TUESDAY POTPOURRI: FEEL GOOD BOOKS…

Welcome to another Book Release Day!  I did not download anything today!  But I have a pre-ordered hardcover book arriving by early evening.  I am eager to add it to my shelves.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder, by Joanne Fluke

In the newest installment of the New York Times bestselling Hannah Swensen Mystery series by Joanne Fluke, spring has sprung in Lake Eden, Minnesota, but Hannah doesn’t have time to stop and smell the roses–not with hot cross buns to make, treats to bake, and a sister to exonerate!

This fun new story from the Queen of Culinary Cozies is just the indulgence you need this winter! Cozy mystery fans know that a trip to The Cookie Jar—Hannah Swensen’s famous bakery—will always result in a delightfully page-turning whodunit…

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Cozy mysteries have been calling to me lately.  I must need that “cozy” feeling and a wonderful connection to familiar characters.  Today I am reading another feel good book, one that reminds me of buddy movies and books everywhere:

Hadley and Grace, by Suzanne Redfearn

The author of In an Instant delivers a heart-pounding and emotional roller-coaster ride of self-discovery in the tradition of Thelma and Louise.

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What, if any books, are filling your shelves today?

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HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: A VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATION…

Celebrating Valentine’s Day was fun for the residents here at Orchard Park.  An enviable spread titillated and tempted us all, beginning with appetizers and concluding with a most delectable dessert.

Almond Prawns with Honey Mustard…

Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup…

Stuffed Chicken Breast with Sundried Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts & Feta Cheese wrapped with Prosciutto…and Rice Pilaf with Green Beans…

New York Cheesecake with Berry Sauce…

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Finally, as I sipped a glass of red wine, our Activities Director snapped this photo of me:

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Can we agree that I was STUFFED after this spread?

What did you enjoy about Valentine’s Day?  In the absence of an intimate dinner with a romantic partner, I did conclude that mine was satisfactory.

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: FILLING MY SHELVES…

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating book releases!

Today I downloaded two books, but neither was released today.  They came out earlier, but I had bookmarked them, trying to be less compulsive about downloading books as soon as they come out.  LOL

Let Her Lie, by Bryan Reardon, went on sale last week.

In New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon’s captivating thriller, a dejected filmmaker lets his curiosity get the best of him and plunges into a web of depravity and danger from which there might be no escape.

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The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslian Charles, was also released last week.

Based on the true World War II story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris, this is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family, and the power of literature to bring us together, perfect for fans of The Lilac Girls and The Paris Wife.

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Today I am reading a book I downloaded a while ago:

The Perfect Guests, by Emma Rous

The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel—about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

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What, if any, books have you added to your shelves lately?

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BOOKISH TREASURES…

The photo above is my newest blog header at Rainy Days and Mondays, a place where I often celebrate the books I have enjoyed…especially the bookish treasures and trinkets that I have held onto over the years.

On the right, the Disney curios hover next to some favorite books, including one that I had for years…and then lost in my move.  (You can see half of the book behind the Disney character). I replaced it!  It arrived yesterday, and this post is a celebration of that book…and all the special treasures from the past.

Heartburn, by Nora Ephron, is a book I loved…and then I went on to view and buy the movie, starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson.

Is it possible to write a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage? If the writer is Nora Ephron, the answer is a resounding yes. For in this inspired confection of adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast, the creator of Sleepless in Seattle reminds us that comedy depends on anguish as surely as a proper gravy depends on flour and butter.

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. And in between trying to win Mark back and loudly wishing him dead, Ephron’s irrepressible heroine offers some of her favorite recipes. Heartburn is a sinfully delicious novel, as soul-satisfying as mashed potatoes and as airy as a perfect soufflé.

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I have read and loved several books by Ephron, including some memoirs, and am also a fan of her movie screenplays.

In my previous residence, I placed the copy of Heartburn front and center on my shelves…and now I have the book again, in my new shelves. However, I haven’t discovered the perfect place to feature it.

How about this spot? First shelf, far right.

Do you have favorite books (and trinkets) that help you celebrate your favorite things?

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REVIEW: PRETTY LITTLE WIFE, BY DARBY KANE

Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.

A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

Lila’s relationship with husband Aaron has turned toxic, with his controlling ways and recently discovered predatory behavior with his students. Can the Pretty Little Wife stay the course, or must she take some drastic actions?

When Aaron disappears, we are left guessing about what has transpired, but we do have our suspicions about what might have happened. Would Lila be able to deal with the target on her back as the cops turn a close eye on her?

Throughout the intense story, some parts dragged while other parts only hinted at the truth. What would we eventually discover about the missing husband, and how would we put the pieces together? A tangled web of broken individuals. 4 stars.

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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: BOOKISH DELIGHTS…

Tuesday New Book Releases are a favorite time of the week. Today I downloaded, via pre-order, a book from Amanda Prowse:

An Ordinary Life

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a tale of love, loss—and one last extraordinary dance.

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As I wait to start reading my newest books, I am enjoying Pretty Little Wife, by Darby Kane:

Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.

A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

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What, if any, new books are you enjoying today? 

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HAPPY BOOKS… & A MUG…

Welcome to the First Tuesday in February!  I am celebrating with a cup of coffee in a Newly Returned Happy Mug.  Yes, the mugs cheer me up when I look at the little boy eating cornflakes.  I had these mugs for several years…until I moved to this apartment almost two years ago.  Yesterday, my daughter brought the four mugs back to me!

Now…onward and upward.  Today I have downloaded two new books:

Hadley and Grace, by Suzanne Redfearn

The author of In an Instant delivers a heart-pounding and emotional roller-coaster ride of self-discovery in the tradition of Thelma and Louise.

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The Shadow Box, by Luanne Rice

The Amazon Charts bestselling author of Last Day delivers a haunting thriller about how far one wife is willing to go to expose the truth—and the lengths someone will go to stop her.

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Later this month, I will receive a pre-ordered book in my mailbox:

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder, by Joanne Fluke (#27 in the series)

Spring has sprung in Lake Eden, Minnesota, but Hannah Swensen doesn’t have time to stop and smell the rosesnot with hot cross buns to make, treats to bake, and a sister to exonerate!

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Today I am continuing to read The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult.  A book that hasn’t yet grabbed me!

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What books are you wrapped up in today?

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REVIEW: SINGLE MOTHER, BY SAMANTHA HAYES

 
 
 
I will do anything to protect my daughter. She’s all I’ve ever wanted and all I really have, but the moment I opened that letter and accepted the gift inside, I walked us right into a dangerous trap.

I know I should have got her to tell me who she’s been talking to on the phone late at night, and where she was the day I went to pick her up from school and couldn’t find her, but she’s not spoken a word since she discovered a secret hidden in our new home.

And now she’s missing…

 
 
 
 

From the very first page of Single Mother, I knew that we wouldn’t be able to trust most of the characters. Perhaps even those we least suspect could be betraying Mel, our protagonist. As she takes each step forward, hoping to provide a home and safety for her daughter Kate, we dare not look away.

I was rooting for Mel and Kate throughout the book, even as I wondered about those who were nearest and dearest to her. Could those she had known and trusted for years turn out to betray her?

Who is the quiet woman sitting in the window, and why doesn’t she speak? Does she dare trust Tom, the handyman who is helping her renovate the hotel she inherited? And who left her that gift? What was the hidden agenda behind it all?

Definitely a page turner that earned 4.5 stars.

 
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TUESDAY POTPOURRI: CELEBRATING BOOKS…

Enjoying the bookish world is one of my favorite things, so Tuesday book releases are a joy.  Sometimes I download new releases, while at other times I find books that I have been eyeing for a while.

Today I found one of those books I have been wondering about:

The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig

“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?” 

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Then I delivered two new e-books to Paige, my Kindle:

Forgive Me, by Susan Lewis

From the internationally bestselling author of over 40 novels comes a gripping story of love, family, and the price of forgiveness, for readers of Diane Chamberlain and Lisa Scottoline.

The Perfect Guests, by Emma Rous

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The USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair returns with another delicious, twisty novel—about a grand estate with many secrets, an orphan caught in a web of lies, and a young woman playing a sinister game.

Today I am reading a NetGalley ARC that will release on 2/2/21:

The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah

“Through one woman’s survival during the harsh and haunting Dust Bowl, master storyteller, Kristin Hannah, reminds us that the human heart and our Earth are as tough, yet as fragile, as a change in the wind.” Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing

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What, if any, books are you celebrating today?

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REVIEW: THE COUSINS, BY KAREN M. MCMANUS

 

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.

 

Meeting long lost family members can bring much more than an anticipated summer on an island for The Cousins. The reader learns the unfolding events of years past during the summer adventure that promises to offer much more than just reconnecting with family.

The tale gradually comes to us through alternating narrators, swinging between the past and the present, with more and more intensity as we zero in on what really happened back when the Story children were disinherited.

The grim reality comes to grip them all in the here and now. A great story about the Story family. I couldn’t put it down. 4.5 stars.

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