The Glass Kitchen sweeps

the glass kitchen (July)

This summer I’ll post a Spotlight/Giveaway of THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee and then, a few weeks later, a review. Today I want to tell you about an exciting sweeps.  It’s for a KitchenAid Professional Mixer and 1 of 10 copies of THE GLASS KITCHEN!

For some reason I wasn’t able to get the cool widget to show in my post so please click this link to enter the sweeps. The link takes you to the widget. Good luck!

Eligibility:  Only open to residents of 50 United States and D.C., age 18 and older at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where otherwise prohibited by law. Employees, and members of their families, of Sponsor, its parent, subsidiaries, and affiliates are not eligible to enter. This promotion is intended for viewing in the United States only and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. You are not authorized to participate in the sweepstakes if you are not located within the United States.”

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About THE GLASS KITCHEN:

With The Glass Kitchen, Linda Francis Lee has served up a novel that is about the courage it takes to follow your heart and be yourself. A true recipe for life. 
Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan . . . and never cook again. But when she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets twelve-year-old Ariel and her widowed father Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream. 

The Glass Kitchen is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen—like an island—can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness, and accept the complications of what it means to be family.  (publisher)

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Before We Kiss by Susan Mallery

Before we Kiss

  • Title:  Before We Kis
  • Series:  Fool’s Gold #14
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Published:  May 2014 – Harlequin
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Former pro-football kicker Sam Ridge has notoriously bad luck with women—from cheaters to fame chasers. Still, the gorgeous brunette at the bar in Fool’s Gold looks harmless—until she takes him home and he discovers a room devoted to securing a man, for life. 
Dellina Hopkins never guessed that storing gowns from a friend’s bridal boutique would chase away her first and only fling. After her parents died, she skipped her “wild youth” to raise her sisters. She doesn’t want forever from Sam, but one night—all night—would’ve been nice. 
His clean getaway gets messy when his firm hires Dellina to plan an event. As long hours lead to late nights, the two succumb to temptation again. Has Sam’s luck finally changed? Or this time, will Dellina be the one to run?  (publisher)

My take:  This book was a lot of fun. Sure it had it’s emotional moments but, that aside, I also laughed a lot while reading it.  Sam and Dellina’s love story was a good one but even more entertaining were their family members. His uninhibited, inappropriate information sharing parents and her sister who had to find a way to make her boyfriend propose after asking him to wait – they added a lot of humor to the story.

Susan Mallery also set up future books in the Fool’s Gold series by having Mayor Marsha take a mysterious trip to New Zealand. I look forward to those books. I can see a never-ending source of books for this series and I’ll probably want to read them all.  Recommended to fans of the series and small town contemporary romance.

Spotlight/Giveaway (US): Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews

Save the Date

ABOUT THE BOOK
With her trademark wit and gift for storytelling, Andrews delivers the perfect bouquet of intrigue and romance when Savannah florist Cara Kryzik lands the wedding of the season. Brooke Trapnell and Harris Strayhorn, part of Savannah’s high society, hire Cara to be their wedding planner for their July wedding at Cabin Creek, the Strayhorn plantation in the South Carolina low country. Cara kicks into high gear, relieved she will finally be able to pay off the debt she owes her father. With only six weeks to plan the wedding, Cara, along with her dependable assistant Bert, is determined to solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials.

In the midst of all the planning, Cara finds herself falling for Jack Finnerty, the “dognapper” who accidently steals her golden doodle Poppy when she runs out the door one hot summer morning. Recently divorced, Cara no longer believes in love and is focused on keeping her stressed-out clients happy. Until the chic new florist from Charleston, Cullen Kane, decides to open up shop in Savannah and do whatever it takes to destroy her business, and in the process, her relationship with Jack. And when the bride goes missing putting the wedding in jeopardy, Cara must find her and figure out whether love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all.

 PRE-ORDER: 

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books a Million
Indiebound

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mka-author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 22 novels including Ladies’ Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring Fever, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues.

 

PRAISE FOR LADIES’ NIGHT (now out in paperback)
“Bestseller Andrews is at the top f her game, delivering a smart, funny, perfect-for-summer read with a hopeful heart.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Her newest novel offers another engaging and satisfying tale of life, loss, and love.” —Booklist

“Andrews presents a delightful novel…A wonderful blend of action, repartee and offbeat characters in a just-plain-fun story. Humorous and witty, and as entertaining as a good night out.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Mary Kay Andrews’ novels have become a summer staple like a new pair of sandals. The New York Times bestselling author returns with the perfectly mixed cocktail of romance, mystery and comedy…” —Raleigh News & Observer

“This is her best book yet, and it combines all of the strengths we have come to expect from this audacious and beguiling author.” —Huffington Post

“Mary Kay Andrews blends heartache and hilarity in a story line filled with surprises.” —Southern Living

“A court-ordered therapy session is the site of the action in Andrews’s zesty, amusing latest…” —People

“If there were a literary genre dedicated to great beach books, the novels of Mary Kay Andrews would set its standard for excellence.” —Cape Gazette

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GIVEAWAY

One copy of SAVE THE DATE to a US reader

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

Good luck!

The Beekeeper’s Ball by Susan Wiggs

the beekeeper's ball

  • Title:  The Beekeeper’s Ball
  • Series:  Bella Vista Chronicles, #2
  • Author:  Susan Wiggs
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  June 24, 2014 – Harlequin MIRA
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Isabel Johansen, a celebrated chef who grew up in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel, is transforming her childhood home into a destination cooking school—a unique place for other dreamers to come and learn the culinary arts. Bella Vista’s rambling mission-style hacienda, with its working apple orchards, bountiful gardens and beehives, is the idyllic venue for Isabel’s project…and the perfect place for her to forget the past. 
But Isabel’s carefully ordered plans begin to go awry when swaggering, war-torn journalist Cormac O’Neill arrives to dig up old history. He’s always been better at exposing the lives of others than showing his own closely guarded heart, but the pleasures of small-town life and the searing sensuality of Isabel’s kitchen coax him into revealing a few truths of his own. 
The dreamy sweetness of summer is the perfect time of year for a grand family wedding and the enchanting Beekeeper’s Ball, bringing emotions to a head in a story where the past and present collide to create an unexpected new future.  (publisher)

My take:  Susan Wigg’s lush descriptions drew me right into The Beekeeper’s Ball. Seriously, I’d love to enroll in Isabel’s cooking school and take in all Bella Vista has to offer!

Mac, an accomplished author, has arrived to write Isabel’s grandfather’s story. He was part of the Danish Resistance during WWII and, along with a few other people in Isabel’s life, came to the US when the liberation began. Magnus (the grandfather) has quite a story to tell Mac. He wants to get that story out because the truth needs to be told. That theme winds through the novel. Mac encourages Isabel to tell her truth – to herself and her loved ones. That takes extraordinary courage and she’s not sure she has it in her.

Another storyline is one that involves Isabel’s father. He died in a tragic crash on the day she was born. Isabel never had reason to doubt this truth she’d been told by her grandparents. They raised her because her mother died after giving birth to Isabel. Mystery begins to swirl around this storyline and I expect it to continue in the next book of The Bella Vista Chronicles.

I enjoyed the message of the dual stories in the book:  Magnus and his friends rising to help in the Danish Resistance before moving to a new homeland and Isabel and Mac rising to help the people in their lives. The past is the past. Embrace the future.

Note:  Although I haven’t yet read the first book in the series (The Apple Orchard) I didn’t feel lost. Wiggs did a good job explaining references to events and people from that book.

Mimi Malloy, At Last: A Novel by Julia MacDonnell

Mimi Malloy, At Last!_COVER

  • Title:  Mimi Malloy, At Last
  • Author:  Julia MacDonnell
  • Genre:  Fiction
  • Published:  April 2014 – Picador
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Meet Mimi Malloy: A daughter of the Great Depression, Mimi was born into an Irish-Catholic brood of seven, and she has done her best to raise six beautiful daughters of her own. Now they’re grown, and Mimi, a divorcée, is unexpectedly retired. But she takes solace in the comforts of her new life: her apartment in the heart of Quincy, the occasional True Blue cigarette, and evenings with Frank Sinatra on the stereo and a highball in her hand.
Yet her phone is arguably the busiest in greater Boston—it rings “Day In, Day Out,” as Ol’ Blue Eyes would say. Her surviving sisters love to gab about their girlhood, while her eldest, Cassandra, calls every morning to preach the gospel of assisted living. And when an MRI reveals that Mimi’s brain is filled with black spots—areas of atrophy, her doctor says—it looks like that’s exactly where she’s headed, to spend her days in “a storage facility for unwanted antiques.”
Mimi knows her mind is (more or less) as sharp as ever, and she won’t go down without a fight. As she prepares to take her stand, she stumbles upon an old pendant of her mother’s and, slowly, her memory starts to return—specifically, recollections of a shocking and painful childhood, a sister who was sent away to Ireland, and the wicked stepmother she swore to forget.

My take:  Mimi Malloy’s daughters are so annoyed that she refuses to take care of herself despite her doctor’s warnings of stroke and certain death. She also will not leave her low-income apartment for a beautiful new senior home. She likes her independence and familiar surroundings, thank you very much.

When Mimi’s sister’s young grandson works on a genealogy project for school Mimi is asked to fill out a family history. She’s not one to live in the past so this is about the last thing she wants to do. After a little pestering she does as asked and that’s when she starts being visited by sisters and others who’ve passed. It’s as if they are leading her to discover details of their early lives that she remembers quite differently from the others.

Julia MacDonnell’s characters seemed so familiar to me. It was like watching and listening to my mother and her sisters gab at reunions when I was a young girl. Were the details the same? No. But the characteristics and era were. They grew up in tough times and had responsibilities way beyond their years. When someone “fell” she tried her best to get back up and move on. As Mimi’s daughters listen to their aunts and mother they realize they didn’t know them as well as they thought.

There’s so much more to the novel. The decisions made during tough times changed lives and are remembered quite differently by Mimi, her sisters, and her daughters. Their acceptance of the various perspectives lead to understanding on a new level.

I really liked this novel of family dynamics and perseverance and will recommend it to family and friends next time we’re together – there’s a reunion this summer!