Book review: All the Way to Italy by Flavia Brunetti

Book Details:

Book Title:  All the Way to Italy: A modern tale of homecoming through generations past
Author: Flavia Brunetti
Category:  Adult Fiction,  222 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction (can fit into YA Fiction as well)
Publisher:  Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Release date:  April 21, 2018
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, ePub and PDF)
Tour dates: April 23 to May 18, 2018
Content Rating: PG for the occasional use of “for God’s sake” and a few religious references (though very mild). No violence, no swear words, and no sex scenes.

Book Description:

Until her dad died, Little considered herself a Californian. Now, thanks to half a letter, a symbol she can’t quite remember, and writer’s block, she finds herself back in Italy, the country of her birth. In a headlong rush to return to her beloved San Francisco, Little will travel throughout Italy, enlisting the help of the aunt who raised her, friends old and new, and the country itself, in her search for the answers she needs.

This is the powerful story of those in search of a balance between wanderlust and the necessity to come home, a reminder that although we may be fragments, we are never a lost cause.

Buy the Book:   Amazon            Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Born just outside of Rome, Flavia Brunetti grew up bouncing back and forth between Italy and California, eventually moving back to the Eternal City and confirming her lifelong commitment to real gelato. Flavia holds a Master of Arts degree in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from John Cabot University. Today she travels the world working for an international humanitarian organization and spends her free time writing and wandering around her beloved Roma in constant search of bookstores and the perfect espresso. You can find her city blog on Rome at whichwaytorome.com and her portfolio of published writing at flaviinrome.com.

Connect with Flavia: Website ~ Blog on Rome ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

REVIEW:

Although not strictly a “coming of age” story, All the Way to Italy  brings us on a young woman’s emotional journey to determine where her roots really lie.  She was brought to California by her aunt when she was very young as her parents’ relationship suddenly fell apart.   Little loves her life in California but after her father’s death she returns to find answers to what really happened to her family before her flight to California.  Feeling lost and uprooted, with her love for her present home struggling with her love all things Italian, she travels around the country looking for clues that will help her decide where she feels the most connected.

If you love all things Italian, history, food and travel, you will enjoy this emotional and touching family drama.

 

Book spotlight: All the Way to Italy: A modern tale of homecoming through generations past by Flavia Brunetti

Book Details:

Book Title:  All the Way to Italy: A modern tale of homecoming through generations past
Author: Flavia Brunetti
Category:  Adult Fiction,  222 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction (can fit into YA Fiction as well)
Publisher:  Ali Ribelli Edizioni
Release date:  April 21, 2018
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, ePub and PDF)
Tour dates: April 23 to May 18, 2018
Content Rating: PG for the occasional use of “for God’s sake” and a few religious references (though very mild). No violence, no swear words, and no sex scenes.

Book Description:

Until her dad died, Little considered herself a Californian. Now, thanks to half a letter, a symbol she can’t quite remember, and writer’s block, she finds herself back in Italy, the country of her birth. In a headlong rush to return to her beloved San Francisco, Little will travel throughout Italy, enlisting the help of the aunt who raised her, friends old and new, and the country itself, in her search for the answers she needs.

This is the powerful story of those in search of a balance between wanderlust and the necessity to come home, a reminder that although we may be fragments, we are never a lost cause.

Buy the Book:   Amazon            Add to Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Born just outside of Rome, Flavia Brunetti grew up bouncing back and forth between Italy and California, eventually moving back to the Eternal City and confirming her lifelong commitment to real gelato. Flavia holds a Master of Arts degree in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from John Cabot University. Today she travels the world working for an international humanitarian organization and spends her free time writing and wandering around her beloved Roma in constant search of bookstores and the perfect espresso. You can find her city blog on Rome at whichwaytorome.com and her portfolio of published writing at flaviinrome.com.

Connect with Flavia: Website ~ Blog on Rome ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:​

April 23 – TFaulc Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 23 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway
April 25 – FLY HIGH! – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
April 25 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
April 26 – Readers Muse – book spotlight / guest post
April 27 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
April 30 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
May 1 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight
May 1 – XoXo Book Blog – book spotlight / author interview /  giveaway
May 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 3 – 411 on Books, Authors, and Publishing News – bk spotlight / interview / giveaway
May 4 – Just Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
TBD    – Diary of an Avid Reader – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book spotlight: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey

Book Details:

Book Title:  Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey
Category:  Adult Fiction, 240 pages
Genre:  Literary / Women’s Fiction
Publisher:   Sojourner Books
Release date:  December 2017
Format available for review:  ebook (gifted Kindle copy, PDF)
Tour dates: Feb 1 to 16, 2018
Content Rating: R (Two bedroom scenes)

Book Description:

Cooking a wonderful meal is an act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of a meal; it also feeds the soul of the person who creates it. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother.

Gina is a young woman born to poor parents; a nobody (her words) who wants to taste life outside the world she was born into and her passion for cooking is all she has to help her do so. She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where she finds a world of a privileged class with money to spare for dinners that cost hundreds of dollars. A world of new friends and new challenges—one that exposes her to fascinating people who’re also gripped by dark motives.

Amidst her culinary adventures, she becomes good friends with pastry chef Marcia, and falls in love, in different ways, with, two very different men: Leon, a rich regular client who has been dating Cristi, her friend from childhood, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This other world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger that eventually threatens her life.

Can the lessons she learned from her mother about cooking and life help Gina survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure and unexpected danger?

Buy the Book:     Amazon            Add to Goodreads

Meet the author:

Evy Journey, writer, wannabe artist, and flâneuse (feminine of flâneur), wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.

She’s a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest  

Join the Facebook Group: Thoughtful Romance Readers Love 

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Feb 1   – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Feb 1   – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2   – Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2   – Olio by Marilyn – review / author interview
Feb 5   – StoreyBook Reviews – review / giveaway
Feb 5   – The Book Drealms – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 6   – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 6   – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review
Feb 7   – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Feb 7   – Based on a True Story – review / giveaway
Feb 8   – Lukten av trykksverte – review / giveaway
Feb 9   – Laura’s Interests – review / guest post
Feb 12 – My Reading Journeys – review / giveaway
Feb 13 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 14 – Wander Girl Life – review / giveaway
Feb 15 – Rainy Day Reviews – review / giveaway
Feb 16 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway

  • Title and author:  The Wild Woman’s Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway
  • Publisher:   Center Street
  • Date published:  June 6, 2017
  • Pages:  352
  • Genre:  Women’s fiction / romantic comedy / travel

Book description:  Objectively, Sophie is a success: she’s got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn’t quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it’s secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls’ trip, and Sophie meets Carson, a free-spirited, globetrotting American artist.

In the midst of their whirlwind vacation romance, Carson invites Sophie to join him on his haphazard journey around the world. While the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips don’t feel like enough, Sophie is far too practical to throw away her five-year plan on a whim. Yet Carson’s offer forces her to question whether the reliable life she’s chosen is really what she wants–and she soon discovers that his feelings for her run deeper than she realized.

Praise

“With its spirited yet credible plot and vividly intricate charactersthis debut novel shines.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“…a fun, sexy debut perfect for readers who love exotic settings and a great love story. For those wishing to indulge their wanderlust, or who have dreams too big for tidy little boxes, this is an incredibly satisfying read.” — Karma Brown, bestselling author of Come Away With Me

“…brilliantly navigates one woman’s quest to let go of what is practical to pursue her passion and surrender to her inner dreamer.” — Kerry Lonsdale, bestselling author of Everything We Keep

“Can a novel be smart and loads of fun? Kristin Rockaway’s debut is proof that it’s possible. Warm, witty, and completely delightful, this book had my inner escapist itching to hop on the next flight out of town.” — Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

“Kristin Rockaway is a wise and fresh new voice in women’s fiction and this book was a delight from start to finish.”  — Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in Paris

Buy the book:    Amazon    Barnes & Noble

About the author:  Kristin Rockaway is a native New Yorker with an insatiable case of wanderlust. After working in the IT industry for far too many years, she traded the city for the surf and chased her dreams out to Southern California, where she spends her days happily writing stories instead of software.

THE WILD WOMAN’S GUIDE TO TRAVELING THE WORLD is her first novel. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and planning her next big vacation.

Connect with the author:    Website   Twitter   Instagram   Pinterest   Goodreads   Facebook

REVIEW:

Sophie has it all. Or so she thinks. A top notch job, an apartment in New York and free travel with her job. But she is starting to unravel though she really hasn’t pieced it together yet. Her best friend dumps her on their first day in Hong Kong and Sophie, who considers herself an experienced solo traveller is suddenly lost. 

An unexpected encounter with Carson, a free-spirited traveller, turns her world upside down. He invites her to question her life, including her five-year plan for a successful career and questions why she hasn’t followed her dreams to travel. What? Sophie travels all the time.

Despite their different lifestyles, they begin to realize that the other fulfills them in a way they could not predict. However, the differences between them are tearing them apart.

This is a great read for anyone who loves to travel or who wants to bring something fun to read with them on vacation. Although a work of fiction, it does delve into deeper issues of insecurity and that sometimes we have to step back and re-evaluate what we need to do to be happy.

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach

Book Details:

Book Title:  Degrees of Love: A Novel by Lisa Slabach
Category:  Adult Fiction, 344 pages
Genre:   Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Bookbaby
Release date:  Dec 1, 2017
Format available for review:  print & ebook (mobi, PDF, ePub & gifted Kindle copy)
Will send print books to: Internationally
Tour dates: Jan 3 to 31, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Adult themes including infidelity, occasional F-word, non-explicit sex scenes)

Book Description:

At thirty-six, Susan Sinclair has it all. She’s just been promoted to Senior Vice President of Mobile Banking at her firm, a prestigious position bringing fresh creative challenges and a hefty salary increase. Like the shiny new BMW in the driveway of the Silicon Valley home she shares with her husband, Matt, and their two beautiful boys, Susan exudes confidence and style.

Yet despite her success in juggling the roles of wife, mother, and businesswoman, Susan struggles with a secret dissatisfaction. Matt’s work in cutting-edge computer research pays less than her job, and with each advance in her career, he has grown more distant. But Matt refuses to admit there is a problem, and Susan forces herself to play along, determined to give her boys the close-knit family life she never had.

Then she meets her new boss, Reese Kirkpatrick. Working and traveling together, she and Reese become a crackerjack team, but little by little, pleasure mixes with business. For the first time in a long time—maybe ever—Susan feels seen and appreciated for who she is. Certain she would never allow their friendship to cross the line, Susan lets herself stray dangerously close to the edge.

​A moment of weakness changes everything. Now, unable to stomach the façade her marriage has become yet unwilling to decimate her family by moving forward with Reese, Susan faces a choice that could cost her everything—including her children . . . but possibly bring her more than she can dream.

Praise for Degrees of Love:

​”Slabach crafts a relatable, heartbreakingly real story that will no doubt resonate with those at a similar station in life: women who love their families yet yearn for just a little more—to feel wanted rather than needed, to feel passion rather than complacency. In engaging prose and through skillful storytelling, Slabach captivates with an all-too-familiar story that raises questions with no easy answers.”
– Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“This does not read like a debut author’s book. Slabach shows herself to be adept at portraying the complex emotions of the human condition. Her characters live and breathe on the page in a way that every author strives for, but few actually manage. Susan’s struggles ring true, and the way she handles everything makes her a very likable and relatable character.”
 Sarah Perry, San Francisco Book Review, 5 Stars

“Profound, heart wrenching and very emotional, it is hard to believe that Degrees of Love is a debut novel by Lisa Slabach. This is one of the best novels I have read this year.”
– Rabia Tanveer, Readers’ Favorite

Lisa Slabach

Meet the Author:

Degrees of Love is Lisa Slabach’s debut novel. She is currently working on her third full-length manuscript and a collection of short stories inspired by her experiences growing up in a small farm community in Washington’s Yakima Valley. In addition to writing, Lisa works for a Fortune 500 Company, leading a sales team in the financial industry. She currently resides in Northern California with her husband and has two daughters, who are both pursuing careers in film. In her free time, she enjoys drinking wine with friends and cooking in her pink kitchen.

Connect with the Author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~ Facebook 

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

​Jan 3   – Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 3   – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 4   – A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 5   – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway
Jan 5   – Rockin’ Book Reviews – review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 5   – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 8   – Sefina Hawke’s Books – review
Jan 9   – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 10 – The World As I See It – review / giveaway
Jan 11 – Elgee Writes – review
Jan 12 – NorthernMSW – review
Jan 15 – Bookish – review
Jan 15 – The Booksnake Etc. – review
Jan 16 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 16 – Corinne Rodrigues – review / giveaway
Jan 17 – Books for Books – review
Jan 18 – Library of Clean Reads – review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Truly Trendy – review
Jan 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – review
Jan 23 – Rocksprings Crafts – review / giveaway
Jan 24 – Wander Girl Life – review / giveaway
Jan 25 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review
Jan 26 – Too Fond – review / giveaway
Jan 29 – Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest – review
Jan 30 – Book Lover in Florida – review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Jessica Cassidy – review / author interview / giveaway
Jan 31 – Amie’s Book Reviews – review / giveaway
Jan 31 – One Frugal Girl – review / giveaway
Jan 31 – Novel Escapes – review

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Book spotlight: Middle South by Maya Nessouli Abboushi

Book Details:

Book Title:  Middle South by Maya Nessouli Abboushi
Category:  Adult Fiction,  215 pages
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  Lanier Press
Release date:  March 8, 2017
Tour dates:  April 17 to May 5, 2017
Content Rating:   PG-13

Book Description:

Layla has recently moved out of her parents’ home in the Atlanta suburbs and into an apartment in the city to assert her independence. Between her job as a feature writer for a small newspaper and her social life, Layla has little time to think about marriage and children, much to the dismay of her Lebanese parents.

On a hilarious journey that takes Layla from the Southeast to the Middle East and back, she finds out a little more about herself and what she is looking for in life and in love.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble ~ BookLogix

Add on Goodreads

Maya Nessouli Abboushi

Meet the Author:

Maya Nessouli Abboushi is a Lebanese American born and raised in the United States. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

Connect with the author:  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~ Instagram

​BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

April 17 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
April 17 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – book spotlight / guest post
April 17 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
April 17 – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 18 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 18 – Discovering/Writing Life – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 19 – 411 on Books, Authors and Publishing News – book spotlight / guest post / gw
April 19 – The World As I See It – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – Puddletown Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 20 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
April 21 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 21 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 24 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
April 25 – Elsie’s Audiobook Digest – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 25 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
April 26 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 26 – Lukten av Trykksverte – book spotlight / giveaway
April 27 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 1 – Spines in a Line – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 2 – Books for Books – book spotlight
May 3 – Savvy Verse & Wit – book spotlight / giveaway
May 4 – The All Night Library – book spotlight
May 5 – Sharing Stories – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 5 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight / giveaway

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Book review: Lillian Boxfish takes a walk by Kathleen Rooney

  • Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
  • Date released:  January 17, 2017
  • Pages:  304
  • Genre:  Literary fiction / Women’s fiction

SYNOPSIS:

“In my reckless and undiscouraged youth,” Lillian Boxfish writes, “I worked in a walnut-paneled office thirteen floors above West Thirty-Fifth Street…”

She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, “in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.”

Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now—her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl—but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents, and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed—and has not.

A love letter to city life in all its guts and grandeur, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney paints a portrait of a remarkable woman across the canvas of a changing America: from the Jazz Age to the onset of the AIDS epidemic; the Great Depression to the birth of hip-hop.

Lillian figures she might as well take her time. For now, after all, the night is still young.

“Extraordinary…Hilarious…Elegantly written, Rooney creates a glorious paean to a distant literary life and time—and an unabashed celebration of human connections that bridge past and future.
Publishers Weekly

BUY THE BOOK:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   MacMillan

Meet the author:  Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. She has been recognized as one of Newcity Lit’s “Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago 2016.” Her previous work includes poetry as well as both fiction and nonfiction, and has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Allure, Salon, The Rumpus, and the Chicago Tribune. She works as a senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at DePaul University where she teaches, among other things, a workshop on The Writer as Urban Walker. Kathleen is married to the novelist Martin Seay.

Connect with the author:   Website   Facebook   Twitter   goodreads   tumbler

MY REVIEW:

Eighty-five year old Lillian is going for a walk on New Year’s eve.  A very long walk.  Never the wilting violet, her walk takes her through dangerous neighbourhoods as well as old haunts. As she passes from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, old memories surface as she relives her life beginning as a young career woman who rose to fame writing ads for Macy’s Department Store in the 1930s.  Her widely publicized creed that a woman doesn’t need romance or love in her life backfires when she falls completely and insanely in love with Max.  With the birth of her child, her lifestyle and aspirations change abruptly, causing her to lose her lose her sense of self.

Although this book is a work of fiction, the author’s inspiration came from the real life character of Margaret Fishback, a poet and the real highest-paid female advertising copywriter in the world during the 1930s.

The author, herself a poet, delivers a delightfully witty and touching story of a woman who has it all, loses it all and then comes to terms with who she has become. I smiled often at Lillian’s witticisms and feisty repartee and will buy the hardbound book just so that I can re-read this wonderful story again.

 

 

Book review: Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman

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  • Title:  Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman
  • Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Publication date:  (October 18, 2016)
  • Genre:  Women’s fiction / general fiction
  • Pages:  320

ABOUT THE BOOK:   A poignant breakout novel, for fans of J. Courtney Sullivan and Elin Hilderbrand, about a single mother who inherits a beautiful beach house with a caveat—she must take care of the ornery elderly woman who lives in it.

For years, Maggie Sheets has been an invisible hand in the glittering homes of wealthy New York City clients, scrubbing, dusting, mopping, and doing all she can to keep her head above water as a single mother. Everything changes when a former employer dies leaving Maggie a staggering inheritance. A house in Sag Harbor. The catch? It comes with an inhabitant: The deceased’s eighty-two-year old mother Edith.

Edith has Alzheimer’s—or so the doctors tell her—but she remembers exactly how her daughter Liza could light up a room, or bring dark clouds in her wake. And now Liza’s gone, by her own hand, and Edith has been left—like a chaise or strand of pearls—to a poorly dressed young woman with a toddler in tow.

Maggie and Edith are both certain this arrangement will be an utter disaster. But as summer days wane, a tenuous bond forms, and Edith, who feels the urgency of her diagnosis, shares a secret that she’s held close for five decades, launching Maggie on a mission that might just lead them each to what they are looking for.

BUY THE BOOK:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   HarperCollins 

6a0120a73fd4ec970b019aff273dfb970d-800wiMEET THE AUTHOR:   Zoe Fishman is the critically acclaimed author of the upcoming Inheriting Edith, (Morrow, November ’16), Driving Lessons (Morrow, April ’14), Saving Ruth(Morrow, May ’12) and Balancing Acts (Harper, March ’10). Her books have been translated into German, Italian, Dutch and Polish. She’s the recipient of myriad awards, including Target’s Breakout and Emerging Author Picks, a NY Post Pick, a Mom’s Choice Award and a Barnes & Noble Hot Read.

Interviews and profiles of her have been featured on NBC’s “Atlanta & Co.” and FGTV, as well as in Publisher’s Weekly, Mobile Bay Magazine, The Atlanta Jewish Times and The Huffington Post. Her articles have been published in Time Out and on FoxNews.com, among others.

Zoe worked in the New York publishing industry for thirteen years in the editorial department of Random House, the rights department of Simon & Schuster and later, as an agent for two boutique literary firms before moving to Atlanta in August of 2011 with her husband. Now the mom of two little boys, she’s working on her next novel and teaching writing at The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

REVIEW:

“Hey, if you were going on a road trip with two old ladies and a two-year-old, what would would you bring?”   –  “Valium” Sam answered.

Maggie and Edith don’t exactly hit it off.  They are both unexpectedly thrown together when Edith’s daughter dies and leaves her Sag Harbour home to her former friend and housecleaner.  Throw in a feisty, Jewish girlfriend Esther (Edith’s) who doesn’t hesitate to “tell it like it is” (she’s my favourite character) and we see a few fireworks.

An engaging novel that shows that we don’t always have the answers, heck, we don’t always have the right questions but somehow we fumble through life and can feel pretty good about what we’ve accomplished.  The dialogue was candid and refreshing and I really enjoyed the repartee between Edith and Esther.  I really didn’t get what was happening between Maggie and Sam, the signals were “all over the place” and didn’t feel there was enough development in this part of the story.

A light read despite the fact that the overall theme was about how to deal with an Alzheimer’s patient in a dignified manner.

Considerable strong language was liberally used throughout the story as well as mature themes that may not appeal to some Christian readers.

 
Sunday, October 16th: #redhead.with.book
Tuesday, October 18th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, October 20th: BookNAround
Monday, October 24th: Reading is My Super Power
Tuesday, October 25th: The Book Bag
Tuesday, November 1st: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, November 2nd: bookchickdi
Thursday, November 3rd: Lesa’s Book Critiques
Friday, November 4th: Books and Bindings
Monday, November 7th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, November 8th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Wednesday, November 9th: she treads softly
Thursday, November 10th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, November 17th: Tina Says…
Friday, November 18th: Art @ Home
Tuesday, November 22nd: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, November 28th: Becklist
Wednesday, November 30th: 5 Minutes For Books
Thursday, December 1st: Readaholic Zone

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Book review: Stella Bain by Anita Shreve

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  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 10/13/13 edition (October 13, 2013)
  • 264 pages
  • Women’s fiction / historical fiction

Description:

“Shreve’s 17th novel is a tragic yet hopeful story of love, memory, loss, and rebuilding….The novel is both tender and harsh….Shreve’s thoughtful, provocative historical tale has modern resonance.” –Publishers Weekly

Stella Bain has no memory of her past when she wakes up in a hospital bed in Marne, France. It is 1916, and she wears the uniform of a British war nurse but speaks with an American accent. As soon as she is able, Stella sets out for London, where she hopes to find answers. What she discovers-with the help of Dr. August Bridge, who takes an interest in her case-both shocks and startles.

As Stella’s memories come racing back, she must undertake a journey across the ocean to confront the haunted past of the woman she used to be.

In this gripping historical drama that transports us from Europe to America and back again, Anita Shreve weaves an engrossing tale about love and memory, set against the backdrop of a war that devastated an entire generation.

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

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Meet the author:

Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O’Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). After graduating from Tufts University, she taught high school for a number of years in and around Boston. In the middle of her last year, she quit (something that, as a parent, she finds appalling now) to start writing. “I had this panicky sensation that it was now or never.”

Joking that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejections from magazines for her short stories (“I really could have,” she says), she published her early work in literary journals. One of these stories, “Past the Island, Drifting,” won an O. Henry prize. Despite this accolade, she quickly learned that one couldn’t make a living writing short fiction. Switching to journalism, Shreve traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where she lived for three years, working as a journalist for an African magazine. One of her novels, The Last Time They Met, contains bits and pieces from her time in Africa.

Returning to the United States, Shreve was a writer and editor for a number of magazines in New York. Later, when she began her family, she turned to freelancing, publishing in the New York Times Magazine, New York magazine and dozens of others. In 1989, she published her first novel, Eden Close. Since then she has written 12 other novels, among them The Weight of Water, The Pilot’s Wife, The Last Time They Met, A Wedding in December, and Body Surfing.

In 1998, Shreve received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction. In 1999, she received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey, and The Pilot’s Wife became the 25th selection of Oprah’s Book Club and an international bestseller. In April 2002, CBS aired the film version of The Pilot’s Wife, starring Christine Lahti, and in fall 2002, The Weight of Water, starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn, was released in movie theaters.

Still in love with the novel form, Shreve writes only in that genre. “The best analogy I can give to describe writing for me is daydreaming,” she says. “A certain amount of craft is brought to bear, but the experience feels very dreamlike.”

Shreve is married to a man she met when she was 13. She has two children and three stepchildren, and in the last eight years has made tuition payments to seven colleges and universities.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter 

REVIEW:

Although written as a novel, this account describes how women began to be affected by shell shock during the first world war. Shell shock was the term used for what we now understand to be PTSD. Nurses who worked side-by-side with surgeons during the war experienced as much trauma as the men who fought in the trenches and the author describes how much they went through without going into excessive graphic detail.

A woman wearing a VAD uniform wakes up with amnesia in France while serving close to the front. Stella Bain, as she calls herself, realizes that she has amnesia and remains unsettled because there is something she has come to France to do but she can’t remember why. Her story takes us to England where, in an attempt to discover who she is, she is overcome by “hysteria” or “shell shock” and is taken in by a kindly couple who help her to recuperate. We later learn of another serious trauma suffered prior to her arrival in France which is the reason for her flight as well as the initial trigger to her shell shock.

An insightful account into how trauma, of varying natures, can cause both a physical and psychological impact to the victim or sufferer.

Book review: In the Context of Love by Linda K. Sienkiewicz

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Book Details:

Book Title:  in the context of Love by Linda K. Sienkiewicz
Category:  Adult fiction, 270 pages
Genre:  Women’s fiction
Publisher:  Buddhapuss Ink LLC
Release date:  September 2015
Available for review in:  Print, ebook, gifted Kindle copy, (PDF)
Will send print books:  USA & Canada
Tour dates:  March 28 to April 1, 2016
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M ( may contain profanity, violence, non-explicit sex scenes and mature themes)

Book Description:  

What makes us step back to examine the events and people that have shaped our lives? And what happens when what we discover leads to more questions?

Angelica Schirrick wonders how her life could have gotten so far off-track. With two children in tow, she begins a journey of self-discovery that leads her back home to Ohio. It pains her to remember the promise her future once held and the shattering revelations that derailed her life.

Can she face the failures and secrets of her past and move forward? Somehow she must learn to accept the violence of her beginning before she can be open to life, and a second chance at love.

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Praise for In the Context of Love

“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. In the Context of Love should be required reading for all wayward teenage girls—and their mothers, too.” ~Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.

“With tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.” ~ Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller, Deep End of the Ocean

“Absorbing, heartbreaking, compulsively-readable and insightful, Linda Sienkiewicz’s In the Context of Love casts a hypnotic spell. This is storytelling at its best.” ~ Lewis Robinson, author of the critically acclaimed, Officer Friendly: and Other Stories, and Water Dogs


Linda K. Sienkiewicz author pic

Meet the author:    

Linda K. Sienkiewicz is a published poet and fiction writer, cynical optimist, fan of corgis, tea drinker, and wine lover from Michigan. Her poetry, short stories, and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, Spoon River, and Permafrost.

She received a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press, and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine. Linda lives with her husband in southeast Michigan, where they spoil their grandchildren and then send them back home.

Connect with the author:   Website   Twitter   Facebook

REVIEW:  
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“How easy it would be to fall back in love with you.     How the heart remembers”.
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In the Context of Love is can be described as a touching memoir-letter to a lost love.  I immediately identified with Angelica, a hardworking high-school student whose mother obsessively controls her.  Like a spring ready to bounce, Angelica seeks acceptance and consolation outside her family.  She falls in love.  But scandal tears them apart and she never sees him again.
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Although this is first and foremost a love story, other events in Angelica’s life push her in a downward spiral into drinking, drugs and bad relationships.  We feel for her as she loses her sense of self and ends up in an abusive relationship.
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Linda has managed to take a small family drama and turn it into an incredibly moving and emotional account of love, redemption and hope.  The simple truths and insights touched me deeply.  Please note that there are several mature themes in this book and strong language.
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