Island Apart by Steven Raichlen

Title:  Island Apart

Author:  Steven Raichlen

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  June 2012 – Forge Books

Audiobook: narrated by Susan Boyce – AudioGO

6 CDs – 6hrs 38min

Synopsis:  Claire Doheney, recovering from a serious illness, agrees to house-sit in an oceanfront mansion on Chappaquiddick island in Martha’s Vineyard. The New York book editor hopes to find solace, strength, and sufficient calm to finish her biography of the iconoclastic psychotherapist, Wilhelm Reich.

The last thing she expects to find is love.  

Then she meets a mysterious man the locals call the Hermit. No one knows his real name or where he lives. To their mutual surprise, Claire and the stranger discover that they share a passion for cooking that soon sparks something more.

But Claire’s new friend has a terrible secret that threatens to drive them apart forever. The clock is ticking. Can Claire let love into her life once more before it’s too late?

My take:  Island Apart is what I like to call an addictive read (or in my case, listen). I listened to the audiobook in one day.  It’s the story of two lost souls. One, the hermit, has isolated himself after going through a horrific personal event. The other, Claire, is going through cancer treatment and a divorce from the man who left the day she told him of her diagnosis. She’s staying at the home of dear friends on Chappaquiddick. When their paths cross the hermit and Claire begin an unlikely friendship. Very quickly they find a shared love of food and cooking. They leave gifts of food for each other before they start to see each other in person. A bond of mutual respect is formed and soon grows to acceptance and love even after an obstacle or two appear.

This novel had an almost fairytale-like quality. The theme that no man is an island runs throughout. It’s filled with minor characters and story lines that I’m not certain were absolutely necessary but I also don’t feel they took away from the main story.

All-in-all, I enjoyed spending a day listening to Island Apart. Warning: There are a lot of food descriptions so don’t be surprised if you feel hungry while reading.

Susan Boyce’s narration is straight-forward – meaning, in my opinion, she read the book as opposed to performed it. In this case that approach worked for me. I didn’t need the various characters distinctly voiced. I just wanted to see where the story was going – and she made that happen.

Goodreads rating

Disclosure:  I received an audiobook review copy from AudioGO via Audiobook Jukebox. I was not compensated for my review.

Beach Colors by Shelley Noble

Title:  Beach Colors

Author:  Shelley Noble

Genre:  Women’s Fiction

Published:  June 2012 – William Morrow

My take:  With nowhere else to go, Margaux Sullivan returns to her family summer home at the shore at Crescent Cove, CT. She’s lost everything to her snake of a husband – their NYC apartment; her successful fashion design business; the bank accounts; their marriage.
As she tries to figure out how to move forward she reconnects with people from her past – people she grew up with during the summers. One in particular is Nick Prescott. Although she doesn’t recall knowing him as a girl he remembers everything about her – at least what he knew from afar as he never spoke to her back then. There’s a world of difference when one is 14 and the other 18 and when one is a summer person and the other a townie. But now, both in their 30s, he’d like to really get to know her.
Nick is the polar opposite of Margaux’s ex. He gave up his dream job of history professor to come home and take care of his mom and nephew. Nick feels responsible for what happened to his brother so he does the upstanding thing where his family is concerned. Margaux has no intention of starting a relationship but she finds Nick irresistible on a few levels. Her main focus though is finding her love of design again and making her mark with a new clothing line. But will she find happiness and contentment if the NY fashion scene takes notice?
There are several characters dealing with issues in Beach Colors. I can see that this could be the start of a series. I wonder… Anyway, I enjoyed them all. Seriously, Linda the hairstylist (and a recent NYC transplant) was a hoot as well as a godsend to the women of Crescent Cove! I would definitely like to read more about the secondary characters in future books.
My one quibble with the book is the abrupt ending. I wanted to see it play out a little more. But, overall, I really liked Beach Colors and recommend it to anyone who enjoys books about women reinventing themselves. It’s a very fast read and would be a good choice to take along on vacation.

Disclosure:  I received a review copy from the publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I was not compensated for my review.

The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole White

Title:  The Unfinished Garden

Author:  Barbara Claypole White

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  August 2012 – Harlequin/MIRA

Synopsis:  James Nealy needs to create a garden…

James Nealy is haunted by irrational fears and inescapable compulsions. A successful software developer, he’s thrown himself into a new goal—to finally conquer the noise in his mind. And he has a plan. He’ll confront his darkest fears and build something beautiful: a garden. When he meets Tilly Silverberg, he knows she holds the key…even if she doesn’t think so.

After her husband’s death, gardening became Tilly’s livelihood and her salvation. Her thriving North Carolina business and her young son, Isaac, are the excuses she needs to hide from the world. So when oddly attractive, incredibly tenacious James demands that she take him on as a client, her answer is a flat no.

When a family emergency lures Tilly back to England, she’s secretly glad. With Isaac in tow, she retreats to her childhood village, which has always stayed obligingly the same. Until now. Her best friend is keeping secrets. Her mother is plotting. Her first love is unexpectedly, temptingly available. And then James appears on her doorstep.

Away from home, James and Tilly forge an unlikely bond, tenuous at first but taking root every day. And as they work to build a garden together, something begins to blossom between them—despite all the reasons
against it.  

My take:  I think what I liked most about this book is James. He has Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – something I don’t recall being an aspect of any novel I’ve read previously. Although I don’t have first-hand knowledge of OCD it seemed to me that Barbara Claypole White does. She created a compelling hero in James. As I said, I really liked him! And I liked that Tilly wasn’t put off by him even when she wasn’t going to take him on as a client. But she didn’t close him out when, given her situation, it would have been perfectly understandable. As it turns out, the two really brought out the best in each other. They were forthcoming and compassionate at the same time – bonding traits, I’d say. Strong characters.

When the story moves from the US to England we really get to see a relationship grow between the two. Using humor and drama the author really brought home the point that when we face our fears (preferably with a friend or two) we can meet a challenge and possibly overcome it.

The Unfinished Garden is Barbara Claypole White’s debut novel. I enjoyed it and will be very interested to see what story she’ll tell in her second book.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review.

The Exceptions by David Cristofano

Title:  The Exceptions

Author:  David Cristofano

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  August 2012 – Grand Central Publishing

Hardcover: 480 pages

Synopsis:  No loose ends. It’s the Bovaro family motto. As part of the Bovaro clan, one of the most powerful and respected families in organized crime, Jonathan knows what he must do: take out Melody Grace McCartney, the woman whose testimony can lock up his father and disgrace his entire family. The only problem: he can’t bring himself to do it.

Had Jonathan kept his silence, Melody and her parents would never have been identified and lured into the Witness Protection Program, able to run but never to hide. So he keeps her safe the only way he knows how-by vowing to clean up his own mess while acting as her shield.

But as he watches her take on another new identity in yet another new town, becoming a beautiful but broken woman, Jonathan can’t get her out of his mind . . . or his heart. From the streets of Little Italy to a refuge that promises a fresh start, Jonathan will be forced to choose between the life he’s always known, the destiny his family has carved out for him, and a future unlike anything he’s ever imagined.

My take:  I read David Cristofano’s first novel, The Girl She Used to Be, a few years ago. When I finished reading it my hope was that there would someday be a sequel. I really liked Melody Grace McCartney’s story.

Well, Cristofano followed his debut with a sequel of sorts – it’s Jonathan Bovaro’s version of Melody’s story. The same story as seen through Jonathan’s eyes.

Cristofano paced The Exceptions just as he did TGSUTB – which means I didn’t want to stop reading. Maybe it’s because a few years have passed since I read the original story but, even though I knew the plot, I found it compelling, gripping, and thrilling. Seriously, my heart was pounding several times while reading. I don’t read many thrillers but when I do, I want them to make me feel the way I did reading this book.

I don’t want to reveal any more of the plot than the synopsis has. If you loved the first novel I think you’ll love The Exceptions. If you haven’t read The Girl She Used to Be, maybe read that first.

Disclosure:  I received a review galley from the publisher via NetGalley. See sidebar for disclosure policy.

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

Title:  Rainshadow Road

Series: Friday Harbor #2

Author:  Lisa Kleypas

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Published:  February 2012 – St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:  (from the back of the book) Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful Friday Harbor, Washington, with a boyfriend, Kevin, who she believes is her soul mate. She has always had a magical side – a gift that finds its way into the breathtaking glasswork she creates – and she struggles to keep it contained. But when Lucy is blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal, she questions many of her choices. . . Lucy’s bitterness over this devastation is multiplied by the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life.  As Lucy questions her beliefs about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings, she explores the possibility that some things in life – even after being broken – can be re-made into something beautiful. And that it is only by discovering who you really are that you can find the one who truly deserves you.

My take:  Book two in the Friday Harbor series is the story of Lucy and Sam. Both have trust/commitment issues. Sam because of the way his alcoholic parents raised him; Lucy because of a betrayal by a family member and because of the way her parents treated her so differently than her sister when they were young. It’s the betrayal that brings Sam and Lucy together.
I liked Sam and Lucy’s story but at times I just wanted to urge Sam to get therapy and move forward.  Also, as described in the synopsis, there’s a magical realism aspect to the story. It’s not at the forefront but I found it an intriguing connection between Lucy and Sam.
Ultimately, Lisa Kleypas does what she does so well, she had me cheering for Lucy and Sam (even though I knew the HEA would be there I wasn’t sure how) and I was happy with the ending.
I look forward to the next book in the Friday Harbor series.

Disclosure:  I received this book from the publisher via Goodreads First Reads program. I was not compensated for my review.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Title:  Beautiful Ruins

Author:  Jess Walter

Narrator:  Edoardo Ballerini

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  June 2012 – HarperCollins

Synopsis (from the back of the ARC):  The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a slender blonde woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot – searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel fifty years before.

What unfolds from there is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, teeming with Jess Walter’s trademark unforgettable characters: the Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically cynical film producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; and the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow. . .

My brief take:  I enjoyed Beautiful Ruins so much I knew it would be on my 2012 Favorites list as soon as I finished reading it.  You get a sense of the novel from the synopsis but really it must be experienced. I loved how Jess Walter wove the various characters’ stories together. I wasn’t sure where they would all end up but I had faith I’d be satisfied with the conclusion. I was.

I’m so glad I decided to listen to Beautiful Ruins (I also read a print review copy) . There’s no way I could have voiced the characters’ accents, language, etc. in my mind anywhere close to the narrator. Edoardo Ballerini’s performance is perfect.

Recommend?  Yes! Read the book and if you enjoy listening, I highly recommend the audiobook.

Note:  I appreciated the Author Q&A included at the end of the audiobook.

Disclosure:  My review copy was from the publisher. I bought the audiobook. See sidebar for disclosure statement. I was not compensated for my review.

The Time In Between by Maria Dueñas – Spotlight and Giveaway (US)

Thanks to Atria Books I have one copy of THE TIME IN BETWEEN by Maria Dueñas to give away to a lucky reader from the US. Click here for details. Please remember: a comment is not an entry. You must click the link and fill out the form. Good luck!


♦  ♦  ♦


Set in Madrid, Tetuán, and Lisbon before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War through the Second World War, THE TIME IN BETWEEN follows the life of Sira Quiroga.  Born a poor seamstress in Madrid, Sira—after being abandoned in Tangiers by her lover—forges a new identity and becomes the most sought-after couturiere in North Africa, catering to the idle rich and the wealthy wives of high ranking officials.

Sira dreams only of paying off her debts and rescuing her mother from war-torn Madrid, but soon finds herself embroiled in a world of spies and counterspies.  Her profession puts her in a perfect position to garner classified intelligence…and then pass it along to the British Secret Service through a secret code stitched into the hems of her haute couture dresses.

With THE TIME IN BETWEEN, Dueñas brilliantly succeeds in sweeping readers right into this tumultuous time in history.  Her vibrant narrative powerfully transports you behind the scenes of high fashion and offers a fascinating lesson in an industry that managed—against all odds—to survive a period of intense political upheaval.  Dueñas’ also has a talent for not only creating complex and fallible characters—especially her protagonist, Sira—but also vividly personifies the culture of the legendary colonial enclaves of North Africa, war-torn Madrid, and cosmopolitan Lisbon, flush with spies, opportunists, and refugees.

Maria Dueñas is fluent in English (she holds a PhD in English Philology and is currently a professor at the University of Murcia.  She has also taught at American universities) and is available for interview if necessary.  THE TIME IN BETWEEN is beautifully written and compulsively readable.

♦  ♦  ♦


“A wonderful novel, in the old and good tradition, with intrigue, love, mystery and tender, audacious and clean-cut characters.”

Mario Vargas LlosaThe Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate 2010


“This thrilling debut is marked by immaculate prose and a driving narrative, establishing Dueñas as a writer to watch.”

Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review


“Written by a college professor, this debut novel, a best-seller in Spain, is scheduled to publish in more than 20 languages and has already generated considerable prepub buzz.”  –Booklist, Starred Review


“The Hot List:  Must Reads” Harper’s Bazaar


“It is no surprise this debut novel was a runaway success in Europe. American fans of historical fiction looking for a dramatic, uncomplicated escape will be similarly entranced.”

Library Journal

“With its detailed depictions of fashions and the fashionable crowd, exotic settings like Portuguese beaches and crowded bars in Tangiers, and a growing sense of danger and intrigue, The Time In Between is a stunning novel.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel

Title:  Goodbye for Now

Author:  Laurie Frankel

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  August 2012 – Doubleday

Hardcover: 304 pages

Synopsis:  (from back of the arc) Sam Elling works for an internet dating company, but he still can’t get a date. So he creates an algorithm that will match you with your soul mate. Sam meets the love of his life, a coworker named Meredith, but he also gets fired when the company starts losing all their customers to Mr. and Ms. Right.

When Meredith’s grandmother, Livvie, dies suddenly, Sam uses his ample free time to create a computer program that will allow Meredith to have one last conversation with her grandmother. Mining from all her correspondence—email, Facebook, Skype, texts—Sam constructs a computer simulation of Livvie who can respond to email or video chat just as if she were still alive. It’s not supernatural, it’s computer science.

Meredith loves it, and the couple begins to wonder if this is something that could help more people through their grief. And thus, the company RePose is born. The business takes off, but for every person who just wants to say good-bye, there is someone who can’t let go.

In the meantime, Sam and Meredith’s affection for one another deepens into the kind of love that once tasted, you can’t live without.

My take:  In the beginning I had an issue with this novel – you shouldn’t mess with grief. We need to grieve when a loved one dies, right? But should we rely solely on our memories or could we benefit from technology – really, it’s almost a constant in our daily lives anyway. Laurie Frankel’s characters remind us that people grieve differently. To some it’s a very personal and singular process but others might be open to controlling the process through unorthodox means. After turning the last page I decided I’m somewhere in the middle. Maybe I would and maybe not.

I’m so glad I read Goodbye for Now. It compelled me to consider things I haven’t been faced with thus far in my life – primarily the death of a close loved one – with the exception being my father-in-law who died several years ago from Alzheimer’s. That’s a grief process all unto itself.

There are a few issues that could be hot topics for book groups. I enjoyed the almost allegorical modern love story of Meredith and Sam as well as the theme that we must look after each other (loved ones, acquaintances, strangers) in this life.

Source:  Doubleday

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber

Title:  The Inn at Rose Harbor

Author:  Debbie Macomber

Genre:  Women’s Fiction; Series

Published:  July 2012 – Ballantine Books

Hardcover: 352 pages

My take:  Jo Marie Rose suffered an excruciating loss and, because of that loss, she’s started on a new path in life. She has become the new owner of an inn in Cedar Cove, Washington.

Debbie Macomber really sets the tone for her new series. I wasn’t sure she could pull me in when I’d already read the complete Cedar Cove series. She does let characters make brief appearances in TIARH but she doesn’t let them take over. The stars of this first book are Jo Marie and her first two guests to stay at the inn:  Josh Weaver and Abby Kincaid.

Josh Weaver is back in Cedar Cove to see his estranged stepfather, Richard, who is literally on his deathbed. Richard kicked Josh out of the house weeks before his high school graduation. Now, over ten years later, Josh comes home to make sure he can find some of his deceased mother’s things before the house can be sold. What he didn’t expect was to meet an old classmate who could be instrumental in helping Josh come to terms with a few things life has thrown at him.

Abby Kincaid hasn’t been back to her hometown in many years. Her parents no longer live there and Abby hoped never to return after a tragic accident took her best friend. She carries a lot of guilt over that event and doesn’t think she’ll ever forgive herself much less be forgiven by many people in Cedar Cove. When her brother announces his wedding to a girl from Cedar Cove, Abby knows she can’t avoid going back home.

What the main characters in this novel have in common is a need to attain some peace in their lives. Debbie Macomber’s new series is a winner for me. I love tales of redemption and she is one of the best at writing them. If you’re a fan of hers I think you’ll enjoy The Inn at Rose Harbor.

Note: I bought the short story When First They Met before reading this book. It fleshes out the story of Jo Marie before she bought the inn. You don’t have to read it (you’ll get bits and pieces in The Inn at Rose Harbor) but I’m glad I did because it was an emotional introduction to Jo Marie. Her empathy for others will definitely be felt in this series.

Source:  Publisher via NetGalley

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

Timeless Desire by Gwyn Cready

Title:  Timeless Desire

Author:  Gwyn Cready

Genre:  Time-travel Romance

Published:  August 2012 – Astor + Blue Editions

Synopsis:  Two years after losing her husband, overworked librarian Panna Kennedy battles to distract herself from crushing grief, while she wrestles with yet another library budget cut.  During a routine search within the library’s lower levels, Panna opens an obscure, pad-locked door and finds herself transported to the magnificent, book-filled quarters of a handsome, eighteenth-century Englishman. She soon recognizes the man as Colonel John Bridgewater, the historic English war hero whose larger-than-life statue loomed over her desk.

However, the life of the dashing Bridgewater is not at all what she imagined. He’s under house arrest for betraying England, and now looks upon her—a beautiful and unexpected half-dressed visitor—as a possible spy. Despite bad first impressions (on both sides), Bridgewater nonetheless warms to Panna, and pulls her into his escape—while both their hearts pull the other headlong into their soul-stirring secrets.

Very quickly Panna is thrown into a whirlwind of high-stakes intrigue that sweeps her from Hadrian’s Wall to a forbidding stone castle in Scotland.  And somewhere in the outland, Panna must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband, or with the man whose life now depends on her.

My take:  I hope you read the synopsis and that it made you want to read this book as much as I did! I really enjoyed Timeless Desire. It’s filled with adventure, conflict, humor and romance. Gwyn Cready’s heroine – Panna, short for Pandora – has come through an emotional time. As you’d expect, her husband’s illness and death took a lot out of her. It’s been a few years and she’s not sure she’ll ever be ready to get back in the dating pool. But fate has other plans for her.

Panna finds herself (see synopsis) in 1706 England and Scotland during border conflicts that pit clans against the Queen’s army. She also finds the man whose statue she has looked at every day at work for years! Or is it? And if it is will he donate a few books to Panna’s library and give their budget a boost? I loved that Panna is a librarian. It was a fun aspect to the novel.

The romance between Panna and Jamie is reminiscent of Diana Gabaldon’s Clare and Jamie of Outlander fame. But they are unique as well. Panna and Jamie have emotional hurts that have changed their lives. As they begin to trust each other and share their secrets they form a bond that could be unbreakable.

Recommended to fans of Time Travel and Romance. This is my first time reading a book by Gwyn Cready. I look forward to reading her backlist.

Disclosure:  I received an eBook for review from the publicist. I was not compensated for my review. See disclosure policy in sidebar. 

♦  ♦  ♦

Click Timeless Desire page for more information (eBook links, etc.)

♦  ♦  ♦

About the author:

Gwyn Cready is a RITA Award Winner (Best Paranormal Romance 2009) and the author of several beloved romances includingTumbling Through TimeSeducing Mr. DarcyFlirting with ForeverAching for Always and A Novel Seduction.

Highly regarded by her fans and peers, Gwyn has been called, “the master of time travel romance,” and her writing described as “sexy,” “delightfully original” and “wickedly witty.”  Timeless Desire is her latest foray into the time travel genre and men in kilts.  She still finds both eminently satisfying.

Gwyn lives in Pittsburgh with her family.

The Bride Wore Pearls by Liz Carlyle

Title:  The Bride Wore Pearls

Author:  Liz Carlyle

Genre:  Historical Romance

Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages

Published:  Avon – July 31, 2012

Synopsis:  Beneath the elegant façade of Victorian high society, the mysterious men of the St James Society play only by rules of danger and desire…

Rance Welham, the Earl of Lazonby, has survived scandal and disgrace, even evading the Queen’s justice at the end of a hangman’s rope. Now he’s about to gamble everything on something far more dangerous—pure, unquenchable desire.

An exotic and elegant beauty, Lady Anisha Stafford fled her native India after her husband’s death to seek refuge within London’s secretive St James Society. But accepting protection from a man society’s whispers call a cold-blooded killer is a double-edged sword . . . especially when he’s the most captivating and irresistible man Anisha has laid eyes on since leaving Calcutta.

In a world where treachery abounds, no one can be trusted—and no true passion can be denied. Together, these two tempestuous souls will risk their lives for a love that could redeem them both…or destroy everything they hold dear.

My take:  The Bride Wore Pearls has a very different tone to it than other Historical Romances I’ve read. It’s exotic and lush in descriptions of setting and characters. There’s a paranormal aspect woven throughout the story but mostly in the background. This is the third book in the series and I think I would have benefitted by reading the books in order to understand the paranormal theme. That said, Liz Carlyle does a good job of catching the reader up on secondary characters which makes me want to read the previous books.

I enjoyed Rance and Anisha. They are two strong characters who don’t back down from anyone or anything – especially Anisha. She’s been married before and has two young sons. She doesn’t want her brother to match her with someone he feels suitable. If she decides to marry again it will be on her terms. Rance refuses to be anything more than a friend to Anisha. He feels his reputation around the ton wouldn’t be good for Anisha or her sons. You know where this will end up going, right?

For me the fun was seeing how Carlyle let the two find their way to each other. I also thought the mystery of who was behind the false accusation that has plagued Rance for years was interesting and made for an exciting scene or two near the end. Recommended for fans of Liz Carlyle and Historical Romance fans looking for something a little different.

Source:  Publisher

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

About Liz Carlyle

A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of seventeen historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Liz’s Tour Stops

Thursday, August 2nd: The Book Garden

Tuesday, August 7th: Bookfan

Wednesday, August 8th: Broken Teepee

Friday, August 10th: Alpha Heroes

Tuesday, August 14th: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, August 15th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Thursday, August 16th: …the bookworm…

Saturday, August 18th: Mary’s Cup of Tea

Monday, August 20th: BookNAround

Tuesday, August 21st: WV Stitcher

Date TBD: Life In Review

Date TBD: In the Hammock Book Reviews

Date TBD: Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books

Sunday Post #16

I haven’t posted on Sunday in a while but think I’ll start listing what I’m reading, read last week, etc. on Sundays. Reading Diane’s post  gave me a nudge.

My reading has really tapered off this summer. Just lots going on. Granddaughter Grace is with me every Monday and Tuesday while her parents work. That’s a wonderful reason not to read 🙂

Our daughter moved to an apartment last week. She and I loaded a small rental truck and moved her about ten miles from our house. That may be my last move. We had to hire a couple of guys to actually get the large pieces into a second floor bedroom. There was no way we could maneuver up the winding, narrow staircase in this hundred-year-old house. We tried! Ahem, the moving guys did it in under ten minutes. Yay, moving guys!! We should have hired them for the entire move. Take a lesson from me 🙂 Ok, on to more bookish things:

Books read last week:

Timeless Desire by Gwynn Cready

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (audio)

A Girl Like You by Maria Geraci

This week I plan to read:

The Exceptions by David Cristofano

Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas

I may start an audiobook if the weather cools and I can get back to my early morning walks. Fingers crossed on that one. It’s been so hot and humid before 6am that I’ve just given up on them lately.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you’re all enjoying a good book. Have a great week.


Guest Post – Jodi Thomas

I’ve always wanted to write a book that shows the different ways people fall in love and I got my chance in WILD TEXAS ROSE.  I found the story great fun to write and loved the humor of the characters as I wrote.  I always think of my characters as real living, breathing people who are like all of us, not perfect, but trying.  So, come along with me through Fort Worth, Texas in 1876 and enjoy the adventure.

The setting is Fort Worth, 1876, but the stories circle around one another much like people in a town do until one day, one event, draws them together.  My main heroine, Rose McMurray, suffers from a fear of crowds during the time agoraphobia was just being recognized as a disorder.   Her fears run head long into her need to help her best friend.

Rose thinks she’s going to a wedding but soon uncovers a plot that could get them all killed.  She turns to a circuit judge, Killian O’Toole, for help not knowing how involved he is with the bride-to-be.

I had a great time writing WILD TEXAS ROSE.  Of course I love a good love story and this book is packed with three.  I also like watching the couples fall in love in different ways because love never comes in quite the same way to anyone.  I think this story is tender and I promise it will keep you laughing.  No one in the book is perfect, but they all do the best they can.

Thanks for reading,

Jodi Thomas

♦  ♦  ♦

Jodi Thomas is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of 35 novels and 11 short story collections. A RITA winning author, Jodi currently serves as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.