MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: WHAT ARE YOU READING? — JUNE 23

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

Today I’m linking up at Monday Reading, hosted by Book Journey.

Click over to see my Mailbox Monday post.

Here is what I accomplished this week.

ON THE BLOGS:

Tuesday Potpourri:  Intros/Teasers-Secrets from the Past

Hump Day Potpourri:  Reading, TV, & Cool Breezes

Going out on a Limb with Upcoming Releases:  W is for Wasted

A Journey Through Book Beginnings & the Friday 56:  The Red Garden

Sweet Saturday Sample:  A Single Dad Ponders His Life (An Excerpt)

Sunday Potpourri:  Taking a Break from the List

Reading:  Click Titles for Reviews:  THIS WEEK, I FINISHED MY 100TH BOOK OF THE YEAR!  YAY!!

Innocent Little Crimes, by C. S. Lakin (Review Book)

Secrets from the Past, by Barbara Taylor Bradford

The Red Garden, by Alice Hoffman (From Mt. TBR)

Looking for Me, by Beth Hoffman

What’s Up Next?

Since I didn’t stick to the list last week, this is a tentative list.

A Widow’s Story, by Joyce Carol Oates (Mt. TBR Challenge) – Currently Reading (and from last week)

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The Glass Wives (e-book), by Amy Sue Nathan

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Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.

When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family?

The Glass Wives is Amy Sue Nathan’s heartfelt debut novel.

Obsolete (e-book), by C. T.  French

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Book 1 of the Obsolete series.

In a dystopian future, an epic battle between the sexes will determine who lives and who dies.

After the Blue Pox pandemic wipes out 99.99 percent of males and 99.95 percent of females, the majority under the age of 50,18-year-old Madison wanders the countryside, lost and alone. She joins forces with Katherine, a former anthropologist, in search of a safe place to live, and the two find a group of women gathered on the campus of a small college in East Tennessee. Katherine quickly establishes herself as leader and under the influence of Callie, a former prison guard, begins to imprison men, whom they refer to as the “others”, for what Madison perceives can only be nefarious reasons. When older and weaker prisoners start mysteriously disappearing, Madison suspects Callie and her band of deputies are killing them. After a pregnant woman joins their commune, Callie and Katherine, aware that females outnumber males and hoping to create a new world ruled by women, make plans to build their community and attain power. They devise a procreation policy, mating the younger women with the healthy male prisoners, and Madison must make a decision to either stay and become puppet to their plans or make her way alone in a desolate, violent world. But before she can do so, she meets Jonah, a young man captured by Callie, and Madison finds herself caught between her love and loyalty to Katherine and her attraction to Jonah. Madison is forced to make a harder decision: to stay and condone what Callie and Katherine are doing or risk her life and escape with Jonah.

Happy Accidents, by Jane Lynch

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In the summer of 1974, a fourteen-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream. A dream to become an actress, like her idols Ron Howard and Vicki Lawrence. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn’t help that she’d recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling. Or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that “professional training was a requirement.”

But the funny thing is, it all came true. Through a series of Happy Accidents, Jane Lynch created an improbable–and hilarious–path to success. In those early years, despite her dreams, she was also consumed with anxiety, feeling out of place in both her body and her family. To deal with her worries about her sexuality, she escaped in positive ways–such as joining a high school chorus not unlike the one in Glee–but also found destructive outlets. She started drinking almost every night her freshman year of high school and developed a mean and judgmental streak that turned her into a real-life Sue Sylvester.

Then, at thirty-one, she started to get her life together. She was finally able to embrace her sexuality, come out to her parents, and quit drinking for good. Soon after, a Frosted Flakes commercial and a chance meeting in a coffee shop led to a role in the Christopher Guest movie Best in Show, which helped her get cast in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Similar coincidences and chance meetings led to roles in movies starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and even Meryl Streep in 2009’s Julie & Julia. Then, of course, came the two lucky accidents that truly changed her life. Getting lost in a hotel led to an introduction to her future wife, Lara. Then, a series she’d signed up for abruptly got canceled, making it possible for her to take the role of Sue Sylvester in Glee, which made her a megastar.

Today, Jane Lynch has finally found the contentment she thought she’d never have. Part comic memoir and part inspirational narrative, this is a book equally for the rabid Glee fan and for anyone who needs a new perspective on life, love, and success.

WITH A FOREWORD BY CAROL BURNETT

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I’m hoping for a great week….and I invite you to stop by and share what’s happening on your blog(s).

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — JUNE 3

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Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Monday Mailbox, Dolce Bellezza is hosting for June; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

 

MAILBOX MONDAY:

 

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I received three review books in the mailbox and one purchase; I downloaded two books (my purchase) onto Sparky.

1.  Flora, by Gail Godwin (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen’s decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of World War II.At three Helen lost her mother and the beloved grandmother who raised her has just died.A fiercely imaginative child, Helen is desperate to keep her house intact with all its ghosts and stories.Flora, her late mother’s twenty-two-year old first cousin, who cries at the drop of a hat, is ardently determined to do her best for Helen.Their relationship and its fallout, played against a backdrop of a lost America will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.

This darkly beautiful novel about a child and a caretaker in isolation evokes shades of The Turn of the Screw and also harks back to Godwin’s memorable novel of growing up, The Finishing School. With its house on top of a mountain and a child who may be a bomb that will one day go off, Flora tells a story of love, regret, and the things we can’t undo.It will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

 

2.  Coming Clean, by Kimberly Rae Miller (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a beautifully tidy apartment in Brooklyn. You would never guess that behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house hid teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room — the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding.

In this dazzling memoir, Kim brings to life her experience of growing up in a rat-infested home, hiding her father’s shameful secret from friends for years, and of the emotional burden that ultimately led to her suicide attempt. And in beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents that has thrived in spite of the odds.

Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where you come from and understanding the relationships that define you. It is also a powerful story of recovery and redemption.

 

3.    Looking for Me, by Beth Hoffman (My purchase)

 

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A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.

 

4.  The Last Camellia (e-book), by Sarah Jio

 

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On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.

More than half a century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple’s shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener’s notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate?

 

6.  Roast Mortem (e-book), by Cleo Coyle

 

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Clare Cosi, manager and head barista of the landmark Village Blend coffeehouse, has perfected the art of steaming hot espresso. But now she needs to keep New York’s bravest from being burned. As someone torches cafes around the city and firefighters begin to die in suspicious ways, Clare investigates. Will she be able to solve the crime before someone tries to extinguish her?

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

Wow, what a great week it was!  For those who remained “behind” during BEA week, we had Armchair BEA, and here are some of those posts, along with a few others:

Armchair BEA Day One, Day Two, and Day Three.

Monday Potpourri:   Musing About Bookish Things

Tuesday Potpourri:  Intros/Teasers – “He’s Gone”

Rolling Out the New for June:  Books, Blog Designs, Etc.

Guest Post with Lisa Ellis (Blog Tour)

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Moving On

May Reading Wrap-Up (16 Books Read in May, 85 YTD)

Sunday Potpourri:  Enjoying Books & Movies

Reviews: (Click Titles for Reviews)

Finding Lily (e-book), by Lisa Ellis (Blog Tour)

Sweet Salt Air, by Barbara Delinsky

He’s Gone (e-book), by Deb Caletti

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty

Dark Places (e-book), by Gillian Flynn

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

1.  What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty

 

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2.  The Lost Husband (e-book), by Katherine Center

 

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3.  Kind of Cruel, by Sophie Hannah (Amazon Vine Review)

 

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4.  All the Available Light, by Yona Zeldis McDonough (from Mt. TBR)

 

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***

And that’s my week!  I think I’m exhausted…I’ve been napping on and off all day.  Catching up?  I hope you all have a wonderful week.

 

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — MAY 26

books, etc.-monday memes

Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Monday Mailbox, Apple Blossom, of 4 the Love of Books is hosting for May; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

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This week, I received two Amazon Vine review books in the mail; I also downloaded 3 e-books that I purchased.

1.  The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty

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At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter
that’s not meant to be read

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . . .

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

2.  Kind of Cruel, by Sophie Hannah

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“Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” Amber thinks it’s just nonsense, a side effect of being hypnotized for the first time. But when she’s arrested for a brutal murder two hours later, those four words are the key to clearing her name… if only she could remember where she’d seen them.

Amber Hewerdine suffers from chronic insomnia. As a last resort, she visits a hypnotherapist, doubtful that anything will really change. Under hypnosis, Amber hears herself saying, “Kind, cruel, kind of cruel.” The words awaken a vague memory, but she dismisses the whole episode as nonsense. Two hours later, however, Amber is arrested for the brutal murder of a woman she’s never heard of, and the only way she can clear her name is by remembering exactly where she’s seen those words.

Kind of Cruel
is the latest page-turner in Hannah’s Zailer and Waterhouse mystery series, and will enthrall Hannah’s ever-growing readership.
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You think your life is nuts? Since I was sixteen, I’ve spent time on Death Row, tried to sell my baby sister on the black market, been stranded at the altar (repeatedly), lied about my son’s paternity, and fought viciously with just about everybody in town. Well, okay, it wasn’t really me–it was my character, Sami Brady on Days of Our Lives. But like Sami, I’ve had my share of struggles. I’ve been told I was fat, watched fellow actresses starve themselves, been cruelly rejected, and wondered if I would ever date. (Hey, the first time I kissed a boy was in front of a TV camera!) There was even a time when I hated myself.Sound familiar? This is my story. It’s an account of my years on daytime’s most popular soap, and of my life off-screen–the major ups and downs, the craziness of Hollywood, balancing work and play, looking for love, concerns about weight, peer pressure, and finally learning to accept myself for who I am. I’ll tell you fun stories about myself and my co-stars. . .recollections of my most memorable scenes. . .and everything you’ve always wanted to know about Sami. I think you’ll find a lot in these pages that will remind you of all the days of your life. . .and perhaps inspire you to follow your own dreams in the days to come.

Alison Sweeney was born in Los Angeles, one of three children of a concert violinist mother and a business investor father. Her acting career began when she was four years old. Throughout her childhood, Alison appeared in numerous television commercials, as well television series including Friends, Simon & Simon, Webster, St. Elsewhere, and Tales from the Darkside. She had starring roles in the films The Price of Life and The End of Innocence.

Alison joined the cast of Days of Our Lives as Sami Brady in 1993. In her years on the series, her character has evolved from a troubled teenager to a scheming villainess. In 2002, Alison won a fan-voted Emmy as America’s Favorite Villain. She has also won the fan-voted Soap Opera Digest Award four times, and in 2001 was elected by the same publication as one of the Most Beautiful Women in Daytime Television. Soap Opera Weekly named Alison 1999’s Breakout Performer of the year, and in Australia, she was voted “Best Bad Girl” in 2000 and 2001 by readers of Inside Soaps magazine.

Alison lives in a suburb of Los Angeles with her husband, Dave.

4.  The Glass Wives (e-book), by Amy Sue Nathan

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Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.

When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family?

5.    The Great Gatsby (e-book), by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds’ third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the “first step” American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised “the charm and beauty of the writing,” as well as Fitzgerald’s sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald’s “best work” thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

First of all, I hope everyone had a great week.  I’m so out of it that I thought last weekend was Mother’s Day…I feel as though I lost a week in there.  LOL

My blogging week included these posts, among others:

Tuesday Potpourri:  Lusting After Books

Author Interview:  Ruth Francisco

Thursday Potpourri:  Not Hump Day, and Not Yet Friday

Sweet Saturday Sample (Excerpt):  The Guardian Angel

Sunday Potpourri:  Books, Movies, & Reflections

And for next week, watch for my guest post from Author Lisa Ellis, along with a review of Finding Lily — at Rainy Days and Mondays, on May 30 and 31

Last Week’s Reads:  Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  Don’t Go (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline

2.  Some Are Sicker Than Others(e-book), by Andrew Seaward

3.  The K Street Affair (e-book), by Mari Passananti

Reading: (Click Titles/Covers for More Info)

Currently reading:  Sweet Salt Air, by Barbara Delinsky

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What’s Up Next?

1.  The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty

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2. He’s Gone (e-book), by Deb Caletti

 

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3.  Dark Places (e-book), by Gillian Flynn

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That’s my week!  I’m eager to visit other blogs, and have you stop by and chat.  Enjoy!

 

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — MAY 20

books, etc.-monday memes

Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Monday Mailbox, Apple Blossom, of 4 the Love of Books is hosting for May; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

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No physical books arrived for me this week, but I downloaded two new ones for Sparky:  both my purchases.

1.  He’s Gone (e-book), by Deb Caletti

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From National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti comes an intensely gripping story about love, loss, marriage, and secrets—perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, and Anna Quindlen.
 
“One of the best books I’ve read all year.”—Barbara O’Neal, author of The Garden of Happy Endings

“What do you think happened to your husband, Mrs. Keller?”
 
The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone.

As the police work methodically through all the logical explanations—he’s hurt, he’s run off, he’s been killed—Dani searches frantically for a clue as to whether Ian is in fact dead or alive. And, slowly, she unpacks their relationship, holding each moment up to the light: from its intense, adulterous beginning, to the grandeur of their new love, to the difficulties of forever. She examines all the sins she can—and cannot—remember. As the days pass, Dani will plumb the depths of her conscience, turning over and revealing the darkest of her secrets in order to discover the hard truth—about herself, her husband, and their lives together.

 

2.  No Child of Mine (e-book), by Susan Lewis

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What if you knew a child was in danger – and no one believed you?

Alex Lake’s day job is all about helping people, especially children. She cares about them passionately and does everything in her power to rescue them from those who mean them harm.

When the case of three-year-old Ottilie Wade comes to her attention, Alex feels an overpowering need to make a real difference in the little girl’s life, but no one is prepared to believe that Ottilie is in danger.

In the end, Alex makes a decision that has consequences that no one, least of all Alex, could have foreseen.

 

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

I’ve had a bit of a busy week with other things….family stuff.  But I’ve still managed to do a little blogging and reading.

Over at Story Corner, I’m eagerly anticipating Some Kind of Cruel (which I’ll be getting this week from Vine!)

Thursday showed us how to enjoy old favorites in Comfort Foods for the Soul.

At Chocolate & Mimosas, I changed the look of my blog and raved about my Newest Guilty Pleasure:  Online Soap Viewing.

And my Sweet Saturday Sample brought the aftermath of a frightening event:  Now What?

Reading-Click Titles for Reviews:

The Bodyguard & the Show Dog, by Christy Tillery French

Walled-In, by J. Elke Ertle

Just Breathe, by Susan Wiggs (From Mt. TBR)

Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine (e-book), by Ann Hood

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

1.  Don’t Go (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline

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2.  Some Are Sicker Than Others (e-book), by Andrew Seaward (Review book)

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3.  The K Street Affair (e-book), by Mari Passananti (Review Book)

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And that’s what my week looks like (last week and this week).  Pull up a chair and let’s chat about your week.

 

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — MAY 13

books, etc.-monday memes

 

Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Monday Mailbox, Apple Blossom, of 4 the Love of Books is hosting for May; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

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This week, I received one e-book (my purchase) and a book from another blogger.

1.  Sweet Salt Air, by Barbara Delinsky (from Diane, at Bibliophile by the Sea)

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Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole’s coastal island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte back to Quinnipeague, for a final summer, to help. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole could use her expertise for interviews with locals. Missing a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees.

 

But what both women don’t know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage, but it could also save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole’s friendship, but could also free her to love again. And her chance may lie with a reclusive local man, with a heart to soothe and troubles of his own.

 

Bestselling author and master storyteller Barbara Delinsky invites you come away to Quinnipeague…

 

The Lost Husband (e-book), by Katherine Center

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Perfect for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin, this tender and heartwarming novel explores the trials of losing what matters most—and how there’s always more than we can imagine left to find.

Dear Libby, It occurs to me that you and your two children have been living with your mother for—Dear Lord!—two whole years, and I’m writing to see if you’d like to be rescued.

The letter comes out of the blue, and just in time for Libby Moran, who—after the sudden death of her husband, Danny—went to stay with her hypercritical mother. Now her crazy Aunt Jean has offered Libby an escape: a job and a place to live on her farm in the Texas Hill Country. Before she can talk herself out of it, Libby is packing the minivan, grabbing the kids, and hitting the road.

Life on Aunt Jean’s goat farm is both more wonderful and more mysterious than Libby could have imagined. Beyond the animals and the strenuous work, there is quiet—deep, country quiet. But there is also a shaggy, gruff (though purportedly handsome, under all that hair) farm manager with a tragic home life, a formerly famous feed-store clerk who claims she can contact Danny “on the other side,” and the eccentric aunt Libby never really knew but who turns out to be exactly what she’s been looking for. And despite everything she’s lost, Libby soon realizes how much more she’s found. She hasn’t just traded one kind of crazy for another: She may actually have found the place to bring her little family—and herself—back to life.

***

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

Another busy week behind me….not a lot of reading.  A little bit of blogging, like Tempting Images on Pinterest, Bookish Treats, & New Obsessions.

Hump Day Serendipity:  Waiting for “No Child of Mine”

Let’s Curl up and Talk Books

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Neighborhood Watch (An Excerpt from Defining Moments)

Sunday Potpourri:  Bookish Tidbits & Treasures

Reading:  (Click Titles for Reviews)

Fly Away, by Kristin Hannah

Instructions for a Heatwave, by Maggie O’Farrell

Finding Lily (e-book), by Lisa D. Ellis (Review will be up on Rainy Days and Mondays on 5/30/13 – Blog Tour)

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

Today I’m reading The Bodyguard and the Show Dog, by Christy Tillery French (A Mt. TBR/Sequel Challenge read).

 

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Walled-In, by J. Elke Ertle

 

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Just Breathe, by Susan Wiggs

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That’s what my week looked like…and what’s up ahead.  Come on by and share….

 

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — MAY 6

books, etc.-monday memes

Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Monday Mailbox, Apple Blossom, of 4 the Love of Books is hosting for May; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

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My physical and electronic mailbox (Sparky) have received four books this week:  two review books and two purchases.

1.  Instructions for a Heatwave, by Maggie O’Farrell (Amazon Vine)

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Sophisticated, intelligent, impossible to put down, Maggie O’Farrell’s beguiling novels—After You’d Gone, winner of a Betty Trask Award; The Distance Between Us, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; The Hand That First Held Mine, winner of the Costa Novel Award; and her unforgettable bestseller The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox—blend richly textured psychological drama with page-turning suspense. Instructions for a Heatwave finds her at the top of her game, with a novel about a family crisis set during the legendary British heatwave of 1976.

Gretta Riordan wakes on a stultifying July morning to find that her husband of forty years has gone to get the paper and vanished, cleaning out his bank account along the way. Gretta’s three grown children converge on their parents’ home for the first time in years: Michael Francis, a history teacher whose marriage is failing; Monica, with two stepdaughters who despise her and a blighted past that has driven away the younger sister she once adored; and Aoife, the youngest, now living in Manhattan, a smart, immensely resourceful young woman who has arranged her entire life to conceal a devastating secret.

Maggie O’Farrell writes with exceptional grace and sensitivity about marriage, about the mysteries that inhere within families, and the fault lines over which we build our lives—the secrets we hide from the people who know and love us best. In a novel that stretches from the heart of London to New York City’s Upper West Side to a remote village on the coast of Ireland, O’Farrell paints a bracing portrait of a family falling apart and coming together with hard-won, life-changing truths about who they really are.

2.  The K Street Affair (e-book), by Mari Passananti (Author Request)

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What if a massive corporation, one with political ties on both sides of the Atlantic, decided to start a war?

Hours after a crippling attack rocks Washington, D.C., Lena Mancuso, a talented young associate at one of the country’s best law firms, finds federal agents at her door, bearing unbelievable news.

Lena’s clients may have financed the murder of hundreds of civilians.

The FBI wants Lena’s insider access to spy on her firm’s high-profile roster of international clients, whose ranks include a disgraced K Street lobbyist, a flamboyant Russian oil baron and the future Saudi king – unlikely bedfellows linked by common interests in a massive multinational corporation with lofty but sinister goals: control of the world oil markets and a takeover of the United States government.

Helping the FBI means Lena will endanger herself and everyone she loves, but refusing them feels unthinkable. Armed with a mix of smarts, intuition and grit she never knew she possessed, Lena will risk everything in a race to stop a catastrophic chain of events.

3.  The Obituary Writer (e-book), by Ann Hood (My Purchase)

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A sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras.

On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in unexpected and extraordinary ways. Part literary mystery and part love story, The Obituary Writer examines expectations of marriage and love, the roles of wives and mothers, and the emotions of grief, regret, and hope.

4.  Dark Places (e-book), by Gillian Flynn (My Purchase)

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I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

My week had a lot more TV/Movie Watching, with a little bit of reading and blogging mixed in.

As a soap opera addict, I was thrilled to be able to again watch One Life to Live and All My Children, that debuted on Hulu.com this week.

Tuesday Potpourri:  Soap Magic, the Online Reboot

Because watching on my laptop seemed a bit tedious, even though I found it fairly easy to do, I discovered something else to make my experience better.  My son hooked my TV to my laptop via an HDMI cable and the show plays out on my TV screen!

Then yesterday, I went to the theater again…yeah, I know, two weeks in a row!  And saw The Big Wedding, with Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl, etc.

Then last night, I watched Silver Linings Playbook on DVD…and that was a totally engaging film that had me riveted to the very end.

More Blogging:

April Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

What Else?  Sharing at Booking Through Thursday

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Someone is Watching Over Me (An Excerpt)

Books Read/Reviewed (Click Titles for Reviews):

The Engagements, by J. Courtney Sullivan

Cocktail Hour (e-book), by Tara McTiernan

Summer on Blossom Street, by Debbie Macomber (Sequels Challenge) 

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

Still Reading:  Finding Lily, by Lisa Ellis

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The Submission, by Amy Waldman

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Fly Away, by Kristin Hannah (Amazon Vine)

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And that’s what my week looked like…and what’s ahead.  Enjoy!  Come on by and let’s chat!

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — APRIL 29

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Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Mailbox Monday, click for Mari Reads in April; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

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This week brought a bonanza of books:  two review books in the mail; one e-book for review; and two purchased e-books.

1.  The Engagements, by J. Courtney Sullivan (Amazon Vine)

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From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage—about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.

Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years—forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love—the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding—beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings—and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.

As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.

A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way—for better or for worse—these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love.

2.  Fly Away, by Kristin Hannah (Amazon Vine)

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Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . .

 

Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate—to be there for Kate’s children—but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people.

Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.

Dorothy Hart—the woman who once called herself Cloud—is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.

A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another—and maybe a miracle—to transform their lives.

An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness. Told with her trademark powerful storytelling and illuminating prose, Kristin Hannah reveals why she is one of the most beloved writers of our day.

3.  Some Are Sicker Than Others (e-book), by Andrew Seaward (Author Request)

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ADDICTION: CUNNING, BAFFLING, & POWERFUL  

In this gripping debut novel by Andrew Seaward, the lives of three addicts converge following an accidental and horrific death.

Monty Miller, a self-destructive, codependent alcoholic, is wracked by an obsession to drink himself to death as punishment for a fatal car accident he didn’t cause.

Dave Bell, a former all-American track star turned washed-up high school volleyball coach, routinely chauffeurs his bus full of teens on a belly full of liquor and head full of crack.

Angie Mallard, a recently divorced housewife with three estranged children, will go to any lengths to restore the family she lost to crystal meth.

All three are court-mandated to a secluded drug rehab high in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. There, they learn the universal truth among alcoholics and addicts:
Though they may all be sick…SOME ARE SICKER THAN OTHERS.

Based on the author’s own personal experience with substance abuse and twelve-step programs, Some Are Sicker Than Others, transcends the clichés of the typical recovery story by exploring the insidiousness of addiction and the harrowing effect it has on not just the afflicted, but everyone it touches.

With the harsh realism of Brett Easton Ellis and the dark, confrontational humor of Chuck Palahniuk, Mr. Seaward takes the reader deep inside the psyche of the addict and portrays, in very explicit details, the psychological and physiological effects of withdrawal and the various stages of recovery.

4.  Somewhere off the Coast of Maine (e-book), by Ann Hood (My Purchase)

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“Brilliant….[The Vietnam era] is vividly captured by Ann Hood.”—New York Times Book Review

In 1969, as Peter, Paul and Mary croon on the radio and poster paints are splashing the latest antiwar slogans, three friends find love. Suzanne, a poet, lives in a Maine beach house awaiting the birth of a child she will call Sparrow. Claudia, who weds a farmer during college, plans to raise three strong sons. Elizabeth and her husband marry, organize protests, and try to rear two children with their hippy values. By 1985, things have changed: Suzanne, now with an MBA, calls Sparrow “Susan.” Claudia spirals backward into her sixties world—and into madness. And Elizabeth, fatally ill, watches despairingly as her children yearn for a split-level house and a gleaming station wagon. Reading group guide included.

5.  Don’t Go (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline (My Purchase)

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Bestselling author Lisa Scottoline has thrilled millions with her emotionally-charged novels that feature strong women exploring the boundaries of family, justice, and love.   In Don’t Go, she breaks new ground and delivers the story of a soldier who discovers what it means to be a man, a father, and ultimately, a hero.

When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby.  And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer.

However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident.  Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart.  His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left – his precious baby girl.  Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral.

Ultimately, Mike realizes that the most important battle of his life faces him on the home front and he’ll have to put it all on the line to save what’s dearest to him – his family.  Gripping, thrilling, and profoundly emotional, Don’t Go is Lisa Scottoline at her finest.

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

I’ve done quite a bit of reading, a little blogging, and yesterday I took a break to see  a movie I’ve been eagerly awaiting.

The Company You Keep, with a wonderful cast that includes Robert Redford, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, and many others, took me back to a time in my life….and I just sat there absorbing it all.  I haven’t been buying as many DVDs lately (I have 800+ on my shelves!), but this is one I’m going to add.

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So after a nice respite, I grabbed my book again.

My Week on the Blogs:

Tuesday Intros/Teasers:  The Smart One

Waiting on Wednesday with Morning Glory

Thursday Potpourri:  Disturbing Midnight Moments

A Guilty Pleasures Treat:  Book Beginnings/Friday 56 – Tapestry of Fortunes

Sweet Saturday Sample:  Awaiting her Fate (An Excerpt from Defining Moments)

Sunday Potpourri:  Moments of Reflection

Reading-Click Titles for Reviews:

Drinking with Men, by Rosie Schaap

The Smart One, by Jennifer Close

The Good House (e-book), by Ann Leary

Lucky Me (Memoir), by Sachi Parker

Tapestry of Fortunes, by Elizabeth Berg

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

The Engagements, by J. Courtney Sullivan

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Summer on Blossom Street, by Debbie Macomber

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Cocktail Hour (e-bo0k), by Tara McTiernan

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Finding Lily (e-book), by Lisa D. Ellis

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And that’s how my week is unfolding….stop on by and let’s chat!

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — APRIL 22

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Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Mailbox Monday, click for Mari Reads in April; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

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All of my “mailbox” reads this week arrived via download onto Sparky.  I received one review book, one freebie, and one purchase.

Cocktail Hour (e-book), by Tara McTiernan (Author Request)

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What if your friend – someone admired, envied, and fervently sought after by everyone who knew her – was really a dangerous sociopath? In her latest novel, Cocktail Hour, mainstream fiction author Tara McTiernan answers that question as she takes you on a wild roller coaster ride of thrilling highs and terrifying lows in this gripping novel about friendship gone horribly wrong.Spring in glamorous uber-rich Fairfield County, Connecticut is a time of beginnings: a new diet for the approaching summer spent out on the yacht, fresh-faced interns being offered up at the office as the seasonal sacrifice to the gods of money, and corporate takeovers galore. Five women in their thirties have a brand-new friendship, too, one that fed and watered regularly at local hotspots over cocktails. With all of their personal struggles – Lucie’s new catering business is foundering due to vicious gossip, Kate’s marriage is troubled due to an inability to conceive, Chelsea’s series of misses in the romance department have led to frantic desperation, and Sharon’s career problems are spinning out of control – the women look forward to a break and a drink and a chance to let their guards down with their friends. And letting their guards down is the last thing they should do in the kind of company they unknowingly keep with the fifth member of their cocktail-clique: Bianca Rossi, a woman who will stop at nothing to have it all.

As each woman’s life is affected by this she-wolf in sheep’s clothing, the truth starts to come out, but will they see it before it’s too late? Or will their doubts about their own perceptions and gut feelings stop them from protecting themselves in time? Exciting, chilling, and emotionally charged, Tara McTiernan delivers a delicious page-turner that will change your view of everyone you think you know.

Lessons from Generation X to Generation Next (e-book-free), by McKenzie McPherson

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“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

As you read this, take a moment to pontificate about your life, what are some of the lessons you wish the generation that preceded you had left behind in a diary that you could access anytime you needed advice in a non-judgmental way?

As you think about that, also think about the lessons you hope to pass on to the generation succeeding you?

Lessons from Generation X to Generation Next is a compilation of over 3,000 anecdotes that describe some of the lessons the author has learned throughout her life. The book is divided into 10 categories: family, parents,
education, career, health, finances, relationships, pop culture, life, and spirituality.

The book offers real-life guidance to people of all ages that will greatly improve the quality of life for anyone who reads it and perhaps generations to come.

It is not only wise to learn from our mistakes but generationally advantageous to share what we have learned with those who might be heading down the path we are all too familiar with. Eleanor Roosevelt suggested that we won’t live long enough to make them all ourselves and realistically why would we want to?

There are few guarantees in life, but one of the most sobering is that one day we will die, and even though death might capture our bodies, our spirits will forever be liberated in the lessons we pass on from one generation to the next.

Virgin Soul (e-book), by Judy Juanita (Purchase)

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From a lauded poet and playwright, a novel of a young woman’s life with the Black Panthers in 1960s San Francisco

At first glance, Geniece’s story sounds like that of a typical young woman: she goes to college, has romantic entanglements, builds meaningful friendships, and juggles her schedule with a part-time job. However, she does all of these things in 1960s San Francisco while becoming a militant member of the Black Panther movement. When Huey Newton is jailed in October 1967 and the Panthers explode nationwide, Geniece enters the organization’s dark and dangerous world of guns, FBI agents, freewheeling sex, police repression, and fatal shoot-outs—all while balancing her other life as a college student.

A moving tale of one young woman’s life spinning out of the typical and into the extraordinary during one of the most politically and racially charged eras in America, Virgin Soul will resonate with readers of Monica Ali and Ntozake Shange.

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

I’d like to welcome all bloggers to check out my Five-Year Blogoversary over at Story Corner.  Yes, I know I mentioned it last week, but now it is underway until 4/27.  I will be giving away books from my reading room.

Now…last week, I enjoyed some blogging, like my Tuesday Potpourri:  Book Lust post.

On my Hump Day Sparks, I enthused about what I was waiting for….

And over at my group blog, Betty Dravis shared Why Are These Authors So Happy?

My Creative Journey post took me back:  Spotlighting Moments Along the Way.

Thursday Potpourri revealed Bookish Surprises.

My Sweet Saturday Sample captured moments of Venturing Out (An excerpt).

Sunday Potpourri:  Books Into Movies & Other Sunday Tidbits

Reading-Click Titles for Reviews:

Oodles of Poodles, by Linda O. Johnston (Cozies/Sequel Challenges)

Backseat Saints (e-book), by Joshilyn Jackson (Sequels Challenge)

Heart Like Mine (e-book), by Amy Hatvany

The Sugar House, by Laura Lippman (Sequels Challenge)

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

Drinking with Men, by Rosie Schaap (Amazon Vine Review)

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The Smart One, by Jennifer Close

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The Good House (e-book), by Ann Leary

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And that’s what’s happening here.  Enjoy your week, and come on by and chat!

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MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — APRIL 15

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Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  For those who participate in Mailbox Monday, click for Mari Reads in April; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

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This week, I received two review books and one purchase from Amazon.

1.  Tapestry of Fortunes, by Elizabeth Berg (My gift to myself!)

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In this superb new novel by the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Open House, Home Safe, and The Last Time I Saw You, four women venture into their pasts in order to shape their futures, fates, and fortunes.

Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can’t she take her own advice? Still reeling from the death of her best friend, and freshly aware of the need to live more fully now, Cece realizes that she has to make a move—all the portentous signs seem to point in that direction.

She downsizes her life, sells her suburban Minnesota home and lets go of many of her possessions. She moves into a beautiful old house in Saint Paul, complete with a garden, chef’s kitchen, and three housemates: Lise, the home’s owner and a divorced mother at odds with her twenty-year-old daughter; Joni, a top-notch sous chef at a first-rate restaurant with a grade A jerk of a boss; and Renie, the youngest and most mercurial of the group, who is trying to rectify a teenage mistake. These women embark on a journey together in an attempt to connect with parts of themselves long denied. For Cece, that means finding Dennis Halsinger. Despite being “the one who got away,” Dennis has never been far from Cece’s thoughts.

2.  Drinking with Men, by Rosie Schaap (Amazon Vine)

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A vivid, funny, and poignant memoir that celebrates the distinct lure of the camaraderie and community one finds drinking in bars.

Rosie Schaap has always loved bars: the wood and brass and jukeboxes, the knowing bartenders, and especially the sometimes surprising but always comforting company of regulars. Starting with her misspent youth in the bar car of a regional railroad, where at fifteen she told commuters’ fortunes in exchange for beer, and continuing today as she slings cocktails at a neighborhood joint in Brooklyn, Schaap has learned her way around both sides of a bar and come to realize how powerful the fellowship among regular patrons can be.

In Drinking with Men, Schaap shares her unending quest for the perfect local haunt, which takes her from a dive outside Los Angeles to a Dublin pub full of poets, and from small-town New England taverns to a character-filled bar in Manhattan’s TriBeCa. Drinking alongside artists and expats, ironworkers and soccer fanatics, she finds these places offer a safe haven, a respite, and a place to feel most like herself. In rich, colorful prose, Schaap brings to life these seedy, warm, and wonderful rooms. Drinking with Men is a love letter to the bars, pubs, and taverns that have been Schaap’s refuge, and a celebration of the uniquely civilizing source of community that is bar culture at its best.

3.  Finding Lily, (e-book), by Lisa Ellis (Virtual Author Blog Tours)

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When her newborn baby Lily dies suddenly, Claire Edwards runs away to live in a lighthouse she had fallen in love with as a young child. The lighthouse is reputed by some to have magical powers, but Claire isn’t looking for a miracle. She just wants an escape from her husband Jim’s colder way of grieving, and from their apartment filled with the tiny clothes and stuffed animals they had collected over the past few months. But once Claire is situated in the lighthouse, it begins to illuminate things for her in a new way and she’s suddenly forced to rethink her views on life, death, and her marriage.

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Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading.  Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.

My week brought lovely weather and some fabulous reads.  Not much blogging, however, except for some memes and my Saturday Snapshot post, along with my Sweet Saturday Sample (an excerpt from Defining Moments).

I am looking forward to the five-year blogoversary for my very first blog, Story Corner.  Check in later next week (April 21 is the date of the event) for details about the giveaway.

When you have a lot of blogs, as I do (eleven!), you only celebrate a few of the blogoversaries.

So now, let’s talk about books!

Books Read (Click Titles for Reviews):

1.  The Summer of France, (e-book), by Paulita Kincer (Fellow blogger!)

2.  Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes

3.  The Banks of Certain Rivers (e-book), by Jon Harrison (Review Book)

4.  Glory in Death, by J. D. Robb (Sequel Challenge)

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

1.   Oodles of Poodles, by Linda O. Johnston (Cozy/Sequel Challenges)

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2.  Backseat Saints (e-book), by Joshilyn Jackson (Sequel Challenge)

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3.  Heart Like Mine (e-book), by Amy Hatvany

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And that’s my week!  Come on by and let’s chat.

 

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — APRIL 8

books, etc.-monday memes

Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes.  Today I’ve returned to this blog for my weekly update.  For those who participate in Mailbox Monday, click for Mari Reads in April; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

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I received ONE review book in the mailbox this week; from an author.

Walled-In, by J. Elke Ertle

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In this true story, two obstacles threaten the freedom and autonomy of a young girl born and raised in postwar West Berlin: The Berlin Wall and the harsh rules her uncompromising parents impose. J. Elke Ertle recounts the mounting East-West tension that leads to the Berlin Blockade, the Berlin Airlift, and the construction of the Berlin Wall. But the brick-and-mortar monstrosity is not the only insurmountable barrier Elke comes to know intimately. As the only child of uncompromising parents, she is brought up to unquestioning obedience. When she rebels against their unrelenting rules, the ensuing parent-daughter conflict parallels in intensity the Cold War between East and West. Elke finds herself incarcerated behind walls as impenetrable as the one that divides her city. On her 21st birthday, a startling and unexpected revelation strengthens her determination to opt for freedom and to immigrate to the United States. Interweaving history with her personal experiences, Elke takes the reader on a remarkable journey into her closely supervised, yet happy childhood, her youthful disillusionment, and her deliberate, albeit difficult decision to choose freedom.

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WHAT ARE YOU READING?

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This week has been full of a variety of activities.   I cleared off a lot of dolls from the tops of my bookshelves in the bedroom (all the shelves used to have dolls on them; now, only some of them do!)….and then swept through my office.  To read more about it, check out  Saturday Potpourri:  Editing the Collections.

On Monday, I mused about A Book I Had to Buy.

Tuesday found me looking back at Iconic Times, Images, & Poignant Moments (with an excerpt)

On Wednesday, I announced my upcoming Five-Year Blogoversary at Story Corner (there will be a giveaway!).

Also, on Wednesday, I interviewed Author Colby Marshall, at Dames of Dialogue.

I had a spring moment on Friday and chatted about Gifts of Rainy Days:  April Showers Bring May Flowers.

My Sweet Saturday Sample revealed a Y2K moment for my MC in Defining Moments, in Taking a Leap of Faith.

Now for the Reading-Click Titles for Reviews:

Midnight Sacrifice, by Melinda Leigh

Life After Life, by Jill McCorkle

The Time of My Life, by Cecelia Ahern

Naked in Death (e-book), by J. D. Robb

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

The Summer of France,(e-book), by Pauline Kincer (Still reading from last week)

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Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes

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The Banks of Certain Rivers (e-book), by Jon Harrison (Review book)

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And if I have time, I want to grab this e-book that’s been sitting on Sparky too long!  For the Mt. TBR Challenge:

Children of the Fog, by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

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That’s my week!  I hope you’ll come by and share thoughts about yours!

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