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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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20 04, 2017

Blog Tour: Miss You by Kate Eberlen

By | April 20th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |9 Comments

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miss you by eberlin book coverPlease join Kate Eberlen, author of Miss You, as she tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours

Reviewed by Kate Schefer

Tess and Gus are meant for each other. Most modern romantic books will start with an idea like that. However, in Miss You, Eberlen takes the thought a few steps further. What if they really were meant for each other? Destined to meet and fall in love, as evidenced by the myriad ways their lives had intersected ever since their first chance encounters in Florence. They are both eighteen and vacationing in Italy before going away to college. Tess is camping with her best friend Doll, who is almost her opposite: loud, glamorous, boy-crazy, and prone to indulgences. Gus is with his parents, who he’s pretty sure don’t like him, especially not since the death of his brother Ross the winter before. Ross was always more promising: funny, athletic, smart; and Gus is counting down the minutes until they can go home. Tess and Gus run into each other on the last day of their respective vacations, but won’t meet again until they both (independently) return to Tuscany as 34-year-olds.

18 04, 2017

Book Preview: Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton

By | April 18th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |6 Comments

Lilli de Jong
by Janet Benton

Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Nan A. Talese
Hardcover & eBook; 352 Pages

Genre: Fiction/Historical/Literary

READ AN EXCERPT.

A young woman finds the most powerful love of her life when she gives birth at an institution for unwed mothers in 1883 Philadelphia. She is told she must give up her daughter to avoid lifelong poverty and shame. But she chooses to keep her.

Pregnant, left behind by her lover, and banished from her Quaker home and teaching position, Lilli de Jong enters a home for wronged women to deliver her child. She is stunned at how much her infant needs her and at how quickly their bond overtakes her heart. Mothers in her position face disabling prejudice, which is why most give up their newborns. But Lilli can’t

13 04, 2017

Review: The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn

By | April 13th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, War|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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echo of twilight book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Love, betrayal, heartbreak, and the bonds of friendship are center-most in Judith Kinghorn’s The Echo of Twilight. Pearl Gibson is about to embark on a new journey as a lady’s maid. As her travels bring her to her new post, she encounters a charming young artist named Ralph, and a forbidden love is born. Settling into her new position, Pearl develops an unusual friendship with her employer, Ottoline, one that will shape her future in ways she never could have seen coming, bringing her the greatest joy she could ever know and the deepest sadness she will ever experience.

10 04, 2017

Review: Border Child by Michel Stone

By | April 10th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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border child book coverReviewed by Stacie Nielsen Bortel

Border Child (follow-up to The Iguana Tree) begins with Lilia and Hector back in Mexico, three years after their deportation. The young couple is dealing with the aftermath of the loss of Alejandra, their daughter, who was taken by a stranger at the border. Losing a child is every parent’s worst fear, and Lilia and Hector have the added agony of blaming themselves – and each other – for losing her. To make matters worse, there is the torture of not knowing if she is still alive. Although Lilia has since given birth to a healthy boy and is pregnant with their third child, she is consumed with grief and guilt over losing Alejandra, and their marriage is suffering the consequences.

1 04, 2017

Review: Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

By | April 1st, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |6 Comments

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lucky boy book coverReviewed by Jessa Larsen

Solimar Castro-Valdez is eighteen years old and has the red, white, and blue stars in her eyes of the hope life in American has to offer her. Her father pays dearly to allow her passage on the potentially perilous journey across the Mexican border and into Berkeley, California. Soli finds both love and hardship along the way and eventually arrives at her cousin’s home. Unbeknownst at the time, and completely off the charted path, Soli discovers that she is pregnant and realizes that her son, Ignacio, can anchor her in this new land, giving her an identity and purpose in an otherwise invisible and aimless life.

25 03, 2017

Review: The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

By | March 25th, 2017|Categories: Contemporary, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Series, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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last chance matinee book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

‘Blended’ families – you know, the ‘hers’, ‘his’, and ‘ours’ type of familial organization is a fairly recent invention in this country. Especially during the last 50 years or so. But in this story you get a different kind of ‘blended’ family – three daughters of one man, with two different women, and no divorce in the middle. The three daughters meet for the first time as 30-somethings after both Moms and the Dad are all deceased. Talk about a surprise!

Allie and Des are full sisters, Cara is the singleton in the batch. Allie and Cara both had unhappy marriages; Des is still single. They meet in the attorney’s office to go over the terms of the will. All three women did know the attorney as Uncle Pete, however. It seems that Dad (Fritz Hudson) came from a wealthy family in the small town of Hidden Falls, Pennsylvania.

23 03, 2017

Review: The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

By | March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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the housekeeper book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

After a humiliating breakup, Anne Morgan disappears into herself and separates from the culinary world that she has worked in her entire adult life. Finding comfort in the words of celebrity blogger Emma Helmsley, Anne sees an ad that Emma is looking for a housekeeper. Though overqualified, Anne applies for the position and is welcomed into the private life of the Helmsley family.

Anne becomes intimately immersed in the private lives of each member of the Helmsley family, from having deep morning conversations with Rob that grow a little too friendly, to impersonating Emma at their son Jake’s school. The deeper that Anne falls, the more secrets that she uncovers—including some that hit a little close to home.

14 03, 2017

Review: Sweet Lake by Christine Nolfi

By | March 14th, 2017|Categories: Comedy, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Series, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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sweet lake book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Hold on to your hats! If you don’t, it’ll surely be blown away by the eccentric batch of nutty older ladies known as the Sirens. (Nothing wrong with being a nutty older lady – I am one myself, after all) but this batch is particularly concerned (read: nosy) and active (read: fantasy-oriented), although their intentions are always good. Their motto is ‘Do kindness in secret’.

The Wayfair is a resort hotel on a lake in Mid-Southern Ohio, having been in the same family since its inception in the previous century. It has been handed down to the only child throughout its history and always a son, as the family was not very prolific until the most recent generation, which has produced a son Freddie, and a daughter Linnie.

27 02, 2017

Review: Moonglow by Michael Chabon

By | February 27th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Urban Life|Tags: , , |10 Comments

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moonglow book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Chabon’s newest book, Moonglow is a literary treat. It’s a departure from a regular novel in that it is, at least in part, biographical. The novel follows Chabon as he sits with his grandfather during his grandfather’s last days. His grandfather tells him stories about his life and Chabon is able to piece together the past based on stories he’s heard and the new stories and retellings his grandfather tells him during these final moments. The book begins with an Author’s Note that is fitting for a memoir that isn’t necessarily a memoir, but one that reads more like a novel, “I have stuck to the facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it. Wherever liberties have been taken with names, dates, places, events, and conversations, or with identities, motivations, and interrelationships of family members and historical personages, the reader is assured that they have been taken with due abandon.” This declaimer of sorts sets the reader up for one very engaging novel.

10 02, 2017

Review: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

By | February 10th, 2017|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |4 Comments

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madwoman upstairs book coverReviewed by Nina Longfield

Samantha Whipple is a twenty-year-old first year student at Old College, Oxford. She enters school as something of a celebrity being the final descendant of the famed Bronte family line. Her first year at Oxford proves troubling since she doesn’t work well with others, tends towards her famous father’s reclusiveness, and is charged with solving a family mystery involving her father and his ancestors.

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell is, in a sense, a late bloomer’s coming of age tale. Samantha Whipple has an attitude that is flippant, fun, annoying, and back to fun. Her cynical nature is difficult to take at times, but it becomes apparent that this is her protection.