Monday, March 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? March 27, 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!

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Another busy weekend when we thought we had nothing planned. We had kids and grandkiddos in and out from about 5 pm on Friday until about 5 pm on Sunday. A few were sleepovers too. Whew! Back to work on Monday to recover. LOL 😀

I am so tired of the overcast days and just want to see the sun and have warmer temps. Soon, hopefully. What's the weather like where you're at?  

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

What I'm currently reading/listening to

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Sad Perfect
by Stephanie Elliot 

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Heavy Weather (A Carolina Coast Novel)
by Normandie Fischer 

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Indulgence in Death (In Death #31)
by J.D. Robb 
(audio-book)

What I recently finished

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Beach Breeze
by Joanne DeMaio
My thoughts will be posted Tuesday.

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Wish Me Home
by Kay Bratt
Read my thoughts here and enter the giveaway too!

What I am going to read next

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
This is a reread for me for my book club.

I really love my reading life!

What are you reading this week?

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Spotlight Giveaway! Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray


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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Thanks for stopping by to check out my latest giveaway! This week's giveaway is a book that I somehow ended up with two copies. I haven't read it yet but it is on my TBR list. It sounds intriguing. 

Good luck and be sure to stop back next week!

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Cooking for Picasso

Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Ballantine Books

For readers of Paula McLain, Nancy Horan, and Melanie Benjamin, this captivating novel is inspired by a little-known interlude in the artist’s life.

The French Riviera, spring 1936: It’s off-season in the lovely seaside village of Juan-les-Pins, where seventeen-year-old Ondine cooks with her mother in the kitchen of their family-owned CafĂ© Paradis. A mysterious new patron who’s slipped out of Paris and is traveling under a different name has made an unusual request—to have his lunch served to him at the nearby villa he’s secretly rented, where he wishes to remain incognito.

Pablo Picasso is at a momentous crossroads in his personal and professional life—and for him, art and women are always entwined. The spirited Ondine, chafing under her family’s authority and nursing a broken heart, is just beginning to discover her own talents and appetites. Her encounter with Picasso will continue to affect her life for many decades onward, as the great artist and the talented young chef each pursue their own passions and destiny.

New York, present day: CĂ©line, a Hollywood makeup artist who’s come home for the holidays, learns from her mother, Julie, that Grandmother Ondine once cooked for Picasso. Prompted by her mother’s enigmatic stories and the hint of more family secrets yet to be uncovered, CĂ©line carries out Julie’s wishes and embarks on a voyage to the very town where Ondine and Picasso first met. In the lush, heady atmosphere of the CĂŽte d’Azur, and with the help of several eccentric fellow guests attending a rigorous cooking class at her hotel, CĂ©line discovers truths about art, culture, cuisine, and love that enable her to embrace her own future.

Featuring an array of both fictional characters and the French Riviera’s most famous historical residents, set against the breathtaking scenery of the South of France, Cooking for Picasso is a touching, delectable, and wise story, illuminating the powers of trust, money, art, and creativity in the choices that men and women make, as they seek a path toward love, success, and joie de vivre.


About the author



Camille Aubray is an Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship winner. A writer-in-residence at the Karolyi Foundation in the South of France, she was a finalist for the Pushcart Press Editors’ Book Award and the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

She studied writing with her mentor Margaret Atwood at the Humber College School of Creative Writing Workshop in Toronto. Aubray has been a staff writer for the daytime dramas "One Life to Live" and "Capitol", has taught writing at New York University, and has written and produced for ABC News, PBS, and A&E.

The author divides her time between Connecticut and the South of France. Visit her at her website: camilleaubray.com

Connect with Camille



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt ~ My Thoughts and a Giveaway!

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Wish Me Home

Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt
Print and e-book, 300 pages
Published: March 21st 2017 by Lake Union Publishing

In her first work of contemporary women’s fiction, bestselling author Kay Bratt draws on her own life experiences to create a raw, yet inescapably warm, novel about friendship and a wary heart’s unexpected capacity to love.

A hungry, stray dog is the last thing Cara Butter needs. Stranded in Georgia with only her backpack and a few dwindling dollars, she already has too much baggage. Like her twin sister, Hana, who has broken Cara’s heart one too many times. After a lifetime of family troubles, and bouncing from one foster home to another, Cara decides to leave it all behind and strike out alone—on foot.

Cara sets off to Florida to see the home of her literary hero, Ernest Hemingway, accompanied only by Hemi, the stray dog who proves to be the perfect travel companion. But the harrowing trip takes unexpected turns as strangers become friends who make her question everything, and Cara finds that as the journey unfolds, so does her life—in ways she could never imagine.

 

(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—"Don't turn around and look again, she told herself. Think of something else. Do not show any acknowledgement and it will go away. Don't let the sight of it limping make you crumble."

Wish Me Home is such a beautiful story, showing the power of love and kindness. Cara and Hemi, short for Hemingway, hit it off in a big way when they happen to stumble upon each other out on the road. They are both in desperate need of a good friend and the connection that they have from the very beginning is so heartwarming.

One of the first things I wondered throughout the story was why is Cara homeless and alone? Where is her twin sister and what happened to make her leave home so fast, leaving her sister and everything else behind? As Cara travels along the road, trying to escape her life, she decides to head for Ernest Hemingway's home in Key West. She has the companionship of the stray dog and lots of good people along the way who help her out more than she thinks she deserves. 

Not to say that she didn't run into some bad people too, people who caused her to lose almost everything she owns. For the most part though, she receives kindness and wisdom from so many good people. People came into her life just when she needed them and offered her comfort and solace. Along the journey, Cara and Hemi learn so much about themselves and those around them as they both start to heal and move forward with their lives. 

This is a story that really touched my heart and if you have ever loved a dog, you will understand the connection and love that Cara and Hemi have for each other. It really was amazing to witness that connection, that strong bond. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved experiencing the adventures, and the ups and downs, right along with Cara. I loved the wonderful characters she came across and missed them as much as she did when they parted. I look forward to reading more of Kay Bratt's work in the future. 

I received copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley and am voluntarily reviewing it.

About the author


Kay Bratt is the author of eleven full-length novels and two children’s books. Her writing became her solace and support while she navigated a tumultuous childhood, followed by a decade of abuse as an adult. After working her way through the hard years, Kay came out a survivor and a pursuer of peace—and finally found the courage to share her stories. A wise man once told her to “write what you know,” which resulted in Kay’s pet project and her bestselling series, The Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters

Connect with Kay

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Release Day! Playing House by Laura Chapman

Happy Release Day!


Playing House

Playing House by Laura Chapman
Print and e-book, 354 pages
Published: March 21st 2017 by CreateSpace

She's a work in progress . . .

Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.

He's a fixer upper . . .

Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.

With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about are either of them willing to risk it all for love?

Purchase Playing House


https://books2read.com/playinghouse

 

Congratulations, Laura Chapman, on the release today of your wonderful novel, Playing House

I loved Playing House (read my thoughts here) and I have loved watching the growth of this author over the years. This is one you will not want to miss. 

About the author


Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, The Marrying Type, and Playing House. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. She loves talking to readers.

Connect with Laura


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Release Day! Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt

Happy Release Day!

33397749

Wish Me Home

Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt
Print and e-book, 300 pages
Published: March 21st 2017 by Lake Union Publishing

In her first work of contemporary women’s fiction, bestselling author Kay Bratt draws on her own life experiences to create a raw, yet inescapably warm, novel about friendship and a wary heart’s unexpected capacity to love.

A hungry, stray dog is the last thing Cara Butter needs. Stranded in Georgia with only her backpack and a few dwindling dollars, she already has too much baggage. Like her twin sister, Hana, who has broken Cara’s heart one too many times. After a lifetime of family troubles, and bouncing from one foster home to another, Cara decides to leave it all behind and strike out alone—on foot.

Cara sets off to Florida to see the home of her literary hero, Ernest Hemingway, accompanied only by Hemi, the stray dog who proves to be the perfect travel companion. But the harrowing trip takes unexpected turns as strangers become friends who make her question everything, and Cara finds that as the journey unfolds, so does her life—in ways she could never imagine.

 

Congratulation, Kay Bratt, on the release today of your wonderful book, Wish Me Home.

About the author


Kay Bratt is the author of eleven full-length novels and two children’s books. Her writing became her solace and support while she navigated a tumultuous childhood, followed by a decade of abuse as an adult. After working her way through the hard years, Kay came out a survivor and a pursuer of peace—and finally found the courage to share her stories. A wise man once told her to “write what you know,” which resulted in Kay’s pet project and her bestselling series, The Tales of the Scavenger’s Daughters

Connect with Kay
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Be sure to check the sidebar for all of my current giveaways!

Release Day! The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman

Happy Release Day!

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The Hope Chest

The Hope Chest: A Novel by Viola Shipman
Print and e-book, 320 pages
Published: March 21st 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books

Viola Shipman's The Hope Chest is a deeply emotional novel about three people who have seemingly lost all hope until one woman’s heirloom hope chest is rediscovered in the attic, along with its contents and secrets.

Mattie is a fiercely independent woman battling ALS; Don, her deeply devoted husband is facing a future without his one true love; and Rose, their struggling caregiver, is a young, single mother who feels trapped in her life. With each item that is discovered—including a beloved doll, family dishes, an embroidered apron, and an antique Christmas ornament—the hope chest connects Mattie, Don and Rose to each other and not only helps them find hope again in the face of overwhelming life challenges but also brings new meaning to family.

 

Congratulation, Viola Shipman, on the release today of your wonderful book, The Hope Chest.

I loved The Hope Chest (read my thoughts here) and the previous book by this author, The Charm Bracelet (read my thoughts here). Both of these are such beautiful stories and ones that touched my heart. 

About the author

Viola Shipman

Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.  To date, The Charm Bracelet has been translated into nine languages. He is at work on his second “heirloom novel,” which will be published in 2017.

For more about the author, 

Connect with Viola
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