The List of Things that Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead


I absolutely loved this story about young Bea and her changing family situation. Bea is in fifth grade and her parents have divorced (which she is still fully adjusting to) and her father is going to remarry. This is a huge shift for her. She will now have two dads, and a new step sister (she always wanted a sister) who lives in CA. That’s a lot of change and Bea, with her anxiety and her eczema, is keeping her list to give her some sense of steadiness. Add in some issues at school and you’ve got a touching and realistic novel.

I adore Rececca Stead’s writing and often recommend it for my students. She treated the topics in this book so sensitively yet honestly that I can imagine that many readers will be touched by Bea’s story, like I was.

Thank you, Net Galley and Wendy Lamb Books, for my copy!

Description

EIGHT STARRED REVIEWS! The reassuring book kids and families need right now.

“An absolute original . . . a story that kids will love.” –R. J. Palacio, bestselling author of Wonder

At a time when everything is changing for Bea and her family, the important things will always stay the same. A soon-to-be classic by the Newbery Award-winning author of When You Reach Me.

After her parents’ divorce, Bea’s life became different in many ways. But she can always look back at the list she keeps in her green notebook to remember the things that will stay the same. The first and most important: Mom and Dad will always love Bea, and each other.

When Dad tells Bea that he and his boyfriend, Jesse, are getting married, Bea is thrilled. Bea loves Jesse, and when he and Dad get married, she’ll finally (finally!) have what she’s always wanted–a sister. Even though she’s never met Jesse’s daughter, Sonia, Bea is sure that they’ll be “just like sisters anywhere.”

As the wedding day approaches, Bea will learn that making a new family brings questions, surprises, and joy, and readers will discover why the New York Times called Rebecca Stead a “writer of great feeling.”

Post from the Past: WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD (Outlander #8) by Diana Gabaldon

I love Outlander (books and show), and I see that in 2020 we will be getting the next installment (Book #9: Go Tell The Bees that I Am Gone). One final book, Book 10, will follow and then Jamie and Claire’s saga will be over. However, it’s been SO LONG since I read Book #8 that I thought I would remind myself of it. Then I thought — perhaps my readers would like to remember it, too? So, here for you – direct from several years ago on my blog (2016) – is my review of Outlander Book #8: Written in my Own Heart’s Blood.

If you know me, you know I have an Outlander obsession. I’ve read them all (and watch the show). Of course I had to read the latest tome from Ms. Gabaldon. I did it over time, though, reading several other things at the same time, because sometimes I just needed a break from the trials of living in the 1700’s!

This book starts where the last one left off, and I only wish I could have remembered exactly what had happened at the end of the last book! Next time I am definitely re-reading the end of the previous book. It took me about 100 pages to get settled and remember all the challenges folks were facing. (What I really needed was a chart with characters, which is there, but really not too accessible via kindle; print copy would have been better).

Anyhow, Claire and Jamie were reunited. Lord Grey was having some serious physical issues in the war (and with Jamie). Ian was wanting to marry his Quaker love, Rachel. Brianna was fending off a crazy man who was trying to abduct Jem, while Roger runs off to the past thinking Jem is there (but ends up in the wrong time). Then there was a whole HOST of other folks running around and having problems. I could scarcely keep track of it all!

As always, I love the story of Claire and Jamie. Theirs is a love that truly transcends time. The other many subplots are fun to follow, though I found the time in the forest with the soldiers v-e-r-y s-l-o-w. Things picked up quickly towards the end and one can see another book on the horizon.

Now if you know me, you know I have a “problem” shall we say, with Brianna. I can’t stand her “I’m perfect. I’m intelligent. I’m beautiful. Everyone desires me. I’m Brianna.” personality. I found her much more likable in this installment. Her motherly side has softened me to her. Now, instead, I find Rachel annoying. Her “I am pious. I am perfect. I am incredibly beautiful and brave with a perfect body under these drab Quaker togs. Look at me!” character is a bit much. I don’t want her killed off, but really, let’s make her not quite so perfect. And once I got thinking about this I realized that all the women in these books are pretty much physically perfect while most of the main men have some sort of physical difference or scar or missing limb: Jamie’s scars and missing finger, Jenny’s husband’s limp, Roger’s damaged throat, Fergus’ hook, Colum’s Toulouse-Latrec. Interesting…

Okay – I just googled to make sure it was Colum with the T-L and not Dougal and there’s an Outlander Wiki???

Anyhow, you, too, can slog through the 800+ pages of the latest Outlander. You can see it on Amazon where I got mine.

Harlequin Blog Tour for Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

I’m thrilled to be part of the Harlequin blog tour for the new novel by Kelly Rimmer: Truths I Never Told You.

Here’s the overview:

ABOUT THE BOOK:

After finding disturbing journal pages that suggest her late mother didn’t die in a car accident as her father had always maintained, Beth Walsh begins a search for answers to the question — what really happened to their mother? With the power and relevance of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Jewell, Rimmer pens a provocative novel told by two women a generation apart, the struggles they unwittingly shared, and a family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.

With her father recently moved to a care facility because of worsening signs of dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home to prepare it for sale. Why shouldn’t she be the one, after all? Her three siblings are all busy with their families and successful careers, and Beth is on maternity leave after giving birth to Noah, their miracle baby. It took her and her husband Hunter years to get pregnant, but now that they have Noah, Beth can only feel panic. And leaving Noah with her in-laws while she pokes about in their father’s house gives her a perfect excuse not to have to deal with motherhood.

Beth is surprised to discover the door to their old attic playroom padlocked, and even more shocked to see what’s behind it – a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers, and miscellaneous junk. Her father was the most fastidious, everything-in-its-place man, and this chaos makes no sense. As she picks through the clutter, she finds a handwritten note attached to one of the paintings, in what appears to be in her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing Grace Walsh died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker may be true. A frantic search uncovers more notes, seemingly a series of loose journal entries that paint a very disturbing portrait of a woman in profound distress, and of a husband that bears very little resemblance to the father Beth and her siblings know.

A fast-paced, harrowing look at the fault in memories and the lies that can bond families together – or tear them apart.

*******************************************

I really enjoyed this book and found the glimpse into post-partum depression very interesting. Personally, this was not part of my experience and what the author portrays through both the protagonist and her mother just made me so sympathetic for those who go through this.

There is a whole theme in this book that is about women’s reproductive rights and choices with their bodies and I think it would make for a good though possibly heated book club discussion, depending on your own thoughts and beliefs. Regardless, Grace’s story will stay with you long after you finish reading and I kept thinking about these characters after the novel was done.

Thank you for making me part of the tour, Harlequin, and for my e-copy through Net Galley. I look forward to reading more novels by this incredible author!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kelly Rimmer is the worldwide and USA TODAY bestselling author of Before I Let You Go, Me Without You, and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. Please visit her at www.Kelly.Rimmer.com 

SOCIAL LINKS:
Facebook: @Kellymrimmer

Twitter: @KelRimmerWrites

Instagram: @kelrimmerwrites

BUY LINKS: provided by the tour and not affiliate links for BBNB

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Truths-I-Never-ToldYou/dp/152580460X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1573152440&sr=8-1

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781525804601

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truths-i-never-told-you-kelly-rimmer/1132362557?ean=9781525804601

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/truths-i-never-told-you/id1460246211

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Truths-Never-Told/KellyRimmer/9781525804601?id=7731552460675

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=x1-TDwAAQBAJ

Blog Tour for Robyn Carr’s Sunrise on Half Moon Bay

I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the blog tour for this book. I love stories about sisters (I have two myself) and I love when books have women starting over in mid-life successfully (let’s just say I relate). These characters were very likable and there was a theme of finding oneself and also forgiveness in this novel, and it made me love it even more.

Thank you for letting me be part of the Harlequin tour for this book and for my e-copy!

Highly recommended for a clean read about women starting anew, family, friendship, romance, and life!

Also – hope I can say this – this is not your mother’s Harlequin. Back in the 1970’s/80’s Harlequin paperbacks were pretty racy looking and seemed like they could be “fluffy”. I love their current line of novels that feature strong women that are over 35 and dealing with life’s obstacles.

Description

Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.

Author Bio:


Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty
novels, including highly praised women’s fiction such as Four Friends and The View From
Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan’s Crossing
series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her
website at http://www.RobynCarr.com.

Blog Tour for: Cross Her Heart by Melinda Leigh

I was so happy to be asked to be part of the blog tour for Melinda Leigh’s latest thriller: Cross Her Heart which was published 3/31/20 by Montlake Publishing. This was a thrilling and suspenseful read and I could not put it down! I really liked the main character of Bree, and it looks like this is the first in a series that centers on her – yeah! I always like a mystery that gives a deep look at the main character (e.g. their past, their family, how they keep house, their pets, etc.) so this was a good choice for me.

Here’s the overview:

Description

A homicide detective’s violent family history repeats itself in #1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh’s novel of murder, secrets, and retribution.

For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There’s just one chilling difference. Erin’s husband, Justin, has vanished.

Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her troubled brother-in-law isn’t adding up. Teaming up with Justin’s old friend, former sheriff’s investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister’s life and death, as she promised Erin’s children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to home. Once again, Bree’s family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for her.

A Note From the Publisher

#1 Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. After joining Romance Writers of America, she decided writing was more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda’s debut novel, She Can Run, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. She’s also garnered Golden Leaf and Silver Falchion Awards, along with two nominations for a RITA and three Daphne du Maurier Awards. Her other novels include She Can Tell, She Can Scream, She Can Hide, She Can Kill, Midnight Exposure, Midnight Sacrifice, Midnight Betrayal, Midnight Obsession, Hour of Need, Minutes to Kill, Seconds to Live, Say You’re Sorry, Her Last Goodbye, Bones Don’t Lie, What I’ve Done, Secrets Never Die, and Save Your Breath. She holds a second-degree black belt in Kenpo karate, has taught women’s self-defense, and lives in a messy house with her family and a small herd of rescue pets. For more information, visit http://www.melindaleigh.com.

I highly recommend this book if you like a well-written mystery!

Thank you for making me part of the tour and for my kindle copy!

For a Limited Time: Free Memoir by David Ellison!

David Ellison sent me news of his memoir being offered FREE right now for kindle on Amazon.

available on Amazon for free

Here’s the overview:

What if you should have died before you were even born? What if, since you knew you were living on borrowed time, you’d lived, taught, traveled and wondered outrageously? Why, sixty years later you’d have one hell of a good story!

A unique memoir/travelogue/reflection-on-life, Santander features poignant short stories that, like pieces of a puzzle, create a captivating whole exploring themes of personal growth, adventure, justice, wonder, disillusionment, and ultimately gratitude. Although Santander recounts a teacher’s wild exploits and perceptive musings, it appeals to anyone who has raised or taught children, who’s traveled the world of countries and ideas (or who’d like to live vicariously though someone who has); anyone who’s struggled to find compassion for oneself and others; who, in the words of Robert Frost, “had a lover’s quarrel with the world” and tried to make a difference. Santander pays homage to living an authentic life.

From Santander:
“Terrified, I finally realized the federal agents answered to no one and could do with me whatever they pleased. I thought of the death squads who had “disappeared” so many others into the Central American jungle.”

“I was filled with awe and gratitude, but with sadness, too…the constant companions, it seems to me, of anyone who dares to travel with an open mind and heart through the world, through history, and through life.”

“Children all have that same amazing power over me—not only to make me laugh, but to make me believe in myself, in them, and in life.”

(link provided by the author and is not an affiliate link for Beth’s Book-Nook Blog)

A Sparrow Alone by Mim Eichmann

Recently, Mim Eichmann reached out to me about her book (the first in a series) and it sounded to intriguing that I could not say no!

Here’s the overview:

1890s. Colorado. Following her mother’s sudden death, thirteen-year-old Hannah Owens is hired as domestic help by a wealthy doctor’s family in Colorado Springs. When the doctor declares bankruptcy and abandons his family to finance his mistress Pearl DeVere’s brothel, Hannah is thrown into a world of gold mining bonanzas and busts, rampant prostitution and the economic, political and cultural upheavals of the era. Two of Cripple Creek’s most colorful historic characters, Winfield Scott Stratton, eccentric owner of the richest gold mine in Cripple Creek, and Pearl DeVere, the beautiful madam of The Old Homestead come to life as this old-fashioned, coming-of-age saga unfolds, a tribute to the women who set the stage for women’s rights.

This was a wonderfully written historical fiction piece, brimming with action, romance, and some violence, with a cast of actual and created characters. The main character Hannah Owens is one that I definitely felt a connection with, and Hannah has many ups and downs in this story (I don’t want to give them away but many center on family, work, love, and finances). Every time I thought she was set, something would befall her and she’d have to start over. She was a courageous and strong character and her story will remain with me. Hannah’s adventures continue in the next novel. I was also fascinated by the character of Pearl and so surprised to realize that she is based in fact.

Thank you, Ms. Eichmann, for sending me a mobi of your book and for sharing Hannah’s story with us!

This book publishes on 4/15/20. Right now it is $2.99 on kindle.