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Showing posts by: Scarlettleigh click to see Scarlettleigh's profile
Mar 10 2017 1:00pm

Single Dads and Second Chances Intertwine in Donna Alward’s Someone to Love

Someone to Love by Donna Alward

In the First Look on Somebody Like You the first book in the Darling, VT series by Donna Alward, Tanyalk mentions how wonderful it is to read about an ordinary couple. People like you and me.  In the second book, Someone to Love, this trend continues because that what Alward does—write about relatable people and their problems. but the focus is more on the difficulties of falling in love.

As youths, we tend to think that falling in love just happens when you meet the right one. And sometimes it does work that way. That is how it happened with Ethan. He met the right girl—Lisa. They both had the same goals. They got married and then had two rumbustious, adorable boys.  Their life was perfect. Until Lisa got ill and died. Now Ethan life is divided into two phases—with Lisa:

“Lisa was perfect for him. She was sweet but no pushover, and she ran a tight ship. Always organized, always taking the boys on little outings, making sure they did things as a family. For a long time, it seemed as though she had limitless energy. Maybe that’s when we first realized something was wrong. She lost that crazy spark.”

And life without. He has too much baggage to fall in love again. Not only is he mourning the loss of his wife, but also the demise of his dreams for the future. How he and Lisa would raise their boys, Connor and Ronan and then grow old together. Not only is he not living the life he planned but neither are Connor and Ronan. Sure, his mother and sisters has stepped in, providing a women’s touch, but he can tell at odd times that they miss being held in a mother’s arms. Do they feel the loss as keenly as he does? What do they remember?

[Read more...]

Feb 28 2017 2:30pm

February 2017’s Women’s Fiction Best Bets—Embrace the Love!

What were the best women's fiction novels of February?

If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
-Maya Angelou

Women’s fiction is about the journey but it’s also about the relationships –with family, friends, children, and that special partner. We're told all our lives to make a difference in someone else's life—by acts of kindness or the hand of friendship and in some cases the embrace of love. These wonderful stories illustration the veracity of that. You can't helped but be charmed, entertained, and touched as these strong women face tough and difficult challenges.

The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

All their lives, Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, have been a family of two, living quietly in Northern California. Zoe has always struggled with crippling social anxiety and her mother has been her constant and fierce protector. With no family to speak of, and the identity of Zoe’s father shrouded in mystery, their team of two works―until it doesn’t. Until Alice gets sick and needs to fight for her life.

Desperate to find stability for Zoe, Alice reaches out to two women who are practically strangers but who are her only hope: Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker. As the four of them come together, a chain of events is set into motion and all four of them must confront their sharpest fears and secrets―secrets about abandonment, abuse, estrangement, and the deepest longing for family. Imbued with heart and humor in even the most dismal moments, The Mother’s Promise is an unforgettable novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged.

Strengths: Engaging characters; captivating plot; emotionally moving
Measure of Love:  Dash
Mood: Poignant
Why You Should Read this: This is a story that just pulls you in. Not only are the characters likeable and appealing, their journey is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Wonderful mixture of poignant and uplifting moments.

[Read more...]

Feb 6 2017 10:30am

First Look: Sophie Kinsella’s My (Not So) Perfect Life (February 7, 2017)

My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Have you ever dreamed of running off to a cabin in the woods alone...not with a significant other –but with a bag of books? That is my perfect fantasy. Winter cabin with the necessities (snow is okay) plus fireplace...down comforter...and new books by my favorite authors. And one of those authors would be Sophie Kinsella.  While I didn’t get to read her latest, My (Not So) Perfect Life in my fantasy cabin it still was a fabulous treat.

If you’ve never read a Sophie Kinsella book, then the most important things to know about her books is that they are full of humor and laughter, in addition to being a modern women’s perfect allegory. And in her latest Kinsella teaches us and her heroine a valuable (although not new) lesson–don’t believe everything on social media.

While the setting is London, and then Somerset, it’s a story that is universal–small town girl wants to make it big in a sophisticate, cosmopolitan city. And to do that Katie thinks that she needs to leave the country girl behind.  County brogue –gone.  Ingenuous name—changed;

[Read more...]

Jan 31 2017 12:00pm

First Look: Eloisa James’s Seven Minutes in Heaven (January 31, 2017)

Seven Minutes in Heaven by Eloisa James

Eloisa James
Seven Minutes in Heaven
Avon / January 31, 2017 / $7.99 print,  $6.99 digital

Parenthood, for the wealthy and aristocratic in the 1800s—with their easy access to governesses should be easy but Eloisa James in her charming new book, Seven Minutes in Heaven easily dissuades us of this. No matter what era you live in, parenting is very complicated—as Eugenia Snowe and Edward Reeve know.

As children, they both had unorthodox childhoods. Eugenia until the age of ten, lived an unconventional life with her father, Lord Strange. Known as the most scandalous man in England because of the motley group of people he invited to live on his estate. Strange protected his daughter from his intellectual but debauched visitors by having the servants lock her in the nursery every night. He failed to supervise the servants, so Eugenia mainly raised herself. It’s only after Eugenia developed rat fever that he rectified his down fallings as a father. Plus, it helped that he fell in love with a wonderful woman, Harriet, Duchess of Berrow, who took them both in hand.

[Read more...]

Jan 30 2017 2:00pm

Escape with Women’s Fiction Best Bets for January 2017

Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.”
-Nora Ephron

Of course we all know this—we’re readers after all! But nothing makes you appreciate reading more than a great book and in this month releases there are some excellent books. Make contact with someone else’s imagination because these authors shine as storytellers!

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

A story from debut author Abby Fabiaschi that is “as absorbing as it is illuminating, and as witty as it is heartbreaking.”

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch...until she commits suicide, leaving her husband Brady and teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives? How they can possibly continue without her? As they sift through details of her last days, trying to understand the woman they thought they knew, Brady and Eve are forced to come to terms with unsettling truths.

Maddy, however, isn’t ready to leave her family forever. Watching from beyond, she tries to find the perfect replacement for herself. Along comes Rory: pretty, caring, and spontaneous, with just the right bit of edge...but who also harbors a tragedy of her own. Will the mystery of Maddy ever come to rest? And can her family make peace with their history and begin to heal?

Strengths: Multi-faceted characters; Imaginative concept; Uplifting ending
Measure of Love:  Dash
Mood: Poignant
Why You Should Read this: What a spectacular debut! Reading the book summary, you might think, oh, I’ve read a ghost/matchmaking book like this before –but I dare say you haven’t! Wonderful emotional intensity, fabulous characters and imaginative storytelling. The mystery of Maddy’s death, the struggle of her family will keep you turning the pages. While the story is poignant, it is never dark.

[More Best Bets Ahead!]

Jan 29 2017 11:00am

First Look: Kristan Higgins’s On Second Thought (January 31, 2017)

On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins
On Second Thought 
HQN Books / January 31, 2017 / $15.99 print, $7.99 digital

It has been a little over ten years since Kristan Higgins released her first book, Fools Rush In. Readers were charmed with its keen and humorous insights about the complexities of finding true love.

Higgins is still writing about love’s travails—lucky for us. In addition, over the years her books have become even more perceptive, and On Second Thought is one of most thoughtful, touching books about the process of finding love that I’ve read in a long time. It made me cry—in good way. The characterization is perfect. The scenarios are both genuine and realistic. And the humor is spot-on.

In romance, there is this whole mythology or truth depending on your view and experience, about people finding the perfect one—that when we meet that person we’ll just know that it’s right. For some, that might happen, but for others, it is not so simple and that is the concept that Higgins explores in On Second Thought. It’s a story of two sisters, one who found “the one” her senior year of college, and one who had resigned herself to singlehood.

[Read more...]

Dec 28 2016 11:00am

It Opens at the Close: 2016’s Women’s Fiction Best Bets

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

The beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories.
~Kate Atkinson

For some of us the end of 2016 will be in silence—as we stay at home curled up with a great book. Others will be out painting the town red. But no matter how your year ends—with a bang or quietly—there is no doubt that we all love the stories.

And in 2016 we have had some great stories. In addition to December’s Best Bets  it’s also the time of year when we talk about the best books of 2016. Each month in the blog, I've mentioned some great books. Each are memorable in their own way. Some have charmed us–some have challenged our beliefs–and some have just entertained us. But it is the books that touch our emotions that are the most memorable. We all have friends visit and peruse our bookshelves, looking for something good to read. These are the 2016 women’s fiction books that I would pull off the shelf and say to them “you must read this – it is so good!”  

2016 Women’s Fiction Best Bets:

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

Why you should read it:

This is the perfect book for those of you, who have always wanted to be a free spirit –just a little bit bad, and a lot creative. Live vicariously as heroine Olivia Rawlings makes music and bakes her way to happiness!

[Read more...]

Dec 24 2016 11:00am

First Look: Amy Poeppel’s Small Admissions (December 27, 2016)

Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

Amy Poeppel
Small Admissions
Atria / December 27, 2016 / $26.99 print, $13.99 digital

In the terms of writing a book that is charming, appealing, and delightful, author Amy Poeppel has hit it out of the ballpark because Small Admission, Poeppel’s first published book is all that.

When a book works, it’s difficult to pinpoint what makes it so good. And really, it’s because everything just fits together—like pieces of a puzzle.

Authors are told to write what they know...and it appears that Poeppel took that advice to heart. Per her biography, she worked in the admission department of a small independent school. I suspect that is one reason, the backdrop to this story, is so genuine and hilariously amusing—a truly tongue-in-check look at the whole process that only an insider would know about.

[Read more...]

Dec 7 2016 4:00pm

Are Romantic Comedies on Their Way Back?

Source: shutterstock

Where Have All the Romantic Comedies Gone?

Trends, they happen in everything—clothes, cars, mass media, celebrities, style...romance novels. It’s possible you grew up, or your parents grew up, in a house with a gold refrigerator, or an avocado-green bathtub or a paneled den. It's what was “in.” So while we see them often enough in culture, we can't forget there are trends in romance.

Most all of you know about the historical  romance revolution of the 1970s and 1980s that gave us books from Kathleen Woodiwiss and Judith McNaught. Contemporary books had their smaller one, too—with authors like Sidney Shelton, Judith Krantz, and Danielle Steel. These two genres battled it out like the Today Show and Good Morning America –one leading for a couple of years only to then fall behind and the other taking the lead until what seemed like a mass exodus of contemporary romance authors in the early-mid 1990s to write romantic suspense. Regency and historical books with settings in England reign supreme, but readers were lucky enough to experience a variety that hasn’t been duplicate since—with plenty of westerns, and medieval stories too. Romantic fantasy made its own little niche with angel and futuristic books in mid-1990’s and then genre imploded in the early 2000 with shift changers and vampire books. Around 2007 small-town romances boosted contemporary sales. Some mid-list fantasy authors saw the writing on the wall and start changing genres. Then in 2010 or so LGBTQ romances and erotica became more mainstream.

[Read more...]

Nov 28 2016 4:45pm

Give More: November 2016 Women’s Fiction Best Bets

The Canterbury Sisters by Kim Wright

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Around the holidays we tend to think more of families, more of giving, and more of good will toward others (as long as they’re not getting the last parking space in the mall!) Wouldn't it be wonderful if this perceptive insight and feelings lasted the whole year round?

Of course, that's not a new sentiment. Be it what it may, while we do need each other—family, friends, and the kindness of strangers, it's not always easy to get along with each other, even among family.

We talked about the definition of women's fiction before—a woman on the “brink of life changes and personal growth.” And sometimes this personal growth is changing talk the talk to walk the walk.

For Women’s Fiction Best Bets this November I'm doing something a little different. Rather than talk about books released this month we are taking the opportunity to highlight books mentioned in previous columns that you might have missed—that really have the message of the holidays—even if the period they cover is not specifically during November and December.

In these books the heroines learn to forgive past mistakes; mend broken relationships, and offer the hand of friendship to others. The books also illustrate the importance of family, how they can affect us in both a positive and negative way. In no particular order, here are some great books to read over the upcoming holidays:

[Let's get this started...]

Nov 15 2016 4:00pm

Sex Doesn’t Sell? Wait...What Now?

Sex doesn’t sell.

Image result for groundhog day movie gif

In books— at least per the bestseller-ometer!

Believe it or not?

Jodie Archer, ex-research lead on literature at Apple, and Matthew L. Jockers, an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have developed an algorithm that can predict   novels chances of being a best seller.  Stephen Phillips explores their findings in his article, Can Big Data Find the Next 'Harry Potter'? published in this month’s Atlantic magazine (and brought to my attention by Virginia Kantra’s tweet!).

Per their research the indicators of a best seller are a book that has:

Authoritative “voice”; spare, plainspoken, often colloquial, prose; declarative verbs that connote action-oriented take-charge characters.

It's a given that any author would want their book to appeal to a multitude of readers, across multiple genres. Harry Potter's books are children's books, but adult readers helped propel J.K. Rowling into the elite stratosphere where only a few select authors reside. Of course being popular doesn't always translate to legitimacy, but in the publishing world it does. People who hadn’t read books in years were reading Fifty Shades of Grey , which is a good thing, as Jennifer Proffitt explains in “The Fifty Shades Revolution... Or Why I’m Thankful for E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey.”

[Read more...]

Oct 28 2016 12:00pm

True Friends: October 2016 Women’s Fiction Best Bets

What women's fiction should you be reading this month?

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.
-Thomas Jefferson

True friends, and friendship are rare gifts. This month fittingly focuses on friendship. Forgiving friends, understanding what makes a true friend, friends to lovers, and siblings becoming friends are just some of the themes in this month’s books.

Find yourself a quiet place, and immerse in this month’s selection of healing, and new beginnings! There is a book here for everyone!

Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman

Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman

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.

Strengths: Multi-faceted characters; Complex multi-generational relationships; Imaginative concept; Uplifting ending
Measure of Love: Dash
Mood: Poignant
Thoughts: This story will charm you with its quiet simplicity of two people working to make a difficult situation work! A favorite!

[Read more...]

Oct 26 2016 9:30am

Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling: Trinity Speculation: Breaking the Silence on Silver Silence

Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

What's going to happen in Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling: Trinity series?

First off before we start—this post has spoilers for the Psy-Changeling series through Book 15, Allegiance of Honor—in fact if you haven’t read the Psy-Changeling series it won’t make sense. Don’t let this blog spoil the books for you!

When Nalini Singh made the announcement she’s moving to the next phase of the Psy-Changeling series—saying a soft goodbye to some of the characters—my heart literally stopped, especially since back in June I just talked about falling in love with this series all over again.

If you read series, especially any sequential series with open-ended story arcs, then you know that making a commitment to one is like a leap of faith—trusting that an author won’t let you down by taking the series in too uncharted territory (some is GOOD) or unshipping couples or abandoning the series—leaving some characters’ stories untold. Yes—I know it’s an author’s prerogative to do exactly that, but that doesn’t make the heartbreak any easier. We’ve all been left feeling like charred toast at one time or another.

Luckily, I’m a fast reader and discovered that a soft goodbye isn’t necessarily a final goodbye. Singh clarified that “if they have a natural part to play in a particular storyline in the future, you’ll see them again” and she will be “circling back to some previous characters who haven’t had their stories yet,” which luckily eliminated the need for a 200 joules shock to restart my heart.

[Read more...]

Oct 14 2016 9:30am

31 Years Later and We Still Love LadyHawke



  • gas cost $1.09, movie tickets $2.75,
  • New Coke would be introduced,
  •  The Unabomber kill his first victim.
  • The Food and Drug Administration would approve a test for AIDS, and insurance companies start screening for the disease.
  • Various artists, including Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Willie Nelson, Lionel Richie, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder, record the song “We Are The World” as USA for Africa. to raise money for famine relief.
  • Michael Jackson Buys ATV Music and every Beatles Song for $47 million dollars.
  • TWA Flight 847 is hijacked by Hezbollahon on June 14 
  • Back to the Future with $210,609,762 domestic gross is the most popular film of the year.
  • Stephen King dominated the best seller list. But readers were also reading Danielle Steel, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Sidney Shelton

Many romance fans feel that Ever After may be the best fairy tale adaptationwith Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, and Anjelica Houston.  It is cute and sweet. Drew Barrymore is a darling. But is it truly a larger than life romance?

As a counterpoint to this modern take on Cinderella, I would like to offer up a movie that is truly a majestic story of love and overcoming obstacles to happily-ever-after—LadyHawke with the hilarious Matthew Broderick, the gorgeous Rutger Hauer, and absolutely stunning Michelle Pfeiffer.

[Read more...]

Oct 9 2016 11:00am

They’ve Got Our Vote: Politics and Politicians in Romance Novels

Source: Shutterstock

It’s pretty much understood that in writing a romance novel, it is risky to include politics and political agendas because either way, it can be a lose/lose situation. You only need to check out posted reviews to discover this.  Some readers will get offended by views expressed in the novel, and the rest sometimes get upset even when they agree. Finding the right balance can be difficult, because readers don’t want to feel preached to. And then there is the fact that most readers feel like romance books are for entertainment, not education on public policies.

This might be one reason there are so few books featuring a politician as a hero or heroine—although there might be more. Even though almost every year the winner of the Gallup’s' Most Admired Man and Woman Poll is the standing President and First Lady, overall politicians have a bad reputation of not being honest, ethical and trustworthy. Check out  Most Honest and Ethical Professions.

It’s not something that has just come up with this election –although, it seems to be playing a bigger part than past years—because politicians have gotten grief for a long, long time. While Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was seen as controversial when it was released in 1939, it was also a big box office hit. Not only did it resonate with the public, it made Jimmy Stewart a star. Mark Twain put politicians in his sights when he stated “Politicians are like diapers; they need to be changed often and for the same reason.” 

[Read more...]

Oct 1 2016 11:00am

First Look: Debbie Macomber’s Twelve Days of Christmas (October 4, 2016)

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber
Twelve Days of Christmas
Ballantine / October 4, 2016 / $20.00 print, $10.99 digital

There are two types of Christmas romance novels. One has a Christmas/holiday theme, and the other just takes place around the holidays. Of course both are nice, but ones with the theme definitely put readers in a holiday mood. Debbie Macomber’s Twelve Days of Christmas explores the theme of kindness and will certainly put you in that mood.

Julia Padden is a paragon. She elected to work at Macy's and go to school part-time rather than rack up a large student loan debt. She also is very active in her church, and volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club. She is cheerful, kind and seems to be always in a good mood. She is the perfect person to rub a grinch the wrong way.

And that is exactly what she does to Cain Maddox. Julia's bubbly personality is like a screech down a blackboard to him—flashing out warning, warning, danger. He’s learned his lesson, and he’s not going to fall victim to her attractive nature or looks.  He has rebuffed her several times, but she still seems to be hitting on him.

[Read more...]

Sep 30 2016 1:00pm

September 2016 Women’s Fiction Best Bets—Dance in the Rain

What women's fiction got your heart singing this September?

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... It's about learning to dance in the rain.

The thing about storms is that they always different, as are the challenges facing our heroines from this month’s women’s fiction selection. It seems like I say this every month, doesn't it? Nevertheless, this month selection is bursting with interesting, complex women. Some are highly successful professional women; some are working for minimum wage but no matter what their socio-economic status they all discover the importance of love, friendship and family!

The Real Liddy James by Anne-Marie Casey

The Real Liddy James by Anne-Marie Casey

A witty and captivating novel about a modern-day superwoman who leans in so far she falls over

Forty-four, fit, and fabulous, Liddy James is one of New York’s top divorce attorneys, a bestselling author, and a mother of two. Armed with a ruthless reputation and a capsule wardrobe, she glides through the courtrooms and salons of the Manhattan elite with ease. What’s her secret? Liddy will tell you: “I don’t do guilt!”

This is the last thing literature professor Peter James wants to hear. Devastated by his divorce from Liddy six years earlier, the two have a tangled history his new partner, Rose, is only just sorting out. But Rose is a patient woman with faith in a well-timed miracle and she’s determined to be sympathetic to Peter’s plight. Together, Liddy, Peter, and Rose have formed a modern family to raise Liddy and Peter’s truculent teen and Liddy’s darling, if fatherless, six-year-old.

But when Rose announces she’s pregnant, Liddy’s nanny takes flight, the bill for a roof repair looms, and a high-profile divorce case becomes too personal, Liddy realizes her days as a guilt-free woman might be over. Following a catastrophic prime-time TV interview, she carts her sons back to Ireland to retrace their family’s history. But marooned in the Celtic countryside things are still far from simple, and Liddy will have to come to terms with much more than a stormy neighbor and an unorthodox wedding if she ever hopes to rediscover the real Liddy James.

Fun, fearless, and full of heart, The Real Liddy James takes a fresh look at the balancing act every family performs. With the deft characterization and sharp wit that made her first novel an international bestseller, Anne-Marie Casey invites us into the ambitions, passions, and misadventures of this extraordinary heroine.

Strengths: Multi-faceted characters; present day dilemmas; Unorthodox modern day family; Uplifting ending
Measure of Love:  More than Dash
Mood: Poignant and Upbeat
Thoughts: I loved Liddy James –flaws and all! Her compelling need to be perfect will strike a chord. Witty and Insightful—this book is a definite page turner!

[Read more...]

Sep 15 2016 3:00pm

Are Your Keepers Still Keepers?

Source: Shutterstock

Keepers—we all have them. It's a book that speaks to us —makes us rejoice in the marvel of the hero and heroine finding the one person that completes them and also in the sheer beauty of the  happily-ever-after. As readers we read a lot of books —some bad, some mediocre, some good, and then there are the few books that we think are simply wonderful.

Of course when a book is fabulous. We have to keep it. Not only do we want to re-visit the  feelings that reading it evoked, we need to have something in reserve—like when we can't find anything that appeals.

Keepers are not that big of deal now–most of us have e-readers and if we run out memory usually we can buy more. It's not like when we only had physical copies of books and ended up with shelves after shelves of books, or boxes after boxes—filling our spare rooms, closets, basements, and garages with books.

Like photo albums are the history of our life, books are our reading history. However just like the pictures of us wearing permed hair up in a scrunchie, or shoulder-pads-suit-jackets that made us look like football players in a drag show us that we’ve changed, so does re-reading older books. Are your keepers of yesterday, really your keepers of today? There are a lot of reasons why they might not be.

[Read more...]

Sep 1 2016 4:00pm

First Look: Tawna Fenske’s Now That It’s You (September 6, 2016)

Now That It's You by Tawna Fenske

Tawna Fenske
Now That It's You 
Montlake Romance / September 6, 2016 / $12.95 print, $3.99 digital

How does an author write of death, grief and infidelity and not write a depressing book? By using humor, and comedic situations, of course, and that is exactly what Tawna Fenske does in Now That It’s You.

It has been two years since Meg Delaney left her fiancé at the altar. She worked really hard at forgiving him for his infidelity. They had ten years together, and she does have some wonderful memories–and some not so wonderful ones, too. Like the fact that he told her the night before their wedding that he cheated on her. She realizes that he probably feels the same way—since she is the one who said “I can’t” in front of all the wedding guests.

When she hears that he’s in the hospital, she thinks that is the perfect time for closure. He's moved on; he already has a new fiancée.

“What sort of surgery did you say Matt’s having?” Jess asked.

“I’m not sure. His ex-golf partner’s girlfriend’s hairdresser told my mom it’s just some routine procedure. It seemed like a sign.”

“A sign that in a city of two-point-three million people, you still can’t escape weird chains of connection to an ex?”

“A sign that this would be the perfect way to extend an olive branch. He always loved it when people fussed over him when he got sick or had his tonsils out or whatever.”

[Read more...]

Aug 31 2016 9:30am

August 2016 Women’s Fiction Best Bets—“It is in Your DNA to Love a Good Story”

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

It is in your DNA to love a good story. You know, neat tales with heroes and villains and conflicts to resolve. A good story pushes our buttons, is exciting and memorable.

-Barry Ritholtz

Memorable is the buzz word for August, and this month women’s fiction releases. These books are memorable in different ways, but still you’ll close the book, and think ‘Oh, that was a good book!”


The Hating Game: A Novel by Sally Thorne

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

2) A person’s undoing

3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Strengths: Tantalizing Tension; Brilliant comedic scenarios; Beguiling romance: HEA
Measure of Love: Tablespoon
Mood: Upbeat
Thoughts: What a fabulous first book. It starts out wonderfully comedic, and then the author reveals amazing character complexities!

[More best bets ahead!]