be compared to the family vacations of the Merrills.  It would be interesting to see any similarities and differences. 

This was my first book by Ms. McKinnon, and I truly enjoyed THE SUMMER HOUSE.  I would love to spend some time in that gorgeous house.  :)    

THE SUMMER HOUSE was a heartfelt, lovely read about a family I think most readers could identify with.

If you know this author's work and have enjoyed it, you will not be disappointed in THE SUMMER HOUSE as you become involved in the lives of the characters and feel the emotions they are experiencing.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall

Willow has an older mother and never knew her father.  Willow is paranoid that her mother is going to die soon because of her smoking, drinking, and her age.  Polly became pregnant at 50 years of age.

Willow wants to know about her mother's life before she married her father who passed away before Willow was born.  Willow also wants to know the secret her mother won't reveal about something that happened in Louisiana.

Willow makes it her mission to find out the secret as she continues worrying about her mother and her longevity.  Willow is a precocious, rule-following child.   I really enjoyed Willow for her spunk.  I enjoyed Polly because she was fearless and didn't really care what anyone thought of her.

THE BOOK OF POLLY made me laugh out loud.  I loved Willow and Polly and loved their relationship even though it is a strained one because Willow is always challenging her mother and Polly is always manipulating Willow.

THE BOOK OF POLLY was a delightful read because of the funny circumstances and situations the characters got themselves in.   

All of the characters were comical and lovable.  You will be laughing as well as crying but mostly laughing. 

If you need a break from murders and serious story lines, THE BOOK OF POLLY fits the bill. 

 I just loved this book.  ENJOY!!  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams

Falling in love and marrying during a war usually turns out to be a good thing, but for Virginia Fortescue Fitzwilliam it wasn't working out.

Virginia fell in love, married, and then spent hardly any time with her husband.  The war is over, she still hasn't seen him, and then she returns to the United States to her father and her sister. 

Her family has secrets, and she finds out Simon does too. Simon seems to be the perfect manipulator and liar.

We follow Virginia and Simon Fitzwilliam as the book goes back and forth from WWI to after the war and as their love affair blossomed and faded and the secrets Simon held were revealed.

After three years of not seeing Simon, a fire in Cocoa Beach claimed his life, Virginia went there to settle things, and her adventure in Florida begins...well if you want to call it an adventure.   An adventure is to be fun, but Virginia runs into trouble and more secrets.

COCOA BEACH had beautifully detailed writing.  It was a bit slow at first, but the story line was marvelous as always and filled with mystery.

COCOA BEACH is another winner by Beatriz Williams that keeps you turning the pages wanting to know what really happened and what really was going on.  

Something sinister was brewing throughout, and the end will have you saying: What?  Who was the bigger liar?

ENJOY if you read COCOA BEACH...a marvelous, thoughtful read with mystery and a lot of questions.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

It's Monday!! What Are YOU Reading? - 6/26/2017
I hope you had a great reading week.  
This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOK DATE!

Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.
Books Completed

THE BREAKDOWN by B. A. Paris - review will be on July 25 - finished June 23.

A good mystery...not as chilling as her first book.

THE WILDLING SISTERS by Evan Chase - review will be on July 25 - finished June 22.

Family saga and a bit of Gothic included...enjoyed it.
HELLO SUNSHINE by Laura Dave - review will be on July 12 - finished June 18.

THE SUMMER HOUSE by Hannah McKinnon - review will be on June 29 - finished on June 16.

A lovely, heartfelt read.

EVERY LAST LIE by Mary Kubica - review will be on July 5 - finished June 10.

My first Mary Kubica book...a good thriller.

THE CHILD by Fiona Barton - review will be on July 20 - finished June 5.

A little slow at first, but got intense and interesting about half way through.

THE SUNSHINE SISTERS by Jane Green - review is in the book's title - finished May 22.

Excellent women's fiction.
THE ALMOST SISTERS by Joshilyn Jackson - review will be on July 11 - finished January 15 - I thought the book's publication date was February 15.  :)  I am not an over-achiever.  :)
Book Currently Reading:

THE BOOK OF POLLY by Kathy Hepinstall - review will be on July 27. 

This book is funny and delightful.

Books Up Next:

THE COTTINGLEY SECRET by Hazel Gaynor - review will be on August 1
EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker - review will be on August 8

THE DAUGHTERS OF IRELAND by Santa Montefiore - review will be on August 15

THE RIGHT SIDE by Spencer Quinn - review will be on August 23.

THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER'S END by Patti Callahan Henry - review will be August 24.

BEST INTENTIONS by Erika Raskin - review will be on August 29.


LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES by Jamie Ford - review will be on September 13

SILVER THREADS by Bette Lee Crosby - review will be on September 12.