Waiting on Wednesday – July 21

The Life You've Imagined: A Novel

Pub. date:  August 17, 2010

From Goodreads:

Are you living the life you imagined? Is there anything you’d have done differently if you could? Those are the questions asked in Kristina Riggle’s unforgettable new novel.

In high school, Cami and Anna were as close as they could be…now, years later, both have returned to their hometown to face the people they had once left behind.

Anna must confront her mother, still distraught over the abandonment of her husband, and come to terms with choices she had made years before. While Cami returns home to stay with her alcoholic father, she must face a secret that she thought was long-since buried.

This is a novel that digs deep and touches the heart of the issues so many women face-the quest for perfection, the hope of love, the value of family and importance of always striving for your dream.

at Breaking the Spine

Waiting On Wednesday – July 14

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

St. Martin’s Press

August 31, 2010

From the publisher (not my review):

Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiancee and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything.
When Andie meets the two children she quickly realizes things are much worse than she feared. The place is a mess, the children, Carter and Alice, aren’t your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. What’s worse, Andie’s fiancee thinks this is all a plan by North to get Andie back, and he may be right. Andie’s dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that’s not the only haunting.
What follows is a hilarious adventure in exorcism, including a self-doubting parapsychologist, an annoyed medium, her Tarot-card reading mother, an avenging ex-mother-in-law, and, of course, her jealous fiancee. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get more complicated, North shows up on the doorstep making her wonder if maybe this time things could be different between them.
If Andie can just get rid of all the guests and ghosts, she’s pretty sure she can save the kids, and herself, from the past. But fate might just have another thing in mind…

at Breaking The Spine

Waiting On Wednesday – July 7

She's Gone Country

August 23, 2010

Publisher:  5 Spot

Shey Darcy, a 39-year-old former top model for Vogue and Sports Illustratedled a charmed life in New York City with a handsome photographer husband until the day he announced he’d fallen in love with someone else. Left to pick up the pieces of her once happy world, Shey decides to move back home to Texas with her three teenage sons. Life on the family ranch, however, brings with it a whole new host of dramas starting with differences of opinion with her staunch Southern Baptist mother, her rugged but overprotective brothers, and daily battles with her three sons who are also struggling to find themselves. Add to the mix Shey’s ex-crush, Dane Kelly, a national bullriding champ and she’s got her hands full. It doesn’t take long before Shey realizes that in order to reinvent herself, she must let go of an uncertain future and a broken past, to find happiness–and maybe love–in the present.

at Breaking The Spine

Waiting on Wednesday – June 30

The Book of Peach

August 3, 2010 (Penguin Group, USA)

From Goodreads: For fans of Fannie Flagg – the acclaimed author of Heartbreak Cafe delivers a heartwarming, hilarious new novel.

Twenty-three years ago, beauty queen Peach Rondell left Mississippi and vowed never to return. Now she’s back, divorced and heartbroken, trying to figure out how her life went so terribly wrong. To escape her mama’s scrutinizing gaze, she spends her days in a little storefront diner called the Heartbreak Cafe, where, in the back booth, she scribbles away in her journal, waiting for enlightenment. Instead, Peach gets something even better: the unexpected friendship of an unlikely group of folks who show Peach that finding out where you’re going usually means embracing where you’re from.

at Breaking the Spine

Waiting on Wednesday – June 23

at Breaking The Spine


The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise by Julia Stuart

Pub. date: Sept. 7, 2010 by Doubleday

Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo by Julia Stuart

Synopsis found at Goodreads (not my review):

Brimming with charm and whimsy, this exquisite novel set in the Tower of London has the transportive qualities and delightful magic of the contemporary classics Chocolat and Amélie.

Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London.

Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erot ica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens.

When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interest ing. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise “runs” away.

Filled with the humor and heart that calls to mind the delight ful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, and the charm and beauty of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise is a magical, wholly origi nal novel whose irresistible characters will stay with you long after you turn the stunning last page.

Waiting On Wednesday – June 16

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases.  This week’s pick is:

Sand in My Eyes

Pub. date: July 1, 2010

Penmark Publishing, LLC

Goodreads synopsis:

An older woman growing flowers, a younger woman caught up in the weeds, and the seasons of life.

Twenty years ago, Anna Hott thought she could control everything – her crumbling marriage, her demanding children, her hectic life – by quitting her high-paced job in New York City and moving her family to tranquil Sanibel Island, Florida. But she brought her untamed emotions, her rage toward her cheating husband, and her yearning to write a novel with her. When her husband and children left the house for a week, Anna thought at last she would get her household, her novel, and her mind in order. Instead, her elderly neighbor Fedelina Aurelio knocked on her door bearing flowers and homespun wisdom, and when Fedelina’s recently divorced son arrived, Anna had a test of passions and a test of truth. Now, at 56 with an empty nest, Anna Holt pulls out the incomplete manuscript she started that memorable week and – to find closure for her life and a conclusion for her novel – travels to Indiana to visit Fedelina who lives in a nursing home.

A novel framed within a novel, Sand in My Eyes is both a story about the tension between motherhood and personal dreams as well as a story about women across generations inspiring one another to let beauty persist despite ugly circumstances.