Month: July 2016

Book Review: Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer

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Title: Untethered
Author: Julie Lawson Timmer
ISBN: 9780399176272
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House)

Synopsis:

Char Hawthorn, college professor, wife and stepmother to a spirited fifteen-year-old daughter, loves her family and the joyful rhythms of work and parenting. But when her husband dies in a car accident, the “step” in Char’s title suddenly matters a great deal. In the eyes of the law, all rights to daughter Allie belong to Lindy, Allie’s self-absorbed biological mother, who wants to girl to move to her home in California.

While Allie begins to struggle in school and tensions mount between her and Char, Allie’s connection to young Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she tutors, seems to keep her grounded. But then Morgan, who was adopted out of foster care, suddenly disappears, and Char is left to wonder about a possible future without Allie and what to do about Morgan, a child caught up in a terrible crack in the system.

Untethered explores what bonds truly form a family and how, sometimes, love knows no bounds.

About the Author:

JulieTimmer-02-copyJulie Lawson Timmer grew up in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from McMaster University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. She serves as in-house legal counsel to an automotive supplier in Michigan. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband and their children. She is also the author of Five Days Left.

My Review:

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Book Spotlight: So Close by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

July-Close

Synopsis:

From international #1 best-selling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus comes a story about a girl from the trailer parks of central Florida and the two powerful men who shape her life—one of whom will raise her up to places she never imagined, the other who will threaten to destroy her.

Amanda Beth Luker has spent her whole life desperately looking for someone who can show her the way out of her trailer park Florida town. And then, finally, help arrives—in the form of Tom Davis, a successful lawyer who grew up just a few miles over from Amanda and has aspirations of making a difference in towns just like hers all across the country. But it’s his wife, Lindsay, who really captures Amanda’s imagination. Strong, smart and determined, she gives Amanda something she’s never had—a role model. Meanwhile Amanda is introduced to the wealthy, charismatic, and deeply troubled Pax Westerbrook. He clearly desires Amanda, but if she gives in will that move her closer to the life she’s always dreamed of—or make it impossible?

Can a girl from a trailer park make it to the White House? What will it cost her? When her loyalty is tested will she save the only family she’s ever known—even if it means keeping a terrible secret from the American people?

About the Author:

Author-photo-HTBAGU-jpeg-e1444259049733-300x232Newsweek declared Emma McLaughlinand Nicola Kraus’s The Nanny Diaries a “phenomenon.” It is a #1 New York Timesbestseller and the longest-running hardcover bestseller of 2002. In 2007 it was released as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, and Alicia Keys. McLaughlin and Kraus are also the authors of three other New York Times bestsellers—Citizen Girl, Dedicationand Nanny Returns—as well as the soon-to-be-released novels Between You & Me andOver You. They have appeared numerous times on CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, and The View. In addition to writing for television and film, McLaughlin and Kraus travel around the country speaking to young women about feminism and gender issues in American corporate culture.

Book Spotlight: Paris RunAway by Paulita Kincer {Guest Post + Giveaway}

Paris Runaway coverPaulita Kincer

on Tour

July 18-27

with

Paris RunAway

(women’s fiction)

Release date: June 30, 2016
at Lulu.com

ISBN: 978-1-365-18923-4
220 pages

Author’s page
Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

When divorced mom Sadie Ford realizes her 17-year-old daughter Scarlett has run away to Paris all she can imagine are terrorist bombings and sex slaves. After learning her daughter chased a French exchange student home, Sadie hops on the next plane in pursuit. She joins forces with the boy’s father, Auguste, and the two attempt to find the missing teens before they can stumble into more trouble. The chase takes Sadie and Auguste to the seedier side of Marseille, where their own connection is ignited. Since the divorce, Sadie has devoted herself to raising kids and putting her dreams on hold, but when her daughter needs her most, Sadie finds that concrete barrier to life beginning to crack. In her journey, she learns the difference between watching the hours pass and living.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paulita Kincer

Paulita Kincer
has an M.A. in journalism from American University.
She has traveled to France 11 times,
and still finds more to lure her back.
She currently teaches college English
and lives in Columbus, Ohio,
with her three children, two cats and one husband.
Visit her website www.paulitakincer.com and her blog at http://www.paulita-ponderings.blogspot.com
or follow her on Twitter @paulitakincer
Like her Facebook page at Paulita Kincer Writer.
Email paulita@paulitakincer.com

Buy the book (print, ebook audiobook): Amazon

 

Click “Read More” for GIVEAWAY and GUESTPOST

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Book Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank

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Title: One Paris Summer
Author: Denise Grover Swank
ISBN: 978-0-310-75516-6
Publisher: Blink YA Books
Published Date: 06/07/2016

Synopsis:

Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren’t betrayal enough, he’s about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn’t support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

About the Author:

Denise Grover Swank
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

My Review: 

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Book Review: Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

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Title: Don’t you Cry
Author: Mary Kubica
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1905-4
Publisher: MIRA Books

Synopsis:

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew. Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected. As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

About the Author:
Mary-Kubica-9-websitesmall
Mary Kubica
is the New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL and PRETTY BABY. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter.

My Review:
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Book Spotlight: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

July-me

Synopsis:

How far will you go to achieve a dream? That’s the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits–until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk.

As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers–about her daughter’s fears, her own marriage, and herself–forces Katie to consider whether there’s any price she isn’t willing to pay to achieve Devon’s dream.

From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl” (Janet Maslin), You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of parental sacrifice, furtive desire, and the staggering force of ambition.

About the Author:

megMegan Abbott is the Edgar award-winning author of seven novels, including DARE ME, THE END OF EVERYTHING and her latest, THE FEVER, which won both the International Thriller Writers and Strand Critics Award for Best Novel and was chosen one of the Best Books of the Year by Amazon, National Public Radio, the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times. Her stories have appeared in anthologies including Detroit Noir, Queens Noir and the Best American Mystery Stories of 2014.

She is also the author of The Street Was Mine, a study of hardboiled fiction and film noir. Her next novel, You Will Know Me, comes out in July 2016. She has been nominated for awards including the Steel Dagger, the LA Times Book Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Currently, she is working on developing DARE ME and THE FEVER for television. Megan is a staff writer on HBO’s forthcoming David Simon show, The Deuce.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English Literature and went on to receive her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She lives in Queens, New York City.

Book Spotlight: The Sweetheart Deal by Polly Dugan

June-Sweetheart

Synopsis:

A young widow and her husband’s bachelor best friend fall in love, but even if it’s what the husband wanted, is it real?

Firefighter Leo McGeary has always joked that, in the event of his death, he wants Garrett, his lifelong best friend and a consummate bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken New Year’s Eve, he goes so far as to make Garrett sign a piece of paper promising to do so. Twelve years later, Garrett receives a phone call from Audrey in the middle of the night: Leo has died in a freak skiing accident. Within hours, Garrett quits his tenure-track job at Boston College, ends his latest casual relationship, and purchases a one-way ticket to Oregon to be with Leo’s family.

As Audrey learns to navigate life as a widow and as a single parent to her and Leo’s three sons, her feelings for Garrett become more than platonic. Garrett finds himself falling for Audrey and her boys, too, as they form a new kind of family together in Portland. But when Audrey learns of the drunken pact Garrett and Leo made all those years ago, the promise that brought Garrett out west and into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it.

Gorgeously crafted and pitch-perfect in its details, The Sweetheart Deal is the heartrending story of how people move on in the wake of devastating loss—and of what happens when the chance for love unexpectedly appears again.

About the Author:

PollyDugan-author-photoPolly Dugan is the award-winning author of the linked story collection So Much a Part of You, which writer Alan Heathcock said “announces the arrival of a potent and fresh new voice” in fiction. Her debut novel, The Sweetheart Deal, was a Portland Monthly Essential Book pick and one of Library Journal’s “Hot Summer Book Club Reads.” Author Elin Hildebrand raved it was “The most romantic story I’ve read in years,” and Coastal Living called it a “charming, poignant novel of dealing with grief and finding love again.” A former employee of Guide Dogs for the Blind and Powell’s Books, Polly is an alumna of the Tin House Writer’s Workshop and a reader at Tin House magazine. Her short fiction has been featured as a Narrative Story of the Week and awarded an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers contest. She lives in Portland with her husband and two sons, an enormous black Labrador retriever and a yard sale cat.