Thursday, August 25, 2016

Welcome to the Beach Club!

This year I have had the chance to read the debut by Jennifer Weiner and now here is the debut by Elin Hilderbrand.  Her first novel was the Beach Club.  So I invite you to pull up a deck chair and sit back and close your eyes.  Let your mind transport you to Nantucket.

Synopsis:

It is time for another summer season at the beach club.  Bill and Therese have owned and operated this hotel and beach club all their lives.  It has been passed down in the family from parent to child.  They have one child Cecily.  But does she really want the club?  Is she ready for her legacy?  Mac has been with the beach club for many years.  Bill and Teresa consider him an adopted son.  He also owns a farm in Iowa.  Does a future in Nantucket exist?  Or should he sell the farm?  There are also other members of the staff and their loved ones.  What will this summer mean to them?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this debut by Elin Hilderbrand.  She brings memorable characters to the island of Nantucket and this beach club.  The plot was not predictable in any way.   The reader is taken into the story with a real desire to care for these characters.  I did not care for some of the characters choices.

 The best setting in the entire world is Nantucket!

I would highly recommend visiting the Beach Club!

Rating:

4.5/5


Please visit Elin on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Are You Ready for An Olympic Size Read?

Thank you to Tandem Literary and Little Brown for sending me a copy of YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott.  I was given this copy in exchange for an honest review.
As I write this review  the Olympics have just ended.   Women’s Gymnastics is one of the sports I look forward to seeing in the Olympics.  How about you?  So if you are more interested in reading  a novel that features a sport in the Olympics.  Then you will want to check out Megan Abbott’s latest novel You Will Know Me.
Synopsis: 
Katie and Eric started a family.  Their first child is Devon.  One day when running to her father an accident occurs with a lawn mower.  She loses two toes in the accident.  The doctor suggests gymnastics or other activities to help Devon adjust to her injury.  She excels at gymnastics and her family seeks out a coach to train her.  The gym becomes a major part of their lives.  Katie is at practice every day to watch her daughter and take care of her brother Drew.  Brad becomes the head of the boosters club for the gym.  The niece of the coach Hailey has had a rough time in the past.  She works as a coach in her uncle’s gym.  Hailey also has a steamy relationship with Ryan.  All the boosters think that it could be serious.  Then one morning the news reports the death of Ryan.  Did Hailey kill him?  Why is she texting Devon? And what is Devon not saying?
My Thoughts: 
Megan Abbott is a popular for her previous work such as The Fever and Dare Me.  I have not had a chance to read one of her novels before, but I enjoyed this novel.  In YOU WILL KNOW ME the subject is gymnastics.  She researched this subject well and it showed up in her story.  Readers will agree that the novel is well researched.  The plot will have you turning the pages to the end.  The end is not what readers will expect.   I did not love the pacing at times but had no trouble getting back into the story. 
Rating:
4.5/5
Please visit Megan on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

One More Novel to Get this Summer!

Hayley Oakes is visiting Writer's Corner today to share her hot new novel Closing the Deal.

Synopsis: 

Charlotte Blake. Cut throat business woman and a powerhouse professional. Her interpersonal skills could use some work but her career comes first.

Everything she has, she has worked for.

Luke ‘Dex’ Dexter. Her adversary at work with the face of an angel and the charm of the devil. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he’s everything that Charlotte resents.

Everything he has, has been handed to him.

He’s a self-entitled arrogant playboy. She’s an uptight work-focused bore.

Two opposing colleagues forced together in small-town America through decisions beyond their control. Charlotte and Dex must find a way to make it work and close the deal a thousand miles from home.

Charlotte can’t remember how it feels to be young and carefree and Dex doesn’t know what it means to be an adult.

When the sworn enemies unwittingly find themselves becoming a finely tuned team, neither of them are prepared for the outcome.

About The Author: 

I have been writing stories from a very young age. My very first tool, at the age of ten, was an electric typewriter that my Dad saved from being thrown away at work. I tapped away on that for hours and hours.

I have always told stories and written stories and my favourite ones are the ones that people have told me. I collect peoples’ lives in my head, storing the most interesting and wacky anecdotes that I utilise without even realising.

Please visit Hayley on her Facebook page and Twitter.

I also collect mannerisms and when I’m with someone for long periods of time I start copying their facial expressions and habits. It’s a curse but I am a natural mimic.
I love life and love making people laugh.

Buy Links:  


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How Does Tragedy Impact Those Around Us?

Another highlighted novel from this summer is Emily Giffin’s First Comes Love.  She is famous for getting to the heart of the matter, in her writing.  Will it be beach worthy?

Synopsis:

Daniel leaves to go get a burger during the Christmas holiday, and never comes back.  He dies in a car accident.  Daniel’s family buries him but is forever changed.  Their parents’ have divorced.  Meredith the younger sister marries her brother’s best friend.  Is it a happy marriage?  Or is she left yearning for more?  Then her older sister Josie has just wanted to meet the perfect guy and form a family.  She is 38 years old and the biological clock is ticking.  She is still single.  So Josie decides to go ahead and have her child without getting married. Josie teaches first grade at a private school in Buckhead. She faces the opportunity to teach her exboyfriend’s daughter in her class.  Can she let go and move forward? Will the sisters finally be able to put their brother’s death behind them?

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this novel.  Readers will love how easy it is to read!  The premise that Ms. Giffin explores is how a death of a family member affects the members of the family.  The story is told from Meredith and Josie’s point of view.  Ms. Giffin nailed the interaction between the sisters.  Readers will wonder how the death of their brother occurred?  Climax will surprise readers in a good way.  I was not wild about some of the choices that Josie made in her life.   I loved seeing Ellen from Love the One Your With.


It is by far the best Emily Giffin novel that I have read in a long time!

Rating:

4.75/5

Please visit Emily on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Excerpt from the Tulip Factory by Kacie Davis Idol: Chapter 1: The Morning After

The sunlight spilled into the bedroom through the faded gold curtains and onto the pillow, illuminating Corinne’s wavy blonde hair. The young woman lay nestled in her queen-size bed, entangled in a white duvet fit for a king, still wearing her clothes from the evening before. Most mornings, she’d have been up and out on a nearby running trail for half an hour by now, and she would be showered, dolled up, and ready for the day before the sun had even made its way over the North Carolina coast. Most mornings, she’d be composed and cheery as she greeted the locals at her favorite coffeehouse just two blocks away from where she lived. And she certainly would not be hungover as hell. But today was proving to be unlike most mornings. She turned on her side, and before she could use her forearm as a shield, a beam of sunlight stabbed her directly in the eyes. Slowly, she began to reopen them and noticed the room was a little blurry. So was her mind.
          Wait, this is my room, right? she thought, but before panic could set in, she noticed Charlie lying at the foot of her bed, possibly judging her with his big brown eyes. Everything came into focus as she used her elbows to prop herself up. Charlie had been Corinne’s right-hand man for going on nine years now. He had dark-brown fur, four legs, and a tail. His stout physique gave him a bearlike appearance; he was definitely the kind of dog you didn’t approach or mess with unless you knew him. He lifted his head and started to wag his tail at the sight of Corinne sitting up, then began whining, informing her that it was past time for breakfast. The thought of food made her stomach turn. Charlie hadn’t gotten completely wasted last night, so he was ready for the day, while she was ready for an aspirin. It felt like the word “irresponsible” should be stamped on her forehead. Squinting, her eyes barely open, and one hand on her nightstand, she rolled to her right, holding on for support. Her weight caused the table to shift and a slender blue vase of flourishing white tulips to teeter for a second before settling back down. Crisis averted, she thought as her feet touched the cold hardwood floor.
          She felt old. Not “retire to the Florida Keys” kind of old but maybe too old to be staying out drinking all night long. She had been able to do that in her early twenties, but she was officially an adult now, twenty-eight years old, self-sufficient, with a good job. Well, that last part was debatable; nonetheless, it was a job. Her writing career hadn’t exactly taken off like she had hoped it would, so after college, and more years of waiting tables than expected, she’d taken a position through a temp agency as a receptionist at a dental office. That was all it was supposed to be: temporary—a stepping stone. But that’s how things go; stepping stones become familiar and comfortable, and before she knew it, she had lost sight of her dreams. Either way, dream or reality, today she was faced with life; she had responsibilities, bills, and people and a pet counting on her, regardless of her hangover.
Imagining the feel of the cool wooden floor against her face, she gingerly eased her way down the side of her bed, her temples throbbing. She curled up into the fetal position and laid her burning cheek on the smooth planks. It was instant relief for her pounding head, even though she was now face-to-face with the layer of dust that covered her floor. The sun highlighted the dust particles, causing the warped wood to sparkle. It was actually kind of pretty, but it also reminded her of the housework that would most certainly be neglected today.
          However, not everything or everyone could be put on the back burner. Charlie stood over her, licking her face in an effort to get her back on her feet. Careful not to use the nightstand for leverage this time, she used the bedsheets to pull herself up and then let out a deep breath as if strained from the effort of standing. Sluggishly shuffling her feet, she made her way to the kitchen with Charlie on her heels. Since his breakfast was coming later than usual, she scooped him an extra-large helping of dry dog food. He dove in headfirst before she could even finish pouring it into his bright-blue bowl. His eagerness reminded her of her need for caffeine.
          Corinne had no qualms about living the single life. Honestly, she had grown accustomed to it, especially since most of her friends were married. She shopped alone and jogged alone; she had perfected the art of cooking for one and brewing enough for a single cup of coffee. Today, however, she felt that a full pot would be necessary. As the coffee began to drip slowly, she sat down at the small bistro-style table and rested her head heavily in the palm of her hand.
          She struggled to remember the events of the night before. A few years ago, partying like that would’ve been a typical Saturday night for her, but those kinds of outings were few and far between now, verging on the cusp of never. Weddings, however, were always an exception. Weddings are my kryptonite, she thought to herself with a half smile. The sun beamed through the thinning leaves on the trees, causing her to squint. It was truly a beautiful Sunday morning, and her head filled with images of foamy drinks spilling onto her dress and how she’d stumbled while getting out of a cab. Then, suddenly, it hit her.
“I called him!” Corinne shrieked out loud. “Seriously? Why, why, why?” In an effort to make sense of her audacious behavior, she began going over their time line in her head, replaying and obsessing over her last few encounters with James.
“Okay,” she started, while motioning to an imaginary chart, “he called me on my twenty-fifth birthday, which was like a month after we decided to call it quits, and then I called him the night of Ava’s wedding, and, yes, I happened to be intoxicated that night as well. That wasn’t even six months after the breakup, so naturally I would have had a weak moment. My judgment was cloudy, and someone probably should’ve stopped me.”
And someone had tried to stop her. She recalled the beautiful, chilly spring evening in 2012, two years ago, when her little sister, Ava, had gotten married. Corinne had been newly single and, most importantly, the maid of honor. Her date for that evening was a bottle of moderately priced champagne. (Contrary to popular belief, the more expensive price had not helped with the hangover the next morning. Cheap champagne, expensive champagne—either way you’re doomed after the fifth glass.) Ava had known a lot about James, mostly from long-winded stories Corinne would share with her over the phone, since they didn’t live in the same town. Corinne had spent as many hours obsessing over him during their relationship as she did dwelling over him after it ended. On the night of the wedding, as Ava was being pulled into the limo by her groom, she had pleaded with a very intoxicated Corinne not to call or text him. Thinking back on it now, Corinne shook her head, feeling embarrassed all over again at the memory.
Redirecting her attention back to the time line, she recalled the few times she had seen him in passing. Not long after their breakup, these encounters were often at their favorite coffee shop, which he had eventually stopped frequenting. Things really started to change, though, when they stopped seeing each other as much. At first, the run-ins had been genuine and pleasant, but they’d soon turned awkward, with uncomfortable lulls in the already watered-down conversations. The sincerity of their brief encounters eventually disappeared, and small talk and a casual “hello” were all that was left.
Pressing on her forehead, Corinne strained to remember the last time she had seen him. “Oh yeah,” she announced. Charlie cocked his head to the side. “We ran into each other at The Walkmen concert . . . last summer? Wow, more than a year ago.” She was surprised by this realization. Time had definitely gotten away from her. And now, after almost a year, the “drunk dial” had reared its ugly head again. Unable to remember what she had said or if he had even answered her call, Corinne felt her headache also rear its ugly head.
The entire kitchen was rich with the scent of hazelnut coffee, her favorite. She walked over to the cupboard where she kept her coffee mugs. Actually, the only cups she owned were coffee mugs and a few sets of red wine glasses; she drank almost everything out of her mugs. She pulled out an oversize cream-colored ceramic one with thick red stripes and a pale-pink floral print dotting the entire rim. She filled the mug with coffee, adding only cream. Taking a quick glance out of her kitchen window, she saw a soft shower of orange and yellow leaves finally making their way from the trees down to the earth. It seemed like autumn had arrived overnight, which made her very happy, since fall was without a doubt her favorite season. She relaxed a little and began to feel much lighter about everything.
“I’m sure he didn’t even answer his phone,” she told Charlie. Feeling more confident, she reassured herself out loud again. “Of course he didn’t answer the phone. It was the middle of the night, and he was probably asleep or busy doing something else . . . something more interesting than answering phone calls from drunken ex-girlfriends. Hopefully he assumes it was a pocket dial.” Charlie seemed bored of her rambling and laid his head back down on the floor that was now all warmed up from the sunshine. Corinne thought back to a few years before.
Remembering the time they spent together as a couple, she was immediately flooded with the most amazing memories; the good ones were always the longest lasting. The thoughts sent an instant zing to her heart, and she quickly had to remind herself of the end: the jealousy and late nights that led to irrational words and actions. She remembered the horrible feeling of almost losing herself as he became her primary focus. And who could forget the embarrassing display of his record collection scattered across the front yard . . .
Corinne shrugged her tense shoulders and rolled her neck around to rid her mind of these thoughts and then took a long sip of her coffee. Staring at a short cylindrical vase with a small cluster of orange tulips peeking over the rim, she found herself thinking back to the beginning of everything, and that early morning in her favorite coffee shop during the winter of 2009.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hazel Gaynor Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Kimberly Vaccaro!  Please email me for prize fulfillment!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Pregnancy, a Cover Up, and the Mob!

Thank you to Melissa Amster and the ladies at Chick Lit Central for a copy of Gucci Gucci Coo by Sue Margolis.  I am so thankful when opportunities such as this happen.  I get to share this fabulous book.  Sue Margolis is not an author that I have read before.  My readers are in for a great treat!

Synopsis:

Ruby runs a shop in the suburbs of London that sells fashionable babywear.  She runs the shop with Chanel but her cousin Stella owns part of the shop as well.  Ruby has to go for annual appointment at St. Luke’s hospital with her gynecologist.  After the appointment she meets this American doctor.   They seem to run into each other often.  Ruby finally agrees to go out with him.  She and the doctor find they have much in common. Jill works at St. Luke's Hospital in the maternity section. She  asks Ruby to speak St. Luke’s Hospital.  Her topic is about the needs of the baby after it has birthed.  Once Ruby speaks the women of the group share their dieting plans.  When a famous actress comes to the shop to do a little shopping Ruby makes a discovery about her pregnancy.  Will these discoveries help or hurt her relationship with the doctor?  Will he be able to keep his job at the hospital?

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this novel.  The characters are well developed.  They are interesting to get to know, and are entertaining.  These characters have their flaws but it also makes for a more interesting read.  The story is set in a suburb of London England.  The story is told from Ruby’s point of view.

I was not too wild about Sue Margolis’s narration of this novel.

Rating:

4.5/5


Please visit Sue on her Facebook page and her Website.