BeachReads · RomCom

Book review: “The Happy Camper” by Melody Carlson

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Thank you @revellbooks for my gifted copy of “The Happy Camper” by Melody Carlson! (pub 3/3)

Home is the place to heal, right? At least, that’s what Dillon Michaels is hoping as she leaves her disappointing career & nonstarter love life behind to help her grieving & aging grandfather on his small Oregon farm. The only problem? Her eccentric mother beat her there & has taken over Dillon’s old room. After a few nights sleeping on a sagging sofa, Dillon is ready to give up, until she receives an unlikely gift–her grandfather’s run-down vintage camp trailer, which she quickly resolves to restore with the help of Jordan Atwood, the handsome owner of the local hardware store.

But just when things are finally beginning to run smoothly, Dillon’s noncommittal ex-boyfriend shows up with roses… and a ring. Full of quirky characters, family drama, & sweet romance, “The Happy Camper” will have you scouring Craigslist for your own diamond-in-the-rough camper to restore & hunting your local hardware store for a handy guy to help your dreams come true.

I love the cover of this book so much, & I actually hate camping. Personally, I consider staying in a hotel a form of “glamping”. I just prefer all the amenities of home. I really loved reading about Dillon’s restoration of the vintage camper because it reminded me of a neighbor of mine (who has since passed away) that had one of these cute, little campers to travel with when she visited her kids. I think one of these vintage campers would make an amazing playhouse in our backyard.

The Happy Camper” is a very engaging, light, charmingly delightful beach read for everyone, & it’s completely PG. That’s one of the things I love about Baker Publishing & Revell Books. Enjoyable reading without all the raunchy sex or language. This is an uplifting & heartwarming novel that would make a fun screen adaptation. I would love to see a follow-up book where Dillon is a bit more matured. (That’s the mom in me coming out, I guess.)

I look forward to reading more from Carlson in the future, as she has written over 200 books! Look for “The Happy Camper” at your local bookstore & check out some of her other novels as well!

You can use BookStoreLink to find this book & any others. Simply type in the book title or an authors name, then type in a bookstore, city or state, & all the independent stores will be listed. Some have e-commerce sales & will ship & some have curbside pickup or home delivery right now.

The indie bookstores need our sales more than that “other online giant”. Click HERE for “The Happy Camper“.

Hope you are all having a fantastic week & are staying safe out there. And Happy Camping this summer to all you camper’s out there!

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women & children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including Romantic Time’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita & the Gold Medallion) & some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons & makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband & yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at http://www.melodycarlson.com/

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Giveaway

Book Review: “A Week at the Shore” and GIVEAWAY(s) reminder!

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Thank you @stmartinspress for my beautiful, gifted copy of “A Week at the Shore“! (pub date 5/19)

In her new book, New York Times bestselling author, Barbara Delinsky explores how lives & relationships are forever changed when three sisters reunite at their family Rhode Island beach house.

One phone call is all it takes to lure real estate photographer Mallory Aldiss back to her family Rhode Island beach home. It’s been 20 yrs since she’s been gone—running from the scandal that destroyed her parents’ marriage, drove her & her two sisters apart, & crushed her relationship with her first love. But going home is fraught with emotional baggage—memories, mysteries & secrets abound.

Mal’s 13-yr-old daughter, Joy, has never been to the place where Mal’s life was shaped & is desperate to go. Fatherless, she craves family & especially wants to spend time with the grandfather she barely knows.

In just seven watershed days on the Rhode Island coast three women will test the bonds of sisterhood, friendship & family, & discover the role that love & memory plays in defining their lives.

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I am always drawn to books that take place in beachy, shoreline towns since I live in one myself. Gives me more of a sense of being there, even if my shoreline is Lake Erie & this books is the ocean. This book is not a light, fluffy beach read, as it is heavier on family dysfunction, fractured sibling relationships, drama, secrets, & confronting the past. It’s around 400 pgs & a bit of a slow-burn, but it’s also engaging, well-written & captivating.

Amazing writing, atmospherically breath-taking & emotionally gripping, this is a fantastic book that is full of heart & soul! Look for this book next week everywhere books are sold, & since many indie bookstores are starting to open back up, start there first. Use BookStoreLink to find “A Week at the Shore” & any other books at a local independent bookstore. They need our sales now more than ever to stay afloat & get back on their feet.

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Speaking of “beach reads”, be sure to enter my HUGE 3-winner giveaway on Instagram (Click HERE) AND the 3-book thriller giveaway (Click HERE)! And keep an eye out for ANOTHER one coming soon! I’m feeling very generous this week as I clean my office out & pull more & more books from my overwhelmed home library shelves. I am in full Marie Kondo mode!

Click HERE to go to the Instagram post

Here in Ohio many businesses are starting to reopen (even though Covid #’s continue to rise.) Personally I will continue to limit my socializing & where my family & I go for the rest of the summer (probably year). No summer day camp for my autistic sons either & they LOVED going. We do have an in-ground pool, so luckily we have that to keep them occupies & happy once Mother Nature gets her act together & realizes what month it is. High 70’s one day, low 40’s to high 30’s the next…that is life in Ohio for ya!

I am having such a hard time with wearing a mask everywhere I go. I will continue to & I definitely NEED to due a compromised immune system, but man…they get so freaking hot & I am claustrophobic so I tend to start getting into anxious, panic mode after about 15 minutes in one. I really feel bad for the healthcare workers & others out there that have to wear masks (& more!) for hours at a time. I truly can’t even imagine how awful that must be for them.

Me visiting my mom recently after not seeing her for 5 mos!

As always, stay safe out there. Stay home if you can. Reach out to others online or on the phone if you are getting out of sorts, stressed, exhausted, depressed, or just need a virtual hug. Think of others with all of your actions & reactions. Just stay safe… Now go wash your hands.