Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Release Day: Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Happy Release Day!


Allie and Bea

Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Paperback and e-book, 350 pages
Published May 23rd 2017 by Lake Union Publishing

Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat—on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go—until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.

Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family—and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes.


Congrats Catherine
on the release today of
Allie and Bea

I love Catherine's stories and Allie and Bea is waiting for me on my Kindle. I can't wait to read it! 

About the author

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including Leaving Blythe River, Ask Him Why, Worthy, The Language of Hoofbeats, Take Me With You, Where We Belong, When I Found You, Walk Me Home, Second Hand Heart, Don't Let Me Go, and When You Were Older.

An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days of Gratitude: Photos From a Beautiful World.

She is co-author, with publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of How to Be a Writer in the e-Age: a Self-Help Guide.

Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released Pay It Forward: Young Readers' Edition in August of '14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original Pay It Forward was released in December of '14

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

For more information and book club questions, please visit the author at catherineryanhyde.com

Connect with Catherine


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Monday, May 22, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? May 22, 2017

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!


We went from an absolutely lovely weekend to a week of cold temps and rain. Oh well, it's good for the grass, flowers, and gardens, right?

We've had a grandkiddo for sleepovers the last two weekends. One is 8 and the other one is 9. They are at the age where we can share some of our favorite movies with them. Last weekend, we watched the original Ghostbusters movie and yesterday we watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. the original Indiana Jones movie. It's just so much fun to introduce these classics to a new generation.  

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

What I'm currently reading/listening to

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
by Helen Simonson
This is for my book club which is meeting later this week.

Saving Abby
by Steena Holmes

What I recently finished

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)
by Graeme Simsion
This is a great book and you should check out my giveaway here.

What I am going to read next

Same Beach, Next Year
by Dorothea Benton Frank

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?


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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Where the Light Gets In by Kimberly Williams-Paisley ~ My Thoughts


Where the Light Gets In

Where the Light Gets in: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again by Kimberly Williams-Paisley
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Three Rivers Press

Many know Kimberly Williams-Paisley as the bride in the popular Steve Martin remakes of the Father of the Bride movies, the calculating Peggy Kenter on Nashville, or the wife of country music artist, Brad Paisley. But behind the scenes, Kim was dealing with a tragic secret: her mother, Linda, was suffering from a rare form of dementia that slowly crippled her ability to talk, write and eventually recognize people in her own family.

Where the Light Gets In tells the full story of Linda's illness--called primary progressive aphasia--from her early-onset diagnosis at the age of 62 through the present day. Kim draws a candid picture of the ways her family reacted for better and worse, and how she, her father and two siblings educated themselves, tried to let go of shame and secrecy, made mistakes, and found unexpected humor and grace in the midst of suffering.

Ultimately the bonds of family were strengthened, and Kim learned ways to love and accept the woman her mother became. With a moving foreword by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, Where the Light Gets In is a heartwarming tribute to the often fragile yet unbreakable relationships we have with our mothers.


(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 lines.)

First line—"Our pale blue station wagon fishtailed down a hill on icy snow."

Where the Light Gets In is a very touching, emotional story of a family deeply affected by a very rare form of dementia. Dementia and Alzheimer's are illnesses that are a part of so many families now. Almost everyone has been touched by them in some way. I personally had two family member who had Alzheimer's. It's tough seeing loved ones go through such decline. 

The author shares with us the thoughts, emotions, and ups and downs she went through as her mother starts to decline, when they finally get a diagnosis, and as she learns to deal with and accept the way her mother's life is changing. I just love this line"I need to see her as she is, instead of how I want her to be." as it could be a lesson to all families who find themselves going through this.

It was both heartbreaking and reassuring to read of another family's struggle as I realized that I was not alone and that other people are going through the same fears and doubts as a loved one is slowly being lost to us.  

I received an ARC copy of Where the Light Gets In in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About the author

Kimberly Williams-Paisley is an actress, writer and advocate for dementia research and caregivers. She and her husband, country artist, Brad Paisley, live in Tennessee with their two sons and two dogs.

Connect with Kimberly


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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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.


I recently read this for my book club. There is a sequel to this book, which I really need to read to find out how Don and Rosie get along and to see if they can make it work. They are both quirky characters that you can't help but love. The movie is in development so that's exciting. It'll be interesting to see this story on the big screen.

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!


The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Series: Don Tillman #1
Paperback, 295 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance.

So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical--most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent--and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie--and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

About the author

Graeme Simsion

Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn his hand to fiction. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was published in 2013 and translation rights have been sold in forty languages. The sequel, The Rosie Effect, is also an international bestseller. Graeme's third novel is The Best of Adam Sharp, a story of a love affair re-kindled - and its consequences.

Graeme lives in Australia with his wife, Anne Buist, also a published writer (Medea's Curse, Dangerous to Know).

Connect with Graeme


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Friday, May 19, 2017

It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell ~ My Thoughts


It's Always the Husband

It's Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
Print and ebook, 320 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by St. Martin's Press

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?


(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 lines.)

First line—"She stumbled through the dark woods, the trees dripping raindrops onto her hair and her party dress. Her shoes were covered in mud, and she trembled from the cold."

This book grabbed me from the very first sentence and just kept me going until the end. You know right off the bat that something bad is going to happen to someone, one of the female characters, but you don't have any idea who it is or who is trying to hurt her. You don't know if she does get hurt or if she is going to be okay. And why? Lots of questions left hanging from that very first chapter.

And then the story goes back twenty-two years, back to when the three roommates meet as they start college. We learn plenty about each of them, the good stuff as well as the bad stuff, still without a clue about who is going to come to harm.

It's Always the Husband is an intense, edge of your seat, page turner which kept me guessing until the very end. The story goes back and forth between all the potential guilty parties, first pointing to one person and then veering off to another one. So many people could be guilty. I thought I had it figured out so many times and then, nope, I was wrong. I love when that happens.

I received an ARC copy of It's Always the Husband from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. 

About the author

Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in It's Always the Husband. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.

She's had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.

Connect with Michele


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Release Day: What It Takes by Sonya Loveday, an Excerpt, and a Giveaway!

Happy Release Day!!

What It Takes 

by Sonya Loveday

What It Takes by Sonya Loveday
Genre: Contemporary Romance with a little Western Flair.
Release Date: May 18th, 2017

Gracen Lowell is on the hunt for a man—but not just any man. He has to be ‘the one’. Her only problem is that no one she’s dated has ever measured up to the charming qualities of her best friend.

Slade Owens knows no matter how much he loves Gracen, he’ll never be what she’s looking for. And he dang sure isn’t going to stick around to watch her fall in love with someone else. Slade leaving the Owens’ family farm for an out-of-state job should put enough distance between the two to allow him to move on with his life and Gracen to search for her happily-ever-after.

Gracen knows asking him to stay isn’t fair. Slade thinks leaving her behind is the only thing to do. Inexplicably drawn together, the best friends must decide if they have what it takes to own up to their feelings… before it’s too late.

Purchase What it Takes


“You coming?” he called to me from the porch. Both our bags were slung over one shoulder and Lucy, tail thumping against the worn boards, was sitting by his feet.

They were a picture, the two of them. Man and beast. My man and my beast, even if only in my dreams, I thought, catching the door handle and getting out of the truck as Slade made his way inside.

Closing my eyes, I pretended I was home and he was mine. He’d welcome me in at the front door with a kiss hot enough to sear my lips and melt me to the floor. We’d make it as far as the rustic living room before shedding clothes behind us in a trail to the bedroom.

I shook my head to clear it. That same moment had flashed through my thoughts so many times before.
Like auto play.

Before I could make it to the porch steps, Slade came back out. He caught hold of the door casing and stretched forward. My knees wobbled when his eyes met mine.

“It’s like coming home, every time we come here,” he said.

My steps faltered at his words. “It’s special… this place. You can feel it.” My fingers dipped and swayed against the slight breeze that flitted through the trees.

There was something extraordinary about it, but nothing I could physically point out. It was more like a feeling. A welcoming. Like it was a haven that spoke to something deep inside me.

Lucy poked her nose past Slade, panting with a huge doggy grin. He didn’t look down at her.

“Are you planning to stay out there the whole time?” he asked. There was something different in the way he gazed at me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but it almost felt like something more.

“Can’t really go inside when you’re standing in the doorway.” I smirked at him, trying not to show my confusion.

“Tell me something, Gracen. And be honest,” he said, unmoving.

Nervous energy shot through me, every single point of awareness standing on end. There was a look in his eyes I thought I’d glimpsed a few times before, but it had always been gone as quick as it came. I’d always brushed it off as my imagination, conjured up because I wanted it so bad. But this time, there was no mistaking it. It held promises unspoken. Secrets long buried.

I could feel the pulse at my neck hammering as if my heart had dislodged itself and was working its way up and out. My arms tingled as if my skin were made of wildly flapping butterfly wings, and my stomach twisted around a giant rock of something molten that emptied itself down into my legs. The two halves of my body were at war with one another—one wanted to fly away, the other to sink into the ground.


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