Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands ~ My Thoughts

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The Promise of Provence

The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands
Series: Love in Provence #1

Print and e-book, 466 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Lake Union Publishing

On the evening of her twenty-second wedding anniversary, Katherine Price can’t wait to celebrate. But instead of receiving an anniversary card from her husband, she finds a note asking for a divorce.

Fifty-five and suddenly alone, Katherine begins the daunting task of starting over. She has her friends, her aging mother, and her career to occupy her, but the future seems to hold little promise—until, after a winter of heartbreak, Katherine is persuaded to try a home exchange holiday in the South of France.

In Provence, bright fields of flowers bloom below medieval hilltop villages with winding cobblestone streets. Charmed by the picturesque countryside, the breathtaking Côte d’Azur, and the enchantment-filled boulevards of Paris, Katherine feels life opening up once again. Lavender perfumes the air, and chance encounters hint at romance and passion. But memories of heartbreak and betrayal linger—and her former life waits for her back home. Can she find the courage to begin again?


My thoughts about The Promise of Provence ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"Stepping out the front door into a wash of cool autumn air, Katherine closed her eyes and inhaled its crispness. It doesn't get much better than this, she thought, walking briskly through the leafy neighborhood. Little did she know how this day would end."

Once again, another book by Patricia Sands has transported me to France. I love my little virtual vacations to this beautiful place.

Katherine's world is quickly turned upside down when she finds a note from her husband on their twenty-second anniversary. He wants out of a marriage that she thought was stable. How on earth is she supposed to go on?

Sort of on a whim, and with lots of nudging from her friends, she signs up for a home exchange in France as a way to move past the turmoil of divorce. She is immediately embraced by the people she meets in her new home-away-from-home. So many wise, thoughtful, and loving people cross her path.

As she takes this time to reflect on her life, she starts cleansing herself of the past and starts embracing the future. This place just feels so right to her. I instantly connected with Kat and found myself immediately wrapped up in her story and her life. I am so glad that Kat's story continues and I am ready to find out what happens next for her.

I love that the author is also a photographer. Her pictures allow us see the beauty that her characters are experiencing. It makes me feel more connected to the story and I feel like I'm there too.

'France just does that. It makes you fall in love... with everything.'

I received The Promise of Provence from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the author


Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn't somewhere else, and calls the south of France her second home. She is the award-winning author of The Bridge Club and the best-selling Love in Provence trilogy. Her fifth novel, Drawing Lessons which is also set in the south of France, was released by Lake Union Publishing on October 1, 2017.

Find out more at Patricia’s Facebook Author Page, Amazon Author Page or her website. There are links to her books, social media, and a monthly newsletter that has special giveaways, photography from France, and sneak peeks at her next book. She loves hearing from readers.

Follow her on Instagram @patricialsands for fabulous photography. Her annual South of France calendar is available for order at patriciasandsauthor@gmail.com, payable by Paypal or credit card.

Represented by Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency.

Connect with Patricia



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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Release Day! Saturdays at Sweeney's by Ashley Farley ~ My Thoughts

Happy Release Day!!

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Saturdays at Sweeney's

Saturdays at Sweeney's by Ashley Farley
Series: Sweeney Sisters #5
Kindle edition, 250 pages
Published: January 16th 2018

Members of the Sweeney family, young and old, chart their courses for the future in this final installment of the bestselling Sweeney Sisters Series.

When the seafood business Lovie Sweeney established sixty years ago is destroyed by fire, she finds herself at the center of an arson investigation. What really happened that night? Is Lovie responsible for starting the fire or is her family under attack from a sworn enemy?

The loss of their family business leaves the Sweeney clan in flux. Samantha faces the challenges of rebuilding the market while her son, Jamie, on track to graduate from college in six months, must decide whether to make his permanent home in Prospect or move to Charleston where a new special someone resides. At age forty-five, Faith, who has never fully recovered from an abusive marriage, is on a quest to find her true passion? Jackie is distraught when her son, Sean, flunks out of college and struggles to find direction in his life without his twin brother to guide him. A medical diagnosis brings the sisters closer together and threatens to change family dynamics forever.

The Sweeney women remind us that it’s never too late to begin a new endeavor and to never stop chasing your dreams until you draw your last breath.

     

My thoughts about Saturdays at Sweeney's ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"The shrill ringing of Sam's cell phone jolted her upright in bed a few minutes before twelve on a stormy Wednesday night in early May. Blinking his eyes open, Eli propped himself up on one elbow beside her. She snatched the phone up from her nightstand. Sam could hardly hear the man's voice over the wail of the sirens in the background."

If you have not picked up the Sweeney sisters series, you really must...as soon as possible. You will fall in love with this family, just like I did. The three Sweeney sisters are not perfect, by any means. As a matter of fact, they all have had their share of troubles and hardships but because they have family and good friends, they make it through the tough times.

Saturdays at Sweeney's get off to an intense start with a fire at the family business—a business that has been thriving for several generations and is the glue that holds the family together. Now with it gone, what's going to happen to the Sweeneys? And then there's the question of how the fire started? Was it arson? And is a Sweeney guilty of starting it?

As the family works on regrouping, the matriarch of the family is failing and the family receives some devastating news. How much more can this family handle?

This is an amazing series that captured me from the start, full of memorable characters that I came to think of as friends. I'm sad that this is the last book in the series but I am hoping that some of the characters have a strong enough voice that the author will take us back for a visit.

"God gives us life, and we owe it to him to give that life everything we've got."

Check out the whole series here

I received a copy of Saturdays at Sweeney's from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Check out the awesome trailer



About the author

Ashley Farley

Ashley Farley writes books about women for women. Her characters are mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives facing real-life issues. Her goal is to keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning. If her story stays with you long after you've read the last word, then she's done her job.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote Saving Ben in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save.

Ashley is a wife and mother of two young adult children. While she’s lived in Richmond, Virginia for the past 21 years, part of her heart remains in the salty marshes of the South Carolina Lowcountry where she grew up. Through the eyes of her characters, she’s able to experience the moss-draped trees, delectable cuisine, and kind-hearted folks with lazy drawls that make the area so unique.

Connect with Ashley


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Release Day! The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White ~ My Thoughts

Happy Release Day!! 

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The Promise Between Us

The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White 
Print and e-book, 350 pages
Published: January 16th 2018 by Lake Union Publishing

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Son comes a hopeful tale of redemption, renewal, and the promise of love.

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

  

My thoughts about The Promise Between Us ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"Crouched in the corner of my baby girl's bedroom, we both shake: the three-legged mutt and the mother with a colony of fire ants multiplying in her brain. Hardly a five-star protection squad, but we would die to keep Maisie safe." 

Okay, so I was totally hooked after the first chapter—so intense and a bit confusing. And now I know that's how a person with OCD lives and feels. This was a very enlightening look into the world of OCD and small glimpse of what it's like to have it rule your world.

The Promise Between Us is not a play-by-play book on how to survive and function. It's a look at a family who is trying to figure it out and lead a normal life. Katie runs away from her family thinking she is protecting them. Years later, as she comes in contact with her daughter Maisie again, she finds out that there is no running away from the turmoil that's in her head. And she realizes she needs to be there for Maisie, to help her learn how to cope with the 'voice'.

This is the first book by this author that I've read but I'll definitely be reading more. I like her writing style and and the way she makes her characters feel real to me

'A thought is just a thought; it has no power'

I received a copy of The Promise Between Us from the author via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About the author


Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White writes hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she lives with her family in the forests of North Carolina, and is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.

Barbara's novels include: The Unfinished Garden (2013 Golden Quill Best First Book); The In-Between Hour (Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Winter 2014 Okra Pick); The Perfect Son (Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee for Best Fiction 2015); and Echoes of Family (finalist for the Women's Fiction Writers Association 2017 Star Award). The Promise Between Us, a tale of redemption, love, and OCD has a publication date of January 16, 2018. ~ from Goodreads

Connect with Barbara


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Monday, January 15, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? January 15, 2018


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's an opportunity to visit other blogs and to comment on their reads. And ... you can add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

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Oh my gosh, I feel like my reading is getting off to a slow, sluggish start for 2018. I've finished a couple of great books but it seems like slow going for me. I need to pick up the pace. 😁

We celebrated Christmas with my kids and grandkiddos this past weekend. Now that that is all over and all the work to prepare for it is done, maybe I'll be able to get back to the books .... and writing my reviews. That's another area of my blogging life that I need to work on. I really want to get caught up on posting my thoughts about all the wonderful books I have been reading. Does anyone else struggle with that like I do? So many books, so little time. 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you all have a good week. Happy reading!

What I'm currently reading

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Izzy As Is
by Tracie Banister
Loving it! Izzy is a hoot.

Foretold (Ghost Gifts #2)
by Laura Spinella
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

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The Promise of Provence (Love in Provence #1)
by Patricia Sands 
Loved my trip to France. My thoughts will be posted soon. 

What I am going to read next

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The Aviator's Wife
by Melanie Benjamin
This is my next book club read. Have you read it? 

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book Spotlight Giveaway! Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford


I have sooooo many books! The Book Spotlight Giveaway feature that I post every Saturday is a way for me to clear my shelves and to share some of the many books I have. This feature is a way for my to cull my collection and to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy these treasures.

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Again, as I was browsing my bookshelves, I discovered that I have two copies of a wonderful book. I have not read this one but have read this author's other two books and loved them. This one is definitely a must read for me! 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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Songs of Willow Frost

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Ballantine Books 

From Jamie Ford, author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.

Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.

Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.

Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.


About the author



Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Jamie’s work has been published in 34 languages. Also, because Jamie feels weird writing about himself in the 3rd person, he’s going to say…

Hi, this is me. 

Not a publicist. Not some weird aggregated bit of web-content, just little ol’ me, the author, sitting here in my favorite Batman pajamas (yes, I have several pairs) writing this note in my cozy home office, dog at my feet. His name is Dexter and he’s twitching right now, obviously chasing rabbits in his dreams.

While we’re chatting, I should mention that my second novel, Songs of Willow Frost, came out in 2013–which I think is better than my first novel, but I’m kind of biased.

And…now my third novel Love and Other Consolation Prizes, also historical fiction, also set in Seattle, will be published September 12, 2017.

If you’re looking for more things that have spilled out of my brain, I have steampunk tales in The End is Nigh, The End is Now, and The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych). Also a story in Last Night, A Superhero Saved My Life. That particular piece is about Daredevil, Elektra, and how I lost my virginity. (TMI?) ~ Goodreads

Connect with Jamie




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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Release Day! Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch ~ My Thoughts

Happy Release Day!!

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Between Me and You

Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch
Kindle Edition, 358 pages
Published January 9th 2018 by Lake Union Publishing

From New York Times bestselling author Allison Winn Scotch comes an honest, touching, and funny exploration of falling in and out of love, told from two perspectives—one rewinding history, one moving it forward—and each with bias and regret.

When their paths first cross, Ben Livingston is a fledgling scriptwriter on the brink of success; Tatum Connelly is a struggling actress tending bar in a New York City dive. They fall in love, they marry, they become parents, and they think only of the future. But as the years go by, Tatum’s stardom rises while Ben’s fades. In a marriage that bears the fallout of ambition and fame, Ben and Tatum are at a crossroads. Now all they can do is think back…

A life of passion, joy, tragedy, and loss—once shared—becomes one as shifting and unpredictable as a memory. As the pieces of their past come together, as they explore the ways love can bend and break, Ben and Tatum come to see how it all went wrong—and wonder what they can do now to make it all right.

   

My thoughts about Between Me and You ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First lines—"I told myself that if she showed, that would be the sign I needed. If she showed, maybe we could find a way to rewind, rewrite, do it all over. Do it all better, Do it all again, only differently."

Between You and Me is a heartfelt story about two people who are in love–at least they were in love–trying to figure out if they are still in love. Ben and Tatum are both very insecure about themselves, and their relationship. As their lives take on the ups and downs of marriage, success, and unhappiness, they drift apart and aren't sure if they will find their way back to each other again. And really, do they want to?

This is a wonderful tale about the difficulties of love and commitments and how hard it is to try to be there through the good as well as the bad. As the author takes us, the reader, back and forth throughout Ben and Tatum's lives, we learn how their marriage got to the place it is today and we can see where it starts to go wrong. And we so want it to go right again.

',,,sometimes the only way to free yourself is to learn what you thought you couldn't know. To knock everything down and start over.'

I received a copy of Between Me and You from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

About the author

Allison Winn Scotch

I'm the author of a bunch of novels, including In Twenty Years, The Theory of Opposites and Time of My Life. My next and seventh book - which I am suuuuper-excited about! - is titled Between Me and You and will be released in January 2018. ~ Goodreads

Connect with Allison


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