Friday, July 30, 2021

Malibu Rising

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Loved Malibu Rising. I thought it was going to more of a summer/beach read but it was so much more and can be read any time of year. Each of the four siblings brings their own set of issues to the story. Expertly all brought together in the end in one big flame (literally). I think Kit is my favorite character. She is full of spunky and knows a lot more than people realize about her family. I really enjoyed Nina too as she seemed be the one that kept the family glued together after their dad left and mother died. She was the rock, but is ready to crumble too. The two brothers round the story out. 

I have recommend Malibu Rising to so many people and it is on so many best summer reading lists. You will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed Taylor Jenkins Reid's Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I will have to go check out some of her other books.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, as well as One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do, and Forever, Interrupted. Her newest novel, Malibu Rising, is out now. She lives in Los Angeles.

You can follow her on Instagram @tjenkinsreid.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

before i go

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Madison Henry has been skating as long as she’s been walking. Coached by her mother, Annie, she is on her way to the Olympics. Jack has been her one friend since she was six years old and now a young adult, Madison is oblivious to his strong feelings for her.

When tragedy strikes, Madison is forced to look at her life differently…and possibly accept one without skating. Only after she opens her heart does she understand the sacrifices Annie made, realize the depth of Jack’s love and know she was blessed in every way.

before i go spotlights the thrill of women’s ice skating, the unbreakable bond a mother and daughter share and the one true love every person hopes to experience in their lifetime.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  If I could give before i go 10 stars I would.  I absolutely loved this book. I can't believe it has been on my book shelve since 2006. I purchased the book one day while my mother was in the hospital and had recently been diagnosed with leukemia. I bought it because I loved the cover. I didn't even read the synopsis. My mother battled leukemia for one year and needless to say it was a crazy couple of years. She owned a business that I had to unwind, I spent every other week at her house (my husband and kids were 4 hours away), kept my full-time job as a CPA, had 3 kids (5 years old and twins who were 3). On top of that a year later I changed jobs and moved further away from my siblings. Life got busy as it always does for all of us. The book has moved with me four times since I purchased it. Before every move I go through my TBR shelf and donate books I know I am really not going to read or my interest has changed.  Something made me keep this book as the cover reminds me of my mother.  Now that you have the background of the meaning of this book to me, on to the book review….

I am certain that I was meant to read before i go at this time in my life and that I could not have read it before now. While this story is about a sixteen year old olympic hopeful who endures a tragic event is not about a sixty-three year old mother who dies of leukemia, but the emotions of the book just brought it all back. The book is so beautifully written.

The relationship between Madison and her mother touch my inner soul. The relationship between Jackson and Madison - if only I could have that amazing bond with a friend at such a young age who is different than me, like night and day. Madison's devoted father was heart warming.

I don't want to give away the end, but I could not put this book down and again, absolutely, absolutely loved it. Warning - have plenty of Kleenex as the ending is whooper. I have a lump in my throat while I am typing this and I finished the book in May. Yes, it has taken me this long to write this review. Partly, because I know I am not doing this book justice. I am struggling to put how amazing this book is without giving away the ending.

I typically give my books to a charity organization that promotes reading when I am done, however, before i go remains on my book shelf. I can't seem to let it go. Honestly, it is on my night stand (not even on a shelf) and I am reminded of it every night and morning. It touched me in such a special way and reminds me of my mother. I am not ready to put it back on the book shelf or let it go.

I will just say it - a MUST read.

Riley Weston has worked as an actress and writer on many television shows and feature films.

She has received three awards for her debut novel, before i go: an IPPY Award for Story Teller of the Year, the Grand Prize at The New York Book Festival as well as the top honor as Best Fiction. And lastly, Riley received a Book Sense Pick Award. Riley hopes to film the movie version of before i go, based on a script she wrote. Her goal is to shoot the movie in Tennessee.

She has starred in the hit TV movie, What About Your Friends, written for the WB television drama, Felicity as well as starred as Story Zimmer in the critically acclaimed episode, Drawing the Line. She quickly grabbed the attention of Touchstone Pictures and Television brass who signed Riley to an acting and writing development deal. Riley followed her deal with writing the feature film, Damaged for Artisan Entertainment. She then wrote and starred in the highly rated ABC television movie, Christmas at Water's Edge.

She went on to film a cameo role in the horror film, The Cutting Room. Riley created the hit web-series, Being Bailey, for GoTV Networks, which she also produced. Riley also wrote Dark Beauty, a television movie for Lifetime, which continues to air. Two of her feature films have been optioned, Summer at Dad's and Damaged.

Riley wrote The Nanny Express for the Hallmark Channel. The movie aired as the 2nd highest-rated movie for the network! It starred Vanessa Marcil, Stacey Keach and Dean Stockwell. Riley also wrote the movie Always and Forever for the Hallmark Channel, starring Dean McDermott {Mr. Tori Spelling} Rena Sofer, and Barbara Eden {I Dream of Jeannie}. Both movies are currently airing on Hallmark.

Riley filmed a supporting lead in the indie feature film, Footprints. She plays a disturbed runaway in Hollywood who dresses up as Super Girl. In 2011, it was named "One of the 10 Best Films so Far this Year" by the Chairman of the NY Film Critics Circle.

Weston was also recently cast as a country singer in the indie movie "Borrowed Moments." One of her songs will be used on the soundtrack as well.

Riley is now busy in Nashville co-writing with amazing songwriters and recording her original music.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Good Daughter

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…
Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  How have I never read a Karin Slaughter book before?  The Good Daughter is full of major twists and turns that keep you turning page after page.  Full of suspense and craziness. Thrilling read!  

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her twenty novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated COP TOWN and the instant NEW YORK TIMES bestselling novels PRETTY GIRLS, THE GOOD DAUGHTER, and PIECES OF HER. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, Karin Slaughter lives in Atlanta. Her standalone novel PIECES OF HER is in development at Netflix and will star Toni Collette. 
Twitter @SlaughterKarin


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Invincible Summer

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. 
Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997 into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who's pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences - she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partyer. 
But as their 20s give way to their 30s, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth - and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again but in ways they never could have imagined. 
A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Fabulous debut novel! Really enjoyed going on the journey with the four main characters.  Friends in different places, but still there for each other when it counts. Enjoyed Invincible Summer very much!

Alice Adams holds an MA in Creative Writing as well as a BA in Philosophy and a multitude of maths, finance and computer programming qualifications from a career in banking. She lives in London but escapes into the wilderness as often as possible.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Nine Women One Dress

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): A charming, hilarious, irresistible romp of a novel that brings together nine unrelated women, each touched by the same little black dress that weaves through their lives, bringing a little magic with it.

Natalie is a Bloomingdale's salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who's engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for seventeen years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Alabama, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on . . .

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Adult version of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  Loved it. Loved how one dress connected nine women and transforms their lives.  Fast and fun read.

JANE L. ROSEN is an author and Huffington Post contributor. She lives in New York City and Fire Island with her husband and three daughters. She often takes inspiration from the city she lives in and the people she shares it with. In addition to her writing she has spent time in film, television and event production and is the cofounder of It’s All Gravy LLC, a web and app-based gifting company.

The Grace Year

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden. 
In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive. 
Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other. 
With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: The Handmaids Tale + The Hunger Games = The Grace Year.  Good read for sure!

At sixteen, KIM LIGGETT left her rural midwestern town for New York City to pursue a career in music. Along with lending her voice to hundreds of studio recordings, she was a backup singer for some of the biggest rock bands in the 80's. Kim spends her free time studying the tarot and scouring Manhattan for vials of rare perfume and the perfect egg white cocktail. She is the author of The Grace Year, Blood and Salt, and The Last Harvest.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Girl Last Seen

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon): Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart. 

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots.

I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can't bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago.

If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw's whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact...

I've spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow.

Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn't been another girl.

And now there is.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Another great book by Nina Laurin.  Kept me on the edge of my seat and couldn't put it down.  I wasn't prepared for the twist at the end.  Must read like Nina's other books!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I have read several of Nina's novels and will continue to read them as they are released.  

Nina Laurin is the bilingual (English/French) author of Girl Last Seen and What My Sister Knew, both published by Grand Central Publishing. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University in her hometown of Montreal, Canada, where she lives and writes. You can learn more at and on Twitter @girlinthetitle.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Talk Bookish To Me Review

 ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love—albeit fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book.

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week—which means big wedding stress—but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver.

With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending?

"A fun and sexy romp, with chemistry that gave me all the feels!" —Jennifer Probst, New York Times bestselling author of Our Italian Summer

"Add this book to your TBR list immediately!" —Sarah Smith, author of Faker

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Talk Bookish to Me is a great book to read and to put in your beach bag as you head out to enjoy summer. Fun romantic with some tugging at your heart. Kara and Ryan meet up again at a wedding, Kara is the maid-of-hone and Ryan is a groomsman. Things didn't end well before with and Ryan gives Kara another punch in the gut. 

Kara is a romance novelist and takes off to Italy for six months.  This does not make up a large part of the book, but is one of my favorite parts. Kara does some self discovery as does Ryan back state side. In the end it all works, as we would expect it too. 

Great summer time (really any time) read. I enjoyed having it in my beach bag!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes I would love to read Kate's next novel.

Kate Bromley lives in New York City with her husband, son, and her somewhat excessive collection of romance novels. (It's not hoarding if it's books, right?) She was a preschool teacher for seven years and is now focusing full-time on combining her two great passions--writing swoon-worthy love stories and making people laugh. Talk Bookish to Me is her first novel.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Shell Collector

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Two years after her husband’s death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved. 

Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he’s convinced he’s not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning—alone—through his work and role in the community. 

Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk’s Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move. 

Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that’s bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.

The Shell Collector is a beautiful story full of love, loss, and second chances.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

From USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle, The Shell Collector is a touching novel of a friendship that crosses generations, and learning how even the smallest gifts can change a life for good.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The characters are extremely likable and you can't help falling in love with them. Great story of a widow of 2 young kids whose husband was killed in action moves to a new home and befriends the elderly widow next door. Add a third character, another person suffering from loss of his best friend and just recently out of the military. All characters eventually come together and help each other. There are several parts that will have reaching for a kleenex. Beautifully told and leaves your heart full. 

I gave The Shell Collector three stars because I found it very predictable. I read some reviews and others didn't think it was predictable. It is a good read that is perfect for summer (really any time). 

USA Today bestselling author Nancy Naigle whips up small-town love stories with a whole lot of heart. She began her popular contemporary romance series, Adams Grove while juggling a successful career in finance and life on a seventy-six-acre farm. Over twenty-five novels later, Nancy is a Romance Writers of America and ACFW Honor Roll author. Her books have been translated into multiple languages and received favorable reviews from major trade journals. Nancy's latest release, THE SHELL COLLECTOR, is a touching novel of a friendship that crosses generations, and learning how even the smallest gifts can change a life for good.

Crown Media has adapted several of Nancy's novels for Hallmark Channel, and Nancy novelized three Hallmark Original Movies set in the town of Evergreen. Hallmark fans may have recently enjoyed The Secret Ingredient and new in 2021 Sand Dollar Cove in the Summer Nights programming-both inspired by her novels. 

Now happily retired from a career in the financial industry, this Virginia girl devotes her time to writing, antiquing, and horseback riding with friends. 

Download a complete list of Nancy's books at, then stay up to date with future releases by joining Nancy's free newsletter -or-visit her on facebook and twitter (@nancynaigle)

Saturday, July 3, 2021

The Lily Garden

  ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Caroline remembered how her mother would head to the garden as the first signs of spring approached, rolling up her sleeves and planting wildflowers as the sun set. But there was a lot she didn’t know about her mother, and the family secrets hidden in her hometown that would change everything…

When Caroline left Lake Summers thirty years ago, she thought she’d never go back to the place where she lost her parents. But when she finds out that the town’s lily garden lovingly built by her mother is going to be destroyed, she knows she must return from Chicago to save it.

Welcomed by the warm smile of her mother’s best friend Maxine, and piles of pancakes at her cozy little restaurant in town, Caroline and her daughter Lee immediately begin their campaign to save the garden. And Caroline soon learns that she isn’t the only person invested in their plan: handsome historian Aaron is new to town but he sees how special the garden is too. As Caroline gets to know him, strolling along the sparkling lakeshore, she can’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be.

But then Caroline learns a terrible secret about the day her mother died. If she continues fighting to save the garden, she may uncover more painful truths that will affect her whole family. But if she leaves now, she will have to give up a future with Aaron, and the beautiful town that has always been in her heart…

An utterly uplifting and heart-warming story about forgiveness and family. Perfect for fans of Carolyn Brown, Debbie Macomber and Mary Alice Monroe.

Purchase The Lily Garden here.

Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning writer who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels include The Bluebell Girls, The Lilac House, The Last Dreamer, and her newest release, The Lily Garden. She has published hundreds of articles about family, home and relationships in national and regional publications, and also teaches novel writing at the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.  She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: her husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo! Visit her online at (Instagram), @BarbaraJoss (twitter) or

Friday, July 2, 2021

That Summer

 ~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wow.  Another great book by Jennifer Weiner.  That Summer will not let you down.  I wanted to read this book because I have enjoyed other books by Weiner.  I also thought based on the title it would make a perfect summer read.  Don't be fooled-this is a book to read anytime of year book.  

Two different women, one with a past that involves the other's husband, meet….not by chance. The two become friends, or so Daisy thinks.  Due to her husband's past, Daisy's world is shattered.  Diana not only ruins Daisy's life but all the other boys involved with that one summer night on the beach when they were teens.  

I don't want to say too much and spoil it.  That Summer is an amazing read full of twists and turns I didn't see coming. Great book to read anytime of year.

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen books, including Good in Bed, The Littlest Bigfoot, and her memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at