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?


This week’s mailbox brought two review books, and I received one download to Sparky.  Yay!

1.  Paris Without End, by Gioia Diliberto (From the author)

Hadley Richardson and Ernest Hemingway were the golden couple of Paris in the twenties, the center of an expatriate community boasting the likes of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and James and Nora Joyce. In this haunting account of the young Hemingways, Gioia Diliberto explores their passionate courtship, their family life in Paris with baby Bumby, and their thrilling, adventurous relationship—a literary love story scarred by Hadley’s loss of the only copy of Hemingway’s first novel and ultimately destroyed by a devastating mÉnage À trois on the French Riviera.

Compelling, illuminating, poignant, and deeply insightful, Paris Without End provides a rare, intimate glimpse of the writer who so fully captured the American imagination and the remarkable woman who inspired his passion and his art—the only woman Hemingway never stopped loving.

2.  Island Apart, by Steven Raichlen (Amazon Vine)

From the celebrated author of Planet Barbecue and How to Grill comes a surprising story of love, loss, redemption, and really good food.
Claire Doheney, recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit in an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick island in Martha’s Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish her biography of the iconoclastic psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich.

The last thing she expects to find is love.

Then she meets a mysterious man the locals call the Hermit. No one knows his real name or where he lives. To their mutual surprise, Claire and the stranger discover that they share a passion for cooking that soon sparks something more.

But Claire’s new friend has a terrible secret that threatens to drive them apart forever. The clock is ticking. Can Claire let love into her life once more before it’s too late?

Told by a New York Times bestselling author and international TV host with a keen eye for Chappaquiddick’s extraordinary natural beauty, Island Apart has it all—romance, history, travel, crime, lovemaking of exquisite intensity, and cooking scenes so vivid, they’ll make your taste buds ache with hunger. Steven Raichlen’s novel is a smart love story—not to mention a terrific beach read. Think The Bridges of Madison County with better food.
3.  Tumbleweeds (e-book), by Leila Meacham
I thought this one wasn’t coming to Kindle until 2/13; imagine my surprise to get it this week!
Recently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson feels she has been dropped into a cultural and intellectual wasteland when she is forced to move from her academically privileged life in California to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhandle where the sport of football reigns supreme. She is quickly taken under the unlikely wings of up-and-coming gridiron stars and classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall, orphans like herself, with whom she forms a friendship and eventual love triangle that will determine the course of the rest of their lives. Taking the three friends through their growing up years until their high school graduations when several tragic events uproot and break them apart, the novel expands to follow their careers and futures until they reunite in Kersey at forty years of age. Told with all of Meacham’s signature drama, unforgettable characters, and plot twists, readers will be turning the pages, desperate to learn how it all plays out.
Welcome to another week in which we chat about the books we’ve read, our favorite blog posts, and what’s coming next.

My coffee is brewing nearby, reminding me of another reason I love mornings.

My week was pretty eventful, with bookish/blogging things, like this post on Chocolate & Mimosas:  A Blast from the Past:  Another Guilty Pleasure.

Thursday Potpourri:  A Wish That Came True was about an unexpected delivery to Sparky.

After more edits on my WIP Interior Designs, I shared some thoughts at Creative Journey:  Writing:  Different Pathways to the Finish Line.

My Weekend Potpourri:  Love Letters — The Lost Art, took me back to an old favorite from the 1980s.

And here are the books read/reviewed – click titles for reviews:
Shades of Murder, by Lauren Carr
Gone to Ground, by Brandilyn Collins
1.  Kiss Crush Collide, by Christina Meredith (I won this from Books, Thoughts and a Few Adventures)
2.  Valley Fever:  Where Murder is Contagious, by Sunny Frazier, et. al.
3.  The Investigation of Ariel Warning, by Robert Kalich (Review Book)
And that’s it, folks!  Hope you’ll come on by and share your week in reading and blogging…and life.
I’m off to a get-together with family.  Photos to follow!


  1. kaye

    Island Apart does sound good but then I’m partial to books set in MA by the ocean. Enjoy your new books, Laurel, and have a wonderful week.


    1. Oh, I agree about the setting, Kaye. I was in MA one weekend awhile ago, and spent a little time on Cape Cod. I fell in love with the aura of the place.

      So I am a big fan of anything set there, as well as practically anywhere on the East Coast. Thanks for stopping by.


    1. I am very excited about both books….I had read The Paris Wife last year, and then A Moveable Feast, so I’m primed for this one.

      Tumbleweeds is like a happy accident that I discovered and preordered; then it came months before I was expecting it.

      Thanks for stopping by, Anna, and enjoy your week.


    1. So far so good, Lori; sometimes Blogger doesn’t like me at all…lol

      Perhaps it’s because I deleted several Blogger sites and only kept two…but I’m thinking it’s just some kind of Blogger “mood swing.”

      Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your week.


    1. My second son is going to Europe for a couple of weeks this summer; he’ll be seeing my oldest son (who lived in Prague, and now in Berlin). They’re going to meet up in Paris. Wish I could be there!

      Hope you enjoy your trip….and thanks for visiting, Jackie.


    1. Even though I have several WP sites, Nise, I know that at some blogs, my comments disappear into the spam folders. I regularly check mine, because I don’t want to miss any comments, but I know that a lot of people don’t even realize that this happens.

      I was surprised to get Tumbleweeds this week, as when I preordered it, the date of release (for the Kindle version) was supposed to be early 2013. Nice surprise!

      Thanks for visiting.


  2. Hi Laurel Rain,

    ‘Tumbleweeds’ is obviously ‘doing the rounds’ this week and I already added it to my list at my first stop off point. It sounds like a captivating story and don’t you just love that cover? although I am not sure that it really tells you much about the story!

    ‘Island Apart’ also caught my eye, as another great page-turner and because I love the setting of this one in ‘Chappaquiddick Island’ I am not sure whether the name sounds inviting or not, but it is fun to say!

    Thanks for the recommendations and enjoy your week.



    1. I am a big fan of gorgeous covers, but the blurb has to capture my interest, too, and Tumbleweeds has a great one.

      I agree about the setting of Island Apart…beautiful settings are another obsession of mine! Thanks for stopping by, Yvonne, and enjoy your week.


    1. I do remember seeing the cover of Roses…but I haven’t read it, yet. I am not sure why Tumbleweeds appealed to me so much, but part of it is reminiscent of times I’ve spent in places with tumbleweeds blowing in the wind.

      Thanks for stopping by, Marie, and enjoy your week.


    1. Oh, definitely a cringe-worthy moment, Wendy. Back in the day when we only had typewriters, that was always a possibility. Thank goodness for computers; even though they can crash, we hopefully have flash drives backing things up!

      Thanks for stopping by.


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