Spotlight on Summer Releases

Time to spotlight a few summer releases. Watch for reviews in the weeks ahead

A story of reconnection, lost love, and the power of faith, Heart Land follows a struggling fashion designer back to her small Iowa hometown as she tries to follow her dreams of success and finding true love.

Howard Books:  July 17, 2018

 

 

 

A seaside town and its eclectic community help one young woman reclaim the light after darkness in a brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

Ballantine:  July 17, 2018

 

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Waite Clayton comes BEAUTIFUL EXILES, a tantalizing page-turner about Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway, two literary icons who had one of the most volatile, electrifying relationships of the 20th century.

Lake Union:  August 1, 2018

 

 

From the author of The Balance Project comes a dual-timeline narrative featuring a 1949 Miss Subways contestant and a modern-day advertising executive whose careers and lives intersect.

St. Martin’s Griffin:  July 10, 2018

 

 

 

In New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison’s most emotional novel ever, a fractured family must come together at a beach house haunted by the past.

St. Martin’s Press:  July 24, 2018

 

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart returns to her beloved Chesapeake Diaries series with a charming beachside romance that is “everything you love about small-town romance” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy).

Pocket Books:  July 31, 2018

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom.  Now, in her newest novel, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance.

Berkley:  August 7, 2018

 

 

From an internationally acclaimed author, a disturbing and addictive novel of domestic suspense where secrets kept hidden from spouses cause shocking surprises that hit home…

Berkley:  August 7, 2018

 

 

Set in modern day Oxford, Mississippi, on the Ole Miss campus, bestselling author Lisa Patton’s RUSH is a story about women—from both ends of the social ladder—discovering their voices and their empowerment.

St. Martin’s Press:  August 21, 2018

 

 


 

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Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

      

Last week on Bookfan:

   

Reading plan for this week:


 

The Lido by Libby Page

The Lido by Libby Page

Expected pub. date: July 10, 2018 – Simon & Schuster

Review galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  Rosemary Peterson has lived in Brixton, London, all her life but everything is changing.

The library where she used to work has closed. The family grocery store has become a trendy bar. And now the lido, an outdoor pool where she’s swum daily since its opening, is threatened with closure by a local housing developer. It was at the lido that Rosemary escaped the devastation of World War II; here she fell in love with her husband, George; here she found community during her marriage and since George’s death.

Twentysomething Kate Matthews has moved to Brixton and feels desperately alone. A once promising writer, she now covers forgettable stories for her local paper. That is, until she’s assigned to write about the lido’s closing. Soon Kate’s portrait of the pool focuses on a singular woman: Rosemary. And as Rosemary slowly opens up to Kate, both women are nourished and transformed in ways they never thought possible.

In the tradition of Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, The Lido is a charming, feel-good novel that captures the heart and spirit of a community across generations—an irresistible tale of love, loss, aging, and friendship. (publisher)

My take:  When the neighborhood swimming pool known as the lido is set to be sold many people are upset. Rosemary, in her eighties, has a special attachment to the place. It has played a big part in her life. The local newspaper sends a young reporter, Kate, to cover the rumored sale of the lido. Kate, who deals with anxiety and panic attacks, wants to interview Rosemary for her article but it won’t be as easy as that. Rosemary agrees but only if Kate will swim at the lido with her. Just about the last thing Kate wants to do is buy a swim suit and then go swimming. But she’ll do it for the story. What follows is the story of a community and a place that is important to them all. A story of an unexpected friendship for Rosemary and Kate – at opposite ends of life but kindred spirits all the same. It’s a story about never losing hope. If you’re looking for a warm hug of a book about life this could be one for you. I’m so happy I had a chance to read it and I was really glad to have a box of Kleenex nearby as I finished reading.

Note: Check out pics of the real Brockwell lido here.


 

California Summer by Anita Hughes

California Summer by Anita Hughes

St. Martin’s Griffin; June 19, 2018

Review copy courtesy of St. Martin’s Griffin

Description:  Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend’s invitation to spend the summer at her parents’ estate in Montecito. It’s far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate shop, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love…again. (publisher)

My take:  If you enjoy a sexy, contemporary romance with a beautiful setting you’ll want to read California Summer. Anita Hughes’ new novel is filled with gorgeous people who live interesting lives that are all in various states of emotional upheaval. Rosie begins to find her passion in life after living in the shadow of another person’s dream for years. She also starts to listen to her inner voice and a select few others who have wisdom to pass on to her. Filled with various characters, some more sympathetic than others (who are downright easy to loathe), the story is a nighttime soap lover’s catnip. Toss this one into the beach bag this summer. You’ll be glad you did!


About the author:
ANITA HUGHES is the author of Monarch Beach, Market Street, Lake Como, French Coast, Rome in Love, Island in the Sea, Santorini Sunsets, Christmas in Paris, White Sand, Blue Sea, Emerald Coast, and Christmas in London. She attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing Program, and lives in Dana Point, California, where she is at work on her next novel. For more information about Anita and her books, visit anitahughesbooks.com


Praise for Anita Hughes:
“Hughes crafts another fast-paced beach read for those who crave new beginnings that lead to happy endings.” –Booklist

“Anita Hughes is a master at sweeping the reader away to an exotic location! In CALIFORNIA SUMMER, Hughes takes us behind the gates to the manicured lawns, exquisite gardens, and mansions of Hollywood royalty to experience a second chance at a career and love. The perfect beach read!” –Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of Beach House Reunion

“A tender and triumphant look at what happens when life falls apart and you are left to rediscover the world through an entirely different lens than the one you imagined: new friends, new passions, new roads. Anita Hughes crafts a winning heroine you absolutely root for, and CALIFORNIA SUMMER made my heart sing.” –Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author

“Hughes’ uplifting tour of past love and future endeavors, set in a dreamy getaway of excitement and self-discovery, makes for an ideal, quick beach read.” –Booklist on Emerald Coast

“How OOC could a family drama that’s set in sandy St. Barts get? Very.” –Cosmopolitan on White Sand, Blue Sea


 

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

    

  • Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne  (Thanks HQN for the gorgeous ARC)
  • Rush by Lisa Patton  (Thanks to Tandem Literary for the ARC and related goodies*)
  • The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely  (Thanks to St. Martin’s Griffin for the finished copy)

Last week on Bookfan:

      

Reading plan for this week:


*

Thanks to Lisa Patton and Tandem Literary for the note pad, pen and cup.

Most of all, thanks for the ARC!


Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Review copy courtesy of Lake Union and Little Bird Publicity

Lake Union Publishing | June 19, 2018
Paperback: $14.95 | ISBN: 978-1503900394
eBook: $4.99 | ASIN: B076KYS66K

Description: Roseanna Chaldecott wants just one thing: peace and quiet. After the sudden loss of her lifelong best friend and law partner, Roseanna abandons her cushy yet unfulfilling life as a New York City lawyer and drives into the countryside without a firm destination in mind. As the car is just about out of gas, she stumbles upon the place she didn’t even know she was looking for: a tiny
house on a beautiful patch of green, tucked away in the hills, with a “For Sale” sign out front. Not a few hours later, Roseanna is the proud owner of this little slice of paradise and committed to a new
life away from the city.
But in HEAVEN ADJACENT (Lake Union Publishing; on sale June 19th, 2018), there’s a catch: Roseanna isn’t the only person enamored by her peaceful hideaway. On the first night in her new
abode she meets Patty and her five-year-old daughter Willa, who’ve been living on the property and can’t afford their own place. Soon others start traveling through, and as Roseanna explains why she exchanged her comfortable lifestyle for the simplicity of a shack in the woods, a few passersby become additional squatters interrupting her silence and solitude. Though she is adamant their days on the property are numbered, she reluctantly lets them stay.
Back in Manhattan, no one knows Roseanna’s whereabouts for months, not even her remaining ex-law partner, Jerry, or her estranged son, Lance. But after the New York Times runs an article about
Roseanna and the peculiar array of metal sculptures she’s created, Lance arrives to convince her to return home—and Jerry threatens her with a hefty lawsuit for abandoning the firm. As she comes to grips with the possibility of losing everything, Roseanna begins to ask herself what—and who—matters the most to her, and whether the isolation she yearned for is truly the cornerstone of her next chapter in life.
The author of more than 30 books, including the critically-acclaimed novel Pay It Forward, Catherine Ryan Hyde presents readers with a middle-aged woman who still has a lot to learn about who she really is, and a cast of characters who chip away at the hard exterior she’s built up over the hectic life that’s passed her by. As Roseanna beings to accept a new reality free of material wealth, she discovers that she is rich in something that can’t be replaced: family. HEAVEN ADJACENT is a novel about realizing life is too short to put off happiness, and that shows the people we celebrate each day with should make us the most joyful of all. (publisher)

My take:  Roseanna’s approach to work was do it for as long as it took to ensure she could retire at some point and enjoy a comfortable life. When her best friend who held the same mindset suddenly died Roseanna made a change that bewildered her coworkers, family and even herself.

This is a story about resetting one’s priorities. Filled with quirky characters who were part of Roseanna’s new life this novel made me chuckle at times and it made me think about the possibilities that are always around us – but are we brave enough to consider making changes. I really enjoyed it. It’s the third of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novels I’ve read and, just like the previous ones, it left me with a warm feeling and very happy to have read it. Recommended.


About the author:

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 33 published books. Her bestselling 1999 novel, Pay It
Forward, was adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture, made the American Library
Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list, and has been translated into more than two dozen
languages in 30 countries. More than 50 of her short stories have been published in journals, and her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.
Hyde is the founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation.


 

Famous Father Girl by Jamie Bernstein

Review eGalley provided by Harper and Edelweiss

Description:  The oldest daughter of revered composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein offers a rare look at her father on the centennial of his birth in a deeply intimate and broadly evocative memoir.

An intoxicating tale, Famous Father Girl is an intimate meditation on a complex and sometimes troubled man, the family he raised, and the music he composed that became the soundtrack to their entwined lives. Deeply moving and often hilarious, Bernstein’s beautifully written memoir is a great American story about one of the greatest Americans of the modern age. (from the publisher’s description)

My take: One of my first memories of listening to music was when my mother played her beloved West Side Story soundtrack. I was mesmerized by it years before I saw the film version. Many decades later it remains one of my favorite musicals. For that reason I couldn’t wait to read Famous Father Girl. I wanted to learn what it was like to grow up the daughter of Leonard Bernstein. I wasn’t disappointed by this memoir. In college I earned a music degree and, along the way, I learned why I loved Bernstein’s music – the rhythm, orchestration, the emotions it evoked. Jamie Bernstein tells the story of her larger than life father and his effect on his family. I enjoyed the photos scattered throughout and was unsurprised by mentions of notable names of the era. Readers who grew up during the mid 20th century will recognize most if not all. As in any life well lived there are triumphs and disappointments. The Bernstein family experienced all. I think there could be a surprise or two for readers but I also think fans of the maestro and the memoir genre will be happy with Jamie’s efforts.