The Summer Letter by Elyse Douglas 


Overview

The Summer Letters

By Elyse Douglas

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance

 

When Vanessa finds a rusty coffee can filled with old letters hidden away in a summer beach cottage, she learns of a haunting and secret affair dating back to the 1950s.

Determined to find the woman whose life parallels her own in many ways, Vanessa searches for the woman and her lover, uncovering past and present secrets that finally reveal a shocking truth.

Over the course of the summer, Vanessa’s own life is transformed by the possibilities of love and new beginnings, even as she confronts the lingering pain of her own past.

The Summer Letters is a celebration of the enduring promise of hope and the unbreakable bonds of love.

Review

First off let me say…I love this cover! So inviting. 

Vanessa finds old letters in a coffee can. They are love letters suggesting a arduous, secret love affair. Little does Vanessa know…these letters lead to a shocking revelation of hidden secrets of her own past. 

This is such a sweet read. Vanessa needs her life transformed and the letters give her a new purpose to find the lovers.  This creates many opportunities for her. It also opens up a new world for her to experience. 

This book states the obvious, repeats a few phrases, and is overly dramatic in places. The story does keep you interested. The mystery surrounding the letters is very creative and moving! 

Great for a beach read! 

 

About the Author


Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated with a degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers, and attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, playing piano professionally for 15 years. His great grandfather lived to be a 134 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1922. Their cat, Sir Eaton, loves parties and a few sips from a good glass of Pinot Noir.
Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: “The Other Side of Summer,” “The Christmas Eve Letter,” “The Christmas Town,” “The Christmas Diary” and “The Summer Diary.” They live in New York City.

 

http://www.elysedouglas.com

 

Follow on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/elyse.authorsdouglas

 

Posted in Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

A Million Thoughts by Om Swami – BOOK SPOTLIGHT 


A Million Thoughts: Learn All About Meditation from the Himalayan Mystic

By Om Swami

Genre: Spirituality, Meditation, Health

 

Each one of us is a master of infinite possibilities at a universal scale. Through meditation we experience our own magnificence, our true potential.
Drawing on his experience of thousands of hours of earnest and strenuous meditation, renowned sage Om Swami pens a guide to help channelize unruly, futile thoughts and turn them into productive energy.
A Million Thoughts shows how to meditate correctly, how to practice various styles of meditation and how to become proficient in the many yogic practices that will lead to the final stage of samadhi — the ultimate spiritual self-fulfilment. 
Brimming with firsthand experiences and references from ancient and classical texts, this brilliant book is most suited for the modern reader who wishes to master the art of meditation.

 

About the Author


Om Swami is a monk who lives in a remote place in the Himalayan foothills. He has a bachelor degree in business and an MBA from Sydney, Australia. Swami served in executive roles in large corporations around the world. He founded and led a profitable software company with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and India.

Om Swami completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life. He is the bestselling author of Kundalini: An Untold Story, A Fistful of Love and If Truth Be Told: A Monk’s Memoir.

His blog omswami.com is read by millions all over the world.

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2qbQcFu

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2pmRWvC

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2oBzmCL

Posted in Book Spotlight | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Little French Bistro by Nina George 


Overview

From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop, an extraordinary novel about self-discovery and new beginnings.

Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along. 

With all the buoyant charm that made The Little Paris Bookshop a beloved bestseller, The Little French Bistro is a tale of second chances and a delightful embrace of the joys of life in France.

Review

Marianne is very unhappy. Well, that’s not quite right…those words do not begin to describe her state. She is in a loveless marriage, as a matter of fact her husband is verbally abusive. And she has had enough!  She decides to end her life by jumping into the Seine. A good samaratian saves her. This begins her journey to a new destiny.  

Marianne starts out as a desperate, mousy woman in need of hand-holding and guidance. But she turns into a lion that ROARS! When she finally runs away she creates a wonderful new life for herself. She has a job, which she was told she could never do.  She has many friends, which she was told she could never have.  She toughens up and becomes the lady she knew she could be! Did I mention she is in her 60’s when she accomplished all of this!

The quaint little French village Marriane takes up residence in, is adorable. I would love to visit it one day.  I could just picture it in my mind, the shops, the Bistro.  All of it a sanctuary for Marianne and her new self. Because of this village there are many minor characters to keep up with. This is a little rough when you are trying to snatch 10 minutes here and there to read. 

This book is really about following your dreams. Not letting convention get in the way, whether it is playing the accordion or eating pizza for breakfast. (Read the book for these references!!!) 
Being true to yourself is so important.

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.  

Purchase Here

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Maybe This Time by Claire Yezbak Fadden – BOOK SPOTLIGHT with Excerpt


Maybe This Time

By Claire Yezbak Fadden

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

 

About the Book

Architect Kate Jameson has sworn off men. That is until she meets Eric, the handsome son of her current client. Fresh out of a messy relationship with a co-worker, Kate’s not ready to trust her judgement where men are concerned. She dodges Eric’s advances, but can’t deny the attraction growing between them. Everything–especially his soul-searing brown eyes–makes her want to throw caution to the wind and try again. At her sister’s prodding, Kate finally agrees to date Eric, surprised at the joy he brings into her life. But when their budding romance is threatened, Kate is forced to make hard decisions and fight for her true happiness.

Undercover CIA agent Eric Wiley has survived enough loss in his life to ever want to risk being hurt again. He has long since given up on true love. Still, he’s drawn to Kate in a way he can’t rationalize. Avoiding her isn’t working and for the first time in a relationship, he wants to be truthful about his past and his career. Before their romance can bloom, however, Kate goes missing. Recognizing the danger, Eric stops at nothing to rescue the woman who has captured his heart.

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2srqUXX

 

About the Author

 

When she’s not playing with her granddaughter, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first. Claire loves butterflies, ladybugs and holds a special affinity for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl.

 

Claire loves to cheer on the San Diego State Aztecs, her alma mater, and is a big fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. The mother of three, she lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and two spoiled dogs, Bandit and Jersey Girl. Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia.

 

Maybe This Time is a continuation of her Begin Again series, starting with her debut novel, A Corner of Her Heart.

 

Follow Claire @claireflaire, email her at claire@clairefadden.com, join her Facebook Fan Page or visit her at clairefadden.com.

  

EXCERPT

 

Kate walked faster, but Colleen stopped. “There’s a guy back there waving at you. Kinda nice looking. Now he’s coming our way.” Colleen smiled as though inviting him to come closer.

“Don’t encourage him,” Kate said.

“Too late. Here he is.” Colleen made a sweeping motion as though she were a hostess on a game show introducing today’s prizes.

Oh God, his eyes are browner than I remember.

“Kate, I’m glad I caught you,” Eric said. “Sorry I missed you on the phone. I got back into town early.”

“I see that,” Kate muttered, her icy tone coating each word. Not going through this drama again. Crazy guy. Multiple girlfriends. Bad endings.

“I’m Eric Wiley,” he said, offering his hand for Colleen to shake before returning his attention to Kate.

“So maybe we can set up that coffee date. There’s a great little place a couple of doors down.”

“I know. Colleen and I just had coffee there.”

“And scones,” Colleen chimed in, handing Kate her bag of leftovers. “I’ve got to get going. I have class in thirty minutes.”

“Teacher or student?” Eric asked.

“Yoga instructor.”

“Nice. Maybe I can take your class sometime. It’s not that sweaty yoga, is it?”

“No, it’s more of a flow class. Kate can tell you all about it.” Colleen tapped Kate on the shoulder. “I’ll see you later,” she said before scurrying toward the yoga studio.

“I like your friend,” Eric said gesturing to Colleen’s back.

“She’s pretty terrific. We met in her class. Used to be a cop.” Kate wanted to run away, but her feet grounded into the earth as though an alien force rooted them in place. All the small talk didn’t comfort her. Minutes before this guy was kissing another woman, and now he was flirting with her. Was there no end to his nerve?

“Now that’s really switching career paths,” Eric said. “I consider doing that sometimes.”

“And leave the family business for what? I don’t see that happening.” You’re such a privileged mama’s boy, Kate wanted to say, but didn’t. Truth was during their earlier interactions, Eric didn’t strike her as someone who life had been easy on. It was obvious his parents leaned on his judgment. Eric presented himself as a self-made man, working for what success came his way. Still, he was hiding something she couldn’t quite put her finger on.

Granted with business-owner parents, his path may have been smoother than many. Even if your folks set you up, you’re the one who has to walk that path. Kate knew lots of privileged folks who took the benefits they were born into and managed to drink, gamble or in some other way squander their advantage, as though opportunity was an all-you-can-eat buffet. Made a bad choice, no problem. Just get a clean plate and try again. The sports pages and movie magazines were filled with celebrity examples. A couple of Kate’s sorority sisters were still trying to find themselves. That’s what they claimed at the last reunion.

“You’d be surprised. I can tell you more about my future plans over a hot mocha.”

Kate readjusted her purse strap and leaned away. “Thanks for the invite, but I need to get to work. We’re already brainstorming the next complex. Proposal is due in two weeks.”

“Yeah, I know. We talked about your innovative ideas. I thought they were great. You’re great.” Eric licked his lips and stepped closer. “Seems to me like we connected, at least a little bit, but if you’re not interested, just say so. You don’t have to go through not answering my calls and giving me the brush off. Just be honest. It will save us both a lot of time.”

Kate shoved her paper pastry bag in her coat pocket and crossed her arms. “Honesty? Is that the most important value to you, because I believe in always telling the truth. I always tell the truth.”

“And you’re suggesting I don’t?” Eric’s nostrils flared with anger, causing Kate to step back. “We are standing in the street arguing about I don’t know what. Do you want to have a cup of coffee with me or not? It’s just that simple.”

“Not until you answer a question first.” Kate straightened to her full five-foot-six height. “Who were you kissing a moment ago?”

“Kissing? What are you talking about?”

“Near the cab. The woman who kissed you. Who is she? You’re an only child, so I know that wasn’t your sister. A cousin, maybe?” Kate huffed.

Eric’s eyes widened.

Is this how he stalls for time, cooking up a lie, Kate thought. This should be really good. She waited, even tapped the toe of her boot a time or two. “Well?”

“Like I said on my call, business ended early. I grabbed a cab with a coworker. End of story.”

“Not quite. Here comes your coworker, and she looks ticked.”

Posted in Book Spotlight | Tagged , | 2 Comments

What They Don’t Know by K.V Scruggs – BOOK SPOTLIGHT 


Book description

What they don’t know can’t hurt them…or can it?

In the year 2030, the government has seized control of healthcare. Routine treatment is administered to patients and monitored via in-home telemedicine. Hospitals have been replaced by the Center for Standardized Medicine (CSM). No one is a bigger proponent of the changes than reporter Cheyenne Rose, who lost her mother shortly after the Healthcare Crash of 2018 and her fiancé ten years later after a freak accident.

Despite her incredible success and popularity, her life feels empty. Then she meets the Reid family and feels drawn to their simple and honest love for each other. When eight-year-old Ridge Reid’s younger brother develops kidney failure, he agrees to donate one of his kidneys to save his brother’s life. But Ridge unexpectedly dies on the table, and the doctor who performed the surgery vanishes.

Faced with a conspiracy that runs far deeper than a single surgery, Cheyenne finds herself thrust into a dangerous investigation. When one of her informants turns up dead, she realizes the people responsible will do almost anything to keep their secret. Cheyenne will risk everything to uncover the truth.

 

Author Bio:

K.V. Scruggs is an internal medicine physician, blogger, and novelist. She is an alumna of Clemson University and received her MD from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. She is currently working as a hospitalist and lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and two sons.

She enjoys writing about current medical issues, and uses her blog as a platform to educate patients and their families. She is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. In her fiction writing, Dr. Scruggs not only draws from her experience as a physician, but as a wife, friend and mother.

Purchase Here 

 Amazon

Posted in Book Spotlight | 3 Comments

After the Fall by Julie Cohen


Overview 

From the author who brought you Dear Thing, Julie Cohen, comes After the Fall — a poignant, beautifully heartbreaking novel about what it means to be family, the ties that bind us, and the secrets that threaten to tear us apart.

When an unfortunate accident forces Honor back into the lives of her widowed daughter-in-law, Jo, and her only granddaughter, Lydia, she cannot wait to be well enough to get back to her own home. However, the longer she stays with Jo and Lydia, the more they start to feel like a real family. But each of the three women is keeping secrets from the others that threaten to destroy the lives they’ve come to know.

Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could destroy the “normal” family life she’s fought so hard to build and maintain.

Lydia’s secret could bring her love―or the loss of everything that matters most to her.

One summer’s day, grandmother, mother and daughter’s secrets will be forced out in the open in a single dramatic moment that leaves them all asking: is there such a thing as second chances?

Review 

This book was an unexpected pleasure for me. I don’t know what I actually thought this book was about…but I was bowled over with the characters, the story and the myriad of emotions. This is some amazing writing. I was so wrapped up in EACH character. It was like I was right there with them experiencing the same feelings.  

Honor is a cranky old woman who takes a pretty bad spill.  She moves in with Jo and her family.  Honor is irritable and hard to get along with for many reasons. Basically, she is hurt on many levels. Not only does she hurt because she is getting old and cannot do what she once did, but the hurt over her son’s death….stays with her forever and affects the way she relates to everyone around her. 

Jo is a special woman. Not only is she raising three children by herself, she takes in her mother-in-law after the fall. She is one of the most giving characters and has the patience of a saint…Many times I wanted to YELL for her because she wouldn’t lose her temper and temper-losing was so warranted. There is a part in this book where Jo just has a doozy of a day! As a mother,  I remembered what it was like. I almost got as stressed as Jo did. But don’t worry, she handled it like a trooper. I would’ve lost it on the first episode of poop!! Very well written and her feelings came right off the page to me!

Lydia is Jo’s daughter and Honor’s only granddaughter. She is pulled in many different directions. I am not about to give her story away. Just know, she is much tougher than she appears. 

This story was an absolute treasure for me in many ways! Highly recommend if you need a book to get totally absorbed! 

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review 
Purchase Here

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Letters to Strabo by David Smith – BOOK SPOTLIGHT 


OVERVIEW 

“An exceptional literary journey through the cultural landscape of the Mediterranean, few novels have captured my imagination like Letters To Strabo.” – D Brent

Adam Finnegan Black, or ‘Finn’, an innocent young American who is insatiably curious about life, made a promise to his mother before she died: To find out what really happened to his father…

His ambition is to be a travel writer, like his heroes: Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and the ancient Greek ‘father of geography’, Strabo. His journey of discovery takes him through the radiant literary, cultural and picturesque landscape of the Mediterranean.

Following his heart and inspired by Letters to Strabo, written by his long-distance pen-pal Eve, Finn gradually learns more about himself but also about the woman he hopes will one day become his wife.

Funny, provocative, disarmingly honest, Finn’s story captures the excitement and mistakes of youthful energy and proves ultimately life-affirming in the emergence of new hope from personal tragedy.

Quite simply one of the best coming-of-age novels you will ever read: Letters to Strabo will appeal to lovers of literary fiction, good travel writing and the classic works of Ernest Hemingway.

About the Author

Described as an exciting voice in Contemporary Literature, David Smith has published four novels all with strong themes of romance and intrigue. His first novel, Searching For Amber has been described as “a powerful and notably memorable debut” with a review describing it as “masterly and confident”, and another as “extraordinary, poetic, enchanting, sublime”.

His latest novel Letters to Strabo has been described as “rich and intriguing, vivid and gripping”.

David was born in Warwickshire in 1961. He studied Economics at Cambridge and has worked in industry for over 30 years, including periods in Switzerland, the USA and Turkey. He is currently a Chief Financial Officer and lives in West Sussex with his wife and three teenage children.
“I found this a very evocative book full of wonderful vivid colourful accounts of the countries through which Finn travels, and the experiences he has there. The quality of the writing is so high, I felt as if I was going on the journey myself…As I have discovered in earlier books written by this author, there are some truly outstanding passages of lyrical prose” – S Robinson
Purchase here 

Amazon

Posted in Book Spotlight | Tagged , | 1 Comment