About Marianne Sciucco

I'm a writer of Young Adult, Women's, and Contemporary fiction, an eclectic reader, and book promoter. I love to share good books and book deals with others who love to read. I'm also a founder and manager for AlzAuthors, the global community of authors writing about Alzheimer's and dementia. When I'm not living my writer life I'm a nurse at an upstate New York community college. In the evenings you'll find me reading a good book on my Kindle or searching for something compelling to watch on Netflix. Please follow my adventures in publishing. And friend and follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

Books I Love! Just My Luck by Adele Parks is Unputdownable

It was supposed to be the lottery win they’d always dreamed of…

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends. Over drinks, dinner parties and summer barbecues, the three couples have discussed the important stuff—kids, marriages, careers—and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything.

But then the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone is caught in a lie. And soon after, six numbers come up that change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth millions. And their friends are determined to claim a share.

#1 Sunday Times bestselling author Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping tale of friendship, money, betrayal and good luck gone bad…

My Take

Doesn’t everyone dream of winning the lottery? It’s fun to fantasize about how our lives would change, what we would buy, where would we live, quitting our jobs, travel, and so much more. Often the realities of winning are not what we thought they would be, which is the case in Adele Parks’ novel Just My Luck. I listened to the audiobook version and it was unputdownable. Narrated by Louise Brealey and Kristin Atherton, the story is a whirlwind of high emotion as lead characters Lexi and Jake grapple with whether or not to share the winnings with friends with whom they’d recently had a falling out. Up until the night of the argument they’d all been in a pool together. But Lexi bought the ticket after that night, using the numbers they’d played each week for years. No wonder there is animosity, anger, and backstabbing when the win is made public.

The characters’ characters are revealed in painful detail. Lexi and Jake do what most lottery winners do: Jake immediately quits his job (Lexi doesn’t) and buys himself a fancy sports car; they move to a fancy house; they throw a fabulous party sparing no expense. None of this leads to happiness.Secrets unravel and truths are bared upsetting their lives more than the windfall did. Things get ugly and Lexi discovers she’s not happy to have won at such cost.

This is a fast read, even with ear buds, that gets you thinking about how you would react to a lottery win and if you would do any better than this group.

Recommended for those who like “what if” stories with a cast of villains and a heroine with a good heart.

About the Author

Adele Parks, one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK, has sold over 3.8 million books and her work has been translated into 26 different languages.

1500+ 5 star reviews have kindly been written by her fans on Amazon.co.uk 🙂

She has published 20 novels, all of which have been London Times bestsellers.

Adele has written 18 contemporary novels and 2 historical ones, Spare Brides and If You Go Away, which are set during and after WW1. Her latest novels, Just My Luck, Lies Lies Lies, I Invited Her In, The Image of You and The Stranger in My Home are twisty, domestic noirs. Adele likes to scrutinize our concepts of family, our theories on love, parenting and fidelity.

During her career Adele has lived in Italy, Botswana and London. Now she lives happily in Surrey, UK with her husband, son and cat.

If you want to stay in touch you can find Adele on Twitter @AdeleParks, Instagram @Adele_Parks or Facebook @OfficialAdeleParks. You can sign up to her newsletter at eepurl.com/cI0l and there’s lots more info about Adele and her books on http://www.adeleparks.com.

New Release Spotlight! Wisteria Island by Rachel Hanna, Southern Fiction with Island Charm

Misfit old people? Sounds like my kind of book!

Description

She’s running from the most embarrassing moment of her life when she finds herself smack dab in the middle of an island full of misfit old people.

Danielle Wright has had an illustrious career as a nurse, but when the unthinkable happens, she has nowhere to run to get out of the gaze of prying eyes and judgmental people. When she takes a job as the nurse for Wisteria Island, she has no clue what she’s agreeing to.

The brainchild of a wealthy entrepreneur, Wisteria Island is home to a cast of quirky, and often difficult, characters. When Danielle finds out why the previous eight nurses have all quit within days, she has to decide whether to stick it out or go back to a life she no longer recognizes.

Wisteria Island is a standalone novel by USA Today bestselling author, Rachel Hanna. If you love southern women’s fiction and lots of laughs, you’ll enjoy this one!

About the Author

Rachel Hanna is a USA Today Bestselling Author and lifelong resident of north Georgia. She writes women’s fiction, clean contemporary small town romance and stories about Southerners. Her quirky characters and emotional storylines are a favorite of readers.

She’s been married for over 22 years and has three kids, all of whom are technically adults but still need money sometimes. 🙂 In addition, she has two rescue doggies and one very snotty outdoor cat who truly believes he owns the place.

If you want to be transported to the South and you like phrases like “fixin’ to” and “bless her heart”- plus the additional talk of peach cobbler and grits – you’ll fall in love with these stories!

Connect with Rachel Hanna

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Books I Love! Kristen Harmel’s The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a Richly Researched, Inspiring Novel

Book Description

The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.

Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times).

My Take

What a remarkable read! I was swept away from the start, into the heart of the forest, richly written with vivid details, and into the heart of Yona, our brave but innocent heroine. This is a World War II novel unlike any I’ve read, and was woven with the results of the author’s deep research, which only made the book more gripping.

Yona is kidnapped by a mysterious gypsy-like woman at age two and spends the next 20 years with her captor living deep in the forest, avoiding humanity, hunting and gathering their food, and venturing into nearby villages in the dark of night to take what they need. However, Yona’s captor, Jerusza, is a brilliant and worldly woman who teaches her everything she knows about the forest, the world, and survival. Far from the safety of their forest, war is raging across Europe and the Holocaust is in full throttle.

When Jerusza dies, Yona is left alone, but soon encounters a band of Jewish refugees, innocents in the wilderness, whom she realizes need her help, which she is driven to provide regardless of the danger to herself. With them she discovers, love, betrayal, and loss.

This is my first novel from this author; I will be reading more.

Highly recommended for readers who enjoy historical fiction with strong heroines, suspense, lush landscapes, and an inspiring ending.

About the Author

Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling, USA Today bestselling, and #1 international bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names, The Winemaker’s Wife, The Room on Rue Amelie, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into 28 languages and sold all over the world.

A former reporter for PEOPLE magazine, Kristin has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay, Florida in the late 1990s. After stints covering health and lifestyle for American Baby, Men’s Health, and Woman’s Day, she became a reporter for PEOPLE magazine while still in college and spent more than a decade working for the publication, covering everything from the Super Bowl to high-profile murders to celebrity interviews. Her favorite stories at PEOPLE, however, were the “Heroes Among Us” features–tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

In addition to a long magazine writing career (which also included articles published in Travel + Leisure, Glamour, Ladies’ Home Journal, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and more), Kristin was also a frequent contributor to the national television morning show The Daily Buzz and has appeared on Good Morning America and numerous local television morning shows.

Kristin was born just outside Boston, Massachusetts and spent her childhood there, as well as in Columbus, Ohio, and St. Petersburg, Florida. After graduating with a degree in journalism (with a minor in Spanish) from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She is the co-founder and co-host of the popular web series and podcast FRIENDS & FICTION.

Connect with Kristin Harmel

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New Release Spotlight! Mary Kay Andrews The Newcomer is Filled with Southern Charm

An engaging read with likable characters and a charming setting.

Description

The New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Beach Reads delivers her next page-turner for the summer.

Letty Carnahan is in trouble. She’s on the run from New York City; she has her four-year-old niece, Maya in tow, and her sister was found dead in the entry hall of her glamorous townhome. Letty believes she knows who did it: her sister’s awful, money-grubbing ex-husband, Eli Wingfield.

Letty can’t forget her sister Tara’s insistence: “if anything bad ever happens to me–It’s Eli. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

But run where? The only clue Tara has left behind is a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Certain that the police and Tara’s ex are hot on her trail, Letty leaves her own life behind without a backwards glance, knowing she will somehow get justice for Tara, and sets out for her destination–The Murmuring Surf.

The Surf, as regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit but quarrelsome group of retirees and snowbirds who regard this newcomer and her adorable niece with suspicion and more than a little curiosity. There’s a No Vacancy sign swinging from the neon motel marquee, but the motel’s longtime owner Ava DeCurtis takes Letty in, offers her a room and eventually a job, much to the disapproval of Ava’s cynical son Joe, a local police detective whose every instinct tells him that Letty is a dangerous fugitive, possibly even a kidnapper and murderer.

As Letty tries to settle into her new life and help heal Maya’s trauma, she’s preoccupied as her late sister’s troubled past and connection to the motel are revealed, all while trying to deal with the attractive detective’s unwelcome advances. Is Joe a would-be suitor? Or a cop determined to betray her confidence and put her behind bars?

Start reading now!

About the Author

Photo by Bill Miles, marykayandrews.com

MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels (including Hello, Summer; Sunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The Weekenders; Beach Town; Save the Date; Christmas Bliss; Ladies’ Night; Spring Fever; and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin’s Press, as well as Savannah Breeze; Blue Christmas; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues, all Harper Collins), and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook.

A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, she earned a B.A. in journalism from The University of Georgia (go Dawgs!). After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including The Savannah Morning News, The Marietta Journal, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she spent the final ten years of her career, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction.

Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller, followed by twelve more New York Times, USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestsellers. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese.

She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA, where they cook up new recipes in two restored beach homes, The Breeze Inn and Ebbtide—both named after fictional places in Mary Kay’s novels, and both available to rent through Tybee Vacation Rentals. In between cooking, spoiling her grandkids, and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.

Connect with Mary Kay Andrews

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New Release Spotlight! What A Dog Knows, Susan Wilson’s Latest in Her Charming Dog Series

I’ve read the others in this series (One Good Dog, The Dog Who Saved Me, The Dog Who Danced, A Man of His Own) and several of her not dog-oriented novels and found them all to be endearing reads, and I am not a dog person (cats only, please). Wilson is a talented author who writes emotionally moving stories with satisfying endings.

Description

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Wilson comes What a Dog Knows, another heartwarming novel about humans and the dogs that change our lives.

Ruby Heartwood has always lived a life on the move. As a traveling psychic, she makes her living working at carnivals and festivals and circuses around New England. It’s a life Ruby has made peace with—settling in one place has never been for her. She needs no one, and no one needs her.

Until one night, when she is camped by the side of the road in her trusty Volkswagon “Westie” van, a fierce thunder and lightning storm erupts. In the middle of the downpour, she hears a distinct voice telling her to “let me in.” In jumps a little black and white dog, and to Ruby’s astonishment, she can hear the dog’s thoughts. Has she been struck by lightning? Did the storm do this? Is she losing her mind?

It turns out, Ruby can hear many dogs’ thoughts. She decides to set up semi-permanent residency in the town of Harmony Farms, until she can sort out what is going on, and who the little dog, Hitch, belongs to. But some people in Harmony Farms don’t want her there. And it seems that events keep preventing Ruby from leaving. What secrets is this town keeping? Why was she meant to find this dog? And what has Ruby really been running from, all these years?

About the Author

Susan Wilson is the bestselling author of books including One Good Dog, Cameo Lake and Beauty, a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which was made into a CBS-TV movie. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard.

Connect with Susan Wilson

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Great Escapes! 5 Stars for Nancy Thayer’s Family Reunion

I featured this book as a New Release Spotlight when it came out but I just had to bring it back as the first in my new Great Escapes Series because I loved it so much! I hope you’ll love it too.

Description

A longtime Nantucket resident is trying to make the best of a lonely summer. Her spirited granddaughter is learning what she wants out of life. Unforgettable surprises await them both in this magical, multigenerational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.

Eleanor Sunderland loves living on Nantucket, in a gorgeous cliffside home that has been in her family for decades. Yet this year she can’t help but feel a bit isolated, even as the island begins to come alive with summer tourists and travelers. Her best friend has skipped town on a last-minute cruise, leaving Eleanor feeling lonely and nostalgic about her family’s weekend trips to the island, made less frequently in the years since her husband’s passing. Now, her money-driven children contact her mostly to complain and to beg her to sell her beloved home for a steep payout. Hoping to kick the season off on a good note, Eleanor decides her seventieth birthday may be the perfect occasion for a much-needed reunion.

Fresh off the heels of her college graduation, Eleanor’s dear granddaughter, Ari, has just ended an engagement that felt less like true love and more like a chore. She longs for a change of scenery and to venture far from her parents’ snobbish expectations. Taking advantage of her newfound freedom, she heads to Nantucket to clear her head before graduate school, moving in with her grandmother and taking a job at the local beach camp. As she watches Eleanor begin to form a bond with an old acquaintance, Ari herself becomes completely smitten with a friend’s charming older brother. But just as grandmother and granddaughter fall into a carefree routine, a few shocking discoveries throw them off course, and their ideas of the future seem suddenly uncertain.

Eleanor and Ari make exciting connections, old and new, over the course of an unpredictable, life-changing few months, and learn to lean on each other through every new challenge they face in life and love, in this tale filled with Nancy Thayer’s signature Nantucket magic.

My Take

I’m a huge fan of Nancy Thayer but she has outdone herself with this book. I read it in less than 24 hours. It usually takes me a week to get through a book. From page one I was captivated by the characters and enchanted by the Nantucket setting (Disclaimer: I have visited Nantucket a few times, even honeymooned there. I love this island!)

The relationship between Eleanor and Ari was so precious, so real, that I immediately started rooting for both of them. Alicia (Eleanor’s daughter/Ari’s mother) was distasteful and hard; I disliked her immensely, although she was somewhat redeemed in the end.

I must admit I found Ari’s preoccupation with finding a new guy so soon after breaking off her engagement (and other stressful situations, no spoilers) a bit disappointing. Why is it that every woman has to have a man? Sigh…. It is women’s fiction so I guess it fits the mold, but, still, I’d wished she was less distracted by Beck. A little summer romance is fun but looking for a lifelong commitment after just two months and a breakup from a years-long relationship? Dreaming. (My reasons why would give it away and I promised no spoilers.) However, I loved Eleanor’s little dalliance. I also loved the descriptions of Eleanor in her seventies, no holds barred. She was so authentic. No glitz or glamour. A woman we all would know.

Ari’s work with the children at the beach camp was sweet and I appreciated her following her heart to do something good with her summer, even though she could have earned more money in another summer job. Seeing the working side of Nantucket was also welcome as so often books set there tend to focus on the rich and pampered. Someone has to do the work to keep them pampered and happy and I was glad to see the island folk behind the scenes played a part in the story. That was refreshing.

To say that the book was well written and tied up tight at the end is superfluous. It is Nancy Thayer after all, and she has never disappointed me. Now, if she could only write two releases each summer…

Everything was delicious, including the meals.

It’s unlikely I’ll make it to Nantucket this summer, but I already feel like I’ve been there.

Start reading now!

About the Author

I grew up in Kansas, surrounded by prairie, but thirty-five years ago I came to Nantucket to visit a friend who introduced me to the love of my life. Charley and I have now lived on Nantucket for 33 years–year-round, as we say, so I have a special feeling for this island and for the people who come here. I love the island most in the winter when the waves crash dramatically on the shore.

I have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English literature from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and I still go to KC often to visit my darling baby sister, who inspires many of the characters in my book. Yes, she is blond, and yes, she is 9 years younger than I am. I still love her.

For a few years, I taught freshman English in several states, and had short stories published in literary reviews. My first novel, Stepping, was published by Doubleday in 1980, and started me off on the career I’ve always wanted. I was a Fellow at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in 1980 and in 2015, I received the RT Career Achievement Award.

I’ve published 30 novels–all available on Amazon–including Secrets in Summer, The Island House, The Guest Cottage, Nantucket Sisters, and Island Girls. A Nantucket Wedding was my 30th. The upcoming Surfside Sisters will be out July, 2019! Champagne for everyone!

When I’m not writing novels–all 30 are available on Amazon–I’m walking the beach with my husband or entertaining our 4 grandchildren & their parents & our friends. All my novels are about family and friendships, which I believe are the foundation of a happy, if complicated, life.

Connect with Nancy Thayer

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Great Escapes

Throughout the summer I’ll be featuring my favorite reads as Great Escapes, perfect for the beach, the pool, camping, whatever you do or wherever you go to enjoy the summer months. Most of these will be women’s fiction, my favorite genre, but you’ll never know what you’ll find because I’m an eclectic reader. Wishing you many happy escapes this summer!

New Release Spotlight! Plymouth Undercover, Women’s Detective Fiction from Pamela Kelly

Once I learned this book was set in Plymouth, Massachusetts I had to read it because I’m from Brockton, just a few miles away. I love Plymouth and have happy memories of its beaches and seafood dinners at the harbor with my mom and stepfather. It’s always special to read books set in a locale I’m familiar with.

Description

A mother and daughter inherit a PI Agency with a reputation that takes them by surprise.

Meet Emma McCarthy, a thirty-year-old failed actress that just moved home to Plymouth, MA.

And her mother, Cindy, a yoga instructor in the Pinehills, an exclusive golf community in Plymouth.

They’ve just inherited Court Street Investigations, a private detective agency.

And its one part-time employee, eighty-year-old Mickey, a retired police detective.

They expect typical cases like cheating spouses or workman’s comp, but quickly learn that the agency also has a reputation for solving murders when they are hired to find a local missing woman.

About the Author

Pamela M. Kelley is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of women’s fiction, family sagas, and suspense. Readers often describe her books as feel-good reads with people you’d want as friends.

She lives in a historic seaside town near Cape Cod and just south of Boston. She has always been an avid reader of women’s fiction, romance, mysteries, thrillers and cook books. There’s also a good chance you might get hungry when you read her books as she is a foodie, and occasionally shares a recipe or two.

Feel free to sign up for her list to hear about new releases as soon as they are available as well as extras like early bird discounts. Just cut and paste into your browser, http://eepurl.com/IZbOH

Books I Love! Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian Will Haunt You

Description

A young Puritan woman—faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul–plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel of historical suspense from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary’s hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. 

But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary—a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony—soon becomes herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary’s garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows. 

A twisting, tightly plotted novel of historical suspense from one of our greatest storytellers, Hour of the Witch is a timely and terrifying story of socially sanctioned brutality and the original American witch hunt.

My Take

Venturing into 1660’s Boston through this book was more than just a time travel. Life, even a pampered life, was hard then, none of the modern conveniences we take for granted, such as central heating, running water, and plumbing. No supermarkets either. No automobiles. The population was small enough so that everyone knew everyone else’s business and gossip was the city’s favorite past time. People were ugly, unforgiving, judgmental. Women’s rights were nonexistent. Wives were considered to be an extension of their husbands, their child at best, in need of guidance and discipline to keep them on a heavenly path.

Our heroine, Mary Deerfield, who left her family home of privilege and wealth to marry a man far older than herself and without the means to keep her in the lifestyle she was accustomed to, finds herself unable to bear children, “barren,” and the victim of her husband’s creative cruelty which leaves her scarred and with a hunger for vengeance. She is not afraid of him, no, and asks the magistrates that a divorce be granted. She is refused and returned to her husband’s home where his abuse, physical, mental, and emotional, continues. But our heroine devises other means to satisfy her need for vengeance, to escape her loveless marriage, and to find happiness with the man she does love.

The characters in this novel, the townsfolk, are a provincial bunch, worse than a small town Facebook page spreading rumors, lies, and gossip shamelessly while piously sitting through church services for hours on Sunday, hypocrites all. It is this stream of venom that leads to Mary’s demise. It seems everyone else knows what’s being said about her but her. She is not nearly as tuned in to the party line as the rest of her neighbors. The book is interesting in that it seems not much has changed since the 1660’s, except perhaps the technology. In any era, people are the same: quick to judge, blame, gaslight, and throw someone else under the bus to save their own selves. With the town talk so pervasive it was fun trying to stay ahead of the story to figure out what happens next and whether or not Mary escapes her inevitable doom. It kept me on my toes. I read the 400 page book in two days.

Recommended for fans of richly researched historical fiction and women’s fiction told from a man’s point of view. This one will haunt you.

STa

About the Author

CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of twenty-two books, including The Red Lotus, Midwives, and The Flight Attendant, which is an HBO Max limited series starring Kaley Cuoco. His other books include The Guest Room; Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast;and The Double Bind. His novels Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers were made into movies, and his work has been translated into more than thirty-five languages. He is also a playwright (Wingspan and Midwives). He lives in Vermont and can be found at chrisbohjalian.com or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Litsy, and Goodreads, @chrisbohjalian.

Great Escapes! Viola Shipman’s The Clover Girls is a Trip Back to 1980’s Summer Camp

A perfect read to take you back to youthful summer days!

Description

“Like a true friendship, The Clover Girls is a novel you will forever savor and treasure.” —Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author

Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood as girls in 1985, where over four summers they were the Clover Girls—inseparable for those magical few weeks of freedom—until the last summer that pulled them apart. Now approaching middle age, the women are facing challenges they never imagined as teens, struggles with their marriages, their children, their careers, and wondering who it is they see when they look in the mirror.

Then Liz, V and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily with devastating news. She implores the girls who were once her best friends to reunite at Camp Birchwood one last time, to spend a week together revisiting the dreams they’d put aside and repair the relationships they’d allowed to sour. But the women are not the same idealistic, confident girls who once ruled Camp Birchwood, and perhaps some friendships aren’t meant to last forever…

Bestselling author Viola Shipman is at her absolute best with The Clover Girls. Readers of all ages and backgrounds will love its powerful, redemptive nature and the empowering message at its heart.

My Take

What a joy this was on so many levels! I discovered this author on the Friends & Fiction Show. To my surprise, Viola Shipman is the pen name of Wade Rouse. To think a man wrote this gorgeous book that probes deep feminine issues and ponders the emotional decisions women make that impact and change their lives forever, changing themselves in the process. I got lost in it immediately and didn’t come up for air until I finished it.

The four woman at the heart of the story, The Clover Girls – Emily, Veronica, Elizabeth, and Rachel – are decades past their summer camp days and lifelong friendship pact. Left behind were backstabbing plots, deep hurts, broken hearts, and lost dreams. Their adult lives have been disappointing and difficult and all are “lost,” unsure of their purpose, their places in the world. All of this is etched out in the inner thoughts of each character, the thread that drives the tapestry of this richly woven novel. As they break through the pains of their past and rekindle their friendship, long dormant, they emerge with renewed purpose, both personally and as The Clover Girls. Throughout all is the music and pop culture of the ‘80’s: TV, fashion, John Hughes movies, Molly Ringwald, Boy George, Madonna, and so much more.

I never went to summer camp so am unfamiliar with all that goes on there but reading this book gave me a certain nostalgia for easier times and the benefits of long summer days outdoors, by a lake, with friends who are everything, and I’m certain I missed out on a good thing.

Recommended for lovers of women’s fiction, the 80’s, and women who long to go back to their girlhood and fix things.

About the Author

Viola Shipman is the pen name of Wade Rouse, a popular award-winning memoirist and internationally bestselling author of 12 books translated into 20 languages and selected as Today show Must-Reads, Indie Next Picks and Michigan Notable Book. Rouse chose his grandma’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms inspire his fiction. He lives in Michigan and California, and hosts Wine & Words with Wade, A Literary Happy Hour, every Thursday.

Connect with Viola Shipman

Viola Shipman Website

Wade Rouse Website

New Release Spotlight! Sunset on Moonlight Beach by Sheila Roberts

“Roberts proves again why she is the premier purveyor of small-town, feel-good romance.” Booklist

Description

Jenna Jones has been standing on the shore of the Sea of Love for too long. Even with two good men interested in her, she’s been afraid to wade in. According to her best friend, Courtney, she should. The water’s fine. Life is great! Practically perfect, if you don’t count Courtney’s problems with her cranky ex-boss. Maybe Courtney’s right. It’s time to dive in.

USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts takes readers back to the sun-dappled shores of Moonlight Harbor as its citizens find hope, happiness and humor in the wake of a tragic loss.

When tragedy strikes, everything changes and Jenna’s more confused than ever. But this fresh heartache might help her figure out at last who she can turn to when times get tough.

Full of warmth and humor, Sunset on Moonlight Beach proves that every ending can be the beginning of a beautiful new story.

Don’t miss these other delightful entries in the Moonlight Harbor series
Welcome to Moonlight Harbor
Winter at the Beach
The Summer Retreat
Beachside Beginnings

About the Author

With nearly thirty books to her name, Sheila Roberts is a frequent USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller – and a fan favorite. Her Christmas perennial “On Strike for Christmas” was made into a movie for the Lifetime Channel and her novel “The Nine Lives of Christmas” was made into a movie for Hallmark. Her novel “Angel Lane” was listed as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year. Before settling into her writing career, Sheila owned a singing telegram company and played in band. When she’s not traveling, Sheila splits her time between the Pacific Northwest and Southern California.

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