Book Spotlight: The Choices We Make

The Choices We Make: A Novel


New From: $5.99 USD In Stock

Synopsis from Amazon:

Following her bestselling debut novel Come Away with Me, Karma Brown returns with an unforgettable story that explores the intricate dynamics of friendship and parenthood

Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate’s skirt with a mirror. While they’ve been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can’t help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls.

She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah’s heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it’s Kate’s turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah’s surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so.

Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of an incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true.

image About the author:

KARMA BROWN is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author of Come Away With Me, who spends a lot of time writing in coffee shops. When not mulling plot lines, she can be found running with her husband, coloring (outside the lines) with her daughter, and perfecting her banana bread recipe. Karma lives just outside Toronto with her family. The Choices We Make is her second novel.

Thank you to Book Sparks for allowing us to share this book with our readers.

The Munich Girl Review

I know there is an abundance of WWII books in the marketplace right now, but I promise you this is a book unlike any other.  It is so well researched that it is hard to believe it is fiction.

The Munich Girl tells the story of Anna Dahlberg, a university professor who after remembering a young girl’s portrait from her childhood, sets out to discover its origin.  Little does she know this journey will turn the life as she knows it upside down.  As she does her research, she unravels a background of her mother that has been hidden her whole life.  And the encounters with historical figures are eye opening as well.

I truly enjoyed reading about Eva Braun, a woman in history I knew nothing about.  And from what Phyllis has written in this book, a woman rarely written about.  As Hitler’s mistress (and very short time as his wife), she puts a happier and innocent face on such a trying era of our past.

The duplicate storylines between the past and present keep this story flowing and would be recommended for fans of Orphan Train, The Mapmaker’s Children, and What She Left Behind.  And for those who read and enjoyed The Nightingale, I think you’ll also love this women-focused account of the past.

As of this posting date, the Kindle edition of The Munich Girl is only $2.99.  An incredible price for this one of a kind historical fiction novel.

image About the author:

As she writes fiction and nonfiction, Phyllis Edgerly Ring watches for the noblest possibilities in the human heart. She’s always curious to discover how history, culture, relationships, spirituality, and the natural world influence us and point the way for the human family on our shared journey.

Her newest novel, The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies That Outlast War, traces a pathway of love and secrets in WWII Germany when protagonist Anna Dahlberg discovers that her mother shared a secret friendship with Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun. Her journey to discover the truth about this, and her own life, will challenge most every belief she has about right and wrong.

The author has worked as writer, editor, nurse, tour guide, program director at a Baha’i conference center, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as instructor for the Long Ridge Writer’s Group. She has written for such publications as Christian Science Monitor, Ms., Writer’s Digest, and Yankee, and also published several nonfiction books about creating balance between the spiritual and material aspects of life. More information can be found at her blog, Leaf of the Tree.

Thanks to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Spotlight: You Will Know Me

You Will Know Me: A Novel


New From: $7.56 USD In Stock

Synopsis from Amazon:

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.

image About the Author:

MEGAN 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.

Thank you to BookSparks for allowing us to share this book wih our readers.

Book Spotlight: So Close

So Close


New From: $9.85 USD In Stock

Synopsis from Amazon:

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 of whom 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 with political aspirations who grew up just a few towns over from Amanda. 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?

Amanda rides Davis’s political success all the way to Washington, where he becomes Senator and will later be tapped for president and even make a bid for the White House. But when Amanda starts to suspect, and later confirms, his moral indiscretions, her loyalty is tested. Will a girl from a trailer park even be believed if she goes public with damning information? Will she be willing to risk losing everything she’s gained?

image About the authors:

Newsweek declared McLaughlin and Kraus’s The Nanny Diaries a ‘phenomenon.’ It is a #1 New York Times best-seller and the longest-running hardcover best seller of 2002. In 2007 it was released as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney and Alicia Keys. They are also the authors of three other New York Times bestsellers, Citizen Girl, Dedication and Nanny Returns. And the soon to be released Between You & Me, and Over You.

They have appeared numerous times on CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight and The View. Their work and partnership have been covered in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, TIME, Elle, Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar.

They have contributed to The London Times and The New York Times as well as two short story collections to benefit The War Child Fund: Big Night Out and Girls’ Night Out. In addition to writing for television and film, they travel around the country speaking to young women about gender issues in American corporate culture.

Thank you to BookSparks for allowing us to share this book with our readers.

Untethered Review

Untethered


New From: $1.99 USD In Stock

I have to say, after reading a lot of new domestic dramas, it was nice to see one presented in a new way, one dealing with a step-parent trying to find her footing in her family after the sudden death of her husband.

Untethered tells the story of Char, a professor whose husband, Bradley, suddenly dies, leaving her a widow and his daughter, Allie, a high school student, alone in their Michigan home.  Allie’s biological mother Lindy is a wedding planner in California and can’t make the time to be there for her daughter.  However, she sure likes to make her opinion known and to tell Char how Allie is her child, not Char’s.

After Bradley’s death, Char begins to question herself as a mother, since she’s only mothered Allie with her husband at her side.  Allie is struggling to remain stable amongst a group of friends but she does have one constant in her life, her relationship with Morgan, a young girl who she tutors.

The drama of this book really starts to pick up in the second half.  With Morgan and her family dealing with a crisis of their own, you’ll be turning the pages eagerly, hoping it all comes to a solid and safe resolution.

If you are really looking for Julie Lawson Timmer at her best, I strongly urge you to read her first novel, Five Days Left.  Either of these choices would be good picks for a book club, as they both pose lots of discussion-worthy subject matter.  The characters’ motivation and decisions will be highly debated amongst members.

Thank you to BookSparks and their #BestSummerEver campaign for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: The Runaway Wife

The Runaway Wife: A Novel


New From: $5.72 USD In Stock

From the back cover:

Three beautiful French sisters entrust an American hiker with the mission of rescuing their mother high in the Alps.

But what if she doesn’t want to be found?

Recently fired from his high-powered finance job and dumped by his fiancée, Jim Olsen has come to the Swiss Alps to clear his head. At the charming Cabane des Audannes, he meets Clio, Thalia, and Helene Castellane, who are on a quest of their own: their mother, Calliope, has fled to these mountains to escape her philandering politician husband’s most recent scandal. As snow threatens to descend upon the Alps, the women have come to bring their mother home.

But the sisters are at the point of surrender; it is time for them to return to Paris. Buoyed by wine and inspired by their beauty, Jim impetuously volunteers to assume their search, but soon realizes that he is in over his head. The Alps are filled with beauty and danger, not the least of which is Calliope’s desire to stay hidden. And all the while Jim finds himself haunted by the memory of her daughters and conflicted in his desire for them.

The Runaway Wife is a story of adventure, survival, and romance – and of a man’s discovery of a world outside his conventional life and a new vision of himself within it.

What reviewers are saying: 

“Birkelund writes sensuous, myth-ridden prose, intensely alive to the natural world. She spins a tale here that feels both ancient and very new, and sets it in a landscape at once so dangerous and so beautiful that the story and the mountains seem to be part of each other.” (Beth Gutcheon, author of Gossip and Still Missing)

“Elizabeth Birkelund is a graceful, intelligent writer, full of energy and wit, and I love the way she blends American and European themes.” (Roxana Robinson, author of Sparta)

“In Birkelund’s gorgeous prose, the mountains take on an astonishing glory and ferocity, a fitting background for Jim Olsen’s poignant and compelling journey from sorrow to self-discovery.” (Lauren Belfer, author of A Fierce Radiance)

“Racing from the breathtaking heights of the Swiss Alps to the heady power circles of Paris and New York, The Runaway Wife scales the peaks of human adventure and plumbs the depths of the human heart.” (Ellen Feldman, author of Terrible Virtue and Next to Love)

Thank you to Harper Collins for providing an ARC to one lucky reader!  Just click on the Rafflecopter link below.

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All Is Not Forgotten Review

All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel


New From: $8.84 USD In Stock

Wendy Walker sure knows how to hook a reader.  I don’t remember any chapter from this book that did not leave me hanging, ready to find out what happens next.

All Is Not Forgotten is a new psychological thriller dealing with the subject of rape.  Please be aware of this when deciding whether to read this novel because I know it may bother some.  The main character, Jenny, is a student who is brutally attacked at a high school party.  Her parents decide to try a new drug that erase her memories of what happened.  Trouble starts in that she is experiencing stress, fear, and panic but has no idea of how to connect those feelings to a memory.

Enter Alan, Jenny’s therapist, who tries to work with the family in helping her recover and find her attacker.  What I truly enjoyed about this novel is Alan narrates the entire thing, even before we initially meet him as a character.  I found that to be unique because this traumatic tale is told from an outsider’s look in, so we get a bigger picture.

If you liked Defending Jacob, this novel should definitely go on your summer reading list because they share a few similarities.  Throw in some family dysfunction and plot lines encouraging you to quickly turn pages and you have the makings of a perfect summer read.

Thank you to BookSparks for a copy as part of their #SRC2016 #bestsummerever campaign in exchange for an honest review.