Waiting on Wednesday – June 24

Greetings from Somewhere Else: A Novel by Monica McInerney

Description: Lainey Byrne is a master at controlled chaos, juggling her hectic, demanding job, her chef boyfriend with his crazy hours, and her roiling family with all its daily dramas. But her life truly threatens to spin out of control when her aunt May, who owns a B&B in Ireland, passes away. In order for the Byrnes to collect their inheritance, someone from the family must take over Aunt May’s business for a year. And apparently that someone is Lainey.

Between running a run-down, virtually guest-free B&B (without the slightest ability to cook or clean), worrying about her family from afar, adjusting to country life, and dealing with the complications of long-distance love, Lainey is in way over her head. But when a reunion with a (gorgeous) childhood friend sparks unexpected complications, Lainey realizes that fate may have another path for her–a direction she never imagined.

Available July 7, 2009
Random House

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

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Back of the book: When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbs – eleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mother – goes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meeting with him at the cafe, and the two form an improbable friendship that carries them through the unpredictable currents of love and life. Invoking classic movies to illuminate the mystery and wonder of love in all its permutations, Love Walked In is an uplifting debut that marks the entrance of an enchanting literary voice.

My thoughts: I’ve had my eye on this book for quite a while and finally bought and read it. Reading it was almost as good as watching the movies referenced in the book. I thought the writing was beautiful – in the same way those Cary Grant movies were beautiful. There are witty conversations, beautiful and cozy homes, and attractive people who really care about each other – all in a story about “the unpredictable currents of love and life”. My kind of movie and my kind of book. If I sound carried away, I guess I was! Sometimes that’s what I want a book to do. I’m really looking forward to the next book by Marisa de los Santos: Belong to Me. I’ll wait a bit, though, because right now I want to savor Love Walked In. I’m so glad I finally made time to read this lovely book.

How to Score – Giveaway!

HER LIFE COACH Museum curator Sammi Matthews isn’t just in a dating slump, she’s putting men on the injured list. After giving one date a black eye and cracking another’s rib, Sammi decides she needs professional help. Enter life coach Luke Jones, who advises Sammi on how to overcome her klutziness. And their phone sessions work! Sammi soon meets a sexy FBI agent who seems to know just what she needs.
When his brother Luke goes into federal protection, FBI Special Agent Chase Jones agrees to cover for him. Then Sammi’s hot voice sizzles down the line, and the usual “phone only” rule is out. With “Luke” coaching her by day, and Chase dating her by night, Sammi’s confidence soars, along with her appeal. Chase falls hard, but how will Sammi feel if and when he comes clean? Chase would rather she break all his bones than risk breaking her heart.

Anna at Hachette Books has made available 5 copies of How to Score by Robin Wells for a giveaway.

* Leave a comment with your email address (no email in the comment box, no entry)

* Open to residents of US and Canada; no P.O. boxes

* Ends June 25 at 9pm EDT

Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

Nothing but Trouble (PJ Sugar)

Back of the book:
PJ Sugar knows three things for sure:

* After traveling the country for ten years hoping to shake free from the trail of disaster that’s become her life, she needs a fresh start.
* The last person she wants to see when she heads home for her sister’s wedding is Boone – her former flame and the reason she left town.
* Her best friend’s husband absolutely did not commit the first murder Kellogg, Minnesota has seen in more than a decade.

What PJ doesn’t know is that when she starts digging for evidence, she’ll uncover much more than she bargained for – a deadly conspiracy, a knack for investigation, and maybe that fresh start she’s been longing for.

My thoughts: Nothing But Trouble is the story of PJ Sugar and her return to the “scene of the crime” – her hometown. She left ten years earlier – as soon as she could toss off her graduation cap and gown – after taking the fall for a crime she didn’t commit. So when she gets the call to come home she takes it to be a chance to clear her name. She gets that chance and more.

PJ is a likable character and I hope to learn more about her in future books (this is the first of a series). She’s trying to become a better person and considers herself a work in progress. She became a Christian a few years before coming home. I suppose this is considered Christian lit, which surprised me when I received the book. I had not expected that. There is scripture worked into the story in small ways that seemed entirely appropriate to the plot. I didn’t find it heavy-handed at all.

There’s definitely still some chemistry between PJ and her former love, Boone. He now works for the Kellogg Police Department and it seems he’d like to pick up where things left off ten years ago. But, as tempted as she is, PJ just can’t jump back into a relationship that was the main reason she had to leave town. There’s also something brewing between PJ and Jeremy Kane, the investigator working on a murder case. What will their relationship be in future novels? I’m interested enough to keep reading the series.

I don’t read many mysteries but I think this would be categorized as a cozy. Susan May Warren wrote an entertaining novel – I’m looking forward to the next in the PJ Sugar series.

Thanks to Tyndale Fiction and to Goodreads First Reads for the review copy.

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

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When I finished reading Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict I really hoped there would be a sequel. I’m pleased to report that author Laurie Viera Rigler wrote the sequel – really more of a parallel story – and it will be in bookstores on June 25, 2009. If you haven’t read the first book I would recommend it as I found I could jump right into the sequel without needing to ask any questions. But, if for some reason you can’t do that, let me just say that “Confessions of a JAA” is the story of a 21st century young woman (Courtney Stone) who wakes up in the body of a young woman (Jane Mansfield) in Regency England and must live her life. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict is the story of Jane Mansfield waking up in 21st century Los Angeles in the body of Courtney Stone. Confused yet? Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fun adventures of Courtney and then Jane in both books. Now on to my thoughts about the most recent. . .

Imagine waking up in a future century where you don’t understand the lexicon much less the devices, etc. of this new life you’re living. That’s what Jane Mansfield grapples with as well as not knowing her friends (even though they claim to know her). Television, telephones, computers, cars, refrigerators, iPods – these are just some of the things Jane doesn’t have a clue about how to use. Not only that but Jane (in her former life) is used to having servants do most things for her and now (in this new life) she must figure out everything. And that includes doing her own laundry:
It is but a couple of hours later that I deposit a pile of washing upon the bed’s soft red coverlet. My satisfaction in having learnt how to use the washing machine has an alloy, for despite my certainty of having followed every instruction on the lid of the device, I am left with a miniature version of a white dress that I now hold in my hands. I suppose I might pull apart the dress and make a set of handkerchiefs. Or a fichu. If, that is, I could but locate a needle and thread. I have seen neither a workbag nor a needle-case. Not even a thimble in this house.

It is only upon folding the pile of garments that I discover they, too, come with instructions. It appears that each garment requires a different washing temperature and method of drying. I do hope there are a greater number of literate people in this time than there were in mine. Otherwise a great many people will find themselves with doll’s clothing.

I enjoyed seeing Jane become immersed in Courtney’s world. Laurie Viera Rigler had me laughing much of the time and cheering for Jane as she found her way in her new surroundings and relationships. There is so much more to the book but I think you’ll enjoy discovering it on your own without advance notice from me. I know I’ll be reading both books again. If you’re looking to be entertained by something a little different you can’t go wrong with Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.

My thanks to Dutton for the review copy.

Please visit Jane Austen Addict for more information.

The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews

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After her boss in a high-powered Washington public relations firm is caught in a political scandal, fledgling lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left almost broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father’s offer to help refurbish Birdsong, the old family place he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia. All it will take, he tells her, is a little paint and some TLC to turn the fading Victorian mansion into a real-estate cash cow.

But, oh, is Dempsey in for a surprise when she arrives in Guthrie. “Bird Droppings” would more aptly describe the moldering Pepto Bismol–pink dump with duct-taped windows and a driveway full of junk. There’s also a murderously grumpy old lady, one of Dempsey’s distant relations, who has claimed squatter’s rights and isn’t moving out. Ever.

Furthermore, everyone in Guthrie seems to know Dempsey’s business, from a smooth-talking real-estate agent to a cute lawyer who owns the local newspaper. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the pesky FBI agents who show up on Dempsey’s doorstep, hoping to pry information about her ex-boss from her.

All Dempsey can do is roll up her sleeves and get to work. And before long, what started as a job of necessity somehow becomes a labor of love and, ultimately, a journey that takes her to a place she never expected—back home again.

My thoughts:I like a book that has me laughing as I turn the last page. The Fixer Upper is smart, funny, and pretty much charmed my socks off. The political scandal is secondary to what I think is the main story – no, not the house rehab – I think its more about Dempsey fixing her life. Or at least figuring out what she wants to do with her life instead of trying to measure up to her parents’ expectations. In the process she meets some wonderful people in Guthrie who show her some of what life has to offer. If you’re looking for a good book to read this summer, you can’t go wrong with The Fixer Upper. It will be in bookstores on June 23.

Thanks to Kyle at HarperCollins for the review copy.


HarperCollins made available 5 copies of The Fixer Upper.

(Usual rules: no P.O. Boxes. US/Canada residents only)

1. Your entry must include your email in the comment

Contest ends June 18, 9pm (EDT)

Mailbox Monday – June 8

Mailbox Monday is hosted at The Printed Page.
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Love in Bloom by Sheila Roberts (from the author) (Review)
Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren (Goodreads First Reads)


Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier (giveaway win – Peeking Between the Pages)
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (from Dutton)
From Amazon:
Misery Loves Cabernet by Kim Gruenenfelder
Belong to Me; Love Walked In by Maria de los Santo

Love in Bloom by Sheila Roberts

Love in Bloom

Back of the book: Hope Walker survived early breast cancer at just thirty years old, but a mastectomy left her with a lot of scarring – and some serious fears about dating. Hope owns Changing Seasons Floral, Heart Lake’s most popular flower shop. When it comes to love and relationships, she’s able to work magic through her expert flower arranging . . . for everyone but herself. Then one day a handsome contractor starts coming into her shop, but Hope knows he’d rather have a whole woman than someone like her.
When Hope stakes a plot of ground at Heart Lake’s community garden, she finds that a woman can grow all sorts of things there: flowers, herbs, vegetables, and even friendship. As she gets to know the two women who share neighboring plots, they discover that they can learn a lot from one another – not just about gardening but about life. And Hope realizes that in order to live life to the fullest, sometimes you have to take a chance on love.

My thoughts: Love in Bloom is a delightful novel. It’s message is clear: Live life.

“None of us has any guarantee. You can’t just give up and sit on the sidelines. – Hope’s friend, Amber.

“Listen to an old woman and live your life to the fullest. Take advantage of every good thing that comes into it.” – 77 year old Millie, the character I hope to be just like in 25 years!

Millie also had this to say: “A garden is such an amazing thing, isn’t it? There it is, the whole cycle of life played out for us every year – death, then resurrection, new buds, new life, new beginnings.”

From beginning to end, this was a satisfying book. It wasn’t preachy or maudlin. I found the characters to be realistic (in fact a few seemed quite familiar to me) and the emotions, genuine. I look forward to reading more books by Sheila Roberts.

All of Me by Lori Wilde

All of Me

Attorney Jillian Samuels doesn’t believe in true love and never, ever wished for happily ever after. But when a searing betrayal leaves her jobless and heartbroken, a newly inherited cottage in Salvation, Colorado, seems to offer a fresh start. What she finds when she arrives shocks her: the most gorgeous and infuriating man she’s ever met is living in her home!

Tuck Manning was a gifted architect who left a skyrocketing career to care for his dying wife. But the life he’s made for himself in this quiet town is turned upside down when Jillian appears on his doorstep. Tuck won’t go without a fight, and the two resolve to live as roommates until they can untangle who owns the cottage. Yet as Tuck and Jillian’s days — and nights — heat up, they realize more than property rights are at stake… and that sometimes, salvation comes when you least expect it.

My thoughts: All Of Me is the story of two people and love. One has never experienced it so she doesn’t really believe in it. The other is grieving the loss of his true love (two years earlier). She has inherited a lake house only to find him living there after his father-in-law gave him the deed. The story takes off from there. Lori Wilde’s novel is engaging and entertaining as well as a very fast read. It’s the last installment of the Wedding Veil Wishes series.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for the review copy.

To Beguile A Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

To Beguile A Beast (The Legend of the Four Soldiers, #3)


Reclusive Sir Alistair Munroe has hidden in his castle ever since returning from the Colonies, scarred inside and out. But when a mysterious beauty arrives at his door, the passions he’s kept suppressed for years begin to awaken.
Running from past mistakes has taken legendary beauty Helen Fitzwilliam from the luxury of the ton to a crumbling Scottish castle . . . and a job as a housekeeper. Yet Helen is determined to start a new life and she won’t let dust-or a beast of a man-scare her away.
Beneath Helen’s beautiful façade, Alistair finds a courageous and sensual woman. A woman who doesn’t back away from his surliness-or his scars. But just as he begins to believe in true love, Helen’s secret past threatens to tear them apart. Now both Beast and Beauty must fight for the one thing neither believed they could ever find-a happy ever after.

My thoughts: I’d never read a Historical Romance novel before To Beguile A Beast. The only preconceived notion I had before reading the book was that of possible “bodice ripper”. What I found was an entertaining, albeit steamy, fairy tale/romance. Is that redundant?? This book is part of the Legend of the Four Soldiers series. I’ll no doubt be reading the previous installments. If you’re a fan of the genre, I recommend To Beguile A Beast.

My thanks to Anna from Hachette Book Group for sending the book.

There’s still time to enter the giveaway!

Anna has allowed me to give away five copies of To Beguile A Beast. Enter here until 10pm EDT today – June 3rd.

Flowers on Main by Sherryl Woods

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Back of the book synopsis:
When her last two plays are dismal failures and her relationship with her temperamental mentor falls apart, writer Bree O’Brien abandons Chicago and the regional theater where she hoped to make a name for herself to return home. Opening Flowers on Main promises to bring her a new challenge and a new kind of fulfillment.

But not all is peaceful and serene in Chesapeake Shores, with her estranged mother on the scene and her ex-lover on the warpath. Jake Collins has plenty of reasons to want Bree out of his life, but none of those are a match for the one reason he wants her to stay: he’s still in love with her.

Jake might be able to get past that old hurt if he knew Bree was home to stay, but is she? The only way to know for sure is to take a dangerous leap of faith.

My thoughts: The second book of Sherryl Woods’ Chesapeake Shores series, Flowers on Main highlights Bree O’Brien and her journey back to her family, hometown, true love, and a fresh start. Also looking for a possible fresh start are her divorced parents. Readers will have to wait for the third book to see where Megan and Mick’s future lies. I thought this book was enjoyable and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Mailbox Monday – June 1

Mailbox Monday is a weekly post at
Here’s what I found in my mailbox last week:
High Fidelity (N. Hornby) from Jess at Barney’s Book Blog
Mr. Popper’s Penguins audiobook from Hachette Book Group (via Kaye’s giveaway)
All of Me (L. Wilde) for review from Hachette Book Group
To Beguile a Beast (E. Hoyt) for review from Hachette Book Group
The Wildwater Walking Club (C. Cooke) from Karen’s giveaway at Bookin’ with Bingo
High FidelityCover ImageAll of MeTo Beguile A Beast (The Legend of the Four Soldiers, #3)The Wildwater Walking Club

May books

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
Mating Rituals of the North American WASP by Lauren Lipton
April & Oliver by Tess Callahan
Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs
Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
Irresistible by Susan Mallery
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Cutting Loose by Nadine Dajani
The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Favorites of the month in red