books, etc.-monday memes

Welcome to another week of bookish fun.  Join in with those who celebrate Mailbox Monday, hosted in January by Lori’s Reading Corner; and What Are You Reading?, hosted by Book Journey.



This week has brought a FULL mailbox…along with a couple of downloads from Sparky.  I also bought a couple books on the bargain table at Barnes & Noble.  So here goes:

1.  Family Pictures, by Jane Green (Amazon Vine)


New York Times bestseller Jane Green delivers a riveting novel about two women whose lives intersect when a shocking secret is revealed
From the author of Another Piece of My Heart comes Family Pictures, the gripping story of two women who live on opposite coasts but whose lives are connected in ways they never could have imagined.  Both women are wives and mothers to children who are about to leave the nest for school.  They’re both in their forties and have husbands who travel more than either of them would like.  They are both feeling an emptiness neither had expected.  But when a shocking secret is exposed, their lives are blown apart.  As dark truths from the past reveal themselves, will these two women be able to learn to forgive, for the sake of their children, if not for themselves?
2.  Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline (Amazon Vine)

Orphan Train is a gripping story of friendship and second chances from Christina Baker Kline, author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be.

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.

3.  Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, by Joanne DeMaio (Publicist) (On blog tour on March 11 @ Rainy Days and Mondays)


Can we design our own lives, or does our fate lie somewhere in the stars?

After years of pursuing a denim design career, Maris Carrington never imagined trading her Chicago studio for a New England shingled cottage. But when her life sketch takes an unexpected shape – smudged with a pastel seaside setting, rendered with pencil strokes of her father’s estate shading family secrets, and inked with silhouettes of old friends reconnecting on a weathered boardwalk – nothing is what it seems as illusion blends with reality. Now one of her beach circle is dead; another unemployed and struggling in a tenuous marriage; another regretting a fateful decision; while one is missing a mother, ever seeking a connection she longs for.

In Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, lives, loves and choices become as tangled and connected as those intricate constellations we wish upon. And though Maris’ intent as a designer is to create an illusion of reality, sometimes reality cannot be drawn … It just might be mapped out above the sea, if we only look skyward.

4.  The Autobiography of Us, by Aria Beth Sloss (Publisher)


A gripping debut novel about friendship, loss and love; a confession of what passed between two women who met as girls in 1960s Pasadena, California

Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers’ narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything.  Decades later, Rebecca’s haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.

Autobiography of Us is an achingly beautiful portrait of a decades-long bond. A rare and powerful glimpse into the lives of two women caught between repression and revolution, it casts new light on the sacrifices, struggles, victories and defeats of a generation.

5.  The Sixes, by Kate White (Purchased)


Phoebe Hall’s Manhattan life has suddenly begun to unravel. Right after her long-term boyfriend breaks off their relationship, she’s falsely accused of plagiarizing her latest bestselling celebrity biography. Looking for a quiet place to put her life back together, Phoebe jumps at the offer to teach in a sleepy Pennsylvania town at a small private college run by her former boarding school roommate and close friend, Glenda Johns.

But behind the campus’s quiet cafÉs and leafy maple trees lie evil happenings. The body of a female student washes up on the banks of a nearby river, and disturbing revelations begin to surface: accusations from coeds about abuses wrought by a secret society of girls on campus known as The Sixes.. To help Glenda, Phoebe embarks on a search for clues—a quest that soon raises painful memories of her own boarding school days years ago.

As the investigation heats up, Phoebe unexpectedly finds herself falling for the school’s handsome psychology professor, Duncan Shaw. But when nasty pranks turn into deadly threats, Phoebe realizes she’s in the middle of a real-life nightmare, not knowing whom she can trust and if she will even survive.

Plunging deeper into danger with every step, Phoebe knows she’s close to unmasking a killer. But with truth comes a terrifying revelation: your darkest secrets can still be uncovered . . . and starting over may be a crime punishable by death.

6.  Promises to Keep, by Jane Green (Purchased)


Callie Perry is a successful family photographer living in upstate New York. She adores her two daughters, has great friends, and actually doesn’t mind that her workaholic husband gets home at 9 p.m. every night-that is, when he’s not traveling six months out of the year.

Callie’s younger sister, Steff, on the other hand, has never grown up. She’s a free spirit, living in downtown Manhattan and bouncing between jobs and boyfriends. Lately, she’s been working as a vegan chef, even though she can’t cook.

Lila Grossman is Callie’s best friend and has finally met the man of her dreams. Eddie has two wonderful children, but also a drama queen ex-wife who hates Lila. And then there are Callie and Steff’s parents, Walter Cutler and Honor Pitman. Divorced for thirty years, they rarely speak to each other.

The lives of these colorful characters intersect when they each receive a shocking note that summons them together for one extraordinary summer in Maine and changes their lives forever. This novel is about the hard choices we have to face, about having to be your parents’ child long after you’ve grown up, and about the enduring nature of love.

And now for the downloads to Sparky:

7.  Thread on Arrival (e-book), by Amanda Lee


Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer gets hung up on a tapestry that may lead to sunken treasure and be the motive for murder….

When Marcy’s friend Reggie, Tallulah Falls’ local librarian, asks her to teach an embroidery class as therapy for domestic abuse victims, she gladly agrees. One of the women wants to flee from her abusive husband but is afraid to leave her elderly father-in-law behind. And she thinks Marcy can help.

The elderly gentleman shows Marcy a tapestry his grandmother made, which he believes reveals the location of pirate treasure off the Oregon coast. He’ll move to a shelter—provided Marcy takes the tapestry to keep it safe. But when the police arrive the next day to escort him out, they find the old man murdered and the house ransacked. Does someone want that treasured tapestry desperately enough to kill for it?

8.   Harbinger of Evil (e-book), by Meb Bryant


In 1963, New Orleans’ French Quarter is rocked by the gruesome murder of a wealthy businessman, and Detective Richard Mobey finds himself intertwined in the lives of a family about to unravel from generational secrets. The widowed detective faces the choice of following his instincts or his heart as he investigates Hattie Lee, the primary suspect found lying next to the corpse. The protection of Alaskan oil, shady politics and CIA operatives converge to muddy the investigation, leading him down a treacherous path. As Mobey struggles to rebuild his personal life, he unwittingly becomes an integral part of the most infamous assassination of all time. The ultimate whodunit. Don’t miss the final erotic twist as the killer strives to explain not only the necessity, but the ultimate justice for committing murder.
Come on in and let’s chat.  It’s been another good week for blogging and reading, so let’s just dive on in and look at what’s been going on.


Monday Potpourri:  Weaving A Tapestry of Beautiful Books

Author Interview:  Meb Bryant, Mystery Writer, Chats with the Dames

A Return to Dallas:  And Other Iconic Moments

Thursday Potpourri:  Books & Life Moments

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Starting Over

Creative Updates:  Ambling Along

Reading (Click Titles for Reviews)

1.  Last Light Over Carolina, by Mary Alice Monroe

2.  Nine Months, by Paula Bomer

3.  Kinsey & Me:  Stories, by Sue Grafton

4.  Goodnight Nobody, by Jennifer Weiner

What’s Up Next? (Click Titles for More Info)

1.   Smash Cut, by Sandra Brown (From Mt. TBR)


2.  Restless Souls, by Alisa Statman (Mt. TBR)


3.  Thread on Arrival (e-book), by Amanda Lee



That’s my week….and I now have more books for my Mt. TBR…sigh.  Hope you’ll come on by and share your own week!



    1. Yes, that mountain never seems to diminish much…sigh. But it’s much better than it was in 2009 when I started the “journey” to whittle it down. Thanks for stopping by, Kathy, and Orphan Train is one I knew I had to read.


  1. I haven’t noticed you mentioning the TBR pile recently, but “sigh” says it all. I’ve got my under control – just about. I’m trying not to add more than I am taking off (by reading). So far, so good – just about. 🙂


    1. If you post your reviews on Amazon, and have been doing it for awhile, you will be invited to participate. Then you get a newsletter from which to pick books each month…sometimes there is a big newsletter followed by a smaller one a week later.

      Then you just have to review most of the books they send before they’ll send more.

      Hope you get to participate…I love getting books like Orphan Train, which I’m really looking forward to, Elizabeth. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    Sorry I am so late in stopping by – trying to catch up after my weekend away! Some really interesting books made it in your mailbox this week! I hope you have been enjoying your reads!

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out


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