Thursday, August 31, 2017

Best Intentions by Erika Raskin

Marti, the wife of a busy, important member of the OB/GYN hospital staff decides it is time for her to go back to work as a social worker.

Marti joins a new department at the hospital that helps unwed teenage mothers.

Marti gets completely involved in the lives of these girls and leaves her children's care to her mother-in-law.

Meanwhile, Marti's husband, Eliott isn't happy she is working at the same hospital as he is.  Their marriage is a bit rocky to begin with, and this seems to cause more turmoil.

BEST INTENTIONS dragged for me for most of the book even though the writing was good.  There was confusion for me about where I was in the story.  One minute Marti was at a party or with her kids and the next minute she was with her attorney. I never was sure if she was in jail awaiting trial or out on bail talking to her attorney.

It was interesting, though, to get a glimpse into a doctor’s life both at the hospital and at home. The insight into a social worker's life was an eye opener as well and frightening how medical mistakes could escalate into what happened in BEST INTENTIONS.

BEST INTENTIONS kept me reading because I wanted to see what the outcome of the trial would be, but I did have a lack of interest in the love affairs and other situations.  The last 50 pages that covered the trial were the best part of the book.

BEST INTENTIONS had good intentions as a book, but it just wasn’t a grab you story line for me.  3/5

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Glass Houses by Louise Penny

A conscience - we all have one, but do we know what may be on another person's conscience or even on ours that may bother us?

When a hooded figure appeared on the green in Three Pines and stayed without moving for three days, all the residents were tense and wondered what he was doing there.   Did the hooded figure date back to the historical Cobrador who collected debts?

Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector, kept an eye on the figure and could do nothing within his powers to remove him. But...why is Armand Gamache now on the witness stand testifying about a death that occurred during the time the hooded figure was present?

We follow the situation by being introduced to the trial and then back again to the events in Three Pines with the hooded figure standing on the village green. The trial has something going on besides the trial, though, and the judge seems to be picking up on it.

Louise Penny has given us another beautifully written, intellectual, intriguing plot that will have you glued to the pages, thinking about what a conscience really is and how it helps or hinders one's choices, and feeling for Gamache as he must defend all that happened in the quiet village of Three Pines.

GLASS HOUSES had me confused during the first few chapters, but once GLASS HOUSES got going another fantastic Louise Penny read and outcome awaits you with the endings always being brilliant and unexpected.

Don't miss reading the latest from Louise Penny. 4/5

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Giveaway and Review of A MOTHER LIKE MINE by Kate Hewitt

Your mother returning after no contact for 20 years?  Would you be happy or resentful?

Abby was actually shocked that her mother came back to the small village of Hartley-by-the-Sea in England after being in New York.  Her mother, Laura, left when Abby was two, and rarely kept in touch.

Laura went on with her life without her daughter, and her mother  took care of Abby for her.  Her mother now has Abby as an adult and her grandson living with her since Abby's fiancĂ© was killed.

The Rhodes women own a coffee/ice cream shop and live in the attached apartment.

Laura's return caused hard feelings for all and an upset in the living arrangements. 

The characters were believable in the sense that similar relationships do exist.

I loved Mary, the grandmother. 

Abby was likable. 

Laura wasn't too likable, but became somewhat likable as the book continued.

A MOTHER LIKE MINE is a book that made me appreciate my mother and the love and care she selfishly gave to all eight of us.

A MOTHER LIKE MINE  was a bit slow for me and out of my usual genre, but I loved the setting of the book and the premise of the book was good. 

If you enjoy family interaction and drama, A MOTHER LIKE MINE is a book you will want to read.

ENJOY if you read the book.  4/5

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


The giveaway copy is “Courtesy of Penguin Random House.”


August 31 to September 7


Monday, August 28, 2017

It's Monday - What Are YOU Reading? - 8/28/2017
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

SILVER THREADS by Bette Lee Crosby - review is in the book's title - finished August 23.
GLASS HOUSES by Louise Penny - review will be on August 30 - finished August 22.

Another good Louise Penny read.

THE SPACE BETWEEN WORDS by Michele Phoenix - review will be on September 5.

BEST INTENTIONS by Erika Raskin - review will be on August 31.

It's an ok read...a bit dragged out.

A MOTHER LIKE MINE by Kate Hewitt - review AND Giveaway will be tomorrow, August 29 - finished reading on July 21.

Book Currently Reading

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

Another beautiful Jamie Ford read.
Books Up Next:

ODD CHILD OUT by Gilly MacMillan - review will be on October 5.

THE BLACKBIRD SEASON by Kate Moretti - review will be on October 12.

THE WELCOME HOME DINER by Peggy Lampman - review will be on October 10.

TAHOE PAYBACK by Todd Borg - review will be on October 17.

SEVEN DAYS OF US by Francesca Hornack - review will be on November 7. 

Giveaway going on for this book until August 23 - go here.

THE WIFE BETWEEN US by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen - review will be on January 9, 2018.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Book Blogger Hop - 8/25 - 8/31

 Question of the Week:

Have you ever read a book written in a foreign language you might be fluent in, and then read the same book in English? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

My Answer: 

I have to say I have never read a book written in a foreign language, but I have read books that have been written by foreign authors that are in English.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Silver Threads by Bette Lee Crosby

When Drew Bishop gets the phone call any spouse would dread, he never knew how awful things would be.

Drew's wife, Jennifer, was shot during a robbery simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The robber, Tom, had a twin that was in prison for worse crimes.  When the twin, Eddie, was released, the evil continued where they had left off because Eddie wanted revenge for the death of his brother.

The characters in SILVER THREADS were all lovable, gentle, and people you would love to have in your life except for Eddie who caused grief. 

The little that we read of Jennifer showed her to be the best mother, wife, and person anyone could wish for.

Drew was a hard-working man who did everything for his family.  

Brooke was a sweet girl who had to deal with the loss of her mother who was her very best friend.

A life without her mother is extremely traumatizing for Brooke as she tries to work her way through it all and as her father tries to be both mother and father and still make a living.

Ms. Crosby's books are filled with love and family and carry a theme of a sweetness for life. You are pulled in as always by the story line and the characters.

Ms. Crosby’s books are filled with goodness and a zest for life, and she knows how to turn bad into good.  I needed tissues for some of the parts because they were such heartwarming situations. 

SILVER THREADS was a beautiful, heartfelt read as all of her books are.
Don’t miss reading yet another touching, uplifting book by Ms. Crosby.  5/5

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Blogger Hop - 8/18 - 8/24

 Question of the Week:

When you enter an unfamiliar house or apartment for the first time, do you feel disappointed if you don't see any bookshelves, or books on the coffee table? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

My Answer:

I don't feel disappointed, but I wonder why there are not any books visibly displayed or any bookshelves.  I love to browse other people's bookshelves.  :)
I don't judge, though.  Some folks never grew up with the love of books.
I just think how lucky I am that books have always been a part of my life, and the love of books has been instilled in me.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Giveaway and Spotlight of Monsters: A Love Story by Liz Kay


Quick Take: 

Stacey Lane feels like a monster. Tommy DeMarco might be one. Since her husband died eight months ago, Stacey’s been a certified mess—an acclaimed poet who can’t write anymore, a good mother who feels like she’s failing her kids. She’s been trying to redefine herself, to find new boundaries. Tommy has no respect for boundaries. A surprisingly well-read A-list Hollywood star, Tommy’s fallen in love with Stacey’s novel-in-verse, a feminist reimagining of Frankenstein, no less. His passion for the book, and eventually its author, will set their lives on a collision course. They’ll make a movie, make each other crazy, and make love—but only in secret. As Stacey travels between her humdrum life in the suburbs of Omaha and the glamorous but fleeting escape Tommy offers, what begins as a distracting affair starts to pick up weight. It’s a weight that unbalances Stacey’s already unsteady life, but offers new depth to Tommy’s. Riveting, poignant and always surprising, MONSTERS: A LOVE STORY reveals how meeting the right person can be as much brutal as it is breathtaking. With Liz Kay’s beautiful spare prose and snappy dialogue, the novel deftly details the ways we love, even when we’re not at our best, and delivers an eminently satisfying love story. Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times-bestselling author of Hausfrau raved, “Witty and so nimbly-worded, Liz Kay’s Monsters: A Love Story had me at hello.” 
About the Author

Liz Kay holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska, where she was the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize. She is a founding editor of Spark Wheel Press and the journal burntdistrict. Her work has appeared in Willow Springs, Nimrod, RHINO, Sugar House Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New Poets anthology. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and three children.
Selected Praise for MONSTERS: A LOVE STORY:

“The unlikely romance between a feminist poet and the Hollywood heartthrob who options her book is at the center of Kay’s entertainingly dyspeptic Monsters.”

“In the tradition of Lolly Winston’s Good Grief . . . this fast-paced novel will have readers immersed in the heady feeling of an alcohol-fueled affair with one of the sexiest men alive.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Witty and so nimbly-worded,  Monsters had me at hello. From the near-madcap improbability of the novel’s premise, to the punchy repartee and ping-pong banter between Stacey and Tommy, it’s impossible to resist the book’s charms. .”
Jill Alexander Essbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Hausfrau

“A perfectly imperfect love story . . . Kay has created a heartfelt, sometimes dark but ultimately romantic story about what happens when two broken people come together.”

“A smart, satirical feminist novel, but as the subtitle suggests, it's also a romance.”
Shelf Awareness

“I love to see truth in writing when it comes to love and relationships . . . [Monsters is] an electric, fast-moving novel.” 
B&N Reads

Monsters is an addictive read: a page-turner that is at once dark and uplifting, shocking and hopeful. Kay's book takes a sharp spin on the notion of fairy tale romance.”
Janelle Brown, bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

"At times somber, at times heartwarming, the story of this improbable romance is an addictive page-turner, ripe with seduction and charm, that drops insights into this messy, crazy, wonderful thing called love.."
Washington Independent Review of Books

“This one will make you laugh and cry, but Kay’s debut novel, about a poet grappling with the death of her husband, is a must-read. A smart look at grief and how we bounce back from it, Monsters is fast-paced and completely addictive.”
Purewow, Ultimate Summer 2016 Book Pick

“The novel’s wry insights into messy relationships put me in mind of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. and Emma Straub’s The Vacationers.”
Timothy Schaffert, critically acclaimed author of The Swan Gondola

“This edgy and entertaining novel would make a great beach read.” 

Lucy Sykes, author of The Knockoff

“The meeting of kindred spirits is often as punishing as it is beguiling. When monsters fall in love, it is impossible not to watch, impossible to put the book down.”
Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel

“A deeply felt and modern day spin on the fairy tale notion of happily-ever-after. . . Smart, fun, sexy writing.”
Mark Haskell Smith, author of Raw: A Love Story

Monsters is smart, witty, hilarious, raunchy, irresistible, and full of crackling dialogue.”
Catherine Texier, author of Victorine

“Reads like a seduction. I couldn’t stop. . . Monsters they may be, but vulnerable monsters with hearts full of yearning.”
Amy Hassinger, author of The Priest’s Madonna

The giveaway copy is "Courtesy of Penguin Random House." I am partnering with Penguin Random House for this giveaway.



August 16 - August 23

Enter Here

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Look at this adorable book my sister whittled for me.  Love the purple and the deckle-edged pages.

Look how she even made the indent on the side.  :)


Early Galley Giveaway of Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

The Blog Tour for SEVEN DAYS OF US begins on October 17

My review will be on Tuesday, November 7 - stop back to see what this book is all about.  
It sounds fun!  Could you spend SEVEN whole days with your entire family?  :)
All information in this post is courtesy of Lauren Burnstein.
The giveaway copy is "Courtesy of Penguin Random House." 

 I am partnering with Penguin Random House for this giveaway.

Your next feel-good read is here! 

If you “like your families dysfunctional and your novels whip-smart*,” enter the giveaway for Francesca Hornak’s bright, wryly-observed family drama SEVEN DAYS OF US and stop back for the tour beginning October 17.  

A week is a long time to spend with your family. Now imagine being quarantined with them over Christmas. 

That’s the delicious premise in SEVEN DAYS OF US, about a dysfunctional British family forced into quarantine together. Eldest daughter Olivia, a doctor, has just returned from treating a life-threatening virus in Africa and must spend seven days in quarantine.

Her family, forced into lockdown with her, decides to spend the week in their crumbling and isolated country manor, Weyfield Hall. Each arrives carrying secrets and simmering resentments.

With the Birch family under one roof for the first time in years, keeping secrets is no longer an option. And when a shocking, unexpected visitor arrives, the family’s pressurized state will boil over, spilling problems—and possibly the deadly virus—outside the gates of Weyfield Hall.

In residence with Olivia are her unabashedly frivolous younger sister Phoebe, fixated on her upcoming wedding; father Andrew, sequestered in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and longing for his glory days as a war correspondent; and sweet bumbling matriarch Emma, who’s hiding a secret that will turn the whole family upside down. Anyone who loves their family—in small doses—will relate to the inner thoughts of each character. 

This Is Where I Leave You meets “Love Actually” in SEVEN DAYS OF US

Contest has ended - Congrats to Karina


August 16 - August 23

Enter Here