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?



This week brought two review books…and I downloaded one book for Sparky.

1.  Grace Grows, by Shelle Sumners (Amazon Vine)

Grace Barnum’s life is precariously balanced on sensible choices and uncomfortable compromise. She dutifully edits textbooks that, she fears, may be more harmful than helpful to kids. She is engaged to a patent attorney who is study and reliable. She has a cautious relationship with her fascinating father, a renowned New York painter, and she prefers her mom slightly drunk.

Always a planner, Grace feels prepared for most eventualities. Until the responsibility-challenged Tyler Wilkie shows up. Fresh in town from the Poconos, Tyler has warm eyes, a country drawl, and a smile that makes Grace drop things. Worst of all, he writes devastating songs. About her.

Tyler reaches something in Grace, something she needs, but can’t admit to. Something she wants, but won’t succumb to. Tyler Wilkie loves Grace Barnum and ruins everything.  And Grace grows.

2.  Those We Love Most, by Lee Woodruff (Amazon Vine)

A bright June day. A split-second distraction. A family forever changed.

Life is good for Maura Corrigan. Married to her college sweetheart, Pete, raising three young kids with her parents nearby in her peaceful Chicago suburb, her world is secure. Then one day, in a single turn of fate, that entire world comes crashing down and everything that she thought she knew changes.

Maura must learn to move forward with the weight of grief and the crushing guilt of an unforgivable secret. Pete senses a gap growing between him and his wife but finds it easier to escape to the bar with his friends than face the flaws in his marriage.

Meanwhile, Maura’s parents are dealing with the fault lines in their own marriage. Charismatic Roger, who at sixty-five, is still chasing the next business deal and Margaret, a pragmatic and proud homemaker, have been married for four decades, seemingly happily. But the truth is more complicated. Like Maura, Roger has secrets of his own and when his deceptions and weaknesses are exposed, Margaret’s love and loyalty face the ultimate test.

Those We Love Most chronicles how these unforgettable characters confront their choices, examine their mistakes, fight for their most valuable relationships, and ultimately find their way back to each other. It takes us deep into the heart of what makes families and marriages tick and explores a fundamental question: when the ties that bind us to those we love are strained or broken, how do we pick up the pieces?

Deeply penetrating and brimming with emotional insight, this engrossing family drama heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction.

3.  Gone Girl (e-book), by Gillian Flynn

Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.




Welcome to another week of contemplation about the week just past…and what lies ahead.

My blogging has been erratic this week, but I did post a ROW 80 Check-In: Lazy Week, on Creative Journey; and in my Hump Day Potpourri, I talked about happy events coming.  My Sweet Saturday Sample on Snow Chronicles was about The One That Got Away.

Reading-Click Titles for Reviews:

I read and reviewed three books this week.  One book was a DNF…enough said about that.

1)  One Breath Away, by Heather Gudenkauf (Fabulous Five Star Read!)

2)  What I Did For Love, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (fun read!)

3)  Summer Breeze (e-book), by Nancy Thayer (Great summer read)

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

1)  Gone Girl (e-book), by Gillian Flynn (I’ve already plunged into this one!)

2)  The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, by Christine Nolfi (Review book)

3)  Zero Day (e-book), by David Baldacci


And that’s my week!  Hope you’ll stop by and share about yours....


  1. Your mailbox books have wonderful covers that make me want to read them 🙂 I know I’ll read Gone Girl at some point. The trick will be avoiding any spoilers. So far, so good! Have a great week, Laurel!


    • I also named my new laptop, Marie (Louisa May, since she didn’t have the benefit of a computer). I do enjoy naming things. Thanks for stopping by, and Gone Girl was fabulous! I just posted my review at Rainy Days and Mondays.


  2. I need to get my mitts on a copy of Gone Girl! 😀 I really like your blog and you have great taste. Which is just my way of saying that we seem to enjoy the same sort of books, lol.

    Have a fantastic week of reading!!


  3. Those We Love Most sounds like my cup of tea. I’m hoping to read Gone Girl next week, looking forward to your thoughts. Glad to see you enjoyed One Breath Away.
    Have a great week and happy reading 🙂


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