Book Tips: Great New Releases

There are always great books out there to read, but the last couple of weeks have brought me several new releases that I have really enjoyed and want to share with you. All are romances, as I tend to read a lot of those 🙂



Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis Hello, Jacob Kincaid!  This latest in Jill’s Cedar Ridge series is one I’ve been anticipating and I’ve been so excited to share it since I read the ARC. We’ve seen Jacob mentioned briefly in the first two books as the missing Kincaid brother and my curiosity was aaalll a twitter! Jill did not disappoint, Jacob and Sophie’s story is a good one. You can read these books as stand alones, easily, but I enjoy them in order–the bits n pieces come together in a satisfying way.



I was lucky enough to read an ARC of Selena Laurence’s upcoming release, The Kingmaker–a super sexy page-turner full of pretty people, scandal, sex and, best of all, true love.thekingmaker  Derek and London learn that no matter how mighty the power, no matter how deep the lies, love will always, always find a way. Happily ever after does exist, even for The Kingmaker and The High Class Call Girl. While you have to wait until April 26th for The Kingmaker, you can get the novella about his younger brother right now. 

Marcus’ story is also a super sexy good read and a great way to whet your appetite for Derek’s story. Prince of the Press is FREE on Amazon right now–check it out 🙂 




Brand New Today is Kait Nolan’s latest romance, Just For This Moment. While this one can be read stand alone, it is the fourth book in the Wishful Romance series. You can try Kait’s stories out for FREE by reading the first book, To Get Me to You. I just started To Get Me to You this morning–so far, so good!




As always, I enjoying talking about books–or just about anything!–over on Facebook, or here in the comments or even email!  C’mon by and chat sometime, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

**Oh, also–I’m always snapping pictures and sharing them on Instagram if you’re inclined to pop over and see 🙂 **




Once Upon a Tuesday Morn…

Here’s a few great reads I thought y’all might enjoy–two of them are brand-new releases, one today and one tomorrow 🙂


*For fans of clean romance and those who like romantic suspense, Shirlee McCoy’s Protection Detail is a wonderful read–I bet you’ll fall in love with Gavin and Cassie from the very beginning, just like I did.




*I’m celebrating Bella Andre’s Sullivan Series as we finally get Adam’s story tomorrow–I’m so excited!  I *love* the Sullivans and can’t wait to read this latest one. If you’ve not read this series, or not read them all, you’re in for a treat every time!




Today’s much-anticipated release is Jill Shalvis’ Still the One, AJ and Darcy’s story. This one is the latest in Jill’s Animal Magnetism series–mercy, I can hardly keep up with all the great series I want to read!



As always, pop on over to Facebook to join in the conversation–I’d love to hear what you’re reading and/or what you think about these books 🙂 



Read a Romance Month: Everlasting


In honor of this last week of Read a Romance month, I took some time to browse through some of the author posts over on the Read a Romance website. I enjoyed them so much, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you.

That’s what romance (at any age!) provides, the joy of a hand to hold on the journey, a person with whom to share the tears and laughter that accompany any life…’ —says Christie Ridgway–one of the authors I mentioned earlier this month. 


Kristan Higgins’ post was about heroes and what makes us love them. Her list is a good one, including such traits as kindness and appreciation. So much more to a hero than broad shoulders and long eyelashes! (Although we can certainly appreciate those!)

In a post from 2013, Susan Elizabeth Phillips talks about how the romance genre is life affirming–as couples meet, fall in love and life goes forward.There’s comfort in the circle of life, so to speak. She says readers “ simply want a good story, characters they care about, and emotions they can identify with – exactly what the good romance delivers. “

Jeannie Moon writes about how true romance comes in every day life, from having someone who ‘gets you’. I couldn’t agree with her more.

Such a far-reaching, endless possibilities genre, is romance. Are you a romance reader? Did you find anything new to read this month, whatever the genre may be? 


****I truly enjoy hearing from you. Please do leave a comment or pop over to Facebook and chime in on the conversation–there’s always conversation!****




Books About Artists

Recently I wrote about seeing and speaking art in everyday and promised to follow up with some great art book ideas for kids. There are so many! I choose just a wee sampling for this post, so remember to go forth and browse what’s out there.

The first art book resource I’d like to share with you is a set that my own children and I loved so much that we still tell other families about them:


Mike Venezia’s Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists series – in his set of 48 biographies, each one covering a different artist, Mike Venezia brings the facts to children in an engaging way while also sprinkling charming and funny cartoons throughout the book. This book series is so well done and so phenomenal, it opens the world of famous artists and their works to both children and those who are reading along with the children.


These next books are recommendations I’ve gathered from various friends and online sources—some I’ve read, others I have not, but I believe all to be great resources that are both engaging and informational. There’s nothing quite like a great book that brings you good information in an interesting and memorable way.

Katie Meets the Impressionists– upon a visit to the museum with her grandmother, Katie is transported into various paintings that come alive for her. She meets family members of the artists and tours studios as well as finds herself onstage amid a ballet. This book is one of several featuring Katie and her adventures, check out the other titles for more artists and art styles.


Van Gogh and the Sunflowers – told from the point of view of a young boy who meets a strange artist, this story is based on a true account of the artist’s interactions with Camille and his family. While the story can be a sad one, recounting how Van Gogh was considered odd and not well accepted, it is thus a classic portrayal of the differences in people and how acceptance is key.

Mini Masters is a board book set about famous artists for the littlest of readers with bright pictures and catchy short story bits. I love board books for little ones–and about art, too!

Have you and your children found great books about artists and art? I’d love to hear what books you’ve enjoyed–about art or about anything else, as well. I’m in love with books!


**Bonus feature: ‘The Great Big List’  for over 100 suggestions of things to do!**


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Books for Teens: It’s Teen Read Week!

It occurred to me that Teen Read Week (October 13-19) would be a great time to talk about book ideas for teens. There are so many fantastic ones out there!


By definition, Teen Read Week is when libraries around the country promote teen reading with enticing activities and fun ideas. In addition to being fun for libraries, many of the ideas are great for parties, gatherings and even just plain fun at home with friends and family–including book themed cupcakes and costumes.

Often teenagers are either reading their own book choices or only reading what they must for school related subjects, but I think it is always a great idea to share links about books and sometimes even check books out of the library to leave lying about the house. I say it time and time again–the bathroom is a great place to leave a book waiting to be discovered!

Without further ado, here’s a list of great teen book ideas I gleaned from talking with several teenagers: (this list is not a review of the books nor will I copy spoilers)

*John Green’s Paper Towns – from the author’s webpage: Paper papertownsTowns debuted at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list and won the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Mystery. I should mention that the same author’s The Fault in Our Stars is wildly popular right now.


*The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate– my daughter really enjoyed this series from the very beginning and begged me to read it. I read the first one, Fallen, and immediately saw why she liked it. Goodreads says “Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story”

*Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury– this spooky story about a terrifying carnival and two 14-year-old boys is a timeless classic, especially for the Halloween time of year.

* Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones


Originally a falling star, Calcifer is a fire demon under a magical contract with the wizard, Howl.

‘It’s quite a risk to spank a wizard for getting hysterical about his hair’ – Howl’s Moving Castle

* Into the Beautiful North by Luis Urrea– from the author’s site: filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, this is the story of an irresistible young woman’s quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.

*13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson – my attention is piqued–I put this book on my own reading list: Would you follow the directions? Would you travel around the world? Would you open the envelopes one by one?

*The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– quite possibly one of the best books I’ve read, this book about The Holocaust is poised to become a timeless read, shared over and over again. I typically don’t read a lot of YA novels, preferring to ask those who do read them for opinions, but I did read this one at the urging of my son. I’m very glad I did.

” First the colors. Then the humans. That’s how I see things. Or, at least, how I try. –Death (from The Book Thief)

 *And last–but never, ever least The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- so many now-young-adults grew up reading about Harry, so many literary lives affected–even shaped–by the stories of the young wizard’s battle for good against evil.

The actor who played Severus Snape in the movies

The actor who played Severus Snape in the movies








Clearly this is just a tiny list in the whole realm of masterful books that might be enjoyed by teens, but hopefully there’s something here that will spark an interest and open a door to astounding adventures.



**Bonus feature: ‘The Great Big List’ – over 100 suggestions of things to do!**


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Summertime Reading

Let’s talk about books, shall we? It’s been awhile and I know summertime reading is often some of the best reading around–regardless of the type of books one chooses. There’s just something about the very phrase ‘summertime reading’. *sigh* Here are my thoughts on a few of my most recent hammock companions.

The best compliment I can ever give a book is when I want to buy a copy to look at again from time to time. That is the mark of a wonderful work of art, to me.

This story was enlightening and refreshing to read in that twas about women taking on things they want to do in life but have not due to fear or apathy but it didn’t involve breaking up marriages to accomplish these things. It’s exhausting and depressing how many books about women making big changes or taking exciting risks in their lives involve the breaking up of marriages. Not so with this wonderful cast of characters.

Each character addresses ‘an elephant in the room’ in their lives with determination and bravery, enriching their lives despite initial fear and misgivings. Lyrical, beautiful and authentic page-turner, this one.

As usual, I cannot recall where I heard about the novel The World Without You by Joshua Henkin, but I’m sure it was somewhere out here among the legions of fellow avid readers that touch my world. Consider yourself acknowledged. *nods*

This was the story of a family’s grief a year after the loss of the one they individually considered the center of the family. He was each person’s private favorite. The book is about how each person learns to accept one another’s choices, not only in grieving but also in living their own lives–how they can find togetherness as a family amid their separateness as individuals. They learn that a person typically doesn’t have to fight for their independence amid a family, that it is okay to think, act and be your own person while still being very much intertwined with the rest of the family members.

Nothing earth-shattering or amazing in this novel, twas a good read about a family’s journey to a new groove with each other.

When I checked The World Without You out of the library, I also picked up the other novel by Joshua Henkin that was there on the shelf. Sometimes I get all adventurous like that!
About halfway or so through Swimming Across the Hudson, I decided this book was too…unsettled or something, I couldn’t put a word to just how it was making me feel. I felt that Ben was an anxious, unsettled person and I wasn’t looking for such a book today.

This n that about the story kept knocking about in my head even after I’d decided I was done with it. Then it hit me: that was IT! I was feeling so uncomfortable and unsettled because Ben was feeling this way. The author was supremely successful in getting me, the reader, into this story!  He made me acutely feel exactly what his main character was feeling…well, then I HAD to know more. Good book, I really enjoyed it.

So tell me, what have you been reading lately? 

Masterful : 11/23/66 by Stephen King

I was not five pages into this book when I was soundly reminded of why Stephen King is a master–the man can spin a tale, y’all. The pages were already turning themselves, I couldn’t read fast enough.

I’ve read many of King’s horror stories in the past but not so much in recent years. This is not a horror story, per se. A story that is riveting and astonishing, I tell ya that.

If you’ve read any of my past posts on books, you know that instead of reviewing a book, I merely talk on about favorite quotes, characters and the author more so than I do about the book’s story in detail. This is mainly because books are a very personal choice.

Some books I love, you might scratch your head and go ‘What on earth are you seeing in this?!?’ Those that I toss aside, you might say ‘How could you miss the point?!? Also, I don’t like to risk giving details that will make someone not read the book for themselves, feeling it ‘spoiled’.

So rather than assume or spoil, I prefer to simply share my joy or the lack thereof about a book. I do love sharing favorite passages, very rarely do I read a book where I don’t come away with at least one or two interesting passages.

“There were no violins or warning bells when I pulled the janitor’s theme off the top of the stack and set it before me, no sense that my life was about to change. But we never know, do we? Life turns on a dime.” – Jake Epping

Doesn’t that just make you want to read that janitor’s theme right this minute?!?

That snippet quite eloquently sums up the entire book. The phrase ‘life turns on a dime’ shows up multiple times in the story and fits life so well–as good and true words should. I liked Jake’s voice, I’m convinced I would like Jake in person.

“With all due respect to Mr. Marchant (English Lit teacher), you tell him Jake Epping says that sometimes a cigar is just a smoke and a story’s just a story.”

Ain’t that the truth?!? I’m reminded of a picture I saw somewhere in recent months:

*nods* You got that right.

Even if you’ve never been a fan of Stephen King’s work, I encourage you to give this book a look-see. Spectacular writing, not horror…more like…breath-catching and curious.

Being interested in the author as well as the book, I was pleased recently to see this new interview with Stephen King by Neil Gaiman and thought it was a timely thing to toss in here.

I hope you’ve been reading something so very good that the pages turn themselves–do share with us, won’t you?

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-merTIME!


I’m guest posting over at the awesome Blue Inkwell blog  again today–c’mon by, would ya?


I’ve read some great books lately, most recently Luanne Rice’s The Silver Boat. Such a good story, not fast paced, not earth shattering…just a really good story. John Sandford’s Buried Prey was a good Sandford novel, especially if you’re a Lucas Davenport fan.


Sunshine and fresh air….nothin’ like it. This wee, quick mobile snapshot is an example of my view several times a day as I kick back in my hammock to read, talk to teenagers who wander by, just breathe and enjoy life. I love watching my hummingbird pair at the feeder…they need names, those two…hmm…

Winter Day Joys

(I chose to process this wee collage in this gold sepia tone because it made me think of late day sunshine and yellowing book pages–two of my favorite things.)

That Husband o’ mine, our two teenagers and I whiled away time in a favorite bookstore today. We never, ever tire of browsing any bookstore. Each of us wandered about, showing one another our finds when we’d meet in the aisles. I chose a stack of magazines to browse and settled at a table with that Husband o’ mine and his newspapers. I love that I can browse magazines, buy a couple and browse many more. A nice way to spend a winter afternoon…