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


My mailbox this week held one review book, one contest win, and a book I purchased:

1.  Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, by Haywood Smith (from Sheila, at Book Journey)

Southern housewife Linwood Breedlove Scott was happily content in her comfortable, complacent thirty-year marriage, but when her husband cleans out their bank accounts and runs off with a stripper, her life takes a hilarious, yet touching, right turn into reality. With no place to go but home, she’s forced back to her insular hometown and the “eccentric” family she escaped by marrying at nineteen: her senile father, her loving-yet-controlling mother, her long-suffering aunt, her crazy uncle, and her good-for-nothing brother. But despite her newly dependent situation and her family’s genteel insanity, Lin begins to stand on her own two feet and wake up to the joys-and perils-of life as a single woman. And she also learns surprising lessons about her family: that things aren’t always what they seem, and that the power of love governs even the most dysfunctional of relationships. This joy-filled, moving, and wise-cracking novel delivers a portrait of Southern life, Southern families, and self-discovery that readers will never forget.

2.  Five O’Clock Follies, by Theasa Tuohy (From Publisher)

In her debut, former Associated Press editor Tuohy describes the Vietnam War through a journalist’s lens. Freelance writer Angela Martinelli arrives in Saigon in 1968, wearing her “greenness” in the form of high-heeled shoes and a gorgeous mane of red hair. As one of the few women correspondents in a war zone, Angela is greeted with misogyny, skepticism or disdain by her male colleagues, except for Nick, who works for a Chicago newspaper and gives her the benefit of the doubt. She soon proves her merit and bravery in the middle of a covert operation in Cambodia, surviving capture by the Viet Cong, living in a bunker during a siege and chasing truths that the military denies and her fellow reporters doubt. Angela also finds romance in the midst of this chaos; eventually she must choose: her career or love.

3.  The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner

Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.

Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.


Welcome to another week of reading, blogging, and life.

This past week, as I continued to familiarize myself with my new laptop, I also did a bit of reading and blogging.

In addition to last Monday’s meme, I enjoyed posting a Saturday Snapshot, followed by my Sweet Saturday Sample: Implementing Maeve’s Plan.

Today I posted a Sunday Potpourri and shared the week in review.

Books Read/Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Terminal Ambition, by Kate McGuinness

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

3.  My Extraordinary Ordinary Life, by Sissy Spacek, et. al.

4.  XO (Kathryn Dance) (e-book), by Jeffery Deaver

WHAT’S UP NEXT? (Click Titles/Covers for More Info)

1.  Paris Without End, by Gioia Diliberto (Review Book)

2.  Island Apart, by Stephen Raichlen (Vine)

3.  Sea Change, by Karen White

4.  Rain (e-book), by Leigh Cunningham


That’s my week!  I can’t wait to see what’s on your list…so come on by and share some links.





  1. I’ve heard such good things about Sea Change, it’s on my wishlist. Love the toenail polish on Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch lol
    Have a wonderful week and happy reading 🙂


  2. Paris Without End is on my list of books to read – will be looking forward to reading your thoughts on it.

    I have to tell you, after seeing the book, Jackie After O in your list last week, I went out and bought myself a copy…I love her and can’t wait to read the book! I also have on my shelf Reading Jackie by William Kuhn and Jackie as Editor by Greg Lawrence, both of which I’ve yet to read, but hope to start soon.

    Have a great week!
    Kristin @ Always With a Book


  3. I want to read everything you are reading. My granddaughter was baptized yesterday and I stayed away from the computer all day so missed my Sunday visits. I hope you have a wonderful week!!!


  4. Some good books for this week! Hope you have a great time reading them all.

    I’ve heard mixed things about the Jennifer Weiner book. Still, I’m curious to read it. Hope you’ll enjoy it.


  5. The Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch looks fun! I’ll add it to my list. Can’t wait for your thoughts on Rain. I have it on my Kindle but haven’t read it yet.
    Have a great week, Laurel!


  6. I love your Coca Cola lamp! I’ve read Rain and the Queen Bee of the Mimosa Branch.

    Have a great reading week!
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out


    • Thanks for visiting, Shelleyrae…I think I did see Rain at your blog first…and I’ve enjoyed Haywood Smith’s books, so the Queen Bee should be fun.

      I collect lots of Coca Cola stuff, and had moved this lamp from a spot where it didn’t get much notice….I like rearranging stuff.


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