Friday, April 27, 2018

Book Beginnings - 4/27/2018

*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 BEFORE AND AGAIN by Barbara Delinsky:

"Mackenzie Cooper had no idea where she was or, more critically, why she hadn't already arrived. Her navigation screen said she was still on the right road, in the right town, but all she could see were woods left and right and a curve of macadam ahead."
Books Finished:


Review will be on June 20.

LOVED this book.
THE WATERS & THE WILD by DeSales Harrison.

Review is in the book's title.

BEACH HOUSE REUNION by Mary Alice Monroe.

Review will be on May 23.

An easy, sweet read.

BOARDWALK SUMMER by Meredith Jaeger.

LOVED it -  It is set in 1940 and then moves to 2007. A lovely nostalgic read.

Review will be on June 19.


Review will be on June 5.

Excellent as always.

PAPER GHOSTS by Julia Heaberlin.

Review will be on May 15. 

A different kind of spooky.  :)

THE WAY OF BEAUTY by Camille Di Maio.

Review will be on May 2.

A marvelous book.

WHEN NEVER COMES by Barbara Davis. 

Really enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed all of her books.

Review will be on May 1, 2018.

THE ELIZAS by Sara Shepard

Review is in the book's title.

THE HUSBAND HOUR by Jamie Brenner.

Review is in the book's title.


Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Elizas by Sara Shepard

Eliza and Dot - one is a real person, and the other is a character in Eliza’s book.

The similarities are striking and a bit confusing.

We follow both Eliza and Dot as they move through situations both in real life and in Eliza's book.

The book begins as Eliza was pulled out of a swimming pool, and no one believes that it was an accident since she previously tried to commit suicide.  Doctors and family members also question her story and her memory about many things, but are they just trying to make her think she can’t remember things?

THE ELIZAS was odd, but interesting.  The characters seemed to be trying to put Eliza in a bad light even though Eliza’s publicist met with her and said the stunt with the pool was a brilliant tactic for publicity.

Were they really worried about Eliza or their book sales? Was anyone really worried about Eliza or just themselves?

Eliza couldn't let everyone think she had purposely jumped in the pool and was more interested in clearing up the story the police are telling everyone about the pool incident than worrying about publicity for her book.

Each chapter was titled Eliza or Dot, and the ending of the chapters about Eliza seemed to have someone questioning her memory. When Eliza asks a question about a situation since she can't remember, the other characters confirm that it is someone she knew or a situation that had happened.  Each chapter parallels each other with a similar situation for each character. 

THE ELIZAS was a psychological fest.  Did I or didn't I do that?  Did I or didn't I remember that situation?  Is the character in my book really me? 

THE ELIZAS was a bit confusing at first and kept me guessing. Once a few things were revealed, the tension mounted and things came together, but the oddness continued.

More than one story seemed to be going on at once throughout the book.

Be patient and read carefully when you read THE ELIZAS. You never know who may be lurking.  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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Waters & The Wild by DeSales Harrison

A patient, a poem, a death, a post office box, and Father Spurlock.  What do all of these have to do with Dr. Daniel Abend and his patient, Jessica Burke? Father Spurlock wants to know too.

Jessica had been a patient of Daniel’s, committed suicide, and with careful planning somehow had mailed letters to Daniel after her death and then three years later. 

The puzzling thing was how that letter could have been mailed by Jessica when she had been dead for three years?  Another thing that confused Daniel is that from these papers, he now knew that everything in the investigation was not revealed or seen by the police.

Daniel continued to receive letters about the death. These papers also brought back memories of what happened long ago in Paris.

When Daniel’s daughter, Clementine, disappears after she finds something about long-ago Paris, and then shows up at Father Spurlock’s telling him that her father mailed him something, Father Spurlock became more confused because he had received nothing.

Then all of a sudden letters and clues begin showing up, and Father Spurlock was extremely bothered by them because his only connection to Jessica Burke was when he did the service for her funeral, and he had no idea why he would be involved in whatever was going on.  He is also bothered because Daniel was the one directing all this correspondence to him, telling Father Spurlock the story, and putting the responsibility on him.  

THE WATERS & THE WILD has a gorgeous cover that rivals with the gothic, troubled, complicated story inside.

THE WATERS & THE WILD has beautiful writing - detailed and elegant.  The author's style itself seems like a poem.

There are a lot of powerful and sometimes very deep, thought-provoking passages.  I would call this book very scholarly in the writing aspect.

I enjoyed the book because of the writing and the SLOW march to the revelations.  It did drag on a bit at times along with confusion, but all in all it turned out to have a very interesting, brilliant ending.

THE WATERS & THE WILD is a story of love, regret, revenge, and secrets.  

If you like slow, steady, odd, and addictive, you will like this book. 4/5

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner

A hero, a widow, a filmmaker.  They all had something in common and that was Rory Kincaid.

Rory is a former star hockey player and a war hero killed in the line of duty.  Lauren is his widow who is hiding from the world. Matt is a filmmaker who wants a story and confirmation about Rory’s life from Lauren, and Lauren wants nothing to do with talking.

We also get to share time at the family’s beach home and see the interaction or lack of interaction between everyone.

THE HUSBAND HOUR had me reading quickly because I wanted to see if Lauren would really break down and be interviewed for the documentary on her deceased husband, but the book was slow for me and could have been shorter.

THE HUSBAND HOUR had a lot of family drama and decision making on the parts of the characters. Each family member had an issue, and Beth, the mother, tried to manage it all without success and with grumbling and resentment from the family members.

I enjoyed the present day interactions more than when we were hearing the story of Rory.  

If you enjoy the beach and characters that don't interact well with each other but do carry the story line, THE HUSBAND HOUR will be for you.  

You will also find out the meaning of the book's title as well as become educated about traumatic brain injuries that athletes incur.  

THE HUSBAND HOUR will appeal to many, but I just couldn't connect with the characters or the story line.  

There is a surprise at the end.  3/5

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

Sunday, April 22, 2018


A friend has a GIVEAWAY

One copy of "The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean."

This giveaway runs thru April 27 - A delightful children's book! US addresses only please. 

Enter at

Then stop back by in a few days as I have another children's book giveaway - "Lily Pond" by Shelley Daniels Lekven. 

The third giveaway will have three winners - each will receive an advance reading copy of "Baby Teeth" by Zoje Stage.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

A very odd set of characters awaits the reader in THEN SHE WAS GONE.

Two families are the main focus and somehow they become blended by a chance meeting.

Laurel’s family has been mourning their daughter Ellie’s death for ten years, and then her body is found. Meanwhile the family has fallen apart - a divorce for Paul and Laurel and sort of an estrangement between their children. Floyd‘s family has a precocious daughter, Poppy, who looks like Ellie and a sister that is quite different.

The more time Laurel spends with Poppy, the more confused she becomes about her personality, her outlook on life, and how Laurel sees her dead daughter in Poppy.

Laurel finds clues that seem to connect Floyd and Poppy to Ellie.

THEN SHE WAS GONE had an undercurrent of doom and sinister things lurking.  The sinister thing seemed to be the tie to all of the heartache the characters were experiencing both present and past.

THEN SHE WAS GONE kept my interest, but I can't say it was a thriller until the past was coming into the picture and the book went back in time to tell us the story of how Ellie went missing. It was more of a study of personalities and families as well as lies.  

If you enjoy a turn-around, revealing ending with a few creepy characters, you will enjoy THEN SHE WAS GONE.  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. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

Anna, Anna, Anna...she finally has come home to her mother, but what should have been a joyous occasion after seventeen years turns into a nightmare.

Anna and Maggie were apart for seventeen years.  Maggie’s husband falsely accused her of abusing their infant daughter and took her away.  Anna connected with her mother after her father was killed in a plane crash.

Maggie had remarried and lived with her loving husband, Dr. Noah Alderman.  Everyone accepted Anna into the family even though Anna balked at their rules.

AFTER ANNA takes us back and forth in time as we follow the trial that has Dr. Alderman fighting for his freedom, and we are taken back to the days BEFORE Anna's return and DURING Anna’s return home to her mother after seventeen years.

Anna had her mother believing everything she told her whether it was true or not, and Maggie was not believing anything her husband said about Anna.

I didn’t like Anna the moment I met her.  Something just told me she was manipulative, cunning, and evil.

Ms. Scottoline has written another fantastic thriller filled with tension that will keep you on the edge of your seat along with characters that you will not like and some that you will want to tell to wake up and see what really is going on.

Everything was PERFECT until Anna arrived. 

Do NOT miss reading this book. 5/5

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018



The winner of the giveaway is:

Stacy from Ohio.




There are quite a few CELEBRATIONS and GIVEAWAYS in ​the next two months. 

Click on the GIVEAWAYS TAB NOW or wait until the post goes live on the dates below.





Monday, April 16, 2018

MUST Reads

Ninety-nine percent of the books I read are MUST READS. 🙂

What are YOUR Must Reads?

I am choosing these four from 2018 that have been read but with reviews not posted yet.

Dates of my blog reviews are below:

When Never Comes - 5/1 - GIVEAWAY TOO
The Way of Beauty - 5/2 
Dreams of Falling - 6/1 
Boardwalk Summer - 6/19 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

When Do You Decide to Continue or Stop Reading A Book?

For me, Chapter 15 is more than likely the point where I decide I will continue or not continue. 

It also depends on how long the chapters are so I am going to say Page 100 can also be my stopping or continuing point.

What about you?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

What Would YOU Choose?

What are your choices?

Mine are:

1.  Summer

2.  Fiction

3.  In a Book Club

4.  Both E-book and Print, but prefer print.

Thanks for playing.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Giveaway Celebration of The Night The Lights Went Out by Karen White

All information in this post other than my review is courtesy of Lauren Bernstein of Penguin Random House.  
To celebrate the release of the paperback of THE NIGHTS THE LIGHTS WENT OUT by Karen White, Lauren Bernstein and Penguin Random House are offering one copy to one lucky USA reader.

Giveaway is at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:

Scandal, secrets, and revenge collide in this delicious read, one of White’s best novels yet.

The hardcover was widely praised upon its release, including by…. 

-Huffington Post: “one of her best books ever

-Durham Herald-Sun:  “[White] brings characters to life so well that you would expect to recognize Sugar on the street.” 

-Wilmington Star-News: Steel Magnolias meets Gone Girl

KAREN WHITE, the New York Times bestselling author of over 20 beloved novels, has given her devout readership a new type of story – now in paperback. 

With a plot worthy of Shonda Rhimes and a cast of characters made for Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane, THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT (Berkley Trade Paperback Reprint; March 27, 2018; $16) brings a glinting new edge to White’s signature fusion of complicated family relationships, evocative prose, and picturesque southern locales.

In THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, recently divorced Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to Sweet Apple, Georgia. But her new beginning isn’t helped by an anonymous local blog that reveals for the whole town the scandalous affair that caused her marriage to fail. And Merilee’s new landlord, the proud, irascible, Atlanta born-and-bred 93-year-old Sugar Prescott, certainly isn’t helping.

But off Sugar’s property, Merilee finds herself swallowed into Sweet Apple’s most elite ranks—its inner circle of wealthy school moms—thanks to her blossoming friendship with town belle Heather Blackford. But behind the tennis whites, shiny SUVs, and immaculate women, lurk generations of secrets and resentments. And Merilee quickly learns that, in a town where appearance is everything, sins and secrets can be found in equal measure in the dark woods on Sugar’s property, and within the gated mansions of her newfound friends . . .



  “GOTHIC GOLD” The Atlantan • 




 “CHARACTERS WITH DEPTH” The Fayetteville Observer • 

 “ENGROSSING” Parkersburg News and Sentinel (WV) • 

About the Author:

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between.

She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.
My Review:

A new town, a new home, a friend you really don't want, a blog that tells the town's gossip, and Merilee has to deal with all of this along with her divorced husband and his pregnant girlfriend.

Living in Sweet Apple, Georgia, seemed like a good town to start over and for the most part it was.

Merilee was renting a house on the property of the town's oldest citizen, Sugar Preston.  Sugar was portrayed as anything but sweet, but actually she was.

Merilee and Sugar became friends and shared stories from Sugar's childhood that made sense as to why Sugar was the way she was.

Sugar and quite a few town residents had secrets, and now that Merilee arrived in town, the anonymous blog writer had more ammunition for her daily posts and Southern sayings. 

As Sugar knew, there were more people in this town that had better stories than Merilee had.  Sugar's past was a soap opera in itself and filled with stories but no one dared to tell them except Sugar herself and many stories were told for the first time to Merilee.

Totally and completely enjoyed the characters and the story line of THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT.  Sugar was very lovable, Merilee was sweet, and I didn't like Heather from the minute I met her. 
Readers of women's fiction will again be transported back to the days of Southern ​hospitality and then brought back to current day with women who keep secrets and have everything and like to flaunt it.
Ms. White has done it again with a marvelous story filled with wonderful characters with Southern charm​.  If you have ever read any of Karen White's books, you will love this book just like all of her books and not want to put the book down. 
I have LOVED all of Ms. White's books, but this has to be my all-time favorite. 5/5​

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

I am partnering with Penguin Random House for this giveaway.




April 12 - April 19

Enter HERE