Mistletoe in Juneau by Dahlia Rose @hallmarkpublish @dahliarose1029 #christmasfiction #romance #bookreview #audiblebook

Overview

A heartwarming holiday romance from Hallmark and USA Today best-selling author Dahlia Rose that’s perfect for fans of Rochelle Alers and Debbie Macomber. 

Danni’s a social media influencer who’s way out of her element. She sort of broke up with her boyfriend-slash-manager, and she escaped her fast-paced life in New York to spend Christmas with an old friend in Juneau, Alaska. Danni takes in the beauty of the scenery and the warmth of the community…and she’s drawn to the local sheriff. 

Before Declan was the sheriff, he was in the Army. An IED explosion cost him his leg…and his fiancée, who couldn’t deal with the injury. He knows Danni’s a city girl, while he loves the Alaskan wilderness. Could two very different people find what their hearts are looking for?

Review

Declan lost his leg when and IED exploded while he was in the army. He thought that his fiancé would just be happy he was alive. But, she could not deal with his injury. So, she just up and left him. This hurt him more than his leg injury. He absolutely refuses to date or even think about love. Enter Danni. Danni is a social influencer from NYC. She needed a break so she comes to Alaska to see her best friend. This changes her whole world!

I love Declan. He is definitely the strong, silent type. But he has a huge heart. And Danni, she is in need of something other than her stressful life. Now…they hit a few rough patches, but overall, these two fit so well together!

Anytime I see a book set in Alaska…I am all over it. I have no idea what it is, but I must read it. This one hit the mark! The characters, the location and, of course, the Christmas season, puts this one right in my wheel house!

Janina Edwards is the narrator of the audiobook and did an outstanding job. I will be on the look out for more books narrated by her!

Need a feel good romance set in the scenic Alaska..THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase here

Chirp

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A Fire in the Night by Christopher Swann @swannyauthor @crookedlanebks #thriller #bookreview #fiction

Overview

Acclaimed Southern mystery master Christopher Swann delivers “a book that’s literary fiction, a spy novel, and a relentless thriller all in one” (Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author), perfect for fans of Linwood Barclay and Michael Farris Smith.

Nick Anthony has retreated to the North Carolina mountains to mourn the untimely death of his wife. Once a popular professor, Nick just wants to be left alone with his grief. But when his estranged brother and sister-in-law die in a house fire, a stunned Nick learns he has a niece, Annalise, who is missing.

At the scene of the crime, the men who set the fire have realized Annalise, and the information they are looking for, got away. Feverish and exhausted, she stumbles onto her uncle’s porch, throwing Nick into the middle of the mystery of her parents’ death and the dangerous criminals hunting her down.

Hired to retrieve the stolen information at any price, private military contractor Cole and his team track Annalise to Nick’s cabin. But Nick has a hidden past of his own—and more than a few deadly tricks up his sleeve.

Review

Nick has cut himself off from all communications. So, when his niece shows up out of the blue with someone chasing her, his old training kicks in! But, will he be able to protect her? You MUST read this to find out!

Let me start with, I LOVE NICK! He is my favorite type of hero. He is strong, silent and secretive. He has just lost his wife, so he is a bit broken. This just makes him more endearing to the reader. And when his niece shows up, he displays a whole new level of himself. I would love a book about his past. So, this author better get busy!

This novel is fast paced and intense. It is part mystery, part spy, and all excitement. I really wanted more!

Need a all around good thriller…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

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The House Children by Heidi Daniele @orangeskyaudio #audiobook #audible #fiction #review

Overview

In 1937, Mary Margaret Joyce is born in the Tuam Home for unwed mothers. After spending her early years in an uncaring foster home, she is sentenced by a judge to an industrial school, where she is given the name Peg, and assigned the number 27. Amid 100 other unwanted girls, Peg quickly learns the rigid routine of prayer, work, and silence under the watchful eye of Sister Constance. Her only respite is an annual summer holiday with a kind family in Galway.

At the tender age of 13, Peg accidentally learns the identity of her birthmother. Peg struggles with feelings of anger and abandonment, while her mother grapples with the shame of having borne a child out of wedlock. The tension between them mounts as Peg, now becoming a young adult, begins to make plans for her future beyond Ireland.

Based on actual events, The House Children is a compelling story of familial love, shameful secrets, and life inside Ireland’s infamous industrial schools.

Review

Peg is one of the house children. She started out in a terrible foster home. When that deteriorated, a judge sentenced her to one of Ireland’s industrial schools. She is one of the few orphans, out of the many in the home, which actually gets to go on holiday. Peg has no idea why she has been chosen to go on holiday. But as time goes on, secrets begin to unravel.

Peg is a scared little girl. And her situation tears at my heart. The whole situation in Ireland for the children and the unwed mothers during this time period is appalling.

This is a unique book and to know it is based on a true story is even more amazing. I don’t think I have read a book about Ireland’s orphanages. So, this was interesting to say the least.

The narrator, Lauren Reilly is more straightforward than I like. it is almost like she is just stating the facts instead of reading a story. But, the book itself is very well researched and heart wrenching in places.

Need a good historical fiction book…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this audiobook from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

Chirp

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Heard it in a Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves #audioobook #audible #fiction #review @macmillanaudio @stmartinspress

Overview

From Tracey Garvis Graves, the best-selling author of The Girl He Used to Know, comes a love song of a story about starting over and second chances in Heard It in a Love Song

Love doesn’t always wait until you’re ready. 

Layla Hilding is 35 and recently divorced. Struggling to break free from the past – her glory days as the lead singer in a band and a 10-year marriage to a man who never put her first – Layla’s newly found independence feels a lot like loneliness.

Then there’s Josh, the single dad whose daughter attends the elementary school where Layla teaches music. Recently separated, he’s still processing the end of his 20-year marriage to his high school sweetheart. He chats with Layla every morning at school and finds himself thinking about her more and more.

Equally cautious and confused about dating in a world that favors apps over meeting organically, Layla and Josh decide to be friends with the potential for something more. Sounds sensible and way too simple – but when two people are on the rebound, is it heartbreak or happiness that’s a love song away?

A Macmillan Audio Production from St. Martin’s Press

Review

Josh is struggling through his divorce. Layla has just recently divorced. Neither one is looking for love. But, as you can guess, these two have a connection.

Josh has a beautiful daughter and Layla is her music teacher. So they see each other every day. This opens up some doors for both of them. But, can they make rebound love work..you must read this to find out!

The characters, as usual, are fabulous. They are each struggling but they stay sane. That is important! Trust me! These two are perfect together. Throw in the cute dog and the sweet little girl and you have a good read!

I also loved the narrator, Andi Arndt. I have heard her narrate on several books and she does a great pace and wonderful inflection.

I absolutely love this author. However, this book is not my favorite, but it is still a good read. Her books just usually have a different twist. This one is just a normal romance, nothing wrong with that. I still enjoyed it, especially with all the music references. Brought back a ton of memories.

Need a good romance which will make you smile…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review

Purchase here

Chirp

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Dear William by David Magee #5starreview #bookreview #memoir #nonfiction @mattholtbooks @dmagee_writer

Overview

Shot through with hope, purpose and an unflinching love, it’s a story that must be read.”
Newsweek
 
Award-winning columnist and author David Magee addresses his poignant story to all those who will benefit from better understanding substance misuse so that his hard-earned wisdom can save others from the fate of his late son, William.

The last time David Magee saw his son alive, William told him to write their family’s story in the hopes of helping others. Days later, David found William dead from an accidental drug overdose.

Now, in a memoir suggestive of Augusten Burroughs meets Glennon Doyle, award-winning columnist and author David Magee answers his son’s wish with a compelling, heartbreaking, and impossible to put down book that speaks to every individual and family.

With honesty and heart, Magee shares his family’s intergenerational struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as his own reckoning with family secrets—confronting the dark truth about the adoptive parents who raised him and a decades-long search for identity. He wrestles with personal substance misuse that began at a young age and, as a father, he sees destructive patterns repeat and develop within his own children. While striving to find a truly authentic voice as a writer despite authoring nearly a dozen previous books, Magee ultimately understands that William had been right and their own family’s history is the story he needs to tell.

A poignant and uplifting message of hope translates unimaginable tragedy into an inspirational commitment to saving others, as David founded the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi. His mission to share solutions to self-medication and addiction, particularly as it touches America’s high school and college students, emphasizes that William’s story is about much more than a tragic addiction—it’s an American story of a family broken by loss and remade with love.

Dear William inspires readers to find purpose, build resilience, and break the cycles that damage too many individuals and the people who love them. It’s a life-changing book revealing how voids can be filled, and peace—even profound, lasting happiness—is possible.

Review

Let me do a…kind of disclaimer. I have met David Magee…he probably does not even remember it. We met at Ole Miss. My husband and David were in the same pledge class at Sigma Nu and I was a Sigma Nu Little Sister…back in the day….way back in the day. But, when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Let me say, my 5 star rating has nothing to do with our previous interactions. This book is outstanding on so many levels!

David Magee has had his share of troubles growing up. He comes clean in this memoir about his mistakes, his own alcohol use, and his family dynamics. Life tends to throw us curve balls. How we react to these curve balls is what it is all about. It took David a while to come to terms with everything which occurred in his life. But, it has made him stronger and wiser. And this comes out strong in this memoir.

This is a book everyone should read. It will open eyes and possibly help others in this situation. This book is expressive and must have been cathartic to write. Nothing can ever ease the pain of losing a child and you can feel the author’s pain and guilt all through this memoir. But, you can also feel purpose. The purpose to help someone else through his loss.

What an outstanding man William was. He had such a bright future. But life turned on its axis. Hopefully this tragedy will help someone else in trouble. If you know anyone which needs help and guidance, please reach out: Magee Center at Ole Miss

Need a life changing story you will not soon forget…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Purchase Here

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The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman @harlequinbooks @viola_shipman #bookreview #5starread #fiction

Overview

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer Cottage 

“A beautifully written story about second chances. Fans of women’s fiction won’t be able to put this down.” —Publishers Weekly 

The forecast is calling for a reluctant homecoming and regrettable decisions with a strong chance of romance

When Sonny Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist whose job is all sunshine and seventy-two-degree days, is replaced by a virtual meteorologist that will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract, the only station willing to give the fifty-year-old another shot is the very place Sonny’s been avoiding since the day she left for college—her northern Michigan hometown.

Sonny grudgingly returns to the long, cold, snowy winters of her childhood…with the added humiliation of moving back in with her mother. Not quite an outsider but no longer a local, Sonny finds her past blindsiding her everywhere: from the high school friends she ghosted, to the former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy who’s now her boss, to, most keenly, the death years ago of her younger sister, who loved the snow.

To distract herself from the memories she’s spent her life trying to outrun, Sonny throws herself headfirst into covering every small-town winter event to woo a new audience, made more bearable by a handsome widower with optimism to spare. But with someone trying to undermine her efforts to rebuild her career, Sonny must make peace with who she used to be and allow her heart to thaw if she’s ever going to find a place she can truly call home.

Review

Sonny Dunes is on top of the weather news world until she is replaced by a robot. She kind of loses it and goes ballistic. And, as you can guess, this goes viral. She tucks her tail and runs home to her native Michigan. She ends up at a local news station with an old college acquaintance. But things do not go as smoothly as she hopes. Sonny has a lot of baggage, more baggage than she actually thought. She must now face her past and come to terms with her own loss.

Sonny is a character which I can relate to. She is an overachiever but she is also flawed. Like most people, she keeps a lot of people at arms length because she is so afraid of being hurt again and letting people down. But, she is strong and she continues to fight.

This is one of Viola Shipman’s best! This is a tale about learning to live with regrets, death and forgiving yourself. There are so many profound statements in this read. This is a story everyone needs to read at some point in their life. This story is so multilayered and very well written. I can go on and on about this…JUST READ IT!

Need a fantastic story which will make you understand so much about yourself and others. GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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October Escapes and Escapades #octoberwrapup #wrapup #escapesandescapades

Escapades

What an absolute blast October was! Finally starting to open up more in the book community. A friend of mine and I headed to Novel in Memphis to meet…non other than Elin Hilderbrand. She is amazing!

It was also our annual family pumpkin carving. My husband thinks he is the best…uh…no! But we have a blast!

Now on the the Escapes

This month I included all of my books, Audible and physically reading.

I am listening to a ton of books since I am driving so much. I am knocking out a lot on my TBR!

HERE WE GO!

Last Girl Ghosted
I am Not Who You Think I Am
Three Sisters
The Lighthouse Witches
The Mother Next Door
After Happily Ever After
Once Upon a Wardrobe
Oh William!
I Grew With You
Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash

Christmas in Peachtree Bluff

No Rules
The Lighthouse

I also finished these below! Reviews will be up soon!

What did you read and enjoy in October? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thanks for stopping by!

Posted in Audible books, escapes and escapades, Reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha COVER REVEAL @suzyapbooktours @sarahadlakha #coverreveal

Midnight on the Marne

By Sarah Adlakha

Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices.

Release Date: 8/9/2022

Preorder link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774590/midnightonthemarne

About The Book:

Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices.

American solider George Mountcastle feels an instant connection to Marcelle Fournier, a young nurse and secret French spy. But in times of war, love must wait. Soon, George and his best friend Philip are fighting for their lives during the Second Battle of the Marne during which George stops Philip from a brave act that would have won the battle at the cost of his own life.

Germany has won the war—and Philip can’t shake the feeling that something is terribly wrong. After escaping from a German POW camp along with Philip and Marcelle’s twin sister Rosalie, George and Marcelle start a new life and family together, finding love and joy where they can in a brutally occupied France.

Years pass, and tragedy strikes. George wakes up back in 1918, knowing that he must make different choices for the greater good. Playing with time is a tricky thing, though. If he chooses to change the course of history on this pivotal battlefield, he will surely change his own future—and perhaps not for the better.

About The Author:

Sarah Adlakha is a native of Chicago and a practicing psychiatrist who now lives along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi with her husband and their three daughters. She Wouldn’t Change a Thing is her first novel.

Preorder link: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774590/midnightonthemarne

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Fan Club by Erin Mayer – Book Spotlight and Excerpt @harlequinbooks #excerpt #spotlight

Fan Club : A Novel
Erin Mayer
On Sale Date: October 26, 2021 9780778311591
Trade Paperback
$16.99 USD
320 pages


ABOUT THE BOOK:


In this raucous psychological thriller, a disillusioned millennial joins a cliquey fan club, only to discover that the group is bound together by something darker than devotion.
Day after day our narrator searches for meaning beyond her vacuous job at a women’s lifestyle website – entering text into a computer system while she watches their beauty editor unwrap box after box of perfectly packaged bits of happiness. Then, one night at a dive bar, she hears a message in the newest single by international pop-star Adriana Argento, and she is struck.
Soon she loses herself to the online fandom, a community whose members feverishly track Adriana’s every move.
When a colleague notices her obsession, she’s invited to join an enigmatic group of adult Adriana superfans who call themselves the Ivies and worship her music in witchy, candlelit listening parties. As the narrator becomes more entrenched in the group, she gets closer to uncovering the sinister secrets that bind them together – while simultaneously losing her grip on reality.
With caustic wit and hypnotic writing, this unsparingly critical thrill ride through millennial life examines all that is wrong in our celebrity-obsessed internet age and how easy it is to lose yourself in it.


About the author


Erin Mayer is a freelance writer and editor based in Maine. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Man Repeller, Literary Hub, and others. She was previously an associate fashion and beauty editor at Bustle.com.

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/fan-club/9780778311591 

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778311591 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9780778311591?AID=10747236&PID=7310909&cjevent=65e1269f327311ec8113ab580a82b832 

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fan-club-erin-mayer/1138476507;jsessionid=447EED4856C3B3C9AFCBCB912D1233C6.prodny_store01-atgap13?ean=9780778311591&st=AFF&2sid=HarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC_7310909_NA&sourceId=AFFHarperCollins%20Publishers%20LLC 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0778311597?tag=harpercollinsus-20

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fan-club-4 

Apple Books:https://books.apple.com/us/book/fan-club/id1545139327 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Fan_Club_A_Novel?id=pXAPEAAAQBAJ&hl=en_US&gl=US 

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author website: http://erinmayer.com/

Twitter: @mayer_erin

Instagram: @erinkmayer

Chapter One

I’m outside for a cumulative ten minutes each day before work. Five to walk from my apartment building to the subway, another five to go from the subway to the anemic obelisk that houses my office. I try to breathe as deeply as I can in those minutes, because I never know how long it will be until I take fresh air into my lungs again. Not that the city air is all that fresh, tinged with the sharp stench of old garbage, pollution’s metallic swirl. But it beats the stale oxygen of the office, already filtered through distant respiratory systems. Sometimes, during slow moments at my desk, I inhale and try to imagine those other nostrils and lungs that have already processed this same air. I’m not sure how it works in reality, any knowledge I once had of the intricacies of breathing having been long ago discarded by more useful information, but the image comforts me. Usually, I picture a middle-aged man with greying temples, a fringe of visible nose hair, and a coffee stain on the collar of his baby blue button-down. He looks nothing and everything like my father. An every-father, if you will.

    My office is populated by dyed-blonde or pierced brunette women in their mid-to-late twenties and early thirties. The occasional man, just a touch older than most of the women, but still young enough to give off the faint impression that he DJs at Meatpacking nightclubs for extra cash on the weekends.

    We are the new corporate Americans, the offspring of the grey-templed men. We wear tastefully ripped jeans and cozy sweaters to the office instead of blazers and trousers. Display a tattoo here and there—our supervisors don’t mind; in fact, they have the most ink. We eat yogurt for breakfast, work through lunch, leave the office at six if we’re lucky, arriving home with just enough time to order dinner from an app and watch two or three hours of Netflix before collapsing into bed from exhaustion we haven’t earned. Exhaustion that lives in the brain, not the body, and cannot be relieved by a mere eight hours of sleep.

    Nobody understands exactly what it is we do here, and neither do we. I push through revolving glass door, run my wallet over the card reader, which beeps as my ID scans through the stiff leather, and half-wave in the direction of the uniformed security guard behind the desk, whose face my eyes never quite reach so I can’t tell you what he looks like. He’s just one of the many set-pieces staging the scene of my days.

    The elevator ride to the eleventh floor is long enough to skim one-third of a longform article on my phone. I barely register what it’s about, something loosely political, or who is standing next to me in the cramped elevator.

    When the doors slide open on eleven, we both get off.

In the dim eleventh-floor lobby, a humming neon light shaping the company logo assaults my sleep-swollen eyes like the prick of a dozen tiny needles. Today, a small section has burned out, creating a skip in the letter w. Below the logo is a tufted cerulean velvet couch where guests wait to be welcomed. To the left there’s a mirrored wall reflecting the vestibule; people sometimes pause there to take photos on the way to and from the office, usually on the Friday afternoon before a long weekend. I see the photos later while scrolling through my various feeds at home in bed. They hit me one after another like shots of tequila: See ya Tuesday! *margarita emoji* Peace out for the long weekend! *palm tree emoji* Byeeeeee! *peace sign emoji.*

    She steps in front of me, my elevator companion. Black Rag & Bone ankle boots gleaming, blade-tipped pixie cut grazing her ears. Her neck piercing taunts me, those winking silver balls on either side of her spine. She’s Lexi O’ Connell, the website’s senior editor. She walks ahead with her head angled down, thumb working her phone’s keyboard, and doesn’t look up as she shoves the interior door open, palm to the glass.

    I trip over the back of one clunky winter boot with the other as I speed up, considering whether to call out for her attention. It’s what a good web producer, one who is eager to move on from the endless drudgery of copy-pasting and resizing and into the slightly more thrilling drudgery of writing and rewriting, would do.

    By the time I regain my footing, I come face-to-face with the smear of her handprint as the door glides shut in front of me.

    Monday.

I work at a website.

It’s like most other websites; we publish content, mostly articles: news stories, essays, interviews, glossed over with the polished opalescent sheen of commercialized feminism. The occasional quiz, video, or photoshoot rounds out our offerings. This is how websites work in the age of ad revenue: Each provides a slightly varied selection of mindless entertainment, news updates, and watered-down hot takes about everything from climate change to plus size fashion, hawking their wares on the digital marketplace, leaving The Reader to wander drunkenly through the bazaar, wielding her cursor like an Amex. You can find everything you’d want to read in one place online, dozens of times over. The algorithms have erased choice. Search engines and social media platforms, they know what you want before you do.

As a web producer, my job is to input article text into the website’s proprietary content management system, or CMS. I’m a digitized high school janitor; I clean up the small messes, the litter that misses the rim of the garbage can. I make sure the links are working and the images are high resolution. When anything bigger comes up, it goes to an editor or IT. I’m an expert in nothing, a master of the miniscule fixes.

There are five of us who produce for the entire website, each handling about 20 articles a day. We sit at a long grey table on display at the very center of the open office, surrounded on all sides by editors and writers.

The web producers’ bullpen, Lexi calls it.

The light fixture above the table buzzes loudly like a nest of bees is trapped inside the fluorescent tubing. I drop my bag on the floor and take a seat, shedding my coat like a layer of skin. My chair faces the beauty editor’s desk, the cruelest seat in the house. All day long, I watch Charlotte Miller receive package after package stuffed with pastel tissue paper. Inside those packages: lipstick, foundation, perfume, happiness. A thousand simulacrums of Christmas morning spread across the two-hundred and sixty-one workdays of the year. She has piled the trappings of Brooklyn hipsterdom on top of her blonde, big-toothed, prettiness. Wire-frame glasses, a tattoo of a constellation on her inner left forearm, a rose gold nose ring. She seems Texan, but she’s actually from some wholesome upper Midwestern state, I can never remember which one. Right now, she applies red lipstick from a warm golden tube in the flat gleam of the golden mirror next to her monitor. Everything about her is color-coordinated.

I open my laptop. The screen blinks twice and prompts me for my password. I type it in, and the CMS appears, open to where I left it when I signed off the previous evening. Our CMS is called LIZZIE. There’s a rumor that it was named after Lizzie Borden, christened during the pre-launch party when the tech team pounded too many shots after they finished coding. As in, “Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother forty whacks.” Lizzie Borden rebranded in the 21st century as a symbol of righteous feminine anger. LIZZIE, my best friend, my closest confidant. She’s an equally comforting and infuriating presence, constant in her bland attention. She gazes at me, always emotionless, saying nothing as she watches me teeter on the edge, fighting tears or trying not to doze at my desk or simply staring, in search of answers she cannot provide.

My eyes droop in their sockets as I scan the articles that were submitted before I arrived this morning. The whites threaten to turn liquid and splash onto my keyboard, pool between the keys and jiggle like eggs minus the yolks. Thinking of this causes a tiny laugh to slip out from between my clenched lips. Charlotte slides the cap onto her lipstick, glares at me over the lip of the mirror.

“Morning.”

That’s Tom, the only male web producer, who sits across and slightly left of me, keeping my view of Charlotte’s towering wonderland of boxes and bags clear. He’s four years older than me, twenty-eight, but the plush chipmunk curve of his cheeks makes him appear much younger, like he’s about to graduate high school. He’s cute, though, in the way of a movie star who always gets cast as the geek in teen comedies. Definitely hot but dress him down in an argyle sweater and glasses and he could be a Hollywood nerd. I’ve always wanted to ask him why he works here, doing this. There isn’t really a web producer archetype. We’re all different, a true island of misfit toys.

But if there is a type, Tom doesn’t fit it. He seems smart and driven. He’s consistently the only person who attends company book club meetings having read that month’s selection from cover to cover. I’ve never asked him why he works here because we don’t talk much. No one in our office talks much. Not out loud, anyway. We communicate through a private Morse code, fingers dancing on keys, expressions scanned and evaluated from a distance.

Sometimes I think about flirting with Tom, for something to do, but he wears a wedding ring. Not that I care about his wife; it’s more the fear of rebuff and rejection, of hearing the low-voiced Sorry, I’m married, that stops me. He usually sails in a few minutes after I do, smelling like his bodega coffee and the egg sandwich he carefully unwraps and eats at his desk. He nods in my direction. Morning is the only word we’ve exchanged the entire time I’ve worked here, which is coming up on a year in January. It’s not even a greeting, merely a statement of fact. It is morning and we’re both here. Again.

Three hundred and sixty-five days lost to the hum and twitch and click. I can’t seem to remember how I got here. It all feels like a dream. The mundane kind, full of banal details, but something slightly off about it all. I don’t remember applying for the job, or interviewing. One day, an offer letter appeared in my inbox and I signed.

And here I am. Day after day, I wait for someone to need me. I open articles. I tweak the formatting, check the links, correct the occasional typo that catches my eye. It isn’t really my job to copy edit, or even to read closely, but sometimes I notice things, grammatical errors or awkward phrasing, and I then can’t not notice them; I have to put them right or else they nag like a papercut on the soft webbing connecting two fingers. The brain wants to be useful. It craves activity, even after almost three hundred and sixty-five days of operating at its lowest frequency.

I open emails. I download attachments. I insert numbers into spreadsheets. I email those spreadsheets to Lexi and my direct boss, Ashley, who manages the homepage.

None of it ever seems to add up to anything.

Excerpted from Fan Club by Erin Mayer, Copyright © 2021 by Erin Mayer. Published by MIRA Books.

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No Rules by Sharon Dukett @suzyapbooktours @travelsed @audiobook @bookreview #memoir

About The Book:

It’s 1971 in Connecticut, and sixteen-year-old Sharon’s parents think that, because she’s a girl, she should become a clerical office worker after high school and live at home until she marries and has a family. But Sharon wants to join the hippies and be part of the changing society, so she leaves home and heads to California.

Upon arriving in California, Sharon is thrown into an adult world for which she is unprepared, and she embarks on a precarious journey amid the 1970s counterculture. On her various adventures across the country and while living on a commune, with friends and lovers filtering in and out of her life, she realizes she must learn quickly in order to survive—as well as figure out a way to reconcile her developing spirituality with her Catholic upbringing.

In this colorful memoir, Sharon reflects upon the changes that reshaped her during the 1970s women’s movement, and how they have transformed society’s expectations for girls and women today—and, through it all, shares moments of triumph, joy, love, and awakening.

Review

At 16, Sharon has had enough. She is not cut out to be what her parents expect her to be. So, she leaves and heads out to California. California is not exactly what she thought it would be. And she has to make some drastic decisions and drastic mistakes.

This is a story which had me guessing my choices…you mean I could run off and live wild and free. It never occurred to me. I honestly do not see how this author survived. I love that she took her experiences and made herself so much better. It is just not in my DNA not to plan. I am envious of her ability to just roll with it! And believe me…Sharon rolled with everything! I totally understand why she left her home and it worked out for her in the end. But I could not help but feel sorry for her parents. They tried their best. But Sharon had to make her own way. And she did a great job!

This is a unique coming of age memoir not to be missed. It is full of sex, drugs and rock and roll! GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

I received this audiobook for a honest review.

About The Author:
Sharon Dukett has been a computer programmer, deputy director in state government, cocktail waitress, and project manager (PMP certified), and she has designed and embroidered handmade clothing. She travels extensively using loyalty points and avoiding tourist traps. When she is home, she and her husband live in central Connecticut in a house he built that overlooks the Connecticut River–the house where they raised their family. When not writing or blogging, she is reading, skiing, biking, golfing, spending time with family and friends, creating clutter, and committing to more activities than she probably should. She loves reading memoir from a variety of backgrounds–to learn how others feel, experience life, and deal with their struggles. No Rules is her debut memoir. https://sharondukett.com/

Social Media:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sharondukettauthor/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/sharon.dukett/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/travelsed

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