Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble

breakwater bay July8

  • Title:  Breakwater Bay
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Wm. Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Preservationist Meri Hollis loves her latest project, restoring one of Newport’s forgotten Gilded Age mansions. And with summer approaching, she’ll be able to spend more time with her Gran on the Rhode Island shore. She has a great job, a loving family, and she’s pretty sure her boyfriend is going to propose on her thirtieth birthday.

But everything Meri believes about family, happiness, truth, and love is shattered when her family’s darkest secret is exposed.

Thirty years before, Meri’s neighbor and friend, Alden Corrigan, took his father’s dinghy out to fish. In a sudden storm, he rushed to help a woman stranded on the breakwater. She was just a girl . . . a very pregnant girl who disappeared soon after they reached safety—But not before she left behind a very special gift.

Now that the truth it out, life will change for everyone in Breakwater Bay, and Meri and Alden will have to make decisions that could ensure their future together . . . or separate them for good.   (publisher)

My take:  I loved the atmospheric feel to this novel. Very gothic – although not really dark –  with the huge, drafty house on the shore; the almost reclusive, handsome man (Alden) who owns the house; and the young woman (Meri) who suddenly needs him more than she ever realized. It’s a tale of honor, responsibility, and what exactly constitutes a family. In the end, family is not determined solely by blood but, more than that, the people who will do anything for you – the people who want to be a part of your life.

Shelley Noble included a good amount of detail of Meri’s preservation work in the story. I loved reading about it and could envision the beauty of the Newport mansion her team was restoring.

I would have liked the end of the novel fleshed out a bit more than it was but I was nonetheless pleased with the conclusion. Breakwater Bay is a good summer read – take it to the beach or read it at home and imagine yourself reading at the Rhode Island shore.

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Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

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One more thing . . .

The publisher sent a finished copy so I decided to share it with one of my US readers.

Please click here to fill out the form.

Giveaway is closed

Guest post by Megan Abbott

I’m pleased to welcome author Megan Abbott to Bookfan today. Her novel The Fever  was published by Little, Brown and Company last month.

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I’m not a parent. I need to say that first. Like many of the characters I write about (especially the criminals!), I haven’t experienced what they have—I’m just imagining my way in. But The Fever was written specifically from a point of sympathy and respect for the unique challenges of being a parent today, particularly the parent of teenagers. And I don’t mean the typical, eternal challenges of navigating the relationship with your child as they chart the stormy waters of adolescence. I mean the new challenges posed by what might be the most striking technological generation gap in decades. That is, today’s teens 1R_Megan_Abbott_(credit_Drew_Reilly)[1]have grown up with the internet, with social media. They never knew the world without it. Their ideas of communication, of connection are inevitably different from their mom’s and dad’s. And the world they know is a brave new one from the one their parents experienced.

It’s always dangerous to make sweeping statements about the teenage experience. We’ve all heard or read those statements like, “Teens today have no sense of privacy,” or “Teens live their lives online now.” Generalizations, truisms. But the fact remains that most parents today experienced the technological changes of the last four decades gradually—the web, email, Google, texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But for their children, the world has always been a partially online experience. The notion of a public and private self is inevitably different. What intimacy and connection means has changed. Today, one can feel intensely close to someone who lives half a world away and can feel deeply alienated in one’s own school or classroom. And, whereas thirty years ago, gossip among teens operated through passing notes, through whispered rumors, today, one text message or Instagram photo can shatter a reputation, set one’s identity, spread like a virus. The “wired” world both gives (you may never feel alone) and takes away (you may never feel alone).

In The Fever, the power of social media to spread rumors, ideas, images proves mightier than anyone can imagine. But in the novel it’s a dangerous temptation for the parent and teen characters alike. Many of the teens, including Deenie, the protagonist, have trouble having a truly private, undocumented moment (when nearly everyone has a phone, and all phones have cameras, privacy can prove elusive). And nearly all of the high schoolers struggle with escaping the frenzy of their social world because their phones, their computers, social media means the school day, in some ways, never really ends. But likewise, several of the parents in the novel do what many of us might do: turn to the internet to try to solve the mystery of the illness befalling many of the girls in the book—and the internet, for those seeking answers for baffling medical conditions—can be a dangerous place, ripe with misinformation, conspiracy theories, the spread of fear.

There’s a moment in The Fever when Eli, the teen hockey player and reluctant girl magnet, can’t find his phone. At first he’s the feverpanicked and soon enough it becomes a tremendous relief to him. No one can reach him. He’s alone with his thoughts. He can go anywhere. He’s “off the grid.” While writing it, I began to think about how that experience was my everyday experience as a teen. I never thought of it as a freedom. In fact, I would have loved to have been in constant contact with my best friends. But would that have made me a different person, and how? And how would it have been for my parents, who could track me down wherever I was? With whom I’d have had a relationship possibly largely mediated through texts?

I admire so much the parents I know as they try to imagine their way into their child’s very different world. As they try to anticipate the dangers and the benefits of social media and the online world for their son or daughter. The obvious risks (online predators, etc.) are in some ways the easiest to educate your children about. But what about the more subtle ones, such as the addiction to feedback some of us experience online, as we seek those Facebook “likes” and Twitter “favorites”? Do they come to seem as needed validation for ourselves or our teens?

Parents of teens out there, how do you handle your child’s experience of social media? How does your high school experience compare with your son or daughter’s because of it?

Thank you!

Megan

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Megan, thank you so much for your thought-provoking post.  In my case, Facebook began while my youngest (of three) child was in college. Before then my biggest challenge was making sure they didn’t spend hours on the computer playing Oregon Trail or Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego before finishing their homework! They all had phones in high school but not smartphones. In retrospect it was a much simpler time – although raising teenagers at any time is never easy. 

I hope readers will weigh in with their experiences in answer to Megan’s questions.  

 

 

Mating for Life by Marissa Stapley

mating for life (July 1)

  • Title:  Mating for Life
  • Author:  Marissa Stapley
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Washington Square Press/Atria Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child who proudly disdained monogamy, raising three daughters—each by a different father—largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her. And while she fears losing him, she’s equally afraid of abandoning everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it.
Meanwhile, Helen’s youngest daughter, Liane, is in the heady early days of a relationship with her soul mate. But he has an ex-wife and two kids, and her new role as a “step-something” doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Ilsa, an artist, has put her bohemian past behind her and is fervently hoping her second marriage will stick. Yet her world feels like it is slowly shrinking, and her painting is suffering as a result—and she realizes she may need to break free again, even if it means disrupting the lives of her two young children. And then there’s Fiona, the eldest sister, who has worked tirelessly to make her world pristine, yet who still doesn’t feel at peace. When she discovers her husband has been harboring a huge secret, Fiona loses her tenuous grip on happiness and is forced to face some truths about herself that she’d rather keep buried.  (publisher)

My take:  For various reasons Helen took the nontraditional path in life re relationships and motherhood. She tried to show her three daughters (from three different fathers) how to live a full life outside the constraints of marriage. Each daughter will accept or reject her example with varying results. As you would expect the three daughters are not cut from the same cloth. One strives for perfection, another is an artist, and the third is a procrastinator who has put off finishing her PhD until the last possible moment.

As the four deal with changing life situations their attitudes will be challenged and they’ll find themselves possibly thinking differently going forward. What stood out to me was how the children (Helen’s grandchildren) were affected by their mothers’ actions – just as their mothers were affected by Helen’s choices. Book groups would have several topics to discuss with Mating for Life.

Setting up each chapter is a description of the mating habits of various wildlife. They mirrored the characters in each chapter. I enjoyed that. I liked this thought-provoking novel and look forward to reading more from Marissa Stapley.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

one plus one (july 1)

  • Title:  One Plus One
  • Author:  Jojo Moyes
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Pamela Dorman Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You. . . Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.  (publisher)

My take:  Jojo Moyes is two for two in my experience with her novels. I loved Me Before You and now I can add One Plus One to the “loved” category. Through the entire book I wanted to hug Jess, her stepson Nicky and daughter Tanzie and tell them “hang in there. It’ll be ok”.  I felt the same way for a few characters in Me Before You. Moyes never makes her characters pathetic or maudlin – just truly human. And while she does that she writes incredibly funny scenes as well as heartbreaking ones. The car trip to the Math Olympiad had me laughing out loud most of the time. Ultimately the point is made that everyone deserves a second chance – and to never give up. I turned the final page with a satisfied smile hoping that Jojo Moyes’ next book won’t be too far away. I’m a fan. Highly recommended.

The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax

the house on mermaid point

  • Title:  The House on Mermaid Point
  • Author:  Wendy Wax
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Berkley Trade
  • Source:  Publicist

Synopsis:  Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another—perhaps all too well—while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they’re putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies—although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie’s wildest fantasy once . . .

Rock-and-roll legend “William the Wild” Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he’s still worshiped by fans—which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. He’s not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show . . . though he is intrigued by Maddie. Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it’s an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together. The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom . . .  (publisher)

My take:  The synopsis tells you everything you need to know – especially if this is your first experience with Wendy Wax’s  Florida renovation series. I’m not sure if there’s a name for this series.

I loved The House on Mermaid Point. The women find themselves intrigued and challenged by the new project on the private island. They’re all getting along better than ever which helps when it comes to tackling the renovation as well as personal issues. With each renovation project the women have experienced personal growth and become more confident.

In this book, Madeline shines as she overcomes her shyness and reaches out to help the owner of the island, William. But will she be glad she took the chance? Deirdre and Avery (mother and daughter) are getting along better than they’d ever thought possible. Maddy’s grown daughter Kyra and her toddler son, Dustin, continue to try to ignore the paparazzi who hound them in hopes of getting photos. Dustin’s father is a famous film star that Kyra met on a movie project. Nicole is still in love with Joe but, given her two failed marriages, doesn’t want to marry him.

On top of all they’re going through they are expected to reno the buildings on the island in a few short months – the hottest months of the year. I loved how Wendy Wax brought the women back together and through the project. Their television show is titled Do Over – and, to a certain extent, that’s what each of the characters is doing with her life. The House on Mermaid Point is an entertaining novel that packs an emotional punch and left me hoping for another Florida project for the women ASAP.

If you haven’t read the previous novels in the series: Ten Beach Road; Ocean Beach; Christmas at the Beach (a novella) you won’t be lost in this book but I recommend reading them in order.

Q and A with Wendy Wax, author of The House on Mermaid Point

the house on mermaid pointQ: Wendy, thanks for joining us and sharing news of your new novel THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT. So many readers are delighted to have a chance to be back with Maddie, Avery and Nicole, the characters you introduced in TEN BEACH ROAD a few years ago. Was it difficult to get back into their lives?

A:  You know, I thought it would be. I was still so caught up in the fun of WHILE WE WERE WATCHING DOWNTON ABBEY and readers’ response to it, that I began to question whether I’d be feeling “at home” with the reassembled ensemble as I had when I wrote OCEAN BEACH. As it turned out, I found myself immediately at ease when I started that first chapter and looking forward to finding out how they would tackle the challenges I knew were coming. I know it helped that I had already spent time with them while writing my holiday novella, CHRISTMAS AT THE BEACH.

Q:  Has a lot changed for the women of TEN BEACH ROAD since OCEAN BEACH?

A:  There have been some big life changes, but the characters are still friends, still taking things one renovation at a time. The cast of “regulars” has gotten bigger as characters from the first book have become more involved from one book to the next and become known to readers. Mermaid Point becomes host to the entire Do Over cast and crew – some with small roles and others central to the plot. You’ll find everyone from Kyra, Dustin and Deirdre to Chase, Joe, Troy and everybody’s favorite, charming network executive Lisa Hogan, who once again claims the element of surprise as her ace in the hole.

Q:  For those who are just now discovering the novels these characters share, will you give us some background?

A:  You bet. Readers first met Maddie, Nicole and Avery when the three were deeded ownership of Bella Flora, a crumbling wendy waxhistoric home on Florida’s Pass-a-Grille Beach, in TEN BEACH ROAD. At that time,  all they dared hope was that renovating and selling it would let them rebuild their lives and the bank accounts drained by a Ponzi scheme. They had no idea they’d end up living together for the next two summers, hammers in hand, starring in their own DIY reality television show, Do Over. Indeed, in their second book, OCEAN BEACH, the women – still in desperate straits financially – headed to Miami’s South Beach, with another project and cameras rolling to film their first season. In THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, the show is about to make its on-air debut even as they film their second season. This time they’re in the Florida Keys where they’re expected to turn Mermaid Point, the private island of aging, down on his luck rock legend William Hightower, into a bed-and-breakfast. Against his wishes, of course.

Q:  Rock ‘n roll and renovation? How did you arrive at that combo?

A:  It started with again needing a character who, to begin with, could afford the sort of house that would make an interesting television setting. So I started thinking celebrity. Then, during my early research, I fell in love with the Florida Keys. I was headed to Key West when I was shown a private island in Islamorada that I just had to have. Then I needed a really high-profile, extremely wealthy – at least at one time – mega star. Lots of musicians lived and partied in the Keys and before I knew it, I was thinking about some of my favorite bands and Southern rocker William “Wild Will” Hightower was born.

Q:  Who are some of your favorites?

A:  The Allman Brothers, Lynrd Skynrd, Wet Willie… It was a kick revisiting those times and walking down my own memory lane helped me imagine Hightower’s music being just as magical as that of the musicians I followed and the wild ride that is part of his past. I may have had a bit too much fun with the musical memories called up during the writing. I actually ended up trying my hand at a ballad, Mermaid in You, one of the songs for which my mythical Hightower became famous. As part of the release of THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, I touched base with two young musicians who are sons of a friend. Their group is the 10th Concession and they’re well-known in the southeastern US. They looked at my lyrics and, while I was quickly demoted from writer to co-writer, they worked with me, created the music and now the song has been recorded. It has its live performance debut along with the book on June 30th and will be available as a free download. I hope you’ll check it out. Info will be posted at authorwendywax.com as we get closer to the date.

Q:  What’s next?

A:  I am happily up to my neck in a new book. But I’m still debating so many different ideas that I don’t want to share too much yet. Lots keep changing. It is, however, set in Manhattan and at New York’s Lake George. More to come… As always, I’ll be sharing more book news on my site, on Facebook and other places. I hope everyone will visit with me in those spots. Also, appearances for and the latest about THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT will be shared online along with giveaways and other updates.

Q:  Thank you, Wendy.

A:  Thank you! I appreciate being able to share THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT with you and visitors to your site.

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Wendy’s website

Connect with Wendy on Facebook

Connect with Wendy on twitter

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the house on mermaid point

THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT

Wendy Wax

A Berkley Trade Paperback Original/Fiction

On Sale 7-1-14   $15 ($17 Canada)

978-0-425-26332-7

  Q&A provided by Joan Schulhafer Publishing and Media Consulting

He’s Gone: A Novel by Deb Caletti

He's Gone

  • Title:  He’s Gone
  • Author:  Deb Caletti
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction; Mystery
  • Published:  May 2013 – Bantam
  • Source:  Publisher; LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Synopsis:  “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.  (publisher)

My brief take:  He’s Gone is a compelling narrative by a woman whose husband has gone missing. It’s the story of when they meet until that day she can’t find him. It’s a smooth, psychological portrayal by, what some might think, an unreliable narrator.

Deb Caletti certainly kept me wondering and guessing about what happened to Dani’s husband! I liked He’s Gone and will definitely look for more of Caletti’s books.

The Mermaid in You – video

National bestselling author Wendy Wax teams with Tampa musicians Ian and Evan Koteles of 10th Concession to write and produce The Mermaid in You, inspired by her new novel The House on Mermaid Point.

Wendy Wax didn’t set out to be a songwriter, but William Hightower, the leading man in her new work of contemporary women’s fiction, THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT, wouldn’t let her rest until she did. The character, an aging, down on his luck southern rock legend, just didn’t seem complete until his famous ballad, Mermaid in You, was written and produced. “It turned out that creatively, even though the book was off to the publisher, I wasn’t quite finished with Will. Once I gave him the song of his lost love, he was whole.”

Wendy, who admittedly can’t carry a tune, reached out to musically inclined relatives for advice on her lyrics and was rewarded with a Google link on song writing.  As she was about to give up an Atlanta friend recommended her professional musician sons, Ian and Evan Koteles whose popular group 10th Concession performs at venues throughout Florida and much of the southeast.  Wendy, who lives in Atlanta and Ian and Evan, based in Tampa, teamed up and collaborated long-distance. Lyrics were tweaked, music was written and beginning Wednesday, June 25th Mermaid in You is officially available as an MP3 download, free in the first three months following the July 1st release of THE HOUSE ON MERMAID POINT.

the house on mermaid point

 

The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane by Sheila Roberts

The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane (June24)

  • Title:  The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane
  • Series:  Icicle Falls #5
  • Author:  Sheila Roberts
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  June 2014 – Harlequin MIRA
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  After a fake food poisoning incident in L.A., Bailey Sterling’s dreams of becoming a caterer to the stars collapse faster than a soufflé. Now Bailey’s face is in all the gossip rags and her business is in ruins. But the Sterling women close ranks and bring her back to Icicle Falls, where she’ll stay with her sister Cecily. 
All goes well between the sisters until Bailey comes up with a new business idea—a tea shop on a charming street called Lavender Lane. She’s going into partnership with Todd Black, who—it turns out—is the man Cecily’s started dating. It looks to Cecily as if there’s more than tea brewing in that cute little shop. And she’s not pleased. 
Wait! Isn’t Cecily seeing Luke Goodman? He’s a widower with an adorable little girl, and yes, Cecily does care about him. But Todd’s the one who sends her zing-o-meter off the charts. So now what? Should you have to choose between your sister and the man you love (or think you love)?  (publisher)

My take:  Sheila Roberts takes us back to Icicle Falls and the Sterling family. This time we find out if sisters Cecily and Bailey can figure out their love lives and remain good friends/sisters. Not an easy thing to do – feelings are hurt, egos are bashed. But what can you do when your matchmaker sister can’t figure out her own love life?  We also catch up with the third Sterling sister, Samantha. New exciting things are happening in her life as well.

I thought The Tea Shop on Lavender Lane was another cute story in the Icicle Falls series. It was more on the light side than you might think and I enjoyed it. At the end there’s an excerpt from the next book in the series: The Lodge on Holly Road. Sheila also included a few recipes from Bailey’s tea shop.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Fever by Megan Abbott

the fever

ABOUT THE BOOK:
The panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

In the idyllic community of Dryden, Tom Nash is a popular high school teacher and the father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and Deenie, a diligent student with a close-knit group of friends-who are all horrified one day in class when Deenie’s best friend, Lise, is struck by a terrifying, brutal, and unexplained seizure. As Lise clings to life in the hospital, the seizures systematically infect more teenage girls, one by one, sending the entire town into terrified, questioning chaos. Is there a dangerous virus at work? Is it something in the school itself? Are the girls faking it? Who or what is to blame-and who will be next?

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

 

EARLY PRAISE FOR THE FEVER:
“An unforgettable inquiry into the emotional lives of young people… It’s also a powerful portrait of community, with interesting echoes of The Crucible…Abbott may be on her way to becoming a major writer.”–Booklist, Starred Review

“Thrilling...a gripping story fueled by razor-sharp treachery, jealousy, hormones, and the insecurities of teenage girls.”–Publishers Weekly

“The book to beat… in the “Is it the next ‘Gone Girl’?” sweepstakes.”–Janet Maslin, New York Times 

“The lives of teenage girls are dangerous, beautiful things in Abbott’s stunning novel… Abbott expertly ratchet[s] up the suspense…nothing should be taken at fact value.” –Kirkus, Starred Review

“THE FEVER is deliciously, page-turningly ‘no, no, leave me alone, I’m almost done!’ Abbott nails both the reality of being a teenage girl and the hyper-reality of memory.” –BookRiot

“No one understands the social dynamics of teenage girls better than Megan Abbott…settling into THE FEVER, one realizes that Abbott is setting a rhythm, one that’s measured and paced with the brilliance of one of the best living mystery writers.” –Grantland


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Megan Abbott is the Edgar Award-winning author of six previous novels. Her writing has appeared in the New1R_Megan_Abbott_(credit_Drew_Reilly)[1] York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Believer, Los Angeles Review of Books, Detroit Noirand Queens Noir among other places. She received her PhD in literature from New York University. She lives in New York and recently served as the John Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Currently, she is working on the screenplay for her novel, Dare Me, soon to be a major motion picture.

Author photo credit: Drew Reilly

THE FEVER BOOK TOUR:
June 17, 7:00pm ET | Book Court | Brooklyn, NY 
June 18, 7:00pm ET | WORD with Julia Fiero | Brooklyn, NY 
June 20, 7:00pm ET |Brookline Booksmith with Stona Fitch | Brookline, MA 
June 22, 3:00pm ET | Nicola’s Books | Ann Arbor, MI 
June 23, 7:00pm ET | Barnes and Noble | Troy, MI 
June 24, 5:00pm ET | Square Books | Oxford, MS 
June 25, 6:30pm CT | Murder by the Book | Houston, TX 
June 26, 7:00pm CT | Book People | Austin, TX 
July 1, 7:00pm MT | Poisoned Pen with Jeff Abbott | Phoenix, AZ

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GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader from the US will win a copy of The Fever

Please click here to enter

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Spotlight and Giveaway (US): The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee

the glass kitchen (July)The Glass Kitchen (St. Martin’s Press; June 17, 2014) by Linda Francis Lee is a novel about three Texas belles who move to New York City to open a restaurant all the while discovering the basic principles about family, true love, and ultimately food.

Echoing Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Glass Kitchen follows Portia Cuthcart as she flees Texas in a storm of controversy and is washed up on the island of Manhattan with no job and no money. But what she does have are her grandmother’s magical cookbooks that have been passed down through generations of women. Portia is a talented cook born with the “knowing” – an amazing ability to know what to serve on what occasions and predict events that have not yet occurred. Even though she has suppressed this feat for years, Portia must decide whether or not to use it again when she meets her widowed neighbor, Gabriel Kane, who has his hands full with two daughters on the cusp of womanhood and a family full of secrets, rivalries, and betrayals. With the help of her sisters and an unlikely hero, will Portia be able to claim what she wants deep down inside?

Separated into a six-course meal and filled with numerous mouth-watering recipes and meal plans, The Glass Kitchen is sure to tickle your taste buds and delight your senses. Linda Francis Lee will have you hooked from cover-to-cover.

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About the author:

LINDA FRANCIS LEE is a native Texan now living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The author of twenty books that are linda francis lee picpublished in twenty countries, when Linda isn’t writing she loves to run in Central Park and spend time with her husband, family, and friends.

Buy the book

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Giveaway (US)

Please click here for a chance to win one copy of The Glass Kitchen

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

ALSO:

Check out the Sweeps for a chance to win a Kitchen-Aid Mixer

Sweeps ends June 30, 2014

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

looking for salvation at the DQ autumn getaway (LTER) evergreen (July8)

Last week on Bookfan:

Currently reading:

  • The House on Mermaid Point by Wendy Wax

I also won a gift card from Suko’s Notebook. It was in celebration of her 6th Blogiversary. How lucky am I? I can’t wait to buy some books :)

 

Happy reading!

Review/Giveaway (US): Under a Summer Sky by Nan Rossiter

Under a Summer Sky (June)

  • Title:  Under a Summer Sky
  • Author:  Nan Rossiter
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction; Christian Fiction
  • Published:  April 2014 – Kensington Books
  • Source:  Author

Synopsis:  The old Cape Cod house that Laney Coleman shares with her minister husband Noah and their five boys is usually brimming with cheerful chaos. There’s nothing fancy about the ancient kitchen or the wooden floors scuffed by the constant parade of activity and the clicking claws of their two Labrador retrievers. It’s a place to savor the sea breeze wafting through the windows, or sip coffee on the porch before another hectic day begins. This summer, life promises to be even busier than usual, because Noah’s younger brother, Micah, wants to hold his upcoming wedding on their property.
Though thrilled that Micah has found happiness after past heartache, Laney is apprehensive about having her home turned upside down. She has other concerns too–her youngest son is being bullied at school, and Noah’s father is not the robust patriarch he once was, in mind or body. As the bride and groom’s large, close-knit families gather, there will be joyful celebration but also unexpected sorrows and revelations, and a chance to store up a lifetime of memories during the fleeting, precious days of summer…  (publisher)

My take:  Nan Rossiter has done it again. She wrote a wonderful multi-generational story that will resonate with many readers. It certainly did with me.  I related most with Laney. She really has her hands full as she balances a job, motherhood and being wife of a minister. She even agrees to host a wedding at their home after her husband volunteers. As most mothers do, she quietly deals with other issues at the same time.

A side note:  when my kids were growing up one of our favorite TV shows to watch together was Seventh Heaven. If you’re unfamiliar with the show it was about the life of a minister, his wife and kids. This novel gave me the same feel as that show – which I think is high praise! We loved it and I enjoyed Under a Summer Sky just as much.

Noah, Laney’s husband, delivered a sermon that struck an emotional chord with me. It was about appreciating and being present in every moment – especially the small moments. You never know when the last time you do something will be the last time. Anyway, when I finished that chapter I had to stop and wipe my eyes.

Under a Summer Sky celebrates family connections and the truly important things in life. I’ll be sharing this novel with my sisters and close friends.

Recommended.

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The Never Never Sisters by L. Alison Heller

the never never sisters (June)

  • Title:  The Never Never Sisters
  • Author:  L. Alison Heller
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  June 2014 – NAL Trade
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Sometimes you just need to get away….  
Marriage counselor Paige Reinhardt is counting down the days to summer, eager to reconnect with her workaholic husband at their cozy rental cottage in the Hamptons. But soon a mysterious crisis at Dave’s work ruins their getaway plans. Paige is still figuring out how to handle the unexplained chill in her marriage when her troubled sister suddenly returns after a two-decade silence. Now, instead of enjoying the lazy summer days along the ocean, Paige is navigating the rocky waters of a forgotten bond with her sister in the sweltering city heat.
 As she attempts to dig deeper into Dave’s work troubles and some long-held family secrets, Paige is shocked to discover how little she knows about the people closest to her. This summer, the self-proclaimed relationship expert will grapple with her biggest challenge yet: Is it worth risking your most precious relationships in order to find yourself?  (publisher)

My take:  I love reading about family dynamics and marriage. I think L. Alison Heller did a great job with both and found myself relating to a few things. All of the characters are interesting and real. When I say that I mean I know people who are similar. They are believable.

The story wasn’t predictable and I enjoyed where she took her characters as they grappled with small and large issues. I wasn’t sure what impact their actions/decisions would have which, along with Heller’s engaging style, kept me reading almost nonstop.

The Never Never Sisters is a novel about love, truth, and trust between family members, spouses, and new friends. I enjoyed it and recommend you add it to your summer reading list. I’ll be adding the author’s first novel The Love Wars to my list.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 L. Alison Heller grew up in Connecticut and attended Bates College in Maine. After graduation, she wandered dreamily authorPhoto L Allison Helleraround the eastern seaboard, temping and interning and shelving books before landing in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where she enrolled at the University of North Carolina School of Law. In 2000, she graduated from UNC with honors and moved to New York City and toiled in several law firms, growing increasingly nostalgic for those days of dreamy wandering. Alison opened her own family law and mediation practice in 2006 to help couples divorce with their sanity intact. Alison currently lives in Brooklyn NY with her family. Alison is the author of THE LOVE WARS (Penguin NAL). Her second novel, THE NEVER NEVER SISTERS (Penguin NAL), is scheduled for June 2014.
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Purchase The Never Never Sisters:

AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
BAM
INDIEBOUND
GOOGLE PLAY
POWELL’S