Saturday, June 25, 2016

#MMBBR #Highlight One Paris Summer by @DeniseMSwank @BlinkYABooks


Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

Denise Grover Swank

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

#MMBBR #Highlight The Woman in the Photo: A Novel by @authorMaryHogan @WmMorrowBks


In this compulsively readable historical novel, from the author of the critically-acclaimed Two Sisters, comes the story of two young women—one in America’s Gilded Age, one in scrappy modern-day California—whose lives are linked by a single tragic afternoon in history.

1888: Elizabeth Haberlin, of the Pittsburgh Haberlins, spends every summer with her family on a beautiful lake in an exclusive club. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains above the working class community of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the private retreat is patronized by society’s elite. Elizabeth summers with Carnegies, Mellons, and Fricks, following the rigid etiquette of her class. But Elizabeth is blessed (cursed) with a mind of her own. Case in point: her friendship with Eugene Eggar, a Johnstown steel mill worker. And when Elizabeth discovers that the club’s poorly maintained dam is about to burst and send 20 million tons of water careening down the mountain, she risks all to warn Eugene and the townspeople in the lake’s deadly shadow.

Present day: On her 18th birthday, genetic information from Lee Parker’s closed adoption is unlocked. She also sees an old photograph of a genetic relative—a 19th century woman with hair and eyes likes hers—standing in a pile of rubble from an ecological disaster next to none other than Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. Determined to identify the woman in the photo and unearth the mystery of that captured moment, Lee digs into history. Her journey takes her from California to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, from her present financial woes to her past of privilege, from the daily grind to an epic disaster. Once Lee’s heroic DNA is revealed, will she decide to forge a new fate?

Mary Hogan

Though an Okie by birth, I grew up in Southern California in the era of baby oil tans. Except mine. Mine was a childhood of sunburns. And other red-faced events. Now, I live in the blessed shade of skyscrapers. New York City. Where I was meant to be all along. 

At the risk of sounding bigheaded, I love GOOD books. I like to read writers who inspire me to read their sentences over and over just for the joy of it. You know that feeling? Like, wow, how did she think of that?

That said, I joined Goodreads because I'd become a genre snob. There are good Sci-fi novels, right? Historical? To my delight, I've found that to be true. As in life, when you open up, the world opens with you. Or so said Oprah. Before she abandoned us. :)

On a personal note, I am married to the man of my dreams. We share our home with the lovely Lucy, a Catahoula rescue dog who, frankly, isn't that into us. In another life, she was Greta Garbo. When I smother her with kisses she literally rolls her doggy eyes.

Professionally, I'm the author of nine novels. Seven Young Adult novel (HarperCollins), one bestselling mainstream book (TWO SISTERS) and an upcoming historical novel called THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTO (pub: Summer 2016, William Morrow). Goodreads helped me open up to WRITING in new genres, too. Thank you!!

TWO SISTERS is a very personal book for me. It was inspired by my own sister, Diane, who passed away in 2010. TWO SISTERS is the book that emerged as I struggled to understand why my sister died the way she did. It's a story about secrets and how they can disintegrate a family. 

For another VERY personal story, I wrote an article about my mom's last days for Woman's Day magazine. If you've gone through your mom's passing, or soon will, you may relate. (If you feel like reading it, I posted the link on my website

I swear it's all true. 

Finally, I truly appreciate all the friends I've made online. Thank you for not shunning me because I'm an author! Goodreads is my water cooler. See you at the next coffee break...

Friday, June 24, 2016

#MMBBR #Highlight The Summer of Me by Angela Benson @Morrow_PB @HarperCollins

The nationally bestselling author of Delilah’s Daughters and The Amen Sisters returns with a moving story about a single mother who discovers the woman she can be in one unforgettable summer.
As a single mother, Destiny makes sacrifices for her children—including saying goodbye for the summer so they can spend time with their father and stepmother. Though she’ll miss them with all her heart, the time alone gives her an opportunity to address her own needs, like finish getting her college degree. But Destiny’s friends think her summer should include some romance.
Destiny doesn’t want to be set up…until she meets Daniel.  The handsome, warm and charming pastor soon sweeps Destiny off her feet. But is romance what she really wants? Or needs?
As the days pass, Destiny will make new discoveries—about herself, the man she’s fallen for, and the people around her. And she’ll face challenging choices.  But most of all, she’ll grow in ways she never imagined, learning unexpected lessons about trust, forgiveness, and the price of motherhood…and truly become the woman she wants to be.

Angela BensonAngela Benson writes from the heart about matters that she has experienced and about which she feels strongly. She is the award winning and bestselling author of fourteen novels, two novellas and two non-fiction titles. Her work has been published by six major publishers, including Harlequin, Tyndale House, Berkeley and William Morrow. Her most recently published works are the relationship guide, Men Don’t Like Ugly, Women Don’t Like Broke (July, 2016), and the contemporary novel, The Summer of Me (William Morrow, 2016). She holds a doctorate from the University of Georgia, a masters from Georgia Tech and undergraduate degrees from both Georgia Tech and Spelman College. Dr. Benson is an associate professor at The University of Alabama.


Book List

Single Title Inspirational Family Drama
The Summer of Me
Delilah’s Daughters
Sins of the Father 
Up Pops the Devil
Showers of Blessings, a novella in the Million Blessings Anthology

Genesis House Inspirational Romance & Family Drama
Awakening Mercy, Book 1
Abiding Hope, Book 2
The Amen Sisters, Book 3
Enduring Love, Book 4 (coming soon)

Sweet Passion Contemporary Romance Series

Friend and Lover, a Sweet Passion novella
The Nicest Guy in America
The Way Home
Bands of Gold (Pre-order now!)
For All Time (Pre-order now!)
Between the Lines (Pre-order now!)


Men Don't Like Ugly, Women Don't Like Black: What Women Need to Know about Love, Money and Relationships, Integrated Book and Workbook Edition
Telling Your Tale: A Beginner's Guide to Writing Fiction for Print and eBook, Integrated Book and Workbook Edition
Telling Your Tale: A Beginner's Guide to Writing Fiction for Print and eBook
Telling the Tale: The African-American Fiction Writers Guide


Thursday, June 23, 2016

#MMBBR #BlogTour #Review The Space Between Sisters: A Butternut Lake Novel by Mary McNear


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Mary McNear returns to her beloved Butternut Lake in a story where the complicated bonds of sisterhood are tested, long kept secrets are revealed, and love is discovered... all during one unforgettable summer at the lake.

Win and Poppy are two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Win is organized, responsible, and plans her life with care. Poppy is impulsive and undependable, leaving others to pick up the pieces of her life. But despite their differences, they share memories of the idyllic childhood summers they spent together on the shores of Butternut Lake. Now, thirteen years later, Win, recovering from a personal tragedy, has taken refuge on Butternut Lake, settling into a predictable and quiet life.

Then one night, Poppy unexpectedly shows up on her sister’s doorstep with her suitcases, an aging cat named Sasquatch, and a mysterious man in tow. Although Win loves her beautiful sister, she wasn’t expecting her to move in for the summer. At first, they relive the joys of Butternut Lake. But their blissful nostalgia soon gives way to conflict, and painful memories and buried secrets threaten to tear the sisters apart. As the waning days of summer get shorter, past secrets are revealed, new love is found, and the ties between the sisters are tested like never before… all on the serene shores of Butternut Lake.

Read an Excerpt:

"Look, there's a driveway," Poppy said. "And there's a cabin at the end of it, too. You can see its lights through the trees."
"All right," Everett said. "But if my car breaks down, I'm not knocking on that door. I've seen that movie, too. We spend the night there, and when we wake up in the morning, we discover that our kidneys have been harvested."
"Ugh," Poppy said, wincing. "I had no idea you were so dark, Everett."
"No?" he said, with a trace of a smile. "It's amazing how much you can learn about someone on a two-hundred-and-forty-mile drive."
"That's true," Poppy mused. "So, what have you learned about me?" she asked. She wasn't being flirtatious. She was just curious.
"I've learned . . ." He looked over at her, speculatively. "I've learned that you think corn nuts are revolting."
"That's because they are revolting."
"Corn nuts," Everett said, concentrating on another turn, "are the ultimate road trip food."
"Not even close," Poppy said. "Because that would obviously be Red Vines."
"Yeah, I don't think so," Everett said. "I mean, they have, like, zero nutritional value, unless you count whatever's in the red dye, and—"
"Oh, my God, look," Poppy said, excitedly, of the driveway they were passing. Beside it a large sign with a wintery pinecone painted on it spelled out white pines.
"What's that?" Everett asked.
"It's a resort, and it means that we are now exactly three miles away from my grandparents' cabin. I mean, my sister's cabin," she amended, feeling that familiar jab of resentment she felt whenever she was reminded of the fact that this beloved piece of family real estate had been passed down to Win, and only Win, three years ago. This resentment was part of the reason that Poppy had avoided coming to Butternut Lake since Win had moved here year-round a couple of years ago. But if there was any comfort to be found inWin being the one to own the cabin, it was in knowing that she would never sell it; it meant as much to her as it did to Poppy.
Poppy and Win had spent all of their childhood summers here until Poppy was sixteen and Win was fifteen (they were thirteen months apart), and Poppy, who was just shy of thirty, could still remember every detail of the cabin. It stood on a small bluff, just above Butternut Lake, and its dark brown clapboard exterior was brightened by cheerful window boxes that overflowed with geraniums. And the homey touches continued inside: colorful rag rugs, knotted pine furniture, red-checked slipcovers on sofas and chairs. The living room, everyone's favorite room, was as comfortable as an old shoe, with its fieldstone fireplace, and its old record player and collection of albums (some of which dated back to the 1950s). In one corner, there was a slightly wobbly card table for playing gin rummy, and on the shelf next to the table, a collection of hand-painted duck decoys. Mounted on the wall above the mantelpiece was the prized three-foot walleyed pike that had not gotten away from their grandfather. The living room windows looked out on a flagstone patio, their grandmother’s begonia garden, and a slope of mossy lawn leading down to the lake. And the kitchen . . . Poppy remembered it as though it existed in a perpetual summer morning: the lemon yellow cup- boards, the row of shiny copper pans hanging on the wall, and the turquoise gas stove, a monument to 1950s chic.
"Do you think you should give your sister a call now?" Everett asked, interrupting her reverie.
"To tell her that we're almost there."
"Oh," Poppy said, momentarily at a loss. And then she tossed her long blond hair. "No. I'm not going to tell her," she said. "I thought we'd surprise her."
Everett stole a quick look at her. "But… she knows we're coming, right?"
"Not exactly," Poppy said, feeling a first twinge of nervousness.
Everett was quiet. Then he asked, "Does your sister like surprises?"
"Not really," Poppy said, and there it was again, that nervousness. She tamped it down, firmly, and said, "But what are sisters for if they can't just . . . drop in on each other?"
"'Drop in'?" Everett said, after another pause. "It looks like you've got a lot of your stuff with you, though, Poppy. Isn't it more like, 'move in'?"
Poppy ignored this question. Harder to ignore were her suitcases, wedged in the trunk of Everett's car, or her boxes, stacked on the backseat beside Sasquatch's pet carrier. And it wasn't just a lot of her stuff, as Everett had pointed out. It was all of her stuff. Though, truth be told, that wasn't saying much. It had taken her less than an hour to pack everything up. Traveling light was a recurring theme with Poppy, and a necessary one, too, since her peripatetic lifestyle was the norm.
"Sisters don't have to call ahead. They're there for each other," Poppy said now, though she was annoyed by the defensiveness she heard in her own voice.
"But do you think your sister—Win—will be home right now? It's ten o'clock on a Saturday night."
"Oh, she'll be home. If I know her, she's probably . . . alphabetizing her spice rack," Poppy said, "or color coding her sock drawer." As soon as she said this, though, she felt disloyal. "Actually, she's a sweetheart," she said, turning to Everett. "And I don't blame her, at all, for being a little . . . neurotic or controlling, or whatever she is. I told you about what happened to her, didn't I?" And Poppy pictured Win as she'd been the last time she'd seen her, her dark blond hair pulled back in a ponytail and her girl next door approachableness only slightly tempered by the wistful expression on her face.
"Yeah, you told me what happened to her," Everett said. It was quiet in the car again as he negotiated another sharp turn, and as Poppy watched the car's lights skim over an entrance to an old logging road. She smiled. She and Win had driven down that road as teenagers, looking for bears at dusk.
"All right," she said, after a few more minutes, "we're getting close. After this next curve, it's the first driveway on the left." And, suddenly hungry, she added, "Here's hoping Win's got some leftovers from dinner."
"Yeah, and here's hoping she's in a good mood," Everett added wryly.


I love visiting Butternut Lake.  It has such interesting people working through the thing we call life.  McNear did such a great job creating a place that now feels familiar to me, as I have read all of the Butternut Lake books that McNear has written.  In the newest installment The Space Between Sisters you get to spend the summer with Win and Poppy while they work through the past and figure how what the future holds.  It is filled with so much various forms.  Another sweet and deeply moving novel that is perfect for the summer or as a book club pick.  4.5 stars

About MARY MCNEAR  New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary McNear is a writer living in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, miniscule white dog named Macaroon. She writes her novels in a local donut shop where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly-made donuts. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the Northern Midwest.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

@BookSpark #BestSummerEver #SCR2016 #Review First Comes Love @emilygiffin #MMBBR

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A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & OnlyFirst Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.
Emily-Giffin-credit-Emmanuelle-Choussy-tealEmily Giffin is the author of seven internationally bestselling novels: Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love the One You’re With, Heart of the Matter, Where We Belong, and The One & Only. A graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children.

A pair of sisters find themselves at a crossroads in this dazzling new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, and The One & Only.First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. 

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew—and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first.

I adore Emily Giffin.  She can really flesh out her characters and causes you to become sincerely and intensely engaged in their lives.  In First Comes Love you are taken into a family that suffered a great loss.  You see what happens to the family and how everyone copes...did they chose the right path?  As, the anniversary of their brother's death approaches, many things start to build up and risk boiling over.  Josie and Meredith could not be more different, but I was equally interested in both their lives.  There is so much truth, heart break and second guessing going on.  I love that it is a story about so, life, loss, second chances and family.  Another book I both wanted to read quickly and savor at the same time.  5 stars

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#MMBBR Blog Tour w/ #Giveaway One True Loves: Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid

About the book:

From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA TODAY—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancĂ© who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancĂ©, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.
Find it: Amazon Barnes & Noble |

I cannot say enough how much I love Taylor Jenkins Reid.  Her writing has a way to make me get the feels from the first sentence to the last.  I have LOVED every book she has EVER written.  They are all 5 stars.  In ONE TRUE LOVES Jenkins Reid made me feel a lot of things...heartbroken, hopeful, nervous, scared, confused and everything in between.   What would you do if you had to chose between your two loves.  Do you go with with your heart or your mind.  How do you make the choice that will determine your future?  This book is like no other I have read in a long time.  It had such a unique premise and brilliant storytelling.  It was such an emotionally haunting and soul searching read.  All the while I was wondering what I would do, how would I react...what choice would I make.  Another amazing 5 star hit!  Love Love Love Love Love!!!! 

"Everything that happened before today feels different now, and I have no idea what happens after this."

About the author:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author, essayist, and TV writer from Acton, Massachusetts. Her debut novel, Forever, Interrupted, has been optioned with Dakota Johnson attached to star. Her second book, After I Do, was called a "must read" by Kirkus. Her most recent novel, Maybe In Another Life has been featured in People, Cosmo, Bustle, Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, USA Today and more.

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit. 


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