Tuesday, December 6, 2016

You Know When The Men Are Gone




Synopsis (from Amazon):  Through fiction of dazzling skill and astonishing emotional force, Siobhan Fallon welcomes readers into the American army base at Fort Hood, Texas, where U.S. soldiers prepare to fight, and where their families are left to cope after the men are gone. They'll meet a wife who discovers unsettling secrets when she hacks into her husband's email, and a teenager who disappears as her mother fights cancer. There is the foreign born wife who has tongues wagging over her late hours, and the military intelligence officer who plans a covert mission against his own home.
Powerful, singular, and unforgettable, these stories will resonate deeply with readers and mark the debut of a new talent of tremendous note.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:   Amazing....well done look into Army families and the impact of those left behind.  I lived in Jacksonville, Florida for 9 years and had many Navy families as neighbors.  I saw the impact as their spouses prepared for months out to seas, but this was pre-war time.  I watched what they went through and it takes a special kid of family to endure it all.  I can't imagine adding war to the dynamics.




Siobhan Fallon is the author of You Know When the Men Are Gone, which was listed as a Best Book of 2011 by The San Francisco Chronicle, Self Magazine, Los Angeles Public Library, Janet Maslin of The New York Times, and won a 2012 Indies Choice Honor Award, the Texas Institute of Letters Award for First Fiction, and the 2012 Pen Center USA Literary Award in Fiction. Her collection of stories about the families of Fort Hood, Texas, during an Army brigade’s deployment to Iraq, has been called "the explosive sort of literary triumph that appears only every few years" by New York Journal of Books, “a terrific and terrifically illuminating book" by The Washington Post, a "searing collection" by Entertainment Weekly, and “fascinating” by O, The Oprah Magazine. Theatrical productions of her stories include performances by Word for Word in San Francisco and Stories on Stage in Denver. More of Siobhan’s work has appeared in Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, New Letters, Publishers’ Weekly, NPR’s The Morning Edition, Huffington Post, and she writes a fiction series for Military Spouse Magazine. Siobhan has an MFA from the New School in NYC. For more about Siobhan, please go to: www.siobhanfallon.com


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Friday, December 2, 2016

Think Twice



Synopsis (from Amazon): Is evil born in us―or is it bred? That is the question at the heart of this penetrating novel from blockbuster New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline

Bennie Rosato looks exactly like her identical twin, Alice Connelly, but the darkness in Alice's soul makes them two very different women. Or at least that's what Bennie believes―until she finds herself buried alive at the hands of her twin.
"So engaging you can't help but read it in one sitting."―Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Meanwhile, Alice takes over Bennie's life, impersonating her at work and even seducing her boyfriend in order to escape the deadly mess she has made of her own life. But Alice underestimates Bennie and the evil she has unleashed in her twin's psyche. Soon Bennie, in her determination to stay alive long enough to exact revenge, must face the twisted truth that she is more like Alice than she could have ever imagined…and by the novel's shocking conclusion, Bennie finds herself engaged in a war she cannot win―with herself. With its blistering speed, vivid characters, and perplexing moral questions, Think Twice is a riveting emotional thriller that will keep readers breathless until the very last page.



One (or more) Sentence Summary: I love the character Bennie Rosato and Think Twice was another great book featuring her.  Creepy, evil, face pace, Lisa Scottoline style makes this a really good read!


Would I Read Other Books by the Author: In the past I have enjoyed Scottoline's books.  I forgot how much!  I know she has several books out that I haven't read and have added them to my TBR list!.


Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels including her most recent, THINK TWICE, and also writes a weekly column, called Chick Wit, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has won many honors and awards, notably the Edgar Award, given for excellence in crime fiction, and the Fun Fearless Female Award from Cosmopolitan Magazine. She also teaches a course she created, called Justice and Fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and regularly does speaking engagements. There are twenty-five million copies of her books in print, and she is published in over thirty other countries.Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She remains a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her array of disobedient pets.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

While My Sister Sleeps





Synopsis (from Amazon):  Once again New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky brings us a masterful family portrait, filled with thought-provoking insights into how emotions affect the decisions we make and how letting go can be the hardest thing to do and the greatest expression of love all at the same time. 

Molly and Robin Snow are sisters in the prime of life. So when Molly receives the news that Robin has suffered a massive heart attack, the news couldn't be more shocking. At the hospital, the Snow family receives a grim prognosis: Robin may never regain consciousness. Feelings of guilt and jealousy flare up as Robin's family struggles to cope. It's up to Molly to make the tough decisions, and she soon makes discoveries that shatter some of her most cherished beliefs about the sister she thought she knew.



One (or more) Sentence Summary: Family drama, guilt, and secrets make a great read!


Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes, I have heard great things about Barb's books and While My Sister Sleeps, didn't let me down.



Barbara Delinsky, author of BLUEPRINTS (2015), SWEET SALT AIR (2013), ESCAPE (2011), NOT MY DAUGHTER (2010), WHILE MY SISTER SLEEPS (2009), THE SECRET BETWEEN US (2008), and FAMILY TREE (2007), has written more than twenty-two bestselling novels with over thirty-five million copies in print. She has been published in twenty languages worldwide. Barbara's fiction centers upon everyday families facing not-so-everyday challenges. She is particularly drawn to exploring themes of motherhood, marriage, sibling rivalry, and friendship in her novels. 

A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. As a breast cancer survivor who lost her mother to the disease when she was only eight, Barbara compiled the non-fiction book Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors, a handbook of practical tips and upbeat anecdotes. She donates her proceeds from the sale of this book to her charitable foundation, which funds an ongoing research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She also loves to interact with her readers through her website at www.barbaradelinsky.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bdelinsky, on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/barbaradelinsky/, and on Twitter as @BarbaraDelinsky.


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Friday, November 25, 2016

The Heist






Synopsis (from Amazon):  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From Janet Evanovich, #1 bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum novels, and Lee Goldberg, bestselling author and television writer for Monk, comes the first adventure in an electrifying series featuring an FBI agent who always gets her man, and a fearless con artist who lives for the chase.
 
FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.              
 
Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: He convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.
 
Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.




One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Fast pace, crafty con, dream team, and so funny you will catch yourself laughing out loud.  Well done!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I have to read the others in the series.  The Heist is the first one!


Lee Goldberg is an ex-Navy SEAL, freelance Sexual Surrogate and a professional Daniel Craig impersonator.

Okay, that's not true. But he wants this biography to be really exciting, so pay attention. If things bog down, I've been instructed to add a car chase or some explicit sex.

Here's the real story. Lee Goldberg writes books and television shows.


Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Fox and O’Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg, the Knight and Moon series, and the Lizzy and Diesel series as well as twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels, Troublemaker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author.



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Monday, November 21, 2016

Cinderella Pact




Synopsis (from Amazon):  When Nola Devlin is turned down for her dream job because she's overweight, she decides to become thin-or, at least, pretend to be. The alter ego she creates-the thin, British, hip, and did we mention thin Belinda Apple-is a smashing success who is offered movie proposals, national television appearances and even dates...though no one's met her in person, of course.

Then Nola takes Belinda a bit too far, and is forced to join "The Cinderella Pact" and drop the pounds. As the weight comes off, however, Nola's problems begin to mount.



One (or more) Sentence Summary: OMG - just found out that Cinderella Pact was made into a Lifetime movie - Lying to be Perfect.  I MUST find it and watch!  I found Cinderella Pact to be a great chick-lit book with real guts.  There are SO many of us out there struggling with being over weight.  I have blamed my extra pounds from pregnancies, however, given my three kids are 14 and 13 (twins), I think that excuse is about 13 years too old and over used!  However, the book is not just about weight loss and the three different approaches the ladies take, it is a great love story/chick lit times 3.  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I most certain would.  Sarah has a ton of books that I can't wait to go read.  In fact I have Kindred Spirits, that got buried on the back of the bookshelf and I re-discovered (just like Cinderella Pact) when we moved!


It's also my fourteenth novel, but my first for young adults after writing mysteries and stand alones, one of which, THE CINDERELLA PACT, became the Lifetime Movie - LYING TO BE PERFECT. Of all these, SMART GIRLS has been my favorite to write because not only was I a "smart girl," but so were my daughter and her friends who, like me, grew tired of playing second fiddle. I figured the time had come for our kind to receive the kudos, the attention and the boys. The bad girls had hogged center stage long enough.

Today, I live in Vermont with my husband, a lawyer, and son, Sam, an upcoming high school junior. My daughter, Anna, is a senior at Bryn Mawr College where there are A LOT of smart girls. Also, there's Fred, my five-year-old basset hound and between you and me, the love of my life.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

The Year We Turned Forty



Synopsis (from Amazon):  If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Lifefeatures three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he's getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she's recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I really liked the concept of going back in time and making "new choices."  I would love to do it; however, I am not sure going back to 40 is the year I would pick.  I would love to go back to 20!  

The Year We Turned Forty is about three best friends whose birthdays are close in date.  The three ladies are dealing with different scenarios that they go back to and make different choices.  I listened to The Year We Turned Forty via Overdrive and found it enjoyable!

Would I Read Other Books by the Authors:  I would read another book by this duo!  In fact, I have Your Perfect Life on my Kindle, which reminds me, I have to charge that thing....hard to get any reading done on a dead battery!


Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been best friends for over 25 years and survived high school and college together. The authors of three novels, their newest, THE GOOD WIDOW, will be published by Amazon’s Lake Union Publishing in May 2017. Liz lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and two children. Connect with Liz and Lisa at www.lizandlisa.com.



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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Eligible




Synopsis (from Amazon):  NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligibletackles gender, class, courtship, and family as Curtis Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . 

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  While I enjoyed the story line (take off from the bachelor - post life) and the Bennet sisters, my favorite thing about the book was its location!  Most of the book takes place in Cincinnati.  I lived in the area from 2001- 2008 and just moved back a year ago.  I LOVED all the references, even down to the street names; and yes, Skyline Chili is something you have to grow up with....I think of it as spaghetti with meat sauce and chili spices!  The story line is good too as it takes us through the five Bennet sisters' lives and ups and downs of love.  How Mr. and Mrs. Bennet ended up where they were financially drives me crazy, though.  I don't understand how people end up that way and don't change course before its too late. 

Would I Read Other Books by the Authors:  I would read more books by Curtis Sittenfeld for sure.  In fact Prep has been on my list to read books.  I also read American Wife years ago.  


Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of the novels Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, and Sisterland, which have been translated into twenty-five languages. Her nonfiction has been published widely, including in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Glamour, and broadcast on public radio’s This American Life. A native of Cincinnati, she currently lives with her family in St. Louis.



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