Friday, May 14, 2021

The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Get swept into a summer of sunshine, soul-searching and shameless matchmaking with this delightfully bighearted road-trip adventure by USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan!

Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.

Liza is drowning in the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She's not the world's best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it's never too late to start over…

my thoughts:

What a fun and sweet story! The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan is perfect for a summer read. It's chock full of adventure, sassy characters, and the enduring life lesson that it's never too late to start over. Talk about an engaging and delightful read. I just LOVED The Summer Seekers to bits!

Kathleen's eighty and after having a run-in with an intruder at her home, her daughter, Liza, is pushing for her to move into a residential home. But, Kathleen is not having it. She loves her cottage and her independence. And, she's ready for an adventure. Liza is worried. She worries about everyone and everything, so she's not keen on her mother taking off on a road trip with a complete stranger. Yep, Kathleen has always wanted to road trip across America and she's hired Martha to be her driver. Martha's twenty-five, living at home with her parents after her recent divorce, and looking forward to this trip to get away from it all. So, off to America they go.  As for Liza, she decides to stay at her mom's cottage in Cornwall to take a break from her own life and rediscover herself. In the end, all three women have adventures, revelations, and life-changing moments. And, it's such a treat to journey with them all. 

The Summer Seekers is a terrific story that I would happily recommend to fans of Morgan and to anyone looking for the perfect summer read - you will LOVE this book to bits!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Local Woman Missing: A Novel by Mary Kubica

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

People don't just disappear without a trace…
Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.
Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find…
In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a book! Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica was fantastic!

Shelby lives in a small town that is considered safe - nothing ever happens. She goes for a run one evening and never returns. The police start to think her husband knows more than he's letting on - maybe Shelby isn't really missing? But then, a mother-daughter go missing - Meredith and her six-year-old Delilah. What is going on? Three missing people in such a short time? Something isn't right. Eventually the case goes cold.  Fast forward several years and Delilah returns. She was locked in a basement and was finally able to break free. Except, Leo, Delilah's brother, isn't sure this girl is his sister. If she's not Delilah, who is she? And what happened to Delilah? Talk about gripping, suspenseful, and chock full of mystery! I just loved Local Woman Missing!

Kubica has written a terrific story that will captivate her readers. This is one book you won't want to miss out on. 

I would happily recommend Local Woman Missing to fans of Kubica and to anyone looking for their next great read - check it out!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

The Perfect Couple by Jackie Kabler

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a  copy of this book!)

about book:

The perfect couple … or the perfect lie?

A devoted wife…
A year ago, Gemma met the love of her life, Danny. Since then, their relationship has been perfect. But one evening, Danny doesn’t return home.

A missing husband…
Gemma turns to the police. She is horrified by what she discovers – a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol. When she sees photos of the victims she is even more stunned…they all look just like Danny.

Who would you believe?

But the police are suspicious. Why has no one apart from Gemma heard from Danny in weeks? Why is there barely a trace of him in their flat? Is she telling them the truth, or is this marriage hiding some very dark secrets?

my thoughts:

What a fun and thrilling story! The Perfect Couple by Jackie Kabler is the perfect summer read. You get drama, mystery, and thrills - what more could you want? 

Gemma and Danny have just moved to Bristol. They are eager to start fresh in a new city. Gemma has just returned from a work trip to find Danny not at home. She's surprised since he promised to have dinner waiting for her.  Instead she finds an empty home and no way to get ahold of her husband. He's just started a new job, but hasn't received his work cell phone; so instead of calling one another, they have been emailing each other. Gemma figures he's working late, so she goes to bed. Except, Danny doesn't come home - ever. She finally decides to talk to the cops and file a missing person report. She's frantic with worry. What happened to her husband? Over at the police station, they are dealing with a murder investigation. When they hear about Danny, they are shocked to see that he looks just like their two victims - they could be triplets. Is it a crazy coincidence, or is there something more to Danny's missing person's case? Hmm...and just how innocent is Gemma in all of this? The cops are soon pointing fingers, and Gemma is forced to figure out what really happened to Danny.  Will she find out the truth in time? Is Danny still alive? Are the cops too eager to place blame to really investigate what happened? So many questions and so many mysteries to solve in this exciting new book by Kabler. 

I would happily recommend The Perfect Couple to fans of Kabler and to anyone looking for their next great mystery-thriller - you will LOVE this book!

Here's the schedule for the TLC Book Tour for this book: The Perfect Couple

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Lemons in the Garden of Love: A Novel by Ames Sheldon

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Award-winning author weaves tales of 1st and 2nd wave feminism into a compelling, essential read

“[A] relatable and emotional saga” – BookLife, by Publishers’ Weekly

Minneapolis, Minnesota–After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s passing in September, social media instantly flooded with posts mourning and honoring Ginsberg’s life and legacy. Yet the newly vacant Supreme Court seat also caused concern, with many women wondering if, how, and when their access to birth control would be impacted. At a time when reproductive rights are still being contested across the country, novels like “Lemons in the Garden of Love” (She Writes Press, May 11, 2021) should be required reading. 

In “Lemons in the Garden,” it’s 1977 and Cassie Lyman, a graduate student in women’s history, is struggling to find a topic for her doctoral dissertation. When she discovers a trove of drawings, suffrage cartoons, letters, and diaries at Smith College belonging to Kate Easton, founder of the Birth Control League of Massachusetts in 1916, she believes she has located her subject.

Digging deeper into Kate’s life, Cassie learns that she and Kate are related―closely. Driven to understand why her family has never spoken of Kate, Cassie travels to Cape Ann to attend her sister’s shotgun wedding, where she questions her relatives about Kate―only to find herself soon afterward in the same challenging situation Kate faced.

A moving portrait of two women, whose stories shed light on the life-changing power of the ability to determine one’s reproductive future.

my thoughts:

Wow. What a story! I absolutely LOVED Ames Sheldon's novel, Lemons in the Garden of Love. It was fantastic!

Cassie is a grad student in 1977, working on her dissertation for her PhD.  Or, I should say, struggling to work on her dissertation, since she can't seem to come up with the right topic. Luckily, she discovers diaries, letters, and a connection to Kate Easton - the founder of the Birth Control League in Massachusetts in 1916.  Could Easton be what her dissertation was missing? Determined to find out more about her great aunt (yep, Easton is Cassie's relative), Cassie decides to ask her family all about her.  She gets the chance when she heads home to attend her sister's wedding. Of course, the more she digs, the more she begins to realize just how similar she and her great-aunt are. 

Sheldon has created a great cast of fascinating characters who are relatable, inspiring, and unlikeable - basically, they run the gamut. You can't help but want to learn more about them. As for the story itself, let me just say it was unputdownable. I enjoyed getting to know Kate through Cassie's eyes, and her own diaries and letters. I just loved reading about the suffragettes and the birth control movement - talk about important issues that we need to read/learn more about. Lemons in the Garden Love captured family drama, relationship drama, and historical movements with such ease and vividness  - I just LOVED reading all about it. 

I would happily recommend Lemons in the Garden of Love to fans of Sheldon and to anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, May 10, 2021

A Theater for Dreamers: A Novel by Polly Samson

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

In April of 1960, a young Leonard Cohen arrived on the beautiful Greek island of Hydra, dreaming of completing his first novel under the warmth of the island sun. Just twenty-five years old, the charismatic poet was welcomed into the community of artists and writers who also made their home on the island, including the Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, the Norwegian painter Axel Jensen, and Axel’s gentle, doting wife Marianne, who would soon become Leonard’s muse, inspiring his classic songs “So Long Marianne” and “Bird on the Wire.” Now, based on this bohemian community and their legendary exploits, Polly Samson’s A THEATER FOR DREAMERS (Publication Date: May 11, 2021; Hardcover; $26.95) transports American readers to the idyllic, sun-soaked island of Hydra in the same way that Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins took readers to the coast of Italy. Hailed as “an impressionistic, intoxicating rush of sensory experience” by The Sunday Times and as “a blissful piece of escapism… [and] a surefire summer hit” by The Guardian, A THEATER FOR DREAMERS debuted as an instant UK bestseller upon publication last May, and was named a best novel of the year by The Times and The Sunday Times, The Spectator, The Daily Mail and many more. 


When eighteen-year-old Erica arrives on Hydra, the world teeters on the edge of cultural, political, sexual, and artistic revolution. Fresh off the boat from London, with nothing but a bundle of blank notebooks and a burning desire to leave home in the wake of her mother’s death, she is embraced by the troubled queen and king of bohemia, Charmian and George, and by the proto-commune of poets, painters, and musicians that revel in dreams at the feet of their unofficial leaders. Among these artists, she will find an unraveling utopia where everything is tested—the nature of art, relationships, and her own innocence.

Both a writer of fiction and a lyricist, Polly Samson has also worked as a journalist and in publishing, and her words have appeared on four number one albums, including Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell and her husband David Gilmour’s On an Island. She was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018, and her 2015 novel, The Kindness, was named a Book of the Year by The Times and The Observer. “It was Charmian Clift’s 1959 memoir Peel Me a Lotus that set me on the path to the Greek island of Hydra, and to a fascination with Charmian,” she explains. “My (extensive) research uncovered a cache of over 1500 photographs of the community she and her husband fostered on the island, which included the young Leonard Cohen, Gregory Corso, Axel Jensen, Goran Tunstrom, and Gordon Merrick.  I became fascinated by identifying all the people in the photographs, and began immersing myself in this bohemian circle, dreaming my own novel set among them into being.”

Roiling with the heat of a Grecian summer and based on true events, A THEATER FOR DREAMERS is a spellbinding tour-de-force about the beauty between naïveté and cruelty, chaos and utopia, artist and muse—and about the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius.

my thoughts:

What an interesting story. I absolutely enjoyed spending the weekend with A Theater for Dreamers by Polly Samson. Her writing was lyrical, her characters were fascinating (Leonard Cohen), and her story was just captivating. Plus, it's set in Greece - Hydra island to be exact. So, just imagine soaking up the sun surrounded by the gorgeous blue sea and befriending a group of artists and writers - talk about bliss! Or is it? Yep, that's pretty much the plot to this story. We have eighteen-year-old Erica traveling to Hydra after her mother has passed away. She's feeling all alone, just gotten an inheritance, and received a book from her mother's friend, Charmian Clift. So, her only options are to stay in England with her horrible father, brother, and boyfriend; or to escape from it all. She's soon caught up in this bohemian lifestyle in this beautiful city that is chock full of excitement, drama, and even more drama than she could ever have imagined. Talk about growing up fast!

Samson has written a terrific story that will grab you from the start. It will pull you in with its delicious descriptions and flawed characters. This is a story that will definitely have you adding Greece to your travel bucket list, and jotting down names of artists and musicians to look up later. A Theater for Dreamers is a treat of a book that you will savor long after you turn the final page. 

I'd definitely recommend Polly Samson's latest novel, A Theater for Dreamers to fans of her works and to anyone looking for a great summer read - you will LOVE this book!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!