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


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.

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


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

At Wave's End by Patricia Perry Donovan

You won a bed and breakfast in yet another contest, Mom?  Please say I am not hearing you correctly?

Poor Faith.  Her mother, Connie, has always entered contests ever since she was a child and has never won, but then she wins this one which seems unbelievable because of the prize.  Connie has won this prize after writing an essay about why she should win the bed and breakfast, and Connie is determined to come all the way from New Mexico to claim and see her prize.

Faith lives in New York City and accompanies her mother to the bed and breakfast at Wave's End at the Jersey Shore.  As predicted, the place is in bad shape and nothing like the pictures in the contest.

As Faith argues with her mother about the "prize," a hurricane is making its way up the coast.  Faith goes back to New York and then returns as the hurricane is gaining in intensity to make sure her mother is safe.  

Faith finds more than she wants to find when she returns with her mother's impulsiveness being a very big problem this time.

AT WAVE'S END is an enjoyable read with characters that were very believable and lovable. A mother/daughter team is always a treat because it can go two ways:  the best it can be or the worst it can be.  :)

You will be comparing your relationship with your mother and might see some similarities as well as differences.

Secrets kept for a long time and finally revealed are part of AT WAVE'S END, but do they bring mother and daughter closer or farther apart?

Food was another major component with three of the characters being chefs, and who doesn't like to talk about food and gorgeous kitchens?

If you need a fun, light, heartwarming read that shows the resiliency of and the generosity of mankind, then you will not want to miss AT WAVE'S END.

It has something for everyone and the reason I enjoy women's, love, tenderness, surprises, a few tears, and warmth.

ENJOY!!  I certainly did.  5/5

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And The Winner is....ME!!

I won First Place and Champion in the County Fair for my Basil and Pesto bread.  :)

How about that?  :)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley Giveaway

All the content in this post is courtesy of Danielle Dill.

The giveaway copy is "Courtesy of Penguin Random House." I am partnering with Penguin Random House for this giveaway.
What happens when a major social media fail airs all your dirty laundry?

This is the delicious premise behind KEEP ME POSTED—a novel about two sisters that become Internet sensations when their most private thoughts accidentally go viral.

Touching on themes of love, marriage, and the bond of sisters, KEEP ME POSTED will have readers thinking about the secrets we trust to be kept just that, and the real-life likes and dislikes from millions of strangers if those secrets were to be revealed. Sure to resonate with fans of Jennifer Weiner and Jane Green, Beazley’s fresh debut is a funny and heartwarming look at modern marriage, social media, and sisterhood. 


Two sisters share the surprising highs and cringe worthy lows of social media fame, when their most private thoughts become incredibly public in this fresh and funny debut novel.
The once-close Sunday sisters have not done a bang-up job of keeping in touch. Cassie is consumed with trying to make her life work as a Manhattan wife and mom to twin toddlers, while her bighearted sister, Sid, lives an expat’s life of leisure in far-off Singapore. So Sid, who shuns social media, challenges Cassie to reconnect through old-fashioned letters.
Soon, the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. They just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.
But first, one of Cassie’s infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up in the one place you’d never, ever want to see them: the Internet. 



August 10 - August 17

Enter Here

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bring Her Home by David Bell

A teenager not being home at curfew time, a phone call no parent wants to get, and a lot of questions.

Summer and Haley were the best of friends since first grade, and now that they are teenagers they share secrets and go everywhere together.

Going everywhere together one fateful night turned into a nightmare for Bill, Summer's father, and Haley's mother.

The police were investigating everyone who had known the girls and everything that had happened to Bill and Summer before and after the death of Summer's mother a year ago.   I suspected a few characters as I continued reading and one in particular.

The police never had a handle on things because something new would turn up to turn the investigation back to square one.  Some of the findings were unbelievable.

BRING HER HOME led us through the horror of a child gone missing and dying as well as learning the steps taken in a police investigation with this type of crime.

The characters and their emotions were credible, but trusting a few of them was difficult. Bill was very emotional to the point of doing crazy things, but who wouldn't when your daughter was missing. The teenagers did some things that were quite unimaginable.  The neighbor, Adam, was too nice to be believable.

The secrecy of teenagers was one of the major themes and was very well done by Mr. Bell.

My only criticism is that BRING HER HOME was a bit long and dragged out.

All in all, though, the book kept me guessing, and the end was good.  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.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker

Two sisters disappear after a fight over a necklace, two sisters leave no trace except a pair of shoes and a car on the beach, two sisters leave and then one sister returns after three years.

The police have questions for Cass about where she and Emma were, but Cass can't pinpoint where they have been held captive for the past three years.  Cass only knows it was an island.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT moves along as we join in the questioning of Cass by the police and a psychologist.  Cass tells all, but holds back some things on purpose.  What Cass doesn't hold back is what she wants to shock her mother with because her mother was abusive and a narcissist.

Mrs. Martin as Cass calls her mother was the reason they left.  Cass's story about their three years away was filled with half truths, and Cass seemed to lie quite a lot about many things.

The characters all seemed mentally disturbed and as if they had to be top dog competing with and against each other.

As the book continued, the tension about the story of the girls leaving home and the investigation increased. You never knew who to trust or to believe.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT is definitely a psychological thriller.  The most interesting aspect was learning about narcissism and how it affects an entire family.  It actually was an education and thoroughly frightening to learn about this disorder.

Readers who enjoy unusual family drama along with intense psychological situations to the point of unbelievable will enjoy EMMA IN THE NIGHT.  

The ending was exceptional and unexpected, and the book was a bit disturbing.  4/5

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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

International E-book Giveaway and Spotlight of Links by Lisa Becker

By Lisa Becker

Love at Second Sight...
All information in this post is courtesy of the author. 

“IS HINDSIGHT ALWAYS 20/20?” IN NEW BOOK                                                              
“Witty, heartfelt, and emotionally satisfying. Everything I want in a second chance romance!  Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down!”
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken 

The unrequited crush was as much a part of high school as football games, acne, proms and final exams. In Links [Desert Breeze Publishing, August 2017], romance writer Lisa Becker explores what happens when you reconnect with your high school crush years later. What follows is a romantic, light-hearted romp filled with heart and humor in the vein of Sophie Kinsella and Candace Bushnell.
In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. 

Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist, with Steven Spielberg vying for the role of director in her book’s film adaptation. And she’s no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school. In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see does her heart! 

Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending shoulder injury. 

With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him? 

Told through varying perspectives of current day Charlotte and Garrett, Links will answer all, satisfying the sweet tooth of the most die-hard chick lit and romance fans, and giving hope to even the most jaded.
Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include:  Click: An Online Love Story, Double click, and Right click.

The books about a young woman's search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, "a fast read that will keep you entertained," "a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City," and "hard to put down."  The first in the series was optioned for a majour motion picture.

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse,, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites. She is happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

Links [Desert Breeze Publishing] will be available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and online as of August 2017. 
Connect with Lisa Becker at:




Contest  has ended, and our winner is Ann.





Wednesday, August 2, 2017

A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave

One thing after another happened to Joshua Logan so he figured he and his family had a life-long curse.

Joshua was born blind, his parents died, he grew up with his loving aunt and uncle as his parents, and then his father got killed in the line of duty.

A KILLER HARVEST was a very tense thriller.  At first I thought it was going to go the route of Stephen King, and that almost scared me away, but I kept on going and am glad I did.

The characters were believable and authentic for their roles, but were they connected by chance, by fate, or by corruption?

A KILLER HARVEST was an excellent thriller packed with an amazing storyline, multiple murderers, and a lot of secrets.

Every time you moved to the next chapter the intensity increased and made A KILLER HARVEST difficult to put down.

If you enjoy thrillers, characters hiding things, and non-stop tension, you will enjoy A KILLER HARVEST. 

The ending will have you on the edge of your seat and feeling as though you can’t turn the pages fast enough. 5/5

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

Can Olivia have some connection to Elsie and Frances who lived 100 years ago? Can Olivia find it?

Is the connection somewhere in the pages of the rare books in the bookshop, SOMETHING OLD, that Olivia's grandfather left her?  Is it in the story she finds that leads her to believe in herself like Elsie and Frances believed in fairies?

Olivia lives in present day and finds a manuscript in her grandfather's things that refers to fairies.  As she reads the manuscript and deals with her unhappy life at this time, she believes her grandmother knew Frances.

Olivia is excited that she inherited the bookshop, but doesn't know what to do with it.   What decision will she make about the bookshop and her life?  Will she decide to move to Ireland and run the bookshop and most importantly follow what will make her happy or marry the man that she realizes isn't the man she should marry?

We move to 1917 and visit with Elsie and Frances who are cousins and live under the same roof since Frances moved there from South Africa while her father was called to serve in the war.

Frances is a precocious child and believes she sees fairies at the beck, but no one believes her .  She and Elsie get together to prove the fairies are really there, and their story becomes a sensation.

THE COTTINGLEY SECRET took a few pages for me to connect, but once I got hooked and also realized that this fairy story was famous, I couldn't stop reading.

I loved how the book went back and forth from 1917 to present day, and I truly enjoyed the secrets and connections between the characters from both time periods as they were revealed.

Who doesn't love a book that has a bookshop in it? And who doesn't love an old bookshop with secrets and memories that might help you make personal decisions and find connections?

Hazel Gaynor's books are always magical whether there is magic in them or not. 

And…her books are always filled with love.

ENJOY!!  5/5

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