Good morning, and welcome to another Monday, in which we celebrate our reading, blogging, and life.  Mailbox Monday is hosted in June by Burton Book Review; and Book Journey brings us another edition of What Are You Reading?


My mailbox is reasonably full this week, but all are books I purchased or downloaded.  Yes, I threw caution to the wind and bought books!

Here’s What I Grabbed from Amazon:

The Last Summer of Her Other Life, by Jean Reynolds Page

Thirty-nine and pregnant by a man she’s decided to leave behind in California, Jules’ life is changing. Always the protected daughter, she must now relinquish that role and prepare to be a mother herself. But her efforts are upstaged by shocking allegations from a local teen in her North Carolina hometown. The boy has accused her of what the police are calling “inappropriate sexual contact.” Three men rally in her defense: Lincoln, her brother, who flies in from New York to help her; Sam, her high school boyfriend, who after so many years still offers unconditional support; and Walt, the uncle of the teen, who charms Jules with his intelligence and unanticipated kindness.

Her search for the truth about the troubled teenager becomes, for Jules, a first step toward discovering the woman she wishes to be. But with so many wrong choices behind her, how can she trust herself with the future of her unborn child?

Sea Change, by Karen White

For Ava Whalen, a new marriage and a move to St. Simons Island means a new beginning. But what she doesn’t realize is that her marriage will take her on an unexpected journey into the deep recesses of her past that will transform her forever…

For as long as she can remember, Ava Whalen has struggled with a sense of not belonging, and now, at thirty-four, she still feels stymied by her family. Then she meets child psychologist Matthew Frazier, and thinks her days of loneliness are behind her. After a whirlwind romance, they impulsively elope, and Ava moves to Matthew’s ancestral home on St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia.

But after the initial excitement, Ava is surprised to discover that true happiness continues to elude her. There is much she doesn’t know about Matthew, including the mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife’s death. And her new home seems to hold as many mysteries and secrets as her new husband. Feeling adrift, Ava throws herself into uncovering Matthew’s family history and that of the island, not realizing that she has a connection of her own to this place—or that her obsession with the past could very well destroy her future.

Summer Breeze (e-book), by Nancy Thayer

In Summer Breeze, the author of Beachcombers and Heat Wave tells the wonderfully moving story of three women who forge a unique bond one sun-drenched summer on New England’s Dragonfly Lake.

Morgan O’Keefe feels trapped in a gilded cage. True, the thirty-year-old mother agreed to put her science career on hold to raise her young son while her husband  pursued his high-powered job. But though Morgan loves many things about staying home with her child, she misses the thrill of working with her colleagues in the lab. She’s restless and in dire need of a change.

Fed up with New York City’s hectic pace, Natalie Reynolds takes up her aunt’s offer to move to the Berkshires and house-sit her fabulous lakeside house for a year. Passionate about applying brush to canvas, Natalie is poised to become the artist she has forever longed to be. But life on Dragonfly Lake is never without surprises, and for a novice swimmer like Natalie, the most welcome surprise proves to be the arms of a handsome neighbor pulling her up from the water for a gulp of air.

When her mother breaks her leg, Bella Barnaby quits her job in Austin and returns home to help out her large, boisterous family. Among her new duties: manning the counter at the family business, Barnaby’s Barn, an outdated shop sorely in need of a makeover. While attractive architect Aaron has designs on her, Bella harbors long held secret dreams of her own.

Summer on Dragonfly Lake is ripe for romance, temptation, and self-discovery as the lives of these three women unexpectedly intertwine. Summer Breeze illustrates how the best of friends can offer comfort, infuriate, or even—sometimes—open one’s eyes to the astonishing possibilities of life lived in a different way. This captivating novel displays a prestigiously gifted writer at the height of her storytelling powers.

Wallflower in Bloom (e-book), by Claire Cook

From the acclaimed bestselling author of Must Love Dogs comes a winning and witty new novel about a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and finds herself “dancing with the stars.”

Deirdre Griffin has a great life; it’s just not her own. She’s the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother, Tag. As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be as gatekeeper to Tag at his New England seaside compound.

Then Deirdre’s sometime boyfriend informs her that he is marrying another woman, who just happens to be having the baby he told Deirdre he never wanted. While drowning her sorrows in Tag’s expensive vodka, Deirdre decides to use his massive online following to get herself voted on as a last-minute Dancing with the Stars replacement. It’ll get her back in shape, mentally and physically. It might even get her a life of her own. Deirdre’s fifteen minutes of fame have begun.

Irresistible and offbeat, Wallflower in Bloom is an original and deeply satisfying story of having the courage to take a leap into the spotlight, no matter where you land.

Zero Day (e-book), by David Baldacci (Satisfies the “Z” letter in the A-Z Challenge!)

John Puller is a combat veteran and the best military investigator in the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. His father was an Army fighting legend, and his brother is serving a life sentence for treason in a federal military prison. Puller has an indomitable spirit and an unstoppable drive to find the truth.

Now, Puller is called out on a case in a remote, rural area in West Virginia coal country far from any military outpost. Someone has stumbled onto a brutal crime scene, a family slaughtered. The local homicide detective, a headstrong woman with personal demons of her own, joins forces with Puller in the investigation. As Puller digs through deception after deception, he realizes that absolutely nothing he’s seen in this small town, and no one in it, are what they seem. Facing a potential conspiracy that reaches far beyond the hills of West Virginia, he is one man on the hunt for justice against an overwhelming force.

David Baldacci is one of the world’s favorite storytellers. His books are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 110 million copies in print. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America.



Good morning!   Welcome to another week of sharing about our reading and blogging.

It’s been pretty hot in these parts, but so far, the triple digit days are mixed in between those in the nineties.

For those of you who didn’t attend BEA, did you participate in Armchair BEA?  Did you enjoy it?

I took part in the first two days…and then got sidetracked to other activities, as sometimes happens.

But the first day was awesome, and here’s my Who Am I? post.  On the second day, we talked about Best Reads of 2012.

Over the next few days, bloggers described their blogging experiences and what they hope will happen next.

On the weekend, I wrote A Therapist Ponders the Empty Space in Her Life:  An Excerpt (Forest Journey); and my Sweet Saturday Sample:  Bread, Wine, and Thou was an excerpt from my WIP Interior Designs.

And I read some books that I really enjoyed.

Books Read- Click Titles for Reviews:

The Girl Below, by Bianca Zander (****)

When Madeline Was Young, by Jane Hamilton (***)

Where We Belong, by Jane Green (*****)

Murder Uncorked (e-book), by Michele Scott (****)

And I’m still reading:    American Legacy:  The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy, by C. David Heymann – I’ve managed to polish off 200 + pages from reading mostly at night.

What’s Up Next? (Click titles/covers for more info)

The Long Way Home, by Karen McQuestion (Amazon Vine)

Scotsmen Prefer Blondes, by Sara Ramsey (Review Book – Publicist)

The Red Book (e-book), by Deborah Copaken Kogan


So that’s what I’m planning this week….Hope to visit many of you to see what you’re up to, and I hope you can come on by and share.


  1. I have the Red Book, haven’t gotten around to that one. I did participate in the ArmchairBEA, and even was able to watch the Streaming live video feed from the BEA, and I participated in two Twitter parties and won some books for my daughter. Had a fantastic time.


    1. Thanks, Kristin T. I always enjoy Claire Cook’s books…and I had a Jean Reynolds Page book on my stacks that I really enjoyed, so I ordered The Last Summer…and I’ve preordered Safe Within.

      Thanks for stopping by…have a great week!


  2. These look like fabulous summer reads! They have me in the mood for a beach just looking at the covers. And, David Baldacci is always a great thrill. Happy reading this week!


    1. I don’t often read Baldacci, and actually downloaded this one because the title begins with “Z;” I’m doing the A-Z Challenge…lol

      Not many Z books out there. I hope to enjoy it, though. Thanks for stopping by, Belleza, and have a great week.


    1. I am excited to finally get around to The Red Book…I’ve loved the cover and the comparison to The Big Chill and The Group drew me in.

      Thanks for stopping by, Bev, and have a great week.


  3. I had your Z book on my list to choose from. I have finally reached the last 3 letters Q, X,Z and the books are waiting patiently for me to get to them. I hope to sneak Quilt or Innocence by Elizabeth Craig in this week.

    Happy Reading!!


    1. I’m eager to read it, too, Brunette Librarian. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one, Heiress Without a Cause…I haven’t read too many historical romances lately, so it was a nice treat.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  4. Looks like you picked up some good summer reads this week. I was busy with Armchair BEA most of the week, either reading or writing posts, so I didn’t get much else done.


    1. I do want to visit the South some day! I’ve been reading and enjoying my visits via the written page for awhile now. Thanks for stopping by, Jen, and I know what you mean. When I read books set near my home, I also feel that little something…..


  5. Hey Laurel!
    That John F. and Jaqueline Kennedy book sounds intriguing to me..
    I will also chaeck out all the other books you named..

    Hope you’ll have a great week filled with wonderful books!



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