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Love Lies And Lemon Cake

Posted by on Sep 3, 2014 in Books & Book Reviews | 0 comments

Love Lies And Lemon Cake
By Sue Watson
ISBN: 9781909490437
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Published by Bookouture 

Faye Dobson has lost her sparkle. Living on film star fantasies and vague memories of a marriage that once was, she can’t help feeling that life is passing her by. She dreams of being whisked to Paris for dinner, making three wishes at the Trevi fountain and having sex under the stars. But the wrinkles are multiplying, her husband’s passion is for plumbing, and the nearest she’ll get to Rome is a take-away pizza.

So when Faye meets Dan the gorgeous Australian surfer guy working in the local deli she can’t help but wonder what it would be like to see the world. He is blonde, tanned, ten years younger and bakes the most amazing lemon cake. Unlike her husband Dan actually listens to Faye, his smile makes her feel fizzy inside, and when he smiles… Oh. My. God.

But is Faye being silly? What would Dan see in someone like her? Even if he did have feelings for her, could she give everything up to be with him?

A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet comedy about taking your life back before it’s too late.

Neglect is often the slow poison in a relationship. And Faye Dobson feels the neglect of her husband. After her daughter moves to University, Faye finds herself questioning what her life has become and longing to live out the dreams she had abandoned. Faye pulls out her ‘Living List’ and starts to dream again.

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake is full of interesting and believable characters, this is a light-hearted read and yet will resonate with a lot of us going through midlife. I liked the pacing, the humour and the theme that it’s never too late to go after our dreams.

I would certainly like to read more of Sue Watson’s writing.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Connect with Sue Watson on Twitter and her website.
Sample Chapter One here.

 

PS : I hope you caught my review of Love You More yesterday?

Love You More

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 in Books & Book Reviews | 2 comments

Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter

Description:

Following the invisible thread of connection between people who are seemingly intended to become family, journalist Jennifer Grant shares the deeply personal, often humorous story of adopting a fifteen-month-old girl from Guatemala when she was already the mother of three very young children.

Her family’s journey is captured in stories that will encourage not only adoptive families but those who are curious about adoption or whose lives have been indirectly touched by it. Love You More explores universal themes such as parenthood, marriage, miscarriage, infertility, connection, destiny, true self, failure and stumbling, and redemption.

In Love You More, Jennifer describes the way she feels God has brought her family together and completed it with the adoption of her daughter.

My views:

Jennifer Grant tells the story of adopting her Guatemalan-born daughter, Mia. She gives us a background to her family and family life which didn’t make very good reading. In fact, from time to time, the author seems to wander a bit. However, she goes on to tell about how her family arrived at the decision to adopt, the process they went through and the waiting. She has captured the frustration of the waiting process very well. Grant also covers details of how the family and Mia adjusted to each other and her own struggles about whether she was being a good Mom to Mia.

Not a ‘must read’ but certainly a book that adoptive parents might appreciate.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Booklook Bloggers  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

PS: Did you catch my review of A Good Year For The Roses yesterday?

A Good Year for the Roses

Posted by on Sep 1, 2014 in Books & Book Reviews | 0 comments

A Good Year for the Roses

Published by Hachette

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Gil McNeil is the author of The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club, Needles and Pearls, and Knit One Pearl One. She lives in Kent, England, with her son.

Life hasn’t been a bed of roses for Londoner Molly Taylor lately. Newly divorced and struggling to find a new home and a way to support her three boys, she’s stunned when her beloved Aunt Helena dies and leaves her Harrington Hall, a three-hundred-year-old manor house on the Devon coast, where Molly grew up. But does Molly really want to run a bed-and-breakfast in an old house where the only thing that doesn’t need urgent attention is Aunt Helena’s beautiful rose garden? Or care for Uncle Bertie, an eccentric former navy officer with a cliff-top cannon? Or Betty, his rude parrot that bites whomever annoys it? Yet Molly’s best friend Lola is all for the plan. “My heart bleeds. Your very own beach, the beautiful house, and Helena’s garden. All you have to do is grill a bit of bacon.”

But with Molly’s conniving brother running the family hotel nearby, the return of a high school flame with ulterior motives, and three sons whose idea of a new country life seems to involve vast quantities of mud, this is not going to be easy. And then Harrington Hall begins to work its magic, and the roses start to bloom…

Warm, witty, and chock-full of quintessential British charm, A Good Year for the Roses is a story for anyone who has ever dreamed of starting over…with or without bacon.

 

My views:

This book is full of interesting characters that include a retired British Admiral that needs no excuse to shoot off his cannon, a parrot that uses the most foul language and bites when riled, plenty of farm animals. Newly-divorced Molly Taylor who has inherited them all and has to make a home for herself and her three boys, while attempting to make a living from keeping house guests. And then there are the roses, details of them cleverly interspersed with the story telling a tale of Aunt Helena’s love affair with them. I loved the quirky characters, the very real struggles of Molly to make sure everyone is happy and how she finds love unexpectedly!

A lovely light-hearted read with that wonderful British humour! Just what I wanted to read on a rainy day! 🙂

I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

I’m looking forward to a month of reviews here – enjoyed doing this for the A to Z Challenge earlier this year.

Home To Chicory Lane Review And Giveaway

Posted by on Aug 28, 2014 in Books & Book Reviews | 1 comment

Home to Chicory Lane: A Chicory Inn

Description:

Landyn longs for home, but her mother may have other plans.

Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.

Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs?

The author:

Deborah Raney‘s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away.

Connect with her on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

My views:

I was attracted to the lovely cover of this book and couldn’t wait to read it.

I had mixed feelings while reading the book, wanting several times to bang Landyn and Chase’s heads together to make them see sense.  It was only after I had finished the book that I realized that it was because the author has created real characters, with real problems that made me feel that way.  Loved the big family interactions, as they brought back memories of my own large extended family. I can see this being the start of a great series.

I received a copy of the book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

 

Deborah is celebrating the release of her new series with a $200 B&B Weekend Getaway and a Facebook author chat party.

chicory-400-click

One winner will receive:

  • A B&B Weekend Getaway (via a $200 Visa cash card)
  • Home to Chicory Lane by Deborah Raney

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 9th. Winner will be announced at the Home to Chicory Lane Author Chat Party on 9/9. Deborah will be hosting a heartfelt book chat, giving away prizes, and answering questions from readers. She will also share an exclusive sneak peek at the next book in the Chicory Inn series!

So grab your copy of Home to Chicory Lane and join Deborah on the evening of September 9th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


Don’t miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 9th!

Thirty Days with My Father

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Books & Book Reviews | 0 comments

Thirty Days with My Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD – Christal Presley PhD

When Christal Presley’s father was eighteen, he was drafted to Vietnam. Like many men of that era who returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), he was never the same. Christal’s father spent much of her childhood locked in his room, gravitating between the deepest depression and unspeakable rage, unable to participate in holidays or birthdays. At a very young age, Christal learned to walk on eggshells, doing anything and everything not to provoke him, but this dance caused her to become a profoundly disturbed little girl. She acted out at school, engaged in self-mutilation, and couldn’t make friends. At the age of eighteen, Christal left home and didn’t look back. She barely spoke to her father for the next thirteen years.

To any outsider, Christal appeared to be doing well: she earned a BA and a master’s, got married, and traveled to India. But despite all these accomplishments, Christal still hadn’t faced her biggest challenge—her relationship with her father. In 2009, something changed. Christal decided it was time to begin the healing process, and she extended an olive branch. She came up with what she called “The Thirty Day Project,” a month’s worth of conversations during which she would finally ask her father difficult questions about Vietnam.

My views:

The author shows great courage in baring her soul to the readers to tell how she struggled to heal her relationship with her father. The author sharing her struggles, her fears, and her deep desire to be healed. The language and style is absolutely great however I found this a difficult book to read only because the emotions ran so deep. . Having said that, I would recommend this book to all. It is filled with resources who wish to know about PTSD, second generational PTSD, the trauma that families experience after war, and recovery.  

Read this for more about how Christal’s father responded to the book.

The Butterfly And The Violin

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Books & Book Reviews | 8 comments

The Butterfly and the Violin (A Hidden Masterpiece Novel)

Description  

A mysterious painting breathes hope and beauty into the darkest corners of Auschwitz—and the loneliest hearts of Manhattan.
Manhattan art dealer Sera James watched her world crumble at the altar two years ago, and her heart is still fragile. Her desire for distraction reignites a passion for a mysterious portrait she first saw as a young girl—a painting of a young violinist with piercing blue eyes.

In her search for the painting, Sera crosses paths with William Hanover, the grandson of a wealthy California real estate mogul, who may be the key to uncovering the hidden masterpiece. Together, Sera and William slowly unravel the story behind the painting’s subject: Austrian violinist Adele Von Bron.

A darling of the Austrian aristocracy, talented violinist, and daughter to a high-ranking member of the Third Reich, Adele risks everything when she begins smuggling Jews out of Vienna. In a heartbeat, her life of prosperity and privilege dissolves into a world of starvation and barbed wire.

As Sera untangles the secrets behind the painting, she finds beauty in the most unlikely of places: in the grim camps of Auschwitz and in the inner recesses of her own troubled heart.

My views:

There’s just something about stories of the holocaust  that draw me in. The cruelty and suffering that the Jews and others endured is horrendous. In the same time that Man showed such depths of cruelty, there were countless heroes, most of them unsung. It’s the stories of those who survived, or those who at great personal cost ensured the safety and survival of others that inspires me. So it’s no surprise that I was drawn to reading The Butterfly and The Violin.

I learned something new about the cruelty of the Nazi prison camps – that some of them had orchestras! In this story we are told of an orchestra at Birkenau (the women’s part of Auschwitz) that was forced to play as prisoners were sent to the gas chambers or disembarked the train arriving at the camp!!

The author moved beautifully between the time of the holocaust, telling the love story of Adele and Vladimir and their subsequent incarceration by the Nazis, and the romance of Sera and Michael who are attempting to find the story behind the picture of Adele.

The premise and the way the story was told made this a super read for me. I just had to finish it in a day!

Totally recommended!

 

I received the book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review. Visit the author’s website for more information on the book.