Who else is ready for some summer reading? The sun’s been shining most of the week where I live in Ohio & it has definitely got me excited for some outdoor reading! (as long as I’ve had my allergy meds…allergy season is hitting me hard this year!)
If you’re a fan of authors like Robyn Carr, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, you may have read books by RaeAnne Thayne, since she has many. If you haven’t, today’s featured book is an excellent one to start with!
‘The Path to Sunshine Cove’ by RaeAnne Thayne
She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…
With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize–because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…& that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents & changed everything between them.
While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world–and her sister–to think she has a picture-perfect life. But w/ the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, & she shouldn’t count on her now.
Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached–to her sister & her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate–& it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put & make room for the love & joy that come along with it?
This book is book 2 in the Cape Sanctuary series, but can be read as a standalone. I absolutely loved it! It’s emotionally engaging, breathtakingly atmospheric, charming, & realistic in nature. For me it was also somewhat relatable in the sense that Rachel is a SAHM & mother to a child w/ autism (oh & she’s a social media influencer on the side).
This heartwarming novel is available now (released on 3/30/21) & a big Thanks to @harlequinbooks & @getredprbooks for my gift copy!
Click HERE to add ‘The Path to Sunshine Cove’ to your Goodreads lists.
Click HERE to visit RaeAnne Thayne’s web page and HERE to visit her on Instagram.
Click HERE to go to my Instagram post & give it some LIKE love or SHARE it with other readers.
Click HERE to find this book or RaeAnne Thayne’s other books at a local independent bookseller near you or online.
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com
This week went by super fast for me as usual but, boy oh boy, did I get to listen to & read some fantastic books while I was on the go. Right now I am currently finishing up listening to ‘Who is Maud Dixon?‘ by Alexandra Andrews (Little, Brown & Co, 3/2/21) & it is really good!
Florence Darrow is a small-town striver who believes that she’s destined to become a celebrated writer. When she stumbles into the opportunity to become the assistant to “Maud Dixon,” a celebrated-but anonymous-novelist (think: Elena Ferrante), she believes that the universe is finally providing her big chance. The arrangement feels idyllic; Helen can be prickly, but she is full of pointed wisdom on both writing and living. She even invites Florence along on a research trip to Morocco, where her new novel is set. Florence has never been out of the country before; maybe, she imagines, she’ll finally have something exciting to write about herself.
But when Florence wakes up in the hospital after a terrible car crash, and Helen is dead, she begins to imagine what it might be like to ‘upgrade’ into not only Helen’s life, but also that of Helen’s bestselling pseudonym, Maud Dixon…
The narrators do such a fantastic job of bringing this story to life & it’s very engaging. The cover is kind of boring, but that single squiggly line that makes the shape of two women’s faces kind of grew on me as I listened to the story. Definitely recommend it! (Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads.)
On Tuesday I posted about the new release, ‘Maybe One Day‘ by Debbie Johnson (William Morrow, 3/2/21). A poignant, heartbreaking, yet heartwarming story that will give you all the emotions.
In the spirit of Ruth Hogan and Adriana Trigiani, bestselling British author Debbie Johnson brings us the ultimate in “happy tears”: a heartfelt story about a woman seizing the chance to reconnect with her lost love.
The truth changes everything. For years Jess believed that Joe—the father of her child and the only man she ever loved—had abandoned her during her greatest time of need. That belief nearly destroyed her. Seventeen years later, when cleaning out her mother’s house, Jess unpacks a box of cards and letters hidden in the attic and makes a discovery that changes everything about life as she knows it.
Shaken but empowered, Jess—and her two stalwart best friends—set out on a remarkable journey to follow a set of faded postmarks around the world. Is Joe still alive? Does he know that Jess never forgot him? Maybe their love story isn’t over. Maybe one day they’ll find each other again… (Click HERE for my Instagram post & HERE to add the book on Goodreads.)
Thursday’s post posted sort of late in the day & was a more personal one, giving a bit of an explanation as to why I am currently still in so much physical pain today. The post photo also features some of my lettering that I enjoy doing in the evening as a way to decompress & wind down my day. Handwriting has always been something I have enjoyed doing & I am a total “font-nerd” or typophile (a lover of printed matter or typography). I am not even sure how many different pens I own, but I would venture to say the number is around 500-600. And Lord have mercy, but I’m in a couple of “pen obsessed” groups on Facebook & they are quite a motley group of enablers, but I love it! (Click HERE for that post on Instagram.)
Friday’s post is what I like to call #ForeverFriday when I post a book review for a Forever Publishing recent release, & this weeks book is ‘Sandcastle Beach’ by Jenny Holiday, book #3 in Holiday’s Matchmaker Bay series. This beach read is sassy, witty, sweet & sexy! All three books in the series are like $5 on Amazon & would make great additions to your seaside (or poolside) reading. You can click HERE to see the post on Instagram & for those that may ask, the cup featured in the post is by Kate Spade & was bought a couple years ago at T J Maxx (aka: the GREATEST store ever!).
About the book: From the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a hilarious and heartwarming romance about two enemies whose feud turns red-hot. Maya Mehta will do anything to save her tiny, beloved community theater. Put on musicals she hates? Check. Hire an arrogant former-pop-star-turned-actor? Done. But what Maya really needs to save her theater is Matchmaker Bay’s new business grant. She’s got some serious competition, though: Benjamin “Law” Lawson, local bar owner, Jerk Extraordinaire, and Maya’s annoyingly hot arch nemesis. Let the games begin.
Law loves nothing more than getting under Maya’s skin, and making those gorgeous eyes dance with irritation. But when he discovers the ex-pop star has a thing for Maya, too, Law decides he’s done waiting in the wings-starting with a scorching-hot kiss. Turns out there’s a thin line between hate and irresistible desire, and Maya and Law are really good at crossing it. But when things heat up, will they allow their long-standing feud to get in the way of their growing feelings? Click HERE to add the book to your Goodreads.
Yesterday’s post was about one of my favorite books so far this year, ‘The Lost Apothecary‘ by Sarah Penner (Park Row, 3/2/21). I hadn’t planned to post about it until next week, but I wanted to encourage anyone who hadn’t made their Book of the Month selections yet to grab this one, since it was one of the March choices. ‘The Lost Apothecary‘ is such a fabulous book! I literally didn’t want it to end, that’s how much I loved it!
A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman. Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.
In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. (Click HERE to add the book to your Goodreads & HERE to see my Instagram post.)
Last, but certainly not least, today’s post features a fab new book, ‘When We Were Young’ by Jaclyn Goldis (Forever Pub, 2/6/21) & a splendid dose of serendipity! Have you ever discovered something you bought at a thrift store actually belonged to a family member long ago? That happened to me today!
Today began w/ me starting a new book (as mentioned above). I was really looking forward to starting this book after reading many fantastic reviews & having just finished (& loved!) ‘The Lost Apothecary’ which also has 3 amazing female protagonists & takes place in the past & present day.
As I was getting my props together, I decided to use two of my vintage luggage pieces that I bought on 2 separate shopping trips last year at a local Goodwill. The luggage belonged to the same person as was evident by personalization inside both pieces via an inked address stamper. Since this sort of stamper is meant for paper, not the silky material inside of the cases, it was very blurry, & the lettering bled so much that I never really bothered to get a closer look at the name. I could only see a nearby city fairly well & really the name didn’t matter to me that much…until today.
Today I put on my readers, used my camera’s magnifying glass, & I was absolutely flabbergasted. Now I know why the first piece appealed to me so much & why there was a second piece at the shop a week later, as if waiting for me to reunite it w/ it’s partner at home: the luggage belonged to my Grandfather’s brother, my great Uncle! Holy serendipity! My great uncle passed away at the age of 97 in 2014. All this time & I had no idea they had belonged to him.
The book, ‘When We Were Young’, spans 3 generations & is a page-turner of a debut full of family secrets, heart-wrenching drama, & second chances. My vintage luggage, now heirloom, also spans 3 generations & is all about family, too! I’m loving this book so far & think you all would, too! (Click HERE to read more about it on Goodreads & HERE to go to my Instagram post.)
Well, that’s my reading week in a nutshell. Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend & best wishes in your weeks to come! I leave you with my Friday evening lettering project, which may be hard to tell from the poor quality pic, but it’s on a shimmery pink cardstock & was done with Mildliner Clickart Pens by Zebra & Micron’s. (Ahhh, pens!💕)
GIVEAWAY time! (I actually meant to post this to my blog a couple days ago, but then I ended up sick & forgot. So better late than never & you have until the end of the day to enter. Sorry, US residents only per the publisher.)
Thank you to @grandcentralpub for my gift copy of ‘This Close to Okay‘ by Leesa Cross-Smith!
Q: What did you read this weekend? I started & finished ‘Finlay Donovan is Killing It’ & really liked it, & I am this close to finishing the book I am featuring today.
A cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist & the man she prevents from ending his life,
‘This Close to Okay‘ is a vibrant, powerful story of two strangers brought together by wild chance at the moment they needed each other most.
This book was a Dec BOTM choice & my first book by the author, although ‘So We Can Glow’ is on my TBR list. There is some heavy subject matter covered in this beautiful book: mental illness, racism, grief, & suicide; but don’t let that sway you from reading it. (Just maybe have a rom-com or comedy as a follow-up read if those subjects weigh on your emotions; ‘Finlay Donovan is Killing It’ would make a great follow-up, just saying.)
‘This Close to Okay‘ is so well written, emotional, heartfelt, intimately honest & raw, & the characters are richly drawn, complex, & unforgettable. I highly recommend this book & would love to send a copy to (2) of you! (**The following is for information purposes only. You must enter the giveaway on Instagram & you can go to the post HERE.)
To enter to win one: 1- Must be following @mom_loves_reading 2- LIKE this post. (SHARE it in your stories or feed for 5 bonus entries & TAG me.) 3- Tag some bookish pals. (Unlimited entries, up to 3 tags per comm). Giveaway runs 2/6-2/8/21, is not affiliated w/ Instagram, & is open to US residents only. Please don’t UNfollow after giveaway or you will be ineligible for all future MLR giveaways & there are a LOT.
From the award-winning Southern writer who Roxane Gay calls “a consummate storyteller” comes a cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist and the man she prevents from ending his life.
On a rainy October night in Kentucky, recently divorced therapist Tallie Clark is on her way home from work when she spots a man precariously standing on the side of a bridge. Without a second thought, Tallie pulls over and jumps out of the car into the pouring rain. She convinces the man to join her for a cup of coffee, and he eventually agrees to come back to her house, where he finally shares his name: Emmett.
Over the course of the emotionally charged weekend that follows, Tallie makes it her mission to provide a safe space for Emmett, though she hesitates to confess that this is also her day job. But what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not the only one who needs healing — and she’s not the only one with secrets.
Alternating between Tallie and Emmett’s perspectives as they inch closer to the truth of what brought Emmett to the bridge’s edge — as well as the hard truths Tallie has been grappling with in her own life — This Close to Okay is a vibrant, powerful story of two strangers brought together by wild chance at the moment they needed each other most.
Click HERE to add ‘This Close to Okay’ to your Goodreads lists. Click HERE to check out my Instagram post & enter the giveaway. Click HERE to visit Leesa Cross-Smith’s website. Click HERE to find this book & any others at a local or online indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.com. Click HERE to join Book of the Month & get your first months book selection at a discount. (*’This Close to Okay’ was a Dec 2020 BOTM pick & is still available. You don’t have to get this one, however, in order to get the discount.) Click HERE to get this book (or any others) on audio from Libro.fm & support indie bookstores that way. You can also get a BOGO using my code MOMLOVESREADING.
Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of SO WE CAN GLOW, WHISKEY & RIBBONS, EVERY KISS A WAR, and the forthcoming novels THIS CLOSE TO OKAY and HALF-BLOWN ROSE from Grand Central Publishing. She is longlisted for the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize. SO WE CAN GLOW was listed as one of NPR’s Best Books of 2020. WHISKEY & RIBBONS won the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) Gold Medal in Literary Fiction, was longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and was one of O Magazine’s 2018 Top Books of Summer. EVERY KISS A WAR was nominated for the PEN Open Book Award (2014) and was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). Find more @ LeesaCrossSmith.com
It’s SelfieSunday! I am currently chilling in my cozy office & just finished reading ‘Not My Boy‘ by Kelly Simmons which pubs this Tues, 1/5. Thank you @kellyasimmons for my gift copy of this fantastic book! (Readers, please click HERE to visit my Instagram post & give it a LIKE if you would.😉)
🌲Q: Who else still has their Christmas tree up with no intention of taking it down anytime soon? I just love mine so much! Since it has all the pretty pink on it, I think it will just have to stay up & pass as a Valentine’s Tree! (Which btw, is my wedding anniversary…💕)
📚This weekend I’ve been getting all my new planners & goal lists together, & then I have to get my massive grocery list together for my next shopping trip when the kids go back to school on Tues. And I have so many appts to make for various things. Procrastination is the monkey on my back that I need to work on in 2021, that’s for sure! Anyhow, on to the book…
Who will you cross to protect your own? When Hannah packs up her past & moves to the cottage next-door to her sister, she hopes the luxe neighborhood & close family ties will be the perfect escape for her son & the shadows that trail them. But when a young girl goes missing days after they unload their final boxes & her son is quickly thrown under suspicion, Hannah must do whatever it takes to protect her child.
Even if that means pointing the blame her sister’s way instead. With investigators swarming & neighborhood scrutiny closing in, the divide between two sisters grows. As one fiercely defends her husband, the other shields her boy from the crime, keeping quiet the secrets that might unravel it all. And all the while, one young girl has vanished, & someone is to blame.
‘Not My Boy‘ is a pulse-pounding, fast-paced, suspense-filled, family drama/thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end. I am really looking forward to reading more from Kelly like her previous releases ‘Where She Went’, ‘The Fifth of July’ & ‘One More Day’. Add any or all of these books to your TBR lists now & buy ‘Not My Boy‘ this Tuesday.
Click HERE to add it your Goodreads list. Click HERE to find it at an indie bookstore near you using BookStoreLink. Click HERE to visit Kelly Simmons website & read more about her & her other books.
PS: Be sure to enter my current giveaway for another page-turner of a thriller, ‘Factor-7’. There are a lot of extra’s in that giveaway, too! Click HERE to go to that giveaway on Instagram now.
My sixth novel NOT MY BOY arrives January 5, 2021, & will also be available in audiobook & who knows, maybe a Netflix series is next? It was compared to BIG LITTLE LIES by Booklist in a starred review, & NYTimes Bestseller phenom Julie Clark, author of LAST FLIGHT, called it “propulsive & impossible to put down.” All of my books have been applauded by bestselling authors like Megan Abbott, Caroline Leavitt, & Sarah Pekkanen. They’ve been hailed as “great titles for book groups who love strong female characters” by the Library Journal. Publishers Weekly called my first novel, Standing Still “An electrifying debut” in its starred review. Even Kirkus likes me! Maybe you’d enjoy discovering a new-to-you author? I’ve visited hundreds & hundreds of book clubs via Zoom, FaceTie, Google Hangouts or in person. I’d love to meet with yours. For book signing events or more information, see my website kellysimmonsbooks.com. Or friend me on Facebook (kellyatbubble) or follow me on Insta (kellyasimmons) or twitter (kellysimmons) for more giveaways & fun!
Book Tour Sunday! Thank you @getredpr & @reginabuttnerbooks for my gift copy of ‘Absolution‘, the debut novel by Regina Buttner, published on Oct 13th! (Visit my post on Instagram & show it some LIKE love, by clicking HERE.)
I am a big fan of debut novels, & when they’re especially well-written ones with a strong plot & story that you think about off & on long after reading it, then I can’t wait to tell all you about it as well.
“I was weak & deceitful, & I could never, ever let my husband find out the truth about me. I would keep my secrets hidden from him for the rest of my life…” (‘Absolution’, Regina Buttner)
A guilt-ridden young wife & mother struggles to keep a long-ago sexual assault & pregnancy a secret from her ambitious husband… Jeanie thinks she was to blame for the sexual assault she suffered in college―and she’d do anything to keep her old-school Catholic family from finding out about the resulting pregnancy, as well as what she did to conceal it.
Years have passed since the assault, & Jeanie’s husband, Greg, still thinks she’s the seemingly innocent girl he married in a rush to spite his controlling mother. It’s the height of the Seattle dot-com boom, & he’s too busy cashing in his stock options to pay attention to his wife. He isn’t aware of Jeanie’s lingering shame & guilt, or that she married him in the desperate hope that devoting herself to marriage & motherhood would somehow absolve her from the sins in her past.
Their hidden agendas collide when Greg discovers evidence of Jeanie’s long-ago pregnancy. As she confesses the details of that drunken night with her married professor, Greg’s pristine image of her is blown. His shock deepens into violent fury, & Jeanie realizes she needs to leave him―but Greg won’t let her go. He’s up for a big promotion, & he’s not about to let her ruin his reputation by walking out on him. He’ll resort to blackmail if necessary. Or worse.
‘Absolution‘ is an incredibly gripping debut novel that you can easily get swept up in & devour in mere hours. Exploring the theme of sexual assault against women committed by men in powerful positions, this captivating, thought-provoking story will have you rooting out loud for Jeanie as she fights for her self-acceptance & her place in this victim filled world, while not letting her victim-hood define her. Dark secrets, hidden motivations, & manipulations by supposed loved ones, ‘Absolution‘ is a powerful read & would make an excellent book club choice!
‘Absolution‘ is also part of the Amazon promotion ‘Buy 2, Get 3rd one FREE’ (from a specific selection of media items). Some other items that may interest you include books such as ‘Untamed‘, ‘Anxious People‘, ‘The Vanishing Half‘, ‘The Guest List‘, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing‘, ‘American Dirt‘, ‘The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue‘, as well as the latest ‘Hunger Games‘ book, ‘Hamilton Original Cast Soundtrack CD set, & even ‘The Office‘ Complete Series DVD set.
Click HERE to add ‘Absolution’ to your Goodreads lists. Click HERE to visit me on Instagram & show the author & my post some support with a LIKE & maybe even a SHARE. Click HERE to visit Regina Buttner’s website.
Regina is a registered nurse-turned-writer from beautiful upstate New York where she enjoys hiking in the Adirondack Mountains, paddling on the Genesee River, and exploring the Finger Lakes wine country. ‘Absolution’ is her first novel.