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#Maybe This Time by Jill Mansell–Review–4 stars–#NetGalley

Maybe this time::.jpg 850.jpgJill Mansell’s Humorous New Release–Coming 6/5/19!

 

Mimi left London to visit her dad. He resided in a small rural English town called Goosebrook. Along the way, Mimi spotted a man wrestling with a sheep. After confronting the man, it became evident that she had misread the situation completely. Cal, however, was sweet to Mimi and eased her embarrassment. Mimi’s mind began to fill with romantic fantasies about Cal until he informed her that he was happily married. Even though Cal’s news crushed Mimi’s spirits, she didn’t allow it to affect their friendship. She also developed a closeness to Cal’s daughter and wife. 

When tragedy struck the small town of Goosebrook, neighbors banned together or disappeared into their own private worlds. Mimi returned to her life in London. And, even though Cal never expressed romantic feelings for Mimi, she obsessed about him anyway. Years later, Mimi traveled back to Goosebrook. And, as expected, people’s lives had changed, including Cal’s. 

Although this book has a thread of sadness running through it, it also has a hefty dose of humor. Most of the characters in this book are likable. Although I didn’t become emotionally invested in any particular character, the story itself was an enjoyable read; captivating and entertaining. Jill Mansell knows how to spin a tale.  

Thank you, Sourcebooks-Landmark and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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#Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde-Review-5 Stars

Have You Seen Luis Velez:.jpg 850.jpgOutstanding New Novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Coming  5/21/19

 

Have you seen Luis Velez?,  is a thoughtful, heartfelt, and moving story. 

Most of the time, seventeen-year-old Raymond Jaffe felt like an outcast. But, when Raymond met his 92-year-old blind neighbor and befriended her; tormenting thoughts of being different or invisible, no longer concerned him. At first, Raymond assisted the elderly woman out of kindness, but Raymond quickly discovered, that he enjoyed her company. With Mrs. G, Raymond felt for the first time by an adult, understood. And because of his fondness for his neighbor, Raymond was determined to relieve her of her main worry. He wanted to find Luis Velez; Mrs. G’s dearest friend and caretaker. Mrs. G feared that something awful had happened to Luis. Unfortunately, she was right.  

Although Raymond learned some painful life lessons; he also discovered the healing balm of acceptance. It was while he was stepping out of his comfort zone, to help another, that self-confidence took root. And, while empathizing with Mrs. G, Raymond found that he was able to stand up for what was right, without fear. But, what surprised Raymond, the most was, that he no longer, felt invisible, especially around his family. 

Although unkindness is rampant in the world, there is also a lot of good. Sometimes grief and hardship overshadow what is positive in life. This book reminds us that although life is difficult, love and kindness can be found everywhere. Raymond thought of himself as unimportant. But, to Mrs. G, Raymond was a hero. He literally changed her life, and in doing so, transformed his own.  Have You Seen Luis Velez?, is a heartwarming, quality novel. It’s a story you won’t want to miss.

Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 35 published and forthcoming books, including JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT, HEAVEN ADJACENT, THE WAKE UP, ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, and DON’T LET ME GO. 

An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.

She is co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.

Her novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS’ EDITION in August of ’14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of ’14

LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards. Both BECOMING CHLOE and JUMPSTART THE WORLD were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List, and JUMPSTART THE WORLD was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. WHERE WE BELONG won two Rainbow Awards in 2013 and THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS won a Rainbow Award in 2015.

New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER’S PURPLE HEART are now available. Also available is THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD, her first book-length creative nonfiction. 

More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.

She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton. 

For more information and book club questions, please visit the author at catherineryanhyde.com

#I’m Fine And Neither Are You by Camille Pagan–Review 4 Stars–#NetGalley

I'm Fine and Neither are You 850.jpgNew Release From Camille Pagan–Out Now!

 

I’m fine And Neither Are You is a humorous, but poignant tale about friends, secrets, and honesty.  Penelope Ruiz-Kar is overwhelmed. Her husband Sanjay is not pulling his weight.  Although Sanjay is a stay at home dad and writer, Penelope does the cooking, cleaning, disciplining of the children, as well as working a full-time, high-stress job. She’s tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed. Penelope’s only life-line was her best friend, Jenny Sweet; a person whom Penelope could share everything with. But when tragedy struck the Sweet family, Penelope realized, that she didn’t know her best friend at all.

Having lost Jenny, Penelope approached her husband about improving their relationship. The couple decided to write a short list of things each one, would like the other, to change. They also agreed on complete honesty. What Penelope didn’t count on, however, was Sanjay harboring a stinging, hurtful secret.  

I’m Fine And Neither Are You is a well-written story. Camille Pagan balances effortlessly, difficult subjects with humor.  Although this is not my favorite novel by this author, it is a captivating, insightful, and enjoyable read.

Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Camille Pagán is the #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling author of five novels, including I’m Fine and Neither Are You, and Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which was recently optioned for film. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. A journalist and former magazine editor, Pagán has written for the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Parade; Real Simple; Time; and many other publications and websites. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her family. You can visit her online at http://www.camillepagan.com

#The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Diane C. McPhail–#NetGalley–Review-4 Stars

the abolitionists daughter::.jpg 850.jpgA Story of Forgiveness, Redemption, and Love–  

Coming 4/30/19

 

The Abolitionist’s Daughter takes place in Greensboro, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Judge Matthews despised slavery, with a passion, yet he owned an abundance of slaves. Some might think that he was a hypocrite, but he wasn’t. The judge would buy slaves who were severely abused by their owners or about to be separated from their families. He would educate the slaves and care for their needs. And, even though it was illegal to grant slaves their freedom, the judge prepared freedom papers for each one. He wanted to be ready, for whenever their liberation day came. His daughter, Emily, was his best advocate. The judge worried, however, that his controversial anti-slavery practices lessened the number of suitors for his daughter. He was right. So when a young doctor, Charles Slate, asked to marry Emily, the judge readily gave his consent. He feared, however, that he might have made a mistake. 

Ms. McPhail crafts The Abolitionist’s Daughter with enough authentic details, and local dialect, that the characters came to life. She also depicts the ugliness and horrors of slavery in this story, as well as the kind and understanding way some owners cared for their slaves. This book is about love, loyalty, forgiveness, abuse, and redemption. I found the pacing slow at times, but the story captivating. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel.  

Thank you, Kensington Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. In addition to holding an M.F.A., an M.A., and D.Min., she has studied at the University of Iowa distance learning and the Yale Writers’ Workshop, among others. Diane is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina, with her husband, and her dog, Pepper.

#The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr–Review–4.5 stars-#NetGalley

the view from almeda island:::::.jpg 850.jpgDon’t Miss Robyn Carr’s Newest Novel–Coming 4/30/19!

 

The View from Alameda Island is an engaging, well-written, character-driven novel. It is a book about toxic marriages, self-centeredness, blended families, guilt, and healing. 

Beau and Lauren have suffered under abusive spouses for years. But when the two of them decided that it was time to end their toxic marriages, their spouses couldn’t believe, that they were being dumped.

Once the decision to divorce was made, life became very tough for both Beau and Lauren. The two of them had met by accident but became close friends and great support for one another. Their soon to be ex-spouses, became vicious, in unexpected, and unlawful ways. Although The View from Alameda Island is a bit over-the-top, it does, however, shine a spotlight on the ugly agony that a family unit breakup causes. It also shows the reader that although it is painful to leave toxic relationships, there is life and healing after them.

Thank you, Mira Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The third novel (THE FAMILY GATHERING) in her fan-favorite new series, Sullivan’s Crossing, will be released in April 2018. Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at http://www.RobynCarr.com.

 

#The Promise of Us by Jamie Beck–Review -4 Stars-#NetGalley

the promise of us.jpgNew from Jamie Beck–The Promise of Us–Coming 4/9/19

 

Claire has had a crush on her best friend’s brother, Logan, for forever.  Claire never thought, however, that she would ever be the recipient of his tender attentions. And, although Claire’s romantic fantasies, thrived, whenever, she was in Logan’s arms, Claire did her best, to hold onto her heart. Because, Claire knew, that she was not Logan’s type. Logan dated adventurous, beautiful women, who wanted nothing more than a casual fling. And, that was so not Claire. So why was Logan playing with her heart? 

Claire’s best friend, Peyton, Logan’s sister, had done the unthinkable to Claire. She had stolen Claire’s boyfriend, Todd.  Unfortunately, that was not the only tragic event that crushed Claire’s spirit. Claire was also the victim of a violent crime that affected her mind, as well as her body.

If Logan could have any woman he wanted, why was he interested in Claire? Were Logan’s motives pure? Claire didn’t think so. Claire, Peyton, and Logan experienced hard life-lessons in this book. Loyalty, forgiveness, and acceptance did not come easy, especially for Claire. 

The Promise of Us is a thought-provoking, captivating novel, filled with love and romance.

Thank you, Montlake Romance and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

National bestselling author Jamie Beck’s realistic and heartwarming stories have sold more than two million copies. She is a Booksellers’ Best Award and National Readers’ Choice Award finalist, and critics at Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist have respectively called her work “smart,” “uplifting,” and “entertaining.” In addition to writing novels, she enjoys dancing around the kitchen while cooking and hitting the slopes in Vermont and Utah. Above all, she is a grateful wife and mother to a very patient, supportive family. 

Fans can learn more about her on the web (www.jamiebeck.com), which includes a fun extras page with photos, videos, and playlists. She also loves interacting with everyone on Facebook.       

 

 

#The Ash Family by Molly Dektar–Review 4-Stars-#NetGalley

The Ash Family::.jpg 850.jpgNew Release-The Ash Family-by Molly Dektar—4/9/19

 

Nineteen-year-old Berie was on her way to college when a charismatic man, she met, changed her mind. Bay represented everything that Berie was looking for, freedom, saving the environment, and belonging to a family. Even though Beri’s mother worked, scraped, and sacrificed to send her daughter to college, Berie followed her new friend Bay, instead. 

Beri was told she could stay at the Ash farm for three days or for the rest of her life. When Beri decided to stay on, she was accepted into the Ash family and given a new name. It was a culture shock, at first, for Beri, when she was required to relinquish her possessions, work long hours on the farm, and bathe only once a week. But, once Beri, aka Harmony, had the new routine down, she felt good. And, the longer Harmony stayed, the more comfortable she became with the leader’s strange thinking, and the Ash family’s backward way of doing things. It was all wonderful until Harmony realized that when people left the farm, they usually didn’t survive. 

I enjoyed this book and found the storyline fascinating. I am always amazed at how easy it is for some people to accept a cult’s teaching and then become trapped in that lifestyle. A friend tried to help Harmony escape, but it was the Ash family’s leader who had Harmony’s loyalty. 

Thank you,  Simon & Schuster and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Molly Dektar is from North Carolina and lives in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College, where she was awarded the Himan Brown Award and the Brooklyn College Scholarship for Fiction. She is a graduate of Harvard College and was the recipient of the Louis Begley Fiction Prize, the David McCord Prize for the Arts, and the Charles Edmund Horman Prize for Creative Writing. The Ash Family is her first novel.