May 232017
 

The Simplicity of Cider: A Novel
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Wisconsin
Gallery Books (May 16, 2017)
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501179723
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1501154928
Kindle ASIN: B01HMXRVKO

 

 

Fall in love with The Simplicity of Cider, the charming new novel about a prickly but gifted cider-maker whose quiet life is interrupted by the arrival of a handsome man and his young son at her family’s careworn orchard by the author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie.

Focused and unassuming fifth generation cider-maker Sanna Lund has one desire: to live a simple, quiet life on her family’s apple orchard in Door County, Wisconsin. Although her business is struggling, Sanna remains fiercely devoted to the orchard, despite her brother’s attempts to convince their aging father to sell the land.

Single dad Isaac Banks has spent years trying to shield his son Sebastian from his troubled mother. Fleeing heartbreak at home, Isaac packed up their lives and the two headed out on an adventure, driving across the country. Chance—or fate—led them straight to Sanna’s orchard.

Isaac’s helping hands are much appreciated at the apple farm, even more when Sanna’s father is injured in an accident. As Sanna’s formerly simple life becomes increasingly complicated, she finds solace in unexpected places—friendship with young Sebastian and something more deliciously complex with Isaac—until an outside threat infiltrates the farm.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

After read Luck, Love & Lemon Pie last year I knew this was an author I would keep me eye on. When I heard about this new book I couldn’t wait to read it.

Isaac Banks and his son Bass, short for Sebastian, are on a cross country adventure. Isaac is trying to protect his son from the realities at home. They soon find themselves in Wisconsin’s Door County. A beautiful place full of cherries, a restaurant where goats graze on the roof, Green Bay (not the town where the Packers play), lighthouses and apple orchards. Isaac and Bass soon find themselves at Idun’s, an apple orchard that has been owned by the Lund family for five generations. Sanna Lund and her father now run the place and Sanna has a special talent for making cider. Her father has mortgaged the farm to purchase all the equipment she needs to produce on a large scale. Her brother has nothing to do with the orchard anymore but thinks it needs to be sold to take care of the debt because they have received a huge offer.

Issac and Bass agree to help with the chores. It is like fate brought them to this place. Sanna really doesn’t like kids but after a couple of days that changes as Bass finds a way into her heart. She and Isaac also feel a connection neither of them understand. When someone’s actions threaten Sanna’s precious trees and the entire orchard things get complicated.

This is such a beautiful story and so well written. The author has a way of writing that pictures of people, time, and place just come alive with such detailed imagery. Maybe it is because I have traveled to Door County several times that I had a crystal clear picture of everything she described but I truly believe it was her words that took me right along with Sanna, Issac and Bass.

She gives us a story of family, love, loss, and a little touch of something that “just is” and can only be explained by the belief that love carries through the generations and appears in unexpected ways.

These are such special characters. Their hearts are heavy with secrets and vulnerability that ebbs and flows through the entire series, even after some trust has been earned. The relationships built are so unique.

The Simplicity of Cider flows at a nice and easy pace. It was a relaxing read. I usually read a book like this in one or two nights but I didn’t want the story to end. I took time to savor every page and word. This book will make my list of Best Reads for 2017.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Amy and her books here

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 042017
 

This book is available for pre-order. Release Date – May 30, 2017


About a Dog ( A Bluff Point Romance)
Women’s Fiction/Romance
1st in Series
Setting – Maine
Berkley Sensation (May 30, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399584718
Kindle ASIN: B01LX3H0Q5

 

 

Fall in love with a little help from man’s best friend in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s contemporary romance debut.

Mackenzie “Mac” Harris fled her hometown of Bluff Point, Maine, after being left at the altar—and seeking solace in the arms of her best friend’s off-limits brother. Now, seven years later, she’s back to attend her best friend’s wedding—safe, or so she thinks, from the mistakes of her youth.

But Gavin Tolliver has never forgotten the woman who has always held his heart. And when Mac rescues a stray puppy named Tulip, only Gavin, the town’s veterinarian, can help. With a little assistance from Tulip, Gavin vows to make Mac realize that their feelings are more than just puppy love…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Back in 2011 I found some romance novels written by Jennifer McKinlay written for Harlequin. I am not sure when they were originally released but they were re released as e-books in 2014. I really enjoyed them so I was very excited when I heard she was starting a new romantic comedy series. I was over the moon to receive an early copy of the first book to review.

We meet Mackenzie “Mac” Harris as she returns to Bluff Point after leaving seven years prior when her groom left her standing at the altar. She returns to be her best friend, Emma’s maid of honor and hopes her past won’t rise up to smack her in the face.  Gavin Tolliver, Emma’s little brother, was there for her when her wedding fell apart and has never gotten over the feelings he had for her. They reconnect because of the wedding but also because of Tulip, a stray puppy Mac rescues. It’s all About A Dog until suddenly it isn’t.

I loved, Loved, LOVED this story!

Mac and Gavin along with all their family and friends are wonderfully written. The friendships both new and old come together so naturally. Mac’s aunts were my favorite characters next to Mac and Gavin. These senior citizens are going through their second phase of being teenagers. Their antics will have you smiling ear to ear.

Being a dog lover I was taken by Tulip the moment Mac found her. As you may imagine by the title she is a key character to the entire story. She is just so darn lovable. If I didn’t have two dogs already I would rush right out to adopt one just like her.

Gavin and Mac have a secret. Something she has tried to forget and one Gavin wants her to remember very clearly. Emma has not had much luck in her relationships and tries to fight her feelings for Gavin but sparks just seem to fly whenever they are near each other. She even enlists her friends to be buffers and help her to never be alone with him. She is only in town for two weeks, there is no way they can be any more than friends. Yeah, right.

Jenn McKinlay has penned quite a romance with several twists. Lighthearted, funny and romantic. A totally entertaining story of life, love, and friendship.  This series is out to a fabulous start.  I can’t wait for Barking Up the Wrong Tree when it releases on September 26 and then Every Dog Has His Day comes out January 2, 2018. 

I highly recommend an escape to Bluff Point soon and often.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

*Adult language and situations as expected for this genre. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Apr 252017
 


Beach Breeze
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1543115277
Kindle ASIN: B06WD4QFZ2

 
 
 
 
 

After a heartbreaking summer on the Connecticut shore, a group of beach friends is as adrift as an unmoored rowboat. When a dismayed Jason Barlow drives as far away from the sea as he can, leaving behind his wife, Maris, as well as their stately cottage on the bluff, that news hits like a sudden wave. Gathering over an intimate meal in a coastal diner, the friends make a solemn pact to lean on each other and not make any more rash decisions.

Which is all well and good, until each friend wavers–testing relationships, commitments, and especially love in the little beach community of Stony Point. But can the magic of the weathered boardwalk, whispering lagoon grasses, and sweet salt air cure what ails them?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have loved this series, in fact I have loved all Joanne’s books. I knew this book would pick up right where the last one left off from the synopsis but I never imagined how difficult it was going for me to read. As Beach Blues ends Sal DeLuca had just died and left the gang at Stony Point reeling. Elsa lost her son, Celia lost her true love, Jason lost a man that he had grown as close to as a brother and the rest lost their friend.

I clearly identified with Elsa, she has just lost her son. I know that raw pain and her grief brought mine careening back. I was shaken and found myself sobbing. At first I thought I need to just put the book away, I just wasn’t ready to read something so vivid that was making my responses so raw. But I kept on thinking just maybe Elsa would help me see a way through my own pain. We didn’t make it there yet but maybe as her story continues we will both continue to heal.

I was also moved by how each character dealt with their grief differently, just like in real life. My husband, my children, his child, his nephews, our extended family, and my son’s friends. Everyone of us is still grieving all in our own ways. By dealing with this close death so recently I can say the author has written this story so truthfully. People try to move forward, some making huge decisions that shouldn’t be made quickly or at a stressful time like this. Others want to just hide away and be alone, they is where I started my journey too. Others seem perfectly fine until something triggers a memory that can take you right back to the beginning all over again. These characters show how necessary it is to be there to support each other. It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, sometimes a hug, a little joke that can bring a smile. You may not always get it right but it is important to keep trying.

Joanne DeMaio has taken us on a journey with these characters that is far from complete. She takes us through the good times, this group has had many good times. But she also takes us through the bad. They have had their share of those too. This is the first book though that was dealing with a really bad time for the entire book. Yes, there is just a little bit of uplifting at the end. Like real life though the death of someone special sticks with you forever. You hear all about the stages of grief but I now know they do not stay true to any order and you do not work through them and get over it. I know this author will remember that as the series moves forward.

A moving, heartfelt story. Have the tissues ready.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Apr 112017
 

The Night the Lights Went Out
Women’s Fiction/Mystery
Setting – Georgia
Berkley (April 11, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451488381
Kindle ASIN: B01LWLFUT2

 

 

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.

Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.

Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.

In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women….

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Merilee Talbot Dunlap’s and Sugar Prescott’s lives collide when Merilee rents a cottage from Sugar following her divorce. Sugar doesn’t usually get involved in her tenant’s lives but there is something that draws her to Merilee and her children. When an anonymous local blog spills all the details about Merilee’s divorce and she finds she doesn’t have much in common with the other moms at her children’s pricey private school (paid for by their grandparents), she finds herself opening up to Sugar. She does make friends with a couple of the moms but Sugar advises her to be cautious of Heather Blackford, one of the Sweet Apple’s elite that has basically taken her under her wing. There is just something about her Sugar doesn’t like….

I loved this story for so many reasons.

The first is the story starts with a blog post, what blogger wouldn’t love that.

The second is the characters and the friendships that build throughout the story. The friendship between Sugar and Merilee drew me deeply into the story. Both woman started out very uncertain about their future both apart and together. Sugar had quite a life, losing the love of her life and living on her property her entire life while developers bought up land all around her. She shares her memories with Merilee and in turn us readers. It gives Merilee a different perspective for her life. We also learn they both have secrets.

Third, there was mystery. I knew from there was something building but was totally surprised and then things fell into place like dominoes. There were fantastic twists all along the way that I really enjoyed.

Full of Southern charm, friendships, history, mystery, and humor. These complex characters will jump off the pages and into your heart quickly. As the weather warms, make yourself a pitcher of sweet tea, find a comfy chair and grab this book. A perfect springtime escape!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight PatternsThe Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 print copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

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Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mar 102017
 


Laura’s Dream: A Cape Harriet NovellaWomen’s Fiction/Romantic Comedy
4th in Series
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 152 pages
ASIN: B01N9QAXAZ

 

 

Connor Brown’s life has turned upside down. All he wants now is a week of solitude at the Rising Tides Inn. Amy’s trying to dodge the curve balls life has thrown at her. She has no time to spare for anyone.

When Connor plows into Amy’s house, he unwittingly wrecks the garden she’s toiled at for months. Neither Amy nor Connor imagine their paths will cross again.

Laura’s Dream is the story of two strangers brought together by fate. They discover a new side of each other’s life every time they meet, only to find they have a lot in common. Will they take a second chance at love?

Book 4 of the much loved Cape Harriet series promises clean sweet romance in a beach setting, yummy food with recipes and small town charm.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Pete and Zadie Strathmore own the Rising Tides Inn and they bend over backwards to make their guests feel at home. Zadie is also something of a matchmaker. Connor Brown comes to the Rising Tides just hoping to escape his life for a while. He meets Amy when his car smashes through her gate and garden and into her house. She wants nothing to do with Connor but they just keep running into each other.

Roma Brooks has given us another wonderful novella to escape into. Another one perfect for a Hallmark movie. She breathes such life into all of her characters. From the main characters to the residents of this small beach town, they are all so real.  The author surprises us too with twists that take the story in different ways that you imagine with just a bit of mystery. Romance builds slowly with delightful ending.

All the stories in this series can be read on their own. I recommend you read them all.

I wish I could visit The Rising Tides Inn and meet Pete and Zadie. The place sounds so relaxing and the food sounds amazing!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

BONUS RECIPE FROM LAURA’S DREAM – from Amazon Page
Zadie’s Spicy Salsa
Ingredients
10-12 ripe tomatoes
1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 limes, juiced
¼ tsp ground cumin
Salt to taste
Method
Roughly chop 5-6 tomatoes and blend them using food processor or blender. Transfer to a bowl.
Finely chop the remaining tomatoes and add to the bowl.
Season the tomatoes with salt.
Add minced jalapeno (per taste), cilantro and lime juice to the bowl. Add in the ground cumin and mix well.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
Serve with chips or as condiment with eggs, burritos, sandwiches, wraps etc.

 
 
 

About The Author
Roma Brooks writes stories featuring real life characters, the kind you would come across in your own family. Her books will make you laugh, cry, love, hate and bite your nails. She dreams of retiring to a seaside town like Cape Harriet where the gentle waves of the ocean lull you into sweet dreams.


Click the covers to order from Amazon.
Laura’s Dream is just 99 cents!

Coming April 18, 2017 – Full Length Novel.

Pre-Order today just 99 cents.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2016 Week #49

 It's Monday! What Are You Reading?  Comments Off on It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2016 Week #49
Dec 052016
 

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday Everyone!!

Hope you are all having a great day. It is snowing here as I type this. Beautiful and we seem to be getting more than forecast. Just hope everyone is safe on the roads. Better yet curled up with a good book!

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.

FINISHED


The Red Queen Rules (A Red Solaris Mystery)
Release Date – December , 2016
Review will be up tomorrow! 
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Egg Drop Dead (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
Release Date – December 6, 2016
Laura Childs will be my guest this week for Cozy Wednesday!
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Fatal Fiction
Release Date – December 6, 2016
The Great Escapes Tour stops here this Thursday!
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CURRENTLY READING


The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop
Release Date – July 14, 2015
My Flashback Friday book and the “Y” entry for my Alphabet Soup Challenge.
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ON DECK THIS WEEK


Prose and Cons (A Magical Bookshop Mystery)
Release Date – December 6, 2016
For Review
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The Seven-Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen
Release Date – November 27, 2016
For Review
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Dead, Bath, and Beyond (Victoria Square Mystery)
Release Date – December 6, 2016
For Review
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escapeClick Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Nov 222016
 

I reviewed the 2nd book in this series back in September and loved it so I jumped at the chance when the author asked me to review this one.

christmas-morning
Christmas Morning: A Cape Harriet Novel
Women’s Fiction – Romance- Holiday
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 334 pages
ASIN: B01M3U4FBO
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A cozy, heartwarming Christmas Story, full of holiday cheer – Christmas Morning will make you believe in the power of true love

Christmas has come to Cape Harriet, and this year, it’s all about second chances! Christmas Morning is an emotionally gripping novel that will light a fire in your heart and make you want to fall in love again.

James & Sandhya have found unexpected love, but their future will be decided by a tormented child. A newly married couple find their vows tested to the limit. A wounded vet finds himself in a Christmas nightmare.

Zadie’s dishing up special Christmas treats, and the town is decked up for the holidays. As the mercury dips, everyone eagerly awaits Christmas Morning.

Stoke up the fire, have a warm drink at hand, and snuggle up to enjoy this sweet contemporary romance, spiced up with a dash of intrigue.

*includes festive recipes from Zadie’s kitchen

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story brings back together the couple the met at the Rising Tides Inn in the novella that started the series, Clipper Beach. (A story I intended to read before I jumped into this one but completely forgot to do. I caught up pretty fast.) James & Sandhya return to Cape Harriet to celebrate the holidays with owners Pete and Zadie Strathmore. The Inn has a few other guests too including a young couple with a baby and a man recovering from some injuries. Sandhya’s 12 year old daughter also comes to the cape for the holidays. Zadie and Pete try to give them all the best Christmas they can including them in some Cape Harriet traditions.

This is one of those stories perfect for the Hallmark Network. A new romance with some bumps to endure that can bring a couple even closer. A man with a traumatic event in his past trying to recover not only from his physical injuries but his emotional ones as well. A young family with a secret that could tear them apart or bring them together. Pete and Zadie standing by with comfort, advice and so much delicious food.

Roma Brooks brings her characters to life in such a realistic way. They are all engaging and people I wanted to get to know better. Pete and Zadie seem to be salt of the earth type people who take everything in stride. So warm and welcoming, Pete spends a lot of time with Leena, Sandhya’s daughter who had been living with her grandmother while single mom Sandhya focused on her career. The Strathmore’s know her coming to Virginia is stressful on not only her and her mother but James as he wants them to all be a family. Zadie and Pete also try to get Dylan to open up about his pain and maybe open his heart just a little bit. They don’t butt in to what Trey and Muffy are struggling with but let them proceed at their own pace and be available to them if needed, well maybe just a little push here and there. We get to know these characters on such a personal level thanks to some excellent writing by Ms. Brooks.

In addition to the wonderful people at at inn, the story focuses on the food they are eating. Whether Zadie is cooking up something delicious or they stop by a local eatery, the descriptions had my mouth watering. There are recipes included in the book but like Sandhya cooking is not my strongest talent so I probably wouldn’t do them justice.  Zadie does have some interesting foodie ideas for Christmas too.

It seems the Rising Tides Inn is a wonderful getaway no matter what time of the year. It is a place I would love to visit in reality but these little virtual excursions will have to do. I am ready to pack my things and head there right now. I am sure Thanksgiving is a great time in Cape Harriet, but I am willing to travel there at anytime. I hope the author doesn’t make us wait too long for our next escape to the cape!

Fantastic location, believable characters, and food, glorious food! If you need a story to get you in the holiday spirit this one is absolutely perfect!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author
Roma Brooks writes stories featuring real life characters, the kind you would come across in your own family. Her books will make you laugh, cry, love, hate and bite your nails. She dreams of retiring to a seaside town like Cape Harriet where the gentle waves of the ocean lull you into sweet dreams.


Click the covers to order from Amazon.
Christmas Morning is just 99 cents!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

#Review – Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

 Reviews 2016, You Read How Many Books Challenge  Comments Off on #Review – Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
Sep 272016
 

girl-underwater

Girl Underwater: A Novel
Women’s Fiction/ Suspense/Romance
Setting – Colorado
Dutton – First Edition edition (March 31, 2015)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525954934
Dutton; Reprint edition (August 16, 2016)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101983980
E-Book ASIN: B00L9AXQEC
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An adventurous debut novel that cross cuts between a competitive college swimmer’s harrowing days in the Rocky Mountains after a major airline disaster and her recovery supported by the two men who love her—only one of whom knows what really happened in the wilderness.

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up in Brookline, Massachusetts, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university’s nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.

That all changes when Avery’s red-eye home for Thanksgiving makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and Colin Shea, who happens to be her teammate. Colin is also the only person in Avery’s college life who challenged her to swim her own events, to be her own person—something she refused to do. Instead she’s avoided him since the first day of freshman year. But now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could’ve imagined.

In the wilderness, the concept of survival is clear-cut. Simple. In the real world, it’s anything but.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a little different from what I usually read of late but when I saw the praise even from Oprah, I knew I needed to read this book. I have read several of her recommendations over the years.

Avery Delacorte and Colin Shea are on their college swim team, acquaintances not friends. They and one other team member are on a plane heading to Massachusetts from California for their holiday break. Shortly after takeoff the plane starts to malfunction and crash lands in a lake in the Rocky Mountains. Surviving the crash using their athleticism and swimming talents they are able to rescue a woman and 3 little boys. They know they are going to have to work together to survive until help can come.

The story rotates back and forth in time, after the crash and after the rescue with Avery telling the story so readers know she does survive. It is an extraordinary story about what it took to survive, but recovering after they are rescued is much harder on Avery even though Colin was the one more physically injured. As the story continues we finally find out why.

This is an adventure novel in that is was adventure to survive the crash and persevere until they are rescued but it a gripping suspense novel and an emotional roller coaster read as well.  A life changing experience that will keep you up reading late into the night.

The characters are so realistic. Avery matures from a young college co-ed unsure of herself to a confident young woman when faced with a do or die situation and then reverts back to the young adult she truly is as she tries to understand and deal with the trauma. Her father was tough on her while growing up and the skills he taught her proved to be very valuable. After he needs to be tough with her again so she can find her way back to the life she was meant to live.

It is classified by some as a coming of age/young adult story, Kells has kept the romantic and traumatic situations age appropriate for that, but older adult readers like me will find this a compelling read as well. That is why I classify it more Women’s Fiction with Suspense/Romance as sub-genres.

I have to mention this is Claire Kells debut novel so she is an author to watch. This story was incredible and she has a clear voice. I hope she has another story coming out soon.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

 

 

About The Author

Claire Kells was born outside Philadelphia and has lived in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco since graduating from Princeton University in 2005. An English major, she didn’t start writing fiction until her first year of medical school. Now a third-year resident physician in the Bay Area, she spends her free time writing stories about love, loss, and adventure.

Webpage


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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sep 132016
 

 

wicked-summer

Wicked Summer: A Cape Harriet Novel by Roma Brooks
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Virginia
Self Published
Print Length: 307 pages
ASIN: B01I962GVM
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Wicked Summer follows the Bloom family as they spend a once in a lifetime vacation at Cape Harriet, a charming seaside town on Virginia’s scenic Eastern Shore.

All Mary Bloom ever wanted was to celebrate her 60th birthday at the beach. The extended Bloom family converges at the Rising Tides Inn, where their slightest whim is catered to.

Forty something Iris is the perfect suburban mom, holding her four kids and husband on a tight leash. 36 year old Hyacinth is single, successful and the self-proclaimed brains of the family. At 26, Poppy is a top travel blogger, wandering across countries most people only dream of visiting.

The rivalry among the sisters is as strong as ever, and each sister is dealing with it in her own way. So while Iris taunts and needles, Hyacinth takes the high road and shows disdain. Poppy suffers silently, lost in her own inner turmoil. None of them has an inkling of the storm that is about to break loose in their lives.

Soft shell crabs and salt marshes will be forgotten as shocking secrets are revealed. Everyone seems to be guilty of hiding something.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I really needed a great beach read for the end of the summer and this book filled the bill nicely. While it is Women’s Fiction there is a little bit of mystery and secrets too and that made me like the story even more.

The Rising Tides Inn sounds like a fabulous place to spend a week. The owners become extended family to Mary Bloom and her daughters, Iris, Hyacinth, and Poppy. They cater to every whim imaginable and always with a smile on their faces.

The Bloom sisters are each so different, it is hard to imagine they all had the same parents. Their father has passed on so it is just Mary and her girls. She always wanted to spend her 60th birthday at the beach and Poppy seems to have found the perfect place. Iris and her family join her mother and her sisters but it not the week Mary had longed for, the girls just really don’t get along with each other. Mary hopes after spending their time at the beach together the sisters will grow closer. That won’t be easy as everyone seems to have their own issues/secrets to deal with.

After I started reading I realized that this is the author’s second book set at the Rising Tides Inn, but the owners seem to be the only overlap so it did read easily on its own. I did enjoy meeting Zadie and Pete so I may have to read the first story, a novella, Clipper Beach, to see if they treat their previous guests as greatly as the blooms. 

The story had a great flow as we delved deeper and deeper into each of the characters. There was also a great deal of description of the wonderful fresh seafood found on the Eastern Shore. In the Midwest we miss out on those fresh catch of the day fish, but I did have a yearning to head to the nearest Red Lobster several times while I was reading or a vacation anywhere along the shore would work too. One is in my price range, the other not so much.

As I stated above their were a few surprises in this story but the last one was a real twist, totally unexpected, taking this story beyond my expectations.

I am excited to learn that this will be a continuing series because I loved this escape to Cape Harriet and want to return soon and often. This was a “wicked” great way to end the summer!

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

GIVEAWAY

I enjoyed this story so much I want to share
so I am giving away 1 set of the Cape Harriet Books!

One winner will receive a copy of both books,
delivered directly to them from Amazon.

Easy Entry!
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Leave a comment below about something fun you did this summer.
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Winner will be chosen using Random.org on September 27, 2016

I hope you will follow my blog too but that is not a requirement for this giveaway!
Note if the book prices rise you will receive a $4 Amazon gift card instead.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sep 082016
 

letters from paris

Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell
Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction
Setting – Paris, France
Berkley Books (September 6, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Paperback: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473707
E-Book – ASIN: B01BS7FY5Y
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Key comes the story of a mysterious work of art and the woman inspired to uncover its history in the City of Light.

After surviving the accident that took her mother’s life, Claire Broussard has worked hard to escape her small Louisiana hometown. But these days she feels something is lacking. Abruptly leaving her lucrative job in Chicago, Claire returns home to care for her ailing grandmother. There, she unearths a beautiful piece of artwork that her great-grandfather sent home from Paris after World War II.

At her grandmother’s urging, Claire travels to Paris to track down the century-old mask-making atelier where the object, known only as “L’Inconnue”—or The Unknown Woman—was created. Under the watchful eye of a surly mask-maker, Claire discovers a cache of letters that offers insight into the life of the Belle Epoque woman immortalized in the work of art. As Claire explores the unknown woman’s tragic fate, she begins to unravel deeply buried secrets in her own life.

*Note there are mentions of suicides in this story.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Claire/Chance Broussard goes home to Louisiana to be with her grandmother as she lives out her last days. When she finds a broken piece of artwork in the attic. Her grandmother tells her to go to Paris. There is a story that goes with the artwork she found but she will only hear it in Paris. Soon after her grandmother passes Claire heads to Paris and the trip changes her life forever.

the unknown woman

www.smh.com.au

As soon as Claire found the broken mask I was on the internet so I had the right picture of the mask in my head. But this story was about so much more that a mask. Ms. Blackwell takes us back in time where we meet Sabine, a young woman working as an artist’s model. It was not the life she had imagined. Then we alternate and come to present day and Claire’s experiences in Paris. The author entwines these stories together to give us a wonderful story. One I had a hard time putting down.

The characters from past and present feel so alive and real. I found myself immersed both of their stories at times not wanting to switch back and forth, but the author’s way of doing this made each of the stories even more powerful. These characters are unique but in certain ways the same. The were both searching for something and what they found was so unexpected. There is a twist toward the end the totally just floored me. I just didn’t see it coming at all.

I enjoyed the description of the setting in both time periods and how over the years many of the places are virtually the same. I was so moved by Blackwell’s book The Paris Key that I ended my review of that book hoping to someday travel there. This book has me wishing even harder. I want to see with my own eyes and feel with my own hands these magnificent places.

I enjoyed learning the story of “The Unknown Woman of the Seine” even though yet again there was that suicide element. Learning about death masks was very interesting too. Somehow I feel as my son is nearby as I read these passages and he helps me know I can handle it and to just keep reading. The story overrides my moments of pain.

Letters from Paris is a story of discovery and strength, heartwarming and heartbreaking. A story that will resonate with everyone who reads it.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Juliet Blackwell on her webpage here.

While both of these stories are set in Paris, they are stand alone novels.



Also by Juliet Blackwell

GIVEAWAY

I am giving away my Advance Review Copy!
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with a US or Canadian mailing address.

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and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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