Giveaway winner!

Congratulations to

Patty M.

winner of

the weekenders

  • Winner selected by random.org
  • Book to be sent by Tandem Literary
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Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

sunshine beach (6:21) Berkley   by the numbers

sweet tomorrows (8:2)   better off without him (kindle:audible)

Last week on Bookfan:

the weekenders   I Let You Go (5:3 Berkley)

Reading plan for this week:

Forever Beach (6:7)

Breaking news 🙂

IMG_5413

 Rosie

Meet our new granddaughter Rosemary Kathleen

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

  • I Let You Go (5:3 Berkley)Title:  I Let You Go: A Novel
  • Author:  Clare Mackintosh
  • Pages:  369
  • Genre:  Thriller
  • Published:  May 2016 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street…

Jenna Gray moves to the remote Welsh coast, desperate to leave behind the heartbreak of the car accident and heal from the loss of her child and her painful past. At the same time, a pair of Bristol police investigators chase down one hopeless lead after another in the hit-and-run, finding themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. (publisher)

My take:  I Let You Go is a gripping story of the fall-out from a tragic event on a rainy evening. Clare Mackintosh’s debut grabbed me on the first page and gave me a shake every so often with a twist. When that happened I had to go back and reread passages to see how I missed something! I liked how easily Mackintosh’s story flowed despite how uncomfortable I felt while reading – I would definitely read more from her. That’s saying a lot given how seldom I dip into this genre.

I loved the Welsh seaside setting for part of the novel. Macintosh’s description made me feel like I was there. I felt the same about the scenes involving the police investigation – her previous experience as an investigator gave believable authenticity to the plot.

Even though I Let You Go was difficult for me to read at times, the pacing was good and I became invested in most of the characters – hoping for the best possible outcome. To say anything else would risk a spoiler so I’ll stop now. Recommended to fans of psychological thrillers.


Praise for I LET YOU GO:

“Chilling, compelling and compassionate, I Let You Go is a finely-crafted novel with a killer twist.” —Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train

“On the level of the movie The Sixth Sense for its cleverness…This kind of sharp, cunning writing makes one eagerly look forward to Mackintosh’s next novel.”—Shelf Awareness

“[Mackintosh] deftly twists the reader in one direction, then leads them astray in another, until the startling conclusion.”—RT Book Reviews

Review/US Giveaway: The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

  • the weekendersTitle:  The Weekenders
  • Author:  Mary Kay Andrews
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  464
  • Published:  May 2016 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Tandem Literary

Description:  Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends–and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.

So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens…in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything. (publisher)

My take: It’s Memorial Day weekend and Riley Griggs and her daughter are waiting to board the ferry over to Belle Isle for the start of the summer season. She’s upset that her husband is a no-show since he promised he’d be there. Little does she know he’s gone – forever.

There’s a mystery (or two) to solve, some romance, and a gorgeous setting. There are some difficult family relationships especially between Riley and her mother and Riley and her daughter. Lets just say the apples didn’t fall far from the trees and the frustration of each was understandable at different times.

The Weekenders is a typical Mary Kay Andrews summer beach read. As you might expect from one of her novels there are a smattering of quirky characters, a great best-friend for Riley, and a pretty wonderful love interest for her too. I enjoyed it all and recommend you find time to read it this summer.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Beach Town, Save the Date, Ladies’ Night, Christmas Bliss, Spring Fever, and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin’s Press, as well as The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues, all HarperPerennial. On May 17, 2016, St. Martin’s Press will release her 24th novel, THE WEEKENDERS. A former journalist for
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she divides her time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, Georgia.


PRAISE FOR THE WEEKENDERS:

“Andrews blends romance, intrigue, and soap-opera-like twists in this entertaining novel about a gossipy beach town.”—Booklist

 “As her fans can already attest, Andrews has this ‘perfect beach read’ label down pat — and then some. The Weekenders is not just good, it is beyond good… Summer doesn’t truly begin without a Mary Kay Andrews book in your beach bag, so here is another winner and Top Pick just for you.”—RT Book Reviews

 “Your house has been foreclosed. Your husband is AWOL. An old flame has rematerialized. How could things get worse? Uh, your daughter’s entering puberty? That’s the kettle of fish in which the Queen of the Summer Read dumps our heroine in the fun and frothy The weekenders. Think sun, sand, romance, drama and a fine sheen of witty commentary.”—AARP


US Giveaway

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GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

the weekenders

Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis

  • wedding girl (5:19 blog tour)Title:  Wedding Girl: A Novel
  • Author:  Stacey Ballis
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  416
  • Published:  May 2016 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Top pastry chef Sophie Bernstein and her sommelier fiancé were set to have Chicago’s culinary wedding of the year…until the groom eloped with someone else in a very public debacle, leaving Sophie splashed across the tabloids—fifty grand in debt on her dream wedding and one-hundred percent screwed on her dream life. The icing on the cake was when she lost her job and her home…
 
Laying low, Sophie moves in with her grandmother, Bubbles. That way, she can keep Bubbles and her sweater-wearing pug company and nurse her broken heart. But when Sophie gets a part-time job at the old-fashioned neighborhood bakery, she finds herself up to her elbows in dough and reluctantly giving a wedding cake customer advice on everything from gift bags to guest accommodations. Before she knows it, she’s an online wedding planner. It’s not mousse and macarons, but it pays the bills. But with the arrival of unexpected personal and professional twists, Sophie wonders if she’s really moving forward—or starting over from scratch…  (publisher)

My take: Sophie and her grandmother love an evening spent on the couch watching an old black and white movie. That’s kind of what this novel reminded me of – an entertaining and sweet, feel-good movie.

For the most part I really liked Sophie and I loved Bubbles, her grandmother. Bubbles added colorful comedy to Sophie’s world. She also kept her grounded while Sophie’s entire world  threw her curveballs. Her life does a 180° turn in the opening pages of the novel when her fiancé doesn’t show for their wedding. She’s left holding the bill for the extravagant wedding and eventually loses her job thus setting the plot up for the novel. And that’s just the start of the changes Sophie will deal with. I was cheering her on all the way.

I enjoyed Stacey Ballis’s novel about second chances, reconfigured futures, and unexpected possibilities. Filled with fun secondary characters, cozy Chicago neighborhoods, and fabulous food (and recipes) Wedding Girl was my kind of book. I recommend it to fans of the author, romantic stories, and foodie fiction.

The Ones Who Matter Most by Rachael Herron

  • The Ones Who Matter Most (NAL Tour)Title:  The Ones Who Matter Most
  • Author:  Rachael Herron
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  432
  • Published:  April 2016 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  After her husband dies unexpectedly, Abby Roberts comes across something startling: wedding photographs of him with another woman, along with pictures of a baby boy. Shocked, Abby does something utterly impulsive: She embarks on a journey to discover the family her husband apparently left behind.

Money has always been tight for single mom Fern Reyes, and never tighter than now. But this month, in place of a child-support check, her ex’s pretty, privileged wife appears on her doorstep with far too many questions. Unfortunately, her young son is so taken with Abby that Fern doesn’t have the heart to send her away.

What begins as one woman’s search for truth becomes a deep bond forged between the unlikeliest of people, and the discovery that there are many ways to make a family—as long as you take care…

CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED  (publisher)

My take:  I was immediately drawn into this story of two women trying to hold their heads above water. One, Abby, is newly widowed and finds out her husband was hiding another life from her. The other, Fern, drives a city bus to support her young son, ex father-in-law, and an elderly woman who lives with them. She’s not even close to making ends meet so when her monthly check from her ex doesn’t arrive she doesn’t know what she’ll do. When Abby finds out about Fern she feels compelled to get to know her.

Could these two even be in the same room together – much less, become friends? And what happens when they try? I loved Rachael Herron’s story. Even though the two main characters could be annoying at times I felt enormous sympathy for each woman. In other words, they were very human. Fern’s eleven-year-old son Matias was so endearing and quite astute in figuring out the adults in his life. The other characters (Fern’s brother, boyfriend, father-in-law and Elva) gave depth to the novel.

I loved that Abby was a botanist who carried different flowers, etc in her pocket to get various results, feelings. If only she could figure out what to carry to get the happiness she craved. If only she believed she deserved it. Fern was a tough nut – she had to be. She would protect her loved ones at all costs and she didn’t want Abby coming in and stealing her family. But one day things changed and Fern was forced to reconsider everything.

I think fans of women’s fiction, stories about what makes a family, and Rachael Herron will enjoy this novel as much as I did.